Category Archives: - Get Organised

Starting School

The end of another school year, every year goes by faster than the previous year. It really is no time since my youngest daughter was starting school and I was starting a new course to update my C.V. and improve my career prospects. That was almost a year ago, now we are at the end of her reception year and my eldest daughter will be starting her final year at primary school come September!

It has been a different experience for each of my three children starting school. For Georgia it was such a new experience starting a new school. Kyle was already familiar with the school, dropping his sister off for two years before it was his turn to start and Guin really couldn’t wait for her turn to start school. She had been popping into school all of her life!

There were so many things to worry about when Georgia started school, she didn’t know anyone at the school, non of her pre school friends were going to the same school as her. The list of school uniform, PE kit, school bag, book bag…. seemed endless.

Prior to the big first day we practiced putting on her uniform and changing into her PE kit. It seems like only yesterday she was four years old and I was leaving her at school for the first time, hiding how worried I was, trying hard not to cry as I wave bye bye.

For a very long time Kyle would have preferred to be at home rather than school, as with most things this eventually resolved itself. Thankfully he doesn’t have sore throat, ear ache, neck ache or any other ache most mornings now.

Though it will be one of Guin’s first days at school that will always make me smile. Being very independent she got dressed before breakfast, I was so proud of her managing all by herself. I did however forget to check that she had remembered her pants and discovered at school she hadn’t! Spare pants kept in the PE kit is very useful for such emergencies.

Experience has taught me that I don’t like to leave shoe shopping until the weekend before school starts again. Today’s school uniforms are hard wearing, often with a 100 day guarantee and is  really very reasonable, so doesn’t need to be two sizes too big as I remember my school uniform being.

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Even labelling everything doesn’t prevent it vanishing, so spares are handy until the lost items make their way back home. Finally a bulk buy of black gloves, the style that can be worn on either hand are brilliant, my children rarely bring two gloves back home at the end of the day.

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How to Set Up a Good School Routine from the Start

Any busy parent will know that the school mornings aren’t the easiest days in the week. In fact, having one that is stress-free is a miracle for most families. Rushing around in the mornings trying to get everybody out of the door, complete with bags, coats, kits, lunches and their school blazer, is enough to make your blood pressure soar! Fancy making it a bit easier for yourself? Set up a good school routine as soon as you can, and you’ll soon be able to enjoy the mornings again, without the associated hypertension.

Set up a bathroom schedule

This is ideal if your kids all share the same bathroom. As they get older, they’ll want more privacy as they get ready, and by setting up a bathroom schedule, they can all have their own turn in there without squabbling and stressing you out.

Delegate

As a parent, you shouldn’t have to do everything for your kids – especially as they get older. Delegate some tasks to help build their independence, while also taking the stress off you. From getting their own breakfast to putting their bags by the door, little things can really help.
Remember that it’s not all up to you. While you will need to help them when they’re little, as they grow they should be able to be a little more independent, meaning the pressure on you will alleviate at least a bit.

Do things the night before

Prepare whatever you can the night before. What takes five minutes of an evening can take twice as long in the morning when you have kids running around your feet. Make sure their bags are packed, lunches are prepped and uniform is ready the night before, and you won’t have to worry about it in the morning.

Make sure that they have plenty of uniform options in their wardrobe – if you buy things from affordable places, such as the George at ASDA’s school blazer, trousers and shirt, there’s no reason why you can’t have a good selection in their wardrobe all the time. Make sure that they lay it out ready to go, complete with underwear and socks, and they won’t have to worry about that in the morning, either.

Keep a calendar

If you keep a calendar to hand all the time, you’ll never forget anything. It’s easy to get stressed in the time before school if you don’t remember what’s going on that day. Extra-curricular activities, school trips and PE kits all need to be remembered and a family calendar on the wall is all you need to know what’s happening, and when. The family calendars that you can buy are ideal for this due to the different columns available for different family members.

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Do as much as you can the night before and instil good habits in your kids and your school routine will be honed to perfection (or near enough!) in no time.

Images courtesy of free digital photos

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Mumpreneur Profile: Rebecca Newenham of Get Ahead VA

 

Get Ahead VA

Rebecca Newenham

Rebecca Newenham started her business Get Ahead VA in 2010 after looking for a flexible work solution that could fit around her lifestyle and her three daughters – now 12, 10 and 8. Four years later, Rebecca now runs a team of over 30 virtual assistants – many of whom are mothers themselves and benefit from the flexibility that working for Get Ahead VA delivers. Continue reading

Slimpod Fitness Challenge for June – add your miles to our Round Britain Challenge

I bet some of you have been thinking about losing weight again now that the sunny weather has arrived. And if not going on a diet, then at least I bet you would like to go out and get fitter.

If you are looking for some motivation to take some gentle daily exercise then please take a look at the Slimpod Round Britain challenge, currently being hosted on the Thinking Slimmer Facebook page

 

Essentially it’s a bit of fun, you do some exercise every day, log your miles along with everybody else, and I add them up, total them and plot the total distance around the coast of the UK,  People add in photos as we pass by places that they know, and I chuck in some landmark photos from Google maps.

So if you are out walking, running, cycling or swimming this summer then please come along and join in – then tag your friends and let’s all walk together.

If you are looking to lose some weight too then why not grab yourself a Slimpod.  They were reviewed in the Daily Express today.

How I got rid of 5 stone in just 10 minutes a day 

Essentially it’s a 10 minute download that you listen to every day.  Alongside that you keep a daily journal and there is a great facebook group to join for motivation and support.  What a simple and social way to get fitter and lose weight.

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What’s not to like?  Perhaps the price?  Well how about you follow this link to Thinking Slimmer  and get a 25% discount when you check out your Slimpod.

So I hope to see you joining in with team Slimpod in the Round Britain challenge.  Get out and get exercising – you know you want to.

 

 

 

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Introducing Mum’s little Helper – just what every busy mum needs

I’ve just got back from my two week rock tour.  I’ve had an amazing time, but it certainly feels difficult to get back to work after time away.The inbox is just piled high, and my husband and children have trashed the house and garden while I’ve been away.  It’s hard knowing just where to start…

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The sad truth about running your own business is that if you don’t do stuff it just doesn’t get done. If you take time away then stuff just piles up  It can feel like a never ending struggle trying to hold together your business and your home life.  Something has just got to give – something has got to be delegated.  Even if it is just now and again while you are super busy. Continue reading

How to use Evernote to get you and your Business finally Organised

I’ve had Evernote on my PC and on my phone for quite a while.  I’ve been using it here and there  - mainly to take text notes when I’m out and about for projects, blog ideas etc.

How to use Evernote

But I have recently been looking at all the other things that you can do on Evernote and now I realise that it is just the most useful app I possess, bar none.  Here are some of the things i have done with my Evernote set up just recently. Continue reading

Motivating Mum Conference: 14th May Bishops Stortford – Win a Free Ticket

I am delighted to announce that the first Motivating Mum Conference will take place on Wednesday 14th May, between 10am and 2pm at the Great Hadham Golf Club, near Bishop’s Stortford.

A dedicated information and networking day for women in business and those who are starting up or thinking about it: 

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  • Speakers on topics including: social media, free marketing resources and practical techniques to maximise your time
  • Dedicated times for informal networking during morning refreshments and a light buffet lunch
  • An information and product area to browse
  • A conference guide and information pack to take awayacheivment41

Click here to visit the Conference website for more details and to book.

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The Motivating Mum Conference 2014 speakers

  1. Keynote speech from Saira Hamilton, MasterChef 2013 semi-finalist and owner of her companysmall aubergine
  2. Practical tips on how to develop a social media strategy from Debbie O’Connor, Master Franchisee for Motivating Mum UK
  3. A brief overview on support for local businesses from Liza Armstrong, My Incubator Ware Business Advisor
  4. Free marketing resources for small business from Dawn Southgate,  Head of Knowledge, The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
  5. Practical techniques to maximise your time across business and personal life from Sanchia AronbergAronberg Trainingsuccessquote19

Thank you to the sponsors and supporters of this event:

Prontaprint
My Incubator
Shine Salon Ware
Liberty Wills and Trusts Ltd

Don’t miss out!  Click here to visit the Conference website. 

If you live anywhere near Bishops Stortford (or if you have friends that are interested in business that do) – then please let them know about this event – we would love to see you there.  In order to maximise the publicity for this event, I am offering one free ticket to a lucky reader who promotes the event for us – please enter via the Rafflecopter below.

If you are the winner of the competition below and you don’t need a ticket (because you have already bought yours or because you cannot go to the event personally) then there is the option of a £40 Amazon voucher instead.  So please go ahead and book your ticket and then tell the rest of the world about it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get your Business Idea off the Ground with the Fast Start Up Course

The Fast Start Up Course is a new video course which will give you everything you need to launch your home business successfully. Sign up using my link, and get some extra freebies from Motivating Mum and Mum’s the Boss (see below)…

The Fast Start Up Course and Community

Continue reading

Things That Make Me Happy

Days are very busy with little free time so it is vitally important to look after yourself. It is all too easy to be so busy that by the end of the day you are totally run off your feet and exhausted. You collapse into bed, unable to relax and rest properly, and before you know it it is morning and off you go again. In the long term this is very unhealthy both physically and mentally.

It can be difficult to get enough sleep and feel well rested with young children. This can be very challenging when you work.

I try to simplify where I can.

I stick to basic and simple styles of clothes that I know suit me and then accessorise. This can work well as I juggle meetings with dog walking and the school pick up. Not only do accessories change the look of an outfit, but I feel the attention to detail give the impression of someone who cares, has confidence and able to work to a high standard – important when you are self employed!

Accessories do not need to be complicated:

  • Bold patterns, try picking out one colour and choose minimum accessories.
  • Black works well with bright colours; white and off white works with gold or silver. Oranges, yellows and browns tone well.
  • Bracelets or rings and not both. Watches can make a nice statement, The Watch Hut  have something to suit everyone, from fashion to more classic styles.

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  • Larger earrings work well with hair up.
  • Scarves are great but can be tricky, the internet has great ideas on how to wear them.
  • A stunning pair of heels can transform a simple pair of jeans or a bargain basement dress.

Make sure your careful but simple wardrobe planning isn’t wasted, ensure shoes are clean and polished, clothes are freshly laundered, hair is clean and styled, and painted nails can disguise a multitude of sins!

Balancing family and work can be feel overwhelming, but simple changes in your routine can improve your well being. I make sure I find a little me-time for things that make me happy.

  • Yoga, improves my posture, strength and flexibility.
  • Dog walking, fresh air and exercise and even better to meet up with friends for a catch up and gossip!

When I worked full time, before children, I would go to regular exercise classes and the gym; now I do a little yoga each morning before anyone is up. Once a week I meet up with friends and we walk our dogs, a great work out, relaxing and free.

I work better and have more confidence if I take a little time out. Even when there really isn’t the time, I achieve more when I have spent a little time doing something I enjoy. A little me-time may seem indulgent but it is my long term investment in me!

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February is the Month for Creativity

Can you believe that the first month of 2014 is already over?  It is all going so fast as usual.

I hope that you have made some progress towards your goals for 2014.  I don’t know about you but I like to sit down at the beginning of each month and refocus myself for the month ahead.

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And so we come to the second of the new themed months on Mum’s the Boss and Motivating Mum. In January we were looking at Goals and Resolutions, but this month the theme is Creativity.

Some of you may be looking at the screen and thinking – what on earth does Creativity have to do with mums in business?  We want to learn all about Social media, online marketing and the like.  Well those topics will come in future months.

I have three main reasons for dedicating a month to Creativity:

  1. So many home businesses that mums set up have to do with taking a creative hobby and truning it into a business. I’m thinking of photographers, florists, cupcake bakers, artists and web designers, jewellery makers….  I’m going to be showcasing some of those creative businesses in order to perhaps give some of you some ideas for hobbies that you can turn into businesses.
  2. Even the most basic and humdrum of home businesses can be improved with Creativity.  Whether you redesign your website, add some creative writing to your blog, use more photography or video on what you do, or just find innovative ways to advertise and sell yourself – creativity is needed to carve out your individual niche.
  3. The final reason has to do with that elusive work-life balance that we are all seeking to attain.  i would thoroughly recommend that you take up some creative hobby outside of your working and family life in order to have something that is just for you.  Many of you will know that I sing in my spare time, but I know that many of you knit or bake or do crafts.  We have half term coming up in the month of February so why not do a crafty project or two with your children.

So there you have it – a month to explore the therm of Creativity.  I would love to see how you choose to get creative, either in your business or with your children or just by yourself.  Please stop by the facebook page and leave a comment, or else comment here and leave links to stuff that you are doing this month.

February can still be a cold and dismal month – spring is coming but not yet here.  Next month we will be getting out and about and discussing Networking, but for the moment, wrap up warm and do something fun at home.