Category Archives: Life & Style

Ants: How to get rid of ants using a £1 household item – it’s easier than you think

Ants in the home can be an annoying and unhygienic issue, particularly when the pesky insects enter your kitchen.

During warm weather or periods of rain, they are more likely to come into your house.

They can cause damage to property and plants, as well as rendering food inedible.

However, there is one brilliant household solution to get rid of them: white vinegar.

A solution containing white vinegar is said to keep the pests at bay in your home.

According to Top 10 Home Remedies, you can get rid of ants using regular sprays of the white vinegar.

The site explains that the smell of the vinegar will drive ants away.

“White vinegar will also send an eviction notice to ants on your premises. They cannot bear its strong smell.

“In addition, the smell masks their scent trails, making them lose their direction.”

The website recommends a step by step guide to getting rid of ants using white vinegar.

It says to mix equal parts of white vinegar and water, and fill a spray bottle with the solution.

Add essential oil (any) for a a stronger scent, then spray around “entry points” where ants might invade such as base boards.

You will then have to clean up the dead ants using a damp paper towel which should then be discarded in the bin.

This process can be repeated on a daily basis until the ants are gone.

Another type of ants you may find in the home is flying ants, which are said to have increased by 50 billion this year.

Flying ants are fertile male and female ants, whose sole purpose is to reproduce and start a new ant colony, they do this on ‘Flying Ant Day’.

So how to get rid of flying ants? One of the most simple and effective way to stop flying ants in their tracks is using any commercial aerosol.

Spray deodorant or hairspray onto the ant mid-flight, making sure you direct the nozzle towards the pest.

Another easy method to get rid of flying ants is using dishwashing liquid. Dishwashing liquid sticks to ants’ bodies and dehydrates them to death.

A solution can be made by mixing dishwashing liquid and water and decanting into a standard spray bottle. Spraying the ants mid-flight or when resting will stop them in their tracks.

Peppermint oil will also get rid of flying ants from your home, acting as a deterrent as ants and gnats are repulsed by the strong smell.

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Eugenie Bouchard sends fans into frenzy with London Underground Instagram post

Eugenie Bouchard, 24, also known as Genie Bouchard on her Instagram account, is a professional Canadian tennis star.

The beautiful blonde models part time for Sports Illustrated, and has an impressive 1.7 million followers on Instagram.

While Eugenie spends much of her time at her home in Miami Beach, Florida, she sent her fans into a frenzy with a recent social media post

She posted a picture of herself on a London Underground platform standing in front of a tube.

The tennis star showed off her laid back attitude in taking the public transport, captioning the picture: “Ya I metro”.

She wore a pair of baggy ripped jeans for the photo opportunity, with her tanned legs showing through the holes.

She paired it with a cropped bright yellow jumper and a red bag, wearing her long, blonde hair in a casual low ponytail.

The post excited Eugenie’s UK based fans, with one follower posting: “Are you playing in the UK?”.

Another posted: “Nahhhhh in london….meet u at london bridge in an hour”, complete with heart eye emojis.

So is the beautiful blonde tennis star currently in London, as the picture might suggest?

It appears the picture isn’t all it seems, and may be misleading to Eugenie’s fans.

An eagle eyed fan cleared matters up with a very plausible theory that the picture was, in fact, taken last year.

The comment reads: “There were pics of her, in same outfit, with sister and cousins posted after Wimbledon last year.”

The fan also reminded that Eugenie is currently training at the Mouratoglou Academy, which is based in Biot, France.

“And she’s at Mouratoglou academy atm. She sometimes posts old pic on insta.”

While jet-setting Eugenie may have flown into London for a brief period, the likelihood of the stylish tennis star wearing the exact same outfit twice is less likely.

Earlier today, Eugenie posted a picture of herself training at Mouratoglou.

Working hard at the prestigious tennis training academy, which can cost up to €27500 per programme, Eugenie wore hot pink activewear as she pounded the track.

Kitted out by her sponsor Nike, she wore tiny pink shorts and a matching, high-neck crop top, showing off her toned midriff.

Wearing a white cap with her glossy blonde locks tied beneath, she appeared to wear no makeup.

She matched the tiny pink outfit with grey and pink trainers, also by Nike. Eugenie captioned the clip: “When ur phone is at 1%”.

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Will peerage laws change for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s children?

Meghan Markle was praised for being the first bi-racial woman to marry into the Royal Family, for having a career that made her worth £5 million and for being a feminist.

The Duchess of Sussex’s webpage on the royal site points to her proud advocacy for female empowerment.

It features her quote: “I am proud to be a woman and a feminist.”

the former-actress made the statement speaking at the UN on International Women’s Day 2015.

However, it was revealed last week that Meghan Markle’s female children will not be able to inherit her title. 

Peerage laws in the UK are still rather outdated with only males being able to inherit one.

Many advocates have been campaigning to change these laws for yeas, but with such a high profile case as this those fighting on the issue may be given a boost.

The law also came into effect when the Duke of Westminster, the UK’s third richest man, passed away in August 2016.

This made his son Hugh Grosvenor, 27, Earl Grosvenor, despite the fact he has two older sisters.

Hugh was left the £9 billion form his fathers, not Lady Tamara or Lady Edwina who came before.

The unfair rule, which sees female heirs passed over thanks to their gender alone, will also impact on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s children.

It would also see the title “Duke of Sussex” would die out, yet again, if the two only have female children.

Peerage laws also dictate that male benefices must be legitimate male heirs.

However, laws have been changed in recent years to favour high profile royal females, namely Princess Charlotte, three.

Laws concerning the line of succession were changed.

Originally male children would succeed their sisters to the throne, even if they were younger.

However, this rule was relegated to history, a change welcomed by many.

Will the Queen change the laws around peerage since Meghan and Harry’s marriage?

For peerage laws to change a bill must be read in the House of Commons and be passed through parliament.

It is not currently known if there are any plans to petition parliament to change these rules.

It was revealed that Meghan Markle and the Queen will attend an event together for the first time next week. 

However, it was much longer after her marriage before Kate Middleton and the Queen stepped out together for the first time. 

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Arthritis pain: Avoid this daily habit to prevent symptoms in your knee, hip and hands

Arthritis pain affects the joints, most commonly in the hands, spine, knees and hips.

Symptoms vary on the type you have, but joint pain, tenderness and stiffness, inflammation in and around the joints, restricted movement of the joints, warm, red skin over the affected joint, and weakness and muscle wasting, are the usual signs.

There are more than 100 types of arthritis and they all have risk factors, individual features, behaviours and circumstances that are associated with the condition, according to Arthritis Foundation.

It states: “There are risk factors that are not modifiable. That means there is nothing you can do about them. Being female and having a family history of arthritis are two examples of factors that make people more likely – but not certain – to get some types of arthritis.”

But in contrast, some risk factors are considered to be modifiable. So how can you prevent rheumatoid arthritis?

The nonprofit organisation advises that to prevent rheumatoid arthritis you should not smoke.

Osteoarthritis, another comment type of arthritis, can be prevented by keeping a healthy weight.

You can also reduce the risk of gout by eating a healthy diet, low in sugar, and alcohol.

There’s no cure for arthritis, but the NHS lists prescribed medications under treatment, which includes painkillers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and corticosteroids.

Some health experts recommend more natural remedies to ease arthritis pain, such simple changes to diet, as well as exercise.

Soaking in warm water is also one of the oldest forms of alternative therapy.

“Research shows our ancestors got it right. It makes you feel better. It makes the joints losers. It reduces pain and it seems to have a somewhat prolonged effect that goes beyond the period of immersion,” Bruce E.Becker, director of the National Quatics & Sports Medicine Institute at Washington State University, told Arthritis Foundation.

Soaking in warm water works. It reduced the force of gravity that’s compressing the joint, offers 360-degree support for sore limbs, can decrease swelling and inflammation and increase circulation.

But how long should you soak in a warm bath for?

Dr Becker added that patients he’s studied seem to reach a maximum benefit after about 20 minutes.

You should also make sure you drink water before and afterward to stay well hydrated.

Arthritis Foundation recommends that the temperature of the water be between 33.3 degrees Celsius and 37.7 degrees Celsius.

If you have cardiovascular problems you should beware of water that’s too hot as it can put stress on the heart.

It adds: “Warm water is great for relaxing, but it is also good for moving.

Adding this fish dinner to your diet could reduce signs of rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis

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Stomach bloating: Drink this much water a day to reduce swelling and stop excess wind

Bloating is often caused by gas or trapped air in the abdomen, and there are certain foods that can promote this.

The NHS recommends cutting down on foods known to cause excess wind and bloating – and there are six to be watchful of.

Beans, onions, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and cauliflower are all known for causing these symptoms.

If you don’t eat these specific foods very often, but still suffer from bloating, there is a more general diet change you can make.

According to Holland & Barrett, your first step should be to see your GP to rule out anything more serous such as coeliac disease or irritable bowel syndrome, particularly if you’ve been suffering for several months.

But one of the key things to do to beat bloating is to stay well hydrated.

The high street health shop states that constipation is a major cause of bloating and could be triggered by something as simple as not drinking enough fluids.

It explains “This can slow your system down, and make your stool too hard to pass.”

So how much water should you drink a day?

Aim to drink 1.5 litres a day, and cut down on hydration ‘robbers’ like caffeine, alcohol, and fizzy or sugar drinks.

If you’re looking to swap out beans, onions, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and cauliflower for other foods, what can you eat instead? Health experts at Healthline offer some alternatives.

Beans swap

Most beans contain sugars called alpha-galactoside, which belong to a group of carbohydrates called FODMAPs. These escape digestion and are then fermented by gut bacteria in the colon. Gas is a byproduct of this process.

But some beans are easier on the digestive system, the website states.

It goes on to recommend pinto beans and black beans, especially after soaking.

Onions swap

Cooking onions may help reduce their bloating effects, advises Healthline.

But if you’re looking for an alternative, try using fresh herbs or spices.

Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables swap

Cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, cabbage, garden, cress, bok choy and Brussels sprouts, and while they contain many essential nutrients, they also contain FODMAPS.

Healthline says cooking cruciferous vegetables may make them easier to digest, but you can swap them for spinach, cucumber, lettuce, sweet potatoes and zucchini.

You may want to cut down on your consumption of onions, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and cauliflower if you want to reduce bloating, but you should still make sure to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

If you are thinking about cutting a particular food group out long-term you should first get advice from your GP.

The hot weather could also be to blame for your bloating

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Kate Middleton first Trooping of the Colour outfit – will Meghan Markle take inspiration?

Meghan Markle, 36, has been the Duchess of Sussex for three weeks, but has yet to make her debut appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

The Trooping of the Colour is a parade held every year at Buckingham Palace to mark the Queen’s birthday.

Also known as The Queen’s Birthday Parade, the event sees the whole immediate royal family gather on the famous balcony of Buckingham Palace.

The event will mark Meghan Markle’s first appearance on the royal balcony, something Kate also faced back in 2011.

Unlike Meghan, Kate had already made an appearance on the balcony for a kiss on her wedding day to Prince William.

Despite still being on maternity leave after giving birth to Prince Louis, Kate will attend this year’s Trooping of the Colour, along with Prince George and Princes Charlotte.

Marking such an important occasion, the pressure is on Meghan to impress in the sartorial stakes.

Reported to be good friends, Kate is believed to be helping Meghan adjust to married life in the spotlight, and that could extend to helping her with her royal wardrobe.

In 2011 when Kate made her Trooping of the Colour debut, she wore a long double-breasted cream jacket by favoured fashion house, Alexander McQueen.

She matched the crisp cream ensemble with a striking black facinator-style hat turned up at the edges.

Just two months after her wedding Kate glowed as she showed off her deep honeymoon tan.

Last year the Duchess stunned in a striking pink dress cinched in at the waist with a high neck, with a pink hat to match.

In 2016 Kate opted for cream again, wearing her famous Alexander McQueen dress coat rumoured to be the same worn to Meghan and Harry’s wedding.

Meghan is also a fan of wearing ethereal ensembles to royal engagements, having worn a white Amanda Wakeley coat costing £895 to this year’s Commonwealth Day Service. 

Talking to People magazine a source in Kate’s hometown of Bucklebury said: “I’m sure Kate will do all she can to help Meghan.

“She had audiences with Queen Elizabeth quite often and was taught to behave like a future Queen.”

The Trooping of the Colour will see the royal family dressed to perfection, with all women wearing hats and men in military dress.

At Kate’s first Trooping of the Colour she rode in a carriage with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew, as William was on horseback.

However, as Harry is not a member of the royal colonel of the Household Division, he isn’t expected to leave Meghan’s side and ride on horseback.

Following her recent adherence to one of the Queen’s reported golden rules, it can be expected that the new Duchess of Sussex’s outfit will include nude tights and a hat.

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Diabetes type 2 symptoms: Cut this breakfast food out your diet to control blood sugar

Diabetes type 2 is the most common form of diabetes in the UK, and symptoms may include feeling very thirsty, urinating more frequently than usual and blurred vision, before diagnosis.

Medication may be required as the condition progresses, but making simple lifestyle changes to your diet and exercise routine help control your blood glucose levels.

Bupa says eating carbohydrates can make your blood sugar shoot up, so counting and using a glycemic index can be useful.

Matthew Freeby, MD, director of the Gonda Diabetes Center at UCLA Health, says one particular food that falls into the carbohydrate category should be avoided all together.

Speaking to Prevention, Mr Freeby said popular breakfast item, the bagel, should be crossed off the menu.

He explained: “Many of my patients with diabetes think about sugar as being the worst thing that’s impacting their blood sugar, but it’s really about carbohydrates.

“I tell them to look at nutrition labels for the total carbohydrate content, not just the sugar content.

“Donuts and bagels made with refined and processed grains are major sources of blood-sugar-spiking carbs.”

Diabetes UK says the key to managing and preventing diabetes is a balanced diet.

Fruit and vegetables

Whether it’s fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit in juice and canned vegetables, everyone should eat at least five portions a day, says Diabetes UK.

The charity suggests adding an apple, banana, or orange to your child’s lunchbox, eating sliced melon or grapefruit topped with low-fat yoghurt, or a handful of berries, or fresh dates, apricots or prunes for breakfast, and eating carrots, peas and green beans mixed up in a pasta bake.

Starchy foods

Try and include starchy foods every day.

You could try potatoes any way you like, with the skin left on for valuable fibre, covered in a low-fat topping such as cottage cheese or beans. But don’t fry the potatoes.

Two slices of multigrain toast with a scraping of spread and Marmite or peanut butter, and rice, pasta or noodles in risottos, salad or stir-fries are some other options.

Meat, fish, eggs, pulses, beans and nuts

You should aim to have some food form this group every day, and at least one to two portions of oily fish a week.

Protein helps build muscles, the minerals found in these foods help with the production of red blood cells and omega-3 can help protect the heart.

Eat meat, poultry or a vegetarian alternative grilled, roasted or stir-fried, or eggs scrambled, poached, dry fried or boiled.

A small handful of raw nuts and seeds as a snack or chopped with a green salad are also an option.

Dairy foods

Calcium contained in these foods are vital for keeping bones and teeth strong.

Aim to have some every day, but don’t have too much.

You could try yoghurt with fruit or on a curry, cottage cheese scooped on carrot sticks or a cheese sandwich at lunchtime, packed with salad.

Foods high in fat and sugar

Enjoying food from this group as an occasional treat is part of a placed diet, but the less often, the better, as foods and drinks in this category will add extra calories and raise blood glucose.

Salt

Diabetes UK advises: “Too much salt can make you more at risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Processed foods can be very high in salt.

“Try cooking more meals from scratch at home, where you can control the mount of salt you use.”

Some health experts also believe supplements could help lower blood sugar

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