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  1. Stop poisoning yourself with refined sugar and start feeling great today

    Hopefully you’ve all seen the dangers of refined sugar stories popping up in your news feeds. The media hype begins as the dangerous amount we are all eating is becoming more apparent.  Many leading health professionals have told us this for years, but it's only now we are waking up and listening. 

    We’ve known for a while to cut down the amount children eat, but we perhaps didn’t realise the amount we were eating as adults and the disastrous consequences this is having on our health.  Sugar acts like a slow poison causing chronic health conditions and has contributed to the rise of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and more.  It’s scary stuff.

    How To Go Refined Sugar Free with Natvia

    More people are waking up to just how detrimental added refined sugar is to our health.  There’s a large sugar free movement going on right now and I’ve been refined sugar free for almost one month.  I cut out all the snacks last year and this year I’ve decided to go the whole hog and cut out sugar in my main meals too.  By ‘sugar free’ I mean refined added sugar, not naturally present sugars.  Just that white sickly sweet stuff that spikes your GI and causes tooth decay, amongst a host of other things!

    If you’re wondering where to begin if you’re thinking of cutting down on refined sugar, here are some handy tips for you. 

    How To Go Refined Sugar Free with Natvia and Lylia Rose Blogger

    Cut down

    If you eat a lot of sugar (and believe me, you might without realising once you start reading the ingredients lists of everything and learning all the names it’s hidden under), cutting it out completely might be a little daunting.  Rather than sacking the idea off completely, just start cutting down.  My healthy journey has taken a few years (read this Trying to be Healthy blog post)

    Replace unhealthy snacks with healthy alternatives

    I am a snacker and I still am, even without sugar.  I’ve just replaced the old junk food snacks I used to eat with healthier alternatives.  And you know what?  They are simply delicious!  I snack on toddler crisps with no sugar or nasties, toddler biscuits and cake bars (sweetened with fruit juice instead of sugar) and wholefood snack bars.  I even eat chocolate!  I use raw cacao to make hot chocolate and raw chocolate chewy scrumptious brownies.  Now I crave all these delicious healthy snacks and the thought of a normal milk chocolate bar makes me feel quite sick.

    Use natural sweetener Natvia in its place

    You don’t have to give up sweet food for good!  Use a natural healthier substitute in its place.  Natvia is a 100% natural sweetener made from organic stevia.  It has less calories than sugar (if you’re still worried about those in this day and age).  They even sell icing ‘sugar’ and baking ‘sugar’.  Yep, you can still bake cakes if that’s your thing!  There’s never been an easier way to give up sugar, without giving up your favourite sweet snacks. 

    Natvia kindly sent me a couple of packs to help me on my sugar free journey.  I’ve used some in my tea and even to sweeten a tikka curry sauce!  I’ve noticed they sell it in Tesco so it will be a staple household item of ours now.  For more information and over 1000 recipe ideas visit http://www.natvia.co.uk/

    Get over the hump

    If you’re going cold turkey, you’re going to crave it.  If you’re feeling crap after a few days remember that’s normal.  You are craving sugar.  Just keep going.  Once you’re over this hard part you’ll forget all about those cravings.  Stay strong.  No pain no gain!

    Stay positive

    Change your mind-set.  Instead of thinking you can’t have something think ‘I can have this, but I don’t want it’.  Remember all the bad things sugar does to your body (see my hand guide Beating Sugar Addiction) to remind yourself why you don’t want to eat it.

    Best of luck on your sugar free journey.  I know you’ll feel happier and healthier.  Just think of all those long term benefits it will have on your overall health.

    How To Go Refined Sugar Free with Natvia and Lylia Rose Blog

     

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  2. 3 delicious vegetarian dinner ideas (that a meat eater will love too)

    There's a classical saying that goes 'if music be the food of love then play on' except what happens when you and your partner aren't singing from the same hymn sheet?

    Not everyone eats meat, and there are many preconceptions about vegetarian, and even vegan food out there, such as it tastes, boring, bland or looks awful, that simply aren't true. Vegetable-based dishes can be filling, nutritious and downright delicious you just need to know how to prepare them properly.

    As a society, our attitudes towards vegetarian and vegan foods are changing with more and more animal-friendly, cruelty-free restaurants opening as well as those providing a distinctly veggie twist on traditionally very meaty recipes.

    If your partner is a happy veggie then why not treat them to a five-star dinner service on the most romantic night of the year? Whip up one, or more of these sumptuous completely meat-free dishes that are sure to have them singing your praises! 

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    Flickr Photo Courtesy Of: Ruth Hartnup

    Goats Cheese Tartlet

    These buttery, crumbly tartlets can be filled with whatever mixture you like although we love the idea of goats cheese, caramelized onion, and mushrooms. You can either make or buy ready rolled pastry but if you do decide to make it it's easier than you'd think.

    Simply combine flour (I like wholemeal), butter, and salt in the food processor then mix until crumbly. Add an egg to create dough then roll out thinly. Using pastry, or cookie cutters cut out circles then set in the fridge while you make your filling. Spoon the filling mixture into the tartlet cases and bake for twenty minutes or until the pastry turns golden brown.

     

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    Flickr Photo Courtesy Of: Diana House

    Spicy Stuffed Peppers

    They look colorful, creative and are an ingenious way of serving food inside something that's completely edible. Firstly, wash them in the Rangemaster Sink then scoop the insides and seeds out before popping in the oven for around ten minutes until they're soft and pliable.

    Mix spicy wholegrain vegetable rice, mushrooms, kale and cheese together in a bowl, using an egg to combine the ingredients. Then spoon into the pepper 'bowls' and pop them back in the oven until cooked.

     

    Veg -Table For Two! Planning A Meat-Free Valentines Day Menu

    Mushroom and Spinach Lasagne

    It's a fantastic twist on what's usually a very meat-heavy dish. However, this veggie stuffed lasagne is a great alternative and tastes simply incredible too.

    To make it just add garlic, 250g of sliced mushrooms and some spinach to an oiled pan. Then, cook for around three minutes until the mushrooms soften and the spinach starts to wilt. Next, add in the soft cheese of your choice and stir the mixture together. Add in some grated hard cheese too, such as Parmesan or Cheddar then layer a baking dish with brown lasagna sheets and spoon the mixture over the top.  You can even add layers of chopped tomatoes too. Continue alternating layers until you've no more filling left then sprinkle cheese over the top before baking for around thirty-five minutes.

     Scrumptious veggie filled food that even your meat loving friends will be asking for seconds!

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  3. How to host a successful sleepover

    As a child, the idea of your friends staying over for the night is thrilling, but for parents it might be terrifying! Caring for a group of over-excited kids, making sure everything runs smoothly and everyone is looked after can be stressful, even for the most chilled out of parents.

    But if your child is set on a slumber party and you’ve finally given in, here are some tips that will make the whole process easier. 

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    Start Small

    If you don’t host slumber parties often or it’s your child’s first one, it’s best to start small. The more kids involved, the more difficult (and stressful!) it’s probably going to be. Allowing a just a couple of friends, particularly children you know to be well behaved will make the process a lot easier.

    Get Up To Date Contact Details From Parents

    When your child’s guests are dropped off, be sure to take down up to date phone number from the parents. Hopefully, there will be no emergencies, but if someone starts feeling ill or just wants to go home, then you’ll need to be able to get in contact.

    Sometimes kids can feel like they’re ready for their first sleepover or slumber party but later on decide they want to go home. Make sure everyone knows that this is perfectly OK, so there’s no upset or worry from your young guests.

    Make Sure There’s Place To Sleep

    If your child’s room is big enough, everyone could lay their sleeping bags on the floor- putting blankets or duvets underneath will make it comfier. Alternatively, you could allow them to have their slumber party downstairs in the living room.

    You could even pitch a tent indoors for a fun, safe ‘camping’ experience! If your child has guests over to stay often, you could consider buying childrens bunk beds, or a trundle bed where an extra mattress slides out from underneath.

    Think About Dietary Requirements

    We all know how picky kids can be with food, so when you’re catering for a group of them it’s something you might want to put some thought into! Ask your child to discuss meal ideas with their friends, and ask parents if there are any dietary requirements you need to bear in mind. Some children might not be able to eat certain things due to allergies or religious reasons, so this is something to find out.

    To make things easier you could order some pizzas and allow people to choose their own toppings, or you could put together a tea party style finger buffet where everyone can pick out the things that they want.

    Put Together Some Activities

    To keep everyone occupied you will need to provide things to do. You could leave out a selection of movies, buy some magazines aimed at their age group and even buy some pampering products like face masks and nail polish depending on the age and interests of the group. You could purchase some inexpensive crafts and things to do, or look on Pinterest for ideas.

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  4. Why it's important to take care of your feelings and others

    Life can bring so much joy and pain. It's rather cruel isn't it? It can grant our dreams and take them away.

    That's why it's so important to be yourself and be ok in the meantime. If you can ride the wave of life, love yourself and respect others - you will be ok no matter what life throws your way. 

    Feelings are hard things to manage. They let us know if we are loved and are the gut instincts that protect us.

    Be present and live in the now.

    You need to learn to respect and embrace all feelings as one, rather than discarding the negative. Respect the negative feelings as what they are before moving forward into positive times.

    Don't judge yourself or others.

    loving yourself and others lylia rose uk lifestyle blog

    If you are feeling down about something, learn about why you're feeling the way you are. Don't avoid responsibility for pain. Understand your emotions and process them duely.

    If you are going through phases of guilt, anxiety, and depression, get on top of it all. Ask yourself why you are feeling the way you do and give the answer room to breathe as it will come from inside you.

    Explore the wounds and understand the fears.

    Question your feelings and don't be afraid of the answers.

    It's not always about how you can feel love, but what can you do to love yourself?

    Well, you can treat your body the way it deserves to be treated. Don't disrespect it. Now, you might not be the type to pump iron at the gym, but a little fitness can't hurt. Keep the blood flowing with some basic cardio - walking or light running. Some minor weights are a good idea as well. Tone your body for a slimmer look - but this has to come from the mind first.

    It's pointless having a great body if your mind is unhealthy. You should pursue the fitness hobbies you enjoy - don't toil at the ones you are struggling with if you can get exercise in a way that suits you.

    Learn to respect the opinions and feelings of others and always be kind and considerate. There's nothing wrong with an open mind, but you should always try to put yourself in the shoes of someone else from time to time and be open to lending a hand.

    Work on yourself first, but helping others is rewarding work in itself. The other side of this is that there's no problem with letting people in - if you need help or advice, open up - no matter if it's listening to a site like Astrostyle or talking to a close friend - every little helps and you've got no reason to shut off.

    If you learn to love, respect and cherish yourself - nothing can stop you and you'll find relationships more fruitful.

    Don't let life get you down!


     

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  5. Romantically rustic candles and framed Valentine’s gift ideas

    It’s February tomorrow, crazy huh?  Though the New Year and Christmas hype only seem a week or so ago, we’re heading full steam towards the next big event - Valentine’s Day!  For all you love birds out there, Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to show that special someone in your life just how much you love them.

    If you want to avoid the rows of couples in restaurants, why not set the perfect Valentine’s scene at home?  Cook a romantic dinner for two complete with gorgeous candles and dreamy scents filling the room.  Make Ruem have the most gorgeous wooden candles and lanterns to create the perfect ambience.  They even have the crockery covered; from stunning gold rimmed plates to cool stag wine bottle stoppers.  If you’re struggling to think of the ideal gift then Make Ruem is your one stop shop!  Discover beautiful love related prints and unique hand crafted heart frames.

    Here’s my favourite candles and artwork from Make Ruem to set the scene and gift your special someone this Valentine’s Day: 

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    Set Of 4 Tall Wooden T Lights

    These rustic wooden tea light holders will look fabulous as the centre piece to your romantic meal.  Turn down the lighting and gaze lovingly at each other with the glow of four flickering candles.  Use scented candles to really set the mood. 

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    All you need is love

    This quirky handmade scrabble frame by Daisy Maison is a great gift idea.  Its neutral black and white design means it will go with any colour scheme.  A gift which will last forever and not just a few days, or moments, like chocolate and flowers.

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    White Frosted Bud Vase

    A beautiful vase for the middle of the table to hold a single red rose.

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    Large 'All Because' Print Gold

    Lean it against a wall on a shelf with a couple of Make Ruems cool concrete candles and a frame to create an awesome ‘shelfie’.  Or create your own wonderful gift with this print by finding a beautiful frame to encase it.

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    Heart Picture Champagne White

    This impressive 3D heart is created from hundreds of individually cut butterflies which are hand assembled to create this exclusive handmade gift.  Other colours are available, but go with Champagne White for a timeless piece of art she’ll love.

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    Paddywax Wooden Candle Redwood and Amber

    Not only is this candle holder made from wood, but it has copper inside.  It couldn’t be more perfect (for me anyway)!  Use for setting the scene or even as a gift itself (hint hint).

    I hope you enjoyed my Valentine’s gift ideas from Make Ruem.  Click the item titles to view each item or pop along to their website www.makeruem.com for even more inspiration!

     

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