Juggling School, Home, Work and Family

As a mom, whether you work, stay at home, work at home, or some other combination, life is tough. You’re always on the go. Thinking about your kids and making plans even when you’re not together. You’re cooking, cleaning, organizing, making appointments, getting to them, preparing pack lunches, running around on school runs and sometimes, trying to fit in a little bit of adult time with your partner or doing something for yourself. It’s hard work. But, many of us are deciding to add even more.

 

Now more moms than ever before are choosing to go back to work, parents returning to school is also becoming more popular. Taking a course can help you to find a career in a more flexible sector or give you the knowledge that you need to start up on your own. Some moms, looking to return to work, after what might have been a long break, find that education gives them the knowledge and confidence that they need to thrust themselves back into things.

 

While education is excellent, and returning to school certainly has many advantages for moms, how do you juggle it all? You might find yourself working, studying and being your children’s primary carer, all at the same time. Even without a job, it would at times feel almost impossible. Here are some tips to help you.

 

 

Photo Credit

 

Involve the Kids

Kids often behave better, and give you some time to focus, if they feel part of what is going on. So, involve them. Tell them about your course. If it’s something like an education ma, they might even be able to help you. Or, you could study while they are doing their homework so that you are all working together.

 

Stick to a Routine

Getting into a routine will help you to keep on top of everything, give your kids more security and help you to focus on work. Try to work at the same times every day, keep your job hours the same, and have set times where you can just be with the kids.

 

Get Organized

If you want to do it all and do it well, you need to get organized. Make yourself daily to-do lists and write absolutely everything in a diary or an online calendar. Make lunches the night before, get everyone’s clothes out ready for the next day before bed, and do as much as you can in the evenings to make your mornings run more smoothly, this will help start your day right.

 

Give Yourself Time Off

When you’ve got so much to do, taking time off might seem impossible. But, you need to. Take the odd evening off, and full days when you can. You should even take a week to go away. Doing this will help you to relax and recharge, meaning you’ll be much better at getting everything done when you go back to work.

 

Ask for Help

Remember, there’s always someone that can help, you usually just have to ask. Ask if a relative can pick the kids up from school one day or get your partner to do bedtimes and help out at home more. If you can afford it, you could even find childcare or a cleaner for a few hours a week.

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Pros and Cons of Turning Your Room into a Photo Studio

Capturing those essential moments of life through photography isn’t just a fun hobby, it’s a meaningful way of documenting your family history. Photography is all about timing, lighting, and scenery. Timing has to do with you and the situations you find yourself in. Lighting and scenery tend to be linked concepts, and are much easier to control once you move your photo shoot indoors. That said, take a moment to set the ISO camera setting, as well as your shutter speed. Snap a few sample photos to get the composition right, and shoot in RAW if your memory card allows for the extra space. Having a larger file to work with helps a great deal when you’re editing the photo.

Even an outdoor shoot in the backyard, a more controlled environment, can act as your photo studio. All you need are some tips for creating the ideal set on a budget, using these DIY tricks.

Background and Sets for Kids

To find success with kids photography, take lots of shots. A good one is nestled in there somewhere. Clear your memory cards, and try one of these backgrounds:

Paper Crafting

Use paper to make a draping backdrop, or to “wallpaper” space. Affix the sheets with painter’s tape to avoid damaging the wall, then drape the paper from the middle of the wall (about waist high) to the floor. Fun and a little artsy, book pages from old novels lying around the house also make for a good backdrop. Make a collage ahead of time on two pieces of poster board taped or glued together.

Painted Boards

Painting different sized boards give you multiple options to work with as the child ages. Similarly, you can do some paper crafting or apply wallpaper to your board for a customized design.

Background and Sets for Adults

Adults tend to sit still, so you can do a lot more in terms of placement and lighting than with infants. Some of the same tips above for paper crafting work for adults too, but you can try these other tips for a different look:

Curtains and Fabrics

Hung from hooks, or replaced as curtains, cheaper and thinner fabrics with intricate designs are perfect as photography backdrops. Pair them with proper light-blocking curtains as needed to prevent an unwanted silhouette effect.

Old Furniture

Older furniture in an empty room, with either a white or colored wall, creates some drama in your photo. It adds a bit of character and artfulness. Hit a local garage sale or swap meet and find a chair you can refurbish.

Background and Sets for Pets

Shooting pets and children is very similar in terms of patience, and the volume of shots you will accumulate. Backgrounds can’t be too distracting, so try to add character to your shoot with these tips:

Solid Color Fabric

Thinner fabrics of a solid color that you can afford to lose makes for great pet scenery. Scrap fabrics from old projects or even towels can work. The natural folds of fabric look great on camera too.

Nature

Pets love being outside. It’s basically their natural state, so let them play and get some candid shots. Remember to adjust your shutter speed to capture high-speed movement. Faster shutter speeds don’t let as much light in, though, so you may need to adjust other settings to capture detail.

Final Thoughts

Scenery can make the attitude of a photograph and give it life. The best kind of scenery is a more interesting locale, but you can turn any space into a studio with some clever thinking.

Maintaining awareness of your own camera settings will result in the best kinds of photos. Remember the trinity of exposure, shutter speed, and aperture. Keeping those three elements within certain ratios is the key to mastering the art of photography.

 

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Personal Touch – 6 Thoughtful Corporate Gift Ideas for Any Occasion

 

 

 

Photo: Pixabay

If you’re not big on the practice of corporate gift-giving, now’s the time to reconsider. In the corporate world, gifts shouldn’t be limited to the festive season: whether it’s to celebrate a team member’s birthday, reward a job well done, or thank a valued client, choosing thoughtful personalized corporate gifts improves employee morale and helps build rapport with your clients.

Many business owners and office managers are on the fence about giving gifts to employees and clients, mainly because they aren’t sure what types of presents are appropriate. Below are six corporate gift ideas that are perfect for any occasion:

1. Branded Products

When it comes to gift giving in the world of business, branded promotional products provide the most value to both the giver and the receiver. These can be anything from a quality ballpoint pen to a canvas tote bag and or set of whiskey glasses. The key component of the gift, however, is the personalized branding that’s on it. By placing your company’s logo or name on the item, you have the potential to:

  • Raise brand awareness
  • Build better B2B relationships
  • Save money on advertising
  • Improve customer loyalty
  • Improve employee relations, and
  • Increase sales.

Regardless of the industry you’re in, giving away branded gifts to business associates, employees, and customers is a great way to improve relationships and brand awareness at the same time.

2. Golf Kit

If you know your client enjoys a rousing game of golf every now and then, you could give them a golf kit containing all the things they might need when they’re on the course. Include items such as golf towels, ball markers, balls, and tees to name a few. Bring them all together in a stylish bag that clips easily onto the side of a golf bag.

3. Quality Umbrella

While you might think an umbrella isn’t the most thoughtful present, there’s no denying that it comes in handy rain or shine. Just be sure to purchase a quality product to ensure the receiver won’t want to leave it behind!

4. Organizer

Everyone benefits from a bit of planning, and you can make this easy for your clients by giving them a smart and stylish organizer complete with notepad, pen, and plenty of pockets for their smartphone and other essentials. You can up the ante on this gift by opting for a leather-bound organizer featuring your company’s logo on the front.

5. Cheese Board

Another thoughtful corporate gift idea is the cheese board. Everyone loves cheese, so this gift is generally very happily received. Complete with various cutters, a fold-up cheese board that doubles as a carrying case for snacks and utensils is the perfect way to say thank you. If your recipient has dietary restrictions and doesn’t eat cheese, however, opt for a corporate hamper packed full of various goodies instead.

6. Fitness Kit

Good health is the name of the game these days, so put together a handy fitness kit for your best clients and staff as a token of your appreciation. This could include a towel, a set of earbuds, and a fitness tracker/heart monitor. The person receiving the kit will be sure to enjoy using the items, and you’ll earn some extra brownie points for being such a thoughtful employer and business associate!

Corporate gift giving is a great way to improve company morale and build client relationships. If you’ve always struggled with choosing the perfect gifts, take your cue from the list of ideas above and prepare to wow your recipients.

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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