A 5-Step Guide to Planning A Baby Shower

If you, or one of your best friends, are soon to be a new mother, it is expected that there will be a baby shower. This event gives family and friends an opportunity to celebrate the coming of the baby and to some, meet the new arrival. Planning such a joyous event needn’t be stressful.

expecting parents. Mum with baby bump

With that in mind, here are a few tips to ensure that the event goes off without a hitch.

Compile a Baby Gift List – This will ensure that the new mum gets a variation of essential items that she will need. This could be included in the invitation, which will ensure that every guest has the list, and the new mother will have everything she needs to take care of the baby.

The Invitations – Designing and printing baby shower invitations is made much easier by enlisting the help of an online provider. You simply choose the text that you want, select the paper and the design and they do the rest, sending you the required amount of invitations by post. You should allow at least 6 weeks notice to guests when planning a baby shower, which gives them adequate time to rearrange their schedule to fit with the chosen date.

Food & Drinks – You should consult with the mum to be and see what ideas she has. You could simply order a few pizzas and make a salad buffet. It really depends on how many people you are going to invite, and a buffet is much preferable to a sit-down meal. As you know the guests, you will have a good idea about their drink preferences, and make sure that you have a range of drinks that includes non-alcoholic beverages, as not everyone drinks. If you are lacking inspiration over the menu, there are some great buffet ideas for a baby shower, which might help you prepare a varied menu.

baby shower food table

The Venue – It might be that you plan to hold the event at the new mother’s home, or a good friend offers to host the party. Whatever you choose, there needs to be ample parking facilities for the guests. You could have the party outside, if it is summer, and you can combine the garden with the home, to give the guests a choice. If you have enough of a budget, you could hire a hall or a private room in a resort or hotel, but most people use a home, which is more convenient.

Plan a Surprise for the New Mum – It is never a good idea to spring a surprise baby shower on the new mum, as she really does need to prepare herself, but you can include a little surprise within the party, which she would definitely appreciate. This could come in the form of her favourite cocktail, or all of her friends could get together and perform a song and dance routine.

As the event planner, you should draw up a list of things to do, along with a deadline for each item, and with attractive invitations from an online provider, the party will be one to be remembered for all the right reasons.

How to Make Quality Time with Your Kids Fun

How to Make Quality Time with Your Kids Fun

Parenting is a job that consists of more than watching your kids all day. You also have to both provide for them and create a stable environment for them to grow in. This means that sometimes, you don’t get to spend as much quality time with one another as you’d like to. For this reason, you should focus on making the time that you do spend together count.

In case you’re wondering how to do that, here is how you can make quality time with your little ones fun.

Be Fully Present

When spending quality time with your kids, commit to being fully present. They can sense when your mind and attention are elsewhere, so eliminate distractions. Spending time with your kids should be about living in the moment, getting to know them and connecting.

Put Your Phone Away: The first tip for being fully present is to put your phone away. In this technology age, gadgets can be a huge distraction when it comes to spending quality time with people. Leave your phone in another room or put it on airplane mode during your quality time to help you resist the temptation of checking messages or browsing, especially if you’ve got a phone addiction.

Forget About Work: For all of the workaholic mums, it’s easy to be distracted by all of the work waiting to be done whether at your place of employment or around the house. Give work a break and focus on engaging with your kids by asking them questions and actively listening to what they have to say.

Try Arts and Crafts

The good thing about arts and crafts is that it’s something anyone can do. Whether your kids are toddlers or teenagers, it can be an enjoyable experience. Plan age-appropriate activities that will keep everyone busy and enable you to explore your creativity. If your kids are older, consider craft ideas like making candles. It’s always nice when you make items that you can use or see on a daily basis to remind you of something you did as a family.

Consider Outdoor Activities

When spending quality time together, outdoor activities can be a lot of fun as well. It’s a chance for everyone to get fresh air and burn calories. If you need ideas regarding what you can do outside whether in a garden or park, see some below.

Treasure Hunt: One activity to try with your kids is a treasure hunt. Seeing as Easter recently passed it isn’t too late to try an Easter egg hunt, especially if you still have left over chocolate. Cartridge People have some free Easter Egg Hunt downloadables that could help you put together signs.

Obstacle Course: Another idea worth trying is an obstacle course. You can create this with hula hoops as well as other objects that they can jump through or over. If you did them as a child, you know they can be tons of fun, especially if you’ve got competitive kids.

Quality time with your kids is about making new memories and reaffirming your relationship as well as love. Whether you’re engaging in activities or watching your favourite movie for the hundredth time, make it worthwhile.

How To Look After Your Body And Mind As A Busy Mum

Let’s be honest, being a Mum can be pretty hard. By the time you’ve finished with all of the chores that you have to do, and your work, and you’re all done making bathtime fun with your kids… finding the energy to enjoy some time to yourself – whilst looking after your body and mind – is pretty futile.

What are you going to do, anyway, when you just want to curl up into a ball on the sofa? Starting those new fitness moves you’ve seen on various blogs and insta all of a sudden doesn’t seem so appealing OR easy!

But there ARE many ways to look after your body and mind when you’re a busy Mum, and here are some of the best of them.

How To Look After Your Body And Mind As A Busy Mum

Water. Lots and lots of water

OK, we’ve heard this one floating (sorry) around a lot, but the truth is that water can help you to look after your body AND your mind. Not only does it give you more energy to take on that big-scary-Mum-day, but it also keeps your skin clean, and your body cleansed.

We need water for a multitude of reasons, and being dehydrated just isn’t good news. Ditch the coffee (OK, not all of the time) in favour of a water bottle, and try to keep one in your bag when you’re out and about.

You’ll be glad that you did because when you’ve got more energy, you feel like a goddess with super healthy skin.

Steer clear of the wine

Whilst most of us like to enjoy a glass of wine every now and again, it really doesn’t serve your body – especially your liver. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with alcohol in moderation, but if you’re going overboard, then it’s not great.

Unfortunately, a few Mums do turn to the vino for stress relief, but it could be impacting upon your sleeping habits (it’s hard to get into a deep sleep as a result), and making you feel a little more groggy the next day.

If you think that you’re stuck in a habit with this, then it’s a good idea to get in touch with an organisation like help4addiction.co.uk. Alcohol is also a depressant, which isn’t helpful in the long-run (lecture over).

Take some time out

The most important piece of advice in this entire guide is to take some time out, just for you. That’s right, nobody else, just you.

You want to go for a walk to think things through and listen to music? Do it! You want to take yourself out for dinner? Do that too. Whatever you decide to do, it’s a good idea to be alone for a while sometimes, just so you can get your thoughts together. Taking a step back could be exactly what you need.

Don’t stress, we’re not telling you to take yourself on a solo trip to the Bahamas for a few weeks. Just for a coffee (sorry, water), or to the park to read a book, or wherever it is that you can do to collect your thoughts.

Talk about your feelings

A lot of the time, we’re under this immense pressure to uphold the world around us as Mums. We think that admitting that things are hard, or that we need help, or that we’re simply not feeling good, shows that we’ve failed in some way.

If this sounds like your thought process, then you could look after your mind simply by saying, ‘I need a bit of help here, so that I can take some time to heal.’ That doesn’t mean that you’re running away from things, just because you need to spend an evening talking to a friend.

It simply means that you’re a human being, who feels things and sometimes struggles. Talking about this stuff is important.

Find your own self-care

OK, so we could talk about self-care until the cows come home, but the truth is that different things work for different people. Whilst there are some things that are guaranteed to help a little, like getting enough sleep, it is purely subjective.

You will find things that lift you up, and make you feel like your mind and body are in a good place. Just because Rachel at the school gates told you that yoga was like, really cool, doesn’t mean that you have to love it.

So…

If you want to look after your body and mind as a busy Mum, then remember these simple things… but ultimately, do what makes YOU feel great!).

5 Secrets To Success For Work At Home Mums

When you’re a mama, it’s always going to be important for you to find a job that you love. For you to be able to do work that gives you the money you need, but then also fits in with your lifestyle. Because you won’t always want to be on the go or spending hours away from your children each day.

This is often why the idea of working from home can work so well. It allows you to work in your own time, be a lot more flexible, and be in control of your own income. Yet, when you’re new to this, or you have no idea exactly how you can work from home, it’s difficult to know how to get started, or even how you’ll make it a success. So let’s take a look.

5 Secrets To Success For Work At Home Mums

  1. Set Working Hours

To start with, you need specific working hours in place. Because it helps you to be organized for the right amount of time each day. Yes, working for yourself is flexible, but it can be chaos if you do not stick to a schedule.

  1. Create An Office Space

Next up, you need somewhere to work. If the dining table or sofa is just too distracting, then you need to designate an office for yourself. Look at different home office ideas and get creative. It may be time to transform that unused spare room or garage space into a working mecca.

  1. Aim For Productivity

The next thing you need to master is productivity. Here, the ideal is to be able to have those set working hours and get everything you need to get done, within them. And so, you’ll want to hone in on your focus, avoid distractions, and create systems that help you to work smart.

  1. Get Comfortable

Now, some will tell you that you need to get all dressed up to feel professional and get yourself into the most productive headspace for work. Of course that can work, but sometimes the energy you need is already within you – and a true passion for what you do will encourage you to keep working, no matter what. So absolutely get comfortable if you want to. Look for smarter sweat sets and deals on crocs, cosy jumpers and outfits that make you relax. Because you need to be comfortable if you’re going to get a lot of work done in a short space of  time.

  1. Set Boundaries

Finally, you have to make sure that you have boundaries in place too. Yes, it’s nice to be able to work from home – but it’s important to remember that this is a lifestyle thing. And that your family comes first. So you need to be able to switch off in the evenings and not work too hard at all times. This is why working hours can help. But not only that, you need to set limits for yourself, so that you know when to switch off work mode, and get back to mummy mode again.

Document Archiving For Those Who Work From Home

All businesses, including those run from home, need to practice effective document archiving. This is the storage or preservation of information. More and more organisations are placing their documents onto digital files, as this gives them the ability to store a greater amount of data with ease, and they can increase the lifespan of documents. Nevertheless, there are lots of documents that will need to be kept in paper format. It is important to be able to deal with both options effectively. With that being said, read on to discover more about the rules of business document archiving.

paper files documents

  •    Audit your documents – There is only one place to begin when it comes to archiving documents, and this is to audit your documents effectively. You need to determine what documents you need to keep in their original format, what documents can be scanned, which documents you can keep online, and which ones need to be thrown away. You don’t want to take up valuable storage space for documents that you do not actually need, which is why this part of the process is so important.
  •    Get up to speed with the law – There is legislation in place regarding what type of documents businesses need to keep in their original format. Therefore, it is important to get up to speed with this so that you do not end up throwing away something that could be important down the line. If HMRC want to carry out a tax investigation and you have thrown out your vital documents and records, you could find yourself in deep water. Nevertheless, there are many documents that you are allowed to keep in digital format these days, and thus this is something that is worth keeping in mind.

  •    Choosing a location – When it comes to the physical storage of your documents, it is vital to choose a self storage location with care. A lot of people opt for an offsite solution for a number of reasons. Not only is this ideal for those that have outgrown their current office space, but it can be a lot more secure as well. Nevertheless, you do need to think about accessibility, as you will want to ensure you can easily get your hands on your records whenever you need them.

  •    Know retention rates – It is also vital to ensure you get to grips with retention rates. If you get rid of anything earlier than you should, you could find that you get in trouble in terms of non-compliance. However, you will also want to make sure you get rid of any documents whenever you can. This will free up some space and it will reduce the chance of a data breach if you do not hold onto documents for longer than you need to.

All things considered, if you follow the four points that have been mentioned above, you will have a much greater chance of achieving document achieving success for your home business. This is something you need to approach with a proper plan of action to ensure everything is organised and handled efficiently.

5 Tips for a Wedding on a Budget

Last summer, it was reported that UK wedding costs had reached an all-time high, with the average rising to just over £30000. If you are engaged or thinking about getting married soon, numbers like that might fill you with dread. The engagement ring is one thing, but the idea of spending that much on one day might seem a little much.

While it would be lovely to spend that kind of money and have whatever we want, the reality for most of us is that if we wanted to splash the cash in such an extortionate way the only option would be to get into massive amounts of debt, which isn’t always a great way to start married life. Or even an option for all of us.

But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a beautiful wedding on a much smaller budget. Many people manage to do it on less than £5000, without spending more than they can afford, or regretting their choices. Here are some great tips to help you to get married on a budget.

wedding on a budget

Prioritise

If you’ve always wanted a band, look here, to find one. If the honeymoon means more than the wedding, go for it. If you want a big meal, or something a little different food wise, have it. Just make cuts elsewhere. Break your budget down into sections, assigning money to every part of your wedding. Spend less on the things that aren’t important to you, and more on your priorities.

Don’t Be A Slave to Tradition

You don’t have to have flowers, just because it’s the tradition. You don’t have to have wedding cars or fancy invites. You certainly don’t need save the date cards or centrepieces. Don’t feel like you have to have everything that everyone else does. If these things are important to you, that’s fine. If they’re not, they are great places to save money.

Get Married on a Monday in November

Venues, entertainers, caterers and even hairdressers could charge you more on Saturdays in the summer. Weddings in the winter and mid-week are often much cheaper than summer weekend weddings.

It’s also worth skipping the word “wedding” when you speak to suppliers. This little word could inflate costs massively. Just tell them that you are planning a party if possible.

It’s Who You Know

You probably know loads of people that could help. It’s time to call in favours or to ask people for help, instead of wedding presents. Ask yourself if you know anyone that could bake a cake, or DJ your reception. Are there any photographers on your friends’ list that could give you a discount?

wedding on a budget

Keep Your Number Small

When it comes to a wedding, people cost money. Every person that you invite costs you money in food, invitations, favours, and drinks. A wedding with 100 guests is much more costly than one with 50.

When it comes to your guest list, don’t fall into the “If I invite her, I have to invite him” trap. You don’t have to invite anyone. It’s your wedding. Instead, ask yourself if you’d buy them a meal usually, if not, do you really need them at your wedding?

Finding Time for Yourself as Mum: A Guide

Do you struggle to find time for yourself during the day? By the time the kids are in bed are you too tired to do anything? It can be hard to make your kids and partner understand there are times when you need to be alone. It’s also easy to fill your schedule with so many activities, commitments and caring for others that you forget about yourself.

To stay balanced, positive and happy it’s vital for every mum to take a break every now and again. You’re probably thinking, “Well, that’s easier said than done.” An understandable reaction, however, there are things you can do to solve the problem.

Start Small

Rather than stress about finding several hours for yourself, start small with five minutes here and there. Spend time simply looking out of the window. Lay down on the floor and let your mind wander. Sit in the backyard and enjoy vaping with the latest best vape starter kit. If you start small, you’ll soon find yourself with a couple of hours to spare for yourself.

Make a Schedule

Planning out your day means you’ll be able to see what time is free and allocate some of it for yourself. Getting up in the morning and going to bed at the same time will help with your routine. Choose to lay on the bed and read a book, take a nap, or plan your next home decorating project. Don’t be tempted to wash the dishes, do the laundry, or any other kind of housework during your allotted time.

Why not try introducing a different sleeping schedule and see if that makes a difference? If your kids are late risers, get up earlier than them and enjoy the peace and quiet before the house wakes up. You’ll be surprised how much you can get done when there are no interruptions. Likewise, at the end of the day, if you kids go to bed early, stay up a little later and enjoy some “you time”.

Develop a Support Network

You’re not the only mum struggling with the challenges of motherhood. Find some other mums you can relate to and plan some outings together. You’ll be sharing the responsibility of caring for the kids, so you’re all going to benefit from some “me time”. If you’ve got other mums, you can call on you’ll be better placed to take some time off for doing something you like.

It’s not just other mums you should look to for support. Ask a family member to come and take charge of the kids for a couple of hours. You might have a neighbour you can trust, and there’s always your partner you can call on.

Spending time with your children is one of the greatest pleasures of being a mum. It’s also important, however, that you spend time relaxing and de-stressing, in order to be the best mum you can be. You can’t be at their beck and call 24 hours a day, or you’ll burn out before you know it. Learn to take some time out for yourself and everyone in the family benefits.

%d bloggers like this: