News & Articles

Exercise harder, not longer

If spending hours in the walking the doggym and not with your family isn’t your thing, be reassured that recent studies show that shorter bouts of higher intensity exercise is more effective than working out at a moderate pace for longer periods of time.

Less really can be more

One study* involving 10,000+ adults showed that people who walked slowly, even for up to an hour, saw no preventative benefits; however those who walked briskly cut their risk of metabolic syndrome (hypertension, extra weight, high blood pressure) by nearly half.

The same theory applied for weight loss; people who exercised at a moderate level for 30 minutes a day lost more weight than those who laboured through hour-long sessions – just because the intensity of their workouts were revved up!

Finding the happy medium for you

This doesn’t mean you have to start power walking everywhere though! A recent study in circulation discovered that just 2.5 hours of light exercise a week can reduce major factors that contribute to developing heart disease. However, high intensity exercise is recommended for the purpose of warding off obesity and high blood pressure.

So be your own judge. Whilst it was found that light physical activity doesn’t decrease the risk of metabolic syndrome it can reduce the chances of heart disease, whereas higher intensity exercise does have a more pronounced effect such as increasing your heart rate, dilating your blood vessels and breathing more heavily than normal.

For more tips and advice on saving money and time effectively, click here

*Source: BMJ Open

Sleep better, not more

sleep In today’s anxiety-ridden, deadline-heavy world, our precious eight hour sleep tends to be stolen away from us and replaced with fidgeting restlessness.

Britain is an insomniac nation: the NHS spent £49.2 million on sleeping pills in 2010-2011*, up 17% in just four years, with medical professionals putting this increase down to worries about the credit crunch and unemployment.

Here are some tips to catch those missing Zs:

Diet

Eating at the correct time of day conditions the body’s metabolism to wake up and wind down, which is why breakfast is incredibly important; this is a metabolic window of opportunity that tells your body that there is a supply of food so there’s no need to shut down.

Duration

Margaret Thatcher boasted that she only needed four hours of sleep a night. Everyone’s different, its just about awareness of your needs.

Power naps

Winston Churchill was fond of naps, saying “You’re better well rested than well briefed”. Power naps are a restorative measure on the body, so taking the occasional nap helps us relax.

Dreaming

Dreams categorise memories. If we’re going through a rough patch these dreams tend to materialise into nightmares, but perhaps we should embrace them more as they are simply clues about problems that we need to face up to.

Locations

We instinctively need to feel safe before nodding off. Some people find that prefer white noise or fans to help them sleep, but it’s all about reducing the distractions and sending a message to your brain that you’re safe.

Exercise

If you over-rest you tend to feel lethargic, over-exercising could cause burnout so get the balance right. Spending hours staring at a computer can wear your brain out, but exercise ensures your body is ready to wind down when its bedtime.

For more tips and advice on saving money and time effectively, click here.

*Source: NHS Business Services Authority

A glimpse of family life through the ages

Can you imagine a life without all the technology and convenience that we have today? Family life has changed so much through the centuries, shaped by culture and economics. Let’s take a look back through the ages to see how families handled their time together:

Family life in the Middle Ages (1500-1800)

Wheat In the 16th and 17th centuries most women were housewives and men worked on the land. For households in the country the wife was expected to bake the bread and brew the beer (it wasn’t safe to drink water). She was also responsible for salting and curing meat, making pickles, jellies and preserves (necessary for the time before the fridge!), make candles and soap, cook, wash the clothes and clean the house. The housewife also had to have a knowledge of medicine to be able to treat the family’s illnesses as only the wealthy could afford doctors.

In the 17th century privileged boys and girls went to infant school but only boys went to grammar school, girls were generally taught by tutors and learnt subjects such as music and needlework – it was considered important that girls learnt ‘accomplishments’ rather than study academic subjects. Poor children did not attend school and by the age of 6-7 were expected to work on the land.

Family life in the 19th Century

Industrial revolution Things didn’t look up for the family in the 19th century; the industrial revolution transformed life in Britain where families went from living and working in the countryside to living in towns and working in industry.

Working class women lived a life of endless hard work and drudgery with the industrial revolution creating a huge demand for child and female labour, with husbands becoming the stay-at-home carers. If they weren’t at home husbands had to work away in order to secure jobs, this is where ‘commuting’ began, whilst two world wars also meant that all men had to be an ‘army-workforce in waiting’.

Churches provided what little education there was for poor children, with the state refusing to take responsibility for education until 1870 when the Forsters Education Act insisted that schools should be provided for all children. (Picture source: Wikispaces)

Family life in the 20th Century

Thankfully things greatly improved in the 20th century with the family becoming healthier and better fed, clothed and educated.

Corporal punishment was phased out in most primary schools in the early 1970s, the cane was abolished in state secondary schools in 1987, and finally abolished in private schools in 1998.

In the early 20th century it was unusual for women to work, however this changed in the 1950s and 60s. New technology in the home made it easier for women to go out and work, before this the housework was so time consuming there wasn’t that option.

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Family life in the 21st Century

Technology has given us improved resources to manage what we can these days, the increase in home working and flexible working enables us to spend more time with our families. Women are achieving in gender neutral roles, and in some cases men are now able to be the stay-at-home dad again!

For more tips on maximising family time, click here.

Family resolutions for 2014

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As the Christmas holidays draw to a close some families are taking the opportunity to consider activities and resolutions for 2014, such as planning holidays and maximising the time they have as a family.

Coming together as a family to decide on resolutions can be a bonding experience; instead of telling the kids, ‘Okay, the parents have decided this…’, there should be more ‘Let’s think about how we can spend more time together as a family’. Family resolution is a shared commitment and ensures that everyone’s opinion is heard and that everyone is able to contribute.

The key to setting successful and achievable resolutions is about framing it positively, instead of resolutions such as ‘no puddings in 2014’, a family might choose something more achievable like ‘eat healthier in 2014’. Some other ideas to consider are:

  • Reduce TV time: whilst the television can be sometimes seen as a ‘caregiver’ for children, introduce family fun breaks in between so that everyone can take a respite from the screen in the evening.
  • Evening meal together: set a certain time in the evening so that everyone can sit down to enjoy a meal together and discuss their day.
  • Go outdoors: research shows that children these days spend less time playing outdoors than any other previous generation. At the weekend have one outing together, it doesn’t have to be expensive, it can simply be about having a walk before Sunday lunch.
  • Introduce a family calendar, this way everyone can manage their own time accordingly around activities that bring everyone together as a team. Ensure that the evening meal is included, the walks or excursions. It’s also important to mark personal time for individual members in the family – everyone needs their own downtime after all.

There will inevitably be setbacks along the way, clip_image004[4]however these can always be worked around with compromise, after all the calendar is there from a suggestion point of view – nothing is set in stone, but ensure that an alternative time is put aside for those one-off unavoidable situations.

Taking the time out to acknowledge success throughout the year for achieving a goal is also incredibly important and motivating. A reward for sticking to the family calendar for three months will mean a day out together to just have fun and kick back, this also gives everyone a sense of purpose to achieve what’s incredibly important as a family.

For more invaluable advice on maximising family time, click here

Managing the morning rush

Breakfast iStock_000029448042SmallThe early morning exit can be total chaos sometimes – we’ve all been there. Everyone’s leaving at  once, no one knows where their keys are, the coats aren’t where they ought to be, we’re all tripping over each other to sort ourselves out and get out the door…

A little bit of preparation and planning can go a long way in taking the stress out of getting ready each morning. While it won’t guarantee a perfect day, it feels good when everyone can leave the house in the morning on a positive note.

One way of organising the mass exodus iskeys supplying each family member with a cubby hole or a basket near the door. This way they can come in, leave their keys and other essential items in one place, then the morning evacuation will be a little more organised.

Ensuring coats are hung up in the same place each evening will also help, once family members get used to the routine of leaving keys in their cubby hole, hanging coats and other outerwear in the same spot once they come in this will reduce the traffic bottleneck at the front door each morning.

It can be helpful to prepare as much as possible the night before. Try creating a To Do list 

- choose outfits
- set the breakfast table
- get school bags ready
- pack lunches

All family members should have their own alarm clock, set the alarm 10 minutes earlier to avoid morning rush.

All family members should make their own bed when they get up, it doesn’t need to be perfect but it builds a sense of routine and responsibility. Click here to read more advice on getting the kids to clean up after themselves.

It’s easy to lose our temper when everything around us is chaotic, but shouting is ineffective and not a great way to start the day. If you feel your temperature rising, take a step away, a few deep breaths and think how you can cleverly turn your kids round and get the morning back on track?

Make sure everyone clears up after themselves once breakfast is eaten, so dishes are in the sink or dishwasher and table is wiped down. This gets everyone involved in the clean-up.

For more invaluable advice on maximising family time, click here

To Do.... a To Do list

So, do these To Do lists work? I think so, writing a To Do list eases the stress; just by creating a simple, itemized list, that crazy and overwhelming jumble from your brain is transformed into organized, manageable tasks that can be prioritised and even delegated! Voila!

Chart goals

There’s something incredibly satisfying about crossing off tasks as they are completed; it takes a couple of attempts to actually get the To Do list to work in the way you want it of course, my first effort went something along the lines of the list opposite:

How we’re affected

To Do lists are essential if you’re going to beat work overload, otherwise we appear unfocused and unreliable to the people around us. When we do make these lists we experience less stress, reassurance that we haven’t forgotten anything, and the ability to focus our time and energy on high value activities such as spending time with the family.

Now there are so many options to even bring your To Do list into the digital era! There are smart phone apps that feature mobile updating, push notifications and calendar integration – even technology wants us to create To Do lists!

Read more handy tips from Time For You 

 

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Funny-To-Do-List

Above: one of the more amusing To Do Lists out there...

Simple Ways to Clean and Eradicate Mould In The Home

The early signs of black mould at home should not be overlooked. Aside from making your home look ugly, black mould is also an indication of presence of mildew which can rot wooden window frames and doors. Walls, clothing as well as furniture can also be damaged by moulds.

 

Getting rid of mould

 

What makes it even more disturbing is that damp is an allergen which may affect the health of your family. Before treating the mould, first of all you should know what is causing it. Inspect the exterior of your home. Cracked pipes, gutters and roof tiles allow water to penetrate into your home’s structure. Rising damp may occur also because of nonexistent damp course. But the most common reason for black mould to appear is condensation.

 

Daily activities like washing, bathing, cooking and even breathing can create moisture released into the air. Since air can only hold a specific amount of water vapour, when it gets cooled by contact with cold surface such as window, wall or mirror, the vapour turns into water droplets. Normally, condensation is a problem when the weather is cold.

 

Due to the high levels of moisture in the kitchen and bathroom, mould is likely to be common in these places. Rooms facing north and those places with poor ventilation such as basements and cellars may also suffer. This is not only a problem prevalent in older properties. As a matter of fact, building materials can actually take a long time to properly and completely dry out hence brand new homes can likewise be affected.

 

There are simple ways to get rid of mould. The first indications of damage include musty smell and ugly black patches. Areas around baths and showers require particular care to prevent moulds from appearing. Mould removal methods vary and this depends on the location of the stain.

 

To get rid of mould on tile grout, use an old toothbrush that has been dipped in bleached. You can also use diluted vinegar for alternative natural remedy. A paste made from baking soda and small amount of water works as well. Leave it to soak for fifteen minutes and scrub like mad. Make sure to rinse afterwards. You can also find mould removal solutions in the grocery store for ingrained or stubborn mildew.

Easy to Follow Tips for Green House Cleaning

Most homeowners today prefer getting their homes cleaned through green house cleaning. There are simple tips you can follow to make your home a healthier place for your family. Keeping them free from harm from the commercial solutions in the market may bring about while being environmentally-friendly.

To start cleaning using this technique, you should consider the easy ways you can approach cleaning.


Your home does not have to smell like pine forest to ensure it is completely clean. If you often use products that have very strong odors, you will end up having a headache or irritated skin and eyes. When it comes to cleaning, you need not to use chemical compounds because they can have harmful effects to your family and assuming their strong smells is equivalent to making your home clean.


Instead of using chemical compounds, you can make use of vinegar in washing the glass and windows in your home. This is a non-toxic technique and can leave the surfaces shiny and clean. A mixture of essential oils and baking soda is great when it comes to cleaning the carpet and furniture. In cleaning wood, beeswax can be ideally used. Different spots in your home can be cleaned with mop or micro fiber material which will remove microorganisms away without leaving any residue. Aside from being effective, these items are also cheap and can be easily found inside the house. You get dual benefits here—green house cleaning and saving cash.


Check the labels of your cleaning products and the ingredients they contain. They are mostly toxic and detrimental to the health of the entire family. Many products are made of up components which can set off cancer. When eliminating these products, make sure to do it in an eco-friendly manner.


If there are products that give unpleasant effect to your eyes or nostril, make sure to eliminate them because if you or anyone in the family inhaled it, it might have ill effects to your health. Avoid using sponges because they can attract bacteria. Instead, use paper towels because they are also excellent cleaners. There are also microfiber products you can use to get rid of germs.


Follow these green house cleaning tips and you can have a home that’s cleaner and greener. You get to save the health of your family while saving money at the same time.

 

3 Easy Tips on How to Teach Your Kids Clean Up After Themselves

 

As a mother, getting your kids to clean up after their mess can be a very daunting task. Kids have the tendency to gather a lot of stuff. You’re finding toys scattered everywhere, books everywhere, and clothes everywhere. What are you going to do?

If you are like the majority of the mums, you would just probably clean the clutter yourself. But every now and then, this can be very frustrating.

Here are 3 easy tips on how you can get your kids clean up after themselves.

 

  1. Make cleaning a routine

 

Scheduling is the best way to take the nuisance out of most things. If your children know that they have tasks that they need to do every day, soon enough they will stop complaining.

 

Try to set 3 specific times to clean each day. Try after lunch, before dinner, and before bedtime. With this, your kids will remember to put their things away right after using it. Set a timer. You will be amazed on how quickly they can get it done.

 

The harder part is on how to institute this routine. Ban your kids from doing anything until they are done with cleaning. No games, no TV, no computer, no cell phones. Consider this as privileges to them.

 

Remember that this will only work if you make it a daily routine for your kids.

 

  1. Make it easy to clean

 

Provide your kids with cabinets or boxes that can hold their stuff. Most of the time children don’t know where to place their stuff or there are no appropriate furniture’s to hold it. During the first few days, help them in cleaning and organizing their rooms just so you will know if there are some stuff that needs a place.

 

When children have enough places to store their stuff, it will be easier for them to tidy their things.

 

  1. Make cleaning fun

 

Make cleaning fun by playing games like “beat the clock”. Set a timer for an appropriate time and ask your kids to clean their rooms or whatever room in your house they have been playing in before. Whoever gets their job on time will get a prize. This game can be so fun that you may even find your kids playing it themselves.

 

As you can see, keeping your kids to clean up after themselves is made easier with these tips. But like most things with parenting, it requires hard work and patience to enforce these routines. So get up and get your kids cleaning.

 

Keep your House Clean with these Simple Tips

For most people, house cleaning can be a very daunting and tiring task. They associate it with hassle and stress. But this is always not the case every time you are faced with the task of cleaning your house. There are actually other ways you can do to make house cleaning much easier.

First off, have a plan. Dealing with big jobs like house cleaning can be much easier if you create a list of things you should do and a clear order on which you should do first. You can begin cleaning outside. If you have a pathway made of concrete leading to your house, there may be some debris that has made its way inside. Your doorways have to be cleared first and any excess dirt should be swept.

The doormat should be hit against a pile to remove any dirt and dust. When cleaning the inside of your home, you should vacuum first - all the rooms in your home must be vacuumed. This can leave you a sense of accomplishment and with the bigger job out of the way, you can simply start concentrating on the smaller tasks. Take it one room after the other.

It is not going to be a good idea if you clean your living room and dining area at the same time. You can scrub away, dust between the blinds or wipe the surfaces between the blinds but it should be taken one step at a time. Of course don’t forget to take a break between tasks. You can use some items you already have in your home to do the cleaning.

You may find natural cleaning agents, tools and even cooking agents that can be very useful in cleaning. Most people use white vinegar when cleaning. This can be used not just a cleansing but a deodorizing agent as well. It can also be used with water and other things like baking soda to come up with a mixture that can remove those stubborn stains.

Getting the cleaning job done by yourself is not always feasible especially if you do not have the time and effort to do so.

If this is the case, you can hire a professional house cleaner or a house cleaning company like Time For You Domestic Cleaning that will do the cleaning for you.

These professionals know the most suitable cleaning agents to be used to keep your home cleaner for longer. To find a Time For You branch in your area please click here.