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  1. When I was a child, adults were full of advice, but I didn’t believe them most of the time. Some of it was clearly ridiculous. I mean, if I ate porridge, would it actually put hairs on my chest? Who would actually want that? Tell a child it will turn them into a unicorn, or give them magical powers, sure. But hairs on their chest? What were they thinking?

    teenage advice i wish i took - how i wish i never had glasses - lylia rose

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    There was other advice that made more sense but I didn’t want to follow it at the time. Ah, to be a headstrong teenager again. I wish I knew then what I knew now! I guess that’s true of nearly every single one of us. Teenagers still to this day believe that they know everything, and that’s never going to change. Our poor parents. Still, what comes around goes around and once we’ve got teenagers of our own we’ll feel even sorrier for how we may have behaved in our teenage years.

    So, other advice I wish I’d followed. Don’t eat so much junk food.  Don’t eat sweets.  Don’t try smoking. Don’t wear all that stuff on your face.  Stop wearing your friend’s glasses.  Yep, seriously!  I absolutely loved my best friend’s glasses.  I thought she looked so cool.  I absolutely longed for a pair of my own big thick frames nestled in a cool carry case.  Because my best friend was always so trendy and I wanted to be just like her!  So I’d borrow her glasses during lessons, sometimes for hours at a time and I’m sure it’s why I soon needed my own.

    And now I’m older, I do need them nearly all of the time. Grrr. How I wish I hadn’t been so silly wishing for something so much!  I don’t like wearing glasses to this day. I constantly forget to take them to events where I could really do with them!  If I’m not wearing them, I struggle to tell who people are across the road, so must seem really rude!  I can’t even tell if Ben is looking at me from across the room.  When we started dating it took him a while to realise I wasn’t just ignoring him, I just couldn’t see he was looking at me or pulling a face!  Wearing glasses can certainly be inconvenient and I’ve even googled looking for the best laser eye surgery in the UK. I think it might be a good idea one day - it’s certainly a more permanent way to deal with poor eyesight.

    For now I’ll settle for my glasses (when I can find them), but for long car trips or full days out I’ll wear my contact lenses.  Contact lenses can certainly be more convenient and I enjoy not seeing the glasses frame around my eyes.  But it’s another appointment to attend, another check-up, another cost, another inconvenience really.

    It definitely pays to listen to your parents and always remember to be careful what you wish for.

     

    See also:
    Blue light from phones and screens can damage your eyes and sleep

     

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  2. six cheap ways to market your small business (some are free) lylia rose uk

    Many people find marketing to be one of the most daunting processes when setting up a new business.  Startups may put all available funds and resources into the product itself, leaving little (or nothing) to outsource marketing.  Luckily, with a little time and dedication, there are several easy and sometimes free ways to market your small business yourself.

    Create a website

    This is a must.  Today, if a person is looking for a product or service you can guarantee a search engine will be their first port of call. A professional responsive website is a necessity for every small business.  Nowadays it’s easy to get a website up and running by yourself with plenty of online tutorials to help you.

    Make business cards

    Business cards are undoubtedly one of the most useful marketing tools.  They can be carried on your person and handed out at every given opportunity.  There are numerous websites where you can quickly and easily design some, or why not use your favourite design program and print your own?  Always keep a bunch in your wallet and ensure your friends, family and colleagues have plenty to hand out too.

    Set up a blog

    One of the best ways to engage with existing customers and attract new traffic to your website is by starting a blog.  Use a blog to talk about your products, services and even to show what’s happening behind the scenes.  Your customers will love getting to know the faces behind the business and will be thankful for any helpful content you share.  There are many useful guides online for how to start a blog.

    Get tweeting

    Make use of free social media platform Twitter to gather a following, create a buzz about your business and promote your services.  You can tweet links to your blog posts to attract new readers who could be potential customers.  There are numerous hashtags and networking hours which can really boost your follower numbers and increase traffic to your website.

    Send mail

    Use your website, blog and Twitter accounts to entice your customers to sign up for your newsletter.  Send out exclusive newsletter only offers which land directly in their inboxes.  Whilst you are building your subscribers there are several free mailing services you can use online with embeddable sign up forms.

    Set up a free business listing

    No longer do people trawl through a huge Yellow Pages directory to find the service they require.  Instead, make sure you add your free local business listing to plenty of websites including Google, Yell and Bing.  These will help your business to be discovered in local search results.

    Marketing your small or startup business is crucial to build awareness of your brand and for its overall success.   Promotion doesn’t always need to cost the earth and can easily be achieved on even the tightest of budgets.  With a bit of effort and know-how, marketing your business can be an affordable and enjoyable venture with huge rewards.

     

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  3. realising i’ve always had a passion for writing - lylia rose uk lifestyle b

    It suddenly struck me today that without realising it, I’ve always had a passion for writing.  I’ve always been academic and enjoyed writing essays and completing coursework.  I take great satisfaction in collating information, researching and putting it altogether in my style and words.  I’d never really thought about making a hobby or career out of such skills until recently and it got me thinking.  I think there was always a writer inside me, but I just forgot.

    My Grandad recently handed me an envelope.  Inside this envelope was a rather feisty letter of complaint firing somebody.  This letter was written by pencil, in an obvious child font, from a ‘very frustrated Victoria’.

    Yep, the letter was from me (pretending to be an angry customer) to my Grandad (the poor pretend person I’d hired to do a job for me!)  It’s absolutely brilliant and now safely stored in my memory box.

    I realised today, perhaps I’ve always had a passion for writing and in starting this blog, at first for entirely different reasons altogether, I’ve rediscovered it.  I also wonder if many bloggers did the same as me as a youngster for enjoyment?

    I regularly penned fake letters to my Grandad and enjoyed doing so.  I’d sit in his home office at his typewriter and come up with the most imaginative letters I could think of.  For pure fun!  I remember longing for a typewriter of my own.

    Once a bit older, perhaps eleven or so, I began writing diaries.  I have four or five diaries in a box in my attic filled with years of entries.  I believe I wrote them most days until I was 15 or 16.  I’ve not read them since.  One day I will get them down and have a good read.  Perhaps the memories will flood back.  I don’t think the reason for writing them was to always keep the memories, but because at the time it gave me something to write about.

    I also have a box in the attic filled to the brim with letters.  I often had ‘pen pals’.  These were other children I met when on holiday and we’d exchange addresses with the promise of staying in touch forever.  Sadly this forever was perhaps a couple of years at most, but that’s better than most adults I’ve come across, so a good effort for a child!  I remember the excitement I felt receiving a letter addressed to me through the letterbox, running to my bedroom to rip open the envelope to see what the sender had divulged.  But, even better, penning my letter back and being so proud of the format, layout, style and stories I had told.

    I vaguely remember making pretend magazines.  I loved to read magazines and loved to dream up my own.  This is a memory I’d almost lost until I recollected all the above today.  I’d make up names for my magazines and sit for hours arranging the layout, stories and pictures.  We had no computer when I was a child, let alone the internet.  I’d sit with a notebook, pens, scissors, magazines and a stick of glue!

    I’m so pleased to remember all this today.  Perhaps there was an aspiring blogger inside me all along!

  4. All parents wish to provide their children with the best start in life.  The right approach can aid their development and even intelligence.  There are many subtle moves parents can make to encourage their child’s intellectual development. The ideas on this page are just some of the concepts mums and dads have used in recent times. The basic rule of thumb is that you just need to keep them motivated and entertained. In most instances, children are pretty inquisitive, and so it’s not difficult to push them in the right direction.

    Parenting Advice For Creating Intelligent Children

    Image: https://www.pexels.com/photo/girls-on-desk-looking-at-notebook-159823/

    Encourage any hobbies or collections

    Everyone needs a hobby, and the younger you start, the better you will become.  It’s important to find something your children enjoy. Maybe they would love to learn to play a musical instrument? Perhaps they have shown an interest in taking dance classes? As a parent, you can encourage their interests and give them a gentle nudge towards them.

    Some children love to start collections, and that’s a fantastic idea too. If your child shows an interest in model tractors, it’s worth entertaining the idea.  Children may also love to collect magazines, gemstones and foreign coins, for example.  Collections encourage kids to learn more about their chosen passion, and that boosts intelligence.

    Pay for after school tutoring

    This approach isn't for everyone, and it depends on your budget, but hiring a private tutor could really boost your child’s intellect in a particular area. There are thousands of private tutors operating in the UK at the current time, so you’re sure to find someone suitable. If your son or daughter shows advanced skills in a particular subject, it could be a great idea to develop these. A tutor isn't only required if a child is struggling in a certain topic.  It’s also not supposed to be a punishment, but rather a treat that helps them to learn more and become more confident through knowledge. Some children show signs of expertise in certain areas from a young age. As a parent, you can help them realise their potential.

    Don’t sit in front of the TV all night

    Lots of children spend their evenings watching uneducating television programs with their parents. Too much TV isn’t going to aid their intelligence. In fact, some experts believe it could even stunt their progress. Do your child a favour and make sure they don’t use the TV for more than one hour or so each day and if you can, choose educational programmes.  This is especially important during the half term holidays.

    Instead of always turning the TV on, why not let them pick their favourite classic children’s book and enjoy story time together?  Reading to your children early on encourages early reading skills.  Interestingly, children who read at a young age have a much higher chance of succeeding at university. That’s because their minds are trained for the process.

    There are lots of great ways you can encourage your children to succeed and develop a passion for their hobbies, which will inspire their own learning.  It's important to expand on their interests and skills, and to sometimes give them that all important nudge in the right direction!

     

    Related:

    How Education Is Changing

    Magic For Mums Who Mean Business

     

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  5. five absolute musts for a twitter business newbie - lylia rose tips on life

    Five Musts for a Twitter Business Newbie

    I often come across business Twitter accounts with what I believe to be vital information missing.  These five things are the very first things you should do when you set up your business Twitter account:

    Profile Picture

    This is so important.  It can be a photo of you, a business logo or even a proud image of an award.  It looks so much better than the Twitter egg you are first supplied with. 

    My newsfeed is huge and when I have five minutes to scan through it, I will often only stop and read the tweets from the accounts where I recognise the profile picture or sometimes a logo just jumps out at me. 

    I don’t like the eggs and I don’t follow anyone back using them.

    Location

    Pop your location on your profile, especially if you are a business!  At least put your country.  It will help people to find your services if they are looking locally only.  It can also stop you getting queries or disappointed customers, for example if you don’t ship to a certain country.  If you are a blogger then someone might be searching for bloggers in a certain region.   

    It’s also just nice to know where in the world people are who you are interacting with.  You could even meet someone just around the corner from you!  Some local networking # hours will only retweet you if they can see you really are local, so it’s worth popping it on if you join in with these.

    I can only ship within the EU and my blogging services are predominantly relevant for the UK only, so I want to network with others in these locations.  I’ll always look at the location before following an account.

    Name

    I never used to do this and for a long time I just had ‘Lylia Rose @lyliarose’ as my profile name, but now I have put Victoria as I believe it makes it more personal.  It’s nice to know who you are talking to.  I also had lots of people assume my name was actually Lylia, rather than it just being my business name. 

    I understand why some businesses may just want their business name, especially if they have lots of staff and the account represents the company only.  But, you could also put something like ‘Tweets by Jack’ in your bio or introduce yourself by name when a conversation starts.  It definitely makes me feel more like I’m talking to a person if I know their name. 

    For small businesses it’s one of the benefits we can have over larger companies – we can make the whole experience more real and personal.

    Bio

    Let your followers and more importantly, potential followers, know what you do.  I see some accounts with a website link but no description and no obvious tweets or profile images about what they do.  Sadly I don’t have time to click on every link to see if it’s something I could be interested in, so a bio is really helpful here!

    It’s the best way to let everyone know what you do, what interests you, which communities you are a part of and to shout about any of the amazing awards you’ve won.  It could be the difference between someone deciding they want to follow you or not, as they may not want to tweet to ask.

    Website Link

    For the tweeters who do want to see more about you, search your products or require your services, make sure you provide a working website link.  I’ve clicked on some before and the website doesn’t even exist.  Bizarre! 

    If your website is undergoing maintenance or isn’t yet live, perhaps mention this in your bio rather than provide a defunct link.

     

    Do you disagree with any?  Or perhaps there’s something you feel I’ve missed off this list?

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