Best Inflatable Hot Tub on the Market

The Lay-Z-Spa Monaco is a high quality inflatable hot tub.We all love to chill out and relax in a hot bath. Add some jets and bubbles into the mix and you literally have the perfect relaxing environment. This is exactly what a blow up hot tub intends to do for you and if you wish to achieve the same results at home then you have a choice between an inflatable hot tub or a fixed tub. A lot of people start off by looking at fixed tubs to have installed in their homes. However, most of these people end up being put off by the total price of buying the tub and having it installed. Alongside this, they are also put off by the high volume of work required for the maintenance of these tubs. This is the reason that we all end up going out and trying to find the best product in the UK market.

Inflatable hot tubs are brilliant because they are supposed to provide the exact same results but without the huge costs and significant additional advantages. The first of this is the fact that you can easily use the tub whenever you want and then put it away when the season is over. The tub can also be moved from place to place so it is far more advantageous when it comes to the portability and convenience.

When it comes to the UK market, we don’t have a huge list of products to choose from. However, there are some extremely high quality products available. All of these come with different designs, sizes and performance levels. As a result of this, you need to compare each and every inflatable spa before you can determine which one is the best and which one you would prefer. Generally speaking, the difference in price is not too great and you should always be willing to spend a tiny bit more in order to buy the best inflatable hot tub.

After comparing different inflatable spas across the UK market, it is easy to determine the best inflatable hot tub. When it comes to the price, the largest capacity and the best overall quality, the Lay-Z-Spa Monaco is the one that really excels. It is the largest so you are bound to be paying a lot more than any other product. However, everything used to make this spa is of the highest quality and provides the highest performance. Take a look at the structure for example. The leatheroid and material used for the construction is of high quality and will ensure that that the blow up hot tub remains in the most perfect condition for a long while yet.

In addition to the use of durable material, the good thing about the Lay-Z-Spa Monaco is that all the latest technology has been incorporated into the spa as well. There is an impressive Lay-Z-Spa massaging system that will be perfect for providing you with that perfect relaxing sensation. In addition to this, the water heater is also very efficient and can heat the water in no time at all. The air pump can be utilised via digital means while the entire blow up hot tub can be used with this control panel. All of these elements ensure that the Lay-Z-Spa Monaco excels in every aspect that you are supposed to look at when buying a inflatable hot tub. Despite the size, it can still be moved around fairly easily while you can also opt to deflate it and keep it stored away if you wish.

Another good thing is that you get the entire start up guide and a DVD that will help you get started with the entire process of assembly and maintenance. In my opinion, this point combines very well with the above characteristics to ensure that the Bestway Lay-Z-Spa Monaco is one of the best inflatable hot tubs you can get inside in the UK right now.

The Vegan Whoopie Pie

Typically on Sunday mornings my workout consists of a 60-minute Spin class. However, given that my latest fitness goal is to enjoy running before the gorgeous summer weather hits the UK, I decided Sundays will now be spent pounding the pavement.

I completed 5.25 miles in 60 minutes this past Sunday morning, and my workout looked something like this:

1-5 minutes – Warm-up

5-46 minutes – Intervals of one minute walking, two minutes running

47-60 minutes – Running

I discovered something else during this very sweaty and satisfying workout. While I may prefer pop, hip-hop and rap music for Step, Spin, weights and other cardio workouts, including the elliptical, for the treadmill I much prefer ROCK! I kept toggling though my playlist for songs by Rise Against, Avenged Sevenfold, Shinedown, Muse, Blink-182 and others. Who knew?!

After my fabulous workout and a very successful trip to the supermarket, the wife and I headed out to yet another festival on Sunday afternoon – Veggie Fest!

Full disclosure: we have decided that was our last festival for 2016. Let’s just say I’ve had my fill of sweaty crowds, £3 bottles of water and dirty flip-flops to last until 2017! Veggie Fest is a vegetarian festival held last Saturday and Sunday here in our city. Admission was free, parking was free and there were lots of free samples of lots of goodies. It was such a strange feeling to know that there was not a single food item that I “couldn’t” have – seeing as everything was either vegetarian or vegan.

The wife took their Vegetarian Challenge and ate a plant-based diet all week. Our first stop was to pick up his free swag bag!

We made our way through the fest, sampling various treats.

By this time, the wife was starving and ready to have lunch. The lunch, she decided, would be of the Mexican variety.

It consisted of vegetarian nachos with very hot salsa and jalapenos.

I had eaten lunch before we left the house, but somehow managed to save room for dessert. After scoping the numerous choices, there was no doubt.

“One Whoopie Pie, please!”

After we headed home, I was able to lay out all my new goodies – lots of snacks, coupons, recipes and reading materials! You got to love swag!

We ended our Sunday evening dining al fresco (spicy black bean burgers, with guacamole and salsa) and taking a leisurely walk around our neighbourhood.

That sums up our perfect day!

Back to School Snacks

As summer comes to an end and life starts to get busy, it can be hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The key here is to be prepared when hunger and cravings strike.

Here are some snack ideas for those who are going back to school after the holidays.Whether you’re a student or full time professional, you have to have the right tools in your arsenal to survive the day. These tools come in the form of healthy snacks and here are my favourites for when I’m on the go.

1. Fruit

Fruit can travel pretty well and is a great snack that will give you quick energy. I love throwing an apple or banana in my bag to have mid morning. Go for fruits that don’t need a lot or preparation and can be eaten as is. If you want some added protein, pack a pouch of almond or peanut butter.

2. Snack Bars

Snack bars are quick and easy. All you have to do is grab them and run out the door. When picking a snack bar, you want to look at the sugar content and the ingredients in general. Make sure the sugar content is about 10g or less and that it comes from natural sources such as dates or stevia. My favourite bars are Luna and KIND bars.

3. Protein Shake

If you work out consistently a great snack to have is a protein shake. Grab a shaker bottle and your favourite protein powder. Perfect Fit Protein has some convenient single serving packs. When you find yourself wanting a snack, pour the powder in the shaker, add 10 oz of water, and shake away. This is great as an afternoon snack, especially if you plan on working out in the afternoon or evening.

4. Trail Mix

Trail mix is an excellent source of healthy fats and protein. The problem with most pre-made trail mixes is the added sugar. To avoid this, make your own trail mixes. I like to buy unsalted roasted peanuts, roasted sunflower seeds, raw cashews, raisins, and pumpkin seeds and place a handful of each in a little tupperware container. Sometimes I add cacao nibs or coconut flakes. Aim for about a 1/4 cup serving. A little goes a long way when it comes to nuts, as the healthy fats really fill you up.

Happy snacking!

Designing Your Organised Life with Help From Evernote

If you dream of having a virtual notebook, at the ready at all times to receive the information you want to capture and keep, this is your dream come true!

I believe an organised house and life is a gracefully designed life. Things run more smoothly and you feel less stressed if you know you have one place to keep and access information when and where you need it.

My criteria for most things these days:

  • Simple – it must be easy to access and easy to use.
  • Provide Value – it must provide or fulfil a large need – i.e. Save Time, Save Space, Reduce Stress
  • Affordable – Free is even better!

Enter Evernote. Don’t be intimidated by technology. If it’s designed well, it can be a great tool. All you need is a computer or (access to one), an iPad or Windows tablet or a smart phone. Everything you add syncs between the devices, is then sync’d to the ‘cloud’ and is password-protected. It is versatile too. Just create a note, add it to a notebook you create and if need be, add multiple notebooks into a stack. Or just be Simple and keep all the notes in one place – because Evernote reads every word (even words in your photos) and let’s you search EVERY single note by those words. How cool is that?

(Can you tell this excites me to no end? Technology and Organising. Together. Swoon.)

Here’s just a small sampling of what Evernote can help you capture and organise.

– A simple note capturing inspiration for a new idea

– Photo of an item in a store with its price

– Photo of a page in a book, notebook or magazine (i.e. recipe in magazine in the doctor’s office waiting area)

– Web article, excerpt or whole website page

– A Voice memo

– A .pdf file

– Email anything right into the notebook where you want it to be saved

– Keep an online journal

– To-do lists with checkboxes

– Project planning ‘scrapbook’ notebook

– Copies of family records, receipts, important papers

– Recipes

– Share a note or notebook with another person or group,

– and the options are endless!

It now even offers reminders that can alert you on the day and time you select. Oh, and did I mention you get all of this absolutely FREE? Yes, there is a paid upgrade but I put a lot of info in every month and I’ve never come close to the limit offered in the free plan.

Want to know more?Watch the video to see how simple this little gem of technology really is.

If you are already using Evernote, chime in below and tell us how you are using it. If you decide to check it out, come back here and tell us what you think!

If you think of someone who could use this tool towards a more SIMPLE and graceful life, share this post with them via Facebook or Twitter. Or pin it to Pinterest and spread the love! (Thank you in advance for helping others by sharing. We are all in this thing called life together. Let’s help each other do it well.)

Let’s Talk About Money

I struggle with money. There, I said it, even though I normally considered myself as someone who is good at budgeting.

The cold hard truth is that I spend over 50% of my take-home pay in one go – my rent payment. If you factor in my utility bills, council tax, and other bills – I pay out almost 75% of my income on bills.

Over at Get Rich Slowly, there’s a post on the Balanced Money Formula originally from All Your Worth. This is what the picture from it looks like:

Even after I pay 75% on bills, I still have the basic need to eat some food once in a while. I spend an average of £200 a month on groceries for two people. That’s 18% of my take-home pay.

In other words, around 93% of my take-home pay goes on what I would call needs.


There are some basic and obvious steps we can take to make our spending a bit more balanced.

The other half can get a job. Well, I hate to make excuses, but she’s an immigrant in a small-town with no driving license. Jobs are scarce at the best of times. We continue to try, but this one is out of our hands to some extent.

We can move somewhere cheaper. We are planning to do this in the next two years. At the moment we are tied into a contract, and the apartment we rent is one of the cheaper ones (and when we picked it, I assumed a second income)

We can reduce our spending on needs. This is the thing we can take action on now. We can avoid using the heating and cooling systems, we can eat more cheaply, and we can stop using so much electricity.

We can raise our income. Effectively, this means freelancing for me, and doing stuff like gardening, dog walking, online surveys etc. for her. Eventually it may mean trying for better jobs and promotions, but given the scarcity of jobs and our lack of transport, this isn’t something I see paying off immediately.

So that’s our situation. I do pretty well with keeping costs down (we spend very little on eating out, ‘gadgets’ etc.), but there is clearly still work to be done.

The All-In-One Organising Life Tool

Let me share with you today a very creative way I’ve found to live more simply.  And it is simple – oh, and did I mention FREE!

Evernote really is the perfect organising life tool.Need a place to put your spontaneous ideas?

How about your collection of recipes?

That never-ending ‘to do’ list?

Shopping Lists?

Travel Lists?

What about that magazine article you want to save but you don’t want to keep the whole book?

A webpage article?

How about a way to remember where you parked your car at the airport?

Project notes collected?

DIY How To’s?

How about a way to keep the voice memo of your staff meeting right there with your written notes?

Attach a photo, .pdf, Word doc, Excel file to a note or list?

Oh, and the best part? Accessible anywhere – because what good is a list if it’s not with you when you need it, right?

I am always looking for a more simplified way to corral my stuff while purging the unnecessary. I have always liked organising. I used to love getting ready to go back to school in the fall when I was a child because I got to pick out new notebooks, binders, folders, pens and pencils, etc. Do they still offer pencils with your name imprinted on them in gold lettering? And don’t forget a case to keep those pretty pencils in. My favourite was a red plastic box with an imprint of the United Kingdom map on the front, and a little window with a gear wheel that showed the capital that matched with each county. I learned all the counties and cities that way.

In my latest search for an ever-increasingly simplified way to organise, I have landed on an application that has actually been around for quite a while. The updates keep coming and this little ‘notebook’ just keeps getting better and better. Still, it doesn’t get my ‘thumbs up approval’ until I’ve road tested for an extensive amount of time and find it meets my requirements.

This little technical wonder has passed the test! Introducing Evernote.

I’ve made this my complete ‘catch-all’ for the past 9 months. I organise my life in Evernote now – from life goals to vacation plans, marketing plans to new clothing design ideas, and shopping lists to recipes. I scan receipts, keep my owner’s manuals, warranties and blogging ideas in notes, within notebooks, within stacks (think categories) in Evernote. You can tag each note and search by tags or by any word in any note. Because Evernote has text recognition, it’ll find a word in a photo or scanned item too! It’s all here, all the time, from anywhere Internet access is available or your computer is handy. Everything syncs to the cloud, so you can retrieve or add any note via your iPhone or other smartphone, iPad or webpage. And just how do you find your way back to your car in the airport parking? Snap a photo in Evernote of the Lot/Section sign and add the airport name if it is not on the sign. Search by the airport name and viola!

Whether you are a college student, a corporate meeting attendee, a busy mom, a small business entrepreneur or a creative genius, this tech tip is for you!


(PS – I wrote about Evernote because I like the product and think you might too. Evernote does not endorse this article and I don’t get anything for it from Evernote.)

Organising Life

Those of you who know me, know I am a list maker. I can’t help it. I like lists. I have to get things out of my head and into a nice, neat list so I can stop dwelling on them. And I need a place where I can readily get to my lists when I need them and a place where they won’t fall into some black hole because I didn’t do them on the day or the time I wrote them down.

People have asked me about my ’system’ of organising and honestly, it is a constantly evolving thing. But most of it has settled into a basic, workable and simple system:

  • It's important to be organised in life.I believe the basis for any good system is that it is all encompassing. If your day is like mine, stuff happens all day long and things need addressing all day long and it can’t be put into compartments where home tasks only gets taken care of at home, work tasks only gets taken care of at work. You need to see it all at once and how it all fits into your whole life. If you are fortunate enough to work from home, then this will greatly reduce your system’s needs because you can (and should) combine or have easy access to your components in your system (i.e. – calendars, filing systems, etc.)
  • First, in my system is the core component: I have a few file drawers with labeled hanging folders and in each is a file labeled with logical names for the ’stuff’ that I need to keep for reference. Everything is in alphabetical order based upon how I would look for it. Yours will be different based upon what you are mostly likely to file your stuff under. For example: each computer in the house has its own file, named for its make and model. All files are in the “Computers” folder. I go to the “C” area of my file drawer and look for the ‘Computers’ folder, then the ‘2005 Dell Latitude x1′ or the ‘2010 MacBook Pro’ and any other laptops or computers have files there too. Inside each folder is important documents or information on each computer readily at hand. For example: Under “P” in the file drawer is a folder named “Pets” and in it is a file named “Grace”. (She takes offence to that reference, I believe, so I keep it hidden from her.) All of little Gracie’s vet records and other important information is held in that folder in order with the most recent on top.
  • All items that must be done on a specific schedule (appointments, things to ask someone at the time I will meet with them, a task that has a time limitation) gets added to my calendar software with engaged automatic reminders well in advance of them happening. My calendar syncs with my iPhone which means my calendar is also always with me.
  • And the only piece that has been missing in my little system was a simple To Do List.

Sounds like the most simple of all items in my system, right? I thought so too but it has been the hardest one of all. There are many computer applications out there for To Do lists and Project Management methodologies. Each one has its good points and is a good fit where applicable. But none fulfilled my needs totally and some just had way too many options.

I’ve used a lot of systems and even created a few of my own but none have ever completely fulfilled all my needs all the time. I’ve gone from the most sophisticated Project Management tools down to just using my journal notebook with arrows for To Do items and then tabbing the pages with items that didn’t get done, but I found I didn’t go back and review the old tabs often enough and stuff fell between the cracks eventually.

So, what do I think is necessary when choosing a To Do List application?

1. First, it has to be SIMPLE. As I’ve mentioned before, I am on a quest to simplify. If it has too many steps or is too detailed, I have learned I won’t use it.

2. It has to be mobile.  The list has to be where I am wherever that happens to be at the moment, whether at my computer or out and about. So, it needs to sync with my iPhone.

3. It must automatically roll my unfinished list to the next day. If I don’t get it done today, I don’t want to transfer everything from yesterday and all the days before forward to today’s list. And I’ve proven to myself that I won’t go back and look for things that didn’t get done in past, so those un-done things must move forward to greet me each morning.

4. It needs to be economical. I don’t want to pay monthly or yearly fees for access to my lists. My laptop and phone are expensive enough and making the most of them using free applications is my goal.

The list must be accessible offline for when I don’t have Internet access and it must sync up once access has resumed.

It needs to simple. Did I mention that?

So, I’ve searched for quite some time and finally, I’ve found one that works for me! Now, keep in mind that if you are a corporate project manager, this is likely not detailed enough of a list manager for you. But if you just need a running list of things you don’t want to forget to work on, research, shop for, etc. this might just be the list manager for you! You can use more of the GTD methods to preface your To Do’s with A – (Action), WF – (Waiting For), C – (Call), etc. if you like. Again it’s up to you how far you want to take it.

My new To Do List? It’s called TeuxDeux List (And yeah, I like the creativity used in the name…in French, pronounced ‘to do’.

I liked the simple but informative videos telling you about this app…and the designer’s ‘tongue-in-cheek’ humour sprinkled throughout.

Mostly, I liked that all I had to do was put in an email address and create a password and that’s it – I’m in, my blank list form is in front me and ready for use.

It meets all of my aforementioned needs. I love that it syncs with my iPhone via an app that I didn’t mind purchasing for a one-time fee of £1.99. I don’t like buying apps but this one is worth it.

I did tweak my own TeuxDeux page a bit (as was shown in one of the videos on the TeuxDeux site) to have column headers in the lower free space list area called ‘SOMEDAY’ for a few ongoing sub-lists: Grocery List, Purchase List, Projects List and Read/Watch/Listen/Download List. I left one space for a Someday/Maybe List.

Now my lists go with me with wherever I go! I can add new ones whether at my laptop or out and about with my iPhone and they sync with each other so the list is always up to date. Wherever I go, I take my iPhone and my little journal in my purse and I am truly ‘plugged in’ to the needs of the day. And I wake up each morning with a new list of To Do’s all nicely organised and waiting for me!

Keep in mind that no system will do the work for you.

  • You have to look in your file folder each day and do the work you put there for yourself.
  • You need to look at your calendar every evening to see what’s on tap for the next day and prepare for it.
  • You need to look at your To Do List and work it.

I won’t go into long range planning and goals but will save my thoughts on those for another post.  And I still get that disorganised feeling from time to time, still catch myself flitting from this to that thing and have to force myself to focus on those things that are priority in my Daily file folder, on my appointment calendar and in my TuexDuex List. But, I’m making progress.  At least, I have a plan and can go back to these areas for reminders of what it was I was supposed to be working on today.

Hope you find something here that can help you make the most of the day you’ve been given. Let’s be organised and prepare for what’s ahead. Let’s Pray, Plan, Prepare and then Work our plan together!

I’d love to hear what you’re organising ideas are!  Comments, suggestions welcome!