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» Listings for June 2018

  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.


    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:


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

    Find a contact form in my top menu or email 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


    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


    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!


    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

    How my style is changing now I’m in my 30s
    Why Every Woman Should Create A Capsule Wardrobe
    Tips to get your man to dress better 
    Unique and alternative uses for a fashion scarf

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