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Monday Parenting Pin It Party #69

Hands up, who thought that summer was over and we were getting ready for autumn crafts, hearty comfort food and lots of rainy day activities? Yep, me too, but it seems that we might be getting one last week of summer before your Monday Parenting Pin It Party gets taken over by Halloween, Thanksgiving and dare I say – Christmas?

This week, your host is my lovely friend Andrea who blogs over on All You Need Is Love And Cake. She’s just given her blog a complete makeover and I love the new and fresh look. Make sure to pop over and check it out. It’s also where you find Andrea’s favourite pins of last week.

All You Need Is Love And Cake

You’re new to the party? Here’s a quick recap for you: The Monday Parenting Pin It Party is a linky that is traveling from blog to blog, giving you the chance to link up your best craft, recipe or parenting posts, so that we can share them on our collaborative Pinterest board and show them some comment love. Each host also picks, their two favourite link ups each week and awards their favourite posts their very own special badge. Cool, right?

So let’s get pinning…



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5 Ways to monetize your blog

5 ways to monetize your blog

Once you’ve blogged for a while and shown your readers and companies that you regularly produce high-quality content, you will receive more and more offers that will enable you to monetize your blog. There are a couple of different opportunities that might be coming your way and I want to introduce you to five of them:

1) Partner programmes and affiliated links

Partner programmes and affiliated links are one way to monetize your job, but it’s a concept that doesn’t work for everyone. How it works: Bloggers sign up to a company’s affiliate programme, all big companies seem to have them, and whenever they include a link to the company’s website and their reader goes on to purchase something from said website, the blogger earns a commission. You can make anything from pennies to thousands, but your success very much depends on your niche and authority. Beauty and fashion websites seem to be doing incredibly well.

2) Sidebar and contextual ads

Digital agencies such as Total Media (among others) work closely with blogs to find the perfect platforms to introduce their clients to a wider audience. This can be in the form of sidebar or banner ads or contextual ads and links within written content, often called sponsored posts. The amount of money you can earn through advertising depends highly on factors such as your page rank, your domain and page authority as well your traffic and the demographic of your audience.

3) Recipe development

If you are a food blogger, developing recipes for food and non-food brands can be a great way to monetize your blog. There’s no better way than seeing your product being used than in a mouth-watering recipe. Even non-food brands have learned that the way to a (wo)man’s heart is through their stomach, so no matter if it’s picnic recipes for a cutlery company or cocktail ideas for a glassware brand, being able to develop unique and creative recipes is a skill that companies are happy to pay for.

4) Create video content

Video content is becoming more and more popular and with YouTube being the second largest search engine after Google, it makes sense for bloggers to start creating video content that supports their writing. Add clips of products in use when reviewing them, make a short video of your days out and establish yourself as an expert in your niche. Companies will sponsor you to talk about them and their products on your own channel or invite you to share your experience and knowledge on their own website and YouTube channel. Filming and editing might seem scary at first, but they are skills worth having.

5) Write an e-book

Know a lot about your niche? Then why not share your expert knowledge in an e-book? If recipes, craft ideas or activities for a rainy day, e-books are a great way to monetize your blog and establish as an expert in your field. They are cheap to develop and publish and you can sell them straight through your blog or via Amazon/Kindle. The more useful your knowledge to your readers, the money you will be able to earn.

Do you monetize your blog? If so, how do you earn money blogging?

This is a promotional post.

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3 Benefits Of Buying Wholesale Products Online

3 Benefits Of Buying Wholesale Products OnlinePurchasing clothes in bulk online has become a popular way to update your entire wardrobe in time for a new season, but a lot of people still stick to the traditional method of shopping on the high street. The increasing number of scams or frauds in the online world is one of the main reasons for people’s hesitation when it comes to shopping online. Fans of shopping from the comfort of their home however appreciate the flexibility and convenience of purchasing clothes online. If you are still undecided, here are some benefits of buying wholesale products via the internet.

Saves Both Time And Money

When you purchase wholesale products in store, you often have to visit show rooms and stores more than once to find the perfect products, sizes and styles. You don’t only spend a considerable amount of time traveling, you also spend money on petrol, oil on top of your actual purchase. Shopping online couldn’t be easier. You have the entire range laid out in front of you and can choose the styles, materials and sizes you need. You can see how easy it is here.

You Can Compare Products Easily

When you decide to buy wholesale dresses or wholesale children’s clothing, then the first step is to compare the price and quality of products offered by various online sites such as http://www.qclothing.co.uk. Should you decide to go the traditional way, make sure you bring some comfy shoes as you’ll have to put in some leg work to compare prices and quality between stores Websites however allow you to read reviews by customers, compare clothes, styles and materials with just a few clicks.

Online Shopping From The Ease Of Home Or Office

Online buying of Wholesale Products UK such as wholesale bags, clothing’s, etc. is a convenient mode of shopping as you just require to “log on” to the website, fill your shopping cart along with the required number of items and make payments for them and place your orders.

You can compare a broad variety of products without with the help of a salesman that involved in street store shopping is one of the most important benefits of shopping.

This is a promotional post with an image from Napu Doll. 

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Your French Bistro: A Delightful Dining Room Transformation

modern french bistro look for your home

If you are dining chez nous and are one of the many people who love both the food and the atmosphere of a French bistro, then why not consider creating that special ambience in your own home?

The definition of a bistro is an unpretentious establishment that is a perfect place for friends to gather in order to enjoy good food and wine together with good conversation, in a very relaxed atmosphere.

Here is a look at how you can set about creating that informal atmosphere by transforming your dining room into a classic French bistro and enjoy some very relaxing evenings surrounded by good company and some of your favourite recipes and wines.

Creating the bistro feel

The secret to a success makeover like this is to find a way to not just create the look that you want but in doing so, also managing to generate that special bistro ambience and feel as well.

If your dining room is perhaps a little dull and uninviting at the moment then that is not exactly conducive to you wanting to spend time entertaining in there and will not exactly help to create an atmosphere of relaxed fun and enjoyment.

Try to envision a rustic bistro in your mind and then decide what you will need to actually create this setting in your dining room. The right furniture will obviously be a great help and you might want to consider a series of bistro tables around the room rather than one large dining table.

You can also help to create the right feel to the room by trying to source suitable brasserie chairs that look the part and are comfortable enough to encourage guests to stay a while and feel relaxed and ready for a great evening.

brasserie chairs at French bistro

Colour scheme

Your choice of colour scheme will be very important in helping to achieve the right look and feel for your bistro setting

Blue is actually considered to be the colour of excellence in French cuisine and is symbolised by the French culinary school known as Le Cordon Bleu. Yellow is a warm and energising colour that can contrast nicely with the blue when trying to replicate the bistro look, so consider painting the walls in a suitable blue up to about a third of the height and then using a moulding to create separation, paint the rest of the wall up to the ceiling in the yellow.

Saffron yellow and an intense blue would work well and do also remember that patterns and fabrics are often seen in French country house design, so you could work in a bit of extra warm and charm into your bistro environment by using some appropriate patterns and fabrics.

french bistro with country charm

Images of France

If you are trying to evoke memories of France to reinforce the bistro feeling, then look around for some paintings that depict scenes of French country life or maybe an example of a Paris street scene or perhaps you might like to use an impressionist painting as the focal point on the wall.

impressionist painting of french bistro scene

Work on transforming your dining room into a classic French bistro and your home will soon be filled with the sound of constant chatter and enjoyment as people instantly relax in such pleasant and informal surroundings.

Josh Burke has deep enthusiasm for practical and beautiful home spaces. After years of experience as an interior designer revitalizing kitchens, basements, and bedrooms, he greatly enjoys blogging about his inspirations and tips he’s learned for today’s homes.

Images via Jae Redlin (Pinterest), Mellifluous Moments (Tumblr), Chateau Chic (Pinterest) and Konstantin Razumov.

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Learning to drive – The way to your driving license

learning to drive and taking your driving test

Learning to drive is not easy these days. There’s more traffic on the road and it seems more impatient drivers too. But passing that driving test is something nearly everyone does at some point. Finding a good driving school is difficult.

Most people go with a recommended driving school or even start learning with their parents. Of course learning with your good old parents is not always a good idea as it normally ends in arguments but it can help gain experience on the road.

Then there’s the theory test to pass. You can, of course, buy the questions and answers book or even find a good website where you can do a practice theory test. There is also the hazard perception test which is a test of reactions and the ability to spot a hazard. This can normally be quite straight forward, especially if it’s an obvious clip with a pedestrian aimlessly walking into the road. But, don’t click too much for hazards or it will give you zero points as it will think that you’re cheating.

After passing the theory test it’s time for the good old driving test. 35-40 minutes to show off your skills on the road to an examiner who’s wearing a bright fluorescent vest. The driving examiner’s aren’t as scary as they used to be. They’re now fully trained in their customer service skills and ability to now smile.Nerves will still try and kick in but try not to let them get the better of you.

Over the years they’ve added bit’s to the driving test like the show me, tell me questions. Two questions will be asked at the start of the driving test, one show me how to do something question and one tell me how to do something. It’s about the maintenance of the car. Show me how to repair the engine is not one of them, but it’s more how to check the oil, tyre pressure etc. There’s only nineteen questions to revise. More to learn but it’s all things you need to know anyway for your lifetime of pleasurable driving.

The driving test will also include a manoeuvre which could include turning the car around, emergency stop, reversing around a corner, bay parking and everybody’s favourite parallel parking. A few hit kerbs later and you should be fine with these.

Independent driving now features on the driving test. This is where the driving examiner doesn’t give you any directions at all apart from asking you to follow signs or a diagram. But don’t worry, no satnav will be necessary, even if you go off route the examiner will then step in and tell you directions again and you won’t be penalised. Although you might expect a slight disapproving face from the examiner.

Then at the end of the test there will either be tears of happiness or sadness. If it does go wrong then there’s always next time. Good luck to anyone taking their test soon!

Image credit: lil’_wiz via Flickr.

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Cute autumn outfit for Amy

cute autumn outfit for girls

It is getting noticeably colder. Last night, I was even tempted to put the heating on, so when I discovered Mellow Mummy’s latest competition with Debenhams, #DebsDreamUniform, I knew that this would be the perfect time to start thinking about Amy’s autumn and winter wardrobe.

Amy won’t start school for another year, so we don’t have to worry about uniforms just yet, but we do like a little bit of window shopping, so this was the perfect challenge for us.

Our outfit is the perfect mix for our girly tom boy and super adorable – definitely something that Amy would wear on a day to day basis and to school, if there was no dress code in place.

We’ve chosen a dark blue denim shirt, which you can combine with leggings or tights in autumn and winter or wear on its own once the temperatures start climbing again. It’s durable, doesn’t stain easily and is always on trend, so it will definitely see you through the seasons.

My little adventurer loves jumping in muddy puddles, running and climbing, so girly shoes with frills and glitter aren’t something that we’d chose for Amy. The tan quilted leather boots seem a much better option – they’re sturdy enough for playground fun and will keep her little toes nice and warm.

To bring a bit of girlishness to her outfit, Amy picked the adorable cream owl print top pictured below. She’s obsessed with owls, saves her pennies in an owl money box and snuggles in owl bedding every evening. It’s a light shirt with long sleeves that is perfect, if you sit in a heated room all day and the colourful owl makes it a fun top that little ones will enjoy.

If you fancy a second layer, always better than putting the heating on, why not add a shirt like this lovely checked shirt in white, navy and pink? It ties in all colours of the outfit and makes it look a little smarter while still being casual. If it gets really nippy, throw on a blue denim jacket and you’re ready to go. Et voila, our back to school outfit. Nothing too fancy, but still pretty to look at, comfy and perfect for the colder season.

What do you think of our autumn outfit? Do we get a thumbs up or a thumbs up from the fashion police?

This is our entry for the Debenhams Back to School competition on www.mellowmummy.co.uk. Why don’t you enter yourself? You’ve got to be in it to win it.

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The world’s easiest washi tape craft – the picnic edition

spruce up your wooden cutlery with washi tape, washi tape crafts, washi tape ideas

We’re are planning a picnic with friends on Monday. Everything’s good, we’re thinking of things and picnic food to take and then Amy comes along and tells me that the picnic cutlery is boring. I guess she’s right. Pre-schoolers love bright colours, glitter and everything that causes sensory overkill, so when I presented her with the disposable wooden cutlery that came with our picnic hamper, she could only react in one way: underwhelmed!

Luckily, I had just cleared out one of my kitchen drawers in the morning and found some washi tape in rainbow colours and there it was – my solution: the world’s easiest washi tape craft or Amy’s rainbow picnic cutlery.

All you need is washi tape in a selection of colours (I think I picked the rainbow colours up for £4 for a pack of 10 on Ebay or Amazon), wooden disposable cutlery and maybe a pair of scissors.

I then just wrapped different colours of washi tape around the cutlery and played around with different designs. Nothing special, nothing that asks for any craft skills and I really mean any – I bet even my cat could do this. Amy is over the moon with her new pretty cutlery and I enjoyed having a little play.

spruce up wooden cutlery with washi tape, washi tape ideas, washi tape crafts

What’s your favourite washi tape craft? If you have blogged about any, leave me a link below and I’ll pop over and have a look!

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10 tips on how to bag your dream job

10 ways to bag your dream job

You’ve searched job boards like City Calling, mingled on business networking sites and now you have finally found the perfect job, but how do you survive that dreaded first interview and bag your dream job? I have asked some of my favourite bloggers for their tips and here is what they advise:

At the interview, make sure you give the interviewer competency based answers. Read the job description and look for the competences they are recruiting against (things like strong communication skills, tenacity etc) and then talk to them about real examples of were you have used these skills and what the outcome has been. Skilled interviewers will be looking for you to demonstrate how you have tackled things in the past, as past behaviour is the best indicator of future behaviour. (Michelle from Mummy from the heart)

Rather than telling the interviewer everything that is great about you, read the job description and do a bit of research, so you can pick out the two or three things they are really looking for (skills or experience) and focus your application and interview answers around those things. (Cat from Cat’s Yellow Days)

Make your own record of achievement / portfolio and take it with you to show them – people can’t resist asking what you’ve brought for show and tell (Liz from Cambridge Mummy)

Be yourself. Don’t pretend to be something you aren’t in the hope it gets you the role. Believe in yourself! (Tanya from Mummy Barrow)

Update your online presence – and make sure it’s professional. A savvy employer these days will look for you online. Give your LinkedIn profile the once over. Make sure there’s no drunken photographs on Instagram, bitchy posts on Facebook or sweary rants on Twitter. Use privacy settings to stop public viewings, if you think there may be some embarrassing social media history that could backfire and ruin your chances. (Donna from Mummy Central)

10 ways to bag your dream job, how to prepare for a job interview

First impressions count. Dress to impress and show that you really want the job: Look your interviewer in the eye and greet them with a confident and firm handshake (Jenny from Mummy Mishaps)

Always do your research on the company and have some questions to ask them – interviewers usually ask, if there is anything you want to know at the end of the interview and awkward silences are never good! (Andrea from All You Need Is Love and Cake)

Request a tour of the place before interview, not only will this give you an insight into where you could possibly be working but they will a) remember you for already visiting and b) offer you the opportunity to ask questions about the working day/facilities available (Sarah from Boo, Roo and Tigger Too)

It’s not only about the words you speak, but also the message your body sends. Try to not fold your arms, look at the floor or lean back while speaking. Instead use your eyes to maintain contact with your interviewer and use your hands to make gestures when making a point or emphasising something.

Don’t get embarrassed discussing your salary. Know your worth, do your research and find out what people in comparable jobs earn and go in  a little higher than your desired salary.

This is a promotional post with images from Philip Dehm and World Relief Spokane via Flickr.

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Cooking tips for dummies

the best cooking tipsCooking is a hobby for many while it is a chore for others. It’s not rocket science though and you don’t have to be a five-star restaurant chef to rustle up a nice meal. All it needs is a little common sense and some patience. If you are new to cooking, then here are some basic cooking tips that will help you prepare simply unbeatable food.

Planning

Planning your menu and lining up the ingredients accordingly is the best and most systematic way to start cooking. Arrange all the ingredients including the measuring, chopping and mixing parts and keep them at an easy-to-reach distance. Don’t keep them too far away as it would mean longer time to take the particular ingredient- you may risk burning your preparation in the bargain.

Order

When you start cooking, start with the dish that requires the longest time to cook. The dish that gets prepared quickly must be prepared last. You can utilize the time between for preparing other items.

Boiling Tips

If you are boiling milk or custard, grease the inside of the pot lid with a small amount of oil. This would keep your milk from boiling over. In case of double boiling, you can place a few marbles at the bottom of the water pan. When the level of water gets low, the marbles rattle warning you to fill it with more water.

Food Handling Tips

Corn

In order to maintain the same level of taste, boil corn by directly putting it in water with no salt. This would retain the taste of corn.

Cheese

If you plan to grate cheese, then freeze it for half an hour to make grating easier.

Eggs

While boiling eggs, add a pinch of salt or pour a drop of vinegar. This will keep the egg in the shell even if it cracks.

Wilted Vegetables

Wilted vegetables are not always spoilt. They sometimes wilt due to extreme temperature differences. Soaking them in water with a drop of vinegar in it would help the vegetables bounce back to life.

The above cooking tips minimize the work load on you especially the clean-up process after cooking gets easier with these. Find out more about cooking tips online. There are plenty of tips that will help you reduce your stress and enjoy the whole process.

What’s your best cooking tip?

This is a promotional post with images from Nicole Abalde.