How are you sleeping? We know that we should spend a lot of our life asleep. This is vital for our mental and physical wellbeing. In an increasingly busy world, it can be difficult to switch  off and get good sleep. With so many of us leading active online lives as well as juggling responsibilities in the  real world, getting good sleep can seem impossible. I want to let you know about a sleep campaign that will help us all put shut eye at the top of our agenda.

Sleep Campaign

Bed Guru’s sleep campaign

Bed Guru is an online bed retailer who are sleep specialists. They are determined to help solve the sleep loss epidemic by raising awareness through the Choose Sleep campaign. The campaign educates people about the importance of sleep and ways to help get the most from a good night’s shut eye. I wanted to get involved in the campaign as I am keen for people to have their best chance for great mental and physical health. As a busy parent, I know how damaging it can be to become sleep deprived. I spent many years of my early parenting in a depressed state and looking back I think lack of sleep contributed to this condition.

Tailored to individual needs

Bed Guru understand that no two people share the same sleeping requirements. I like how they recognise we are all individuals with our own  needs and circumstances. The negative effects of poor sleep are only just being acknowledged. Lack of sleep causes negative effects on human health and well-being, and the long-term effects of sleep deprivation has been associated with numerous conditions, such as diabetes, depression, hypertension and obesity.

Choose Sleep And Improve Wellbeing

Personal sleep issues

As a busy mum, it is easy for me to see how my sleep deprivation led to mental health  issues and becoming pre-diabetic. Recently, as someone who gained weight and struggled to lose it after becoming a mum, I have watched the links between obesity and sleep loss with interest. I am also very aware that when I am tired, I can be irritable and grumpy which impacts negatively on relationships with  family and friends. I long for those days of yesteryear when I could sleep as long as I wanted which made me so much able to cope with the day ahead. As I get older and wiser, I am insisting on more self-care and recognising that by getting good sleep, I can be my best version of me. This in turn means my family and friends get quality time with me.

Making sleep better

The mission of the Choose Sleep movement is to encourage a better night’s sleep, not only through sleeping on the right bed, but through making the right choices in life to combat the sleep loss epidemic.

This post was written in collaboration with Bed Guru.

 

My Random Musings

It’s tough being a woman especially when you have children. Working out how to make money and give quality time to your children is a challenge. I have tried most things such as full-time work, part-time jobs, freelancing and volunteering. I have often wondered about taking on a franchise so today I am looking at the advantages of taking on a franchise. You can find a lot of franchise resources online.

So much is already in place

With a franchise there is not the great risk of starting a business with a  new product or service. Someone has already put a lot of thought and work into the ideas, the marketing of the brand and its systems. You don’t have to be as creative when you take on a franchise. If the business is good it will already be recognised in the marketplace giving you a head start in terms of appealing to customers.

 

Funding

Funding an untested business can be challenging. If you approach an investor with a business that has already proven itself, you make their decision to plough finance into your business so much easier. So many businesses fail in  their early weeks or months because they do not have funding in place so unless you have funds to invest personally you might feel like a franchise  is your best option.

People

One of the other things that comes with a franchise is contacts with useful people. That might be people who supply the product or service you are promoting. You may already have access to distributors for the product or service via your franchise arrangement. Similarly, advertising contacts may already be in place whether via traditional or digital media outlets.

Training

People often want to enter business after a major life upheaval such as becoming a parent, divorcing, losing a job or relocating. Great franchises often come with a lot of training and support which is just what is in order when life feels a bit wobbly. Aspects of the business that might seem daunting such as managing accounts, selling and so on can be tackled with the back-up of a franchise.

What do you think about franchising?

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s that time of a year again, the kids are off from school and you are frantically searching for last minute breaks or holidays to keep the whole family entertained. However, it can be difficult to find a holiday that has something for everybody. Most people assume children love beach holidays but there are plenty of places/holiday destinations jam-packed with activities for the whole family to enjoy. Which is why I have teamed up with Compare and Choose to round up four alternative family holiday destinations you should book for next year.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a mecca of fun packed activities and unforgettable scenery. A week here can be spent exploring the plethora of rain forests, discovering volcanoes or even visiting the Tortuguero National Park, where you can come face to face with some of Costa Rica’s most striking animals. Not only is Costa Rica a colourful playground for family activities but it can also be a haven of relaxation. You can finish off your holiday by exploring the Pacific Ocean on a snorkelling trip or soaking up the sun on the rolling golden beaches.

India

India is a great holiday destination because its colourful backdrops and its architecture is exciting for both parent and children alike. Watch the sun rise over the awe-inspiring Taj Mahal or explore the picturesque towns. There’s plenty to keep you busy, whether you are looking to discover the rich history of the heart of rural India or get up close with wildlife at Ranthambore National Park.

Nepal

Popular with outdoor lovers, the Himalayas offers a wealth of stunning backdrops for your family holiday. A break here combines the thrill of hand on activities with exciting excursions such as adventures through the countries tropical jungles. Adrenaline junkies can feel the thrill of white water rafting or come face to face with some of the countries most feared animals. Keep an eye out for rhino, monkeys, birdlife and even tigers from your safari jeep or river canoe.

Cuba

Explore the vibrant culture of one of the world’s most iconic islands. A holiday here is jam-packed with history, culture and nonstop action. Discover the country’s rich history and explore the capital of Havana by a classic car. Although famous for its vibrant cars and architecture, Cuba’s countryside has a lot to offer families too! Head to the outskirts and explore by foot or bike. If you are feeling adventurous you can always enjoy Cuba’s countryside on a canopy and zip line tour in Las Terrazas. If you’re looking for a relaxing day from the beach, then you will be spoilt for choice with local towns boasting a plethora of beautiful beaches such as Cayo Santa Maria Island.

Alternative Family HOliday Destinations

The conservatory (which a lot of people would call a porch, even though they’re technically difference things) is one of the most heat-sensitive rooms in any house, mostly thanks to the flooring material it uses. What does flooring have to do with it? Well, with some help from Amtico, we’ve created this list of the best flooring for your conservatory that should hopefully explain things:

Engineered wood – not natural, but better

There’s nothing quite like wood, and a lot of homeowners would love to use natural materials as their flooring. Unfortunately, it’s really hard to keep it from breaking or warping. Engineered wood is basically the same thing with some artificial touch-ups: it’s replaced natural wood in so many ways that most people don’t realize there’s two different types at all!

This kind of wood can let you keep a natural element to your flooring without needing to suffer the pain of fixing it every few years. Water and mud damage can still be a problem, but a rug doormat can keep areas near doors dry if you put it in the right place.

Vinyl tiles

Since its technically another layer of flooring, rather than a completely new project, tiled vinyl flooring can be a great choice for homeowners who want new flooring without the hassle of tearing up the old one. It’s easy to clean, easy to remove and surprisingly good at regulating your conservatory’s heat: the tiles will be warmer than marble tiles in winter, but cooler than exposed wood in summer.

Most types of vinyl are scratch and stain resistant, but sunlight might make the colours fade slightly: if you chose them for their aesthetic looks, be sure to use blinds or curtains whenever you can, or you’ll end up with a weirdly-discoloured floor that can look really messy.

Carpet

Carpet can be a fiddly type of flooring. If your family isn’t good at keeping dirt out of the house, then it’s probably a bad idea to put a nice cream carpet so close to an exterior door in summer: that being said, if you’re dirt-savvy and know how to properly clean your shoes, it can be a great way to add some extra comfort to a room.

In winter, it’ll definitely keep your feet warm, but be careful during summer – aside from getting discoloured in bright light, it might also heat up the conservatory in bright light, which can turn it from “warm” to “unpleasantly hot” in only a few minutes of sunlight.

Stone and marble tiles

You don’t see these often, but stone is well-known for making very smooth flooring. Unfortunately, it’s also easily warmed up and cooled by the weather, which can make it a huge problem in the middle of summer and winter.

That’s not to say it doesn’t have its place: a stone or marble floor is extremely scratch resistant and can be covered with thick rugs to keep it nice and warm underfoot. If you really wanted to stretch your conservatory to it’s absolute limits, you could even install a little indoor fireplace or litter candles around the room for the winter – even if they’re knocked onto the floor, the fire has nothing to burn.

The Best Flooring For Your Conservatory

 

 

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The stereotype of “women love shoes” is unfortunately far from dead, but that’s no reason to stop caring about your footwear. Your feet (and the things you wear on them) are just as important as the rest of you: with the summer heat still far from over, it’s a good idea to take a step back and think about footwear. Which is why I have teamed up with Donaghy’s to put together a guide for the best summer shoes for your family day out.

Simple sandals

A nice pair of sandals gives your feet a chance to breathe, whether you’re strolling through grass or waist-deep in water. That’s not to say they’re perfect, since there’s definitely times where sandals are more trouble than they’re worth, but a decent pair can be ideal for a lazy summer day.

Sandals get a bad rep for being a bit too casual, especially since there’s not really a way for them to work in a formal setting, but that doesn’t mean you’ve got to commit to using them. If you’ve got the bag space, consider slipping a pair inside for later. That way, if you get a chance to relax at the beach or take a long stroll, your sandals are only a quick show-swap away!

Short boots

On the other end of the spectrum, we have short boots, specifically the type you’ll have in brands like the Caprice boots line. These boots might seem like they’re meant for cold winters, but it’s important to remember that “summer” doesn’t mean “no bad weather”: if you’re caught outdoors in a surprise downpour, the toe-to-ankle protection makes them excellent for staying dry.

They’re definitely not perfect for summer, since your feet will probably get hot a lot faster than with regular shoes, but this is much less of a problem than it sounds. Most of these boots, no matter what brand they’re under, will have a zip on the side that can make it much easier to pull off your feet: and let’s be honest, trying to pull a tight-fitting shoe off a sweaty foot is an experience none of us would miss.

Trainers

Trainers are, in most people’s eyes, the first thing that comes to mind when the word “shoe” is mentioned. They’re light, simple and aren’t really limited to a certain type of weather: you can get them wet, leave them out in the sun or fill them with sand, and chances are they’ll be completely fine after an hour or two.

They’re best used when you’re wanting to stay active, though. A pair of breathable trainers mix the open feeling of sandals with the hard, springy base of a more practical shoe, so you’ll probably end up resorting to them for all kinds of days trips and outdoor activities.

Thankfully, trainers are freely available to people of all ages – anybody from a toddler to the eldest member of the family can find a pair that suits them, so you won’t have to look far to pick some up

Boat and deck shoes

They’re unfortunately overlooked by a lot of women and are usually seen as a men’s item, but boat shoes are surprisingly practical for day-to-day summer life. Since they were made for boating, they’re obviously great to have on family boat tours, but they can make excellent strolling shoes in the right conditions.

You’re supposed to wear them without socks like an enclosed sandal, but they’ll grip the ground much better regardless of whether you’re bone dry or soaking wet! Water won’t ruin them thanks to their mostly waterproof design, either, so they can make decent beach and pool shoes in a pinch.

 

 

PoCoLo