When There Is No Sleep: Staying Productive as a Zombie

sleep deprivation and energyMoms are amazing human beings. Working moms are even more amazing, because we have to balance motherhood with the demands of a business (or two or three). This is often done on very little sleep, particularly when you have small children who wake up throughout the night.

Dragging through the day isn’t something you can really do when you have  a business to run. So, with that in mind, I’ve compiled a few tips to help moms stay productive after a sleepless night. Feel free to add your own in the comments!

Take a nap. Well, duh, right? If you CAN sleep for a bit, try to get 15 minutes and no more. This is enough to refresh you, but won’t cause you to be too groggy.

Use aromatherapy. Diffusing lemon, peppermint or citrus blends can help wake you up. I highly recommend doTERRA’s oils . . . learn more here.

Eat a banana. If you’re like me, you may end up skipping meals or eating poorly. Bananas have what you need to spark that energy and get you going again.

Have some green tea. Adding a little caffeine to your daily routine isn’t a bad idea, but why not make it better for you by choosing green tea? It has lots of health benefits.

Relax your brain. If your brain is going a mile a minute, take 60 seconds to just focus on being. Listen to your breathing and clear your mind. It can do wonders for waking you up.

Drink more water. Most people are at least partially dehydrated, which can make you feel more exhausted. So make sure you’re getting enough water (not tea or juice).

Listen to upbeat music. Some energetic music can make all the difference in your energy levels, so pull out your favorite album and crank it.

What do you suggest to boost energy levels after a long night?

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Happy New Year!

2015 is upon us. What are your plans for this year?

Part of the reason I haven’t been blogging as much lately is due to the fact that I have started an offline business, Blue Butterfly Bakery, in addition to my writing. With two businesses, homeschooling and life in general, things are a little crazy!

For this year, I intend to blog more regularly and provide more useful advice to work at home moms. This is something I am still passionate about, so it’s time to get back on track. I also want to build up the bakery to cover half of our expenses. There are plenty of other, smaller goals, like the usual losing weight, etc. but this year is really about the businesses.

How will you make your year spectacular?

Studying Abroad with a Family: It Can Be Done!

The very thought of packing up your family and moving abroad can be a terrifying prospect. For many, they are unsure as to how they will cope. They are unsure as to whether their family will like being in a new country. While many people dream of living, working and studying in a foreign country, they are often put off from pursuing this when they have a family life. But, you don’t have to put your dreams on hold. On the contrary, there are a vast number of people who are making a big move and taking their kids with them. While it may seem difficult, there is a raft of support for international students who have a family. You don’t have to be a teenager with no commitments to study abroad. Now, families of all ages are starting a new life in a new country.

It can be done.

Let’s find out more.

How Long Do You Want to Study Abroad?

According to british-study.com you need to think about the length of your course. Are there exchange programs at your current facility? Do you want to start a fresh course and complete it within a particular country? Thinking about your length of stay is vital. Not only does this help you prepare your family, but it also allows you to consider the course that you want to study. Some institutions offer a one or two semester exchange. So, you will only move abroad on a temporary basis for roughly around 4 to 6 months. Some people feel that a brief exchange is best for their family dynamic. Others want a more permanent move. If you are looking at new courses, you will need to consider schools within the area and affordability of your desired location. After all, London is a great place to study, for both adults and your children. But, it is one of the most expensive cities in the world to rent accommodation. Do consider your location and the cost of moving your family to another city.

Consider the Institutions Facilities

When you have decided what institution you want to go to, you need to consider the facilities. Do they have child care facilities in place? Do they have a place for you to rent while you are there? Is there relocation support for families? Not all institutions will have these. But, if these are facilities that you need you need to ensure that you have this support in place. Some academic institutions will allow you have halls of residence for a semester or the length of your stay. This can be reassuring knowing that you have a dorm for you and your family while you settle into your new international life.

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Check Out Financial Support

Moving abroad, whether to study or to work can be costly. So, you need to check out what financial assistance there is for families. This differs widely depending on your course and where you are in the world. Do check out what financial support can be provided so that you can start your new life. They may not pay for your airfare, but there may be a reduction in student fees and accommodation costs.

Working from Home: How to Launch Your Next Successful Business Idea

work from home

Image Via Maegan Tintari

Trying to be a great mom and a business person is difficult. If you are anything like me, you will know how hard it is to organize your time so that everything works. When you are a mother, you have loads of things that you need to take care of each day. Your children need your constant attention, but you also need time to focus on your career. If you are launching a business from your home, as many moms do, you need a few tips. Here is how you can launch your next successful business idea.

Step 1: Finding the Right Concept

The first thing you need to do when you are thinking of launching a business is come up with the perfect idea. Businesses are nothing without the right concept. Saying you want to be a businesswoman when you have no idea what business you want to run is ludicrous. It might surprise you to learn that your children can help you with your concept. Children are imaginative by nature. When you are thinking about new ideas, you should run them by your kids. Sometimes, your kids will come up with ridiculous notions, but other times they might strike gold. As adults, we learn to curb our creativity. Children don’t. They always think big, and so they are the best people to talk to.

Step 2: Will It Work?

Deciding whether something is a viable business idea is hard. By your nature, you are an unreliable source. You have a bias attitude towards your idea. Of course, you think that your idea will work. You need to ask other people about your idea so that you can see what people think. Talk to your partner and friends about your business plan. Encourage people to be honest with you about the possible drawbacks of your company.

Step 3: Financing and Sponsors

When you have a solid idea in mind, it is time to talk finances. Finding the capital for your business will not be easy. People are not going to queue up to throw money at you for no reason. Instead, you need to work to convince people that you are worth their investment. Come up with a business pitch for possible investors. You need to do some vital market research and ensure that you have thought of every eventuality. If there are any holes in your business plan, people will have no faith in you.

Step 4: Registering Your Company

Once you have some financial backing, you need to register your company. You can register your business online, but it might take a week or two to process. It is best to use a business address, rather than your home address for your business. If you work from home, you can get a virtual office address from Regus or a similar property agency. That way, you don’t have to hire an actual office, but you get a ‘virtual office space.’ That means that you can use a professional address for all your business duties.

Step 5: Recruiting People to Help

You are not an island. You need people to help you if you want your business to be successful. You might want to hire some freelancers online who can help you on a project by project basis. That way, you don’t have to worry about paying people a salary; you can just pay the for each project they do for you. You could also consider getting a virtual assistant who can help you with mundane tasks. Working with people doesn’t always mean that you need to see them. You can work with people online and do all your business via virtual means.

Step 6: Marketing Your Idea

When your idea is off the ground, it is time to get marketing. As a modern woman, you likely know a thing or two about social media platforms. You would have had to have lived under a rock for the last ten years to miss the advancements of Facebook and Twitter. Now you can use social media to your advantage. There are loads of blogs online that can help you to learn social media marketing techniques.

Step 7: Reaching Out to People

Networking is a vital part of any business. You need to make smart business connections if you want to be successful. If you have not got the time, with your various family restraints, to network in person, you need to find other ways. You can reach out to people online via various streams. You should ensure that you have a strong business profile on LinkedIn. Connect with people online and try to reach out to them. If you can’t meet people in person, you can ask them to have a quick Skype chat with you when you have the time.

Step 8: Making Time for Business

One of the biggest problems you will come across when you start a business is finding the time to focus on work. When you have a family, it can be tricky to dedicate certain hours to work and nothing else. You need to make the most of your time so that you can make your business successful. When your kids are at school or play group, make sure that you use your time wisely. You need to create a distinction between work time and relaxation time. Schedule your free time so that you make every minute count.

Step 9: Focusing on the Big Picture

When you are dealing with tiny details and projects, you might lose sight of the big picture. You need to make sure that you remember what you are working towards and what your goals are. Make a step by step plan of action for your business. Set deadlines and dates so that you have targets each week. When you find that you lack motivation, take a break. Forcing yourself to work when you feel unproductive is always a mistake. Give yourself time to think things over so that when you return to your work, you are well-rested.

Ideas for How to Spend Those Longer Winter Evenings

winter activities

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This weekend really marks the end of summer for many people, when the clocks go back and those dark evenings begin to make their appearance. It won’t be long before dusk falls really early and we all scuttle home as quickly as possible.

In the summer, you often find that you stay out with the kids until way past bedtime as the weather’s so nice and everyone’s having a great time. However, during the cooler months, staying in becomes much more appealing, but those long winter evenings can drag if you’re not careful; you have to have ideas for how to fill that time without getting bored.

For moms who want to do something other than watch TV when the little ones are tucked up, there is always something to do online for entertainment. Of course, you can catch up with your friends on social media, do some work or emailing. Or there’s a large choice of different games you can play. If you like to chat to others while playing, online bingo is a great option as the game is so simple to play. In fact, the only effort you have to make is decide which game to play and how many cards to buy. On many sites you don’t even need to pay to play once you’ve made an initial deposit – you can find out more on how to play free bingo online here. Once you’re playing a game, you can join in the banter that’ll be going on in the bingo site chat room. There, you can talk to other people who are playing the same game as you and there’s always a chat moderator who makes sure everyone feels included in the conversation.

If the children are older and stay up that bit longer, you can always choose to put on a movie night. Don’t just flick through the channels and see what’s on. Pick a movie in advance, make sure it’s something that appeals to everyone, and then serve up all the snacks that you’d usually get at the movies – nachos and dips, popcorn and sweets. OK, it may not be the healthiest night in, but it’s not a big deal if you only do it now and again.

Another great choice for a family night is to get out those board games – instead of everyone being on their own tablet or phone. The kids may take some persuading to play the more traditional games, but see if you can persuade them – they’ll end up having more fun than they imagine. If you don’t feel like a long game like Monopoly, you can always choose a game that’s quicker to play, such as Banagrams or Connect4.

And if your family is getting a bit cabin-feverish from spending too much time indoors as it’s dark outside, do something to work some of that excess energy off; put something like JustDance on the games console and have a good old dance-around with the kids. It’s fun to mess around and for everyone to let their hair down – and it’ll wear everyone out before bedtime too!

To get through the long winter evenings, the best idea is to mix it up a little and do something different every night. It won’t be long before the clocks spring forward again and the days get longer.

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