Friday, 12 July 2013

What Would You Like To See On My Blog?

I have got a few ideas about what I would like to write about on my blog but I would like to get an idea of what other people like to read about and what they would like to see on my blog. I am appealing to my readers to give me some feedback on topics that they would like to see written about. I would like to appeal to all age groups and gender so your thoughts are appreciated.

I shall be contributing more blog posts shortly so keep checking back or if you would like updates then please subscribe to follow my blog where you will be notified as and when I post a new topic.

Also, I would like to start posting some topics that readers can comment on and get involved with sharing their opinions on so contributors are highly welcomed. Comments will be previewed before they are approved but as long as comments are not offensive or disrespectful, they shall be approved. Thank you Louise.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Why I Started My Blog

I suppose some of my blog readers would like to know why I started my blog in the first place. Well, I realised that these days most people are communicating electronically and looking for information that could give them a real boost, support or that they can gain knowledge from. I wanted to host a wealth of useful tips, advice, guidance, news, opinions, stories, recommendations, etc, and give a few insights into things that I have learnt in my life that may help other people. To give a bit more background as to why I started blogging I will fill you in, with greater detail.

There was a time, a little while ago when I first got diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Many of my friends and even some of my family to this day did not know of the struggles that I had (and often still have to this day) and some did not or do not even know of my diagnosis either! I struggled hard though! I am talking; constantly feeling run down, sluggish, tired, un-motivated, bored, fed up, ill and much more. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is often a misunderstood illness as it is invisible to others, in that others cannot see your headaches, nausea, chronic tiredness, pain and so on. I was actually sleeping for sometimes 15 hours in a day and still not feeling refreshed when I woke up!

I knew something had to be done. I had countless trips to the local hospital where I received some amazing support and advice, which I took away with me and still use to this day. I had gone from having 4 jobs, down to just 1 and even now I work less hours than most people would. Some may say that I should work more hours, some may say that I should work less. The hospital said I shouldn’t work at all! But no, if there is one thing that I am, that is determined. I would fight to recover my body and fight to recover my mind I thought to myself. Some days my biggest achievement was getting out of bed, other days my biggest achievement was getting less than 12 hours sleep and still being able to function adequately enough to make it through the day. My concentration was poor, I would struggle to keep my eyes open, socialising became more and more infrequent and I was lucky if I made it through work or seeing friends and family without yawning every 5 minutes.

Slowly, with the help of the hospital, I started to re-prioritise things in my life. “Say no to more” was a quote used by the hospital. I had kept a diary of my life after I had gotten ill and been diagnosed with CFS, which was to keep track of where my time was spent. I was a busy, busy girl let’s put it that way! At first, I did not understand what “say no to more” actually meant and why it would help me with my illness but I was burning the candle at both ends (and more!) So I started to say no to more. Less setting myself impossible goals with unrealistic time frames to achieve them in, less socialising by limiting how often I saw friends or family and trying to meet up with more people together at the same time rather than seeing individuals on their own on several different nights, doing several different things.  All of these things were draining. Having 4 jobs was also a massive no-no, believe me if you pick money over health, you have the wrong mind set, as you will eventually make yourself ill anyway and spend money on prescriptions, health care & vitamins! Balance keeps the body in harmony. You will know as an individual whether you are doing too much so it is best to evaluate your life if you do feel stressed, run down or exhausted.

Anyway, what happened to me was that I did eventually learn to stop sleeping for 15 hours a day you will be pleased to learn. I got my life back on track. I felt able to concentrate better, able to work at my job without feeling overwhelmed, able to get out of bed in the mornings and I am a lot better nowadays. Although I still have CFS and it probably won’t ever completely go away (I still have my good days and my bad days) things are looking a lot better for me. Now though, all this has made me realise I have achieved so much. Simple things that would have meant nothing to your normal everyday person were big accomplishments to me but it made me appreciate my life a lot more and I really do thank my lucky stars when I wake up without a headache or other more severe and daunting symptoms.

For this reason, I decided to start writing. I realised when I was suffering hard with my illness that I may not ever be able to work (I had certainly been advised by many doctors and health professionals not to work at all) and just claim disability benefits. But I do not see CFS as a disability. I see it as an opportunity. My brainwave came when I realised I could write when I wanted despite having an illness. Some days, as I said, I could not get myself out of bed or I would sleep through my alarm clock. Other days I had moments of ‘can do’ attitude and creative thinking. So that is why I decided to start blogging. I want to prove to others that you can overcome illness (whether mental, physical or invisible to others). Do what you can to make yourself happy. Be proud of the smallest accomplishments. I would like to be a published author and I see this as a long term goal as I would like to do it as a career so CFS was my motivation to start this blog and follow my dreams on my path to my future writing career.


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Love Food Hate Waste – Save Money And Help The Environment

Love Food Hate Waste is an exceptional website which gives a real insight into the way that we can reduce food waste and help the environment. The website itself is full of useful tips on how we can help the global issue of food waste that costs us a fortune, as well as it being harmful to the environment to throw things out.

To get an overview of this wonderful website it offers; recipes, tips, facts, advice, money-saving ideas and is full of important statistics and news relating to food. The purpose of detailing these areas is to get people to re-think their own habits in regards to how much food that they buy, cook, store or throw away. We waste a lot of food and money and we do not even realise how much sometimes or realise the significant impact it has on our purse as well as our planet!

This is a place that offers nifty tips and educates you into knowing the best ways to purchase foods smartly, helpful ways to store foods correctly to stay fresh for a long time, you can learn how to use foods up that are left over or running out of date and also you can find out what can be recycled from left-over food or empty packaging.

This website is only a good thing in my book and I do highly recommend it!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Angelina Jolie Makes Brave Decision To Reveal All About Her Surgery To Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Angelina Jolie has now gone public after she faced the difficult decision to have her breasts surgically removed after discovering one of her genes had developed a fault that has been linked to breast cancer.

It must be very difficult for a person to decide to have a mastectomy (the removal of one or both breasts surgically) after discovering that they have a faulty gene which could lead to breast cancer. It is important for people not to feel alone when faced with a decision like this.
I think that surgery has been a positive decision for Angelina and her family and she will break down barriers by having put her health before vanity when it came to making the tough decision she faced having permanent imperfections on her body as a result of her undertaking surgery, rather than risk developing breast cancer.

I, for one, salute Angelina for doing this and I am very pleased that she decided to go public with this story.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Get Paid To Shop Online

Getting paid to shop online...sounds too good to be true right? Well you can get paid to shop online quite literally. There are websites which will pay you cashback when you spend online at certain online shops or online retailers.

The cashback websites often work by providing affiliate links to websites that have products or services that you can purchase online. When you go on to spend money by using these affiliate links you get paid as the company are happy to pay the cashback website some commission by getting the introduction of a sale or custom from the cashback website.

2 cashback websites that I recommend are:

Quidco - (Click on this unique link to sign up)
Cashbackshopper -

Cashback websites also often offer discount codes that you can enter at the checkout or free delivery on some retailers, have a look at a cashback website to search for your favourite retailers before you spend and you will not be sorry!

Tip - Do not ever sign up to a cashback website that asks you for a fee or payment to them upfront before you get your cashback, some can be scams so be very wary. Although most cashback websites are free of charge to register, some websites such as Quidco do offer that you can upgrade your account by paying for a higher membership that will give you extra perks such as faster payments, which is totally your own choice if you want money quicker but this is quite different from a non-reputable company trying to run away with your money without paying you any cashback by asking for a fee!

Remember - cashback websites may not pay you immediately, in fact most of them (if not all) will get you to accumulate a certain amount of money before you can choose how you will receive your payment but it is nice when you finally reach the amount of money needed for when you can get paid just for shopping online.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Support An Interest Cap On Pay Day Loans

A petition has been opened on that proposes a cap to be imposed on the interest charges for payday loans.

I fully support this petition as I think that lending should be done in a responsible and thought out process. Most people at some point in their lives know what it feels like to struggle to make ends meet or paying bills to keep a roof over their heads or family fed.

To be supporting this petition by having signed it myself I hope that it will have a positive impact on the world of lending and lenders.

There has already been progress on the petition that the Government have had to rewrite a part of the Financial Services Bill to allow a cap to be imposed on the interest rates charged for payday loans, which is great news for the 2 people that started the petition.

To find out more and sign the petition please visit

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

20 Things To Review Annually

1. TV License – Have you paid for your TV license? This is important as you can be fined a large amount of money if you are tracked down as a non-payer!

2. Magazine Subscription(s) – Do you have the funds to renew your subscription(s)? Sometimes it is cheaper to buy 2 years rather than 1. Have a look around on different websites, some offer cheaper subscriptions (tip - travel size ones are often cheaper when you do not get the free gifts included with the magazine.

3. Breakdown Cover – Review this annually, check if it is worth including breakdown cover on to your insurance policy rather than separately to make any savings.

4. Driving License – It is worth checking that your driving license is not going to expire, as these need replacing when they have expired. Driving without a valid driving licence can result in a fine of up to £1,000, and between three and six penalty points on your licence with the potential of your car also being seized and crushed so it is a must do and it is free to renew your license!

5. European Health Insurance Card – One of these cards is a great item to have and the expiry date needs to be noted so you can make sure you get the benefits, if the card has expired you will be unable to use it.

6. Passport – vital to check that your passport is in date as you will be unable to travel if you do not have a valid passport.

7. Car Insurance – use comparison websites to get great deals on car insurance. Research is key when looking around for the right company to get a cheaper quote.

8. Home Insurance – look at policies that suit your needs. Make sure you are honest with your home insurance company so that they can give you the correct cover for the right price.

9. Phone Insurance – this could actually not be needed. Check if your home insurance policy covers your mobile phone or look at getting gadget insurance if you have lots of gadgets as it can work out very worthwhile.

10. Credit Card Rate – if you have any credit cards, keep track of any introductory rates of 0% on balance transfers or 0% on purchases for example as if the rates are running out you could be stung with penalty fees or high interest charges to pay. Review better credit cards on offer to you if you are in a position to switch.

11. Bank Account – see what bank accounts are available other than the one that you currently use. Some bank accounts these days have offers that you do not want to miss e.g. banks that pay for you to switch account, or bank accounts that double as a savings account and pay you interest for keeping money paid into them.

12. Savings Interest Rate – savings rates can rise (and also plummet at the best of times). It can be worth switching to other savings accounts with new customer offers or looking at how much you can invest and for how long, can be a way to get a better savings account tailored to your circumstances. Look at an ISA if you are financially stable and can invest a fair amount.

13. Food items in your cupboard – check annually that you do not have anything lurking in your cupboards that could be out of date or use up anything going out of date soon. It is amazing how many of us will have items we had forgotten about.

14. Vehicle tires – check that your tires have not worn down to below the legal limit. Replace tires when they are getting to near the legal limit, for your safety and to comply with legal requirements.

15. Clothing clearance – choose a clothing company to get rid of unwanted clothing. Some will pay you for your unwanted goods, some companies give your clothes to charity and some give your clothes to charity and pay you! It is worth having a little look for a bit of extra income. See

16. Phone contract – check out the best tariffs and deals, look on the internet, ask your phone provider, compare deals and if you do not ask you do not get so see what suits you and try to obtain a good deal.

17. TV, broadband & landline – see if any new offers have come out, it can be cheaper to bundle these products together or you may wish to downgrade a few of your services to save cash, either way review it.

18. Medication expiry dates – check to see if any medicine that you have is still in date as it can be dangerous to take medication that is no longer in date.

19. Travel Insurance – look at travel insurance policies, if you are travelling a few times a year, you can be better off getting an annual policy rather than a single policy.

20. Car Tax – make sure your car is taxed or you could be in trouble with the police. It is simple to check online if your car is taxed if you have the vehicle registration number. Taxing the vehicle for a whole year is cheaper than doing so monthly.

Monday, 22 April 2013

10 Ways To Get A Discount

1)Voucher codes – you can find voucher codes on the internet with different offers for products or services (remember to always check the dates and the terms and conditions of the offers). There are special websites that offer lots of different discounts for restaurants, hair and beauty treatments, days out, etc.

2)Loyalty cards – there are loads of different loyalty cards out there for you to generally pick up for free in stores and they save you money in the long run (what is not to love?!)

3)Haggle – haggling is becoming more the norm these days especially as times have become tough. If you see an item in a clothes shop that has a stain or a broken zip, ask the cashier to reduce the price for you (it is best to do this when it is quiet to get a better chance of success). If you buy food items at a market, the stall holders often expect you to barter the price down but always walk away if you do not get the price that you want. Sometimes market stall holders will call you back and re-consider your offer.

4)Group discount – some places will offer you a better deal if there are a group of you. Train tickets can be cheaper in this way, food and drink deals, the list goes on!

5)Student discount – it is worth purchasing student discount cards more often than not as they are likely to save you a fortune on the retailers and businesses that you can get money off from.

6)Coupons – companies love to send their customers coupons to spend more money in their stores. Use coupons wisely, only buy these discounted items that you would usually buy anyway or use free coupons to pick up something for nothing.

7)Recommend a friend – if you recommend a friend to a hair salon or for a gym membership you or your friend are likely to be rewarded for this with a discount or something for free in return for your introduction. It pays to ask these places whether they do anything for recommending a friend or if they do not, you could always suggest it!

8)Store cards – if you have a good credit rating and you are a reliable payer, you may be eligible to apply for a store card. Store cards can give you usually around 10% off purchases or they can include an offer to pay for your purchases at a later date. This option is good for people that have enough money to pay off their card in full by the due date.

9)Letter writing – if you have been disappointed with a product or service and not satisfied, a good way to get your point across is in a letter (or email if you want to be a bit more environmentally and purse friendly). Usually if a company has seen that you have had a bad experience they will want to put it right. They may offer you a discount off your next shopping purchase or perhaps even some freebies.

10)Offers – why not ask some of the places that you go to if they have any offers, you may find out that they had an offer that was not advertised or not obvious to see or they may do you a special unique offer if you ask nicely.

Monday, 15 April 2013

10 Ways To Make Money When You Have No Job

1) Babysitting – this is a great way to make some extra cash and help out family or friends as people often need babysitters and have to stay in when they cannot find an affordable babysitter.

2) Bake cakes – if you are good at baking it is worth offering to bake a cake for friends or family and charge them accordingly as you would if you were going to sell in a real shop.

3) Car washing – good old fashioned hand car washing can be a quick way to gain a little bit of money for doing something good for someone else. There must be someone local that always wants their car washed (and they should have a bucket and sponge too).

4) Ebay – you may want to sell your unwanted DVD’s, games, CD’s etc. Ebay from time to time do promotional free listing weekends where you can put your items on the site for free with no charges if they do not sell.

5) Surveys online – companies pay to hear your valuable opinions on their products and services and you can get rewarded in vouchers, cheque, bank transfer etc.

6) Gardening – if you are good at gardening, there could be opportunities to help out neighbours in the area do a few jobs that they haven’t got round to doing yet and by doing this, you can form a new relationship and become closer with your neighbours.

7) Sell photographs – if you have an eye for a good photograph you could sell your photographs for money, there are companies that will pay to own your photographs and sell them on.

8) DIY jobs – painting or fixing items or other odd jobs that need doing will always be on someone’s radar that they have been putting off. Get out there and find out if anyone needs some handiwork done.

9) Car boot sale – if you do not want to go online to sell your things then you could try a car boot sale to clear out your old junk.

10) Dog walking – when people need someone to look after their pets, they would love to have someone able to come round and help them out in times of urgent need.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

A Little About Me

Hello my name is Louise, for those that do not know me (or my story) I decided to start writing after I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I was advised not to work and I went from having 4 jobs down to just 1. I am quite an ambitious person and I always strive to achieve something better than my current situation. I therefore had a brainwave and thought, you know what? If I cannot work (or work as much as I would like to) what could I do that would potentially earn me some money and a career no matter how poorly or tired I am? Then I realised that I had always enjoyed writing and writing can be done ANYWHERE in the world at any time and could always be as little or as much as I wanted to do as and when I was feeling well enough. What better way to try and change my life than start my own blog. I have other ambitions too but most are writing based and most I hope will come to life only in a matter of time. Thank you for viewing my blog!

10 Tips For Better Sleep

1)      Make sure your room is at a good temperature. Too hot and you will be waking up sweating, too cold and you will wake up all stiff or aching and not want to leave your bed. A good room temperature will ensure that you find it more comfortable to sleep with ease.

2)      Ban caffeine/stimulants/alcohol late in the evening. I find it really helps if you try to have your caffeine fix in the morning as caffeine can take a long time to leave the body, which will result in tossing and turning and being too alert to head into a deep, uninterrupted sleep if you have too much in the evening.

3)      Invest in comfortable bedding such as decent pillows, duvets, blankets, cushions, memory foam mattress - whatever takes your fancy.

4)      Blackout blinds can really help to shut out unwanted light from the outside and will help if you go to sleep at different times of the day or night regularly. If you cannot afford blackout blinds you could try an eye mask to block out the unwanted light.

5)      Have a bedtime routine that suits you as an individual, think back to when you were getting a good amount of sleep and what made it easy for you to drift off. This could be reading before bed or getting your morning tasks done the night before so that you are more relaxed and will have less on your mind. A busy mind causes too much over-thinking when you should be at your most switched off state.

6)      If you go to bed early when you are not already tired you could be sat there for hours. Sometimes it is easier to go to sleep when you are really sleepy as you are more likely to fall asleep quicker. Think about doing some extra exercise in the daytime if you do not feel tired at all around your bed time or do consider making your bed time a little later as an experiment.

7)      If you are in bed and you have been sat there for a while unable to sleep, it can be a good idea to get up, make sure you go to the toilet if you need to, get a small glass of water if your throat is dry or do something relaxing like reading for a bit before you get back into bed. This usually works by breaking the “I can’t sleep” voices whirring around in your head and then your mind is a lot more cleared of negative thoughts.

8)      Keep a notepad by your bed, write down anything that is on your mind that you think may trouble you or that you need to do then leave the notepad alone. You can then look at this first thing in the morning when you have had a good night’s sleep and feel refreshed and alert.

9)      Try not to do anything too energetic late in the evening. If phones, the internet and TV etc keep you awake for hours then try to limit the usage and the time that you use these electronic devices.

10)   Make sure you plan ahead way before you go to bed. Do get that pile of washing that you need to get done hung up and ready to dry, do make that sandwich ready for work the next day, do finish that essay that is due in for college. You will feel loads better if you are on top of things and have less to worry about during the night.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Do Something Amazing...

Something that I have always felt passionately about is in the slogan 'Do something amazing, give blood'. I would encourage anyone to give blood if you are able to do so. You could save lives and help other people recover after traumatic blood loss. I feel that when I give blood, I could be helping myself, my family, my friends, people I may already know or people I will never know but it makes me feel good inside to be helping others. To find out more please visit to get more information.

My First Blog Post

So, I decided to start my own blog, which is what I have wanted to do for a long time now. I'm going to be writing about what is going on in the world on the news, giving some of my own personal finance tips, sharing my opinions on diet & lifestyle information, giving an insight into what is going on in my own life, writing about my personal beliefs (and things that I feel strongly about) and much, much more. I will be making references to things that I believe in or feel good about and hope to inspire and motivate other individuals with a little light-hearted humour along the way. So please enjoy my blog and share with others if you enjoying reading my thoughts!