The pantry

Stock for food emergencies

When was the last time you checked your pantry? Do you even know what kinds of food you’ve stocked in it?

As we’re nearing Christmas and New Year’s Eve, many of my friends and clients are going to cook something special for their families. A holiday is a wonderful reason to celebrate and enjoy delicious dishes together with your loved ones.

Last week, we started looking into the fridge, giving it a good cleaning and getting rid of expired foods. Now, let’s check out your pantry.

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No shopping for one month

I’ve read a number of articles where folks experimented how long they’d last not buying something. Often, shopping has a very calming effect. In the short-run, it gives you that pleasant feeling. Almost like a reward. You’ve made it through another tough day at work. Treat yourself to that nice handbag, that lipstick or that dress. You are worth it. It will make you feel so much better!

Yet, shortly afterwards, this positive feeling changes into guilty. Did I really need that handbag? How can I justify spending so much on a lipstick? Is that dress really looking that good on me?

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Meal options for the busy you

Like most of us, I’m really looking forward to the long weekend. The last few weeks were rather packed with work, travel and fun activities. A few peaceful days with my loved ones and without email will be great.

A number of my friends are in a similar position. A little be of quiet time to reflect. One friend is regularly looking at her life and is making changes to improve it. Having started a new role recently, she’s now facing the daily cooking dilemma. Going out, ordering in, picking something up from the supermarket or making something from scratch?

Are you also struggling with the daily question “Honey, what’s for dinner”? Whatever your family situation, meal planning can take a load of your shoulders and give you some peace of mind.

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Time savers = Life savers?

Do you ever have the feeling that time just flies by? This happened to me this last weekend. It was a fun packed one. An organising job, meeting my friends, playing a decent round of golf and finally having purchased new bedroom curtains. Luckily, I didn’t have to do any of the boring or time consuming activities. I’m very grateful for having found some time saving shortcuts, making my life a lot easier. Here are some of my favourite time savers = life savers:

  • Automate your bills and savings. Set up a direct debit or standing order and have your mortgage/rent, utility, TV and phone bills paid directly. While you’re at it, create a regular transfer on pay day and put however much you can afford to into a savings account.

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Eid Mubarak – Getting ready for the celebration of the summer

The last few weeks have been hot and humid. Fasting under these conditions was not easy. Yet, it’s a sacrifice a lot of Muslims are making every Ramadan. The holy month, as Ramadan is also referred to, will end this weekend with Eid Al-Fitr. Eid Al-Fitr is the Festival of the Breaking the Fast or Sweet Festival, celebrated with loads of sweet foods. You may wish your Muslim friends and colleagues “Eid Mubarak” (Blessed Eid).

Let’s get ready for the celebration of the summer with my top 5 tips:

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Start your day the night before

Do you know this scenario: You feel like you’ve just woken up yet it’s already time to rush out of the door? Do you ask yourself where the morning has just gone? So often, we seem to forget that the next day actually starts the night before. What can you do to prepare for a stress-free morning? Here are 7 tips which will help you to plan ahead and relax:

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Meal planning – 10 easy tips

It was shocking to read that the average US American household throws out about $900 worth of food year. You could have gone on a nice trip for that money!

I’m a big fan of waste less and save more. Meal planning is a fabulous way to achieve this. The dreaded question “Honey, what’s for dinner tonight?” is no more. You’ll make healthier dinner choices and will save on groceries. So many benefits, but how do you start a meal plan? Here are 10 easy tips:

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Be aware: Energy vampires

Living in the Middle East, where temperatures can easily reach 45-50C (113-122F) in the summer, the thought of a siesta or afternoon nap to recharge your battery is very appealing. This morning, my colleague Marie was telling me this morning how low her energy levels were. Bang! At 2 am, she was bright awake and couldn’t fall back asleep. I’m sure Marie would have preferred the option for a power nap after lunch.

I can so emphasise with the siesta idea as I’m coming across various energy vampires during my day. This is referring to individuals who are sucking the life out of you. For me, multi-tasking is probably the biggest and more stressful one. Answering a call and simultaneously checking my emails or calculating something in excel don’t work. Every day, there’s a new study released which confirms that multitasking is not leading to increased productivity!

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