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Graduation – A time to celebrate

graduation hat

Pic Credit: Pixabay

I have been involved in University lecturing in some guise since 2009. A question I get asked time and time again, is whether I still feel the same sense of pride when my latest crop of graduates leave for pastures new?  I can honestly say hand on heart I do and I think I always will. I have been there twice myself and as an undergraduate and as a post graduate and that sense of personal pride is immense.  It is not just a celebration for the graduate themselves but also their family and friends who will likely have been with them from the start, cheering and encouraging them every step of the way.  It really is a day to cherish and celebrate.

Some of the key takeaways that I have gleaned over the years are set out below.  But above all else its so important to enjoy the day and celebrate you, after all you put in the hard work and deserve the day to revel in the celebrations.

Some tips for your graduation

One of the things that I have seen grow in popularity over the years is the invites, from senior announcement cards to college graduation party invitations and to the oft forgotten but very important in my view – thank you notes.   Some of my favourites are below. Check out the clear see through ones. Love love love them.  Really fantastic service, with unlimited color combinations, custom samples, over 40 different envelope colours and a free address collection service.

Some more practical tips to share with your guests:

  • Know where the venue is before hand and check out the parking situation in advance especially if it may be limited

    graduation robes and hat

    Pic Credit: Pixabay

  • Have your outfit picked in advance to save stress on the morning – comfy shoes!!! There could be a lot of standing.
  • Try to get a good nights sleep and eat a decent breakfast before hand
  • Take extra hair pins, make up etc as some can be long days, even a few snacks is no harm.
  • Be ready for lots of photos – smile and smile and smile some more!
  • Also be ready for lots of clapping!!
  • Don’t be late!! Give yourself plenty time to get to the venue, locate the hall and take your seat.

Above all else do enjoy, its a momentous day and you should be so proud. Enjoy the celebrations.


Note: This is a collaborative post



Living Arrows – 13/52 – and breath

Kahlil Gibran“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Second week in a row now having rejoined Donna from What the Redhead Said linkie inspired by the above quote, delighted with myself.

This week its all about about re grouping, enjoying the simple things in life. We were supposed to be back in Iceland this week but that couldn’t happen so im just happy everybody is safe and well and we are learning to enjoy a much slower paced life.

This week was all about getting fresh air, stretching the legs while observing the imposed restraints. The boys are thoroughly enjoying the scooters Santa brought. Who knew back then we would be getting so much use out of them for this reason. It does the head and the heart good to get out so we try every day to get out for a breath of fresh air, always conscious of social distancing.

Keep safe, keep well and keep following the advice. We can and we will come out the other side of this.  Each night going to bed myself and the boys plan what we will do once all this is over and we cannot wait.


Living Arrows


migraine relief - relaxing

Pic Credit: Pixabay

I think its important to set out at the outset, that I am not a medical professional, im actually an accountant, who enjoys blogging and sharing useful content. I happened across this very useful article and though in the times we are facing, it was an opportune time to share in the event it could help somebody. Other supports and resources are available on or from the Migraine Association’s website It goes without saying always consult a medical professional if you have any concerns. 

Migraine is Ireland’s fifth leading cause of disability, affecting over 10% of the population.[i]. Managing the condition can often feel like an uphill battle on any given day. Now, along with the usual symptoms and fears surrounding a chronic migraine attack, navigating our new ‘normal’ during COVID-19, brings additional challenges – from working at home and keeping the kids occupied to social distancing and drastic changes in daily routines.

Here are 6 simple tips and actions that can help you to manage your migraine during this uncertain period.

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Practical Tips for Working from Home with Children

Glandore, Ireland’s longest serving & leading provider of serviced offices & coworking spaces, have very kindly shared helpful advice for those trying to juggle working from home whilst keeping their children occupied.   I am very thankful for their kind permission to share the below in these highly unusual times.

tips working from home laptop phone

Pic Credit: Pixabay

1.            Set up a daily structure: Childcare professionals’ advice is that routine is vitally important when it comes to maintaining happy children. If your children’s day starts at 8.30am in crèche or school, try to start their home care at the same time. Establishing a routine at home will help everyone transition to this new ‘norm’ more easily. If your children are used to breaks at certain times, make sure to build those into your day. As we all know, children’s attention spans are much shorter than ours, so exercise and snack breaks are important to schedule in, for both the child and the parent. Try to finish up your home crèche or school at the same time as their regular day. 

Top tip: set an alarm to go off, so everyone knows that it’s family time now. The alarm doesn’t have to be the sound of a school bell ringing, it could be one of your children’s favourite songs instead.  

 2.            Have a designated space for mess: The length of time that we will be working and schooling from home is unknown and therefore it is recommended to designate a school/crèche area in your home if possible. Children need space to play and that play can often be messy so it might be wise to make the kitchen your home childcare centre. With paint, glitter, Lego, dolls and action figures, children’s toys can easily take over the house. They are used to being in the same room for the day, whether in crèche or school, so keeping the home childcare space consistent will help with their sense of routine. Again, be mindful of your child’s attention span; they may only stay with an activity for 10 or 20 minutes depending on their age. This should also match the projects you are setting yourself; if you have something that needs your focus then perhaps leave that until everyone is in bed.   

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3 Signs Of A Strong Blog

blog letters

Pic Credit: CCO Licence

If you are hoping to make your blog a success, there are many things that you are going to have to focus on to make that a reality.  Whether you are looking to monetize it, or just run a good blog for the sake of it, much of what you need to do will be the same, and it is all the kind of thing that you can work on whenever you like. Many people who run blogs are not aware of much of this, but the best bloggers are, and if you want to be one of them then these are all issues you will need to think about too. In this article, we’ll go through three of the signs of a strong blog – as long as yours has all these, you are probably moving in the right direction. If not, you have work to do.

Good Name

One of the first things you will do is to name your blog, and it is also one of the most important. After all, people are going to talk about it, and you want them to be able to remember clearly what it is called and that it will be something that sticks in people’s minds in conversation. You also want to be able to get the appropriate URL for that name too, so you should seek out domain names at the same time as trying to title your blog. Otherwise you might be scrambling round to try and make it all fit together later on, and that will generally be much harder to achieve. Do it all to start with, and you will find that it is much easier to get right.

Simple Design

In many respects, the design of the website that hosts the blog is the most important thing, as it dictates how many visitors you are going to get and so on straight away. You need to try and keep this design simple above all, as it is simplicity that ensures that people can find their way around it and so on without hassle. It is also going to mean that they are much more likely to enjoy their experience of the blog itself. If you are having trouble with this, consider hiring the professionals to carry out your web design for you. That way, you can be sure of its success and simplicity.

Constant Content

Your readers are going to want to have a lot to read, so you have to make sure that you are constantly updating your blog as often as you can. That doesn’t mean multiple posts a day, but certainly posting one item a day is not going to be a problem. This will also help to keep you high up on the search engines results pages, which is going to be one of the main ways in which people find you. Create constant high-quality content, and you will find that your blog is much more popular indeed, and much more successful.

Note: This is a collaborative post

Should You Buy a Used Car Warranty?

Fixing a car

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Used car warranties can be useful should a vehicle become damaged, but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t factors that need to be considered beforehand. 

Regardless of whether you’re purchasing a vehicle for the first time or looking to take out a warranty on a vehicle you already own, there are some considerations that should be made before committing to a used car warranty. 

What Does a Used Car Warranty Cover? 

The cover a used car warranty offers can differ depending on the provider chosen. There can also be some confusing terms and conditions which can almost seem contradictory to some. 

As there is no way of determining what could go wrong with a vehicle, there could be instances when some faults aren’t covered. 

This can happen in scenarios where poor workmanship has been shown, as well as damage attributed to general wear and tear. 

How Much Does a Used Car Warranty Cost? 

In many instances, it has been shown that even the cheapest car warranty can be £100 more than the average cost of a repair. 

However, there can be instances where some could find that the car warranty, they take out can be up to as much as ten times the cost of an average repair. 

This isn’t to say that a car warranty can’t be beneficial, but it can take a lot of research to ascertain what type of warranty is best suited, and by the time the policy has been tweaked, it could become more expensive than first thought. 

The Jargon Associated with Used Car Warranties 

Another issue that many have with used car warranties is some of the jargon that is used. The following is a breakdown of some of the jargon used when perusing car warranty options. 

  • Age Limit: Some used car warranties can have restriction in relation to the age of the driver.

    blue car

    Pic Credit: Pixabay

  • Claim Limit: The aspect of a car warrant details the maximum amount awarded with each claim. 
  • Betterment: If a repair or new part has made the car more valuable, then a further cost could be incurred. 
  • Consequential Loss: Instance where one car part affects another, which isn’t always covered with all used car warrantied. 
  • Excess: The percentage that a vehicle owner must pay in relation to repairs. The amount charged can depend on the type of vehicles as well as the level of cover the policy offers. 
  • Garage Choice: Some used car warranties may dictate that only approved garages can be used, which gives the vehicle owner less choice when it comes to the cost of the repairs. 
  • Mileage: As well as other limitations, the amount of distance travelled so far could also have an impact as to how much a car warranty is. 

Should You Buy a Used Car Warranty? 

Given the many factors that need to be considered in relation to a car warranty, it’s safe to assume that they’re not for everyone. 

However, if you are considering a used car warranty, then it’s of the utmost importance that a regulated provider is used. This will ensure that a cooling-off period is in place should the warranty not meet your requirements. 


Affording Your New Car!

Everyone wants a brand new and shiny car to travel around in, but getting to the point of being able to afford it isn’t always smooth sailing. You want to be able to get behind the wheel of a car that’s all yours (used or new), and you want to be able to afford the new car, too. You don’t always have to buy a vehicle outright, though, and that’s important to know.

car keys

Pic Credit: Pexels

You may need a car for convenience, or you may need it for leisure trips up and down the country with your weekends. It’s easy to think about the vehicle you’ll cruise in, but it’s not easy to consider how you’re going to pay for it. So, let’s check out the ways that you can start to consider affording your new car.

Dealership Finance

Did you know that most dealerships will offer you finance, such as Wherever you buy your car from, you shouldn’t have a problem looking at the finance options available for your particular vehicle. Financing your vehicle can come in many different ways, but it’s going to help you to work out what you can afford each month on finance and go from there.

Personal Lease

You can choose a fixed amount to pay on a personal lease. However, you don’t own the car, and you will need to either extend the lease or you give the car back at the end.

PCP = Personal Contract Plan

Usually, these cost less each month, but rather than paying the main price for your car, you agree to pay the amount of cash between the sale price of the car and the resale price. At the end of the plan, you need to hand the car back. If you want to keep it, you pay the resale price!

Personal Loans

You can take out a loan to afford your car, but many people prefer not to go for the personal loan route. You would need to have good credit, and you’d need to think about how you would plan to pay off the car if you lost your job.

Those options above will help you to get the car that you want, but you also need to think about saving money when you have the car that you choose. You can be more economical in your choices of car size, the best fuel, and how much you plan to drive. The longer you drive, the more you spend money on your car. You can also save money by choosing pre-reg vehicles. These cars are brand new and bought at a discount with the dealership. 

Lastly, you can save money on your new car by selling your old one. You can also look at exchanging your car with your dealership and paying the difference in a new one. It’s a great way to save some cash, and your vehicle will be one that you love off the lot! There are savings to be made: go and make them!


Note: This is a collaborative post

Managing Your Small Business Independently

Running your own small business can be such a rewarding experience, but tackling all of the various tasks and responsibilities can be an almost overwhelming experience that can discourage you from continuing with such hard work. Staying in control of your company is so important, and you have to make an effort to take steps towards organisation and productivity combined. Luckily, it needn’t be so difficult to manage your small business independently when you have the right tools to do so, and there are a few simple tips and tricks that you can make the most of to aid you in your quests. So, if you’re ready to find out more, then read on to uncover some of the best tips and tricks that you can make the most of today! 

door open sign

Pic Credit: Pexels

Write It All Down 

One of the most beneficial activities that you can take part in to ensure that you can keep control of and properly manage your small businesses is to write everything down. Whether this means making a detailed daily plan of the tasks you must complete, or taking a note of all of the important things you have to remember such as customer details or supplier phone numbers – you can’t expect yourself to be able to remember all of the information that you get each day, as this is extremely overwhelming. It’s a good idea to purchase a large notepad with lined pages that you can carry with you at all times, as just writing things down on bits of paper here and there means you’re likely to just lose them all over time. Writing all of your tasks down will also give you the opportunity to tick each job off as you complete it, which can be such a motivation and encouraging process as you see the page begin to fill up with ticks! 

Outsource Online Support 

Even though you may not want to seek out the help of another employee for whatever reason, outsourcing some online support could help you to stay in control of your small business. There are many mundane tasks that an owner or manager is often left to tackle, yet there are many other options that you can explore that can offer the perfect solution. Whether you seek out specialist IT support that can help to keep your online site up and running without the need for your intervention or set up some ELMO cloud payroll services that can deal with your financial commitments from a remote location, don’t feel the need to suffer through all of these tasks on your own when you can easily get quick short or long term help. 

Managing your small business independently has never been so simple when you are able to make the most of the top tips and tricks detailed above! Make sure you always have a trusty notepad handy to jot down all of the important details, and tick off your tasks as you go for extra motivation! 

Note: This is a collaborative post

When All You Want Is A Small Business

A lot of articles are wrote with the intention of people turning their small business into a big one that’s going to make millions. But we know that it’s not everyone’s dream to be able to do that. Some people are just happy knowing they’re working for themselves and bringing in money that’s enough to live a good life from. Hopefully the salary will be a lot more than your average office job, but it’ll never get to the point where you feel like you’re extra rich and living the high life. For most mompreneurs and small business owners, this is never going to be achievable. It might be because you’ve come into business later on in your life and you have too many things to dedicate your time to, or it might be because the business idea you have is never going to be scalable enough to make it big. So, if you keep on reading, we’ll show you how you can make a nice profit from your small business, and be able to sustain it. 

Location Is Everything 

The location of your business really is everything. You need to make sure that you’re in a location that’s going to get enough attention. If you were to set up a business in a small town as a coffee shop, for example, it will be much harder to sustain your business than if you were in a bustling city. We know that rent is higher and it can be a pain to travel in, but you can have almost double the custom which will make a huge difference to your overall profit. If you’re an online based business you might benefit from getting a virtual business address that puts you in a prime location. If you visit you’ll find out just how you can do that. With a virtual office address you can reach more people. For example, if you’re operating in the US it’s going to look far better if you have a central New York or LA office, compared to a small town one. It just makes your business look more trustworthy. 

Keeping Customers Flowing

Customers need to keep on flowing. If you only ever anticipate being a small business you also run the risk of profit loss during times where your customer numbers dip. You don’t have that large flow of customers previously to fall back on. Which is why we think that constant marketing is key. There are so many marketing methods to invest your money into, you just need to be able to pick one that suits you. Billboard marketing is great for a small business, as is handing out posters and business cards. Run whatever campaign you chose to do alongside social media marketing and you’ll always have that trickle of attention. 

Managing Small Business Finances 

Small business finances can be so hard to manage, even though there’s not always going to be the large cash flow a bigger business will have. It’s harder because if you get the balance wrong you could be spending more than you’re making. Simply working with an accountant to work out your budget and how much you have to spend will solve a lot of issues for you. 


Note: This is a collaborative post



Coronavirus Covid-19 Mythbuster

Everywhere you look on the news, on social media, the TV, message boards, emails, whatsapp messages, there is coverage of Cronoavirus.  However with huge volumes of information comes the issue of how much it true, which sources can you rely on, where do you go to get solid advice. Its a minefield.   This article is no substitute for medical advice, it is imperative to consult your GP if in doubt or if you have any queries.  Tropical Medical Bureau have kindly given me permission to reproduce their very helpful Mythbuster.

Coronavirus Covid-19 Mythbuster

We have been bombarded with information over the past weeks about the new coronavirus Covid-19, which was first recognised in December 2019 in China and now has been reported in over 60 countries throughout the world – and likely to infect many more in the days ahead.

Many of the more sensible commentators have outlined that the risk of contracting Covid-19 is small and, in most cases, the disease it is not life-threatening. However, social media is overflowing with advice regarding Covid-19, and the facts which we should be trusting are often diluted by the mass of misinformation and doing the rounds.

Should you lock yourself away from humanity until the virus is controlled or can you, with sensible precautions, get on with your life? Are these the ‘final days’ and is humanity doomed? The travel industry has taken a massive knock and one main concern affecting this is, to misquote Shakespeare, “To Travel or Not to Travel? That is the question.”

So, let’s try to dispel some of the more common myths which are circulating and see can we get a bit of perspective to the situation…

washing hands

Pic Credit: Pixabay

1. Myth

Getting Covid-19 is a death sentence.

Current information shows that only very few of those who contract this disease will die. This is mainly in the more vulnerable people – those who have an underlying health condition or are in older age. For the majority of those infected, the virus will result in typical flu symptoms and should be fine with treatment.

2. Myth

Covid-19 is more contagious than the flu or Measles.

The latest information shows that it is more contagious than flu, but a lot less than Measles. Remember, annually the flu infects about 1 billion people with over ½ million deaths worldwide.

3. Myth

Going to work or walking down the street or into shops and supermarkets is just too high a risk so I have to stay at home.

The virus is usually spread through coughs and sneezes – like many other respiratory diseases – but, in most cases, this is only from very close contact with the infected individual.

4. Myth

If one person on a plane or in a train has the disease everybody will be infected.

The risk is extremely high for those within 1m of an infected person who is coughing or sneezing openly. However, if an individual uses tissues or coughs/sneezes into the elbow region, the risk will be considerably lowered.

5. Myth

Hand gels are the best means of protecting myself.

While good quality hand-gels are helpful, careful washing of your hands, avoiding touching your face and staying away from those with obvious symptoms (flu like illness, coughing, runny eyes, fever etc) is the best way to avoid contracting the illness.

Please Note: hand gels are not effective if your hands are visibly soiled or very dirty.

6. Myth

Face masks will protect me from contracting Covid-19.

Unless you are using a very specialised face mask, the air surrounding you will leak in around the edges of the mask and it is just as though you were not using the mask at all. Masks are helpful to catch some of the virus particles from those who already have the disease and are coughing but they need to be changed regularly and very carefully, otherwise they are a risk factor. If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected Covid-19 infection.

surgical mask

Pic Credit: Pixabay

7. Myth

If I buy food in the supermarket and then boil or cook it for our meals that should kill any virus that might be lurking.

This is true but, the problem may be from you handling the food before it is heated. Take care and wash your own hands regularly after touching anything which could have been contaminated. This hand washing advice is hugely recommended after using public transport or after being on an escalator.

8. Myth

There is a homeopathy vaccine available.

Currently, there is absolutely no vaccine available against coronavirus Covid-19 at this time and there is not likely to be one available for some time.

9. Myth

All vaccines are useless against Covid-19.

Technically at this time that is perfectly correct. However, we do know that most of the serious cases with this respiratory viral disease are among those with an underlying health issue. For example, in many of the more serious cases of flu it may not be the virus itself which kills the individual but, rather an associated or secondary bacterial infection. The illness associated with Covid-19 may leave that individual more at risk of other infectious diseases. On that basis it is wise for those at a particular risk to ensure they are up to date with the yearly flu vaccine but also to consider having vaccination cover against Pneumococcal disease which is a serious bacterial infection affecting the respiratory system.

10. Myth

International travel is a huge risk and should always be avoided.

At this time, the risk of contracting the disease from undertaking flights or visiting most countries of the world is known to be minimal. It is wise to avoid regions where there is a very significant amount of cases being reported but, for most destinations, the risk remains very small.

11. Myth

Covid-19 is the most deadly disease to hit mankind.

While Covid-19 is spreading quickly in some regions of the world and has a mortality rate of 2-3%, it is still not by any means as deadly as other diseases. For example, SARS killed 10% of those who became infected and MERS is responsible for between 30% to 40% of deaths among those who get the disease.

blood pressure monitor

Pic Credit: Pixabay

12. Myth

The new coronavirus can be transmitted through goods manufactured in China or any country reporting Covid-19 cases.

Even though Covid-19 can last on surfaces from a few hours up to several days (depending on the type of surface), it is highly unlikely that the virus will persist on a surface after being moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures. If you think a surface may be contaminated use a disinfectant to clean it. After touching it, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

13. Myth
Coronavirus Covid-19 can be transmitted through mosquito bites.

Coronavirus Covid-19 cannot be transmitted through mosquito bites. To date there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that it could be transmitted by mosquitoes. Covid-19 is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.

14. Myth

Eating garlic can help prevent infection of the new coronavirus.

Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak to suggest that eating garlic has protected people from coronavirus Covid-19.

15. Myth

Cocaine can protect against a coronavirus.

Cocaine cannot protect against any coronavirus or other infective diseases. It is an addictive, dangerous drug that should not be used under any circumstances.



Note: Thanks to for the above. Always consult medical professionals if in doubt and follow the guide issue by the HSE.