A Long Recovery

What gets you up and going in the morning? No, I don’t mean like that, please get your mind out of the gutter. I mean in the sense of what gives you your energy boost before you head off to work? For some people it is going on a run bright and early to get the blood pumping and the creative juices flowing. For some others it is a cold shower to wash away the tiredness that comes with an early morning start. For most people however the answer is a big cup of string coffee. Now as there are plenty of different website such as www.wakeupinabetterway.org that will offer you the best ways to ensure you get a good nights sleep, I thought I would address this imbalance and give you some invaluable hints and tips as to how you can wake up fresh and feel ready to attack the day and all it brings with it.

First things first – you need to have a good nights sleep 

It may sound overwhelmingly obvious but unless you actually get a good nights rest then you won’t want to wake up in the morning at all. On average anyone over the age of 18 needs eight hours sleep each and every night to ensure that they are functioning properly the next day. Some people can get by on less. Einstein had just four or five hours sleep per night as a good example of this, but more often than not you will need to get the right amount of sleep otherwise you will feel absolutely awful the next day.

Get into a routine 

If you don’t do this then you will again struggle to wake up in the morning. This means going to bed at a set time every day and waking up at the same one. You will be shocked at just how quickly your body gets used to a regular routine and you will be able to wake up feeling a lot fresher than you other wise would. If you get your whole morning routine down to a tee then this will help as well. For example; if you wake up at seven and shower until ten past you know that this will take ten minutes of your day. Breakfast may be another ten, and then putting your clothes on will complete the half an hour. Once you know how long everything is going to take your stress levels will drop and you won’t be rushing, meaning waking up and getting ready is something you will stop dreading and start being ready for.

Other tips and tricks 

Now it is all well and good saying that you need to get a good nights sleep and schedule your routine in, but sometimes things get in the way of this happening. You might not be able to plan everything in like this all of the time, so there will be some days when you need that little something extra to help prepare you for your day ahead. The first trick I am going to say is an obvious one, but if you really want to wake up quickly in the morning have one strong cup of coffee. It is an age old trick but it still works as well as anything else does so it should remain number one on your list if you need to get things going in a hurry. Number two on the list works on the same principle as the coffee tip but it is far healthier! If you want to wake up properly in the morning then you should eat a couple of apples. The natural substances in these fruits mean that they are as beneficial as drinking a cup of coffee and they should wake you up just as well without all of the negative connotations that come with the caffeinated beverage. The final trick comes as a pair. If you leave a pint of water by your bedside the night before and then drink every last drop of it in the morning when you wake up, this will let your insides know that it is time for action and they will wake up. Then, to wake up the rest of you a quick five or ten minute jog will do that job. Pair both of these together and you are looking at what I would call the best method of waking up when you don’t want to! Good luck with them all and sleep tight!

Easy Tips When Preparing for a New Job

One of the most important aspects of looking for a job is being prepared. This covers a few different categories because being prepared could mean anything from having a formal resume for the potential employer to review or being prepared with your dress attire. Many people find that the interview process can be daunting, and if you’re not prepared with the correct answers or follow up questions, you might not get the opportunity. Therefore, it’s best to know what you’re getting yourself into before diving in head first without any knowledge.

Preparing Your Resume

When it comes to preparing an elegant looking resume that will market your personal and employment skills, the longer the better does not apply. Many resumes that are over a page long have found themselves tossed aside, or worse, tossed in the trash. Employers will scan over your resume looking for key points and then move on. On average, they may spend anywhere from thirty seconds to a minute reviewing your resume. In that little bit of time they will decide whether or not you’re an ideal candidate to interview.

Creating a resume should not be very hard, because it’s all about you. You should be sure to cover your full name, address, and working telephone number in case they need to contact you. There should always be sections that include your experience, education, and objective for wanting the position or a job in the field that you are searching in. The page should be semi-full if not a full one page in length. If you have added skills or certifications and achievements, then you should also include these in a category by themselves.

How you present your resume can be a turning point in your interview or your first impression. If you send your resume in via email, be sure that you include a cover letter stating what the attached resume is regarding and which position that you are trying to obtain. Other information that should be included in a cover letter is your performance if you were to get the job, and why you would like to be hired for the position. If you are handing your resume to your potential employer, do so in a professional manner and be sure that the paper it is printed on is neat with no bends or tears.

Your Attire Does Matter

Everyone knows that you must present yourself in a professional manner to be considered for many jobs out there. If you have slouching habits, be sure to stay on your toes to avoid slouching in the chair while waiting or in the interview process itself. The clothes that you wear will play an important role in how you are represented to your potential employer. If you are wearing shaggy clothes or clothes that you just finished working in the garden in, chances are the employer will cut the interview short and call the next person in line.
The right type of clothes depends on the position that you are being interviewed for. Dress slacks, or dress pants, and a solid color top is always an ideal choice, especially if the company colors are visible. You do not have to be dressed up in a skirt and high heels or a suit and tie to land a job. The only thing that you must consider is how you are presenting yourself. If you feel as if it sends the wrong message, chances are it does.

Speaking to Potential Employers

Being calm is really hard to do when you are nervous but take your time when speaking during the interview. If it takes you a few minutes to think of the best way to put something, take your time. It is better to give a thorough, correct answer, than a quick wrong answer. Recall that the interview process is the potential employer asking you all of the questions. However, when it comes to the end of the interview, if all goes well, the employer will ask if you have any questions for them. Here is the time to ask them anything that pertains to the position, its benefits, and any other bits of information that you feel will round out your knowledge of the position and company.

Annual Family BBQ

I came from a long line of chefs; they were not just chefs but competitive chefs.

I remember as a girl, my mom at my grandmother’s house and they would both cook the same cake and then ask my grandad to vote which one was the best. It was all in good fun but cooking in my family was a serious thing.

Family Meals

Most of us dreaded the annual cooking events because we all took it in turns, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, family BBQ’s. We all did well but always felt a huge sense of pressure and we had to push ourselves to make better and bigger things.

The last time my sister cooked the Christmas dinner and we had 15 courses, I am really not kidding, it is a wonder any of us could get out of the door, we all ate so much.


My turn eventually came. It was my turn to host the yearly BBQ. My mom held the last one and it was spectacular. I had to do something really special.

I was lucky enough that I had earned enough money as a chef to buy my own restaurant and my very successful restaurant had bought me a nice big house, with a matching large garden. Good job really as I was going to need it.


My gorgeous mom kept calling me a few days before the BBQ to ask if I was ok and did I need a hand with anything. What she actually meant was, was I up to the job. We were all used to this by now. To be fair to my mum, we were all the same, needling each other, it was our naturally competitive streak and we all took it in a lighthearted way.


I went all out. It was great having my own restaurant, I used the kitchens to prepare a lot of my food. I bought a spit roast and suckling pig. I made potato salad, coleslaw and various dips. I cooked sides of pork and beef and bought some fireworks for the evening. The pool was set up with loungers with outside lighting for an evening swim.

The last thing was a homemade chilli. I never told anyone this was how I did it but it worked for me, I always used a pressure cooker and bought it with the help of a website called: http://www.pressurecookersportal.com/.

My chilli was always a winner, I know my mom thought it was better than hers, not that she would admit it but I do think it is the only thing I cook better than any of my family. The menu and the preparation for the day was complete.


My family arrive early, as always. I think they did it to throw us off guard but I was prepared. It was a beautiful sunny day and it was a great day.

I had set up games for everyone. The kids played tennis and jumped in and out of the pool. The adults were chatting and helping with the food. The BBQ was on and the burgers etc. were cooking. I was so proud of myself as I had even made the burger buns and bread by hand. This was the best family meal I had hosted.


My mom pulled me aside and told me how proud she was of me. Although I said how much that meant to me, I don’t think she knew that it actually made me shed a tear. Praise like that coming from my mom was huge and I felt that as a chef, I had really arrived. Honed my craft and had my mom’s seal of approval.

Next Event

My sister’s turn next and I couldn’t wait…

Making memories

When you look back at your life as a whole so far what are the things you remember most. Is it the days when you were sitting outside with your friends, recalling stories from past adventures, or is those times when you decided to stay in and not do anything at all, simply lounging around watching re-runs of Friends on Netflix? I would wager a fairly large amount of money that it is the former rather than the latter.

Some of the best memories in life are made when you put in the least efforts. Everyone knows that those spontaneous nights are the best ones 99% of the time. The nights when you get a text of your best friend and six or seven of you gather round one house to enjoy a barbecue, a few beers and some chilled music as you discuss all the ills of the world are more often than not a lot better than the nights which have been planned down to a tee. Who wants to put in all of the effort of arranging a big night out, having people say they are coming and then dropping out at the last minute, having to arrange transportation and worrying about costs as everywhere you go is always a lot more expensive than it would have been if you has simply run down to the supermarket and grabbed some food and drinks. All of that bother is really not for me at all.

I would much rather spend my time remaining calm and knowing I will enjoy myself. Something else that often happens on a night out is the pressure to have fun that comes with actually paying to be there. Whenever you head out to the latest trendy nightclub there is the perpetual implication that you will have the time of your life due to the location and it almost never happens. Sure there will be the odd night when David Beckham walks in and buys everyone a round of drinks before dancing with you all but this won’t happen the vast majority of the time. Going out involves a lot of people pretending to be happy when in reality all they really want to do is go to bed!

Before everyone jumps on the bandwagon and claims that I am an old man because of this, I am more than aware of that fact. In clubs the music is too loud, everything is overpriced and they are normally full of horrific, sweaty people. I stay well away whenever I can. My personal preference is to go round to a friend’s house, have a few causal beers and the talk or play some video games. Being able to hold a conversation without a song that sounds exactly the same as every other one that has played that night blaring away in your ear is only a bonus too!

Now I don’t know if it is just me that has this opinion. Many of my friends seem to be of the same mind set and the thing I have noticed is that it has occurred as we have all gotten older. Back in the days of being 18 and 19 we would be more than up for going out every single week and having a little too much to drink. We would happily guzzle down some beverages that nowadays I would not let anywhere near my mouth for fear of heaving and being unable to get out of bed the next morning thanks to a hangover. Now that we are that little bit older and a hell of a lot wiser, we tend to stick to our limits. If a meal is offered we will choose this over a heavy night on the town any day of the week. Don’t get me wrong, the odd one here and there is no bad thing, but I couldn’t do it as often as I used to. I used to think that all adults were dull and boring when I was growing up. Now that I have become one I am happy to take dull and boring whenever I get the chance to!

Trade for a trade?

I am not going to lie to you, I do enjoy my job. Writing is something I have always been passionate about and I would be happy to do this role for the rest of my life. Heck, I could even write about the rest of my life whilst I am at it but the only time I begin to doubt myself is when I look at some of my friends. The vast majority of them went down a very different route to me and they all learned a trade. Creativity was always my things and I was never inclined to work as a plumber or a carpenter. Not because I think they are beneath me or anything like that – anything I can’t do and someone else can do well I am normally always in awe at – but because I just never found things like that interesting. Everybody is different and that is what makes the world go round. If everyone was the same then we would just have a world of plumbers and there would be nobody to write the newspapers each morning or cook your food in your favourite restaurant. The world needs variety to keep spinning but it has made me wonder whether or not I made the right choice.

A lot of my fiends are now making some very good money for their age. They know their business inside out as they have spent years learning the ropes at college and occasionally university and they are very good at it. They will get new business through word of mouth, go to the person’s house and fix their problem before coming home again. They can then leave a large invoice for the person they have just helped and nobody will question it as they are providing an essential service.

It isn’t just the good pay that I am slightly jealous of. Whilst my life mainly revolves around a 9-5 schedule every day of the week, every week of the year, my friends who have learnt a trade seem to be able to set their own hours. Some of them won’t start working until 10am, (which is a vast improvement on my 6am regular wake up time) and then they can finish after doing one job for the day because it pays so well. They will normally only work four or five hours in the day and when I am stumbling through the door after getting up so early, knowing I will probably end up going to bed as late as I normally do I can’t help but to think I may have made the wrong choice somewhere.

The final thing that has made me question my choice in career is that fact that they know what to do in the scenarios I don’t. Sure, if somebody came up to both of us and said “can you write me 500 words on the situation in Syria?” then we know who is likely to come out on top, but if anyone came and asked anything even vaguely practical like “Can you help me fix my boiler?” or “I need help building a shed, are you in?” then there’s only one person they are going to pick! My complete lack of practicality in these situations still baffles and confounds me to this very day. How can any one person be so useless so consistently in any of these scenarios when they have grown up being surrounded by people who know what to do in each of them? I don’t know the answer to this and I very highly doubt that I will ever find it out.

Yes all of my friends may have made a habit out of visiting websites like houseofgenerators.org on a regular basis and most people would find this boring but it has worked out very well for each and every one of them. We all chose very different career paths and they will all turn out differently. Mine may end up being the right choice and I’ll go on to being a successful millionaire writer, but for now, as I watch all of my friends work 20 hour weeks and go on holiday all of the time I am having my doubts….

The Bread Maker Makes More than Bread

It’s true! I’ve made some pretty amazing discoveries about my beloved bread maker and I’m here to tell you that this thing is incredible! It might be one of the best purchases I’ve made in quite some time because I use it all the time. It’s one of my favorite kitchen appliances and I urge anyone who’s interested in cooking at home to get their own. Maybe you’ve heard a little bit about them and what they do but just haven’t decided to commit yet. Well, they’re not overly expensive and there are a variety of different makes and models available. Just one visit to www.doughbreadmakers.com will give you the full array of all the various kinds that are on the market. If you don’t have a bread maker yet, then that’s the place to go to buy one.

Now, for those of you who know exactly what I’m talking about, read on. Up until now, you’ve probably been whipping up breads, croissants and the like but that’s about it, am I right? Then I’m about to show you a whole new world going on in that bread maker of yours. Did you know your machine can make entire meals? Pizza is a cinch. It can even make desserts. This handy little unit has the capability for far more than only bread.

Pizza Dough

The days of buying pizza dough from the store are over. If you’re like me and you not only love pizza but love to make it at home, then you’re going to be thrilled about this news. You can create your own pizza dough from scratch in the bread maker. Don’t worry about having to knead the dough thoroughly or using yeast, everything you need is all done in the bread maker. Just pour all of the components into the machine, switch on the dough cycle and let the machine do the rest for you. Some pizza dough recipes are so easy that they only require five or six ingredients and that’s it!


So maybe it’s too early in the day for pizza and it’s time for breakfast instead. Good thing the bread maker has that covered as well. Crack some eggs and drop them in, you can even make oatmeal. Some machines are better at this sort of thing than others, it all depends on the paddles at the bottom of the unit and how close they are to the cooking surface. But anything that just needs some heat and some stirring can be easily accomplished here.

Soup and Chili

Speaking of heat and stir, meals like soups, chili, even stews are super easy to create in the bread maker. The possibilities are pretty much endless, all you need to do is decide on your ingredients and dump them into the machine. Soups require some kind of base stock and then add meats, veggies and whatever else. Same thing goes for chili: beans, onions, tomatoes, chiles, meats, tons of spices. Just set it and forget it. In a few hours (or more if you really like to get your simmer on), you’ll be enjoying a hearty bowl of tasty goodness.

Cakes and Cookies

Sure, desserts are easy too. You can make them from your Grandma’s secret homemade recipe or dump a box of Betty Crocker mix, some oil, water, and eggs in there. Whichever way you prefer, the bread maker can whip up the batter just the way you want and then even bake it for you. After you’ve done all the mixing inside the unit, get it heated up to around 350 or so and let the machine turn them into delectable sweet treats.

Frozen Foods

Now be careful here, because it’s not recommended for all frozen foods, but some snack foods and smaller frozen meals can be put in the machine and heated up just the same way you would in a microwave oven. Frozen burritos, chicken nuggets, tater tots, Hot Pockets, these can all placed inside the bread maker and warmed up instantly.

There are so many other great ideas that I haven’t even covered here yet. But you get the gist of it. The bread maker is a helpful tool that can do the work of a small oven and is a great alternative to assist on those busy days when the oven and the microwave are already in use. Thanksgiving, for example, is probably the perfect situation for using the bread maker to finish off those last items to go on the dinner table. It’s all up to you, come up with something new and different and you’ll see it tastes just as good in the bread maker. You might be shocked at just how easy it is to be creative.

Healthy snacks you hadn’t thought of

Dieting and nutrition are global, multi-billion dollar industries and, as such, it is in their interests for dietary advice and guidelines to continually be changing. If they all suddenly agreed on a definitive healthy diet, there wouldn’t be much money left to make.

It seems to be common-sense that these industries came about as a response to human sicknesses caused by poor diets. The fact is, however, that any benefit to the nutrition of the public comes in spite of, rather than due to the actions of these industries. Think of all the products which have been advertised as being beneficial to our health at some time. From high-caffeine, high-sugar carbonated drinks to processed fat-free products and ‘fruit’ juices which are basically just sugar drinks with negligible amounts of, or even no fruit.

Throughout almost all of human history, we have been able to provide ourselves with a diet which fulfils all our needs without significant risk of making ourselves sick, no matter which environment we were living in. Environments which couldn’t provide this were not considered suitable to support human life, which is why most of Siberia and the Sahara remained empty for scores of thousands of years. It took catastrophes such as droughts, floods and war to seriously threaten our diets.

All of this changed with the explosion of the human population and its concentration in urban and industrial environments. The vast majority of us have no connection with our food expect that it goes in one hole and comes out of another. Massive levels of obesity, heart disease, cancer, organ failure, anxiety and malaise are what humans are rewarded with for having spent long periods of our lives remaining inactive in our cars, at our desks and on the couch, stuffing ourselves with processed meat, dairy products, high-sugar drinks, alcohol, caffeine etc. and acting as if this was normal. This is not normal at all. Humans didn’t survive for 200,000 years on burgers, fries and pop. Nor were we designed to eat three meals a day, at such time as bosses or supervisors see fit.

All of this is good news for those of us who love snacking. Snacking is absolutely natural and necessary. Our bodies function best if we snack at regular intervals through the day, avoiding the energy peaks and troughs which come from eating three large meals. The key is to eat healthy snacks. So what is healthy?

Firstly, we need to listen to our bodies. If you’ve been craving an orange juice, your body is telling you it could do with some sugar. If your mouth is watering at the thought of a crispy cobb salad, then your body wants the vitamins and fibre found in vegetables. So you already have an idea of what you should be snacking on. Unfortunately, you’re unlikely to find a healthy snack to satiate your craving in a food dispenser, staff canteen or convenience store.

So what should you be eating? If you’re craving a fruit juice, eat the fruit and perhaps drink a glass or two of water with it. Our ancestors didn’t go around juicing apples and pineapples. They just picked the fruit and ate it. And they were much better off for it as even pure fruit juice lacks most of the nutritional values of whole fruit.

If you are craving a commercial salad – don’t even bother. In many restaurants, their salads are actually the least healthy items on the menu – covered with processed dressings and hidden fats and with vegetables prepared in such a way that they have lost most of their nutritional value.

The key to remember is this: real healthy foods don’t come with a list of ingredients because they are the ingredients. Coconut water from a coconut is 100% coconut water.

It’s a good habit to snack on raw fruit and vegetables but it’s not always convenient and so the next best thing is to prepare and carry with you smoothies of the fruit and vegetables you want. Just get yourself a good blender – you can take a look at the Vitamix blender review to find the right one for you. There are plenty of recipes online with recipes using ingredients such as kale, pine nuts, apples etc. If you want to add more protein, don’t be afraid of throwing in crickets or other insects from the pet store or that you have raised yourself on grains. Most insects provide similar amounts of protein as lean meats but have higher concentrations of many vitamins and minerals.

If you need something protein-rich but more substantial than a few insects then you should eat meat that has been freshly killed. If you don’t want to hunt your own food, buy it from a local farmer who will also be able to prepare it for you to cook.