Lifestyle Pa Windsor

Make your Airbnb the place to be this Spring

Make your Airbnb the place to be this Spring

Since the company launched in 2009, Airbnb have grown from helping 21,000 guests a year to find a place to stay, to a staggering 6 million. The concept has been mutually popular with guests- looking for an authentic experience and homeowners who are pleased to earn an income on their spare space.

But how easy is it really to let out space in your home? As an experienced Lifestyle PA, I’m pleased to offer you my top tips and advice for getting started:

Getting set up

The Airbnb set-up process is simple: you decide what space in your home you will use to host- this can range from a single bedroom to a whole house; write a description and take some photos; set what dates the space is available; put your hosting live and await your bookings!

Clear the clutter… but keep the character

Whether you are a minimalist or a hoarder, the important thing to remember is that the space that you let needs to be clear of the clutter, but not lacking in character. Personalising the room or space by retaining things that make it special, such as decorative accessories or soft furnishings, yet clearing your personal items away is a great way to keep it feeling homely.

Think of the little touches

As the owner of your home, you will be the expert on what makes it special, whether it’s a sunny bench in the garden for morning coffee or the invigorating power shower you have in the en suite. Guests will be charmed by thoughtful touches that complement these experiences such as a ready-stocked cafetiere or deliciously-scented selection of shower goodies.

Meet and greet

Being a good host is about more than clean sheets and stylish decor (although that certainly helps). Guests always appreciate having a friendly face to meet them on their arrival and introduce them to the area. Having a ‘station’ of local tips such as good routes for walking, restaurants and places to visit, handily displayed will help to make their experience of your area an enjoyable one.

Setting the rules

Finally, utilising the ‘house rules‘ facility on the Airbnb website is a savvy way to ensure your peace of mind when accepting guests. You can add House Rules that guests must agree to before booking which help to set clear expectations of what you deem to be an acceptable use of your property. Happy host, happy guests!

For more information and advice on Airbnb, contact Maxine Concierge on:

07863 235 901 or email: maxine@mhconcierge.co.uk.

 

Posted by MHconcierge in Lifestyle
Managing stress for your wellbeing

Managing stress for your wellbeing

Stress. It’s one of those words that everyone understands the meaning of, but do not always know what to do about it. This November marks the start of International Stress Awareness week and presents an opportunity to reflect on your personal wellbeing and that of those around you.

 

Here are some top tips to help you to deal with stress along with strategies to support wellbeing and maintain a good work/life balance:

 

Get organised

This may not come as a surprise for anyone familiar with Maxine Concierge, but the adage of a ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ really holds true here. Having a busy schedule often means that things that aren’t imminently important get overlooked and end up being a snag down the line.

 

If you can get yourself into the habit of getting on top of small jobs immediately, or within a short timeline, you will be able to free up your thinking to focus on the more important things without distraction and minimise stress in the process.

 

Schedule time for you

Busy lives often come at the cost to oneself: just a few nights of working late or fitting in that extra deadline can throw a routine entirely. But the problem with this is that these ‘small’ details are important to wellbeing and productivity.

 

Without a break, it is impossible to recharge mentally and inevitably your enthusiasm, even for a job that you love, will wane. By scheduling time to exercise, go on date night, you are prioritising your wellbeing, which everything depends upon.

 

Don’t ‘crash diet’

Wellbeing is not a fad; it is a way of adapting your lifestyle so that you can feel happy and well in yourself alongside your workload. When making commitments to change things in your weekly schedule, take small steps at first.

 

For example, if you are keen to exercise more, start with an activity that fits into your day, such as a lunchtime walk or swim. By making small commitments to your wellbeing, you are setting the foundations for a better and more sustainable approach that you can build up from there.

 

For more information and advice on Lifestyle Management and organisation contact Maxine Concierge on 07863 235 901 or email: maxine@mhconcierge.co.uk.

 

Posted by MHconcierge in Lifestyle
Wedding abroad vs wedding UK

Wedding abroad vs wedding UK

 

Getting married is one of the biggest and happiest events in people’s lives. Months, if not years, go into the planning for that one perfect day where amazing memories are made to last a lifetime.

 

It’s only natural to want everything to be perfect on your wedding day: from the dress to the table decorations, there are decisions to be made everywhere. The setting of that one special day is one of the biggest considerations to make, so we have compiled this handy guide to help you decide whether a wedding abroad or closer to home is right for you:

 

5 good reasons to get married in the UK

 

  1. The amazing locations: say what you want about the climate abroad, you can’t beat some of these amazing UK locations. From Abbeys to beach settings, the history and beauty of our Isle makes it a strong contender.

 

  1. Face to face: do you like the idea of being able to pop into the venue and have a chat with the events organiser? Or being able to speak to all parties responsible for your big day face to face? Home wins on this count.

 

  1. Everyone included: you may have older relatives who struggle to travel or friends with young children, if you want everyone to be able to join in, planning locally is the way to go.

 

  1. Best dress: there are no luggage requirements to have to worry about for a local wedding, not to mention the prospect of losing important accessories on the luggage carousel!

 

  1. Environmentally friendly: getting married at home offers the opportunity to source locally, not to mention the carbon miles you save in avoiding air travel!

 

5 good reasons to get married abroad

 

  1. The weather: one of the things that encourages many to seek warmer climes is the glorious weather going abroad can offer. Sunset selfies? Sorted.

 

  1. Destinations: from exotic backdrops to romantic hillside churches a la Mamma Mia, the world is your oyster when planning your wedding abroad and the possibilities are endless…

 

  1. The research: so much wedding research has to be done on a computer or by trawling around fairs, but what if the research was actually a holiday? It could be the perfect excuse to take a minibreak, ahem, research your destination.

 

  1. Keeping it small: for some, the prospect of organising a big ‘do is all too much. The perks of doing it abroad, are that it gives the opportunity to keep your guest list to a select few.

 

  1. It’s for more than just the day! One of the certain benefits to getting married abroad is that you and your guests have a week together to celebrate and savour the occasion as well as the beautiful setting.

 

For more information and advice on Wedding Planning, both in the UK & abroad contact Maxine Concierge on 07863 235 901 or email: maxine@mhconcierge.co.uk.

 

Posted by MHconcierge in Lifestyle
Make your Airbnb the place to be this Autumn

Make your Airbnb the place to be this Autumn

Since the company launched in 2009, Airbnb have grown from helping 21,000 guests a year to find a place to stay, to a staggering 6 million. The concept has been mutually popular with guests- looking for an authentic experience and homeowners who are pleased to earn an income on their spare space.

But how easy is it really to let out space in your home? As an experienced Lifestyle PA, I’m pleased to offer you my top tips and advice for getting started:

Getting set up

The Airbnb set-up process is simple: you decide what space in your home you will use to host- this can range from a single bedroom to a whole house; write a description and take some photos; set what dates the space is available; put your hosting live and await your bookings!

Clear the clutter… but keep the character

Whether you are a minimalist or a hoarder, the important thing to remember is that the space that you let needs to be clear of the clutter, but not lacking in character. Personalising the room or space by retaining things that make it special, such as decorative accessories or soft furnishings, yet clearing your personal items away is a great way to keep it feeling homely.

Think of the little touches

As the owner of your home, you will be the expert on what makes it special, whether it’s a sunny bench in the garden for morning coffee or the invigorating power shower you have in the en suite. Guests will be charmed by thoughtful touches that complement these experiences such as a ready-stocked cafetiere or deliciously-scented selection of shower goodies.

Meet and greet

Being a good host is about more than clean sheets and stylish decor (although that certainly helps). Guests always appreciate having a friendly face to meet them on their arrival and introduce them to the area. Having a ‘station’ of local tips such as good routes for walking, restaurants and places to visit, handily displayed will help to make their experience of your area an enjoyable one.

Setting the rules

Finally, utilising the ‘house rules‘ facility on the Airbnb website is a savvy way to ensure your peace of mind when accepting guests. You can add House Rules that guests must agree to before booking which help to set clear expectations of what you deem to be an acceptable use of your property. Happy host, happy guests!

For more information and advice on Airbnb, contact Maxine Concierge on:

07863 235 901 or email: maxine@mhconcierge.co.uk.

 

Posted by MHconcierge in Lifestyle
How to manage busy workloads & life

How to manage busy workloads & life

Achieving a work-life balance is no easy feat, particularly if you are working full-time, are a small business owner or have family who need you. The good news is that it can be achieved: with the right planning, organisation and perhaps a little help in the right places.

 

Here are some top tips for managing workloads when life gets busy:

 

Prioritise your priorities

 

Prepare yourself for success early on in the week, or even month, by taking some time with your calendar, a notepad and diary to get your priorities in order. Consider how work and home-life priorities sit together side by side to build a schedule that is mindful of the needs of both.

 

Often setting things out on paper helps to get enough distance to effectively plan without feeling the pressure of being in the moment. For example: planning dinner with friends in advance means that you can build your schedule around this, rather than having to make a knee-jerk decision on the day.

 

Plan ahead of time

 

A stitch in time saves nine as they say, so why not be prepared for when work gets manic by planning ways to make life easier when it does? This could be a task as simple as buying or making meals at the weekend to keep in the freezer for busy weeks which will enable you to still eat healthily and with minimal effort.

 

Work smarter, not harder

 

According to advice from the Mental Health Foundation, we should be ‘working smarter, not longer‘. Giving yourself half an hour to do a focused task is often far more productive than spending half a day focusing on five. By ensuring that jobs are tightly prioritised, you can dedicate true attention to one thing at a time and time-draining distractions can be avoided.

 

Network

 

Having a successful network of contacts and colleagues around you breeds success, but how can you nurture your network when you are so busy, you barely have time for lunch?

 

Smart ways to network, even when you are super busy can be as simple as sharing someone’s blog on social media platforms or taking the time to pen a quick, but genuine response email to sustain a working relationship.

 

If in doubt: delegate!

 

Too busy to walk the dog? Don’t have time to clean the house, let alone pick up the dry cleaning? Often, delegating these sorts of tasks to professionals can lift a mental weight as well as relieve your packed-out schedule.

 

Even just having the numbers of professionals you can call on in your diary when you have an intense workload can feel like a safety net if things start to slide. Knowing that things can be back on track with one phone call will help to destress your day.

 

For more information on our friendly and professional Lifestyle Management service, contact Maxine concierge on:

07863 235 901 or

email: maxine@mhconcierge.co.uk.

Posted by MHconcierge in Lifestyle
Wardrobe refresh

Wardrobe refresh

Giving your wardrobe a well-earned makeover

So Spring has finally sprung! Those sunny days which saw half the nation packing their winter clothes away, dusting off those shorts and pulling out those slightly tight summer tops may seem like a distant memory but don’t despair!

Although the winter breeze is throwing our hair styles off balance, every wardrobe is always in need of a well-earned makeover and what better time than to start when the rain pelts against your window! With the long-awaited bank holidays coming up, put a spring in your rail of clothes and let’s hit the next batch of sunny days in style!

Wardrobe health check

But why the need for a declutter and a refresh? Is it really necessary? The simple answer is yes it is! Not only does it give you chance to revaluate what you have hanging up, but gives insight into what needs updating, changing or even donating to your local charity shop.

From bold shades to comfy loafers, spring fashion is setting the way for striking clothes that sit comfortably against our bodies as well as our feet!

Six tip lowdown

So dig deep and let’s talk you through the top six tips when revamping your clothing collection:

Modify & stylize old garments: have an old dress, t-shirt or pair of jeans? Turn up the sleeves of the top, make cut off’s in the thighs of the jeans and accessorize the dress with a bold coloured belt or necklace. Upcycling made easy!

High five to tie-dye: 90’s must have but not completely archaic! Trying experimenting with dyes and elastic bands on last year’s top which you love but don’t want to discard due to that persistent wine stain! Trusted top kept, redesign complete and all through a simple jar of dye!

PJ’s into clothes: Have an overgrown t-shirt or knee length top that almost looks too good to be PJ’s? Don’t stop at the thought, try it on with a curtain rope wrapped around the middle. Hike up one side of the top and sew a running stitch about 10cm long. Believe me, it looks more stylish than you think!

Faded & tired: If the garment is beyond repair of upcycle capabilities, it is time to donate! Donate everything that you know you will no longer wear, but don’t forget to save the pants for the actual bin!

Trusted cardies: Don’t discard all those winter clothes just yet. Cardigans and jumpers come into use at any time of the year. Instead, why not keep a handful of trusted favourites in the wardrobe or on the top shelf and store the rest in the attic for our actual winter season!

List-making: Finally, once you have sifted through your current collection, make a list of what is needed and where you could get them from. This gives you focus when shopping especially if you are on a budget!

Can’t face doing this exercise alone? Have no fear, clothes are my ‘thing’ especially other peoples! There is nothing I love more than going through my client’s wardrobes, helping you organize, revamp and revitalise. I can even take your charity items to the shop giving you time to relax!

If you’d like help revamping your wardrobe, boosting your confidence and that opportunity for a well-earned treat, email me at Maxine@mhconcierge.co.uk or call 07863 235 901 and I’d love to bring fun to your door, hanger by hanger!

Posted by MHconcierge in Lifestyle
Fabulous 40: celebrations and bucket lists

Fabulous 40: celebrations and bucket lists

Turning 40 is a little bit like New Year’s Eve: the anticipation, the excitement, the resolutions and the chance to reflect on all of the experiences that have made up the past year (or 40!). Most importantly, a time to celebrate the achievements of all those years and have a suitably decadent party to boot!

As time ticks towards the ‘big’ day, I’m surrounded by a mix of emotions: on the one hand I’m mourning for the 30s I’m leaving behind; the fact that I can’t pass for the early 30-something and being, quite frankly, terrified about having officially reached middle age. On the other I’m glad about what I have to look forward to, the challenges and the opportunities that the next decade will bring.

Whether you believe that 40 is the new 30 or that age is just a number, a positive approach is just the tonic for any birthday woes. I believe that you have to both celebrate your achievements and have exciting things to look forward to.

So, in true organiser mode, I have compiled a list of the top ten things I am proud of and happy about:

  • I’m healthy and happy
  • I am much more confident now than at any other time in my life
  • Being fitter in my soon-to-be 40s than in my 20s!
  • Having two amazing boys
  • I have successfully ran a business for 14 years (and set up a new one whilst managing two children!)
  • Marrying my lovely spouse
  • Buying my first home when I was 21
  • Having a fantastic set of friends
  • Retaking my Pilates qualification
  • Setting up a fitness studio

As I mentioned earlier in my manifesto of positivity, I think it’s important to have exciting things to look forward to at any point in your life, but particularly when nearing your 40th birthday!

As Winston Churchill once said ‘a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty’. With this in mind, I started to think about constructing a bucket list. I think it’s important to look at a range of ideas: both long and short term to plan your goals effectively. The key is that it doesn’t have to be anything crazy: they can be simple, inexpensive or as big as you like!

Here are my own top 10 ideas for my bucket list:

Long term bucket list (within 3 – 10 years)

  • Visit my friend in New Zealand
  • Take the kids to Florida
  • Visit South America
  • Set up a fitness studio from home

 

Short term bucket list (within 0-3 years)

  • Start the kitchen-diner refurb
  • Bell tent experience in Cornwall
  • Have an adventure jumping in a cave in Wales
  • Start teaching Pilates courses
  • Explore more at the weekend with the kids: both locally and further afield
  • Visit Cape Town

If you need a helping hand thinking of ideas and making them happen please get in touch with Maxine on:

07863 235 901

maxine@mhconcierge.co.uk

www.mhconcierge.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Posted by MHconcierge in Lifestyle
Best and worst proposals

Best and worst proposals

It should be a prelude to one of the best days of your life, but some proposal experiences have been known to get off to a bit of a shaky start! From red carpets and roses to wet-weather romance, there are proposal stories that will warm your cockles or make your hair stand on end.

In our Spring wedding special blog, MC Concierge takes a look at the very best and worst proposals we could find!

The post-it note

Whilst possibly not the most romantic, this proposal was possibly one of the most thoughtful for a lady who hated being put on the spot. The hallway table was a place where they often left little household notes such as ‘can you get milk’ to each other in the morning. However, on this day it was ‘Will you marry me? Think about it…’

When he arrived home in the evening, the simple answer was waiting on a post-it: ‘yes!’.

 

The thoughtful treasure hunt

After returning home from work late one evening, Rachel found a note on the door with the first clue, she worked her way around the house finding gifts and notes that represented the years they had been together and their favourite moments.

The final note asked her to call a mystery number and the voice on the other end directed her to head downstairs where her boyfriend was waiting on one knee.

The candlelit romance that didn’t quite go to plan

When Jessye was running some last-minute errands on a rainy Christmas Eve, her partner romantically filled the house with votive candles and rose petals. But when she got home, he was nowhere to be found.

She waited immobile in the doorway, holding her gym bags and shopping- ‘when he finally walked into the room, he literally had to instruct me to close the door and drop my bags- I was in such a state of shock!’ she recalls.

 

Tips for getting it right

 

  • The most important ingredients to remember are to make it unique and personal- the rest will follow.
  • It’s normal to be nervous at life-changing moments like these but try to remember that the audience of one – your partner – is the only audience that really matters.
  • If you are planning something precise, it’s best to be organised: for example, if your dream is to propose on a moonlit shore- check your tide tables!
  • Take your time to consider some special touches that are meaningful- is there a significant place you could visit, such as your first date? Or perhaps a special dish you could prepare that echoes a special time you have had together?
  • Most importantly, take the time to enjoy your happy news together, before sharing it with family or social media- this is your special moment as a couple and deserves to be relished!

 

For more information on getting your proposal just right, contact Maxine on 07863 235 901 or maxine@mhconcierge.co.uk.

 

 

Posted by MHconcierge in Lifestyle
Making goals – Bucket list – not New Year resolutions

Making goals – Bucket list – not New Year resolutions

 

It’s the same for many of us at the start of each New Year: on the first day of January, with tender heads & over-indulged bodies, we solemnly swear a variety of oaths to ourselves.

From doing more exercise to taking up a new hobby, resolutions are all well and good, but did you know that half of us are not confident that they will stick to the resolutions set for themselves? It seems that a new approach might be the answer, behold we herald: the Bucket List!

What’s a Bucket List?

From waking up to the Northern lights to swimming with dolphins, everyone has goals and dreams that they would like to achieve before they die.

In fact, many of us carry these ‘bucket lists’ with us mentally every day, dreaming of all of the amazing experiences we would like to have, the sights we wish to see and the goals we wish to achieve.

However, here lies the important distinction between bucket-listing and dreaming: the latter can remain inside one’s head, unfulfilled, but never-the-less hoped for; the former is a written list that gives accountability and the real chance of fulfilment.

 

Three top tips for making a bucket list

  1. Make it aspirational

Sure, it’s easy to set everyday goals like ‘going on holiday in the summer’, but your bucket list shouldn’t be a place where are constrained by the everyday. A bucket list 

is your opportunity to use your imagination, perhaps even researching dreams that you never even knew were a possibility.

After all, who wants a dull obituary? A top tip is to include a wide variety of goals, from a visit to a place that holds special memories to visiting Lapland, including a range of goals will give depth and meaningfulness to your ultimate list.

  1. Find a place to store it

One of the best things about writing your goals and dreams down in one place is that it gives your goals accountability. However, if you then stow the list on the top of the wardrobe where you might come across it in ten months’ time, it won’t be of much use!

Decide on a place to keep your list: be it online, in a diary or even on the fridge- just ensure it is in a visible place where you can check back and update your progress.

  1. Setting deadlines

So you may have written down your goals and carefully stored them, but… now what? It’s time to consider the realities of how to achieve your goals and that means getting organised. Part of the challenge is fitting highly aspirational goals into everyday life, but here’s where long and short-term deadlines are essential.

For example, if you are desperate to see the Sakura (spring cherry blossom) in Japan and it’s January, you may have some planning ahead and budgeting to do. On the other hand, if you’d like to go on a whiskey tour of Scotland, this might be just the time to start planning your journey.

Whatever your goals, now is a great place to start. Happy listing!

 For more information on practical ways to conserve your time and reach your goals, contact Maxine on 07863 235 901 maxine@mhconcierge.co.uk.

Posted by MHconcierge in Lifestyle
Back to school feeling – dread or delight?

Back to school feeling – dread or delight?

Why is it, as adults, some of us get that ‘back to school feeling’? The change of season and that crisp autumnal-chill in the morning makes us realise the summer is finally over. Light summer nights are coming to an end; darkness of winter will soon be upon us. Don’t despair! Think of it as a positive. Season change is great opportunity to get organised, set yourself goals and challenges similar to January; why wait until the New Year to face things head on?

Whilst on holiday, I read a book called ‘Eat that Frog’ by Brian Tracey. It teaches you how to face your biggest tasks (those you’ve been procrastinating over for a while). The book describes this as your biggest ‘ugliest frog’. I have been following this approach to my work and it has made a difference in my productivity and assertiveness. My biggest ‘frog’ was actually this blog! Tackle your biggest task first, do not do tasks that have little impact on your day or week and do not get distracted by technology. This method makes you feel more motivated and therefore you achieve great results. If you’re finding it tough to beat the holiday blues and get back into the swing of things, take a look at the guide below.

How to set and achieve goals…

  1. Write a list of all the things you’d like to achieve by a certain point in time. Start with something that will take a few weeks or months at first.

  2. Write down all the steps you need to take to achieve your goal.

  3. Write down all the tasks that are stopping you achieving your goal.

  4. Look at that list and identify things that make little impact or are low down on the list in helping you achieve your goal. What has the least impact? Does it really matter if you do not do a particular task for a few months or ever?

  5. Re-look at Review/Revisit (might be better than re-look) the important tasks.

  6. Make a daily, weekly and monthly list of the important tasks (things that will enable you to reach your goals).

  7. What is your biggest and most unpleasant task? Start with this first or ‘chip away’ at it breaking it down into smaller tasks like a piece of cheese; one bit at a time!

  8. Always start your day with your biggest task (your biggest, ugliest ‘frog’) once this is achieved you will be naturally motivated to do more.

  9. Don’t be a slave to technology; switch off your phone. Once you’re doing a task stick with it and complete it. Do not be tempted to check messages or emails; they will still be there in an hour. This distracts, and you will not complete you biggest task as you will be sidetracked.

September is the ideal time to declutter or have an ‘Autumn Blitz’. Focus on one thing at a time. For example: the kitchen – what is the worst cupboard? Start with that, then move to the next cupboard and then change rooms. It’s a great time to pack away those summer clothes and pull out those snug jumpers or change to a thicker duvet. Don’t forget to keep a few summer items out for those out-of-season days – we all love in autumn!

If you’d like help to alleviate your stress-levels and reduce your busy agenda, freeing up time for yourself, hobbies and people that matter the most Contact Maxine on:

07863 235 901 maxine@mhconcierge.co.uk and we can have a look at what your ‘biggest ugliest frog’ is and make a plan to tackle it together one day at a time!

Posted by MHconcierge in Lifestyle