3 ways your charity donations can help the people of Gaza

Hey Cats, 

This month spotlight feature is all about how you can help someone less fortunate than you. 

From getting a glass of clean water from your kitchen tap and turning your lights on in the evening to visiting your local GP, there are a whole range of activities that many of us take for granted in the UK. The same isn’t true for the Palestinians living in Gaza. The continuing crisis in this 25-mile long strip of land along the Mediterranean coast means that the more than 1.5 million people living there have to endure significant hardships. Problems range from a lack of access to safe water to poor medical provisions and regular power cuts.

There are ways to help the people of Palestine though. Charities around the world are working on projects to improve lives there. Keep reading to find out more about three of the initiatives being run.

1. Giving access to clean water
The charity Human Appeal is involved in a number of different projects aimed at helping the people of Gaza. One of its initiatives centres on improving access to clean drinking water. According to the charity, more than 94 per cent of the water in Gaza is not fit to drink, with contagions causing a range of diseases and health disorders, including high blood pressure and renal failure. On its website humanappeal.org.uk, the organisation states that thanks to money given by donors, it has been able to provide clean water for more than 200,000 schoolchildren. It now wants to construct a water desalination plant on the coast to provide safe water for the whole of the population. The plant will also provide employment for local people.

2. Giving medical supplies
Healthcare centres have been badly affected by a variety of factors, including a shortage of medical supplies and a lack of construction materials needed to repair and replace ageing and damaged buildings. Several of the hospitals on the Gaza Strip are around 60 years old and are in desperate need of modernisation. The condition of some of the area’s health centres is endangering patient and worker safety. To help ease the pressure on healthcare services, Human Appeal also runs an initiative that focuses on supplying hospitals with the equipment and medicines they need to treat patients.

3. Providing safe lighting solutions
Power cuts are a part of everyday life in Gaza. Outages of 18 hours a day are not uncommon, and this obviously presents people with a whole array of practical difficulties. One of the side effects of the electricity shortages is the fact that people are often forced to rely on unsafe lighting solutions. Poor quality portable generators can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, while candles can be a fire hazard. To help reduce these risks, Human Appeal runs a charity initiative that centres on providing families with safe lighting.

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of the ways in which charity donations are helping the people of Gaza. Other examples include providing food parcels and sponsoring fishermen to give them access to boats and equipment. You can find out more about the different projects being run there by simply doing some research online.

Quick Mini Superdrug Haul

A guide to getting the shabby chic look in your home

Hey Cats,

There’s no denying vintage decor is a popular theme when it comes to interior design. So if you’re eager to get on board with this style, here is your guide to getting the shabby chic look in your home.

Style up with vintage-looking furniture

Intricately detailed, beautiful furnishings are a must if you’re keen to transform your home into a vintage retreat. When you’re searching for pieces for your rooms, make sure your look out for the typical features of this kind of furniture, such as round, distressed edges and carved detailing. To get you started, it might help to take one room at a time, thinking about which pieces you could replace for more vintage inspired models. For example, you could begin with your bed. Aside from ensuring the model you go for is comfortable, you should also make sure it’s befitting of your new theme. The Chateau Antique white painted French carved bed from Crown French Furniture is a great example. With its large, curved headboard and off-white colour, this style of bed could be the perfect fit for your boudoir. As long as you look out for the typical characteristics of shabby chic furnishings, you shouldn’t go too far wrong.

Stick to a soft colour palette

If you’re keen to give your home a vintage vibe, it’s essential that you stick to a soft, muted colour palette. Bold, bright and brash colours, such as hot pinks, deep reds and vibrant yellows, are a big no-no. Instead, you should go for neutral shades like cream, white and ivory to keep in line with your theme. For a pop of subtle colour, pale, pretty pastels are ideal. From soft mint, to dusky pink, to sky blue, there are a variety of fresh, light hues for you to choose from.

How you incorporate these shades into your home is up to you. For instance, you could paint your walls, invest in new soft furnishings or pick artwork that’s in line with your vintage inspired colour palette.

Pick your patterns carefully

Soft, dreamy patterns are a key feature of any shabby chic space, so it’s crucial that you pick yours carefully. For example, romantic florals are perfect and can add an element of charm and sophistication to just about any room in your home. From dressing your bedroom walls with flower-patterned wallpaper to scattering delicately designed floral cushions on your sofa, there are a whole plethora of ways you can decorate your abode to turn it into a vintage haven.

Creating the perfect vintage space may seem tricky at first, but by taking these tips into consideration, you should find you’re able to capture the essence of shabby chic charm in your home.

This post has been a collaboration 

Invisalign® for a straighter smile and healthier mouth

Ever felt you’re too past the age to even entertain the idea of having braces? Those metal train tracks associated with your early teens seem to be the only way to straighten or fill out your smile.
Have you ever heard of the treatment Invisalign®?
Take the same principal of a traditional brace, turn it invisible, comfortable and extremely quick and effective, and there you have it!
It’s become hugely popular over the last few years, but what exactly is the big pull?

What are the benefits?
If you’ve ever suffered a lack of confidence, say from gaps in your teeth or a less than straight smile then this treatment could transform that forever. Invisalign® is a clear set of bespoke moulds that slot over your teeth and work to straighten your teeth.
The clear material used make the moulds invisible, and the only person who will realise they’re there will be you. So, no train tracks to make you feel 13 again, just a subtle aligner that isn’t even noticeable. Having said that, the results are the most noticeable aspect of the treatment and you and everyone else will be able to see that in your new straight and bright smile.
How long do they take?
On average the treatment takes just 12 months, which is considerably less than most traditional braces that can be on for almost double that time. They should be worn for around 22 hours per day, and only removed when eating or drinking.
The hidden health benefits
Due to having to brush teeth around three times per day, before putting the aligners back on, a build-up of toothpaste sits in the moulds meaning teeth are in contact with it for longer. This has been said to result in cleaner, whiter and stronger teeth.
When the moulds are on throughout the day, teeth are less prone to come into contact with bacteria that circle the air. So as well as being a treatment to straighten, fill or reduce crowding of the mouth Invisalign® has a number of health benefits too. It’s no wonder it’s become such an amazingly popular treatment!

Diamond Status Providers
Ollie & Darsh the private dental practice from Liverpool have been awarded diamond status providers of Invisalign® and have plenty of success stories and before and after images on their website that would be worth checking out!

So if you have had certain insecurities or suffered from low self-esteem due to crooked or gapped teeth then why not book a FREE consultation with Ollie & Darsh today and take the first step on your Invisalign® journey plan. Keep smiling!

*This has been a guest post please see disclaimer

June Degustabox Unboxing and Review

Hey Cats

I am a sucker for watching unboxing videos and one that I love the most is the Degustabox unboxings so when I got offered to review a box I jumped at the chance. Here is what I got in my June Degustabox.

If you are like our household whenever you see new food items to try you jump on it so having a surprise box full of goodies, Even more perfect this box came at just the right time literally on the day we were moving house so it came in even handier. We have now had a chance to sample everything so I can tell you all about them.

Sadly my Belgian Butters Waffle Crisps arrived damaged but they were still usable so rather than bother Degustabox (as I know they offer changes on damaged products) , I instead decided to get creative. I served these with vanilla ice cream crumbled over the top and they were delicious. Really creamy and with a nice crunch to them. I would definitely try these again but with a nice cup of tea. These delicious Belgian biscuits are definite worth the £1.10 price tag.

I was mega excited to find a box of Smooze I have got these from Sainsbury before just the plain coconut ones and they were heavenly. The mango flavour were just as delicious and I now want to try all the different flavours. As these are made with fruit and coconut milk they are 100% vegan which is fantastic, although I am not vegan I do try to cut back on dairy sometimes and coconut milk is so lush. These are £2.50 and you get 5 in a box but if you are like me and the Mr they wont last very long in the freezer.

The product of the month in the box was these Yogurt coated Butterkist. We got a large bag and as they are also available in a multipack we got a sample size too. We tucked into the big bag while watching films snuggled up on the sofa and I was pleasantly surprised. I wasn't sure I was going to like it but the popcorn actually tasted more like chocolate than yogurt and was really creamy and light. The Mr took the mini bag to work in a packed lunch it really is a mini bag so probably more suitable for children but still a great snack. A large bag retails at £1.49 and I really do think it is worth it.

Next up was some fancy looking Zeo Cloudy Lemonade this bottle makes lemonade look like a real treat and a half. The lemons are blended with spring water and oils which means it is actually healthy too! Weirdly this had an after taste kind of like shandy which I liked but if you're not a fan of that kind of flavour then maybe this one isn't for you. I did really enjoy this lemonade but at £2.50 a bottle I don't think I will be buying it myself. The bottle is really nice thought and did go into the recycling.

The Organic Shirataki Miracle Noodles were not listed on the box so they were a little added extra I have looked them up though and they would usually cost around £2.49  I love these kind of noodles they go great in stir frys or even on salads. On the recipe card there was a green Thai curry that would also be really nice with these noodles in. Amoy Coconut Milk is no stranger to our cupboard and always welcomed back. We are going to use this tin to make our own smooze style ice lollies this weekend which we have done before mixed with cinnamon. This tin usually retails at £1.99 and can be used in Thai curries, alternatives to milks and much more. We always have at least one tin of coconut milk in our cupboard as a staple.

We are big burger fans in the Kaos household and so these are the perfect combination for us. We often buy mince and separate it into freezer bags which is great when it comes to taking out to make different meals, One we love to make is burgers and seasoning your meat can make all the difference to a bland burger and an awesome burger. I really enjoyed using the grill mates sachet as it gave the burgers that extra flavour. This usually retails at £1.49. The Branston spicy tomato relish we have had before. I really like this relish as it has a little spicy kick but isn't too hot which means you can use it on burgers, in wraps and on sandwiches. This usually costs £1.65 but I have seen it come up on offer in some stores,

I freaking love vinegar so was stoked to see pickled onions in the box. I had never tried Haywards Silverskin Onions before but I added them to a salad for a little kick of flavour and they were really good I would get them again. They weren't too tangy so the Mr liked them too, This usually costs £1.89. Also super handy were these Sacla basil pesto pots they are an easy quick serving to add to pasta or even use as a little dipper for a garlic bread starter like we did when we had spaghetti  the other day. If you are a pesto fan you could even put a little platter together for as work lunch to enjoy away from home, Although they were handy at £2.79 I think I would rather just stick to a regular jar of pesto which can be used again and again for half the price,

I forgot to picture it but there was also a Marston King Star Craft beer which was a well earned treat for Mr Kaos when he got home from a long day at his new job. He enjoyed it and said it was a nice strong tasting beer and for the price £1.70 was a reasonable beer. I would like to try some more from this range.

The last item in the box was this Bakedin Chocolate mug brownie. It was really easy to make and as I have a sweet tooth was a great desert for me when Mr Kaos didn't want one. I was extra cheeky and added a scoop of vanilla ice cream to mine after it was cooked just to have that warm brownie and creamy cold ice cream combo. I have seen some mug brownies for around a £1 and this one is £1.50 although I do think this was much better than the ones I had tried before and for the price you and ease of use you just can't complain.

So altogether the items at retail would have come to £20.85 and Degustabox is only £12.99 a month but you can get a saving on your first box by using the code I gave out in the video. A bargain for any family who want to try new meal ideas.

What do you think of Degustabox? Have you tried any of these products?

*Items were gifted for review but all opinions are my own

16 In 16 Revisited Goals Goals Goals

Hey Cats,

Have you missed me? If you have been keeping up with me on snapchat then you will know there have been lots of changes recently so what better way to talk about them and see where we are headed then to revisit the goals set at the beginning of the year in 16 in 16!

1. Travel More

Money has been tight and time has been limited so this one I haven't got to do so much unless you count going to and from Birmingham recently ha ha. We do however have a little birthday trip planned for Mr K to the one and only Blackpool! I haven't been since I was a little kid and am looking forward to a weekend of cheesy fun and even a horror bar! Travel doesn't always have to be about going abroad explore your area and the UK too!

2. Move

So excited to have finally moved out of a flat in Birmingham into a house in Darley Dale just down the road from Matlock. We have swapped busy city life for the countryside. Instead of a little one bed flat we have a lovely 3 bed cottage with most exciting of all a garden! I have missed having a garden and having so much space in the house is so strange. We only moved a week ago but it already feels like home I just wish the boxes would magically unpack themselves! 

3. New Job

With moving comes new opportunities and on snapchat I have been talking about my interviews and showing what I have been wearing to them. I had an interview for a dental receptionist job which I didn't get but I did bag an assistant manager job at a local charity shop so I get to combine two awesome things charity and shopping! Plus they loved the fact I was a blogger and I get to be myself and just relax. I haven't started just yet but am looking forward to a new challenge!

OOTD what I wore to the interview

4. Yoga

Hangs head in shame! Other than moving lots of boxes and putting things in scary attics I haven't really had the chance to do a lot of exercise but since I have a lot more space now I will be putting some focus on health and well being and yoga will be a great way to do this! I may even attempt riding a bike and if you know me then you know how strange that is as I have no balance at all. 

5. Write

Other than blogging I really haven't had the time which is a weak excuse I know but I still have 6 months to catch up and get some writing flowing. Blogging is a form of writing though and I often try and ensure I deliver you lovely readers varied content please do let me know what are your favourite posts to read.

6. Push myself out of my fashion comfort zone

I am still super interested in trying new styles and now I will have more money coming in that is totally something that I can achieve by the end of the year I may even see if anyone wants to join me for a style challenge! 

7.  Reach more people with the blog

I always feel blessed when people read and comment on the blog and I do think I have reached more people in the last 6 months. *waves* thank you to everyone old or new I appreciate you all. 

Bloglovin- 500 - currently at 404
Facebook- 700 - almost at 500
Twitter -    5000 - 2964 getting there!!
Instagram- 5000-1451 think I may be a bit too ambitious for this one 

Big goals maybe but you can help me get there by just giving me a follow!

8. Read 40 books in 2016

Always addicted to reading and even with the move I have still managed to have two books on the go. I am currently reading Crab moon a trashy horror book and Dorothy must die a tale of oz gone wrong! When I finish both these books I will be at 11 so far but I still have faith I can read 40 by the end of the year! Especially after unpacking all the books in the move I found so many I have been meaning to read and now is the perfect chance. You can also find me on goodreads.

9. Build Bridges and Heal

Although this is really an ongoing goal the thoughts I had in mind at the start of the year I have put behind me and am moving forward. Sadly sometimes that means knowing when a friendship has come to an end and heart breaking as it is you need to forgive and move on. I am in a good place and feel happier every day so this is something I will keep to. 

10. Experiment With Make up

I have been quietly experimenting with highlighters and contours but haven't mastered them just yet but this one I can't tick off this goal just yet because I still seems to be rocking the same make up in my make up bag day to day. I am going to get in the habit of rotating and trying new looks. I am so stoked that Kat Von D's range is going to be coming to the UK as well other than that , Any suggestions?

11. Get Driving

I went for an eye test so I am a step closer to the goal as I had some eye issues that were getting in the way. Driving is even more important now I am living in the country because wow country buses are crazy expensive! I am so on this goal.

12. Make A Short Film

I have the space and the ability just not the time right now but I am putting together ideas and the preparation is one of the most important things about making a film. People do not give the planning stages enough credit because without them there would be no film.

13. Do More Crafts

I have been working behind the scenes doing lots of little fun things that make me happy and I am slowly working my way through all those pinterest boards I put together for inspiration and trying new fun things. I am really enjoying making home made beauty and up cycling items that are awesome but just need a new lease of life.

14. Spend More Time With The Ones I Love

This is another ongoing goal and I have been spending lots of time with family especially as my dad has been very poorly and in hospital family are so important to me. I haven't seen nearly enough of some of my dear friends though so am hoping to catch up with them soon!

15. Small Acts Of Kindness

I am a big believer in making everyone feel special. You really do not know what is going on in someones life and how a little warmth from you can really make a difference. This is something I try and do all the time from dropping a random compliment to someone to paying for a strangers coffee. What have you done lately to be kind?

16. Give Less Fucks

I am all over this I am worrying less about what other people think like if my blog is good enough or if I am following the latest trends and instead focusing on the ones closest to me who really matter. Not to say I don't appreciate you all!

Did you set yourself any goals this year and how are they going?