Ways to Make Your Small Business More Manageable While You're Busy Being a Mum

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Balancing your responsibilities as a mother with your business goals can be tough. Running a small business demands a lot of your time and if you’re not careful, you can miss out on the time you want to spend with your kids. Finding a balance and using tools that help you to manage your time better is, therefore, vital for your family and your business. Here’s how to do that.

mum and child at desk

Delegate Small and Frustrating Tasks
Delegating those little tasks that you simply don’t want to waste your time on is obviously very important. When you have frustrating little tasks taking up all your time, you’ll find that your days start to feel a lot shorter and you have less time left over at the end of it to spend with your children. That’s why delegating to a colleague or, if you don’t have any, an outsourced service or freelancer makes a lot of sense.

Get Clients on Retainer
Getting your clients on retainer is something that your business will definitely want to focus on. Of course, that helps your business to grow and keep hold of customers. But more than that, it helps you to free up your time because you don’t have to spend your time constantly appealing to your customers or finding new ones because you’ll already have them secured for the month ahead and longer.

Raise the Price and Value of Your Services
Raising the price of your services might sound like a risky decision. But if you want to free up your time, charging more for your time and services makes sense. You can then spend less of your time working and more of your time with your family. Offer quality over quantity; when you do that, you raise the value of the services you offer and, as such, the prices can rise too.

Use a Live Chat Service on Your Website
Using a live chat service on your website can make things far more manageable. That way, you don’t have to personally deal with the little requests and questions your customers have. Instead, you can get on with other important work. With the best website chat service out there, you can be sure that customers will have their basic questions answered without you having to get involved.

Set Work Boundaries
Setting boundaries is something that’s definitely important when it comes to managing your time and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. If you know you want to spend your evenings with your kids, commit to finishing your work by 5pm. Once those boundaries are in place, you and your whole business should work around them. That’s the way it should be. 

As you can see, it’s not impossible to balance being a mother with running your small business, even if it is a challenge at times. Each of the ideas we’ve discussed here today will help you to keep things manageable and sustainable, meaning you don’t have to give up valuable time with your children.

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Different Ways To Spend Time As A Family

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It's no secret that families are important. They provide support and love, and they are a source of comfort during difficult times. However, sometimes families can drift apart due to busy schedules or lack of communication. We have always tried to spend as much time as a family of four as we can which can sometimes be difficult with the boys having an eleven year age gap. Over the years I've come up with ways that we can do things together that we can all enjoy. 

family standing on a bridge

Make Time For Family Dinners
In today's hectic world, it can be challenging to find time to sit down for a meal together as a family. However, making time for regular family dinners is a great way to catch up with one another and share what we have being doing that day. We have something on every night after school but I would say we eat together more than we don't but if you can't manage to have dinner together every night, aim for once or twice a week. And if cooking is not your thing, then order takeaways from your favourite restaurant.

Play Games Together
You all know we do love a good board games night. Games are a fun way to spend time together as a family and now little J is older we can play games that last that little bit longer. Whether you opt for classic board games, video games, or outdoor games, playing together is a great way to have some quality time together. Of course, you can try classic family games, including Monopoly, Scrabble, and Pictionary. But, if you have younger children, try playing some simple games that they can enjoy too, such as Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders. And if you want to get active, consider playing tag, hide-and-seek, or Frisbee in the park.

three males at a shooting gallery

Plan A Family Holiday
Take some time to plan a special family holiday that everyone will enjoy. This can be anything from a weekend camping trip to a two-week vacation abroad. You can also consider multi-activity holidays. This is where you spend time together doing different activities such as hiking, biking, and kayaking. This is a great way to bond and create lasting memories together.

Improve Your Family Communication
If you want to get closer to your family, it's important to ccommunicate effectively. This means taking the time to listen to one another and express yourselves clearly. Family members should feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with one another. If you're not used to communicating openly, start sharing something small daily. For example, you can tell your family about your day at work or school, or you can ask them about their day.

Have A Family Movie Night
Grab some popcorn and snuggle up together for a family movie night. You can either rent or buy movies that everyone will enjoy. This is a great way to unwind and spend some quality time together. We love creating home cinema nights and now that the nights are getting darker it's definitely the right season for cosy nights in.

boy looking at a rabbit on a farm

Take A Family Trip To The Zoo or Museum 
Visiting the zoo or museum is a great way to spend a day together as a family. You can learn about different animals or cultures, and you'll get to spend some time walking around and taking in the sights. This is also an excellent opportunity to take some fun family photos.

These are just a few ideas - there are many other ways that families can get closer to one another. But, most importantly, take the time to connect with one another and enjoy each other's company. With a little effort, you can create lasting memories and a strong family bond that will last for years to come. 

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Visiting The Cotswolds With The Family

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We absolutely love visiting all different parts of the UK and we try to pick out family friendly destinations as much as we can. Although we love our active days and theme park trips as a family we actually love exploring, walks in the parks and visiting historic sites. The Cotswolds ticks all the boxes for us and these are just a few of our favourite places to visit with the family. 

The cotswolds

the enchanted walk at fairytale farm
Fairytale Farm, Southcombe, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, OX7 5QH
Adventure play and animals are always a great combination when looking for a day out with the kids. With a sprinkle of fairytale magic on top you have Fairytale Farm. 

The farm is home to an exciting adventure playground with lots of choice for children of all abilities. Take a stroll through The Enchanted Walk with lots to see and finish off with a visit to the farm where you can meet all the animals. 

If you are looking to rest and refuel then you can head to Beanstalk Cafe, serving freshly ground coffee, locally baked cakes and homemade meals.

Pre booking is essential for visiting Fairytale Farm

Entry fee
£6.75 (adults)
£6.50 ( children and senior citizens)

Open every day 10-5pm from 16/2/22 to 24/12/22

blenheim palace

Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1UL
Blenheim Palace offers its visitors over 300 years of history and 2000 acres of beautiful landscapes to discover.

Blenheim Palace was once home to the Dukes of Marlborough and Sir Winston Churchill. Take a guided tour as you enjoy hearing the history of the palace and all about those who lived at the palace. You will find exhibits that tell the story of their lives, and the lives of those who have run the Palace and Estate for three centuries, through diaries, artefacts, photographs and film.

Opening times vary depending on what you would like to visit so it's best checking the opening times online for the palace, gardens, park, shop, restaurant, cafe, walled garden and miniature train.

Entry for the palace, park and gardens is chargeable and they offer an annual pass which allows you to pay for 1 day entry and get 12 months free. 

lion in the grass

Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens, Bradwell Grove, Burford, Oxfordshire, OX18 4JP
The Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens has over 260 different species of animals covering over 120 acres of parkland allowing you to get up close and personal with the wildlife. 

You can visit a wide range of animals including lions, camels, zebras and rhinos. There is a children's farmyard with goat petting zoo and the kids will love the adventure playground. The natural playground which is located in the woods has treehouses, rope swings and slides to enjoy. 

If reptiles are your thing then you will be pleased to know that the Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens has one of the largest reptile houses in the UK. 

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens is open all year round except for Christmas day with reduced hours in the Winter months. 

Entry fee when booked online
£16.00 Adult
£11.00 Child (3-16)
£11.00 Senior (65+)

cotswold discovery trail

Cotswold Discovery Trail, 60 Bisley Old Road, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 1LZ
We love completing trails and the Cotswold Discovery Trail is the perfect way to explore the Cotswolds taking in famous Cotswold locations and 4 historic counties, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Wiltshire. 

Each trail is completed by car and foot. Whilst on foot you are able to explore the locations. The circular route allows you to start and finish at a location suited yo you and there are two trails available. One trail is in the North of the Cotswolds and one in the south.  Total drive time is approx 2-3 hours. 

The Cotswold Discovery Trail map is £36 for 1 or £46 for 2. 

It needs to be purchased online at Cotswold Discovery Trail.

These are just a few of our favourite things to do whilst visiting the Cotswolds. It really is a lovely place to visit and would definitely recommend a short stay so you can explore everything it has to offer. 

classic cottages in the cotswolds

If you are looking for family friendly accommodation then you can view the range of Classic cottage’s holiday cottages in the Cotswolds. With 3 properties to choose from including Stonewell Cottage, Little Maunditts Cottage and Park Farm Cottage.

Cottages are a perfect place to stay when travelling with the family and can even include dog friendly holiday cottages in the Cotswolds too.

Have you visited the Cotswolds? What is your favourite thing to do?

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How To Prepare Your Baby's Immune System for Winter

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The sniffle season is coming. Weather patterns are shifting from warmer to cooler, and as kids return to the classroom, exposure to bacteria and germs increases. Wellements is a company dedicated to childhood health and wellbeing, and as the seasons shift, parents need to find trustworthy products to help them combat common winter illnesses.

baby sleeping

Boosting your little one's immune system is a top priority as the autumn sets in. With a robust immune system, your child has the ultimate biological defence against common colds and viruses, but how can you help bolster your child's system?

Baby Foods That Boost Immunity
Your child's diet is the ultimate baby immunity booster. The foods you choose to give your little one can tremendously impact their overall health. Some foods you should include in your little one's diet are:

Whole-fat plain yogurt
Sweet potatoes
Brown rice

Whole fat plain yogurt is a fermented food, meaning it is rich in probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria in your child's digestive system. When the good bacteria outnumber the bad, your little one is less likely to experience digestive issues. Also, a healthy gut microbiome regulates immune homeostasis, meaning less risk of illness or infection.

By including a mix of healthy fats (avocados), whole grains (brown rice), and fruits and veggies, you ensure your child's body has all the essential nutrients it needs to thrive and remain healthy and strong.
While no diet can entirely eliminate the risk of illness, it can reduce overall risks. Also, people with a healthy immune system tend to recover from common illnesses more quickly than those without.

baby sleeping

Supplements for Your Baby's Immunity
When looking for signs of health in your little one, look for signs of strong immune system. The most apparent symptoms of a healthy immune system include:

Sound sleep
Happy disposition
Quick recovery from cold and flu
Rapid wound recovery

Supplements can contribute to a healthy system, even for children. Ensuring your child takes a daily multivitamin is one way of helping build their immune system. Also, providing a probiotic supplement can bolster the gut microbiome, which plays a significant role in immune system support.

Before you put your child on any supplements, consult their pediatrician. While you should follow general dietary guidelines, every person is unique. A doctor can help you determine the specific needs of your child. A physician can also help you identify quality supplements or ingredients.

The summer is ending, and the autumn and winter will bring sniffle weather. As a parent, you want to do everything you can to boost your child's immune system, ensuring it is ready to fight off the predictable germs and bacteria of the seasons.

The best way a parent can contribute to a child's healthy immune system is through diet. Choosing nutrient-dense foods helps ensure your little one's system receives all the necessary vitamins and minerals to function correctly.

Sometimes, even with a balanced diet, children need a little extra nutritional support. Dietary supplements, like multivitamins, can help. Talk to your child's doctor if you suspect vitamin deficiencies or wish to improve their overall health.

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What Options Are Available Once You've Left School

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Leaving school can be a very daunting experience. It's crazy to think at the age of just 16 we are expected to fully understand what we want to be when we grow up. Secondary school will try and prepare you as much as they can before you sit your GCSE's by offering work experience opportunities and career days so you can see and discuss the options available to you. Also local schools and colleges will offer open days and evenings so you can visit if higher education is a possibility for you. There you will be able to see what courses are available and whether it's the right setting for you. There are however lots of options available other than sixth form and college and it's important to look at all the options available once you've left school before you decide. 

students throwing caps in the air

Sixth Form
If you are looking to stay in higher education then Sixth form is usually the first choice for most. It will allow you to stay on in your school so you will already be familiar with the setting and teachers and can make the transition to higher education a little easier. Sixth Form offers you the chance to take your A Levels in subjects that you are most interested in. 

If Sixth Form isn't an option for you then college is a great choice when you leave school at 16. It's the perfect setting to discover new interests and a wider choice of courses to choose from. College can specialise in different qualifications such as NVQ's, City of Guilds, BTECS and also A Levels.

If you have chosen higher education such as sixth form or college the next step for you would be University. This gives you the opportunity to learn and develop more in your chosen career field with the chance of gaining a degree in the end. In order to access your preferred course you can request a prospectus from each university you are interested in. The prospectus will tell you not only about the university but also the requirements to be accepted on the course of your choice. 

Apprenticeships are a job with pay, training and the chance to gain professionally relevant qualifications. They have become a popular choice in recent years and can be a route into high-skilled professions such as civil engineer, solicitor, scientist and nurse.

Vocational Qualification
Different qualifications such as BTEC, NVQ, OCR Cambridge National or Diploma are intended to provide more of a hands on practical experience than A-levels, with students going into the workplace.

Take A Gap Year
For some thinking about a career can be a little daunting at the age of 16 so taking a gap year while you decide what you want to do can be good for some. Taking a year out can give you the chance to decide which route you want to take whether it's higher education or getting a job. 

new career signpost

Apply For A Job
If you are not ready to attend higher education, getting a job is a great way to gain some experience and earn a wage whilst doing it. It may spark up an interest that you had not thought about before. Some roles also have the option to gain qualifications specific to that role offering you the chance to gain more knowledge and experience while you work and learn. 

International Internship
Some of us know even before leaving school that we would like to travel or get a job abroad. Obviously it isn't as easy as it sounds but with research and planning it can be done. There are a wide range of internships abroad such as Internationals Internships Tokyo. It's the perfect way to develop in your chosen career and they usually offer a wide range of industries such as technology, business and fashion. International internships can give you a clear insight to working abroad and they usually range from 1-6 months. 

If you have left school and are unsure what to do remember there really is no rush. This is probably the biggest decision you will ever make. All of the different options are there and ready to be explored when you are ready to make the choice.

Why not keep up to date with us on our socials, give us a like on FacebookTwitter and Instagram or if this post has helped you, you can Buy Us A Virtual Coffee to say thanks.

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Lancashire Encounter Festival 16th - 18th September

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Disclosure - We were invited to visit Lancashire Encounter Festival and have been compensated for our time. 

The Lancashire Encounter Festival takes place this weekend between 16th and 18th September. The 3 day event will offer visitors the chance to enjoy art, music, dance, workshops and so much more. With the majority of the performances being free this is the perfect way to spend the weekend with family and friends. 

a mobile phone showing a signpost saying Preston
What To Expect At Lancashire Encounter, In and Around Preston City Centre
The Lancashire Encounter Festival promises to entertain visitors this weekend. The 'what's on' programme is filled with performances and workshops starting from Friday 16th September at 7pm with Gamcha, A Journey. The show is full of comedy, music and dancing telling the story of a cloth, taken from the loom in a Bangladeshi village. As it makes its journey to  UK we see the tale of a father, Syed, and his daughter, Sharmin, as they make their way across the world and across the generations.

There is something for everyone to enjoy and we have already chosen a few that we definitely want to see. 

the urban astronaut

The Urban Astronaut
Suspended on a gravity defying flying machine, the Urban Astronaut travels through towns and cities to provide a glimpse of a not-so dystopian future. On his journey he meets a girl who provides the one thing the Astronaut has lost... hope. 

Magic Story Jars
A free drop-in activity designed to inspire kids to have fun playing with ideas and creating their own stories

Born to Protest
Born to Protest aims to dismantle presumptions about the black male and female figure based on intimidation, danger and isolation, revealing instead character traits around fragility, vulnerability and a constant battle to prove oneself.

This hypersensitivity of the black body in space is magnified by Born to Protest's cast performing to a soundscape which sets up an intense energy with Hip Hop beats and voice over.

a chameleon puppet

Make it Wild
We will be on the look out for the Creative Ecologists with the frog and chameleon puppets. They will also be joining in on the Saturday evening Torchlight Procession. 

Anything Else?
These are just a few of the performances that you can enjoy over the 3 day event. All performances, times and locations are available on the quick guide to the Lancashire Encounter

The guide also offers you a map so you can plan your visit so you don't miss out on any of the performances. It also shows the parade route, toilets, car parks and cash machines. 

As I said earlier this is mostly a free event however some tickets still need to be purchased for both the free and paid performances which you can find all the details on the quick guide. 

Are you planning a visit to the Lancashire Encounter Festival? if so we would love to know so leave us a comment or message us on socials. 

If you enjoyed this post you can check out more by clicking our  'you may also like' posts below. 

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Distinctive Quality in Vinyl Flooring

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 Every kind of flooring brand proclaims to be the very best in cost, ease and style - but many don’t put themselves into the competition to prove how they are the most popular and practical flooring option on the market.

If they did, luxury vinyl flooring would have more than just your flooring cornered, it would have the entire market. Backed up by years of performance over leading carpet and laminate options, vinyl flooring is proud and confident enough to highlight a strongly enforced warranty that outshines all others.

kitchen until and stool

The Look
Luxury vinyl flooring faced criticism for having a tacky and unnatural look in the early days of the product.

In the years since that assumption, manufacturers of vinyl flooring dedicated extensive research into protective qualities and materials to rectify not only the look and feel but also the durability and functional disadvantages of their competition. Distinctive flooring has developed a product that is cutting edge in replicating the visual surface appearance of natural materials - such as stone and wood - whilst also perfecting the safeguards against the things that can ruin them.

Budget Friendly
Luxury vinyl flooring offers cost-effective solutions to fit those who require it due to tighter budgets.

Individual brands and designs may play a huge part in people's influence towards fitting out their homes, with Distinctive offering an assurance of quality that is unmatched. With design breakthroughs at the forefront of the manufacturing processes, modern materials are cheaper and can be a fraction of the cost of real hardwood and its costly installation.

Although a professional is required in instances such as glueing down, if you are savvy enough with DIY then it's an easy enough exercise to undertake yourself.

Long Term 
Luxury vinyl flooring is created using pressed wood, each plank or tile offers extra durability and stronger resistance to scratches, dampness and abrasion over real hardwood.

This also helps to make it a very simple product to maintain and keep clean. Everyday household cleaning such as a mop and warm soapy water can be used to keep it looking as it should and with stain resistance at its core, you can be sure no lasting marks will be left behind.

bath tub and stool

Colours and Textures
Among the chief benefits, luxury vinyl tiles offer is the vast design options that continue to grow.

From natural and generated colours to straight and abstract styles to various textures to suit, vinyl has a lot of something for everywhere, making them ideal for people who are budget conscious when it comes to what they envision for their home.

No matter if it's a certain aesthetic or the overall quality you look too, Distinctive vinyl flooring, such as dark grey vinyl flooring, has the choice you want for much less.

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Are You Considering Vinyl Flooring for Your Home?

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 Whenever you look to install a new floor option throughout the home you are posed with a lot of questions to ask yourself if you want it done right.

The first things that will come into play are going to be around cost and the impact on the look of the home. With so many luxury vinyl flooring options across the marketplace filled with many designs, how do you determine which is the best for you, especially against the environment, style and cost?

computer desk

Where are you looking to install it?
Different rooms have different requirements, and research is going to have to be done into it to find out which flooring option is ideal to lay within the environment.

For example, you need to take into account that moisture will take into consideration much more than other rooms if you are looking into a kitchen or bathroom. This therefore will require a certainty that your vinyl flooring has a design that is 100 per cent waterproof or at least offers maximum water resistance.

Looking at hallways you have to take into account large amounts of foot traffic, which will require vinyl flooring that is highly durable and long-lasting. Fully exploring the room environment and how it is used is a large part of your flooring choice.

Do You Have Children and Pets?
Children and pets are usually a major cause of floor damage and your research needs to reflect a solution that can withstand that level of daily abuse.

Your choice has to incorporate durable and resistant qualities for constant wear and tear. With children and pets running through rooms you need to consider factors such as slip-resistance as well as being comfortable. 

Quick Step flooring is a highly recommended product for providing safety and satisfaction when it comes to hectic family environments, with its practical, soft and durable qualities ensuring maximum satisfaction whilst being easy to clean.

vinyl flooring

Style to Match 
Unless you plan to redecorate your home, you need to find a flooring solution that complements your existing home decor. This means not just focusing on existing colour schemes, but also all joining floors throughout the house.

Choosing a floor that can seamlessly transition between rooms ensures that you don't go off balance with the look. This is why it is important to not limit yourself to whatever stock is on a showroom floor by fully exploring the many designs that can integrate with your current rooms you have no immediate desire to change.

Luxury vinyl flooring, such as oak vinyl flooring, provides all of the above to make your home your own. When searching for a leading brand that fits any floor and provides satisfaction for decades to come, you can’t go wrong with Quick-Step vinyl flooring.

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Zog At Warwick Castle

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Zog has arrived at Warwick Castle this year with lots to enjoy for all the family. Based on the popular children's book Zog by Julia Donaldson the activities are a lovely addition to Warwick Castle and they have definitely made the attraction more appealing to younger guests. 

Zog activities at warwick castle

What To Expect At Warwick Castle, 
Warwick Castle has done a fantastic job of including Zog in their already very popular attraction. The Zog and The Quest For The Golden Star has returned, but new for 2022 is Meet Zog, Zog Live Show and Zog Playland. 

Zog activities at warwick castle
Zog activities at warwick castle

Zog activities at warwick castle
Zog and the Quest For The Golden Star
The Zog and the Quest for the Golden Star trail begins just as you enter the grounds of Warwick Castle. Pick up your free trail map and follow the trail which will guide you to 5 quests which you must complete to earn a stamp. The trail is interactive and will have you learning all the skills Zog has including flying, roaring and breathing fire. At the end of a quest you will have the chance to earn a golden star. 

Zog Live Show
The Zog live show is a must for any Zog fan. You will find the stage show at a secluded woodland. The show features special content developed by Julia Donaldson, and a set design created using Axel Scheffler’s original artwork. You can expect lots of Zog fun including live puppetry, interactive routines and surprise special effects

The show will run until 30th September and will last 25 minutes.

Zog activities at warwick castle

Zog activities at warwick castle

Zog activities at warwick castle

Zog activities at warwick castle

Zog activities at warwick castle

Zog Playland
Definitely our favourite Zog activity. Zog playland combines both sensory and physical play, and has a range of accessible activities. Why not try out the zip wire and try to fly like a dragon. Climb up Princess Pearl’s tower and then slide down Zog's tail. 

You can crawl through adventure tunnels and find lots of interactive activities including sand play. 

There is a chance for parents to rest with seats available and also a kiosk serving hot and cold drinks and snacks.

Meet Zog
An opportunity to meet Zog for a quick cuddle, high five and a photo. 

Anything Else?
The Zog activities at Warwick Castle are included in your admission. There is no charge for any of the activities. 

As well as Zog you can enjoy all the other features of Warwick Castle including Time Tower, Horrible Histories maze, Birds of Prey Show, The War of the Roses jousting show and much more. 

Have you visited Warwick Castle and the Zog activities? 


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