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Mamma Fairy

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Travel with confidence this year, with these helpful travel tips

Have you thought about travelling alone? Of course, due to Covid-19, travel is somewhat restricted right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start thinking about the next time you head overseas. Maybe it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, or perhaps you want to leave your 9-5 behind and see what the rest of the world has to offer. Whatever your reasons for travelling, those who decide to go it alone are going to need lots of time to plan their dream trip, along with plenty of confidence.

The idea of travelling solo can seem daunting. However, it’s worth remembering that every time we face a fear, we get a little stronger! Whether you’re worried about navigating the airport alone, flying long-haul solo, or you’re worried about your physical health and safety whilst overseas, experienced solo travellers would argue that the best way to boost your confidence is to simply go for it! And in the meantime, check out these helpful travel tips that will help you travel with confidence this year.

Know your consumer rights 

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Pic Credit: Pixabay

You’re probably aware of how fraught the travel industry is right now. Covid-19 means that flights and holidays can be cancelled at any moment. Whether your trip is over a year away or you’re due to fly out this afternoon, it’s not easy to predict what is going to happen next. Understanding your consumer rights can give you the confidence to book your next trip, safe in the knowledge you’ll be able to get a full refund if necessary. Creditfix have created an infographic to help you understand your rights and what to do in the event of a holiday cancellation. Click the link to find out more. Knowing that you’re protected financially in the event of a cancellation or travel disruption will certainly give you peace of mind.

Conduct plenty of research

Don’t worry about spoiling the “magic” of your destination. Researching your destination is incredibly smart and will give you the information you need to make informed decisions about where you’re going to visit, where to stay, where to avoid and how to stay safe. From dress codes to common street scams, tourist hotspots and public transport advice. Conducting research will give you the confidence you need to take your first solo steps overseas.

Keep communication open

Being able to communicate with your loved ones back home will give you (and them) peace of mind. Research how you’re going to keep in touch whilst you’re overseas. Find out about the internet connectivity of your destination. Make sure your smart devices can connect whilst you’re abroad and let your family know when to expect communications from you. 

Don’t pressure yourself

While immersing yourself into a new culture is what travelling is all about, don’t be afraid to take comfort in your favourite things. Whether it’s cancelling activities to enjoy reading a book in your hotel room or visiting an international fast-food chain to enjoy a meal you’re familiar with, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Indulging in home-comforts will give you a much-needed confidence boost, no matter where you are in the world. 

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Features

Entering the Healthcare Field Post-Pandemic

While everyone was told to stay at home and shelter in place at the height of the epidemic, it was the frontline healthcare workers who worked to keep the medical industry running. Hospital administrators, ambulance drivers, and even receptionists were on the frontline, as they raced against the clock to fight coronavirus, a disease that is still leaving experts puzzled. Anyone considering working in healthcare has to look at the ways that the industry has changed and the challenges that medical professionals face. Here’s a snapshot of what to expect in your future in the healthcare field.

Students in the Healthcare Industry and Distance Learning 

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Pic Credit: Pixabay

Supplying nurses, doctors, and others in the healthcare industry with critical PPE equipment has saved the lives of countless numbers of people. The demand for healthcare workers was so high that medical and nursing students actually matriculated months earlier in many areas. Students are still participating in distance learning, with more people taking an interest in online MHA programs. Courses of study that were once thought to be impossible to be taught online are actually now fully remote.

How the Medical Field is Expected to Change

In addition to the rise of telemedicine, more healthcare professionals are working in a way to protect everyone around them. Healthcare workers have to be concerned about what they are exposed to, as their families and friends could be at risk. The same procedures involving frequent hand washing and wearing a mask are following by healthcare professionals while at work and in their personal lives. Now that people in present history have seen the ravages of an epidemic up close and personal, they are dedicated to stopping it from happening again. Science has advanced much since the time of the Spanish flu. If the healthcare field can get it right this time, a pandemic of these proportions will never occur again.

And not forgetting behind the scenes, it not just the delivery of medical needs that has been evolving at a rapid pace, its also true of the admin side of most health care facilities. They have had to keep pace with changing and updating technology in the area of patient management and billing, for example hospice billing company can not only offer billing solutions they are not offering an increased suite of regulatory compliance solutions to aid with delivery the best standard of patient care.

Considering Your Safety in the Event of Another Pandemic Outbreak 

Although it was long predicted that the world was due for another epidemic, no one was ready for COVID-19. Medical workers found that they were unprepared and healthcare facilities didn’t know exactly what to do. Now, there are changes that come by recommendation of the CDC. Personal protective equipment is still used by emergency room workers, and it remains hard to come by. New ventilation systems are being installed in hospitals to help keep infections from being spread through the air, potentially infecting healthcare professionals. If you are going to become a healthcare professional, you can be certain that your health will be protected because of these changes being made.

Medical professionals now have a new perspective post-pandemic. Many of them lost family, friends, and dear patients. It has been a very difficult time, but this is how science makes rapid-fire advances. There are several vaccines in the testing stages and scientists worldwide believe that more effective treatments are on their way. What you do in your career can have an effect on the coronavirus pandemic as well as infectious disease outbreaks in the future. 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Mamma Musings

3 Tips for Getting Your Life More Organised, without Needing Lots of Discipline

There are all sorts of benefits to having your life relatively well organised – ranging from the fact you will be able to avoid the stress of rushing to meet deadlines, to the fact that you will be better able to invest time and energy in your hobbies of choice.

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Of course, wanting to get your life a bit more organised is one thing, but actually making it happen is something else altogether. Too much organisation can be a stressful and stifling thing, and trying to get your life more organised using sheer discipline is often a losing proposition.

If you have ever worked in the hospitality industry, you might have noticed that it was significantly easier to serve up meals to strangers than to do it at home, at times.

The trick is that there are things other than discipline that are involved in getting things done.

Here are some tips for getting your life more organised, without needing lots of discipline.

Get yourself connected to external “accountability mechanisms”

The reason why you might find it easier to be organised, and to get things done, in a job context, has a lot to do with the external “accountability mechanisms” that are present in that context, which may be missing in your personal life.

In order to get your life more organised in general, figure out ways to implement accountability mechanisms that you don’t have direct control over. This might be an accountability buddy who expects regular check ins from you, or might even mean putting money on the line with a service such as StickK.

It’s easy to be consistent when there are external pressures, rewards, and punishments involved.

Listen to your intuition, and, to the best of your ability, try to only do things that feel meaningful to you

If you’re trying to structure your life in a way that you don’t intrinsically find meaningful or positive, you are bound to fail – and if you don’t, you will certainly be miserable at the very least.

Take some time to listen to your intuition, and to try to restructure your life to the best of your ability so that you are only doing things that feel meaningful to you.

The more meaningful something feels, in general, the easier it will be to do and stick with.

Develop the habit of getting started more quickly, and thinking about the process less

Paralysis analysis” is a very real thing, and it can certainly apply to maintaining structure in your life, and performing your daily routines, just as it can apply to everything else.

Perhaps the best and most consistent way of circumventing this issue, is to do what you can to develop the habit of getting started on things more quickly, and thinking about the process less, as a rule.

If you sit around and reflect on how much you’re going to dislike doing a particular chore, for example, it will be much harder for you to actually do it.

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Home & Interiors

What Stops People From Getting Their Dream Home?

You only get one life in this world, and, as such, it’s important that we’re doing all we can to make it as pleasant as possible. While many of our life’s greatest moments will take place with other people and around the world, the backdrop of a life well lived is the home. This is the springboard that can push you to do great things, and also offers a cozy retreat from the world. Alas, some people don’t have this in their life. Why not? Why don’t people end up in the home that’s right for them? We’ll take a look at some of the most common reasons below.

They Don’t Know What It Looks Like

There’s no such thing as a “perfect” home, only the home that’s right for you. But of course, this is something that you need to figure out on your way. While you can get inspiration from other people’s properties, it’ll eventually fall on you. As such, it’s important to spend some time thinking about what you really want. A good place to start is to envision what the best home would look like, and then see it’s possible.

They Overspend

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Pic Credit: Pexels

Of course, a home that you would love to live in is most definitely out there, in fact you probably see them everywhere. Alas, those homes are likely highly expensive, and you’ll need to work on a budget. Many people push past their budget when they see a home they really like, but this is a mistake. While the novelty of the house will wear off sooner or later, you’ll be stuck paying the cost of the home for many years. If it’s too much for you, then it doesn’t matter how nice the property is — it will cause stress.

They Move Too Slow

Let’s say that you’ve identified your dream home and that it’s within budget. That is most definitely a good starting point, but there are no guarantees that you’ll make it yours. If you love the house, then someone else probably does too! So it’s important that you don’t miss out on it. You have to be ready to strike. If you’re still waiting for your house to be sold, then fear not — bridging loans can give you the cash that you need. Once you’ve found the house you know you want, don’t let it slip through your fingers.

They Don’t Look At The Neighborhood

Finally, it’s important to remember that when you buy a house, you’re not just buying the property itself — you’re also buying into the community in which it is located. As such, it’s important that you’re spending a decent amount of time in the area if it’s not an area that you know too well. It’ll give you a good feel for the place. You may also want to talk to other people that live there, and ask them about the pros and cons of the neighborhood. If everything seems right, then you can proceed as planned. 

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Mamma Musings

Helping Your Child Stay Connected During a Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has undeniably been hugely challenging for people across the globe, in different ways. Some of us have lost loved ones, some of us have been made unemployed, some of us of lost our businesses and children have missed out on an education they deserve. While teachers are trying their best to ensure children are still able to learn, there’s still a strong sense of isolation and lack of motivation amongst many students. 

Lockdown restrictions mean that children are not able to socialise and blow off some steam in the same way that they used to. Ensuring your child remains connected during the pandemic, which seems to be showing no signs of slowing down just yet, is an important job for parents. Read on for some advice from an independent school in Hampshire.

Video calls are a great way to connect with family and friends during this time. Perhaps you could get in touch with some of the parents of your child’s friends and arrange a virtual playdate over Zoom or FaceTime. Older children might enjoy something like a pop-culture quiz with their friends, in which the winner receives a prize. 

There are lots of video games, like Fifa or Fortnite, and smartphone apps that enable social interaction. However, be sure to check the age rating. While you may not want to encourage your child to spend hours on end playing on digital devices, it’s a great way for them to keep in touch with their friends and have some fun in the process. 

Another option is a movie night. Netflix Party is a fairly new system that allows people to watch movies with other people from a different household by synchronising video playback. You’ll have to pay for a monthly subscription, but it will allow your child to send instant messages to their friends so that they can discuss the film. 

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Features

Top Tips for Helping Your Child with their Homework

It’s safe to say that not many children enjoy doing homework. It’s the last thing they want to do when they get home from what seems like a super long day at school. Parents can help their kids with the right words of encouragement and support, resulting in better academic performance all round. I have teamed up with a private school in Hertfordshire to offer you some advice when it comes to helping your child with their homework, which doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be a maths genius or science whizz. 

By simply showing an interest in your child’s homework and in their education in general, you will have a huge impact on both their attitude to learning and their grades. Ask them what they’re learning about and ask if there’s anything you can do to help. Perhaps they could do with some new revision guides that should be simple enough to find, either online or in a local bookshop. Show your child that you value their education by setting up a dedicated space in the house for their homework that is comfortable, well-lit, and free from distractions. Try and make yourself available during homework sessions so that they can ask you for help if they get stuck. If no-one is around, they are far more likely to get frustrated and give up.

Teach your child the importance of organisation and structure. Enforce some rules about how they spend their evenings to ensure homework is completed on time. Of course, allow them to have a short break and a snack before they open their textbooks, but remind them that each evening, homework comes first. Remember that organisation isn’t just about managing one’s time, it’s also about managing one’s environment. Ensure their homework station is tidy and equipped with all of the necessary study tools and books. 

Perhaps you could consider some sort of rewards chart, like for every hour of homework your child completes, they get X amount of pocket money. Use positive language to encourage them and remind them regularly that you are proud of them for working hard and trying their best. Positive reinforcement works a treat when parents are trying to get their child to do something. 

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Mamma Musings

Preparing Your Child for the School Bus

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Pic Credit: Pixabay

When the time comes for your child to start catching the bus to and from school without you, you’ll both probably feel a little overwhelmed. It’s a big milestone and daunting watching your child grow up and develop that level of independence where they don’t need you by their side at all times. After a few weeks of them catching the bus, it will start to feel like a normal part of your routine, but there are some things you can do until then to help settle your child’s nerves (and your own). Here are some tips from a prep school in London.

As with anything, practise makes perfect, and it can also help settle one’s nerves. With that in mind, hope on the bus with your child as much as you can in the run up to them catching it without you. Show them how to pay, how to press the button when they want the bus to stop and where to get off. Teach them that when there are no available seats, they will need to hold on to a bar to help keep their balance. Practise the route to and from school so that it becomes more familiar. 

Find some time to have a one-to-one chat with your child about how they’re feeling about catching the school bus. If you ask them in front of their siblings or other people, they might not feel as comfortable being open and honest with you about their concerns. If they do share some anxious thoughts, try and put their mind at ease. Remind them that there will likely be other children from their school on the bus and the driver is a responsible adult. Teach them about some of the rules i.e., no talking to strangers.

For the first few days when your child starts catching the bus without you, it would be nice for them if you could walk them to and from the bus stop at the beginning and end of each day. This will likely help them feel a little bit more comfortable, knowing that you’ll be there to greet them when it’s all over. 

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Mamma Musings

Digital Museums for kids

Covid has thrust us into the world of home-schooling with s huge shock. It was not something which I had much experience of  or appetite for but I have ha to learn pretty quickly.  Compared to my own time in school technology has played a huge part and enables us to give he kids a really well rounded home school,  with huge variety and infinite options of topics, themes etc. I have seen a great mix of taught classes, workshops, and themed classes in languages etc. My kids attend an Irish and Spanish language workshop with kids from all over the world. I think its fantastic for kids and fosters a natural inclusive culture which society will benefit from in the long term.

Art and History

My pair love art and love history and one of the most interesting finds has been the existence of digital museums. One of the assigned projects for my almost  9 year old was a collage on the Mona Lisa I don’t think there would be many of us who haven’t heard of this famous piece of art, painted by Leonardo Da Vinci.

Mona Lisa Foundation

Like anything you try to research on the internet there is an overwhelming amount of information out there no matter what topic you try to search.  One excellent resource we leaned heavily on for this particular topic was the Isleworth Mona Lisa.  The Mona Lisa Foundation provides a wealth of information on this topic. An interesting fact which I didn’t know already was that both Leonardo and the Mona Lisa were both born in Florence in 1452 and 1479 respectively.  The Mona Lisa was a commission by her husband. Its a wonderful history to this amazing work of art.

Something which I have being doing is teaching the kids that you need to consider your source of the information in terms of its reliability. The old adage still rings true “don’t believe everything you read”. Its so important to trust your source.

EPIC Museum

The digital world has really opened up kids learning environment which has to be a positive.  Another resource which we love is the EPIC Irish Emigration museum another fantastic museum available digitally during the current global pandemic. The EPIC museum takes a look into the history of Irish Emigration all over the world.  Over 10 million Irish left their country to see out a better life and watching this history come to live is just fascinating.

Also available on their site are online events, virtual tours and themed downloads.  For example during Christmas there was a fantastic pack for kids which taught history of Christmas around the world.

The EPIC museum was recently voted no 1 visitor attraction in Europe and its not hard to see why.  

While we can’t travel at the moment, we do long for the day where we can visit both the Mona Lisa and the Epic museum in person in their own environments. However while its not possible at the moment, digital museums are an excellent alternative for kids and adults alike.

Note: This is a collaborative post 

 

 

Home & Interiors

What Is Organic Bedding

Are you looking for new bedding? If yes, have you thought about considering organic bedding options? If the answer to that is no, we urge you to include organic bedding in your search and not just stick with conventional bedding. Just like the organic food we consume, organic bedding is made without any harmful chemicals. Additionally, organic cotton in particular is healthier for both you and the planet and is primarily what organic bedding is made from.

Let’s take a further look as to what organic bedding actually is and why you should consider it as one of your options.

It Is Healthier for the Environment

As mentioned above, organic bedding is healthier for the planet. Organic cotton is cultivated using methods that are friendly to the environment. That means it’s grown without the use of any pesticides or herbicides. It also doesn’t contain any synthetic chemicals or genetically engineered substances. In addition, it hasn’t been treated with any harsh chemical cleaners or fabric treatments.

All of this means that organic cotton really is all-natural. It also takes less water to produce organic cotton as compared to conventional cotton, which is healthier for the environment as well.

It Is Healthier for You

We alluded to this above too, but not only is organic bedding healthier for the environment, but it’s healthier for you as well. Mostly due to the lack of any chemicals being added, organic bedding is hypoallergenic. This means that there’s less of a chance of any skin or respiratory reactions being caused by the bedding. If you have sensitive skin, this is a necessity. Plus, as children and babies tend to have more sensitive skin than adults, organic bedding is a great option for their cribs and beds too. bed

It Tends to be More Comfortable

Do you want to sleep on sheets that are as soft as possible? Switching to organic sheets is the route for you. The fabric, whether cotton, wool, or otherwise, has no contact with harsh chemicals, unlike conventional fabrics. The result is a much softer sheet.

Additionally, in most cases, the cloth is woven, rather than made through chemical processing. This affects how soft, dense, and crisp the sheets feel, both when they’re new and throughout their lifetime in your home. With organic bedding, the quality is apparent even after regular washing.

Another positive is that organic bedding is better at keeping moisture away, allowing for a more breathable sleeping experience. It also keeps you cooler throughout the night. Not only will you have comfortable sheets, but your all-around sleep experience will be more comfortable too.

It Has a Natural Durability

Don’t let the softness of the sheets fool you into thinking they aren’t durable—in fact, the opposite is true. We won’t deny the fact that conventional sheets are more durable, however, organic bedding can be washed regularly and still retain its structure and its quality for a long time.

When organic bedding does become worn, you can feel confident about replacing it and sending the old to the trash. They’ll break down naturally, as they’re biodegradable. This isn’t the case for conventional bedding, which can harm the environment.

It Is Made with Higher-Quality Materials

Organic bedding is made solely from natural ingredients. There are no synthetic components, toxic chemicals, or anything of the sort. This means it was grown on an organic farm, harvested using safe methods, and then cleaned using hot water and vegan-based soaps rather than chemicals.

A conventional farm might use chemical fertilizer or pesticides in the growing process. When it’s harvested, it’s mixed with the oil and seeds of the plant, and followed by the addition of harsh chemicals to clean the cotton. This leads to lesser-quality cotton and might require further chemical treatment to increase durability.

It Comes in Different Fabrics

We have talked about cotton a lot so far, as it’s the most popular material. But organic bedding comes in many of the same fabrics as conventional bedding. They’re just created using chemical-free processes. For instance, you can choose from cotton sheets and blankets, relaxed linen, bamboo, sateen, jersey, or wool.

It Does Tend to be More Expensive

One thing we don’t want to be shy about is that organic bedding does tend to be more expensive. However, this is for good reason and worth it. It takes a lot more work to be chemical- and pesticide-free throughout growing, harvest, and manufacturing. And when you choose organic bedding, you’re investing in both your health and the health of your family.

It Helps You Create an Organic Home

You might already restrict your home to organic foods and cleaning supplies, but it doesn’t need to stop with your kitchen and laundry room. Your bedroom should (and can) meet the same high standards. In addition to organic sheets, you can bring home organic mattresses, pillows, duvets, and blankets. If upgrading all your bedrooms at once sounds overwhelming, no problem. Starting one room at a time is a good idea. If you have a baby or young child, start with their bedroom before yours since their lungs and skin tend to be more sensitive.

If you’re looking into new bedding for your bedroom, don’t forget to consider organic products. As you can see, there are many benefits to choosing this option, both in terms of your health and helping to protect the environment. In addition to that, you’re creating an even better quality and more comfortable sleeping experience, and who doesn’t want that?

At Plank and Coil, we have everything you need to begin to turn your bedroom into an organic bedroom. In terms of organic bedding, we have various options of sheets, duvets, stroller blankets, shams, mattress pads, and more. We’re sure you will find exactly what you are looking for.

Note: This is a collaborative post
Mamma Musings

Make Some Extra Cash by Selling Your Old Belongings

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Pic Credit: Pexels

The New Year has rolled in and many of us are looking for ways to declutter our homes and get a little cash together after the busy festive period. You can achieve both of these things by selling belongings you no longer want or need online. Here’s a quick guide to show you how to achieve this!

Choose What You Want to Sell

Starting out, you’re going to want to know exactly what you want to sell and what you want to keep. This will inevitably involve some decluttering in your home. If you no longer use an item and it has no sentimental value, chances are you might as well sell it to get something else you will use!

Choose a Platform

If you’re going to sell your belongings, you’ll find that you can give yourself the best chance of finding a buyer by listing it online. Here, the whole world can view what you have to offer and can put in a bid or make a purchase if they see something they like. Of course, you’re going to have to choose a platform to sell from. There are a number out there, including Depop, Etsy and even Amazon for new products. But the vast majority of people do tend to opt for eBay. This is an easy to use online auction and shopping website where you can sell pretty much anything you no longer want – new or used. Of course, if you’re just getting rid of a few bits or bobs, this won’t be all too relevant to you, but it’s good to know that some people make a full time income from selling on eBay, with some eBay stores generating as much as £17 million a year through this site. Selling on eBay is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is list your products. Then people can start bidding on auction products or buy products immediately through the “buy it now” option. Of course, eBay does charge a fee for their services (usually 10%), but this is generally worth it.

Decide Whether You Will Ship or Buyers Will Collect

You need to know whether buyers will collect the item or whether you will ship it to them. This will allow you to add postage costs to the price of item if you are going to ship. Of course, it’s generally easier to post – especially if the item is large. You can compare rates on shipping for all sorts of items, from books to motorcycles, to get the best deal for your customers. If customers do want to collect, make sure you have received payment before handing the item over.

Put Effort into Your Listings

If you find you’re not getting much interest in your listings, it may be because they’re not up to scratch. You need to make sure that you have high quality images of your items and that you give plenty of information in the description, including condition, size or spec and more.

It may feel like a bit of effort to get the ball rolling with this, but once you start making sales, it’ll all be more than worth it!

Note: This is a collaborative post