Christmas is here but so is Uncommon Goods

I can no longer deny it, Christmas is coming. I like the music; I love the food but the anxiety inducing part is the gifts. Generally I spend eight weeks in denial and then try and buy the perfect thing for everyone in a mad, sweaty dash, a couple of days before the big event. It's always unsatisfying and I always keep the receipts. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could find something beautiful and unique for everyone special in your life, without getting out of bed? With all the amazing goodies on offer at Uncommon goods, you can do just that. Here's a sneak peak of my favourite picks from their current selection. 

I always struggle with present ideas for the men in my life, my Dad especially, usually ends up with socks. I figure there's no reason to break tradition but this pair is both sophisticated and fun and would be a great stocking filler for any guy.

Mens Favourite City Socks 

My mum uses her mobile phone as an address book because she can never actually find it to make a call. Whenever she finally gets back to me she tells me she was out at the shops and I have to remind her that mobile's are called mobile's because they are just that. Maybe if she had a place to keep her phone, she would get more use out of it. Which is why I'm thinking this stylish phone holder would be great for her (and me) this year. 

Beside Smartphone Vase

On every night out I go on, one of my girlfriends ends up begging  me for a hair tie. That lovely blow out never seems like a shrewd move after a few turns round the dance floor. How cute is this hair tie bracelet? I'm getting one for all my girls, so they never have to wonder where all their hair ties have disappeared to.

Hair Tie Bracelet

I don't have a baby to buy for this year but can someone have one so I can give them this! I mean who doesn't want a teensy, tiny mermaid or man in the mix on Christmas day! 

Baby Mermaid Tail

For all these fabulous gifts and so many more, head to Uncommon Goods all your Christmas shopping needs. You can thank me later. 

This is a collaborative post

Avoid Getting Ripped Off With These Valuable Tips

No one wants to be taken for a mug. Spending your hard-earned money, only to find out you paid much more than you needed to, is enough to make your ears steam. You feel angry, and a bit humiliated that you were taken for a ride. Fortunately, there are ways to address is afterwards, as well as things you can do to prevent it happening in the first place.

Be Aware of Scams Firstly, be aware of the ways that people try to scam you and take your money. Some of them might be obvious emails from Nigerian princes, but others come dressed up as ways you can make money in your spare time. Watch out for scams in all their forms.

Knowledge is Power The more you know about the things you spend your money on, the more money you can save. If you don't know what you're buying, someone can easily take advantage of you. So before you spend your money, make sure you know what you're getting - from car repairs to a new computer.

Take Your Time One of the worst things you can do is rush your purchase. Companies will try to make you panic and believe you have to buy right away, but there's almost always time to make a calm decision. In fact, sometimes going away and coming back can help you save, like when you buy a car.

Bargain for a Lower Price How good are your haggling skills? If you can talk the price down on something, you certainly won't be taken for a ride. In fact, you could get the upper hand.

Infographic Design By Sunny Good Vibes

This is a contributed post

The Big to Small House Move: Apps to Help You Get Packing

If you have moved a lot in your life already, you’re probably quite savvy when it comes to packing, organising, and being as efficient as possible. Or maybe not; moving is something we tend to do with several years of preludes in between, and the amount of stuff we accumulate makes the process such a hassle every time.

Image via: Pixabay

While it’s tricky to make the most tedious part of moving easier on you, such as wrapping up all your plates and cleaning out your wardrobe, it is possible to make it lighter on your wallet. Technology is a wonderful thing, and new ones may have popped up since the last time you moved which can make your life so much more organised.

Here is a handful of the best apps and technology to help you get moving from your large home to a slightly smaller one.

Find sites to sell your stuff Discovered that you have way more stuff than you can even be bothered to bring along? Sell it, sell all of it, and do it right away through Letgo - a hyperlocal, Craigslist-style app that lets you buy and sell your stuff online. Your new place should be neat and simple, in any way, and not crowded with long-forgotten hobbies you tested out five years ago.

It’s easy to use, and you can also buy some furniture from other sellers while you’re there, in case you should discover that you need that extra side table after all.

ThredUP is another app that lets you sell whatever you can’t make use of any more, just specifically made for helping you clean out that wardrobe. Get rid of the clothes you can’t be bothered to pack as you haven’t worn them in years in any way, and you’ll be able to spend the extra cash you make on something you’d actually enjoy putting on.

Find apps for movers Now that you have mercilessly kicked out the clothes and furniture you’ve fallen out of love with, you should be left with a few neat boxes of valuables. Make sure you get the best quote on hiring a moving van through Shiply so that you’re not spending more than you have to. This site compares rates from several different moving companies to find the best option for you; just plot in the date you’d like to move, and off you go.

Luckily, they’re even focused on saving the environment by utilising spare capacity of the vehicles they have running on the roads so that you can feel a bit more confident about your move.

Test the safety of your neighbourhood You’ve probably found your new home already since it’s all about packing for the big day, but have a closer look at your destination through Crime Map for England and Wales. It makes it a lot easier to figure out the crime rates without having to call the local police station, and it shows everything from petty theft to violent crime.

Nobody wants to move to an unsafe neighbourhood, and this site is gold when you want to know a bit more about an area before moving. You should have more than enough time to do it too - since you’ve gotten rid of all that unnecessary stuff and even cleaned out your wardrobe.

This is a contributed post

Back Soon!

I'm taking a short blogatical to hang out with my boyfriend. See you in November! 

Why Health is a Vital Concern for New Parent

When a new baby is born, parents commonly report a huge change in their mindset. Instinctively, the child becomes the focus of all their energy, and other matters (such as the parents’ own sleep patterns, workout routines and general health) are put on the back burner. The human body is a marvelous and wise work of art; it lets us know when it is time to pull back and when to go full steam ahead. Still, new parents should be aware of the following health issues that may affect them:

When a Good Night’s Sleep is Elusive This issue affects mothers and fathers in different ways. The book The Informed Parent: A Science-Based Resource for Your Child's First Four Years, notes: “One 2013 study of 21 mother-father pairs enjoying their first infant experience found that fathers actually got less sleep than mothers and experienced more confirmed sleepiness, as measured using wrist trackers.” Mothers, it seems, have more time to make up for lost sleep during the day (when they are on maternity leave, for instance). However, although they sleep more hours, their sleep quality is less, because of the baby’s feeding schedule.

New parents should aim to make sleep a priority, by enlisting the help of friends and family. If required, A can also consider hiring a midwife to help with care, even for a few hours during the day. A lack of rest can exacerbate postpartum depression, which in turn can impede the mother’s ability to bond with her child. It is vital to ensure mum receives quality health care (both physical and mental), since both her and her baby’s well-being can be jeopardised by a failure to do so.

Movement is Life When every waking moment is spent tending to a new baby or toddler, it can be difficult for parents to find time to work out, yet research abounds regarding the negative effects of the sedentary lifestyle. In the UK, over 20 million people are classified as physically inactive, which significantly increases their risk of cardiovascular disease. Failing to exercise also contributes to obesity and Type II diabetes. Parents should aim to find exercise at least three times a week, to keep these illnesses at bay.

Mental Health Risks Postpartum depression in mothers is far from being the only mental health concern faced by new parents. Increased pressure to be ‘super mom’ and ‘super dad’ are contributing to the development of mental conditions, including anxiety and depression. Parents should be aware of the signs of mental illness, seeking treatment when necessary.

While welcoming children into the home can be a great source of joy, it is important to be aware of how this big change can affect parental health. Preventive measures should be adopted to enable parents to stay in optimal physical and mental health.

Professional Assistance Or DIY? You Decide!

When someone decides to make improvements to their home or redecorate, they have to choose between employing the services of professionals or using the DIY method. Both approaches have their pros and cons, and so most of the important ones are mentioned within this post. Hopefully, the information will ensure homeowners don’t choose the wrong method this year.

Pros of using an expert

  • Professionals will come to the home and perform the job without the owners having to lift a finger.

  • Professionals always work to the highest of standards because they have reputations to uphold.

Cons of using an expert

  • Specialists will always charge a substantial rate for their services because that’s how they pay their bills.

  • Some specialists are better than others, and so there is a small chance the finished product won’t look as amazing as you’d hoped.

Pros of DIY

  • You will save a small fortune if you use the DIY method when it comes to home improvements.

  • There are lots of guidebooks and free video tutorials on YouTube that could help with every aspect of the work.

Cons of DIY

  • Some people might have to make a substantial investment in tools and equipment if they don’t have them already.

  • In most instances, those who take the DIY approach won’t get to see the finished product for much longer than those who employ a professional.

Consider all of those points before making any decisions about the best home improvement strategies this year. Also, if you want to make changes to the bathroom, be sure not to overlook the graphic at the bottom of this post. Good luck!

Graphic by

This is a contributed post

Making Stress Work For You

There are many things in life that are deemed to be stressful activities, from marriage to childbirth, life has its moments of total and utter meltdown. Stress is a leading cause of anxiety, insomnia and for some people, weight gain. But is the cure for stress about outlook or is it about management? Could you actually change your perspective on life with a simple switch in your priorities and your viewpoint?

Stress affects different people in different ways and it’s how we handle our stress that defines us in a big way. Stressful situations can make some feel powerless, unhappy and in the extreme, sick. Sickness caused by stress is often in the mind and is difficult to process because it manifests as physical symptoms. You may react to stress by developing a cold or symptoms similar to a cold, because your immune system is run down and thus reacting to the extra difficulties on your mind. There are those, however, who are able to turn their stress into something positive, and that’s the part to focus on.

If you could turn a stressful period in your life to an advantage, would you ever be stressed out again? When it’s harnessed correctly, stress can have a positive effect on the mind and body and the reaction is empowerment and determination instead of worry and sickness. You could feel empowered and ready to take on the world when you learn to embrace your stressful situation and make it work for you. This is opposed to fighting the stresses and giving yourself something to worry about. When you’re going through a tough time at home, such as a separation and starting over after a long time together, your stress levels are likely to be through the roof. The fight or flight response within you will be fighting to the surface and instead of taking the route of flight, fighting by doing things like buying a house during a divorce or getting yourself out into the world and getting on with life can help you minimise the fear and make you feel in charge. Stress can sharpen your memory, as your body switches into protective mode to look after itself. Take advantage of that moment and roll with it.

You go through life experiencing and overcoming stressful moment after stressful moment, but changing your outlook can transform your life. Imagine that you could face something stressful, take a deep breath and push through it without it hurting you? Empowerment is so much more than coping with something stressful and there are so many ways you can empower yourself. Losing a relationship, a job, a friend; none of these things are easy. However, focusing on what you can gain from each experience instead of focusing on the loss can help you become a lot less reactive to the situation. Getting proactive is the key to transforming that stressful moment into one of quiet empowerment.
There are plenty of ways you can empower yourself to feel strong, confident and capable on a daily basis. You don’t have to take our word for that, when you can just check out the tips below:
Do nothing. Well, not literally, but think about how ‘on the go’ your life is and take pause. On a day off without rush hour, dealing with exes or children or needing to go anywhere, take a moment just for you and focus. Take a yoga class. Meditate in an open field. Sit quietly and listen to what you want instead of the needs and wants of other people around you. Take a moment to put aside the ‘busy’ from everyone else and feel peaceful.

Set a goal. For some, stress requires a reliever. This can be in the form of art, music, a sport or even a class to learn something new. Setting yourself a target can make you feel more than positive and excited, it can make you feel worth something. Relying upon yourself is the ultimate empowerment.

Ditch doubt. Self-doubt is the biggest killer of happiness. Weight issues, relationship troubles and issues at work can make you feel unworthy of happiness. But you know what? You are. Those worries are just worries of today and tomorrow is something different. Stop doubting your ability to feel human and happy; you just have to allow yourself to do so.

Stress won’t have the same impact on everyone, but empowerment is for all. Taking a moment to let yourself be empowered can change your life. Make stress work for you.

This is a contributed post