More Stay at Home Moms Are Running Online Businesses

One of the toughest choices that a mom can make after having a baby is whether or not to go back to work. For those who decide to go back to their office jobs, it’s a matter of not just if but when. Although there used to be a clear-cut line between stay at home moms and working moms, the lines are becoming increasingly blurred thanks to online businesses and remote working opportunities. Today’s moms may stay at home, but they can still be easily connected to clients or run their own ecommerce shops in their spare time. This has led to the rise of the work-at-home mom.
In the past, many moms earned money on the side by selling beauty products, providing day care or tutoring services, or working in arts and crafts. These are still popular money-making options, but the internet has expanded these opportunities to include such fields as business, website design, marketing, and retail. 

Benefits of Working at Home for Moms
There are numerous benefits for moms (and dads) who can manage to run an online business from home. One is flexibility. By working from home, parents can take care of sick children without calling into the office, and can take care of errands during the day. Parents who work from home have the freedom to meet up with other families for play dates or coffee breaks to expand their social life. Moms working from home can breastfeed on demand without worry, and have time to schedule in naps if they have been up all night with a baby. As children get older and enter school, this provides working parents even more time to grow their businesses.

Types of Online Businesses
There are endless ways to make money from home using the internet. Many parents decide to make money from blogging; sharing stories about their families, interesting news items, and helpful information. Blogs can be monetized using advertising, guest posts, and pay per click campaigns, among others. Another option is to set up an ecommerce business. There is software out there to make short work of setting up a business website, including secure hosting and a fully automated shopping cart system. Click hereto see examples of this type of software package. Setting up an ecommerce business allows women to sell physical products as well as services. Moms could choose to offer freelance design, writing, or business consulting services, for example. On the other hand, it’s easy to run a shop from home and take care of shipping and web maintenance when the children are down for a nap.

A Growing Trend
Studies show that more moms than ever are embracing the possibilities that online businesses provide, and are choosing to stay at home. There are currently over 10 million businesses owned by women in the United States, and a 2007 survey showed that 48% of women believed that staying at home full time would be the ideal situation. This is up 10% from just a decade earlier, showing that attitudes towards staying at home are changing. It may be the new home career possibilities that are helping tip the tide in favour of becoming a work at home mom.

Hello Canvas Review

When I was asked offered a 20×28 inch canvas picture to review from Hello Canvas, I jumped at the chance. I have a few large canvases from several different companies which we have purchased over the years and I love the stunning effect they give the rooms of my house. 
My Hello Canvas arrived with just a few days, I was expecting a good couple of weeks for printing and drying time, but it literally took just a couple of days. The canvas came boxed in a perfect size box, so there was no room for it to move round inside and get damaged. The actual picture was also bubble wrapped. 
I opened it up expecting the canvas quality of our expensive pictures we have previously bought from other companies, but I was astounded with the quality of this one. The detail is the clearest I have seen any canvas photo from an image, and I am so pleased with it. It sits pride of place on our fire place wall, it is a real headturner and everyone who enters our house remarks on it. 
You can order your very own Hello Canvas from www.hellocanvas.co.uk prices start from just £19! 

Getting Organised for School Days

The school years are an exciting time for any child, but they can also be stressful with the heavy course loads and after-school activities that many children take on. As a parent, you can help make life easier by creating an environment at home that is well-organised and conducive to study.

Set Aside a Special School Area
Pick an area in your home that can function as your child’s school zone. This could be a corner of your own office or a special desk in the child’s bedroom. Let your child help you decorate it with bright school name tagsto make it a special, personal space. Stock the area with all of the school supplies that they will need to complete homework assignments and sit down to focus on schoolwork without outside distractions. It’s also a good idea to designate a portion of the kitchen counter or other public area to organise school papers that you will need to sign. Arrange to meet with your child at this spot each day to review any items that they need to discuss with you.

Keep Book Bag Organised
Start the day by going through the child’s book bag together to make sure that they have everything they need. This could include course materials for the day, special art supplies, permission slips, and school assignments. Purchase special folders to keep homework organised within the bag, or you’ll end up with a sack full of crumpled papers.

Create a Daily Routine
At school, your child most likely adheres to a regular routine. This could include daily course schedules, monthly calendars of special events, and break schedules. Children thrive when given a steady routine. Lay out clothes together each night that have been marked with name labels for clothes with Mynametags, and stick to a firm bedtime each evening. Morning routines could include making lunch, making the bed, and eating breakfast together.
Your child’s primary school years are an important time for learning and socialisation. With a little bit of organisation at home, your child will not only feel less anxiety but will be able to complete all their tasks in a timely manner. 

Cutting Edge Technology at an HCA Hospital – www.hcahospitals.co.uk

HCA Hospital Group has five private London hospitals, of which the Harley Street Clinic, based at 81 Harley Street, has the most advanced treatment technology found in the United Kingdom. This was the first hospital to employ the cutting edge CyberKnife robotic radiotherapy system, which tackles tumours often previously considered difficult or impossible to treat and makes chemotherapy and invasive surgery redundant. A handful of such machines will be installed at NHS hospitals within the next few years.

CyberKnife uses a tracking system which allows the delivery of radiation with an accuracy of less than a millimetre, and shoots more than a hundred beams of radiation at tumours. The accuracy allows considerably higher doses of radiation to be used. The system adjusts to movements of the patient due to breathing, allowing the treatment of tumours formerly considered inoperable due to their proximity to major blood vessels. It cannot, however, compensate for movement caused by coughing. Conventional radiotherapy requires twenty or more sessions, while CyberKnife needs as few as three.

The first Briton to benefit from CyberKnife was Robert Ferrant, who had been given only months to live after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, a condition suffered by around 7,600 Britons a year that led to the death of <em>Dirty Dancing</em> star, Patrick Swayze. His tumour was wrapped around an artery and had been deemed inoperable. Three gold seeds were inserted to Ferrant’s tumour to guide the laser. He was awake during therapy and said the experience was painless. Other treatments could have extended his life by around three months, but CyberKnife offers the prospect of a cure.

CyberKnife is unsuitable for the treatment of bladder, bowel, stomach and oesophageal cancer due to the thin muscle walls of these organs, but can treat such cancers as that of the head, neck and spine. Using CyberKnife, the Centre Oscar Lambret in Lille was able to treat more than 200 patients who could not otherwise have been treated in 18 months. More than 35,000 people worldwide have benefited from the technology to date. Machines cost between £2 and £3 million, while a lead-lined bunker costs an additional £6 or so.

Can anyone take part in a clinical trial?

Clinical trials are carried out by medical research organizations and charities who need to test developments in drugs and medical procedures before taking them any further or putting them on the market. Medical trials are heavily regulated and they are only carried out once the drug or device in question has passed safety tests and gains the approval of a health authority and/or ethics committee so as not to put any of its human testers in danger, though as with any treatment, there still remains some degree of uncertainty. The participants in drug trials are typically volunteers, though most trials offer considerable payment to fulfil their research needs as quickly and efficiently as possible. There are different volunteer requirements for each trial, depending on what kind it is, and so not any old person can sign up to do one. These strict entry conditions are put in place because, for accuracy, the participants in each trial need to be as similar to each other as is humanly possible. Trials are expensive, time-consuming and – in a sense – urgent all at once, so precision is key. For basic Phase 0 or Phase 1 drug trials, potential volunteers must undergo a medical screening in order to take part. Unless their results are positive and fit the needs of the trial co-coordinator, they won’t be able to partake as it is essential that the testers are at a level of health appropriate for that particular study to get accurate results and avoid discrepancies that could put the entire trial in jeopardy.

Tests carried out in a medical screening typically include: – Blood sampling– Drug abuse testing – Weight and height measurement – Measure of blood pressure, heart rate and temperature – Urine sampling – Measurement of the electrical activity of the heart – Pregnancy testing (only applicable to women).

This medical screening is carried out for all clinical trials, but for the aforementioned drug trials the volunteer’s eligibility generally depends entirely on it, while others have additional requirements or specifications. Most other trials look for patients and volunteers who have a particular disease or medical condition, so different rules apply. These trials are carried out by patient organizations and charities focusing on finding treatments and solutions to things such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and arthritis, each trial having varying entry conditions. Because of the nature of the disease and its many different kinds, cancer trials are complex and contain variants from study to study, as doctors and researchers usually focus on a single type of cancer to find out what does or does help to treat it. Personal GP’s are generally consulted prior to going into a trial, and they can advise against participating for any number of reasons. Other factors that influence eligibility into any clinical trial can include age, medical treatments currently being undergone, the particular stage of the participant’s condition or over-subscription.

Christmas is finally over!

Christmas is finally over, the decorations have been lovingly packed away in their boxes, and I can look back with fond memories. This Christmas was pretty special, my toddler was really excited this year about Santa coming down the chimney, It was such a delight to have him so engrossed in Christmas. It was also my babies 1st Christmas, she was only a mere 13 days old, but it was so special to have her here for a proper family Christmas.

The kids were all pleased with their presents. I had spent Santa had spent a great amount of time choosing the perfect presents. My children were quite low maintenance with their Christmas lists, with my 10 year old saying he didn’t have anything he really wanted. He opened up a new HD television for his Xbox and Skylanders Giants. He was very chuffed! My daughter got a Cabbage Patch Doll, which bought back fond memories from when I was a child. My toddler got the Octonauts Gup X he had spent months hoping he would get. My husband wanted a Kindle, but he lacks time to actually sit down and read, so I got him a new mp3 player so he can listen to some mp3 audio books instead. I got a gorgeous Tunnocks teacake mug, which is very appropriate for me, as I am a bit of a teacake addict!

When it came to presents for my parents, it was tricky knowing what to get them. They have everything they could possibly want, and if they ever want anything then they go out and buy it. I don’t want to spend time and effort buying them a present that never gets used, or that they feel they have to use just to please me. With this all in mind I thought a voucher for their favourite restaurant would be good, but instead I went with personalised handmade mugs with their names on. They were a hit, and rather strangely my sister bought them a teapot with my nieces footprints on, not bad considering we didn’t even discuss it beforehand!

Did you get any amazing presents or perhaps you gave an amazing gift? I would love to hear about it!

Can you really have it all?

As a working mum to four children, everything has to be in it’s place. There is no point in not being organised, even for the slightest things. Each night before School the kids packed lunches are prepared and put in the fridge ready for the morning. The kids have to get their clean clothes out before bed too,everyone plays their part in organising in this house. Preparation is the key!

So can you really have it all? Well you can certainly try, and that’s exactly what I do. I work hard not only with the house and getting everyone organised but also with my working life. I work hard to be able to afford the house we live in. I truly believe that the world is your oyster in your working life, you can achieve anything you put your mind to. I dipped my toe into the world of money making when I left school at the tender age of 16. I managed to blag a job with a top London bank, that is where I saw what potential there is to make money and be successful in what you do. I dreamt at the age of 16 of being a personal banker, but there was many other banking jobs which mean you can make a tidy wage packet that you can be proud of. My highlight was buying myself a Louis Vuitton handbag with my wages, the wages I had worked hard to earn with an honest days wage.

So why am I not a successful banker? Despite the busy London life being enjoyable, sociable and with great money, my heart yearned for more. I left London life to have my first son, and have never gone back. One day when the kids have grown up more, and possibly left home then I will no doubt go back to commuting to the City to work. But meanwhile my kids are so young, and so important to me that I just couldn’t bear the thought of being away from them for 14 hours a day, they would be asleep by the time I got home and would probably be asleep when I left for work in the morning. Especially considering how reliable the First Great Western train service is!

So can you really have it all? Well it depends what you want out of life. I love my family, and my priorities are my children and I will pretty much work any job if it means more time to spend with them.

Guest Post: Avoid disaster on winter holidays

Avoid disaster on winter holidays
Christmas and the New Year are perfect times for a winter holiday, whether hitting the slopes for a ski break or jetting off to the beach. Your family’s safety is all-important whilst on holiday, and although nearly everyone will take out travel insurance beforehand, this is really the least you should be doing in preventing holiday illness or having to make a holiday accident claim whilst abroad.
Food poisoning on holiday can have family members laid up in bed for the week instead of showing off skiing techniques or relaxing on a beach. It may be possible to prevent food poisoning and similar sicknesses by sticking to a few simple guidelines. Many far-flung destinations have unsafe tap water, so avoid this and instead stick with bottled water. Avoid salad and raw vegetables which will often have been washed in tap water and instead choose only cooked food which is steaming hot when served. In developing countries it is also wise to avoid raw or undercooked meat, poultry, seafood and eggs, as well as unpasteurized milk products and soft cheeses.
Having an accident whilst on holiday can have severe consequences, especially if this involves continued treatment once you return home. Many parents will be planning on taking their kids skiing over the Christmas holidays, and whilst this can be a fun family holiday, accidents can easily occur. Even families who ski every year should take a lesson on their first day to re-introduce them to the slopes – this is especially important for kids, who may easily have forgotten techniques. Taking it easy is also important, so make sure you take a rest day during your holiday. Research has found that after 3pm on the third day of a ski holiday is the most common time for accidents. So, designate your third holiday day to do some relaxing activities with your partner and kids.
Being prepared prior to departure is also important. Make sure any necessary vaccinations are kept up to date by visiting your doctor well in advance of your trip: some jabs need to be given in installments. Stock up on medicine to take with you too, as you may experience difficulties in some countries getting items which are easy to come by in the UK. Encourage safe hygiene practices amongst your kids, and equip them all with a mini bottle of hand sanitiser. This is perhaps the simplest and most effective way of preventing infection and keeping hands clean.
Medical care is of exceptional quality in many holiday destinations and often a doctor or emergency treatment is within easy reach. However, even when treatment and care are excellent, an accident or sickness for one family member can easily ruin a holiday for all. Make preparations beforehand and be sure to follow simple steps to ensure the safety and good health of everyone on your winter holiday this year.

Guest Post: Encouraging your kids to be creative

Creative thinkers make the world a better, richer and more exciting place, and are valued for their ability to try new things and improve on old ways of thinking. Steve Jobs revolutionised computing; Picasso took the principles of art and turned them on their head; Vivienne Westwood shook up the fashion world by introducing punk style into mainstream fashion.
However, we don’t all need to be computer geniuses, bold artists or ground-breaking fashion designers to benefit from creative thinking. Qualities like not being afraid to try and to fail are essential to problem-solving in many situations. Having an open mind and a willingness to find solutions that aren’t obvious are valuable skills that can lead to success at school, with relationships and in employment, so it’s a great idea to foster creative thinking as much as possible when your kids are young.
Here are five tips for encouraging your kids to take a creative approach to life:
1.      Allow them to make mistakes.
Go so far as to encourage them to fail by sharing with them ways you have failed yourself. It will show them that it’s not a thing to be afraid of – and that being able to look on a past failure, laugh and then move on is healthy and positive.
2.     Give them the space
If you can, have a dedicated space for creativity in the house – even if it’s a small corner set up for art and craft, allow your kids autonomy in that space and take a step back from it.
                                                                                                                       
3.     Encourage daydreaming
Letting the mind wander is a key element of creativity. It’s at these times when great ideas are reached, inspiration is found and lateral thinking is explored. So if you catch your kids with a far-off look in their eyes, don’t shake them out of it.
4.     Join in
Playing games with your kids, painting pictures with them or telling each other stories is a way to encourage engaging in creative activities if they are reluctant to.
5.     Use technology
Kids are now usually more tech-savvy than their parents. Encourage them to use programs like Garage Band to create music, or give them a video camera or a recording device and free rein to create something special.
How do you encourage your kids to be creative?
Vivienne Egan writes for Baker Ross the arts and crafts supplier

Halloween DIY: Cost Effective Kids Costumes!

With Halloween coming up, it’s worth thinking about how put together cost effective kids costumes. These can take a range of forms, but with a shared emphasis on avoiding spending a lot of money on expensive shop bought costumes. Simple costumes can be created for children with a minimum of effort, and can be an ideal way of saving time for a Halloween kids party. This is a particularly important approach for younger children that may feel uncomfortable in a more elaborate costume, with DIY costumes primarily being simple adaptations of clothes around the house, or made up of parts that can be separated if children become too uncomfortable.
Perhaps the easiest way to make a cost effective kids costume is to adapt clothes around the house, and to rework existing uniforms and costumes around Halloween themes. For example, a leotard or dance costume can be made into a fairy costume with some papier mache wings and a skirt. Ordinary clothes can also be adapted to make construction workers costumes with plastic hard hats. For very young children, you might also add on wings or a a cape to existing clothes. Young children can similarly be dressed in a smock and beret, and given time to play with paints as part of Halloween games.
Another costume option is to make up outfits from favourite sports teams. This can be as simple as using an existing football kit, or can be adjusted for ballerinas, boxers, and racing drivers with jump suits. Second hand clothes can be ideal here for picking up cheap suits, shorts and gloves that will hold up for a single night. Alternatively, you can make sports costumes more distinctive by using face paint to turn children into zombie and vampire players.
In terms of Halloween classics like vampires and ghosts, you can easily make up these costumes without having to buy a complete set. A vampire costume can consist of a black outfit and formal shirt with a bin liner cape, with white makeup or face paint combined with plastic fangs and hair gel. Vampire costumes that use contemporary clothes are also recommended if you want to change the look.
Alternatively, you can fall back on the standard Halloween ghost costume by measuring and cutting an old sheet to include eye and mouth holes. This costume is always useful if small children don’t want the hassle of a complicated costume. Witch costumes can similarly be achieved through bin liner capes, skirts, and a cardboard box rolled into a cone, cut and taped for a witches’ hat.
While superhero costumes can be more of a challenge for DIY creations, you can create a Superman effect by ironing on a badge to a normal shirt. Alternatively, you can make up a Joker costume using green hair dye and makeup, and use an old suit from a charity shop. Other costume ideas, like drawing on The Hunger Games, can simply involve old clothes, and plastic bows and arrows.
In terms of general safety, make sure that all makeup and face paint won’t irritate a child’s skin. Invest in bin liners that are tough enough to act as capes without fraying or becoming tangled. Old parts of costume can also be recycled to make new outfits. If possible, attach some reflective tape to capes if children are trick or treating after dark, and make sure that they are always supervised when going out in costume.