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  1. Welcome to my Money Making Mums guest series all about how to earn a decent living from home, even as a busy parent.  As well as guest posts from awesome bloggers sharing their tips and tricks, I am also interviewing relevant bloggers to discover how exactly they make money from home.  They aren't all mums, but the methods they use to make money from home are totally suitable for parents who want to earn their own income around childcare and general parent duties.

    As you’ve probably guessed, I love making money from home.  As a busy mum to two young children, working from home for myself provides me with the flexibility I need to care for my children and avoid high full time childcare costs.  It also means I get to do what I love.  I’m an advocate of earning money online and from apps, and I’m always looking for new ways to make more income from home. 

    I’ve decided to invite other bloggers and money making mums to share even more ways us busy mums can make money from home.  If you’d like to feature in this series with a guest post or you’d like to be interviewed, please do get in touch.

    This week I’m interviewing Jennie from Rice Cakes and Raisins:

    Money Making Mums Blogger Interview Jennie from Rice Cakes and Raisins

    Hello, welcome to my Money Making Mums Interview. Please tell me a little about who you are, where you’re from and where you blog.

    Hi, I’m Jennie. I’m a mum of two boys aged 1 and 4 years. I have a blog called Rice Cakes and Raisins which is predominately a parenting blog! It can be found at www.ricecakesandraisins.co.uk

    This series is all about mums being able to make money from home. Can you tell me what you do from home to make money?

    I became self-employed in 2016 and set up a new type of baby class alongside my business partner. We started the business when my second baby was just a couple of months old so he used to come along to the sessions with me. Whilst I still run a couple of classes a week, we have now expanded to other areas and have taken on some other leaders so much of my work now is done from home; answering enquiries, planning the content for the sessions, creating lesson plans etc. This is perfect now I have an active and excitable toddler!  

    What makes it suitable for mums?

    The hours I work are now entirely flexible around my children. I am able to drop my little boy at school, pick him up and attend any additional events that are put on there. I was a nurse before this and really struggled with the inflexibility of my shifts.  

    What do you love about working from home?

    I am a real home-bird anyway so I love being in the comfort of my own lounge, wearing my slippers and drinking a hot chocolate while working!

    What are your top three negatives to working from home?

    It can be lonely at times, especially if you are used to or crave the company of others, particularly adult interaction.

    I can miss out on the social side of working with others, for example, I often see people excited for their work Christmas party at this time of year but obviously working from home, I don’t have one to go to!

    It can be hard to focus on the work in hand. Because I have a toddler and also because there is ALWAYS household tasks to do; washing up to be done, laundry to do etc, I really do have to make myself sit down some days and work.

    If you could only pick one, either working from home or working in an office for the rest of your life, which would you pick?

    Definitely working from home.

    Lots of people say they’d find it hard to stay motivated if working alone at home. What keeps you motivated?

    I like to make lists. It is so satisfying to tick one off once a job is completed. It helps me remember and focus on what is outstanding that day.

    Do you have a favourite quote to keep you inspired?

    My business partner bought me a notebook with the quote, ‘Always believe in your dreams’. I see this everyday as it’s where I write my lists and notes. We have huge plans for our business. When I think of this quote it inspires me to throw everything I have at achieving our dreams.

    Do you have any advice or words of wisdom to share with mums wanting to make their own income from home?

    I’d say have faith, believe in yourself and always, always chase happiness! 

     

    Thank you so much to Jennie for taking part in my guest series.

    Would you like to take part?  Find a contact form in my top menu or email victoria@lyliarose.com - not a mum?  No worries! 

    This guest series is all about inspiring parents to earn their own income and realising they have more than two choices of going out to an employed job or being a stay at home parent.  Of course if you choose to do either of those options that's absolutely fine, no judgement here, but lots of mums, like me, didn't realise there was another way to make money by the many self-employed options available nowadays.  If you earn from home, parent or not, and it's suitable for parents then you can take part.

    Check out the rest of the series here: Money Making Mums

    Please pin me:

    Money Making Mums Blogger Interview_ Jennie from Rice Cakes and Raisins

     

  2. With half of January behind us, most of us are already past the stage of thinking about our New Year's resolutions now that the hustle and bustle of daily work has resumed. However, if you actually want to achieve any of those wealth-related goals that you set for yourself on New Year's Day, it would be wise to go ahead and develop a strategy for making it happen while those aspirations are still fresh on your mind. With that said, here are 5 things you can do to ensure that you're looking back on 2018 satisfied with your financial progress next year:

    5 Tips for Completing Your Financial New Years Resolutions

    1. Open an Ideal Savings Account

    There are literally thousands of savings accounts to choose from, but not all of them have the same terms and conditions. While you may be tempted to just continue your scheduled checking-to-savings transfer with your current bank, it may be worthwhile to kick off the pursuit of your resolutions with the opening of a new savings account based on a thorough comparison. You can use an interest rate calculator to determine which savings product would be best for the amount you're trying to save.

    2. Create a Savings Plan

    One you've chosen a good savings account, the next step is to decide how much of your income you're going to send to the account in each payment period. A comprehensive savings plan will take your total income and expenditure into account to determine who much you can reasonably commit to saving each week. Breaking the savings plan down to a weekly strategy keeps you from deviating too far from the projected path.

    3. Aim for Sustainable and Steady

    It can be easy to shoot for the stars when setting financial goals, but falling short can leave you feeling discouraged and demotivated. Thus, it's best to instead choose a percentage that you know you'll be able to reliably deposit. If your current income doesn't allow for an ideal savings strategy, then your focus should shift to obtaining better employment or investing funds to start a business.

    4. Start Everything in January

    Of course, many times New Year's resolutions involve goals that require you to make drastic life changes, such as choosing a new career path. Although a year might seem like a lot of time, earning educational credentials, launching a career, or building a lucrative business is going to take some groundwork. Instead of putting the hard work off until later, taking the initial baby steps in January will ensure that you've already started along the path early in the year.

    5. Recap and Revise on a Monthly Basis

    Although your savings plan should be broken down on a weekly level, recapping at the end of each month can help you determine whether your current pace is sufficient to reach the end-of-year goals you're aiming for.

    Following Through Isn't as Difficult You're Making It

    There's a saying that goes “nothing worth achieving is easy.” However, regardless of the difficulty involved, it's also true that taking the first step is always doable. 

    More money blog posts:

    How I made £26000 from home in 2017

    How to Save Money on Shopping All Year (and not just in the Boxing Day and January sales)

    The top 3 ways I made money from home in 2017

    5 Tips for Completing Your Financial New Years Resolutions

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  3. There are few things in life more unpleasant, shocking, or traumatic than sustaining any kind of injury. Whether it's from a car accident, an incident at work or playing sport, any kind of injury can figuratively, and sometimes literally, knock you flat on your back. An injury can also be particularly awful for someone who generally places a high premium on their ability to stay active. Whether you have a job that requires you to be on your feet all day, you play on a sports team, or you just want to be able to play with your kids, the idea of not being able to stay active can be torture for a lot of people. Of course, that raises the question, how can you get back on the horse without risking further damage to your body? With that in mind, here are some simple pieces of advice that can help you become more active again after an injury.

    Try a sports massage

    adult, body, close-up

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    One of the best things that you can do when it comes to trying to get back in the saddle after any kind of injury is a sports massage. Sure, you might generally associate massage with spa days and relaxation, but a sports massage is much more specialised than that. Companies like Massaggi specialise in being able to help provide treatment for many injuries sustained during physical activity and can make a huge difference to your recovery process. Sure, you're not going to walk in and suddenly find that you can jump out of bed and start running around again, but a sports massage can be an incredibly valuable aspect of your recovery, and one that you should at the very least consider.    

    Choose low impact activities

    If you really do want to become active again as soon as possible, you need to make sure that you're not doing anything high-impact. That means anything that's going to put any kind of significant strain on your body. That means things like weight lifting or any kind of high energy sports are out of the question, at least while you're recovering. Instead, simple things like walking are great for staying in shape and scratching that itch to get off the couch and actually do something. Out of all of the low impact workouts that are out there, none are more effective, or more enjoyable than swimming. Swimming is an amazing activity anyway because of how much it works out your entire body at once, but it also does so in an incredibly low impact environment that means you're much less likely to end up doing any further damage to your body than.

    Start slow

    Women Swimming on the Pool

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    It doesn't matter what kind of activity you decide to start doing after an injury; if you jump into it too quickly, then you're almost certainly going to end up injuring yourself all over again. Even something as low impact as walking or swimming is going to be a lot more intense when your body is still in recovery, so the key is to start slow. Even if you normally work out every single day for hours at a time, you need to reduce that amount significantly. Limit yourself to physical activity once a day at most, and even then you shouldn't go for more than ten or twenty minutes at a time at most. If you push yourself too hard, then you're likely to end up doing more damage to your body than anything else.

    Be patient

    One thing that a lot of people don't tell you about the recovery process is just how boring it can be. The truth is that spending days, maybe even weeks, sitting around waiting for your body to heal can be mind-numbingly boring. However, you have to resist the temptation to get up and about before you're really ready. Unless you want to end up having to spend even longer resting, then it's a good idea to pay attention to your limits and figure ways to keep yourself occupied. Why not find some less physically strenuous activities to try for a while? Things like knitting, or binge watching a new TV series on Netflix. Sure, you might still end up being pretty bored, but at least you're not going to end up in a position where you're so desperate for something to do that you end up hurting yourself.

    Speak to your doctor

    Macro Photo of Stethoscope and Pens

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    Of course, if you really want to recover as quickly as possible then the best thing that you can do is to speak to your doctor and take their advice. Your doctor not only has your best interests at heart but has the expertise and knowledge to back it up too. If your doctor says that several weeks of bed rest is what you need, then that's what you have to do, no matter how frustrating it might be. But as you start to recover you can talk to your doctor and figure out what kinds of activities you would be able to try while you're still recovering. Sure, you may not be able to do anything particularly intense for a while, but your doctor can probably help to point you towards a couple of different things that you can try in the event that you're able to start being just a little more active again.

    Of course, no matter what kind of activity you start doing after an injury, the key is to make sure that you're as careful as possible not to push yourself too hard. The last thing you want is to be right on the verge of a full recovery when trying too hard to stay active knocks you right back down to where you started, or worse. Sure, it might be incredibly boring to sit around all day waiting to finally be able to get back up on your feet but the truth is that trying to push yourself to stay active before you’re ready is just going to make everything far worse than it would be if you just took the right amount of time to recover.

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  4. January is the time for a fresh start and while we’re busy making exciting plans for the new year ahead, we may also consider giving our own personal style an overhaul.  Though finances are tight after the Christmas cheer, updating your look doesn’t need to break the bank. 

    Here are several affordable ways to update your look on a budget.

    Easy ways to update your look on a budget

    Go for the chop

    If money is tight this month, consider having a new hair style.  This doesn’t need to be as expensive as it first sounds.  A good trick is to go to the hairdressers with your hair already wet and skip them washing it for you.  At my local hairdressers this halves the price of a regular haircut, meaning I can get a professional cut for less than £20.  Change your locks by adding in a fringe or lots of layers to give shape and volume.  A new haircut could be all you need to feel like a new person!

    Choose a lighter coat

    If, like me, most of your contact with the outside world is, well, outside at the moment, then your entire outfit probably doesn’t matter much.  It’s the outerwear that is on show, so invest in a couple of coats you love to freshen up your look this season.  Have you heard of duster coats?  It’s a lightweight loose fitting long coat that has gained in popularity recently.  Be on trend and buy long sleeved women's duster coats online from stores like Bellfield clothing.

    Add a scarf

    Lightweight oversized fashion scarves can really change the entire look of an outfit.  Plus they can be worn indoors as well as out.  They are perfect for adding an extra dimension to an outfit or stealing the show if draped loosely over a plain top.  For bonus points, they are practical and will keep your neck warm in the winter months.  Check out my own online scarf store for lots of affordable designs.

    Change your eye colour

    Ever wondered what you’d look like with different coloured eyes?  You don’t need to wonder anymore as contact lenses with or without prescriptions can easily be purchased online and you’ll be able to change your eye colour the very next day.  If you don’t want to completely change the colour of your eyes then opt for enhancer lenses which add sparkle or shimmer to your natural colour.

    DIY your own clothes

    Instead of splashing out on new clothes, why not upcycle the pieces you rarely wear anymore?  If you’re a dab hand with a needle and thread or if you have a sewing machine lying around, dust it off and get creative.  Shorten your dresses and use the extra material to make a new top.  If you hate the colour of something, try dying it into a new colour you love.  If you're a bit nervous about chopping up your own clothes to DIY, experiment with some from a charity shop first.

    Shop savvy

    The best way to shop at this time of the year is in the sales and charity shops to find a bargain.  Most people will be having wardrobe overhauls and post-Christmas clear-outs in January, so there’s never a better time to find a deal in your local thrift stores.

    Assess what you already have

    It’s often reported that us women only wear around 10% of our wardrobe.  The rest is just hanging around (literally) waiting for some use.  Why not take the opportunity to dig deep into the depths of your closet and find the clothes you’ve forgotten about.  Try wearing these clothes instead for a new look that won’t cost you a penny.

    Wear lipstick

    Or if you already do, try a different shade.  A bolt of red lipstick can instantly change your entire look and promote femininity and power.  Go on, I dare you.

    Finally, if you’re on a budget and you have to stick to it, then stick to it.  Don’t overspend.  Come up with creative affordable ways to update your look.  It doesn’t have to be with the most expensive item in the store.  Think twice before you commit to buy something.   If you’re shopping in the stores, then put by the things you think you want and don’t make a decision until you’ve been to every store you want to visit.  Then you can pick the best bargains and buy only what you need once you’ve seen the lot. 

    It’s easy to update your look on a budget with the above tips.

    More fashion blog posts:

    Do you dress like a mum? How my style is changing now I’m in my 30s. 
    Five Other Ways to Use Your Fashion Scarf 
    13 ways to get rid of unwanted clothes (without binning them)

    easy ways to update your look on a budget

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  5. Encouraging my children to find a hobby, or several, that they love is really important to me.  It’s only now I’m in my 30s that I feel I have found a few hobbies of my own which mean I’m quite content spending time by myself to pursue these interests.  It means I never get bored as there is always something I can do that interests me.  In fact, I never have enough time for all my hobbies nowadays!

    I don’t want to force my children into hobbies they won’t enjoy, but I do want to encourage them to try extra-curricular activities to discover what they enjoy.  It’s also good for them to experience settings other than just home and school and interact with a broader range of people.  I hope these classes will bring them new friends and build their confidence.

    Here are some tips to help find your child a hobby they’ll love:

    Finding your child a hobby theyll love

    Ask them

    Firstly ask them.  Have a conversation about what activities they might enjoy or would love to try.  Write a list and do some local research to see what’s in your local area for their age range.  Check with their school too as they may already have after school clubs or external companies hiring the school hall or field for your child’s chosen activity.

    Encourage, but don’t force

    You may be able to tell your child’s strengths and may already have a suitable hobby in mind for them, but try to encourage this rather than enforce.  Let them find their own hobbies and interests and don’t be disheartened if they really don’t go along with your suggestion.  After all, you don’t want them to dislike something just because they feel pressured to do it and perform well just for you.  A hobby should be something they enjoy and thrive at, otherwise it will just become another chore.

    Try a taster session

    Lots of clubs offer a taster session meaning the first class is free.  This allows your child to try a variety of clubs and activities to see which they enjoy before committing to any sort of contract.  It sometimes gives parents the opportunity to stay for a session to watch, so you can also have peace of mind about the intended class.

    Only buy or rent what you need

    Think of the short term and only buy or rent what you need for the next few months.  Don’t go crazy and stock up on uniform for the next year or two, however much you want to encourage your child to commit to their new hobby. It can take time for children to find what they love and they may change their mind, lots.  Luckily you can find lots of affordable kit easily nowadays, such as great children's ballet shoes from online stores, hockey sticks, football kits and whatever else your child may need.  If they are learning a new instrument and the upfront cost is high, consider renting an instrument until you know they are serious about their hobby.

    Enjoy it with them

    If possible, then do their hobby with them sometimes.  If it’s a class then go along to watch when they have open days.  If your child has awards ceremonies or shows, make sure they can attend them and go along to show your support.  Just knowing you are there to support their interests and you’re proud of them, will really boost their confidence and help them to enjoy their hobby even more.

    Hobbies and extracurricular activities are the perfect way for your child to grow as a person and discover a lifelong passion.  Good luck finding your child’s perfect hobby!

    Related posts: 

    Bella Interview 5 years and 3 months old
    How to exercise with a toddler or children at home
    Mummy Guilt: Forcing My Daughter to Swim 
    Proud Mummy: Encouraging My Daughter to Swim

    Finding your child a hobby theyll love

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