my blog my blog

Monthly May 2018
How To Choose A Good Contractor

Although working on your home yourself can be a great way to save money, not all the jobs that need doing are going to be possible for you to do; some take specialist skill or even qualifications in order to get right. When this is the case, you will need to seek out a good contractor, but this is sometimes harder than it might seem; there are lots of people out there all claiming to do a great job, but how can you choose the right one? Here are some great tips.

Ask For Recommendations

When it comes to finding a reliable contractor who is good at what they do, asking friends and family for recommendations is always a good place to start. No one is going to recommend someone who did a poor job, or who might not be trustworthy because they won’t want you to have a bad experience. Of course, you might not know anyone who has had the same work done as you want, so in that case you can always turn to online forums to get some names and advice on the right people to use.

Conduct Interviews

It’s essential that you pick the right person for the job, and for you – you need to be able to get on with whomever it is you choose because communication is going to be important if you want to make sure the job is done exactly how you want it to be. This is why conducting an interview (over the phone is fine, of course) to determine exactly how the contractor works and whether you even like them or not is important.

When you contact them, make sure you have a list of questions in front of you so that you don’t forget anything. This should be about the job itself (have they done anything similar, for example, and how long this kind of job normally takes) as well as about their company. You’ll need to know you’re dealing with someone legitimate, so take note of their company number and check they have insurance. Make sure they are fully compliant with data protection too.

Once you have all the answers you need, you will know who you want to come in and quote for you. This saves you time when it comes to being there for the contractor to assess the work and give you a price.

Look At Reviews

Before you commit to a contractor, take a look at their reviews and customer testimonials. These will give you the last piece of the puzzle when it comes to choosing the right person or company for you. Check out their website and read the testimonials there, of course (if they have any), but it’s far better to look further afield on review sites instead. The testimonials on the website are sure to be positive ones, and although they are probably accurate, what if there were many more negative ones around? It’s wise to check this out so that you at least know what to expect and, should you want to, you can avoid them entirely.

What To Consider Before Running For Public Office

Many business people and particularly, perhaps, business leaders, feel that running for political office has something attractive about it. Once they have done all they can do in their work life, it can often be that moving into politics is something that interest them, so they start a campaign and begin a new life. For some this works out wonderfully, but for others it isn’t so great and they soon realize that being in politics is not as ‘fun’ or as ‘easy’ as it might have seemed at first. It takes a lot of thought before moving in this direction, so here are some of the things that will need to be considered first.

You Will Need To Ask For Money

No matter what branch of politics you are choosing to go into, whether you are creating presidential slogans or you would prefer to do something a little more local, you are going to need money to do it. Politics is a surprisingly expensive business, which is why you will most often see those who have already made it in their professional lives (or those who were born into a wealthy family) running for political office – it is simply out of the reach for most ‘everyday’ people.

In order to be able to finance your campaign in such a way that it gets noticed, you will need to ask for money, and lots of it. Political campaigns that falter part way through because the money ran out will not be remembered fondly, if they are remembered at all. A politician who cannot budget and who spends unwisely is not going to be a particularly popular choice when it comes to picking a candidate at the polls.

It can be hard to be constantly asking for money, but it is essential that it is done. If this is not something you feel comfortable doing, you may need to look at another way to help the public because in politics you will need to ask for money time and time again.

Speak To Your Family

Although running for political office is an individual endeavor in some ways, it also needs a strong team to run the behind the scenes parts of the campaign. Some of those team members will need to be your family; they have to be on board if you are running for political office because, like it or not, they will become part of the campaign and they will be thrust into the public eye.

Although as a business leader you may have been able to and wanted to keep your personal life private, as a politician that will no longer hold true. Your opponents will be looking into your past to see if there is anything untoward there, and the press will most likely be doing the same. The more popular you are, the better you are doing in your campaign, the more digging will be done about you.

This is why it is important to speak with your family first to ensure that they understand what is probably going to happen and what might be required of them. If they aren’t happy with the idea you may need to reconsider whether your political office plan is worth risking your family over.

Be Ready For Hostility

Politics can be an ugly place to be and there is often hostility on both sides. It won’t matter how nice you are or what your intentions are, someone will also be against what you are doing. When you are running for office you need to be ready for the attacks against you that will come. If you believe in what you are doing and you are an eloquent person then you need to speak out and be strong. Not only will this wrongfoot your opponent (whether a political one or someone on the street) but it will also show others how strong your intentions are – sometimes someone else’s hostility can be what drives you on and makes you more popular.

Remember, never return hostility with hostility as that will solve nothing. It’s far better to be civil in the face of someone’s ire and anger and maintain a dignified stance as this will better enable you to put your point across and make sense to those who are listening.

Find A Good Lawyer

Having a good lawyer in side will be a useful addition to your team and can stop you from making mistakes when it comes to what you are and aren’t permitted to do during a political campaign – the rules are strict, and if you fall foul of them you might have to remove yourself from the race. This would mean your entire campaign had been a waste of time and money (and other people’s money) so no one wants that to happen. 

Be Prepared To Lose

No one is going to win all the time and in politics, although it is wise to keep a winning attitude, you should also be prepared to lose. If you look at the numbers, you’ll see that the majority of people lose when it comes to politics because there are very few positions open in the first place. That means that a huge percentage or those campaigning will walk away with nothing after the ballot, despite the good feeling created and the money spent.

If you do lose, you should have a plan in place for what you will do next with your life. It will depend on whether you felt that politics was something you desperately had to do, or whether you might now try something else. There should always be a plan, however, so that you are not left feeling low with nothing to do. It is easy to become emotionally invested in your campaign (in fact, it is expected) but this can mean problems when it is all over; you might feel depressed and deflated. So having a backup plan should you lose that means you can get on with the next thing right away will solve these issues and help you to feel better.

 

9 Reasons Debating Is Good For Kids

Many schools offer kids the chance to be on the debating team but not all of them want to take this opportunity up. However, if possible, parents should encourage their children to try debating because it has many fantastic benefits that can help the kids now and in the future. Here are some of the most important reasons why debating is good for kids and why they should at least try it to see if it is for them.

Debaters Win Arguments

It’s a simple fact that those who are good at debating will always win an argument. They will never let anyone get the better of them when discussing something because they will know exactly how to word their points, and how to research their opinion in the first place. It means that as adults in the workplace, they will never have to worry about trying to find the right words to explain what they mean and why – this can help them immensely during presentations, pitches, and other negotiations.

Debaters Don’t Mind Crowds

When debaters first begin, they are only arguing their point in front of the judge and the other team, or even just one opponent. As the competition progresses, there will be more and more people in the crowd and in the final there could be many thousands depending on what level you are debating. Everyone will want to see how you do and will want to watch you closely. This can be intimidating at first, but over time the children involved get used to it. This will help them hugely in the future because it means they will be used to pressure and be able to work – even thrive – when under it. Nothing will faze them.

Debaters Are Good Travelers

Traveling is all par for the course when you’re a good debater, and those who make it to the national levels will become extremely well practiced at traveling through airports and on coaches – they might even take the car. Whichever mode of transport they choose, those kids will turn into adults who are great travelers. They will be able to go anywhere at any point without fuss or worry, and they will probably know how to travel pretty light too with just a few clothes, their notes, and their team baseball caps, flags, and badges.

Debaters Have Fantastic Communication Skills

Arguing your point is one thing, and it’s obvious that debaters can do that, or they wouldn’t be much good at debating. However, communicating and speaking clearly is something entirely different – yet great debaters are able to do this as well. Speaking clearly and concisely is an important skill to learn; it enables others to always understand what you mean, and it denotes a sense of authority, professionalism, and intelligence. Mumbling quickly and not being understood is not going to help anyway, and yet that is exactly how many people who have not had the chance to be a debater do speak. It’s refreshing to find someone who can communicate clearly and this will help your child stand out from the crowd.

Debaters Have Great Memories

When in a debate the rounds are pretty fast paced and there isn’t a lot of time to get your point across. Therefore, a debater has to be an excellent memory in order to be able to put their argument forward and include all the relevant facts and details. Some people naturally do have amazing memories but others require some ‘brain training’ to get there. That’s where debating can help because the more it is done, the better at remembering those facts the child who is debating will be. In the future this skill will help them in their work progression.

Debaters Take Notes

Taking notes is something that all high school and college students will need to be able to do well in order to get the most out of their classes and do well in their examinations. It is also important at work when in a meeting or in an important phone call. It makes life a lot easier when good notes can be taken and lessons can be learned. Debaters need to be good at taking notes, a skill acquired with practice, because if they can’t remember everything (as mentioned above) they will need to have the information written down quickly and efficiently.

Debaters Are Empathetic

Debaters are excellent at looking at arguments from both viewpoints. After all, each debate topics has a pro and a con side to it, and it is only the flip of a coin (or similar) which determines what side your child will be arguing on. So they need to be able to see both sides of each debate because they could be asked to argue either way. Being able to do this and be empathetic to other people’s opinions, ideas, and situations will be useful for a child when they become an adult and have to interact with other people. It makes them kinder, more humble human beings.

Debaters Are Speed Readers

Speed reading is an essential skill for a good debater. They need to be able to find out as much as possible about their given topic in a short amount of time, so it will help them hugely if they can read quickly and accurately. This skill will also help when they get to college whether they are debating or not – they will be able to absorb all the information they need to know and digest it well enough before an exam that they not only know the facts but understand them as well.

Debaters Are Great At Teamwork

Debaters have to work alone when it comes to making their argument, but they also have to work as a team in order to win their rounds. In a debate team, you could be working with the same people for a number of years, so it’s important to be able to strategize with each of them, working out what their strengths are and using those against their opponents. Again, this is a skill that will be a wonderful advantage for the workplace where working in a team will certainly be part of most jobs.

4 Ways To Lose Your Confidence (And How To Get It Back)

Confidence… No one can be confident at all times, no matter what. Even those who seem totally self-assured will have moments of self-doubt, and it can happen for a variety of different reasons. Taking a knock when it comes to your confidence can really be an issue; no one wants to feel bad about themselves, after all. However, there are ways to get over these problems and get back to being a happy, productive, self-possessed person sooner than you might think. Here are some ways you can help yourself.

Judgemental People

lose confidence when judged

People do have a tendency to be judgemental; you’ve probably done it yourself without meaning to (perhaps without even realising it). Unfortunately, these slip ups can cause others to feel bad about themselves, and if you are the subject of someone’s judgement, your confidence can be sorely tested. It doesn’t matter whether you know the person or whether they’re a stranger in the street, the outcome is the same; you’ll go from being a happy person going about your business to someone who is now wondering whether you should just head home and hide.

There are three things you can do if someone makes a comment that you think is judgemental. The first is to take them to task about it, letting them know that their words have made you feel bad (after all, they may have been talking in the abstract and didn’t know that what they were saying would affect you). Next you can walk away and remove yourself from the situation. Finally you can just ignore them. These last two ideas will require you to also remind yourself how great you are in the process, of course, and that can take some practice.

Not Being Praised

If you’ve ever done something great at work or on a personal level, something that you were truly proud of, yet no one noticed or, if they did, they didn’t mention it or deem it praiseworthy, your confidence can take a serious knock. The problem is that it’s not ‘normal’ to ask for that praise either, for fear of being seen as needy or high maintenance, so even if we feel that we desperately deserve some kind of acknowledgment for the hard work we put into something, we can’t demand it.

What can be done? The best thing to do is to speak to the person you feel should be noticing what you’re doing, whether that’s a boss, a partner, or perhaps a parent. Take them to one side and ask them why your efforts haven’t been noticed, or what they think you can do to improve. If you don’t like the answer then it could be time to move on; after all, this is your life and you need to live it the way you see fit. Having all your confidence taken away from you will stop you from achieving the success you deserve if you leave it too late.

Clothes Shopping

confidence when shopping

Shopping for clothes can be a lot of fun, but it can also be something that seriously damages our self-esteem. Body image is something that many people struggle with, and taking a trip to buy clothes can make things worse rather than better. Take the advertisements that use models who have been airbrushed and changed completely – even though we know this is the case, it can still make us feel bad about ourselves. Then there are the mannequins and even though we understand these are not real people, there is a still a niggling worry that we just don’t measure up. Not only that, but as we’ve mentioned above people are judgemental (even when they don’t mean to be) and the fear that someone will say something or look at us askance is real. Add that to the fact that clothing comes up in different sizes in different shops, and there is a real issue at hand.

These issues can be overcome, however. Firstly, choose a shopping buddy. Take someone with you that you know well and trust implicitly. This makes the whole experience much more fun (you can make a day of it and stop for lunch and coffee too) and you can be sure that you can trust their honest opinion when they tell you clothing does or doesn’t suit you.

You can also make a plan before you leave the house and make sure you avoid any shops that have odd sizes or don’t do the size you need (or the style of clothing, come to that). This means doing research, but it will be worth it, making your trip a much happier experience. If you’re really unsure then stick with the shops you know and like – you’re sure to find a great outfit there without the worry of a new place to explore and be uncertain about.

Being Undermined

Being constantly undermined be someone is demoralising and can really chip away at our self-confidence. If this is happening to you at all, you need to speak up. This is a form of bullying and unless something is said it will just continue. Is someone always stealing your ideas at work? Does no one listen to your opinion at home? Does your ‘best friend’ only ever talk about themselves and dismiss anything you might have to say as irrelevant? These things can easily become a regular pattern of behaviour, eroding our confidence over time and leaving us to expect that this is how it has to be.

This is not how it has to be, and it is not how it should be, so talk to them about it and let them know you’re not happy. They may be completely self-absorbed and not realise what they are doing. They may, of course, be totally sure of what they are doing and these are the toxic people you need to stay away from. When you talk to them, pick somewhere neutral where you both feel comfortable and try not to point a finger right from the start. Find out why they do what they do and you might be able to move on.

RatesRates

My pricing guidlines

Type of Publication

Type of Work

£

Magazine Writing & research per 1000 400
Magazine Editor per day 250
Magazine Sub-editing per 1000 120
Magazine Fact checking per day 200
Newspaper (regional) Writing & research per 1000 220
Newspaper (regional) Sub-editing per 1000 95
Newspaper (regional) Fact checking per day 200
Newspaper (national) Writing & research per 1000 700
Newspaper (national) Sub-editing per 1000 450
Newspaper (national) Fact checking per day 200
Online/digital media Writing & research per 1000 180
Online/digital media Sub-editing per 1000 95
Online/digital media Fact checking per day 200

MY RATES

Contact MeContact Me

Get in touch

 

GET IN TOUCH

 

Email

lisamarie20010@gmail.com

Whatsapp

07710 611592

My ServicesMy Services

WHAT I CAN DO

Blog Writing

A blog is an essential tool in ensuring your website is seen. I can create regular blog posts that will move you up the rankings and give you a better placement within your industry.

Ghost Writing

Have you ever wanted to write a novel, memoir or short story but don’t have the time? Do you have the ideas, but the words don’t flow? I can help. Contact me for a confidential chat.

Articles

I am happy to carry out research, conduct interviews, and write/edit articles of any length. Contact me for more information about my rates and services.

Web Content

From your home page to your about me details and everything in between, you want a website that has snappy, interesting, high quality content. Let me create it for you.

Sales Letters

If you have a product that you want others to know about, you need a sales letter that is going to get attention – and keep it. I can write that letter for you.

Emails

Are you thinking of starting an email campaign but don’t know what to include? Or perhaps you want to send a special email to that special someone, but you can’t think of the right words. Contact me and we can discuss exactly what I can do to help.

Product Descriptions

Selling products online can be an excellent way of making a business, but if your products sound boring and your descriptions are dull, no one will want them. I’ve written thousands of products descriptions, and I can make your products shine.

Copy Editing & Proofreading

Have you written something that needs that extra level of checking? With my years of experience I can proofread or copy edit your work so that it’s the best it can be.

Social Media Management & Digital Marketing

Getting your digital marketing and social media strategy right is essential. I can provide and implement a social media marketing plan that works for you. Contact me to find out more.

About MeAbout Me

I'm a content writer

Excellent work by Lisamarie, on time, great quality and constant communication. Would not hesitate to recommend and in fact use again as soon as opportunity arises.

Andreas K
Andreas K

Lisamarie was great to work with - she did a fantastic job that completely met the brief and was delivered before the deadline.

Helena W
Helena W

Quick and brilliant, nailed the brief! Will work with her all the time 🙂

Roshni S
Roshni S

Fantastic work A++++

Rob C
Rob C

It was a pleasure to work with Lisamarie, she adjusted to our workflow and process with ease and completed work quickly and effectively.

Geoff J
Geoff J

Lisamarie is a very good writer and is very easy to work with. She reacted well to my guidance and provided me with content I'm very happy to use. I look forward to working with her again soon.

Ola F
Ola F

Great work from Lisamarie, articles are exactly what we wanted

Matthew E
Matthew E

Brilliant work from Lisamarie. I would definitely retain her again and recommend her to others.

Brad B
Brad B

REVIEWS

I studied English theory at university and have always been interested in the mechanics of writing, but it wasn’t until 2010 when my daughter was born that I started to write professionally. Although this was out of necessity (it was a job that I could do from home, and it brought in enough to pay the bills!), it soon became a passion. Since that time, I have been published in over 40 fiction anthologies and have written seven novels.

Find out more about my publications on my Amazon Author Page.

I am now a full-time freelance writer. The majority of my time is spent writing SEO-friendly blog posts for businesses in all kinds of niches from bakeries to florists to roofing specialists and plenty more in between. 

Between 2014 and 2020 I was the features and online editor for insideKENT magazine.

Today I live with my husband, daughter, and a cat called Cheryl in a cottage in the Kent countryside, writing, painting, and – whenever possible – watching horror films.

http://www.facebook.com/lisamarielambwriter

info@lisamarielamb.co.uk 

MY STORY

my blogmy blog

my diary
Sunscreen In The Winter: How To Wear It

When it’s freezing cold outside, it’s easy to forget about sunscreen in the winter. But, we’ve all tried it, and we’ve all paid dearly for it. Snow and ice, like water, reflect sunlight, making it more essential than ever to use sunscreen and take care of your skin and lips.

The good thing is that when it’s cold outdoors, our skin is often less visible, making our sunscreen regime a little more straightforward. You may be less likely to use sunscreen now that the weather has cooled and you won’t be basking in the sun. But here’s the thing: you really must wear sunscreen in the winter. Read on to find out how to do it right. 

sunscreen in the winter
Photo by Tara Winstead from Pexels

Use Physical Sunscreen In The Winter 

Chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays, but physical sunscreens divert or prevent them. While physical sunscreen, which comprises zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, is the hardest to apply, it produces excellent all-year protection.

Compared to chemical-based sunscreen, which is usually either UVB or UVA blocker, physical sunscreen gives better broad-spectrum coverage. Furthermore, physical blockers act for a more extended amount of time, providing more coverage and needing less re-application. They’re also less abrasive than chemical blockers.

Sweat Is Important 

Many people believe that using your daily SPF moisturiser once in the morning is enough to provide coverage for the entire day. However, even if you’re wrapped up and outside, your skin always perspires, and you should renew SPF during the day. Before leaving the house, apply a naturally healing and moisturising sunscreen in the winter with an SPF of at least 30, and allow it to absorb into your skin fully.

Watch Out For Spots 

Sun exposure causes freckles, age spots, spider veins on the face, rough and leathery skin, small creases that disappear when stretched, loose skin, a blotchy complexion, and actinic keratoses (thick wart-like, rough, reddish areas of skin). The sun also damages the elasticity in the skin, preventing it from springing back and causing wrinkled and leathery skin. To detect UV damage, look for rough, red skin, an increase in moles, and damaged blood vessels on the face throughout the winter. Also, keep an eye out for any wounds or bruises on your skin that aren’t healing properly, as this could be an early indicator of skin cancer.

Food Can Help 

Fruits and vegetables, in general, are strong in antioxidants and help us fight free radicals and sun damage. In contrast, meat, dairy products, simple carbohydrates, sugar, and processed foods increase inflammation and can contribute to the worsening of solar damage. Conversely, foods high in vitamin C and antioxidants such as carotenoids and lycopene, such as leafy greens, peppers, squash, watermelon, blueberries, and tomatoes, can help reduce sun damage.

How A Stay At Home Parent Can Re-Enter The Workforce

Returning to work after being a stay at home parent may appear to be a challenge. However, there are numerous ways to improve your skills or stay current in the job market so that you can eventually return to the traditional workforce. Here are some of the best tips for re-entering the labour market.

stay at home parent
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Be Your Own Boss 

If you want to have a flexible work schedule, you can start your own business at home or elsewhere. To increase your chances of success, consider your strengths when starting a business. Furthermore, consider the current marketplace in your region to ensure that you are providing services or products that the area residents require. Keep in mind that it can take several years for a business to turn a profit; you can continue to be a stay-at-home parent as your business grows, but this will depend on your savings and other needs. 

Create Your Own Website 

What about making a website? Today, more people are using social media to help them find work or start a business. If you learn how to create a blog, as well as how to use online images and videos to promote your brand, you can start to make an income. There are various ways to do this, including having advertising on your site or promoting specific products. Just make sure you stick to SEO rules if you intend to do this, or your site won’t be seen. 

Be A Temp

You can work as a temporary employee to update your CV. You can sign up to loads of temp agencies online, so do some research to find the best one for your needs. You may prefer to work in an office, but other options are available, such as teaching or working in retail. It will depend on your qualifications and experience, as well as what you enjoy. You can try lots of different jobs until you find the one that suits you best. 

Be A Volunteer 

Volunteer at one or more locations to gain valuable work experience. Volunteers are frequently needed in hospitals, public libraries, museums, and schools. Many community organisations in a larger city require volunteers on a daily or irregular basis. Although you won’t gain an income from volunteering, you will gain valuable skills that could help you find a job later on. 

Why You Should Get A Pet

Whether you have children or simply enjoy animals, the question of whether or not to get a pet is bound to arise at some point in your life. Owning a pet entails a lot of responsibility, but you’d be surprised at how many people buy a pet on a whim. Pets require a lot of maintenance. Some people may be concerned about getting a pet because of the possibility of losing it one day. It’s difficult enough to have something you care about in your life, but it’s even more difficult to know that the pet you choose will leave you to cross the Rainbow Bridge one day.

You can think about this and the time you won’t have with them, but really, you should think about all of the benefits of having a pet in the first place. You get to spend your life with a friend who is overjoyed to be with you all the time. You have the opportunity to be unconditionally loved by something in your life that will naturally bring you a lot of joy. These are not trivial considerations when deciding whether or not to adopt a companion animal. You may still be hesitant because you are concerned about how you will afford your new pet, but let’s look at every single reason you will ever need to say yes to pet ownership.

get a pet
Image by Sven Lachmann from Pixabay

You Can Meet New People

Being social is one of the most difficult things to do in today’s world. No, seriously. We rely on our screen-selves to interact with others, making interaction in public all the more difficult! You have an instant talking point if you have a pet. You spend time in public with other people when you walk the dog. If you have a cat, you can bet that a friend of yours is sending you cat memes to make you laugh. If there is one thing that most people will agree on, it is that having a pet can bring joy and love into your life, and this is always a point of agreement. There are even online forums and pet ownership groups in the same town as you, and you can join them and meet a whole new group of people as a result.

Better Health

Let’s face it: it’s not always easy to motivate yourself to get out of bed and exercise. You don’t really have a choice when you have a dog. Either you get up and take your dog for a walk, or your dog will pee on your carpet. Not only that, but dogs often need to be walked twice a day, which means you have the excuse you need to get your steps in and you can finally find a sliver of motivation to keep moving. You may not even have health-related goals for yourself, but your pet may be all you need to get you off the couch.

Good For Allergies

If you have children, you may want to reconsider saying no to them having their own pet. Some people are allergic to dander regardless of how much they are exposed to it, but children can be moldable. The more they are exposed to pet dander, the stronger their immunity becomes, and any allergies are eventually overcome. Adults’ immune systems can be strengthened against pet dander allergies, but this is less common.

Pets, whether it’s their skin dander or their hair, can help you combat allergies. If you want to do a little more for your immune system or the immune systems of your children, you may discover that having a pet makes a huge difference.

get a pet
Image by Dim Hou from Pixabay

A Mood Lifter

Whether you are head over heels in love with your brand new snake or the floppy ears of your new puppy have you dizzy with cuteness, you will find that your new pet will greatly improve your mood. We adore our pets, and it’s easy to see why. Falling in love with a pet is similar to falling in love with a human in that we learn about their quirks and come to love aspects of them that make us happy. You could be having the worst day at work, and your pet running to you at the end of the day could change your mood. It’s a good way to feel good to have the cat curled on your lap and purring at their contentment with your presence.

How A Bone China Mug Can Help You To Be More Mindful

Mindfulness is about being entirely present in the moment, in the here and now, and not worrying about the future or the past. It is thought to be good for us, as it is relaxing and energising at once, and therefore it has been shown to relieve stress, boost the mood, enhance your focus, and improve your wellbeing in general. 

Most people will immediately think of things like meditation and yoga when they look at ways of being more mindful, but these are only two ideas out of dozens that can help you. One that you almost certainly won’t have considered but that can have some major positive effects is simply having a cup of tea in a bone china mug. Read on to find out why this is such a good idea. 

bone china mug
Photo by Syed Hussaini on Unsplash

It’s A Ritual

Using a bone china mug to enjoy a cup of tea from is something special, and it deserves to be made in a special way. The ritual of making tea using tea leaves is something special, and it will help you to focus on the task you are carrying out, which is one way to become more mindful. 

Set aside one time during the day to enjoy your mindful cup of tea from a bone china mug. It might be in the morning to get you ready for the day ahead, or the evening to calm yourself before going to bed, or at any time in between. Try to stick to this time, however, as this is all part of the ritual. 

When you’re making tea, pay close attention to every aspect of it. Smell the aroma of the tea leaves as they leave their container. Listen to the sound of the kettle boiling and the water being poured into the teapot. Watch the amber liquid swirling into the bone china mug. Try to tie in all of your senses. In this way, no other thoughts can creep in, and you can be entirely in the moment with your cup of tea. 

Choose Your Tea Wisely 

Did you know that different types of tea can evoke different feelings and reactions in the drinker? Black teas are good for heart health, for example, and green tea is ideal for mental alertness. Oolong tea boosts your brainpower, whereas white tea can reduce inflammation. Then there are fruit teas, which have all kinds of different properties, from improving memory to helping you relax and get to sleep. 

Depending on what you want out of your mindfulness, you can choose a tea to drink from your bone china mug that will offer you the result you’re looking for. In this way, you can be mindful not just in the way you make your tea but also how you’re taking care of your body when you drink it. 

A Few Moments Out 

Finally, drinking tea can help you be more mindful because it gives you just a few moments out of ‘real life’. No matter whether you’re using tea leaves or tea bags in your bone china mug, those few moments where you can focus on making and drinking the tea are all many people need to break away from the chaos of everyday life and step back. 

Taking these few moments out is crucial for your good mental health, but it’s hard to do without a reason – there always seems to be something left on the to-do list. Making and drinking a cup of tea could be just the excuse you need. 

How To Help Your Children Keep Their Teeth Healthy

It can be a challenge for children to keep their teeth healthy; there just seems to be something built into the little ones’ minds that tells them brushing their teeth is a bore and a chore and should be ignored as much as possible. And for parents, the daily struggle to ensure their children keep their teeth healthy becomes something of a battle, so much so that in some cases, the adult gives up altogether, perhaps thinking that the milk teeth aren’t quite so important and good oral healthcare can wait. 

The truth is, keeping the milk teeth healthy is just as important as taking care of the permanent teeth that come later. This is partly because by instilling good oral hygiene habits early on, it becomes easier later for all involved, and partly because those milk teeth aren’t the only thing being cleaned; a good brushing technique takes care of the gums and tongue too. Read on to discover some good ways to ensure your children become better at keeping their teeth healthy, making things much easier for you too. 

teeth healthy
Image by bigbear from Pixabay

Good Preparation 

Surprises are cool and all, but for the big life lessons, preparation is key. Suddenly presenting your child with a toothbrush and expecting them just to get on with it, or trying to do the job yourself if they are under the age of eight or so, might seem rather daunting and even scary. 

Ensure you set down plenty of preparation before it all begins, and the process won’t be so unnerving. By reading books, watching videos, and talking about why dental hygiene and keeping their teeth healthy is so important, you can make things much easier for everyone. 

Sing A Song 

One of the reasons that children don’t like to brush their teeth is because it’s boring. They have to stand in one place, doing one thing, for around two minutes, and that’s hard for an active child. They would much rather be playing or reading or running around or anything else; they don’t like the dull nature of tooth brushing. 

You can make the process easier (and go faster) by being there with them and singing a song, for example. Pick a song that lasts for a couple of minutes, and the time will fly by. Set a timer if it helps. If you don’t like to sing, why not tell a short story

Help Your Child Take Ownership To Keep Their Teeth Healthy

Yes, you can bribe your child with stickers or pocket money or sweets (not ideal when we’re talking about keeping their teeth healthy, but sometimes needs must), but you can’t do this every day, twice a day.

Instead, allowing and helping your child to take ownership of keeping their teeth healthy is a great solution. They can choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste, for example, and they can set out their own routine. If they have a choice (although you’ll always have the final say), you will find they are much more willing to go along with the oral hygiene that is so important. 

3 Simple Home Improvement Tips You Need to Try

Home improvement tips are always good to know more about. If you’re getting tired of how your home looks and it feels like it’s time to make some changes, you won’t be the only one. People will constantly want to update and upgrade their homes to make them the most comfortable places they can possibly be. 

Often, you’ll immediately think of making significant changes like installing a new kitchen or bathroom or even taking down walls to create more space, but home improvement doesn’t need to be as complex as that. You can do some very simple things that will give you a fantastic result – read on to find out what some of them are. 

home improvement tips
Photo by Stephanie Ho from Pexels

Repaint The Walls 

After a while, the paint you have on your walls will start to fade. Either that, or it will look grubby and dirty, or perhaps the colour is just not longer a fashionable one or one that you enjoy looking at anymore. 

Useful home improvement tips to be aware of include changing the colour of your walls with a new coat of paint (or even keeping the old colour and refreshing it). This is a relatively simple thing to do, but it will make a massive difference to the look of your home. Whether you stick with something neutral or you go for something bright, or you opt for a bit of both with a feature wall, no matter what you do, the difference will stand out. 

Use Plants 

Think of your home now. Then think of it with some plants and greenery added to a few areas. Can you see how much better it looks? Incredibly, you don’t have to do any actual DIY or change anything at all for these home improvement tips; just by adding some plants in pots in strategic areas, you can enhance the look of your home and make it more comfortable for you and your guests. 

When you are choosing which plants to use, pick the ones that match your lifestyle. In other words, if you’re at home a lot, you can have plants that need more regular care. If you travel, you can go for something that doesn’t need much looking after. 

Plants are also great because you can change them or the pots they are in whenever you want to for minimal expense but a big impact. 

home improvement tips
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Update Your Kitchen Cabinets 

A brand new kitchen is a great home improvement tip, but it might be out of the budget for some people, or perhaps it’s just not something you’re comfortable doing – after all, it will be messy and disruptive. Yet if your kitchen is looking tired and out of date, you don’t have to put up with it; you can change it for less money and less disruption than an entirely new kitchen would bring you. 

All you need to do is change the cabinet doors. By doing this and keeping the carcasses in place, you are drastically reducing your costs. Even better, you can paint over your existing cabinet doors and make them look completely different even if they are actually the same ones you’ve always had. 

Are You Sabotaging Your Life?

Are you sabotaging your life? You may not realise it, but it could be that you are. There are many theories in this world that support the idea that what you think determines the outcome of your life. The mind is a marvellous, untapped resource that is potentially infinite in its influence over what you do and how things turn out. The Law of Attraction is just one of these theories, and it is fascinating to find out more about it.

Even if you don’t believe in how it works exactly, there is no doubt that having a positive outlook affects how you perceive things, and how you are perceived. So it is important to think positively whenever possible.

If things have been going badly with regards to your work or writing – or any other creative pursuit – then could it possibly be your thoughts and feeling about it all that is causing the problems? Could it be that you are sabotaging your life? Let’s take a look at how you might be, without even realising that you are.

sabotaging your life

You Make It A Competition

If you are constantly looking around you at what other people are doing, you’ll never be able to fully focus on what you are doing – and that can spell disaster for your current writing project. That is one of the best ways of sabotaging your life. Comparing yourself to others can sometimes work in terms of allowing you to set yourself a goal, but doing it all the time is distracting, and can push you off course from that goal very easily.

It is always better to be looking ahead, towards your next goal, and ignore what other people are doing. Creativity is not a race. It’s not a competition. It is a personal journey. That may sound a bit ‘new age-y’ but think about it; it’s completely true.

You Get Angry

Allowing yourself to get angry about things is another excellent way of halting the creative process and sabotaging your life. If something has irritated you – it could be anything, from a Facebook post by a fellow writer, artist, poet etc, to hearing about someone’s success in the same genre that you work in – the important question to ask is ‘why?’. Why are you angry about this? And what is that anger doing to harm your creative process (hint: it’s another way of sabotaging your life)?

Is your anger about being envious? Is it that you have a particularly deep competitive streak? Does the news make you feel less secure about your place in the creative world?

Whatever it is, remember that your own thoughts are taking you on a journey, and if you want that journey to be a fulfilling and successful one, then you need to dispense with all the superfluous feelings of anger and just get on with working your way towards happiness. Another artist’s success will not diminish your own. There is no need to be envious as your time will come as long as you work towards it and acknowledge that fact.

sabotaging your life
Image from Pixabay – ijmaki

You Complain All The Time

Complaining to yourself is a waste of time. Complaining to other people… well, that all depends on the complaint. A valid complaint should often be aired – in a well-thought-out and calm kind of way. That is how things can be done, that is how problems get solved. A general gripe about the state of things, about a tweet that you didn’t appreciate, about someone else’s success or writing ability… that’s usually less productive. Plus this kind of pointless complaining has a knock-on effect. Firstly, it takes up a lot of time when, you guessed it, you could be writing or painting or doing whatever it is that makes you feel complete.

Secondly, empty complaining puts you in a negative frame of mind. One small niggle and suddenly everything is less rosy. Unsure about that? Think of it the other way around – when you see something that makes you happy, or you get some good news, doesn’t your day immediately seem better? Brighter? Altogether happier? It’s true, and the same goes for negative things. Your day (if you let it) will go downhill. Don’t let it. Keep positive, and things will improve. That’s just how it works.  

Indie Authors Can Help One Another – And They Should

In many professions, competition is the norm. It is a fight to the top, and sometimes people get trampled. But with indie authors, it’s different. Or at least it should be. With writers, there is enough space out there for everyone.

I’m not talking about copywriters or freelance writers exactly – every one of them (me included) fights for the jobs that pay well or seem interesting. Heck, we even fight for those who don’t pay well and have us writing about things we have no interest in at all; the bills need to be paid.

indie authors
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Indie Authors

But indie (independent) authors are a particular breed of writer. In this profession, there is room for everyone to do whatever it is they want to do. Especially now that there is the option for self-publishing. These are the ones who do not need to compete with one another; there are so many different stories that they can write and so many genres (and sub-genres and sub-sub-genres, come to that!) that the variety is infinite.

Because of this infinite variety, indie authors really should – and generally do – help one another out. Working together is important; it enables everyone to move forward and find different markets that they might otherwise never have come into contact with. It will take time, but it is always worth doing – networking, offering advice, working on a ‘give and take’ ideal… it all goes to the greater good because when one indie author succeeds, it gives hope and opportunity to all the others.

How To Work Together

There are a few different ways to collaborate with other authors. One is link swapping. That could be posting or sending out alerts when a new competition or writing opportunity presents itself, or it could simply be placing the links of other writers on your Facebook page, your Twitter feed, your blog… If you link to theirs, they can link to yours, and both of your audiences will grow. It’s a fantastic way to find new readers for your work, and it’s immediate exposure too, meaning immediate income. It might not be much, but it’s something, and that’s how we all need to start.

Brainstorming is another excellent way to use other writers’ expertise and put forward some ideas of your own. Join in with (or create, if you can’t find one already) a monthly online meeting using Skype or Google Hangouts or Slack. There are many different options. You could even set up a secret Facebook group and use that. As long as there is an online space where everyone – whoever you invite – can discuss their writing, how they’re marketing it, any plans for the future or questions they might have, and so on. It’s a great way to swap ideas and discover new things.

Libraries are such valuable commodities, and so indie authors may as well use them too. Note down the ISBN of the books written by authors in your network, and ask your local library to order the book for you. If your entire network does the same for everyone, that will give all of your books a nice borrowing boost. It can be embarrassing to ask for your own book to be brought into a library, but asking for someone else’s is much easier and more likely to get done and yield results.

indie authors
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Apart from actually writing, the thing that takes up most of an indie author’s time is the research. This is research into how to market the books when they are complete, who to use as an editor, where the best value cover designers are, as well as the content itself. It can take an age when all you want to do is get it done and have your book out there for all to see – and hopefully read. This is where the knowledge of others can really save you time. Ask your questions on a forum and get answers – indie authors love to share! And who knows, you may be able to pay it forward and answer someone else’s questions while you’re at it.

When indie authors pull together, so much more can get done – and so many more will see you.

Health Problems That Can Occur After A Car Accident

When you are involved in a car accident, it’s plain to see some of the injuries that can result. You’ll often have cuts and possibly deeper lacerations, as well as red marks on your skin. You might even have broken bones, depending on how severe the accident was. 

However, these initial injuries might not be the end of things, and more can occur days or even weeks after the accident. This usually happens because, due to the stress of the accident, the body is flooded with hormones and chemicals such as adrenalin and endorphins. It is only when the danger has passed and the body reverts back to normal chemical levels that more injuries might be noticed; if they are very serious, you may even need medical attention, as well as a car accident lawyer to help you claim compensation. Read on to find out what health problems can occur after an accident so you know what to look out for. 

car accident
Image from Pixabay

Headaches 

Headaches are a common problem that can occur well after a car accident has taken place. There are several reasons that you might develop headaches including whiplash, concussion, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), muscle tension, or even head trauma that you were unaware of. 

No matter what you think the cause might be, or even if you can’t think of any reason to have developed headaches, you must seek medical attention right away as headaches and migraines can be extremely dangerous and indicate a serious underlying problem. 

Bruising 

Bruising is not something that happens immediately in most cases anyway, and it will take some time to develop after an accident of any kind, including a car accident. However, if the bruising is happening in a large area, or in an area that you hadn’t thought you had injured, you should seek advice from an expert. 

Bruising is a sign of internal bleeding (which can be fatal if left untreated), and the discoloration of the skin is blood pooling beneath it. Large bruises on the back, sides, or abdomen that occur days after an accident can be particularly worrying. 

Numbness 

If you suddenly lose the feeling in any part of your body after a car accident and it is numb to the touch, then you may have sustained nerve damage. This can take some time to manifest since the nerves will try to keep working, but as you use the area that is affected, the damage can become worse until you can’t feel your legs or arms (for example) at all. 

Tingling can be a sign of nerve damage too, and it is often the precursor to complete numbness. In both cases, go to an ER or speak to a doctor as soon as you can; never damage can be reversed if acted upon quickly enough. 

PTSD 

We have briefly mentioned PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) already, but it is a big problem that can occur many days or weeks, or even months after a car accident. PTSD happens when the body’s fight or flight response doesn’t ‘switch off’, meaning that the sufferer is always in a state of alertness. This will become physically exhausting, and mentally it can lead to depression, stress, and anxiety. 

Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, insomnia, high blood pressure, withdrawal from society, and mood changes among many other things. 

What To Consider When Starting A Business After Retirement

Just because you have retired, that doesn’t mean you have to sit around doing nothing. In fact, that’s the worst thing you can do – it might be nice for a week or two, but imagine how bored you would become after that, especially if you have been working for many decades before you decide to take retirement. business after retirement

It’s a good idea to stay as active as possible, while also taking the chance to relax, when you are retired. This might mean ensuring you get enough exercise, taking up a new hobby, going back to school to learn about a subject you’ve always been interested in, or maybe taking on a part-time job to keep your brain busy and to give you some extra income. 

Some retired people even choose to start their own businesses. If this sounds like something you might be interested in doing because you’ve always wanted to try or because you know you have a great idea, here are some important points to consider. 

business after retirement
Image from Pixabay

Think About Cost 

Age should not be a barrier to anything you want to do, including starting a business after retirement, but the cost may well be. This is why it’s crucial to put enough time and energy into researching all the costs that you might have to pay out for when starting a business and try to limit them as much as you can.

There are some businesses you can start for almost nothing, so these may be worth looking at more closely. It will depend on what you want to do and how much money you can afford to invest. If you don’t want to use your savings (which may be all you have since you have retired), then an investor could be a worthwhile road to go down. Although business loans exist for startups, this is where your age may go against you.

Use Your Experience 

Something you will have that a younger person might not, and therefore something that will help you greatly when it comes to starting a business after retirement, even if you’ve never done it before, is experience. Not necessarily experience in business or even in the sector you want to launch your business in, but life experience. 

By now, you will know what your strengths and weaknesses are, and you can use these to your advantage within your business. You’ll also know what’s really important and what just seems to be. Plus, you’ll have a vast network of friends, family, and acquaintances to gain advice from and, at the very least, to help motivate you. 

business after retirement
Image from Pixabay

Buy A Business 

Starting a business after retirement from nothing takes much more time and effort than you might imagine, and when you have just retired and have been working hard your whole life, this might not appeal, even if you are very keen to get back into some kind of work, and would ideally like to be self-employed. 

It might sound as though you would have to compromise, but you don’t; you can buy a franchise instead. All the initial hard work (and much of the ongoing marketing) will be done for you, and although it will cost you a reasonable amount to buy a franchise, you can start earning straight away and use your skills in the best way for you.