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Low-Effort Self Care For Mums

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Though we are often taught about the value of taking care of yourself during and after pregnancy, the further you delve into motherhood, the lower self-care drops on your list of priorities. Whether you are balancing work life and raising a family or have a million chores to work through on a single day – it goes without saying that it is often hard to spare five or so minutes to focus on yourself. Nevertheless, you must find a way to take care of yourself – as if you cannot do that, you will, in time, find it harder to take care of others.

With that in mind, here are some great examples of low-effort self-care for mums that can easily find their way into your daily routine! 

  • Understand that being a mum does not have to negatively impact your future goals and aspirations when it relates to your career – and you can find a way to have both bustling family life and a successful career – even during lockdown.  Though this may not seem like self-care, acknowledging your aspirations and allowing yourself to dream is an act of self-care, as it shows that you can still address your own needs as well as your families. 

 

  • Set aside 5-10 minutes each morning and evening that you can dedicate to a skincare routine. It doesn’t have to be a 45-step plan and will likely only involve a few specially-selected products that help you look and feel good. For example, if you feel as though the skin around your eyes seems particularly dry and tired, you can start using retinol creams and serums, which reduce the appearance of under-eye bags. 

 

  • Take a little time from your weekly routine and dedicate it to YOURSELF. Though you love your children dearly, we all need to spend some time alone – whether that means you head out on a walk or enjoy a long bath without being interrupted is up to you – just ensure that you make time for yourself in your schedule. 

 

  • While there are many hobbies you can try out with your kids, you should also ensure that you have some hobbies that are entirely your own too. Whether that means you sign yourself up for a new exercise class or start learning an instrument – don’t be afraid to pursue your interests or try something new. 

 

  • Though this may seem easier said than done, you should ensure that you get enough sleep each night. If your child is particularly young and wakes up throughout the night – try to find a way to sleep when they are sleeping – even if this means you take a quick nap during the day. The more rested you are, the better you will feel. 

 

  • Whether you reach out to your partner, parents or friends – venting is an essential form of self-care that every mum should take full advantage of. Whether your toddler has reached the terrible twos and developed the attitude of a teenager, or you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, venting is good for the soul – as it allows you to clearly express how you are feeling. As a result, it can reduce stress and anxiety, helping you realise that you are not alone and that there is always somebody in your corner. 
Note: This is a collaborative post

 

Features

Should I Send My Child to a Theatre School?

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At specialist schools for performing arts, music, or dance, these subjects aren’t seen as optional extras, they are a fundamental aspect of the overall curriculum. They cultivate young talent and train their students for a career in the arts, using rigorous coaching and practise, alongside thorough academic provisions. While it may seem like a lot to ask of a child, for those with aptitudes in the arts, it may be a better option than a mainstream school. I have teamed up with a drama school in London to explore in further detail.

A full-time theatre school is a fantastic option for students with a flair for the arts. If they were to attend a conventional school, they would have to find time in the evenings and weekends to pursue their acting interests, which can be exhausting. Their teachers may not be supportive of time off for things like auditions or rehearsals. A specialist school will provide them with the best of both worlds, because they will be able to follow their dreams unapologetically, while also benefiting from a fantastic education in academic subjects. 

Many parents don’t consider drama to be a particularly valuable subject at school, but it actually provides a range of benefits that can support a child’s progression in various areas of life. Performing on stage will help them with their confidence and their ability to communicate coherently. What’s more, they will learn the importance of working as a team and supporting their peers to ensure a performance is successful. Students are able to develop a strong sense of character and self-discipline, which might not necessarily be uncovered in a traditional classroom environment. 

Preparing for a career in the arts is fun and exciting, and it also provides youngsters with a range of unique opportunities that they might not otherwise consider. For example, they might go on to chase a career in stage, costume, or lighting design, not necessarily acting.

So, while specialist arts schools are clearly an excellent option for students who are interested and talented in this area, it’s worth considering that there are some superior arts provisions to be found in mainstream education. Only you can decide if it’s the right option for your son or daughter!

 

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Features

Could You Make A Go Of Running A Business From Home?

Working and raising a family can be a lot to juggle, and many people find that they reduce their working hours or even give up working altogether to be able to be there to take of their families. But could there be other solutions to giving up work? 

Starting and running a business from home is easier than ever, and you can do it around your family – working hours that suit you and your other commitments. But naturally, you might be hesitant, and will need to explore your options carefully before you take the plunge. 

Think you could make a go of running a business from home? Here are some things to consider to help you work out if it’s the right move for you. 

What sort of business would you run?

Maybe you already have an idea for a business, or maybe you need to get your thinking cap on? Whichever applies to you, you need to spend time plotting out your idea to ensure it’s something that you’re passionate about, and has the potential to make you money. 

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If you’re unsure about committing full-time, you can always consider a side hustle to help you earn some extra money and establish whether or not this is something you could see yourself doing long-term.

How will you fit it around your other commitments?

Running a business involves a lot of work, and if you’re going it alone, you’ll have to learn how to manage your time well. It can be difficult to juggle caring for your family with the commitments that come with running a business, and you’ll need to make sure you get some time to yourself as well. Learning to get the right work-life balance when running a home business will help you stay on top of your business venture while still making time for your family and other commitments.

Do you have everything you need?

Setting up your own business will require some initial investment. You might need to get some equipment, build a website, buy stock and more to help get your business off the ground. You’ll need to set up a business account, invest in a card reader to accept payments or use online payment methods to make sure people can pay you in different ways. It’s worth checking for different business grants that might be available to help cover some of the costs of getting your business started.

Are you prepared for the responsibility of running a business?

Most of us dream of being our own boss and being able to call the shots, but the reality of running a business isn’t always glamorous. You’ll have to be prepared for some long hours, a lot of admin and some stressful days, but it can all be worth it to see your business succeed. It might be worth speaking to someone you know for tips and advice about running a business, it could be valuable in letting you know what’s in store. 

Running a business from home can be a great way to build something for yourself and help you earn money while raising your family. If you’ve got a great idea and are willing to work hard, then it could be a risk worth taking to provide for your future. What would your dream business be? Perhaps it’s time to make it a reality! 

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Features

4 Ways to Grow Your Business Organically

How possible is it to grow a business organically, especially in this digital era? This question has burdened most entrepreneurs, but fortunately, there’s a practical solution. When the internet broke onto the scene some decades ago, all a company had to do was buy links from brokers to drive web traffic. Others crammed their web content with keywords that had no relation to the theme of their business. However, today the story is different as more than 30% of UK businesses prefer organic growth to rapid growth, as many entrepreneurs believe the former builds customer loyalty, compared to the latter.

Invest in your website

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As the digital age progresses to suit demand, you need to do the same for your business. It’s not an easy thing to keep up with customer demands and consumer behaviours. To get it right, you need a well-developed website with all the required online tools. For example, a website without digital tools to measure Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is not effective, as CRO is the virtual torch in the digital age. It’s the process of maximising the percentage of web visitors and users in hopes of carrying out a preferred action. For example, the desired action can be any of the following:

 

  • Schedule a call or appointment
  • Purchase a product or a service
  • Sign up to a subscription base

Indeed, the list of actions is endless, but as long as it increases your traffic and generates revenue, that’s good news. Admittedly, working on or interpreting CRO requires experience and skill. Therefore, make it a point to search for the best CRO agency to handle this crucial aspect of your website.

Fine-tune your business model

It takes a lot of skill to determine market demands and, more importantly, how to meet such pressures. It’s critical to fine-tune your business model to give people what they want while growing your business organically. By fine-tuning your business model, you can identify areas of your business that don’t accommodate your target market’s specific demands. Therefore, as you begin to offer new implementation services, you’ll inadvertently cover topical areas that hitherto were not given due recognition.

Moreover, fine-tuning your business model offers you a rare opportunity to see first-hand what works and what doesn’t. Again, your clients and customers will develop a sense of loyalty to your business for placing them high up your list of priorities. As a tip, avoid embarking on drastic business model changes as you may lose a chunk of your customer base if you do so. More so, you’ll have no other option than to start all over again from the ground up. A few relevant tweaks are what you need.

Review all existing sales channels you started with

Most successful entrepreneurs admit that the secret to growing their businesses organically began by evaluating sales channels. The purpose of a review is to give you the chance to assess your revenue streams from an objective perspective. How did you start your current sales channels? Even more, what decisions influenced the implementation of your existing sales channels? Remember that the decisions you took when you commenced business may not necessarily hold when your establishment records growth.

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Moving along with the times is key here. Find new and more reliable ways to grow your business organically. Study your competitors and how they push against the odds to maximise revenue. Furthermore, it would help if you identified current trends that drive product sales and cause an exponential increase in service provision.

For example, if you have always adopted the traditional method of selling products and services directly to the customer, you should consider going online. After all, digital is the new global language, and you don’t want to risk getting left behind.

Leverage the advantages social media offers

Social media is undoubtedly one of the best tools the digital age offers. It’s a global platform that offers an endless list of possibilities, especially where networking is concerned. Previously (before social media came onto the scene), business owners were completely reliant on traditional media to reach out to a wider market. As a result, television stations, radio, and print media made tons of money through business advertisements.

Fortunately, with social media, you have the chance to connect directly with your market without having to pay exorbitant fees or charges. Although some social media publicity requires a small amount for sponsored content, it’s insignificant to what traditional media used to require. Now, you have the liberty to grow your business market organically, and at a pace you desire. Besides, consumers feel connected to businesses that interact with them personally, and that’s what you should be aiming for.

Lastly, avoid the temptation of bombarding your social media followers with uncoordinated posts. Keep to a plan that doesn’t flood your followers’ pages or virtual walls with incessant posts. Remember that there are several potential customers on this platform, and you don’t want to put them off.

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Features

How To Make Physical Lessons Safe In Post-Pandemic Schools?

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Schools have had a tough time trying to adjust to the pandemic. A lot of subjects couldn’t be effectively transferred into a virtual classroom environment. Unfortunately, it would be foolish to assume that these subjects are now back on the curriculum as per usual since the schools have reopened. Life as normal has not returned just yet. Therefore, in the meantime, schools remain a significant source of infection risk for teachers, students, and all the school personnel.

There is a real challenge for teachers to make hands-on subjects covid-safe. It wouldn’t be a good idea to drop lessons such as music or PE completely because of health risks. Education serves many purposes. On the one hand, it ensures our children have the skills they need to pursue further education for their career prospects, but also to prepare for real life. While skills such as reading, writing, and counting will be essential, other more tangible subjects play a significant role in their personal growth. What can schools do to make learning safe in hands-on lessons? 

They work with professional equipment

A lot of parents are concerned about chemistry and biology, as these subjects tend to involve manipulation by students as they perform experiments. How is the school lab safe in a post-pandemic world? The answer to the question is more complex than it appears. First of all, it is fair to remind ourselves that the lab provides a first-hand experience in a controlled and monitored environment. Teachers are present to provide the support and guidance our children need. Parents can expect schools to have introduced a range of lab-friendly disinfectants into the science department. This is designed to minimise the risk of infection through lingering germ presence on the surface of the equipment. Schools also rely on professionally designed equipment – Arrow Mixing Products is one of the lab brands in the industry, for instance – that can be fully sterilised and cleaned. 

They try to reduce sharing

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Music is a crucial element of a child’s education. Indeed, music supports brain plasticity, encouraging creativity, memory, concentration, and stress-relief. Children who receive music education are more likely to improve their performance in other subjects, including maths and English. However, music lessons could contribute to the spread of viruses and infections without an appropriate strategy. What can music teachers do to make lessons covid-safe? School music instruments need to be monitored and disinfected closely. Ideally, whenever relevant, a child should be assigned an instrument so that it can’t be shared with others for the foreseeable future. Singing arrangements also need to reduce the risk of droplets spread through the air. 

They learn tips from public places

PPE classes can turn to public gym businesses for tips and tricks on disinfecting the equipment. It can be helpful to ensure that students are fully aware of the risk of spreading germs during sports classes. Teachers can introduce disinfecting steps that will encompass both pupils’ and cleaning staff duties. It is unlikely that all children will be wearing face masks during PPE lessons even though it would be beneficial. But teachers can schedule activities that reduce physical contacts and face-to-face interactions without affecting PPE performance and results.  

Understandably, parents will be worried about how physical subjects can affect children’s health. However, hands-on classes are more likely to encourage high covid-safety protocols, ensuring that everyone stays safe and healthy. In fact, other classes may bring higher health risks as they might not apply the same germ-reducing strategies. 

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Features

Snack Condiments for Your Spicy Cravings

Snacking is essential for any diet.  Not only does it give you the calories you need to push through your day, but they also keep you from overloading your plate during your meals.  The capsaicin found in most spicy food takes this a step further by shrinking your stomach a little and making you feel fuller faster.  Unfortunately, pouring a little Texas Pete on everything you eat is going to get old fast.

Instead of reaching for the old and familiar, here are some other fun and spicy condiments you can pair with almost every snack out there!

Habanero Pepper Jelly

Why not have a little sweet with your spice?  Habanero pepper jelly is an incredible way to fill all of your cravings at once.  When served on a bagel, a burger, or even just crackers, this jelly packs some heat that will wake you up for the rest of the day!  You can make it a savory snack by having it on a cheesy bun or a sweet snack on top of some toast with honey, but any way you have it will make a fantastic snack.

Chipotle Aioli

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Many refer to aioli as a dressed-up mayonnaise, and they’re not far from the truth!  Made by combining eggs, oil, and water- this sauce is fantastic on anything from burgers to fries.  It’s usually creamy on its own, but there’s no reason to let it stay that way.  Chipotle seasoning, powdered red jalapenos can be added to aioli while being whisked to create a beautiful and dangerously pink concoction.  For best results, you should let the aioli sit overnight in the fridge, which will allow the flavors to mingle truly.

Chili Garlic Sauce

From the same family of sauces as sriracha and gochujang, chili garlic sauce is a thick sauce that offers many flavors.  You can often find it fermented in sleek small jars that look radioactive because of how red they are.  This color is a clear warning to let you know about the heat inside!  Not only is this sauce incredibly spicy and ready to kick any cravings eating at you, but it’s also just a little bit sweet, with a deep savory flavor to back it as well.  This complex mixture may be a lot if you’re not prepared for it: but it’s one of the most delicious things you could eat.

Harissa

This Tunisian condiment is relatively unknown next to the other spicy sauces on this list, but it’s quickly becoming a cult classic.  Made from a mix of extremely spicy roasted peppers, garlic, coriander seed, saffron, and other spices, this sauce can range from being served thin- or as a thick paste you can squeeze from a tube.  Regardless of how dense you like it, it packs a punch in the spice department.  Although it’s often used as a cooking ingredient for fish and meat dishes, it’s also just as delicious next to a plate of fries or a bowl of chips!  Just be sure not to eat it too quickly; the spice sneaks up on you!

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Features

3 Reasons to Use Solar Energy to Power Our Home

There are several ways that we can power our home. The differences lie in how much they cost and how good they are for the environment. There is no doubt that using up fossil fuels is the least environmentally friendly option because they are not going to be able to be replaced. Wind farms have to be built on land and in the sea for them to contribute to the renewable energy sources, whereas solar panels, such as those installed by Tampa solar, can be more discretely housed on roofs. Individually, they can reduce electricity bills for a householder or business, and collectively, they can reduce everyone’s carbon footprint. We owe it to our grandchildren to consider the environment. It is a bonus that we can save money while doing it.

Environment

graphic on energy rating

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By using solar energy you are not producing any greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Your solar panels are merely gathering energy from the sun and then converting it into electricity to power your home. This includes powering it in terms of heating and running gadgets such as computers and televisions. It has been suggested that using solar energy can reduce your home’s carbon footprint by up to 80 percent per year. This is considerable and is making a significant difference to the planet. The use of solar power is thought to save in a year as many as 75 million barrels of oil from being used, and equate to a saving of 35 million tonnes in terms of carbon dioxide. We can add to that total.

Cost Saving

Solar panels will reduce energy bills and be low maintenance. This double effect will benefit the household budget no end and mean that there is more money to spare for luxuries and treating our children. And, of course, the more people that have solar panels installed, the cheaper they will become. This is how any technology works. It is expensive to start with and then becomes cheaper when it is bought by the masses. Solar panels have now been out long enough to have become cheaper to buy and to run.

It has been suggested that on average solar panels pay for themselves in three years. This is in terms of seeing day-to-day savings. However, they also put money on a house, which is a longer-term financial gain. So, if you are looking for something to invest in then you need to search no further than the idea of solar panels. It is a financial investment as much as it is one for the environment.

Investing in the Future

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So, by investing in solar panels, you are not only investing in the future in terms of your home’s resale value but also in a planet that you still want to be there for future generations to enjoy. It makes sense to invest in this technology now before fossil fuels run out completely. We should embrace these renewable energy sources and show our children the way forward in terms of doing all we can to protect our planet long after we have gone. If we all play our part then the collective result can be immense in terms of the long-term environmental benefits. Governments are looking towards this and need every one the world over to support them if planet-saving products are to have any effect. If this means driving to and from our solar-powered house in an electric car and only buying products housed in recyclable packaging then this is what we must do.

In summary, we should use solar energy within our homes to protect the environment, because it can save money by being cheaper to run and maintain, and also for the fact that it is an investment in the future in terms of house values. Future generations do not have a say but will thank their predecessors for having left them with a planet that it is possible to still live on. Solar panels provide a dual benefit of reducing energy bills and protecting the planet and so should be embraced for the future.

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Features

Helping Your Child Develop Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence enables your child to express, understand and manage their own feelings. These personal skills also teach your child how to respect the feelings of others. 

Children who learn about different emotions from an early age will find it easier to form friendships and face challenges when they start school. Furthermore, studies have found that children with higher levels of emotional intelligence are less likely to suffer with mental health issues.

I have collaborated with an independent girl’s school in London to share some useful advice on how to help your child develop their emotional intelligence…

Empathy

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Children develop empathy by experiencing it from others. Even if there is nothing you can do to change a bad situation, the key to calming your child’s emotional outburst is acknowledging their feelings. Simply let your child know that you understand how they are feeling. You can also help your child to recognise these feelings by putting a name to their emotions. For example, “I know you are disappointed that you can’t see your friends” or “I can see you are angry that your toy is broken”. Labelling their feelings is a useful step in learning how to manage emotions.

Expression

It is really important to allow your child to express their emotions. Try not to get frustrated or tell your child that they are ‘being silly’ when they are upset or scared. This will give them the message that their feelings are shameful and unacceptable. Instead, encourage your child to talk about how they are feeling and teach them that all feelings are part of being human. This will help your child to accept their own emotions, resolve issues and move forwards.

Problem-Solving

Part of helping your child to develop their emotional intelligence involves teaching them how to problem solve. After you have talked about their feelings, the next step is encouraging them to think about how they can fix the issue or learn from it. If your child makes a mistake, discuss what could have been done differently and what your child can do to fix their mistake. Try to guide your child instead of giving them the solutions. This will give your child the ability to solve problems effectively on they’re own.

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How Do My Child’s Lifestyle Choices Affect their Education?

It has been scientifically proven that a healthy lifestyle supports a child’s academic performance. This is why it is incredibly important for parents to encourage nutritious foods, plenty of sleep and daily exercise.

To help your family improve their lifestyle, here are some great tips from a preparatory school in London

Start the day right

A good breakfast will improve your child’s concentration and energy levels at school. This is why it is really important that this first meal of the day isn’t missed. Make it part of your morning routine and your child will feel the benefits, both mentally and physically. Try to include foods that are rich in fibre and protein to give your child energy, and also include omega-3 to help boost their brain power!

Walk to school

Regular exercise will not only help your child to maintain a healthy weight and fight off germs, but research suggests that children who are physically fit also perform better academically. Be a good role model for your child and demonstrate a healthy lifestyle of your own. Make healthy choices like walking to school

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instead of driving and introduce more physical activity into your family routine.

Stay hydrated

Water is not only essential to your child’s health, but it is also an important factor when it comes to learning. Even the mildest form of dehydration can affect your child’s brain power and their mood. Encourage your child to stay hydrated, both at home and at school, by giving them their own refillable water bottle. If your child dislikes the plain taste of water, you could try adding some sliced fruit to give it more flavour.

Sleep well

Your child may think that staying up late to revise before exams will increase their chances of success; however it is more likely to hinder their results. Sleep improves your memory and aids your concentration levels. During sleep your brain absorbs the information you learnt while you were awake, so the more sleep you get the longer your brain has to process all of this information. Encourage your child to go to bed at a sensible time each night, in order to improve their performance at school.

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Have You Set up A Retail Business? These Are The Things That You Need To Consider

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Has the pandemic inspired you to launch your own business – a retail store, perhaps? You are not alone; lockdowns have created a new generation of entrepreneurs, all keen to get going for themselves as soon as they possibly can.

Starting up a retail business has many challenges. You must choose the ideal location, polish your product line, and assemble a committed team of employees who are well-trained and ready to work. There are many other things to do and keep track of, but the little things are always the most important and help you succeed. Here, we look at some of those things.

Make sure your retail space is appropriate 

Spend some time hanging out in the location where you are thinking of starting your retail business before signing the contract. This will give you an indication of foot traffic to your store, the busiest times of day, traffic issues, how other stores are doing, lighting and accessibility issues, and so on. It is understandable that would-be business owners get excited about a place but overlook some of the intricate points. Spending time at the location could disclose information that you can discuss with your landlord or lead you to continue your search.

Think about the layout of your store

Your store’s layout can be the making or breaking of your business, particularly in a post-covid era. You want to ensure there is adequate space for social distancing should the need for this continue, somewhere where you can monitor for shoplifting and theft, and a way that encourages customers to spend more money than they came in intending to do. Also, consider things like space to try things on or test things out and signage to make everything easy to locate.

Do not be afraid to visit a local competitors store to see their layout and whether it works or not.

Think about how you will offer great customer service

A good retail store relies heavily on excellent customer service. If a customer has a bad experience at your shop, you can bet they will tell all of their friends and family about it, and since social media is so extensively used these days, it willl almost certainly be posted there as well. Make sure that providing the best possible experience for your customers is at the top of your priority list. Teach your employees how to deal with problems and prevent confrontation. Set up easy to use and secure payment processing. If you have excellent customer service, you can quickly gain a loyal following.

What will you do on difficult days?

There will be days when items fly off the shelf, the clients are courteous and quick to work with, and everything runs smoothly. There will be days where you have very few customers, customers that have issues, the till will stop working, the doors will break, and just about anything that might go wrong will go wrong. Hopefully, those days will be few and far between but have a strategy in place just in case.

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