Thursday, March 31, 2016

Ways to Reuse Toilet Paper Rolls

One of the things, it seems we always have a wealth of in our home is the cardboard center to the toilet tissue roll. Obviously, an easy recyclable item, it can also be used to make many fun crafts and other clever ideas.

Here are some of my favorite ideas:

Caffeine and pregnancy: what's safe?

The jury is out on whether caffeine can actually hurt baby, but most health-care professionals do recommend limiting intake. Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it pulls fluids and calcium from both you and baby and will keep you running to the bathroom (as if you aren't peeing enough already). Also, caffeine has no nutritional value and can affect your mood, sleep schedule and iron absorption. And it’s not just the coffee — remember, caffeine is also found in most teas, soft drinks and chocolates. Play it safe by totally eliminating caffeine, but if you simply can’t kick the habit, at least cut back. Some studies show that excessive caffeine consumption (more than 200 milligrams or one to two 8-ounce cups a day) can increase chances of miscarriage or premature birth.

Going cold turkey can be tough, so try lowering your caffeine intake gradually. If you’re a coffee drinker, work your way down to half-caf before becoming a full-fledged decaf drinker. Exercise and frequent small meals (good ideas whether or not you're kicking a habit) will help keep up your energy during the withdrawal. If you just like to have a tasty drink on your desk, try mixing fruit juice with sparkling water instead, or customize decaffeinated tea by adding cinnamon, cloves or bits of your favorite fruit. Though herbal teas usually don't have caffeine, run the ingredient list by your doctor first — some may not be safe for baby.

How does caffeine affect my baby?

Caffeine crosses the placenta. So as caffeine increases your heart rate and metabolism, and makes you feel more alert, it can affect your unborn baby in the same way. This means that he may become a bit unsettled after you've had a coffee.
Lots of caffeine isn't good for your baby. Some reports show that babies born to mums who had more than 500mg of caffeine a day were, in the days following the birth, more likely to: 
~ have faster heart rates
~ have an increased breathing rate
~ spend more time awake 
However, a mug or two of tea or coffee a day won’t harm your baby. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Neck pain

Your neck (cervical spine) is made up of vertebrae that extend from the skull to the upper torso. Cervical disks absorb shock between the bones. The bones, ligaments, and muscles of your neck support your head and allow for motion. Any abnormalities, inflammation, or injury can cause neck pain or stiffness.

Many people experience neck pain or stiffness in the neck occasionally. In many cases, it is due to poor posture, normal wear and tear, or overuse. Sometimes, neck pain is caused by injury from a fall, contact sports, or whiplash.
Most of the time, neck pain is not a serious condition and can be relieved within a few days. In some cases, neck pain can indicate serious injury or illness and require a doctor’s care. If neck pain continues more than a week, is severe, or is accompanied by other symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Causes of Neck Pain or Stiff Neck

Neck pain or stiffness can happen for a variety of reasons.
Muscle Tension and Strain
This is usually due to activities and behaviors such as: 
~ poor posture
~ working at a desk for too long without changing position
~ sleeping with your neck in a bad position
~ jerking the neck during exercise
~ Injury
The neck is particularly vulnerable to injury, especially in falls, car accidents, and sports, where the muscles and ligaments of the neck are forced to move outside their normal range. If the neck is dislocated or fractured, the spinal cord may also be damaged. Neck injury caused by a sudden jerking of the head is commonly called “whiplash.” 
~ Diseases and Conditions 
~ Arthritis causes pain, swelling of the joints, and bone spurs. When these occur in the neck area, neck pain can result. 
~ Osteoporosis weakens bones and can result in small fractures. 
~Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes muscle pain throughout the body.

Symptoms of heart attack include:

~ shortness of breath
~ sweating
~ nausea
~ vomiting
~ arm, jaw, or neck pain

Meningitis is an inflammation of the thin tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Stiff neck is usually accompanied by fever and severe headache. Meningitis can be deadly and is a medical emergency. If you have symptoms of meningitis, seek help immediately.
In rare instances, neck stiffness or pain is caused by congenital abnormalities, in addition to infections, abscesses, tumors, or cancer of the spine.

How to Ease Neck Pain at Home

If you have minor neck pain or stiffness, take these simple steps to relieve it:
~ Apply ice for the first few days of your neck hurting. After that, apply heat with a heating pad, hot compress, or hot showers.
~ Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
~ Take a few days off from sports, activities that aggravate your symptoms, and heavy lifting. ~ Resume normal activity slowly as symptoms ease.
~ Exercise your neck every day. Slowly stretch your head in side-to-side and up-and-down motions.
~ Use good posture.
~ Avoid cradling the phone between your neck and shoulder.
~ Change your position often. Do not stand or sit in one position for too long.
~ Get a gentle neck massage.
~ Use a special neck pillow for sleeping.
~ Do not use a neck brace or collar without checking with your doctor’s approval. If not used properly, this can actually make the problem worse.

When to Seek Medical Care

If symptoms persist for more than a week, consult with your doctor. You should also see a doctor if you have:
~ severe neck pain without apparent cause
~ a lump in your neck
~ fever
~ headache
~ swollen glands
~ nausea and vomiting
~ trouble swallowing or breathing
~ weakness
~ numbness and tingling
~ pain that radiates down your arms or legs
~ inability to move your arms or hands

How Neck Pain Is Treated

You doctor will perform a physical exam and take your complete medical history. Be prepared to provide specifics about your symptoms, prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements, and recent injuries or accidents, even if they don’t seem related.
Treatment for neck pain will depend on the diagnosis. Tests to determine the cause of neck pain may include:
~ blood tests
~ X-rays
~ computed tomography (CT) scan
~ magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
~ electromyography (EMG – a test that checks the health of muscles and the nerves that control muscles)
~ lumbar puncture (spinal tap) 
Depending on the results of these tests, your doctor may refer you to a specialist. 

Treatment for neck pain may include:

~ ice and heat therapy
~ exercise, stretching, and physical therapy
~ pain medication
~ corticosteroid injections
~ muscle relaxants
~ neck collar
~ traction
~ antibiotics (if infection is involved)
~ hospital treatment (if a condition such as meningitis or heart attack is the cause)
~ surgery (rarely)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Anxiety-Attack Triggers

Most people who struggle with panic want very much to know what causes panic attacks. There are really two questions here.

The first one is what causes an individual anxiety attack. This is very important because once you know how panic attacks work, you will be in a good position to free yourself from panic attacks.
The second version of this question has a very different meaning. When people ask "what causes panic attacks?", they often don't mean an individual attack. They want to know "why" they have this problem. They frequently ask themselves the "Why?" question, especially when they are having a panic attack.

Here are the things that trigger anxiety:

~ Food additives: Aspartame, food coloring, dyes 
Many people report mood swings and anxiety after ingesting man-made sweeteners, like aspartame and high fructose corn syrup, food dyes (including Red #40 and Yellow #5) and flavorings like MSG. Direct links between artificial food additives and mood are still under investigation though they've been implicated as a cause of ADHD and autism in children. The fact is that dyes and artificial sweeteners are neurotoxins that can disrupt normal nervous system function, leading to increased symptoms of anxiety.

~ Over the counter drugs and supplements 
Medicines that contain caffeine, including several headache and migraine relievers, some cough medicines, decongestants, asthma medications and weight-loss supplements that includes stimulants, can lead to increased heart rates and a spike in feelings of anxiety. Popular herbal remedies and supplements like St. John's Wort, ginseng and kava kava may also cause or increase unease.

~ Food sensitivities 

Symptoms of food sensitivity can range from digestive issues like stomach pain to difficulty breathing. While both of these problems can cause anxiety, there's also increasing evidence that food sensitivities affect mood directly as well. Gluten, soy, dairy -- even chocolate -- can impact hormones lelvels and other key chemicals in the brain, upsetting the delicate balance needed to keep the body and mind in control of anxiousness.

~ Skipping meals 
In our harried, stressful world, skipping a meal here and there is all too common. What's more, many people who are anxious and stressed may feel they have no appetite or simply lack the desire to eat. But for most people used to regular meals, skipping meals causes a drop in the body's blood sugar levels. If prolonged, this drop may lead to increased feelings of anxiety and irritability. Other anxiety-provoking effects of low blood sugar are dizziness, light-headedness, confusion and weakness.

~ Dehydration 
A 2009 study at Tufts University found a clear link between hydration and mood. The study found that student athletes who were just mildly dehydrated reported feeling angry, confused, tense and fatigued. Staying hydrated is essential to keeping the body's physiological functions running smoothly, including speeding the healing process and removing toxins. Drinking enough water daily may be one of the easiest ways to help the body control its nerves.

~ Caffeine 
Millions of people rely on a regular caffeine fix to jump start their day or to perk up when their energy nosedives. But too much is no good. "Caffeine-induced anxiety disorder" is actually a recognized condition found in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the "bible" used by mental health experts throughout the United States. As most people are aware, too much caffeine can cause a racing heartbeat, which can trigger a panic attack. And while a little caffeine can improve one's ability to focus, too much may increase nervousness and a host of anxiety symptoms, like sweating palms, ringing in the ears, even feelings of impending doom.

~ Cigarettes, drugs and alcohol 
Relying on smoking, drinking or using drugs to feel calmer can backfire. Nicotine is a stimulant that studies have shown can raise blood pressure and heart rate. In addition, the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke also may cause breathing problems that the body responds to as if it's suffocating, increasing the likelihood of panic attacks. As for alcohol and drugs, people suffering from an anxiety disorder are two to three times more likely to abuse these than the general population, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Both alcohol and drugs can lead to panic attacks and their disruptive effect on the central nervous system limits the brain's ability to calm the mind and body.

~ Nutrient deficiencies 
Make sure you eat your vitamins! B complex, C and E vitamins play important roles in nervous system function, and B vitamins particularly affect mood and metabolism. Magnesium is known to help relieve stress, thus a deficiency in this mineral may lead to irritability and apathy. Selenium, an antioxidant essential to the efficient function of neurotransmitters in the brain, helps control mood. And according to a 2006 study, people with lower levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids were also at increased risk of anxiety.

~ Age 
As we age, we face multiple stresses that can bring on bouts of anxiety. Life events such as health changes, memory problems, the death of a spouse or even a seemingly happy change like retirement, can all be stress-provoking. The Geriatric Mental Health Foundation estimates that 10-to-20 percent of older adults suffer from anxiety, although many go untreated because they may not recognize the symptoms.

~ Negative thinking 
Many therapists stress that persistent negative thinking really does have a harmful effect on our emotional well-being. Ever hear of automatic negative thoughts (or ANT’s)? These are quick, unconscious, off-the-cuff criticisms that the mind churns out when faced with stressful situations. "Why did I do that?" "Why am I so dumb?" and other negative self-criticisms wreak havoc on your emotional state. The good news is that a therapist can help you identify these ANT’s and reduce the power they have on your psyche.

~ Unconscious cues 
A song, smell or location can be unconsciously linked to a bad feeling or memory, which can be problematic. This is perhaps most common in cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (where, for example, a soldier hearing a loud bang may associate the sound with gunfire and thus become anxious), but it can occur in other types of anxiety as well. Identifying anxiety-provoking unconscious cues on your own can be difficult. However, with the help of a therapist it's possible to untangle this complicated process and put negative thoughts in their place. 
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Hacks Every Parent Needs to Know!

Whether you're navigating the newborn minefield of nappies and nap-times, weathering the tempestuous terrible twos or juggling school runs with work commitments - nobody can deny that parenting is a demanding business. 
As we could probably all use a little more time and a little less stress, we've compiled a list of some of the best parenting hacks around.

~ Keep their toys with in reach during bath time.

~ Make homework easier and more fun.

~ Use the bottle to keep track of your kid’s doses.

~ Use stickers in shoes to help kids remember which shoe goes on which foot.

~ A mix of dish soap, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda will get out food stains

~ Make baby's medicine time a whole lot easier.

~ Inflatable pools can make a large and safe play area.

~ Put a sheet over a crib when outside to keep mosquitoes out.

~ Use hot glue to stop up holes in bath toys so they don't mold.

~ Glue on the bottom of shoes will help prevent your children from slipping

~ Keep your kids from making a mess when eating in the car by putting their meal into an organization bucket.

~ Keep Tabs On Your Kids At Festivals

The Umbrella That KNOWS When it's Going to Rain: 'Oombrella'

This is so COOL.
If you've ever been caught in a rain shower without your umbrella, or left it on a bench or bus, this high-tech version may be for you.

Not only is the 'Oombrella' brightly coloured so you won't miss it, it will send you a reminder if you unwittingly leave it behind or if it's about to rain.
What's more, the world's first 'smart and connected' umbrella can predict the weather for the next 15 min, using its own sensors as well as data from a social media community.

The reflective multi-coloured Oombrella uses built-in sensors to record light, humidity, and temperature.

The umbrella will also send alerts if it realises its owner has accidentally left it at home or in a restaurant for example, using a built-in GPS tracker. 
Oombrellas are not for sale yet but they will be available on Kickstarter this March and in shops and online in Autumn. 
'The retail price is €79 and early bird price is €59.
The product will ship globally, he added.

Sunday, March 27, 2016


A classic egg salad recipe is one of those essential recipes. Get this family favorite, simple, classic egg salad recipe you'll use time and again.


~ 6 Hard boiled eggs, sliced
~ 1/4 cupmayonnaise
~ 2 inced onion
~ 1/4 tsp.salt
~ 1/4 tsp.pepper
~ 1/2 cupfinely chopped celery
~ Lettuce leaves 


~ Reserve and refrigerate 4 center egg slices for garnish, if desired.Chopremaining eggs.
~ Mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, onion, salt and pepper in medium bowl. Add chopped eggs and celery; mix well. Refrigerate, covered, to blend flavors.

~ Serve on lettuce leaves, garnished with reserved egg slices.

27 -Mar -16 Coffee Quote


Friday, March 25, 2016

25 -Mar -16 Coffee Quote

It's Coffee Time. Have a Great Day :) 

Easy Crafts to Make This Easter

Easter is coming and with it comes visions of warmer weather, spring colors and loads of decorations.

These handcrafted Easter ideas will put a fresh face on spring.

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