Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith: On Creating more time with your family outdoors

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith: On Creating more time with your family outdoors

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith:

On Creating more time with your family outdoors

By Lolo Stubbs, Editor-in-chief

__________________________________

It can be hard to find balance in life when we are so busy with all the other things that we have to juggle. One thing that has stood out since starting BROOD, is just how many of us are constantly looking for more ways to try switch off and spend quality time as a family. It’s also clear that we all want to incorporate ways to exercise into our weekly routine and encourage our kids to be active and outdoors too, but it can be hard to fit it in when there is only so many hours in the day!

So, with a new sport activity sweeping exciting across the UK – Padel – we just had to find out what all the hype was all about, and to see if it was an activity that would fit into family life.

When we arrived at The Padel Club, in Wilmslow, each court was filled with people obviously having a great time and we were surprised to see that the whole of The Padel Club was completely outdoors – seating areas and all! However, we quickly noticed that it didn’t affect the capacity for pre- and post-match socialising, or people coming along to watch, if anything – thanks to the various pergolas and stylish outdoor furniture – it enhanced it!

Sarah Jayne Dunn playing Padel

 Sarah Jayne Dunn © Tom Pitfield Photography for BROOD Magazine

BROOD Live

We chatted to various people at The Padel Club, who explain and that Padel was more than just a fun and challenging sport, it was bringing people together and building an important community. So far Padel, seemed to be ticking a lot of boxes; we all know how important networking is throughout your career or when running a business, and this way you can look after your wellbeing and fitness at the same time! It also felt like a safe and inviting space and when we heard that they also were holding classes to teach children, and that more and more parents were heading down to take to the courts with their kids, it ticked that final and very important box – family time!

We spoke to our friends, Sarah Jayne Dunn and Jon Smith (who were BROOD’s very first cover stars when we launched as an online magazine in April 2022) and they too, had been drawn to The Padel Club for all of the above reasons and they had also transformed their outside space over the summer, incorporating outdoor living range and pergola in to their garden. (LuxSol are the same brand that has created such a clever outdoor space at The Padel Club) So we sat down on the uber comfy corner sofa, snuggled under blankets, and sheltered from the rain under the pergola and chat all about being outdoors and incorporating new activities into family life.

What initially drew you to the padel club?

Jon – “I know a lot of people who play that really enjoy it, and so I was curious because everyone keeps banging on about it! [He laughs] I wanted to see what it’s all about!”

Sarah Jayne – “Yeah, I’ve seen it a lot on social media, because there is a lot of people that we know that come here. Like Nick Bianchi, who is fellow school parent and neighbour, and all the Thomas brothers are always here, and I know them, and so I kept seeing it, and it made me curious too.”

Jon – “I’d never seen it played or played it, so I was just like ‘what is it?’ basically”.

Sarah Jayne – “It’s just become such a big thing it’s huge!”

Do you think that Stan would enjoy playing Padel?

Jon – “Oh yeah, give him something to hit something else with and yeah, and I’m sure he’d love it!” [We laugh]

Sarah Jayne – “He’s played tennis at Summer Club at school, and he liked that, so I think he definitely would.”

Jon – “He likes crazy golf too.”

Sarah Jayne – “That’s another thing that appeals to us, as I think it could ne a nice little thing that we could do as a family. Especially as a father and son activity – just because Jon is sportier than I am – but you could come down and it would be a nice little activity to do at the weekend. I think kids can come and do lessons from 3 years too, and they recently had a little Halloween event on, so I think it’s definitely something that Stan would like”.

“HAVING THE PERGOLA HAS REALLY INCREASED THE AMOUNT OF TIME WE SPEND OUTSIDE TOGETHER AS A FAMILY”

Sarah Jayne Dunn and her husband Jon Smith.jpg

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith images © Tom Pitfield Photography for BROOD Magazine

Sarah Jayne Dunn Brood
Luxury Outdoor Furniture

Stunning Aluminium Pergola by LUXSOL Images © 

The Padel Club
Sarah Jayne Dunn, The Padel Club Wilmslow

Kids just love spending quality time with their parents don’t they, be that playing a board game, doing an activity, whatever it maybe, that’s what they crave, and this is something that a parent can enjoy too, isn’t it?

Sarah Jayne – “Absolutely! I remember I used to go and play tennis with my Dad – I was dreadful! But it’s a core memory for me. I was quite young and that was his thing and we used to go to the local tennis court, and knock the ball around, and I loved spending that time with him, so it made us both happy.”

Jon – “Yes, and I think getting out of the house and being outdoors is really important too. Away from technology.”

Sarah Jayne – “It feels like a safe space here as well, you’re coming in, and you can sit with the kids, or if the kids are playing you can sit and have a coffee and watch the kids. And what I found with Padel is that it feels very community based. What the guys we’re saying before was that everyone ends up knowing everyone, so again if you were coming In with your family, then you suddenly become friends, and to have that added social aspect is really nice too. And you can enjoy it regardless of the weather which is great.”

Talking of which, you have a LuxSol pergola and some of their outdoor living range at home don’t you? And you recently added a garden room at home, how has the additional space at home improved your family’s lifestyle and wellbeing?

Sarah Jayne – “For me in particularly, the garden room has made a massive difference as I’m using it as a studio space. So it’s meant that I moved all of my work that I was doing inside the house and that can be creating content, for myself or partnerships, or even just sitting and doing some admin business work; I’ve now moved it into the garden room and  I have that separate to the house, which has been great to create that work/life balance. It’s always organised now and it’s just so much better having a space that is dedicated to work.”

Jon – “There’s no toys anywhere!” [They laugh]

Lucy Mecklenburg Interview

“HAVING A GLASS OF WINE OUTSIDE IN THE GARDEN IS AS CLOSE AS YOU CAN GET TO FEELING LIKE YOU’RE SOMEWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD”.

Sarah Jayn Dunn, Lux Sol & Padel Club

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith with Kris Ball, CEO of The Padel Club & Nick Williams, CEO of Olympian Garden Buildings

Sarah Jayne – “Yes, there’s no Lego pieces to stand on! It’s lovely – I don’t actually do any work; I just go in to sit in there” [She laughs]

Jon – “Yeah, I’m a bit jealous!” [We laugh]

Jon – “And having the pergola has really increased the amount of time we spend outside together as a family, because even if it starts raining you stay outside – which is kind of a big thing in this country! It doesn’t mean pack up and go inside, sit I the kitchen and dining room again, it means if it’s not too cold you can just carry on regardless of the weather.”

Sarah Jayne – “Yeah, you just get that indoor outdoor space and where we have ours, it’s just outside the dining room, so it means if we’re hosting and we have people over you can have the dining room doors open and then you’ve got your indoor seating area, your outdoor seating area, but it becomes one space”.

Jon – “We love our garden, but you can’t sit out there much living in the UK, so it kind of gives you a little bit more time in a space that you actually enjoy being in.”

Sarah Jayne – “And actually, when we’re sat under the pergola it’s a really nice view of the garden room and I find myself sitting there just admiring our garden space! [She laughs] Don’t you?” [She turns to Jon laughing].”

Do you have a specific memory at home where the experience was enhanced by having your outdoor living space?

Sarah Jayne – “Yeah, we were talking about this, we had a barbeque at the end of summer – when we suddenly ended up with that really nice weather – we had all just got our jumpers out and then out of nowhere it was warm again!

So, we had a barbeque, and then later, after we put Stan to bed, we went and sat back outside, which we never would have done normally. We put the little lights on that we have around the pergola, we had a glass of wine and we just sat there relaxing and chatting to each other. It was a lovely mild evening, and we wouldn’t have done that had we have not had this lovely comfy and tranquil area outside. Normally we would have just crashed onto the sofa and put the tele on”.

Jon – “Yes, it was really nice. It kind of emulates that holiday vibe. Having a glass of wine outside in the garden is as close as you can get to feeling like you’re somewhere else in the world”.

Do you think it’s important then that people are making their gardens more accessible and enjoyable to be in, in all weathers, and places like The Padel Club doing the same at their venue, given the value of being outdoors?

Sarah Jayne“Yes, definitely, I mean look at us today, we’re all sat outside and it’s absolutely lashing it down!” [She laughs]

Jon – “It’s like what we just said, having the pergola at home means we don’t have to go inside mid barbeque if it starts raining, and here it means we don’t have to pack up and go home – you can wait for the shower to pass; you can have a break.”

Sarha Jayne – “It’s nice seeing the pergola here today actually, as we’re getting the side screens added to ours at home, and it’s nice to experience it in this weather, because you do feel even more sheltered and more of that inside outside feeling. It’s lovely!”

Interview by @lolostubbs.author

Images by @tompitfieldphotography

JMW Solicitors

 KEEP UP TO DATE WITH BROOD:

* indicates required
Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Brood Magazine:
You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.
We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Related Articles

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith: On Creating more time with your family outdoors

It can be hard to find balance in life when we are so busy with all the other things that we have to juggle. One thing that has stood out since starting BROOD, is just how many of us are constantly looking for more ways to try switch off and spend quality time as a family. It’s also clear that we all want to incorporate ways to exercise into our weekly routine and encourage our kids to be active and outdoors too, but it can be hard to fit it in when there is only so many hours in the day! So, with a new sport activity sweeping exciting across the UK – Padel – we just had to find out what all the hype was all about, and to see if it was an activity that would fit into family life.

read more

5 ways to create a healthy workplace culture

5 ways to create a healthy workplace culture

Imagine a work culture in which team members can connect, regardless of where, when and how they work. The traditional workspace is rapidly changing, and today’s businesses need to modernise and evolve if they want to attract — and keep — the most talented among today’s workers.

As leading organisations evolve to meet the new cultural requirements of today’s workforce, what exactly are business leaders to do?

Connect Your Team Members

While some companies are resisting these trends, many realise that more flexible work styles will be the new norm. From Covid-19 businesses needed to adapt and we seen companies enable eligible team members to work remotely, at variable hours or in other flexible capacities, which has now continued and fulfils both their job and lifestyle needs. Team members have overwhelmingly said that the flexibility in their work style helps them be successful.

Simply, this is not an HR policy — this is a business imperative. Here’s why:

Healthy workplace culture<br />
Vibe HR
  1.  Happier and more productive team members: Providing flexible work style options will lead to more satisfied and engaged team members. According to our research with three companies, flexibility is one of the top three culture attributes team members value the most, following ethics and inclusion. We’ve also seen that giving our team members the independence to work remotely can lead to productivity gains — 86% of remote work program participants believe they are as or even more productive working remotely compared to those who are in the office full-time. And 93% of team members feel remote work makes them a better team member and our company a better employer.
  2. Family Friendly: Providing flexible working arrangements has been a success when it comes down to raising children to support in sickness days, school holidays and even dropping off and collecting from school.
  3. Reduce the barriers to attracting top talent: Work-life balance ranks as the number one career goal for all three major generations — baby boomers, Generation X and millennials. Offering flexible work arrangements can help remove geographical barriers, ensuring that you can hire and retain the best candidates, regardless of location or other barriers. 
  4. Benefit the planet: Flexible work practices also help businesses to conserve natural resources and energy. With fewer people in the office and on the road, you’re helping reduce transportation-related pollution and can maximise office space usage.Responding To The Changing Workplace
  5. Leaders who are supportive of flexible work styles: It’s important that your leadership is committed to flexible work models. This includes giving managers the ability to discuss and establish flexible work plans that will work best for their teams and business needs. It’s important to remember that the definition of flexible work can vary — you’ll need to find the balance that keeps team members engaged and productive, the business thriving and growing and, most importantly, the customers satisfied and happy

Flexible work is the new norm in the workplace, and it’s not going away anytime soon. By providing your teams with flexible work options that encourage collaboration, optimize productivity and allow them to follow their preferred work style, your organisation will boost its competitive edge and position itself to become an employer-of-choice for the world’s best talent.

 

Laura McNally, Vibe HR

Laura McNally, Founder of VIBE HR Grace aged 7, she is my WHY to what it is I am doing today! 

VIBE offers people-first approach to HR with a modern twist! Navigating the complexities of HR in today’s fast-paced world can be challenging, but our skilled team is equipped to provide solutions tailored to your business.

“From a young age I have always known I wanted my own my own business but wasn’t sure on the direction I wanted to go in. This year in March I took myself off to Thailand for a few weeks to take some time out of the chaotic busy life. At this point I was working for an independent operative as People and Operations Director, I had worked my way up with this company for 4 years and loved what we had achieved from a People and Culture aspect of the business. I decided to take a few weeks off and travel to Thailand, this has always been on my list of places to travel to, so the time was perfect. During my visit (in the ocean on a paddle board) I started to ask myself what my passions in life are and where would I like to be in the next 5 years personally and work related, what do I love and what would I enjoy… putting my passion in to a business is how Vibe was born.As you know owning your own business has many benefits but there are also the down days, the long hours etc. I am so privileged to have amazing friends and network around me, helping me to grow and reach my goals, this works both ways.”

Laura x 

 

Lucy Mecklenburg Interview

 KEEP UP TO DATE WITH BROOD:

* indicates required
Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Brood Magazine:
You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.
We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Related Articles

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith: On Creating more time with your family outdoors

It can be hard to find balance in life when we are so busy with all the other things that we have to juggle. One thing that has stood out since starting BROOD, is just how many of us are constantly looking for more ways to try switch off and spend quality time as a family. It’s also clear that we all want to incorporate ways to exercise into our weekly routine and encourage our kids to be active and outdoors too, but it can be hard to fit it in when there is only so many hours in the day! So, with a new sport activity sweeping exciting across the UK – Padel – we just had to find out what all the hype was all about, and to see if it was an activity that would fit into family life.

read more

Recharge Through Nature’s Medicine: Cacao Ceremonies

Recharge Through Nature’s Medicine: Cacao Ceremonies

RECHARGE THROUGH NATURE’S MEDICINE:

CACAO CEREMONIES

My Experience, by Editor-in-chief: Lolo Stubbs

“I was completely new to the world of Nature’s Medicine Ceremonies, and if I’m honest I was both excited and daunted in equal measure when the day of my weekend retreat arrived. Now, having experienced the ceremonies first hand, I had no reason to be wary of them. Each ceremony raised a lot of emotion, sometimes opening deep emotional wounds, but somehow, even when sobbing my heart I felt enveloped in warmth and love, and it actually felt good to release the emotions. These ceremonies do not just stir up sadness though, they made me feel empowered almost immediately. I felt completely centred and at peace – and I don’t even think I have ever used the word centred but there really was no other word to describe that feeling that I had post ceremony – it was complete bliss! It was also very powerful to be in a room with other people who were also showing up, opening their minds and willing to be vulnerable. I’ll admit there was one part at the beginning of the ceremony where I did open one eye just to check I wasn’t the only one dancing around and shaking off my bad vibes to Makeba.- I wasn’t by the way – but overall I didn’t feel silly at all, in fact I felt completely accepted as my authentic self. Since the ceremonies I would say three of the most noticeable factors for me are that I feel more confident, I’m more content both with where I am in life and with who I am as a person and last but by no means least – I’ve started wearing colour! That may sound strange, but for everyone who knows me will know that I have pretty much worn black for the last 10 years, I may have got as adventurous as wearing white or khaki, but in the main it’s been black all the way. But not anymore, I have bought Orange, Hot Pink, Sapphire Green and Electric Blue dresses since and I have worn each and everyone one of them comfortably. It’s like I’m not afraid to be seen anymore. It’s quite liberating! So, if you’re wondering whether it’s something you should do or not, I would say absolutely go for it. Find someone with a good reputation, as I’m sure a lot of my experience was equally down to the fact the amazing earth angel Ashleigh Guthrie was holding the ceremony, so make sure you attend a ceremony with someone you trust and have a good connection with and you won’t regret it!”  

CACAO CEREMONIES

Cacao ceremonies

Cacao ceremonies have gained popularity for their potential physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental benefits, all of which can contribute to a deeper connection with oneself, enhanced creative flow, self-expression, and self-acceptance. Here’s a breakdown of these benefits:

 

Physically:

  • Heart-Opening Properties: Cacao is often associated with opening the heart chakra, which can help people experience a greater sense of love, empathy, and connection with themselves and others.
  • Stimulant and Mood Enhancement: Cacao contains natural stimulants like theobromine, which can provide a gentle energy boost and improve mood. This can aid in maintaining focus and mental clarity both during and after ceremonies.
  • Nutrient-Rich: Ceremonial-grade cacao is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which can support overall health and well-being when consumed in moderation.
  • Enhanced Senses: Some participants report heightened sensory perception during cacao ceremonies, which can lead to a deeper connection with the environment and oneself.

 

Emotionally:

  • Emotional Release: Cacao can act as an emotional catalyst, helping participants release and process repressed emotions. This can lead to a profound sense of emotional clarity and healing.
  • Stress Reduction: The relaxation and grounding effects of cacao can help reduce stress and anxiety, facilitating a more open and receptive emotional state.
  • Self-Discovery: Cacao ceremonies often encourage introspection and self-reflection, allowing participants to better understand their emotions, thought patterns, and past experiences.
  • Enhanced Empathy: Cacao is believed to promote empathy and compassion, which can lead to improved relationships with oneself and others.
Cacao ceremonies: Ashleigh Guthree
Cacao ceremonies: Ashleigh Guthree

Spiritually:

  • Connection to Inner Self: Cacao is sometimes referred to as a “plant teacher” and is believed to facilitate a deeper connection with one’s inner wisdom and intuition.
  • Spiritual Insight: Many participants report experiencing spiritual insights, heightened intuition, and a sense of oneness with the universe during cacao ceremonies.
  • Ceremonial Ritual: The act of participating in a cacao ceremony itself can be a spiritual practice, fostering a sense of reverence and mindfulness.
  • Connecting with Spirit Guides and Loved Ones Who Have Passed: In some cacao ceremonies, participants report experiencing a heightened spiritual connection, allowing them to connect with spirit guides, ancestors, and even loved ones who have passed away. This connection can provide a profound sense of guidance, comfort, and closure, leading to emotional healing and spiritual awakening.

 

Mentally:

  • Enhanced Creativity: Cacao ceremonies can boost creativity and inspiration, allowing participants to tap into their creative potential more freely.
  • Increased Focus: The mild stimulants in cacao can enhance mental clarity and concentration, making it easier to access deeper parts of the mind.
  • Self-Acceptance: The heart-opening and self-reflective aspects of cacao ceremonies can lead to increased self-acceptance and self-love.

It’s important to note that the benefits of ceremonial cacao can vary from person to person, and individual experiences may differ. Additionally, the effects of cacao depend on the quality of the cacao used, the intentions set during the ceremony, and the facilitator’s guidance. As with any practice, it’s essential to approach cacao ceremonies with an open mind and a respectful attitude toward the traditions and cultures from which they originate.

Lucy Mecklenburg Interview

Reducing Stress:

  • Relaxation and Grounding: Cacao contains compounds that promote relaxation and grounding, making it particularly effective in reducing stress levels. When consumed mindfully during a ceremony, it can induce a calming effect on the nervous system, helping participants find a sense of peace and tranquility.
  • Cortisol Regulation: Cacao has been linked to the regulation of cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone. Consuming cacao in a ceremonial setting may support the body in maintaining healthy cortisol levels, which can, in turn, alleviate the physical and emotional symptoms of stress.
  • Emotional Resilience: Through its heart-opening properties, cacao can foster emotional resilience, allowing individuals to better cope with stressors and emotional challenges. Participants often report feeling more emotionally centred and better equipped to face life’s difficulties after a ceremony.
  • Mindfulness and Stress Reduction: Cacao ceremonies encourage mindfulness and being present in the moment. This practice of mindfulness can help individuals manage stress more effectively by redirecting their focus away from worries about the past or future, leading to a calmer state of mind.
  • Community and Support: Participating in a cacao ceremony often involves coming together with a group of like-minded individuals in a supportive environment. This sense of community and shared experience can itself be a powerful antidote to stress, offering a feeling of belonging and connection.

By reducing stress, ceremonial cacao contributes to a more harmonious balance between the physical, emotional, and mental aspects of an individual’s well-being. 

 

Healing Childhood Trauma and Overcoming Self-Sabotage:

 

Healing Childhood Trauma:

Cacao ceremonies have been increasingly used as a tool for healing childhood trauma. Childhood trauma can leave lasting emotional scars and deeply ingrained patterns of behaviour that can undermine one’s self-esteem and well-being. Ceremonial cacao can play a significant role in this healing process by providing a safe and nurturing space for participants to confront and process their past experiences.

 

  • Emotional Release: Cacao’s heart-opening properties can help individuals access and release deeply buried emotions related to childhood trauma. This emotional release is a crucial step towards healing, as it allows participants to acknowledge and let go of painful memories.
  • Inner Child Work: Ashleigh’s Cacao ceremonies often involve inner child work, a therapeutic approach that focuses on nurturing and healing the wounded inner child within us. Participants may gain insights into their past and learn to provide the self-compassion and care that their inner child needs for healing.
  • Self-Reflection and Integration: Ceremonial cacao encourages self-reflection and introspection, enabling individuals to gain a deeper understanding of how childhood trauma has influenced their beliefs and behaviours. This self-awareness is a crucial first step towards healing and transformation.

Overcoming Self-Sabotage:

 

Self-sabotage often stems from unresolved issues, including childhood trauma. Ceremonial cacao can aid in breaking self-destructive patterns by addressing the root causes and fostering self-empowerment.

 

  • Increased Self-Awareness: Cacao ceremonies promote self-awareness, allowing individuals to recognise self-sabotaging behaviours and thought patterns. This awareness is the foundation for initiating change.
  • Empowerment and Self-Compassion: Cacao’s heart-opening properties can help individuals develop self-compassion and self-love, which are essential for overcoming self-sabotage. It can shift the inner narrative from self-criticism to self-acceptance and empowerment.
  • Clarity and Goal Setting: Cacao ceremonies can provide mental clarity and focus, enabling participants to set clear intentions for personal growth and positive change. This newfound clarity can be harnessed to break free from self-sabotage.
  • Support and Guidance: The supportive environment of a cacao ceremony, often facilitated by experienced guides, offers guidance and tools for participants to address self-sabotage constructively. It can be a transformative experience that catalyses lasting change.

Incorporating ceremonial cacao into a therapeutic or self-help journey for healing childhood trauma and overcoming self-sabotage should be done with care and ideally under the guidance of a trained facilitator or therapist. It can be a powerful complement to other therapeutic modalities and self-improvement practices, offering a holistic approach to personal growth and healing.

 

Sound

 

Combining a sound bath with a cacao ceremony can enhance the overall experience and provide additional benefits for participants. Sound baths involve the use of various instruments, such as singing bowls, gongs, and other sound-producing tools, to create a meditative and immersive auditory experience. Here are the benefits of incorporating a sound bath into a cacao ceremony:

 

  • Deeper Relaxation: The soothing and harmonious sounds produced during a sound bath can induce a state of deep relaxation. When combined with the calming effects of cacao, participants may experience a heightened sense of tranquility and inner peace.
  • Enhanced Meditation: Sound baths can aid in meditation by helping participants reach a state of mindfulness and focused awareness. This can complement the introspective aspect of the cacao ceremony, making it easier for individuals to connect with their inner selves and explore their thoughts and emotions.
  • Stress Reduction: Sound baths are known for their stress-reducing effects. The gentle vibrations and frequencies produced by sound instruments can help release tension and promote a sense of ease. When combined with cacao’s stress-reducing properties, this can lead to a profound sense of calm.
  • Chakra Balancing: Sound baths are often used to balance and align the body’s energy centres, or chakras. When integrated with a cacao ceremony, this can help participants achieve a greater sense of emotional and spiritual balance, which is conducive to self-understanding and self-acceptance.
  • Enhanced Creativity and Self-Expression: The combination of sound and cacao can stimulate creativity and self-expression. Participants may find it easier to tap into their creative flow and explore their thoughts and emotions through artistic or introspective means.
  • Heightened Spiritual Connection: Sound baths are believed to open up channels for spiritual connection and exploration. When used in conjunction with cacao, individuals may experience a deeper connection to their inner selves, spirit guides, or the spiritual dimension, enhancing the overall sense of spirituality during the ceremony.
  • Increased Self-Awareness: Both sound baths and cacao ceremonies encourage self-awareness. Together, they can create a synergistic effect, allowing participants to gain deeper insights into their thoughts, emotions, and life experiences.
  • Community and Connection: Sharing a sound bath within the context of a cacao ceremony fosters a sense of community and shared experience among participants. This collective experience can strengthen the sense of connection with others and promote a feeling of unity.

It’s important to note that the combination of cacao and a sound bath can be a deeply personal and transformative experience.

BROOD Live

 KEEP UP TO DATE WITH BROOD:

* indicates required
Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Brood Magazine:
You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.
We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Related Articles

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith: On Creating more time with your family outdoors

It can be hard to find balance in life when we are so busy with all the other things that we have to juggle. One thing that has stood out since starting BROOD, is just how many of us are constantly looking for more ways to try switch off and spend quality time as a family. It’s also clear that we all want to incorporate ways to exercise into our weekly routine and encourage our kids to be active and outdoors too, but it can be hard to fit it in when there is only so many hours in the day! So, with a new sport activity sweeping exciting across the UK – Padel – we just had to find out what all the hype was all about, and to see if it was an activity that would fit into family life.

read more

Introducing The Eyewear Stylist

Introducing The Eyewear Stylist

INTRODUCING THE EYEWEAR STYLIST

By Lolo Stubbs, Editor-in-chief

______________________________

When you are suddenly told that you need glasses, it can be quite a big deal and feel quite a daunting process. When your career or running your business means attending lots of networking events and dinners etc, and it’s so important to feel comfortable in these situations. As our appearance is one of the biggest factors that can determine whether we feel confident or not, we asked The Eyewear Stylist aka Daniel Scott, on how we should approach buying eyewear and the psychological impact it can have on you.

The Eyewear Stylist
BROOD Live

EMBRACE

For a person that needs glasses for the first time, and let’s say that person is in their late thirties or in their forties, what generally happens is that they almost don’t want people to realise that they are wearing glasses – so will navigate towards the rimless and the understated styles. But it can have the opposite effect and it can actually age you a little bit. Essentially when you’re wearing glasses everyone can see that you’re wearing glasses, so the best thing that you can do is embrace it. And when you do, you can look younger, elegant, more like yourself, and inject a bit more of your own personality through the
eyewear that you choose.

It’s always scary the first time you have to choose glasses, it can change the way your face looks and that’s a really big thing. And that’s where I come in, I want people to be able to choose glasses with confidence and find pairs that are going to work with them and boost their self-esteem. So regardless of the colouring, what style suits you etc, it’s about what gives you that confidence.

“By choosing something that you really love, you’ll find that you get so much more happiness, and you’ll get so many more compliments, by just embracing who you truly are!”

The Eyewear Stylist

FRAME STYLE

Stylish glasses
Sarah Jayne Dunn, The Padel Club Wilmslow

The greater the thickness of the frame, then the greater the contrast against the skin and the bolder you’re making it – and that’s all it is really. When you’re looking to decide, ‘Do I want a bolder style, or more understated?’ I’m personally not a fan of rimless, because I just think it can wash you out. Having said that, there are ways of doing it, you see a lot with Cartier at the moment, where they are putting a fashion tint in the lens. A lot of people think about eyewear as just being about the frame, and they forget the impact that the lens can have. It can make a huge difference, for example I’ve bought quite an understated pair, that just have a gold metal rim, but I’m putting a 25% fashion tint in it. So that gives the glasses a really luxurious edge to it.

Lucy Mecklenburg Interview

Colour & Confidence

Psychology plays such a big part in how we style ourselves; people have said that seeing me is like seeing an optician, a personal stylist and a therapist, all rolled into one! It’s amazing how things people say can affect you and how we can all hold onto those things and how they can affect your confidence and your style choices. And I’ve experienced that myself, but the big change for me was when I did the colour analysis, because I’m a very logical person and that was a big part that I have taken into this business from my personal styling course, because it’s amazing the effect that colour can have. The wrong colours can be really draining, you can see dark circles more noticeably, but it can also have a big effect on how you feel. You don’t realise how detrimental it can be, to not be yourself.

Sarah Jayn Dunn, Lux Sol & Padel Club

PERSONAL BRAND

Your glasses sit in the middle of your face and are part of your first impressions. I’ve had clients that have Aston Martins, Porsche’s, but then they’re wearing a crummy pair of glasses off the rack from the local pharmacy! You can’t understand why people put such little thought into something that they have to wear every day. And when you go to networking events etc, people do notice these things, it’s part of your personal branding.

Introducing the eyewear stylist

Sarah Jayn Dunn, Lux Sol & Padel Club

Dan has been an optician for the last decade and decided to further enhance his client experience by also training as a personal stylist in London in 2019, meaning his service is now a holistic approach to finding the most stylish and suitable eyewear. Since starting The Eyewear Stylist, Dan, has quickly become the go to person for eyewear working with actors, musicians, tv presenters and producers.

One Truth 818 Anti Ageing Skincare

 KEEP UP TO DATE WITH BROOD:

* indicates required
Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Brood Magazine:
You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.
We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Related Articles

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith: On Creating more time with your family outdoors

It can be hard to find balance in life when we are so busy with all the other things that we have to juggle. One thing that has stood out since starting BROOD, is just how many of us are constantly looking for more ways to try switch off and spend quality time as a family. It’s also clear that we all want to incorporate ways to exercise into our weekly routine and encourage our kids to be active and outdoors too, but it can be hard to fit it in when there is only so many hours in the day! So, with a new sport activity sweeping exciting across the UK – Padel – we just had to find out what all the hype was all about, and to see if it was an activity that would fit into family life.

read more

CHARLOTTE HAWKINS INTERVIEW: Mum of one, TV and radio presenter

CHARLOTTE HAWKINS INTERVIEW: Mum of one, TV and radio presenter

“I DIDN’T REALLY KNOW WHERE TO START, BUT I JUST HELD ON TO THE FACT THAT ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!”

Mum of one, TV and radio presenter, Charlotte Hawkins has firmly cemented a place as one of Britain’s most loved TV presenters. She is one of the first faces millions of Brits see each morning, as co-host of ITV’s Good Morning Britain. Charlotte has enjoyed a successful career particularly over the last decade, but she worked incredibly hard to get there, showing unwavering determination in an extremely competitive field to achieve her dream career. Like so many of us, although she is living out her career dreams, she too has to constantly juggle work, parenthood and get through the various challenges life can throw at us.

We enjoyed a wonderful afternoon with Charlotte and her adorable daughter 8-year-old, Ella-Rose (who definitely stole the show), at the breathtaking Pennyhill Park Hotel in Surrey; where we made the most of the beautiful scenery for the photoshoot and I sat down with Charlotte for a chat about having a successful career alongside being a doting Mum. Charlotte shared how she bravely overcame her biggest challenge to date following the loss of her beloved father just before giving birth to her daughter; how she hopes to inspire her daughter to believe anything is possible if you work hard enough; and how Hollywood Actor Bradley Cooper features in the highlight of her career…

BROOD Edition 1 - Charlotte Hawkin
CHARLOTTE HAWKINS AND HER DAUGHTER ELLA ROSE
IMAGES BY TOM PITFIELD FOR BROOD MAGAZINE ©

READ THE LATEST EDITION:

Lucy Mecklenburg Interview

INTERVIEW WITH CHARLOTTE HAWKINS

Did you always know what you wanted to do for a career and how determined was you to achieve your career goals?

Charlotte – “Yes, I always wanted to work in news, I always wanted to be a reporter, a presenter – I was just intrigued by that whole world! I was put off initially though, because it just felt really competitive, and I kept thinking, ‘I don’t know if I can do this?’ Then I worked for a year in advertising, and what I realised through doing that, was that being a reporter/presenter really was my dream and I was going to spend the rest of my life regretting it, if I didn’t give it my very best shot!

I remember thinking, if it doesn’t work out, at least I can say that I’ve tried, but I’ll never forgive myself if I don’t give it a go. So, after I finished my job in advertising, I began a post graduate diploma in broadcast journalism. I was then lucky enough to get a job as a trainee for ITV Meridian, and I just kind of worked my way up over the years. I was super determined though, and I wanted to make sure that I gave it my all. Whether that was through working crazy hours, or sticking my neck out and going to people and saying, ‘Can I try this? Can I get some practise doing this? I can get some work experience doing that’. Basically, pestering a lot of people along the way! [she laughs]

I feel very lucky to be doing a job that I always dreamed about doing. Not everybody gets that chance and I feel so grateful to still enjoy it all these years later. Every day is different, every day is challenging, and it just means it makes life so much more interesting and rewarding when you’re doing a job like that.”

At what point in your career did you become a mum and how did you find that transition?

Charlotte -“On Good Morning Britain my alarm clock goes off at 2.45am – which is still a bit of a shock every morning! [laughs] However, it does mean that I can organise my day where I still spend a lot of time at home – especially back in those early days when I went back to work. As soon as I had finished at Good Morning Britain, I could go back and spend the rest of the day with Ella-Rose as a baby. Obviously, I would be super tired. It would be really hard when I had been up through the night and then I’d be getting up to go work so early, so I just had to be really organised and make sure that I had the right care in place for her when I wasn’t there, so that I could go to work and completely trust the fact that I could switch off and focus on my work because I knew that she was being well looked after. Then when I would get back home, I was able to spend time with her and just focus on Ella-Rose. I do feel lucky that I could and still can do that, because I’ve got friends who do various jobs, but they each have to go into their workplace all day every day, and at least for me I could still spend a good amount of time with her.”

Charlotte Hawkins
CHARLOTTE HAWKINS AND HER DAUGHTER ELLA ROSE | IMAGES BY TOM PITFIELD FOR BROOD MAGAZINE ©

How do you try keep the ‘right balance’ between work and family life.

Charlotte – “I think that I’ve tried to continue to achieve balance, by going to work, throwing everything into making it work whilst I’m there and focusing solely on that; but also, then going back home and doing the same there and throwing myself completely into family life. I think it’s important to protect that family time as well. For us it’s about protecting our weekend family time as much as we can, and if we are doing things at different times of the day, we just make sure that Ella-Rose is happy with the set up and we’re happy with the set up. I think you just have to try your best and plan everything with military precision really.” 

People talk a lot about ‘mum guilt’ is it something that you’ve experienced and if so, how have you dealt with it?

Charlotte – “I don’t think people should even use those words, ‘mum-guilt’ ‘parent-guilt’ what have you got to feel guilty about, you know? As long as you love your children and you have a plan in place for their care when you’re not there, who’s to say what’s the best set up for your child anyway! Children want to be loved, they want to know that people care for them, and that the people who are there with them are giving them quality time. I think if you’re happy as a family, and the work set up for you means that you then look forward to having the quality time with them, and you go lovely holidays with them and treasure that time with your children as well, then you have no reason to feel guilty.  

It’s not the right set up for every family, and there are parents that are there 100% of the time with their children, and of course that’s perfectly fine if that’s what works for them, and they are happy. I think that because we just have Ella-Rose, we have always felt like it’s important that she goes and spends time with friends, that she goes and spends time with other family members, and she has done that right from being a young age. She’s been used to spending time with other people and she’s very happy in other people’s company. I know some children who are very clingy though because they’ve only spent time with their parents, and that’s just because that’s what they are used to. Again, that set up is completely fine if that’s what works for those parents, and those children, but for me I wanted to make sure that Ella-Rose was comfortable in lots of different environments, and that she was sociable & happy with going to see lots of different people, to experience lots of different places and I think by doing that it has really benefitted her.

It’s all about building resilience in our children, but at the same and you want to make sure that they are comfortable in lots of different situations. They need that so that as they go through life, for example starting at a new school, or new job where they don’t know anyone, they have to be able to be comfortable in lots of different situations, so I think actually the earlier you can start that the better. As long as they know, where you are, when you’re coming back, that there is a plan in place that they’re happy with, then that’s the most important thing.”  

Ella-Rose is watching you having a successful career, after following your dreams. Do you hope that it inspires Ella-Rose into believing anything is possible, so that she too follows her dreams?

Charlotte – “Yes, absolutely! I think it’s really important to show our children that hard work pays off and that’s the message I want to give her. I want her to know that if there’s a dream job that you want to do, and you throw everything into making that work, if you’re determined and you don’t let things put you off, then you can achieve it. And whether that means getting the right qualifications, working long hours etc, if there’s a job that you really want to do then you must give your best shot!

I think it’s important that you lead by example, and you show them that you can make it work. I want Ella-Rose to achieve her dreams, to work hard for them and to be happy. I’m not going to force her into any particular career, I just want her to be happy with the path that she chooses. I think in my mind anyway it’s about pushing yourself, challenging yourself and making sure that you have new experiences, new adventures and making sure that life doesn’t get boring!”

What has been the most challenge time during your career and how did you overcome it?

Charlotte – “I lost my Dad a month before I gave birth to Ella-Rose. And I needed to go back to work after a certain amount of time, so I went back to work four months after having Ella-Rose. I kind of needed that structure back in my life, but emotionally I was still kind of all over the place, as I think I had delayed grieving for my Dad because I was having Ella-Rose. I wanted to be all happy and smiley for her, and when I was pregnant, and my Dad had died, I didn’t want to her to feel that sadness, so I tried to postpone it – but of course that was always going to come back at some point! So, I was on a bit of an emotional roller-coaster for quite some time afterwards I think. The interesting thing about my job is however you’re feeling in the morning, being on breakfast television you have to have a smile on your face, you have to be bright eyed and bushy tailed, and you know sometimes it’s the hardest thing in the world to do when you’re feeling sad – to put a smile on your face. There are other times I think you can kind of make yourself feel a bit better, because you think ‘I’m getting up, I’m going to work, I’m keeping it all together, I still manage to smile!’ And I think you just have to keep thinking – this will pass. This isn’t going to last forever. I just need to keep going, one day at a time, one foot in front of the other! And I think when you are going through these times, when things are really tough, or they feel insurmountable, you just have to try and think. ‘Okay, don’t panic, let’s just what tomorrow brings’, but it will pass. It’s hard but sometimes you have to just ride it out and keep doing those things that day by day make you feel a little better. Whether that’s being with people you love, going out and getting some exercise, taking a bit of time to do those things to put a smile on your face – a real smile on your face. You have to be thankful for the things you have on a daily basis as well and realise that those are the things that will get you through it.”

What has been the highlight of your career to date?

Charlotte – “There’s been a lot of things, I’ve interviewed so many amazing people that I feel so lucky to have met, including Oprah – who is obviously amazing at interviews, so that was equally a bit scary! [she laughs] But I think for me the highlight of my career has to be when got I asked to take part in the Bradley Copper film Burnt. It is such a highlight for me, and I’ll never forget the day that a Hollywood Film crew came into the studio, and I was the breakfast TV presenter interviewing Bradley Cooper, it absolutely blew my mind! I’d read the script and learnt script, and we sat there, and we had filmed it all and then the director came over and whispered something in Bradley Coopers ear. I didn’t really know what was going on, and then they said ‘That was all great, everything was spot on, but we’re just going to do one more take as we just want to try something a little bit different’. And then Bradley just went completely off script and pretended that everything was going wrong and was looking at the wrong camera and I was just thinking, what is going on! This wasn’t in the script! [she laughs] But, I just went along with it and that’s the take that they used, but I think they really wanted that whole vibe, as his character was supposed to be a really grumpy chef, who kicked up a fuss about everything. So, for me being in Hollywood film like that, and I guess it really hit home where I was at in my career. I got invited to the premiere, which was amazing! And I was sat on an aeroplane one day, and the person in front of me was watching the film and my face popped up and I couldn’t believe, (well I still can’t believe) that I’ve been in that film, and I felt like tapping him on the shoulder and saying, “That’s me!” [she laughs] That was a real pinch-me moment.

My career has been a bit crazy, but I wouldn’t swap it for the world – even with the 2.45am starts!”

Do you have any standout ‘BROOD Moments’ where the juggle has led to a bit of a ‘parent fail’?

Charlotte “Oh, there’s so many, but there’s a recent one where it was one of these days at school where you’ve got to dress up in a themed outfit, and I forgotten that she had to dress up in toga. But I reassured her it was fine, because essentially a toga was the same as a bed sheet, so I told her we’d make it work and we’ll just wrap one around her and then tie it with like curtain tie or something. And I thought it looked pretty good, but she was not convinced at all, she said it just looked like a bed sheet. [smiling] So, I was saying to her, well traditionally that’s how they looked. But what I hadn’t really envisaged was that a lot of the other parents would have gotten special outfits – that were not bedsheets! And there was a moment of mortification when I waved her off and she was walking alongside someone wearing a full-on medusa outfit, and all of these other fancy outfits and I could see this bedsheet slipping down already and I just thought ‘No, that was a bit of fail!’ So, I felt disappointed on her behalf, and I felt disappointed that, that had happened. However, you always have to see the positives in these things, and I thought, well that’s going to build a lot of resilience that one! [she laughs] The thing is, they do have to get used to things not quite going to plan and just making the best of it. It’s happened to all of us over the years. Hopefully it won’t scar her and she’s not still talking about it in 20 years’ time – “Mum, I remember that day you sent me to school in a bedsheet that was around my ankles before I had even got in!” [she laughs] Luckily, I had made her wear shorts and t-shirt underneath too!”

What advice would you give to someone who is following their career dreams, whilst juggling parenthood?

Charlotte – “Don’t aim for perfection. I don’t think it’s healthy to strive for perfection in everything, because then it’s just an unattainable standard. So, I think you have to be realistic. Even if you didn’t do anything else in life, but look after your children and pack for them, sort for them, cook for them, that’s not always healthy either, so I think it’s just about making sure that you try get balance right. Things aren’t always going to go to plan, but that’s life. You do have to give your children that message too, along with the tools to be able to deal with it. To help them look for the lessons when things go wrong, how to learn from it and then we move on.

I would also say don’t look at others and assume that they’ve got it all figured out all of the time – because they won’t have! That’s just the front that everyone likes to put out for public perception, because everyone has got the same juggle, the same struggles, the same balancing act going on. So never compare yourself to someone else, you’ve just got to make sure that as long as your children are happy and healthy that’s all you need, that’s all you can wish for!”

Charlotte Hawkins
CHARLOTTE HAWKINS AND HER DAUGHTER ELLA ROSE | IMAGES BY TOM PITFIELD FOR BROOD MAGAZINE ©
Simon Wood
Written by
Tom Pitfield and his daughter Iris

PHOTOGRAPHY BY TOM PITFIELD

MORE ARTICLES FROM BROOD:

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith: On Creating more time with your family outdoors

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith: On Creating more time with your family outdoors

It can be hard to find balance in life when we are so busy with all the other things that we have to juggle. One thing that has stood out since starting BROOD, is just how many of us are constantly looking for more ways to try switch off and spend quality time as a family. It’s also clear that we all want to incorporate ways to exercise into our weekly routine and encourage our kids to be active and outdoors too, but it can be hard to fit it in when there is only so many hours in the day! So, with a new sport activity sweeping exciting across the UK – Padel – we just had to find out what all the hype was all about, and to see if it was an activity that would fit into family life.

read more

 KEEP UP TO DATE WITH BROOD:

* indicates required
Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Brood Magazine:
You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.
We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Related Articles

Auntie Cath Cooks Tandoori-Spiced Monkfish

Auntie Cath Cooks Tandoori-Spiced Monkfish

Auntie Cath Cooks Tandoori-Spiced Monkfish

 

Ingredients:

  • 280-300g monkfish tail fillet, the thick end
  • 1 tbs rapeseed oil
  • A knob of butter
  • 50ml water
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • For the tandoori spice mix:
  • 1 tbsp each of salt and powdered ginger, cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric and cayenne.
  • For the dal:
  • 100g red lentils
  • 1/2 tspn turmeric
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tspn cumin seeds
  • 2 shallots or equivalent in onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 fat clove of  garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small medium hot chilli, seeds included, finely chopped
  • 2 heaped tbsp tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or coriander)
  • 2 or 3 heaped tbsp creamed coconut
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

 

 

Auntie Cath Cooks Tandoori Spiced Monkfish

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Cut the monkfish into two even fillets, dust all over with the tandoori spice mix and set aside. If you refrigerate it, remember to take it out 10 minutes before you start cooking.

 

Put the lentils in a small pan and add enough cold water to cover them by about an inch. Bring to the boil, skim off any scum, then add the turmeric and a knob of butter (about 1 tbsp). Cover and simmer gently until they’re soft, stirring occasionally.

In a small frying pan, dry-fry the cumin seeds for a minute or two, then pour into a bowl and put to one side. In the same pan, melt another knob of butter and gently fry the garlic, shallots and chilli until the onions are soft and golden. Add the chopped tomatoes and toasted cumin seeds and stir through.

Stir this into the lentils, which should be quite porridgey by now, and add the creamed coconut and chopped parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir well to mix and set aside to keep warm.

Heat an oven-proof, non-stick pan and trickle in the rapeseed oil to cover the base. Add the monkfish fillets and colour them all over, then place in the oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven, place on the hob, and add the butter, water and a squeeze of lemon juice. Once the butter has melted, baste the fish with the spicy juices for a minute or two.

Slice each piece of monkfish into four discs. Divide the dal between two plates and serve the fish on top, garnished with more herbs if you like.

Auntie Cath Cooks Tandoori Spiced Monkfish
Lucy Mecklenburg Interview

Catherine Tyldesley (or Auntie Cath as she’s often known!) is one of the UKs favourite actresses. Making in her mark in the likes of BBC Ones ‘Lilies’ , sitcom ‘Scarborough’, ITVs ‘View Point’ and Ofcourse- the nations favourite‘Coronation Street’.
Catherine has recently finished filming another drama for ITV and was crowned Winner of All Star Musicals 2021. Cath’s other huge passion in life is Food! After study nutrition on maternity leave with her first child- Caths enthusiasm for food grew. Especially nutritious, budget friendly, tasty family meals. We’re thrilled to bits to have Cath join us and share her knowledge and passion! You’re in for a treat with Auntie Caths recipes!

 KEEP UP TO DATE WITH BROOD:

* indicates required
Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Brood Magazine:
You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.
We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Related Articles

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith: On Creating more time with your family outdoors

It can be hard to find balance in life when we are so busy with all the other things that we have to juggle. One thing that has stood out since starting BROOD, is just how many of us are constantly looking for more ways to try switch off and spend quality time as a family. It’s also clear that we all want to incorporate ways to exercise into our weekly routine and encourage our kids to be active and outdoors too, but it can be hard to fit it in when there is only so many hours in the day! So, with a new sport activity sweeping exciting across the UK – Padel – we just had to find out what all the hype was all about, and to see if it was an activity that would fit into family life.

read more
Tips and Tricks from fellow working parents doing the juggle

Tips and Tricks from fellow working parents doing the juggle

TIPS AND TRICKS FROM FELLOW WORKING PARENTS DOING THE DAILY JUGGLE…

_

Since we first launched BROOD Magazine we have been lucky enough to speak to a host of parents, who like us and you, are doing the juggle between work and parenting daily. In each interview we’ve asked each person if they had any tips or tricks that may help the rest of us! 

parent life juggles with mum working and juggling her children and parentlife

HELEN SKELTON

Inspirational Mum of three, Helen Skelton, is one of Britain’s best-loved Television presenters. Helen started her presenting career at Newsround before landing a dream role at Blue Peter, where she completed numerous extreme challenges for charity. Incredibly Helen has kayaked over 2,000 miles along the Amazon River, and cycled 500 miles to the South Pole, both for Sport Relief. Her amazing career has included many highlights including meeting the iconic late Queen Elizabeth II. Not one to shy away from a challenge, last year she took what was probably her hardest yet, as she joined BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing Class of 2023; whilst juggling life as a single mum, looking after her 3 young children, Ernie, Louis and Elsie.

 

What tips would you give other working parents?

Oh, I’ve got loads of tips – I’m on a journey at the moment. Firstly, lower the standards! I think unfollow people who don’t have a similar life to you. For example, if you’re a working mum, don’t follow a mum who doesn’t work, follow someone who is doing the juggle. Or if you don’t work, follow someone who doesn’t work, because I think you if you compare apples to pears yours will never be as good. I’ve been given lots of tips myself lately, including find companies that will deliver healthy meals – like meals on wheels but for parents. Then that takes the pressure off grabbing something naff for yourself, you can get them pre ordered just a couple of times a week and the whole family has got a healthy home cooked meal. Just make life easier for yourself. Another one is, have a notepad by the bed because every has them things where they wake up in the night where they are like ‘oh s&*t they need a yellow t-shirt for tomorrow’. I also think delegate stuff in your life that you don’t need to do yourself. Like I hate cleaning, so I got a cleaner. I felt really bad about it at first, I felt really middle-class, and I would tidy up before they came, but then the lady said to me ‘why are you doing that, you are paying me to do this?’ Oh, and don’t buy clothes that you need to iron! Again, why are you doing that to yourself. And finally, I have a present cupboard because there is always a party that you have forgotten, or you haven’t got time to go to B&M before you go. And a distraction box is always good too when you’ve got multiple children. What do you mean by a distraction box? Well, I would always keep a little box on the side, I’ve done this from Louis being born. I will put a couple of snacks in that he would like, a couple of books, or some little cheap toys in there. So then if you’re feeding or changing the baby and your older one wants you too and you can say ‘Go and get something from your box!’ I think that’s it!

Helen Skelton

Helen Skelton Images © BROOD Magazine

Helen Skelton and her family

“I THINK YOU HAVE TO FIND THE COURAGE TO REACH OUT AND ASK FOR HELP”

James & Victoria Bye and their family

Image © James & Victoria Bye

James Bye & Victoria Bye

Parents of four, Actor James, and Blogger Victoria Bye, have had a whirlwind few years, as their children came along at the same time as their careers started to soar. Having relocated from London to Cheshire just before they had their first child, James then got the part as Martin Fowler in one Britain’s best loved soaps – Eastenders. Consequently they made the decision to move back down south, so that James wouldn’t spend the majority of the week separated from his family. The couple have since welcomed another three boys to their brood over the years, with the newest addition arriving only in the summer of 2023. James took part in the 2022 Strictly Come Dancing. 

We had the pleasure of chatting to the lovely couple in 2023, about how their lives have changed over the last few years, how they juggle everything and their ambitions for the future.

What tips would you give to other parents who are juggling busy career schedules alongside bringing up their family?

James – “I think what really helps us during really busy times is we are very fortunate that we have a really amazing group of friends, and we all help each other out. I think you have to find the courage to reach out and ask for help, and once you start doing that, you can all work together. So, I definitely think that’s a really important tip – don’t be afraid to ask for help – especially reach out to those closest to you.

Victoria – “Yes, totally. And for me in terms of the family side of things, when you do get those moments together, to remember to put your work down, and be present. At the end of the day, work is just a job, it’s replaceable, family isn’t.”

REBECCA ADLINGTON

Rebecca Adlington OBE is undoubtedly the greatest female swimmer that Great Britain has ever produced, and one of the greatest GB swimmers of all time, not only because she is a multiple Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European medallist but she also broke the World Record in the 800m freestyle in 2008 at the Olympic Games in Beijing ; a record that was 19 years old, the same age Rebecca was in Beijing. 

Becky’s drive and thirst for success did not diminish when she retired from Swimming, and she is still the same overachiever that she was in the water, having juggled a number of amazing career accolades for a number of years, such as her role as a pundit for BBC Sport, running multi businesses, creating swimwear ranges with Slazenger and work in her role as an ambassador for the Encephalitis Society and as a Patron of Women in Sport charities too; all alongside her biggest and favourite ‘job’ as a mum of two to the adorable 7-year-old Summer and 21 month old Albie.

What tips would you give other working parents who are juggling work and bringing up children?

“I think being organised is definitely something that I need to be in order to stay sane – I’m a bit like Monica in friends!” [We laugh] “For instance with the planner that I do on a Sunday, I use different coloured pens, and we stick that on the fridge! We have an online diary too and that is also colour coordinated, and I make sure everything goes in that diary. So I am very organised. I think there is so much going on each week that it’s one of those things that really helps us and the kids to have that reference. I think that really helped me with that transition of being back at work, so it eases my anxiety too and gives me that peace of mind that the kids aren’t going to miss anything. It also saves me time as I’m not checking in with Andy every two minutes like I was when I first came back to work! Which obviously caused a bit of friction too with Andy, because I wasn’t used to letting go so I think having that system in place has worked really well for us.”

Becky Adlington

Rebecca Adlington Image © BROOD Magazine

CHARLIE CONDEAU CORONATION ST

Charlie Condou Image © BROOD Magazine

Charlie Condou

Charlie Condou is a successful British actor, columnist and LGBTQ+ rights activist – not forgetting his important role – a doting Dad of two, to Georgia and Hal. For as long as Charlie can remember, he always had an overwhelming desire to start a family and create the kind of upbringing that his own lacked.

What tips would you give other parents, in particular co-parents?

“I think my advice would be don’t take advice from anyone, find your own way. Everyone thinks that they know the right way how to be a parent, but everyone finds it out for themselves. And from a co-parenting point of view, the most important thing you can do is communicate properly, whether that’s talking about how things will work, logistics, making sure you do it with someone who has the same values and morals, and ideas about bringing up kids. And also, if something is irritating you, just get it out and just say it. That’s what us three do, don’t get me wrong it’s not easy but then it’s done, and we can deal with it. Because if you don’t speak up, these things just fester and before you know you’re screaming at somebody, about something so small! It’s much better for everyone when you can communicate well, and you move on.”

EMMA Neville

Philanthropist, qualified counsellor and doting Mum of two, Emma Neville, has always kept herself out of the public eye despite her husband, Gary Neville’s, extremely high profile and widely documented career; meaning that a lot of Emma’s personal achievements and her incredible dedication to support so many charities have gone under the radar.

Emma is exceptionally modest about her charity work and what she has achieved already in her career as a counsellor. It’s a journey that she embarked on around five years ago; after spending many years embracing her role as a full-time mum and taking the lead with the family’s home life to counterbalance Gary’s demanding career schedule. But as the girls got older Emma realised, she wanted to do something for herself, consequently pushing herself out of her comfort zone and pursuing a lifelong ambition of becoming a qualified counsellor. Emma also accelerated her contributions to several charities through volunteer work, rather than ‘just’ making monetary donations. Emma volunteers for many charities including Destination Florida, Bury Cancer Support Centre, Girls Out Loud, Child Bereavement UK and she is very passionate about enhancing the amazing work that these charities already do, as well as helping to raise awareness for them. She has also recently created a ‘This is Me’ movement, creating a safe platform for women. @emmanevillethisisme

When you meet Emma, you can instantly see why she is so well suited to her chosen career path, as her warm and endearing nature shines through. It was an absolute pleasure to chat to Emma and listen to how she has carved out her new career path, whilst making a difference to so many people’s lives, and to hear how she balances that alongside her role as Mum. We chatted away to Emma before the girls, Molly 13, and Sophie 12, returned home from school and joined us for our photo shoot; that we managed to squeeze in between school finishing, teatime, and netball practise!

What advice would you give to the BROOD readers who are parents of teenagers?

“I would say just listen to them and try and just keep conversations going. I know that can sometimes be difficult, but just asking how they are is a good start. I also think a big thing for us, as parents, to make sure we own up to our own mistakes and learn to say sorry, because when we’re in the heat of the moment and we’re stressing at them and complaining, sometimes just saying ‘I’m really sorry about this morning, I wasn’t in a good place, and I was rushing and I shouldn’t have stressed at you’ that can make a big difference. Sometimes we put a lot on them, especially when I think about the morning chaos and when parents get stressed, it makes you wonder does your child leave the house or the car and take that stress and negativity into their school day?  So, I think holding your hands up and owning your mistakes is very important. Children can read you; they know when you’re not yourself, so being open with them can put their mind at ease that it’s not on them. Just letting them know that we’re not perfect either. That it is ok to not be ok.”

Emma Neville

Emma Neville Images © BROOD Magazine

Emma Neville with her daughters
Brooke Vincent

Brooke Vincent Image © BROOD Magazine

BROOKE VINCENT

Doting mum of two, Actress & Radio Presenter Brooke Vincent is best known for her role in one of the UK’s most loved TV programmes, Coronation Street, but in 2018 Brooke boldly ventured into the world of business launching her company Oh So B. After starting the business in her bedroom, whilst juggling her acting career, Brooke’s fabulous stationery brand has gone from strength to strength, and Oh So B has now become one of the go-to brands for practical and stylish planners for busy professionals. We sat down with Brooke last year to chat about what inspired her to step into the daunting world of business and how different she finds running a business now that she is a mum of two gorgeous boys – Mexx and Monroe.

Do you have any advice or tips for fellow working parents?

“If there are any tips out there you need to tell me because my life is just like a circus!” We all laugh and chat about life within our own circus’.   “I think even though it’s something I struggle with myself, I feel like I’m constantly learning, but you shouldn’t expect too much from yourself. You need to remind yourself just what good job you’re doing. That’s why I’ve included reminders in my planners that ‘you are doing your best’, as I think it’s so important for us to remember that.”

“IF THERE ARE ANY TIPS OUT THERE;
YOU NEED TO TELL ME BECAUSE MY
LIFE IS JUST LIKE A CIRCUS!”

Mike Toolan

Award-winning Radio & TV Presenter, doting Dad of two, Mike Toolan, is one of the UK’s most loved presenters; with an impressive career spanning over 20 years. After starting his career as a radio presenter in America, his career in Radio really took off in UK at the exact same time as he became a dad for the first time! In recent years Mike became a single dad, with his two children living with him full time, so he had to learn to manage the juggle of looking after two teenage children and school runs, alongside his work as a radio & TV presenter, Voice-over artist, numerous theatre roles and the latest string to his bow – writing for TV! We sat down with Mike to chat about how he managed to get through the haze of his first big break as a breakfast presenter (with 4am starts), alongside becoming a father; becoming a dad to two under two, and the job opportunities that he turned down when they didn’t fit into his family life.

Have you got any tips for any other parents juggling work and family life?

“I’m always making notes of everything on my note’s app, and I put everything in the diary, so the iPhone has changed my life in that way as there’s always reminders popping up. So, I would say just to be as organised as possible, as it really helps you from dropping the ball. I have to write everything down otherwise I’ll forget as I have a memory like Nemo!

Then the other thing that I do, that is quite a nice tip, is that whenever we go to bed, I have always got the kids to say their prayers at night – not even from a spiritual point of view, but just for them to think ‘what are you grateful for today?’ And we’d do a little list of gratitude, and then the one thing that does is remind them of the best bits of their day, even if that’s the dessert they’ve eaten or something like that. I think that it’s important that the last thing they do before they go to sleep is remember all the good things that have happened, and then they end their day on a positive. That’s really helped them both actually and I think it’s important to integrate a bit of mindfulness into their daily routine.”

Mike Toolan

Mike Toolan Image © BROOD Magazine

“IT ’S IMPORTANT THAT THE LAST THING THEY DO BEFORE THEY GO TO SLEEP IS REMEMBER ALL THE GOOD THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED”

MORE FROM BROOD:

Introducing The Eyewear Stylist

Introducing The Eyewear Stylist

When you are suddenly told that you need glasses, it can be quite a big deal and feel quite a daunting process. When your career or running your business means attending lots of networking events and dinners etc, and it’s so important to feel comfortable in these situations. As our appearance is one of the biggest factors that can determine whether we feel confident or not, we asked The Eyewear Stylist aka Daniel Scott, on how we should approach buying eyewear and the psychological impact it can have on you.

DISNEYLAND PARIS: EDITOR REVIEW

DISNEYLAND PARIS: EDITOR REVIEW

If you’re looking for an extra special holiday to enjoy with the children, then it really is hard to beat a Disney holiday. We’ve been on two Disney holidays now and both were filled with lots happy tears. Our first trip was on a Disney Cruise back when we only had our oldest two children, so this year we did decided to give Disneyland Paris a go, to see how our little ones tolerated the flights and the rides.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO INVEST IN PROPERTY

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO INVEST IN PROPERTY

  The decision to invest in the buy-to-let property market is not one to be taken lightly. It's a significant financial commitment that requires careful consideration, and there is often debate about whether current market conditions should dictate this choice....

BROOD Launch Party at Menagerie Restaurant Manchester with a host of GUESTS AND Celebrities

BROOD Launch Party at Menagerie Restaurant Manchester with a host of GUESTS AND Celebrities

Lucy Mecklenburgh, Ryan Thomas, Cath Tyldesley and Sarah Jayne Dunn join the party of working parents to celebrate the launch of BROOD Magazine.

A host of guests from the media and business world came together at Manchester’s landmark party venue Menagerie to celebrate the launch of the innovative BROOD Magazine’s first printed edition sponsored by JMW Solicitors.

DISNEYLAND PARIS: EDITOR REVIEW

DISNEYLAND PARIS: EDITOR REVIEW

Disneyland Paris 

If you’re looking for an extra special holiday to enjoy with the children, then it really is hard to beat a Disney holiday. We’ve been on two Disney holidays now and both were filled with lots happy tears. Our first trip was on a Disney Cruise back when we only had our oldest two children, so this year we did decided to give Disneyland Paris a go, to see how our little ones tolerated the flights and the rides. 

Although most of the rides you can queue for, there are some of the attractions that require booking in advance such as the shows, and the Marvel Avengers Hero Training Centre – so be aware of this to avoid disappointment! It’s worth noting that if you’re pregnant or you have any children with a disability then you can access the special assistance which will mean you don’t have to queue for any where near as long, but once again you will have to book in advance and make sure you have all the correct documentation with you. 

If you don’t want to eat fast food or snacks the whole time that you’re there, you’ll need to book the restaurants in advance 

As much your days at Disneyland will be fun packed, they will also be tiring for everyone in the family, but especially the little ones, so a buggy is an absolute must. We hired one, but as you can’t take them out of the park it meant we ended up carrying our two little ones at the end of the day to get back to the hotel which wasn’t ideal, so if you can I would recommend taking your own if you can. 

If you don’t have park passes for each day of your trip you can still take in some Disney magic by spending some time in Disney Village. You don’t need a park pass to wander around, it right by both parks and it’s filled with Disney themed restaurants, bars and shops, so save your money on your park day visits and let them know they can pick up their favourite toy on the Disney Village day. If you are staying in any of the Disney Hotels than you can get access to the Avengers centre, within the 5*Marvel Hotel, which is really fun and filled with fab photo opportunity’s that the kids will reveal in. 

Avengers Hotel Disneyland Paris
Lolo Stubbs & Rob Stubbs and their Family at Disneyland Paris
Hotel Football, Old Trafford Offer

MORE FROM BROOD:

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith: On Creating more time with your family outdoors

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith: On Creating more time with your family outdoors

It can be hard to find balance in life when we are so busy with all the other things that we have to juggle. One thing that has stood out since starting BROOD, is just how many of us are constantly looking for more ways to try switch off and spend quality time as a family. It’s also clear that we all want to incorporate ways to exercise into our weekly routine and encourage our kids to be active and outdoors too, but it can be hard to fit it in when there is only so many hours in the day! So, with a new sport activity sweeping exciting across the UK – Padel – we just had to find out what all the hype was all about, and to see if it was an activity that would fit into family life.

Introducing The Eyewear Stylist

Introducing The Eyewear Stylist

When you are suddenly told that you need glasses, it can be quite a big deal and feel quite a daunting process. When your career or running your business means attending lots of networking events and dinners etc, and it’s so important to feel comfortable in these situations. As our appearance is one of the biggest factors that can determine whether we feel confident or not, we asked The Eyewear Stylist aka Daniel Scott, on how we should approach buying eyewear and the psychological impact it can have on you.

Christmas Trimmings Recipes

Christmas Trimmings Recipes

CHRISTMAS TRIMMINGS RECIPES

BY SIMON WOOD

_____________________________

Honey mustard pigs in blankets

 

Ingredients

 

30 pigs in blankets

80g Colmans English mustard

80g runny honey

Chopped chives

 

Method

Cook the pigs in blankets until golden, add the honey and mustard in to a medium heat frying pan, heat until it bubbles and then add the sausages, glaze until sticky and serve with chopped chives

    Pigs in blankets
    Pigs in blankets
    Woods Restaurant

      Vichy carrots

      Ingredients

      1kg Heritage Carrots with tops

      125g Unsalted Butter

      250ml carrot juice

      125ml orange juice

      2 sprigs rosemary

      1 Star Anise

      4 sprigs thyme

      2 cloves garlic, crushed

      80ml white wine vinegar

      100g sugar or honey,

      Salt and Black Pepper

       

      Method

       

      Pick the green leafy tops off the carrots and drop them into ice water.

      Steam the carrots until just cooked, and then in a sauté pan add in all the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, add in the carrots and cook for 10 minutes, serve with a little of the liquid and the crisp green leafy tops.

      roast potatoes by Simon Wood
      roast potatoes by Simon Wood

      Ultimate roasties

      Perfect Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

       

      Ingredients

      2kg Red Skin Potatoes

      2 Bulbs of Garlic (Halved)

      1 Bunch of Fresh Rosemary

      1 Bunch of Fresh Thyme

      500g Goose Fat

      Maldon Sea Salt

      Black Pepper

      Method

      Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5.

      Peel the potatoes, cutting any larger ones so they’re all the same size

      Wash the potatoes in cold water to get rid of any extra starch and place a large saucepan on to boil, season with a good amount of sea-salt.

      Add your goose fat into a large roasting tray, the biggest you have. This is to make sure there’s plenty of room for the potatoes and heat to circulate, heat for 10 minutes while your pan of water comes to the boil

       

      Now, add the potatoes to the water and parboil for 10 minutes, you want the outside soft and the inside with a little firmness remaining once ready drain in a colander and leave to steam dry for 5 minutes.

       

      After 3 minutes give the colander a shake to help fluff up the potatoes so they look ‘Snowy’ – this will help to help them to crisp up later on.

       

      Carefully remove your roasting tray with the hot fat from the oven and place on a suitable surface, add in half of your herbs and a bulb of your halved garlic and put it back in the oven for 5 minutes. After five minutes remove the herbs and garlic. You now have a nicely flavoured oil that will make your potatoes taste amazing! 

       

      If you leave the herbs in for the whole time it takes to roast your potatoes, they will burn and taste acrid! We will add in the rest of the herbs with 10 minutes to go to really lift the flavour!

       

      Tip the potatoes into your roasting tray and turn with tongs slowly coating them in the flavoured hot fat, take care not to break them before seasoning well with the sea salt and black pepper.

       

      Roast for 45 minutes, before turning each one to coat in more fat and ensure even colouring, now add in your remaining herbs and garlic and roast for a further 10-20 minutes depending on how much colour you want on them

       

      Once golden and crisp drain any excess oil on a little kitchen paper 

       

      As a chef I find Its always best to do a little test at this point and eat one just to check the seasoning, sometimes I must do this three or four times, just to be sure!

      Peppers & Spring Onions
      Peppers & Spring Onions

      Simons Christmas gravy 

       

      Ingredients

       

      1kg Chicken Thighs or Wings or a mixture of the two

      Olive oil

      4 large carrots

      2 Sticks of Celery

      3/4 Bay leaves

      1 Sprig of Rosemary

      1 Teaspoon fresh Thyme

      1 Teaspoon fresh Sage

      3 White onions halved

      2 Maris piper potatoes quartered

      1 Tablespoon of your cranberry sauce

      Celery Salt (1 teaspoon)

      Ground Black Pepper

      3 Pints of Chicken Stock

      4 tablespoons cornflour

       

      Method

       

      Set the Stock and cornflour Aside

      Add the remaining ingredients into a roasting tin and cover with olive oil. Roast until golden and the meat is easy to pinch away from the bone, approximately 75 minutes at 180c, 350f, Gas 4. Remove from the oven and shred the meat into the roasting tin and use a fork or a masher to crush all the vegetables Place over a flame or on the hob

      Add 4 table spoons of the cornflour and mix well cooking the flour out and then add in the stock slowly stirring well and crushing all the flavour out of the vegetables and the chicken. Cook until thickened and dark brown in colour.

      Check Seasoning and strain through a colander and then again through a sieve to get a refined finish to your sauce

      Cranberry Sauce

       

      Juice of 2 clementine’s

      400g cranberries

      200g light muscovado sugar

      100ml port

       

      The Method

       

      Add all the ingredients into a saucepan and cook on a medium heat until sticky and delicious, store in sterilised jars in the fridge or give away as Christmas gifts!

        

      Chicken fat brioche bread sauce.

       

      Ingredients

       

      500ml whole milk

      500ml double cream

      100g Chicken fat

      25g unsalted butter

      150g chopped white onion

      10 white peppercorns

      2 bay leaf’s

      10 thyme sprigs

      2 grated garlic cloves

      200g brioche crumb

      1g Ground Nutmeg

      3g Maldon sea salt

       

      Method

       

      Sauté the Onion, Garlic, Thyme, Peppercorns, Bay Leaf and salt in the chicken fat and butter. Add in the Brioche crumb and stir before adding the milk and cream.

       

      Add the nutmeg after 5 minutes and then cook for further 25 minutes and then blend until smooth.

      Simon Wood Christmas
      Simon Wood Christmas
      Simon Wood Christmas

      Buttered chicken sprouts

      Ingredients

      1kg sprouts, shredded
      150g chopped shallot
      300ml chicken stock
      Crispy chicken skin
      100g smoked bacon lardons
      Chopped Chives
      250g butter.
      Ground black papper

      Method

      In a saucepan over a medium heat add the lardons and cook until just starting to crisp up. Add in the chopped shallots and cook for two minutes, next add the sprouts, stock and butter and bring to the boil reducing slightly, season with pepper

      Serve in a bowl topped with the chicken skin and chopped chives.

      Buttered chicken sprouts
      Simon Wood
      Written by
      WoodKraft Cheltenham

       KEEP UP TO DATE WITH BROOD:

      * indicates required
      Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Brood Magazine:
      You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.
      We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

      Related Articles

      Christmas Gift Guide and Christmas Present Ideas

      Christmas Gift Guide and Christmas Present Ideas

      Chrismas Gift Guide and Christmas Present Ideas

      Meet Lou and Steph, the dynamic founders of needi, a thriving tech startup based in Manchester. Their innovative gift-matching service, powered by AI and psychology, is a game-changer for busy parents, business owners and people who love supporting local independent businesses.

      Having led large corporate sales teams in their previous careers, Lou and Steph intimately understand the challenges parents face when balancing professional success with family life. They know the stress of finding that perfect gift to show appreciation to your team or clients, and the hassle of dealing with complex logistics like international shipping. They recognized the need for a more convenient and heartwarming way to shop online, one that spreads joy through thoughtful and responsible gifting.

      Failure was never an option for these determined entrepreneurs. In just two years since launching, they’ve achieved incredible milestones…

      Needi Founder, Steph Scholes

      One of the Needi Co-founders, Steph Scholes

      Needi Clever Gifting

      Investment and Innovation: They secured significant investment from a venture capitalist to advance their gift-matching technology and kickstart phase two of their platform.

       

      Exclusive Partnerships: needi is now the exclusive gifting provider for prestigious businesses in the FT100 and global powerhouses.

       

      Team Growth and Family Expansions: Their team of gift aficionados has grown to ten members, and the most exciting part? Lou and Steph both welcomed three new babies into the world (including twins!) while running their successful startup. They’re breaking the mold for women in business, showing that success and parenthood can coexist harmoniously.

       

      Supporting Small Businesses: Their clear vision is to support small businesses, foster meaningful connections, and deliver endless joy through meaningful gifts.

       

      Thanks to their cutting-edge Gift Matching service, thoughtful gift givers, and video gift messaging, they’re achieving their vision and more. Today, needi offers you a stress-free and impactful way to shop for your loved ones, whether at home or in the office. Their platform boasts thousands of thoughtful gifts and highlights numerous outstanding independent businesses.

       

      At the heart of needi are its people, from extraordinary independent businesses to their incredible gift-matching team. Their shared passion for people, the planet, and the power of gift-giving creates a shopping experience like no other.

       

      Join the needi gifting revolution and experience the joy of meaningful shopping with Lou and Steph. 

       

      Book a chat with Steph to discover how she can assist you with your gifting needs and simplify your life, all while celebrating the magic of parenthood and business success.

       

      Happy (meaningful) shopping!

      Christmas Gift Ideas for Mum
      BROOD Magazine Christmas Logo
      Christmas Gift Ideas for grandparents
      Needi Clever Gifting

      RELATED POSTS:

      WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO INVEST IN PROPERTY

      WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO INVEST IN PROPERTY

       

      The decision to invest in the buy-to-let property market is not one to be taken lightly. It’s a significant financial commitment that requires careful consideration, and there is often debate about whether current market conditions should dictate this choice. However, it’s crucial to understand that, ultimately, your individual situation should play a more substantial role in guiding your buy-to-let investment decisions than the current economic climate. Here’s why.

       

      1. Diverse Market Conditions:

      The property market is diverse, with varying conditions in different regions and cities. While national trends may suggest a particular state of the market, local conditions can be quite different. What might be a challenging market in one area could present excellent opportunities in another. Your specific location and property choice can have a more significant impact on your investment success than the general state of the market.

       

      2. Long-Term Perspective:

      Buy-to-let investments are typically long-term endeavors. Property values tend to appreciate over time, but this doesn’t happen overnight. Your investment horizon should extend beyond current market fluctuations. What’s most important is your ability to hold and manage the property over several years. If your personal financial situation allows for a long-term commitment, then the current market climate becomes less of a deciding factor.

       

      3. Financial Preparedness:

      Your financial situation is a critical consideration when entering the buy-to-let market. Evaluate your financial stability, including your savings, creditworthiness, and the ability to secure a mortgage. Focus on your personal financial goals and assess whether buy-to-let investments align with them. Your financial preparedness and goals should be the driving forces behind your decision.

       

      Property Investment
      Vibe HR

      4. Risk Tolerance:

      Investment always carries some level of risk. Your tolerance for risk should factor into your decision-making process. While market conditions may influence risk to some extent, your own comfort level with managing potential challenges, such as vacancies or property maintenance, matters more. Assess how comfortable you are with the potential ups and downs of property ownership.

       

      5. Investment Strategy:

      Consider your overall investment strategy and how buy-to-let properties fit into it. Do you see real estate as a way to diversify your portfolio, generate rental income, or achieve specific financial goals? Your investment strategy should be the guiding light, ensuring that buy-to-let aligns with your overall plan.

       

      6. Local Knowledge:

      If you have local knowledge or experience in a particular area, it can give you a significant advantage as an investor. You may have insights into neighbourhoods, tenant demographics, and rental demand that others lack. Your personal expertise can outweigh general market trends.

      In conclusion, while the current economic climate can provide valuable context, it’s your individual situation that should be the primary driver of your decision to invest in the buy-to-let property market. Tailor your choices to your unique financial preparedness, risk tolerance, and long-term goals. By doing so, you’ll make a decision that aligns with your personal circumstances and sets you on the path to successful property investment, regardless of the ever-changing market conditions.

       

       

      Contact Mr Investa today for a FREE 1-1 property consultation on +44 (0) 161-713-3693 alternatively email: info@mrinvesta.com

       

      Ryan Hughes

      Founder of Mr Investa

      Sky TV Property Pundit, As seen on Sky TV, BBC, M.E.N and Liverpool Echo.

      Mr Investa
      BONFIRE SAFETY TIPS WITH CHILDREN: ENSURING A FUN AND SAFE EXPERIENCE

      BONFIRE SAFETY TIPS WITH CHILDREN: ENSURING A FUN AND SAFE EXPERIENCE

      Bonfires are a beloved tradition, especially during the winter months. Whether you’re enjoying a bonfire in your back garden, at an organised event, or at a family or friend’s, it’s crucial to prioritise the safety of the kids. By following some essential guidelines, you can ensure that your children have a fun and safe experience around the bonfire. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various aspects of bonfire safety for children, including precautions for fireworks, sparklers, and bonfires themselves.

       

      Checking the Weather and Having a Safety Plan in Place

      Before starting any bonfire activities, it’s crucial to check the local weather advisory. Pay attention to wind direction and any fire advisories in your community. This information will help you determine if it is safe to proceed with your bonfire plans. Additionally, having a safety plan in place is essential. Ensure that you have the necessary tools to extinguish the fire quickly, such as free-flowing water, a fire extinguisher (class A or class B), or access to a water hose. It’s also a good idea to keep sand nearby, as it can help douse the flames if the fire gets out of hand. Don’t forget to have a mobile on hand for emergencies and a fire-aid kit or bandages to treat minor burns or injuries.

      Setting Up a Safe Distance from the Fire

      Choosing the right location for your bonfire is crucial for ensuring the safety of your children. The fire pit should be at least 21 feet away from your home, and flammable furniture should also be kept a safe distance away. Establish a clear “safety zone” for your kids, ensuring they understand the boundaries and the importance of staying within them. It’s recommended to have a distance of at least 6 feet, but you can adjust this based on your personal preferences and the specific circumstances. Remember to avoid bringing any flammable furniture or objects too close to the fire.

      Supervising Children and Practicing Adult Supervision

      While it’s essential to teach children about fire safety, it’s equally important to provide adult supervision at all times. Even if your children are older and appear responsible, accidents can happen, and it’s crucial to have someone with a cool level head to handle any unforeseen situations. Designate at least one person to keep a watchful eye on the children, ensuring their safety throughout the bonfire experience. Remember, accidents can occur regardless of a child’s age or maturity level, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and have constant supervision.

      Choosing Safe Clothing and Avoiding Flammable Materials

      When it comes to clothing, it’s important to choose attire made from non-flammable materials. Encourage your children to avoid wearing highly flammable fabrics such as nylon, polyester, or linen when around the bonfire. Instead, opt for clothing made from materials like wool, which are less likely to catch fire. Additionally, ensure that everyone, including children, wears appropriate footwear to protect their feet from flying embers. Open-toed shoes should be avoided, as they can leave toes vulnerable to burns.

      Discouraging Throwing Objects into the Fire

      While it may be tempting for children to throw objects into the fire, it’s important to discourage this behavior. Tossing items into the fire can be dangerous, as they can cause sparks to fly back or increase the risk of accidents when children get too close to the flames. Common items like plastic bottles, bottle caps, and empty soda cans should never be thrown into the fire. However, you can create a designated “throw basket” with safe items like twigs or marshmallows for children to throw into the fire under supervision. Make it clear that anything not approved by parents should not be thrown into the fire.

      Knowing When to Seek Emergency Care

      Accidents can still happen despite taking precautions. If a burn occurs, it’s important to assess the severity and seek appropriate medical care. For minor burns, such as a tiny ember on the hand, running cool water over the affected area can help soothe the pain. However, for more serious burns or if your child is still in pain, it is essential to call a healthcare provider. Any burns outside of a regular kitchen burn should be evaluated by a medical professional. When in doubt, it’s always better to seek medical attention to ensure proper care and treatment.

      Never Leaving the Fire Unattended

      Leaving a fire unattended is a significant safety risk. Whether you’re at a campsite or in your backyard, it’s crucial never to turn your back on a live fire. Throughout the bonfire event, make sure someone is always watching the fire closely. When it’s time to end the bonfire, ensure the fire is completely extinguished. Even the tiniest flame can pose a risk of starting a fire if left unattended. Always make sure the fire has come to a complete stop before leaving the area.

      Firework Safety Tips WITH Children

      Fireworks are often a highlight of bonfire celebrations. However, it’s crucial to prioritise safety when handling fireworks, especially when children are involved. Here are some essential firework safety tips to ensure a fun and safe experience:

      • Children should never handle or light fireworks. Fireworks should only be handled by responsible adults who are knowledgeable about firework safety.
      • Maintain a safe distance from lit fireworks, even if they haven’t gone off. Sparks can still fly and cause injury.
      • Keep pets indoors during firework displays to prevent them from getting scared or injured.
      • Avoid using combustible substances or accelerants to start fireworks. Never spray gasoline or lighter fluid onto a fire, as it can cause dangerous flames and lead to severe injuries.
      • Teach children about the potential dangers of fireworks and the importance of respecting safety guidelines.
      kids with sparklers
      JMW Solicitors

      Staying Safe with Sparklers

      Sparklers are popular among children but can also pose risks if not handled properly. Follow these sparkler safety tips to ensure a safe experience:

      • Children should always be supervised by an adult when using sparklers.
      • Wear gloves when holding sparklers to protect hands from heat and sparks.
      • Keep a bucket of sand or water nearby to properly dispose of used sparklers. Do not bury them in sand or cover them with dirt, as this can lock in heat and pose a danger.
      • Teach children to keep sparklers away from their face, clothes, and other people to prevent burns or injuries.
      • Avoid giving sparklers to children under the age of five. Younger children may not have the coordination or understanding to handle sparklers safely.

      Ensuring Bonfire Safety at Home 

      Whether you’re enjoying a bonfire in your back garden or at a family or friend’s house, the following safety tips apply:

      • Always check local regulations and guidelines regarding bonfires and follow them accordingly.
      • Choose a suitable location for the bonfire, away from any flammable materials or structures.
      • Keep a safe distance from the fire and establish clear boundaries for children to prevent accidents.
      • Use appropriate firewood, such as seasoned hardwood, to ensure a controlled and safe fire.
      • Have a plan in place for extinguishing the fire, whether it’s with water, sand, or a fire extinguisher.
      • Avoid overconsumption of alcohol, as impaired judgment can lead to accidents and injuries around the fire.
      • Teach children about the dangers of fire and establish rules and boundaries to ensure their safety.
      • Never leave a fire unattended and ensure it is completely extinguished before leaving the area.

      By following these bonfire safety tips, you can create a fun and safe environment for children to enjoy the magic of bonfires, fireworks, and sparklers. Remember, prioritising safety is crucial to ensure a memorable and injury-free experience for the whole family.