Monday, 29 June 2020

Places to visit around The Athenian Riviera ~Athens



Athens has become a favorite destination of mine and last year, I had the opportunity to visit the place twice. Once in March and the second time in November. We were really fortunate with the weather on both trips.Temperatures were 20-24 Degrees C, really comfortable and perfect for sight seeing.
In February we visited all the historic sites and the city centre, the highlight was climbing the Acropolis and visiting the Parthenon, I wrote about this experience in my post Things to do in Athens.


During this second trip, second trip to Athens we decided to stay out of the city and explore The Athens Gold Coast also known as The Athenian Riviera which is a coastal area few kilometres out of the city of Athens. This is an area of many small towns such as Glyfada, Faliron, Voula, Vari, Varzika, Voula and Vouliagmeni and many more surrounding towns stretching from Pireaus to Sunio


Faliron is the closest coastal town to Athens. It has modern apartment buildings, lots of shops, restaurants, cafes and a seafront where you can sit and watch the waves as you enjoy a coffee and pastry. Glyfada another nearby town has a lovely town square which is lively and has a lot of local activity. It is the centre of Coastal Athens, it is surrounded with many designer shops and small malls scattered around, bars and restaurants. In Glyfada you can even find an eighteen hole golf course, if you area golfer and want to play a round or two of golf whilst on holiday.

Voula is another nearby lovely sea side town, it has a beautiful beach where you can hire sun beds, parasols and spend a day at the beach. There are many restaurants, bars, caf├ęs and coffee shops if you get peckish. There are many beautiful apartments in Voula,it is very affluent area of the Athenian Riveria. 


In Voula, on Saturdays there is a lovely organic fruit and vegetables market where the local farmers bring their produce to sell. For a foodie like me, it is food heaven to see so much amazing fresh organic produce. I would highly recommend a visit to this market especially if you are staying in a self-catering apartment.

You will never be short of places to eat in Athens, there are many restaurants, coffee shops and eateries and if you are a vegetarian like me food is no problem as there are many vegetarian options available. If you are a non-vegetarian foodie, than Vari is the perfect place to visit. Vari is well known for its psistaria's these are grill houses that specialise in outdoor cooking, barbecuing and cooking whole lambs, pigs and goats.


If you carry on driving through Vari, you will come to a lovely town of Varkiza. It is thought that this town has some of the cleanest and best beach area in Athens. Again like all the other towns, the beach front locations hosts many shops, coffee shops, bars and restaurants. 


The area of Vouliagmeni is located between two small peninsulas, Kavouri and Lemos. It is a well-known for its wooded area and it has some really nice local beaches both paying and free. In Vouliagmeni, you will find the famous Lake Vouliagmeni. Vouliagmeni means sunken, the lake was formed when the roof of the cave fell because of erosion caused by the high temperature of the running water. The lake is a natural spa and the water is full of minerals that are thought to have healing properties as it’s fed by an underground river and caves. The lake is surrounded by cliffs and underground caves and is very picturesque.


You can spend the day at the lake any time of the year. The facilities on offer are changing rooms, children's play area, gift shop, a coffee shop and restaurant serving food and drinks. You can hire towels and sunbeds which are dotted around the lake. 



There are premium sunbeds as well as basic depending on your budget. The lake has little black fishes that nibble at your feet giving you a free pedicure. Swimming is allowed in the lake and the water temperature is pleasant. I would highly recommend spending a day at Lake Vouliagmeni if you are visiting the Athenian Riveria.



Athens offers a good metro and tram and bus transport so getting around is easy. Car hire is also another option which will offer you more freedom to explore the Athenian Riveria area, the towns and beaches.


There are many hotels around the Athenian Riveria, we stayed at the beautiful Athenian Riveria Hotel. Its tastefully furnished with clean, comfortable rooms which are spacious, bright and airy with lots of amenities. The hotel has a restaurant, bar area and an outdoor sitting area with a pool. The service is outstanding and all the staff are extremely helpful. This is the second time we stayed at this amazing hotel you can read about the Athenian Riveria Hotel in more detail in my post from March 2019.

We stayed in Athens for 7 days and this is just a snippet of the places we visited. In my next post, I will share my experience of a Greek Cookery class with the Greek Key, our Olive Picking adventure, our trip to Poseidon Temple in Sounion and the day out to Evia Island.

You may like some of these posts about Athens:


I would like to thank Lake Vouliagmeni who invited us to spend a day at the lake to enjoy the facilities and also a very big thank you to Athenian Riveria Hotel who were extremely generous and hosted our stay for the entire 7 days. All the views and opinions in this post are of my own experience and are honest.


Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Are You Looking to Buy a Property Abroad?



We love warm weather and as a family we have always loved our beach holidays. For a number of years we have regularly visited Spain, Canary Islands, Cyprus and Greece, we love the Mediterranean climate, the food, and the sea so we have been contemplating buying a property abroad. There are a lot of factors to consider and think about as we do the research. I am sharing below some of the things that you should consider when making a decision to buy a property abroad.There will be  plenty of questions you need answering. If you’re thinking about taking the plunge, read on for some top tips.


15 Terrific Tips for Buying a Property Abroad


For many, buying a property abroad to live out your days in the sun is the ultimate dream. Waking up every day to glorious sunshine can be an appealing prospect compared to the drizzle of the UK, that’s for sure.

While that’s often the case, it doesn’t mean that it’s an easy process. Not least does a move to Spain, for example, require an understanding of Spanish law, an English speaking Spanish Property lawyer, and plenty of forward planning. It’s not all that simple!


The following top tips are designed to help you get ahead of the curve if you’re debating whether to go ahead with such a life changing decision. So, if you want to buy a property abroad, read on to discover how to prepare.


Why Might You Buy a Property Abroad?


There are plenty of reasons for buying a property abroad. You might be looking for a change in lifestyle, a chance to own a holiday home, or a once in a lifetime investment opportunity. It’s true that you can often get more for your money in certain countries, so it’s no wonder that so many Britons live abroad.

It’s by no means an easy process though, and even it’s been a long-term plan for you and your family, it’s still bound to be a daunting prospect full of things to consider. That’s why preparation is key!

Top Tips for Buying a Property Abroad


If you’re considering buying a property abroad, then take note of these top tips to make sure that your transaction is a success.

1.    Choose a Country


First things first – where do you want to buy a property? There are countless reasons why you might choose a certain country to buy property in, including:
  • You may have previously been on holiday to a country that you fell in love with;
  • You might have friends and family living out their lives on the other side of the world, and you fancy joining them.
  • You might spot an investment opportunity in a country you've never even visited. 

The list is endless, but you'll need to think long and hard about what the consequences of your decision will be, and how easy the process is going to be. After all, if you intend on getting to and from the country frequently, it's going to have to be a relatively accessible area.

2.     Learn the Lingo


If you’re buying property in a country where English isn’t widely spoken, you’re going to have to start practicing the language. It’s not as easy as you might think to get by without having the basics locked down.

It’s especially important when you carry out a transaction like buying a property, because there will be plenty of specific legal terms that you will need to understand. So, ten minutes a day on a language app can’t hurt. Si?

3.     Get a Property Lawyer

Now you know where you’ll be investing, and you (hopefully) have a little bit of the lingo in your back pocket, what’s next? Well, now you’ll need to get yourself a property lawyer, who can help to guide you through the process of buying a property.

Plenty of property owners fall into the trap of using lawyers or translators who were recommended by the estate agent or developer. They will often be acting in the interests of both parties.

So, you would be sensible to appoint an English-speaking lawyer who is qualified to practice in the UK and overseas. An English-speaking lawyer will help to make sure that nothing is lost in translation, and will only ever act in your best interests.

4.     Research the Legal Systems

Not all legal systems work in the same way, which can make the process of buying a property in another country much more difficult. While your property lawyer can handle the complicated stuff, it pays to get to grips with what the legal implications of your transaction will be. Your lawyer will be more than happy to discuss everything with you in detail, so don’t be afraid to ask a few questions.


5.     Get to Grips with the Tax System

As we all know, there are three certainties in this world: life, death and taxes. That doesn’t change when you buy property abroad. There will, of course, be plenty of ongoing costs to manage once you complete the purchase, such as annual property tax, income tax and community fees. So, take some time to carry out thorough research of what applies to your property.

 6.     Decide What Type of Property You Want


As with any property purchase, you’ll need to be sure of what you’re looking for. If the property is for yourself, you’ll need to be sure if you’re down sizing, up sizing, or finding whatever you can for your budget. That also means deciding whether you want to do a little bit of refurbishment work, so be sure to bear this all in mind before taking the plunge.

7.     Decide What You Are Using the Property For

Just because you’re thinking about buying a property abroad, it doesn’t mean its necessarily going to be for your own pleasure. You might want to think of it as a long-term plan and, in the meantime, have it as a holiday home or even a small business venture.

There are plenty of ways you can use the property, so thinking outside the box is always encouraged. You’d always be wise to be on the same page as anyone else investing in the property, however!

 8.     Organise Your Budget


You’ll (hopefully) have your budget laid out in front of you and, with a bit of research, you can get a decent understanding of the sorts of property you will be able to get for your money. But we all know that, sometimes, a little bit of fancy financial footwork can push you towards something that may have seemed a little over budget. Think about how much extra money you’d be willing to splash out to land the property you desperately want, and consider what that could mean for your financial situation.

 9.     Do Your Mortgage Homework


This goes without saying: don’t jump on the first mortgage deal you find! It may be a drag to sift through the countless mortgage deals out there, but you want to get the best possible deal that suits your capabilities and needs. Pay close attention to the interest rates and repayment periods so that you fully understand the agreement before you put pen to paper.


 10.   Always Get Written Agreements


On the subject of pen and paper, everything you agree needs to be recorded in writing, and you need to securely store it for future reference. If you have written confirmation of the agreements and receipts, you can immediately fall back on them if anything does go wrong. You cannot dispute a good old-fashioned signed contract.

 11.    Check the Deeds of the Property

 It’s worth double checking that the previous owner to the property owns the title deeds to the property so that they can transfer them across to you. You should also make sure that the building isn’t being used as collateral to pay off any loans. If you aren’t buying a used property, and are more interested in a brand-new development, you can still check the deeds by contacting the property developer directly.

 12.    Check for Outstanding Bills the Owner Might Have

 There’s nothing worse than being hit with an unexpected bill – apart from being hit with an unexpected bill that has nothing to do with you. So, check with the property owner to see if they have any outstanding utility or tax bills that you will have to pay for once you purchase the property for yourself.

 13.    Consider Shipping Costs

 You may, understandably, be wrapped up in the more complex financial arrangements involved in buying a property abroad that you forget about getting your possessions shipped over. It’d be a struggle to get absolutely everything you own overseas, but it all depends on how much you are willing to pay.

 14.   Find a Community of Expats


You won’t be the first to move to the country from the UK, and you certainly won’t be the last. So, do some digging to find expats who have taken the plunge and see if you can pick up some tips from them. You never know, you might just pick up some local friends along the way!

15.  Tell the UK You’re on Your Way


If you’ve bought a permanent home abroad and it’s going to be your main residence, then don’t forget to say goodbye to the UK! By that, I mean an official goodbye, full of all the paperwork.

Tedious as it is, it’s really important that you notify all the relevant bodies, such as the Social Security Office and HM Revenue & Customs. You’ve got to account for everything!



 These 15 top tips for buying a property abroad should cover all bases. Hopefully, now, you can take something away from these tips so you can buy your sunny property in confidence.

Are you currently trying to buy a property abroad, or perhaps you’ve already taken the plunge and have some more tips to add? If you have any tips you can share with me please do leave a comment down below so that it can help me with my research.

Credits-Stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
**Collaborative post.

Friday, 5 June 2020

Ten Ideas to Make Father's Day Special



Father's day will soon be upon us and it's time to think of how we are going to celebrate this day during lock down.

Here are my Ten Ideas to make Father's Day Special

1. How about starting the day with breakfast in bed for the dad, the kids could make easy pancakes and juice which always goes down well.


2. Plan a picnic in the garden, it's easier to social distance and enjoy. Make some open sandwiches, salad and dips and crackers and a fresh fruit salad.


3. Enjoy some board games and have a gaming tournament in the garden.

4. Have a smoothie station, cut different fruits and keep in Tupperware. Have ice and ice cream at hand, offer to blend smoothies to order. (don't forget the extension lead for the blender)

5. Get kids to make redeemable vouchers for dad depending on their ability and age such as make a cup of tea, head massage, wash car or make a sandwich. 
6. Get the children to bake dad's favourite cookies or a cake.

7. For actual gifts, it's rather difficult to go shopping during lock down, however there are lots of online retailers, where you can order gifts. Some ideas for the perfect gift can be a personalised mug or t shirt, a bottle of wine, an online course. 



You can also get ties, cufflinks, a watch or this beautiful 100 percent leather Montreal casual brown RFID wallet from Trendhim. It comes in various different colours and has ample room to keep cards and notes. It's perfect to keep all the credit cards safe and secure from hackers and it's the ideal size to fit in any trouser or jacket pocket. The wallet also comes in a sleek black gift box ready for gifting. I am sure any dad would love to receive this sleek, smart and stylish wallet.


8. Encourage the kids to make a personalised father's day card using family photos to make a collage.

9. Buy a fruit tree and gift it to dad so that it can be a gift for life.




10. For those dad's that are football mad, why not gift him a personalised leather bound deluxe Personalised Football Book. This gift is so unique and any die hard football fan would love to receive this as a fathers day present. 





The book has highlights of  cup triumphs, great goal and includes details about Premier League, Football League and Scottish League teams. The newspapers date back to 1900 with lots of amazing content about the favourite team. 





There is a choice of 60 teams to choose from and there are six colours to choose fromfor the cover. The book can be personalised with the dads name and a short message from the giver. It comes in beautiful keep sake matching gift box too. 




Of course this football book is not just for father's day, it can make a beautiful birthday or Christmas gift too.
I hope some of these ideas will help you to have a fun and enjoyable father's day during lock down.

**collaborative post

Friday, 15 May 2020

Managing your Finances during Lockdown



Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

We are now into 6 weeks of lock down and most people are seriously thinking about their finances. Whether you have a business or a job or are self employed, money is tight and our incomes have reduced so what can we do about it?

  1. Make a spread sheet logging all incoming money and another one for expenditure such as bills, mortgage, food, bills, car, insurance,medical fees, phone contracts and home maintenance.
  2. Look at ways you can reduce some of these costs, like looking for better deals for car/ home insurance, phone contracts and internet and energy providers.
  3. Make meal plans and shop only for necessary items.
  4. Talk to your bank for interest free loans, and over draft facilities.
  5. If you are renting see if your landlord will give you a planned holiday or let you pay in smaller installments.
  6. Check your mortgage and speak to your bank if you can change it or move it to a different type. There may be a few different options that you can opt for such as a reverse mortgage.

Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

Everyone dreams about a comfortable life especially in retirement, but if financial problems are a more immediate reality, where do you turn? A reverse home loan is a viable solution for those who are 62 of age or above, and in need of a financial boost. 

How does a reverse mortgage work?


One of Two Ways
A reverse mortgage provided via a government program is called a home equity conversion mortgage, but if it is supplied by a private lender, it is known as a reverse mortgage. Both are subject to certain government regulations, which your lender will assist you with.

Reverse or straightforward home loans?
The main consideration is the loan term. A regular mortgage requires you to pay back the loan monthly for a predetermined period. This regular commitment can be stressful to honor, especially if funding becomes a problem.

A reverse mortgage, on the other hand, allows you to borrow without having to start the repayment process straight away. It removes the need for regular monthly payments, and you will not be bound to any loan period. You will not need to repay anything until you ever decide to move out of the home the loan is linked to, in which case the loan balance will become payable.

What Are The Qualification Criteria For A Reverse Mortgage?
The steps are simple, but the conditions are strict. Other than being 62 years of age or older, the conditions stipulate that you need to own and permanently reside in the house against which you take out the loan. The lending institution where you apply is liable for working out your capability for taking out the loan. This means that they will do a background and credit check, to see if you can afford regular maintenance costs and property taxes, insurance coverage, and other running costs pertaining to home ownership.

There are also conditions linked to the actual house. It has to be a main and permanent residence, and the person applying for the reverse loan has to be the owner. If it is a multiple-residence property, at least one of the homes or apartments must be the permanent residence of the person applying for the loan. Finally, the value of the house must be high enough to be able to cover the full repayment value of the loan upon sale of the property. Remember that the outstanding balance on an existing home loan will have to be settled with funds from the reverse home loan, before funds from the reverse loan become available for use.

Life With A Reverse Mortgage
Your lender can make the money in your loan available to you in monthly payments, which are useful for covering ongoing bills during retirement. If you qualify, you can get your reverse mortgage money any way you want. The other option is to make it available as a lump sum, to help you cover costs in the case of a major expense, such hospitalization, or you could organize a line of credit, to access it as you need.


 **collaborative post.

The Perfect Help To Move Online



Making an Impact on Your Business via a Professional Developer

During this unprecedented and challenging time, the internet is rapidly becoming the prime generator for business and adapting to the current climate. 

Not every company finds time to learn the ins and outs of setting up a powerful presence online and chooses to outsource the time and effort to external development professionals.

With the option to build your own online taking considerable time out of your business, let’s take a look at the positives of paying out for a professional web developer for your online presence.

The Right Look

Using online web building facilities to build your own may save money, but you are left with simple template designs that may not give your company a professional look.

With a professional web development firm handling your website, you get the look you envision and in some instances a much better look and feel than you envisaged.

Developers utilise in house programmers and graphic designers to strengthen the look and flow of your website ensuring that when people visit your page they are not experiencing glitches or spelling mistakes that can easily be overlooked by a business owner wanting to quickly throw a web presence out there.


Success Tools

With a professional service you are also provided with professional assurance from tools provided by them to make your website a success.

Eternal web developers provide a web hosting service as well as a guarantee of top security, speed and response for your website. This saves you time in researching the many options available as a professional developer will have access to the best for your business.

Also, with any downtime your website may encounter you can rest assured that the developer you are paying to maintain and run your website will fix the problems straight away and you will not be lost trying to call a helpline that may leave you on hold for a long amount of time and cost you business.

Consultation Services

With the landscape changing constantly, you will have no need to keep up with the changes and updates required as your web developer can keep on top of them for you and even advise you on any changes that could be made to strengthen your online presence.

If you are looking to change how you trade on the internet, a professional web developer can best guide you through what options are suitable for your budget. Remember, it’s their job to know everything in that sector of industry so who better to advise you on it?

The Developer is there to display the various options you have with your website and offer up solutions and alternatives to problematic areas that may occur. For a set up fee and a monthly price, your web developer is a safety precaution against your website suffering from slow response time, glitches and hacking that could occur that you are not prepared or qualified to tackle yourself.

Search Rankings

A professional website development firm comes equipped with many areas designed to boost your business.

A popular and utilised extra they provide would be SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which is a service to boost your online presence through search engines like Google, meaning your company will be among the first businesses advertised on a Google search for your industry.

SEO gives you an incredible boost as statistics show that most internet searches on Google end after the second page of results, meaning some other companies benefit from the service you provide if you don’t have it.

 Stockport website design companies have been among the most professional and long standing digital agencies for the 2000's and have not only advanced in responsive webdesign, but also are at the forefront of Search Engine Optimization.

Weighing up the time and money you spend on a professional website developer against the time and money you lose on building one yourself showcases why successful business owners rely on an outsourced identity to work with for their online presence.

Weighing up the time and money you spend on a professional website developer against the time and money you lose on building one yourself showcases why successful business owners rely on an outsourced identity to work with for their online presence.

**collaborative post

Thursday, 7 May 2020

My Top 10 Food Shopping Tips During Lock down

As we continue to be in lock down we are all spending more and more time in our homes and kitchen. We have all taken to shopping on line to get our food shop, treats, presents, basic essentials and indulgences.
The biggest shop that we all do is food. We are all eating at least three meals a day not forgetting the endless cups of tea and coffee and snacks throughout the day.

My top 10 tips for food shopping are:


1. Do a stock take of your pantry, fridge and freezer, making a list of all the items you have.


2. Plan your meals and make a meal plan and see if you have the required ingredients. Make a list of ingredients you do not have and what you will need to replenish. This way you are not buying random unnecessary groceries.


3. If you not in the vulnerable category and are able to go to the shops ensure you take with you plastic gloves, mask and wipes/sanitiser. I always wipe the trolley handle with my antibacterial wipes even if I am wearing gloves as I do not want to touch my purse etc with contaminated gloves. Have a shopping list ready so that you know exactly what you need to buy so to avoid impulse buys and limiting your time spent in the shop to a minimum. Ensure you take care of social distancing to stay safe.


4. If you self isolating due to health reasons, book an online slot for the groceries, check out local farm shops, bakers and fruit and vegetable vendors who offer delivery options. This also helps to support independent traders during the crisis.

5. Try and cook with fresh ingredients, making soups and pasta sauces from fresh produce is actually a lot easier and cheaper than you think. You can make these in bulk and freeze them too. Home cooked is so much healthier than tinned soups and pasta sauces. For inspiration check out this brocolli and sweet potato soup and baked pasta recipes.


6. If money is tight, which I think is for most of us have you considered going vegetarian or vegan? There are so many nutritious vegetarian and vegan recipes that are a lot cheaper to put together than having recipes with meat. If you are contemplating making the change, maybe start off as being vegetarian before totally changing to a vegan diet. If you do change to a vegan diet, or already are a vegan, I suggest you get a nutritional test done to see if  you are getting all the necessary nutrients from the vegan diet. If you are missing out on essential nutrients  you can start  to eat specific foods that will help to boost  the intake. There is a special 15% off  discount code available if you wish to take the test for yourself.

7. When shopping for ingredients, buy pulses, beans, grains such as couscous and quinoa. These can help to bulk up a stew or soup making it hearty and delicious at a low cost.

8. Sometimes larger packs of fruits and vegetables are often cheaper than buying  a small pack. Buy these you can always prepare them and freeze them for later use. Its handy to do this with carrots, peppers, swede, squash as all of these freeze well.


9. Tinned items and things like pasta and rice have long shelf life and are cheaper bought in quantity. Try to purchase the larger multi pack and split with your neighbour. Of course keep that social distance and leave it on their door step. You could also take it in turns to shop so you are limiting going out to the shops to a minimum.

10. Buy fruits in bulk and make your own juices and smoothies, they are much healthier and you can limit the amount of sugars in them. You can check out my ideas for smoothie packs for  the freezer.


How are you managing with your shopping, meal preps and cooking during this lock down? Do share your ideas and tips in the comments below.

**collaborative post

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

10 Fun Things You Can Still Do From Home during Lock Down

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Are you tired of being stuck at home? Do you want to find a way to pass the time? Then, this post is just for you as it looks at the top 10 things you can still do from home during lock down. These things will help the time pass and you will have a ton of fun in the process. Read on to find which things you can do to kill time.

1. Buy the Lotto online

If you have always wanted to win the lottery, then, this might be the perfect time to give it a try. There is no better way to let the time pass than with the thought that you could win a great deal of money be it for that dream holiday, or new business set up or a new car or home. Make sure you buy the lotto online rather than going to the newsagents since we at in a lock down, stay home and stay safe.

Image by Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash


2.  Binge watch the latest Netflix series

With Netflix dropping the hottest series, there are plenty of Netflix series that you can watch to pass the time. From Money Heist to Elite Season 3, the options are endless. Browse through the latest series and choose one that suits you best. There is no better way to spend the time than by binge watching the latest Netflix series with a bowl of popcorn and bar of chocolate.

3. Take a virtual trip to your favorite holiday destination

Being stuck at home does not mean that you cannot see the world. It is about time that you used technology to your advantage and took a virtual trip to discover the world.


4. Read a good book

One of the best things that you can do at home is read a good book. If you have not read a good book for some time now, it might be just what you need. Head over to Amazon to shop for the hottest e-books or order a hard cover if you feel like it. The Works also offers a brilliant variety of discount arts & crafts, cookery and gardening books to help keep you busy and find new hobbies. Alternatively there are lots of options on kindle too.


5. Learn to cook new dishes

There is no denying that Indian food amongst other cuisines is delicious and its most peoples first takeaway choice on a Saturday night. Since we are unable to go out to dinner or get our favorite takeaway, why not try your hand at cooking the dishes at home. There are plenty of YouTube channels and free online classes and cook books you could refer to, that will help you cook up a delicious meal. It is just what you need to do to cheer yourself up in these dull times.

6. Catch a movie

There are many movies that you can watch since you are home. Watch the latest Hollywood film or a foreign movie. Besides, it will help you learn a foreign language.

7. Listen to music

Entertain yourself to some music. Many artists are even creating music dedicated to the situation. Hence, it might be a good idea to listen to some new music.


8. Play a video game
When was the last time you played a video game? Being stuck at home gives you the perfect excuse to take out your play station controller and to play some Grand Theft Auto. My personal favorite is Spyro the dragon.

9. Study online
With so many online platforms offering free courses or courses that cost a small fee, it is time that you learned something new.

10. Indulge in some spa time
Treat yourself to some spa time by giving yourself a manicure and pedicure. It will help you relax.
Photo by Camille Brodard on Unsplash

Are there any tips that you have that you can suggest whilst we are in lock down? Do share your ideas in the comments below, I would love to hear them.

**collaborative post

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Are you a working mum or a stay at home mum?

Photo by Djurdjica Boskovic on Unsplash

Are you a working mum or a stay at home mum?

In 2020 research has showed a vast increase in working mums compared to previous years. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published data revealing that the number of mothers in the labour market has grown substantially over the last 20 years, with 66.2% of mothers in employment in 2000. However by 2020, that figure rose to 75.1%.

The reasons for this increase is due to many factors such as:

  • More flexible hours are available
  • More work from home options are available
  • More shared care of kids with both parents
  • Increased availability of after school childcare available  

To make life easier and more manageable,there are also more facilities, apps, support programmes, tutorials and gadgets available to assist with the work. With the advance technology, it is easier to connect from home for hosting meetings and consultations too.


Five apps that will help you organise your life.

There is a reason why working mums are sometimes referred to as superheroes (mums generally). It is because a working mum's most essential skill is multitasking. If you are a working mum you already know what it's like to achieve a work-life balance. It is not easy to take care of the kids, do house chores and still go to work to conquer the day's tasks.

However, working mums do not need to be overwhelmed by the weight of the tasks that are lined up at home and work, and this is where apps come in. Here are the main apps that can make your life as a working mum a lot easier by simply helping you organise your activities and make you more efficient.

Voice Over Self Direction

This is an important app for mums who are voice-over artists. This app can be considered a personal voice-over or voice acting coach which can be taken with you to the recording booth. The app is great for mums who are just starting a voice acting or voice over career. The downside of the app is that it can take some time getting used to. Voquent.com is a website that lets you connect with advertising agencies and clients in need of voice over services.


Cozi Family Organizer

This is the ultimate mum app. Cozi is an organiser created for the family. This app will help you coordinate your grocery lists, schedules, to-do lists, activities, and provides a platform for family communication. It is a fantastic calendar app.

Rescue Time

This is a great app that monitors how much time you are spending on the internet and mobile apps. Even though you are a busy mum with a lot of things to do and work, you may find yourself stuck on videos of cute dogs or cats doing crazy things on Instagram. Sometimes you may have planned to check something out on Amazon and end up spending more time than you have planned to check other products. An app like Rescue Time is a great way to help you manage your time better by setting goals for your app and internet use.

YouTube

Every busy mum needs quick fixes and solutions for every task. This is where YouTube comes in. YouTube is the ideal entertainment app for busy mums - here you can watch your favourite music videos, makeup tutorials, DIY ideas, and keep your little ones busy with cartoons while you do something important.

Easy Voice Recorder

There are many things that you can do with a voice recorder from taking voice notes during meetings at the office to making voiceover demos if you are a voiceover artist. Easy Voice Recorder app has a simple user interface making it user-friendly. You can use the app in the background while doing other things on your mobile phone.


Are you a stay at home mum or are you a working mum? Do share in the comments below how to manage to get a happy home and work life balance.


**collaborative post

Monday, 6 April 2020

2020 Graduation Plans

Image by Vasily Kolada on Unsplash

Going to university or college is a big step for both parents and their child. It is a big transition as often the child has to move away from home, fend for themselves, manage finances and become independent. As much as it is exciting, it can be daunting too. However all this is definitely worth it when your child completes their education and it's time to graduate.

Seeing your child graduate is probably one of the proudest moments any parent will experience in their life and it is the perfect occasion to go to town and celebrate this achievement.

With the current lock down it seems strange that I am sharing this post but whilst we are all at home social distancing its good to have a positive attitude and use the time at home to plan things for the future and make a bucket list of all the things that you would like to do and achieve. It gives us all a hope for better things to come.


 Photos by Freestock on Unsplash

Some of the things you can do to commemorate the occasion are:
  • Buy a special gift as a keepsake memento 
  • Get professional photos taken
  • Host a party
Photo by Alvin Mahmudov on Unsplash

For the special memento a bracelet or a locket or a nice watch with the date engraved is a lovely gift together with a photo book with all the photos of the journey. Most universities offer professional photographs and DVDs of the ceremony. These are good to purchase so that you are free to enjoy the day without having to act as the photographer or risk blurred photos of the special occasion.



Usually guests are limited to parents /immediate family at the ceremony but to mark the occasion why not have a graduation party with all your family and friends. If arranging a graduation party this year, some of the things to consider are 2020 graduation announcements, graduation party invitations and graduation thankyou cards.



The stationery can be designed and created very easily using the Basic Invite website. They have a easy to use graduation party invite template and the graduation thank you card template. There are styles to suit all tastes and there is a  choice of colour combinations with the ability to customise each and every element of the invites and cards so that it's unique to your taste and style.

Immediately after the cards are created you can see the preview before you finalise the design. Furthermore, Basic Invite also have the facility where you can get a sample invite printed and sent out to you to ensure you are totally happy with the design, colour and paper quality before placing the final order.


Matching envelopes are also available in a selection of colours to make the invitations stand out.
With the invitation created, Basic Invite offers a free address collection service. You can use the free address collection service to request your addresses with using just three simple steps. You can share a link via social media or email, collect addresses, and get free envelope printing too.
Finally with the invitation sorted, it's time to create matching Thank you cards using the same on line designing service to send to your guests after the party.

Other things to arrange for the party are:

  • Venue with ample parking
  • Finger food and appetisers
  • Drinks
  • DJ/Music/Band
  • Photographer/ Videographer

With everything organised, invites sent, it's time to have a wonderful day making amazing memories of the special occasion. Do share in the comments below how you are planning on celebrating your special day and what things you are adding to your post Covid bucket list.

**Collaborative Post