Dreaming of Dropping Out the Rat Race?

Thinking of dropping out the rat race? Ready to fire your boss? Here are some great alternatives. Read more at laurenkinghorn.com

Dropping out the rat race

Are you just itching to fire your boss?

Looking for an escape from a dead-end job?

Dreaming of Dropping Out the Rat Race?

Then you’re going to love the practical ideas outlined in the contributed post below.  There are ways to take back your independence.  This post ties in beautifully to my recent post:  How to Start a Side Hustle that Rocks 2018.

Living Independently: Alternatives To The Common Career

Thinking of dropping out the rat race? Ready to fire your boss? Here are some great alternatives. Read more at laurenkinghorn.com Featured Image Source

The permanent, full-time career under an employer is not the only option you have. In fact, as permanent job positions fluctuate, going up and down, many are questioning the reliability of such a career path.

Here, we’re going to look at your alternatives. What are the ways of making your own way when you don’t want to be entirely reliant on an employer?

Sharing those resources

One thing you can always rely on to help you make money is the assets you already have. The most valuable assets a person is likely to own is their car and their home.

If you have a car, you can join the sharing economy through apps like Uber and Lyft.

If you’re fortunate enough to have bought your own home, you can make money renting it out by the hour, whether it’s letting others use your driveway or by providing storage or even office space.

Sharing your knowledge

Do you have industry experience and insights that others could potentially benefit from?

Nowadays, education is no longer confined to the classroom. People are going online to learn all they can and if you have the knowledge, you could be valuable to them.

There are platforms that allow you to create online courses and resources that students can then go on to pay for.

Of course, you need a comprehensive knowledge of whatever you endeavor to teach, but you can also go on to share your knowledge through blogs, eBooks, and more with plenty of opportunities for monetization.

Trading full-time

Investment is one of the key pillars of any strong personal financial plan.

But you can make a full-time career out of trading, as well. Learning about markets like Forex and CFDs and getting more detailed information on how to join the market and start using trading platforms can take time. It also takes money, which will mean you need an interim job to help you raise your initial capital.

However, if you’re able to learn your way around it and you keep reinvesting your winnings, investing can become a highly lucrative activity to take on long-term

Adjusting to the gig economy

One of the reasons that many worry about the number of permanent employment options out there is thanks to the gig economy. Business owners are proving more willing to rely on short-term contracts with freelancers as opposed to permanent employees.

The key to working within this gig economy is to ensure that you’re not tied down to one “employer”.

Building a side-income through freelancing is all well and good, but you need to diversify the source of your earnings.

Take on more than one freelance position at a time, for instance, ensuring you have enough hours in the day for both of them. If one falls through, you still have the other to rely on while you find a replacement gig. If there’s one thing worth knowing, it’s that there is always another gig.

There’s no denying that making your own way and making your own career can be risky.

However, in the current market, it’s not unreasonable to see the risk of looking for a permanent position that might not be there in the future. The world of employment is changing, so it might be worth considering changing your strategy, too.

Over to You

Are you ready to take that leap of faith?  Escape the rat race and fire your boss so that you can become your own boss?

Or are you already working independently?  Are you already an entrepreneur or freelancer?  

Or do you already have a side hustle that’s generating some income?

We’d love to hear your story. Please go ahead and join the conversation below. 

Health Problems Caused By Dehydration

Health Problems Caused by Dehydration laurenkinghorn.com

Health Problems Caused by Dehydration

Are you drinking your 8 glasses of water every day?  

I’m not. It’s something that’s been on my mind lately. I’m drinking far too much coffee (which actually dehydrates you) and far too little water.  I even touched on the subject in my recent post on Self Care.  

However, I haven’t been heeding my own advice.  And then this excellent contributed post popped into my inbox.

4 Unexpected Health Problems Caused By Dehydration

Everybody has heard that you should drink about 8 glasses of water a day but if you’re like me, you’re probably thinking, does it really make that much difference?

If you aren’t drinking that much water, I’ve got bad news for you, it really does.

There are all sorts of different health problems caused by dehydration, some of them pretty surprising.

Featured Image Source

It can be a bit of a struggle to drink that much water each day but if you add a bit of flavor and drink something like lime water instead of plain old tap water, it’s a little easier. You can also get some great apps that help you track how much water you’re drinking and give you a little reminder if you haven’t had enough that day.

If you’re still not convinced, check out this list of the most unusual ways that a lack of water affects your body.

Bad Breath

Bad breath is caused by a buildup of bacteria in your mouth or smelly foods in some cases.

Your saliva has good antibacterial properties and it breaks down a lot of that bacteria, stopping you from having bad breath. But when you aren’t drinking enough water and you’re dehydrated, your body doesn’t produce anywhere near as much saliva.

That means all of that bacteria in your mouth will start to build up and nobody will want to get close to you when you talk to them.

Eek!  UGH! Who wants THAT?

Bad Skin

Your skin gets a lot of its moisture from the water you drink, which means it’ll start to dry out if you’re dehydrated.

Dry skin will crack and flake, but lack of water can also cause spots.

When your skin is dry, it will try to compensate for the lack of water by producing more oils. Those oils will get into the pores and clog them up, causing breakouts of acne.

That means your skin will look bad, regardless of how great your skin care routine is.

Oops… my skin is both dry and spotty right now.  Signs and symptoms are definitely there.

Weight Gain

Eating too much is the main reason that people gain weight and if you’re dehydrated, you’re far more likely to overeat. A lot of the time, people think they have hunger pains when in reality, they’re just thirsty.

Drinking water before eating also makes you feel more full so you’re less likely to eat loads.

Every time you think that you’re hungry, have a glass of water beforehand. You’ll find that most of the time, those cravings go away and you can cut down on the amount of snacking that you’re doing.

Oh my goodness!  If this isn’t a reason for me to start drinking water, I don’t know what is. Definitely want to shed a few kilos and avoid packing on more.

Headaches

Regular headaches are often put down to stress which is the case sometimes, but not always.

Even being slightly dehydrated can bring on a headache and if you’re severely dehydrated, you could even suffer incredibly painful migraines.

Most people reach for painkillers straight away when they’ve got a headache but if you’re taking them all the time, your body will build up a tolerance and they won’t work anymore. Before you start taking anything for it, just drink a glass of water and you might find that it’ll go away.

The advice on drinking water is there for a reason, dehydration can cause you all sorts of problems so make sure you’re always drinking plenty of water.

That’s it. I’m going on a cleanse. I had a whopper of a migraine the other day and have a few headaches recently.  

Point taken.  Self care starts right here, right now.  Bring on the water.

Over to You

How are you doing on this one Moms?  Please tell me you’re doing better than I am.

Add Some Excitement to Your Occupation: Four Roles to Consider

Add Some Excitement to Your Occupation

Add Some Excitement to Your Occupation

Ask any four-year-old what they want to be when they grow up and they’ll tell you something glamorous or exciting.

Over the years my son has declared he wants to be a ballet dancer, a dirtbike rider, a fireman, a policeman and currently he wants to be a SUPERHERO.  When I was little, I wanted to be an actress or dancer. I was going to be FAMOUS.

When did we give up on our childhood dreams?  Or have we?  

Even though I’ll probably never be an actress, I figure I can grow my Star another way. When I finally publish my book I may achieve some of the fame and fortune I always craved as a little girl.

If you’re disappointed you chose a boring career over a longheld fantasy, then this contributed post was written just for you. 

Add Some Excitement to Your Occupation: Four Roles to Consider

For most of us, work is a way to pay the bills – and it’s not always the most exciting place to be. If you’re sat in an office, in a shop or in a factory you might find that boredom and monotony are a huge part of your workday.

However it doesn’t have to be this way, and if you need some excitement in your life then you can definitely add some to your career.

Choose the right job and not only will you no longer suffer workplace boredom and feel like you’re wasting your life away, but it could be rewarding and you could genuinely help people. Here are some ideas.

Police Force

Working for the police doesn’t have to just mean being a bobby on the beat. You could work as a dog handler, or as a traffic officer driving and be catching criminals at high speeds.

You could work as a forensic investigator, tracking and profiling individuals. It’s rewarding as you get to help victims, prevent crime and bring justice. But it’s also exciting when you’re dealing with crime anything could happen. It’s a role that will keep you sharp and will get the adrenaline pumping.

Emergency Work

If you’re looking for a role that’s always different and is a constant go, then emergency healthcare could be one to consider. You could be a paramedic or ambulance driver, an A&E worker, you could even work for the air ambulance – http://www.airevacinternational.com/careers/ explains more.

Emergency healthcare roles aren’t for the faint-hearted, but if you’re great under pressure, care about people and want a role that’s highly stimulating and rewarding then this could well be for you.

Image Credit: Pexels

Own Business

When you own your own business, you get to spend your time working on something that matters to you. Instead of earning money for someone else you work for yourself, building something from the ground up.

Watching your venture grow can be incredibly exciting, not in the sense of the adrenaline pumping on a daily basis but it’s certainly rewarding and fun to see what you will achieve next.

Many of the world’s largest companies were started from home, so you don’t even need a huge budget to begin. Just a great idea and lots of hard work.

Private Investigation

If you’ve previously worked in a role such as the police, military or a psychology based position then private investigation could be a fantastic way to go. Investigators could be working on anything from fraud cases to missing people.

You could be working for individuals wanting to know if their spouse is cheating, or working for your local council or the government trying to catch criminals.

You need to be able to keep your cool in any given situation, and the fact that it’s different with every case makes it extremely interesting.

Let’s be honest, we’ve all read spy novels and watched things on tv with private investigators and have thought of ourselves in the role at one time or another!

Over To You

What could you do today to add some excitement to your current occupation?  Or do you have to do a complete about turn to add excitement to your working life?   It’s never too late to have a happy childhood, right?  Let’s do this!

Modern Investment Ideas For Novices In 2018

Investment Ideas for Novices laurenkinghorn.com

 

Investment Ideas for Novices

Investment Ideas For Novices (like me)

Are your Side Hustles or Main Hustle starting to pay off?

Ready to start investing some of your hard-earned cash?

Then you’ll enjoy the contributed post below weighing up the pros and cons of 3 different kinds of Investment Opportunities.  I gave my opinions at the end. Use them, don’t use them.   

Modern Investment Ideas For Novices In 2018

Featured Image Credit

Modern investments can be overwhelming. From cryptocurrency to the stock market, to developing a side hustle for yourself, it seems that there’s a lot more you have to do these days in order to earn a basic crust.

Investments are one of the best ways to earn extra money for yourself now.

It seems that we can’t get by with just our jobs. Both parents in a household are working, and the cost of living is rising, but the wage packets aren’t meeting them.

So, if you have concerns about the cost of the modern world, here are some of the most essential investments you should dip your toe into.

The stock market

It can be very complex, but it’s one of the best investments you can ever make.

While you might hear so much about people losing money on the stocks, it’s not about putting every last penny into it, a method called dollar cost averaging, where you invest small sums of money over time, can pay off. But to begin with, the best entryway is via mutual funds or EFTs.

Or if you aren’t ready to invest your own money, there are so many apps out there where you can use practice accounts, but the stock market is all about playing the long game, remember this!

Cryptocurrency

Wherever you look, cryptocurrency appears to be the big thing with regards to investments. Now, this can mean that you are jumping on the bandwagon and become what is known as a “sheep investor”, but there are other methods in which to invest in cryptocurrency.

Using your IRA is one of those options, and you can look at a review of Bitcoin IRA to give you a better idea or whether it’s something worth your while. Because cryptocurrency is something everyone is talking about as a hot commodity, you might want to sit back for a while. But if you have the funds spare, getting set up is certainly a good start.

Real estate

Very simply, real estate is one of those things that will never go away.

Yes, everybody has been hypnotized by the buy to let approach, and not everyone is cut out to be a landlord, but there are other ways to invest in real estate.

If you have friends who are offering an entryway to invest in their properties, this is a great way for you to earn some good money without the stress. But there are other companies that do the same thing, and allow you to invest small sums of money. But of course, with any investment like this, there is a lot of risk.

With any investment ideas you might have, you need to know exactly what you are getting into. It means, of course, undertaking the relevant research, and knowing your options 110%.

Now, the modern world is supremely unforgiving when it comes to finances.

You begin by saving up gradually, so you have enough funds behind you to invest, meaning you will make a better return. But also, you need to remember that it’s a long game you need to play. It can take a while to see any return. Which is why you need to start as soon as possible.

I agree, investing is all about weighing up risk versus reward, isn’t it? 

I’ve tried the Real Estate thing and yup, I discovered I wasn’t cut out to be a landlord. 

I’m not keen on investing in Bitcoin, not sure why… just don’t get a good feeling about it.  

So I have relatively low-risk investments in the stock market via a really good broker.  And I’m trying out a really cool app at the moment, that stashes away money every time I swipe my card into some kind of investment policy.   Will blog about it when I really get a thorough understanding of it.  I really am just a novice at these things.

Over to You

How about you?

Which investment ideas seem most attractive to you?  Or do you already have an investment portfolio in place?

Overwhelmed Mom? Organization Tips Just for You

Overwhelmed Mom? Organization Tips for You laurenkinghorn.com

Overwhelmed Mom Organization Tips

From the moment your little one takes your hand you know your life is never going to be the same again.  You are overwhelmed with such Love and Tenderness.  Your Joy reaches proportions you never knew existed before.

Welcome to Motherhood.

Overwhelmed with Love

And yet at the same time, you know you have just taken on the biggest responsibility EVER.

This little one is utterly and completely dependent on you. For everything.

You are their everything.

Somedays that feels amaaaazing.

And sometimes your overwhelm looks more like this.

Motherhood

This is Motherhood.

Motherhood is a crazy mixture of the many beautiful moments of deep connection with our children and ugh moments and boring moments and frustrating moments and triumphant moments and scary moments blended with lack of sleep and endless housework.

And it can be overwhelming sometimes…. often.

So.. if you want to have less of these moments…

Overwhelmed Mom

And more of these…

Overjoyed Mom

it really helps to be organized.

My friends and family will attest to the fact that I’m not the most organized Mom on the planet. Not by a long shot.

But I believe I can improve. I can learn. I can grow. I can flex those organization muscles.

So I grabbed a few headlines from posts on the net written by Moms who are way more organized than me and I tried their tips on for size.

Make To Do Lists

It’s easy to be forgetful as a Mom.  For a couple of years after a birth, you have Mommy brain.  And after that, your life just starts filling up so much that things tend to get a bit out of control.

A To-Do List can really help you get focused on the tasks at hand.  Plus, it feels so good checking things off the list, doesn’t it?

Now, where’s a paper and working pen when you need one?

I’ve found most of my to-do lists since becoming a Mom are on my phone. Most of them are grocery shopping lists but I still remember the wine and forget the milk sometimes. Oops!

Overwhelmed Mom? Here are some organization tips you could try. Or not.  Up to you.  :)  #overwhelmedmomorganizationtipsPrioritize

This one is particularly tricky. Because it’s not tasks you’re prioritizing, it’s people, right?

At any given hour you’re having to choose who comes first.

Hubby? Kids? You? Your Friends? Your Parents? Your Work?

Now we all know if you don’t prioritize you, everything’s going to fall apart at the seams, right?

And we also know if you don’t prioritize your marriage that may fall apart.

And we all know if you let your friends go you’ll grow old and lonely.

And then there are your parents to consider.

And your work… which for most stay at home Moms has to be done when everyone is sleeping.

But if you’ve ever dealt with a toddler meltdown, you’ll know that the world has to stop when your child is falling apart.

And even when they’re not having a meltdown you’ve got be sure they are safe, fed and happy.  And it’s perfectly logical to a child that you can play and make lunch for them at the same time.

So yup. Your kids are your priority. And everything and everyone else is going to suffer for a while.

Don’t worry, when they get older they’ll need you less and less… until one day it will seem like they don’t need you at all. For anything.  And then you’ll miss this precious time.

Learn to Say NO

This is one is extremely important. When you learn how to do it, please give me lessons.

Complete Tasks

Where things often go awry is when you’re Stumble tasking.  You start out doing one thing, then baby cries so you head off to the nursery, when you come back to the kitchen, you’ve forgotten what you were busy with and get on with something else.  Then your 4-year-old needs their bottom wiped and so that task is forgotten.

If there were two of you, am sure you could find a way to complete tasks, one at a time in order, but years could go by before you can do this woman-alone, with 2, 3 or 4 kids demanding attention

Use only one Calendar or Diary

I found this little organization tip really helpful.  Keep one calendar for your children’s events and yours so you don’t double-book yourself.  I actually do this and it does work.  99% of the time.

Here are some Organization Tips from me that can help you get back more Aah and less Ugh in your Mothering.

Use car time

This tip is uniquely mine. Now I’m sure there are other Moms who do this but I haven’t found this tip anywhere on the net.

This year my son started Pre Primary School so we had to adjust to a new timetable. We used to able to mosey along to playschool any time between 8 and 9 and the drive there was against traffic.  This year school drop-off is between 7:45 and 8 am and the drive there is in rush-hour traffic.  So we’ve lost at least an hour of our morning ritual.

So rather than fighting with my son to get his breakfast finished before we go, I often let him eat whatever’s left of it in the car.  He actually eats more this way. I bought an extra toothbrush and kiddies toothpaste (the one with no fluoride so it doesn’t have to be washed out) and he brushes his teeth in the car.

All this gets done while we’re bopping away to our favourite nursery rhymes.

Take Time out for you

Even if it’s just for a few deep breaths.  Do it now.

Aah… feeling better?

And if sometimes, time out for you requires TV or tablet time for them, that’s okay in my books. Yup, that’s how real mothers survive.

Escape from the Crazy

Motherhood is a crazy time and if we’re going to enjoy it, we need to be present.   Find moments in every day where we can stop. Slow things down. And be truly there with our children. For our children. And for ourselves.

Get down to their level.  Play with them. Really play with them. Right now my son is 4 and he’s in the lego phase. I try each and every day to find a few moments to stop everything I’m doing and play lego with him.

Read to them. Storytime is one of our best times of the day.  And it really helps with a bedtime routine.

Get out in nature.  Aah…this is one of my favourites.

Getting out in the fresh air.  Getting some exercise.  Getting quality time with your children.  Nature just fills you up in a way nothing else can.

If you’re okay to take it at their pace, taking time to find little insects and pebbles and flowers along the way, it can be an experience. An Adventure.

Escape the Crazy

The One Way I’m organized

If there’s one way I’ve always been organized, it’s with SNACKS.

When my son was younger, a snack was always on hand, because I was breastfeeding him.

Once he transitioned to solids, I became the Snack Queen.  I don’t go ANYWHERE, not even for a little walk down the road without water and snacks.

A hungry child is a miserable child.  Don’t go there.

Over to You

What are your favourite organization tips?

Have you found a way to escape the overwhelm?

I’m sure you’re better than organization than I am, so please share…

How to Start a Side Hustle that Rocks 2018

How to Start a Side Hustle that Rocks 2018. Read more on laurenkinghorn.com

How to Start a Side Hustle

How to Start a Side Hustle that Rocks 2018

Are you thinking of starting a side hustle?

When I think Side Hustle, I think of something that you can start small, in your spare time that could turn into a real business over the years.

It’s not uncommon for working Moms or stay-at-home Moms to start something on the side that they are truly passionate about and find that it develops into something awesome. Something way bigger than originally planned.  A full-on business.  An empire.

A side hustle can be just that, something you do in your spare time for some spare cash.

Or it can be the birth of your entrepreneurial journey.  

Either way, it all starts with YOU and your passions, your interests, your strengths.

Why start a Side Hustle?

  • If you’re stuck in a dead-end job, bored out of your mind, you’ll be looking for something that makes your heart sing, something that suits your personality.
  • Or you may be in the right job right now but you feel you’re running yourself ragged for a boss and you’re looking for something for a bit of flexibility and time freedom.
  • Or maybe you’ve just got from maternity leave and realised you’d rather be home with your baby.  You’re looking for something you can do from home.
  • Or you’re just plain done with the daily grind and the daily commute.
  • Or you might be where I was a year ago, you’ve started working on your main hustle but it’s taking longer than you expected to bring in money so you try out a few side jobs for extra cash.

Whatever your reason for starting a side hustle, you’re going to want to choose something you’ll enjoy.  

So here’s where I suggest you start.  First, find out your Wealth Profile.

Huh?  What’s a Wealth Profile?

Glad you asked.
How to Start a Side Hustle Infographic

Do You Know Your Wealth Profile?

Roger Hamilton identified 8 Different Wealth Profiles and created the nifty Wealth Dynamics Profiling Test so that you can discover your own personal Wealth Profile.

The test works very similarly to any other Psychometric Profiling Test, except this one is to help you uncover which path to wealth would be best for you.

To put it simply, you’ll learn what type of entrepreneur you are.  Once you are armed with this knowledge, you’re going to be able to make money faster because you’ll be working within your own strengths, passions and interests.

Do what you love and the money will follow.

Marsha Sinetar 

Very briefly, here are the 8 Wealth Profiles.

  1. Creators are best at creating. They love new ideas and starting new projects.
  2. Stars love to shine brightly or promote something or someone.
  3. Supporters are great team leaders.
  4. Dealmakers are matchmakers, often matching investors and opportunities.
  5. Traders know how to strike when the iron is hot.  Timing is everything to them.
  6. Accumulators build their wealth by building their asset base.
  7. Lords rule quietly, behind the scenes. Their focus is on money, not people.
  8. Mechanics create systems or franchises that work. Perfectly.

You can read more here or click below to Take the Test.

Are you ready to discover your own personal Wealth Profile? Take the Wealth Dynamics Profile Test Now.

Okey dokey. Now that you know Your Own Personal Wealth Profile, you can take your pick of Side Hustles from the lists below:


Side Hustles for Creators

As a Creator, you are really spoilt for choice. There are so many side hustles online for those who love Creating and Inventing.

You could create Handmade Greeting Cards for:

  • Paper Magic Group – http://www.cssindustries.com/web/guest/paper-magic
  • Recycled Paper Greetings – http://www.prgreetings.com/Recycled Paper Greetings –

Or Write Card Greetings for:

  • Blue Mountain  pay up to $300 per poem – http://www.sps.com/help/writers_guidelines.html
  • Gallant – http://www.gallantgreetings.com/contact.cfm
  • Oatmeal Studios – http://oatmealstudios.com/html5/pages/writers_guide.html

Photographer? Sell your Photos

  • Dreamstime – Make 50 – 80% profit each time your photo is sold – https://www.dreamstime.com/sell-stock-photos-images
  • Fotolia – 50% for each photo sold – https://us.fotolia.com/
  • Shutterstock – Refer uploaders, Refer buyers, Provide pictures for 25 cents per purchase (no exclusivity clause) – https://contributor.stock.adobe.com/
  • http://www.photostockplus.com/ – Pay you 85%
  • https://prime.500px.com/ – Pay you 70%
  • https://www.bigstockphoto.com/ – 30 cents to $3 per image
  • https://www.bigstockphoto.com/ – 50% plus 15% of profits for referrals plus 10% for referring other photographers

Writers could Freelance for Content Mills:

  • Constant Content –  https://www.constant-content.com/about/writer-guidelines.htm  – $7 to $20 per article
  • Text Brokers – https://www.textbroker.com/how-does-textbroker-work
  • Post Loop – http://www.postloop.com/

Comedy Sites

  • Cracked pays Writer or Artists –  http://www.cracked.com/write-for-cracked/ – pay $100 per article or artwork

Sites that Pay you to Write

  • Listverse – write a list – get paid – http://listverse.com/write-get-paid/ – Pay $100
  • Love to Know – https://www.lovetoknow.com/Careers/careers.html
  • Knowledge Nuts – http://knowledgenuts.com/submit-a-nut/ – $10 for every knowledge nut

Bloggers and Content Writer’s can:

Or find freelance jobs on:

  • Job Boards: https://problogger.com/jobs/
  • http://snipsly.com/ – write short articles (only 150 words) – 80% of Adsense Revenue

Are you an Influencer on Pinterest? Ready to make some money with Viraliti? Sign up now. Read more at laurenkinghorn.com #howtostartasidehustleSide Hustles for Stars

If you’re a budding Music Star, you might want to rate music at:

  • Slice the Pie – https://www.slicethepie.com/ – 2 to 20 cents per review
  • Hit Predictor – http://www.hitpredictor.com/
  • Music XRay – http://www.musicxray.com/ work your way up from 5 cents to $1 per review (the more you work, the more you earn)

Into Advertising and Promotions? 

Come up with Slogans – http://www.namingforce.com/

Create and Sell Videos:

Both Creators and Stars may love this one.  Make High-Quality Videos you expect to go Viral and sell them to:

  • http://www.break.com/
  • https://www.youtube.com/ – Make money on Advertising
  • http://official.dailymotion.com/en/ – Make a higher cut on Advertising but to a smaller audience
  • http://www.metacafe.com/ – Earn 5 times what you can on You Tube

Or Rent Out Your Videos:

  • https://www.brightcove.com/en –  Post videos or self-shot movies for rental for minimum $1 and earn 70% of the Revenue
  • Either Rent or Sell Videos on Amazon Instant via https://www.createspace.com/

For Social Media Influencers:

  • Viraliti – Are you a Pinterest Influencer?  Viraliti is a  way to monetize your Pinterest account.
  • http://paidpertweet.com/ – up to $5 per Tweet
  • https://www.loop88.com/pinners/ – Pin what they tell you to and get paid (previously Pin Booster)
  • https://sharemagnet.com/account/signup/ – Like It, Share It, Earn Cash, Share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other favourite social media platforms.
  • https://sponsoredtweets.com/  – We connect influential content Creators with the world’s biggest brands.
  • http://twitpub.com/ – convince followers to sign up to a Premium Feed and earn 80% – sign up to sell tweets or buy tweets
  • http://gen.video/ – influencer marketing on Video

Side Hustles for Supporters

Sites that pay you to Tutor:

  • For Peer to Peer Tutoring: https://buddyschool.com/
  • Happy Tutors:  http://www.happytutors.com/  (there is a cost to be listed)
  • Tutor Hub (UK only) : https://tutorhub.com/ (paid per minute)
  • Verbal Planet:  https://www.verbalplanet.com/tutorhome.asp

Psychic?

  • https://www.keen.com/give/advice.asp – Paid for Psychic Advice (not accepting new listings at the moment)

Or Have Knowledge you’d Like to Offer Others?

  • https://www.maven.co/  – Become a Maven Micro Consultant “Everyone knows something”

Sites that Pay You Write Reviews:

  • Review anything on Review Stream – https://www.reviewstream.com/writereview.php – Write Reviews – get paid $2 per review plus 10 cents for votes
  • Review Software – http://www.softwarejudge.com/ – limited to 3 reviews a day.  $1 per review, popular reviews up to $50

Ready to start a side hustle that rocks 2018? Here are some fab ideas. #howtostartasidehustle.Side Hustles for Deal Makers

Deal Makers might enjoy this one:  Get paid for your opinion

Become a Mock Juror:   

  • https://www.onlineverdict.com/  (only for US citizens over 18)  (20 to 50 minutes reviewing each case, pay $20 to $60 per case)
  • http://www.ejury.com/jurors_signup.html   – $ 5 to $10 per review

Sell Your Used Laptops or Phones:

  • https://www.bestbuy.com/site/misc/best-buy-trade-in/pcmcat133600050011.c?id=pcmcat133600050011
  • https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=9187220011
  • http://www.nextworth.com/
  • http://www.cashyourlaptop.com/
  • http://www.quicklaptopcash.com/
  • http://www.sellalaptop.com/

Side Hustles for Traders

Online Trading – You might want to start out by checking out these sites:

  • https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/investing/the-best-online-brokers-for-beginners/
  • https://www.thebalance.com/top-online-stock-trading-sites-3140818
  • https://www.reviews.com/online-stock-trading/
  • https://www.stocktrader.com/online-stock-brokers/

What if you just want to play games for a living?  These might suit Traders who just want to have fun and don’t mind taking risks:

Games of Chance:

  • Cash Dazzle – http://www.cashdazzle.com/ – Play Spin and win
  • Lala Loot – http://www.lalaloot.com/
  • Play and Win (UK) – https://www.playandwin.co.uk/
  • Exodus 3000 – http://www.exodus3000.com/
  • Pogo – http://www.pogo.com/
  • World Winner by GSN – https://www.worldwinner.com/ – may also suit Accumulators

Know a lot about Finance And Investment?

  • Share your Knowledge at Seeking Alpha – this could work for Traders or Accumulators
  • https://seekingalpha.com/page/become-a-seeking-alpha-contributor – Earn up to $500 per article

Side Hustles for Accumulators

If you’re an accumulator, and you’ve accumulated a lot of books, here are a couple of places to sell them:

  • https://www.sellbackyourbook.com/
  • http://www.ckybooks.com/

Accumulators may also enjoy this side hustle. 

Get paid to be a Mystery shopper:

  • A Closer Look – Become a Mystery Shopper (North America Only)  – https://insight.a-closer-look.com/ShopperApplication-Start.aspx
  • A Customer’s Point of View – Become a Mystery Shopper – http://www.acpview.com/mystery-shopper-application/
  • Shoppers View – Become a Mystery Shopper – https://shoppersview.com/shoppers/ – includes work from home with telephone mystery shopping
  • Anonymous Insights – http://www.a-insights.com/shoppers.html
  • Mystery Shoppers Inc – http://www.mystery-shoppers.com/shoppers/
  • Secret Shopper – https://www.secretshopper.com/info/shoppers/ShopperIntro.asp – worldwide
  • Field Agent – https://app.fieldagent.net/  – make money with your phone
  • Swagbucks – https://www.swagbucks.com/

Side Hustles for Lords

If you’re an Expert in anything, you can get paid for your Expert Opinion:

https://www.experts123.com/

https://www.justanswer.com/ – Doctors, Lawyers, Vets etc. – make $5 to $25 per response

Small Biz Advice – http://www.smallbizadvice.com/

Virtual Bookkeepers

https://www.accountingdepartment.com/

This game is definitely for the Lords among us:

  • http://secondlife.com/ – Anything you can do in real life you can play online
  • Exodus 3000 – http://www.exodus3000.com/

Lords might also make great Virtual Bookkeepers

  • https://www.accountingdepartment.com/

Side Hustles for Mechanics

If you’re an Expert in anything, you can get paid for your Expert Opinion:

  • https://www.experts123.com/

Mechanics also Make Very Good Affiliate Marketers. Start here.

Of course, once a Mechanic has mastered the basics, they will more than likely want to start their own Affiliate Program:

  • Read this post first: https://moz.com/blog/roll-your-own-affiliate-program
  • https://www.affiliationsoftware.com/
  • https://www.leaddyno.com/how-to-start-an-affiliate-program/
  • https://www.crazyegg.com/blog/how-to-start-an-affiliate-program/

501 Free Sites Money PantryRetired?

How about trying?

  • Bingo Zone: http://www.bingozone.com/

Enjoyed this post?   Then you’ll love the book I just bought for only $3.44 in the Amazon Kindle Store.   It’s AWESOME!!

501 Free Sites You Can Use To Earn Extra Money by Money Pantry

I found most of these Side Hustle ideas in this book and there are so many more.

Over to You

Which side hustles have you tried?

And have you ever started a side hustle and found it turned into your main hustle?

Do let me know if you try any of these. I’d love to know how they’re working out for you. 

How to Achieve Goal after Goal

What's holding you back from achieving your goals? Here's how to achieve goal after goal. Everytime. #howtoachievegoal

What's holding you back from achieving your goals? Here's how to achieve goal after goal. Everytime. #howtoachievegoal

How to Achieve Goal After Goal

Ever heard of the execution gap?  Well, I hadn’t until today. In fact, it sounds like a scary term to me.  I picture an executioner at the gallows… Not a happy thought.

But actually, it has nothing to do with that kind of execution, unless of course, you failed at your goal of being a hardened criminal. Hehe.

Because The Execution Gap turns out to be the answer to the age-old Question…

Why do we fail to achieve our goals?

When people set up goals and fail to achieve them, there remains a known gap between what the strategy says should be done and what actually gets done.

Let’s simplify that answer.  Here’s a Definition of the Execution Gap:

We set our goals and plan our strategy but we fail to TAKE ACTION.

  • We know what we want.
  • We know what’s required.
  • We just don’t follow through.

So how do we close the Execution gap and get our goals accomplished? Every time?

WARNING:  This is going to involve a MINDSHIFT.

Here are a few powerful questions you can ask yourself right now to start seeing your goals magically unfold.

1. Are you making excuses or taking action?

Excuses paralyze you and stop you from executing anything at all.

Any of these sound familiar?

  • I just don’t have enough time
  • The economy is too bad
  • The competition is too high

Have you noticed that most excuses come up when you feel fearful, anxious or uncertain?

At these times it seems easier and safer not doing anything at all than tackling the goal you have set up for yourself. It makes you abandon your goal before you even start pursuing it.

Excuses also make you stop working for your goal.

You may well keep saying that you want to achieve a goal but if you’re not doing anything about it, then how can you hope to achieve anything?

If you want results, you must take action first.

So before you even think of procrastinating, practice this little mantra:

Action precedes results. Action Creates Results. I Will Act Now.

Whats holding you back from achieving your goals? The short answer. You. Here's how to achieve goal after goal. Every time. #howtoachievegoal

 

2. What does your goal mean to you?

To bridge the execution gap, it is very important that your goal means something to you.

What will it mean to you when you finally achieve your goal?

To make any goal motivating, be it:

  • Losing weight
  • Overcoming addiction
  • Completing a course
  • Writing a book
  • Expanding your friendship circle
  • Setting a new business
  • Growing your client base

You need to have compelling reasons to achieve your goal.These reasons will then become the driving force that fuels your motivation.

Setting the wrong goal takes motivation out of the execution equation.

If you set a goal for the wrong reasons and chase after something you don’t really need, you will not be driven to achieve it and the execution gap will never be bridged.

So set yourself up for something that’ll mean something for you.

Let’s take the first example on our list: Losing Weight.

List all the reasons why you want to shed a few pounds.   They may be:

  • To get in shape
  • To feel healthier
  • To feel more comfortable in your clothes
  • To avoid having to buy a whole new wardrobe
  • For more energy and vibrancy
  • To feel more attractive to your partner once again
  • To feel happier in yourself

But do any of these reasons compel you to lose weight?

Usually, people only really get in touch with the meaning of their goal when they associate:

  • Massive pain in not achieving their goal

Or

  • Immense pleasure in achieving their goal

So get in touch with what would really help you shed those pounds once and for all.

Massive Pain

Get in touch with the worst thing that could happen to you if you continue to pack on weight.

For example, massive pain caused by overweight could be a heart attack or your spouse leaving you for someone slimmer. Imagine the end result in vivid detail.

But don’t leave it there.

Immense Pleasure

Now get in touch with the best thing that could happen to you once you’ve lost the weight.

How would you feel? What could you wear? Would your spouse fall in love with you all over again?  Would you fall in love with yourself all over again? With life? How would it feel to be 10 pounds, 20 pounds, 50 pounds lighter?  Would you have a whole new lease on life? Would you be able to do things you haven’t done in years? Would you have more energy to play with your children?

What, in your heart of hearts, are you really really really doing this for?

3. Have you taken on too much?

Moms are notorious for taking on too much. Whether you are a working Mom or a work-from-home Mom, you’re juggling a million things on any given day.

If you’re going to have any chance of achieving your goals, you’re going to have to:

  • LEARN TO SAY NO
  • Set your priorities straight
  • Focus on one goal at a time

When you divide your attention, energy and focus into too many parts, you fail to hone your expertise and skills where they could flourish the most.

When was the last time you considered any of the following questions?

  • What are your strengths?
  • What do you excel at?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What are you most driven to do?

As Moms we’re often so busy that we’re on autopilot, doing what needs to be done, right?

So take a moment to take a deep breath. Stop. Look.

Consider whether the very next action you’re going to take is going to help you reach your goals.  Or steer you further away from them.

Investing in the wrong goal will only stop you mid-way without ever being able to bridge the execution gap.

Think of examples of highly successful individuals who excel at what they do. Take your pick from your favorite athlete, celebrity, scientist, inventor or just about any other category and you will see that these people succeeded because they focused on their strengths and mastered their crafts.

4. What’s Your Plan?

This could also be asked this way: Whose plan are you following?

Because not having a plan generally means you’re on everyone else’s plan.  Or at least someone else’s plan.

Have you ever started a diet on Monday and then given it up the very next day just because your best friend arrived with some delicious nibbles for tea? You didn’t want to offend her so you thought that you would just start again the next day.  The next day becomes next Monday… or maybe New Year… before you know it, your dieting idea has slipped your mind completely.    Oops!

We’ve all heard the saying: When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

So what’s YOUR plan?  

Have you broken down your goal into actionable steps?

A good plan is integral to achieving goals and bridging the execution gap as it gives you direction and helps you stay on track. Not having a plan will have you running amok.

And without a plan, there can be no commitment.

Commitment is key to execution and without any, you will keep getting derailed from pursuing your goals.

5. Do You Have a Deadline?

Do you remember back in school what it felt like just before exam time?   How much knowledge did you manage to cram into your head those final hours before your exam?  Having an exam deadline looming is a certain way to get you to spring into action, right?

So set yourself a deadline and make sure it’s not too far in the future.  The sooner you have to deliver the work, the more you’re going to get done. In the shortest space of time.

Because working within a timeframe establishes a sense of urgency and focus.

This alone should be enough to get anyone going towards their goal.

If you do not give yourself a deadline and keep things open-ended, then you are setting yourself up for failure. Open-ended scenarios are an easy road to procrastination and pushing things to the back burner.

6. How Can You See Your Plan Through?

How can you go the distance?

Because if you give up when the going gets tough, you won’t be reaching that goal.

We all live in a world that seeks out instant gratification and when perseverance doesn’t deliver, quitting is viewed as an acceptable option.

Now… let’s cast our minds back to Question 2 for a second.  If your goal really means something to you, you’re going to see your plan through, come hell or high water.

Does that mean you’re never going to fail?

No. It’s quite possible you’ll experience small failures or setbacks along the way to reaching your goal.  Who am I kidding? Sometimes you’ll experience humungous failures and setbacks.

The trick is not to see these as a sign to give up.  This is when you have to develop grit. Tenacity.  Determination.

This is where the rubber meets the road.

Often people may fail to reach their goals because they do not know how to handle failure. They either choose to give up or change their goals when they face problems or do not get quick results.

Distractions

Or you may get distracted as other things come along making you neglect or even forget about your initial goal. That’s why it’s important to commit your goals to paper.

To avoid getting distracted and veering from your path.

  •  Write Your Goals Down
  • Add Your Most Compelling Reason(s) for Achieving Your Goals
  • Add Your Deadline Date
  • Place Them Where You Can See Them Every day

Are you ready for this?  Go go go. What are you waiting for?  It’s now or never.

I will Act Now. I will Act Now. I will Act Now…

The Complete Guide to Accepting Guest Blog Posts

The Complete Guide to Accepting Guest Blog Posts inspiringmompreneurs.com #whatisguestblogposting

The Complete Guide to Accepting Guest Blog Posts inspiringmompreneurs.com #whatisguestblogposting

Have you been toying with the idea of writing or accepting some guest blogs?  Here’s what you need to know.  

What is Guest Blog Posting?

There are three distinctly different types of guest blog posting.

1.  Initiated by the Blogger

This is where a blogger or website owner asks someone they know or respect to write a guest post for their site.  Usually, because they want to add credibility or another point of view.   

Mostly, no money changes hands in cases like these or bloggers swap guest posts, posting on each other’s sites.

For example, I asked a Doctor who had been breastfeeding for 7 years and an Author who was also very Pro Breastfeeding for guest posts on my breastfeeding site.

2.   A request by someone (usually unknown to the blogger)

This is where another blogger (usually a beginner blogger with less influence or a lower authority site) requests to have their guest post published on another blog in order to gain authority and traffic for theirs.  

Somewhere within the post or at the end of the post, the guest blogger is permitted to leave links to their site and/or add a bio with the links to their site and social media profiles. 

I’ve been allowing this kind of guest post on my sites since January 2017.  I started out with a gig on Fiverr and once I had some guest posts on my site, emails started coming in requesting to post.

Sometimes guest bloggers pay me for this service and in special circumstances, I offer this free of charge or at a special discounted rate.

3. Ordered by Link Building Agencies

This is similar to no. 2 except that requests come from agencies that specialise in link building specifically for SEO. 

A full-service link building agency is essentially the bridge between clients (companies or bloggers) needing backlinks on bloggers sites and the bloggers who publish guest posts on their sites.  Agencies hire content writers to write specifically for blogger’s niche sites and usually include one backlink to their client per post.  

A good agency will ensure that both parties are a good match, thus enhancing and protecting the SEO of both sites. They do this by providing quality content targeted to the audience both website owners serve and that includes internal links and links to authority sites as well. 

The benefit of working with link building agencies is that you can get in more regular paid posts of high quality and be assured of payment.

So… should you accept paid guest posts or not?  In the contributed post below, you’ll get the full lowdown.  Then you can make an informed decision.

The Complete Guide to Accepting Guest Blog Posts

Image Credit – Pexels

Nowadays, a large portion of bloggers accepts guest posts from companies and freelance writers. It is a great way of adding more content to your blog while also getting paid in the process.

However, it is something that needs to be handled with care. After all, you do not want to compromise your blog by posting content that is of a poor quality or not related to the topics you usually post about.

With that in mind, read on to discover everything you need to know about accepting guest posts on your blog…

Advertise that you accept guest posts

The first place to start is by advertising that you accept guest blog posts. This is something you can do on your website with ease. Being upfront and transparent is always important.

Plus, it saves you from having to answer an endless stream of emails asking whether you accept guest blog posts or not.

Research your potential writer

Whenever a writer gets in touch with you regarding creating content for your blog, it is important to do your research on the writer before you progress any further. After all, you do not want to get penalised from Google for publishing content that is duplicate or spammy.

You need to make sure you can trust the individuals that you are letting post on your blog. You must be wary of writers that are simply rehashing content and sending the same sort of articles to multiple blogs.

You also need to be wary of anyone that does not write their own content and instead outsources it to someone else with less expertise and quality, simply inserting their links afterwards.

Nowadays, thanks to the Internet, it is easy to research a writer. You can see some of the work they have produced so far, as well as read reviews that have been left by other companies and bloggers they have written for.

Today, when employers interview candidates for a job role, they do their background research online to make sure the person will be a good representative of their company and brand.

You need to do the same when it comes to determining whether a writer is suitable.

Remember that guest blogging is a two-way stream

It is important to look at guest blogging from both sides. As a blogger, it can be easy to get caught up in the benefits of guest content for you. But you also need to think about what you have to offer the writer too.

After all, they aren’t merely going to be putting posts together because they feel like it. They want to be featured on the best platforms.

You can show that your blog is a great place to be featured by highlighting your stats. These include:

  • how many people are signed up to your email list and newsletter
  • as well as your audience demographics
  • and how many visits your blog gets per month.

Create guidelines for your guest post

One of the first things you need to do is put some guidelines together. This will save you a huge amount of time, as you will not need to explain your expectations for any guest post writer that contacts you.

Not only this, but you put together blog-specific information and helpful tips for writers, it will increase the quality of your blog posts too, which is always important. If you take a look on the Internet, you will be able to find plenty of examples regarding guidelines you can give to your writers.

These guidelines can be great sources of inspiration, but you should never simply copy them. Your guidelines need to be unique so that writers can understand exactly what you want.

Don’t compromise your blog

When you set out your blog, why did you do it? What were you hoping to achieve? Perhaps you set up a blog to provide sexual health information to readers? Great! So, including a link on cakes and pastries probably isn’t going to be the way to go is it?

You need to make sure that all of the blog posts are relevant to your audience and something you would have posted yourself if you wrote it. Some bloggers try to get around this by having a blog category titled ‘other’ or ‘guest posts’ – but is this really providing any value to your readers?

If anything, it is going to confuse your audience and dilute your brand message.

Have a link policy and make sure it is clear

Your link policy can be included in the guidelines or it can be a standalone document. However, it is so important that it requires its own section. It is important that guest blogs are vital for both the blog owner and the writer.

It is important to specify the terms of your link policy so you can make sure that the blog posts are not too overly self-promotional. You may want to lower the number of links that are allowed to an author’s sit within the text.

After all, if you have ten different links pointing to the same website, it is not going to do your blog much good. It is all about striking the right balance in terms of maintaining your search engine ranking and the integrity of your blog while enabling the writer to benefit from posting on your website too.

Ask for a draft and examples of previous work

Another part of doing your due diligence is to ask for a draft, as well as examples of previous work. The latter is for the purpose of ensuring that the content is up to the standard you expect.

In terms of a draft, you should ask for a brief outline and a title before the writing begins. This is important so that you can get a good idea of whether you want to post the blog or not. It is also important for the writer because it means that they are not going to waste their time writing something for your website only for the blog post to be rejected.

Follow-up

Once you have posted a guest post, you will be able to track it to see how it has been received by your readership. If you like the writer and the content they have produced, and it has gone down well with your fans, you should invite the writer back.

Don’t assume that they will message you again. Writers are busy, and they may be worried about bombarding you with content requests. So, why not show your interest instead?

Create a promotional plan for your guest posts

Another factor that you need to consider is the marketing side of things. How are you going to advertise a blog post once you have received it? This is something that is just as important for the blogger as it is the writer.

  • If social media is a big part of your approach to marketing, you can emphasise the content on there.  Share posts that encourage people to read the guest content.
  • You could also include it in the email list or newsletter you send out, especially if the guest blog is something you feel is really important to your readers and deserves a prominent position in your marketing materials.

A lot of bloggers make the mistake of slacking in regards to the promotion of guest content when compared with their own.   You should promote both types of blog posts in the same manner.  After all, they are both featured on your website, and they can both result in extra traffic to your website.

Make sure you own the content

Last but not least, it is important to make sure that you own the content, even though you have not written it. Why?  Well, if you don’t, the person that does own it can start publishing it on other websites or on their own website.

There is nothing wrong with stating that the guest post was written by someone else; it is the matter of ownership. The rights to the content are what is important here.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding accepting guest posts for your blog post.

If you follow the advice that has been provided, you should be able to build an effective guest blogging policy that enhances your content while also building your profile and your profits at the same time.

Over to You

Have you ever accepted guest posts on your site? 

Looking for my guest post Guidelines? You’ll find them in my shop

If you have any questions or comments, please join the discussion below. 

 

How to Switch Off and Be a Better Mom

Parenting is hard. Especially in the Digital Age. Here's what helps me be a better parent. #betterparentingtips

Parenting is hard. Especially in the Digital Age. Here's what helps me be a better parent. #betterparentingtips

Better Parenting Tips

One of the job hazards of being a Digital Entrepreneur is that it’s far too easy to be working ALL THE TIME.  Combine immense job satisfaction with workaholic tendencies, throw a smartphone into the mix and you could have a recipe set for family disaster.  Because it’s your family that suffers when you’re permanently online answering this person or tweaking that post.

Or is this just me? Is it just my family who’s missing me even though I’m here? Well physically here. I’m at home with my family but with a vacant look on my face as I stare into the screen.

I have no doubt I have a smartphone addiction and my husband calls me on it often. His complaint rings out a few times a day and even my son’s started chiming into the refrain:

“Mommy’s always on the phone”.

I’m not proud of this.

I know how absent I am when I am in my creative process.  I can feel myself glazing over.

I am also painfully aware of the dangers.

If I continue to focus on my online empire to the detriment of my family circle, I could lose years of my child’s life.  He’s already four year’s old. Next time I look up from my phone he might be 8 or 12 or 16.  He will be 20 and leaving home.   I know just how quickly the years fly by with children and I don’t want to miss out on them. I only have this one chance.

I could lose my marriage.  My husband may get tired of being alone in this marriage and may leave me, which would be disastrous not just for me but for both children.

Turning it Around

So I’ve been working on being more present, as a parent and a wife. Somedays are better than others.

Yesterday was one of my best days. We enjoyed the most gorgeous lazy Sunday morning.  I really connected with my son, it was wonderful.   My hubby was listening to us play and he congratulated me for being such a great Mom when he came downstairs to join in the fun.

Without further ado, here are my tips on how to be a better Mom even when you have other stuff to do.

How to Switch Off and Be a Better Mom

Do a Digital Detox

So how did I have one of my best days as a parent?  Well, it all started with me shutting down my laptop and ignoring my phone once my son was awake so that I could focus all my attention on him.

No, let’s go back a day or two because actually, it started by me easing away from my digital life.

Going cold turkey when you have a digital addiction is not easy so I’ve found I have to do in stages.   I find I have to switch off from “work-mode” before I can switch into parenting mode.

Here’s what helped me to do this:

Business Up-to-Date

I worked late on Friday night so that I could complete all business tasks I had planned for the week.  In an online business, there’s always more stuff you could be doing but I got to a point where enough tasks were done that work wasn’t crowding my mind.

I also worked hard on Saturday with my son getting his School project done (which co-incidentally was called “My Family”) and everything packed for school on Monday.  For once we were uber prepared. Early.

Tip 1: Reach a point where you declare your work is done and it’s now family time.

Housework Up-to-Date

I did loads of house cleaning on Saturday.   This ensured that I wasn’t distracted by a dirty house on Sunday plus something about housework actually helps me switch off from my website work.

I think it’s got something to do with it being physical rather than mental and perhaps also because it involves organising, tidying and cleaning.  It’s very satisfying in its own way.

I even roped my son in to help me polish my car so actually, Saturday was also one of my better days as a parent.

Tip 2: Do something that takes your mind off your work.  Weirdly, housework does the trick for me.

Get Active

While we’re on the subject of doing something physical, this is one of the best ways to enjoy time with your children.

On Sunday morning my son asked us to have a party with him.  So we switched on the radio and there we were in our pyjamas, dancing in the lounge. And even jumped on the couch.  What fun!  And quite a workout I must tell you.

Later on that morning, we jumped on the trampoline together, which is one of my son’s favourite pastimes.  And again, great exercise for both of us. Especially as I land up being his rodeo horse for some of the time.

Often we go for walks.  Or kick a ball around. Or play mini golf.  Or swim.   My hubby and son often wrestle together.

The point is to find something both you and your little one love doing and do it TOGETHER.

Tip 3:  Do something fun and physical with your child(ren).

Connect

I’ve noticed lately that my son increasingly wants to stay home and play on the weekends rather than go out.  Our lives are often so full and busy.  We arrange school extramurals, play dates and outings.

Where is the time for free play?

We pack so much into their little lives when really all they want is home.  Us.  Meaningful connection.

And I find the moment I spend quality time with my child, I just want to hug and hold him close all the time. He is so adorable, I just can’t help myself.  Of course, he’s 4 now, so he’s not always into hugs as much as I am but when you’re playing and dancing together it’s quite easy to slip in a few fun hugs.

If your child is really past the hugging phase, meaningful connection could just be that magical moment, mid-play, when you look into your child’s eyes and tell them how much you love them.

We had so much meaningful interaction yesterday that it kind of back-fired on me this morning when I had to get my son to school.  He did not want to go, he just wanted to stay home and play with me all day again.

Tip 4: Find a way to connect deeply either through touch or eye contact (or both).

Be a Playmate

On the days I give myself over fully to just being a parent, I’m actually more of a playmate.

I always allow my child to lead the play. I actually let him completely boss me around, tell me what to do and how to do it.  Here’s why:

  • It gives him a bit of power.
  • It helps him get really creative.
  • And it also makes a lot easier than having to think up stuff myself.

You will be amazed at what they come up with, especially if you really allow yourself to get in their head space.

Yesterday this meant throwing a dancing party in the lounge, jumping on the couch, playing lego together, playing inside his little castle tent and jumping on the trampoline.

Kids also love it when their parents allow them to be a little bit naughty and even do naughty stuff with them – hence the jumping on the couch with him.  It sounds counter-intuitive but I’ve heard from a really good source (Hand in Hand Parenting) that this can prevent real naughtiness later.

Tip 5: Let your children lead the play and be their playmate.

Give Your Undivided Attention

If you got the first step right, the digital detox, it should be pretty easy to set aside some time in your weekend or in your day when you give your child all of your attention.

And when you do that, the magic happens. The effect on your child is amazing.

For example, we hardly watched any TV yesterday. Usually, TV is the first thing he asks for in the morning.  It wasn’t even a thought in my son’s mind until we had been playing for hours and we all needed a rest.

Tip 6: Be there with mind, body and soul, be fully present.

Shower Them With Love and Praise

I find when I’m giving my son my full attention I also notice myself also giving him a lot of Praise.  On days like these, I tell him:

  • how great he is
  • how well he’s doing
  • how much he’s learned
  • how proud we are of him
  • how lucky we are to have him in our lives
  • how much we love him

These words make a child glow inside.   It makes them feel special and loved and supported and safe.  I know because my parents gave me the same gift and it’s these words that come to mind and their love that sustains me in tough times.

Tip 7: Be your child’s biggest fan

Over to You

What methods work best for you when you want to switch off from work and be a better Mom?  Are you able to just have fun whenever, wherever?  Or do you also need a digital detox before you can give yourself over to play?

Royal Treatment at Sunset Beach Lodge and Spa

Spa Review - Sunset Beach Lodge and Spa on laurenkinghorn.com #SpaSunsetBeachCapeTown

Spa Review - Sunset Beach Lodge and Spa on laurenkinghorn.com #SpaSunsetBeachCapeTown

We got such brilliant value for money at our first Spa day this year that I found it tricky finding another Spa in Cape Town with Day Spa Packages with competitive pricing. Everything seemed to be way out of my price range. That was until I decided to look closer to home.  I googled…

Spa Sunset Beach Cape Town

And to my surprise and delight, I discovered that my very closest Spa, Sunset Beach Lodge and Spa, was offering amazing Spa Specials.  My Mom and I popped around to chat with the Owner, Debbie and decided on this stunning Special.

Mother Daughter Spa Package Sunset Beach Lodge and Spa

Sunset Beach Lodge and Spa – Mother-Daughter Spa Package

We found a couple of Spas offering similarly priced packages but none of them offered Executive Manicures and Pedicures.  My Mom’s absolute favourite treatment is a paraffin wax pedicure so a mini/express mani and pedi was just not going to do.

The closest special we found was around R800 per person (about $67) but the offer was for 4 x 30-minute treatments totally 2 hours of treatments, whereas Sunset Beach Lodge and Spa were offering 4 hours of treatments for R 775 each (about $65).  Plus this Special included lunch and a glass of wine.  What a win!

We booked immediately.  I had done my homework before we popped in so I knew we weren’t going to find anything that matched this kind of value.

True Hospitality

Yet what really clinched the deal was how accommodating Debbie was.  When I started calculating the time it would take to Relax, Revive and Rejuvenate (stealing their words), I was concerned that I may not be finished in time to collect my son from School.

Debbie booked us in from 8:15 in the morning (most other Spa’s start taking bookings from 9 am) so we could arrive straight after school drop-off.

Debbie also encouraged us to make a whole day of it and said it would be no problem at all if I nipped out to fetch my son mid-package.  He could play in the garden (which also has a jungle gym for children of the guests) or have a swim with us.  She even offered to get one of her staff to look after him if we were still busy in treatments when he finished school.

I’m not sure if Sunset Beach Lodge wants any of this advertised but I can tell you, it meant the world that Debbie cared enough to make this offer.

Now that is true hospitality.

No wonder Sunset Beach Lodge was one of the winners of Sanlam’s TOP DESTINATION AWARD in 2017.

What was included in the Package?

  • Coffee/Cappuccino/Tea Before & During
  • 1 Hour Back and Neck Massage
  • 1.5 Hour Paraffin Wax (Executive) Pedicure
  • 1.5 Hour Paraffin Wax (Executive) Manicure
  • Lunch complete with a Glass of wine AND Dessert

Spa Capacity

Sunset Beach Lodge is a small intimate Hotel with 6 Luxury rooms.  Therefore, the Spa is not massive either.  It is designed for single or couple treatments rather than Spa parties like the one we had in month 1.

At most, they could take 3 people at a time.  The Spa facilities include:

  • The French Room kitted out with two massage plinths and a table for manicures
  • Bathroom opposite with a Jacuzzi and Shower
  • Outdoor swimming pool in a beautiful garden

Highlights

Royal Treatment

As we arrived at Sunset Beach Lodge we were warmly greeted by Kelvin, the Manager and offered refreshments from their serve yourself counter.   We helped ourselves to coffee and water and then Kelvin picked up our bags for us and showed us upstairs to the Treatment room.

True to the byline on their Package, Mother of a Princess, Daughter of a Queen, we felt we were getting the royal treatment already.

When we walked into the French Room, we received another warm welcome from our therapists, Sasha and Shirley.  The room itself was welcoming, with lovely soft, aqua green decor and soft candlelight.

Expert Therapists

The ladies started with our back massages and I knew the instant Shirley started working on my back, that I was in expert hands. The massage was absolute heaven.  My Mom said Sasha’s treatment was exceptional too.   We both commented on how amazing it was to have well-trained, experienced therapists massaging us again.

All elements of a brilliant massage were there:

  • knowledge of anatomy and physiology
  • soft, yet strong hands giving firm pressure and deep tissue massage when required
  • a varied technique, including kneading and effleurage
  • keen tactile awareness, working problem areas rather than just following a prescribed routine
  • a deeply relaxing rhythm.

All our treatments were fabulous, the ladies were professional and meticulous.  I accidentally scuffed the nail polish on a couple of toes after my treatment and Sasha patiently re-polished those toes without me even asking her.

I’m only sorry my Mom and I clean forgot to take pictures of each other when we were having our treatments. We were simply too relaxed (and probably too busy chatting).

Shirley was extremely knowledgeable and well connected in the Beauty and Spa Industry in Cape Town and we landed up exchanging shop-talk for half the morning.  She is passionate about sales and has repped for a number of prestigious Skincare lines and is currently a Sales Executive for a South African range called Vitaderm. The range sounds amazing, especially to me as an Aromatherapist, as it contains essential oils.

Interestingly, Shirley and I qualified as Therapists at around the same time, in the early 90’s, so, although she looked 20-something she must be closer to my age (40-something), which she, of course, attributes to Vitaderm.

A Vitaderm Facial is definitely next on my agenda. Sold.Spa Review - Sunset Beach Lodge and Spa on laurenkinghorn.com #SpaSunsetBeachCapeTown

Going Above and Beyond

We wafted down to lunch after our treatments and the advertised “light lunch” turned out to be a sumptuous meal.

Debbie greeted us as we came into the lounge area and showed us into the dining room herself saying, “we’ve made you each a chicken wrap”.

Well!  We received a delicious, very filling chicken wrap with chips AND a whole bowl of side salad each plus, of course, the glass wine we were promised AND a surprise dessert.  We were bowled over.  And very grateful because an entire morning’s pampering had made us both ravenous.

So this is how the other half lives!

We finished the day having fun snapping pics around the pool which we had all to ourselves and it was a really hot, gorgeous Summer’s day, so I had a quick dip too.  All in time to fetch my little guy from School.

My Only Gripe

Although there was a great range of nail polish colours and the nail polish seems very robust, they did not have my favourite colour for my toenails, fire-engine red.

My Mom and I both chose the only red polish in the range, a very deep, dark red which looked gorgeous in the bottle, but once in the sun, it seemed to turn purple.

My Overall Opinion

The entire experience, from booking – through treatments – to the surprise dessert was TOP NOTCH and I have no hesitation in giving this Spa 5 Stars.

Although I set out at the beginning of the year to try a new Spa a month, I have to say I am tempted to just stick with this one and enjoy regular monthly therapy on my doorstep.   I owe it to you, my readers to keep reviewing Cape Town’s Spas, so I’ll press on.

Perhaps I’ll find a way to do both – have a regular treatment at my new home-from-home, Sunset Beach Lodge AND try out a new Health Spa every month.

Now there’s a novel idea. Which just shows you how just a little Self Care can quickly start snowballing into regular Self Care.

Rating

      • ✮✮✮✮✮  Environment – Beautiful home from home
      • ✮✮✮✮✮ Atmosphere – Welcoming
      • ✮✮✮✮✮ Facilities –  Well-run, Beautifully kitted out
      • ✮✮✮✮      Products Used – Great quality, could add more Nail Polish Colours
      • ✮✮✮✮✮ Food and Beverages  – Plenty and Delicious, Surprise Dessert
      • ✮✮✮✮✮  Treatments  – Expert
      • ✮✮✮✮✮  Staff – Top Notch
      • ✮✮✮✮✮ Value for Money – Exceptional

Overall Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮

Over to You

Have you ever stayed at Sunset Beach Lodge or tried out their Spa?

Or have you ever enjoyed a Mom-Daughter Spa Package?  What would you include in your ideal package?

Would love to hear your views or review in the comments below?