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Mamma Musings

Mamma Musings

What Running A Good Business Actually Looks Like

Being in business can be a lot of fun. Doing your own thing and being a business owner takes a lot of work, but it’s incredibly rewarding too. It’s nice to be able to create something of your own and do a lot of good with it. But, in order to do that, you have to focus on the idea of doing good. And that means running a good business. These are the three key values your business should operate on to do that.

 Integrity

 If you want to be able to build a good business, you need to make sure that you are moral. You have to be in it for the right reasons. You should care about the kind of business that you’ve built and that you’re creating something that does good in the world.

 Relatability

 At the same time, your audience should be able to relate to you. If they are going to connect with your business and want to buy from you – no matter whether you’re selling a product or service, you need to speak to them. So make sure you connect with your audience.

 Honesty

 Finally, it’s important for you to be honest. And this means operating in the most honest way possible. Don’t trick your audience and don’t do anything that could be considered illegal – like white collar crime. If you’d like to learn more about white collar crime, just take a look at the infographic below.


Infographic Design By USC

 

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Mamma Musings

Sales Tax Audit – some tips

sales tax audit books

Pic Credit: Pixabay

There is nothing like hearing the words tax and audit in a sentence together to strike fear in any business owner. Sales tax compliance is something that must be on the minds of any business audit. As the old saying goes when it comes to sales tax audit think of when not if. That way being sales tax compliant remains at the forefront of your mind. The first thing to do if you received a notification of a sales tax audit is – do not panic. I know this is easier said than done but stressing genuinely wont help. You need to be able to think clearly and act rationally and deal with the matter at hand as effectively and efficiently as possible. Bearing in mind that it is mostly a documentary process conduced via mail so the chances are you may not even meet somebody from the IRS.

So what is a sales tax audit?

According to Wikipedia  it is the examination of a company’s financial documents by a government’s tax agency to verify if the proper amount of sales tax has been remitted to the proper authority.  According to Bob Meighan from Huffington Post stated that “most people don’t realize that only 1.1 percent of individual taxpayers receive an audit letter every year“.

So if you are in the unfortunate 1.1% so what should you do?  Talk to the experts. Companies like TaxConnex use their years of experience in  the are of sales tax audit you get all the know-how – From wayfair nexus to managing audits. They effectively act as an intermediary between your company and the audit assisting you long along with way.  Particularly in a stressful situation it can be invaluable to have somebody deal with the queries, pull the paperwork, give further clarity and context.

It is important to bear in mind that tax should not just be reactive. It is something you need to be considering on an ongoing basis again utilising experts if this is not a skill set you have in house.  It may sound simplistic and that im overly simplifying this but you really do need to maintain a tax calendar with all your key reporting/ filing dates on it.  Also note that it may change over time and with legislative changes to keeping up date is critical.

A couple of tips

  • Don’t panic
  • Call the experts
  • Every letter from the IRS isn’t necessarily an audit
  • Submitting an amendment does not necessarily mean you will increase you chances of being audit -if you spot a mistake correct  it
  • Most audit are conducted via mail – you might not even meet somebody from the IRS
  • A lot of articles in this area suggest businesses which deal a lot in cash, bars, restaurants, etc are more prone to audits to ensure controls around cash and reporting are operating effectively.
  • Research suggests that if you sell outside of your own state is increases your likelihood of sales tax audit
  • Expect the auditor to use some form of sampling method around your data
  • Don’t evading taxes that are legally due
  • The auditor is not the enemy that are only doing their job.

 

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Mamma Musings

Balancing a Degree with Family Life: A Guide

laptop

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Taking a course or qualification can help to boost your career and self-esteem. However, how do you focus on your own education when your kids are still in school? Balancing family life with your new commitment to education can be highly fraught. This guide will help you to understand the best ways that you can both gain a qualification for yourself and ensure you can still spend time with your family. 

Take an Online Degree

Online degrees are some of the best options for mature students who want to focus on their family life. This is because you can conduct online degrees from anywhere in the world, ensuring that you do not have to leave your family home or go away for months at a time to complete your qualification. Instead, you will be able to submit your assessments, watch seminars and lectures, and use college resources from the comfort of your own home, leaving you to spend more time with the people you love. For instance, Merrimack College’s online M.Ed. in High School Education can help you to achieve the qualifications you need for teaching without living on campus. 

Look for Childcare Facilities 

If you have a small child and want to be able to take them with you to your lectures and seminars at a physical college, you should also look for childcare facilities on campus. It can be hard to find a babysitter to cover all of your lectures and to ensure that you do not miss out, many college campuses’ have free care facilities for young children, which let you drop them off and pick them up around your degree schedule. 

Find Family-Friendly Accommodation 

If you are going away for your education, you should consider finding college accommodation options that are family-friendly. Rather than having to leave your kids at home, there are many colleges that provide self-catered flats and studio flats for parents. These ensure that you do not have to live in accommodation that is difficult for families, such as shared housing or student flats. 

Have Good Time Management Skills 

books

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However, one of the major steps that you can take to balance education with your family is to grow your time management skills, allowing you to free up time to spend with your kids. The most effective ways to do this include making a schedule, where you can allot time for both work and play, allowing you to find convenient time blocks within which to do work towards your degree. Having a routine also helps, as this will ensure that you are able to spend a regular amount of time with your kids on a daily basis.

Involve Your Kids

Kids love to be involved in whatever their parents are doing, and this applies to college too. Rather than bar them from your degree activities, why not spend time doing homework together, or let them help you to think of ideas for projects or assessments that you are working on? This will then help to prevent any resentment that your kids feel towards your degree and show them what you are spending time on.

 

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Mamma Musings

Baby Sleep Guidelines – Newborn to 12 Months

newborn baby

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You just had a baby and you are unsure of what to expect based on the baby’s sleep schedule. However, when your baby is only a few weeks old, there won’t be a sleep schedule to go by and your baby will be sleeping from 18 to 20 hours a day completely broken up. That is because they run completely on instinct as they will not have the days and nights together as they would not know since they were in the womb in the darkness for 9 months. And they would be rocked to sleep during the day because of the mother being active and be more active themselves at night as the mother goes and sleeps. They also need to feed every 2 to 3 hours because their stomachs are very small and can only hold in so much at a time. Additionally, they are growing constantly and will be hungry whenever they are ready which is why they will literally feed 2 to 3 hours each day and night. 

And it does not matter what they are wearing when they go to sleep. They could be wearing their sleepers or one of their brand new baby christmas outfit and they will sleep because there is no point in changing them for naps they will take during the day if their clothes are clean. However, in order for you to understand your baby’s sleeping patterns, this newborn sleep guideline will be helpful to you:

First Born To 4 Weeks Old

During this time your newborn will be sleeping most of the time but they break often to be fed and changed. They will sleep from 2 and a half to 4 hours at a time and in between sleep phases they can sleep for 45 minutes to an hour. This is why they are up all the time to be fed and changed and it is important to interact with them as well as they are taking in everything in their environment. 

Next Phase 5 To 8 Weeks

sleeping baby

Pic Credit: Pixabay

This is the time when you will notice that there are some slight changes in the baby’s sleeping patterns. The newborns are beginning to see that there is a difference between day and night, and they will be napping from 45 minutes to an hour for 3 to 5 times a day and will be sleeping longer at night. This is the time when you will want to start implementing bedtime routines as well so that they become used to sleeping through the night quicker. They will also not require feedings in the middle of the night so often once they are closer to 8 weeks. 

The Third Phase 9 Weeks To Close To 4 Months

The baby will be awake more during the day and will begin to sleep longer at night which is what the parents have been wanting for so long. They will nap 3 times a day for 45 minutes to an hour an a half. One nap will be in the morning, the next will be in the afternoon, and the next will be in the early evening. And it will be predictable at this time when the baby will wake up. They can sleep from 4 to 8 hours in the night as well but don’t despair that they can regress with their sleeping right around the end of this phase as well which will be temporary. 

The Fourth Phase 4 Months To 8 Months 

This is the time when you are able to set a real schedule for your baby as they have their internal clocks set at this point. They will need a morning and an afternoon nap, and a quick nap from the afternoon to bedtime. The way it can go is from 8 to 8:30 am they go in for their morning nap and they are napping for 2 hours to get up and feed. And in the afternoon they nap starting from noon to 12:30 and wake up 2 hours for a feeding. And then between the afternoon and evening, they can get a 30 minute to 45-minute nap which is known as the buffer nap. 

This way they can nap quickly so they are not too cranky for bedtime which could cause them not to sleep well as the one way to prevent a baby from being overtired is if they nap enough. However, you don’t want them to nap too much which is why they should not nap for longer than 5 hours during the day which has been broken up based on their nap schedules. 

The Last Phase 8 Months To 12 Months

This is the time when infants only need to have 4 hours of napping time in a day which is 2 hours in the morning from 8 to 8:30 as their start time and sleep for 2 hours. And they have another nap in the afternoon which would be around 1 pm and they will wake up at 3 pm and be up until bedtime. You will want to start the bedtime routine a half hour before they go to bed for the night. That means at that time before they get a bath, get those onesies for babies, if that is what they are wearing and then get them bathed so they are drowsy enough to sleep. 

Then after their bath, get them into their pajamas and they will be drowsy enough to sleep. And don’t be surprised as well if there are sleep regressions here and there especially around 9 to 12 months of age due to teething or growth spurts. 

Your baby will sleep as he or she gets older and there will be some rough nights where he or she is sick or has a bad dream and needs your comfort. But just know that there will be more restful nights than not as the baby matures and grows older. It will not last this way forever and that is a promise. 

 

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Mamma Musings

Helping Your Child Make the Most of their Education

It is important to show your child that you care about their education, that you are available to help with their school work and that you are proud of their achievements. The more supported a child feels at home, the better you will find they perform at school. 

To help your child make the most of their time at school, here is some great advice from Banstead Preparatory School

  • Get to know your child’s school and try to establish a good relationship with the teachers. This will allow you to keep up to date with current classwork and help you to support your child’s learning at home.
  • Develop a love of learning by regularly sharing as a family what you have learnt at school or work. You could even ask your child to play the teacher at home and explain to you what they learnt in class. Repeating what they have learnt will help them to memorise important facts.
    child writing in school

    Pic Credit: Pixabay


  • Teach your child that learning can happen anywhere, not just in the classroom. For example you can learn a lot from nature, by simply going out in your garden and observing the trees, weather and wildlife.
  • Always show encouragement and praise your child’s achievements. This will help to boost their confidence and keep them motivated. Attend school assemblies where your child’s achievements are recognised.
  • Help your child to practice their organisation and time management skills. This will help to prepare them for homework and exams. Create a study schedule together or set up a special study area at home.Try to incorporate learning into your weekend family activities. This could include visiting a museum or an art gallery where your child can learn interactively.
  • Try not to put too much pressure on your child. If they feel under pressure to reach certain grades, this can negatively affect their performance and can cause emotional stress. Allow your child to develop at their own pace and give them the freedom to make their own choices.
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Mamma Musings

Teaching Your Kids to Respect School Rules

Respect is important, both at home and at school. In order for your child to succeed academically and develop important social skills, they must understand how to respect school rules, as well as other people.

To help your child understand why respect is so important and why they should do their best to follow school rules, here is some great advice from Dover College

  • The first step towards a respectful child is to ensure they understand what respect means. Do they know the difference between respectful and disrespectful behaviour? It is important to set a good example for your child and demonstrate respectful behaviour, both in public and at home.

    child reading in forest

    Pic Credit: Pixabay

  • Explain the importance of having rules at school. Help your child to understand that school rules are created to ensure that students and teachers benefit from a safe and happy learning environment.
  • Stress that in the classroom it is important to listen to the teacher. Explain that they should always follow the teacher’s instructions and be kind and helpful to others. 
  • School rules often include instructions on how to respect school property and the environment. This means never causing damage to school property and always using rubbish or recycling bins to dispose of waste. It is essential that they have pride in their school environment and want to play a part in keeping it safe and clean.
  • Teach your kids to value other people’s ideas and opinions and always treat others as they wish to be treated.
  • Finally you should encourage your children to value their own learning and success. They can demonstrate this by being on time to school, working to the best of their ability, completing homework and being polite to their teachers. 
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Mamma Musings

How Does Changing Schools Affect Your Child

Children change schools for lots of reasons. Perhaps they have finished their journey at primary school and they’re moving onto secondary. Maybe they were being bullied at their last school and a fresh start is what they need. Sometimes it’s because their parents have to relocate due to work commitments. If you are considering moving your child to a new school, here is some information from pre-prep school in London on how it can affect them.

All children respond to change in different ways and while one child might hate the thought of moving to a new school, another might find it an exciting prospect. Regardless, there are big adjustments to be made at a new school. Firstly, your child will have to adapt to a new teacher and their unique teaching style. There might even be an entirely new curriculum. As a result, your child might fall behind in class and then become disinterested in their learning. It’s important that parents and teachers observe new students carefully and provide extra support if necessary. 

Your child may suffer from anxiety at their new school where they don’t know anyone. They may be upset at having to leave behind their old friends. With this in mind, it’s important to let your child stay in contact with their old friends so that they feel a little more in control. You could also arrange a playdate with the children at the new school so that your son or daughter has a couple of friends to support them when they start.

Make sure you talk to your child in-depth about the change and how they feel about it. Be honest and explain to them why they have to move schools so that they understand. Highlight the positive things about the change and give them the reassurance they need to move forward with confidence. 

 

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Mamma Musings

Top Tips for Removing Stains from School Uniform

kids writing

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All parents have been there; scrubbing stubborn stains from our son or daughter’s school uniform. How on earth do they manage to get their clothes so dirty, right? Here are some tips that I hope will help you keep your child’s uniform looking its best. 

Grass Stains

Bright green streaks on the knees and elbows are not uncommon for kids, especially if they’re into sports. Whether it’s from their PE lesson or from playing out at lunch, grass stains are unavoidable. For this type of stain you should try mixing white vinegar and baking soda and scrubbing with a toothbrush. After the stain has reduced somewhat, you can wash the garment as usual. 

Paint

Does your child often come home from school, having had an art lesson at some point during the day, with paint stains down their clothes, or maybe just on their sleeves if you’re lucky. If the paint is water-based and dried-on, use an old toothbrush to scrub as much of it off as possible. Then you can apply a mix of washing detergent and water and sponge it in. 

Biro

Another common stain, but if you treat biro quickly you can minimise the damage. Something as simple as hairspray or other alcohol based products can do the trick. Spray the hairspray liberally and dab it using a damp cloth. Wash as normal once the stain has lightened and pray for a miracle.

Grease

Although it might seem strain, coca cola is a great treatment for grease stains. Put the garment in a bowl and pour the fizzy drink over it until it’s completely submerged. Leave it to soak for around half an hour and then wash as normal.

 

If you  have any of your own tips, feel free to share them; we parents need to stick together!

 

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Mamma Musings

Top Tips for Leaving Your Tweens Home Alone

teenager

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Leaving your youngster home alone for the time is enough to make any parent a little apprehensive, but it’s something we all have to do eventually. In fact, it’s important that our kids experience being left alone from time to time (once they’ve reached an appropriate age and maturity level) so that they learn to become more independent. Here are some tips for worried parents from an independent college in London.

First of all, you need to evaluate if your child is actually ready to be left alone. Just because they’ve reached a certain age, it doesn’t mean they’re emotionally mature enough to stay at home without you. Only you can decide if your child is mature enough to take care of themselves, avoid trouble and solve problems. Their feelings on the matter are also important; don’t leave them alone of they express an obvious aversion to the plan.

It’s a great idea to trial leaving your child home alone in short bursts, like a quick trip to the shop for some milk. This will help them get used to the idea of being without you in the house. Talk to them after about how they felt while you were gone and if they experienced any challenges. Ask them what they got up to whilst you were gone and make sure they know what types of activities are off limits without your supervision.

It’s also important to make sure your child knows how to safely use all of the appliances in your home, like the microwave and kettle. If you are worried that they won’t manage, then make sure you have prepared them some meals or snacks in advance so that they don’t feel the need to operate the appliances. 

Discuss any potential emergencies with your child in advance so that they are prepared for the worst should it happen. For instance, explain to them what they should do if there’s a fire or a stranger knocking at the door. Make sure they have both your contact details and the details of another responsible adult who can help them in an emergency. When you do eventually leave your tween home alone, give them a call every so often to check in and see how they’re getting on without you. 

Mamma Musings

4 Favourite Activities for Outdoor Learning

It’s important for young children to explore different learning environments; they should get out of the classroom every once in a while and explore the outside world. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done for many children who don’t have the privilege of a safe outdoor space to play in and explore freely. With that said, it’s important for schools and parents to ensure every child receives their fair share of outdoor learning where possible. Here are five ideas from an independent school in Surrey.

A Walk through Nature

boys playing outdoor

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Find a local forest or nature reserve and take a family stroll. Talk about what trees, plants, bugs and animals you can see and hear and how they all survive together as one whole. Discuss how the forest might look during the different seasons and what you can do to help the forest continue to survive and grow. 

Building a Bird Feeder

Invite some feathery friends into your garden by building a bird feeder. This encourages an element of creativity as well as an interest in nature. Your child will learn what different types of birds like to eat.

Growing Your Own

Growing a vegetable patch is a great way to give your child a sense of responsibility and achievement. What’s more, it gives them an opportunity to learn about different fruits and vegetables and add some healthy foods to their diet. When they have successfully grown something, they will feel proud of themselves. 

Reading a Map

Despite the introduction of satellite navigation, it’s still important that kids learn how to read a map. Next time you head out and about, encourage your child to find the way by showing off their map reading skills. Understanding co-ordinations and symbols will help your child in their maths and geography lessons going forward.

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