Tag Archives: Tips

Top Tips For Raising Intercultural Families In Spain ⋆ Madrid Metropolitan

Top Tips For Raising Intercultural Families In Spain ⋆ Madrid Metropolitan

Madrid resident and expat coach Denise Suarez gives readers of the Madrid Metropolitan some top tips for raising intercultural families

What is an intercultural family? With all the differences our family has, how can we raise our children to thrive?

If you’re reading this article, then chances are you are part of an intercultural family. An intercultural family can be:

  • A family where the parents come from different cultures.
  • A family where the parents come from the same culture, and are living in a different one.
  • A family where the parents come from the same culture, are living in the same one, and have spent time elsewhere that they also identify with another culture.

There’s no doubt that there are many, incredible benefits when it comes to raising an intercultural family. And with globalization, it won’t be surprising if intercultural families soon become the norm all over the world.

However, intercultural families also have their share of difficulties. Miscommunication, misunderstandings, missing your family… Raising an intercultural family can sometimes feel lonely and frustrating.

Here are some tips to help your intercultural family thrive.

  1. Make the implicit, explicit.

Be aware of the cultures you identify with and what their core values are. Have a conversation with your partner about this. Assume nothing and define everything. Both of you might agree that “family” is very important, but have different ideas of what that looks like. To one person, it may mean spending lots of quality time together, while to another it may mean working a lot in order to be able to pay for everything the family needs and desires.

Once you are clear on the features of the cultures you identify with, decide in advance where you want to be aligned with them. In what ways do you want your family to be a part of this culture? Also decide which aspects you will be working against these cultures. How would you like your family to not continue certain traditions? For example, one of the cultures my family identifies with is the Spanish one. One way I want my family to fit in with this culture is how kids are welcome everywhere. One way I don’t want them to fit in is their relaxed view of time.

  1. Know your non-negotiables.

When you know the ways you’ll be working against certain cultures, the next step is to think about how they may come up in your life. Perhaps you’ve decided that you want to raise a child who is able to listen to their body and stop eating when they’re full, not when their plate is empty; but Grandma insists that your child finishes all their food. How will you respond?

This depends on your non-negotiables. Decide in advance what they are for you, and where you are willing to be more flexible; so that you do what you want to do, not what you think you should do. Once you know your hard boundaries, you can plan how to respond when they are crossed. This allows you to be more intentional with what you want to teach your child. Then, when you’re stuck between teaching your child to respect elders (following Grandma) or eat intuitively (stop eating when full), you know exactly how you want to respond.

  1. Get on the same page as your partner.

When it comes parenting with a partner, differences come up. Add in culture, and there may be explosions. One thing to keep in mind when speaking with your parent is that everyone’s experiences are valid. One is not wrong, while the other right. They’re just different.

When having these conversations, begin with your partner’s point of view. See what values and needs they have behind what they’re saying and sharing. Let’s say you are asking them to spend less time with work and more time with the kids. Why do you think it’s so important for them to spend that time in work? Perhaps they think that they contribute more to the family by working than by being with the kids.

Then, share your own perspective. Say “I-statements” that focus on how you think and feel, not what you think your partner should think, feel or do. Instead of saying “I think you should spend more time with the kids,” focus on yourself: “When I am alone with the kids in the afternoon, I feel overwhelmed and would like time to myself.”

Together, decide on solutions that work for everyone in the family, even though they might not be what we expected. When it comes to parenting, a lot of us think that our partner has to be doing the exact same thing as us, lest our kids get confused. It’s okay to do things differently. When we are clear on our long-term goals and family values, we can trust in our partners, and in ourselves, that we are all moving toward the same direction.

Have a parenting problem you’d like some perspective on? I will be back here every issue to answer your parenting questions. Send them over to info@denisesuarez.com, and I will help you find the solution that works for your family.

Like what you read and want guidance on how you can apply it to your family? Send me an email at info@denisesuarez.com to schedule a free discovery call. Let’s talk about what’s going on in your family now, what you want and how you can make it happen.


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Race-by-race tips and preview for Coffs Harbour on Monday

Race-by-race tips and preview for Coffs Harbour on Monday

Track likely soft 7 and rail true

Race 1 CLASS 2 HCP (800m)

Tricky and even opener with a few resuming, and two of them can fight it out. Local four-year-old 3. Moonhawk returns without publicly trialling, but comes to hand quickly and stable has found a suitable race.

Racing returns to Coffs Harbour with a seven-race card.

Racing returns to Coffs Harbour with a seven-race card.Credit:Jenny Evans

Dangers: Rival home four-year-old 2. Venusian is not a known fresh performer, but draws well with a claim, and has a liking for soft ground. Keep safe four-year-old 1. Qadira Start who will find this a lot easier than a Highway, especially back to this short course where she can utilise her early speed.
How to play it: Moonhawk to win
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 2 MAIDEN HCP (1400m)


Smallish field again for the maidens, and keen on home four-year-old 1. All Too Holy breaking through at his fourth start. Hit the line from a long way back here last time, and suitably placed up in trip from a softer draw.
Dangers: Local three-year-old 2. Full Press has had a little freshen-up since working home here three weeks back over a little further. Draws to park right behind the speed, with blinkers going on. Honest 5. Flying Euros has been up for a long time and seems to always find one or two better, but gets in well at the weights.
How to play it: All Too Holy to win
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 3 CLASS 2 HCP (1200m)

Local topweight 1. A Million Dreams can make it two from his last three coming back a shade in trip. Drove late to miss by a head here three weeks back, and just starting to sneak back down in the weights.
Dangers: Gold Coast-based three-year-old 4. Apache Blue made a flying start winning the first two on heavy tracks before outclassed in much tougher grade at Doomben. Back to where he belongs, and importantly carries that same metropolitan weight after the rider’s claim. Improving Taree filly 6. Austeja led all the way to romp in her maiden at Scone in race record time, and senior country hoop jumps aboard here. Watch the betting on provincial mare 2. Divine Approach who has been inconsistent this prep, but draws well and still capable of rattling off a sharp final 400m.
How to play it: A Million Dreams to win and trifecta 1,4/1,4,6/1,2,4,6
Odds and Evens: Split

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8 Tips For Online Shopping With The Usage of Coupons And Discount Codes

8 Tips For Online Shopping With The Usage of Coupons And Discount Codes

The effective usage of deals and coupons has become very much popular across the globe which is the main reason that many individuals are interested to purchase the best coupons at the time of indulging in online shopping. A few years back this concept was not very much popular among people but nowadays this has become the most important thing to be taken into consideration at the time of indulging in online shopping. Nowadays, consumers devote a specific time to coupon clipping so that they can get the best possible deals and offers on several kinds of online platforms which will ultimately help them save a lot of money and effort in the whole process. Following are some of the very basic tips for customers at the time of choosing the coupons for indulging in online shopping in the whole process:

  • People need to check the coupon database at the time of buying: Checking out the coupon database is very much important for people to make sure that they choose the best one from all the available options. This is considered to be one step further than comparing the deals with each other and ensuring that organizations always have a rank list depending upon the best of the deals and the budget preferences which they have entered in the search engine. This is considered to be the easiest aspect of finding the coupon on the internet because there are multiple websites that facilitates people in this whole process.


  • It is important for the people to pay proper attention to the timing aspect: Working on the calendar and sitting on the reminders of the phone is also very much important for the people to get the best possible opportunities of grabbing the best of the online deals and saving a lot of money as well as time. One must divide the whole month into three time periods which are the beginning, middle and end of the month. There are several kinds of platforms that provide the people with beginning deals and on the other hand, there are some of the platforms which provide the people with deals on the 14th and 16th of every month orthe 28th of every month. Hence, having a clear-cut idea about all these kinds of things is further very much important for the people to grab the best possible offers all the time.


  • Checking out the competition is further important: Instead of visiting the different multiple websites for searching the items which people are looking for, one must always begin the whole process by searching the visiting coupon websites so that one can have the best possible access to top-notch quality deals and offers on specific kinds of brands which will further enhance the affordability aspect very easily and efficiently.


  • Paying attention to expiry dates is also important: It is further very much important for the people to be very much aware of the validity period and expiry dates of the coupons so that the best possible purchasing decisions are made regarding the discount coupons and other things. Many of the stores also provide the people with the right to expire the coupon codes earlier than the anticipated periods and without much prior notice which is because of the limited supply or increase demand or in the combination with both things. Hence, it is very important on the behalf of users to react very quickly on all these kinds of things if they are interested so that they can get the best possible deals very easily because the same deals will not be available the very next day. Hence, there are different kinds of online platforms that update coupons daily so that people can get the best possible deals all the time and grab the best possible offers.


  • One must also go beyond Google.com: Going beyond Google.com is one of the best possible decisions which any of the individuals can make so that they can search for the best possible coupons all the time. Depending on different kinds of coupon deal websites is also very much important so that people can directly contact the sellers and can have proper access to the exclusive coupons which are not available on the Google search engines. This will also allow the consumers to discover new places which they might not have considered before, and this will provide them with multiple advantages in the long run very easily.


  • It is important to stack the codes: Many of the retailers also allow individuals to use more than one coupon or promo code on the same offer which will further provide them with increased savings in the long run. Hence, the individuals should stack the codes and indulge in free shipping codes or other promotional offers so that savings can be maximized, and the best possible deals are grabbed.


  • It is important to stock up so that increased savings are there: Purchasing more will always qualify the people to get a better value coupon. Hence, combining the shopping-related things and buying multiple items from the same organization will always allow the people to improve their limits and indulge in the best of the savings all the time so that top-notch quality decisions are always made.


  • It is important to never pay for the codes: One must always depend upon the websites which are very much trustworthy. There are different kinds of websites that are promotional code aggregators which further make sure that there is no requirement of signing up for the codes. These kinds of coupons are created specifically for the people so that they can save a lot of money and do not cause any cost for the people in the whole process.

Hence, it is very important for people to buy coupons online so that people can be very much confident and can indulge in their favorite shopping.


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Productivity tips for busy professionals in pandemic times – Commentary

I often get asked how I can run Webnames.ca as its CEO, serve on multiple boards, speak at 30-plus events a year, act as a mentor, take part in philanthropic and fundraising activities and still find time to write columns.

And yes, I do have school-aged kids, which means drop-offs, pickups and school meetings. Part of my solution has been sleeping less than the average person, which I would not recommend unless that is your natural sleep pattern. There are other time-management tactics I’ve used for much of my life, often without putting too much thought into them, and I’d like to share those with all of you.

1) Delegate and resist the urge to micromanage. My expertise is in running the business. Hiring the best people to fill key roles, letting them be leaders and enabling them to excel in what they do without standing in the way is the approach that has served me well and helped me to be a better CEO.

2) Spend time on the right activities. Each activity you take on should be worthy of your time. Does it further your business in some way? Does it further your learning or that of your team? Does it bring value to the greater good or affect the community in a positive way?

3) Work during off hours. As a life-long insomniac, I’ve stopped fighting late night or early morning tossing and turning and used this to my advantage. Some of my most productive hours are between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. or 10 p.m. and midnight. There are no incoming emails, phone calls or people around to distract me. These are often the best times to do strategic or deep thinking or creative work such as writing.

4) Schedule shorter meetings. Rather than scheduling 30-minute meetings, make them 20. Instead of one-hour meetings, make them 45 minutes. You’d be surprised how those extra 10 and 15 minutes add up each day. Use them wisely.

5) Ensure that meetings have clear agendas. Preparation is the key to short and productive meetings. Draft agendas for every meeting in your day and invite your colleagues to plan and review meeting agendas prior to the scheduled time.

6) Schedule everything. I allocate blocks of time for specific tasks that could potentially take a lot longer, such as writing or putting a presentation together. As a perfectionist, I could write and rewrite an article and over think a presentation and re-do slides and speaking notes for days. But if I allocate a reasonable block of time and schedule it in my calendar, I force myself to concentrate and complete that task and then move on.

7) Touch it once principle. Envelopes come in the mail and are opened, dealt with and filed immediately. Emails and other communications are the same. If I don’t have time to deal with something right away because I have other priorities scheduled, I set time in my calendar to complete the task.

8) To-do list. I have a running to-do list for medium- and longer-term tasks. Apps like Todoist help with scheduling tasks according to priorities, sub-tasks, organizing recurring tasks and more.

9) Limit social media use. I’ve cut back on reading or posting on most social media platforms other than LinkedIn. Choose the topics and causes that mean the most to you, choose a platform where your audience is most engaged and deepen those conversations rather than dilute your time across too many platforms.

10) Fight spam. According to numerous reports, spam and phishing increased by 50% month-on-month in 2020’s first quarter as COVID-19 spread around the world. If you use a Mac, make sure you enable junk mail filtering under mail preferences. Similar filtering is available on Outlook.

11) Integrate exercise into your day. Prior to COVID, I would work out with my trainer at 5 a.m. and get my exercise out of the way. But I do not have the same level of discipline working out at home on my own. That is where my treadmill desk and hand weights come in. Hand weights are also great to use while watching webinars. It’s amazing how many squats and lunges you can do during a 40-minute webinar.

An often overlooked but critically important factor to professional success is mental health. Ensure that you get to balance work with play and leave enough time in your week to decompress and pursue a hobby, go for a hike or just indulge in entertainment. After all, productivity is not the end goal but rather a means to achieving professional success and purposeful impact in all that we wish to accomplish. •

Cybele Negris (cybele@webnames.ca) is president, CEO and co-founder of Webnames.ca, Canada’s original .CA registrar.


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Five tips for virtual team productivity

Five tips for virtual team productivity

Virtual teams have the potential to be far more productive than teams that are located in the same physical office. But in order for that to happen, you have to get the fundamentals in order.

Multiply the Benefits of Remote Work

Prior to the pandemic, there was this assumption that the work-from-home setup was prone to abuse. But if this new remote work movement has shown us anything, it’s that sleeping in, sweatpants, mid-day video game sessions, and hangouts with friends are not staples of working from home. In fact, research suggests that remote workers may actually be more productive. 

According to a two-year study of 500 employees at a massive organization, remote work actually improves employee productivity by an astounding 13 percent. Furthermore, it cuts attrition in half and saves the company roughly $2,000 per employee on rent alone. 

In other words, remote employees are already productive. The bigger challenge is figuring out how to make remote teams productive. And if you can learn how to unlock this secret, exciting things will happen. Here are a few tips:

  1. Get Specific With Expectations 

Your team needs to know what your expectations are for them (as individuals and as a collective group). Don’t assume that anything goes unsaid. Be clear and overt – over-communicate everything. This includes specific instructions and expectations for:

  • How deadlines are communicated

  • Proper chain of command

  • Availability and time off

  • Etiquette and dress code for Zoom meetings

  • Preferred communication platforms and tools

  • Etc.

Communicating all of these ideas will feel like overkill, but the goal is to make sure everyone understands the importance of being on the same page. Take this aspect seriously!

  1. Create a Goal System

This suggestion goes hand-in-hand with the previous one. If you want to generate meaningful results with a virtual team, it’s helpful to implement an Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) system to create alignment and encourage engagement around measurable results.

In this system, objectives are your desired goals. Key results are the tangible measurements you use to track progress towards these goals. John Doerr, one of the founding fathers of the OKR movement, encourages team leads to put it into the following framework: “I will (Objective) as measured by (this set of Key Results).”

While there’s too much to go into in this article, you should know that OKRs are commonly used by companies like Walmart, Google, ING Bank, and Spotify. You can learn more about specific ways to develop an OKR system with this resource.

  1. Use the Right File Storage Solution

Productive remote teams are always organized teams. Files, documents, and data must be available with just a few keystrokes; otherwise, processes get bogged down and team members lose focus of what they should really be doing.

Remote teams are highly encouraged to build centralized workspaces through cloud-based project management software. A solution like this will keep your team organized and on track. Not only that, but it creates an anchoring effect in a work environment that can easily feel fragmented.

  1. Gather Feedback

If you aren’t careful, you can easily end up with a communication overload situation where employees feel as if they’re drowning in information and rules. To prevent your team from feeling like a one-way street, you should encourage feedback. And, perhaps most importantly, act on the feedback when it’s helpful.

By acting on feedback, you show a degree of respect for your employees. They recognize that you see them as valuable people, not just a means to an end. This may require totally revamping your feedback loops to prioritize inputs from everyone. 

  1. Ensure Accountability

One of the bigger challenges with virtual teams is an inability to directly monitor everything employees are doing. In one sense, this creates healthy trust and separation. In another sense, it leaves the door open for issues to go unmanaged. 

It’s wise to implement a system of accountability that provides oversight without creating a “Big Brother” effect. One way to do this is to encourage peer-to-peer accountability. Pair up employees and have them check in on each other daily. These reports then get uploaded to a specific location on your project management system for all to see.

Adding it All Up

If you can tap into the core of virtual team productivity, you’ll discover unlimited potential and opportunities for new business growth. Start with the techniques discussed above, and then look for business-specific applications that will take your company to the next level in this new world of remote work!

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Hamilton Accies’ Charlie Trafford tips Shaun Rooney for Scotland call-up

Hamilton Accies’ Charlie Trafford tips Shaun Rooney for Scotland call-up

Hamilton’s Charlie Trafford has backed calls for Shaun Rooney to be handed a chance in Steve Clarke’s next Scotland squad.

Rooney scored the winner in St Johnstone’s League Cup triumph against Livingston after hitting the back of the net in both the quarter and semi-finals.

Shaun Rooney has been tipped for a Scotland call-up

Accies midfielder Trafford believes his former teammate deserves an opportunity to impress at right-back.

He said: “If he keeps playing the way he is then why not? It’s a position in the national team that needs a bit more depth.

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“If he keeps scoring and playing the way that he is then, why not?

The Canadian midfielder was teammates with Rooney and Jamie McCart during his three-year spell at Inverness Caledonian Thistle

Charlie Trafford celebrating a goal during his spell at Inverness

Trafford formed a close relationship with the St Johnstone pair during their time in the Highlands and he joked that he’d been encouraging their celebrations after Sunday’s cup win.

The 28 year-old said: “I hope that they’ve been out celebrating. I’ve been sending their star man Shaun Rooney crates of beer all week so hopefully he’s getting through those.”

“We spent a couple of years together up at Inverness. I’m delighted for him and Jamie, who I’m close with, but it’ll be all business when I see them on Wednesday.

“Until them I’m happy for them because a boy like Rooney deserves it.”

The clash against St Johnstone is Hamilton’s first game in ten days since the 2-0 defeat to Hibernian.

Accies entered that clash in good form and started the game in the ascendancy before Jamie Hamilton was dismissed after just 12 minutes.

Hamilton’s red card was successfully rescinded on appeal and Trafford hopes to kick on from that frustration against the Saints.

He said: “We look at every game as a chance to pick up points. We are in a decent run of form minus the disappointing result last time against Hibs.

“There was a bit of controversy and it was disappointing after the red card.

“We are really excited to get going again because we feel like we have a really good chance.

“Hopefully we can get going and pick up some really big points in the next few weeks.”

Hamilton can leapfrog relegation rivals Ross County and Kilmarnock into tenth place tomorrow night with a win.

Accies have nine games left this season and Trafford is fully aware that every match carries huge importance in their bid to maintain their top-flight status.

He added: “It’s a huge game. We know that regardless of what happens today there are still lots of games to play.

“The bottom positions are switching up and down so quickly. We don’t ever get ahead of ourselves and we don’t ever get disappointed which is one of the strengths of the groups – through injuries and red cards, we manage to keep levels heads.

“But at the same time when you see the table and you have a chance to jump out the relegation spots, it’s a big incentive. It’s an exciting time but we feel it’s a game that we can win.”

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Tips You Should Consider Before Buying Wedding Cakes !!

Tips You Should Consider Before Buying Wedding Cakes !!

Buying Wedding Cakes

Many couples choose a wedding cake designer or bakery based upon the recommendation of family or friends. You are lucky enough to have that one local wedding cake designer that everyone talks about. If, however, you’re not lucky to be in either of these positions, we suggest that you ask your caterer or banquet facility manager for recommendations, rely upon the advice of a wedding planner, or focus some attention on local bakers at one or more of the Chicago bridal shows you’re sure to attend.

# Before meeting with a few select cake designers and/or online cake delivery in Delhi, you should first have a style or type of cake in mind based upon the colors or theme of your wedding. If you’ve seen pictures of cakes that you like in magazines, by all means, plan to bring them with you. If you’ll be using a cake top, purchase it in advance and plan to bring it with you, as well. Lastly, you should have a firm budget that accommodates not only your cake and any desserts or pastries you plan to order but all additional delivery and/or set-up fees that will be charged.

# When you do meet with a designer or baker, don’t be afraid to ask questions. He or she will not be offended if you ask what ingredients will be used to make your cake, or if it will be made fresh only hours before your event or ready-made and frozen. You’ll also want to know if your cake’s decorations will be edible and, of the cake styles, they show you, what flavors and fillings are available for each. Ask to see pictures of cakes from recent weddings, for recommendations from other couples for whom they provided services, and to taste samples of various cakes. Reputable cake designers and bakeries that specialise in wedding cakes and desserts or pastries will happily arrange a cake tasting for you and your fiance based on your likes and dislikes.

# You may wonder what makes it more expensive than other types of bakery products. First of all, they are a specialty item that is made to order. Anything that is customized is going to cost more because it will take more time than something that is a standard issue. Many individual decisions go into its creation. One of the first things to decide on is the size and shape.

# Typical wedding cakes tend to be round, but square layers are becoming more popular, as are ovals and heart shapes. Specialty shapes will cost more because of the need to use specialized pans. Once you decide on the shape, you move on to the size. If you are going to be serving the cake to the guests at the wedding, you will need to know how many guests are invited. This will help you to know the size and number of layers you will require. The most popular uses three layers, beginning with a 14″, topped by a 10″ layer, and using a 6″ layer for the top. You can increase the sizes of all the layers and add more layers if you are having more people at your wedding.

# Next, you will have to choose whether you want the standard vanilla pound cake with butter-cream frosting and some sort of filling or whether you want a different flavor altogether. Cakes in Portland frequently use buttercream frosting, but if you like carrot cake, you will prefer cream cheese frosting. These frostings work well if you want a simple design. However, if you want intricate designs, you will want to opt for the more versatile fondant, which also tends to be more expensive. No matter which wedding cakes in Portland you look at, you will find the one that is right for your wedding. Make sure you are happy with what you have ordered, and then you will be delighted when it is delivered on that big day.

# Finally, after you order cake online or book one from a local store for your special event, before signing that contract on the dotted line, sit down with your designer or baker and go over every item in detail. Make sure your contract specifies an exact date, time, and location for delivery and see that all delivery and set-up fees have been included. Discuss payment terms, including your deposit and when the final payment is expected. Also, ensure that your contract specifies what will happen if either party does not follow through on their part of the contract; this will serve to protect you as well as your cake designer or baker if the contract is not honored by either party.

In essence, when order cake onlineor offline, look for a reputable professional who can offer you pictures of their work, recommendations from past customers, and samples for you to taste. Don’t let your wedding cake and desserts or pastries break the budget and ensure that your final contract reflects all services and fees that are to be included. And above all, choose a cake that you will be proud and excited to share with your guests.

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