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Too Much Of Everything

I don’t think I used to be a hoarder and I don’t really think I am now but I can’t explain how every corner is full of stuff!

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Stuff in the cupboards, stuff in every drawer, stuff under tables and stuff over-taking every room.

I keep quite a tidy home on the exterior but look in an cupboard and you’ll find them brimming with stuff.

Obviously the fact that one of me became three has added to the situation but it’s one lovely little girl that has really changed things.

Like most Mums¬†I want her have the best I can afford but as she approaches four years old I am of the opinion that I may have gone a little over the top in my generosity. I haven’t substituted material things for time either-we spend lots of time together and we enjoy good old fashioned fun.

These are the ‘stuff’ lists I need to do something about-I wonder if you are reading this and thinking the same:

BOOKS

I am a complete sucker for books and must buy a book or two at least every few weeks. We read together almost every night so I like books we can both enjoy. Trouble is that there are so many books we can’t see them all. I need to find a really good storage solution-oh and stop buying more books.

TEDDIES

They are breeding in my house-every night I go in to my little girls room and she has gone to sleep with five or so different ones. Why do teddies have to be so huge these days too? They are under the bed, in baskets, in her bed, in my car, in the conservatory, on the table. Everywhere. Biggest trouble is now Mum is mean because I will not buy anymore soft toys-poor Ty Beanie Bert and Ernie were dumped in the toy shop today. I had to put my foot down.

CRAFT STUFF

I love making things and keep lots of bits n bobs for craft making. I can see a project with everything so always cut up old cards, keep bits of card and am always bring home the free pencils you get at restaurants. Its all stuffed in a craft chest-we love rooting about in it but is has made me a bit of ‘collector’

CLOTHES

Um of course like any other woman I don’t have enough clothes and I never have the right outfit for an occasion but I am slightly embarrassed to admit I have two double wardrobes full of clothes split In to three sections-work, casual and going out. And I have similar for my daughter-two rails of clothes and a whole storage system full of tops and skirts. I know it’s too much and I need to get rid of items. I just hate throwing away things when there’s nothing wrong with them.

Today I’ve made a pact to myself to start de-cluttering.

It’s stressful having so much stuff around the house.

I really find it hard not to buy my little girl nice things but I must stop doing it or she wont value things.

Where do I start though? One room at a time? With the books, teddies and clothes? With a bonfire?

Stick with me-I can do this. Can you?

Just seen a lovely new dress though ūüôā

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Fun With Nature

I absolutely love being a country bumpkin-digging about in my garden, exploring nature and being outdoors. With the emergence of the sun this weekend I couldn’t be happier and think it’s an ideal season to teach my little girl about nature with fun things to do. Here are a few ideas:

LEAF RUBBINGS
Couldn’t be easier-find a nice textured leaf and cover it with a piece of paper. Gently rub over the paper with crayons of different colours and the leaf will appear on the paper.

NATURE TRAIL
Write or draw of list of things you want your little one to find on a walk. Give them a bucket to put everything and a treat for collecting them all. You could print pictures out from your computer or cut out from magazines.

FUN WITH WATER
Two washing up bowls filled with soapy water and a selection of bowls, spoons, sieves, whisks and plastic milk bottles cup up to make scoops will keep them entertained for ages. Set up in the garden so it doesn’t matter if the splish too much

BUILD A DEN
Two garden chairs and an old blanket or duvet cover and you’ve got the start of a great den. Bring out teddy, some books and some cushions and they will enjoy their secret hiding place for ages. Be warned though- I sat in my daughters empty padding pool today- she got in and we covered our heads with a blanket. I felt slightly silly as my neighbour looked in. Oh well if you can’t beat them join them!

BUG WATCH
An old jam jar with a few leaves inside makes a great bug catcher. This weekend in my garden we have seen a centipede-great fun looking at all it’s legs, we’ve seen a woodlouse, a beetle, ants, slugs and snails. Thye might be common insects to us grown ups but it’s important to remember these creatures will be fascinating to children.

BEACHCOMBING
Last weekend we went to the beach and brought lots of goodies back for our garden. We filled a hessian bag with old fishing net, shells, driftwood and my little girl found two toys tractor wheels. She loved digging and collecting. Being outdoors is so lovely for children especially after the long winter we’ve had.

SEA GLASS MOBILE
I saw a great idea for a mobile. Collect old pieces of glass that have washed up on beaches. Sand is used to sandblast glass to give it a frosty look-this happens naturally on a beach. Collect lots of odd coloured pieces of glass and tie string around them-hang several on string and hang from driftwood. I can’t wait to try this although I don’t know how easy it will be to find the sea glass.

NUTURE
Get your children to nurture their own plant-watering it every day and seeing it grow. My garden is very exposed to the sun so I’ve opted for hardy plants and alpines. They still look nice though and my daughter loves watering them. She has her own watering can and little garden tools.

SAUCER GARDEN
Get a small plate and cover with earth or sand. Your little one can build their own mini garden on it- little stones for a path, branches for trees, small flowers, lid with water in for a pond-add some plastic animals to make it complete. When I was small we used to have great fun with these-entering them in to the village flower show.

There are so many ideas-I loved growing up in the countryside. I would rather be outdoors watching my daughter picking the heads of my pretty pink petunias and flicking the soil out of my rockery than be stuck in front of the TV.

As the theme tune goes ‘Switch off the TV set and go out and do something less boring instead!’

(Sorry for the lack of images-having trouble uploading them tonight)

Have a great week-let’s hope for more sun next weekend.

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21 Top Bedtime Stalling Tactics

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How many of these stalling tactics do you witness when putting your little one to bed?

  1. Mum I need a weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
  2. Owwwww one more story pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
  3. But I need a cuddle
  4. Where’s (insert name of tiniest¬†most hidden toys here)?
  5. But it’s not dark
  6. I’m scared of the dark
  7. A monster is looking at me
  8. My teddy is keeping me awake
  9. I want to come in to your bed
  10. I’m cold
  11. I’m too hot
  12. I want the light on
  13. Can you sit with me?
  14. I need a drink
  15. I need medicine
  16. Look at me jumping Mum
  17. I need a poop
  18. Where are you going now Mum?
  19. Is it night time?
  20. Can you tell me a story?
  21. I want to sit up

Funny thing is you can tick most of these off the list in one night.

I’d love to hear your stories.

Clever little people

Have a good week

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What Makes A Successful Telesales Advisor?

This week I have been asked to define what makes a successful salesperson-as an advertising sales manager of twelve years this was obviously a walk in the park. Not the case. It was actually a little challenging as I’ve never in twelve years had to pin point it.

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But I have to pin point it so I can recruit someone with the attributes to become a successful salesperson and I have to pin point it so I can coach a salesperson to develop these traits if they don’t have them already. I can create a culture environment which supports and encourages these behaviours.

This is what I have written so far-if you are a salesperson how many of these do you relate to? Have I missed any?

All feedback welcome

What Makes A Successful Telesales Advisor?

Someone who has the…

  • Desire to source leads and look for new opportunities in the market place by constantly searching through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, competitive media, Google searches, referrals

     

  • Ability to portfolio sell but to have solid reasoning behind packing products together

     

  • Knowledge of marketing information available: web traffic, readership figures, survey data, customer testimonials, Google rankings, socio demographic groups, how different social groups use the internet

     

  • Confidence to ask for big money by series selling across portfolio with marketing information to back up the pitch

     

  • Ability to sell a creative idea to a client which could be based on a trend, need to raise profile, beat a competitor, time sensitive awareness campaign, brand building exercise, anniversary etc

     

  • Make high volumes of activity to lead generate-includes emails, social media posts, telephone calls.

     

  • Understanding of the need to fact find to determine a client‚Äôs needs

     

  • Ability to research if pitching a specific product such as SEO, Online profiles, Social media, niche

     

  • Target driven mentality with a keen understanding of how the target can be met with preparation, pre book and activity

     

  • Need to offer excellent customer service by ensuring package sold is delivered, invoiced correctly, proofed and communicated.

     

  • Understanding of how to sell with a creative solution

     

  • Desire to learn new skills, selling techniques, customer behaviours

     

  • Confidence to sell to a client who has said no in the past

     

  • Ownership of their own clients-sales, queries

     

  • Attitude of a can-do salesperson who can create opportunities using many different sources.

     

  • Need to market themselves within the business community by joining networking groups, posting and commenting within LinkedIn, sending mail shots, using Twitter and Facebook. Promotions within print

 

Thank you for reading-have a great week

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Emerging From The Fog

My little girl is three and a half years old tomorrow and I feel like I’m emerging the fog of becoming a Mum for the first time. As she gains more and more independence I find myself not panicking if she goes out of the room without me, not watching her every second of the day and not feeling like I have to control her every more.

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My little girl is becoming her own person-and I like it.

Of course I am still saying ‘Be careful’, ‘don’t’, ‘stop’, why?’ and ‘no’ far too many times in a day. Sometimes I irritate myself.

I am teaching my daughter that it’s ok for us all to be together but at the same time to do¬†our own things. I believe everyone should have the freedom to pretty much do what they want to do but of course a lot of the day is spent doing things together too.

Now she occupies herself or helps me¬†I have found the time to properly sort out my home. I don’t mean cleaning or washing-I mean properly sorting. I saw a photo of the house when we moved in when my daughter was about six months old-you could see floors and walls and everything.

My conservatory had floor space! How had it come a toy shop?

I am slowly de-cluttering and reclaiming some space back in the house.

Trouble is with the early years is that all of the toys are so darn big- a mini kitchen (Not mini at all), a balance bike, a pedal bike, a baby with potty’s, prams, cots, a drawing desk, an easel and mounds of soft toys. Yes I did buy it all but I don’t know if I was conscious or whether the Mummy fog was clouding my judgement,

The soft toys-I have to come back to them. Sometimes I think they are breeding. And they do breed-at every calendar moment-Easter…a new bunny, Christmas…a new Santa teddy, birthdays…a birth date teddy…a visit to the zoo…an animal teddy, a visit to fayre….win a blooming teddy.

Of course Summer is coming t’s teddy bears picnic time. We have enough teddies to host a picnic for hundreds. I secretly want to ties the teddies to balloons and set them free.

I want to banish the teddy. Become a teddy free zone. A teddyless society.

And balloons. Why is every occasion a balloon occasion-and who ends up holding them? Me!

When balloons manage to come home (If they survive ‘oops I let it go’)¬†I get a pair of scissors and cut the bottom off so they¬†deflate faster than you can say teddy. In the bin they go and I smile.

I’m not a minimalist by any chalk but I am growing an aversion to teddies and balloons!¬†¬†

Sorry I went off on a different path then.

Back to emerging from the fog-I’ve realised since I became a Mum that I’m¬†a little bit of a loner. I have lots of friends and know lots of great people but I tend to just do my own thing. I’m a doer and love being inspired to try out new things. I’m always cooking, crafting, gardening, planning days out or researching.

What’s great now is that my little girl can do things with me.

I hope this doesn’t read in a way I don’t mean but I felt for a long while that having little one is really restricting. Of course it’s enjoyable but I found the restriction of having a baby and then a toddler was really tough.

In just a few short years though I now feel that I have a companion in my daughter and I hope she will get the same enjoyment out of the things I love as I do.

If she doesn’t it really won’t matter because we can still be together doing different things.

The fog is clearing and I’m still here as the same person I was-it’s just that there’s now a beautiful little girl by my side.

Thank you for reading

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10 Ways to Get Kids to Eat Healthy Food

allaboutmanners

FOOD

Want to raise food-smart kids? Here’s how to create a positive eating environment

Creating an environment where your kids can make healthy nutritional choices is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure the health of your child.

By fostering a supportive environment, you and your family can develop a positive relationship with healthy food. You can lead them by your example.

Here are 10 tips for getting children to eat healthy food and form wise nutritional habits, offered by Melinda Sothern, PhD, co-author of Trim Kids and director of the childhood obesity prevention laboratory at Louisiana State University.

1. Avoid placing restrictions on food.

Restricting food increases the risk your child may develop eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia later in life. It can also have a negative effect on growth and development. Instead of banning foods, talk about all the healthy, nutritional options there…

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