Why Flexible working hours make perfect sense

December 17th, 2014

My little boy celebrates his 6th birthday today, and so it is the perfect time to reflect on how much my life has changed in the days since he was born. At that time, I was an acting head teacher of a Primary School, working full time, and also bringing a lot of work home each evening. When Joe came along I wanted to reduce my hours to part time so I could enjoy being a mommy to this precious little bundle, a request that became even more important when I was diagnosed with post-natal depression. Unfortunately I did not meet the response I was expecting, and the reduced working hours came at a cost, this eventually led me to leave a profession I had been part of for 12 years. I know I am not alone in my experience of finding it difficult to get flexible hours. But maybe a shift in attitudes is finally happening.

Flexible working hours are something that any employee can now request from their employers as long as they have 26 weeks continuous employment. The rise of new technology, like Skype, and video conferencing hosted by the likes of GoToMeeting, which allows you to simultaneously host a video meeting for up to three people, means that working from home is no longer an impossibility, even when working on important projects and with clients.  Flexible working hours, either less hours, or partially working from home, allows both parents, not just the mother, the opportunity to juggle the commitments of family life, to not have to miss out on the school run, or the Christmas play, yet again. But still being able to achieve great things in the world of work.

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The evidence says that workplaces that allow flexible working hours see an increase in productivity, a decrease in workplace absences and actually find their staff to be a happier, less stressed workforce. If you are thinking of applying for flexible working hours, the infograph above gives you some information about how you can approach this with your boss. Employees have to listen to your requests and make every attempt to accommodate, so, if you think this is something that could benefit your family, now is the time to make your stand.

 

The Bullring Bloggers Christmas event

December 17th, 2014

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the second Bullring blogger event of the year, held in the hospitality suite of the iconic shopping venue. The Bullring bloggers events are always lovely, a chance to catch up with some of my favourite bloggers, a showcase for some fabulous fashion, beauty and food brands, and, if your time permits, a chance for a little bit of pampering. It was a wonderful way to start the Christmas celebrations.

This event was a great showcase for many of the brands and, in particular, the personalised gifts stocked by Selfridges this Christmas. The fabulous fun pots of personalised Nutella, beautiful necklaces from Tatty Devine, and, my personal favourite, the fairytale cosmetic bags from Alphabet bags, all received admiring looks from the many bloggers in attendance.

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Click to visit Selfridges

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Click to visit Selfridges

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Click to view Ciate at Selfridges

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Benefit were offering make up, creating smokey eyes and glossy lips, as well as showcasing their gorgeous Christmas gift sets. Umberto Giannini were creating beehives and glamorous ‘big hair’ looks straight from the era of Bardot and Sophia Loren, using the famous ‘backcomb in a bottle’.

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Of course, there was also food and drink. The drinks were served in cute little milk bottles, whilst the centre-piece of the Christmas themed buffet was a gorgeous cookie from Millie’s, and scrummy chocolates from Hotel Chocolat.

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A truly lovely night!

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How amazing does Emily Jayne look in her Christmas outfit!

How amazing does Emily Jayne look in her Christmas outfit!

Huge thanks once again to Emma Roberts and the team from Bullring for the invitation and the lovely goodie bag.

Is there such a thing as ‘Luck’?

December 16th, 2014

Is there such a thing as luck? Is luck something we can change, or influence, and are some people just born lucky? This was something I was pondering a while back when I was lucky enough (that word again) to win a couple of Twitter competitions, one of which I’d actually forgotten entering. When I told my mom I’d won, she used the saying ‘you lucky thing’, and I’d mentioned that ‘my luck was changing’. It seems that the word just pops up everywhere. But can we actually do anything to influence our luck?

I always salute magpies. hating it if I only see one. I pick up lucky pennies, worry if I break a mirror, and avoid walking under ladders. I guess superstitions add to our theories about luck. Yesterday I saw just one magpie on the way to school and remembered the saying ‘one for sorrow’, and indeed, I missed a delivery of a birthday present for Joe, felt a little ill most of the day, and then went out for possibly the worst Christmas meal of all time. A run of bad luck for sure.

But when it comes to playing games like Bingo, or slot machines, or playing the national lottery, or even tv games like Take your Pick, is there really anything you can do to change, or influence how lucky you will be? Paddy Power have put together a fun infographic that busts some of the myths about luck, whilst giving a few hints and tips on things that might help to change your own luck.  You can click here if you want to test any of their theories.

Good luck!

Luck