Blogging

How to Organise Your Blog Posts

Blog organisationI’m not going to lie, organisation is not my strongest quality. I’m always the mum who finds the crumpled up letters at the bottom of Sausage’s bag, the day before they’re due to go in in some sort of elaborate fancy dress and I’m terrible at remembering to RSVP to anything we’re ever invited to. I’ve started using my reminders on my phone more and more to keep me organised in my daily life, and am planning to invest in some quality notebooks, but my blog is something that suffers massively because of my lack of organisational skills.

With BB off to school this September, I’ve realised that I need to get some life back into my blog, which means planning more original content and getting back on track with my writing, so I decided to ask some fellow bloggers how they get their act together and stay on top of blogging. Here’s some of their advice:

Nickie at Typecast said “I personally use a bullet journal system incorporated into my Filofax. I also have a BOAT (Book Of All Things) which is generally a brain dump and I’m a bit old school where I have to write things down. I also use Google Calendar a lot (linked to my phone) for reminders on the go and we have a Family Google Calendar too for ‘family reminders’. This may seem like overkill to some people, however, what works for me may not work for you but you can take ideas from various sources and incorporate them into your own planning system.”

Amy Lynne Andrews said “Create a way to capture your blog post ideas. Great resources to capture ideas are Evernote, a note-taking app on your phone or a paper notebook. I always seem to get good ideas when I’m driving. If you do too, try calling yourself and leaving a voicemail, having Siri or your Google Assistant email or text you or using a voice recorder app. Regardless of how you do it, keep all your ideas in one designated place.”

Alisha Nicole said “Starting off with a solid routine will help you get into the flow of creating content consistently. Your schedule should be based on two major factors:

  1. How often you are able to provide high quality content. (remember it should always be quality over quantity)
  2. When your audience is online to consume your info.

Personally, I know I am only able to create one blog post, one video and send out one newsletter per week. And according to my stats, my highest traffic days are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so those are the days I post to my blog. Also from a recent reader survey that I conducted, I know that the majority of my audience would rather watch live webinars in the evenings and on Saturdays due to their work/life schedules. If you’re unsure when to post your content, checking out your Google Analytic stats will tell you exactly when your audience is using your site most often.”

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Four Excellent Tips on How to Buy the Best Memory Foam Mattress

You may not often go to buy a mattress, but it sure is an important thing. This guide will make you save money and time and will help you in choosing a mattress that suits you best.

The first thing that you need to know is that there are many types of mattresses. Also, statistics say that people who tried memory foam mattresses and innerspring mattresses have, in the end, chosen the memory foam. They made this choice based on lots of aspects, such as motion isolation, pain relief and longevity. The memory foam ones are proven to last longer and have a way superior motion isolation than the innerspring ones do.

Can you buy a mattress without being tricked?

If you know how to manage this whole buying thing, you can avoid being tricked by the seller. That’s why it’s important for newbies to do some digging before.

Your mattress should meet your needs

It really depends on the bed you want to buy the mattress for – is it the bed in which you sleep in every night, or is it for the one placed in the guest room? Because if you’re looking for a mattress for the second choice, then you won’t really need a durable one. If you’re choosing a mattress for your bed, you should go for the one with memory foam, since it’s been proven to last longer. If your bed is a king-sized one, make sure you make the right measurements to have enough space, especially if you’re sleeping on the same bed with your significant other.

Do your homework

There are plenty of memory foam mattresses reviews on the internet, so all you have to do is dig a bit. See the opinion of other clients and make comparisons. If these reviews are verified by a third party, is even better – they’re more trustworthy, because they’re made by the clients.

There are also some rating sites which can also be helpful. You should take your time with these and read as much information as you can. It’s also a good idea to take notes to be sure of what you’re buying.

The types of memory foam

These mattresses come in all shapes and sizes. When choosing one, you should know about the various densities, but it’s good to also keep in mind that some of them consist of petroleum and others in plant-based oils. If you don’t want to deal with the chemicals, which are toxic or synthetic, you can always rely on plant-based mattresses.

The traditional mattress is the most common one and it’s made out of petroleum-based polyols, which are also known as synthetic foams.

The gel mattress can help you in preventing the heat retention, which represents a problem with the traditional mattress. The gel can be mixed with the foam, or can be found merely in the support and comfort layers. They’re primarily used to make the mattresses feel cooler. You should choose recycled mattresses, as they’re the best choice in this category.

The plant-based ones and quite new, and are more eco-friendly. They consist of soy-based polyols and are more natural. They also allow the airflow to make its presence felt through the mattress.

Beauty

Which Chemical Peel Treatment is Best for Your Skin?

When it comes to rejuvenating your skin and making it look younger than ever before, nothing can quite top chemical peel treatments in terms of ease and effectivity. Plus, despite the fact that the word ‘chemical’ has a lot of negative connotations to it, chemical peels are actually completely safe.

However, there are a few considerations that you should think about before booking a makeover deal with a bundled chemical peel treatment. To make sure that the chemical peel with bring out your skin’s best qualities, you need to get to know your options better. Here are some of the most common chemical peel treatments offered by dermatological clinics and beauty centers:

Glycolic Peel. This particular type of chemical peel involves glycolic acid, which is obtained from sugarcane plants. Glycolic acid has a very small molecular size, and as such can really penetrate deep into the skin, making this particular chemical peel great for exfoliation and rejuvenation. Depending on the result you desire, you may want to ask for a glycolic peel that is gentler or a bit more intense than usual.
Lactic Peel. The chemicals used in lactic peel treatment are derived from milk, making it perfect for those with dry or sensitive skin. If you’re the type to easily get skin allergies or have adverse reactions to active ingredients, the lactic chemical peel treatment should be the peel for you.
Vitalize Peel. This chemical peel treatment involves the use of citric, lactic, and salicylic acids – along with the help of a retinol layer – to improve the quality and lighten the color of your skin. This only affects the uppermost part of your skin and results in very little peeling, making it a great ‘beginner peel’ treatment for those who may have not undertaken any chemical peels in the past.
Beta Peel. Beta peel chemical treatments are used mainly to treat serious cases of acne in children and adults. Its main component, salicylic acid, exfoliates the skin and helps with oil control while also targeting the bacteria that cause acne.
Pigment Balancing Peel. This chemical peel treatment focuses on lightening the pigmentation of the skin for a more consistent skin tone and to eliminate dark or brown spots. Those who choose to undertake this particular peel must be aware that the results may take some time to truly be realized. It also requires the patient to use sunscreen to achieve the desired effect.
Mandelic Peel. This is another type of peel that is advisable for those who have yet to experience a chemical peel treatment, due to its use of gentler but still effective chemical components. It’s also advisable for those with skin conditions such as rosacea, or with dark-colored skin.
TCA Peel. This is a medium strength chemical peel treatment designed to target multiple skin conditions such as extreme skin discoloration and actinic keratosis. The trichloroacetic acid component used in this particular peelmakes it great for removing abnormal skin cells.

Now that we know some of the more common types of peels there are, how do you know which one is the best for you? While you can certainly do your own research and consult your fellow skincare enthusiasts, nothing beats a consultation with a licensed professional dermatologist or skin care expert to help you pick out the right one for you. Before booking a chemical peel treatment, let the professionals know what your goals for your skin are and if you have skin conditions that need to be addressed. Remember, this is your skin we’re talking about – there shouldn’t be any guesswork involved when it comes to taking care of it.

Hobbies

Finding a New Hobby

I can’t quite believe it, but Burrito Baby starts school this September, which means I’m going to have a LOT more free time on my hands. I’m hoping to up my workload and also have more time for going to the gym, but I’ve also been thinking about how to have a little “me” time, so I’ve been trying to find a hobby that I can start from September. Some of them will be solely for me, but there are also things in there that Husband and I can do together, which will be great for us as a couple. Here are a few of my ideas:

Golf

Ever since I played Tiger Woods Pro Golf on the original Wii about ten years ago, I’ve been wanting to try my hand at proper golf, and Husband and I keep promising we’ll go to a driving range but never seem to get around to it. We’re lucky enough to have a golf club literally at the end of the road, so we’re making a pact to get around to giving it a go once we’re able to find the time. I’ll also need to find some decent  golf footwear for sale.

Dressmaking

When Sausage was little, I went through a stage of making clothes for her, little dresses in quirky fabrics so that she wasn’t wearing the same off-the-peg stuff as everyone else. I haven’t made anything for ages, but I’d love to start making stuff again, maybe even for myself this time! Husband bought me a beautiful sewing machine two Christmasses ago, which I’ve barely used, so it will be a good opportunity to get some use out of it.

Reading

This one is going to sound silly, but I used to read a LOT, but as I’ve got older I’ve found it increasingly more difficult to read when there are distractions around me. Once the girls are both at school, I’ll have no excuses not to read and I have a list of books as long as my arm that I intend to plough through!

Blogging

I started blogging back in 2010, and back then it was a passion project, something I did to air my thoughts. However, since I started writing commercially, I seem to find myself far less inspired to write personal posts. I’m really hoping that when I have more time to dedicate to my blog, the ideas will start to flow again and the balance of personal:commercial content will even itself out again.

Cycling

At the beginning of the year, Husband (who is a life-long mountain biking enthusiast) bought himself a new bike, and it’s ignited a bit of cycling-fever in the whole family. We’re lucky enough to all have decent bikes and Husband has been letting me tag along with him (when I say “tag along”, I mean he goes on his usual route but has to go about 60% slower while I’m huffing and puffing along to keep up with him!). We’re hoping to get a bike rack when we get our new car, so we’ll be finding some new routes and riding together more.

Do you have any hobbies?

Family · Happiness · Kids

Ways to Fill the Summer Holidays When You Aren’t Going Abroad

pony schoolIt’s fair to say that Husband, the kids and I are all homebodies. We love the idea of going abroad on holiday but when we had Chuck is was impossible and Maureen is still a little bit too young for us to leave her for too long, so a jaunt abroad is off the cards for now. We do, however, like to fill the summer holidays with as many days out and activities as possible, so that the kids don’t get bored and do that annoying bickering thing that kids do when they spend too much time at home, with only each other to play with! This is just a few of the things we do each year:

Pony School

We’re lucky enough to live close to a few different riding schools and some of them run pony schools in the holidays where the kids spend one day a week riding, grooming and generally “horsing” about (HA!) with the friendlier ponies at the stables. It’s usually about £25 per session and the kids need over the knee boots from UK footwear specialists Uppersole, but it’s pretty good value when you think about how long they get to spend with the ponies.

Garden Beach

Last year, we bought a massive paddling pool, set up the slide, sun loungers, a Bluetooth speaker and some mocktails and had what we called “The Garden Beach”. It was like a very miniature version of lazing around the pool on holiday, the kids thought it was amazing and I loved the chance to sit in the sun and read my book! This year, we’re planning on elaborating and even having a tent by the pool which we may spend the night in, if the kids are brave enough!

Fruit Picking

One of the things we have planned this year is a bit of Pick Your Own – it’s something I did when I was a kid and I absolutely loved it, and as soon as I told the girls about it, they found the idea really exciting so it’s on the list of things to do this summer.

Get the Bus

The kids are lucky enough to have Mummy’s Taxi Service which means they get ferried everywhere in the comfort of our car, but neither of them has ever really experienced public transport much, so they’ve asked if we can take a trip into town on the bus! This may sound very run-of-the-mill, but when you consider that we live in the countryside with one bus stop a mile away and buses which run quite sporadically, I suspect it may be more of an adventure than your usual bus trip!

Cookery Classes

Our local supermarket has a test kitchen and every year they run kids cookery classes throughout the holidays. They’re about £7 per session and include all of the ingredients they need to make a different dish each week. It’s a really nice way for the kids to spend a morning, plus they learn new skills and have the thrill of bringing home and eating what they’ve made.