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The best apps for getting organised

the best apps to get organised

Being a student in London can be difficult. You can get caught in the hussle and bussle of the city and organisation can go down the drain as you’re having too much fun. But organisation can make your day run much more smoothly. There are many ways that you keep yourself organised such as keeping a diary, making yourself notes or getting someone else to organise your day. But wouldn’t it be much easier if one device organised everything for you?

Well your phone can. Thanks to the wonderful app store there are many apps on the market that can help you organise your life and keep on top of your schedule. From shopping lists, to assignments, to remembering appointments to visit the likes of studio accommodation in London or even the dentist, it can be tough organising your time without forgetting something. With these useful free apps you will never miss a deadline again. Here are some of the free apps that will help you accomplish your goals:

Google Drive

If you’ve forgotten to send an important document to a classmate or lecturer, do not fret. If you save your documents to Google drive on your laptop you can easily access it on your phone which makes it much easier to share documents with others. You can access your files simply, whether it is photos, videos or documents; it’s also great for PDFs. Simply search for files by name and content. You can even create and edit documents on the app (perfect for when you forgot to do an assignment).

Timeful

Timeful helps you to find time for things that you want to fit into your day without avoiding the things you already have planned. It connects to your existing calendars to get a sense of your important tasks and lets you also add new appointments or add things that you like to do during your day. The app suggests times that might be optimal to complete tasks you assign yourself and becomes smarter the more you use it as it learns from your behaviour of accepting and rejecting.

best organisation apps, apps to get organised,

Evernote

Note taking can be a powerful tool for organising any aspect of your life. With Evernote you can take notes using text, images, audio or a mix of these and you can then organise them into note books. A popular feature on Evernote is optical character recognition which makes text in images searchable. Evernote synchronises all your files by saving them to a cloud service meaning anything you create or alter from your iPhone will be there waiting for you when you log into any other version of Evernote.

Todoist

Todoist is the worlds most powerful to do list and helps you to achieve more. The beautiful, innovative design allows you to collaborate on shared tasks to help you reach your goal which is perfect when working on shared projects. Much better than a simple to do list, the app allows you to create sub tasks so you can break down bigger tasks into smaller ones. The app will notify you when important changes happen via emails or push notifications and you can set reminders via email, push notification or SMS that will alert you when you’re on the go. The app allows you to check out your productivity and see your productivity trends which will highlight your areas of weakness.

Which apps do you use to stay organised?

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Rainy Day Activities

November is the second wettest month of the year, so I thought it would be the perfect time to share with you a blog post by Park Resorts that shows you couple of activities that make rainy days a little more bearable for parents with young children. Of course, I’ve got my very own tips and tricks to keep Amy entertained when the weather gods aren’t on my side, so I am also sharing with you, the rainy day activities that we enjoy on a regular basis:

1) Build a den

rainy day activities build a denAmy loves building dens for her dollies, teddies and, of course, herself. We simple bring some cushions and blankets down into the living room, drape them over the table and some chairs and get cosy. If you really want to push the boat out, add some fairy lights for some extra cosiness. In our den, we read our favourite books, watch a movie or just chat about the day and the things we love. It’s a great little activity that doesn’t cost anything as you already have everything you’ll need.

2) Make your own play dough

rainy day activities make your own play doughMaking your own play dough is a fantastic rainy day activity. It’s super easy to make and there are recipes available for all types of play dough, e.g. edible, scented, glittery or coloured. There’s no limit to your imagination and all kids love the squishy stuff – believe me. Play dough also provides endless play and craft opportunities – think: tracing numbers and letters, building people, shapes and buildings and exploring printing by pushing different objects into the dough.

3) Have a movie afternoon

popcorn for a movie afternoon - rainy day activitiesMake some homemade popcorn, get some sweet or healthy treats and snuggle up on the sofa or in your very own den for a movie afternoon with your kids. Set a theme, download your favourite movie or throw in your kids’ favourite DVD for some light entertainment on a rainy day. You could also add some crafts that go along with your movie or create themed snacks that make an ordinary activity a little more exciting.

How do you keep your kids entertained on a rainy day? Do you have any go to rainy day activities?

Disclosure: This is a promotional post with images from benhusman, Fun At Home With Kids and Joakim Wahlander

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Sponsored Video: Stocking fillers from Toca Boca

Toca ink temporary tattoos for kids toca bocaI don’t know about you, but when I was little, I was obsessed with temporary tattoos. They were the absolute coolest thing mankind had ever seen (at least in my eight or nine year old eyes) and I loved plastering myself in them when we went on holiday during the summer.

My parents weren’t the biggest fans of my temporary tattoos, but they were happy enough for me to play about with them. Everybody in my age group had them and obviously, they weren’t the real deal and came off after splashing about in the sea or pool or a good scrub at the end of the day.

For a long time, I had thought temporary tattoos had died out. I hadn’t seen them around for years, but looking at Amy’s cousins, I know that temporary tattoos are still as popular with kids now as they were 20 years ago – plus they look much cooler than they did during my childhood.

Toca Ink have teamed up with Brooklyn-based tattoo artist Virginia Elwood who created 6 fun tattoos inspired by the popular characters of Toca Boca, a game app that you have probably never heard of, but that your kids will adore. With over 75 million downloads, the game is an absolute hit with kids all around the world, so if you want to make your children happy this Christmas, add a pack of Toca Inks to their stocking and you’ll win a heap of brownie points.

If you want to find out how Virginia has created the permanent tattoos, what inspired her and how she works as a tattoo artist herself, check out the video below:


Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Toca Boca but all thoughts are my own.

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Get your man one of these top watches for Christmas…

Whether you’re married or simply together, a watch is the perfect Christmas present for your other half.

With approximately 60% of us now using our phones to see the time rather than the traditional wrist watch, I definitely feel it’s time to revive this classic style, and it’s the perfect opportunity to do something really special for your loved one. The equivalent of diamonds for women has to be a shiny new wrist watch for men.

Most guys love gadgets, and we certainly shouldn’t be relying on our phones in all aspects of our lives. I know we can’t seem to lift our heads up from them most of the time!

In terms of watch buying, it’s definitely worth looking for the really high end watches that will last absolutely YEARS and show that quality too. Whether you go for brand new, or second hand through reputable showrooms such as www.watches-of-switzerland.co.uk, there is so much choice.

To take it back down to basics, and give your other half something he will treasure for years to come, here are some amazing styles:

Omega Seamaster Men’s Watch

This stainless steel masterpiece is in the typical sturdy Omega style. In fact, it’s a watch specifically for divers and water resistant up to 300 metres so you know it’s going to last.

With the beautiful and stylish navy dial along with the flashes of red and white for the hands and detailing, this is super sleek; the type of watch most men will love if your hubby happens to be fussy.

The face is scratch resistant sapphire crystal with a self-winding Co Axial Escapement movement.

top watches for men this christmas

Bentley B05 Unitime

This might be a bit of a mouthful, but this black stainless steel watch is not only stunning but one for the gadget king and globe trotter too.

With the sleek black colouring and automatic timing keeping this convenient yet stylish, this is for the business type who doesn’t stop, but how exactly does it work? Powered by an innovative Manufacture Breitling movement with a patented mechanism, the Bentley B05 Unitime displays the time in no fewer than 24 countries.

The James Bond style gadget with the ultimate user-friendly mechanisms…

Bell & Ross BR 123

The technical name isn’t the only futuristic element of this Bell & Ross. The whole look and feel of the Bell & Ross brand is like something out of a sci-fi movie and perfect for those husbands and partners that love the slick and simple approach to jewellery.

The dial, and whole watch, is a dark mysterious grey with the movement being a convenient automatic.

The case material is PVD which gives it that carbon space-age look. This might look very space-aged, but there is also an element of aviation here. With the modern approach to such a classic style, this takes its inspiration from the pilots of the 1940s.

best watches for men this christmas and beyond

Maurice Lacroix Pontos

All of these have had a futuristic feel to them, but there are also some absolutely stunning traditional style timepiece out there if your other half prefers the traditional patterned leather strap and simple face. In fact, this is a timeless classic that often goes with absolutely everything.

I love this Maurice Lacroix Pontos because it mixes the beautiful traditional style with a modern twist.

The gorgeous deep blue dial colour along with delicate detailing and crisp stainless steel casing is perfect for the guy with ultimate class. With great functionality, simple design and the little dashings of creativity, this is a watch for the fashion conscious and traditionalist.

Tag Heuer Carrera

Another made from sturdy stainless steel built to last, this men’s automatic watch with leather strap include a chronograph as well as date.

Classed as a sports watch, this has durability and is water resistant for up to 100 metres (if your other half happens to be a keen swimmer).

Unlike many functional sports watches, this is also amazingly stylish with the traditional black leather strap and clear sleek dial face.

It doesn’t matter whether your hubby or other half likes sport over style, functionality over fun or traditional over trendy, there are so many styles out there to suit your partner. Whilst most aspects of fashion is definitely still catered towards the females, a stunning watch is where your fella can really come into his own and express his quirky individual sense of style.

Why not organise a trip to your nearest showroom and let him pick it out for himself?

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Christmas decorations for under £20

Christmas decorations under £20
Check out my Polyvore board Christmas decorations under £20 for all links

Christmas is only 40 days away and if you are looking to give your home a Christmas makeover without breaking the bank, it might be worth checking out the Christmas decorations at The Works. I checked out everything they’ve got on offer and have come up with seven of my best buys for you – all of them for under £20 and one for each day of the week:

1. This Santa and sleigh model is a great little project for children and their parents and adds a festive touch to your mantel piece or window sill. You can leave it in its natural finish or paint it in Christmas colours.

2. I adore this wooden advent calendar. You can fill it yourself and really add a personal touch to your advent depending on the surprises you hide. The possibilities are endless as you can add anything from chocolates and toys to mini vouchers or advent activities.

3. This festive light up Christmas tree is the perfect addition to any home at Christmas time. It looks traditional and elegant and would make a lovely Christmas decoration switched on or off.

4. I know, I know wooden letters are everywhere at the moment, but these are just £2, so I really couldn’t resist adding these to my favourites. They’re in the ultimate Christmas colours, have a lovely snowflake design and would look cute on a mantel piece, window sill or sideboard. There are different words available too.

5. Everybody loves a chalkboard right? Well, at least I do, so I couldn’t help but show you this adorable little gingerbread man chalkboard. It’s super cute, an absolute bargain at just £1 and a great addition to your hallway, kitchen or maybe mantelpiece – I can imagine it would be quite cute to write a Christmas countdown on it each day.

6. In the UK, people put up their Christmas trees much earlier than in Germany, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have some sort of green in our homes. Around the first advent, it is quite common to go for a walk in the forest and pick up fallen branches of Christmas trees to take home. Simply pop them in a big vase and add some of these adorable mini tree decorations for some Christmas flair before it’s time to put up your tree.

7. This Colour Your Own Christmas Poster is a great little activity on a rainy afternoon or weekend. It gets you in the spirit for Christmas, keeps little ones entertained and makes a fun Christmas decoration with a twist – probably not one for the living room, but definitely good fun on the kids door.

How do you go about Christmas decorations? Do you buy them or do you get crafty and most importantly, have you got a special colour scheme? Do let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear how you decorate your home for Santa.

This is a promotional post.

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Fortune Finders with Money & Co

win money with fortune findersWant to win £10,000?

Why not have a go at Money&Co.’s online Fortune Finders game? This will feature six online hunts over ten days. Participants will have the chance to win an investment fortune of £10,000 and five prizes of investment worth £1,000.

How to play:

Playing is easy. During each hunt, participants must decipher clues in order to find the hidden gems that look like this one below on the Money&Co. website:

Each gem provides a unique code and participants must obtain the codes from all six hunts to have the opportunity to win the £10,000 grand prize. People will be able to unlock secret entry forms for the mini prize draws of £1,000 which will become available every two days.

Why are Money&Co. launching the hunt?

Money&Co. are simply launching the hunt to show how easy it is to invest money on their site. They want to promote one simple message: that making money shouldn’t be so hard.

Where to play it:

The game is easily accessible on smartphones, tablets and computers as it is browser based. This means you can hunt for the treasure wherever you are. Updates about the £10,000 Fortune Finders can be found on Twitter by following @MoneyandCoUK and by using #10grandhunt. Money&Co. can also be found on Facebook, and a Twibbon has been set up so that everyone can load the gem onto their social profiles. You can start discovering gems from Wednesday 12th November by clicking on this link

Get playing everyone!

What better way to start your investment activity than with £10,000? And it’s fun too, so you don’t have much to lose.

This is a promotional post with an image from Andrea via Flickr

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Personalised Christmas cards from minted.com

minted.com website

It’s no secret that I’m a massive stationery addict, so when minted.com got in touch and asked, if I wanted to check out their range, there was no holding me back. I’m always on the hunt for new stationery products, in fact I picked up two today, but in the run up for Christmas, I’m not only scoring the shops and internet for myself.

I love giving stationery products as gifts to my friends and family. Everyone loves a new notebook or diary, right? Anyway, let’s get back to minted.com who have an absolutely amazing website. It’s easy to manoeuvre, beautiful on the eye and most of all, full of character as behind the website is not a face-less team of designers, but a whole bunch of talented creatives who design beautiful stationery products from Christmas cards and birthday invitations to modern art prints, diaries or planners.

minted.com personalised stationery and gifts, personalised planners

I was really impressed with the enormous range of products and I loved that you can see who each of them was designed by – not only because I’m incredibly nosy, but also because it’s a great way to find out more about the designer and their other pieces. For instance, I found an art print that I really liked, clicked on the artist’s name and was sent straight to a section dedicated to their work. Not great for my bank balance admittedly, but amazing if you really like someone’s style and want to get a selection of their pieces.

A little something I can share with everyone, even those who I don’t buy a Christmas present for this year, are beautiful and personalised Christmas cards and minted.com offers an amazing range of them with styles to suit all your needs: quirky and funny ones for close friends, traditional cards for the older generation or beautiful photo cards for those who you haven’t seen in a while.

minted.com personalised photo christmas cards

Personalising your Christmas cards is really easy. You simply click onto the Christmas card design of your choice, choose the type of card you would like (flat or folded) and upload the photos of your choice. You can rearrange them as often as you like, change the text on the card, mix up colours, backgrounds or give your Christmas card a creatively cut edge – there really are no boundaries to your creativity. You can even select how thick you would like your paper to be and make your envelop stand out by personalising it.

minted.com how to make your personalised christmas card

All in all, I’m super impressed with the range available on minted.com. If you want to read how I like the products that I have picked, pop back over in the next couple of weeks and check out my review. Until then, check out the minted website yourself and if you are thinking of sending personalised Christmas cards, make use of a fab offer available until Monday (12 November 2014) – pick the cards of your choice and use the code CHEER25FS for $25 off and free shipping when checking out. Until then: Ho Ho Ho and merry pre-Christmas time!

Do you send Christmas cards to friends and family? Do you go with traditional cards, do you make them yourself or do you get creative with photo Christmas cards? Let me know in the comments below…

Disclosure: I have been provided with store credit for the purpose of a review.

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How to organise your home office

If you are running a business from home, storage might be an issue for you. You might have to consider stock, if you are selling in an online shop, paperwork, your work space and the dreaded archives for tax, banking and all the things that you need to run a home office.

If you prefer to keep as little as possible in your office, (you know they say Clear Desk, Clear Mind), there are companies such as www.warehousestoragesolutions.com who provide archive solutions for you, but of course you can also store your paperwork  at home and keep your office organised by using some simple tips and tricks.

Here are some ideas for you:

1. Use a filing system for current paperwork

how to organise your home office - mail system

Keep your desk clutter free by installing a mail sorting system. This  way, you avoid piles of paperwork on your desk, keep track of what has come in, what needs to be filed or replied to and what can be recycled. At the begin of each day, take 5 minutes to go through your sorting system and complete necessary tasks or file your paperwork. Mail sorting systems are widely available and a really inexpensive organisation tool, that will make you more productive and keep your desk clean.

2. Use over the door storage

how to organise your office with over the door storage

Over the door storage is probably the cheapest storage solution out there. Door pocket organisers are cheap, lightweight and you can pick them up from pound shops, IKEA or other high street stores. They’re incredibly versatile and you can store everything from paper clips and pins to highlighters or post it notes in them – perfect, if like me you are a hoarder of stationery products.

3. Hide your cables

how to organise your home office - hide cables

I don’t know about you, but I think visible wires and cables can really destroy the look and feel of a room. They look messy, unorganised and if you don’t feel comfortable in your home office, you will automatically feel less productive. Avoid the unorganised mess and hide the cables under your desk in a stylish cable box like the one pictured above. It will made unplugging certain gadgets much easier and also avoid your cables getting tangled and breaking.

How do you keep your office organised and tidy? Share your tips in the comments below!

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How to get kids to drink water #MrMenEvian

Water is the healthiest drink out there. It quenches thirst without adding unnecessary sugar and chemicals to your children’s body. It’s cheaper and always available, but how to get your kids to drink water, if they prefer sweeter or flavoured options?

For lots of advice, tips, tricks and lots of information on the health benefits of water for children and how to get them to drink water, join me for a Twitter party with BritMums, Ocado and Evian tomorrow, 6 November 2014, between 13 and 14 PM. We’ll be discussing ideas, will tell you how much water kids of a certain age should drink and how to get them excited about it.

Join the conversation using the hashtag #MrMenEvian and you could win 1 of 10 £25 shopping vouchers. More details on the terms and conditions over on the BritMums blog.

Luckily, Amy prefers water over anything else, but for those not so lucky, why not try it with a little bit of bribery? I’ve created a cute little reward chart that tracks the water intake of your child and allows them to record how much water they drink every day.

For children between 3 and 8 a fluid intake of 1 litre a day is recommended, so five 200ml cups a day will be enough to keep them hydrated for the day. Based on that, I have created the reward chart below. It shows 35 rain drops for the entire weeks, e.g. 5 rain drops for each day of the week.

Print the chart off, laminate it (if you like) and let your children track their water intake with a sticker on each rain drop or a tick with a wipeable pen. Agree on a reward for milestones reached and watch them up their water intake in a fun and playful way. Water cups with their favourite characters or fun straws can be an additional motivation for them to drink water.

water reward chart for children, track your childs water intake, get children to drink more water, drink water

Do your kids drink water or do you struggle to get them interested in it? Have you got tips on how to get them to drink water or more water?

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Dance into the holidays with L’Occitane

Do you know how companies always come out with the most beautiful adverts around Christmas time? One of my favourite companies L’Occitane has done the same thing and their new Christmas advert is truly magical. Have you seen it yet?

I first came across L’Occitane when I was pregnant with Amy. I received a beautiful set full of mother and baby products and I fell in love with the brand there and then. The products smelled beautifully and the shea butter was incredibly nourishing and moisturising. From mother and baby products, I moved on to L’Occitane’s handcreams and my entire family are hooked – well, at least all my female family members. They come in an incredible range of scents from Rose to Zesty Lime, are the perfect size for your handbag and make super cute stocking fillers.

But it doesn’t stop there, as you’ve seen in the video above. L’Occitane has so much more to offer. They sell the most beautiful gift sets (take note, Santa!) and what I like most about them is that they’re so timeless. You know how you can sometimes get sickly sweet scented beauty products for teens and real granny smells for the older generation? L’Occitane have created scents that smell beautiful no matter how old you are and that’s something that I really like about the brand.

That’s not all though. Especially around Christmas, L’Occitane bring out stunning gift sets, beautifully wrapped and the perfect solution, if you are after a last minute present that looks like you’ve put a lot of thought and effort into choosing it for the recipient. Plus, there are some fabulous offers on at the moment!

Do you like giving and receiving pamper gifts for Christmas? Have you ever tried any products from L’Occitane? If so, what’s your favourite product?

Disclosure: This is a promotional post written on behalf of L’Occitane.