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Girls Knock Life’s Guide On How Women Can Have A Better Work Life Balance

Being a modern, working woman is never easy. You want to make sure that you are successful in your career, or running your business, but you also want to make sure you are happy and healthy.

Achieving a work life balance isn’t the easiest things to do. However, it isn’t impossible. So, what is the secret? How can you maintain the ideal balance between the two? Girls Knock Life have the answer!

Learn how to prioritize your time

If your time is stretched, then you need to learn how to work out what is urgent and what can wait. For some people, the easiest way to do this is to write down all the tasks that you need to do, both at home and at work. Then you can figure out when each one needs to be done and whether it needs to be a priority or not. This will give you a tangible list that you can then work through.

Work at times that suit you

Of course, this isn’t going to be possible if you are employed to work set hours, or your business needs to be open at certain times. However, if you can set your own hours, then do it! Some people find it easier to get up early and work for a few hours before the morning tasks need to be completed, others may be somewhat of a night owl and find it easier to work in the evening.

Don’t forget to take some me time

With a job or a business to consider, your family members to see, and maybe you have a family of your own, it can be hard to think about taking some time for yourself. However, this is incredibly important as otherwise you can end up burning out and this isn’t going to be good for anyone. It might just be a bath or a long shower, but sometimes just the smallest things can really help lift your mood.

Plan for the future

It can be all too easy to always think about the immediate rather than the long term. However, you are going to need to consider times when you are likely to be unable to work or will find it hard. Christmas, birthdays, school vacations, they can all take their toll on your “working time” so plan for these in advance and you will feel much calmer when they come around.

Be where you are

By this, we mean that you need to be focused on that particular part of your life when you are there. If it is time to work, then make sure that this is your focus. However, if you are spending time with your family, ignore the work that needs to be done. Otherwise you may miss out on quality time with those that mean the most to you.

It is possible to achieve a work life balance and even better than this, if you really put your mind to it you can become not only successful in your chosen career path, but also a fantastic and inspirational woman too!

The Girls Knock Life Guide To Writing Notes To Make You Smarter!

It’s no secret that plenty of us would welcome a touch of the smarts, or maybe helping to slow down the decline of our brains and keep ourselves sharp!

There are a number of ways that you can try and do this, some of which are obvious, some of which are not quite so. Something that we can all do on a daily basis is writing notes. But what impact does writing notes have and why is it something that we should all be embracing in order to make ourselves smarter?

Writing notes is shown to help us to remember things

While many of us turn to our tablets, smartphones and laptops for much of the things that we need to write down on a daily basis, it is actually harder for our brains to take this information in. So much so, that there have been plenty of studies carried out to ascertain whether or not the physical act of writing something down is going to help you to remember it. Something that has been proven to be the case.

It makes things easier to prioritize and think about

Being able to plan your time and what you need to do makes things a whole lot easier. Which means that it is a good idea to do your best to take the time to write things down and prioritize what you need to do. Having a written list means that you can instantly see the things that you have in the diary and act on them.

It clears out our heads

Having a million thoughts whizzing around in your brain is never going to be good for you. Getting into the habit of writing things down on a daily basis is going to allow you to empty out your brain and push your focus towards the things that are actually important.

We can keep them for a later date

Have you ever felt the need to go through some old notes in order to jog your memory? If you have then it is a good idea to hand write these notes. You can then keep them and go through those notes as and when you need them.

They are good motivation

Do you have an end goal that you are working towards? Finding it really hard to get there? Perhaps you need a gentle push in the right direction. By planning a short time to write down some notes on a daily basis you can spend the time thinking about the things that you need to do to get there and how much closer you are to the end point. What better motivation is there than that?

As you can see, there are a number of reasons why writing daily notes can be helpful for you, so why not try some of our Girl’s Knock Life top tips above and see if it can make a difference?

Girls Knock Life’s 5 Top Tips for Monumental Mothers to be Less Stressed and More Patient

If there is one thing that many parents have in common, it’s that feeling of stress and a distinct lack of patience. The good news is that these are things you can improve on. As a mother, it is our job to create a nurturing environment for our children, but as you know, life can take its toll…

So, how can we try to minimize the stress and learn to be more patient? I’m sure that’s the question many of you ask yourselves everyday! At Girls Knock Life, we have developed a list of our five top tips for mothers to be less stressed and more patient.

1. Remember that they are not doing it on purpose

Sometimes it can seem like our children are trying to irritate and annoy us, just for the fun of it! But we promise you, this really isn’t the case. Children are just curious and mischievous by their very nature. Yes, you may find their behavior a little on the irritating side, but the truth is that they are simply just having fun and being kids!

2. Think about what you expect from them, it may need changing

We all want the best from our kids, however, sometimes this can be to our detriment. Of course, no-one wants a child who is naughty or rude, but it is how you define these bad behaviors that you need to think about. Sometimes it can be all too easy to think that your kids should be 100% all of the time, but we all have off days, even our children.

3. Take a deep breath

Feeling like you are 2 minutes away from exploding? It is a good idea to take a step back and try out some deep breathing. Not only will it allow you to gather your thoughts, but it will also help you to calm down and de-stress.

4. Think about the source of your stress

We all get stressed out, work, finances, relationships all of these things can contribute to stress in your life. However, none of these things are your kids fault. When you are feeling stressed out and you are snapping at your children, remind yourself that it is not their fault. They have absolutely no concept of all the things that happen when you are a grown up and they wont until they are also an adult.

5. Enjoy your time

Life is hard, however, our children should be a source of happiness in our lives. If you are feeling stressed out and that you simply cannot cope, then one thing that you can do to try and improve your mood is to spend some time together as a family. Watch a movie, play a board game, go for a walk. All things that will help you to unwind and remind yourself of all the great things in your life!

As you can see, even the most stressed out and impatient parents can improve their mood and make sure that they are best parent they can be!

Girls Knock Life’s Top Tips To Save Money!

Money is something that we all wish that we had more of. Being able to do the things we love to do can get expensive and it can seem that the only way to improve our financial situation is to find ourselves a money tree!

With this in mind we have put together our top tips for helping you to save money. All of which can make sure your bank account is looking healthier.

Plan your food

Have you found that your food shopping is one of the biggest budget burners for your bank? If so, then you might find it beneficial to plan your food. Not only should you think about what you are going to eat a few days in advance, but also make sure that you make a shopping list when you go shopping, as this will help you to cut down on the amount of money you spend on unnecessary groceries.

Sell the things you no longer need

We live in a throwaway nation whereby it is all too easy to throw things away rather than making an effort to sell them. However, you may change your mind when you realize how much you can make from this. While something may seem useless to you, there is a good chance that someone else will find it incredibly useful, so even though you may only make a few bucks from selling it, those are a few bucks that you wouldn’t otherwise have!

Learn to DIY

The idea of DIY isn’t exactly something that appeals to all of us, but DIY can be a huge money saver. Being able to do some jobs yourself is not only a great way to save money, but you can also use your DIY and crafting skills to buy old pieces of furniture or even old clothes and transform them into something that looks fabulous. You may then decide to keep them for yourself, or, if you are feeling even braver, you may make them over ready to sell.

Always haggle for insurance

One costly part of all of our lives has to be insurances that we pay out. In the most part they are necessary expenses that we all have to account for, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find ways to keep the costs down. Insurance companies rely on their customers accepting their renewal quotes without asking for any discounts, so you may be surprised by just how much money you can get by making the call and asking them what the best deal that they can do is.

Stop spoiling the kids

If you are a parent it is all too easy to want to spoil our children and give them treats. It is a nice idea, but this can cost you a considerable amount of money that you just don’t have. You may be surprised to learn that your children would probably much prefer to spend the time with you instead, so why not put aside the money that you would spend on them and put it away for a big day out as a family?

As you can see, you only need to change a few small things in order to have a big impact in the end, so why not make these small changes and see just what you can achieve?! Rock your bank account, as well as your life!

The Girls Knock Life Guide On How Women Can Set A Goal And Genuinely Achieve It – Fast!

At Girls Knock Life, we know that goals are incredibly important, not just for your personal life but for your business and career too! The trouble with setting goals is that so many of us are not sure how to go about it and how to then keep driving towards it.

To help with this we have put together our guide on how women can set a goal and then ACTUALLY manage to achieve it, sometimes much quicker than you might realize!

Never set one HUGE goal. Break it down instead

One of the worst things that you can do is to set yourself an absolutely mammoth goal for the long term, without a short term aim. Long term, bigger goals are wonderful to have, but to really increase your chances of getting there and not giving up, you are going to need to break that goal down into smaller chunks that will act as milestones, while still contributing to the bigger picture.

Celebrate the achievements no matter how small they may seem

There are plenty of us that don’t find it easy to celebrate our own achievement. However, when it comes to goal setting, this is an incredibly important part of the process. If you have worked hard to get somewhere, then you should give yourself a pat on the back! This simple thing will keep you motivated towards the end goal and also make you feel great too!

Remind yourself why the goal is important

It can be all too easy to lose sight of your aim. Particularly if it is quite far into the future! Which means you need to take the time and effort to remind yourself why your goal is important. It could be how it is going to help you with your career, the impact it will have for your family and of course the benefit it will have to you, anything that can help you to keep driving forward!

Accept support from those around you

There is nothing harder than trying to reach a goal without any support. Support can come from a variety of places; your friends, your family and your co-workers. It isn’t always easy to accept this support and help, particularly if you are trying your best to do things alone. But believe us when we say that having someone there to act as a cheerleader and help you get where you want to be, is going to make it a whole lot easier in the long run!

As you can see, there are a variety of ways to help you reach your goals and get exactly where you want to be. All it takes is some careful consideration, a lot of passion and an equal amount of motivation too! In no time at all you will be one step closer to your goal and knocking life!

Nurturing Resilience in Your Life

Water is fluid, soft and yielding. But water will wear away rock which is rigid and can not yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.

  • Lao Tzu

Resilience is a characteristic that’s intrinsic to human nature. But it needs to be developed and practiced. To be resilient you need to be like water, fluid, soft and yielding. Flowing and fluid to different paths that you find yourself on, soft and yielding to difficult situations to have clear thoughts on how to get through these situations. You can develop and nurture resilience by tempering our thoughts, mindset, perspective and outlook. And as you temper these, you will be able to expand and be less focused on fears and uncertainties, more adaptable to change. To nurture is to foster, stimulate and develop, which means resilience is not immediate but takes time and practice. Practice changing thoughts and mindset to be soft, flowing and yielding through these tips:

  • To be yielding, soft and fluid is to be humble. Humility is another human trait that expands our thoughts and visions. When you let go of pride, which builds walls that impede you from seeing and thinking clearly, you become soft and fluid and ready to spread and expand.
  • With continuous learning and improving on skills and disciplines in chosen fields or interests we obtain new understanding and instill these during times of challenges and changes.
  • Find your sense of purpose by developing personal reason for the meaning of your work and putting it in a larger context to include not just you and your family but also your company, co-workers and community.
  • Expand your network of friends by developing relationships with people from work and outside of work. This builds a strong foundation of support, an important factor in achieving goals, developing viewpoints and facing challenges.
  • Keep your definition of yourself evolving, in terms of work and personal introspection. By continuously evolving, you’ll see yourself shift to different patterns of thoughts and actions.

Rather than just give in to crises and challenges, you can flow into them and come out stronger than ever by staying soft, fluid and yielding like water. Expand your thoughts, perspectives and mindset with resilience and be ready for changes and difficulties. Strength is not found in rigidity and the unyielding but in softness and staying fluid.

Superfoods

Superfood is actually a marketing term describing mostly plant-based foods which are nutritionally dense and very good for one’s health.  The usage of the term is also common amongst dietitians and nutrition scientists. Superfoods are believed to reduce the risk of diseases, prolong life, and promote better health.

The most common superfoods are spinach, beans, sweet potatoes, salmon, fruits, blueberries, whole grain nuts, wheatgrass, pomegranate juice, green tea, and broccoli, just to name a few.

Blueberries. Notice that blueberries are the most frequently mentioned superfood because they are packed with antioxidants, Vitamin K, Vitamin B, manganese, anthocyanins, fiber, folate, and phytoflavinoids which are high in potassium and vitamin C.  Berries help lower the risk of major diseases like cancer, heart problems, and inflammation. They also help fend off heart disease and diseases that have something to do with the blood.

Kale. Another superfood is Kale or spinach. This food contains numerous nutrients that some researchers believe to be even greater than those in blueberries.  Kale contains a type of phytonutrient that lessens, prevents or even helps in the healing of ovarian and breast cancers.  Phytonutrients induce the liver to produce enzymes that neutralize cancerous substances.

Tomatoes are a popular superfood because they contain lycopene which is a rare anti-oxidant.  Tomatoes are very important when it comes to protecting the skin against harmful UV rays that cause skin cancers.  Tomatoes have also been proven to help lower bad cholesterol because they contain high amounts of potassium, fiber and Vitamin C.

The black bean is a powerhouse of protein and other nutrients like fiber that is good for the heart, antioxidants to combat aging and prevent diseases and providing iron. No more need to resort to meat that contains cholesterol in order to get your daily dose of protein because black beans energize, prevent disease, and protect the heart.

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that contains phytonutrients similar to kale. It helps therefore to suppress or prevent cancers and tumors. One cup of broccoli will give you enough vitamin C to boost your immunity.  It is also full of folic acid that is a nutrient that has been proven useful in ensuring a safe and successful pregnancy.

Salmon. Most superfoods are plant-based except for salmon. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids which help in the treatment or prevention of inflammations whilst improving circulation and helping the body get rid of bad cholesterol. It also helps prevent cancer and cell damage because it contains selenium and Vitamin B.

Oats. Oats are a favorite morning meal because oats contain a special fiber that is very good for the heart and which helps in lowering cholesterol. In addition, it is packed with magnesium, potassium and phytonutrients thus helping also in the prevention of diabetes.

Superfoods are rich in essential nutrients that complete your dietary requirements. Add these to your diet to stay healthy and keep your strength for long working hours at the office and at home.

Food and Toddlers

As your baby becomes a toddler, his/her eating and drinking habits will start to change. Toddlers are less interested in food because they grow at a slower pace than when they are babies. They become more interested in exploring their environment and testing their new motor skills. And the cutest reason, they are learning to say no – sign of independence. As the world becomes more exciting and eating a less interesting activity, you become worried and frustrated in feeding your child.

Here are some tips to make mealtimes satisfying and nourishing for you and your tot:

  • Forget what books tell you on how much you should feed your child; a toddler has a natural gauge of the quantity of food they should eat. But they still don’t know what’s good for them, so offer them different healthy options. A healthy child will not starve themselves by refusing food.
  • Mealtimes should be fun and happy times. Keep these activities fun, happy and relaxed times. Don’t fuss over a mess because this is a given. Children see mealtimes as an opportunity to play. The important thing is to instill the habit of sitting and enjoying the meal in whatever way is there to enjoy them.
  • Keep a regular schedule of meals and snacks. Establishing the habit of sitting down to eat and times for eating helps in establishing a regular routine for the child. And if the child refuses the food options for that certain meal, DON’T make another dish; instead wait for the next meal or snack.
  • Don’t pile the plate with food, instead give them smaller servings. Big and regular servings will bore them. Allow them to choose how much food, if they are still hungry, they will ask for more.
  • Food fads are normal with toddlers. They may like and want to eat one certain kind of food all the time but this will pass. Don’t be alarmed by picky eating at this stage because this will change in time.
  • You should learn to keep calm, patient and relaxed during mealtime. The less fuss you make the better. Do not comment on uneaten food; assume your tot had enough to eat.

Enjoy this time in your toddler’s life, make mealtimes fun rather than miserable because this will make a lasting impression on them, and don’t make too much a fuss about eating. It is more important for you to establish routine and schedules rather than the quantity of food at this time.

How to Balance Luxury and Frugality in Travel

Some people say that luxury does not mix with frugality. They say that when you go on a holiday, you ought to go all the way so you gotta prepare yourself for it. Of course, that’s easy to say for people who have the means to “prepare” for it. The question is, can a holiday be enjoyed on a tight budget? Of course, it can. The secret is all in the preparation.

PLANE TICKETS

Plane ticket prices vary year round. During peak seasons, tickets can double in price. During winter or a very hot summer, however, tickets go on discount.  Hotels too.  So when you go on tour consider peak and bargain seasons, avoiding Christmas as well as other holidays.  Peak times also include weekends because most people travel during weekends. So if you can time your flight on a weekday, you get better deals. Consider night flights too or dawn flights that are usually cheaper. The trick is to be as flexible as you can with your schedule.

  • When choosing a plane, use a search engine. We recommend
  • Momondo (first choice)
  • Google Flights
  • ITA Matrix
  • Skyscanner, and
  • Kayak

Consider also an airline’s financial standing.  Expensive tickets usually come from an airline company that is not doing well financially or is on the verge of bankruptcy. Another thing is when an airplane does several stops to pick up passengers; they are trying to maximize a trip. If you don’t mind not flying direct, that could save you a lot of money. Remember to enroll in a frequent flyer program that can save you thousands and might even get you a free ticket now and then.

You might also want to consider budget flights that are similar to budget hotels because of the absence of extras.

HOTELS

When choosing a hotel, it would be wise to use the services of an online search site like:

  • Hotels.com
  • Trivago
  • Expedia
  • Booking.com
  • Hotwire
  • Priceline
  • Travelpony

Search engines list thousands of hotel choices online and you can compare by price, quality, location etc.  Of course you love a bit of luxury because the hotel itself can make or break your enjoyment.  You want clean first of all, you want comfort, strong hot and cold showers or tubs, great soap, other amenities like slippers, toothbrush, towel, and courtesy bottled water.  But if you’re not too much into luxury, then you can get a basic hotel like Red Planet which is clean and comfy enough and with a basic bathroom with strong water, but lacking some other extras. You might even want to consider a hostel – and there are plenty listed in Airbnb.

Athens

Now Athens is brimming with history and historical artifacts.  A true traveler will not miss it.  But Athens is in Europe and you know how it is in Europe. High prices! The good news is Greece isn’t as expensive as most European cities and in Athens, you can go places without worrying about where to eat or sleep on a tight budget. Now here is how a local would tour this city:

From the city center, one can reach many major destinations by just walking. For instance, from Syntagma Square, a little walk will bring you to the entrance to the Acropolis.  A further walk and you will find the National Garden dedicated to Amalia, a national hero right in the very heart of the city. If you can, walk or ride a bike by renting one from shops in the city’s main street.  This will allow you to take selfies at the Calimar Stadium where the first modern Olympics were held, visit the Greek Catholic Church of Dionysus of Aeropaggio.  A few steps away, the Academy of the great Greek philosophers right beside the University of Athens, and the National Library.  From the vicinity of the Old Parliament, you can visit the Agora and the Belfry Church/Byzantine where the statue of Hermes is located.

The Acropolis is a must see Athens destination. You will find great structures there including the world famous Parthenon where it’s ok to kiss the 3000 year old rocks that litter around, the Propylaea or gateway, the Erechtehion (or Porch of Maidens), and the Temple of Athena Nike also known as the Victory Sanctuary.  And on going down, you should visit the Acropolis Museum for souvenirs.  You can buy souvenirs from the numerous shops located near the exit after you leave the museum. Prices are 50% less and you get more exciting finds than buying from the Museum.

Travel to nearby islands, especially to the North to give you a better feel of how it is to be a local. You can mingle with fishermen, workers, and children playing, even learn to dance the sirtaki, or just watch the sunset. Hotels are everywhere around Syntagma and in some islands.  If you happen to choose the Royal Olympic, you get a spectacular view of the Temple of Zeus.  But you can choose cheaper hotels left and right and still immerse yourself in the beauty of Athens.

Food is not that expensive compared to Paris or Rome. Food is priced almost like New York, cheaper than the rest of Europe. Greeks love fish and that is why there are plenty of cats in and out of the City. They love wine, and their salads are some of the best. But a serious traveler will want to taste the original Souvlaki, Mousakka and the many grills in restaurants all over.  Enjoy your Greek holiday! Opa!

Minimalist Wardrobe

Unclutter your closet; unclutter your life. Ever felt stumped whenever you had to open your closet to look for today’s wardrobe? So stumped as to not being able to find the “right” one even after you’ve emptied your wardrobe, filled up your bed with piles of shirts and pants and jackets, and still find nothing.  So you panic and come to the conclusion that you need to buy new clothes.  But until you can buy a new set, you’d still need to come to that closet each morning to come up with a decision.

There is a way out of this predicament. It’s called minimalism.  Minimalism means that you need to remove “non-essentials” and focus on what remains. It means removing clothes you haven’t worn for a year or downsizing to unclutter your closet.  Minimalism is a Buddhist technique that frees the mind enough to allow it to attach to what is quiet, serene and unhurried.

It is often that problems are caused by stress and too much excitement or too much attachment to the temporariness of life.  Why is it that when you shop in a store with very few choices, you are able to make a choice quickly?  and why is it that when you enter a supermarket that  has a long rack of the different brands and labels of the thing you need to buy that it takes you forever to buy it?

Why worry too much when everything will come to pass anyway. Why not live for the moment by releasing excess cares for the past and future.  Pick one and get out of there. Going minimal means making a statement, spending less on laundry, and gaining more confidence.

So for your closet, fill it up with only the best, high quality selections that you love.  This move will upgrade and update your fashion choices.  Your closet mustn’t allow the entry of poor and low quality “sale” items therefore, when choosing clothes, make sure that your choice is yours and is not based on some advertisement you’ve seen on TV. Let your own standards shine above what is generally desired. Let your clothes express who you are; and what is in your heart.  In other words, develop your own style. Do not adopt someone else’s.

Choose only clothes of high quality.  Your closet doesn’t have to carry too many clothes if the few you’ve chosen are some that you can be proud of, are durable and suit your style. Don’t forget that true fashionistas do not copy styles. They create their own.

When shopping for new clothes, take all the time you need. Never be in a hurry. There will be clothes that will give you that “feeling” when you see it the first time.  When it doesn’t click with you, don’t buy it.  Just follow your natural choice.

How to achieve the BOHO Chic?

Boho is basically about fun. But yes, it is also about being hip, earthy, comfy and natural. Boho is also hippie without the un-showered look.  It’s classy and doesn’t hint at shady or dirty. This chic style is flowy, showcasing natural, wood, browns, beiges, whites, flowers, and leaves.

Boho style is about vests and tribal prints but not just about clothes. It covers also hair and shoes, make-up and accessories.  The thing to put in mind is that Boho is about being natural.

Overall, Boho is vintage, ethnic and natural. The word “Boho” was coined by Laura Demasi, a journalist described eclectic gypsy. That was 10 years ago and Boho remains to be popular today.

If you wanna go Boho Chic, here are some tips:

  1. Said many times, Boho is about natural tones in fabrics. So linen, velvet, chiffon, silk, leather, suede and fur are the usual choices.  Leather and fur are “cruel” fabrics to some Boho stylists because these represent violence to animals so faux leather and fur are used as replacements, which are cheaper yet look as good. Boho is usually brown, earthy reds and greens, oranges and beige.
  2. Boho Chic uses lace, crochet, embroidery in dresses, hats, bags, tops and even shoes, in floral, checks, avant-garde, and other natural patterns which come to life when paired with neutral items.
  3. As mentioned, Boho is about comfort so no tight fitting dresses and tops please. Loose-layers, full length dresses, cut-off whites and beige sweaters are good examples.  Still others try to mix tight fitting with loose clothes – for instance, fitted faded jeans can be paired with mottled linen whites. And in cold weather, a light brown sweater. A natural stone necklace such as turquoise and a scarf will compliment this outfit.
  1. Gladiator, cowboy, Greek sandals, ankle boots, thick heeled boots and shoes are predominant in Boho fashion so choose brown, tan or beige. Vegans or vegetarians can use faux leather to complete their outfit.
  1. Although Boho choices are plentiful, Boho is actually minimal and natural so neon, too many colors, too many necklaces, numerous accent colors on clothes and hair color, negate the very philosophy of Boho fashion.  Boho is hardly about flaunting wealth; so hyper-expensive accessories are frowned upon. Instead, choose ethnic accessories such as Mexican or Celtic – armbands, necklaces, wooden and mineral bracelets and bangles, dangling earrings, shells, stones, and wood.

Boho hats are usually wide brimmed, sometimes crocheted Fedoras that come in neutral tones. Headbands can be braided or can be tied bandanas. Tassels are great attachments to handbags. Handbags with a lot of color and which come in natural fabrics are best. To complete your Boho outfit, a vintage pair of sunglasses, round or aviator shape, will complement the shape of your face.

Girls Knock Life