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Stop being a Sloth: How to get Motivated

We love sloths. They’ve shot to fame since the internet fell in love with their strange long arms, cute little faces and ‘take it slow’ approach. Unfortunately, this post isn’t about those kind of sloths. We’re sorry if that’s why you’re here – please see “Cute Sloths Being Cute“.

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We’re talking about one of the Seven Deadly Sins, associated with feelings of laziness and a sluggish mindset: Slothfulness.

We’ve all felt the sloth from time to time, its long arms draped around your shoulders (metaphorical sloth, not cute sloth), dragging you down and telling you to neglect your responsibilities. After all, it’s so easy to give that project an extra day (or week) and put off that task for a while longer…

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But enough is enough!

It’s time to shake that attitude away and start the year with a sloth free mindset. Get motivated and reach your goals without letting that negativity get you down.

I know what you’re thinking, you’ve tried writing a to-do list, you’ve done the glass of lemon water in the morning, you’ve watched the motivational YouTube clips and decluttered your workspace – yet it’s still a struggle. Do not fear, whilst these things are helpful, motivation requires a change in mindset. It’s a tricky thing to get your head around and it won’t be easy, but it’s so worth it. Here are a few tips to help you make that change.

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Be positive
Yes, it sounds like a big first step, but it’s key. Most people procrastinate when they’re in a bad mood and entertain negative thoughts as opposed to positive. This mostly comes down to fear. It’s easy to explore worst case scenarios and worry about a task instead of getting started, but that’s where fear can keep you demotivated. Separate unknown worries and feel confident you can handle anything that gets in the way of your goal. Keep the glass half full.

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Reward yourself
There’s no use starting a project all at once, break it down into manageable tasks and tackle each one individually. Once you’ve completed a task, reward yourself for doing well (the reward can be anything you like). Studies have shown that after completing a demanding job, rewarding ourselves makes us feel energised. If you deprive yourself of reward, you may feel burnt-out and less likely to continue with your good work.

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Get in with the right crowd
Peer pressure. It’s bad right? Don’t do things you don’t want to, just to fit in. Agreed. But we’re talking about a healthy kind of peer pressure ;).
Research has indicated that the groups of people you associate with are a good predictor of the sort of person you’ll become. For example, if you’re socialising with friends that regularly give-up on endeavours and practice activities you’re trying to avoid, it’s only natural that you will adopt these behaviours. Start hanging out with the people who are self-motivated and their habits will rub off on you. Give it a go!

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This should be enough to get you started, it’ll take time and it won’t be easy, so good luck! But if you have other suggestions you’ve found useful yourself, we’d love to know!

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Sticking to “New Year, new you” ?

Firstly, we’d like to start off by stating that we don’t really support the whole “New year, New you” theme. It’s overdone, dated and not a very modern way of welcoming you into the New Year.

Basically, it’s tacky and we hate it.

This year, why not retain the same you, and focus more on certain goals you’re aiming to achieve? Don’t forget everything you practiced last year – just introduce some balance 😉 .

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Here are some top tips for helping you stick to those healthier lifestyle changes!

It’s just another day

New Year’s Day isn’t spectacularly different from any other day (well apart from that first day of the year malarkey), so technically deciding to make a resolution on this day isn’t different from any other day! Placing too much emphasis on making a big change can make it seem like a BIG commitment, and you’ll only be beating yourself up when you cave and eat that bar of chocolate you swore you wouldn’t have. Think of your resolution as a bit of a trial run and just see how it goes … no pressure.

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Don’t push yourself too hard

Decided to make several resolutions this year? We’ve all been there – heading to the gym to kick-start that new routine, then eating a salad for lunch because you’re trying to cut down on sugar and before you know it you’re dying to veg out in front of the telly with a bowl of popcorn. It’s great to set several goals for yourself this year, but if you try too much at once, if might be a shock to the system! Ease yourself into your new routine and take some time to treat yourself now and again ;).

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Be specific (with goals)

Telling yourself that you’ll “try a new activity” this year might be a little too vague. Try “This year I want to join a tennis club” or “This year I want to pass my grade 1 on piano”. Being specific with your goals will provide you with direction and make it simple to get to where you want to be.

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Get mindful

There are going to be moments this year where you feel like it’s all getting a bit much. 2017 couldn’t be a better time to give mindfulness a go. If you haven’t heard about it, it’s a great introduction to meditation and giving your mind a rest. Google it to get an idea 😉 .

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Get a buddy

If you’ve got a friend that also wants to make a change this year, pair up and work together! Having someone that understands what you’re aiming for makes that journey much easier. It’s also harder to get out of going to the gym if you’ve got somebody relying on you 😉 .

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Homemade Santa Sleigh Stocking Fillers!

🎵Sleigh bells ringgg, are you listening?🎵

Christmas is nearly here and those stockings won’t fill themselves 😉 . Your stocking gifts this year may feature satsumas, stationary, socks, gloves or possibly coal (if somebody’s not been playing by the rules this year).

But sweet treats will always make an appearance at Christmas and we’ve stumbled across a great, creative way of giving chocolates and sweets a Christmassy touch … DIY Santa sleighs!

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Simple and easy to do, these nifty, sweet treat creations make great stocking fillers or even small gifts for friends & family over the festive period.

Customise them with your giftee’s favourite sweets and chocolates and tie them together with some ribbon and name tags!

Top tips

Candy canes are perfect for the base

The stacked sweets might wobble a bit, so double sided sticky tape helps!

The more treats the better for a sleigh full of goodies

Stick Santa at the head of the sleigh to complete the look

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notes-of-nutmeg

Choc-Chip Banana Cupcakes

Okay, so I LOVE banana cake. I can confidently say that choc chip banana loaf is my all-time favourite and these cupcakes are a really cute alternative! I wasn’t sure of the recipe at first because the cupcakes on their own are very sweet but with the dark, smooth, slightly bitter ganache on top, it balances out perfectly and they go down a treat.

 

Choc-chip banana cupcakes:

For the cupcakes:

225g unsalted butter, softened

225g caster sugar

225g self-raising flour

4 eggs

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

225g mashed ripe bananas

150g dark chocolate chips

For the ganache:

300g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces

150ml double cream

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 175°c /Gas mark 4 and put 18 paper (or silicon if that’s your jam) cupcake cases into cupcake or muffin tins.
  2. Put the butter, sugar, flour, eggs and nutmeg into a large mixing bowl and go at it with an electric mixer until it’s smooth. (That’ll probably take a minute or so but if you decide to go by hand, it might take a bit longer.)
  3. Stir in your mashed bananas until they’re well combined (it’ll make the mixture look a bit porridgy but don’t worry about that). Then stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon the batter into the cases and try to make them even. (If you’re going for professionally identical cupcakes, I’d suggest using an ice cream scoop or piping bag to make the amounts in each case super even.)
  5. Bake the cupcakes for 20-30 minutes, they should be a little risen and spongy but not gooey. Cool them in the tins for at least 5 minutes then transfer them to a cooling rack until they’re cold.

[TIP] In the baking/cooling hiatus, it is always a good idea to have a clear up and prepare whatever frosting you are using

  1. For the ganache, put your chocolate in a medium sized bowl then heat the cream in your smallest saucepan until its bubbling gently but don’t boil it. Once it’s hot, take it off the heat and pour it quickly over the chocolate pieces and stir quickly until the cream has melted all the chocolate and you’re left with smooth, silky heaven-in-a-bowl.
  2. Once the cupcakes are cool, spread your ganache on in whatever fashion you like: rustic-style or fancy piping. Take liberties with the decoration and make it your own but if you are in need of inspiration, you could place a banana chip on top or coat them in white choc-chips, totally up to you!
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About me

Hi,meg-2

I’m Megan – a British A-level student with a serious love of baking.

I’ve loved baking from a young age and still feel that there’s nothing better than whipping up a bake in my spare time to satisfy the sweet tooth of anyone around. If you’re craving cake, I’m your girl! Baking is a relaxing hobby, but there are times those dreaded kitchen catastrophes cause meltdowns and it just doesn’t go to plan. My hope for this blog is that I have all those disaster moments first, so you don’t have to! That way, baking can be your relaxing hobby.

In addition to plenty of home baking, my claim to fame is being the reigning champion of the Cakes vs Pies competition at Children in Need’s Carfest. I baked a 3-tier festival themed cake which was judged by Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry themselves! As y­­ou can see I was over the moon when I won …

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Mary Berry, myself and Chris Evans

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It was a great day, but getting that cake right was not plain sailing! In fact, at one point there was total cake collapse! But in true Bake Off style I picked myself up and got there in the end.

I will be posting recipes, tutorials, hints & tips – anything baking related that takes my fancy! Please feel free to comment and suggest ideas 🙂

I look forward to baking with you soon,

Megan

(Notes of Nutmeg)

P.S. Birthday cakes are a favourite of mine, so here are some of my Best Birthday Bakes!

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Christmas Gift Guide 2016

Christmas shopping can get a bit much when time’s ticking away and you’ve left it all last minute … not to fear, we’ve picked out some of our top Salter gifts this year to give you some ideas. Get a head start on the xmas rush and see what we have to offer!

For Him

Heston Blumenthal’s 5-in-1 Cooking Thermometer540hbsscr_1

A great gadget for the kitchen this year, Heston Blumenthal’s 5-in-1 thermometer is so jam-packed with features that you can use it for everything! Roasting, BBQ food, Deep frying, confectionery and manual timings make it a must-have. Designed with an “Intelligent Roasting” feature, this nifty device can measure oven temperature and food temperature to calculate the finish time of your dish! Great for helping Dad cook that Turkey to perfection.

£49.99, Heston’s 5-in-1 Digital Cooking Thermometer

For Her

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Taking the cooking scene by storm this year, no kitchen is complete without a mixer. Featuring six speeds and a stainless steel bowl, this mixer includes a diecast beater, diecast dough hook and stainless steel whisk – perfect for general whipping, mixing and kneading tasks! The mixer has a tilt head design with a safety switch and a splash guard to prevent that cake mixture getting halfway across the kitchen ;). Whether it’s your mum, sister, partner or best friend, if they’re a keen baker, this food stand mixer could be the answer.

£149.99, Food Stand Mixer (600w)

Fave Stocking filler!

Milk Frother

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A slick little kitchen gizmo, this electronic frother whisks up the frothiest tasty milkshakes and cappuccinos! It’s also handy for whipping up light sauces in no time.  If you’ve got someone in mind that loves a tasty drink, this stainless steel utensil makes for a super stocking filler.

£9.99, Electronic Milk Frother

For the fit and healthy

Fruit and Veg Spiralizer

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On trend and a great way to get healthy eating into everyday meals, this spiralizer makes it simple to create curly noodles out of fruit and vegetables! The perfect Christmas gift this year for that family member that loves getting their 5 a day.

£29.99, Fruit and Vegetable Spiralizer

The Kitchen Superstar

Salter Cook

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Get connected with Salter cook, the innovative recipe app that lets you create and convert recipes straight from the web! The app is free to download and works brilliantly as a portable recipe book, but also connects to the Bluetooth Recipe Scale and thermometer to make cooking more interactive and fun. This is the perfect Christmas gift this year for those passionate about cooking.

Salter Cook app (free to download!)

£79.99, Cook Bluetooth Recipe Scale

£49.99, Cook Bluetooth Thermometer

Interested in other Christmas gifts we have on offer? Check out the full list here: http://www.salterhousewares.co.uk/christmas-gifts