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  1. Every Friday I invite other bloggers and money making mums to share the ways busy parents can make money from home.  These are real life people making a living from home who can share their experience with us and inspire us.  If you’d like to feature in this series with a guest post of a relevant topic or you’d like to take part in the interview, please do get in touch or find the interview questions by clicking here.

    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.  I’m always looking for new ways to make more income from home and hope to be inspired by the many people in this interview series.

    Enjoy.

    Sarah Dream of Home

    Welcome, tell me a little about who you are, where you’re from and introduce your blog. 

    I'm Sarah, an interiors blogger at Dream of Home, though I also write about weddings and occasionally books. I'm based in Chester, and my day job is in digital marketing.

    Tell me, how do you make money from home?

    When I left university, I set up my own proofreading business, Sarah Macklin Editing. I can proofread pretty much anything, from essays to novels, to non-fiction, website content, even cafe menus or wedding invitations!

    What makes it suitable for mums?

    You can choose what work you take on, and can do it completely from home. If you have a busy month, you don't have to accept any work. Plus, as long as your spelling and grammar game is perfect, that's really the only qualification you need. This means you don't have to attend night classes, or do extra training, which takes time away from family.

    What are three benefits of working at home?

    If you're a silent worker, you can work in silence. If you like music blaring, you can do that. There's no one else in the room with you, so your working conditions can be just as you want them.
    You can claim tax back on any internet usage, house phone business calls, or electricity. Just remember to track when you're using these things for business.
    You can please yourself. You can pick your children up from school when needed, take a half day if you have a parent's evening, etc. Totally flexible.

    What are three negatives?

    It can be a bit anti-social.
    Motivation can sometimes be difficult to find. And working can be difficult if you have the kids at home.
    You eat way too much food and snack constantly because the fridge is right there. 

    If you could only pick one, working from home or going to an employed job for the rest of your life, which would you pick?

    Going to an employed job. I love working freelance, but couldn't do it all the time. It's lonely working at home by yourself all day.

    People say they find it hard to be productive working alone at home. What keeps you motivated?

    I always get dressed. No working in pyjamas. Have a shower, have breakfast, get dressed and begin work at 9am. This gets you ready to start, as though you've actually got ready to go to the office. I also write a to-do list. I love lists and it helps me stay on track for the whole day.

    What words of wisdom can you share with mums looking to make their own income from home?

    Don't over complicate it. There are loads of ways you can make money from home, and it doesn't have to include making or selling products, which can take time and effort. You don't even have to set up a proper 'business'. Just offer people services you're good at. It could be admin jobs, helping someone with social media, etc. And don't be afraid to ask people if you can help them. They'll more than likely be happy to pay you to help them.
     

    Thank you so much for taking part in my interview series!

     

    Find a directory of all the interviews and guest posts here: https://www.lyliarose.com/money-making-mums-series.html

     

    Are you a blogger? Would you like to take part? 

    Find a contact form in my top menu or email [email protected] if you’d like to propose a suitable guest post.

    If you want to answer the interview, fill out the questions on the form by clicking here.

    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

  2. Travelling with the family offers many exciting adventures, but often it can feel like you’re tied into the typical family holiday. A relaxing stay by the beach is great, but it can start to feel samey year after year. Beach holidays can lack culture and fresh experiences, so is it time to expand your horizons?

    They say that the world is your oyster, and that doesn’t have to stop when you have a family. Pack your bags and take the kids on a trip of a lifetime for a family holiday with a difference. Take a look at five amazing family-friendly travel destinations to inspire your next trip.

    5 Amazing Family-Friendly Travel Destinations

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    1. The US

    There are many advantages to holidaying in the US. It’s familiar, there’s no language barrier, and there are plenty of great places you can explore. Flights are becoming more and more affordable, which makes it even easier for you to travel across the Atlantic. Whether you choose to test the theme parks in Florida, explore the West Coast or take in the sights of NYC - there are some great adventures to be had in America.

    2. Japan

    When you think of family holidays, Japan might never have crossed your mind as somewhere to visit. However, Japan is a great travel destination for families and offers many incredible experiences you can all enjoy. For the best experience, check out G Adventures Japan tours to book a visit that includes all of the best bits of Japan. As well as the chance to explore a different culture, cuisine and way of life, the Japanese are a friendly and welcoming nation, and you’ll all feel right at home.

    3. Italy

    Italy is a great destination to take the kids. The flights are short, the weather is glorious, and there’s so much to see and do. Whether you head to the south to enjoy the beaches and the Amalfi Coast or you city hop between amazing destinations, Italy has a lot to offer families. Italy is also great for short trips, so why not spend three days in Rome and enjoy a taste of Italia?

    4. Spain

    Want to enjoy some Spanish sun without the Brits abroad? Venture to the mainland instead. Cities like Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia offer the perfect combination of sun and culture, while you’ve still got the option of venturing to the beach if you wish. The hustle and bustle of these Spanish cities can make your family holiday a memorable one, and you can even enjoy a driving holiday to take things at your own pace. Affordable, friendly and full of things to do - Spain is a great choice for families.

    5. Australia

    Australia might seem far away, but in many ways, it’s a home from home. If you’re looking for some extended travel with the children, then Australia has a lot to offer for experiences you’ll never forget. From seeing Uluru to the delights of Sydney Harbour, you won’t be short of things to do Down Under for an incredible family adventure.

    Travelling with the children is a great way to teach them about the world and offer experiences they can’t get in the classroom. Even your classic beach holiday can become more exciting and adventure-filled - you just need to do your research. Tenerife has some hidden gems worth visiting, so if you want to combine your beach trip with a bit of culture, then this is the perfect destination. Where would you like to go with the family? Why not start a family bucket list now?

     

    More great family travel articles:
    Where to get affordable family travel insurance for a pre-existing medical condition
    The ONLY two things you’ll need when flying with children
    Pirate Tour aboard the Pedra Sartaña in Morro Jable, Fuerteventura
    First Choice Premier Family Holiday Review: Club Jandia Princess Hotel in Fuerteventura
    Save money on UK family days out with Kids Pass and sign up for just £1

    5 Amazing Family-Friendly Travel Destinations

  3. Smart-casual can cause a panic in even the most fashion conscious of us.  I mean, how smart is too smart and what would look too casual?  Are jeans acceptable?  Trainers?  The list goes on and the confusion around this seemingly juxtaposed dress code builds.  After all, smart and casual are total opposites.  Smart being suited and booted for work, weddings, funerals, important events and so on.  Whereas casual is whatever you want to wear.  After a day of being dolled up casual gives the opportunity to relax and throw on something more comfortable and less rigid.  To mix the two into one dress code can seem almost impossible.  In this blog post I am going to look at what exactly smart-casual means and how exactly to wear this confusing dress code as a female.

    What does smart-casual mean A look at how to wear this tricky dress code a

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    What is smart-casual?

    As much as the name seems to contradict itself, it does also make sense.  It means to look presentable, but not go over the top.  It’s to look respectable, but in a more comfortable manner.  It’s an in-between smart and casual dress code that can often mean different things to different people, but it’s not about throwing your ripped jeans, muddy Converse and baggy t-shirt on!  You still need to look neat and tidy, but not totally overdone. 

    To put it simply, it means don’t wear what you’d wear to the grocery store, lounging around at home with the kids or to a sports match!  Put some effort into your outfit.

    When to dress smart-casual

    There are many events that may explicitly request a smart-casual dress code, but more often than not you’ll need to use your common sense to make a judgement yourself.  First dates, birthday parties, wedding anniversaries and even interviews may require you to dress in a smart, but casual manner.

    Interviews can be a little trickier to judge, but if it’s an interview at a High Street fashion chain then they’re probably not expecting you to turn up in a full blown trouser suit.  If you’re unsure then call up the company before to check if there is a dress code to adhere to.

    With personal engagements you’ll need to make the decision also.  On a first date, unless you’re going to the swankiest restaurant in town, you’ll probably want to go more as yourself but without looking too sloppy.

    If you’re invited to a full wedding day then by all means dress up and go for it, but if you’re only invited for the evening do then you may want to wear something a little less restrictive.

    How to dress smart-casual as a female

    This is going to depend on the situation or event as you’ll need to make your own judgement to whether you can lean more towards the casual side of dress, or if smarter would be preferred, but here are some general guidelines to help you.

    Instead of a full on trouser suit, tone it down a little.  Forget the suit jacket and shirt and instead choose to wear the smart suit trousers with a top and cardigan instead.  You’ll still look presentable, but you’ll be comfortable and more relaxed.

    Put the heels away and choose flats instead.  Trainers or rubber soled pumps may be a little too casual, so choose smart flat pumps or jewelled flat sandals that are not too over the top.

    Alternatively you may want to wear some more comfortable fitting trousers like these from Chums and team with a low heel and plain fitted top.

    Jeans are usually a no-no if an event clearly requests smart-casual.  That said, a dark pair of jeans with a smart top and polished heels may be suitable for some events, but if in doubt then I’d advise against wearing jeans at all to any dress coded event that doesn’t specifically say they are allowed.  Your safe option is to avoid jeans when there’s any mention of the word smart, even if it’s placed next to casual!

    Instead of a smart tailored dress, go for a long maxi-dress in a block colour or monochrome pattern.  Teamed with a smart black cardigan and flat plain sandals you’ll look smart-casual instead of as though you’re simply off to the beach!

    Conclusion

    Though smart-casual at first might sound like a rather ambiguous dress code, it does actually have some meaning and sense behind it.  Don’t dress like you’re off to business meetings all day and don’t dress like you’ve just woken up and thrown your comfiest clothes on.  If you look well-dressed enough to attract compliments about your outfit, but you’re still comfortable then you’ve nailed it.

     

    What to read next

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    What does smart-casual mean_ A look at how to wear this tricky dress code a

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  4. What better way to feel more beautiful than to follow a care routine that supports you, as much as it does the environment? The following tips form part of a careful selection of sustainable products in which you can use to integrate the principles of conscious consumption (like reducing and reusing) to help you attain natural beauty.

    Start with a super supplement

    Achieve natural beauty with these holistic health tips moringa plant

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    Known as the ‘Miracle Tree’ - the first recorded use of the Moringa plant was in Northern India and dates back to 2000 BC.

    This medicinal herb is a nutritious substance that would serve as an incredible addition to your diet. It is a superfood that is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and a powerful antioxidant agent that supports the immune system, promotes the efficient functioning of major organs and encourages supple skin and healthy hair growth. To find out more about the benefits of Moringa, visit Mommy Authority, which you can find here.

    What makes Moringa even more marvelous is that it’s amazing for the environment. The Moringa Oleifera is a fast growing, drought resistant and multipurpose tree that is known to:

    • Promote sustainable economic development
    • Assist with water and air purification
    • Reverse deforestation
    • Improve biodiversity
    • Improve soil fertility
    • Increase food security

    By using this supplement for its expansive health benefits, you increase the demand for this miracle substance and empower the potential that it can have on impoverished communities, water and food security, as well as the fight against global warming.

    A touch of turmeric

    Achieve natural beauty with these holistic health tips turmeric

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    Turmeric has been used for a variety of applications for many years, with residue (found in pots) dating back as far as 2500 BC. However, it wasn’t until 500BC that this golden root became known for its medicinal properties, forming an important aspect of a natural and ancient Indian system of healing known as Ayurvedic medicine - which is still relevant today!

    Known as the ‘Golden Goddess’, Turmeric powder is a nutritional, non-toxic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cancer-fighting substance. Curcumin is the primary bioactive component of turmeric which promotes its many health benefits; such as improved brain function and heart health, combating arthritis and depression, as well as helping to detox major organs while boosting immunity. Turmeric is also a great product to include in your beauty regimen, applying it as a key ingredient in the following ways:

    • A nourishing face wash to promote healthy and glowing skin, reducing signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines.
    • A healing facemask; reducing inflammation, stress, and scarring. This serves as a suitable solution for eczema and acne.
    • As part of a facial scrub for removing facial hair which is a result of hormonal imbalances. 
    • A pigmentation-reducing paste for stretch marks, scars, and spots. 
    • A hair-mask for relieving dry scalp and dandruff.
    • An oily paste for gently exfoliating and smoothing cracked feet.

    With turmeric, you can reduce your expenses on personal care products by reusing this versatile spice in a variety of ways and applications. Ensure to purchase brands that support the Sustainable Spices Initiative; which educate Indian farmers, support trade, and promote a positive environmental impact.

    Aloe Vera vroom

    Achieve natural beauty with these holistic health tips aloe vera

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    In ancient Mesopotamia, as far back as 2,200 BC, it’s documented that Aloe was used for its cleansing effects and seen as a divine plant.

    Today, Aloe Vera gel still has a variety of benefits that promote overall vitality. When ingested, the antioxidant compounds help detox the body, reduce blood sugar levels, and strengthen the immune system while fighting bad bacteria. When used topically, it has a bunch of beneficial impacts, including:

    • Moisturizing skin
    • Reducing wrinkles
    • Promoting hair growth
    • Eliminating dandruff
    • Healing sunburn
    • Preventing the buildup of dental plaque 

    If you want to make the most of this amazing plant - grow it yourself! Otherwise known as the ‘Oxygen Bomb’ - Aloe Vera can increase indoor air quality in your home through purification processes. That and it’s a lovely plant that simply brightens up any room just by being in it.

    Once the leaves become big and luscious, you can harvest the gel yourself - saving you money and reducing any waste from product packaging. The gel can also be frozen, so you can also save some of your time in the process!

    We have used these natural products for many years, and with correct and conscious practice - may continue to do so for thousands more. These simple tips are a few of the many ways that you can integrate sustainability into your beauty routine. What’s best is, by having consideration for the environment and the impact you may have it, this makes you beautiful on the inside too.

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    Achieve natural beauty with these holistic health tips

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  5. Try Kids Pass for £1 and make huge savings

    Days out with kids are expensive.  Just going to a wildlife park as a family of four costs us upwards of £100 and a theme park is way pricier.  Cinema tickets are a ridiculous amount now - over £10 per adult at our local cinema!  Luckily there are lots of ways to cut costs on family days out, restaurant bills and cinema tickets nowadays.  In this blog post I’m going to share with you one of the ways you can make massive savings with a family savings pass from Kids Pass.

    Whenever we go out I do always try to look for vouchers to save a bit of cash, especially if we’re going to a chain restaurant or well-known attraction.  There’s usually some money to be saved off the face value of a ticket, but it can involve a lot of scouring the website to find a legit code, if I can find one at all.  I’m all for things that make this process a lot easier and less time consuming which is why Kids Pass is a genius idea! 

    Huge savings on family holidays

    I’ve just signed up and downloaded the app and I’m already amazed at the savings we can make.  One that particularly stands out to me is a saving of up to 50% off a Eurocamp holiday.  We’ve recently purchased a campervan and have been talking of a trip to Europe and possibly to stay at a Eurocamp in France.  Being able to cut the cost of our holiday in half by using Kids Pass will be amazing!  Just this saving alone will recuperate the annual membership fee and more.  At the time of writing there are also discounts on Forest Holidays, cottages.com and Hoseasons.

    Up to 40% off at cinemas

    We aren’t big cinema goers at the moment, but mainly because the kids are too young.  I’m sure this will change as the kids get a little older as I love the cinema experience!  At the moment it’s a whopping £31.60 to go as a family of four to our local cinema and no doubt this will rise by the time Reuben, our youngest at age three, is old enough to go.  Kids Pass offers up to a 40% discount at over 500 nationwide cinemas.  Perfect!

    Kids eat free

    Eating out is another huge expense with kids, so any money off vouchers are always a bonus.  With Kids Pass there are plenty of restaurant savings vouchers or takeaway offers to choose from.  Just in our city I can see we can currently save 25% at Bella Italia and kids can eat for £1 at Prezzo.  We love these posh pizza places so we’ll certainly make use of these.  If you prefer takeaway then there are BOGOF offers at both Pizza Hut delivery and Papa John’s.

    Discounts for family days out

    All the major theme parks are listed on the app with savings of up to 57%.  There are also activities such as bowling, go-karting, trampolining and more.  There are nature centres, wildlife parks, zoos and farms.  There is so much to choose from, it’s also a great way of finding something to do with the family and you’ll get a discount at the same time!

    Easy to use app

    The app is super easy to use and allows you to search for ‘offers near me’ allowing you to see all the nearby attractions, restaurants and activities with a discount that are most local.  You can also search by category such as Restaurants or Family Days Out if you’re looking for something in particular or don’t mind going further afield for an attraction.

    Kids Pass is the UK’s no. 1 family savings pass with thousands of exclusive offers at the UK’s top attractions, cinemas, restaurants and UK holidays. A Kids Pass membership can easily save a family between £500 and £1,000 per year and the cost of a Kids Pass membership can easily be covered by the savings a family can make in just a single day out!’

    Try Kids Pass for just £1

    Try Kids Pass today for just £1 for a month’s trial here: http://tidd.ly/4886fa94

    There are plenty of testimonials on the website from families making plenty of savings to justify the either £3.99 monthly cost or £39.99 annual cost of membership after the trial.  If it’s not for you, then simply remember to cancel.

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    Save money on UK family days out with Kids Pass