Thursday, 30 April 2015

Are You Beach Body Ready?

Recently there has been an advertisement for a weight loss product that has caused outrage. 'Protein World' featured a model on their advertisement campaign in a yellow bikini with the message 'Are you beach body ready?' but despite the model looking healthy and her appearance looking great, many have slammed the advert as they believe it could cause more harm than good. The model on the billboards you would think would be looking gaunt, too skinny, unrealistic looking, right? Well no...the model looked healthy, in proportion and genuinely made me have 'feel good' vibes when I saw the advert in question. It made me think the product was probably quite effective and reputable from the model in the picture selling it. All I thought was surely we should be encouraging this type of advertisement...showing a normal person that has a normal body, without looking unwell or like they have starved themself? I think that it is great to see people in adverts that have taken good care of themselves physically rather than showing people that are dangerously over or underweight. Why should we not celebrate the body of someone that has looked after it? I think 'banning' these type of adverts is a poor decision as the only people that will be offended by them are the people that do not appreciate healthy individuals, which in my view is the wrong message to be sending out in a world where there is far too many people that think having an unhealthy mindset is better than seeing someone that has achieved a great body and done well to do so without doing anything drastic or putting their health at risk.

Blood Donation

So I have recently been 'barred' from Giving Blood. I have had 2 sessions where I became poorly during the donation process and apparently my body cannot cope with being a blood donor as with some people there is just no explanation for becoming unwell. A nurse reckoned that I may have low blood pressure which could be a factor but I am hoping that one day I will be considered to be allowed to Give Blood again. I am appealing to those out there that are sat there thinking 'perhaps I could donate' or 'why haven't I done that yet?' It is an incredible thing to do and I am sure those that have received blood will know the importance that there was that someone else had Given Blood to help them and it even saves lives. I know if I had a friend or relative that needed blood I would be extremely grateful to anyone that had donated for giving those people the chance of recovering from illness or injury. For more information on how to become a donor (if you are in the UK) please visit

Organ Donation

Ever thought 'I will register to donate my day'? Well there is no better time to sign up to donate your organs and help someone. If I were sick in a hospital bed waiting and hoping that someone, somewhere out there could be kind enough to donate their organs to me to make me well again, then I would be the most grateful person in the world. I cannot imagine what families and poorly patients must go through waiting for themselves or their relatives to get an organ transplant. I believe that we are put on this world to give back to others and feel strongly that we must do what we can to reach out to those in need as we too will be in need of something one day...even if it is not an organ. Because one of the best things in life is giving others happiness and expecting nothing in return. If you are in the UK and would like to donate an organ please visit

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Beginners Guide To Applying For Credit & Improving Your Credit Score Tips

For those that may want to get a better idea of how to get a high credit rating score then I have provided some steps which I have learnt through research that can help improve your credit score. Please note, this is merely advice and tips that I have picked up. It is very hard to pinpoint how to improve a credit score individually if you are doing most things right in the first place.

The first thing that I have learnt from reading up on finance is that it is good to apply for credit if you are likely to be approved for the credit that you are applying for. Examples of this would be to choose a credit card for example with a very low spend available if this is your first credit card. You will be more likely to be approved if you ask for very little. The reason for this is that companies do not know if you are a risk yet when you borrow money so they will want to see that you can pay back in full and on time or at least be making the minimum payments. Remember that if you show that you can pay back the money that you borrow then you are likely to also be eligible for an increase in credit. If you are choosing a first credit card, make sure you research 'credit building' credit cards. These usually have a high rate of interest but if you are committed to paying these type of credit card off and are disciplined enough, once you build up a good payment history, you should start to get offered products and services with lower interest rates.

So if you have got yourself a credit card, whether it be your first card or an existing one or even if you have been using credit cards a long time, there are some rules to stick within to keep your credit score in check. In no particular order try your best to do the following things:-

1) Never spend more than you can afford - this is important as if you spend more than you earn you can get quickly drawn into debts building up and you will regret it if you start being unable to pay back the money as your credit score will suffer and could cause you problems being approved for credit, products or services in the future.

2) If you can, make the payment for the FULL balance on your account each month. This will look good over time as you will have lower interest rates offered to you, better deals on products and services and a good credit score could help you in many ways in the future such as being approved for a mortgage or a loan. If you cannot make the FULL balance payment on your credit card the second best thing to do is pay an amount ABOVE the minimum payment as this will be better than just making the minimum payment or defaulting on payment which are frowned upon - you could risk lenders not wanting to lend to you in future if you cannot meet payments.

3) It is generally a good rule to try and actually spend between 10-30% of your credit limit on your card. Spending too little is not favourable as the lenders want you to be using the card. If you do not use the card at all, this can lower your credit score as there is no trace of you spending the borrowed money and re-paying it, which is what they want to see. Close any credit accounts that you are not using if you have no intention of using the money available, having an amount of money not being utilised is actually potentially more harmful than not having a credit card at all, the sooner you close the account the better off you are. Also spending too much on a credit card is looked at as a bad thing. If it appears that you are spending near to the credit limit on your credit card, even if you pay this back, it looks like you are relying on this money and you may be seen as a risk.

4) Remember that you can ask for a credit increase or a credit decrease to keep within the 10-30% spend rule. If you do ask for a credit increase, ask for something small at first, you will be less likely to be declined. It is recommended to ask for a credit increase after at least 6 months of making full re-payments on time. If you do want a credit decrease you may need to explain to the company why this is the case as they will want a reason for changing this for you.

5) Do not apply for lots of different financial products around the same time. When you have a new financial product such as a loan or a credit card, having these open for a long period of time whilst demonstrating that you can pay the money back is the perfect way to increase your chances of being approved for other products. If you apply for too many products within a short space of time this looks like you are desperate for money and financially unstable and you risk being rejected.

6) If you have been rejected for credit do not apply for credit again in quick succession of being rejected. You may need to build your credit score up further before you can get approved. Some companies have different criteria for approving lending credit but it is important to remember to apply for products that you are likely to be accepted for. Applying for a 0% interest credit card or loan would be a big gamble if you have not borrowed money before. There are some websites that can make recommendations for you with this based on your income, your level of previous borrowing and your history of payments.

7) Put yourself on the Electoral Roll. Even if you have no intention of voting, being on the Electoral Roll gives your potential lender an insight into that you are living at an address permanently at that point in time. Make sure all of your financial products are registered to the same address too. If you have all of your financial products signed up to one address you look less of a threat than someone that is constantly moving around or registering products to multiple address (which to be fair looks suspicious!)

8) Look at your credit report online. Check for any inaccuracies and disputes that you have. If an address is incorrect or a company has indicated that you have made a late payment when this was not the case, then you need to sort out these anomalies or your future credit score could be in jeopardy.

I hope that you have learnt something from these tips. I shall probably update this page as I am bound to think of more things to add at some point. The higher your credit score, the more benefits you could have in the future (better interest rates on mortgages, cheaper car insurance prices, etc.) Get cracking today to build your credit picture for tomorrow.

I found out something great this week. Some websites that give you a free credit report, you can actually get cashback by signing up for this. You would need to go via a cashback website first such as Quidco and you could choose a company such as Equifax to show you your credit score and credit report. Please note though, some of these credit report websites lure you in by offering you a 'free trial' but a lot of them ask for your card details so they can take out money once your free trial is over. You will need to remember to cancel before the free trial ends or otherwise you may get charged. I have just earned £6 cashback for going via Quidco and signing up to Equifax.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Worldwide Drinking Game Neknomination Kills

A worldwide drinking game craze has become a sensation. For all the wrong reasons, people are believing that this is an innocent game that has become a phenomenon, for being a 'fun' thing to do. Neknomination, the name for the drinking game, is seemingly just a drinking game where friends nominate someone via social media to do a 'drinking dare'.

Neknomination is believed to be a game that was invented with the concept of downing one pint of some kind of alcohol very quickly and posting the video for others to view. Neknomination appears to have started off as a game to play for a fun challenge but it has escalated into some dangerous activities going on throughout the world.

In the news recently there have been a few stories reported of those that have risked their lives by doing a Neknomination drinking dare and the consequences have sadly proved fatal. The 'challenges' and 'dares' are widespread becoming more dangerous and some have now even been lethal and resulted in deaths.

The focus on this drinking game has radically turned into extreme risks that people are taking (some oblivious to the reality of what they are doing). In some instances, alcohol has been used with shockingly high content and usually spirits that are not mixed with anything. The speed at which people are drinking large quantities of high percentage ABV and other substances that should not be swallowed (mouthwash or laundry detergent anyone??) is putting health and life at risk.

Further news has been announced that those people that 'nominate' a friend to do a drinking dare (with their friend ending up dead as a result of the dare in question) could find themselves potentially up for a charge of manslaughter as a result of the death. Now don't get me wrong, I do like to enjoy socialising and consuming a drink or two for a good time but I feel that people need to be informed of this information to prevent anymore deaths from occurring unnecessarily.

Neknomination in my opinion is as bad as drinking a bottle of bleach, swallowing bottles full of pills or putting a gun to your head. People need to wake up and say no to this trend that will devastate the families and friends of the next victim.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Elderly Lady Steals From Shops

So I was reading an article online this week about an elderly lady that had been caught shoplifting on numerous occasions and had been summoned into court to explain herself. Wow, I thought to myself, I imagined reading down the article and seeing another case of someone being too poor to put dinner on the table, heat their home and basically survive. I felt that this lady would have been completely embarrassed and mortified if she knew that she had been caught trying to take items from shops to survive and was just struggling like a lot of other people have done in tough times. Nope, I was completely wrong...turns out this lady was stealing from shops, not stealing things that she wanted or needed but was stealing out of BOREDOM of being old. Now correct me if I am wrong but quite a lot of people had commented on this article saying "Aw poor little old lady she must be so lonely" and other such comments and I felt a bit outraged at the sympathy - surely I am right in opposing that sympathetic view? Well, I felt compelled to write this blog post to say I do NOT condone her behavior one bit! I have been brought up to know that stealing is wrong, there is simply no excuse for doing it. My view is that this lady (who has family that are alive by the way) could fill her days doing anything that she wished to do, that she would still have the ability to do. If she was mobile she could exercise or go dancing, if she still has her sight then she could read, she still has family so they could visit her, she could go out for meals with other people, she could find out about facilities in the area that bring lonely people together, she could basically do a lot better than stealing pointless items for no reason. I think she was ordered to pay some fines and a little bit of money towards the shops that she had stolen from but her selfish act was leaving stores out of pocket because she simply did not care about keeping her self-respect and dignity and finding other ways to communicate and interact with others. There is a saying: 'If you can't do the time, then don't do the crime' and I think she should have been punished heavily with a jail sentence to show an example to all ages that stealing is unacceptable. Harsh but fair I think.

Friday, 12 July 2013

What Would You Like To See On My Blog?

I have got a few ideas about what I would like to write about on my blog but I would like to get an idea of what other people like to read about and what they would like to see on my blog. I am appealing to my readers to give me some feedback on topics that they would like to see written about. I would like to appeal to all age groups and gender so your thoughts are appreciated.

I shall be contributing more blog posts shortly so keep checking back or if you would like updates then please subscribe to follow my blog where you will be notified as and when I post a new topic.

Also, I would like to start posting some topics that readers can comment on and get involved with sharing their opinions on so contributors are highly welcomed. Comments will be previewed before they are approved but as long as comments are not offensive or disrespectful, they shall be approved. Thank you Louise.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Why I Started My Blog

I suppose some of my blog readers would like to know why I started my blog in the first place. Well, I realised that these days most people are communicating electronically and looking for information that could give them a real boost, support or that they can gain knowledge from. I wanted to host a wealth of useful tips, advice, guidance, news, opinions, stories, recommendations, etc, and give a few insights into things that I have learnt in my life that may help other people. To give a bit more background as to why I started blogging I will fill you in, with greater detail.

There was a time, a little while ago when I first got diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Many of my friends and even some of my family to this day did not know of the struggles that I had (and often still have to this day) and some did not or do not even know of my diagnosis either! I struggled hard though! I am talking; constantly feeling run down, sluggish, tired, un-motivated, bored, fed up, ill and much more. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is often a misunderstood illness as it is invisible to others, in that others cannot see your headaches, nausea, chronic tiredness, pain and so on. I was actually sleeping for sometimes 15 hours in a day and still not feeling refreshed when I woke up!

I knew something had to be done. I had countless trips to the local hospital where I received some amazing support and advice, which I took away with me and still use to this day. I had gone from having 4 jobs, down to just 1 and even now I work less hours than most people would. Some may say that I should work more hours, some may say that I should work less. The hospital said I shouldn’t work at all! But no, if there is one thing that I am, that is determined. I would fight to recover my body and fight to recover my mind I thought to myself. Some days my biggest achievement was getting out of bed, other days my biggest achievement was getting less than 12 hours sleep and still being able to function adequately enough to make it through the day. My concentration was poor, I would struggle to keep my eyes open, socialising became more and more infrequent and I was lucky if I made it through work or seeing friends and family without yawning every 5 minutes.

Slowly, with the help of the hospital, I started to re-prioritise things in my life. “Say no to more” was a quote used by the hospital. I had kept a diary of my life after I had gotten ill and been diagnosed with CFS, which was to keep track of where my time was spent. I was a busy, busy girl let’s put it that way! At first, I did not understand what “say no to more” actually meant and why it would help me with my illness but I was burning the candle at both ends (and more!) So I started to say no to more. Less setting myself impossible goals with unrealistic time frames to achieve them in, less socialising by limiting how often I saw friends or family and trying to meet up with more people together at the same time rather than seeing individuals on their own on several different nights, doing several different things.  All of these things were draining. Having 4 jobs was also a massive no-no, believe me if you pick money over health, you have the wrong mind set, as you will eventually make yourself ill anyway and spend money on prescriptions, health care & vitamins! Balance keeps the body in harmony. You will know as an individual whether you are doing too much so it is best to evaluate your life if you do feel stressed, run down or exhausted.

Anyway, what happened to me was that I did eventually learn to stop sleeping for 15 hours a day you will be pleased to learn. I got my life back on track. I felt able to concentrate better, able to work at my job without feeling overwhelmed, able to get out of bed in the mornings and I am a lot better nowadays. Although I still have CFS and it probably won’t ever completely go away (I still have my good days and my bad days) things are looking a lot better for me. Now though, all this has made me realise I have achieved so much. Simple things that would have meant nothing to your normal everyday person were big accomplishments to me but it made me appreciate my life a lot more and I really do thank my lucky stars when I wake up without a headache or other more severe and daunting symptoms.

For this reason, I decided to start writing. I realised when I was suffering hard with my illness that I may not ever be able to work (I had certainly been advised by many doctors and health professionals not to work at all) and just claim disability benefits. But I do not see CFS as a disability. I see it as an opportunity. My brainwave came when I realised I could write when I wanted despite having an illness. Some days, as I said, I could not get myself out of bed or I would sleep through my alarm clock. Other days I had moments of ‘can do’ attitude and creative thinking. So that is why I decided to start blogging. I want to prove to others that you can overcome illness (whether mental, physical or invisible to others). Do what you can to make yourself happy. Be proud of the smallest accomplishments. I would like to be a published author and I see this as a long term goal as I would like to do it as a career so CFS was my motivation to start this blog and follow my dreams on my path to my future writing career.


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Love Food Hate Waste – Save Money And Help The Environment

Love Food Hate Waste is an exceptional website which gives a real insight into the way that we can reduce food waste and help the environment. The website itself is full of useful tips on how we can help the global issue of food waste that costs us a fortune, as well as it being harmful to the environment to throw things out.

To get an overview of this wonderful website it offers; recipes, tips, facts, advice, money-saving ideas and is full of important statistics and news relating to food. The purpose of detailing these areas is to get people to re-think their own habits in regards to how much food that they buy, cook, store or throw away. We waste a lot of food and money and we do not even realise how much sometimes or realise the significant impact it has on our purse as well as our planet!

This is a place that offers nifty tips and educates you into knowing the best ways to purchase foods smartly, helpful ways to store foods correctly to stay fresh for a long time, you can learn how to use foods up that are left over or running out of date and also you can find out what can be recycled from left-over food or empty packaging.

This website is only a good thing in my book and I do highly recommend it!