Friday, 26 May 2017

Private House Rentals

A few years back now, my little family and I were all living together in a private house rental. It was perfect for the 3 of us, a great size with it's own reasonably sized garden, we had gone through a estate agents, and we lived there for a few years. We all loved that house and it did really feel like it was our home, unfortunately all good things come to an end.

One day I arrived home from work and discovered a hand written note had been slipped through the letter box. It had been hand delivered as there was no address on the front. The letter was from the man who owned and rented out the house that we now called home. The letter was telling us how sorry he was, how we were going to have to move out because he needed the house back for his son and grandchildren to live in. 

I am not going to lie, it was a big blow. We had made memories in that house, we called that house home and now we were going to have to leave.

That was 3 years ago now, and things have settled down after the upheaval of moving. It did get me thinking though about what landlords should consider before they rent out their properties. We were told that this would be a long term let, so we allowed ourselves to get comfortable, we lulled ourselves in a false sense of security thinking that we could spend a long time there. 

Obviously sometimes plans change due to unforeseen circumstances, and the landlords son separating from his wife was definitely an unforeseen scenario that could not have been predicted. What was really nice was that our landlord had taken the time to write to us himself, he had dropped the note around and given us notice before the agency had spoken to us, and do you know what? I am so grateful for that because the next day I missed a call from the agency. They left the news in a very matter of fact manner, like it was no big deal. 

I can only imagine how much more gutting that would have felt if I hadn't already been informed. 

When I think about renting a property I would much prefer to go directly through the landlord and take out the middle guys. I like to make sure that they have their own landlord insurance such as because it means if there are any issues with the house then we will always have a roof over our heads.

I would much rather deal directly with the landlord instead of an agency, because to an agency you are just a number, to a landlord you get a much better service and usually the deposit will be cheaper because you won't have to pay the service fees that the agencies add on top.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

How an Interior Design Theme Can Give Your Room More Character

monochrome chevron
Interior design is not just about adding fluffy cushions and matching curtains. It is about so much more: character.

The character of your home comes from you and the other people who occupy, live, work and play in the space. You want it to be stylish but you also want it to be functional and practical.
But it can all seem a little mysterious how some people seem to get a fantastic looking, stylish home. No longer do the ‘mysteries’ of interior design need to plague your nightmares, because all is revealed by Balustrade Components.

1.   Scale

Scaling an interior design scheme is about size and dimensions. When you walk into a room, there should be a mix of heights and sizes so that there is appeal and interest to the eye.
Too many small things clutter a room, and not having anything tall or bold in size means there is no break in the monotony of one height.
The Solution – adding a floor lamp and bold piece of art work on one wall can make an instant difference to the scaling of a room.

2.   Shop Around

Another pitfall is that we buy an item on a whim. It looks great in the shop or on the web but when it arrives, although it is still great, somehow it just doesn’t fit the room.
It could be too small or too big. Or it may be that with a little more research, you could have found a batter quality item at a better price.
The Solution – items that are added in the long term should be a considered purchase and within budget.

3.   Arranging Accessories

Adding character to a space is all about the accessories and things you collect or want to have on show. It can be a CD collection, your library of vinyl albums or maybe you have books galore. Maybe you collect pretty ornaments or have a penchant for coloured glass bottles.
Whatever it is, there are no right and wrongs and these items can be displayed in an interior design scheme without it jarring or looking out of place.
The Solution - collect these things together. Consider clustering items together by size, number and colour, or even by the type of accessory they are. For example, group candles together or have pockets of interest with glass items in varying shapes and sizes.

4.   Art Work

You may have noticed in recent years the trend for clustering hanging wall art. When this is done correctly, a full wall of hanging wall art is simply fantastic.
If you want your own personal art gallery there is nothing stopping you from creating something fantastic. Except that some people struggle to get the right look.
The Solution – set out the wall first by taking your time;
·         Cut out paper outlines of the art work to would like to hang – you might need to label them so you know which art piece they correspond to
·         Stick these to the wall in the shape you want your art work to cluster.
·         Move these outlines around until you have the look you want
·         Take a photo on your phone of the pattern and start to create the art gallery.
This process saves a lot of messy holes and produces an art work ‘pattern’ that allows the collection to look cohesive.

5.   Matchy-Matchy No-No

It is a common mistake and one that we have all made. We assume that interior design and style means everything matching, everything in its place.
But it doesn’t. In fact, matchy-matchy means a characterless space. It may be stylish and right out of the pages of a glossy magazine but is it the space that really suits you and your family?
The way to lighten this matchy-matchy look is to introduce something that almost looks like it shouldn’t be there, but somehow works.
The Solution - you can add a focal point in many ways. Try adding a quirky central light fitting or opt for an armchair that is unique, different and adds a pop of interest into the space. This is a great way of adding a glimpse of your personality to a space too.

What You MUST Have in Any Design Style…

… you must have a focal point. Whether that is attracting attention to the fireplace or a fantastic piece of hanging wall art or a decadent sculpture, in any interior design there must be a focal point on which the eye can rest and make sense of the rest of the space.
What changes will you make to your interior?

Balustrade Components have the fixings and fittings that make adding focal points and character to an interior design style a compete cinch. 

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Are we reliving the 1980s? 

Zombies have become part of pop culture once again, taking many of us back to our youth. Whether in the #1-rated The Walking Dead TV series, Resident Evil movie franchise, or Minecraft game craze, zombies are everywhere. The brain-hungry mythological creatures often represent grotesque violence. As a parent, I shield my children from such content. When my youngest asked to play, I presumed it would be no different than other zombie games. Alas, I was wrong. is a legitimately kid-friendly zombie game. There is no blood, as the game’s graphics consist of simple, 2D geometric shapes. Monsters are green or grey circles, and they look anything but realistic. The gameplay will challenge kids and adults of all ages, requiring strategy and persistence to succeed. Dare I say it— can be downright educational.

Learning to Build
Nothing comes easy in this game. Right from the start, players will learn the value of hard work. Resources are required to build walls, doors, and towers. Much like farmers, players must harvest items from the earth. They can gather wood from trees and stone from giant boulders. Harvesting is simple—simply click and hold to hack with a pickaxe. But, gathering resources takes time. Patient, dedicated players will accumulate enough resources to build a safe base.

Each gamer’s base is based around a stash of gold (pun intended). Every night, a pack of zombies will come to steal that gold. In order to outlast the monsters, each player must secure their base. If your children have played tower defense games, then they’re already familiar with this concept. The objective is not to go on the offensive and actively attack others. Instead, you build as many defenses as possible to protect your home. has arrow towers and bomb towers, among others. Arrows strike far and fast, while slow-launching bombs are good for knocking out large zombie groups.

The Value of Currency
There is an entire ecosystem within If you’ve ever been asked to buy items for your kids’ mobile games, don’t worry—there are no real-world purchases in Instead, players spend virtual gold on all sorts of new items. There are many types of goods available in the shop, which brings up the topic of money management. Spending gold wisely is one of the best ways to succeed in By buying the right items at the right times, players can advance much more easily.

When your young ones play on, they might ask for your help. Surprisingly, we can teach the values of budgeting (in a zombie game!). If your child’s fortress isn’t strong enough, it might need an extra layer of inexpensive walls. When a player has a solid base and lot of gold, then it might be time to upgrade everything. Stronger weapons, armor, and pets pave a much easier road to success.

Overall is a zombie game without harsh violence. During these darker times, it’s a refreshingly bright and educational take on a pop culture phenomenon.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Important Things to Know Before Investing in a Mutual Fund


When we are told that we can grow our money without worrying too much, the question we ask is how we could sign up for it right away. Of course, anything that involves money is not going to be too simple, albeit, there are ways in which you could earn with less the stress. It is called mutual funds investment, and more and more people are dabbling into it. 

Investing, in general, is one of the best ways to grow your money. There are different ways to do it, too, and you can choose based on your preferences and how much you are willing to risk. Naturally, investing is a risk, just like opening a business. That hesitation and fear you are feeling are understandable, and it is actually part of the investing journey. But there are ways to avoid being at risk, and the first step is knowing what mutual fund investment is. 

This article will explain how mutual funds work and how it can benefit you when you start investing.
What are mutual funds?

Mutual funds is an investment that is made up of a pool of money, and yours will be collected to take part in it. The money can come from individuals or organisations. The type of mutual funds that will be chosen for your pool will highly depend on your financial goals. There are long-term growth investments, and there are short-term growth investments where each involves a certain level of risk.
Before you start putting money in a mutual fund, you should speak with an adviser. Your bank probably offers mutual funds, and you can directly invest in your bank if you choose to do so. But if you want to have different options, you can look for official investment associations or organisations whose job is to look at investment lists. In any case, you should have a financial adviser or an investment coach to help you decide based on your goals and needs.

Closed-end funds vs. Open-end funds
Mutual fund investment is further divided into two:

A closed-end fund is when there is only a specific number of shares offered to the public. These are traded on the open market and are influenced by the laws of supply and demand. Investors will not be able to redeem their shares nor will they be issued new ones.

An open-end fund is the opposite; there is no specific number of shares offered to the public. The majority of mutual funds fall under the open-end funds. As an investor, you can be issued new shared based on the current net asset value, and you will be able to redeem shares if you decide to sell. 
Open-end funds are subdivided into two:

Load means there is a sales commission involved on top of the net asset value of the fund's shares. 
No-load is when there are lower expenses and a much higher return on investment.

Benefits of mutual fund investment
The main feature of mutual fund investment is its accessibility. You do not need to have a huge amount of money to start. Additionally, there is a dedicated fund manager who will devote their time focusing on your investment portfolio, all you need to do is to monitor its performance every now and then. Of course, this does not mean you should not collaborate with your managers, but the burden of responsibility will not fall on your shoulders. 

If you want to try out investing, a mutual fund is a good place to start. Remember to do your research and ask your financial adviser lots of questions. This will give you a much clearer idea of what happens to your money once the investment starts.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Dog's Birthday's and the Lily's Kitchen Birthday Surprise Box

Dalmatian Puppy

Having a puppy has quite honestly been one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life, but equally it has also been one of the most rewarding, did I think it was going to be quite so challenging? Nope. Even after all of the breed research I did, was I mentally and physically prepared for all that having a dog really meant? 

Honestly... Nope.

On the 9th June, Lux turns One year old. The little puppy I brought home back on the 6th August is substantially bigger, stronger and more head strong than ever before, and you certainly know that you have him.

In the 9 months since we brought him home (It's only 9 months!? Wow it definitely feels like longer) he has caused some real mischief. He's chewed up shoes, pants, socks, doormats, toys, and oh yeah... He also ate a hole in my vinyl floor. 

Thanks pup.Dally Smile
This is just what goes on in the house... Outside the house he has never managed to nail the 'walking to heal', he does however do a great impersonation of a freight train, maybe you have seen us fly past you at speed in the street, and by fly I mean that I have been hanging on for dear life behind him like one of those parachutes on the boats you find abroad. 

Let's just say, there is never a dull moment. 


It was just over this weekend that I was told by someone that they have never seen a dog who is so excited by the world. Lux literally loves to experience everything. Other dogs, people, children, you name it, Lux wants to be involved. This can make walking him an experience no matter how you choose to look at it. 

He doesn't have an aggressive bone in his body, but his sheer size combined with his energy can make some people understandably feel uneasy.

Dalmatian Lily's Kitchen Birthday Surprise Box

With Lux turning One, Leo has insisted that he has his own Birthday treat. Leo loves Birthday's and apparently his puppy's is no different. There was talk of me getting into the kitchen and baking a dog friendly Birthday Cake. No kidding... Leo meant every word. 

Turns out that Leo is not the only one who wants to celebrate his canine friends special day, 75% of pet owners celebrate their pup's birthday's! This is why Lily's Kitchen have responded to the growing demand with the launch of their Birthday Surprise Gift Box.

Dalmatian Lily's Kitchen Birthday Surprise Box

The Birthday Surprise Gift box is gorgeous, it is hand illustrated in golden Yellow and Red. Of course it has been Inspired by a steak frites dinner, it means your dog can enjoy real steak with potatoes, broccoli and herbs. It’s the kind of birthday cake every dog really wants on their birthday – nourishing, wholesome and tail-waggingly delicious!

Lux was lucky enough to be sent his very own sample to taste, and from the above photos you can see just how happy he was to take part. He automatically knew this feast was for him and his tail was wagging even more than usual.

Lily's Kitchen Birthday Surprise Box

Lily's Kitchen Birthday Surprise Box

What’s inside the gift box:
400g Steak Dinner with organic potatoes and broccoli
50g Organic Cheese & Apple Treats with apple and farmhouse cheddar
A birthday card all about your wonderful dog
Lily's Kitchen Birthday Surprise Box

Lily's Kitchen only use the best ingredients, it's proper food that’s easy to digest and deliciously nourishing so you don't need to worry about any nasties being included in your dog's diet. The Lily's Kitchen recipes never include overly processed ingredients, added fillers, artificial flavourings, preservatives or sweeteners, and never any meat derivatives or meat meal.

What To Do With Expensive Old Jewellery

Image by iceyice2011 via Flickr

Has your great-aunt of beloved grandmother left you with beautiful pieces of expensive gold jewellery that you really have no use for? Fortunately, there are a few options for you.

1. Keep It
Maybe your mother and grandfather really do want you to look after the keepsakes for your own children. Perhaps they are meant as family heirlooms. If that is the case, put everything in a safety deposit box and save it for when your daughter turns eighteen and you can pass it on to her.

2. Wear It 
Maybe you do love the keepsakes and they suit your style. That’s great! Then, have them professionally cleaned and start wearing them. Alternatively, take them to a jeweller and have them updated with stones or metal you love and keep them at the top of your jewellery box to wear regularly. 

3. Get Them Out and Sell Them 
If you really have no use for the pieces and could do with the cash instead, consider selling the items to get cash for gold on the spot. Perhaps you really cannot stand clip-on earrings or you are allergic to yellow gold. That’s okay, with the money you make on grandma’s expensive items, you can update your jewellery box with pieces you really do love. 

4. Alter Things Just a Little 
Let’s say you have an old diamond wedding ring from great aunt Margaret and it’s pretty, but not quite your style. The good news is that you can remove the diamonds and make something completely new and unique. Use the diamond in a new pendant or ring that you will enjoy wearing and you will still be able to remember aunt Margaret and your love for her through the piece. 

Does It Matter? 
It really doesn’t matter if you are changing up old expensive jewellery or selling it for cash. What matters is that you get use – one way or another – out of the items. Whatever you use the cash for, if you sell the jewellery, it will still be a memento of your beloved family member or of special times. 

You may also want to consider recycling old jewellery with gemstones. Let’s say you have a necklace that has real emeralds, or even sapphire earrings. These items will fetch a good price if you want to sell them for cash, and if you send them to someone who is able to remanufacture them or even sell them as is, you at least know that the gemstones will go to someone who will appreciate them more and get better use out of them.

Don’t forget to take the metal into consideration. Silver, platinum, and gold can all be recycled and you can make good money when doing so. The precious metals tend to have a high market value and can be melted down for new jewellery to be created. 

Whether you decide to keep your jewellery, have it updated, or sell it, you can be sure that you are doing what is right for you.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Body Shaming - It comes in all shapes and sizes

Body Shaming - Skinny Shaming

I am a supporter and I like to help build people up. If someone asks me for help or advice then I will take the time to talk to them about what it is that they want to do. I believe in raising people up and watching them fly, call me crazy but I like watching people succeed. It is for this reason that I just cannot get my head around anybody promoting anything less than that. I cannot understand body shaming no matter which perspective that I look at it from. 

Body shaming is everywhere.

Body shaming is anything negative that is said about ANY person, and body shaming is not just directed at women, it is directed at the entire human race. Body shaming is pointing out specific qualities on a person and viewing them as a negative, body shaming is using the qualities about what makes them who they are, against them. 

I have been targeted in the past for being 'skinny', and the ironic thing is that the people who have made comments about me, have never once considered that what they say is exactly the same as comments that are made about larger people. Of course when people say horrible things about bigger framed ladies, this is rude and is referred to as fat shaming, but those same comments targeted at smaller framed girls are equally as damaging, and should be seen in the same light.

Body Shaming - Skinny Shaming

One of the main points directed at me is my small chest. I have small boobs, and do you know what? That's ok. As a teenager I felt very self conscious about this fact, I willed them to grow but not even with all the wishing power sent their way did they ever really blossom past a B cup. It's taken me well into my late 20's to really accept them and realise that even though they aren't as big as I once wished them to be, they are still part of who I am and that makes them beautiful.

I finally realised that I am in proportion, I am slim and so are my boobs, and I am happy in the skin that I am in.

Lady Gaga Fat Shamed

You only have to look to the tabloids to see body shaming in it's finest form, whether Victoria Beckham is being ripped apart for her slender physique or if Lady Gaga's incredible voice takes a back seat as fans go into a frenzy over her supposed 'flabby tummy', the everyday likes of you and I are surely in for serious trouble!

We have to ask ourselves what gives us the right to comment? What gives us the right to an opinion on the way that somebody looks? No matter how hard I press myself to think about it I just cannot come up with an answer that would validate the comments and the hate that body shaming generates. 

Fat Shaming

We live in a generation that puts girl on girl, boy on girl, boy on boy and girl on boy, there is an expectation to how we are supposed to look, an expectation on having the 'perfect body', but what even is a perfect body? Does such a thing even exist? Surely if you are happy in the skin you are in  then it does not matter how everyone else around you looks, all that matters is that they too are happy in their own bodies, and we provide the support and guidance in order to help the rising generations feel accepted and loved for exactly who they are.

I can only imagine the damage that today's judgement and hate for one another will have on our children.

As a Mother I am raising Leo to understand that people come in all shapes, colours and sizes, it's what makes us all so unique and so different from one another, and that's ok. Can you imagine if we all looked the same? How boring would that be. We are diverse and not one person is the same, whether we have birthmarks, different skin colours, one leg, we're big, we're small, one eye, no eyes, big hair, flat hair, big boobs, little boobs or ANYTHING that makes us stand out from the crowd, they are things that we should be promoting and CELEBRATING!

They are the things that make us who we are, and the things that make us beautiful.

Laci Green Quote

Body shaming is pointing out specific qualities on a person and viewing them as a negative, body shaming is using the qualities about what makes them who they are, against them. 

I put myself in the public eye, I share my fitness journey, and I accept that I won't be everybody's cup of tea. The reason that I share my fitness journey is not about vanity, it is not about putting myself in the limelight. It is to showcase that anybody can make a change if they so desire. I get messages everyday asking for advice on how people can live a healthier life, and I love that I get to try and help so many different people from my own personal experiences, but then equally I get my share of negative comments...

I have thick skin, and I am very proud of that thick skin. I can read the negative comments about myself and smile. I can laugh it off, but then I think about it.... Not everybody is as thick skinned as I am. Why should they have to feel inferior about comments that are made about them in public? The answer is that they shouldn't. 

The internet gives everybody a voice, and they use that voice to say things to people that they would ordinarily never say to somebody's face. The internet provides a comfortable setting for people to literally say whatever pops into their heads, and I don't really think that these people give much thought into what they say.

The time has come for people to stop and think, because the things they say will have repercussions, maybe not directly on themselves but almost certainly to the people that they address them to.

It's time to remember that kindness has the power to make you the most beautiful person in the world, no matter what you look like.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Homecooked meals

I spend a lot of time in my kitchen, I think it is fair to assume that most people do, because after all the kitchen really is the heart of the home. 

I love cooking, and I can only really say that this is a hobby that has come around in recent years because of my passion for health and fitness. I discovered that by cooking from scratch, I could eat tasty food that I enjoyed, and also know the exactly ingredients of what went into the recipes, and in turn this helped me to achieve my personal fitness goals. 

I think the beauty of preparing your own home cooked meals is that you can be that little more adventurous, you can spiralize some zucchini noodles to throw into some home made pesto or you can cook up a lasagna using butternut squash slices in replacement of the pasta sheets. The possibilities really are endless, and it puts you in complete control of what goes into your body.

As I cook up to 3 times a day, and it has to be said that I'm not the neatest chef in the world, I am prone to dropping things all over my freshly cleaned stove or splashing sauce up the back of the cooker and inevitably the wall behind it, and this does not sit very well with my inner neat freak. I have been looking at getting some acrylic  kitchen splash-backs from Simply Plastics to sit behind my stove, so that I can easily wipe away the daily mess that may land there (thus saving my magnolia wall).

It was only a few years ago that I was ordering ample takeaways each week, and I thought preparing my own food meant grabbing a shop bought jar of pasta sauce and boiling some spaghetti in a pan. Somewhere along the way I found a love in cooking healthy wholesome food that now feeds the whole family, and none of us have looked back.

Takeaways are a rarity these days as I much prefer to cook a healthier curry at home, where you get all the taste of a takeout, but none of the bad bits. I realised that you don't have to compensate on taste when you eat healthily, but you can cut all of the bad bits out and still enjoy your meal. 

Being Diagnosed With Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Image by kaye blegvad via Flickr

If you have recently been diagnosed with Temporomandibular Joint Disorder and are still unsure of what it means, you can find plenty of information on the subject such as on the website. The condition is treatable and taking medication along with potentially changing your diet can help to treat the symptoms that you suffer.  

The Temporomandibular Joint 

The Temporomandibular Joint is the joint where the lower jaw connects to the skull and is located just in front of the ear on each side of your head. It is a hinge joint and extremely flexible allowing the jaw to move smoothly in many different directions. The range of movement allowed to the jaw means that you can move it up and down allowing you to eat and talk, as well as move it from side to side, enabling you to grind food in your mouth. When you do not have the full range of motion available in your jaw, it can lead to discomfort and frustration.

The Causes

Medical opinion is not entirely sure as to the exact cause of this condition, and the problem arises when there are issues with the muscles controlling the jaw, or even with the joint itself. If you have suffered a blow to the head, whiplash, an injury to the jaw, or the muscles around the neck, you can develop the symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.

Grinding your teeth and stress can also lead to the condition, as well as Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis, toothache and gum disease can also lead to suffering. If you are suffering any problems with your jaw after a recent accident, then you should look for a trusted dentist in North Sydney or in your local area to take a look at your injuries and check if you have this condition. 

The Symptoms

There are multiple symptoms that you can experience when suffering from this condition that can cause you some extreme discomfort. You may experience pain when you chew or open your mouth wide, or your range of movement can be limited. You can experience a clicking sound in your jaw when you eat, or you may suffer pain around the jaw, neck, and shoulders areas almost continuously. You can also experience an overbite where your two sets of teeth no longer fit together properly, or you may experience a swelling to the side of your face. The symptoms are varied and manifest in different ways with different people. You may experience one or all of the symptoms described, depending on how severe the case is.

The Treatment

Various treatments are available to help relieve the symptoms of the condition, and before trying any of them, you should make sure that you visit your local dentist first. There are medications that you can be prescribed to help treat the condition, and applying a hot or cold pack can also offer some relief. Eating soft foods will also contribute to preventing the discomfort felt when eating, and you can also have a splint made to fit over your teeth which you wear when you are sleeping. Although there is no cure for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, it is a condition that can be treated. You and your dentist just need to find what works best for you!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

An Income That Works Around Family Life - Online Trading And Here's How To Do It

Online Trading

Earning some extra cash online can be a great way to have more quality time to spend with your family. No commuting to work, no bosses, and choosing your working hours are only a few of the benefits the laptop lifestyle offers. Twenty-five years ago not many people were able to leave their work so they can enjoy a walk in the park with their kids and then return to continue working, maintaining their efficiency and reaching their goals all the while. Today, such privilege is available to anybody. However, learning to make money online is a process which doesn't happen overnight. Among the many opportunities not all are genuine and you might spend quite some time until you find what works for you.

Online trading is one of the popular choices to improve your finances from the comfort of your home. It sometimes requires an initial investment, it always requires some study before starting to trade, and there can be financial risk involved, depending on your choice of trading strategy and the financial vehicle. Nonetheless, online trading continues to attract people from around the world, who trade on platforms like CMC Markets or Halifax. Trading is a skill which can be mastered. The initial steps can be to familiarise yourself with financial instruments that you can invest in and how can you learn to manage your investments. While the investing in the stock markets does carry a risk factor with it, financial education and self-education are what separates seasoned investors from gamblers.

A very basic form of investment. Shares of stock are parts of company ownership. You would buy a share if you believe the company will be profitable in the future. Shares can be bought for dividends or for capital growth. People who buy shares to hold as a long-term strategy usually invest substantial amounts and buy stocks of large companies. This is a relatively safe investment, as big businesses usually stay profitable in the long run. However, market crashes do happen sometimes and big companies can go bankrupt in which case the investor's' capital diminishes rapidly. If you are investing a substantial amount in shares it is good to have some knowledge of what economic parameters can influence the chosen stock's performance on the markets in future. It is also good to learn about numerous financial instruments which can help a shareholder manage the risks involved and which are essential tools of every skilled trader.

Derivatives are a category of financial instruments which includes options, warrants, futures, CFDs, swaps etc. Their value depends on the value of the underlying stock and fluctuates on the markets together with it. If the stock price goes up or down, the derivative's price follows. The exception from this rule are put options which act exactly the opposite of the underlying stock: if the share goes down its put option goes up if the share goes up the put option goes down. This tool was created to allow the traders to profit in a falling market. All derivatives are basically contracts which provide leverage by allowing the owner to trade without purchasing the actual stock. The assets most commonly used for this purpose are shares, however, other financial instruments like bonds, commodities, market indexes or currencies can be used as well. Derivatives are usually a short-term investment strategy and don't require much capital as there is no purchase of the actual stock involved. The main idea associated with this strategy is to profit from predicting the movements of stock price on the market. Derivatives can also be used by long-term shareholders as a risk hedging tool.

Foreign currencies are always in demand. The exchange rates fluctuate all the time. While the shares are usually listed on individual stock exchanges, currencies are being traded on all major global exchanges situated in London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, New York, Paris, Zurich, Frankfurt, and Tokyo. This makes the global market's business hours 24 hours a day five and a half days a week because of the time difference between the exchanges. Forex traders study economic outlook of individual countries, considering factors such as inflation, interest rates, public debt, trade balance with other countries and political circumstances.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

SSE: The Energy Behind Women's Football

SSE Women's FA Cup

Leo has recently been expressing an interest in learning to play football, at almost 6 years old I think that this is fantastic, and it is something that I have really wanted to encourage and nurture as I feel like this would be an incredibly beneficial experience for him. I have been researching local teams that I could enrol Leo into so that he can learn the rules of the game, get some experience out on the pitch and playing as part of a team. By chance I got talking to another Mum who was also trying to find a team for her child, only she was looking for a girls team for her daughter, and she told me just how difficult that task was turning out to be...

In the small town where I live in Worcestershire, there aren't as many women's football teams, and there are even less opportunities for younger girls to get involved in training or as part of a girl's team. According to recent research by the Football Association, only 36% of girls aged 10-16 play football, compared to 83% of boys. It also found that 42% of girls aged 10 who don't currently play football would like to.

Women's football although gaining momentum, is still not on a level peg with the male's equivalent and although I was aware that it wasn't as publicised as the male teams, I had never once stopped and thought about how accessible it would be for younger girls who wanted to get involved in a football team.

SSE Women's FA Cup

Being a parent in 2017 means that we need to be educated in gender equality, whether we are parents to boys, girls or even if we have one of each, because believe it or not, gender inequality is a still a thing, even today, and it really does affect us all. 

I for one would love to see this change, I have been looking into the fantastic sport that is Women's Football and it has been incredibly enlightening to see just how far it has come over the years and one of the biggest waves forward for the sport has to be the generous sponsorship from SSE, who are one of the UK’s leading energy companies and supply energy to around 8.21 million people throughout Great Britain and Ireland. 

Back in June 2015 SSE announced a four year sponsorship deal for the largest cup competition in women's football - The SSE Women's FA Cup. This partnership sends a precise and strong message to the world, and it is helping to strip away barriers and helping women and girls to reach their fullest potential in Women's Football.

This is a really exciting time for the sport, and SSE have got involved because of their firm beliefs that everyone deserves the same opportunities, regardless of gender. Every girl and every boy have the right to discover new skills and confidence, the opportunity to make lifelong friends, the opportunity to be inspired and the opportunity to walk out in front of a passionate crowd at Wembley Stadium. 

SSE Women's FA Cup

SSE are the energy behind women’s football and they are creating more and more opportunities for women and young girls to get involved, and it is really making a huge difference at all levels of the game, whether it is getting girls involved in coaching sessions in local parks or playing the big league at the SSE Women's FA Cup Final at Wembley!

The below film demonstrates three separate stories playing out in parallel across one day – A football match at Wembley. Each of the stories shows the shared experiences of girls involved in the game from grassroots right through to the elite. Despite all these stories taking place at different levels of the game, they are all brought together by their love for football. It showcases the power of the game and the opportunities it provides women, at every level.

Some of the way's SSE support Women's Football

- Dad's and Daughters

The Dads and Daughters campaign aims to get more young girls to start playing football with the support of their dads. It celebrates fathers around the country who have played a major part in encouraging their daughters to get involved in the sport. 

SSE Women's FA Cup

- The FA & SSE Link Up

The recent launch of SSE Wildcats Girls’ Football Clubs will provide girls aged 5-11 with regular opportunities to play football and take part in organised sessions in a fun and engaging environment created exclusively for girls. SSE continue to show their commitment to increasing participation in the women’s game through this new initiative. The clubs will run from spring through summer on a weekly basis and aim to provide a fun and safe space for girls to learn the game and make friends
- SSE Women's FA Cup Final: Kids go Free
The SSE Women’s FA Cup Final 2017 will be played at Wembley Stadium connected by EE for the third year running on Saturday 13th May 2017. The FA’s partnership with SSE means that all children can attend The Final for free. 

It has been really interesting reading more into the powerful sport that is Women's Football, and I am so pleased to see that the sport is becoming more accessible, and as for girls wanting to get involved, there has never been a better time to put on your boots and kick a football.

SSE Final Ticket Competition

If you would like to go along to the SSE Women's FA Cup Final at Wembley this Saturday (13th May 2017) then keep on reading because we have 5 tickets up for grabs so that you can take your whole family along!

It's a great chance to go along and cheer on Birmingham City and Manchester City as they go head to head for the first piece of silverware of this season! It is set to be a great turnout and I can only imagine that the vibe will be something to remember!

The winner will be announced before lunch this Friday 12th May 2017. As we have a pretty tight time frame to play with, I will get an email out to the lucky family as soon as the competition is drawn, and I will need a reply within a quick time frame so that I can make sure that the tickets are ready to collect at Wembley on Saturday 13th May 2017.

All you need to do is enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!