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Kickass Bacon Pancakes

We all love our pancakes, and I prefer mine savoury. Not just savoury, but served with crispy bacon and butter. Sometimes, when I am in no rush and fancy a big breakfast, I even cook eggs and sausages. You could say, this is my version of an English breakfast.

Ingredients

2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 egg, lightly whisked

Serve with crispy, streaky bacon and butter (optional)

Method

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl
  2. Whisk in the lemon juice, whole milk and egg
  3. Leave the combined batter in the fridge for 20 minutes
  4. In the meantime, you can heat a non-stick frying pan and start cooking the streaky bacon in its own juices, until golden
  5. Clean the non-stick frying pan, and over medium heat, start frying the batter to make these lovely, fluffy pancakes. If your pan is good, you don’t need to put oil or butter.
  6. Allow around 2 minutes on one side, flip with a spatula and wait another 1 minute. Lower the heat if you notice that the pancake colour is darker than golden.

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With this recipe I make 9 pancakes of roughly 15 minutes in diameter. Serve with crispy bacon and butter, or anything else you might fancy for your breakfast!

And, if you don’t feel like making them yourself, look for some destinations that serve pancakes for breakfast.

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Destination: Cruise

If you are on a tight budget, and would prefer knowing how much your trip will cost you before even getting to your destination, then you are probably into the idea of going on a cruise! There are several other advantages when choosing to go on a cruise.

  • A cruise is as luxurious as it gets in terms of rooms – It is as moving hotel! Picture this, you have to unpack once, yet you get to see tons of different cities and exotic places. Your room will contain perks such as air-condition, flat-screen TV, a mini-bar, wardrobe space as well as tea and coffee making facilities.image.png
  • You don’t even have to think that far ahead on where to go for drinks or meals as you have several options under one roof. Not just that, but it is included in the price! On top of that, one can enjoy the entertainment provided. From live music, to west-end shows, to quizzes, casino and even stand-up comedy! There is really something for all ages!

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  • You don’t have to do much planning – You just have to be ready to go when the ship comes in. Who doesn’t enjoy being driven around – Less stress, more fun!
  • Traveling on a cruise is most definitely more convenient – You get to enjoy whatever you fancy, move around at your convenience, and appreciate the fresh air! Highly recommended for those who are claustrophobic or afraid of flying!

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  • If you enjoy socialising, going on a cruise is by far the best way to meet new people. People tend to enjoy chatting and getting to know each other, especially when drinking is involved.

There are many destinations to choose from, and you can get on a cruise ship from any continent in the world, as long as it has a port:

  • Sail from Newcastle, UK to the Fjords and Glaciers. This is a dream destination for me when it comes to enjoying a holiday in Northern Europe. This one week long cruise would take you to Flam, Skjolden, Bergen and Olden in Norway. These picturesque villages offer beautiful sightseeing opportunities ranging from mountains, to glaciers, to even historical cobbled streets.

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Nærøyfjord, Norway
  • Leaving from Montenegro Bay in Jamaica, embark a cruise liner for the next 15 days. Enjoy the rainforests in Costa Rica, Panama, the coastline in Colombia, old towns in Cuba, followed by the white sandy beaches in Mexico. This is truly a magnificent way of appreciating the simple life away from modern, hectic America.

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Havana, Cuba
  • The eastern Mediterranean offers so much when it comes to history; A 7 nights cruise would cover stops such as Alanya in Turkey, which is the legendary hangout spot for Queen Cleopatra, the holy sites in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and of course Crete – famous for the Greek mythology remains.

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Alanya, Turkey
 

Personally, I like the idea of going on a cruise, to relax and sample destinations. This way, I can decide which localities are worth revisiting for a longer time period in the future.

Happy New Year!

So, every new year we all say how we are going to change for the better, or  how we are going to start exercising, or perhaps be better with how we spend our money etc.

From my end, this year I will not do any new year resolutions.

 

I think I am old enough to realise, that all the new year resolutions are broken one day or another, so I am going to be realistic and simply try to lead a good life, which I believe I have done so in the last 29 years 🙂

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Thanks Google for a gorgeous London fireworks photo.

 

May I remind you that I started off this blog as a new yearbr resolution back in 2014, and luckily I am still pursuing this; mainly because it has been of substantial help to me in expressing myself both in writing and creativity.

Throwback to my first ever blog post here. And, before I leave you so I go and share this day with my family, here’s one of my best articles from last year – All the best guys!

Skincare SOS! Simple Solutions For Winter Woes

Winter can be a troublesome time when it comes to your skin. The elements can take their toll and leave your skin looking dull and feeling dry and flaky. If you’re keen to prevent winter woes, here are simple skincare solutions.

Get your blood pumping

Exercise is usually linked to losing weight and gaining fitness. But it also offers incredible benefits for your skin. When your body is moving, your circulation increases. This enables important nutrients to reach your skin, and toxins to be removed from your body. When you’re working out, your skin may not look great. Many people feel self-conscious when they’re hot and sweaty. However, you should notice the benefits once you’ve cooled down. Your complexion should look clearer, brighter, and more youthful. Try and avoid the temptation of wearing makeup when you’re working out. This can clog your pores, and increase the risk of breakouts.

skinImage from https://pixabay.com/en/outdoor-sport-runner-exercise-1270804/

Go for a massage

Massage spa treatments are famed for their relaxation properties. However, they can also be hugely beneficial for your skin. When you have a massage, your therapist will often use creams and oils that nourish and hydrate your skin. The movements and actions they use also increase blood flow. There are lots of different types of massage, such as Swedish massage and hot stone massage. If you’re not sure which option to go for, do some research. The spa or therapist you choose will also be able to give you recommendations based on your needs or preferences. If you have back pain, for example, one type of massage may be more beneficial than another.

skin1Image credit https://pixabay.com/en/wellness-massage-sound-massage-285591/

Stay hydrated

When it’s warm outside, it’s easy to get through gallons of water. In the winter, it can be hard to stay hydrated. Your skin often shows the first signs of dehydration. You may notice that it feels dry or your complexion lacks radiance. Try and ensure that you drink enough water each day. Ideally, you should aim for at least 2 liters. If you don’t like plain water, add sugar-free cordial. If you find it hard to hit your daily target, make sure you carry a bottle of water around with you at all times.

skin2Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/aquamech-utah/24441559784

Moisturise frequently

Wind and rain can cause your skin to become dry and irritated. In the cooler months, it’s essential to pay due care and attention to moisturisation. You’ll need a thicker, heavier cream than you could use in the summer. Don’t just apply lotion to your face. Cover your whole body, including your hands. When it’s chilly outside, your hands can often become very dry. If you have sensitive skin, try and avoid perfumed products. Look out for creams that are specially designed for dry skin. Don’t forget to look after your lips. Use lip balm once or twice a day to keep chapped lips at bay.

skin3Image from https://pixabay.com/en/skin-care-cosmetics-natural-1309504/

Winter can be notoriously harsh on your skin. This winter, follow these simple steps to keep your skin nourished. If you’re prone to problems, and you can’t find a solution, see your doctor or a dermatologist. They will be able to recommend treatments and self-help tips.

Perfect Perth

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Perth not only enjoys wonderful weather, beautiful beaches and a laid back demeanor but there is more to this captivating city than the myriad of bars, restaurants and activities. Perth’s pristine parkland, nearby bush, and river and ocean beaches allow its visitors to spread out and enjoy what’s on offer.

The transport system is fabulous but to truly take advantage of all that’s on offer you may wish to hire a car. Burswood Car Rentals offers free delivery to all city hotels allowing you to explore further afield and visit some of the less well known yet spectacular spots that cost next to nothing. (Please note that costs may apply for some activities)

Shoalwater Islands Marine Park is accessible from Rockingham which is less than an hour’s drive south of Perth. Swarming with marine life including sea stars and urchins as well as a number of fish species flitting through the shipwrecks and makes for excellent diving, snorkeling and wildlife watching. While in the water you’ll probably run into a pod of bottle-nose dolphins and can swim with these on the regularly operated tours.

Penguin Island, a breeding colony for an array of perth1incredible birds, has Little Penguins which breed in the burrows and you can watch them being fed at the interactive center.

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If you have a dive permit, The Saxon Ranger, a 400 tonne former fishing vessel takes residence at the Park. The boat is first purpose sunk dive wreck in the Perth metropolitan area.

Just 20 minutes east of Perth, sample the divine fruits of the vineyards of Western Australia’s oldest wine region at the Swan Valley and Darling Range.  Here you may indulge on award-winning local produce, discover the incredible local heritage or simply relax in the stunning bush-land of the Darling Range. The antithesis of the bustle of city life, it can be reached via road or aboard a Swan River Cruise from Perth’s Barrack Street Jetty.

Sharing a glass of red with the vineyard owners, they are happy to recount stories of the generations of their families who owned the vineyards before them, some dating back to the early European settlers.

With over 70 eateries to choose from you are spoiled for choice or pack a lunch enjoying the breathtaking views of your surroundings.

You can also partake in many activities including horse riding, cycling and Indigenous culture.

perth2If you fancy getting even closer to some furry friends, head to Caversham Wildlife Park –  where close encounters with kangaroos and koalas is order of the day.

Alternatively you could choose to drive along the Great Eastern Highway to the blissful tranquillity of the Avon Valley heritage town in under an hour and a half. One of the few towns in WA to hold ‘Historic Town’ status, the proud residents of York have taken great care over restoring its many Victorian and Federation buildings. Due to retaining its heritage charms, it remains Perth’s favourite country escape.

No wonder this area is a top spot for romantic weekends or family fun.

Doctor Who Experience will close Summer 2017

…In the Dalek’s own words…. “Exterminate!”

As many of you know, I adore Wales and I frequently visit this country, for various reasons. If there was a yearly membership club (or even lifetime), I would totally get it. But today, I have read a piece of news, that has disappointed the geek in me.

dw4If you, like me are a big DoctorWho fan, you know that in the south of Wales, in Cardiff Bay, there is the Doctor Who Experience. Taking into consideration, all things Doctor Who TV Series related that have happened in Cardiff, this is by far the most appropriate location for this fan space.

This year marks the 4th year of the opening of this museum, which I have visited and enjoyed last year in Summer. Due to the agreement BBC Worldwide has made with the Council of the City of Cardiff, the sub-lease will expire in Summer 2017.

Furthermore, closing such attraction would also mean less tourists to the South of Wales, as the Doctor Who franchise and fandom can be considered as an international thing. Doctor Who Experience is currently rated as the number 6 thing to do in Cardiff on Trip Advisor with over 3,000 reviews.

I guess, this is me urging you to visit before it is too late. It is as of yet not known whether such an official place would open elsewhere, so this might be the only opportunity you have to visit such an amazing place full of props used within the TV Series, including previously used Tardis(es) on the set.

Source: Wales Online

Want to Drive Sooner Rather than Later? Here Are the Keys to Success!

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When you’ve decided that you want to drive, the wait between the decision and actually getting your license can be torturous. Most learners just want to get on the road and start exercising their newfound vehicular freedom. Well, the key to doing that is to become a driving pro in as short a time as possible. Here are some essential suggestions for you.

Start the preparations now

If you’re reading this article, you might be on the verge of taking your driving test. But it’s also possible that you haven’t even applied for a provisional license yet! It’s important that you do this as soon as possible. One reason you may not have done this is that you haven’t reached the legal driving age yet. Depending on where you are or what you plan to drive, this is generally between 16 and 18. But you can usually apply for provisional licenses three months before you turn of legal driving age! You should also get together any other documents you’ll need.

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Thinking theoretically

A lot of people get stuck on the theory side of driving. One of the great things about theory is precisely that – it’s just theory! This means you can start getting practice in whenever you want. Some forward-thinking parents even have their kids study in a couple of years before they can legally drive. Get familiar with the various highway rules, as well as how the average driver behaves on the road. Start getting it in your head now!

Formal crash courses

One of the most popular ways of getting through this process quickly is by doing a crash course. I know that “crash” sounds bad in the context of driving, but it’s not about crashing. A crash course in driving offers you the required practice and learning hours within a week or two. It’s intense and fast, and requires a lot of spare time. It also tends to be quite expensive. Most people won’t have the time or the means to do it in this fashion. But the option is there!

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Longer lessons

Instead of going into full-on, intense crash courses, you could simply take longer lessons. Most learners will only take hour-long lessons at a time, maybe once a week or every two weeks. But as long as your driving instructor is able to do so, you can get lessons lasting two or three hours. This ensures that your required learning hours build up much faster. Of course, you need to be confident that you can absorb all the required information when you’re doing it this way!

Practice tests

You know what accounts for a surprisingly large amount of time during this process? Waiting to take your test once you’ve booked it. The people who oversee these tests are very busy. You may have to wait for just a few days, or you may have to wait several weeks. That, of course, is if you can even find a time that accommodates both of you in that period of time! Imagine how much time is lost when you have to take your test again. Your test is going to be very different from your lessons, and this surprises most learners. One of the best ways to tackle this is to take a practice test beforehand. Check this site out to find out more about practice tests.

Build up those practice hours

Lessons cost a lot of money. But aside from car running costs, practice hours are virtually free! It’s important that you get as many practice hours in as you can. These are the hours that you spend with a licensed driver overseeing some informal driving. You need to accumulate a large number of practice hours before you can take your test. But the key to quick success could be to take on even more practice hours than is required. You need to perfect those maneuvers and really get your head around the roads and codes. This will give you a big advantage when it comes to taking your test and passing it first time.

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Know your routes

Do you know where your test is going to take place? If so, then it’s vital you check this area out before the day. Spend some of your practice hours there. One of the most common reasons for failure during a test is that the learner is unfamiliar with the territory. Even seasoned drivers are a little more cautious in new areas. You should make sure you know the roads as well as possible. Consider using your practice hours to cover the five or so mile radius that comprises that territory.

Hate Mail

You know you are doing a fantastic job with your blog when amongst your website mail, you start receiving hate mail, or better known as jealous mail.

And you know what? How insecure and pathetic can you be, to send over 3 separate mails  one after the other, in a matter of 4 minutes,without the decency of signing them with your own name and contact details? Clearly, the person who has issues, is the person who hides behind a computer and a fake name. Need I say more?

hm.pngAnd to answer your question; yes, I do screen my comments on this page, and this is for a few reasons:

1. Believe it or not, I receive a lot of spam

2. I do not tolerate ignorant people who either try to:

  • Make fun of what I have said, coming into their own conclusions without verifying if it is true with me first
  • Try to troll others who reply to my blog post

I respect everyone who spends some of their precious time to reply to my articles, and I don’t mind being criticised or challenged but obviously, it needs to be in a constructive manner and not done immaturely. I do research what I write about, unless I am writing about a personal experience, but I am only human and I can be wrong at times.

Kindly also bare in mind, that replying to my comments or emailing me disrespectfully may result into a harassment case and I take these matters seriously.

Having said that, all publicity is good publicity; So, THANK YOU 😉

Post-college Travel: How Can You Afford It?

Post-college graduation is an excellent time for you to start traveling. You have a great education and the means to make some money. You might not set off on your travels right away, but maybe you’re desperate to start making some trips. The only problem is, you might not be making too much money after college. Plus, many people have mountains of debt they have to overcome. So if you want to travel after college, how can you afford it? Fortunately, you have lots of options to make travel affordable. Try some of these techniques to ensure you can see the world.

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Deal with Your Student Debt

When you first leave college, one of your greatest concerns is probably your student debt. It’s hanging over your head, and you want to get rid of it as soon as possible. But there’s a lot of it, and you have other expenses to take care of too. How can you travel when you have so much money to repay? The first thing you should do is look into Obama student loan forgiveness. You might be able to have some or all of your debt removed so you no longer have to repay. The next thing to do is consider consolidating your loans or managing them in another way. Create a budget to ensure you’re making timely payment.

Lock Down a Job First

Going traveling straight after graduation sounds great. However, you’re unlikely to have much money. Maybe your parents will be kind enough to loan or gift you some. But once it’s run out, that’s it. Before you set off on your travels, it’s a good idea to find your first post-college job. Here’s the crucial part: you need one with good vacation time. Of course, that shouldn’t be your only criterion. But a steady income coupled with flexible vacation time will allow you to travel more.

Travel Frugally

Traveling doesn’t have to mean 5-star hotel and first class flights. You can see so much more if you’re willing to budget your travels properly. You can save by staying in hostels or even camping. You can find cheap places to eat or perhaps avoid eating out altogether. If you stay in a hostel or maybe a homestay, you can cook for yourself. Book your trips at the right times to get the best deals. Go to the right destinations too, where you can get more for your money.

Combine Work and Travel

Here’s another idea: work as you travel. You can look for work programs in various countries that allow you to experience a new country and earn money. You could work as an au pair or in hospitality. There’s seasonal work and other opportunities. You could also consider volunteering or combining travel with studying. You can get experience in the workforce while also gaining life experience. You might even learn a new language.

Traveling after college is achievable if you go about it in the right way. Consider your dreams carefully to plan them successfully.

Find Your Centers Of Spirituality Around The World

Human nature leads many of us to find spirituality during our lives. You may seek religion, meditation, or community. Whatever your choices in life, it can be a wonderful experience to seek out other centers of spirituality. We’re all different, but many of us are united in our love for travel. Why not check out some of these wonderful places next time you take a vacation?

India

The Garhwal region is home to four of the holy shrines of Hinduism collectively known as Chota Char Dham. The area itself is stunning. Just being here can be an experience you’ll never want to forget. The landscape is so beautiful and so peaceful, it’s no wonder people come here to explore the spirituality of the region. The rivers here are very significant, so it’s worth making an effort to explore their paths.

You can also find an important center for Yoga here, with many options for a retreat. If you enjoy the physical side of Yoga practice why not come to explore the internal or spiritual side? If nothing else, it’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with new people. Cities like Mumbai offer plenty of fascinating temples to visit as well. Some are an integral part of beautiful cave systems. Others are magnificent stone structures of extraordinary architectural design.

United Kingdom

Stonehenge is a mystery. It has been there for thousands of years, but nobody can determine with certainty why. Even more mysterious is the answer to the question how. It doesn’t seem to be humanly possible for the stones to have been erected in that place at that time. Yet they exist, and they continue to be an important center of spirituality for people all over the world. The position of the sun has been successfully charted using these giant standing stones. This makes it an important place for gathering during the solstice.

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Standing stones are more common than you think in the UK. Orkney’s Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar are Neolithic. These ancient structures must have been incredibly important to our ancestors. It was during a time when life on earth here would have been harsh. While they don’t draw as many visitors as the Salisbury Plains, the atmosphere here is no less captivating.

Egypt

Ancient Egyptians worshiped their pharaohs but also had deeply held beliefs of their other gods and deities. Animal shaped statues and ornaments are still revered, and many are on display for visitors to see. The connection to their past is still highly regarded by modern-day Egyptians. But is it perhaps the magnificent pyramids, like those at Giza, that we marvel at.

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Getting in touch with an ancient culture’s spirituality is more than just an educational experience. It can be a route to finding your own interests and perhaps even the roots of some of your own ideals. More than anything it is a connection to past civilizations not so distant from our own.

We all find spirituality, faith, and connection in different ways and in different places. Why not add a few more places to your list?