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Life: 5 Podcasts to listen to

Photo of cup of coffee and an iPhone

I've loved podcasts for a few years now and usually listen to them whilst I'm cleaning, or doing my current favourite activity - my paint by numbers. When Florence was tiny I'd listen to them when I walked her in the pram, and Chris and I listen to them on long car journeys too. I did a post about the ones I was enjoying back in 2017 so you can also check them out here - I still love the Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast which I mentioned in that post.

Here are 5 of my current favourites:

1) Sh**ged, Married, Annoyed - this podcast never fails to make me (and my husband) laugh out loud - we relate to so much of it. The podcast is Chris and Rosie Ramsey chatting about all sorts; life, relationships, arguments, parenting and growing up. They are both so funny and so relatable. They're also around an hour long so great for car journeys.

2) Made by Mammas - I love a parenting podcast (as you can tell) and this is one of my favourites. Zoe Hardman and Georgia Dayton chat to lots of different guests and they are always very open and honest about parenting. There are some great topics covered and I love that they are currently releasing two episodes a week.

3) The High Low - this is a weekly chat between Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes and it covers both highbrow and lowbrow news so is a great mix. I also love their book and reading recommendations.

4) Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe's Lockdown Parenting Hell - I've only just discovered this as it was obviously a more recently launch (love how many podcasts have come out of lockdown!) but it is hilarious. I was having such a giggle as I listened to it earlier. Rob and Josh chat to a famous parent about how they are coping with their kids in lockdown and it's so relatable if you have kids.

5) The Grow & Glow Show - I have recently joined the Grow & Glow* community and am absolutely loving it. Vix Meldrew, who set up and runs it, has created this podcast and it's so helpful for learning more about growing your personal brand, improving your content and earning money from it all.

Let me know what your favourites are, as I'm always on the lookout for new ones to listen to!

*This post contains affiliate links

Daisy x

Life: My Move into the Freelance World

It's a bit of a chatty post today as I wanted to talk about my move into the freelance world; what led me to make the move, how I'm finding it and useful books and resources that I've found.

Why did I go freelance?

Since leaving University in 2008, I'd worked in a traditional office environment with the 7.5 years prior to having my daughter being spent working for a wonderful big charity in London in their marketing partnerships team. I was living in London too, however we moved up to Lincoln to be close to family just before Florence was born. I planned to go back part time and hoped for some flexible working so that the commute was more doable, however a few things happened during my maternity leave which made me change my plan.

I realised that my daughter was my biggest priority and the thought of not being with her for 3 or 4 days a week hurt my heart. I did consider being a full time stay at home Mum but quickly realised that I needed some mental stimulation from work. Over the year I had also been doing the social media for my Mum's floristry business, Violet & Vine, helping my Dad with some posts for his design consultancy and also doing some posts for our local pub. I found myself really enjoying it and the thought of having my own business felt so exciting.

It really felt like the right time to give it a go and in June last year I registered as a sole trader and got my first client onboard.

How I'm finding it so far?

A year on and I am loving being freelance - it suits me and my lifestyle down to the ground. We get so caught up in the corporate 9-5, Monday to Friday routine and you forget that there's an alternative that gives you so much more freedom. Being able to work around my daughter has been amazing - I sometimes work in her nap times or in an evening, and she goes to nursery once a week which gives me a full day to crack on (or to get on with house jobs, or go shopping if I fancy!). I love not having a commute and being able to just grab my laptop and get on with work. And I love being my own boss.

I do miss the fun that I'd have with work colleagues as I loved this part of my previous job, but my priorities are so different now that it's not something that's important to me at the moment.

Useful books and resources

I read a few books, joined some Facebook Groups and listened to lots of podcasts when I started freelancing and they were, and still are so useful so I wanted to link them below.

The Multi-Hyphen Method by Emma Gannon*
The Freelance Mum by Annie Ridout*
The Successful Mumpreneu by Debbie Gilbert*

Being Freelance Facebook group and podcast
Doing it for The Kids Facebook group and podcast

I hope you found this post interesting, and hopefully helpful if you are thinking of going freelance!

*This post contains affiliate links

Daisy x

Life: 5 ways to organise your life

Looking for 5 ways to organise your life? Look no further! I've always been very organised and I love feeling on top of everything - as hard as that is when you have a toddler. I am a big fan of a spreadsheet and lists, all of the lists. I also can't resist a planner (or a notebook to be honest) and have just ordered a shiny new one, even though I will likely use it for a day and then return to using my phone which is what I always fall back to.

Today I'm sharing five ways that I keep my life organised in the hope that they will help make your life a little easier too.

1) Meal planning 

My Mum would always meal plan and it's been something I've done for years and years. It seems like a tedious task but you will always thank yourself for doing it. Every Monday I sit down and get out my weekly planner - you can get specific meal planner notepads or whiteboards but I just use a weekly planner like this one* (Homesense do lots of them too). I'll have a quick look in the fridge and freezer to see what we have and will then plan Florence's lunches and dinners for the week, and our meals too. I'll add notes each day of what I may need to prep or get out to defrost and then from that list I'll create my shopping list. It means less food waste and although you have to spend a little time initially on it, you save so much time during the week as that mental task of wondering what to have for dinner is taken away. I'm definitely not a stickler for it, and sometimes plans will change but just having it there is so helpful.

2) The Organised Mum Method

I want to do a whole post on this as it's been a game changer for me in terms of cleaning and has meant that we have been able to cut down on how often we have our cleaner, and obviously throughout lockdown it's meant that we've kept on top of everything. It's essentially a cleaning schedule where you spend half an hour on Monday to Friday doing an assigned room, or rooms (no weekend cleaning!). You also have a few daily tasks like putting a wash on etc. On Monday-Thursday you clean the same rooms every week and on Friday you do more of a deeper clean on a specific room. It's amazing how much you can get done in half an hour and it feels so much less intimidating than doing one big weekly clean. You can read more about it on the TOMM website here and the book (which I recommend) is available on Amazon*.

3) Productivity apps 

As I've said above, I can't resist a planner however my phone is where I really organise my life. Again, I'd like to write a whole post about the apps that I'd recommend but my top recommendations would be Todoist and Evernote - both which also have desktop platforms which seamlessly sync. Todoist is great for your to do list; you can organise tasks into different projects which I like doing, and I get an email reminder every morning so I can see what I need to do that day. I also love Evernote which is described as a note taking app. You can use this for a to do list too, but I use it more as a virtual notebook with different notebooks for subjects like recipes, present ideas and useful links. It's easy to search too so is quick and easy to use.

4) Birthday card book and app

I used to be terrible with birthdays and would remember a few days before, rush out and buy a card and it would arrive a few days late. I've now got two things that have really helped to organise my 'birthday admin' - the first is a birthday card organiser like this*. It has a page and a pocket for every month which you can write down birthday dates, and then fill with the cards for that month. I will do a bulk buy of cards, usually from Whistlefish and when it comes to that month I know I am covered. I also use a birthdays app (there are loads of apps like this) where I input birthdays and then am reminded a week and two days before. You can also put in the birth year and it tells you how old they are - really helpful for kiddie birthdays.

5) Three task to do list 

This approach is really helpful if you find it hard to get organised, or perhaps write a to do list that ends up being 20 tasks long and becomes overwhelming. It's far more achievable to write down three tasks to do that day as you're more likely to do them, and it focuses your mind on what is the most important to get done. It also feels great to check them off of your list and then maybe move onto other jobs, if you're feeling super productive.

Daisy x