MARIGOLDS AT THE READY

There are some things you just don’t skimp on.

  1. Coffee (have you ever tried the 49p jar of supermarket own coffee? I did once. Never again)
  2. Toilet Tissue (It’s 2017, no-one should be using that shiny paper or breathe and it dissolves stuff).
  3. Rubber Gloves.

We know what it means to have to tighten your belt, between the hit to our income when I gave up my pretty well-paid career after having Kieran to go self-employed and then again when Roy was made redundant. You’d be surprised what you can do without and how creative you can be. One thing I presumed I would have to skimp on was my favourite cleaning-related products, namely my Marigolds. 

Take it from someone who isn’t a great fan of doing dishes or housework, often chuntering under her breath as she does both, having a decent brand such as Marigold under your sink or draped over your taps makes all the difference. Given that the quality between the cheapest cleaning ranges and the Marigolds are miles apart and yet the prices significantly less so, they are (thankfully) a hard-working luxury you can afford.

Brands come and brands go and so it’s a testament to how much our beloved and well-known Marigolds are, given that this year is their 70th anniversary. Better still, Marigold, best known for their rubber gloves, also sell a number of other cleaning must-haves.  

It says something about the stage I’ve reached in my life when I was tickled pink to receive this PR package from the lovelies at Marigold to try some of the other items in the range (already being a washing up glove fan). 

I love the fact that this brand has been going so long and will continue to be a loyal supporter. You can find out more about their 70-year history and their current ranges here or join in the chatter over on Facebook. I can recommend all of these cleaning tools, with my gloves being a firm favourite as always (they don’t roll down and so you don’t end up with water in your gloves, which defeats the object and is no good for people who, like me, suffer from dry skin easily).

Overall I have to give Marigold a 5/5* rating, for the quality of their housework must-haves, their long-time commitment to the cleaning cause and the fact that they are really good value for money.

**I was sent these products for free. Marigold have had no input into my write-up and all opinions are my own.

Wake Up Ready

What do all of these things do? They can help you get a better night’s sleep, something not as easily achieved as you’d think sometimes. 

 

As a busy mother of two and all that this entails, someone who works full-time from home as a freelance copywriter and again someone who always seems to be busy with various other things I get tired. Really tired. Despite this lately I haven’t been enjoying as much sleep or rather as much quality sleep as I would like.

During particularly busy periods i.e. work-wise or during half terms when I’m juggling work and fun with the boys I tend to get up earlier. 4am earlier. I manage this quite easily and don’t always need the eight hours of sleep most people do in order to be up and at them the next day. That is only true if the hours of sleep I get are quality/deep sleep hours and as you can tell, this isn’t happening much at the moment.


*This was one of my better nights!

These top tips for promoting better sleep will hopefully help you enjoy a better night-time and some higher quality sleep. I’m changing my bedtime habits and am already starting to see the difference. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a new sleep routine however if you still with it, the benefits and numerous.

Top Tips for Better Sleep

  • Make sure you have a decent mattress and good quality pillows. (We’ve replaced our mattress and our duvet/pillows and already feel more supported in bed).
  • Get the temperature right. Some people like to sleep in a cold room with the window open. Some prefer a toasty warm bed. Find your optimum temperature for a good night and do your best to mimic this exactly each evening.
  • Set a consistent sleep time and stick to it. By getting yourself into a routine and going to bed at the same time every night and rising at the same or similar time your body will be trained into a sleep pattern that works for you.
  • Ditch the Nana Nap. While it might be tempting to nap during the day, for many people doing so reduces the amount of sleep and/or the quality of sleep they achieve at night time.
  • Go Digital Free. Buy an alarm clock that runs on batteries. Don’t have your phone next to your bed as an alarm. Not only will you be tempted to check your messages or social media, it pays to switch all electricals or as many as possible off and enjoy a proper silence.
  • Cut the caffeine. Stop drinking caffeinated drinks earlier in the day as caffeine is a stimulant and stimulants can keep you awake. Switch to a hot milk drink, a hot chocolate perhaps (easy on the cream and marshmallows) or try a herbal tea. I find chamomile soothing before bed.
  • Dark rooms are the best for sleeping in. Do you have a street light outside your room? If so invest in an eye mask. Why is complete dark important? This article explainshow your body reacts to the darkness and how it can help you sleep better.
  • Write down your worries, your thoughts and your to do list before you go to bed. I keep a notebook and pencil on my bedside table and if I get an “Oh I must remember that” or an “I must do this” thought I write it down and forget it. I also do my to-do list for the next day before I sleep, I find it helps me start the next day better and it helps me relax.
  • Try a herbal remedy. Some people do just need some extra sleep help. Lavender is well-known for its calming and sleep-promoting properties and valerian root is a well-known natural sleep aid.

Sometimes there may be other reasons for poor sleep and this may be down to stress or anxiety. Both of these have an effect on your physically and so should be taken seriously. Kalms who are running the #wakeupready campaign (see more on Twitter) about promoting better sleep have some really good advice about stress and anxiety on their website.

We all go through periods of adjustment, stress and various other stages which may affect our sleep. Try some of these top tips and the chances are you’ll be sleeping like a baby sooner rather than later. If your sleep problems persist for longer than a month do see a GP.

*The lovelies at Kalms sent me the sleep kit pictured above and have offered lots of help and advice about how to sleep better. This piece is based on my own experiences and Kalms have no editorial control over my content.

 

Difficult Decisions and Awkward Conversations

I consider myself a fairly open person and as such don’t find most life and death conversations too galling. Roy and I both know each other’s wishes when it comes to the final curtain and overall, we are fairly open with the kids (or as much as you can be with a six and ten year old). We know what we want to happen with the boys if we were both run over by a bus tomorrow (touch wood this isn’t on the cards anytime soon) and we have life insurance.

That said, despite being in the minority of people who find discussing finances, sex, relationships and death easier than others, we still don’t have a will. This is something that has been hovering at the back of my mind now as should something untoward happen, particularly while the boys are still young, it could make a difficult time all the more difficult for all concerned.

Many of us will find the subject of writing a will difficult to discuss which is probably why I’ve held off tackling the issue until now. The idea of having to make an appointment with a solicitor, find paperwork, and actually go through the process of laboriously putting everything down on paper is not the most enjoyable of tasks which is why I was surprised to find that nowadays, making a will can be quickly and easily achieved. Better still it can be done online and the costs associated (which aren’t quite as bad as I thought) are very transparent.
Having read through some of the information Which ? Wills have recently released on how difficult people find discussing such sensitive topics (see the infographic below, you might be surprised by the numbers!) it’s no wonder that wills are being left unmade.

We’ll be sitting down and putting together our wills shortly, it’s too important a task to put off and we feel foolish that we let it slide for so long, especially considering the boys. Do you have a will? Did you find it easy or quite difficult to talk to your family including your parents about your wishes? If you haven’t a will made up, is this something you’ll now consider doing?

The only thing that is certain in life is death (I’m sure I’ve read that somewhere!) so taking advantage of the easier will-making services now available makes sense.