How Much Can A Pet Really Help You?

Pets are an investment. When it comes to having an animal that depends entirely on you for survival, there’s going to be a lot of money you’re going to have to pay out to make sure your cute and furry friend is happy and healthy in your home. There’s a lot of your savings you’re going to have to use here, but at the end of the day, a lot of us would agree that it’s completely worth it!


However, what are the reasons behind this? Is it simply because they’re little cuties, barking when someone is at the door or meowing for their dinner if it’s even 2 minutes late? And let’s be real here, you might have just got a new puppy, and you don’t quite see how little legs ambling around the house is going to do much more than look cute! So let’s examine some of the best reasons why a pet is going to be so much help for you.




Their Presence is Good for the Mind


The presence of the pet is going to do a lot for your frame of mind, and if you ever need a good time to calm down, simply stroking them is going to help melt a lot of those worries away. Hey, you don’t even need to have an emotional support cat to be sure when you get home from work or a strenuous day out with friends and family that you can be greeted by something that isn’t energy taxing but still so pleased to see you!


At the same time, you’re never going to feel alone when they’re around. So if someone can’t make it for a night out, or you’re stuck indoors on a Saturday night, put some music on and dance with your pet. Dogs in particular are always ready for a party!


You Can Learn a Lot from Them


Pets are something you’re going to have to take care of for the rest of their life, hopefully, and that means there’s a lot you’re going to have to learn from them to make sure it’s a well lived life. This works particularly well for kids, as when you’re growing up with an animal by your side, you can be a lot more socially developed compared to other kids your age.


You’ll learn how to be empathetic, have a good sense of responsibility, and how to communicate with other living things without always having to use words. And when you’re a child with no good grasp over language, that’s incredibly important! Even as adults we sometimes don’t know how to talk, and having a pet can really encourage you to open up in the right way.


A pet can do wonders for your health and happiness as an owner, and all because of the unconditional bond there is between the two of you. Don’t underestimate it, it’s going to be there as long as your pet is around to help you through the day!


Top Dog! How To Keep Your Pooch In Tip-Top Condition

As a pet owner, it’s natural to want the best for your furry friend. Dogs bring a whole heap of joy to family life, but they take a lot of looking after. If you’re thinking of getting a puppy or you’ve recently welcomed a pet pooch to your home, here are some tips to keep your new best friend in tip-top condition.



Exercise is incredibly important for dogs. Some breeds require a lot more physical activity than others, but it’s beneficial for every dog to get out and about on a daily basis. Smaller breeds may trot happily around the block, but if you’ve got an athletic dog, for example, a Dalmatian, a collie or a labrador, you’ll need to ensure that your pup gets plenty of exercise. Exercise is good for your dog’s health, but it’s also an essential part of their development and an effective means of boosting your pup’s happiness and wellbeing. If you don’t have time to walk your dog every day due to work or family commitments, work out a schedule with friends or family members or enlist the services of a local dog walker. If your dog doesn’t get enough exercise, they may be prone to weight gain, and they might become unhappy and restless.


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Dogs are beautiful creatures, but they need a little TLC to look their best. Dog fur can become matted very quickly and easily, especially if you have a pooch that is adventurous and likes to swim in ponds or roll around in the mud. Brush your dog on a regular basis and consider treating them to some pampering treatments provided by local dog grooming services. It’s important for dogs to have their coats brushed, their teeth cleaned and their nails cut to ensure they look and feel their best.


A dog taking a shower with soap and water

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It can be very difficult to resist puppy dog eyes when you’re trying to eat your dinner, but try and make sure that your dog sticks to a strict diet. If you’ve got a bit of turkey or beef going spare, by all means, treat your dog, but avoid giving them foods that aren’t suitable for canine consumption, such as cakes or biscuits. Follow feeding guidelines for the breed and keep an eye on your dog’s weight. Being overweight can increase the risk of complications. A healthy, balanced diet will contribute to a glossy, shiny coat, bright eyes and sparkling teeth.


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Health checks

If you’re a dog owner, it’s beneficial to keep in touch with your vet and take your dog for regular health checks and vaccinations. Dogs should be wormed regularly, and it’s also a good idea to check for fleas and ticks.


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If you have a puppy or an older dog, it’s natural to want them to look and feel as fit and healthy as possible. As a dog owner, it’s advisable to ensure your dog gets enough exercise, to keep an eye on your dog’s diet, to visit the vet for routine health checks and to provide them with a little pampering from time to time.


DIY Garden Ornaments Perfect For Small Spaces

When you are working with limited outdoor space, it can often feel as if there is not enough room for ornamentation. After all, you don’t want it to feel crowded. However, you will be pleased to find out that as long as you carefully select the right type of ornament and place them well, you can achieve a pleasing result. With that in mind read on to discover two of the easiest and most attractive garden ornaments that you can create that suit a small area.


Concrete balls


Concrete balls are a modern and on-trend look for any size garden. However, they are usually pretty big and can be expensive. Luckily, it is possible to create your own in small sizes so they will fit perfectly in even the tiniest of gardens.


One way to create your own concrete balls first, you need source a glass globe of the right size, while doing this get larger and smaller ones too, as they look fantastic when placed together. Then you need to spray the inside of the globe with a releasing agent, cooking oil can work well. The next step is to make up the concrete and pour it into the ball. Allow this time to set and then break the glass to reveal a perfect ball with a flat bottom that will make it easier to place.


Just remember that safety is paramount when breaking the glass so be sure to use a hammer, safety goggles, gloves, and an old sheet over the globe. Then you can be sure that the glass doesn’t fly up everywhere and become a danger.


Once your ball is complete, it is a good idea to seal it to stop it weathering too quickly. Check out Seal With Ease’s concrete guide for some information on the right product to use for this. Once it is sealed, then your ball will be ready to place.


Hide it in long grass in the borders for a more layered textural effect, or make it the central focus of your small garden for a modern and Zen-like feel.


Clay pot fountain


The best thing about a clay pot fountain is that all you need to make it is a pump kit, a drill, and the pots themselves. Of course, you can use some waterproof glue to keep the different elements together, and some pebbles or slate in the different pools can enhance the look as well.


To create your foundation get hold of some clay dishes and flowerpots. Then pleasingly arrange them so that when you run the pump hose through the highest one the water will cascade down into the dishes. To do this, you can follow the guide below, or make your own design, just remember to place the dishes on top of the upturned pots for stability.


An easy to make fountain perfect for small gardens.


When placing your clay pot fountain remember that you will need to have access to electricity to ensure it runs, so close to the home is better. Although, if you choose a solar power unit you can pretty much place is wherever you like giving you a little more flexibility in your small space.



What Should You Do With That Nest Egg?

How much do you have in your savings? If you’re lucky, you might have a few thousand. You may even have ten, twenty or thirty depending on how smart you have been with savings over the past few years. It’s possible that you have always worked hard to save as much you can get each month. If that’s the case, you could have built up a massive amount. But what’s it doing? Usually, it’s just sitting there, and this isn’t a smart move at all. Instead, you should be thinking of how to use this nest egg so that it grows and becomes even more valuable. There are a few possibilities you can consider here.


Do You Own Your House?


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If you do, you can use that nest egg to make improvements on your property. Eventually, you will reach the point where it’s time to sell your home. If you make improvements, you can ensure that the house is more valuable and one day, when it’s time to sell, you can make a fantastic level of profit. It’s a great option if you’re worried that the economy could turn making the money that you have saved worthless. If you invest in your property, you can keep that cash safe and secure in a simple yet effective investment.


If you are going to do this, you should focus on the kitchen and the bathrooms in your home. These are the areas that will add the most value, even if you make smaller changes.


Should You buy Bitcoin?


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Bitcoin is the most valuable currency on the market today. Just one Bitcoin could be worth as much as nine thousand dollars depending on when you buy. Using Paypal for Bitcoin, it’s also easy to get involved in this type of investment securely. You can easily make sure that you get the new currency that you want. Even if you just buy 1 Bitcoin, that will quickly grow in value, and this is the benefit of the investment. Typically, when you invest, you’ll need to wait a while to gain that ROI. With a cryptocurrency investment, you will see massive gains immediately.


Buy A Holiday Home?


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Alternatively, you can think about purchasing a holiday home in a tourist hotspot. If you pick the right place, you will always have a profit coming in each month with people desperate to stay in your home. With this investment, you do need to think about the hidden costs such as maintenance. But you can usually cover most of these with one, easy to afford, management service.


The benefit of buying a holiday home is that one day you’ll be able to sell your old property and retire there. You won’t get rich with this type of investment, but you can make enough money with it each month or even annually to give you an easy life.

We hope you consider these possibilities. They could grow your current nest egg to a whole new level and give you the money you need for a fantastic quality of life now and in the future.

Stealthy Ways to Feed Your Kids Healthier Meals

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If you struggle to convince your kids to eat their fruits and veggies and you’re tired of the struggle to get them to just eat something green, instead of trying to convince them by sheer force of will, you might have some success by being a little…well sneaky.


Using stealth to feed your kids healthier foods might not be a long-term solution, but it will ensure that they get the goodness they need until they get a little older and start to feel more comfortable trying new foods.


Sound good? Here are some simple, but stealthy ways to get the goodness in:


Replace Meat with Lentils


If your kids aren’t eating enough healthy beans and legumes, and you want to get more plant-based nutrition into their diets, a very stealthy way of doing so (which will also save you money) is by reducing the amount of minced meat in dishes like spaghetti bolognese with lentils. They blend in very easily, don’t really alter the taste and add some extra nutritional value to pretty much any dish.


Replace Sugary Drinks with Fruit Water


Instead of letting your kids have sugary soda or Kool-Aid, try giving them blackberry water or lemon infused water, and they won’t even realize how much more goodness they’re taking in because it will taste almost as sweet and delicious as the average soda. This is especially true if you use sparkling water as opposed to still.


Liquidize Them


If your kids are really picky and they can spot the tiniest bit of onion at 50 paces, simply cook your veggies and then pop them into the liquidizer before adding them back into your soups and stews. They’ll be virtually undetectable that way.


Make a Pizza Base

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If your kids love pizza, but they hate eating their veggies, trick them into thinking they’re eating their favorite, veggie free food by making a cauliflower pizza base, They’re extremely easy to make, look almost the same and once they’re topped with cheese, tomato and pepperoni, it’s unlikely that your kids will spot the very healthy swap.


Make Vegetable Fries


Kids love fries, right? It’s a shame then that regular potato fries don’t have much nutrition to offer, Sweet potato fries, carrot fries and zucchini fries, however, are a different matter, and they’re just as delicious and easy to make. If your kids are really picky, then choosing veggies that are close in color to fries is probably your best bet for getting them to eat them but if they’re a bit more willing, those orange veggies really do cook up well.


Bake Beets Into Your Cakes


It might sound a  little weird, but beets are a great addition to chocolate cake. You can find many beet cake recipes online, and they’re a really good way of sneaking in goodness because they are amazingly undetectable to the palette when disguised by chocolate. Other veggies that work well in cakes include carrots and zucchinis.


Give these ideas a try, and you’ll be cramming more veggies into your kids than you ever imagined you could.


Warning Signs That Your Garden Isn’t Safe

If your garden was safe, your kids wouldn’t need to wear safety equipment when playing!  (image)


Warning!!! Your garden may be a hotbed for disaster, and we aren’t talking about your flower bed on a particularly hot day. Gardens can be a dangerous place to be, and with summer fast arriving, you need to focus on safety, for everybody in your family. Below is a handy checklist of warning signs to look out for. If you spot any of these dangers in your garden, take the necessary steps to make it more pet and child-friendly before disaster strikes.


Warning signs that your garden isn’t safe


  1. There are gaps in your fence that need filling. Young children and pets are liable to escape/explore if there are unboarded exits, so fix any broken fencing as soon as you can.


  1. Your lawn is an overgrown jungle. Who knows what lurks in the messed-up tangle that used to be your garden? From sharp stones to garden rakes, the dangers underfoot are many if your grass has grown out of control, so do the right thing, and deal with the undergrowth with strimmers and a mower.


  1. The garden is poorly lit at night. When darkness falls, the dangers increase. You and your family can suffer a trip and a fall if you can’t see where you are going, and your unlit garden may also be a great hiding place for would-be burglars (especially if you didn’t follow the tip in #2). So, install some extra lighting, from pagoda lights to security lamps, and shed some light around your home.


  1. You have a garden pond. A wonderful feature to be sure, but as you can probably expect if you have young children, there is the risk of them falling in and drowning. A terrifying prospect, but you can reduce the danger by covering it with a mesh or grille, and erecting a fence around the pond to prevent your child getting closer.


  1. Garden chemicals are in the open. From weedkillers to pesticides, your children and pets are in danger of poisoning and burns if they get their hands/paws on any chemicals that have been left outside. For starters, store anything that could pose a danger away in your shed and garage, then consider natural methods of garden care that pose no threat to anybody in your household.


  1. There are cracks in the paving. From your patio to your driveway, if there are cracks, loose tiles, or any other kinds of surface damage, you are increasing the chances of a fall both day and night, causing bodily injury. Get in a professional to fix your broken stonework, and make sure you have a first aid kit handy for any accidents that may take place.


  1. Your children have play equipment. There may be nothing dangerous about your children’s play equipment, provided they adhere to safety regulations, but if there is a chance of a fall (from a climbing frame for example), make sure you have safety mats installed, especially if there are hard surfaces underneath.




The last thing you want to happen this summer is a trip to the A&E department of your local hospital, so check your garden thoroughly for any possible dangers, and safety-proof danger areas as much as possible. Even if no accidents take place, you will still have peace of mind if you do take precautions.


This Year Get More Work Done Than Ever Before

Do you feel like you could be a little more productive at work, or just in your everyday life? You’re not alone. Procrastination is a huge problem these days, especially because there are so many distractions around us 24/7. However, there are ways you can take control and get more work done than ever before. Take a look at some of these suggestions and see how they help you:


Schedule Your Day The Night Before

Don’t just get up in the morning with a rough idea of what you’re going to do but no actual plan as to what order you’ll do stuff in. Scheduling your day the night before and giving yourself time limits and time slots to stick to will help you to get more done.


Work in 30 Minute Sections

If you struggle to motivate yourself, you can use something called the ‘pomodoro technique’. This technique allows people to work in 30 minute time blocks using a timer, after which they can have a 5-10 minute break. If you keep setting this timer for yourself, you should be able to stay focused far easier than if you were to just sit and work for a full two hours, for example. That being said, if you have things to do that take you a while to get into the flow, you might want to set the timer for a little longer.


Block Sites You Frequently Visit On Your Computer

If you’re constantly on Facebook or shopping on your favorite store, you need to block them on your computer so you can get more done. There are lots of add ons you can use to do this. You can set it to work during a certain time, so for example, you can’t visit Facebook from 8-1 during the day. Use this time to get the most of your work done.


Stay Away From Emails

Emails are a huge productivity killer, and people tend to visit them first thing in the morning. Big mistake! Staying away from them will help you to get more done – check them later on when you’ve already made some progress.



Brush Up On Your Skills

The best workers always brush up on their skills to make sure their knowledge is fresh and that they are doing things to the best of their abilities. Don’t allow your skills to go stale – places like offer a number of courses, including team building courses that could be beneficial for a number of businesses.


Get Up Super Early

If you have a lot to do, getting up super early will help you to accomplish it. Providing you adjust your bed time accordingly, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. The most productive people tend to get out of bed between 5.30-6.30. Try it and you’ll have some of your most productive hours at this time.



Whether you do 30 minutes of yoga in the morning or go for a quick run doesn’t matter. You’ll get your blood pumping and those endorphins going, which will make you more productive for the rest of the day.

Transform Your Garden into a Haven for Wildlife

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Instead of simply transforming your garden so that it looks great and gives you the perfect place to sit and enjoy the outdoors when the weather is good, why not transform it so that its a great place for nature too?


No matter how good your garden looks, it can always be enhanced by the beauty of birds, bees and other cute critters and the kids will get so much more out of the garden when they can watch nature and learn about the world around them.


Sound good? Here are a few things you can do to transform your garden into a haven for wildlife:


Plant a Mini Wildflower Meadow

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One of the best things you can do if you want your garden to look beautiful and attract wildlife is to plant a mini flower meadow. It will brighten up your garden with a veritable cornucopia of beautiful, delicate colors and it will have the birds, bees, caterpillars, frogs, and butterflies, amongst others, flocking to them for your enjoyment.


Install Bird Boxes, Bird Feeders, and a Bird Bath


If you’re particularly fond of our feathered friends, then the simplest way to encourage then to come on over and brighten up the garden is by putting out a range of bird food in feeders and by buying or making your own bird boxes where they can make their home, as well as checking out the best bird bath fountains and adding one to your lawn. These will cover the basics of food, water, and shelter that the birds need to thrive and they will love your garden for providing it. If you want to get the kids more involved in nature,  put up cameras that they can watch on their tablets too. They’ll love the birds’ antics.


Leave Lots of Foliage

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If you want wildlife to feel safe in your garden, it’s a good idea to have lots of dense foliage that they can hide behind/under as well as hedges that they can disappear into. Ideally, this should be located near to sources of food such as seeds, berries, nuts, and cones, so when you’re working out where to plant what, bear in mind the proximity of food to shelter.




Speaking of planting it’s important that you provide a variety of different plants and food sources as possible if you want to attract as many different animals as possible. Not only that, but you should choose native species where possible because they are what native wildlife will prefer, and you should aim to have a range of plants that are growing in each season so that there is always food and shelter available.


Install a Pond

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All animals from birds to woodchuck need access to fresh water, so if you install a pond or pool in the yard, you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll get many more visitors than you usually would. You’ll have so much fun watching them in the water!


If you can provide all of the above and you can do so in abundance, then not only will your garden look pretty good, but you will have a regular influx of wildlife to enjoy watching too!


How Ready Are Your Children For University?

If you already know with confidence that your children will absolutely be attending university, then you will probably be doing everything you can to prepare them for that time in their life. But knowing how to do this is another matter altogether, and something which will often take a lot of patience and effort on your part. Nonetheless, there are certain things you can do if you want to make sure that your children are going to be as ready as possible for their university years, and it’s worth considering some or all of these as soon as you can. If you do, you will be giving your children a much better chance of success with their further education.



Start The Learning Early


One of the best things you could do for your child is to help them begin their further education early. As well as joining a university, it is also perfectly possible for them to gain some knowledge in other ways first so as to improve their chances of doing well. One of the best ways to do that is to find a online course through an institution such as the St. Bonaventure University where they can begin their learning in a part-time manner, so as to get a head start with whatever they are going to be studying. You can either encourage them to study something from within their field of discipline, or something separate which will supplement it nicely. Either way, it could be the perfect head start your child deserves.


Get Them Reading


Even if you still want to allow them to have a full summer break without official learning, you might still want to think about getting them reading to some extent so that they can start to flex their critical muscle. This alone could be all that they really need to get off to a great start, and you might want to think about putting together a good reading list with them which they can then begin to work their way through. This is a great way to get them ready for university, and it’s one which the majority of children will take on board pretty easily and quickly. Make sure that they also find one or two things to enjoy for the sake of it, so that they don’t get bored with the process during the summer months.



The Emotional Side

As well as the educational side of things, it is also important to remember that there is an emotional aspect to university, and the better you prepare them for this the more likely it is that they will be able to make the most of their time there. The best way to do this is to simply be there for them in the way you normally would as a parent; you will probably find that that is enough to keep them happy and relatively worry-free. The emotional side of things is the most important in many ways, so that is worth remembering if you want to really prepare your child as best as possible.

4 Methods To Become A More Attentive Mother



Staying attentive is one of the golden goals of most mothers, but one of the hardest to achieve. After all, there are many, many things trying to steal your attention over the course of a day. Staying strong and only focusing on that which matters could be considered one of the most important things to do, but one that takes the most practice. There is almost no caring mother who doesn’t find herself busy, busy, busy on a daily basis, and so ensuring that you’re able to stay as attentive as possible could be considered one of your first and foremost important priorities to achieve against this.


There are many ways to do this. We have compiled a list of four very important methods, and you can add more at your leisure. However, mastering these four will stand you in wonderful stead, and surely add even more competency to how wonderful you already are as a mother.




To be more observant, you of course need to watch your child. There are many things that can present itself to you if you place your effort here. For example, how well is your child socializing? Could it be that their unwillingness to listen is simply because they are nervous, a very young child, the other child has been too aggressive, or that a physical ear health issue might be preventing them from hearing the other child at all? Never be sure to jump to conclusions, but certainly be aware of the issues and symptoms that might occur as a result of this happening. Watching your child in a range of solo and group play scenarios can help here, as well as observing how they react to small things, such as certain foods or bathtime. This can certainly help you understand if things are fine, or if you need to take further action.


Regular Checkups


It’s law for you to have your child attend checkups regularly, but sometimes even more of this can be worthwhile. For example, ensuring your child is brought to the opticians to gauge eye health and the necessity for glasses is important. If your child reacts badly to certain foods you might have found an allergy, and this will need some careful planning to factor around. You will only know if any of these issues will matter if you speak to the professionals, but you can also refer to approved books with educational and referral based informational perspectives.




Sometimes, your child will try to express to you issues they are facing. This might be in broken speech as they learn to talk, or through physical expression. It could be a simple recurring issue they bring up. Talking to your child in whatever way you can will often lend you more insight into how they feel than many other circumstances. Sometimes, not expressing can be as powerful as talking. If they are routinely quiet as a stone before entering their swimming class for example, they might be feeling intense fear and will need some gentle encouragement to help them through. Communicating with your child is the most important thing you can do, and as a mother you will have likely defined your own particular way of doing so.




Many families have more than one child. This is a wonderful thing. However, when your new and gorgeous baby enters the family, it can be difficult for the current child to cope with the lack of attention. This is not because they are greedy or narcissistic as a child, but they simply have certain requirements for maternal and paternal care that must be taken into account if they are to develop well. If you can, dividing your attention between them both equally is something that must be striven for every day. While of course this will never be a stock 50/50 line that you will draw each day, aiming for that can help you avoid allowing a child to feel left out, even if that belief is less rational than they consider it to be.


This can be achieved by keeping tight control over your schedule, and ensuring that personal one on one time is always factored in with the new child. You might take them to the cinema while the father stays home with the baby, or generally play silly games with them throughout the course of the day. Anything you can do to give personal attention, particularly after they return home from school, can simply and gently show them that they will always be sustained and loved, despite the requirements of the new baby.


With these tips, you can be sure that you’ll develop into a much more attentive mother, or stay the currently fantastic one you are.