A day in the life of your child’s favourite toys…

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We are Emma’s favourite toys. She is never without us, day or night, she treats us like one big happy family. You can probably tell from the look on my face that she loves us (I’m the one on the right by the way).

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How does she afford us I hear you ask? Well, Emma saves her pennies wisely from trips from the tooth fairy and other means of sturdy income (cough cough). She gets to name and fame all of her favourite items this way and we are super happy to be personal just to her.

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All those fun and games though means that sometimes we get lost. The newest addition to the family (see above) was the last to go walkabouts. She’s a bit of a newbie and is hogging all the attention at the moment which means Emma is really enjoying her company (or lack of it in this instance).

 
Luckily for Emma, My Nametags supply THE GREATEST NAMETAGS  in the land of nametags! So we are quick to be found and returned to our rightful owner.DSC_0509

As you can see in the picture above, I’m enjoying three cups of tea to myself, the others have probably gone temporarily missing and are waiting to be found and returned quickly, efficiently and without bother to Emma (yawn…)

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Another thing you should probably know about Emma is that she’s a bit of a party host, often throwing cocktail parties (aka magic potion parties)… This means one thing only, lots of mess! Last week I was covered from head to toe in a very popular brand of blackcurrant squash beginning with the letter ‘R’. Emma’s mum put me straight into the washing machine (a truly frightening experience which quite frankly, I don’t have time to go into detail about right now).

 
Anyway, I came out clean and fresh like a spring morning, nametag perfectly intact and looking like new! Those folks at My Nametags really know what they are doing.DSC_0372

Emma’s favourite toy posing for the grand finale. What a show off!…

WIN an electronic backpack!

 

My Nametags has teamed up with On the Movies to offer you the chance to win one of their adorable new backpacks with integrated touch screen tablet PCs! Complete with a wide range of pre-installed educational and fun games, the On the Movies backpack is the perfect solution to keeping children entertained. Can also be hung on a head rest for of in-car entertainment! You’ll also win a set of personalised waterproof coloured name stickers from My Nametags.

On The Movies electronic backpack

To win this fabulous prize all you have to do is follow this link and answer the tricky question on the At Home website!

Top apps for busy parents – WIN an electronic backpack!

Suzie Skipper, mum of four, has a round up of some of the best apps that will simplify your life. Whether you’re a busy stay-at-home mum or juggling career and kids there are apps that can take the strain out of everyday life. On The Movies backpacks

My Nametags has teamed up with On the Movies to offer you the chance to win one of their adorable new backpacks with integrated touch screen tablet PCs! Complete with a wide range of pre-installed educational and fun games, the On the Movies backpack is the perfect solution to keeping children entertained. Can also be hung on a head rest for of in-car entertainment! You’ll also win a set of personalised waterproof coloured name stickers from My Nametags.Electronic backback

To win this fabulous prize all you have to do is follow this link and answer the tricky question on the At Home website!

 

 

 

 

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I just love the Johnson & Johnson’s Official 7 Minute Workout. Working at home I find all sorts of excuses not to exercise but I can always fit in 7 minutes…Runkeeper is another firm favourite. It turns your smartphone into a GPS which tracks your moves whether you’re running, walking or on two wheels!

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Keeping the kids entertained with an educational twist is a must for busy mums. Squeebles for kids (age 5-11 years) is great for spellings and maths. Colourful and easy to use with great reward system. My youngest loved Peppa Pig (perfect for entertaining her when at the hairdressers, doctors surgery etc) and we both loved the wonderful retro Ladybird: I’m Ready for Phonics app for letters and sounds. Great for pre-schoolers. And for some fun with learning the piano try Magic Piano by Smule.

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We all love to know we’re getting the best deal. MyVoucherCodes.co.uk always finds the latest deals on everything days out with the kids to meals and the weekly shop. No faffing about printing out vouchers (or leaving them at home!), just download onto your phone.

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Not sure what to cook the kids for supper? Try love BBC Good Food or why not set older kids the challenge of cooking one of Jamie Oliver’s 30 or 15 minute meals for everyone? Baby and children feeding guru, Annabel Karmel, has a great app for babies and also for family meals.

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Everyone loves Parkmobile. No more looking for change or parking tickets. Hooray! Just park and pay for parking using the app. It even gives you handy alerts when your time is up. Worried about the traffic? Try RAC’s app for traffic updates. Mums with older kids love Find My Friends as it allows you to easily locate friends and family. Great for knowing when older children leave school or arrive home safely.

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Let’s face it we all love sharing those special moments but sending endless photos can be very expensive via text. WhatsApp has come to the rescue as you can send as many photos as you want for free.

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We all know what it’s like to worry about your baby or child when they get ill. NHS Health and Sympton Checker is really easy to use on your mobile although quite similar to using it on a computer). Sleep is another big concern for parents whether it’s babies or teenagers. Check out the Kids Sleep Doctor app developed by doctors at the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London.

 

Top apps for busy parents

Suzie Skipper, mum of four, has a round up of some of the best apps that will simplify your life.
Whether you’re a busy stay-at-home mum or juggling career and kids there are apps that can take the strain out of everyday life.

fitness1

I just love the Johnson & Johnson’s Official 7 Minute Workout. Working at home I find all sorts of excuses not to exercise but I can always fit in 7 minutes… Runkeeper is another firm favourite. It turns your smartphone into a GPS which tracks your moves whether you’re running, walking or on two wheels!

edutainment1

Keeping the kids entertained with an educational twist is a must for busy mums. Squeebles for kids (age 5-11 years) is great for spellings and maths. Colourful and easy to use with great reward system. My youngest loved Peppa Pig (perfect for entertaining her when at the hairdressers, doctors surgery etc) and we both loved the wonderful retro Ladybird: I’m Ready for Phonics app for letters and sounds. Great for pre-schoolers. And for some fun with learning the piano try Magic Piano by Smule.

smart shopping1

We all love to know we’re getting the best deal. Groupon always finds the latest deals on everything days out with the kids to meals and the weekly shop. No faffing about printing out vouchers (or leaving them at home!), just download onto your phone.

cooking1

Not sure what to cook the kids for supper? Try love BBC Good Food or why not set older kids the challenge of cooking one of Jamie Oliver’s 20 minute meals for everyone? Baby and children feeding guru, Annabel Karmel, has a great app for babies and also for family meals.

out and about1

Everyone loves Parkopedia. No more looking for change or parking tickets. Hooray! Mums with older kids love Find My Friends as it allows you to easily locate friends and family. Great for knowing when older children leave school or arrive home safely.

sharing moments1

Let’s face it we all love sharing those special moments but sending endless photos can be very expensive via text. WhatsApp has come to the rescue as you can send as many photos as you want for free.

health1

We all know what it’s like to worry about your baby or child when they get ill. iTriage is really easy to use on your mobile and will provide information on diseases and medications. iHealth is easy to use too and it tracks your health vitals in the same place: checking and storing information about blood pressure andweight, glucose and fitness.

Back to Work – post career-break advice

If you’ve been out of work for a few months or several years it’s often tricky to know how to go about finding your ideal job. Suzie Skipper, writer and mum of 4, asks the experts for some top advice on getting back to work after a career break.

Be Confident

It’s easy to worry that if you’ve been out of work for some time that you aren’t employable anymore but it’s simply not true. Many companies will be keen to reconnect with you. Don’t worry about out-of-date skills as everyone has to constantly re-learn with the pace of change today.Image of a Business Woman Outside Office

Write down all the things you’ve done both professionally and during your career break. Mandy Garner, editor of jobsite www.workingmums.co.uk says: “Involvement in the PTA or organising school events enhances important skills that are transferable and it’s easy to underestimate them.” Read here about how to gain more confidence.

Get a coach

A professional coach can really help you work out what you want out of your new job and how to go about getting the role you really want. Investing time in working out what you really want and how to get it is often very powerful for most people. Perhaps you need to rebuild your network or move to a completely different industry? To find qualified coaches in your area try the www.lifecoach-directory.org.uk. Not all qualified coaches are members of a professional body but you can ask for references and check them out on Linkedin.

Time to Look

Take looking for work seriously by setting aside time. “Unless you make time to research and look for work, it’s not going to happen. You need to let go of some of the things you do for everyone else, even if it’s just for a few hours a week,” says Katerina Gould, Co-founder and Director of www.womenreturners.com.

Use your NetworkImage of a home worker

Networking has never been easier. Broadcast the news that you are back in the job market and join professional network, https://uk.linkedin.com, which will give you a platform to contact old colleagues or contacts. Don’t forget to tell friends, family and school-gate acquaintances as you never know who might be looking for someone like you! Use your networks to find flexible openings.

Update yourself  

Read the trade press, join a professional association, go to a conference, talk to friends or colleagues who are working in the world you want to join to find out what’s happening etc. You may feel the need to update skills too. Look at online courses such as www.learndirect.co.uk, www.open.ac.uk or www.reed.co.uk. Or try volunteering. Giving your time free to a charity can give you the opportunity to update skills and gain fresh experience. Try http://do-it.org or http://timebank.org.uk.

Your CV

Write a functional cv, listing your skills and achievements, rather than a chronological one, says Mandy Garner. Tailor your CV to each job. “Your CV should be absolutely 100% focused on the job you are applying for – highlighting your skills and experience in that area,” says Veronica Wint, the ‘back to work expert’ and head of www.timewiserecruitment.co.uk. Start with a short personal profile no more than five lines at the top of your CV which tells the reader what experience you have. “It doesn’t matter how long ago that experience was gained. You are the same person, with the same skills and value to offer a prospective employer, so take heart,” says Veronica.

The gap

Don’t try to hide the fact that you have taken a career break. Be proud about the time you took out for family, about that hobby, or about the voluntary work you undertook. If you gained any work-related skills in that period do mention it but make it short. Experience and skills gained from previous employment should make up the vast majority of your CV, says Veronica.

Flexibile working

Flexible working possibilities are endless today–maybe from you could work from home, do longer hours longer hours over fewer days or shorter hours over a week. Or even just term-time work. A smart phone and lap top are the tools that will help you. Try www.timeetc.co.uk or www.virtualassistants.co.uk for virtual work from PA duties to marketing and journalism. Keep the commute down to a minimum by looking locally in the local press and on www.gumtree.com.