Why You Should Consider Taking Your Online Side Hustle to the Local Farmers' Market

June 30, 2024

When it comes to side hustles, especially those artisan and handmade-focused ones, a lot of people will turn to Etsy or even have a social media page where people can then directly buy from them. It’s a bit rustic, but if people can’t get enough of your products, why stop there?

Seriously! A side hustle doesn’t necessarily need to stay forever; just think about it. Some successful artisan businesses started as a side hustle, but now they’re so much more. If you want to get more out of your career, this might actually be a good stepping stone.

Yes, that even includes those at markets. So, have you ever thought about taking your side hustle a bit further? Or, more accurately, to the local farmers’ market? Honestly, this could seriously be a major game changer, and here’s exactly how! 

Experience the Vibrant Community Atmosphere

First off, there’s something magical about the farmers’ market. It’s a vibrant, buzzing hub of creativity and community where people are actively looking for unique, handcrafted items just like yours. 

When you set up a stall there, you’re not just selling a product; you’re offering an experience. Shoppers can touch, feel, and see your work up close, and you get the priceless opportunity to watch their faces light up with excitement over your creations. That immediate feedback? You can’t get that through an online store.

Real-Time Feedback and Market Research

One of the best parts about the local market is the instant feedback loop. You just don’t get that online, and people are lazy and might not even bother with providing feedback, either. So, you can test new products or designs and see how they perform in real-time if something’s a hit; fantastic! If not, you can tweak it on the fly. It’s not just that (like handing out free samples), but even when it comes to the product labels and packaging, that can be tweaked too more quickly than compared to online. 

For example, if you’re selling hand-knitted sweaters with hang tags, maybe one design isn’t pulling people in; if you’re selling jam, maybe one label design isn’t getting the job done. Overall, you get to see reactions firsthand, and then you can tweak from there.

Build Personal Connections and Loyalty

Now, let’s talk about building connections. Selling online is great, but it can sometimes feel a bit like shouting into the void. Plus, think about the sheer competition you’re dealing with, too! Plus, when you see that notification from social media, and you think you’re getting a comment, but it turns out to be spam- that alone can be disheartening!

But at the market, you get to meet your customers face-to-face. You can tell them the story behind your art, explain the meticulous process that goes into each piece, and answer their questions on the spot. 

This personal touch can turn a casual shopper into a loyal customer. Plus, you’re networking with other local vendors and artisans, which can open up all sorts of collaboration opportunities and support systems you never knew existed.

20 Things Every Parent Should Know for Their Family's Wellbeing

You’ve managed to keep a small human (or a few) alive, fed, and mostly clean. That’s commendable! But as our little darlings grow, morph, and evolve from cute blobs into full-fledged people, the game gets trickier. But, don't worry because here’s your survival guide to getting through life with your family's wellbeing intact!

1. Master the Art of First Aid

Before you can say, “Where did you find that and why is it in your mouth?!” you’ll want to be prepped with some solid first aid skills. Knowing how to handle everything from a scraped knee to the Heimlich maneuver isn’t just impressive at parties; it’s essential. Consider taking a family first aid course - like this one that offersediatric Advanced Life Support training check out  PALS near me). Not only will you feel like a superhero, but you’ll also be prepared to tackle minor emergencies that involve small objects and curious mouths.

2. Embrace the Chaos (and Organize It)

If you’ve ever found yourself questioning whether your living room is a room or a toy bomb testing site, it’s time to get organized. Implement systems that work for your family. Color-coded bins? Sure. Labels that only you can understand? Even better. A place for everything, and everything in its place, at least until the next playtime.

3. Food: You Are What You Eat (Sometimes)

Here’s the truth: feeding kids can feel like negotiating with tiny, irrational CEOs. One day they love broccoli, and the next, it’s the culinary equivalent of battery acid. Aim for balanced diets, sneak veggies into smoothies, and remember, sometimes dinner is three kinds of cereal—it’s about survival, folks.

4. Screen Time: The Digital Babysitter

We all dream of being the parent who doesn’t rely on screens. We also sometimes eat ice cream straight out of the container. Moderation is key. Use screen time wisely; educational apps and programs are great. Just make sure you’re mixing in real-world adventures. And yes, watching cartoons together totally counts as bonding.

5. Sleep: Not Just a Myth

Remember sleep? That thing you enjoyed before kids? It’s still important. Establish consistent bedtime routines to ensure everyone gets the rest they need. And yes, this might involve negotiating with a toddler about why they can’t sleep with a live goldfish. Be firm, but fair.

6. Mental Health Matters

Teach your kids that it’s okay to talk about their feelings, even the messy ones. Emotional wellbeing is just as important as physical health. Encourage open conversations, provide support, and when in doubt, hug it out. Or eat ice cream together—ice cream is surprisingly therapeutic.

7. The Great Outdoors (No Wi-Fi Included)

Nature is amazing therapy. Fresh air, exercise, and a bit of sunshine work wonders on cranky kids (and adults). Plan regular outdoor adventures; they can be as simple as a walk around the block or as ambitious as a camping trip. Just maybe check the weather first—mud baths are only fun in theory.

8. Read, Read, and Read Some More

Books are windows to new worlds. Read with your kids, to your kids, around your kids. Show them that reading is a doorway to adventure, knowledge, and dragons. Yes, dragons. Lots of dragons.

9. Teach Independence (Before They Move Out)

Start teaching independence early. Yes, it’s faster to tie their shoes for them, but teaching them to do it themselves builds confidence and skills. Plus, one day, they’ll make their own breakfast, and you’ll weep tears of joy.

10. Financial Fitness for the Family

Let’s talk money—but in a fun way (is there a fun way to talk about money? Sure!). Teaching kids the value of money and basic financial literacy can save them (and maybe even you) a lot of headaches later. Set up a family savings jar for something everyone wants, like a trip or a new game system. Discuss savings, budgeting, and why sometimes we can’t buy everything we want when we want it. Plus, playing banker can be a pretty fun way for kids to practice math skills!

11. The Power of Routines

Kids thrive on routines. They like knowing what to expect. It makes them feel safe and secure. Establishing regular routines for meals, homework, play, and bedtime can help keep the household from descending into chaos. Of course, a little chaos is fun, but let’s keep it controlled chaos, shall we?

12. Cultivate Curiosity

Encourage your kids to ask questions and explore their interests, even if it leads to messes and more questions. Set up little experiments, take them to museums, or just let them dismantle old electronics to see what’s inside (under supervision, of course). Curiosity builds critical thinking skills, not to mention it can lead to fascinating conversations at dinner.

13. Family Meetings: Not Just for Boardrooms

Hold regular family meetings to discuss what’s going on in everyone’s life. It’s a great way to catch up, plan family activities, and resolve conflicts. It teaches kids that their opinions matter and that they are an important part of the decision-making process. Plus, who doesn’t like to bang a little gavel and call a meeting to order?

14. Make Chores Fun (Yes, It’s Possible)

Chores don’t have to be a chore. Twist them into fun activities or games. Whoever finishes their tasks first gets to pick the movie on movie night. Create a chore chart with stickers for younger kids; they love stickers. For teens, tying chores to privileges can work wonders. It’s all about making responsibilities feel rewarding rather than just necessary.

15. Learn Something New Together

Take up a new hobby as a family. Whether it’s cooking, gardening, or even coding, learning something new together not only strengthens bonds but also keeps everyone’s brain cells firing. It sets an example for kids that learning is a lifelong adventure.

16. Don’t Skip Date Night

If you’re parenting with a partner, remember to set aside time for each other. Regular date nights can help keep your relationship strong amidst the whirlwind of parenting duties. It’s good for kids to see their parents taking care of their relationship. Plus, it’s a great excuse to dress up and eat something other than chicken nuggets.

17. Celebrate Small Victories

Caught your kid reading instead of watching TV? Did they share their toys without a fuss? Celebrate these small victories. It could be with an extra story at bedtime, their favorite snack, or just a big, enthusiastic hug. Positive reinforcement helps encourage behaviors you want to see more often.

18. Volunteer Together

Volunteering can teach compassion, empathy, and gratitude. Find local opportunities where even young children can participate. It could be something simple like helping at a food bank or organizing a neighborhood clean-up. It’s a powerful way to show them the impact they can have on the world.

19. Encourage Physical Activity

Get moving! Regular physical activity is vital for health, but it can also be a great stress reliever and mood booster. Whether it’s dance parties in the living room, family yoga sessions, or biking around the neighborhood, find fun ways to stay active together.

20. Trust Your Gut (It’s Smarter Than You Think)

Last but certainly not least, trust your instincts. You know your family better than anyone. If something feels off, explore that. If a particular parenting trend feels wrong for your tribe, skip it. Your gut is your secret parenting weapon. Use it wisely.

Parenting isn’t about perfection, but it is about raising humans who are healthy, happy, and kind enough to share their future expensive chocolates with you, and the above will certainly help with all three. Oh, and don’t forget to look after yourself too!


June 16, 2024


To celebrate the upcoming motion picture release of the third Downton Abbey film, Highclere Castle Gin is offering the chance to win an EXCLUSIVE trip for two to a private cocktail party at Highclere Castle, known to millions of fans around the world as the “real Downton Abbey.”

The winner will receive a three-day, two-night trip for two to Highclere Castle this September, complete with airfare, accommodations, ground transportation, a behind-the-scenes tour of Highclere Castle and the estate, and tickets to an invitation-only, VIP cocktail party hosted by Lord and Lady Carnarvon, residents of Highclere Castle.
Highclere Castle gained global fame as the iconic filming location for the hit TV series “Downton Abbey.” The show’s portrayal of lavish parties and the upstairs-downstairs dynamics cemented the castle’s reputation as a hub of aristocratic elegance.
Launched in 2019, Highclere Castle Gin is crafted from botanicals sourced from the estate of the Castle, including citrus from the Victorian-era orangery and lavender planted in the 9th century by the Bishop of Winchester. Highclere Castle Gin is now the most awarded premium gin in the world and is distilled in England’s oldest gin distillery. The 8th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon are co-founders of the brand, together with American spirits entrepreneur Adam von Gootkin.  
Residents of the United States, 21+ are invited to enter their email address for a chance to win the trip at the contest websitehttps://win.highclerecastlegin.com. One entry per email address. No purchase is necessary to win. Entries will be accepted May 29 – July 30, 2024. A random entry will be selected on July 31, 2024. Complete rules are available on the contest website.

How To Keep Your Home Organized And Clean In 2024

June 12, 2024

Keeping your home nice and organized is a goal that many households would want on their list for 2024. However, when you throw life into the mix, alongside work and children, you’ve got a home that often looks like a tip.

You struggle through to the end of the day and then you’ve got the mammoth task of tidying everything back up again. All of that effort for it to then get messy again. However, it’s part and parcel of life. There are ways to keep your home organized and clean though, which means you can hopefully lessen the amount of time you spend cleaning it!

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Make a checklist

First and foremost, make a checklist. This is vitally important when it comes to staying on top of the cleaning and general to-dos around the home.

If you haven’t got a list, start one now. It works best if you’ve got it on your phone and perhaps as a shared note or list so that other household members can access it.

With a checklist, you’re unlikely to forget anything and that makes your life and mental load a lot easier to manage. 

Get everyone on the cleaning schedule

Why should you be the only one cleaning the home when others live in it? It’s a little old-fashioned now to expect just one person in the home to clean, most of the time it’s the mother in the home.

With that being said, it’s good to get everyone involved in the cleaning schedule, especially if they’re able to pick up a mop or sponge. This will help make life a lot easier and less of a workload for the person who is usually doing everything.

Do a little bit at a time

Doing a little bit of cleaning at a time is going to make a big difference to your home’s appearance. It’ll also save you from having to do a big deep clean - which saves you time that can be spent with your family instead.

By doing a little bit each time, you’re going to keep your home clean and it won’t feel as though you’re doing too much work all at once. Every little bit, even if it’s five or ten minutes at a time, will make the difference you need.

Keep your home clutter-free

In order to keep your home organized, try to avoid cluttering it with things that you just don’t need. That means the less stuff you have in your home, the better. Think minimalism when it comes to maintaining your home’s belongings. 

Get the professionals in

When times get tough and you don’t have the time to clean, you might be in a position to hire help. Having a professional cleaner in to do all the cleaning will make a big change in how you deal with your home and how it looks. You won’t even need to lift a finger if they’re coming on a weekly basis.

These tips will keep your home clean and in good condition so that you can breath a little easier this year.