JAN 29

 Make your home feel like new 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on January 29, 2017 11:32 AM as A Mum's Life

The busy festive period is now well and truly in the past and it is time to switch your attention to organising the next thing. Now it is a great time to give your life a bit of a boost and leave those January blues behind. There are loads of ways to enhance your well-being from taking up some exercise, to taking on a new project. Given that you spend a lot of your time in your house, a project that involves giving your home a bit of a refresh can have a really positive impact.


You don’t have to head to the DIY store and stack up a trolley full of decorating equipment and you don’t need to do a complete overhaul. There are some small, low cost changes that you can make that will make your home feel brand new.


Have a move round


A quick and simple readjustment of your furniture can give a new look to a room. Take your bedroom for example. Is there a better place that you can move your bed to? Can you clear out some old clothes and move a wardrobe out of the room? Creating new space can have a really fresh and uplifting feeling. You can even upgrade your bedframe to bring out some character in the room. Take a look at some hand made wooden beds for some inspiration.


Moving the furniture in your living room can also give the place a lift. If you have settees and other seating, try moving it into a different place and see if it feels like you have more space.


A coat of paint


You don’t have to go into full-blown interior decorator mode, just a simple change of colour on a wall or two can make a significant difference. Did you know that the colour of your walls can have an impact on your well-being? Have a look at some colour charts and see if a change of colour can help to improve your mood. Look at the rooms that you are in the most as this will bear a more significant impact on your mood.


Give your garden some attention


Whilst it might still feel like we’re in the middle of winter, the days will soon start to get lighter and the temperatures will start to get warmer. Spend some time getting your garden into shape so that you can make the most of the good weather when it arrives. Weather your garden needs a bit of tidying or looks a bit bare, get those tools out of the shed and get to work. See what plants and other bits you can pick up at your local garden centre to bring a bit of life back into your garden. You might still be able to make the most of the sales and pick up some bargains. Laying down some decking might not cost as much as you think it would and could bring a really new feel to your garden. 

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JAN 24

 How to Search for Construction Professionals Online 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on January 24, 2017 1:35 PM as A Mum's Life

If you are a single mum with children or a busy working mum with children the great balancing act of life, kids, activities, work, and living your best possible lifestyle is not easily or effortlessly attained. We know that it takes work-and a ton of it!

In addition to the day to day challenges that are thrown our way while we are wearing all our various hats are things like home maintenance and repair issues. For the single mums, out there, this can even prove to be more difficult, especially if you haven’t the slightest clue about home repairs or maintenance.

If you have issues with your electric or you have been noticing that you have some blown fuses and things just don’t’ seem to functioning properly in and around your home, you many need to call in the assistance of a professional.

Get Online

Let’s say you need to find an electrician near me to fix your circuit breaker issues in your home. The best way to start out is to head over to your laptop and simply query electrician near me. You should have a good listing of people that are close by that you can call on for a quote.

If you want to take this a step further, my advice is to search for marketplaces that offer matching and bidding services for professionals in your area.

Online Marketplaces

There are several online marketplaces where you can search for a specific type of building professional. The main differences with the online marketplaces versus just a simple online search are as follows:

·         You can set up your own budget range for the job-you can choose a fixed price and enter in exactly what you would be willing to pay for the job or you can choose an hourly payment schedule and enter in what you would be willing to pay per hour.

·         You can specify desired time frame (when you need the work to start).

·         You can specify your location (You can literally dial this down to exact location which makes it much easier to find the best local professionals to come out to asses your situation).

·         You can specify your stage of readiness regarding a larger scale project.

·         You can search for specific types of work. For example, if you need electrical work done, you can select from various subcategories of electric work, such as fuse box installation or repair, or anything else that you may need. The benefit here is that you can get as specific as possible about your needs.

·         You can read reviews and customer testimonials regarding potential professionals that are presented on the website as possibilities for your eventual hire. This is also extremely beneficial to single mums as well as working mums that don’t have the time to reach out and check references before making a hiring decision.

As you can see, my preferred search mode is online all the way. Be sure to check out online marketplaces whenever you need to find a trusted professional. 

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DEC 19


posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on December 19, 2016 10:21 AM as A Mum's Life

We love to celebrate the art of all things handwritten at Pen Heaven and have discovered that there is no better way to reconnect with your inner wisdom than through jotting down your thoughts and journaling.

When it comes to stress relief and mental clarity, writing and mindfulness go hand in hand – both present the opportunity to clear the mind of thoughts and worries.

Mindfulness is a very simple form of meditation that has seen a surge of popularity in the past few years. It refers to a state of being aware of something, a way of reconnecting with a moment at any given time. The same principle applies to mindful writing - it allows for a string of consciousness to feed the writing.


It's become well recognised amongst psychologists and schools that just a few minutes handwriting a day can be an effective way of helping you unwind, making it the perfect preparation for any meditation and an excellent way to unleash your creativity and innermost feelings.

When you write it contributes to feelings of wellbeing – it can alleviate mental and physical stress and clarify thoughts. Keeping a regular diary or journal for example can help fight the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Handwriting is a great workout for your brain - numerous studies, such as this one from Psychology Today, have shown that writing by hand makes use of areas of the brain involved in language, thinking and working memory. It helps your brain remember key facts and information by organising your thoughts and focussing the mind.

As it’s a slower and more deliberate process than using a laptop or tablet, the very act of writing - by using multiple pen strokes to form letters - allows the brain to process and retain the thoughts and ideas being committed to paper.


To help get you started with writing for mindfulness, we present our top tips to ensure you get the very most (and best) from your new daily cursive routine.

  • Find and set aside a regular time each day to write in your journal that you know you can commit to
  • Take at least 10 minutes every day to write down your thoughts
  • Focus on the here and now. If your mind starts to drift onto other thoughts, gently bring your attention back to what is happening now
  • Bring your heart into your writing, not just your mind, to help your words hold more substance
  • To achieve a zen-like state, completely immerse yourself in your writing. Find a quiet spot and take yourself away from any distractions, such as your phone, tablet or PC
  • Give your mind, and anything you write, full freedom. Write everything down first and edit later
  • Relax and collect your thoughts. Then write them all down in a personal manner that is easy to remember and refer to at a later stage
  • Get into the habit of compiling a daily to-do list. Jot down the tasks that need doing and as you work through, update your list by ticking them off the list. Prioritise new ones for the following day – this will help you get a better night’s sleep
  • De-clutter your work-space or create an area especially for you and your mindful writing. Add meaningful, personal touches like a picture of a loved one or pet, a piece of art, flowers or candles.

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NOV 29

 3 top tips: how to open a business in London on a budget 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on November 29, 2016 10:56 AM as A Mum's Life

After months of researching, weeks of crunching numbers and countless sleepless nights stewing over horror stories about failed startups, only one thing is clear to you – London is an expensive place to launch a new business.

And whilst you’ve got big dreams, a killer idea and a bucketload of ambition to keep you going, you’ve also got a shoestring budget to make it all happen.

But don’t give up too easily, because you happen to be in good company.

Sir Richard Branson – you know, the self-made, world-famous multi-billionaire entrepreneur? – started out with only £300 of capital.

His rags-to-riches story is heartening proof that, with careful planning, hard work and untiring dedication, you too can turn your entrepreneurial fantasy into a reality.

Here are our top tips for starting your London-based business on a budget. Take a look.

#1: saving money on premises

Picking the right premises is crucial to the future success of your startup, especially in a city where space is at a premium.

Ideally, establish yourself somewhere that’s convenient for your customers and that you can see yourself staying for the long-haul (relocating a business is not fun or cheap).

To find an office or shop for rent in London that ticks all of the boxes – budget, location, size – your best bet is to use an online database to narrow down the search. You’ll be able to instantly rule out unsuitable places without having to waste hours going on pointless viewings.

#2: reduce your workload

Once you start hiring staff you’re going to have to get used to being the boss, and a big part of that is making sure you take care of your employees.

But if you’re not careful you’ll soon find yourself practically chained to your desk, patience wearing thin as your try to balance holiday requests and calculate pension outgoings.

Investing in HR software solutions for tasks like payroll and scheduling will ease the pressure of keeping up with the necessary but time-consuming admin that comes with being an employer, leaving you free to spend your day chasing sales.

#3: spread the word for free

London may be one of the busiest cities in the world, but with 80 new business opening every hour, according to statistics from StartUp Britain, you face fierce competition to win the attention of customers and clients.

The good news is that you don’t have to blow your already stretched budget on a marketing and branding expert to ensure your startup stands out from the crowd.

Use social media (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) to connect with your ideal market – it won’t cost you a penny to build a strong online presence and get your name out there.

Opening a business on any budget – shoestring or otherwise – is a big risk, but stick to our money-saving tips and you’ll soon be living out your dreams of entrepreneurial success.

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NOV 23

 Three Good Beauty Habits to Adopt in 2017 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on November 23, 2016 1:25 PM as A Mum's Life

As 2016 draws to a close, many of us begin to turn our thoughts towards how we want to improve ourselves in the year to come. Looking and feeling your best in 2017 doesn't have to mean setting strict resolutions about your diet and exercise routines, although these can often help, but can simply be about making a conscious effort to adopt some beneficial new habits in your beauty regimen. It can even just be a case of starting to use some treatments or products you didn't include before.

Here are three good beauty related habits for women of all ages to consider for 2017:

Hair Treatments

Whether your hair is in good condition, or has been damaged by styling, dying, or the elements, a good treatment used on a regular basis can improve it or maintain its best condition. Take a look at this site for good protein treatments for hair that can be easily incorporated into your haircare routine. Protein is important because that is what your hair is effectively made of (much like all of your other cells), and so by adding more proteins like keratin to the hair, and amino acids which combine to form new proteins, you can repair and strengthen the surface, and promote healthy growth. If you want your hair to be thicker and shinier, this is an easy way to achieve it and something you should definitely add to your list of beauty improvements for 2017.


Exfoliating your skin can be a good way to take away dead cells that are giving your skin a dull look, and keep you looking fresh and young. Exfoliating your face can be done with scrubs or masks, and this should become part of your regular routine along with moisturizing. You can also exfoliate your body using a body scrub while you are in the shower, or an exfoliating mitt. This will give you smoother, healthier looking skin and may also boost circulation, helping tackle cellulite. Always ensure you exfoliate fully before applying fake tan, too – that is how you can avoid the product sticking to dead skin cells and giving you unsightly orange patches – especially on dry areas like elbows, knees and ankles.

Hand Creams

Your hands are something people notice more than you might think, but the skin on them also takes more punishment than just about any other part of the body. Just about everything you do involves your hands, and they are often exposed to the weather, as well as chemicals like cleaning products and harsh soaps. As well as taking care of your nails, you can make your hands look and feel better by using a hand cream or balm on a regular basis. This will help you avoid painful chapped hands, and also keep the skin looking young. Keep some hand cream or lotion in your purse, on your desk, and next to your sink, and get into the habit of using it throughout the day.

These are just three ways to improve your beauty regimen with new habits in 2017.

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NOV 23

 Gadget Gift Ideas for the Woman in Your Life 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on November 23, 2016 1:19 PM as A Mum's Life

With Christmas fast approaching it’s time to put your thinking cap on as you figure out what to buy the special people in your life. Most men will agree that buying for their wife, girlfriend, or significant other is one of the toughest things to do. They don’t want to underwhelm her, while at the same time they want to be sure they hit the mark and it’s something she really wants.

While it used to be that tech gadgets were reserved for men, they are quickly becoming a popular and much wanted gift for women. With that in mind we’ve put together a list of great gadget gift ideas for that special woman in your life.

For the Bingo Game Fans

If the lady in your life just love hitting up the bingo and engaging in a little online gambling, then why not set her up with an account with one of the available bingo sites. You can go ahead and provide her with the cash needed to start playing, and she may turn around and double, or even triple, that initial amount! What’s fun about this idea is that she can play from home any time she likes since it is an online casino. It's also well-known for its free cash bonuses.

The Q Designs Phone Charger Bracelet

It's not often you can combine the words "stylish" and "gadget" together but that's exactly the case with this next item. What this means is that it will be an instant hit with your significant other. The Q Designs phone charger bracelet looks like a gorgeous and chunky gold bangle bracelet. She'll love it when she opens it, and then when she finds out it's actually a phone charger, she'll be over the moon. She can wear the bracelet, then when her device needs charging she can snap it open to plug in the phone.

Brainstream SOI

Most women will attest that once they put something into their purse it typically ends up lost in a black abyss. That's exactly why the Brainstream SOI is such a great gift! This is a motion-sensor light that is meant to fit inside a purse/handbag. When the bag is opened the light automatically comes on and stays on for 10 seconds. Suddenly finding items in her purse will be simple and quick.

Pebble Time Round

Maybe you've been thinking about picking up the Apple Watch but have found the price tag a bit too steep. Instead you may want to look into the Pebble Time Round watch. From first glance this looks like a stylish high-end watch, complete with a regular watch face. Upon closer look you will discover this is actually a smart watch, providing all kinds of great features and functions. The watch is stylish enough to wear with casual and business wear.

Wide Angle Selfie Lens

If your special woman is addicted to taking selfies, you can help her up her game with the Wide Angle Selfie Lens. This gadget just clips on to her mobile phone and then allows her to take panorama shots and selfies galore. It is a universal gadget, which means it works with Windows, Android, and Apple devices. The lens comes with a cap and case to keep it safe.

Erasable Memo Pad with 4 Port USB

The Erasable Memo Pad with 4 Port USB is not only a fun and practical gadget, but its reasonable price tag makes it perfect as a stocking filler. What this device does is mesh together two desktop gadgets. Just plug it into your desktop or laptop and you can start scribbling on it. Erasing is easy, and there's no need to worry about it storing information on your desktop.

Jot down appointments, notes, memos, ideas, and just doodle. Each time you finish with the note you just put on the slider and it will erase the pad. It doesn’t require batteries since it is plugged into your desktop.

Thanks to the variety of options out there today, you’ll have no problem impressing the woman in your life with a tech gadget this Christmas. The hardest part will be narrowing it down to just one or two great items.

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 Inspiring styles to make sofa shopping less annoying 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on November 01, 2016 12:16 PM as A Mum's Life

Sofa shopping can be a huge annoyance if you don’t know what you’re looking for. How are you supposed to buy the perfect sofa if you don’t have an idea of what you want? Don’t just go shopping blindly. Take a look at these inspiring styles to get an idea of what you want and find the right one to suit your lifestyle:


The English or Club Sofa


This sofa is perfect for those who want both comfort and style. The deep seat cushions are perfect for relaxing on when you’ve had a stressful day. This style also looks quite traditional, so it’s perfect if that’s the look you’re going for.


The Sofa Bed


If your goal is to save space and entertain guests, then a sofa bed can be a great choice. Sofa beds are perfect for guest rooms and even your main living room. By day a sofa, by night a comfortable bed. A great dual purpose piece of furniture that’s useful for every home. If you have houseguests regularly, you can’t afford not to have one of these.


The Camelback Sofa


The Camelback sofa can help you to achieve more of a formal look in a room, but it doesn’t have that harsh feel like many other formal sofas do. The legs are exposed, so this can give the illusion of space in a room. This silhouette was extremely fashionable in the 18th century. It always has a hump in the middle of the back, hence the name. 


The Chesterfield Sofa


The historical looking Chesterfield sofa always has a quilted back and is usually made of leather. You’ll find this kind of sofa in a library, so it’s perfect for a home library.


The Cabriole Sofa


This type of sofa is reminiscent of the Chippendales and Queen Anne. Another one that was popular in the first half of the 18th century, it usually goes best with a luxury, formal look. It might not be the most comfortable, but it certainly adds an element of style to a room.


The Chaise Sofa


Although this might remind you of something you’d see in a therapist’s office, it can be extremely comfortable and perfect for reclining on.


The Sectional Sofa


Similar to the Chaise sofa, but usually larger. This is great if you’d prefer a bespoke look in your room, as you can get both U and L shaped versions. You can usually find one of these to fit any layout of the room. Perfect for comfort, large families, and socialising.


The Lawson Sofa


The Lawson sofa is usually a great choice for the living room, or wherever you watch TV. The deep cushions make it very comfortable, whether you’re lazing alone or sitting with family.


The Knole Sofa


The Knole sofa is based on a 17th century design, and was used in English country houses. This kind has a formal look but it can look great with both traditional and modern interiors. Just perfect for making a statement. It could be your focal point!


Happy sofa shopping!

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AUG 30

 Bingo games and exciting offers- all on a single platform! 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on August 30, 2016 10:45 AM as A Mum's Life

How about the idea of participating in the world packed with never ending free fun and entertainment? Amazing, isn’t it? Well, on the platform of online bingo games you can get endless surprises throughout the year that just never stop making you excited!


The arena of online bingo not only comes up with a wide array of games but also has in store plenty of astonishing events and free deals that never fail to make you happy!


The storehouse of unlimited excitement is a touch away if you select and play at a good site that ensures you safe bingo sessions and promotes fair play among all.


Come along and associate yourself with the popular site GameVillage Bingo to enjoy a shower of complimentary offers. At the site you can get a golden opportunity to play your beloved bingo games absolutely free simply by participating in some playful contests conducted at the social media page!


Visit the site’s Facebook page and take part in the fun contests being held there to win tickets utterly free to the 90 ball bingo Unplugged room. On making required deposits you can also win free spins and free tickets with your bonus packages that you claim.


The site loves to reward its loyal player base the exclusive way! Habitual players are offered special bonuses that do not require them to make any deposit. The free bingo bonuses are credited directly to their account when they just log in- it’s that simple!


Further, the different promotions coming up every month always offer the bingo lovers incredible cash prizes, free cards, extra bonuses, mystery prizes, prize points and the list continues.


So, register at GameVillage Bingo to experience the best set of online bingo games, bonus deals and other offers. Play, win and enjoy all your way. Get started today!

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 10 Tips and Tricks for Traveling with Kids 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on August 06, 2016 12:00 AM as A Mum's Life

Pulling off a great family vacation requires a lot of planning, patience and effort. You get better at all this the more you do it. You stay more focused on what’s important — and less on what’s not. I’ve traveled a lot with my kids — and learned a lot of lessons — these are my top tips for having a great time while traveling with children.

1. Check the validity of your passports. Be sure they’re good for 3 months after the day of your arrival home. Many people make the mistake of thinking that as long as they’re back home before their passports expire they’ll be fine. (It seems like common sense doesn’t it?) But not so. Authorities will often demand that your passport be good for several weeks — even several months for some countries — past the day of your arrival home. Some airlines will not let you board the plane if there is not enough extra time on your passport.

2. Scan your passports and email them to yourself, along with any other important documents — e.g. green card, birth certificate, the visa pages of your passport. If you ever lose your passports abroad, this will save you a ton of time and hassle when you have to replace them.

3. Notify your credit card companies before you leave. Banks are very careful about fraud nowadays — and run algorithms on your billing history to spot any irregularities. A charge from a country or city that you’ve never previously had a charge from could easily get your credit card frozen. And unfreezing your account from a foreign city in a different time zone, will be a lot harder than just calling your bank before departure.

4. Take more than one credit or debit card. Cards work differently in foreign countries, some will work at bank ATM but not at a corner store ATM, others will work in restaurants but not at an ATM. There are a number of complex rules and reasons but if you don’t work in the banking industry you’ll never know all of them. The best remedy is to take multiple cards.

5. Make an Out-The-Door list. Leaving for the airport — as your holiday starts — is one of the most stressful times of any trip. Have a list of things you need to grab as you’re leaving your home. I don’t mean a list of things you need to take (i.e. 2 pairs of pants, 3 t-shirts ). I mean a list of things you’ll need to physically grab. It should be a last minute checklist of all the little (and big) things you’ll need as you are going out the door. There will be the bags of course, the money belt, some water in the fridge for the airport, some snacks on the counter and sweaters for the plane. Plus all the indispensables you’ll want to double-check one last time before heading to the airport: passports, credit cards, cash. There’s a lot to remember — so have a list for it!

6. Language & Translation. While you don’t need to be fluent or have perfect pronunciation, learning a few key phrases in your destination’s language makes a great impression and could also make your travels much smoother. Being able to speak the language in a foreign country is a great way to connect with local culture. Using translation services from professionals like Translate Shark can be ideal if you'd like to have travel or other documents translated. Don't forget to use an online tool like Google Translate for instant translations in 64 different languages. 

7. Count your suitcases, backpacks, handbags and keep the number in your head. This is simple and maybe painfully obvious, but it sure helps. You hop in a taxi, "bag count — 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  — yep they’re all here”. Easy. (Bigger families may want to conduct a kid count as well.)

8. Use a small digital camera. The fantastic shots you think you’ll get of the Grand Canyon, or Taj Mahal or Great Wall of China will be left and forgotten. The really great photos that you’ll love and savor for years to come will be the up-close and intimate shots of your kids and your family. And the key to getting great family photos is to take a lot of them. A ton of them! And the way you do that is to take a small camera, have it with you all the time and take pictures as quickly and discreetly as possible. You might insist, I’ll do all that, but with a bigger better camera. But you probably won’t.

9. Book a hotel for your first nights of your trip — but then stay flexible. My advice for traveling singles (or couples) is always to book a hotel for their first night after arrival, then get your bearings, figure out where you want to go and just find hotels as you need them. I’ve upgraded this for traveling families — reserve the first 2 or 3 nights. I realize this advice won’t work for everyone. Some people need certainty and plans and dates. And having all your hotels reserved for the duration of your trip can make things easier. But you’ll also lose some flexibility. If something’s working — if you’ve found a great little beach resort or a really fun hotel with a friendly staff — you’ll have to say goodbye because you’ve already booked a room in the next town. On the other hand having the freedom to leave a place that isn’t living up to expectations is a great bonus and can make the difference between an average vacation and an unforgettable one.

10. Put enough in your carry-on bags for the first day or 2 of your trip. This is good advice for anyone but especially when traveling with kids. If your bags are lost you don’t want to be hunting for diapers or a pair of shorts immediately after your arrival in a new city or country.

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 Bingo never lets a mother stop smiling! 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on August 01, 2016 10:24 AM as A Mum's Life

Life as a mother is super exciting! But it is equally hectic, don’t you agree? What not a mom has to go through to upbring her child in a proper and healthy environment.


Motherhood is a never ending journey as a mother’s responsibility towards her kid starts right from his/her birth and continues ever after! Even when you are grown up your mom does not step back from taking care of you in every single aspect- well, that’s how our moms are!


Your mom would do anything possible under the sun just to see you grow healthy, wise and happy. She would bear all kinds of pains without complaining even a bit to be able to bring and see a smile on her child’s face.


It often happens that a busy mother neglects or forgets to look after the well being of herself while dealing with such a roller coaster ride of roles and responsibilities from dawn to dusk.


But a mom should never ignore her health or happiness as only a healthy and joyful mother can raise a kid in a positive way inculcating positivity in him/her which is very necessary to be successful in life.


There is a list of things which a mother can do in her idle time to be fit, fine and cheerful.

She may do some exercises or go for a refreshing walk in the nearby parks or gardens to rejuvenate herself while breathing in some fresh air.


She can also engage in some fun activities that entertains her completely and keep her motherly worries at bay for a while. Such recreational activities may include playing with your little ones, watching some programs on television, playing interesting games over the internet, meeting close buddies over sips of beer and the list just continues.


So if you are a would be mom, do not stress yourself thinking about how well you would be able to carry out the daily roles. The stress buster named online bingo games would surely cheer you up whenever you indulge in them!


Join the incredible site GameVillage Bingo, play bingo and become a regular player to make use of the online bingo no deposit bonuses that simply enables you to play more and more. Get started now, be sure to be a happy mother! 

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JUL 20

 Modernise Your Bedroom in a Few Quick Steps 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on July 20, 2016 3:38 PM as A Mum's Life

When was the last time you updated your bedroom? Perhaps it was 5, 10 or even 20 years ago. If it's all looking a bit out of date, it's time to fix things. Maybe you never got to decorating properly, and your room just needs some personality. Whatever the problem is, a new bedroom is a fun project to work on. Your bedroom is your sanctuary and it should be somewhere you can relax. If you don't like the look of it, you won't enjoy spending time in there as much. Whether you want to renovate or simply redecorate, you could get a beautiful new bedroom in now time.

Decide on Your Budget

Before you do anything, think about how much money you want to spend. If you only have a small budget, you could still make some big changes. A tub of paint and some new bedding can make a significant difference and won't cost much. However, if you have more money to spend, you could do a lot more. You'll be able to buy new furniture and perhaps make changes to the structure of the room, such as building in a wardrobe. It's up to you how much you want to spend, but make sure you don't underestimate how much things will cost. It's always a good idea to leave room in your budget for unexpected expenses.

Credit: tom4328

Clear Out Old Things

You can't start bringing in the new until you get rid of the old. You probably have items you don't want to keep, that perhaps you have had for years. Start with small things, such as bedding or picture frames. They're easier to let go of, and you don't want a duvet that you've had for years and years. Once you've cleared out the smaller items, consider your furniture and fixtures. Is the lighting fixture completely out of date? Perhaps the bed is looking worse for wear, or the chest of drawers doesn't open as smoothly anymore. Decide what you're going to do with these things - sell, give away, or take them to the tip?

Repurpose Anything You Want to Keep

There might be some items that you don't want to get rid of, but they still need some updating. For example, perhaps you spent a lot of money on your wardrobe a few years ago. It's still in good condition, but you feel like it could do with being refreshed. Instead of getting rid of it, you could make some changes to update it. That could involve putting on new handles, or perhaps sanding it down and applying new stain, gloss or paint. Updating your bedroom doesn't have to mean changing everything entirely. You can breathe new life into old things too.

Assessing the Floor

If you've taken everything out of the room to redecorate, start by looking at your floor. You might like it as it is, but there are ways to make a change. You don't have to go the whole hog and replace the floor. If you have carpets, you could change it, refresh it, or remove it. With wooden floors, you might be able to sand them down and make them a different colour or texture. Of course, you might not want to change the floor at all. Even so, a well-placed rug or two could make a difference in your bedroom.

Credit: ErikaWittlieb

Bedroom Walls

Once you have a plan for the floor, you need to consider the walls. You're more likely to want to change them in some way, whether it's by repainting or wallpapering. You need to think about the style that you're going for. What do you want your bedroom to feel like? Should it be cosy and warm or cool and modern? You might have a theme in mind that you want everything to fit. Before you can get to work, you might need to prepare the walls. Perhaps you have to remove some wallpaper or paint in a neutral colour, so you have a blank canvas.


Lights are important in any room, but they can be especially important in the bedroom. You use the room for a wide range of things, not just sleeping. It's essential to be able to have the lights low or brighter if you want to read a book or look for something in the wardrobe. Many bedrooms have one ceiling light, and perhaps a lamp or two on the bedside tables. However, these can seem boring and unimaginative. If you want to spice things up, you should consider some new lighting fixtures or lamps. Instead of a plain bulb hanging from the ceiling with a lampshade, why not install an eye-catching feature. You could also have wall lights, floor lamps, and other lighting. Choose lighting you can control so that you can have as much or as little light as you want.

The Window

Bedrooms need privacy, and windows can get in the way of that. By their very nature, they are revealing. You need the right window dressings for your room to ensure privacy, even during the day. However, you might also want them to let some natural light into the room. The first decision to make is whether you want curtains or blinds. For a more modern look, many people prefer blinds over curtains. There are lots of choices for styles, and you can let in as much or as little light as you want. However, a pair of curtains can look elegant too, so perhaps they would be your preferred option.

The Bed

Your bed has to be the most important part of the room. It's not a bedroom without one. You might decide that you like the frame or base of the bed and want to keep it. If you want to update it, you could use paint or gloss to refresh it. If you have a divan bed, you could even cover it in new fabric for an updated look. If you don't like your current bed, buying a new one is an option too. But what sort of look are you going for? Do you want a leather bed for a luxurious room, or perhaps a classy wrought iron frame? Then there's the mattress, which has to be practical, rather than looking good. There are several types of mattress from which to choose. You can read mattress-guides.net for details on what's available. A memory foam mattress might be one of the most expensive options, but it's also more comfortable.

Of course, you will only be looking at the mattress when you change your bedding. If you want to keep things simple, you might just buy some sheets, pillowcases, and duvet covers. But someone people like to dress up their bed a bit more. If you want to modernise it, you could add some extra details, such as throw cushions or a runner.

Clothes Storage

Everyone needs somewhere to put their clothes and shoes. Perhaps you have already decided to make some changes to your existing wardrobe to update it. But you might want to get rid of it and buy a new one instead. If you want to take on a more extensive project, you could think about putting in a built-in wardrobe. They can change the whole look of your room and make great storage solutions. You might find with a built-in wardrobe that you don't need a chest of drawers or other storage.

When you buy new furniture, you could go for cheap and cheerful from somewhere like Ikea. However, if you want to make an investment in quality items, it's worth spending a bit more. Buying more expensive furniture means you could hold onto it for longer. But if you're planning to redecorate again in a couple of years, it might not be the best thing to do.

Credit: ErikaWittlieb

Bedroom Tech

Is there any technology you want to add to your bedroom. It's one way to bring the room into the twenty-first century. Many people put televisions, sound systems, or even coffee makers in their bedroom. These items can make the room more convenient or add entertainment. Even your alarm clock could be a nice modern addition to your bedroom. If you want to add any of these things, you need to make sure you have the right power supply and wiring to install them.


Of course, it's important not to forget about the little touches that can make all the difference. Some things might not do anything practical, but they can make the room look better. You might want to display things on your vanity table or above the fireplace if there is one. Some people prefer an uncluttered bedroom, but you can still add some small things. You might put some art on your walls or add a vase to one of the surfaces. There are lots of options for adding decorations to your bedroom.

If your bedroom is out of date, don't leave it looking miserable. You could give it a new look within a day.

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 Oriental Modern Rugs: Amp Up the Culture Factor in Your Space 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on June 02, 2016 11:08 AM as A Mum's Life

Oriental culture is so fascinatingly different from the Western world in every aspect of life. It makes you think profoundly about certain things like religion, politics, and even fashion and home design! People from the West often try to incorporate certain trends from fashion and interior design, neglecting the fact that a large piece of our everyday lives in those areas is derived from the rich history and culture of the far East. Case in point: oriental modern rugs. One would think rugs are just a design element with the same purpose in every corner of the world. Besides being unbelievably beautiful and picturesque, oriental rugs have a very rich history as well.


In short, the far Eastern countries like Persia, Turkey, Iran, India and Egypt have long used rugs, kilims and similar pieces of fabric made of various luxury materials for more than just decorating their homes, but for praying in the Islamic religion, for covering pieces of furniture, for decorating the walls and similar purposes, giving these rugs another use besides just floor coverings. And while those rugs probably weren't complementing nice furniture like we have today, they managed to spread throughout the rest of the world as a huge decorative element.


Interior designers are unanimous regarding this matter: oriental rugs do make up a large part of the palette of modern rugs on the market. The colors they use are unique and strong and express that oriental beauty, calmness and mysticism. As such, this type of modern rugs can easily make their way in any home and interior design scheme.


So, why should you consider an oriental rug for your home?

The two most solid reasons for this include the fact that an oriental rug helps define a space and separates one room from another in a very colorful and playful way. The possibility these rugs give the designer in playing with colors is endless. It truly is an advantage to be able to blend your rug into the décor of your furniture, walls and items, creating a pleasant oasis within your home. Interior designers believe that an oriental rug can bring warmth and character to a place with bare white walls. Totally understandable; white walls can really make a room look dull if not complemented with good decorative elements.


Here are a few helpful tips about using oriental rugs for creating a room with Eastern charm and character:


All colors should be kept in the same family

Yes, the point is to be playful with colors, but not in a way that will result in a color mess and confusion. If you decide to use an oriental rug, be prepared to build the rest of the room’s design on it as the rug will most likely have a strong color-scheme and you can't afford to simply place it in the middle of an already highly decorated room. The art, the walls and the pillows on the sofas should all be in relation to the rug.



Go ahead and clash some colors, but..

Even if you do decide to clash colors, don’t simply add a screaming orange pillow in the middle of a bright blue and brown combo of elements. It would only sore your eyes and disturb the beauty of the overall design pattern. However, say for example you added a bright pink colored pillow in combination with a brownish rug, the result would be much more appealing. Conclusion: you can mix colors, but mix colors that actually go with each other, not randomly picked nuances.




An oriental rug asks for a monochromatic setting

Oriental rugs in the past may have not been rich in patterns and picturesque designs, but they've definitely evolved. Modern rugs from the oriental palette are pretty rich in color schemes and patterns, which is great but also kind of limiting you in the choice of furniture and decorations. You simply can't combine a rug with a pattern on it with playfully designed furniture. The rule is simple: between the furniture elements and the rug, one of them should be monochromatic. And since we've already established which is the patterned one, the furniture should definitely be one tone.


Here you can see how an oriental rug makes the space lively. It breaks up an otherwise monotonous room it gives a warm tone and character whilst complementing the existing elements in the room. So, is it worth the try? Definitely.


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MAY 25


posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on May 25, 2016 6:06 AM as A Mum's Life

Redoing a room can be a hard decision sometimes.  It's hard to know if it's worth the effort and cost.  While the intangible benefits of a beautiful room are hard to capture, we do have a rough idea of what the financial returns are.  Greater Toronto Painters created this infographic to help you do just that.  The data is based on their experience in Toronto, so I'd take it with a pinch of salt.  However, it is true that generally the kitchen offers the highest ROI on a redesign.

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MAY 13

 How can You Balance your Work and Family Life? Quick Tips for Busy Mums 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on May 13, 2016 1:38 PM as A Mum's Life

When it comes to bringing up kids, it can often feel as though you don't have a spare moment. If you are a working mum, you know how hard it can be to find that all-important balance. You need to be there for your children, but you also need to ensure that you work hard. There was a time when people expected women to choose between a career and a family. It doesn't have to be that way. The archaic notion that women can't have both is ridiculous and sexist. After all, nobody ever suggests that a man should choose between his job and his home life. If you are struggling to keep the balance, here are some quick tips that may help you out.


Never miss the big moments

One of the most important things you need to remember, as a mother, is you need to be there. When your kids have critical moments, you need to make the time to be there for them. Of course, you are working hard to support your family. That in itself is admirable, but is it enough? You don't want to look back at your life and realise that you were not there for your children. If your kids are in a play, for example, make sure that you are there. Working hard to support them will not be worth it if you never get to see them.


Involve your children in your work

If you just can't get a moment away from your job, you need to find creative ways to see your kids. If you work from home, for example, you could get your children involved. This tip is great, because it means that you can start teaching your kids about work. You could make a game out of chores, such as sorting paperwork and files. You could also ask your children's opinions on aspects of your work. Showing your kids that they are part of your life is vital if you want a relationship with them.


Give yourself time to work

So that you have time for your children, you need to make sure that you have time to work first. Some people think that getting some time away from their kids is a sin. It's not. If you give yourself a good amount of time in which to work, you will have more time to give to your kids. Give yourself a whole day by hiring a babysitter to take care of your children. Your kids want quality time with you, not just the times when you take a break. Give yourself an entire day in which to work. You will get loads done, and so you can focus on your children the next day.


Take (whole) days off

If you work seven days a week, that means that your children never see you. Rather than working part-time every day, work full-time some days. If you have whole days off, you can spend some quality time with your kids. You may think that working just a few hours every day is fine. The problem is that when you work each day, your job starts to bleed into your home life. Give yourself full days off so that you can go and do something fun with your little ones.


Organise your time well

When you have important things to do, you need to ensure that you organise your time well. The important thing to remember is that you need to stick to your schedule. Once you start straying from your agenda, you will find it hard to keep track of your time. When you organize your time well, you have a better chance of staying sane. Balancing your life is vital.

Why not take Calibre Furniture's quiz to see how balanced your life is? Are a workaholic? Do you love taking it easy and don’t sweat the small stuff? OR have you managed to find the perfect Work & Life balance? Take the quiz and leave your results below!

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 Things You Can Buy And Do That Will Benefit The Whole Family 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on May 05, 2016 2:33 PM as A Mum's Life


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Wondering what you can do to make for a healthy and happy family? Here are a number of things you can both buy and do that will benefit all of your loved ones.

Buy: Sturdy Footwear

Something as simple as sturdy footwear might not seem like it can benefit a whole family, but it truly can. Children need shoes that fit them properly. Otherwise, their toes and ankle can rub against the material, making them sore and even damaged. They also need shoes that support them in all the right places; the ankle especially. If shoes don’t support the ankle, and your child trips or falls, there is more chance of injury to this area. Keep girls out of high heels until they are much older. This includes the plastic heels you sometimes get with costumes; they are a recipe for a twisted or sprained ankle! Adults, too, need footwear with supportive properties. You won’t be able to run around after your kids in the park (or the house!) if you’re out of action because of a foot or leg injury.

Do: Family Meetings

You don’t have to go on outings and spend money in order to get some quality time with the family. A weekly or fortnightly family meeting can be really beneficial. You can share some food and play some music. You can also discuss everyone’s plans for the coming week or two weeks. This is a great way of keeping everybody in the loop and reduces the chance of mix-ups or crossed-wires. Get kids involved by having them take it in turns to chair the meetings. Make attending of ultimate importance for everyone; no excuse making should be tolerated!

Buy: Life Insurance

Life insurance is one of those things that most of us don’t want to give any thought to. After all, in order to get the payout, the worst must first occur. However, purchasing this kind of insurance is the ultimate move in being responsible for your family's future. If something does happen, they will be protected financially. You benefit by proxy of them benefiting. Companies like Gocompare can provide you with a quote and plan that will suit your needs and wants.


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Do: Doctors Appointments

All too often, we skip check-ups at the Doctors for reasons that simply aren’t good enough. "I couldn’t get the time off work,” we might say, or "It was raining!”. These excuses simply aren’t good enough. Doctor's check-ups should be treated with the utmost important. Even if you don’t feel like there is anything particularly wrong with you, not every illness comes with the obvious signs and symptoms. Furthermore, if you do suspect you are ill, seeing a Doctor early will reduce the chances of it spreading. The last thing you want is something infectious spreading to everyone.


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Buy: Safe Vehicles

Cars these days come with so many different perks and mod-cons, it can be tricky to see which are necessities and which are luxuries! The necessities, however, are the advanced safety features. Obviously, all cars have to adhere to basic safety features. However, investing in ones with extras could be a smart decision that will benefit everyone. Extra airbags, while not legally required, keep passengers even more safe in the event of an accident.

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 Getting In Touch with Yourself After a Breakup 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on May 03, 2016 3:47 PM as A Mum's Life

I don’t need to tell you how touch breakups can be, as chances are you’ve been through one. One of the problems with a breakup is being alone after spending so much time as part of a couple, especially if you were married for many years or lived with you ex-partner for a large percentage of time. There are ways to start to heal yourself and learn to love you for who you are as an individual and not as a couple. Soon you will realise you are just as happy on your own, and remember, you can’t love anyone truly until you learn to love yourself (a bit of an annoying cliché, but I think there’s truth to it).



Your heart isn’t in it, I know, but you need to try and immerse yourself in ‘fun’, whatever that entails for you. It could be reading, watching sitcoms, swimming, or going for long walks in the woodland. Overwriting the pain with fun and happiness is one of the best ways you can heal that ache you’re probably feeling. Spending time doing what you enjoy, whether you feel like it or not, will have a profound effect on your happiness overtime.



For some, the idea of exercise is a very bad one, but for those who enjoy it, it can be the best form of medicine for that broken heart. Running is always restorative as it calms the mind and allows for moments of clarity. If you want to get it into (or back into) running, then check out the book What We Talk About, When We Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami as it will make you think about running in a whole new light. Give it a try and you might just find yourself getting fitter both physically and mentally.


If hard exercise is your idea of hell, then maybe try out yoga. The benefits of yoga on the mind and body have been being felt for thousands of years and people who practice it swear that it makes them healthier, happier, and calmer. There’s no harm in trying (of course you might pull a muscle).



In my opinion, this is the most important aspect of mending a broken heart and learning to love yourself. Your family are healers, whether you know it or not. Spending time with them, even if it’s just watching TV, will make such a difference. It brings you closer with them as well and it makes you realise how much you depend on them in your day to do day life. Breakups are bad, but I do think they do some good. I recently  went through a very bad breakup and realised how I much I needed my family and so I got hair samples from my parents, and my brother and sent them away to create a family diamond. It’s one of my most cherished possessions as it’s a ring (I love jewellery anyway) that has the genetic information of my family stored within. Maybe you too would like to find your own way to show love for your family as a loving unit.



One more thing that helped me out, was getting back into writing. I like to write short stories and I found being able to clear my mind and work on my hobby really helped me come to terms with what had happened (it helped that I could write my feelings into the stories). Clearing your mind and focusing on something that excited you can be a brilliant way of healing.


In the end, you need to find what works for you, and just remember: never dwell on the past. The horizon is bright, remember that.

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 10 Ways To Make Your Backyard Look Spectacular For A Party! 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on May 03, 2016 2:44 PM as A Mum's Life

During this time of the year, it’s very popular to host a garden party so you can enjoy the sunshine. Whether it’s a birthday, or you're celebrating an anniversary, consider having it outside in the back yard. It’s a great way to enjoy the sunshine and let everyone get some fresh air. There is also more space so plenty of room for everyone. However, if your backyard is not looking in best shape, here’s ten ways to make your garden look spectacular for a party.

Plant some flowers

To make sure your garden is looking in top shape, you may want to consider adding some flowers. They can help to make the garden look beautiful, and you will receive many compliments. Make sure you sort the flowers out in your yard soon as you buy them and keep them watered, so they are looking fabulous in time for the party. Any plants that are already in your garden should also be looking great. Tend to them and get rid of any weeds so they are looking fab.

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Mow the lawn

If you want everyone to think your backyard looks great, you need to mow your lawn before the party. With our busy lifestyles, we often don’t get a chance to get out there. So we don’t realize it’s got that bad.  You don’t want it to be overgrown when guests are coming over. As we have talked about previously, you may want to replace any dead grass and relay the lawn. If you don’t want to do it yourself, you could find a gardener to do it for you. Companies such as Jim's Mowing are experienced in making it look great, and they will be able to do a fantastic job of mowing your lawn.

Clean the BBQ

When sorting out food for your party in your backyard, you may consider doing a BBQ. It means you or your partner can still be out there while everyone is outside enjoying the sunshine. Often people get stuck inside cooking the food and don’t get a chance to speak to everyone or enjoy the party. Before deciding to do a BBQ, you need to check it still is in a good condition. It’s a good idea to give it a thorough clean before cooking food on there for everyone. You don’t want to poison your guests!


Tidy up any rubbish

You don’t want your backyard to look a state when you have guests coming over. Therefore, you should tidy up any rubbish that may be laying around before letting people out there. It might rubbish has flown out of the bin when there’s been bad wind, or maybe the kids have been out there and have dropped some trash on the lawn. Whatever the case, make sure it’s all been put in bins before your guests come over.  

Get a gazebo

Before you have a party, you should decide where people are going to stand in the garden. It might be a good idea to get a pop up gazebo which can then provide some cover during the party. It might be raining, and then you can get some cover quickly. Or perhaps the heat of the sun is becoming too much, so you can go and get a bit of relief for a few minutes. Put the food and drinks under the gazebo too as you don't want them to start melting in the hot weather.  If you are having a backyard party for your child, you can get movie themed ones such as a Frozen or Cars gazebo which they will love. You can rent one instead, rather than having to pay out for one you may only use once!

Sort out garden furniture

If you want people to enjoy your party, you should be providing enough seating for everyone. As much as people likes to stand around for a while, eventually they will need to sit down. Get out your outdoor seating and make sure to give it a wipe if it’s been sitting in the shed for ages. If you need extra seating, you could bring out some chairs that you have inside the home. Or you could ask friends or family members if they could bring some foldaway chairs to the party.

Get some outdoor speakers

A party is a lot better with music. Try and get a portable player which you can put outdoors and play music. You may want to buy some outdoor speakers to play music through. It’s good to have some sound in the background, just in case people go quiet and don’t speak. Don’t put it too loud though as you will get complaints from the neighbors. Music also puts people in the party mood. It’s also necessary for children’s games such as musical bumps or statues. Sort out a playlist before the big party.

Prepare the table

To make your backyard look fantastic for the party, you should sort out your garden table. Over the winter months, it can get dirty because it’s left out in the cold weather. Give it a nice clean and maybe use a tablecloth before putting the food out on there. You might want to put the plates and cups out on the table before they get there so that people can help themselves out to food. You may want to buy a new table if it’s looking shabby.

Make a children's area

If you want to ensure your backyard is looking fantastic, you don’t want children’s toys everywhere. To help keep it looking great, why don’t you make a kids area out there ready for the party. Put a few toys in the area and even a plastic set of table and chairs. They will feel like they are extra special because they have their own area, and it means the whole of the garden won’t get messy.

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Once it’s looking fantastic, you can invite people to the party. One top tip, though; make sure you have plenty of bug repellent out so that people will not be stung or bitten during the party.

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APR 15

 How to Childproof Radiators and Furniture 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on April 15, 2016 7:01 PM as A Mum's Life

Even though your home is your child’s sanctuary and a place where they should always feel safe and secure, the truth is that there are many elements throughout your house that can actually cause quite a bit of harm to a child, especially a young child who does not yet understand boundaries. Radiators and certain pieces of furniture, in particular, can be particularly dangerous, but there are steps that you can take to protect your young son or daughter.

To get started, check out the tips below to childproof all of your furniture and radiators with ease.

Stylishly Childproofing Radiators Made Easy

Regardless what types of radiators you have throughout your house, including MHS Range radiators, there are steps that you can take to easily make them childproof and safe.

To start, you can purchase a radiator cover to suit every exposed radiator throughout your home. Or, if you are really handy and you are the type of person who is not afraid of taking on DIY projects, you can find instructions on how to make one yourself. There are even padded radiator covers available specifically to protect children from getting burned, and these are available in a range of colours to match your design scheme.

In addition to teaching your child that touching the radiator will cause them harm, these covers will be stylish and give you the peace of mind of knowing that, even if your child accidentally touches the radiator at any point in time, they will not be harmed.

Add Cushions to the Sharp Corners of Your Furniture

The corners of furniture can do quite a bit of damage if your little toddler or young child accidentally bumps or falls into them, especially as they are learning how to walk. Therefore, it is really important to purchase some affordable corner cushions and simply apply them to all of the sharp corners that you find throughout your house.

Consider Replacing Glass Furniture, At Least Temporarily

Another thing you may want to consider is replacing your glass furniture, such as your glass top coffee table in your living room, until your child is old enough. If your toddler accidentally falls into the table and it shatters, it could cause a great deal of harm, so replace glass furniture with wooden furniture until your child is old enough to be stable on their feet and listen to directions regarding how to play around the house. You can always bring back your glass furniture after keeping it stored in your basement, attic, or garage, or even at a storage facility.

Apply Foam Bumpers to Furniture

In addition to putting cushions on the corners of your furniture, there are also long foam bumpers that you can apply to the sides of desks, shelves, tables, and more. They measure up to 40 cm in length and are soft to the touch, so you can apply a protective layer to more than just sharp corners on tables.

With the tips above, you can successfully childproof your furniture and your radiators with greater ease and ensure your young child’s safety at all times.

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APR 15

A bath is not just a tool where you bathe – it’s an amenity that speaks of relaxation, better living, and yes, luxury. Baths don’t always come cheap, so they should be considered an investment, a conscious choice to upgrade your lifestyle. Taking your limitations of space and budget into account, it’s not always easy to choose the right bath for your needs and requirements; a lot will also depend on who, and how often, will make use of it. Here is a look at the most popular types of baths – and how to choose one according to your requirements.

The recessed or alcove bath

It’s the classic bath, the most commonly found. You’ll encounter this bath in most households because it is the most practical, space-wise. The bath is installed against the wall on at least two but often also on three sides. Whilst the typical design has remained pretty much the same over the years, some features have been added with up-scale models, and there have been some advancements regarding material as well.

The corner bath

As the name suggests, this bath is placed in a corner and can also save a lot of space; since you’re in a corner, the bathtub leaves a lot of space for moving around in the centre of the room. However, make no mistake: there are very spacious corner baths to be found – some of them allowing two people to bathe at the same time. These larger versions actually have five sides instead of three.

The freestanding bath

The eye-catching centre of the bathroom: the freestanding bath is often placed in the middle of the room and is therefore the glorious centrepiece. It’s elegant, it screams luxury, and it often requires space, but it also gives the bather a wonderful feeling of spaciousness and breathing room. It may require some adjustments of existing plumbing and electrical outlets.

The whirlpool bath

Now there’s a luxury – this type of bath tub requires both space and budget, but soothes the bather with water and air jets to promote health of both mind and body.

Selecting the one that is right for you can be daunting; there are, of course, many kinds of baths out there, from freestanding baths to corner baths, whirlpool baths, and more, each with their own range of models and types. However, by taking some practical steps, it becomes much easier to choose: understand the space limitations of your bathroom, set a fixed budget, and consider the amount of time that will be spent soaking by you and your loved ones before a final decision is made. Baths are, after all, an investment and an upgrade and the choice should be made carefully.

Image attributed to arztsamui/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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 Five Great Benefits of Living in a Well Managed HOA with Children 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on April 07, 2016 3:13 PM as A Mum's Life

If you’re on the hunt for a new home, you should consider purchasing one that’s managed with an HOA, especially if you have children. These homes tend to have higher value, and the HOA helps keep that value up over time as well. But in addition to protecting your home’s value, there are several other benefits to living in a home with an HOA. Check out five of those benefits below.

1.      Community Amenities

One of the great things about living in a community with other homeowners with families is the fact that you all get to share a variety of community amenities. Oftentimes, an HOA will maintain gorgeous walking trails, volleyball and basketball courts, pools, and much more so that you and your family can always have access to fun things to do both indoors and outside.

2.      Well Maintained Grounds

When you own a home that isn’t managed by a great HOA like communityassociationmanagement.com, you’ll need to do all of the maintenance tasks yourself. But when you do live within an HOA maintained community, you can rest assured that you won’t have to lift a finger when it comes to maintaining the beauty of the outdoor grounds, from the landscaping to the outdoor pool and everything in between, such as snow removal and lawn care. This also means that your kids will be able to have clean, safe areas to play, and you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of homes that are properly maintained and gardens that are thriving.

3.      An Extra Bit of Security

If you and your family live in a home that’s managed by an HOA that provides a gated community with security, you’ll feel even safer from intruders and crime. This is great for people who have kids because it gives you the peace of mind that someone is always there making sure that people who shouldn’t be in your gated community won’t be allowed in. Plus, there’s usually a neighborhood watch group keeping an eye out for problems.

4.      A Close Community of Neighbors

Another really great reason to live in a well managed HOA with children is the fact that these communities are often pretty tight-knit and friendly. Neighbors are often happy to get to know one another and help each other, and there will also be plenty of other families with young children so your kids can make friends. You can even expect that neighbors will get together to plan fun events like outdoor barbecues, movie nights, and other activities that can provide fun and entertainment for residents of all ages.

5.      Improvements Made Regularly

In order to maintain the value of your community and your property, an HOA will put money forth consistently in order to make improvements and repairs wherever necessary. This means that you can enjoy a high value for your property for years to come.

Even though you may need to pay an extra fee to live in a community that’s managed by a great HOA, you’ll definitely reap many benefits that will make the cost worthwhile.

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MAR 23

 Still stressed when abroad? Vitality offers some useful advice 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on March 23, 2016 12:00 AM as A Mum's Life

Taking a holiday is a great way to relax and get away from the stresses of the workplace. In fact, our own Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey shows that almost three quarters (73%) of Britain’s workforce suffer from at least one dimension of work-related stress. Time pressure at work, inability to lead a healthy work-life balance and working over 40 hour weeks were the main causes of stress in the workplace.


Despite holidays being a remedy for this stress, many find it difficult to switch off from their everyday lives when they’re abroad, and often come back from their holidays more stressed and flustered than when they left. If you’re guilty of this, try to adhere to these top tips from Andy Magill, Vitality’s Corporate Wellness Coach to help you successfully de-stress whilst on holiday.


1) Switch off…literally. Constant connectivity to mobile devices has become one of the typical attributes of the modern day office environment, and many find themselves checking e-mails even when lying on the beach. One of the best possible ways to de-stress when on holiday is to turn off your work mobile, switch your mind off completely from what is going on back home, relax and enjoy the warm weather.


2) Lie in. One of the delights of going on holiday is the luxury of not having to turn over bleary eyed at 7:00am every morning to turn off your alarm. Catching up on much needed sleep is up there as one of the best remedies for combatting stress and relaxing whilst you’re off. In fact, getting in good sleeping habits when you’re away can help you to be more productive when you’re home. Our Britain’s Healthiest Workplace research showed those who slept for six hours or less a night were notably less productive than those who got seven or eight hours sleep


3) Walk. A holiday presents the perfect opportunity to dodge the monotony of stuffy public transport and to shake off the lethargy of the Monday-Friday 9-5 grind. A great way to take in the sights and catch the tourist hotspots is to put on your walking shoes on and stroll around as much as possible. Not only does this small amount of physical activity do wonders for your health through reducing your stress levels and increasing your step count, but you never know what secret spot you may stumble upon that you would have otherwise missed if you were on a bus! 


4) Eat well. Many see a holiday as an opportunity to get out of the routine of eating the same old lunchtime sarnies, however it’s important that you don’t find yourself over-indulging when abroad. Rather, you should see a holiday as an opportunity to try something different that you could introduce into your diet back home. For instance, many studies cite a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, beans, legumes and fish as a sure fire way to lead a healthier, and consequently happier, life.


5) Swim. If you’re lucky enough to have a swimming pool near you at home then you’ll know the benefits that swimming has on your stress levels. If you’re in a resort or area you’re near a pool or the sea then why not take the time to go for a morning swim? It’s a great way to de-stress and relax for the rest of the day. Swimming is great as water is 12 times as dense as air so it’s a far more effective way of toning your muscles than any other form of cardiovascular exercise that you can do on land.  It can be very relaxing when done at a slow pace, and can help you unwind after a hectic year in the office. 

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MAR 11

According to The Guardian a loft conversion is the best way to add value to a property  and, as house value rises continue to stumble along, it is increasingly important to improve your property if you want your main asset to increase in value. It is not all plain sailing though, and creating a budget to see if it is worthwhile for you is important; especially as so many people are now overseeing their own projects (thanks to DIY home improvement programmes and internet planning). Here  we will look at a few of the cost it is vital that you should not ignore or forget  in your loft conversion budget.


You may feel it is possible to download plans off the internet, or leave your design needs to your builder, but the truth is that this would be folly for a project that could be costing you tens of thousands of pounds. Budget for an architect and make sure your build starts off on the right footing and follows the local regulations.

Building surveyor/engineer

This is a vital expense, and one you would be foolhardy to ignore. You will be adding some considerable weight to your property and you need to know if the foundations will be able to handle the extra load and whether the stresses and stains are going to start cracking your walls. If you do not want to be fire-fighting build disasters, then you need to budget for this.


Perhaps you feel you can handle some of the building work yourself, but make sure that the vital areas are covered by the proper tradesmen. Plumbing and electricity are certainly something you will want professional help with, but other areas such as roofing and maybe even steel fixing will need to be budgeted for too. These are obvious costs, but you will be grateful for the professional input on material costs as well.


The strength of steel  and the ease with which it can now be built for any purpose, and installed, makes steel the perfect choice for your conversion; but make sure you get the all inclusive costs. It is not simply the cost of the steel itself that you need to consider as you may need it specifically designed, manufactured, delivered, and hoisted into position, so find a supplier that will do all of this for you.  Click here to find a supplier that will give you the complete service


There are many reasons you need scaffolding for your project , and these include the safety of workers, the support of your building, and the cleanliness of your property; so don’t forget to add it to your budget plan.  Most builders will supply their own scaffolding, but check they are certified to erect it, or you could be facing health and safety issues,  and they should also know if you are going to need a license to erect the scaffolding before the build begins.

If you remember these costs for your budget, the more obvious costs  will generally fall into place beside them. However, if you simply make a list of the materials and hourly rates, you will forget a lot of the outlay you will need to finance. Things like transportation of heavy materials and hoisting need to be considered, as do the skills required around building suitability and regulations. Forget these and you could be doubling your build costs.

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Leading autism charity Anna Kennedy Online, which is based in West London has launched their International Women's Day video showcasing five inspiring mums living with autism.

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FEB 24

 Make Your House Your Home! 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on February 24, 2016 2:07 PM as A Mum's Life

1. Give Your Home Some Love: We lead such busy lives these days so finding the time to be at home to cherish it and find ways to improve it, means we need to spend more time in the haven. 

2. Use Your Home: You are now at home. That's what we discussed above right? Are your sitting watching TV, or in bed reading? In this modern life we lead, we see the easy way out to relax and switch off, the auo-pilot kicks in and the TV turns on. Force yourself to break that routine and cook, paint, sew, listen to music, decorate, laugh at the table, awaken your senses to how you'd like your space to function or embrace your hobbies and habits. Otherwise the house that we've filled because void of all the things we put in it.

3. Calming: Homes are places where we go to relax, be with family and friends, to laugh, cherish and reminisce about memories. So make it a calming place where wonderful thoughts can be created and we speak of gratitude and kindness everyday.

4. Music is Harmony: Make sure you have a CD, radio, vinyl player, cassette, ipod whatever it may be at the ready to fill your house with epic tunes to feel the good mood vibes. Music makes the heart sing and dance!

5. No Worries With Entertaining: Our home always never seems to be finished or quite where we want it. So when family and friends are over, spend less time apologising about things that aren't finished or working within the home. And spend more time enjoying your home as it is now and accommodating your friends and family that are here to see you! Life is short, love matters more.

Via http://www.lillyloray.com/

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FEB 24

 Just in time for spring | Home Improvement Guide 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on February 24, 2016 12:13 AM as A Mum's Life

Click on the image below to view the guide provided by Sainsbury’s Bank blog, Money Matters.

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FEB 14

 Travel Essentials Guide 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on February 14, 2016 12:00 AM as A Mum's Life



Have you ever stared at your empty backpack, with the contents of your bedroom strewn around you like a crazy person had just rocked up, pushed your door down and rifled through the contents of your wardrobe?

Get ready to say goodbye to packing stress, and say hello to a featherweight backpack, full of stuff you actually need.




Don’t be that person who returns to the dorm room late at night and switches the main lights on; use a torch to make… your… way… quietly. I recommend the humble head torch. As well as being helpful when crossing Dormland, it’s also good for trekking and exploring any caves.



They may seem a bit "middle-aged woman with a handbag”, but trust me — when you’re travelling, wet wipes are a gift from the travel Gods. Use them to clean up scrapes and scratches, mop dust of your flip flops, wipe the sweat off your face (nice), freshen-up if you can’t have a shower (double nice)… the list goes on! As Facebooker Ellie says, they are "the duct tape of toiletries”. Speaking of duct tape…



Use it to patch up any tears in your backpack! Secure your mosquito net with it! Tape that annoying person in your dorm room’s mouth shut with it! OK, don’t do the last one, but the point I’m trying to make is: duct tape is really very useful. Take some with you. Thank you.



Not only will your memories be preserved forever, you know you’re just dying to be that person on Facebook who makes everyone jealous with their travel pics. Why not go one step further and make strangers jealous by sharing your photos on Instagram?



Unfortunately, you can’t go travelling without having a bit of money. But instead of carrying loads of cash around with you, stick it on the STA Travel Cashcard. It works like a credit or debit card, but you pre-load your money on there, and there’ll be no getting into debt because you can only spend what you have. Genius! It can also be topped up by anyone (hi mum), anywhere, and you can also use it withdraw cash, so you don’t need to exchange currency.



You won’t get very far without your passport, but before you pack it, remember to check that it isn’t about to expire! Lots of countries — including backpacker havens Australia, Thailand and Malaysia — won’t let you in if your passport expires within 6 months of your arrival date. It’s also worth packing a photocopy of your passport, and other important docs.


Or if you’re feeling a bit 21st century, take Facebooker Meagan’s advice and "Email a copy of these to yourself so you always have them”. Great idea, Meagan! Remember to check whether you need a visa to get into the country you’re travelling to – our Travel Experts can help you out with one if you do need one.



No, not those kind of drugs – I’m talking about the medicinal kind! First up, we have paracetamol. Worth taking a stash with you, since your familiar brand is not always available abroad. Secondly, we have Tiger Balm. If you haven’t discovered this versatile ointment yet, now’s the time. As our Facebook fan Lauren says, it’s "amazing for headaches and insect bites”, and you can also slap some (gently) on your aching muscles. It’s widely available in Asia, so you can even pick some up on your travels. Thirdly, pack some diarrhea medication. It’s likely that you will eat something… that, err… gotta go!



Our Facebook fan Maddie sums this one up: "Baby powder… can be used from stopping your bag from rubbing, to soothing your skin, to keeping your hair clean, to stopping your shoes from rubbing… the list is endless!” I don’t think I need to add anything to that, thanks Maddie!



Stay in contact with family and friends back home, as well as your new-found travel buddies. Get a global SIM card and save big bucks on international calls, texts and data use. Get coverage in 180 countries worldwide, free incoming calls in more than 70 countries and free Facebook notifications. Drop into store and grab one quick before you leave, or apply online. A global SIM is also a lifesaver (or at least a phone bill saver) when you want to contact friends you make on your travels about where to meet up with them later.



Whoever invented ear plugs has definitely spent their fair share of time sleeping in dorm rooms. These nuggets of genius are pretty much essential if you want a good night’s sleep in a hostel. They’re also handy for sleeper trains and buses.



No one likes to itch, and no one likes to be covered in bright red splotches. Even if you’re one of those really annoying people who never seems to get bitten (I hate you), it’s worth spraying on some mossie repellent and investing in a net, particularly in Malaria zones.



I guarantee that despite your good intentions to start a blog, by the time you get round to typing it up, you’ll have forgotten loads. Nothing beats lying on an isolated beach with a notebook in your hand, writing about your latest travel adventures and capturing how you’re feeling. As our Facebook fan Lisa says, "It would be a shame if all those amazing things will be forgotten… and you can’t capture every experience in pictures or remember every detail forever. so I write them down!”. Thanks Lisa!



OK it’s boring, and yes, I sound like your mum, but it’s so, so important — not least because you can’t get it once you’ve left! Don’t let getting your iPod nicked or having to fork out for medical treatment ruin your trip. You can buy insurance from only 37p day – especially designed with the young and adventurous traveller in mind. Get covered for over 100 adventure sports and adrenalin activities free of charge — just don’t tell your mum!



Or a similar smartphone with music-listening capabilities. Travelling without music on long bus journeys is no fun; plus, the songs you listen to will forever remind you of your travels – *wistful sigh*. Plus, you can use your smartphone to access wifi (technology these days, eh?) Take our Facebooker Amy’s advice: "Google maps was invaluable whilst I was away. Before moving to a new town I would load the map area so when I arrived I could never get too lost! Especially useful when arriving somewhere late at night.” Just remember to turn data roaming off, or risk being landed with a massive phone bill.



Take a couple of padlocks. They’ll keep your backpack secure, and you can also use them on lockers in some hostels.



Stick some loo roll in your bag, particularly if you’re travelling around Latin America or Asia, where the public toilets may be notably void of hallowed roll. On a toilet-related note; start practising your crouching skills, as the public loos will probably be lacking in seats – squat toilets, anyone? You’ll soon get used to them.



No, not the woolly winter kind; I’m talking about a nice big lightweight scarf – we ladies call them pashminas. Gents, why not try a keffiyeh, or a less-politically-controversial-but-still-manly equivalent. Not only will a scarf keep you warm if the evenings get chilly, it can also double up as a beach blanket, and protect you against subzero air conditioning on a bus or train journey.



Make sure you’ve got your visas fixed up, or you’ll be waiting a long, long, long time at the border. If you have fewer than five days to go, no drama, that’s just about time to visit your local store and submit a fast-track visa service, for any entrance visas!


Via STA Travel

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JAN 12

 The Secret To Aging Like A French Woman 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on January 12, 2016 9:53 AM as A Mum's Life

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by people who thrive later in life. Hearing about senior citizens running races, climbing mountains, or embarking on their first round-the-world trip makes my day every time.

Since moving to France almost two decades ago, I’ve been surrounded by healthy, vibrant men and women beyond retirement age. I meet them regularly, either because of our similar lifestyle choices, or because I’m on the lookout for them, and I always try (without being too pushy) to get details on how they live their day-to-day.

One thing that I’ve learned about the French lifestyle is that it’s not only how you live when you’re older that makes the difference; It’s the choices you make throughout your life. Aging well comes from living well. The French, in general, grow up with healthy habits (I’ve chronicled children’s eating here and here for example) that carry into adulthood. But experts and research have shown over and over again, it’s never too late to get healthy.

Regardless of age, we can all learn from the thriving grandmeres and grandperes of France, so I’ve collected a few of the most impactful differences into this list. If you want to study of the topic further, I suggest a trip to France. From the streets of Paris and Lyon to the mountains of the Alps and the beaches of the Mediterranean, you’ll see the difference in how people live — and have the chance to immerse yourself in it. And, after all, what better way is there to learn?

Movement is a way of life.

From birth to old age, the French are active. People of all ages are regularly hiking, swimming, skiing, walking, cycling, just moving. They might be playing sports, running errands, gardening, or cycling to the office. Movement permeates every area of life. It isn't just a scheduled activity.

They never stop having fun.

The French celebrate family in many ways — one of these is including the older generation in everything they do. It’s not uncommon for grandparents to be invited to the younger generation’s celebrations (maybe they’ll leave a bit early, maybe they’ll be the last off the dance floor!). The perception that older people can’t or wouldn’t want to participate in the fun just doesn’t exist.

Food is just food.

It’s no secret the French are simultaneously obsessed and unobsessed with food. They expect delicious, fresh food to be part of their day-to-day lives, and they would never deprive themselves of things they love. It’s about unprocessed, real food in moderation.

They live by the pleasure principle.

Enjoyment is the guiding tenet for how the French live. They indulge in chocolate, sex, getting pampered — and they don’t feel guilty about it. They do what makes their bodies feel good, and they don’t apologize for it.

They roll with the punches.

When tragedy or pain strikes, the French see it as another part of life. Idealism is not indulged in France. The French take challenges in stride.

Self-acceptance is the default.

Americans have a self-imposed compulsion to pursue an unrealistic ideal of perfection. The French don’t. As a result, they tend to be much more confident. A slightly crooked nose, crow’s feet, wider hips, wrinkles: They accept what they have and make the most of it.

Nowhere is this more evident than on the beaches all over the country. Skin may be more wrinkled and less toned, but men and women of all ages bare their bodies in skimpy bathing suits, totally unconcerned about their imperfections. They save their energy for things they can actually achieve.

They don’t understand the concept of "letting oneself go."

Seniors in France don’t neglect themselves. They aren’t gaining weight, dismissing fashion, or forgoing cosmetic maintenance.

What we call "discipline,” they call "habit."

Things that would require a lot of willpower for most Americans are habits that have been ingrained in the French their whole lives. Think not eating between meals, exercising regularly, not cleaning your plate.

They have great boundaries.

The French have no problem saying no to dessert or a second serving (unless they really want it), to some crazy exercise (unless they really want to try it), to anything that feels wrong. Although it might come across as borderline rude to some, they're just focused on enjoying themselves. And, if what’s on offer isn't pleasure, it’s a definite "non."

There’s no age limit for sex, or sexiness.

France is not youth-obsessed. Sure, you’ll see obvious examples of cosmetic surgery, but some of the country’s most celebrated sex symbols today are natural beauties over 40 — many in their 50s, 60s, and beyond. Older French women have no problem with sexy skirts, heels, and cleavage, if that’s their style. Seduction and flirtation are game at all ages, and that keeps the French on their toes when it comes to vitality, well-being, and fitness.

They’re lifelong learners.

It's typical for the French to embark on a new sport or activity after retirement: Cycling, swimming, triathlons(!), art school, yoga, cross-country skiing, Zumba, dancing, a new language. It’s almost a given that the newly retired will pick up hobbies or activities.

They keep it together for the (grand)kids.

The French have the "it takes a village” approach to raising kids, so grandparents are expected to help out. Whether they live locally or not, they're often spotted during school holidays (In France, there are eight weeks of school holidays throughout the year — and that’s before the summer break!) toting kids to activities, playing with them at the park, or even taking them on holiday without the parents. So, the grandparents have to stay active and on their toes.

They do exactly what they want exactly when they want — without going overboard.

The concept of moderation is France's greatest ally in sustaining a high quality of life over time. The French never say no to what they enjoy — whether it’s alcohol, sugar, full-fat cheese, or anything else deemed forbidden in other places. They say yes to what they want, but in small quantities, and on special occasions. Even when it comes to fitness, they’re neither Olympic wannabes nor couch potatoes. They move enough, often enough, but never too much.


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 10 Questions You Must Ask If You're Serious About Self-Love 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on January 07, 2016 1:20 PM as A Mum's Life

How much do you truly love yourself — deeply, wholly, authentically, and beyond the superficial, ego-based definition? 

The reason this question is fundamental (and perhaps the most important question you can ask) is without knowing the answer, you may live unconsciously from moment to moment. You just go through the motions without being able to awaken to the deeper significance of your choices. You fail to see and feel the energy you are broadcasting out to the world and what you are inviting into your life as a result.

This is your life, it is your signature creation. It is your duty to live true to yourself, with integrity; and authentically communicate your message to the world.

Your life's mission is not to make a few million dollars (though that may be an achievable goal). I believe that our life's mission is to love ourselves — to learn to love what we are. We are here to create what we love, and love what we create.

Your life is about expanding your awareness — expanding your vision of yourself and your life. You continue to expand until you become the greatest possible vision of who you are, and who you wish to be in your incarnated human form. Without loving yourself, how can you hope to achieve? Nothing will ever truly satisfy you. And then you will live a life of perpetually seeking, searching, yearning ...

Without giving love to yourself first, how will you be able to give love to others? Feeding and nourishing yourself will automatically feed and nourish others if you set this as your intention. This creates unimaginable possibilities, allowing creation from a sound foundation. 

Here are 10 questions you can ask yourself to develop a practice of self-love:

1. Do you love yourself enough to forgive yourself?

2. Do you love yourself enough to forgive others?

3. Do you love yourself enough to nourish your body with life-affirming nutrient-rich food (the way nature intended), or do you feed yourself processed non-foods like sugar, white bread, etc.?

4. Do you love yourself enough to exercise your body, stretch it, build your physical resilience and strength, and continue to improve your body's conditioning?

5. Do you love yourself enough to feed your soul with whatever your heart intends?

6. Do you love yourself enough to live in the moment — to forget the past and not worry so much about the future — to be truly present to the opportunity within each and every moment?

7. Do you love yourself enough to commit to your decisions — to take action that serves your spirit with all your heart? If you want to truly go somewhere, you'll only get halfway when only half of your heart is in it.

8. Do you love yourself enough to consistently expand your mind, by learning new things, and continually growing your expertise about life? With more knowledge about life, you'll have greater awareness and ability to deal with any event.

9. Do you love yourself enough to have fun, allow your soul to be joyful, do the things you love doing, to release stress, relax your mind-body-soul, take the time to rejuvenate and re-energize?

10. Do you love yourself enough to rest sufficiently — to sleep enough?

Now more than ever, we need to ask ourselves who we want to be in an age of possibility.

We need to examine our foundations — the very fabric of our being — and our position in this world.

Always look within for the answers for which you seek. If you build healthy, well-balanced self-love, self-respect and self-appreciation within, your foundation is in place to build the very same things in your external world.

Loving yourself is the foundation for living a fully self-actualized life.


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 A Mini-Guide To Setting Intentions For 2016 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on January 07, 2016 1:14 PM as A Mum's Life

As a mother, I sometimes feel as though the world of personal focus is closed to me and that women without children have all the time in the world to focus on themselves. 

In spite of — perhaps because of — this, I need to be intentional about the way I spend my time. Lamenting your lack of time is a dead-end thought. It doesn't open up any new possibilities.

As a parent with little time to myself, I need to fill my time with things that mean something to me.

Having a primary intention for creating discrete blocks of time is essential. It’s not possible to do everything. Accept that. And focus on the one or two things you can devote yourself to fully.

You can choose an area of your life to work on — mind, body, spirit, work — or you may choose to pick one very important thing in one of these areas to focus on for a specified time.

Here's how to choose your primary intention and get the support that will help you make it happen.

Start by writing or recording a voice note in which you list all your potential intentions. Aim for 10 to 15 options (some of you may have even more).

Review your list and for every option, ask yourself:

  • Would I enjoy the process and not just the end result?
  • Once I get there, having reached my goal, what do I expect to feel?
  • Who do I think this is going to impress?
  • How do I feel in my body when I look at or envision this primary intention?
  • What feels most important now?

After answering these questions, you may have found a clear choice. If there are a few that you’re still having trouble trying to decide between, ask yourself which one you’re most excited about. Pick that one.

Then, find support.

Often, we seek support only when we’re having trouble with something instead of when we've just set an intention to do something new and positive.

But talking about your primary intention and asking others for support strengthens your relationships, shifts you away from a tendency to self-shame or blame if things aren't going well, and increases the likelihood that your primary intention will come to fruition.

Think about two people who could help support you in pursuing your primary intention this year.

Identify how each person could support you (e.g., a monthly café date to check your progress, phone calls to stay in touch, regular feedback, going to exercise classes together). Now, ask these people to do those things.

Setting a primary intention, just for me, feels so nourishing.

As the year progresses, when my resolve wanes or I start to hear the voice in my head telling me I’m selfish, here’s what I remember and tell myself: Making progress toward my goals helps me be a better partner and mother because I feel better about myself.

In the comments, tell me: What is your primary intention for 2016? How will you get support?


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DEC 24

 The Christmas Guide To Keeping The Whole Family Entertained This Festive Season 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on December 24, 2015 12:08 AM as A Mum's Life

Christmas is an amazing time of year because it is the time of year where the whole family comes together and bonds. How many other times of the year do you take to spend with your family like you do at Christmas? The only downside is trying to keep everyone active and entertained. Families have very different interests, so doing activities that everyone likes is not going to be easy. In fact, it might seem impossible at the minute. Don’t worry, though, because there are a few tricks that will keep the whole family occupied up until the big day.


Go Shopping

What?! Okay, shopping is stressful enough without involving the whole family, but there is something for everyone. For example, there might be fairgrounds rides that the kids can go on, or there might be food stalls where they can go and have a bite to eat. While they are running around sampling all of the festive delights with your other half, you can crack on and buy all the presents. By the end of the day, everyone will be happy and content all because you went Christmas shopping as a family.

Involve Everyone In The Cooking Process

The Christmas cooking process should be a team effort. For starters, there is too much for one person to do alone. Even if you prefer to do it yourself, you cannot deny that you would like a spot of help from time to time. And, the best thing is, the kids will love the experience. Cooking is a great way to spend time with the family as it is interesting and interactive. The team wants the food to come out of the oven looking great, and they will try their hardest as a result. This Christmas, why not involve Santa’s little helpers to simplify the cooking process for once?

Book A Vacation

The festive period is too much for some people. Are you one of those people? Did you swear last year that you would never put yourself through the ordeal again? If you did, it is time to get away from it all and spend Christmas together as a family in a faraway land. A Christmas vacation is perfect for all the family because the kids get the experience, and you get the rest that you crave. Plus, if you book in advance, holidays at yuletide time are cheap as not many people like to leave home over the festive period. Honestly, they don’t know what they are missing!

Just Relax

Instead of trying to keep everyone occupied and entertained, let them do what they want. That doesn’t mean that you should let everyone run around like mad men – that wouldn’t be a good idea! But, it does mean you can leave the family to their devices and take your well needed ‘me time’. Then, the world, or your home, is your oyster. You can sit back with a good book, or unwind with a glass of wine in front of the TV.

When the house is quiet, don’t disturb the peace. Enjoy the quiet time because it may be the last you get this Christmas.  

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NOV 23


posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on November 23, 2015 9:33 AM as A Mum's Life

The year is quickly winding down and before we know it, we will be getting endless reminders that the New Year is here and we’ll be deep into 2016. However, we still have 7 weeks left of 2015.

That’s a good chunk of time to really make the final weeks count. It’s easy to write off the remainder of the year because of the holidays (and the endless parties and obligations that come with that), or because it’s cold and you’d rather snuggle up on the couch with a good book or your honey, or because you finally can slap on your dusty skis and hit the slopes.

What can you do in 7 weeks?

A lot!




This time of year is often about giving and spending time with others. It is a wonderful time of year but don’t forget to spend some quality time alone to recharge.  If your plans are anything like ours, 2016 is going to be a busy year so take a day off just for yourself.


Is there an item on your  to-do list that has been lingering for weeks or even months?  This is the perfect time to finally take care of it.  Don’t let it follow you into the New Year.


Don’t wait until February to do your bookkeeping for 2015.  Make sure you finish up all your bookkeeping before the ball drops on NYE.  There is nothing worse than diving into the New Year with so much enthusiasm to find yourself deflated by spending hours (or even days) on last year’s bookkeeping.


What worked this year? What didn’t go quite so well? This is a great time to go back and review the whole year – month-by-month, project-by-project. We often look forward without truly reflecting on what worked and didn’t work in the past. Did a project you really believed in not turn a profit? Did you spend a lot of time creating and not much time marketing? Whatever it may be take note and include it in your plans for 2016.


As ambitious business owners, we often have our eyes fixed on the road ahead. We have our plans, our to-do lists, our vision boards. We often forget to take a moment and celebrate the wins of the last year.  It’s important to recognize all the work you’ve done thus far and how far you’ve already come in your business.  Buy yourself some gorgeous flowers, pop open a bottle of champagne with a friend, or go for a luxuriously slow hike atop a beautiful mountain. However you like to celebrate – make sure you take some time to do so.


What tasks, projects, or obligations can you ditch next year.  Let’s face it we are both the CEO and worker bee and often the bee’s job overtakes the big thinking, strategic and creative role of the CEO.  In reflecting on the year, did you spend entirely too much time on admin tasks at the expense of things that truly push your business forward?  Is there a way to automate some of the tasks and get them off your plate? Can you hire an intern next year to do some social media? Is it time to hire a bookkeeper who helps out once a month or once a quarter?


Let’s take a look at what your plans were this time last year.  Were there any projects or ideas that were planned but you didn’t get to this year?  Why?  Did your priorities or direction changed? Did you scrap the project because of time or resources? Were you scared?  Also, go through your notebooks, calendars, Evernote – wherever you keep your notes and review some of the ideas you jotted down.  There might be some gems to include for next year.

Let’s start the New Year not only excited about everything you plan to accomplish but also having reflected on the past year. It’s easy to plan for the following year without taking a good look at the present year.  Make sure you wrap up 2015 with intention so that your 2016 will start with a bang!

Via LearnSavvy

Share how you’ll wrap up the year below!

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OCT 21

 3 Traits of Anyone Who Ever Made their Mark on the World 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on October 21, 2015 9:33 AM as A Mum's Life

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1) The Asker (Courage)

Every successful person has to start by being an asker.

Askers put themselves forward for the job, they pick up the phone and push for that interview, they seek out mentors and ask for their advice, they ask others for opportunities. Put simply, askers NEVER
wait for permission.

A successful journalist never waits for permission to write a story, she writes it first and then sells it to the editor. A successful salesman doesn't wait for someone to approach him asking about a
product. A successful writer doesn't wait to be offered work.

Most people in life fail in these endeavours because they never have the courage to put themselves forward and ASK.

2) The Decider (Determination)

Decision-making is becoming a more crucial skill than ever. In a world where we are faced with more choices than in any other time in human history, we can easily find ourselves crippled by the
seemingly infinite possibilities ahead of us.

That's why we have to train ourselves to be constant decision makers.

Successful people embody the trait of certainty. They don't brood and worry about what people will think of them, or how they can please everyone (both of which are sure-fire routes to indecision), nor do they sit in limbo because they have no idea what to do next. Make decision-making one of your most effective habits.

And remember the words of Tony Soprano - "A wrong decision is better than indecision".

3. The Finisher (Will)

Be able to finish what you start.

They say every great journey begins with a single step, but what they never tell you is to make sure that you see the journey through to the end!

We are all great at beginning tasks; we can all start a fitness regime, or write the first page of a business plan, or come up with ideas for countries we would like to travel to. But what separates out the
successful is the ability to see things through.

Most of us are bad finishers because we think everything has to be perfect first, but here's the secret: even finishing things only 75% correct is better than failing to finish and receiving 0%.

While everyone else sits on the sidelines - just by finishing things you put yourself in the top 1% of people who actually bother to follow-through (and who usually get all the results because of it!)

Ultimately, embodying the three dimensions of a successful person requires all three of George Sheehan's criteria, (a) courage, (b) determination, and (c) will. It takes courage to be The Asker, 

determination to be The Decider, and the sheer force of will to be The Finisher. 

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 Reasons Why You Might Hire a Family Law Solicitor 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on October 07, 2015 12:48 AM as A Mum's Life

It can be tricky to find the right sort of lawyer to help you through this. Legal guidance and advice are essential for helping you through the process. You also need to think about the different scenarios in which you might need to hire a family law solicitor. Here are some of the reasons you might bring a lawyer on board.


This might be the big one for families. If you feel like you have a divorce impending you’re going to want legal guidance. Divorce proceedings can be confusing and upsetting for all concerned. So you need to make sure you have some sort of legal guidance when you’re facing this issue. A family law solicitor will be able to meet with both parties and advise them about how the divorce process will go down. They can also offer suggestions to help improve the process as well.


Now, you might not be getting divorced, but you may still be getting a separation. This is often the first stage of the process, and there are a lot of unknown elements involved. Seeking legal counsel is a good way of putting you at ease and helping you feel better about things. You need someone to offer you compassionate and impartial advice. And that is why it’s so important to get a lawyer involved.

Family Planning

It’s not just depressing and negative situations in which you might need a lawyer though! Sometimes you might want to get some advice because you’re planning to start a family. And you might have questions or queries that you need to have answered. A family law attorney will be able to help you answer these questions and prepare you for parenthood.


There are other elements involved with family legal matters as well. If you and your partner separate or get divorced, you might need to consider the children. If you have kids, you’re going to need to sort out the custody process. This can be very traumatic and upsetting for the children. So you need to try to ensure that it is as civil and simple as possible, and that’s where family law solicitors can help you. They will be familiar with the process so they will know what to expect, and how you should proceed.


Finances will also be an issue when it comes to family law. You might find you’re a single mother who’s struggling to make ends meet. And you need to be sure you’re getting maintenance and child benefit payments from your ex. You can speak to a lawyer about any financial issues you might be facing. You’ve got to make sure that you and your children are financially protected following a split.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why you might need a family law solicitor. Legal issues relating to the family are always complicated and sensitive. So you need somebody who’s going to deal with them in the appropriate way. That’s why you need to make sure you hire a family law solicitor right away.

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SEP 15

 8 Quotes by Angelina Jolie That Will Make This Year Your New Beginning 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on September 15, 2015 4:16 PM as A Mum's Life

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We all have that big movie star that takes our breath away. Angelina Jolie has proved to be a star on and off the red carpet. Besides being a gifted actress who can be a fearless feisty female in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider or a tortured soul who makes us cry in Girl, Interrupted, Ms. Jolie is a woman in the fullest sense. Whether it be her humanitarian work, her filmmaking or her award-winning acting – we are constantly in awe of her.

But it’s not just what this bold woman has done that fascinates and inspires us.  It’s how she lives her life and her unashamed dedication to who she is, who she loves, and what she makes of her life. There are just a few of her quotes that have inspired a nation.

It’s never too late to make a new start. So as the summer leaves turn to crisp autumn foliage, let’s dare to live like Angelina.

#1 She’s not afraid to be herself

"If I make a fool of myself, who cares? I’m not frightened by anyone’s perception of me.”

#2 She finds beauty in imperfection

"I like someone who is a little crazy but coming from a good place. I think scars are sexy because it means you made a mistake that led to a mess.”

#3 She knows that you can learn from hardship.

"Without pain, there would be no suffering. Without suffering, we would never learn from our mistakes. To make it right, pain and suffering is the key to all windows, without it, there is no way of life.”

#4 She knows the importance of following your dreams.

"If you ask people what they’ve always wanted to do, most people haven’t done it. That breaks my heart.”

#5 She knows you need to take risks to get rewards.

"You’d think, ‘What if I make a mistake today, I’ll regret it’. I don’t believe in regret, I feel everything leads us to where we are and we have to just jump forward, mean well, commit and just see what happens.”

#6 She lives for today

"The truth is I love being alive. And I love feeling free. So if I can’t have those things then I feel like a caged animal and I’d rather not be in a cage. I’d rather be dead. And it’s real simple. And I think it’s not that uncommon.”

#7 She knows that you need to stay true to yourself

"People say that you’re going the wrong way when it’s simply a way of your own.”

#8 She knows that giving is important, too!

"Save one-third, live on one-third, and give away one-third”

The biggest lesson we can learn from Angelina? We are beautiful, whoever, wherever, however, whenever we are. We only have one life, so let’s live it and be kind to one another! So let’s start off this year being who we are, living what we love, following our heart and loving our imperfections. Thanks, Angelina, you’ve inspired us all. 

Via CarrerGirlDaily Photo via USMagazine.

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 Downsizing? How To Make A Tough Move Easier 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on September 04, 2015 3:17 PM as A Mum's Life

Moving house with the kids in tow is never easy. Sometimes the reason for the move is the hardest thing to bear. Having to downsize your financial commitments often means we have to sell up and go somewhere cheaper. And when the kids are in a grump with you about it, the whole event can be heartbreaking.

Still, a fresh start brings new opportunities. When you are looking for apartments that might be suitable for you family, it can be a good idea to make a list. Write down what is absolutely essential for you all in the next five years. If your kids will be moving up schools, then picking an area with a good reputation for education is important.

The image was provided by Flickr.com

It could be that you need to be somewhere really close to work. Work commitments is often a reason for needing to move house. Highlight on a map which area is ideal. Then make sure your search is limited to that area. Next you need to decide how many bedrooms you need. Having a spare room is handy, but it can increase your monthly costs substantially.

Once you have a list of properties to view, take your checklist with you so you can confirm everything is there that you need. You might also want to make notes about the cost of taxes or maintenance fees for the property. Ask how much the utility bills are on average. Making a note of all the costs will help you plan your budget.

Budgeting for the property you decide on can be a challenge, but it isn’t impossible. You can tally up the rental or mortgage cost. Add taxes and service fees to the total. Now consider what the utilities will cost in your new place. If you have to install facilities like broadband, there will be extra costs to consider.

To work out your monthly budget, it can be best to use a template or spreadsheet. Your public transport or motoring costs may alter from before. If you have a garden to maintain, this could cost you more in water or service charges. Perhaps there is a boiler that will need an annual service?

The cost of moving can be quite high too. Not only do you need to pay for a removal company, but you might also need to cover the cost of two properties for a short time while you move. If the kids are moving school, you might have to pay for new uniforms. There might not be enough fitted closets at your new place, so you will have to buy more furniture.

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AUG 19

 These Simple Ideas Could Make Your Life A Lot Less Stressful 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on August 19, 2015 10:46 AM as A Mum's Life

As a busy mummy, my daily routine can be incredibly hectic. From taking care of the kids and keeping my house clean to ensuring that I get all the chores done, often I don’t have a spare minute in the day. I know that I am not the only mummy whose life is like this, all of us mums lead hectic lives.

Yes, we love our children more than anything else in the world and love being mummies, but sometimes, we all wish that we could have a break. Just once in a while, it would be nice to take a break from our hectic lives, wouldn’t you agree?

Image credit

Life might be hectic and stressful, but there are ways that we can make things easier for ourselves. Intrigued? Then make sure to keep reading below:

Be organised

One thing that you can do to make life less stressful for yourself is staying organised. Life might be hectic, but the more organised you are, the easier it will be to deal with. Simple things like investing in an organiser and a family calendar to stick on the fridge will make it easier for you to stay organised.

By having a plan in place of what you need to be doing - collecting kids, doing housework, getting groceries, etc., will make life much easier. The reason that us mums often feel stressed isn’t because we have lots to do, it’s because we don’t know when we are going to get everything done.

Get some help

Many of us mums are unsure about getting some help around the house. Sometimes this is because of money and sometimes because of our pride, we don’t like the idea of someone else helping us. But we shouldn’t feel like that, if we want life to be less stressful, we should be open to getting some help around the house.

Believe it or not, getting some help around the house doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, you can hire a housekeeper to help you out for a relatively low price, so money doesn’t have to be an issue. If you are struggling and could do with an extra pair of hands, don’t be embarrassed, at some point or another, we all need a little help.

Clean as you go

One thing that I find the most stressful as a mum is the cleaning. I find that if I don’t keep on top of everything, in a matter of a few hours, my house can resemble an explosion site - mess everywhere. That’s why I always try to clean as I go, as this makes it much simpler to keep on top of the mess.

Once I have made breakfast, for instance, I clean up the plates and wash up right away. Or, if the kids have a craft morning, as soon as they are finished, I clean up. Don’t make the mistake of leaving mess to build up, as you will end up with a large amount mess to deal with.

Us mums are under a lot of stress, especially with so much to do. It can be hard ensuring that we stay calm and in control, but it is doable. To make life a little less stressful, all you need to do is take note of my ideas.

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JUL 27

 Don't Stress! Check Out My Tips For Having A Relaxed Day 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on July 27, 2015 9:16 AM as A Mum's Life

There have been a few posts on my blog recently about stress and anxiety. I know I’m not alone in feeling it from time to time. The people around me, the people I know, and the people I don’t, all have to get through life despite the ups and downs. But when you’re starting to feel ill from stress, you know you have to stop everything and do something to address it.

I’ve been checking out some different ways to help you keep on top of your stress levels. Some take a little time, others are quick and simple. All of them should both help relieve your stress and help prevent stress coming back. Let’s face it, life’s going to keep coming at us, and we need to stay motivated to tackle it head on!

Go for a walk - This is the cheapest and easiest way to take a break from everything around you. If you’re about to have a row or you just can’t think straight, a good, brisk walk can clear the air and the cobwebs. Increasing your heart rate helps your body manage that extra adrenalin that comes with stress and anxiety too. Best of all, a change of scenery can really change your mood as well.

Thanks to Flickr for this image

Take deep breaths - If you can’t get away, then try slowing your breathing down. Use long inhalations and exhalations. Closing your eyes and counting your breaths can really help to calm you down. This is good if you’re feeling nervous, anxious or stressed. Focused breathing techniques are used in meditation and Yoga. If you find it works for you, why not take regular classes?

Thanks to Flickr for this image

Massage - Sometimes you deserve to be spoiled with a luxury spa massage. There are lots of different massages you can choose from. Some are healing, some are relaxing. Most of them will help relieve tension in your body that may have become painful or uncomfortable. You just lay down and let someone else work all that stress out of you. Bliss.

Thanks to Flickr for this image

Punch bag - Boxing a punching bag can really help channel that frustration! It’s also a good way to improve your strength, coordination and fitness. For the less physically ambitious, you could try a weighted inflatable one. Some of them come with funny character faces, so you might end up on the floor in fits of giggles. Of course laughing is one of the best remedies for stress!

Thanks to Flickr for this image

Hug it out - Physical contact like an embrace can help relieve stress and improve your emotional well-being. If you don’t have a husband to hand, then a cat is an excellent hug-buddy. Their fur is known to provide comfort when we humans touch it. A cat’s purr is also thought to have an effect on our brain waves to provide almost instant relaxation and calm. Purrfect.

Thanks to Flickr for this image

Feeling stressed can be really unpleasant. It’s important to address it as soon as you can so it doesn’t make you ill. Stress can affect every part of your life, and even cause you physical pain. Not nice! Make some time in your day for some relaxation.

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JUL 21

 Foodie Mums – How To Have Your Cake AND Eat It By Julie Waddell 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on July 21, 2015 5:34 PM as A Mum's Life

Being a mum is a complete nightmare, right?


Not the mum bit, obviously, that’s the best thing since sliced bread.


But in terms stress levels it’s right up there.


Social life.... what’s that? And as for your work-life balance and career prospects, well, let’s just say it’s tough to do 12 hours in the boardroom/nursing ward/school staff room or on the checkout when you’ve been up all night for weeks and your boss still expects you to perform as if you’ve just come back from a month in a luxury spa.


But what if there was a way to have your cake and eat it …… what if you could work with your passion day in day out, in the job of your dreams and still do the school run at both ends of the day? That would be awesome, but is it possible?


The answer to this is DEFINITELY. Often the only way to truly have the flexibility to fit your job around family commitments is to work for the best boss in the world, the one who understands your personal circumstances better than anyone else ever could. You.


Yes, you.


These are really exciting times for anyone with the passion and drive to start a business. It has been done, and it can be done. Lots of the brands that you see on shop shelves these days, have been created by women looking for a sense of freedom and fulfilment but at the same time wanting to be able to put their families first by getting out of the rat race.


Have you heard of Jo Malone, or The Satchel Company, Not On The High Street or Ultimo Bras?


And for foodies, going from the kitchen table to retail stardom is a well-trodden path. There are so many brands now that have been started by passionate foodies, rather than big corporates, that have really succeeded. Think of Higgidy Pies, Righteous Dressings, Annabel Karmel and Moorish Smoked Humous. All these brands are available nationally in Waitrose (and other retailers) and all were created by a Mum with the desire to turn their passion in to profit.


And by the way, you don’t have to be rich to start a business. You don’t need investors or Daddy’s cheque book. Boot-strapping is a very common way of starting out with nothing; creating a small profit, using that profit to put money back in to the business so you can grow it until it’s huge and paying you a salary you could only have dreamed about in your former life.


And before you go, I want to tell you that I know this from personal experience. One of the brands I mentioned is Moorish Smoked Humous, and that’s my brand. When I started the business in 2012 I was broke, exhausted and unable to find my true professional calling. But it all changed, almost overnight.


Being a passion foodie and family cook I invented smoked humous for my little boy one day to make healthy food taste amazing, it was so nice I made it for friends and family. They loved it so much I took it to my local deli who started selling it for me.  I took it to some more delis, and then some more. Not long after I started making it, I decided to contact Waitrose thinking it would take a year or two to get on the shelves. Six months later I was selling to Waitrose stores up and down the land!


So if I can do it, you can do it to. Being a mum doesn’t have to be a nightmare for your career prospects, it’s just about deciding to find work that works for you and your family. And…. if you can do that by turning your passion for great food in to a business then the great British public benefits too, as they get to eat it. Everyone’s a winner!




Julie Waddell is so keen to let you, the hard-working-mum-brigade, know that these opportunities are out there that she has launched the Little Food Academy where she delivers online courses that take you step-by-step from kitchen table to retail super star, from recipe to selling your product on shop shelves. Online courses mean you can access the content anytime, anywhere and keep the info as a permanent reference. The place to start is always the "Recipe To Retail” course, which gets you out on the shop shelves and earning around £1000 a month, and that can be done as well as the day job, as Julie did it, until you are ready to jump permanently into the world of self-employment! For more information contact Julie here; info@littlefoodacademy.co.uk.

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JUL 18

 These Simple Tips Made Cleaning A Lot Less Stressful 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on July 18, 2015 9:48 AM as A Mum's Life

As a busy mummy, I don’t always have much spare time, which makes things like keeping on top of things, like the cleaning, a little tricky. The problem is that I am a neat freak and like my house to be spotless, but I have very little time for cleaning.

I may not be able to clean as much as I would like, but I have managed to workout a few simple ways to make keeping on top of the housework easier. I may not have all the time in the world for cleaning, but thanks to these tips, I can keep on top of things much better than before.

In case you are also struggling to keep on top of the housework, I thought I would share my mummy-friendly cleaning tips with you:


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Clean when the kids are napping or out of the house

Don’t attempt to vacuum or wash the floors when the kids are in the house, it will only end in disaster. Trust me on this, young children and cleaning just don’t mix.

If you want to concentrate on a chore that takes longer than a couple of minutes, do it when the kids are asleep or out of the house. You will find it not only easier but also quicker and less stressful to clean when the kids are out of the house.

Top tip: When it comes to vacuuming, don’t do this when the kids are asleep. It might not seem loud to you, but you will end up waking up at least one of your little ones.

Don’t use chemicals

Whenever I used to clean using supermarket products, I always used to worry about how they would affect my kids. I know most products are meant to be safe once they have been used, but it didn’t stop me from worrying.

That’s why I chose to swap to using all natural, child-friendly products so that I knew 100 percent that my kids were safe. As well as swapping to using all natural detergent and cleaning products, I also invested in a steam mop.

Steam mops can be used to clean the entire house, from the floors to the windows, and all without the use of chemicals. The best thing about steam mops for me is how quickly and easily they clean; they’re amazing. Want your own steam mop - you can find out more about all the best steam mops online at Steammopreviews.co.uk.

Clean as you go

Don’t make the mistake of letting your house get into a big mess, make sure to clean up as you along. For instance, every time you make cakes with the kids or cook a meal in the kitchen, ensure that you clean up straight away.

Leaving the mess will only make things worse, as you will end up with loads of cleaning to do at one time. My main mummy cleaning rule is always to clean as I go, no matter what, I always try to stick to this.

Get the kids involved

How involved in the household chores you can get your kids will depend on how old they are. However, there are ways you can get children of all ages involved in helping around the house.

Children over seven can do easy chores each day, like putting their dirty clothes in the laundry basket or dusting. Younger children can help you by tidying up the toys that they play with, putting them back where they found them before going up to bed.

As a mum, time is limited, and so it can be a struggle to get things done. However, by following these simple tips, you can make keeping on top of the cleaning, easier for yourself.

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JUL 15

 How To Take Perfect Holiday Photos On Your Smartphone 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on July 15, 2015 12:00 AM as A Mum's Life

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If you're among the two thirds* of Brits who are expected to take at least some of their holiday snaps using a smartphone this summer, but don't just want blurry or overexposed photos to remind you of your holidays then read on. Jan-Ole Schmidt of WhiteWall, the online photo lab which supplies top photographic art galleries with breathtaking prints, has some top tips for better smartphone photography.

Jan-Ole explained: 'Holiday photography is all about capturing those fun, spontaneous moments, and because phones are so often within arm's reach, they are perfect for this. The tips below should give you all the know how you need to take some fantastic pictures that really capture the holiday spirit – but of course don't leave them on your phone, get them printed via a service like WhiteWall and display them around your home!'

1. Take a lot of photos

You can always choose the best shots later and of course the more photos you take, the more you can improve your photo.  

2. Get close

Avoid using the zoom when at all possible – the quality can deteriorate really quickly.

3. Clean your lens

Don't forget your camera lens will be dirty from everyday phone use, so give it a wipe before you take your photos.

4. Look at the light

As a general rule the light source should be behind the photographer, but don't be afraid to play around with different angles and camera positions to see what effects you can create.

5. Be creative

Experiment with different perspectives, reflections and light – don't worry too much about 'rules,' sometimes the most striking photos are also the most unexpected.

6. Stabilise

Hold your phone with two hands and as close to your body as possible – often blurry smartphone photos are due to movement, rather than lack of focus.

7. Don't be too flash-y

Smartphone flashes can be pretty harsh, leading to an unnatural, overexposed look and this is particularly true when photographing from a distance. Sometimes it's worth turning the flash off. Smartphone photo taken in the dark tend to be much lower quality, so it's better to shoot when there's plenty of light.    

8. Edit

If your photo isn't perfect, don't just delete it – most phones will let you crop photos or adjust contrast and lighting, or investigate one of the many free apps available.

9. Print it!

Don't leave the perfect photo lingering on your phone, get it printed and hang it on your wall. The resolution and quality is usually high enough to have a large print made, anything up to 120x90cm is generally fine.

10. Frame it!

Display and draw attention to your photo by framing it. You can use different materials that match or complement your interiors but also natural layers, such as window frames. These dramatically increase the depth of your image.


* Figure derived from research conducted by the Leadership Factor during June 2015. 66% of 2,427 people responded to the question 'What will you use to take photos on your holiday this year?' by saying they would take at least some of their holiday photos on their smartphone.


About WhiteWall

WhiteWall is a brand owned by Berlin-based Avenso GmbH, which has operated the photo lab as well as the WhiteWall.co.uk online service since 2007. Photography hobbyists and professionals around the world rely on WhiteWall's exceptional quality. With its LUMAS brand, Avenso GmbH has been democratising the art market for ten years through its hand-signed art editions by renowned artists from around the world. All of Avenso GmbH's photographic works and products are exclusively produced in, and shipped from, the WhiteWall photo lab in Frechen, Germany, just outside of Cologne.

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 How To Spot Signs From The Universe When Life Gives Them To You 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on July 09, 2015 10:49 AM as A Mum's Life

Have you ever known someone who seemed to have all of the solutions to her problems? To whom all of the right opportunities and "aha” moments just seemed to appear? These people are not "lucky” or "blessed,” and they don't have some special gene that the rest of us lack.

Consider that they might just be better at seeing answers when they present themselves … which means that you can, too.

On an average day, there is more information flying around you than you can possibly pay attention to: conversations, webpages, people walking down the street, emails, radio announcements, etc.

What sets the "magical" people apart is that their minds can filter through all of this information to find the tidbits that they need, whereas for the rest of us, answers just get lost in the noise. (It’s like how those TSA dogs in airports can sniff out contraband in people’s luggage, amid thousands of sights, smells, and sounds.)

For example, in a career coaching group that I am leading, a client of mine was struggling to find career ideas that excited her. When she sat down in front of her computer screen, she could only think of the same five options, none of which she liked, and she would feel hopeless.

Can you relate?

I gave her the assignment to find clues about her dream career by observing moments throughout her day when she felt excited or passionate about anything. It could be that she felt excited about a great sandwich she was having for lunch! I wanted her to train her brain to notice things that got her revved up, so that she could recognize career ideas that got her revved up.

And guess what? It worked! She began to realize that she liked creative jobs. And based on something that she heard one day, the idea of being a photographer popped into her mind. We took that as a starting point and dug deeper.

Before we knew it, she was head-over-heels excited about becoming a scientific illustrator. She is now busy investigating that career. Who knows if that will be where she ends up, but she never would have thought of it if she hadn’t trained her mind to go "fetch” things that piqued her interest.

Here is a four-step guide to train your brain to bring you the answers you seek:

1. Visualize what you want.

This is exactly how those TSA dogs are trained: the TSA agent first lets the dog have a nice long sniff of the contraband so it can know what it smells like. You have to do the same thing with your dreams. Write down what exactly you're looking for, whether it’s:

  • A job that I absolutely love, that uses all of my strengths and talents.
  • A partner who is ready and excited to commit to the journey of a lifetime with me.
  • A house in a neighborhood that fits me perfectly.

Give as much detail as you can.

2. Revisit your vision daily.

This is where most people get stuck. They write their vision and then put it in a drawer somewhere, instead of in their brains. Read your vision each morning, to prep your brain for what it needs to look for.

3. Get emotional about what you want.

I know you sometimes wish you would be less emotional about issues in your life. But the truth is that our brains are wired to respond strongly to things that we feel emotionally about.

So make sure that you feel the excitement and joy that would come with your vision coming true. Wouldn’t it feel amazing to have that job? That partner? That house? Let yourself get excited about it.

4. Reflect nightly on the clues you found.

My career group clients at first were frustrated by this step. "The only thing I got excited about today was leaving work, Samantha! How is that clue supposed to help me?”

But trust me folks, your mind will deliver. Let it get warmed up and you'll start to see a whole world unfold. You need to ask it to find you the clues, though, otherwise it won’t deliver.

This four-step process is simple, and probably somewhat obvious. The real power lies in actually doing it!

The answers to your deepest questions will start to surface, in the most bizarre and unpredictable of places: in a conversation you overhear on the subway, in a poster you see in the hallway. On one hand, it feels a bit like magic. On the other, it's simply your mind knowing what to look for.

What answers are you looking for in your life?

What steps will you take today to start training your brain to notice them? Write me a note and share!

By MindBodyGreen

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 Plan a Staycation 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on July 09, 2015 12:00 AM as A Mum's Life

To save money, many families are foregoing a family vacation and staying home. If your family is one of those families, you might be considering a "staycation," a vacation you spend at home. If so, be sure to have a plan so you can enjoy your staycation.  Here's how to plan for a great family vacation at home.

1.  Set some ground rules.

If you want a deviation from your normal routine, you might want to agree on what you can and can’t, will and won’t do while you’re "on vacation.”  For example, will the kids be able to go out and do things with their friends?  Will everyone be allowed to use cell phones?  Watch TV?  Get on the computer?  It doesn’t matter what your particular ground rules are. It’s just important that everyone agree before the staycation starts.

2.  Decide on an itinerary

When you go away for a vacation, you don’t just hop in the car and start driving or head to the airport to hop on any plane. You first decide where you’re going and then you plan what you’re going to do when you get there. In a similar way, you want to plan ahead of time what you’re going to do during the staycation. Otherwise, it could just turn into some extra days off from work with everything as usual. Whatever you plan, be sure to gather together everything you might need so you aren't spending staycation time preparing for your staycation!

3.  Try to make everyone happy

The key word here is "try.”  If you are planning on working on a family project, like putting on a play, for your staycation, then let the kids decide what role they’d like to take on. If you’re planning on a number of day trips, let each family member pick an activity (bowling, laser tag, the library, etc.).  To make your life easier, you might just offer the kids a list of options and let them pick something from your list. But be sure to put options on the list that you know they will enjoy doing!

4.  Prepare meals in advance

The last thing you want to do when you’re on vacation is cook. When you’re on vacation, you usually go out to eat, even if it means a couple of stops for fast food. Depending on what you’re staycation plans are and what you can afford, you can still get fast food once or twice and still go out to eat. If you go out to eat, try going to restaurants you’ve never been to before. If you want to save money and eat at home, prepare some of the meals before the staycation starts and freeze them. Keep it simple, though, so you aren’t spending too much time in the kitchen. You can even plan to let the kids cook one day – with supervision, of course!

By About Parenting

Ten Fun Staycation Ideas:

1. Attend a community theatre performance.

2. Have a board game marathon.

3. Set up a water park in your own yard with water games and a kiddie pool (or two).

4. Find a Drive-In movie theatre. Pack up the car with pillow, blankets, and lots of food.

5. Plan a bike tour of your neighborhood (add a scavenger hunt to make it extra fun).

6. Go geocaching

7. Be Jedi Knights and find a place to play laser tag.

8. Visit a pond and spend the day learning to fish.

9. Ride public transportation for an entire day (if you don’t usually).

10. Have an all day reading fest.

By A Year at the Yellow House

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 Create A Life You’re Proud To Live 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on July 08, 2015 10:25 AM as A Mum's Life

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You know what you’re capable of achieving and how your personal success can impact on all aspects of your life. Be confident in yourself and your own accomplishments. If you are happy with yourself, everyone will know, as your well-being is reflected in everything you do. By building on your own triumphs, you can create a life that you’re proud to live and of which your family is happy to belong.

What Life’s About

We all know what we want from life or do we? How many of us can say we want ‘this’, ‘this’ and ‘this’, and we want them in that order? The modern world just isn’t like that. There are too many changes and unknowns that are beyond our control. For you to build a life of which you can be proud, you need to think about the things that are important to you and your family. What do you cherish? How can you make the most of what you’ve got? If there’s anything missing, how can you attain it?

Step By Step

By setting out to live the life you want to, you’re already on the road to success. You’re to be congratulated for identifying your goals and seeing a path dotted with milestones along its way. These milestone shouldn’t be underestimated and should be celebrated every step of the way.

Be Loud And Proud

As a mum, you already have so much to be proud of in your life, including your beautiful family, and it’s always important for you to retain confidence, balance and joy in your life. Have the confidence to make decisions based on your own values and needs. Look forward to each day and enjoy life, despite its challenges. The past is behind you; forget about it and stay focused firmly on the future. You have the ability to face whatever life throws at you, embrace challenges and use them to your advantage because they will make you stronger. Always celebrate your successes, wherever you are on the path to achievement. When you have achieved your goals, be proud of that and refocus your objectives to make sure what you’ve attained isn’t forgotten or lost.

Be proud of the life you lead, be proud of what you’ve achieved and, most of all, be proud of who you are.

By Empowering Mums

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JUN 16

 Why "Me Time" Is So Important For Happiness 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on June 16, 2015 9:25 AM as A Mum's Life

Most of us know that self-care is essential for happiness. But do we take the time to think about what self-care actually means for each of us? Exercise, sure. Eating well, yes. Then, of course, there's hydrating, sleeping sufficiently, meditating and doing whatever other relaxation rituals work for you.

But there's more. While socializing with friends and other loved ones is also an essential part of living a healthy, happy life, it's also essential to make time to simply be "with yourself," to give yourself love, without it necessarily being time at the gym or sleeping in bed. Let's call this "me time," time to just be,recharge and reset.

Luckily, our friends at Happify.com shared this neat infographic, detailing the importance of "me time." Take a look and tell us what you do for "me time!"

By MindBodyGreen

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JUN 13

 10 Milestones To Hit Before Turning 40 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on June 13, 2015 11:30 AM as A Mum's Life

I’ve learned more significant lessons in my forties than in any other decade, and wish I'd figured a few of these things out a lot sooner. I wrote down the ten most life-changing things I've learned, in hopes that you can get a jump on creating the life you want. The rest of your life starts now, whether you realize it or not.

1. Cherish your parents.

We know abstractly that no one lives forever, but for some reason, it's hard to internalize that our parents won't always be there. Tell your parents you love them because you won't always have the chance. We're not promised anything — not even the time to say goodbye — so tell your parents, sincerely and often, how much they mean to you.

2. Embrace the inevitability of aging.

The same we way can remain in denial about mortality, part of us can't imagine getting (and looking) old. A day will come when you look in the mirror and say, "Who the BLEEP is that?!” Between now and then, nurture a sense of self that isn't reliant on your physical appearance, and surround yourself with people who appreciate your personality and character, rather than the body they happen to walk around in.

3. Find your purpose and live it.

Identify what's truly important to you, what brings you the most fulfillment, and start pursuing it now. It may take some work to uncover your purpose, but it can be the difference between a life of joy and a life of regret.

4. Save for retirement.

It's SO important to establish a pattern of saving at an early age. Starting early gives your savings more time to compound and grow. If you wait until you're older, you may have to reduce your style of living and work longer, just to have enough money when you do retire.

5. Do work that you love.

Most of us spend the majority of our days, weeks, and lives at work. That's way too much time to devote to something you're not passionate about. Money is important, but happiness trumps it. Being passionate is the first step towards being great at something, and being great at something is how you get paid for it. Start there. Just making the decision to do that will make you feel lighter, happier, purposeful.

6. Accept yourself without judgement.

Self-judgment causes unnecessary suffering and will paralyze you with fear, making it impossible for you to take ownership of your life. By accepting yourself unconditionally, you give yourself permission to make the choices that you know are right.

7. Take control of your experiences.

Passivity allows your life to take a course undecided by you. Check in with yourself regularly to make sure the life you are living is the one you want. This gives you the opportunity to make changes in the areas that aren't working or that are unsatisfying.

You can't afford to spend one second of your time on earth doing anything other than exactly what you want.

8. Learn that love doesn't always last.

As painful as this is, it is a reality. Even the best relationships change and evolve. Marriages can fail, friendships can wither away, and love can fade. As long as you're alive, you're growing, and sometimes that mean growing apart from those you love. 

9. Concede that not everyone will like you. (And that's okay.)

Don't waste your time trying to please everyone. There will always be someone who, for whatever reason, doesn't like you. Let it go! Your energy will be better spent elsewhere.

10. Make a bucket list.

It's easy to get so caught up in the daily grind that you don’t have time to truly live. Make a list of anything and everything you've ever wanted to experience in your lifetime, and actually DO these things. Cross 'em off one by one. It's written proof you've spent your life doing things that make you happy.

What insights have you gained that you wish you'd known at an earlier age?

By Grace Bluerock, MindBodyGreen

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JUN 10

 Matthew Hussey LIVE - London 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on June 10, 2015 5:01 PM as A Mum's Life


Unlock the Secrets to Understanding Men in Just One Day...

Let Matthew Hussey Teach You Live, How to Attract and Keep Any Man You Choose

If you’re tired of meeting the wrong men...

Confused by guys who disappear on you...

Sick of being stuck in limbo with a guy who won’t take your relationship to the next level...

Or frustrated because you just don’t understand men…

Then get ready to have your love life transformed in one magical day.

Imagine never again being confused by men. Imagine understanding exactly how they think and feel so dating no longer feels like a winner-take-all game and instead becomes an effortless, enjoyable experience…

Imagine smashing through the self-doubts and insecurities from being hurt in the past and finally having the power to be confident and sexy with men…

Imagine that hot guy that you’ve had your eye on for so long finally approaching you, beaming with excitement, to ask you on a date…

Imagine standing out from all other women, so that your man sees you as a "keeper” – the ultimate prize – and treats you that way…

Imagine your guy begging to be with you and only you, instead of the other way around…

Just imagine how it will feel when he sits you down, takes your hands in his, and says he wants to take your relationship to the next level.

And imagine having the confidence deep in you to know that even if his interest cools down, you know exactly the switch to flip in him to have him going crazy to be with you again.

Matthew will show you how.


Get your ticket here.

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MAY 21

 7 Surefire Signs You're Following Your Heart 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on May 21, 2015 10:27 AM as A Mum's Life


Why do we often second-guess the messages and directives from our heart? Isn’t the heart supposed to be looking out for our best interests — a sort of internal GPS for our personal growth and evolution? 

Maybe it’s because unlike the clear directions we get from the GPS, heart messages can sometimes feel vague, often leading us out of our comfort zone. Or, we want to be sure that it’s truly our heart we’re following and not our head.

If there have been times of confusion in deciphering which are the genuine heart messages, here's a little primer to let you know when you’re on the right track.

1. A heart message may not make sense to anyone, but you.

As Blaise Pascal said, "The heart has its reasons of which reason does not know.”

On paper, you may be a perfect candidate for (fill in the blank). But you may feel little to no desire to pursue that path, even though it’s obvious to everyone else that you would excel at it.

Instead, you may feel called to do something completely different, and no one in your life can understand why. This is a classic indication that the message is originating from the deepest recesses of your heart.

2. There may be several unknown variables.

You feel the call to try something big, but when you put your plan through a critical analysis, it has more holes than a donut shop. And yet, this doesn’t seem to stop you.

When I considered changing my name to "Light" 10 years ago, I made a pro’s and a con’s list, and was able to easily come up with 25 pragmatic reasons why I shouldn’t do it.

But my pro’s column had only one reason: because my heart said to do it — so I changed it.

Messages from our heart have no attached guarantees, and sometimes require enormous amounts of blind faith. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, with faith, you don’t need to see the entire staircase — just take the first step.

3. Heart-centered action can be scary, but in a good way.

If the message doesn’t make sense to anyone else and there are a lot of unknown variables in your plan, then obviously taking the next step is going to feel scary. You don’t know how it’s going to turn out and there's a chance you could lose everything.

But backing up your original heart-centered message is an underlying reassurance that even if you fall flat on your face, everything is still going to work out for the best.

4. Everyone (not just you) will benefit by your actions.

Oftentimes with following the heart, there is no obvious benefit to you at all … just a feeling you can’t seem to shake. I once convinced myself I was following my heart when I invested in real estate with the intent to flip houses and make a lot of money. This was right before the last real estate bubble burst, so you can probably guess how that story ended.

In hindsight I realized I was being driven more by greed, not by my heart.

Your heart doesn't care about making money. Nor will it ever command you to rob a bank or hurt someone — true heart messages are not outcome-oriented. Instead they are rooted in the process of generosity, compassion, love, cooperation, communication, forgiveness and empathy.

5. Immediate action is required.

Heart messages require real-time responses. They are not concerned with the past, the future, or even with details about the present. Whether you feel you have enough money, resources, or influence is irrelevant to your heart. If you let those perceived shortcomings stop you from following through, you may miss your window of opportunity.

So the next time your heart says to buy the person in line behind you a coffee, don’t start analyzing how much money you have in your pocket, or how the stranger is going to feel about your gesture. Just buy the coffee. If your heart commands you to say "Good morning" to the person next to you in the elevator, don’t analyze how they’re going to respond back. Just say it.

With practice, you’ll find the timing of the messages from your heart to be in synchronicity with whatever the higher needs of that moment may happen to be.

6. A heart message is about what's right, not what's wrong.

Sometimes you may feel an inner warning telling you that something is off … so you focus on what’s wrong, instead of what’s right. That’s usually a message from your gut, not your heart. The heart’s job is to direct you toward what’s right.

Remember this: your heart will only ever point you in the direction of your greatest, most expanded self. It will be directive, saying "Make friends with that person,” or "Take this cooking class.” Heart messages will resonate deeply and feel charming whenever you think about them. Messages from your gut are protective ("Don’t hire that person,” or "Avoid that place,” etc) and should be heeded as well.

7. It feels like the right thing to do.

Don't wait for permission or support when it comes to following your heart. Messages from the heart are notoriously unpopular, scary, or crazy to everyone else — but for you, it will feel like the right thing to do, I assure you. This is why some people suggest that following your heart will make you gullible. Actually, it makes you brave (after all, it’s the heart that will inspire you to fight for justice, to return someone's wallet, or to go after your dreams).

Your heart is your biggest ally in your spiritual development, and primarily concerns itself with helping you make progress in that department. While doing the right thing may not put a million dollars in your bank account, it is sure to leave you feeling like a spiritual billionaire — which at the end of your life is what you’ll be remembered most fondly for.

By MindBodyGreen

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MAY 20

 Ways To Cope When Your Partner Works Away From Home 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on May 20, 2015 9:03 AM as A Mum's Life

If your partner works away from home a lot, whether for business trips or military deployments,  it can be very difficult to cope. Not only do you have to take care of your children alone, but you also have to juggle this with your many other work and life commitments. However, it is not helpful to get bogged down in the negatives. There are lots of things you can do to help you cope when your partner works away from home. Let’s take a look:

Get as much prepared as you can before your partner leaves

The stress can often kick in when you are rushing around picking the kids up from school, getting the shopping, booking appointments, etc. If you try to do as much as you can before your partner leaves, then you’ll have less to rush around for. For example, stock the fridge and freezer full of food and book and attend dentist, doctor or vet appointments. You may also wish to create a diary and set reminders on your phone to help you stay on top of all the family events and tasks.

Have a list of ideas for weekend activities

The weekends are often the most demanding points when your partner is working away from home. This is mainly because the kids are at home, and they are desperate to be entertained! It’s helpful to have some ideas in store for these occasions. For example, you could do some gardening, go for a walk or bike ride or just curl up on the sofa and enjoy a movie. It’s hard to think on your feet when you are tired and when you don’t have your partner to contribute, so hopefully this list of weekend activities will come in handy.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Your family and friends will fully understand that when your partner is away, this will be a trying time for you. Don’t be afraid to lean on your loved ones for support. You would do the same for them! You will probably be craving some quiet time more than ever, so ask a relative or friend to help out with the kids for a short while so you can have some time to yourself.


Arrange to accompany your partner

If you and the kids can take some time out of your everyday lives, why not accompany your partner on his business trip, or at least for a part of it? This way you and your kids get to explore a new place and don’t get to miss out on too much time with your partner.

Consider moving closer

If your partner is away a lot, for example, if he or she works in the military, this can mean extended periods of separation. Many families choose to move closer to their partner’s work so that they can spend the maximum amount of time together. For example, Ultris Courthouse Square is a housing community that caters to families and military personnel. Separation from a parent can be very difficult for children, so this may be the best option for you and your family.

A partner who works away from home a lot is not an ideal family situation. However, you should remain positive. Concentrate on the things you can do to make your life easier while your partner is away and what you can do to spend the minimum amount of time apart as possible.

Thanks for reading!

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MAY 18

 Five Time Management Tips That Will Change Your Life 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on May 18, 2015 9:19 AM as A Mum's Life

Step One: List Your Priorities

You can’t prioritize your time if you aren’t clear–even if just to yourself–about what is most important to you.  Is it your family?  Your spouse?  Serving your church or community?  Getting your blood pressure under control or losing 50 pounds?  Is it finishing your degree?  Getting your house in order or remodeled or ready to sell?  Getting in shape or training to run a marathon?  Getting a promotion or establishing your own business?  Getting your budget under control, paying off all your debt, or establishing an emergency fund?

Your priorities can and will change based on your season of life, but the first step in taking control of your time is determining what matters most right now. Take ten minutes to write down the 5-10 things that are most important to you in the season of life you are in right now.  Don’t base them on how you have been spending your time, but on what actually matters most to you.

Step Two: Set Specific Goals

Close your eyes and imagine your life in detail five years from now.  Where do you live?  Where do you work?  What is your job title?  What do you look like?  What does your house look like?  How much money do you have in the bank?  Where did it come from?  What is your relationship with your kids and spouse?  How do you spend time together?  What do you do in your free time?  What are your hobbies?  Where do you volunteer?  Spend a few minutes day-dreaming about what your ideal life would look like five years from now, then write it down.

With this vision of the distant future fresh in your mind, it is time to set your long term goals.  List five major things you would like to accomplish by this time next year.  Be as specific as possible.  Use dates and locations and quantifiable goals whenever possible.  Thus, if you want to run a marathon, write down which marathon on what date.  If your goal is to read more, write down how many books, or better yet, how many fiction, non-fiction, biography, etc.  Don’t list more than five or you might forget some of them.

With your long term vision and goals in place, give some thought to your short term goals.  What is it that you want to get done in the next month?  Is there any small chunk of your long term goals that you could do right away?  Set five manageable goals for the things you would like to accomplish in the next month, then repeat this process every 30 days.

Step 3: Eat That Frog

I read a book a few years ago that totally changed the way I approached my daily task list.   It was called Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get Things Done by Brian Tracy.  It got its name from a quote by Mark Twain, who famously once said something to the effect of "if you eat a frog for breakfast, chances are that will be the worst thing you have to do all day.”  The point of the quote—and the book—was that if you start your day by tackling your hardest but most important tasks, even if you don’t do that much for the rest of the day, you will still have accomplished a lot.

Life moves fast and it is really, really easy to get sucked into mundane–though essential–tasks of the everyday.  We spend our time putting out fires or escaping into the time-wasting vortex of social media and email.  It all seems so important, so urgent, but before we know it, we’ve spent the whole day reacting to other people rather than proactively reaching our own goals.

My own life changed dramatically when changed the order in which I completed my task list.  Most importantly, I stopped checking email first thing in the morning, and instead focused those first few hours of my day on long-term projects and goals.  As a result, my productivity skyrocketed and I was finally able to start accomplishing the things I really wanted to.

Step 4: Reset Your Habits

I read another book recently called The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business that has also greatly impacted how I structure my day.  One of the many interesting points the book made is that our brains are wired to form habits.  These habits can become good or bad, but once something has become a true habit, a different part of our brain takes over and we begin to perform that particular habit on autopilot.  This means we no longer have to use mental energy to perform the task, which leaves our brain free to focus on getting other things done.

I used to get frustrated with myself because it seemed like I would start out my day so well, but at the end I would just fizzle, with no energy left to put towards any sort of productive endeavor.  After reading this book, I realized that because my willpower in a given day is limited, the more good habits I create for myself, the more willpower and energy I will have leftover to use towards other things.

I decided to make a list of the things I wanted to do automatically every morning.  My list included drinking a glass of water, planning my day over a cup of coffee, having personal devotion & prayer time, then writing for at least 90 minutes.  After several weeks of doing this every day, I finally stopped thinking about it.  I would find myself in the kitchen drinking my water before I was even fully awake.  It takes almost no effort to get my day started off right, and at the end of my writing session, when I take a morning break, I still feel refreshed and ready to conquer the rest of my day.

Step 5: Eliminate the Unessential

I think for me getting rid of the things I don’t really need to be doing is probably the hardest part.  Everyone has a few time fillers they could probably eliminate from their day, whether it be baking something from scratch when it could be store-bought, spending an hour watching TV or drooling over Pinterest, or even taking on a few too many commitments.

This is where the priority list and goal setting becomes so important!  If when you look at your day, you find that much of your time is filled with things that don’t match up to your priorities or your most important goals, then something has to give.  Start small–eliminate 3-5 things in your life that are taking up time but not adding much value.  Just stop doing them.  Yes, I know it is easier said than done, but making a conscious decision paves the way for change.

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MAY 15

 10 Things You Should Do Every Day Before 10AM 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on May 15, 2015 4:02 PM as A Mum's Life

"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive; to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

You don’t have to be a morning person to benefit from morning rituals. Most people hit snooze, roll out of bed and into some clothes while plunging into their day without a plan.

You, however, can choose to approach your day mindfully. Being mindful will increase the odds that you will feel good, be more productive and end up happier when it’s all over.

Here are ten things you should do every morning before 10:00 am to stack the deck in your favor.


Meditating or even some simple breathing can help you begin your day with a sense of calm. Instead of reaching for your phone or checking email first thing in the morning, take just a few minutes to sit and experience the quiet.

There is plenty of activity during our day, make a commitment to start on a quieter note. It will set the tone for your day and will help increase your focus, energy, and optimism.

Reflect in Gratitude

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart

Start your day by reflecting on what you are grateful for. A consistent practice of gratitude in the mornings will increase your awareness of gratitude throughout your day. It will also make you more resilient when challenges occur and help you put drama in perspective.

Set Your Daily Intention

In the quiet of the day, before the fires need putting out, plan your day by focusing on three goals you want to accomplish.

Make those goals a priority for the day. When you set about planning your day with intention, you are more likely to feel productive at the end of it.

Pad Your Schedule

As you go about setting your daily intentions, pad your schedule to allow yourself to tend to fires as they arise. Padding your schedule with free time will give you a better chance of achieving your goals and may even add some downtime throughout the day.


Your body awakens dehydrated, so it is very important to drink up first thing in the morning. In her book, The Body Ecology Diet, Donna Gates suggests you drink half of your entire daily water intake by mid-morning. It will flush your system of toxins, leave you feeling less hungry and reduce headaches throughout the day.


You will be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t wake up feeling a bit stiff. It isn’t always easy to incorporate exercise into a morning routine. If you were going to choose one thing, the American Journal of Sports Medicine suggests adding a short muscle-stretching sequence of exercises to your morning schedule.

Studies show that consistent stretching in the morning can increase flexibility, improve circulation, reduce stress throughout your day and improve posture.

Listen to Music

Starting your day with upbeat and fun music will not only wake you up but it will fill you with positive energy for your day.

2013 study found that music makes you feel good. According to study participants, the two most important benefits of listening to music are "mood regulation” and "self-awareness.”

Not only has it been shown to improve your mood but it can end up increasing motivation, performance, and lead to a better night’s sleep too.


Start your day off by smiling at yourself in the bathroom mirror. Smiling will have a positive effect on your overall attitude and well-being, even when it starts out a little forced. Smiling makes you more approachable, and appear more trustworthy. In fact, The University of Montpellier discovered that smiling will also make you a more effective leader.

Clean Up After Yourself

Life is busy and morning routines can be a bit rushed. It can be very tempting when you are running behind to leave your clothes on the floor, dishes in the sink or leave the trash until later. Just do put them away!

Procrastination around cleaning up after yourself can prevent you from realizing our highest potential and best work. It also allows you to relax fully upon returning home. It is better to pro-actively clean up after yourself than waiting to be called out on it.

Do Your Hardest Task First

It might seem enticing to get a bunch of easy things checked off your to-do list, but it has been shown time and time again that doing your hardest task first leads to a more productive and happier day. You are more likely to remember the day as being a good one when your day gets better and is easier over time. The bonus: it helps stop procrastination over the things we like to do the least.

Join in the discussion: What morning habits do you practice daily? Share your tips in the conversation below!

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MAY 13

 13 Struggles Every Mother Just Keeps to Herself 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on May 13, 2015 9:42 AM as A Mum's Life

An overwhelming majority of people out there have had a privilege to grow up with a loving mother, myself included, and we tend to quickly get used to seeing our mom perform her role admirably. The things a mom does shape our world as we are growing up, yet we just sort of assume that that’s how things are supposed to be, and never give it much thought. It’s easy to miss all the hard work that goes into raising a family when you are focused on other things like running around with other kids, going to school and playing video games.

Maybe it also has something to do with the fact that a lot of moms don’t really make a big deal out of it, but they definitely have plenty of struggles that they keep to themselves. Here are some of the things I learned from my mom, as well as my wife, once I had already grown up and started a family of my own.

1. She had to walk the tight line between parent and friend

A mother wants nothing more than to see the warm smiles on her children’s faces, have fun with them and talk about all kinds of things. They can be your best friend in the whole wide world at times, but they also know that as you grow up you will only trust your close friends with certain things and go to them to vent about problems.

A moms job is, first and foremost, to make sure you develop into a good human being, with a decent value system, healthy habits and a skill base that will help you succeed in life – this sometimes requires her to pull rank on you, focusing on disciplining and teaching rather than taking your side and encouraging bad behavior.

2. She shed thousands of tears for you in joy, sadness and anger

Since the day she found out she was pregnant your mom was on an emotional rollercoaster ride. She was in tears, all confused and excited at first, she went through mood swings and cried because she couldn’t find her phone when she was pregnant, she went through hell to bring you into this world and she spent many sleepless nights when you were sick or injured. They may occasionally bring up some of these points, but you don’t know half of it, and it’s only when you become a mother or see what your partner has to go through, that you begin to truly appreciate her sacrifices.

3. She went from a regular woman to superheroine protector once you were born

You see, most moms start out like any average woman, minding their own business and generally not looking at the world with the eyes of an ex CIA agent. However, once their first child is born, they go into full superheroine mode. Moms will scan the perimeter for any sign of danger, from suspicious strangers to bumps in the road someone might trip on, check to see if all the doors and windows are locked, and make sure that both their and the other kids on the playground aren’t misbehaving. It’s not really something they train for or learn in books or see in videos, the mental shift just kind of happens naturally.

4. She knows that you’ll hear most of her advice as nagging, and she’s OK with that

It is important to impart some serious life lessons to your children. All the knowledge and wisdom you have picked up through experience, along with advice based on the kind of common sense that kids have yet to develop, is not always welcomed with open arms. Kids will moan, fuss and generally make the whole process difficult, but mothers soldier on and keep up their "nagging” until the lesson has been fully understood and we develop good habits. They have no problem playing the bad guy, as long as it helps us reach our full potential and grow up to be decent people.

5. She watched the same cartoons over and over again until she learned the lines by heart

One of the greatest joys as a child is discovering a cartoon that is virtually perfect in every way as far as you are concerned. These days it’s easy for kids to get hooked on all kinds of videos, cartoons, TV or YouTube shows and songs, which they will proceed to watch or listen to all day long. It can get incredibly frustrating for a grown woman to listen to the same thing all day long, but moms bare this burden gracefully, and even sing along cheerfully with their little ones.

6. She had to make tough calls behind the scenes to ensure that you were safe and comfortable

Remember how you got that cool new toy, or had some sweets and got a new jacket, even though times were tough? Chances are your mom had to do some juggling in order to balance out the home budget, which often meant cutting any corner she could winter, spring, summer or fall, so that there was always enough money left to keep you well-fed and well-dressed. Moms are always on the lookout for good deals and innovative cost-cutting tactics, and they will never let you see the hard work that goes into keeping everyone as comfortable as possible.

7. She struggled to understand all the things that "kids are up to these days”

Being your go-to confidant is a task your mom gladly accepts, but it also means that she has to work hard if she wants to keep up with the younger generations. When she talks to you she needs some sort of context and at least a rudimentary understanding of youth culture if she wants to relate, and it can be confusing and tiring for her at times. Being the cool and understanding mom requires patience and quite a bit of research on the side.

8. She tried hard to keep you away from old family secrets and feuds

If you have had a relatively fun and relaxed childhood, all things considered, then you probably owe your mom a huge gift. All families will have some traction, all kinds of small feuds and issues, and perhaps a few skeletons in the closet. It’s up to moms to act as a buffer between their children and the turbulent relations within the family, always keeping their chin up and a smile on their face.

9. She often turned a blind eye when you messed up or did something wrong

While most of us like to think that we were pretty good as children, the truth is that kids can be quite the handful at times. It takes a lot of time to develop a strong sense of right and wrong, and learn how to behave, and our moms tend to be incredibly patient throughout our different developmental stages. We would break things and lie about it, even though it was obvious we did it, or we’d make the very mistakes our mother told us how to avoid; yet mom would sometimes skip the stern talk and let one slide if she felt that we felt very bad about it.

10. She did her best to provide support and keep you motivated

There are many different ways your mom tries to lift your spirits. For me it used to be the fun colorful lunch boxes, with little notes inside that made me smile and push through a tough day at school. Nowadays, my wife looks for wise and uplifting quotes and puts motivational stickers on our daughter’s backpack and on the covers of notebooks. It’s little things like this, as well as all the pep talks and pats on the shoulder that keep you motivated. Although moms may seem overbearing at times, they are actually constantly gauging our mood, always ready to give us the support that we need.

11. She worked hard to keep you clean and presentable

Most kids just grab a t-shirt and a pair of pants, pout on their shoes and run off to play. Every day there is a fresh, well-ironed outfit ready for you – it always smells nice and looks good on you. Until you grow up you never stop to wonder just how it is that no matter how much you satin and mess up your clothes, they keep coming back fresh and neat. Moms will drag you along to shop for clothes, wash and iron them all the time, straighten your collar and tuck your shirt in, and they even have to remind you to bring a jacket along.

12. She’d set aside her problems and obligations to hear about your trivial issues

Moms have to work hard, be they working or stay at home moms, to provide for their family and take good care of their kids. And at the end of the day, even though they might have been frustrated out of their mind at work, got tired from doing all the chores or discussed some serious issues with their partner, they still take the time to listen to your problems. As naïve and trivial your issues might be when compared to the real-world problems a mom faces, a mom will give her full attention and try to help you work things out.

13. She patiently weathered your tantrums and tried to make you see the right path

A lot of good sound advice is met with resistance, and before most serious problems can be addressed there has to be a time of adjustment where it’s not uncommon for a child to go through a few tantrums. Moms know when to lay down the law, and when to sit back and allow you to let out your frustrations and expel all the pent up energy that was building up for quite some time. It’s good to have a good cry every now and then, and your mother knows it, so she’ll weather a few emotional storms, give you a shoulder to cry on and push you in the right direction once you have calmed down.

A mother struggles to ensure that her children can have a good life. Apart from making sure that they are safe, and have enough to eat and wear, a mother will face a thousand and one little challenge while trying to raise her kids right. It is important to acknowledge the effort and sacrifices of our mothers, and just once in a while, cut them some slack and do something nice for them.

By MindBodyGreen

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MAY 11

 The One Woman Conference 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on May 11, 2015 9:44 AM as A Mum's Life

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Do you often feel like the demands of each day pull you in so many directions, and none of them are toward something bigger?


As women we’re many things. Trying to be a good friend but more often a distant one; a loving mum but more often a tired one; an organised colleague, but more often a distracted one.

If this is you, you’re not alone, you’re…

One of many

It might feel like an uphill battle most days, but we are Women creating change. Change in our own lives, and change for our world. It’s One of many great things that happen when women get together.

Which is why we are hosting the One Woman Conference. It’s an opportunity for busy women just like you, to come together, talk, learn and create. It’s the place to gain the clarity you’re hoping for, the momentum you crave and the support you need (but would never admit to!).

And let’s face it, if you’re too busy to come… that’s the reason that you absolutely must!

Do you often hear yourself complaining that you are always so tired, you missed your best friend’s birthday, your work colleagues are idiots, or you just don’t have that much fun anymore?

Would you get a kick out of having a perfectly folded and organised underwear drawer, just because it makes you feel like something in your life is under control?

Do you daydream of working for yourself, or for a cause that makes your heart feel full? But the reality is you feel over-committed and stressed most days…?

The Essential Event for Women Shaping Their World

Access the power to change your life, or change the planet.





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 #HigherSelfie - The only spirituality un-conference 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on May 05, 2015 7:00 PM as A Mum's Life



Join us to experience this mind, body, soul house party, featuring handpicked, VERY special guest speakers from the spirituality scene on stage, PLUS eight open spots for YOU to claim your place on the stage and share your message.




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APR 30

 No Time for a Party? Try These Planning Tips for Busy Mums 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on April 30, 2015 9:35 AM as A Mum's Life


Photo by landhere

Every child deserves a birthday party at least once, whether it's dinner with the family or a day with their classmates. But for busy working mums, it can be a struggle to find the time to do it. Not only do you need to choose a day when you can host the party, but you need to organise everything too. It's tough to get organised when you're short on time, but you'll do it to make your child happy. If you are getting ready to plan a birthday party, there are lots of time-saving tips you can use. From getting someone else to take care of it all to keeping it small, you can put on a fun bash without it taking up too much of your time.

Pick a Venue with a Party Package

If you don't want to have to worry too much about sorting everything out, choose a place that does parties. You'll have more to organise if you host the party at home, so choose somewhere with a complete party package instead. Of course, this option is more expensive, but it leaves you with more time to do other things. For example, you might need to chase up RSVPs to check who's coming. You might not have the time to do that on top of everything else.

Get Family and Friends to Help

You don't have to do everything alone. Even if you're planning the party as a single mum, you can still rope in someone to help you. But if you do have a partner, make sure they pitch in too! If you're worried about relying too much on one person, ask a few people to do one easy task. For example, you could ask your parents to bring a cake or get your best friend to pick up the decorations for you. Reward everyone who helps out by having an adult side to the party, giving them a gift or having them round for dinner at a later date.

Pick a Party Theme

To make things easier, choose a theme for the party. Then you can keep everything coherent and come up with a plan. It will make decisions much easier, and you can make your child happy too. There are lots of themes you could choose from, including animals, fairy tales, book and TV characters, and even colours. If you want a theme and activity in one, choose something focused on a craft. For example, it could be a pizza making party or everyone could make jewellery, cupcakes or t-shirts.

Order Online

Just like with many other things when you're busy, you can simplify parties by ordering things online. You don't need to go rushing around the shops trying to find what you need when it's simple to buy everything at the click of your mouse. There are sites like www.balloonsgalore.co.uk for decorations; you can book an entertainer online, buy activity packs, and even order a cake. Everything can come to your door to avoid stressful shopping trips when you're short on time.

The best way to put on a party when you're busy is to keep it simple. Don't try to do anything too complicated that will require a lot of your time. Just focus on the main elements and everything will go off without a hitch.

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 Essential Duties Involved in Being a Mum 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on April 09, 2015 12:51 PM as A Mum's Life

Being a working mother life is a non-stop bustle of tasks and duties. Trying to juggle these with work can be stressful to say the least. But it’s part of the process, and I’m thankful for it. But some days are, of course, more difficult than others. All mothers will encounter this at some point in their lives, and it’s important not to let it get you down.

Once you know what to expect you can plan for it, so the process becomes much less stressful. Take my essential daily or weekly duties as a mum, for instance. On any given day or week, I have a load of mum related tasks I need to complete. I’m getting the hang of these more and more each day. But they can still be time-consuming. But once you know what to expect you can set aside time to do them.

So here’s a list of some of my mum related tasks. These are tasks you might also carry out. So try to prepare for them the best you can.


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Pocket Money

Pocket money is something that’s become common for parents to give their children. And while I do give pocket money I believe in making my kids earn it through chores. This teaches them a good work ethic and also shows them the value of money. They need to know that money isn’t an entitlement but something that needs to be earned. This is a great way to subtly give your kids some life lessons.

Changing the Kids Beds

We’ve all been there, and we’ll continue to be. The children’s beds will need changing on a weekly basis. This means having fresh bedding. And this might mean having to buy some from sites like www.richardhaworth.co.uk. You don’t want to be in a position where you only have one set of bedding per child. This way you’ll be forever washing, and I don’t know about you, but I do enough of that as it is!

Spending Time as a Family

As a mother, it’s important to take time each day to spend with the kids. I’m a working mum and having kids as well makes for a busy schedule. But I still value the importance of spending time with the kids. Family time builds a strong bond and teaches the children the value and importance of family. I like to take the kids on family days out or family holidays whenever I can.

Making Dinner

You’re also going to need to factor in mealtimes for the children. Kids can be fussy when it comes to their meals. As a mum, you need to come up with exciting and fun menus for the children. Because they need to have stimulation it might be a good idea to try to provide some variety. You need to make sure you give your kids healthy food as well as varying what they have. Make mealtimes fun for the children, give them food they enjoy that’s also going to be good for them. This will instill in them the value of healthy eating and it’ll encourage them to eat more fruit and vegetables.

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FEB 26

 7 Tips To Make Your Life Way Easier Right Now 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on February 26, 2015 10:09 AM as A Mum's Life

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You know those days when everything seems to go sideways? I have chronic pain, so I understand. In the past, things were worse: I used to feel like I was getting half-drowned everyday simply because of how out-of-control my life felt.

But pain is a great teacher. To avoid going off the deep end, I had to learn to "surf" through life, taking each day (and sometimes each hour or each minute) as it came in stride. And whether you have chronic pain or are just having a pain-in-the-ass day, I want you to know that when life sends you a huge wave, it is possible to grab your board and enjoy the ride.

Here are some of the things I've learned about avoiding big wipeouts while surfing life's ocean.

1. Accept the wave, whatever the ride.

The biggest thing I've learned from my journey with pain is to accept wherever I'm at in any given moment. If your day suddenly takes a hard right turn into Cray-cray-ville, that's what it is. When you refuse to accept that your day is off the rails, then all your energy goes into pushing away that reality. You get tense, you clench your jaw, and inevitably the stress intensifies. When I learned to open up and allow my pain, I was able use all that "denial " energy to cope rather than to fight. There is something truly transformative about saying, "OK, this is happening right now. I accept it."

2. Let your body lead.

In our world of smartphones, social media and 24-hour "connection," our bodies often get lost in the shuffle. And when we are disconnected from our physical selves, we lose the connection to our internal GPS. But ultimately, our bodies always know what's best for us. The trick is learning to shut up and listen.

So when you are feeling consumed by a day from hell, try this technique. Find someplace quiet to rest comfortably, close your eyes, take some deep breaths and scan your body slowly from head to foot, pausing on each body part. When you find a place of tension or discomfort, ask, "Shoulders, what do you need?" For me, inviting my shoulders to move downward away from my ears is frequently the answer. But sometimes what my body wants is movement, like gentle yoga or a walk. Whatever you need, your body will know about it. Just be open to the request and be brave enough to act on it

3. Don't buy into the story.

My brain is a champion storyteller: Kate is mad at you, that's why she didn't text you back! ... If you rest now you'll lose everything you've worked for!

In other words, I can create a lot of pain in my life just with the stories I tell myself. So don't believe the hype! Deal only with what you know to be 100% true in that moment. You can't know what other people are thinking, you can't know what will happen in the future and you can't change what's happened in the past, so ditch the storytelling.

4. Create a cocoon.

A cocoon is a safe place to rest and rebuild yourself, and it is a vital stress management tool. Give yourself permission to curl up away from the world and look after yourself on a regular basis. For some people their cocoon might be time on their sailboat or browsing in a record store. Whatever makes you feel peaceful and calm, make room for it in your life and practice it regularly. Self-soothing habits are about restoring your energy and regaining your perspective so check your guilt at the door and treat yourself!

5. Meditate, duh.

My stress level and pain decreased sharply when I began to take 15 minutes out of my morning to practice breathing meditation. For some, this piece of advice is obvious. For others, it may sound insurmountably tough. So if you are reluctant to try this on your own, there are a ton of great guided meditations available. Find one you like and get sitting! The truth is that meditation is just about dedicating yourself to the practice of trying to just be. So even if you hate it, you'll be more aware of why you might hate it. And that itself is a great practice for learning to "surf" through life!

6. Get outside for goodness sake!

I don't know why this works, but it does. They've done studies! Go for a walk, sit in the park or even just open a window. Nature heals. Believe it.

7. Pace yourself.

I used to drive myself endlessly to go-go-go! But now I understand that pushing myself only creates more work down the road. Don't wait until things are bad before you take counter measures. Learn what triggers your pain/stress. Get to know what signals your body sends when it's getting tired and then honor those signals.

My dearest wish is that you can learn from my journey so you don't have to take the long way. But I know I am not the only one who has been down this road so if you have any other tips or tricks you'd like to share please share them in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you.

By BY JUDE TEMPLE, MindBodyGreen

Photo Credit: Stocksy

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FEB 26

 5 Attitudes That ACTUALLY Change Your Life 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on February 26, 2015 10:03 AM as A Mum's Life

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I lived the majority of my 20s in a bubble of possibilities. I'd decided that when I won the lottery, I would do all the things I hadn't been able to do before: I'd work for myself, I'd spend more time on my body. I'd reconnect with family and friends. I'd travel the world and become an adventurer.

It wasn't until I was 28 that I realized my "lottery might never come. In fact, it was more likely not going to happen, despite my intricate vision boards, daily mantras of abundance, and intense self-reflection. I had two options: Concede that I may never "win and live a listless existence of mediocrity; or, decide that I had to "win, but that my own resourcefulness, inspiration and determination was going to get me there was not some lottery.

My life changed when I took myself out of my head and into my life. I'm the happiest, healthiest and most authentic I've ever been. Here's how I got there:

1. Practice small actions, every day.

I was waiting for Oprah to gift me a trip to the Outback before I felt worthy of adventuring, for Random House to call and give me a book deal before I felt worthy of writing, for Sony to call and give me a recording contract before I felt worthy (or capable) of sharing my music. We're all preprogrammed to see successful, happy people and what their result is; we fail to understand that we haven't been privy to the steps that got them there.

Success and happiness are not a book deal. They aren't the dream come true. Success is the late night worrying how you'll pay your bills when you've started your own business. Learning how to communicate with a new partner you're in love with. Running for one minute more than you could the week before at the gym. If you want big results, you need to stop discounting small action. Small action triggers big change.

2. Tell the truth.

My life drastically changed when I made it my responsibility to tell the truth to myself and the people around me. I told the truth about what I wanted to change about my body. I said out loud, for the first time, that I was unfulfilled in my relationship. I told the truth about being stuck and fearful in my dead-end corporate job, that my heart was aching to work with people, and make music and write.

Nothing magically happened at first. But once my "truth was out there, it was as if me, my family and friends, and the universe were all working together to get me what I needed, because I was clear about where I stood. Beyond that, issues that had become too heavy for me to hold were released.

The idea of telling the truth is terrifying. But doing it is freeing and absolutely necessary to get to whatever your next step is.

3. Show up.

Show up when you don't want to, when you're tired, when you're not sure if you'll be able to, when you're burned out, when you're uninspired, when you're busy. Show up all the time. I made a promise to myself when I started making decisive changes in my life that I would take every opportunity that was presented to me; that if something found me it was meant for me, and if I didn't say "yes, and didn't make progress, or get what I wanted, it was my fault for not answering when opportunity knocked.

Sometimes I'd "show up and something profound would happen. Other times, seemingly nothing came of me being there. But almost always, whether it's been in the moment or after the fact, the times I've said "yes have led to an opportunity, a new friend, a new idea. Show up for your life, relentlessly, and life will show up for you.

4. Get to know (and love) your body.

I kept my body at arm's length for most of my life. I was either feeding it recklessly, or beating it into the ground through treacherous, hate-filled workouts. When I started making big changes, I talked to my body like it was my life boat: the thing that would pull me through the storms. I fed it the right way. I strengthened it in my workouts, and rested it when it felt exhausted. I slept. I got to know my curves and lines, embracing and relishing in my sexuality.

My body, ultimately, became my center, and I found that because I had poured so much trust and confidence into what I was physically, my energy was no longer consumed by fitting into a pair of jeans, but rather free to focus on bigger, more important life decisions.

5. Be scared EVERY day.

What if all your dreams suddenly came true for you? How would you feel? Excited, absolutely. But you'd be scared. Scared to fail, to succeed, to try something new, to lose it all. "Conquer your fears is my least favorite phrase. Because it's not about "conquering them. It's about living with them. If you aren't fearful, you're staying still. If you're ready to really grow and change something big in your life, fear is a requirement.

These days, I'm most scared on the days I'm not scared. I know that fear, for me, is an indicator that I'm expanding myself beyond my current, self-imposed limitations. If your dream-come-true would scare you to death (and it should), then you need to practice that emotion every day. Cold call a stranger to ask for their business. Ask out the person you've been flirting with for months. Try the new workout class you swore to yourself you couldn't do. Put yourself out there. You already know what will happen if you don't, and maybe nothing will happen if you do ... but what if it did?


Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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FEB 23

 Changing Your Attitude Toward Wealth 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on February 23, 2015 10:00 PM as A Mum's Life

The first step to make wealth flow into your life is to change your thoughts and attitude toward it. The mind has to be cleared from its wrong concepts about wealth, before it can start to manifest. This is done by bringing to consciousness all of your thoughts and ideas about wealth, money and prosperity.

Take a pen and a sheet of paper, and find a place to be alone and undisturbed for a while. Think about wealth and what it means to you, and then jot down any thought that comes into your mind. Write down every thought, good and bad, positive and negative. Do this for at least ten minutes or until you do not find more ideas and thoughts.

After you finish writing, read, think, and analyze what you have written. You will be surprised at the stuff that comes out of your mind. This analysis will help you to find out where and why you are inhibiting yourself in regard to success, money, and prosperity. You will find out what thoughts and wrong concepts have been holding you back.

You will discover the fears that have been holding you from success, and from manifesting any degree of riches in your life. There might be various reasons to account for that. You may have been educated to regard wealth as bad and corrupting. You may have experienced lack in your childhood, and now you are locked into the belief that it is not possible to improve your life or that you do not deserve to possess money.

It might be that you shun the responsibility and the work that wealth might entail.

Maybe you are afraid that you would not be able to handle wealth or that you will not know what to do with it.

These reasons or any others, might be responsible not experiencing prosperity and wealth.

The inner inhibitions are mostly due to past mental programming, making you feel and believe that you are not worthy, do not deserve success or that wealth and money should be avoided.

If you perform this analysis sincerely, you will find out what thoughts and attitudes hinder your way to success, and it will be clearer to you what you should do. Now that they are out, it will be easier to handle these inhibitions, free yourself from their grip, and start attracting wealth into your life.

If one session is not enough, keep writing down your thoughts, and think about them every day until feel you have discovered what is holding you back.

After this analysis, you will find it easier to change your thoughts and attitude toward money, possessions and wealth.

You will find it easier, and you will experience less inner resistance when you visualize what you want to get or accomplish. It will take less effort to reject negative or contradictory thoughts from entering your mind.

Persistence in your efforts of holding an image of success in your mind until you realize your desire, and at the same time keeping an open mind for opportunities, will lead you to do the right thing at the right time, and attract the right people at the right time.

An intense and concentrated thought possesses a vast power. All wealthy people focus their energies in a positive and powerful manner on what they desire to achieve. Some of them understand and practice consciously the laws of success, while others do so unconsciously.

Unlimited Thinking

The Universal Consciousness is unlimited and contains unlimited wealth. There is plenty of everything in it, and it constantly creates more of everything. It expresses itself through everything, including the individual unit that you consider as yourself. The problem is that negative thoughts and attitudes hamper the natural tendency of the Universal Consciousness to freely manifest its creative powers in unlimited ways.

You need to open your mind to prosperity and throw away your limiting thoughts. It does not matter how limited your life and circumstances are at the present moment, because if you choose to change your thoughts and attitudes, and start thinking without imposing limitations, your life will start to change. In your mind, refuse to be tied and limited by your circumstances. Think about possibilities, not about limitations.

Expand your unlimited thinking to what you consider as yourself, your personality and individuality. Your Consciousness is one with the Universal Consciousness. If you consider yourself as only a body you limit yourself. You are limitless consciousness, but erroneously identify yourself with the body and therefore feel limited. The feeling of limitation obstructs you from expressing the great powers of the Universal Consciousness. By being one with the Universal Consciousness you participate in the power of creation. Think about it, you are connected to the powers of the Universe.

Mind Power and Prosperity

Prosperity and success can be yours if you seek them with an open mind.

As suggested in this article:

  1. Find out your inhibiting thoughts.
  2. Analyze your thoughts and strive to get rid of the negative ones.
  3. Put into your mind positive and unlimiting thoughts.
  4. Visualize your desire day after day.

Gradually, you will start to see your circumstances improving.

Thoughts possess power. You should be aware of the thoughts you think and admit only positive ones.

Visualization is one of the most important keys to success.

  • Visualize clearly your desire.
  • Put feelings into your mental images.
  • Add faith and belief.

This will create a mighty power. Keep an open mind, be willing to act and take up the opportunities that will come your way, and you are on the proper road to success.

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FEB 22

 9 Things You Should Do Every Weekend To RESET for a Fresh, Smooth Week 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on February 22, 2015 9:19 PM as A Mum's Life

1. Wash your sheets & make your bed
2. Do all your laundry & choose outfits for the entire week
3. Pick out gym clothes (or other specific outfits) for the entire week and pack them all
4. Prepare breakfast and lunch for Monday (or the entire week)
5. Empty all your trashcans
6. Wipe down your bathroom & kitchen, and tidy up the rest of your home
7. Check your calendar & create a fresh to-do list
8. Restock your refrigerator and pantry
9. Think of the little things

What do you do on the weekends to prepare for the week ahead?

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JAN 29

 Mother's Day Gala 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on January 29, 2015 12:29 PM as A Mum's Life

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Order of the day
Registration/Shopping 3:00-4:00pm
Introduction VG & AG 4:00-4:15pm
Performance by Andrea Mendez 4:15-4:30pm
Lunch/Buffet 4:30-6:00pm
Nairobi Thompson/Spoken Word 6:15-6:45pm
Spectacular Mother's Award 6:45-7:15pm
Guest Speaker Kiran Singh 7:15-7:30pm
Sponsor raffles 7:30-8:00pm
Final Performance by Andrea Mendez 8:10pm
Shopping/networking/dancing 8:30-10:30pm

Times and running order of performances/speaker are subject to change on the day.
If you have any information/books/leaflets/CD about up and coming events please feel free to bring them along.

The booking page for the event is:

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JAN 18

 The 10 Steps to Getting to The Next Level 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on January 18, 2015 3:26 PM as A Mum's Life

1. Set a clear vision

This is a given.  If you want to accomplish anything then you need to be clear on EXACTLY what you want and why you want it.

THIS is a great resource for finding your vision and getting clear on your goals for 2015.

2. Check your health

If your health isn't working, then you aren't working.  And if you want to take your life to the next level then your health is a huge part of it.  Time to get that in check and make a shift in your lifestyle if you must.

3. Feed your mind

I'm constantly learning and growing.  If you aren't growing then you are slowly dying.  Listen to podcasts, read books, and challenge yourself every day.

4. Hire a coach

The best athletes in the world rely on having the best coaches.  And so should you if you want greatness in your life.  There are a few good coaching programs out there but Clarity.fm is a great place to find people who are where you want to be that you can hire by the minute or the hour.  It's a good place to start, or just reach out to someone you admire in business, health, or relationships and ask to hire them as your coach.

If you are looking for a specific coach (business, life, health, relationships, etc.) submit your contact info and what kind of coach you are looking for HERE and I will make a recommendation!

5. Give up responsibility

Allow your team to support you in your vision and stop putting the world on your shoulders.  It's freaking heavy when you do that!

6. Express gratitude every night

The key to wealth is gratitude, and wouldn't you know it's the key to just about everything else as well.  Fall in love with gratitude.

7. Meditate and make your bed

I tell you why this is important in the episode would love your thoughts on this below :)

8. Say thank you

Especially when you wake up as you have been given another day. Embrace it.

9. Acknowledge more people

The most important person to acknowledge is yourself.  Stop beating yourself up and take a moment every day to realize what you've created.

10. Give back

Need I say more?

Via Entrepreneur.com

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JAN 13

 Being Myself - London A One-Day Workshop with Anita Moorjani 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on January 13, 2015 12:36 PM as A Mum's Life

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Discover how to love yourself for who you are, not for who the world wants you to be!

You will never fully be who you are or express your truth unless you can love yourself and accept yourself unconditionally. Most of us come from cultures and societies that do not promote, or even support, self-love and we often feel judged if we love ourselves, value ourselves or put ourselves first.

In this powerful one-day workshop Anita Moorjani, the bestselling author of Dying to Be Me, will share: 
Her own remarkable journey from end-stage cancer, through a near-death experience, to total healing 
How learning to love and accept herself unconditionally brought her back from the brink of death 
How you too can use self-love to heal your life 
How to move from knowing we should love ourselves in theory to actually loving ourselves in practice 
Step-by-step processes to help you develop self-love, self-respect and self-value 
Practical tools, tips and exercises to help you feel empowered to be your authentic self
What having a healthy dose of self-love looks like in a relationship

Join Anita for this transformational day and discover how to truly be yourself!

Love yourself like your life depends on it, because it does!

Anita Moorjani Anitas story will give you a renewed sense of who you truly are, why youre here and how you can transcend any fear and self-rejection that defines your life. -Dr Wayne W. Dyer

Event Schedule: 
09:00 10:00 - Registration 
10: 00 1:00 Morning Session 
1:00 2:30 Lunch 
2:30 5:00 Afternoon Session 
5:00 6:00 Book-signing

We are committed to making our events accessible to all individuals. Should you require any information or assistance prior to your arrival, please email events@hayhouse.co.uk or call 020 3675 2450.

Tickets are nonrefundable, however we will happily exchange any Hay House UK event ticket for a credit note, up to thirty days prior to the event. Credit notes will be valid for all future Hay House UK events, within 12 months and subject to availability. Between two and thirty days prior to the event Hay House will consider requests for an exchange on an individual basis. All requests must be in writing and sent to events@hayhouse.co.uk

Please note you must be 18 years old or over to attend this event.

Please read our full Terms & Conditions before purchasing.


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 Your Guide to Safe Pest Control For You and Your Family 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on January 08, 2015 11:28 AM as A Mum's Life

Finding critters in your home can be an alarming experience. You may find rodents, cockroaches or termites within your property. What is more, if you have kids you may feel more than squeamish. Your mother bear instinct will kick in, and you will want to protect your little ones. While discovering pests within the home can be overwhelming, the key is to keep calm. After all, you don't want to panic and disturb the nest. Ultimately, this can make the problem worse.

Let's take a look at some ways that you can have safe pest control methods in your home.

The Problem With Pests

The issues with pests are that they can have a damaging impact on your family's health. With this in mind, you need to consider how you are going to get rid of them from your home. Of course, some families don't feel comfortable with using pesticides. This is because pesticides can have a number of chemicals contained within them that can affect small children. You can control pests in a safe and efficient manner.

Elena Gurzhiy

Prevention is better than Cure

When it comes to keeping your home pest free, you need to consider how you will be preventing them from entering your property. Clearing away food spillages is vital. But, sealing cracks in windows and doors are important too. Make sure that you keep food in cupboards and not on work surfaces. Do be diligent in fixing any issues with leaks. Most critters and pests thrive in warm, moist conditions.

Jack Pearce

The Right Stuff: Choosing a Pesticide

According to Concord pest control services, preventative measures are not always effective. Pests like mice and wasps can access your property via tiny holes. After all, you cannot fill in every crack within your home. Make sure that you have some pesticide within your home. Ensure that it is specifically designed to eradicate that specific pest. Identifying the problem is vital. Ensure that you buy a specially designed pesticide that can deal with the issue that you have. For example, a spray, that is designed to kill ants, will not be strong enough to deal with rodents. So, be savvy and invest in the right materials.

Pesticides are a good solution to dealing with any pest issues. But, if you have small children that are toddling, it may not advisable to spray solutions. In this instance, invest in bait traps. This will allow you to confine the chemicals in a small area. In some cases, bait traps do not use chemicals at all. They simply lure the pests into the trap and poison them once they take the bait.

Keeping Safe

Do make sure that you are exercising safety practices before you try to eliminate any pests within your home. Ensure that you have a product that can be easily applied and that you are aware of the dangers of this to your health. If you are ever in doubt about how to remove pests from your home and keep your kids safe, it may be wise to call in the professionals.

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 Happy And Healthy Goals For 2015! 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on January 01, 2015 12:39 PM as A Mum's Life


It's the beginning of a brand new year and time to set some sensible, achievable goals that will help you enjoy a happy and healthy 2015. Make self-care a priority, as the best way to be a healthy, happy mum is to ensure you and your family live healthily and consistently with your own values. Try to adopt healthy habits, such as eating hearty family meals, taking regular exercise and enjoying quality time together. Even the smallest lifestyle changes can make all the difference.

Get Realistic
There are many simple ways to improve your health and well-being. Remember, it's important to focus on setting targets you can achieve, rather than ones that become unattainable in the rush of everyday life. Avoid taking on challenging goals that are simply too demanding. Choose goals which, in the pursuit of their success, will bring you enjoyment and satisfaction.

Best Meal Of The Day
Simple changes are manageable and help you to feel great! Kick-starting your day with a healthy, nutritious breakfast is just the ticket to give you the energy you need to keep on the go. Include fruit and nuts into the mix and, during the winter months, start with a healthy warm meal, such as porridge or scrambled eggs, to help you face the icy school run!

Revolutionise Exercise
Rather than allotting exercise to set times of day or confining exercise to the gym, get the whole family involved in an active lifestyle. Venture out and about for family strolls, take the dog for a walk or pile in the car at weekends to explore what your local area has to offer.   


Feed Your Body
The easiest way to stay healthy is by incorporating plenty of fresh produce into your family's menu. Be it salads, fruity snacks or seasonal vegetables, introduce healthy options into your daily recipes.   

By making a few small adjustments to your lifestyle, you'll be surprised how much better you will feel, whilst helping your family to lead a happy, healthy life. Setting manageable goals that reflect your own ideals will ensure you feel energised and ready to take on everything being a mum entails!

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DEC 11

 5 Creative Ways to Display Family Memories 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on December 11, 2014 11:28 AM as A Mum's Life

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Family life is all about making memories. From the day our babies are born, we cherish every moment of our time together and are desperate to preserve the happiest memories and events. Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to store everything without covering your entire home with an abundance of pictures from every occasion imaginable! Here are a few tips to help creatively display family memories, without going overboard.

Create A Gallery Wall

When our babies are born, we instantly fall in love. Photographing their early days of life is something that we all instinctively want to do, in order to have those cute baby photos to look back on. Modern newborn photography is no longer restricted to a few standard shots. You can create themed photo shoots and chat with photographers about your own personal vision. These are after all, the pictures that you will hang on your walls for years to come.

Creating a gallery wall is a stylish and effective way to show off your pictures and make your home look great at the same time. You could choose a different theme for each. Perhaps some timeless black and white shots for the hallway walls and softer, warmer color pictures for the family room.

Themed Photo Albums

Create a chic photo album with different themes. You could make one for every family vacation and keep them beautifully lined up on a shelf, with decorative labels on the spine, detailing the contents. This is a great way to ensure that your photos stay catalogued and ordered as well as keeping them in perfect condition. You could end up with hundreds of books to look back on and it is a great way to get the whole family involved in choosing which pictures are added. If you want to take this idea one step further, you could even start your own family journals.

Make A Memory Box

When our children give us special notes, pictures or birthday cards that have been hand-made then we will always need somewhere to store them for years to come. Find your local antiques stores and most will have a selection of excellent quality wooden boxes that are going to look wonderful and will last for years to come. Keep this in your bedroom and each time you find something with sentimental value, tuck it away in your memory box. When you feel low, this will make a great place to come and rummage through to cheer yourself up!

Pebble Jars

A great way to keep note of special events and meaningful dates or words is to find some decorative glass jars. Then simply gather some smooth, plain white pebbles and write (or paint) those all important names and dates on them. These look great when dotted around the home and collecting the pebbles is a fun family activity. You could even bring the pebbles back from a family vacation or day trip, to make your jars even more meaningful!

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 Keeping Your Teenagers Entertained This Christmas 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on December 09, 2014 4:49 PM as A Mum's Life

Keeping your teenagers entertained this Christmas can be something of a stressful task. They can moan and groan about being bored, but once you suggest that they do something, they grunt back at you that they can't be bothered. Yes, teenagers are a joy!

But, if you want to keep your moody teen entertained this Christmas there are some fun family days out that you can try. They are sure to put a smile on their face.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Blackpool Pleasure Beach is a must for any thrill-seeking teenager. With over 125 rides within the theme park, it's a great day out for all of the family. The Avalanche is a must for those that love loops, twists and turns. The Big One is one of the world's tallest roller coasters. Check out the infographic below for more cool facts. Bonding with your teenager over Christmas has never been easier.  Head up North to Blackpool and have a white knuckle day out.

Head to the Cinema

The cinemas will be packed this Christmas, with everyone anticipating the latest releases. If you want to spend some quality time with your teenager, head to the theater. Choose a film that you will both love and enjoy the time together as a family.

Hit the Sales

With the January sales starting earlier every year, hitting the shops is one of the best ways to keep your teen entertained this Christmas. Enjoy the day out and make sure that you are spending some time bonding.

With Thanks to blackpoolpleasurebeach.com

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 Keeping Your Baby Comfortable: Top Tips 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on December 09, 2014 4:34 PM as A Mum's Life

Babies are sensitive little creatures. You need to keep them as comfortable as possible and cater to their every whim in order for them to feel happy. These top tips will help you to keep your baby happy and comfortable, so you can both make the most of your time together. Try them, and you�ll love the effect they have on your baby!

Have a Routine

Babies love having a set routine. You should stick to this routine as much as you possibly can in order to keep your baby happy. Naptime, bedtime, and feeding time should all be the same each day. If you can't stick to a routine, they won't like it and you'll know about it. You'll probably much prefer having a routine too.

Buy a Thermometer

A thermometer can be used in many different ways. You can use it to measure the temperature of your baby's bath for a start; this can be difficult to guess on your own. You can also use it for their food to make sure it's the perfect temperature for them.

Stay Calm

Your baby will take their cues on how to act from you. If you can stay calm, your baby will feel calmer. If you get worked up your baby probably will too. Try to stay as calm as possible if you want your baby to be happy. It can be hard when your baby is screaming and you don't know why, but remember that they pick things up more than you think.

Stop Them from Scratching

Scratching is a big problem among little babies. Stop them from scratching by buying them scratch mitts. This will stop them from hurting themselves too much.

Sing to Them

Babies can feel calmer from just hearing your voice. If you sing some lullabies to them, they might instantly appear to be soothed. Don't worry about not having a great singing voice; they won't notice! You could even play them some lullaby tapes, but your voice will probably sound better to them.


Babies can get stressed just like adults. They enjoy special baby massages to help them feel chilled. Go to a baby massage class if you're not sure where to start. You'll love how placid your baby is afterwards.

Take Them Out

Babies need variety in their lives to keep them happy too. You wouldn't be happy sat in the house all day by yourself, so why would your baby? Take them out and do different things with them to keep them stimulated and happy.

Surround Them With Colours

Colours can help babies to develop, especially in the first few years of their life. Make sure they are surrounded with lots of colours and toys, and this will keep them happy. If you can find suitable textures for them to play with too, then that's even better.

Keeping your baby comfortable should be your top priority. Use these tips and you'll wonder how you ever survived without them!

Image taken from myllissa

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NOV 28

 10 Tips For Naming Your Baby! 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on November 28, 2014 6:06 PM as A Mum's Life

There are so many different attitudes when it comes to choosing what to name your baby. Should you decide on a name beforehand? Or are you too superstitious? Maybe you don't know what sex your baby will be and want to wait until after a safe delivery.

Even if you and your partner have managed to decide on a name, should you tell anyone else? Of course, if your friends and family know your chosen name in advance, they can order personalized clothes and gifts ready for when baby arrives. Such as these Angel Dear Lovie clothes, blankets and toys.

Here are some hints and tips on choosing names for your little one:


image source: https://flic.kr/p/4Uk61t

  1. Girl or boy?

If you don't know what sex your baby will be, you'll need to make lists of both boys' and girls' names - double trouble!

  1. Popular or unique?

You may not want your child to grow up with a common (we prefer the term popular) name - particularly if they end up in a class with five other Charlottes at school. But if you choose something too out there, you could put them at risk of bullying later in life. It's a tough call.

  1. Religion

Your religion may also influence your choice of name. If you worship regularly, why not talk your choices through with other like-minded people? They may be some connotations for ancient names that you're not aware of.

  1. Your surname

How does your chosen name sound with your surname (and any middle names)? Is it a complete mouthful or easy to say?

  1. Spelling

You may choose a popular name but put a twist on the spelling to make it a little different. However, remember that this will probably lead to a lifetime of your child having to spell it out for people all the time. And certificates may well end up with the wrong spelling on them.

  1. Initials

Put together the initials of the first, any middle and surname. Try and avoid any howlers or anything that may cause offence!

  1. Spoonerisms

Children will always have fun swapping the initials of their first and surnames to see what it sounds like. So be careful and remember to try out combinations to help them avoid getting stuck with an embarrassing nickname.

  1. Pet names

Even if you're keen to avoid it, whatever name you give your child will be shortened by someone, somewhere at some point. Unless their name only has one syllable. So try a few out, such as Matthew becoming Matt. Or Emily becoming Em. If you hate the shortened version of the name, cross it out.

  1. Years to come

Think how the name will sound as your child grows older and eventually becomes an adult. For example, if you have a son who ends up as a journalist, he may not appreciate being called Rocky or Flash.

  1. Take your time

You don't have to decide on a name before the birth or immediately after. Wait until he or she arrives and see if a glimpse of their personality will help you to make your mind up.

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 Baby Versus Career: What To Choose 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on November 04, 2014 8:40 PM as A Mum's Life

Gender equality has come on a long way in the past few decades and slowly the battle is being won. However, it is still difficult for a woman to have a successful career and care for a family. This shouldn't be the case, but it is. If you yourself struggle with this then see this infographic.

Gumtree infographic baby versus career is an infographic that was produced by Gumtree">

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OCT 16

 5 Vital Lessons I Learned When I Became A Mother 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on October 16, 2014 6:30 PM as A Mum's Life


Image by Donnie Ray Jones

I like to see my life as two separate periods; my life before children and my life with my little ones. When you have kids, your life changes forever. Everybody tells you that, but you will never understand how children change your world until you have them. When I was pregnant, people would tell me how different my life was going to be when I gave birth. I must admit, I never believed any of it. I thought people were exaggerating or that somehow I would be different. I thought that I could maintain the same lifestyle, friends and social life when I had children. Needless to say, I was wrong. When I had my kids, my life changed forever. Here are five vital lessons I learned when I became a mother.

I can survive on four hours sleep

Before I had babies, I used to think I needed at least eight hours (if not, nine hours) sleep to survive. I was the sort of person who would go to bed early and relish the idea of getting a nice long rest each night. The moment I had my children, I realized that my sleeping nights were a thing of the past. In the first few months, I survived on around four hours sleep a night. What surprised me, though, was that I could still function. If you'd asked me before I had kids if I could manage on four hours, I would've laughed at you. When I had to manage, I did.

You can't be selfish when you have kids

I never considered myself a selfish person, until I had children. When you need to give all your care and attention to a child, you realize how selfish you have been in the past. Motherhood changes you. It makes you get rid of all your selfishness and start thinking about others for a change. My attention shifted to my children's needs, rather than my needs. That was a great life lesson for me. I needed to change, and I did.

Finding a decent babysitter is difficult

I imagined that finding a babysitter would be easy. I thought that there would be a whole host of girls from the neighborhood, queuing to look after my children. There wasn't. Finding a good babysitter, who I could trust was the hardest part of being a new mother. I asked around and still couldn't find anyone. In the end, I found a babysitter online at http://www.findababysitter.com.au. If I could go back in time, I would have spend the time while I was pregnant finding a babysitter, because once you have children, it's hard.

Children are experts at making a mess

When you go around to a friends house, and it's a mess, you might judge them just a little. I used to do it all the time. I have always been a house proud person, and I used to wonder how people let their homes get so messy. Now I know. Children are expert mess-makers. If you blink for a second, your kids will have found a way to turn your clean living room into a dump. I still don't know how they manage it every time!

You always need a first aid kit in your home

Aside from making a mess, children have another talent. Children are clumsy and fall over a lot. It is normal that children get little bumps when they fall over. When your children start to walk, they will make a habit out of falling over as well. Getting a first aid kit was one of the best things I did when my kids started walking.

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OCT 16


posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on October 16, 2014 9:03 AM as A Mum's Life


Placing women at the centre of the political and democratic stage, Britain's largest mixed inclusive feminist conference will be taking place on 25 October 2014 at the Institute of Education in central London.  It is a celebration of feminist thought and activism with over sixty amazing speakers to challenge and inspire.


This year for the first time there is a more international focus, and the Istanbul Feminist Kolectiv will be speaking about their work in Turkey. 


There is also a panel on global sisterhood, featuring Amnesty International award winner Betty Makoni. Looking closer to home there will be panels including choices in parenting, the pressures on women and the effect on mental health, and much much more.  


Organisers Lisa-Marie Taylor and Julian Norman said "Women still do not have equal pay, equal representation, or equal freedom from sexual violence, and continue to be positioned as passive objects within a male world.  At FIL we will be celebrating feminist thought, solidarity and activism. 


As well as a diverse line up of over sixty speakers, there are free workshops for children (suffragette banner making and junior self defence), a creche, teen workshops (spoken word and confidence through comedy), a spiritual space provided by the Red Tent, and soft space with therapists, as well as an art exhibition and stalls.  


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 10 Things Organized People Do Every Day 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on October 06, 2014 11:46 AM as A Mum's Life


Being organized isn't just about going through your paper piles once in a while. It's not just about doing the spring cleaning thing once a year either. Those things are great, but organized people are organized because they've chosen to make organizing part of their daily practice. Yes, I'm talking every. Single. Day.

With that in mind, here are 10 things that organized people do every day. If you're just starting your organizing journey, maybe choose one of these things to start doing, then go from there.

1. They plan each day the night before.

If you don't take charge of your day, it will take charge of you. While there's no need to plan your day to the millisecond, it's going to be super helpful  and will also make your day feel a lot more ease-filled  if you take some time the night before to review what needs to get done the following day. That way, when each day begins, you already have a mapped-out plan of what to do, and in what order to do it.

2. They have and keep only one to-do list.

Oh, to-do lists. We have so many of them. It doesn't matter if you keep your lists on post-its, index cards, in a journal, or a notebook  just have one. The point of to-do lists is to remind us of what we need to do, right? But if we have multiple to-do lists, one (or two or three) is bound to get lost, and suddenly those reminders have disappeared. My recommendation is to keep one list in a notebook, since notebooks are less likely to go missing than a tiny little post-it.

3. They spend at least 30 minutes going through and addressing emails in their email inbox.

Ah the dreaded email inbox. Such a love/hate relationship we have with it. While most of us spend way more than 30 minutes looking at our inbox every day, we don't necessarily spend 30 minutes taking care of emails  responding to them and clearing them out, one by one. Commit to spending 30 minutes of focused time with a set intention of how many emails you want to clear out from your inbox.

4. They clear their desk of paper piles.

A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind. At the very least, put all of your paper in one neat pile and set it aside to go through tomorrow. Bonus points if you go through it that day.

5. They have a morning routine and an evening ritual.

These routines and rituals can be very simple. Your morning routine may be a green smoothie, some stretching and oil pulling and your evening ritual may include a bath, some reading in bed, and putting lotion on your body. Making a point to keep the beginning and end of your day organized sets the tone for all the time in between.

6. They spend 10 minutes at the end of each day tidying up.

It's easy for your space to get a little messy as the day progresses, and in all likelihood, by the end of the day you may have accumulated a pile of dirty clothing in one corner and scattered papers in another. Set a timer and commit to tidying up for 10 minutes. It will make you feel accomplished, up your productivity for the next day, and you'll sleep better too.

7. They put their clothing in the laundry bin.

This one's easy, yet so many of us don't do it. I think it all comes down to how convenient it is for people to put their laundry in the hamper. My suggestion is to put the hamper wherever you're currently throwing your laundry. It might be in an awkward space, but at least everything will be contained neatly, as opposed to scattered around like a tsunami just hit.

8. They never leave dishes in the sink.

Whether this means that you load your dishwasher or wash your dishes, doing this simple task every day is a great way to feel like you've done something small to keep your space neat and organized. Plus, it can feel overwhelming when you see stacks of plates, dishes, pans, etc. overcrowding your sink, so doing this will also add some ease and peace of mind to your day too.

9. They carve out time for lunch.

When you don't carve out time for lunch, sometimes lunch doesn't happen. Whether you allocate 30 minutes or an hour, make sure that you stay well-nourished throughout the day.

10. They open up their mail.

You will always get mail. As digital as things are getting nowadays, no one has yet succeeded in getting rid of incoming mail. So first off, just know that the mail is going to keep coming, whether you like it or not. That said, there are many solutions to mail pileups, the first being to actually open it. So all of those envelopes that are hiding in the corners of your home collect them, dust them off and open them up, one by one.

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 Ultimate Check-list for Mums-to-be 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on October 02, 2014 8:23 AM as A Mum's Life

Or is it only a name? Well, no. There was a time when everyone had the same name. In the 15th and 16th century, if you were a boy you were called Thomas, Henry, John, Richard, or George. If you were a girl, you had the choice of Elizabeth or Elizabeth; maybe Anne is you were lucky. Now a days, thanks to celebs and people with so much money they don't have to worry about social stigma, we now have names like Kindle, Apple, Moonbeam, and in America: Veruca (because of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory;they don't realise what a Veruca is). Names are names, however in some places you have to be careful, raising a baby isn't all about draining all of your funds; it's also about making sure you don't break the law in other countries. Confused? See the below infographic. Who knew Akuma was an illegal name in Japan and China? Although, I don't know who would call their kid Akuma, but I suppose people have used weirder names (the award goes to rocker Frank Zappa: Dweezil, Moon, Diva, and Ahmet riiiight).

How much does it cost to raise a kid? is an infographic that was produced by Gumtree

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SEP 28

 The deeper you look, the better the treasure 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on September 28, 2014 7:50 PM as A Mum's Life

People often talk about needing to "find themselves", but really, we're right here all along.

The trick isn't to buy a sports car, or go to the Himalayas and sit on a mountain, but to instead make a new commitment to getting to really know you again.

The way to do this is to listen to your thoughts as much as possible throughout each day.

For most people, thoughts just play on auto-play in the background for most of the day, and aren't noticed individually so much as they are felt over the long term.

Sadness, anger, resentment - these things build up. If you ask a person "why" they are always sad, angry, or resentful at people, often they say in all honesty that they don't even know. It's just this massive, certain feeling that is there. Part of the process of healing is to unravel all those constant thoughts and make sense of them. Then, discard or change the ones that are not true but keep persisting and causing the view of the self and/or world to be skewed.

What do you think if you drop something or make a mistake? Do you think, or even say out loud, "stupid" or some other insult? Or how about when someone else, a co-worker, spouse, or child drops something or makes a mistake? Are they assigned a label: careless, ungrateful, clumsy, or something else besides that they just made a mistake?

If we hear something around 30 times, we believe it, and it's hard to believe anything else. If we do something around 1000 times, it becomes an unconscious habit, a natural response that we're not even aware of.

Believing is accepting, so if you are constantly having any negative thoughts that drove you to accept things that just aren't true, then the repetition of those thoughts on a daily basis affirms them over and over again.

Have you ever heard of "affirmations? They're those direct, positive thoughts and statements that a lot of the self-help and motivation world advise to do and use every day. Maybe taped to the bathroom mirror, or said aloud, or read on fancy store bought cards with pretty pictures. While they may seem insignificant, they are actually incredibly powerful tools that help to change and re-affirm new, positive statements and break the habits of the old ones.

The process: 

  1. Listen to your thoughts as much as possible as you go throughout the day. If you forget and then remember something, if you step on a scale, or if you are doing something and it is frustrating as it is not working how it should (computers!).
  2. Identify the labels that you assign yourself. Also, don't expect that you're going to be perfectly aware (and remember to be so) from day one, or that you'll have this whole thing covered in one, single day. This is a new thing. You're not supposed to be an expert at new things. Be patient, but persistent.
  3. Write down those labels in a brand new journal or notepad. Be as honest as possible, this is just for you. As they say, "you can't change what you don't acknowledge."
  4. Think about each one and the situation or situations it sprang up in. Are you being over critical of yourself? Would you assign those labels to someone else who did the same? How do those labels serve you? Do they take away your confidence, do they discourage you, do they bring you down?
  5. Create some affirmations. The easiest way to do this is to either take the opposite of the label, or just make the label neutral. "I am clumsy" can turn into "I am graceful," or if you're not quite ready to make that leap, then "I drop things or trip sometimes, but that doesn't mean anything except that I drop things or trip sometimes. Everyone does. The neutral shift allows you to accept yourself, while the opposite affirmation shift allows you to change that inner voice to one of upliftment instead of criticism.
  6. Make a new list of the neutral or positive affirmations, either in the journal or on a sheet of paper that's placed somewhere where you can read it every day.
  7. Read over the list in the morning. Add it to a habit that's already formed, like when you have your coffee or when you brush your teeth. You should feel just a little lighter and taller deep inside when you read them consciously and truly believe every word.
  8. Catch yourself. Throughout the day, be aware of your inner feelings. If they sink after something, think of what has just happened and if you've accidentally tossed one of those labels in there. If yes, then deliberately remember and think of the opposite or neutral affirmation. This is tough at first, but gets easier and easier.

There is an added benefit to doing this. We only accept the treatment from the outside world that we believe we deserve. We believe we deserve what we tell ourselves. So as you develop acceptance and self-esteem through this process, you will be less likely to accept anything less from the outside world. This doesn't mean that you'll suddenly want to scrap with everyone who puts you down in the way that you used to. It means that you will feel more comfortable in expressing yourself, calmly standing up for yourself, or disagreeing when someone puts you down or belittles you. You will gradually teach those around you to accept and treat you better as you teach yourself.

Self love is natural. Self esteem is natural. Self acceptance is natural. Those around you who have none of these may mistake them for a big ego, but they are the opposite.

A big ego is a mark of someone who actually doesn't love themselves very much, and so must constantly look for others to overpower or feel "better than" in order to maintain that big ego. Self love and self acceptance differ in that a person who practices these things will also be more likely to accept and love others as they are, and even correct others when they put themselves down. Big ego overpowers others, self love empowers others. Huge difference.

Again, the biggest thing to remember is that this is a process. Think of it as climbing a mountain. You take steps every day. You are where you are. You don't get frustrated that you're not at the top yet, because you know that every day, you're a little closer. Maybe it takes a month, maybe it takes a year, maybe it takes a few years. No matter how long it takes, it will be worth it. Just keep going.

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SEP 18

 Easy Guide To Helping Your Children Transition When You Get Remarried 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on September 18, 2014 8:07 PM as A Mum's Life

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All single mothers know the trials that dating bring you. Trying to have a love life whilst also being a good mother can be difficult. It may feel as though you're trying to balance too many things in your life. When you find a person who you want to marry, that presents a whole new host of issues. Introducing a new person into the family can be tricky. It is vital that you put your children first. When you have children every decision you make impacts their life. You need to ensure that you are making the right decision for the entire family unit, not just for yourself. Here is how you can help your children transition when you remarry.

Introduce your children to your fiance

Much of the time when single moms date, they don't introduce their boyfriends to their children. That in itself is a wise move. You don't need to introduce every guy you go for a drink with to the family. When you decide to get married, though, you need to introduce your children to your fiance. It is likely that your fiance will move into the family home after the wedding, and so it is vital that the children like him. Don't expect your children to like your fiance straight away. It's great if they do, but the chances are they won't. It will take time for them to build a relationship with him. You should not put any pressure on your children to accept your fiance. Give them the time and the space they need to do so.

Talk to your children about why you're remarrying

One of the main problems people face when remarrying is that their children don't understand why. Make sure you take the time to explain why you're remarrying to your children. Make sure that you tell them that their new step-dad is not replacing their biological father. Much of the time children worry about a new man coming into their home. They want to be loyal to their dad so will be hesitant when a new man is on the scene. By explaining to them that your fiance is no replacement for their dad, your children will be more accepting of the change.

Get your children involved in planning the wedding

Planning your wedding is one of the most-exciting aspects of having a wedding. Make sure that you involve your children in the planning process. When your children have a say in the big day, they will feel more comfortable with the wedding as a whole. Show your children different wedding card designs and let them choose which ones they like. Involving your children in the planning process will help them understand what the wedding day means to you.  

Make sure you include them in the wedding party

The worst thing you can do is fail to include your children in your wedding party. Remember, your fiance is marrying into the family. When he marries you, he is also taking on a level of responsibility to your children. By including your children in your wedding party, you are showing them that they will still be integral to the family unit.

Take your children on your honeymoon with you

Of course, you may want to go on vacation without your children when you marry. The problem is that in doing so you make your children feel as though they are not part of the family. Your children will feel as though you're leaving them behind.

Allow a transitional period within the family home

Everything will not be smooth sailing. You cannot expect your children to welcome your new husband into the family home with open arms. As with everything, you need to allow a period of change. Give your children time to accept your partner so that they feel comfortable in the home.

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SEP 17

 5 steps to a better life 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on September 17, 2014 10:00 PM as A Mum's Life


More than riches or career success, Britains women just want to be happy. Here are our tips to achieve this and four other common life goals.

Fame? Riches? Nah, not so much.

A new survey by Centrum Multivitamins has revealed that what women really want in life is to be happy.

Yes, of course, that happiness could well stem from fame and riches. And the survey did specifically focus on wellbeing goals, not career aims or financial dreams.

But the fact we rank being content so highly, above what could easily have been aspirations like to be a size 0 or to have more perfect hair, is rather nice.

Numbers 2-4 on our life goal list - supporting brain function, being fitter, losing weight, and aging gracefully are also comfortingly simple aims.

And, by following our advice, theyre surprisingly simple to achieve, too.

Be happy

Feeling a bit blue? Worried about how youll cheer yourself up? Well stop worrying about yourself and worry about someone else.

A report by Stanford University in April showed that the key for being happy is to set a goal to help others then actually do it.

"Caring about others is fundamental to our happiness, agrees Dr Mark Williamson, director of the Action for Happiness movement.

"Helping others is not only good for them, it makes us happier and healthier too. 

Good deeds dont have to be huge gestures, either give someone your train seat, help someone across the road, make someone a cup of tea. Whatever it is, the theme is always someone else.

Support brain function

Clever people eat cleverly, naturally. Want to wise up on their menu too? OK, go for shellfish for starters, high in iodine for maintaining normal levels of motor skills.

For main, choose turkey, that great source of niacin, vitamin B6 and B12 to aid good blood flow in the brain and in support psychomotor function (how well you can carry out activities that co-ordinate your brain and body).

Still room for pudding? Dark chocolate will offer you some flavonols, proven to boost blood supply, which in turn improves the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the brain.

Be fitter

The road to improving your fitness can seem like an endless, uphill and sweaty one, pot-holed by wheezing, boredom and terrifying gym outfits.

But it doesnt have to be this way - the key to getting fit is getting to know what you enjoy.

For example, theres no point forcing yourself to a weekly spin class if you hate bikes, being indoors, loud music or all three. Instead, go for a brisk walk, outside, somewhere quiet instead.

Not only will doing something you dont hate make exercise more enjoyable in the short-term, itll mean youre more likely to stick with it in the long-term.

Research from Fitness First and Fitness Psychologist partner Professor Stuart Biddle showed that having choice in what you do is one of the key factors in keeping up fitness willpower.

Lose weight

Forget fads - losing weight needs facts. And Hazel Ross, dietician from Counterweight UK, an evidence based lifestyle weight management programme  is here to give you them in the most easy-to-follow manner possible.

Her advice is as follows:

Create a 600-calorie deficit every day by eating a bit less and exercising more;
Include more fruit and vegetables, aiming for half a plate of vegetables with each main meal;
Start all meals with an undressed salad or vegetable-based soup;
Try to replace alcohol as much as possible.

Age gracefully

The ever-delectable George Clooney topped a poll of men over 40 whod embraced aging the best.

It might sound like an odd little survey, but the reasons for Clooneys victory were that he had not dyed his hair and he looked happy in his own skin.

The chiselled features probably helped a little too, but even the unchiselled among us can learn from Mr Clooney.

Ageing well, as with so many things in life, lies in being confident and embracing who you are, not trying to apologise for it and reaching for the nearest bottle of hair dye.

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SEP 17

 How to Keep the Kids Entertained During Half Term 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on September 17, 2014 6:00 PM as A Mum's Life

Keeping the kids entertained during the school holidays can give even the most patient of parents a headache. Let's face it; our kids get bored during the school break. As school is routine, a break from routine can cause our children to go wild. This can be hellish for parents. Of course, we love spending time with our children. But, the school holidays can be something of a pain.

There are some ways that you can keep your kids entertained and out of trouble. What is more, you will preserve your sanity in the process!

With thanks to Paul for the image

1.    Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts are the best way to keep younger children entertained. There is a wealth of things that you can do to ensure that they are kept busy during the holidays. You can make pots, create sculptures. You can sew, knit and cross stitch. You can make your own puppets and create a theatre for them to perform in out of a cardboard box. You will only need a handful of things to get you going. Wool, crayons, paint and paper can all be sought out cheaply. You can purchase glue from Glue Guns Direct. There is a wealth of things that you can do on rainy days in the house. What is more, you will inspire their inner artist. Being creative is what kids love. It certainly beats watching the television.

2.    Baking

Baking doesn't have to be difficult. But, bake-offs can be a fun way to beat the boredom of the holidays. You can keep it simple with cupcakes and muffins. You can be a little more creative icing and decorations. While your kitchen may end up slightly messy, this is an excellent way to get the kids involved with domestic life. Not only is it fun, it teaches them valuable skills. After all, what is better than eating the cake mix out of the bowl? Your creations could put Mary Berry to shame.

3.    Nature Walks

On the off chance that there isn't any rain in Blighty this year, nature walks are the perfect way to beat the holiday blues. You can create your own treasure maps and encourage your kids to find pine cones and certain leaves. Get them involved in the making of the maps. Spot British wildlife and have a game of wildlife bingo. The British countryside is beautiful in the autumn. Take advantage and get some fresh air and exercise this half term.

4.    Fruit Picking

One of the best things about Britain is its wealth of fruit farms. Fruit picking can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. There is something rather wonderful about going fruit picking. Your children are sure to love picking their own fruit. You can take this opportunity to get fresh air and exercise. More importantly, you can teach them about nutrition and the importance of fresh fruit and vegetables. Just because they are off school doesn't mean that education has to stop.

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SEP 17


posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on September 17, 2014 10:00 AM as A Mum's Life


"The little things in life create the biggest smiles. Be Happy! Not because everything is good, but because you can see the good side of everything. You can be as happy as you allow yourself to be

I do believe its the little things in life that make us happy. Small gestures and simple pleasures throughout the week. My list of happy little things that fill me with bliss are endless. ;-) Just to name a few that first came up:

The moment after the rain stops..Everything smells so fresh and clean.

A long phone conversation  with one of your best friends.

A small change to your routine to make your day feel more exciting.

Your music when you want it. Turn on the radio in your car or on your phone. Sing out loud and enjoy! ;-)

Children playing reminding you to be joyful.  Or swing, blow bubbles or dancing yourself.

Try a new (or favourite) recipe to forget your thoughts for a while and be completely focused. Preparing and eating fresh food gives me joy every time!

Laugh out loud by seeing something funny on TV, YouTube or by thinking of a happy memory.

A spa-like shower experience use your favorite shower gel and/or scrub your skin and above all take your time and enjoy!

A small gesture of supportA tight squeeze of your hand before you get up for your presentation or a simple smile just when you need it.

An outdoor walk the feeling of sunlight on your face and how relaxed and energized you feel afterwards.

Reading inspiring quoteslike For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness and My life isnt perfect, but it does have perfect moments Ive collected some more at the end of this post. :-)

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were big things

Lets take time to love and enjoy our happy little things! A Happy Weekend!

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SEP 15

 20 Ways To Feel Happy in 60 Seconds or Less 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on September 15, 2014 9:12 AM as A Mum's Life


Happiness doesnt have to be as complicated as we often make it out to be. We often feel happiness needs to be about big things like a new car, a fancy vacation, or even a big raise, but we can choose to experience feeling happy hundreds of times a day in the little things we do. However, in order to feel happy about the little things, we actually have to stay present and pay attention to them.

We need to let ourselves feel happy and just experience when it happens by acknowledging it in our thoughts and feeling it in our bodies. We can actually choose to do things throughout the day that make us happy and dont take a lot of time. The more often we do these things throughout our day, the more likely feeling happy will become a regular habit for us.

Here is a list of 20 things you can do daily to feel happy that take no longer than 60 seconds:

1.    Smile

2.    Laugh (even fake laugh if you need to)

3.    Have a 60 second dance party

4.    Look at a picture of a favorite memory

5.    Think of someone you love

6.    Hug someone you care about

7.    Choose to wear your favorite item of clothing

8.    Take a breath of fresh air

9.    Call a friend

10.  Practice gratitude

11.  Give yourself a compliment

12.  Be kind to someone

13.  Make plans to spend time with a fun friend

14.  Visualize your favorite place in the world

15.  Choose to forgive someone

16.   Do one minute of deep breathing

17.  Smell something that makes you happy (a cup of coffee, your favorite candle, or flowers)

18.  Find a funny YouTube video to watch

19.  Daydream

20.  Say no to something you dont want to do

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SEP 15

 Lessons from a Life Coach 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on September 15, 2014 8:33 AM as A Mum's Life

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Life coach extraordinaire Liz Wilde offers five secrets to living successfully.
Does your life need a makeover? Do you feel you have more problems than solutions in your life? Liz Wilde, author and life coach, shares her secrets in her book Unlock Your Potential. Here are five of her best secrets to living a happy, fulfilled life.

Find your passion

Wilde states that, "Do the things that are really you and life works out much better. Your passions are things that youre naturally drawn towards and you do well-often with little effort. (2004, p.10). Doing things you don't like is like swimming against the current of life. If you find what you love and do more of it, you are guaranteed to feel happier.

After a string of unsuccessful jobs, I had to ask myself: what do I really love to do? When the answer was writing, I decided I had better make it the focus of my working life. Registering in courses, setting aside time to write and reading about writing are all ways that I focus on my passion.

Task: Write a list of your top five passions. How can you incorporate the things you love into your life?

Recognize your needs

Wilde writes that, "Dont underestimate your needs. Knowing what they are is essential for you to live your best life, as needs seriously drain your energy unless you find a way to get them satisfied (2004, p.23). We all have needs. Some people need affection daily while some people crave space. If your needs go unmet, you will struggle.

One of my daily needs is for time alone. I have built this into my work schedule, working in an environment that gives me this. I also have learned to take space with my family. When they are watching television in the evening, I'll curl up with a book upstairs. Without space, I become depleted and scattered.

Task: What are your most important needs? Are some of your needs not being met? Find creative ways of getting what you need.

Eliminate self-sabotage

Wilde argues that, "By the time you reach ten years old, youll have experienced significantly more negative messages about yourself, compared to positive ones. No wonder the majority of us are now the not-so-proud owners of a less than positive self-image (2004, p. 28). Often we feel insecure and are filled with self-doubt. We need to change our internal beliefs and our habitual way of thinking that leads to self-sabotage.

After my last job ended, I felt a lot of doubt about my capabilities. I had negative thoughts spinning in my head. After I refocused on my strengths, I was able to find a new path and feel good about myself.

Task: Write down five nice things about yourself. Let them become your mantra and repeat them numerous times in a day.

Fight fear

Wilde says that, "Our instinct for security is often greater than our instinct for success and the status quo feels familiar and safe even when its bad for you (2004, p. 48). Fear often holds us back from the life we were meant to live. It's important to recognize fear and find strategies to overcome it.

Fear is one of my greatest obstacles. I fear financial ruin. I fear that I'm not good enough. I fear that I won't be successful. One of my strategies for facing fear is learning when it interferes with my life. Being mindful of fear helps me make friends with it.

Task: What are your biggest fears that hold you back from living the life you want? Brainstorm strategies for overcoming your fears.

Be problem free

Wilde states that, "Your quality of life is based on 10% on what happens to you and 90% on how you respond to what comes your way" (2004, p.96). She recommends over responding to problems - that is, coming up with two solutions for every problem (2004). She also recommends re-framing problems to see what you can learn from them (2004).

I have the tendency to feel overwhelmed by my problems. I see them as insolvable and then I remain stuck with them. By creating small goals that work towards solutions, I am able to tackle my problems.

Task: Can you come up two solutions to each problem you have?

Life can be overwhelming but Liz Wilde's strategies can help you negotiate life successfully. She advises you to live your passions, meet your needs, sooth your inner critic, fight fear and focus on how you respond to life.

Source: Wilde, Liz (2004). Unlock Your Potential. Ryland Peters and Small, Inc.: New York.

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SEP 14

 20 Daily Practices that can Change Your Life 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on September 14, 2014 8:04 PM as A Mum's Life


1. Ask Ourselves What We Want

This sounds simple, but many times we get so caught up in our routines, our responsibilities, and our relationships that we don't stop to ask ourselves, "Uhhh" is this even what I want?! 

What do you want? If you struggle to answer this question, try asking yourself, "What would I do if I could not fail? Be prepared for your answer to this question to change often. Know that that's okay.

2. Believe That it is Possible

We are what holds us back from actualizing our dreams. We must believe that what we want is possible; that itcan happen and we can do it. I remember the first time I saw a yoga teacher push his legs up into crow position. For yoga novices, this is a posture where the yogi crouches down, rests his knees into his armpits, shifts his weight forward into his hands, then floats his feet off the ground.

If you've never done it before, it looks impossible. Yet today I am able to do crow with little effort. A posture I once laughed at my teacher for even suggesting. How did I get there? I first had to believe that I could do it to give myself the courage to try. I use this as a metaphor for my life'a reminder that I am capable of achieving things tomorrow; that today might appear impossible. First, I have to believe that I can.

3. Live Life on Purpose

We must decide what we want and then focus our actions to support it. By doing everything; eating, speaking, breathing, behaving - with purpose, our actions become sacred rituals that yield intentional results. Eating something because it's what we actually want to eat to nourish and please our palates and our bodies. Saying something because it needs to be expressed and heard. Breathing in a way that supports our thoughts, feelings, and movements. Behaving in a way that makes us feel proud of who we are.

4. Set Intentions

It's easy for us to drift from our purpose with distractions -not only within our own minds, but those from the world around us as well.  We can stay focused on our purpose by beginning each morning with one clear intention: concentration, generosity, gratitude, peace, joy, energy, clarity, balance, or anything we want to harness in our lives. Throughout the day, we should remind ourselves of this intention and bring ourselves back to it often. The more we remember our intention, the more effortless living it becomes.

5. Think Positive

People say this all of the time, but how do we actually put it into practice? A little over a year ago I was sitting on my favorite beach, Punta Uva, in Costa Rica. I was reading "A Thousand Splendid Suns" and 'wow' did that book ever remind me of what I have to be grateful for. I began to make a list of all of the positive things in my life. Yet a few minutes later, wandering down the shore, I noticed my mind wandering into negative thinking. I then began beating myself up for thinking negatively in the first place. I began listing all of the things that were wrong with me and my life.

But a voice inside me spoke up: "Ahem, excuse me, Mind. You do not control me."

In that moment, I decided to play a game. Every time I noticed a negative thought creep into my head, I gave it a positive spin. "You're not as skinny as you were a year ago. What are you doing wrong?" became, "You have become so dedicated to your yoga practice. Look at how much stronger you are today than you were one year ago!" This game became a daily exercise.

I noticed that the more I practiced, the more automatic positive thinking became. Try shifting your self talk to a positive, kind, supportive dialogue. Our thoughts become our actions and our actions become our lives.

6. Be Selfish

How often do we give others compliments and gestures of kindness? How often do we give that treatment to ourselves? We deserve to feel healthy and happy and no one has the power to offer us that except ourselves. Do at least one thing every single day that is completely, absorbedly, selfish. Take a long soothing bath. Sit in a chair and read a book. Wake up in the morning and do yoga, not to burn calories, but to feel good. Prepare a beautiful meal and enjoy it alone.

7. Become Aware of Our Breath

Our breath is our life. Without it we would cease to survive. It literally moves life energy throughout our body affecting every function of our being. By gaining awareness of our breath and learning to control it, we can control our physical and mental state. Check in with the movement and pattern of the breath. Allow its supportiveness.  When life feels stressful and we feel out of control, we can calm our breath. Slow it down. Deepen it.

Remember: as long as we keep breathing, we keep living. And nothing is ever as serious as it seems.

8. Drink Water

Drink clean, pure, fluoride-free water. Drink a huge glass first thing in the morning. Drink it throughout the day. Carry a big bottle of water wherever you go as a constant reminder to drink, drink, drink!

9. Feel More, Numb Less

Sometimes feelings are intense. Pleasure, pain, sadness, joy, anger, anxiety, fear, hope - it can all be overwhelming. In our society we have created so many tools designed to make us feel less. We escape the intensity of sensations with food, alcohol, drugs, television, the internet, small talk, violence, sex.

Why are we so afraid to just feel?

When I feel an uncomfortable emotion creep in (especially loneliness or boredom), I notice that, suddenly, I have an urge to eat something or get online. However, the same way a throbbing headache is a signal that our bodies need something, boredom is a signal that our spirits need something. Our bodies are not telling us they need a pill the same way our spirits are not telling us they need distraction. We must stop quieting these signals and instead start listening.

10. Eat a Salad

This piece of wisdom comes from my dear friend and food blogger, Andie Mitchell. Eat a big, satisfying, crunchy, varied, balanced salad every single day and, trust me, you will feel amazing! My favorite salads include a crunchy lettuce (like romaine or cabbage) mixed with dark, nutrient-packed greens, something sweet (like fruit, corn, or tomatoes), quinoa or beans, a sprinkle of nuts or seeds, and a tangy dressing with lots of fresh herbs.

11. Move Our Bodies

Run. Jump. Dance. Move. Sweat. Our bodies are filled with energy channels; let them flow! Somehow we've adopted this mentality that movement is about calorie burning and weight loss. It has become a chore and a "should" rather than a "want." Moving our bodies is detoxifying, liberating, energizing, relaxing, and it's downright fun. We should do it because our bodies want it and because it feels damn good!

12. Start Setting Boundaries

When we feel taken advantage of, taken for granted, or generally out of control, the chances are we are not setting boundaries in our lives and in our relationships. It is each of our responsibilities to define what makes us feel respected and communicate that to others. If we don't want to loan our favorite sweater to a friend, we should respectfully say it. If we are too busy to volunteer at an event, we should be honest. If something makes us feel uncomfortable, we shouldn't do it. We can never expect others to behave in accordance with our wants or expectations. However, we can absolutely determine what we are willing to receive and kindly express what is and is not acceptable to us.

13. Don't Take Things Personally

Did you know that nothing is ever personal? Really. Nothing. What someone says or does that strikes an emotional chord with us is always a reflection of our own insecurities, values, and perceptions. Therefore, the way that someone treats you is the mirror image of what they are personally feeling inside. Knowing that nothing is personal, release the burden of what other people think and how they behave. Know that really, it's not us. It's them. In turn, when we find ourselves judging or mistreating someone else, we need to look within and ask ourselves what our thoughts and our behavior say about us.

14. Put Things Into Perspective

A few years ago a co-worker was telling me about her divorce. I will spare the details, but it sounded like an emotionally devastating experience. At the time I was going through my own never-ending breakup in an on-again-off-again relationship. Seeking guidance, I asked her, "How did you get through it?"

"I went to the Holocaust Museum," she said.

Sometimes, the best way to move on from our problems is to simply put them into perspective. Things are rarely life or death, everything will always be ok and nothing is ever good or bad unless we think so.

15. Spend Time Alone

With the internet at our fingertips, many of us are never alone. I find that my greatest moments of peace and clarity are those when I allow myself to fully separate from other people and outside distractions. My alone time fuels and energizes me when I return to the social world. Years ago, I hated being alone. Really, I hated it. It was uncomfortable, boring and lonely. Usually the thing that we want to do the least is the thing that we most need to do.

Take a long walk by yourself (without your iPod). Go out to dinner and sit at a table alone; don't bring a book or your phone. Sit by yourself in nature and just stare at what surrounds you. Notice what you feel in your body. Notice where your thoughts go. Realize that you are not only capable of maneuvering the world with your own strength, you are cable of maneuvering your thoughts and your feelings. Find freedom when you realize how good it feels to be alone.

16. Lead With Your Heart

When we experience completeness within ourselves 'alone' we may forget about the outside world. Lower the walls we've built to protect ourselves. Be honest with people about how we feel. Take a chance on love. Trust people knowing that we might get hurt. Leading with our hearts means being true to ourselves. When we are true to ourselves, we can live without regret.

17. Learn the Words Pura Vida

Why I love Costa Rica can be summed up in two words: pura vida. This simple phrase embodies the most beautiful philosophy I have ever known:

"Everything is good, life is beautiful, go with the flow, surrender to what is, let things go, enjoy your life."

We can say, "pura vida" on a sunny day as appropriately as we can in a storm. Pura vida is all about accepting the beauty in the world in every form. Learn these words and live them.

18. Seize the Day

The best time to take a step toward what we want is when the idea is fresh in our minds and the motivation is strong in our spirits. Live in the now. Tomorrow may never come, so do it today. Do it now.

19. Make it a Habit

My experience has shown me that to actually change, I must practice consistently. This is why drastic shifts, like moving or leaving a relationship, seem to affect us in the biggest ways: the aftermath of these actions have results that remain consistent day after day. For anything to really change we need to do it often enough that it starts becoming a habit or a pattern. Choose something that we really want and do it. Every. Single. Day. Practice discipline. Do it until we don't have to remind ourselves to do it anymore. Then keep doing it. Again. And again. And again.

20. Let Everything Go

Perhaps the most transformative practice of all is the act of letting go. In order to change, we must first make space to allow growth to happen. Let go of our expectations. Let go of our past pain. Let go of who we were yesterday and who we think we might be tomorrow. Let go of everything that is not making us better individuals right now. Most importantly, let go of thinking that we need to be perfect by adhering to anything.

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posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on September 08, 2014 10:21 AM as A Mum's Life

Not only is it a new month, but were about to enter the last quarter of the year! How do you feel about your year so far? Are you in need of a fresh burst of energy so that you can stay just as excited and enthusiastic now as you were on January 1st? Here are some ideas to help you get that feeling of the "fresh start that comes with trying something new


For the price of buying someone lunch, you could dramatically up-level your network and have the priceless opportunity of being able to learn first-hand from someone you wish to emulate. Many successful people love being able to share their story with people who are sincerely seeking guidance. However its so rare to come across someone willing to come up to them and say something like, "Hi, I really admire you and I think what youve achieved is incredible. Could I take you out to lunch so that I could learn more about you and how youve become so successful at what you do? Try it. It could be the beginning of a powerful friendship.



Life will always meet us where we are at mentally. Decide on one thing you can do to actively think bigger and better about yourself. Start your day off with inspirational videos or books. Dress a little nicer than youre used to. Have lunch at the fancier restaurant once in a while. Simply do something that puts you in the realm of having higher quality thoughts about who you are and how you want to live. When we do this, higher quality opportunities start showing up opportunities that will up-level our lives.



Throughout the month, whenever an idea, a task, or a promise comes to mind, dont keep it in your mind. Write it down on a Brain Dump list. This could be an actual sheet of paper, a small notebook, or a note-taking app on your phone whatever tool you know youll actually use and carry around with you. As productivity expert, David Allen, says: Your mind is for coming up with ideas, not for storing them. At the end of the month, you will most likely come to find that many of the tasks on the list have taken care of themselves. For the rest of the tasks, decide what you want to do, delegate, or defer.



If you are an avid Pinterest user (like me), you probably have dozens of boards with hundreds and hundreds of pinned ideas for how youre going to improve your life, your blog, your business, and even your exercise routine most likely! We can get so carried away with pinning and forget to actually try any of the ideas that looked so good. This month, commit to putting one pinned idea into practice. So, you know that post you pinned about "12 steps to a better blog? Implement it. Or that recipe for "The best chocolate chip cookies ever? Make it.



Do you feel scattered in your business? Like youre doing so many things and you dont know where to direct your attention so that you get the best results? Use a service like Survey Monkey and send out a survey to your audience. Think of questions that will generate answers that could help you serve them better. As entrepreneurs, we are always falling into the trap of doing a little bit of everything even though we know that the real magic is our ability to focus. Having surveys will help you get the clarity you need to create a blog, business, or product that your audience truly values.

So which of these things are you excited to try this month? Let us know in the comments below. :)


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 Make Your Home Your Weekend Retreat: 7 Tricks to Try 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on September 08, 2014 8:57 AM as A Mum's Life


Work's tough. Sometimes the week gets you down. How do you make sure you're back up by Monday? You could transform your home into your own refreshing, re-energizing weekend retreat. Though a spa weekend or a mini vacation would probably be preferable, there are seven things you can do to make your home even more relaxing than it normally is.

The trick? Laying the groundwork during the week before the weekend even starts, and then dedicating actual time to focus on you once the weekend's here!

1. Say no
A good thing to remember across all areas of your life: If your heart's not really into an invitation to go somewhere or do something, just say no. This frees up more time to fill the weekend up doing only the things you want to do and love and sets the perfect stage for a weekend of retreating and relaxing. 

2. Physically and psychologically detach from work
Preferably you can start this step on Friday night, but Saturday morning will do just fine. Hide your briefcase! Stuff your work folders in a drawer. Hey it's 2014, no one's going to tell you to lock up your laptop (this is a post on an online website, after all), but sign out of your work email. Try to give your brain a break.

3. Give yourself a clean slate for the weekend
Thursday or Friday night, do a quick clean that will make your home seem clean (even if you're a little behind and it's not as clean as it could be). Bringing rooms back to neutral, swiping counter tops, not waking up to a sink full of dishes all of these will make your home feel more relaxing to start with. 

4. Treat yo' self
What would be a treat to you? Sleeping in a bit? Baking a pie (and eating a slice or two)? Taking a long, luxurious bath? Curling up with a good book? It sounds so simple. But how often do you sit down for a few hours of uninterrupted time to spend doing the thing you love? If the answer is "not enough," then treat yourself. And try and treat yourself in your favorite spot at home, so you get double the enjoyment.

5. Consider ALL of your senses
A trick to feeling relaxed and rested after a weekend is to feel transported, and you can do that by distracting and treating all your senses. So consider all of them as you plan a weekend of activities (or lack of activities). Wrap yourself in a favorite blanket you love the feel of. Light a candle you can't get enough of the smell of. Taste a favorite tea. Place a bouquet of fresh flowers right in your eye line as soon as you wake up. Listen to a favorite album.

6. Carve out or visit your quiet space at least once
We keep droning on and on about being more mindful and taking a few minutes to set intentions every day. But when your week was too busy to do that, it's doubly important to attempt it on your days off. Find that space in your home you can grab a few moments of quiet.

7. Spend some time in your outdoor space
Nature a little sunshine, hearing some birds chirp, even just listening to the rain recharges. Try and spend a little time in your outdoor area (perhaps reading that book), even just tending to some plants, to be sure you're relaxed by the time Monday rolls around.

How do you transform your home into a retreat when the weekend is here so you're more relaxed and rested for the week ahead? 

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 4 ways to get your home in back-to-school shape 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on September 03, 2014 10:14 AM as A Mum's Life

1. Hang it up.

Laurel & Wolf

The best way to keep everything clutter free is by giving it a place to live, so get those backpacks, handbags and briefcases off the floor by using decorative hooks, knobs and coat racks. Also, consider adding a small table below the hooks to create the same effect as a cubby for your little one to store their shoes and other out-the-door essentials.

2. Bins and baskets. 

Laurel & Wolf

There are a plethora of fabulous looking bins and baskets in every color, style and texture, so take advantage of what's out there and make them work for you. Label or color code them to help keep your stuff in its proper place. We especially love the rectangular woven baskets that can easily be placed on bookshelves as they add beauty and function! 

3. Tackle the closet.

Laurel & Wolf

An organized closet will make getting ready a breeze for any member of the family. Start with donating any items that you don't think you are ever going to wear again. Then, get smart with how you can organize the things you want to keep. Install hooks for scarves and bags, utilize the back of closet doors and use double hangers to maximize your space. 

4. Prep for the mess.

Laurel & Wolf

Nothing says organized like knowing where your cleaning and laundry supplies are actually located. Pull them out from the depths of underneath the sink or the back of a cabinet and get them in an easy-to-reach location. Install simple rods and hooks for hanging, shelves for easy storage and a fold-away ironing board to help tackle laundry in style.

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AUG 10

 4 Household Chores That Can Make You More Mindful 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on August 10, 2014 6:19 PM as A Mum's Life


We tend to think of completing tasks around the house as more of a nuisance than a beneficial exercise ("You have how many loads of laundry?!"). Yes, there are probably about a million more exciting things to do than cleaning and organizing. But if you approach it with a different outlook, that disheveled desk drawer could actually be your gateway to mindfulness. You don't need to go on a meditation retreat to create peace in your life: If you're looking to cultivate a little calm, try tackling the four household activities below. You'll have a happier brain (and, as a bonus, a happier house).

Doing the dishes.
No one likes doing the dishes, but it is possible to make it a mindful activity by focusing on little nuances that go into scrubbing your cookware spotless. The chore offers the tools you need to open yourself to a beneficial type of multitasking:

From the moment you start to stack the dishes to the moment you hang up the towel, notice every sensation. The sound of the water running, the sight of the bubbles, the smell of the dishwashing liquid, the sounds of the silverware hitting each other in the drainer, the feel of the dishes in your hands, the warmth of the water. Move slowly. Concentrate on the task, instead of your to do list.

Cooking a big meal.
Mindful people create in any way that they can, including mixing it up with meals. Creativity in the kitchen allows you to get in a state of flow, concentrating on the task at hand (mostly because who wants burned Chicken Parm?). As the experts at Headspace point out, "Cooking provides a wonderful opportunity to be present, mindful and aware, as opposed to being distracted, stressed or overwhelmed ... It's also an opportunity to get back in touch with the food that you eat."

Organizing that junk drawer.
Studies have shown that clutter is a major source of stress when we're in our homes, so the best way to eliminate it is to mindfully tackle it head-on. Concentrate on the meticulous actions that go into deciding where each pen, notepad and paperclip is placed (and toss out those expired coupons). Your brain (and your drawer) will feel much lighter.

Making your bed when you wake up.
It takes about a minute, but your day and your mindfulness practice will benefit from pulling up those sheets. (Admit it: Just imagining your bed made sort of makes you feel like you have your life together). Making your bed -- while seemingly menial -- also allows you to focus for just a short period of time and set yourself up for zen. [M]aking your bed is a step that's quick and easy, yet makes a big difference. Everything looks neater. It's easier to find your shoes. Your bedroom is a more peaceful environment. For most people, outer order contributes to inner calm.

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 4 Reasons Journaling Is Good for You 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on August 02, 2014 2:56 PM as A Mum's Life


Once upon a time, you probably spent every night filling a notebook with your daily middle school happenings and a few heart doodles. Just as taking pen to paper helped you sort out your emotions back then, journaling has some important benefits for your adult years, too.

1. You sleep better
Take a few minutes each night to record your thoughts and emotions. The National Institute of Health suggests listing down all of the things that are worrying you, which will help clear your head. It may help you fall asleep faster, and provide a night of quieter sleep, too.

2. It improves mental and emotional health
According to research published in Advances of Psychiatric Treatment, writing about a stressful or emotional event can improve psychological health. After participants wrote about a nagging situation, they felt better, showed reduced depressive symptoms, and improved their psychological well-being. Other studies have shown that people who regularly journal show improvement with depression and anxiety disorders, and journaling helps reduce the amount of time spent worrying.

3. It boosts physical health
When evaluating years of studies about expressive writing, researchers at the Advances of Psychiatric Treatment discovered some surprising long-term benefits of journaling, too:
It improves immune system functions. 
It lessens the intensity of chronic pelvic pain. 
It improves lung and liver functions. 
It reduces blood pressure. 

4. Heal faster
Researchers in New Zealand found that journaling helped patients with wounds to heal faster. Long-term stress can affect levels of the hormone cortisol, which inhibits the immune system. The participants who engaged in expressive writing showed lowered cortisol levels and shorter healing times.

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JUL 29

 Feel Healthy, Happy And Beautiful 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on July 29, 2014 7:38 PM as A Mum's Life

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The realities of motherhood often make it difficult for mums to feel in tip top condition all of the time. Sleepless nights, the juggle of home and work, and relentless domestic chores leave you feeling depleted of energy. However, by adopting some of these tips, you can begin to change your life for the better and start to feel healthier, happier and more beautiful than ever before!

A good night's sleep and young children rarely go hand in hand. However, by allowing yourself more time to catch up on some much-needed zeds, the more likely you are to feel refreshed and focused the next day. It is recommended that women get around eight hours of sleep per night. If you're in for a broken night's sleep due to your feeding routine or teething, make every effort to go to bed earlier. I've known mums who hit the sack straight after their children's bedtime just to catch up on much-missed sleep. If you find it difficult to actually sleep when going to bed earlier, settle down and relax by reading a book or lazily chatting with your partner. Avoid taking work to bed or watching too much TV, as this can increase stress levels and prevent you from switching off.

Eat Well
Most mums try to lose as much weight as they can following the birth of their child but this can have a detrimental impact on energy levels. Rather than dramatically cutting calories, opt for a healthier plate of food at meal times and snacks. Ensure you take the time to sit down and enjoy your meals, rather than eating them around your other tasks. Balance your nutrients so you are getting a good boost of vitamins and minerals; vital to maintaining focus and motivation. Eating healthily is especially important for breastfeeding mums. If you have older children, eating healthily will encourage them to do the same. Don't forget to top up on Council Pop: drinking plenty of water helps you maintain a healthy body, clear skin and a focused mind!

My articles this month have focused on self-care and taking time out to exercise is a great way to enjoy essential me-time and reinvigorate your body and soul. However, you don't have to get a gym membership to fulfil your exercise needs, you can get plenty of exercise when you're with your kids. You might be lucky enough to have a Mums & Buggy exercise class in your area or you can simply catch up with your friends with a walk through a local park. Walking your children to school is a great form of exercise, and having to dash when you're running late helps all the more!

Stay Positive
Many mums rely on a good network of supportive friends to share stories and parenting tips. Unfortunately, some people do not positively enhance our lives. Sometimes, friends can be continually negative about their situation and constant doom and gloom can impact on your outlook and the way you view your life. Some people get a kick from making other people feel small. If you find yourself with these sorts of people, continual negative influences and opinions can leave you feeling drained and devalued. Try to step away from such black clouds that tend to hover around when you least want or need them. Instead, try spending time with positive people who share your interests, values and opinions. Don't feel you have to stay stuck in a rut with negativity: you always have a choice about the people with whom you spend your time.

Invest In Yourself
You may have enjoyed a wealth of hobbies, interests and activities before you started a family. Welcome these pleasures back into your life so they can reinvigorate you and reawaken your lust for life. If you have returned to work, decide how to achieve your best work/life balance, especially if you want to progress your career or achieve some work-based goals. Investing in your personal interests and goals will enable you to become the woman you truly want to be.

Doing all of these things will give you the energy you need to focus on you. Once you have introduced these elements into your life, you will start to notice how uplifted you feel. Your appearance will probably change and seem much more like the old you. If you are enjoying a healthier diet with more sleep and exercise, your hair and skin will become radiant. You will start to glow, which will inevitably give you the confidence boost you need to go out there and achieve your lifelong goals!

By Empowering Mums

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JUL 29

 Are You Empowered? The Choice Is Yours 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on July 29, 2014 7:11 PM as A Mum's Life


Being empowered means having a choice. As women in todays society, we have lots of choices available to us. Personal empowerment is about making choices that bring us fulfilment, satisfaction and joy. With unbreakable confidence and unwavering self-belief, you can make the choice today to be the real you and achieve your lifelong dreams.

As a busy mum, it is both common and easy to feel out done. Everyone else seems to get more attention than you and you continually juggle their demands whilst ignoring your own. Despite what seems like a never ending list of things to do, you always have a choice. You can choose to take control of your own life by identifying the things you want to achieve, embracing new opportunities, having more fun and fulfilling your own needs!

To enjoy a fulfilled life, start allowing positivity to enter your life. Continuing to live without hope and optimism can have a devastating effect on you, your relationships and your family life. By identifying the good things that happen each and every day, you will start to welcome happiness and contentment into your life, which will help you create a calmer and easier environment in which you can prosper.

Give yourself the time you need to dream about your hopes and aspirations for your future. Only you can choose to make these dreams a reality. Create a plan of action that will help you to move forward, step-by-step. Have the belief in yourself that you can achieve and go for it! You will be a success!

As importantly as striving for your hopes and ambitions, is starting to incorporate that all-important me time into your life. Without it you will burn out! Give yourself time regularly to focus on your needs, whether you require mental stimulation, physical activity or social interaction. Do whatever makes you feel good and recharges your much-depleted batteries!

If you want to lead an easier, more fulfilling and happier life, realise you can make different choices that will make your dreams a reality. Be empowered! Become the woman you deserve to be and enjoy a life filled with confidence, balance and joy!

By Empowering Mums

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 Nominations Open for Inspiration Awards 2014 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on July 04, 2014 8:31 PM as A Mum's Life


Britains most inspirational women are set to be acknowledged at the Inspiration Awards 2014 on October 2nd, Cadogan Hall.  

Nominations opened 9th May 2014 for the public to send in their amazing stories of women who have inspired others with their actions.  

The awards were set up 8 years ago to inspire our next generation of girls.  

Well-Known and unknown women are acknowledged at the Oscar-Like event, Breakthrough Breast Cancer are the beneficiaries of an evening of inspirational music, people and stories.  

Women like Annie Lennox, Gloria Hunniford, Kathryn Grainger Victoria Beckham, Adele and Lorraine Kelly have won awards in the Inspirational Celebrity categories.  

The event has unearthed stories of women doing amazing things in the face of adversity like Erin McNeil (who was dragged out of a fire moments before death ), Alice Halstead ( a 1.7 billion to one girl who has rare form of diabetes and has to live her life with a diabetic alert dog ).  

Business women like Kim Winser ( the first female in commercial field of M&S ), Martina Milburn ( CEO of Princes Trust ) and Claire Horton ( CEO of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home ) have all been acknowledged for their excellent work.  

Many of the women that do amazing work have not let personal set-backs stop them from helping others.  

Last year saw Baroness Doreen Lawrence receive a Lifetime Achievement award from footballer Sol Campbell.  

Here are the highlights videos from 2013:


To nominate for the Inspiration Awards for Women 2014 please email nominations@inspirationawards.co.uk with 100 word biography, picture of nominee and you can also include websites, twitter and facebook pages.


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JUN 29


posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on June 29, 2014 11:26 AM as A Mum's Life

On any given weekend, I feel torn between various tackling projects and lazing around in my pajamas watching movies on Netflix. 

Given that we all have to-do lists, which grow exponentially, it's a must to find a balance between getting stuff done and relaxing enough to enjoy what you already have. 

I am a pretty low-stress person, but I do like keeping myself busy and mentally checking off my list. While you can definitely still get things done meditatively (that is why I like pottering around at home and outdoors), there is much to be said for putting down the smartphone/books/journals/laptop and taking a breather (I DO LOVE MY GADGETS!)

If you're already feeling overwhelmed this month, don't forget to take bathshave a chocolate,curl up on the couch with a good book, and play some games - basically do whatever makes you happy.

One thing that works for me is to keep an journal of all things you have completed/achieved. Rather than focusing on what you still have left to do, celebrate even the small projects that now enhance your life and home.

How do you balance your to-do list and your "free" time? What helps you unwind?

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APR 22


posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on April 22, 2014 10:46 AM as A Mum's Life

We have put together 5 things for you to try this April to help you to have an even more successful month! Leave a comment & let us know what you think are you going to do them?


This month its all about taking massive action! So what goal would you love to reach by the end of the month and then what action are you going to take to make it happen? Get clear, set you goal, make your plan and then take action. So get on board with the #ActionForApril challenge!


Every day this month set aside at least 15 minutes a day for me time. Time where you can focus on yourself go for a walk, read a book, watch some YouTube videos, check in with yourself. Its so important for us to give this time to ourselves, but so easy to forget to do. So this month make a conscious effort to do it. You deserve it.


Connect with at least one new business person this month. Expand your network of support! Its so important that we have a great support network around ourselves we all need people to champion us, especially when times are tough. So work on building your network up this month. Pick up the phone, go for a coffee, connect with a new business contact and support each other this month!


What would you love to get really good at? Marketing? Branding? Traffic conversion? Writing copy? As entrepreneurs there are so many things we have to do, it can  be easy to be average at doing all of it. But what if you focused your energy this month on getting really great at one aspect of your business? How much do you think it would help you? My guess is that you would probably see a breakthrough in that area of your business if you dedicate time to honing your skills. So give it a try. Decide what you want to get good at and then focus in on it.


I think this is the best attitude of all. Theres something calming, kind and infectious about an attitude of gratitude. It helps you to look for the positive in things rather than the negatives (which can so easily drag us down). So this month spend a couple of minutes last thing at night to reflect over your day and feel grateful for everything you have in your life. I promise it will warm you heart and make you feel good.

So are you going to try these 5 things? Leave a comment and let us know.

By Female Entrepreneur Association

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 Melt Your Stress Away with These 10 Easy Methods 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on March 03, 2014 6:45 PM as A Mum's Life


Do you ever feel run down, out of energy, sad for no reason and feel like you're going to crack at any moment? Do you ever know you have a ton of stuff to do, but feel so helpless, you get paralyzed and don't want to do anything but take a nap, or cry? Are you screaming for a vacation, not just because you want to travel and have a new experience, but because you want to escape?

Here's some ways to help you create balance in your life:

1. Understand that it's totally okay to say no.

You don't have to take on everything that crosses your path. It doesn't make you a bad person. It doesn't mean that you lack compassion. It means you are saying YES to yourself and respecting your own needs. Sometimes saying no is the most liberating thing you can do. The next time an invitation comes up to a party you'd rather not attend - say no. If someone asks you to babysit on your only day off - say no. If you're in a great mood and you don't feel like listening to someone's drama or don't feel like helping them sort out their problems SAY NO. Keep in mind, saying no doesn't mean never. It just means not right now. This keeps you from over-extending yourself, and frees up time to do things you enjoy.

2. Spend time outdoors daily.

No matter what the weather is like, or what season we're in, go outside every single day. Nothing helps you get more grounded or more re-connected to yourself than spending time in nature. Allow yourself to be re-energized by the sun. Allow the fresh air to fill your lungs. Become a kid again and use your imagination. Do you remember looking up at the clouds and seeing a seal balancing a ball? Go outdoors at night and create patterns with the stars as you gaze at the night sky. Take your exercise routine outdoors and let the change of scenery uplift you.

3. Take time each and every day to have fun.

Even with a tightly packed busy schedule, you can find 30 minutes to do something fun that you enjoy. Drink a smoothie for lunch to free up time to catch a round of miniature golf. Or head over to the mall and play a video game at the arcade. Try something you've never done before like zip-lining or go-kart racing. Create a bucket list. Spend 30 minutes writing down everything you want to do in this lifetime. Take a few minutes each week to research and add to that list. Make a point to cross off several things each year. Our time on this earth has an expiration date, sometimes sooner than we'd like, so try to make the most of each day.

4. Be gentle with yourself and practice self-care.

What can you do today to nourish yourself? No matter what, carve out 30 minutes to an hour every single day. Instead of simply taking a bath, whip out your bath pillow, light candles and play soft music. Add a few drops of pure essential oils to the water. Allow your stress to melt away. When you're done, give yourself a massage by rubbing in coconut oil or your favorite body butter all over your skin. Give yourself a facial and a pedicure before finishing up your day. Fall in love with meditation. Even 20 minutes can drastically improve your health and wellbeing.

5. Get comfortable with communicating your needs.

Often times it's not that others aren't willing to support us, we simply haven't articulated our expectations. If you aren't up to cooking tonight, ask your spouse or significant other to take on that task for you. If you need a neck massage, don't just hint around and drop clues: ask for one. If you're sick of sitting in the house on Sunday, and would rather go out for a drive in the country, or want to have a picnic in the park, ask for it. No one knows what you want, unless you say it.

6. Make some changes in your diet.

Did you know the foods you eat could be the reason your body has so much stress? Caffeine, sugar, gluten, alcohol, dairy, and soy are often the biggest culprits of dietary based stress. Instead of coffee, swap it out for herbal tea. Instead of having milk with your steel cut oats, try almond or coconut milk. Instead of sugar, try stevia, raw honey or medjool dates to sweeten your smoothie or favorite cake recipe.

7. Make a conscious effort to breathe more.

This is something you can do without altering your schedule in any way. As you sit at your desk, as you do the dishes or as you cook dinner, breathe in as slowly and as deeply as you can through your nose. Hold it for a count of 4, then slowly release the breath through your nose. Repeat as many times as necessary until your feel relaxed.

8. Move your body.

Sometimes it's a matter of us not being active enough that causes stress. Nothing feels better than a good stretch. Do gentle moves such as Yoga, Qi Gong, or even simply standing up every hour to stretch different parts of your body. If you're really lucky you might even re-adjust a part of your body that was stiff or un-aligned. I love it when my back gets a good stretch and crack.

9. Get lost in a good book.

When I read, I'm able to disappear from my daily challenges or worries. Read books that have plots that make you laugh, or activate your imagination. Read motivational books that leave you feeling inspired. Read a sexy romance novel that makes you feel warm and fuzzy. Or my favorite; read a great book that guides you to take better care of yourself. My current favorite "The Art Of Extreme Self-Care" by Cheryl Richardson.

10. Have one day per week where you disconnect.

No texting, no emailing, no working, no updating your Facebook status message, or tweeting your every move. Turn your cell phone, computer and television off. Use this time to catch up with friends in person, spend the day with family, or make it date night. Technology can bring us happiness, but it can also be the source of overwhelm, stress and feeling disconnected. If a whole day seems too far-fetched, dedicate half a day each week to your technology free detox.

It's the small changes that reap big rewards. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you.

Written by Torrie Pattillo.

Torrie Pattillo is a writer, life coach, and founder of Holistic Voyage, a personalized coaching program that shows women how to lose weight and regain energy without dieting or countless hours at the gym. Her mission is to empower women to feel nourished, confident, sexy and more fulfilled. Torrie is currently enrolled at the world-renowned Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's studying over 140 dietary theories, mind/body/spirit wellness, and is being trained in practical lifestyle coaching methods. Upon graduation she will be a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach (AADP).  She is passionate about passing on wellness advice, recipes, and inspirational wisdom to anyone who wants to improve their health and become the best version of themselves.

Website: www.torriepattillo.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/holisticvoyage

Twitter: www.twitter.com/holisticvoyage

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/holisticvoyage

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 10 Ways You Can Create Happiness In Your Life 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on March 03, 2014 6:32 PM as A Mum's Life


Sometimes it feels like we have more sadness than joy. More bad days then good. Sometimes we even lose hope. For most of my life I was unhappy. I turned to self-help books, depression medication, psychological therapy and emotional eating. I tried to strategize what circumstance or things I needed in order to become happy. Finally the answer became clear when I began practising Buddhism in 2009. I read this quote from my spiritual mentor Daisaku Ikeda;

"Relative happiness is happiness that depends on things outside ourselves, such as affluence or social standing. While the happiness such things bring us is certainly real, it shatters easily when external conditions alter. Absolute happiness, on the other hand, is something we must find within. It means establishing a state of life in which we are never defeated by difficulties, and where just being alive is a source of great joy. Never seek happiness outside of yourself.

I determined from that moment to look within. I became aware of the subtle shifts that make happiness possible. I began reminding myself of a few important things that I think we all tend to forget when things get rocky.

1. Always lead, live and act with compassion.

Caring about others happiness as much as your own, implants good fortune in your life. Forgiveness and heart to heart dialogue dissolves anger. Even when people are unkind to us, acting with compassion makes them respond differently to us. Being kind always feels good. As Mahatma Gandhi said, "be the change you wish to see. It only takes the courage of one person to ignite a ripple effect of positive change that effects many.

2. Become the master of your mind.

We've all heard "thoughts become things. The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts. Cultivating a positive mindset is paramount. Negative thoughts equate to a negative life. Whenever negative thoughts or feelings surface, quickly think of something that makes you happy. Read something that makes you laugh. Say positive affirmations. Since the mind is the only place we always have power, we might as well use it wisely.

3. Abandon limiting beliefs

By not breaking through our limitations, we hinder personal growth. The universe is abundant and boundless and so is our potential. People create limitations. Removing the shackles of disbelief allows happiness and abundance to flow. Establish indestructible faith so that everything will begin to move in the direction you desire. Recognize your amazing power to accomplish anything. If you believe something is unattainable/impossible, the result you will get is impossible/no solution.

4. Seek and maintain good friends.

The expedient means to doing this is, you MUST stop spending time with energy vampires. If you feel dis-empowered, drained or resentful after spending time with someone, it doesn't add value to your life or theirs. Find your "tribe.  A group of like-minded people, who uplift, encourage and support you. Those who add to your life, not extract from it. Align yourself with people interested in two-way, equally balanced relationships. Heres the kicker: YOU must be a good friend also. Remember your friends are a reflection of you. What do you want to reflect? Positive, harmonious relationships are a staple for a happy existence.

5. Build a support system

For business, form a mastermind group or find a business coach. In daily life, seek a mentor whos wisdom you can draw from. For health, build a wellness team thats committed to your total well-being. In family life, reach out to spouses, significant others, and relatives to help you complete tasks. If theres something you dont know how to do, or cant handle alone, its perfectly okay asking for help or guidance. Get comfortable with communicating your needs.

6. Take responsibility

Relinquish "victim mentality. Blaming others has never solved a problem. Discover your role in each scenario, and commit to doing your part to improve it. Also, take responsibility to manage your expectations. Instead of expecting bad stuff to happen, expect good stuff. In fact, expect miracles. Miracles come to those who believe they are possible. Remember, no one else is responsible for creating your happiness.

7. Establish a spiritual practice

Traditional religion, Eastern Philosophy, New-Age, meditation, connecting with nature or anything that helps you feel more meaning, connection and grounding. This allows you to tap into your inner wisdom. Statistics show people who align themselves with spirituality are healthier, happier and live longer lives.

8. Be kind to yourself

Only eat foods that nourish you and contribute to good health. Include some form of physical activity daily. Get plenty of sleep to re-energize. Make time for yourself daily. Read empowering books and articles. Eliminate television, music and other forms of media that is negative, uninspiring or wastes your time. Be gentle with yourself by having positive self-talk.

9. Cease criticizing and complaining and gossiping

It creates disunity and breeds negativity. You become focused on the things you dont want, which actually attracts it to your life. Gossip lacks compassion, slanders others and inflicts unnecessary pain. Complaining illustrates a lack of gratitude, patience and faith. This is the ultimate way to block any benefits or happiness from entering your life.

10. Be grateful for everything. Good or bad.

Everything happens for a reason. What seems like an obstacle is often our protection, or an opportunity for learning. Even bad things can be a source of great fortune or healing. When you express sincere gratitude, you will always have more to be grateful for. Start or end each day with thinking of, or writing down all the things you are grateful for. By focusing on the things you appreciate, you attract more of that into your life.

Written by Torrie Pattillo.

Torrie Pattillo is a writer, life coach and founder of Holistic Voyage, a personalized coaching program that empowers women to achieve their health and wellness goals and create their ideal lifestyle. Torrie is currently enrolled at the world renowned Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Shes studying over 140 dietary theories, mind/body/spirit wellness and being trained in practical lifestyle coaching methods. Upon graduation she will be a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach (AADP).  She is passionate about passing on wellness advice, recipes and inspirational wisdom to anyone who wants to become the best version of themselves.

Connect with Torrie at her blogFacebook and/or twitter.

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 7 Ways To Eliminate Negativity 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on March 03, 2014 6:25 PM as A Mum's Life


There was a point in my life when I tried to make excuses for my negativity. I felt "venting was healthy. I felt complaining about someone who wronged me was normal. I thought being sarcastic was humorous. It took someone close to me commenting on my negative attitude for me to begin making changes.

Initially, it was so hard to shift my thoughts, words and actions. I knew it would create more happiness, but it still didnt seem worth the effort. When I began studying Holistic Health, it all began to make sense. In my role as a Holistic Health coach, I knew I would need to spend a lot of time working with clients to shift their mindset and improve emotional health, so I had to begin practicing what I preached.

Of course, its impossible for human beings to be in a positive mindset 100% of the time is impossible. Im no exception. Sadness, fear, worries or stress will inevitably make an appearance in all of our lives. However, you dont want to make negativity your home base. Heres why:

Negativity causes stress.

Stress causes weight gain, imbalanced hormones, insomnia, depression, anxiety and other chronic health issues.

The more energy you focus on negative thoughts, the more negativity you will attract into your life. That means more negative people and negative circumstances will crowd your space.

Relationships will suffer. Have you ever seen really awesome, inspiring, funny, uplifting and positive people hanging out with a bunch of cynical people? Nope! They stick with their own kind.

Your career will suffer. Employers seek professionals who have an optimistic view of life and a bubbly personality. Its bad for morale to have a whiner hanging around. Same thing if youre self-employed. Clients and customers work with people they like.

Negativity isnt just internal. Its reflected on the outside in the form of a frown, scowl, slumped shoulders, poor posture, eye rolling and harsh verbal tone. People will automatically be

A. Intimidated by you

B. View you as unapproachable

C. Will give you the same negative response in return.

With a firm commitment to keep practising a positive attitude until it was second-nature, I've seen a huge difference in my life. Heres what I did to shed the negativity:

1. I ceased all forms of complaining.

This was the most difficult for me. It was hard for me to acknowledge that simple things such as "wow, this line at the bank is long, was a form of complaint. I was doing this 10-15 times per day. Even when I stopped, I found myself thinking about it. That counts too. Turn the complaint into something positive. "Wow, I have lots of beautiful people to look at in line, which will make the wait time go by quickly.

2. I refrained from speaking badly of people.

Even when someone did something that annoyed or upset me, I made it a point to keep my speech positive. I evaluated my role in the situation. Of course its easier to blame someone else. I reminded myself that the world is a reflection of me. I also began speaking all the good I knew of everyone.

3. I wrote down 10 things I was grateful for each morning.

In the beginning, it was the same thing over and over, like "my loving family, "my supportive partner, and "my spacious apartment. Soon, I begin having new things to add to the list. No matter how big or small, or repetitive, write your gratitude list daily. It got to a point where some days I would need to write 30 things because so many positive things were happening.

4. I started making it a point to be of service to others.

Part of my issue was I was always complaining about what others did to me, or what they failed to do. When I stopped focusing so much on myself, and how I could create value in someone elses life, it made a huge difference. Nothing gives you the warm and fuzzies like helping someone else feel better or putting a smile on their face.

5. I started smiling all the time.

I know it sounds cheesy, but I found this to be one of the easiest ways to change my mindset. It seemed when I started smiling for no reason, everyone was nicer to me, and the universe responded by putting things in front of me that made me smile. Even if the negative wires are sparking, something will soon cross your path to ensure this smile is authentic.

6. I made it a point to do something fun every single day.

It could be something as small as play a board game with friends, create a new recipe, check out a new store or dance for 20 minutes to my favourite songs. Im also a big fan of creating a bucket list, and checking things off. So if youve been wanting to try zip-lining, snorkeling or rock climbing, now would be a good time.

7. I started hanging out with the most positive people I know.

didn't want to be the rotten apple of the bunch, so I was forced to talk about positive things, which also put me in a great mood. After doing this for a few outings, I gained confidence to start meeting new positive people.

Try it and see if it makes a difference.

Written by Torrie Pattillo.

Torrie Pattillo is a writer, life coach, and founder of Holistic Voyage, a personalized coaching program that shows women how to lose weight and regain energy without dieting or countless hours at the gym. Her mission is to empower women to feel nourished, confident, sexy and more fulfilled. Torrie is currently enrolled at the world-renowned Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Shes studying over 140 dietary theories, mind/body/spirit wellness, and is being trained in practical lifestyle coaching methods. Upon graduation she will be a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach (AADP).  She is passionate about passing on wellness advice, recipes, and inspirational wisdom to anyone who wants to improve their health and become the best version of themselves.

Website: www.torriepattillo.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/holisticvoyage

Twitter: www.twitter.com/holisticvoyage

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/holisticvoyage

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FEB 18

 Clutter Or Calm? The Choice Is Yours! 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on February 18, 2014 9:29 PM as A Mum's Life


Clutter can leave you feeling overwhelmed and when you consider organising your space, you may not know how or where to start! The decision to continue living in such chaotic surroundings or to begin sorting out the various areas of your home is entirely your own. Yet de-cluttering can bring a tremendous sense of relief and achievement. Creating an organised home environment provides a place in which you can feel calm and content.

De-cluttering involves simplifying your surroundings; deciding what you want to keep and allocating an appropriate space for it. Although it might seem an insurmountable challenge at the outset, the accomplishment of a thorough and well-considered de-cluttering exercise brings a calmer state to both your environment and your mind!

Clutter can build as easily in your thoughts as well as in your surroundings. Physically it becomes a distraction and a hindrance. Clutter is a time waster. If you continually misplace the things you need because it is hidden under unnecessary clutter, you soon become frustrated, agitated and depleted of energy!

Bring a sense of calm to your home, your mind and your family life. Take control of your clutter by allocating a rightful place for useful items and responsibly dispose of the rest! For a comprehensive guide to de-cluttering, visit my online shop where you can purchase my popular and effective self-study guide, De-cluttering: Clear Your Space, Clear Your Mind. This essential workbook provides effective and long-term solutions to re-organising your home, enabling you to create and maintain a peaceful, tranquil environment that your whole family can enjoy!

By Empowering Mums

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FEB 12

 Inspirational Mothers Award 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on February 12, 2014 9:31 AM as A Mum's Life


Nominate those special Mummy's! Email 250 words on an inspirational Mother to mothers@inspirationawards.co.uk


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JAN 14

 The Work & Family Show 

posted by VIVACIOUS MUM on January 14, 2014 10:21 AM as A Mum's Life

21st & 22nd February 2014 ExCeL London

(3rd January 2014)  Next month the first ever Work & Family Show, sponsored by My Family Care and Sky Broadband Shield, will take place, giving working parents on the lookout for a new challenge in 2014 access to a wealth of ideas and opportunities .  The speaker line-up is quickly taking shape, with Jenny Willott, Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs, confirmed as a key speaker on the main stage.  

Born out of the demand from families in need of help when returning to work or starting up their own business, the show aims to give practical advice, inspiration and ideas to help create a happy and healthy work-life balance.

Driving confidence to get back into work, the event will be packed with inspirational experts and employment opportunities.  Participants include Red Magazine, The Womens Business Council and The Family & Childcare Trust, while the likes of The Post Office and franchise companies including Stella & Dot and Yogabellies will be on the search for motivated individuals to sign up. 

There will be employment advice available at The Career Surgery (brought to you by Sky Recruitment) from the team at Inspired Mums, Thinking Potential, Workingmums.co.uk and the National Careers Service while there will be an array of experts on hand to give practical solutions  help create an ideal work-life balance.

The show will be an interesting and engaging event full of lively debates, inspirational expert advice, and confidence-building ideas that will leave visitors eager to make their next move.

Organised by Clarion Events and working in conjunction with My Family Care, it is set beside the hugely successful Baby Show and is expected to attract over 10,000 visitors.  

Oliver Black, Director of My Family Care says: "Over 2.2 million are not working in order to look after their family. More than 60% of these are looking to return to work but do not know how to and dont appreciate the number of family friendly businesses that are out there.  This is exa