Archive for April, 2007|Monthly archive page

Starting a new business

In me time on April 29, 2007 at 8:18 pm

Today I finally decided to start up in business as a freelance web designer.

For some time now I have been toying with the idea: web design is something I love to do, and after several (non-profit) projects, I’ve been asked by so many peoiple why I haven’t chosen to do this for a living. I’ve been a homemaker by choice for almost three years now (since my husband and I wed, in fact!), and love being at home with the children. Yet, I can’t help feeling bored at times: I need something to keep my mind sharp. And of course the extra money this could bring would be a big bonus for us all!

So, today was decision day, and tomorrow I’ll get started. So many things to do in order to get my new business off the ground!

I’m thinking about calling my website AF Designs (my initials, in case you were wondering). Short and simple, nothing fancy, in order to reflect my ethical standards. I really would appreciate any hints and advice along my journey to fully fledged business-dom!

More on this project coming soon…

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How to use lemons to help get the housework done super-fast!

In house and home on April 28, 2007 at 9:04 pm

My sister-in-law has a lemon tree growing in her garden, and has taught me some wonderful things you can do with lemons around the home:
  • For washing up, fill the bowl with hot water, a dash of soap-powder and half a lemon. Wash in this solution and rinse with clean water. This will clean the dishes much better than any branded washing-up liquid, and makes glass gleam!
  • Soak burnt pans in the above solution, then finish with a scouring sponge to restore them almost to new.
  • The lemon-soap solution is great for cutting grease and grime on walls and surfaces too.
  • Use half a lemon dipped in salt to clean chopping boards.
  • To make the kitchen smell wonderful, place lemon peel on a baking tray and bake in an oven heated to 180 degrees farenheight for 20 minutes.

Please feel free to post your ideas for using lemons in the home. I love to discover new ways to use my favorite fruit!

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"It works for me!" – Great Household Hints

In house and home, kids on April 27, 2007 at 8:23 pm

I found some truly great household hints, tips and tricks on the Rocks in my Dryer blog! There’s everything from keeping your car “child-proof” (or rather, clean!) to how best to cope with a tornado! The author actively encourages other bloggers to contribute to her list, and has dozens of reader contributions! So many great ideas for busy mums. I’m off to read more!!

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Desperate Housewives

In glamumous, issues on April 26, 2007 at 4:53 pm

It would be nigh on impossible for me to write this blog without mentioning my favorite TV programme: Desperate Housewives!

Here in the UK, we’re being treated to the third series of the show now, and what fun it’s been! The children now understand that they simply MUST be settled in their beds by 10pm on wednesdays, even my young daughter who insists on consistantly disturbing my evening peace with her incessant requests to watch her favorite videos/dress up as a princess/sing the scarecrow song… You know what the little ones are like!

What I like most about the show is that the issues it deals with are applicable to all women, and not just the loved-up, rather wealthy and enviable women we see on Wisteria Lane. Loneliness, stress, naughty children, cheating husbands… In every episode, I see some aspect of my own life reflected. I’m sure that must be why the program has become such a huge transatlantic success.

But is it to everyones taste? I don’t know! Surely there must be some women out there who absolutely hate this fabulous show. So if you hate Desperate Housewives (or even if you love it as much as I do!), please leave your comments on the show below. I’d love to hear from you 🙂

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Ninja Email Encryption!

In Anonymity, Cryptography, Tools on April 26, 2007 at 4:22 pm

I just came across these neat programs for email and file encryption which I thought I’d share with you all:

Chibi Ninja
Chibi Ninja Encryption Software is a free, cross-platform email and file encryption tools can be used to send encrypted emails and encrypt files in many different languages, including English, Greek, Russian and Japanese! It was created by Kenji Kojima and can be downloaded free from the homepage.

Let me know what you think!

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Adding social bookmark buttons to my Blogger templates

In Blogging, custom blogger on April 25, 2007 at 2:06 pm

Of course I want to promote my blog! Who doesn’t? Well, after reading Seth’s guide to increasing blog traffic, I realised that “social bookmarking” is one way to help me gain more readers.

Adding links in the sidebar of my Blogger blog was simple enough, but I also wanted to have a bookmarklet link at the end of every post, and had many troubles finding a good solution for this.

Eventually (after much trial and error!), I found this site which has a nifty button generator and easy installation instructions for inserting the correct code into your blog template. As you can see, I now have a button at the end of my posts which links to most social-bookmarking sites, so you readers can add my posts to your favorite sites.

If you like my posts, that is…

Fancy doing this to your own blog posts? Then visit Add This! and create your own button. Then edit the HTML in your template (be sure to tick the “expand widget templates” box) and add the appropriate code below the div class=”‘post-footer'” line. Preview before saving to ensure everything looks okay.

My advice is to add below the line: p class=”‘post-footer-line” as it makes things look a little neater overall! Simple, eh?

Related posts:

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How to walk in high heels

In glamumous on April 24, 2007 at 4:18 pm

I love high heeled shoes. Always have and always will. They make me feel more feminine and do wonders to lengthen my legs!

So I found it strange when my sister confessed that she doesn’t wear heels because she can’t walk in them…

I learnt the art of “high heel walking” the hard way: trial and error, many blunders and sore toes! But there is a MUCH easier way to learn, which I discovered when reading Camilla Morton’s great book, How to walk in High Heels.

Basically, what you should do first is find a fabulous pair of high heeled shoes which you adore. They should speak to you, make you feel wonderful, and beg to be worn. Make sure they don’t pinch on the toes (as when you walk in them, the pinching will become so much worse when your weight is pushed downward!).

Once you’ve found your shoes, you should take yourself off to the supermarket. Yes, that’s right-the supermarket! It may seem a strange method, but believe me girls this will work! Find yourself a trolley (before changing into your gorgeous skyscraper heels, if necessary!), then use the trolley like a walking frame to support yourself as you walk around the store.

Take your time and enjoy the way your heels make you feel. Notice how your bum looks more pert and your legs look so much longer now? Peruse the aisles and pretend not to notice all those admiring glances as you strut your stuff in your fabulous new shoes. By the time you’re ready to check-out, you’ll feel much more confident about walking in your new favorite footwear, prancing and skipping like you lived in these shoes forever! This is something I do when struggling with very high heels or strappy stilettos, and it really does help!

If you’re still struggling after trying this method, you could always get started with high-heeled boots instead: the extra support on the ankle and leg make them much easier to balance in 😉

Try it, see the results for yourself and enjoy your femininity!

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The nit problem

In freebies, health on April 24, 2007 at 1:11 pm

I imagine every mum encounters “the nit problem” at least once. I say “at least” because I have made the unfortunate discovery that once the little buggers land, they are extremely difficult to be rid of!

For nigh on three months now, we’ve been trying to get rid of them. So far, nothing has really worked, and I’ve tried everything from chemical solutions to mayonaisse and vineger rinses! It’s been a long and frustrating process.

So, finally I’ve come to realise that the only sure-fire method will be to comb and comb every day for at least a few weeks until we can be sure they’ve all disappeared. I found a really useful website which features a “program” of combing which supposedly works, which you can read here. It involves combing the hair using a lice comb over a period of three weeks to ensure that all adult lice and hatching offspring are removed (and therefore will not return anytime soon).

We’re currently in week two (of three) and haven’t had itchy heads for a few days now, so it seems to be doing the trick, despite being tedious and wholly annoying for the children. I do hope this method works, and will be taking no chances in the future. I’ll post again about this soon to let you know how we get on.

Customising Blogger

In custom blogger on April 23, 2007 at 4:45 pm

Like many new bloggers, I have the uncontrollable urge to customise my blog to my own particular specifications in order to make my blog unique and work exactly as I want it to.

It can’t be helped, despite my resolutions to concentrate only on Glam-Mum-Ous subjects… So for the next few weeks, I’ll blog a series of articles about what I’m doing to my Blogger template.

At least until I’ve got it out of my system!

I’ve started with the classic Rounders4 Blogger template, as I like the colour scheme and the segmentation of the sidebars. Here’s what I plan to do in order to evolve my template to something completely glamumous:

  1. Add a custom header
  2. Create a 3 column layout (featuring an extra sidebar on the left)
  3. Add trackback functionality
  4. Create a “label cloud”, so that my post labels are in a pretty cloud shape instead of simply a long list!
  5. Perhaps more… I’ve yet to decide what else I’d like to do!

From this point forward, all posts related to the customisation of my blog will be featured under the label “customising blogger“. Watch this space for changes in the near future, and please leave your comments and opinions on my design as it develops.

Related posts:

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My love of designer cosmetics

In freebies, glamumous on April 22, 2007 at 9:03 pm

I have to admit that I’m a sucker when it comes to expensive make-up. I tell myself that since I don’t wear much make-up, it’s worth splashing out a little more on something that will make me feel like a godess when I do wear it!

Unfortunately, designer brands are not cheap. In fact, if I want to buy my favorite Chanel lippy I have to save up my make-up allowance for at least a month! Unless, I manage to get it some other way…

My Boots Advantage card is one of the most prized pieces of plastic in my wallet. Each time I make a purchase from the chemist (nappies, baby wipes, shampoo…), I earn points to spend in store, which I usually save for weeks on end to buy myself yummy goddess treats. Like my lipsticks, for instance. Best of all, the scheme is completely free!

Better still, the counter assistants are always helpful and make me feel well-pampered; it doesn’t matter to them that the make-up is bought with points, since they still earn their comission from the sale! And so, I come away with loads of samples too-perfume, mascaras, lipgloss. Whatever new ranges are being launched. My make-up bag is crammed with these luscious tit-bits, and for the most part, they didn’t cost me a penny!

Now that’s a yummy treat for thrifty mums!