Welcome to today’s giveaway. Today I’m giving away this beautiful scarf!
If you love fashion accessories, do pop over to my online fashion accessories boutique for a good browse! The minimum spend is only £4.99 per order and 2nd class UK delivery is free. Perfect for Christmas gifts for her.
There's a great choice of earrings, ear cuffs, headbands, printed fashion scarves, necklaces, bracelets, bangles, iPad cases, purses and even some clothes! Just great for Xmas shopping.
Win this scarf in my blog giveaway:
The full terms and conditions are below, but simply enter using one or more of the entry methods in the Rafflecopter widget below and remember, if you win your delivery address must be in the UK.
Check out my Giveaways section for more amazing prizes!
The prize must be claimed within 28 days of the first winner's notification email being sent.
There is no cash alternative
There is no limit on the number of entries per person, follow the instructions to enable multiple entries
Winners will be notified within 28 days
The winner must claim their prize within 28 days or it will be forfeited
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The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter & notified by email
Giveaways are open to the UK only
The winner's name and county is available upon request
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A quick internet search will tell you there are now over one billion websites online. That’s quite a staggering number and also quite scary if you have your own business website. You are quite literally competing with millions of other businesses across the globe, all determined to be found on the World Wide Web.
The internet has become a very crowded place with new content popping up all over the place, millions of Facebook likes and hundreds of thousands of tweets every minute of every day. This article shows how much activity takes place online in just one second. So how do you get found online if there is so much competition?
Here are a few tips to get your business seen online:
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is so important if you want your website to be discovered online, namely by Google. To rank well for your keywords your website needs to be ‘optimised for search’. Good SEO will ensure you are found on page one and near the top of the results when users search for websites like yours. To do this yourself you’ll need to understand keyword research, create high quality original content, check your sites performance, usability and responsiveness, as well as build external and internal links. Or you could enlist the help of an SEO Agency.
If you’re selling a product or service, you may be wondering how you can create more content for your website and attract more visitors. You may even have come across the saying ‘Content is King’. One of the best ways to improve your online visibility (and also your SEO) is to create unique engaging content on a blog.
Content marketing helps create trust and credibility for you and your business. It also gives you something original to share on your social media channels.
Social media is vital nowadays to build an online presence. Not only does it give more of a voice to your business, but it provides customers with an instant and more personalised way to contact you. It’s also the perfect way to introduce potential customers to your business that might never have found your website otherwise. You'll attract more eyes to your website as you can instantly interact with others who share similar interests.
Social media also gives you an additional platform to advertise your business and share your content. Using relevant hashtags means your content can be found and enjoyed by those who are looking for it.
The best thing about social media? It’s free.
To reach more people you can advertise online using a service such as Google Adwords, as well as on social media. Use targeted ads to reach your desired audience on Twitter and Facebook. Set your demographics to ensure you reach the right people.
It can take 3-4 months for organic SEO efforts to take effect, so in the mean time you may want to try some paid advertising to boost traffic.
Set up an affiliate scheme to reward those who create business for you. Affiliate marketing for advertisers can be classed as risk free meaning you only pay for results. You only pay a commission if you get a sale, unlike Google ads or social media ads whereby you pay per click and impression regardless of whether any sales are created.
Your affiliates will promote your business resulting in improved brand visibility, social media shares and content.
It’s regularly reported that more and more people are searching the web on their phones and tablets, in favour of desktops and laptops. Make sure your website is mobile friendly. If not, you risk losing potential customers as they click off your website in favour of an easier to read competitors site.
Getting your business out there requires some trial and error on your part. Whilst Google ads may work well for one business, it doesn’t mean they’ll take off for yours. It’s important to regularly review your stats and reports to see what is and isn’t working for your individual business. Don’t be afraid to try different things. You’ll not know what works for you until you give it a try.
Living a healthy and contented life is tricky at the best of times, never mind when you’re living in the aftermath of a major accident that dealt you massive physical harm. It can seem like you have nowhere to turn and that you will never feel the same way again, but there is hope. Living healthily and getting your life back on track is a project that takes time but the sooner you start on that journey, the sooner you’ll get there.
It can be daunting to get started with life changes when you’ve already experienced so much upheaval in such a short period of time but it’s for the best. You will learn to live healthily and get the most out of every day, and if you don’t know where to start, this guide will put you on the right tracks.
Address the Logistical Challenges First
There can be everyday logistical challenges that arise from the necessity to recover from a major injury. Maybe you have to use a wheelchair while you recover, and if that’s the case you’ll need to address the logistical challenges that come with that kind of scenario. You might need to make some modifications to your home and how it’s all laid out in order to improve accessibility and ease of use for yourself while you bounce back from your injury. It’s up to you to consider which changes will be most likely to make your life simpler.
It’s hard to live a healthy life after an injury if you’re constantly stressed about your financial situation. Money worries can overtake you and stop you from functioning right and looking after your health properly. If the accident you experienced happened as a result of someone else’s misdeed, use a company like Quittance to get the compensation you require. This should help to tide you over as you take time off work in order to recover from your injuries. Do whatever it takes to find financial security for yourself before moving on to other important matters.
Remember to Get the Basic Things Right
Some things never change, even when you’re going through a recovery from a serious injury. For example, you need to make sure you’re eating healthily and being physically active. These things remain as important as ever and the basics should never be ignored. You’ll never manage to live a healthy life if you’re not able to do the simple things properly. Be sure to maintain a good diet that gives you the nutrients you need to keep your body fuelled throughout each day, and stay properly hydrated too. Getting the right nutrients will mean your body can heal properly.
Don’t be Afraid to Seek and Ask For Help
Asking for help when you need it does not mean you’re admitting defeat or showing any kind of weakness in the face of adversity. On the contrary, asking for help from others can be one of the bravest and boldest things you can possibly do. It’s certainly not an easy thing to do but you’ll be surprised by how willing people are to help you out; they won’t see it as a burden at all so don’t shy away from getting the assistance that could speed up your general recovery. It will also reduce your stress levels and keep you sociable.
Focus on Rest and Inner Peace
Getting enough rest is essential when you want to recover from an injury, so don’t try to push yourself too hard or cut down on sleep. As well as rest, you should try to work on your inner peace as much as you possibly can. The mental side of your recovery is just as important as the physical side so don’t forget that. You can achieve inner peace and a more relaxed state of mind by taking up things like meditation. It gives you the space to relax and clear your mind each day of the week so if you’ve never tried it before, you definitely should.
Make Sure You Get Enough Fresh Air
It might sound like a small thing but simply getting outside and breathing fresh air can be revelatory when you’re recovering from a big injury. It’s all too common for people to be trapped inside their home when they’re recovering; that could be down to anything from a lack of mobility to a lack of confidence. However, getting out there and spending time outside of your home is probably exactly what you need at this difficult time. It’ll stop you from feeling isolated and like the walls are closing in on you.
Work With Your Doctor to Set Targets
Gradual improvement should be your aim when you’re looking to bounce back from a major injury. You can’t expect results to emerge all at once because that’s simply unrealistic and you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment and failure. Instead, talk to your doctor about what you can realistically expect to achieve in the short-term and the long-term. You can then work with them to set the right aims with actionable steps that can be taken on a day to day basis. It’ll help to focus your mind and give you something to work towards.
Try Your Best to Live in the Moment
It’s so easy to spend a lot of your time thinking about your past and worrying about your future but that won’t get you anywhere. It’s no way to live your life if you want to get the maximum enjoyment out of it going forward. That’s why you should always do what you can to live in the moment by focusing on what’s happening here and now. You’ll learn to appreciate the smaller details of life and find more joy in your day to day experience, which has to be a good thing for you and everyone else around you too.
It’s never easy to bounce back if you’ve suffered a major accident of any kind but it’s important to remember that it’s not impossible. You can readjust and find a new balance in your life if you take the right steps.
There seems to be a common misconception when it comes to how vegetarians deal with the festive period. Many believe that a vegetarian diet is restrictive and takes away all of the simple recipe options you can have throughout the year, and especially at Christmas where meat, goose fat roasted potatoes and pigs in blankets take centre stage. However, what people don’t realise is that vegetarian food at Christmas is just as diverse as food containing animal products. Personally, I prefer it. I don't miss meat at all and for me, the veg is the most delicious part of any meal, not the dead animals. Plus I see the meat as a small part – all the different veg, stuffing, roasties and Yorkshire puds provide the bulk of the meal, not the meat.
To give you an insight into what a typical vegetarian Christmas might look like for vegetarians and to spread some inspiration for any of you who are just starting out living without meat; here's what us veggies can look forward to eating during December.
Whether you are going to the office Christmas party in a restaurant, spending a wild night out with your friends, or whipping out your barbecue cleaner: https://grilltanksplus.com/bbq-grill-cleaning/ and preparing for a night around the fire pit with your family: Christmas parties always offer a wide range of foods for everyone to enjoy. If you can’t eat meat, you don’t need to worry about munching on salad all evening. You can still enjoy the majority of any buffet and restaurants are offering more and more delicious veggie options than ever before.
The Main Event
Just because we don't want a succulent roast turkey or a honey glazed ham at this time of year it doesn’t mean we are missing out, in fact there are lots of options when it comes to the main dish at Christmas. You could opt for a veg wellington, feta and spinach pie, or the classic option: nut roast. I'll either have a nut roast or lots of extra stuffing.
The great thing about this time of year is that nuts are at their prime. You can roast chestnuts on the fire, enjoy munching a big bag of hazelnuts … and of course make a nut roast with your favourite nuts. One example is to use a mix of nuts which you love and make them into a roast with spinach. Some of the most delicious nut roasts I’ve ever had contain fruity apricots and melted goats cheese. Your meat eating friends will be envious!
Vegetable gravies are varied and you can really use any combination of vegetables you like and thicken it with corn starch or flour. However, one option which screams Christmas is mushroom gravy. Mushrooms have that gorgeous earthy flavour with accompanies the nut roast to perfection. Make your own or grab a fresh gravy from the store. Just watch out for dodgy ingredients on dried mixes and try to opt for a fresh choice every time.
It can be argued that the real stars of the show at Christmas are the side dishes. Nothing beats a fluffy roast potato and sweet root vegetables. Like I said earlier, the majority of any roast for me and most people are the veg and sides. The meat is only a small factor, so it’s barely missed when eating a veg only roast.
Perfect Roast Potatoes
Prefect roast potatoes are of course the real star of any Christmas meal; the fluffier the better. We cook ours in olive oil or butter; these are much healthier options. To make them extra fluffy, boil them for five minutes, drain, add the olive oil to the pan and shake them up before adding them to the roasting tray. Whilst boiling, preheat the oven and pop in the tray with either your butter or olive oil. When you add the potatoes to the tray it will sizzle and they’ll fluff up nicely. We cook ours for 50-60 minutes until ready.
Honey Glazed Carrots and Parsnips
The mixture of honey with these vegetables gives that ideal balance of flavour to your Christmas dinner, and it is ideal for anyone who wants to try something a little different with their vegetables this year.
We steam our veg. I prefer to cut them into long rectangle type shapes. Once they’re tender, add them to a roasting tray and drizzle honey and roasting style olive oil all over. Mix them up and cook for approximately 40 minutes. Add herbs, salt and pepper to taste.
This really adds an extra dimension to the roast dinner. Sometimes we make our own cheese sauce and other times we buy a fresh version from the supermarket. Watch out for the dried cheese sauce packets as often they have horrid ingredients and added sugar. To make our own we simply melt a LOT of extra mature cheddar in a pan with milk until it’s all melted and then add flour if we need to thicken. We pour it over cauliflower that has been steamed for 10 minutes, or until tender, then bake for 40 minutes.
Stuffing & Yorkshire puddings
I’m pretty sure it’s not really a roast if there’s no Yorkshire pudding? Both of these are vegetarian and absolutely delicious. Make your own or grab some from the store. As I said before, fresh is best. But you can also get frozen versions and packet mixes. Just keep an eye out on strange ingredients on the dried blends.
I’ll be sprinkling a spoonful of dried mint all over my roast dinner to finish it off. I used to get jars of mint sauce, but they’re full of sugar. Dried mint does the job perfectly. Some might argue mint is only ever to be used with lamb, but I disagree. It’s delicious on any roast, especially a veg roast.
Hopefully you’re now drooling at the very thought of my roast dinner, even without any meat in sight!
There’s no doubt about it, going green is the new big trend and rightly so. Not a day goes by where I don’t see an advert or company going CO2 neutral or trying to be more sustainable. It’s crazy how this has only just taken off and hasn’t been mainstream for years. When I was a youngster we didn’t even have recycling bins at home. Everything went in the trash. It’s such a mad thought as I’d feel terribly guilty nowadays throwing plastic or paper into the main bin.
Unfortunately we’ve been polluting our air, water and soils for far too long. We’ve been using too many natural resources that can’t be replaced. It’s time to make a change and start protecting our environment for future generations. It will also be great for our own health too. If you think it’s complicated to start leading a more sustainable life, too expensive or you’re worried about where to find a NewMotion chargepoint if you switch to an electric car, read on.
Here are some of the ways you can begin to lead a more sustainable lifestyle:
Electric vehicles are becoming more commonplace, especially since the news the UK will ban the sale of all petrol and diesel cars in 2040. It’s only a good thing long term as car emissions contain CO2 and numerous other toxins that pollute our air and are terrible for our health. I can’t help but think of all the dangerous chemicals I must be breathing in every time I walk down a busy street.
Hopefully car prices for electric vehicles will be more affordable once there are more on the roads and sales increase. As with anything new it can be a little nerve-wracking making the switch from something you’ve always known. How do they work? How do you charge them? Where do you charge them? Thankfully the answers to all these questions can quickly be answered online with a little research, plus you can easily find a charge point in over 50000 locations by downloading the NewMotion app.
Use solar power
Solar panels provide you with non-polluting green energy from the sun with the added bonus of being free. Yes, there will be an investment at first to buy the solar panels, but this will reduce your normal electricity bills and over time you’ll make the original investment back. Any unused solar energy you generate can be sold to the electric company, meaning you’ll get regular cheques through the year.
Solar panels are a long term investment with profits expected after 10 years. There are also schemes for renting your roof to companies who will install solar panels and cash in from the extra electricity generated, giving you the benefit of using some of the electricity generated and reducing bills. These aren’t always the best option so the contract needs to be well read, but it could be good for those who can’t ever afford solar panels upfront.
We have solar panels and luckily we’re on an older tariff so receive around £900 in cheques per year, plus cheaper electric bills, so it’s definitely worth looking into.
Going organic isn’t just about what you put in your own body, but what you choose to put into the environment too. All those chemical fertilizers and pesticides that are sprayed onto ‘normal’ food have to go somewhere. What’s not in your food is washed off into the environment causing devastation to animals, soils and our water supply.
Unfortunately the population of bees in recent years has been in massive decline. This is mainly due to these nasty chemicals. This could have a devastating impact on our food supply if we don’t reverse this soon. Bees are responsible for pollinating much of our food supply.
Sadly clothing manufacturing is a massive contributor to pollution and this has only increased with our love of fast fashion. Cheap clothes and fast changing fashion meaning we buy poor quality clothes and throw them out a few months later. Clothing production uses a lot of energy, water and chemicals, for example those used as dye for denim or to make clothes waterproof.
A simple way to reduce the impact our clothing has on the environment is to shop second hand. Use eBay or charity shops to find preloved clothes rather than shopping new. If the demand for new reduces then the factories won’t make as many new garments.
Tons of clothes are thrown into landfill every year when they don’t need to be. Instead, donate to a local charity shop. If the clothes are too worn to be sold then ask if the charity shop takes worn out clothes for rags. Many council recycling centres also have drop off points for worn out textiles that can be turned into rags.
Switch to LED
Eco friendly LED light bulbs use far less energy to run than traditional bulbs. They also last longer and produce more light with less heat loss. In traditional incandescent light bulbs approximately 95% of energy is wasted as heat and only 5% used as light. In LEDs it’s the opposite; 5% wasted as heat and a whopping 95% used as light.
To be really environmentally friendly use natural candles to low light your room in the evening instead of a lamp.
Reduce, recycle & reuse
Stop throwing out plastic, paper, glass, cardboard, tetra packs, punnets and foil. Always put them in a household recycling bin so they can be reused and turned into something new. Take a trip to your local recycling centre to see just what you can dispose of there. There are many more household items they will recycle that can’t be put in your household recycling bin.
Recycle your food waste or turn it into compost.
Stop buying so much. Think twice before you buy something. Only buy what you need and what you will use to prevent waste.
Reuse things. Can it be turned into something else, repaired or upcycled? Don’t throw things out. Sell them on eBay, give to charity or take to a car boot. Stop throwing things away that can still be used.
One great way to reduce harm to the environment and also support our own economy is to buy local. Instead of buying foods and goods from abroad or far away, check local listings and local stores first.
Try a local organic vegetable box to reduce food waste and support local farmers. Locally produced food reaches you in a much fresher state meaning it tastes and looks great. It’s also travelled a lot less, reducing food miles and causing less harm to our planet.
As you can see there are many ways to start living a more sustainable living. Some require an initial investment, but many cost nothing and can be started today by everyone. It’s up to us to look after this beautiful planet we are so lucky to live on.