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How to Make Your Home Office More Comfortable

If you have transitioned into working virtually then it is a good idea to renovate your home office, A good office space can make it easier for you to be more productive.  The fact is that there are many reasons why you might want to renovate your home office. Maybe it’s too small, or not conducive to your work style. 

Or maybe you’re just looking for a change and want a new look. Whatever the reason, we’ve compiled some of our favorite ideas for how to makeover your space!

Clean Up Your desk

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If you have been forced to get into the virtual scene, either because you run an online business or your employer has allowed you to work virtually, you need to ensure that you keep your desk as decluttered a possible.    Many people have cluttered desks. They can’t see their computer monitor because it’s covered by random papers, dirty food containers, and random objects they will never use. It’s important to clean up your desk before you begin working on any task. 

By having an organized desk, will be able to work efficiently and will not be distracted by the mess. It doesn’t take much to declutter a desk. Just decide what you need and what you don’t need. Put relevant items together and keep often-used items reachable but organized.

Add Plants

Add some plants to make your home office feel more aesthetic. If you have a window, get a window box to add some green life to your desk area. It will give the space a more open and refreshed feeling.   Adding plants to the office can help create a more relaxing environment. It’s also good for your mental health since you will often have to take some time to take care of them during your workday.

New Furniture

Pick out new office furniture. It doesn’t have to be brand new, you can buy them secondhand. Just look around at the different styles that are out there and see what you can find that will give your space a fresh feel. 

Make sure you buy an ergonomic chair. When choosing an office chair, make sure to research how it will affect your back.  The height of the chair should be good for your body’s size. It should also provide lumbar support and be comfortable. 

Hang Pictures

Hang pictures on the walls around your workspace to make it feel less boring and more inviting. One of the easiest ways to make an office feel less boring and more inviting is to hang up pictures on the walls around your workspace.  The pictures can be anything photographs, postcards, canvas art, or posters. Just make sure they are things that inspire you.

Get an Ergonomic Keyboard

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Buy an ergonomic keyboard with wrist support if you type a lot during the day. Typing a lot during the day can be hard on your wrists. This is why you need to have an ergonomic keyboard with wrist support to help alleviate any pain.   There are often different options available with these keyboards and trying a few out before making your purchase can help you find the right one for you. 

Add Light Sources

If you find that glare on your monitor or laptop makes it hard to see what’s going on, adding some light sources around and above your desk can help.   A desk lamp with LEDs will give off less heat than an older model while still providing more than enough illumination for working comfortably. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re sitting at the right height not just for comfort but to ensure you are seeing your screen as comfortably as possible.

Add File Cabinets

If you find that there’s no place to store paperwork and other items, adding a filing cabinet can help with storage.  This is a good way to avoid clutter since it keeps all of your papers organized and easily accessible without taking up too much room in the office.

Get the Perfect Office

Creating the perfect home office space for your needs is possible. All you have to do is make sure that you take the time to declutter your space and decorate it in a way that will inspire you.  This means that you can add the right office furniture and even artwork that will inspire you when you personalize your home office. By being creative you can have an office that leaves you engergized to work every single day.

Note: This is a collaborative post

Features

Stress-free Planning for a Family Holiday

Looking forward to a holiday is one of life’s little pleasures, but the practical side of planning and organising it can sometimes be a bit stressful. There’s a lot to remember, and only one chance to get it right. 

The Before-you-go To-Do List

Most of us make some kind of action plan for holidays, even if they’re only in our heads. We certainly have some idea of places to visit and things to do. Having a countdown action plan for tasks before you go is equally useful. Items to go on the list can include:

  • Departure and return dates to give to family, friends, or anyone you’re leaving a spare key with.
  • Flight times with accompanying travel arrangements, taxi, or long-term parking bookings.
  • Getting kennels or cattery places organised, or arranging for vaccinations or pet passports.
  • Cancelling any regular deliveries to your home.
  • Organising self storage if you’re placing valuables there for safe keeping.

Earning money when you are gone

One thing to give careful consideration to is the option to make some money while you are gone, utilising the exponentially growing rental market, especially if you plan on being away for longer periods of time. Covid had changed the way we travel and  now particularly when it comes to family travel, people tend to favour a house/ apartment over a hotel.  For me personally the driver for this decision is the ability to cook meals and the extra space when the kids go to bed… we can chill.  Therefore if this is your thing it is really worth looking into utilising  Airbnb management services to get the best out of your decision to move into the short term rental market.  It can also be a super way to fund your holidays too! And how can you say no to that!

We are currently planning our 2021 and 2022 adventures and my parents really want to go back to Edinburgh with my kids – their grandkids.  While researching for this trip I stumbled across  a company who provide airbnb management services in Edinburgh  and who also offer the ability to book directly through them. Very clever for those who wish to rent their properties and simultaneously use the services to rent elsewhere. The site is really user friendly and intuitive and well worth checking out prior to your next trip or even if you decide to rent your own property out while you are aware.

Plan plan and plan some more 

Sometimes the planning itself can be very daunting, especially if its  a long trip or a trip to a far flung destination. In these instances enlisting the help of a personal travel planner can be hugely beneficial.  A personal travel planner can take care of all the details of your trip including flights, hotels/airbnbs, transportation, excursions, restaurants, tours, sports etc. The great thing about a travel planner is they are dedicated to making the trip work for you and your needs as opposed to for example a travel agent who only works with certain properties etc.

I also make a checklist for the final walkthrough before I leave. Checking that lights are off, everything is unplugged that should be, and you didn’t leave the oven on, clears any nagging doubts out of your mind.

Stress-free Packing

Packing for a holiday can be more stressful than it needs to be, especially if it falls on one person to do the job for all the family. Make it easier by:

  • Starting early. Give yourself a few days to gather everything and do any laundry. 
  • Having a packing rehearsal. Make sure everything fits in the cases you have, and that your cases conform to airline regulations.
  • Working from a packing list. Write down specific items each person will need, then tick them off as they’re packed.
  • Avoiding those ‘just in case’ items by packing according to the type of holiday you’re taking, the activities you’ll do, and how long you’re going for. Also, can you wash things while you’re away? If so, you don’t necessarily need a fresh outfit everyday for everyone.

Pop cables, chargers, adaptors, or batteries in separate bags. (Little sandwich bags work well). As well as preventing tangled wires, you can use these to help protect phones or hold keys when you’re on the beach, and they’re useful for keeping together paper items such as venue or travel tickets. Just remember not to leave them behind on the beach!

Home Security

Knowing everything’s safe at home gives you peace of mind while you’re away, so it’s worth giving it some thought. Things to consider include:

  • Asking a neighbour to keep an eye out. If they can actually go in and just check around that would be best, but at least let them know you’re on holiday and not expecting any visitors. If they see anyone on your property, they’ll know they have no business being there.
  • Putting valuables into storage. You can rent a locker storage unit if you don’t want a bigger space. If the worst happens while you’re gone, at least your valuables will be safe. Think of jewellery, important documents, or items with sentimental value that you could never replace. You could also consider computers, cameras, or other equipment that’s expensive but easily portable.
  • Put a couple of lights on a timer so they come on at dusk and go off later.
  • Check home insurance to make sure your possessions and property are covered if the house is left empty. It probably is, but you check if there are any exclusions and make arrangements accordingly.

Happy holidays take some organising, but if you allow plenty of time you can make it part of the anticipation and enjoy the process!

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Features

5 Handmade-Business Ideas You Can Take On to Earn Extra Income

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Whether to make ends meet, pay off debt, or monetize an arts and crafts passion, having multiple sources of income is a practical goal in today’s world. There are times when a full-time job cannot cover the costs of sudden unfortunate incidents like accidents or injury, so having that extra fluff on the budget certainly helps in situations like these.

If splitting the body were an option, a lot of people would take that opportunity because there is simply not enough time to take more jobs when you have two. Fortunately, the internet exists, and there are thousands of handmade crafts that are highly sought, so you can sell them well online. Setting up shop online is easier than you think and only requires minimum supervision, so you can focus on more important things like making the stuff you want to sell.

Looking for home craft-business ideas? Read on below.

Baked Goods

It can be hard to go wrong with baked goods, my sister in law actually started doing this during the first lockdown at the very early stages of Covid and her new business which started as a hobby has really thrived. Just one word of caution is to check compliance with the relevant Health & Safety guidelines where you are, it is imperative that they are followed.  I was more than happy to help out with research for my sister in law, in fact I happily applied for the chief taster option…. I mean who would say not to carrot cake topped scones…one word divine.  However one challenge she did have was sourcing bespoke packaging her wish list was sustainable, high quality and eye catching. After all you want repeat business and often times the packaging can create the wow factor particularly for products that are used as gifts in an already crowded market.

Bath Products

Soaps and bath bombs are the most accessible feel-good treats that anyone can buy. Most people purchase these products as a reward for themselves. The most popular bath products today are organic and made with avante-garde designs, shapes, and scents.

It takes time and multiple trials and errors to master the art of soapmaking. The costs may be huge in the beginning, but profits will build overtime once the processes are streamlined. Additionally, buying materials in bulk wholesale prices will reduce the costs per bar.

Knitted Items

Many hobbyists find knitting a pleasurable pastime. You only need needles and yarn to start, and while that is deceivingly simple, the options for these things are endless. There are thin and thick needles made of wood or plastic, and balls of yarn come in different sizes and colors.

If you’re interested to learn, there are countless beginner’s guides out there you can follow. There are plenty of knitted things that you can profit from. Items like gloves, scarves, and hats are always popular during colder seasons.

Luxury Scented Candles

Believe it or not, there is a market for people who are obsessed with candles. These are the folks that you see at the candle section of the store, sniffing and admiring blocks of wax and wicks. Candles have really come a long way since their invention.

In modern times, candles imbibed with scents are often used for relaxation, and that is one of the reasons they are popular. Candlemakers often come up with new types of candles for each season as these are also used as decorations. 

The market for candlemaking is fairly saturated because makers know that supplies are inexpensive. Your edge is to make new aroma combinations and packaging that are attention grabbing to stand out from others.

Slime Products

Slime is big business (probably driven by my pairs!!!), and makers as young as teenagers have made big bucks off it. This gooey, sticky, non-Newtonian fluid has surged in popularity over the years because of how fun and satisfying it turns to solid, then liquid, and back again. Many people also use slime as a stress reliever while others collect it.

Basic slime ingredients are easy to get, and making one is fairly simple. There are different varieties of slime, including glitter, fluffy, popping, and glow in the dark. The most important thing to remember to make slime last is to store it in an airtight container so it doesn’t dry out.

Make Seasonal Items

Apart from pricing products for profit and having the right branding, consider making special limited items for the changing seasons. This is an excellent way to boost your sales and drum up excitement for people anticipating new products. 

What other handmade items do you think are popular-enough businesses to earn extra income from? Share your thoughts in the comments.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Features

The Sources Of Business Downtime You Should Be Preparing For

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There is no such thing as the business that is going to be working efficiently 100% of the time and expecting that much is an easy way to see yourself failing to meet your targets. However, that said, you should be aiming to reduce downtime as much as possible. Here, we’re going to look at some of the most common causes of business downtime, how they can affect your business, and what you can do to combat them.

Some of these sources are going to directly affect business operations and resources, but others are personal sources of downtime that can affect you and your employees.

Blackouts and brownouts

They might not be the most common thing in the world, but when they do hit, they can cause a huge disruption, especially if they take more than a couple of hours to fix. If your business is hit by a power cut or any other power supply options, what can you do to keep it up and running? The best option may be to make sure that you don’t need to rely solely on energy from external providers. Setting up a backup power supply, such as a battery pack or an emergency generator can see things kicking into action mere seconds after a power cut hits, allowing you to keep working.

Losing your network

The vast majority of businesses now rely on the internet to operate, be it in little ways or large. For that reason, if you’re finding that you lose access to your network repeatedly, it can become a serious interruption that becomes too costly to bear. Having an IT team check out your network set-up for any faults should be the first step and, beyond that, checking to see if any competing providers offer a more reliable service should follow. However, backup internet connections from teams like Morefield Communications might be able to help you ensure that you can stay online when your primary network is down. This can be especially important for any businesses that use unified communications systems, such as wiring their phone networks through the internet.

Electrical faults and failures

There may be issues with the power supply and electrical equipment in your business, but it’s not always down to blackouts or similar losses of power. The more electrical equipment you have in your business, the more likely that you are to run into problems with electrical problems. What’s more, you might find that the average residential electrician might not have the experience or expertise to help you deal with said faults. Teams like Caslec Electrical & Data are more likely to be better equipped to help you get your business back up and running. Make sure that you have the contact for a local electrician that is able to get out as quickly as possible to help you get back up and running.

Data breaches and their massive impacts

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While some of the interruptions here can be costly due to the nature of reducing business productivity to zero, there are few that can have consequences as serious as a data breach. Many businesses are asking customers for data and collecting it to better help them gain insights on how to serve their market. Experiencing a breach that puts this data at risk can shut down your business, but it can also put it at least risk. Invest in the appropriate IT security provisions to protect the data that you keep. Beyond that, look into the crisis management plans that you should have in place to get things back up and running and to start communicating effectively following a breach.

Humans errors and distractions

Usually, when your team isn’t being as productive as you would like them to be, it’s because there is a systemic issue that’s affecting that productivity. However, there are plenty of internal reasons for lost time as well. Errors in work can require workers to go back and fix their mistakes. However, distraction tends to be one of the biggest causes of human downtime. You can help prevent it by creating workspaces where workers are less likely to distract one another, and using tools like Freedom to restrict access to websites that might be particularly time-consuming when it comes to your workers’ use of their digital technology.

Roadblocks and bottlenecks

There may not be a technical or even a personal reason for some of your team finding it difficult to get on with the work that they’re supposed to do. Sometimes, it can be down to a matter of how that work is organized. Your workers can often rely on progress made by other workers in order to get on with their tasks, especially when it comes to large-scale collaborative projects. To that end, you need to make sure that work processes are ordered and organized in a way that prevents delays as best as possible and identifies bottlenecks in the process. Project management tools like Mavenlink can help you ensure that effective communication and planning keep the workload as orderly and reliable as possible. You can’t prevent every delay, but you can do your best.

Note: This is a collaborative post

Features

5 Innovative Startups In Logistics That Are Changing The Industry

It seems like something of an oxymoron. Starting up a business now, in this climate after everything we’ve just been through a planet. However, truth, as they say, is far stranger than fiction, and as it turns out, this just happens to be one the best times in modern history to start a new business.

So, the words “logistics”, “supply chain”, and “cold storage” hardly strike an inspirational fire the likes of which Vulcan would be proud of, but take a look at these five new startups in cold storage and cold-chain supply logistics from right around the globe, and get yourself some courage!

INPROUS – Temperature Controlled Packaging

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For our first case study, we go to Spain to see how this company addresses the ever-changing needs of the packaging industry.  As the sector worldwide moves to become greener, more sustainable, and “smart” simultaneously, this has given budding entrepreneurs and visionaries a whole new level of creativity to aspire to.  Take a look at this article out of the United States to get an idea of just how rapidly this element of product and brand management is evolving – and the profit-making potential is rising.

So INPROUS develops ecologically sound and specialised packaging solutions for a wide range of industries.  Pharmaceutical companies, diagnostic laboratories and hospitals, to name just a few of their clients, have highly technical logistical requirements that, by nature of their storage needs, can at times fall foul of environmental goals.

They also provide a range of reusable thermal containers that can be remotely monitored, taking the stress from rotational planning and monitoring. Genius.

CLOUDTRACK – Temperature Monitoring

Now we go from Spain across the ocean to India. 

CloudTrack has developed highly sophisticated temperature monitoring systems through the “Software-as-a-Service” (SAAS) platform. In today’s age where goods have to make it across large distances, and where that distance could exponentially increase the “risk factor” for insurers, ensuring precisely monitored and delivered temperature control in cold storage logistics is critical.

CloudTracks system offers real-time monitoring and reporting of cold storage to preset levels. As soon as there are deviances from these levels, the system communicates with the client via SMS or phone call to let them know of the event. Their system dramatically reduces the chances of produce or pharmaceutical products arriving damaged or worse.

SOLARFREEZE – Sustainable Mobile Cold Chain

Tulips from Amsterdam are lovely, but chances are – you’re getting them from Kenya. The East African country has positioned itself as a significant player in the global floral trade. This has meant innovations in how these beautiful blooms make it all the way from Africa to Europe and beyond.

Enter “SolarFreeze”. This company develops solar-powered cold storage units. The electricity generated by photovoltaic panels is stored in the form of ice to keep the flowers chilled in non-solar hours. These units are used for all types of perishables, not just flowers, and they communicate with farmers in real-time via an “app”.

SmartCAE – Simulated Temperature Control

Back to Europe now, where German company SmarCAE creates sophisticated virtual models of the cold chain for testing and optimisation purposes, a critical element of the entire cold-chain supply business.

Ensuring that quality and freshness remain as near perfect as possible throughout the cold-chain logistics function is an ongoing challenge for companies in this field. As a product moves from farmer/producer to transport, storage, transport back to the warehouse and finally to destination, there are many potential areas in that chain where things can go less than desired. SmartCAE offers software tools that analyse the performance of packaging by simulating the conditions of an insulated shipping system.

HashMove – Smart Third Party Logistics

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Ask anyone involved with shipping, transporting or getting anything from one location to another, and they’ll likely tell you that they preferred getting a root canal. Then, when you add in the more significant challenge of temperature-controlled storage and transportation, well, you could make that a double-root canal.

It’s expensive, cumbersome and tough to keep a handle on all of the moving parts and moreover, requires a team of specifically trained personnel.  This means that companies are outsourcing to third party logistics providers instead of having to refit and rekitt their own operations with the latest AI/Software solutions. HashMove develops platforms for manufacturers and suppliers so that they can collaborate with  logistics providers, in order to outsource their coldchain logistics. They also provide real-time monitoring and reporting including location tracking.  The great thing about their software is that it interacts with the IoT (the internet of things), so you’re getting an holistic structure of useable data.

Right around the world, the logistics industry and all of the associated industries are set to explode. Especially in the developing world where many of the raw materials and resources that the industrialised world needs to operate, originate from. “The Times” of India has a very good read that you can find, here.

For the budding entrepreneur the time has almost never been as right, as right now. Retail, business services, solutions based suppliers and information technology industries are all tipped to see massive gains in the coming years. When you expand your way of thinking all the way down the processes that are involved in restarting the planet, one can barely contain the excitement.

Logistics and all of the associated industries that feed this industry is set to be a big gainer so if you’ve been thinking about expanding, diversifying or restarting you may want to think about getting in on the action and providing solutions where Compressed Air Treatment is a necessity. 

OK, that was somewhat lighthearted because clearly logistics is not an industry for everyone, but this post goes to show you, and this is especially true if you’ve had a particularly tough run of the last year, that hope is not lost. The world of business is screaming to get restarted and that means entrepreneurs the world over are realigning, redesigning and reevaluating what the “new normal” commercial landscape is going to look like.

And so, can you.

Features

Building A Positive Relationship With Your Spouse

Relationships need a great deal of nurturing to keep them healthy. Unfortunately, with life’s pressures, it can become challenging to keep up with the nurturing bit. Although 2020 recorded the lowest number of marriages in Ireland (9,523 hookups), it doesn’t change the importance of building and maintaining a positive relationship with your spouse. That said, here are a few ideas on how to do it for your consideration.

  • Adjust your expectations

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Arguably, most people who fall in love tend to do so when some of their expectations are met. However, you can never fully know the person you fall in love with until you’re faced with a situation and then realise that the person doesn’t possess all the ‘specifications’ you desired. It’s why relationship experts always recommend adjusting your expectations where your spouse is concerned. The truth is, relationships change, and the two of you are no different.

Marriage is not a lifetime of the honeymoon phase, and that is the first thing you must acknowledge. You will lose some of the spontaneity you both enjoyed in the early days of your relationship. It is normal for that to happen, but the tip here is not to normalise it because it could lead to indifference and a possible breakdown of the relationship. The bond you share with your spouse is like a seed that needs careful watering to blossom into the beautiful flower you both desire.

  • Acknowledge and celebrate anniversaries

Most of the time, men are the main culprits where forgotten anniversaries are concerned. For whatever reason, wives remember birthdays, anniversaries, etc., most of the time. The truth is, no matter who remembers it first, the most important thing is to make the period count. You can start by reaffirming your love for each other (no guests needed). In that case, you can exchange gifts that signify your love for each other, and the historically backed white gold emerald Claddagh ring is an excellent example for your spouse. That can become your love symbol of renewal. 

  • Create rituals

What do you do when there are kids in the picture, coupled with busy work schedules on both ends? This is where you need creativity. Creating rituals in your relationship means taking deliberate steps to nurture and cement the bond. This can be in the form of a monthly date, weekend breakfast in bed, or an annual vacation for just the two of you.

A daily goodbye kiss before and after work improves intimacy and closeness. The secret about these rituals is to be deliberate about them to create or enhance stability in the home. Before you know it, both of you will begin to look forward to these rituals. Even better, you’ll both become interested in creating new rituals.

No great spousal relationship works out on its own. It takes a great deal of effort for the parties involved to remain positive and committed to each other. Hopefully, you can do the same.

Note: This is a collaborative post

Features

4 Ways to Prepare Your Business for an Unusual Holiday Season

Christmas

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Every business is gearing up for massive sales as we enter one of the busiest shopping seasons. However, this year is far from the normal calendar year. With the pandemic and recession causing businesses to close, the surviving companies have to do whatever it takes to remain afloat. The consequences can be seen in declining customer spending power.

That should not worry you if you know what to do to make the most of this shopping season. Here are four ways to prepare your business for an unusual holiday season. 

Enhance your online presence

Digitalization is not a new concept in business. However, this pandemic has hastened the move to digital platforms. As we come closer to the busiest shopping season of this calendar year, you can expect online shopping to increase drastically. 

If you rely on in-store sales, this is the time to shift to online shopping or miss out. Accordingly, if you have an online presence, ensure you have the tools needed to make shopping and payments more accessible and manageable. Create a seamless system that helps you attract more clients and drive up sales. 

Simplify customer checkout experience

Customers want to shop with a single click or touch of a button. This is even more common with increasing eCommerce activities. As you prepare your business for this unusual yet busiest shopping season, reduce the friction by making shopping more seamless. 

Ensure your platform does not take customers around to make purchases. The simpler the checkout experience, the more sales you will make this season. This is made possible by reducing the cart abandonment rate. Wrap up the transaction as fast as possible to allow clients to check out with a single touch or click.  

Improve engagement

Customers are shifting more to online shopping. Interestingly, if you do not improve engagement, you will still miss out even with an online presence. Many businesses make their services more accessible by engaging more with their clients online and physically. You should meet your customers wherever they are and enhance in-context checkout. 

Additionally, simplify your marketing processes and campaigns to reach more clients. This is the time to think about more personalized campaigns that enhance customer experience. Think about using inflatable marketing tools or targeted and personalized adverts for every customer segment. Visit Glow Inflatables to learn more about marketing inflatables. 

Offer flexible shopping and payment options

This pandemic has hastened digital migration, meaning that all transactions are done online. With the declining in-store purchases, you should ensure your clients get the most seamless and flexible shopping and payment experience. 

Customers want to shop and pay faster without wasting time on your product listing pages. You can make it more convenient by including the option to buy now and pay in installments over time. This strategy is one of the best ways to improve customer loyalty even after the holiday season. 

Final thoughts

There is no denying that the covid-19 pandemic and the resulting global recession have shifted the retailing landscape. Whatever you do going forward should focus on improving customer experience. Create a brand awareness campaign today and adjust accordingly to the new normal to help you adapt and thrive. 

Note: This is a collaborative post

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Jewellery makes the perfect gift

I know choosing gifts for loved ones can be a tough choice however I think I have found a really great choice for pretty much any occasion.  Jewellery is kind of like the old reliable, can be safe choice too sometimes. However there is an insane amount of choice out there so where do you even start?! While most people will have heard of Pandora bracelets and charms, Gnoce is a much more budget friendly option without compromising on quality.  There is a massive selection of bracelets, in various colours and styles with a fantastic selection of charms to choose from including my favourites… personalised photo charms and engraved charms. There really is something special about receiving a personalised gift, it shows a lot of thought and care I think anyway.

Pic Credit: Gnoce

I am not a huge jewellery person for decorative purposes but I do love meaningful jewellery,  one with a a lot of thought put into it and that for me is what Gnoce brings – I know name necklaces remain popular for all ages and I can say hand on heart it would be very much appreciated as a gift for Christmas or a birthday. Gnoce prices are really affordable making them a great choice for many occasions.

They don’t just do bracelets and necklaces, there is also a large selection of rings, earrings and men’s jewellery.

Halloween

Pic Credit: Gnoce

However, I know a few people who absolutely adore Halloween (not me!!) and I noticed Gnoce do really cool selection of spooky Halloween charms, if this is your thing you will want to check this out. Do keep an eye out for offers as I see currently they are running a buy 2 keep one free offer.

The personalised photo charm is definitely on my list, I really do have a weakness for personalised item and love wearing them with pride.

Note: This is a collaborative post

Features

How to Raise a Confident Child

Confidence – that magical trait which all parents want their child to be in possession of. What makes a confident child? Is it nature or nurture? Research suggests it’s some of both – while some children are born socially gifted, others can certainly be trained into the habit of self-belief and self-confidence. So here are some top tips to ensure that you’re well-armed when it comes to helping your child be at their confident best at all times.

It starts early

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You can’t begin too soon. From birth, most children are protected from the harsher realities of the world by loving parents but there’s a fine line between protecting and smothering. As your baby grows into a toddler, it can be difficult to loosen the reins and let them experience a few bumps on the road to growth and learning. But it’s vital that we do loosen the reins. If we protect toddlers from every single knock and bump, they won’t learn how to navigate as quickly or as confidently as they might otherwise do when left to their own discovery.

Provide your toddler with many safe opportunities to explore the world physically and mentally. Take them to parks, gardens, play centres, libraries, museums, and playgroups. Allow them to climb appropriately, to touch and experience different textures and materials. Allow them to get dirty! Talk to them constantly – offer positive reinforcements when they successfully navigate a new environment. Praise them for trying new things and commiserate – but briefly – when they fall.

Small children are like sponges – let them see you in action and at your most confident. You are their best role model and it’s to you they will look when they come to measure their own successes. 

As they grow

Once children reach school age, some experience a period of shyness or difficulty relinquishing their attachment to you as carer. A new environment, exposure to new people and routines can cause all sorts of emotions to rise to the surface. Talk them through these times by naming their emotions. Little children have no experience of emotions in an intellectual way so they can’t always make sense of strong feelings.

If a child has never felt jealousy or insecurity before, then how can they process that emotion without a name for it? Discuss their feelings with them and let them know that they are valid and normal. Give them the tools they need to become the confident, outspoken individuals you know they can be.

Schools can also be supportive when it comes to helping children to feel more confident. This prep school in London offers many strategies to nurture children and to help them grow into confident young adults.

Note: This is a collaborative post 

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The Benefits of Journaling for Kids

Journaling for children is growing in popularity and as more parents realise just how powerful this quiet hobby is, sales of journals and associated equipment have really skyrocketed. But the best part of journaling is that in fact, no real spend is needed. Your child doesn’t need fancy paper or pens to begin – they just need paper and something to write with.

Of course, some children might love to have some extra bits and bobs to make their journals more exciting but that’s up to you as a parent. There’s no need to spend a lot. Cheap stickers, pictures cut from old magazines, these are all great additions to a fun journal.

Journaling can also help children with their literacy skills. This independent school in Woking employs many different creative means to assist children in their journey towards fluent reading and writing.

The point of journaling

journal

Pic credit: Pixabay

Why journal? In short, it’s a wonderful way for children to get their thoughts, frustrations, fears, joy and creativity out and into one place. They’re great to look back on as your child grows too! Parents can see a visual record of their development and how they change as the journals progress.

This is also great for children – offering a way to make sense of events in their lives which at the time might not seem very important but which later, they come to realise were pivotal moments.

Getting creative with journaling

One of the most attractive things about journaling is that there are no rules! Children can choose to fill a page with words only, or with words and images or even just one word if they so choose.

Whatever helps them to express themselves is a positive addition to their journal. Children can feel immense pride and satisfaction through journaling and whether they add to it daily, weekly or less, the great thing is that they can choose – it’s up to them, unlike homework!

Support your child in their journaling by ensuring they’ve always got ample equipment including pens, stamps, stickers, papers and pencils – this helps to inspire them and keep them filling those pages in!

Note: This is collaborative post