Roasted Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts with Sausage

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Roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts are combined with spicy sausage and plenty of cheese to create an irresistible dinner.

Cheesy Roasted Potatoes with Crisp Brussels Sprouts and Spicy Sausage is a dinner that everyone devours!

Quite a few years ago, I stumbled across a dish that combined Brussels sprouts with pasta and potatoes. Several days later, I couldn’t get that combination out of my head.

Sausage and Brussel Sprouts

As I started playing with the idea of using Brussels sprouts in a main dish, I wanted something a little heartier than the bacon that I typically pair with Brussels sprouts.

Sausage is one of those magic recipe ingredients. It almost doesn’t matter what you add to it, sausage has the ability to flavor all the other ingredients brilliantly.

I paired some spicy sausage with the Brussels and I LOVED the combination of flavors in this meal. One of my boys pointed out that the very best bites were the ones with a potato chunk, a sprout, sausage, and cheese together; I couldn’t agree more.

The first time I made this, I tasted it before taking a picture and then I couldn’t stop sneaking bites as I was attempting to photograph it. I lasted for about 30 seconds worth of clicks and then we dove into this meal.

Brussels with Potatoes is a mouthwatering combination!

In the years since then, I’ve attempted to reshoot this recipe multiple times in order to update the photos, and without fail, I decide not to bother with photos as soon as it’s out of the oven. This is one of my all-time favorite recipes on this website.

A couple of weeks ago, I finally practiced enough restraint to shoot new photos before diving into this and I’m still as much in love with this recipe as

5 supportive tips for dealing with information overload

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We’ve never been more connected, but the ever-present onslaught of information can be difficult to deal with – here’s how to cope

5 supportive tips for dealing with information overload

Sometimes, it can feel like our entire day is made up of social media notifications, breaking news alerts, and streams of work and personal messages. If it’s not updates on conflicts around the world, it’s news of political unrest or troubling social issues – and that’s before we even get to the hurried texts and emails from our jobs, family, and friends. Especially in the aftermath of the draining Covid-19 pandemic, such an onslaught of information can leave our brains feeling scattered, making it a struggle to know where to turn our attention.

If you often find yourself feeling this way, you’re not alone. A 2020 Pew Research Center survey found that 66% of adults felt worn out by the amount of news they were consuming. And it’s having a real impact on our mental wellbeing. Psychologist Ella McCrystal says: “This information is coming in faster than we can fully digest and understand it. This overload can make us vulnerable to lowered mood, information fatigue, and increasing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

“And the impact of attention fragmentation is that we become less productive, less creative, and less able to make good decisions.”

Disconnecting from technology entirely isn’t all that practical – so how do we combat the issue of information overload, while grappling with the need to stay up to date?

Turn off notifications and alerts

One easy change you can make to set boundaries with the outside world is to turn off all of your notifications, be it email, WhatsApp, or Instagram. “We need to give up the fictitious narrative that we need to be on top of everything,” Ella explains. The reality is that very few things need our attention so urgently – so denying these outside influences’ constant access to you is a helpful way to protect your wellbeing. If the thought of turning off all notifications makes you feel anxious though, schedule in five minutes every hour or two to check your necessary platforms.

Schedule in chunks of time to disconnect

“Giving our brains downtime to process new information input is a critical element of learning and thinking,” Ella explains. In order to do this, it’s helpful to disconnect at regular intervals during your day. Not only will this help you to process what you’ve read and seen, it’ll also help you to calm any feelings of anxiety it may have sparked.

Try meditation, or simply sitting quietly, looking out of a window for five to 10 minutes at points during your day. Therapist and author Marisa Peer says: “While these ‘mindless moments’ might feel like a time waster, it actually gives your mind the time to reboot.” If this doesn’t work for you, you could try getting outside for a 10-minute walk without any digital devices, or practising some relaxing yoga poses.

Do a brain dump

One of the main problems with information overload is that it can leave us unable to prioritise – how can we plan out our family’s weekly schedule when our mind is full of the worldȁ

What is sleep tourism?

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With one in eight of us feeling tired all the time, could sleep tourism help us feel more rested and relaxed? Or is it just another wellness trend to get us to book a new kind of vacation?

What is sleep tourism?

As a nation, we are tired. According to YouGov, one in four of us feels tired most of the time, while one in eight feels tired all the time. In fact, we’re so tired that two in five of us would rather sleep more than spend time with our families. It’s no wonder that so many of us are willing to try anything to get a better night’s sleep.

What is sleep tourism?

Sleep tourism refers to any kind of holiday with programmes focused on getting a good night’s sleep. Thought to be a top trend for 2023, the travel industry has reported seeing more sleep-related services appearing on hotel and tourism-related websites and packages. Designed to promote restful sleep, relaxation, and overall wellbeing, you can even find specific ‘sleep retreats’ to help guide you towards improving the quality of your sleep.

Why are we focusing our holidays around sleep?

While the thought of building a vacation around rest and relaxation seems natural, the idea of going on holiday to sleep more can seem a little strange. But sleep expert and CEO at MatressNextDay Martin Seely thinks we could all benefit from trying a sleep retreat.

“Going on a sleep retreat could benefit anyone. This is because sleep is essential for many, many reasons. Sleep helps us learn new information and consolidate memories. There’s also evidence that lack of sleep can make you more prone to depression or anxiety by affecting your moods and emotions, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH)”.

While the reasons why we may feel the need to seek help to get a better night’s sleep can vary, Martin explains that there are often common themes. “Many people have trouble falling asleep at night because their minds are racing with thoughts about work or life in general. Others have trouble staying asleep due to stress or anxiety about what tomorrow may bring.”

By taking a break from our normal routines, we may be able to help break the cycle of bad quality sleep (and our anxiety surrounding it), helping us to reset and gain a better night's rest.

Counselling Directory member and therapist, Nicole Grilo, (MBPsS, MBACP, FDAP) explains more about the benefits of sleep and how it can be seen as a superpower linked with better health outcomes.

“Sleep is so beneficial and essential, as it facilitates body restoration and repair. Sleeping heals our body and is what [we need] after a day of movement or exercise. Give yourself at least nine hours in bed. Stay away from coffee and sugar at the end of the day. Give yourself time to wind down [and] keep a consistent routine.”

What to expect from a sleep-focused retreat

If you’re considering building a holiday around improving your sleeping patterns and overall feelings of rest and relaxatio

Iced Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cake

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Iced Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cake

Sweet, tart, moist and perfect for a spring brunch with the ladies…this iced lemon poppy seed loaf cake comes together in no time and is so outrageously delish!

If you’re going to have an iced lemon loaf cake, then you better have an iced lemon poppy seed loaf cake too because lemon and poppy seeds just belong together! I love the added flavor and texture the poppy seeds add.

Here’s the proof…glazed poppy seed bread, lemon poppy seed muffins, cinnamon lemon poppy seed bundt cake, lemon poppy seed cake. I’m just a little obsessed! We have all our poppy seed bases covered! I love a good loaf cake though, so I had to figure out the perfect recipe for a lemon poppy seed loaf cake. It just looks a little prettier with that glaze over a loaf.

a photo of two slices of lemon poppy seed loaf cake stacked on a plate. the two slices are topped with white icing.

Ingredients Needed for Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cake

You’re going to see lemon infused in every part of this cake. The loaf cake is soaked with a lemon glaze and then topped with a lemon icing. Here is what you will need for each part:

Cake

  • Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Lemon Zest
  • Meyer Lemon Juice
  • Lemon Extract
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Sour Cream
  • Poppy Seeds

Lemon Glaze

  • Butter
  • Lemon Juice
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla

Icing

  • Powdered Sugar
  • Lemon Juice
  • Milk

See! Lemon everywhere! I’m infatuated! The measurement for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.

Meet the 85-year-old and a 31-year-old living together as part of an innovative scheme

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In a world where loneliness and isolation seep into the lives of many, an innovative scheme is bringing together older people with those seeking accommodation. Here, Kathryn Wheeler meets a household who made the move, to find out why it works for them

Meet the 85-year-old and a 31-year-old living together as part of an innovative scheme

On an extraordinarily cold Thursday evening, I park my car outside a home on the outskirts of Oxford. I’m here to meet with Mary, 85, and Alex, 31, two people taking part in Age UK Oxfordshire’s Homeshare – a scheme that matches older people who are looking for help or companionship in their homes, with another person who can lend a hand, and who is in need of affordable accommodation.

I’m led into the sitting room by Maria, Mary’s daughter, where I meet Marian from Age UK Oxfordshire, as well as Mary and Alex themselves. The five of us sit around a warming fire, Max the dog delighted by the company, while Alex and Mary relay yesterday evening’s outing; a concert at the school Alex’s sister works at.

Mary and Alex are one of the 50 matches between ‘Householders’ and ‘Sharers’ that Age UK Oxfordshire has supported in the past three years. To be part of the scheme, the Householder pays from £150 per month, and the Sharer pays £200, the split in bills is then worked out between the household. Each arrangement comes with a minimum nine-month commitment, but many last much longer – the longest in the county now approaching the five-year mark. It’s a forward-thinking arrangement, but the set-up of sharing a home isn’t completely new to Mary.

Meet the 85-year-old and a 31-year-old living together as part of an innovative scheme

“I used to have a lot of students living with me, this is when my husband was alive,” Mary, a former music teacher, tells me later, when the two of us sit down together. And, she explains, she heard about Homeshare some time before she took steps to take part herself. “Someone told me about Homeshare, and then Marian came along. It was a couple of years after we’d first met that I decided to join the scheme. After my husband died, and his carer left – I didn’t mind being by myself in the house during the day, but I didn’t like it at night. That’s when I decided. I’m very glad, it’s been very reassuring.”

As you would expect, a rigorous vetting and prepping process pre-dates any match, all overseen by a team of two: Marian and her colleague Vicki. Applications, interviews, DBS checks, references, home visits, meetings – introductions between Sharers, Householders, and their families – and ongoing support, are all vital pillars for the success and safety of the scheme.

“I came to Homeshare at a point when I was really struggling with my mental health,” Alex shares. “It instantly appealed to me. I really liked the possibility of providing support to someone, but also, perhaps, being the recipient of some support as well. I felt there was a mutuality to it,” he says.

From there, Alex got in touch with Marian, and was invited to a Homeshare Oxfordshire lunchtime social. Here, he met Mary a

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