Friday, December 18, 2020

NOVICA - The Place To Go For Handmade Gifts Review & Giveaway

Disclosure:  We received a gift code to purchase items to facilitate our review.  All opinions stated are those of the Shelly's Bits and Pieces family.

One of my favorite things about Christmas is finding unique gifts for my family members.  I like to purchase handmade and one of a kind gifts for them, and that is not always easy.  One of my favorite places to shop is  Here is a little more information about them:

We started Novica with a dream to create a better world for artisans because a better world for Artisans is a better world for all. Along the way, we discovered something very important - as artisans around the world succeeded, there was also a visible and profound impact on the communities around them.

You can find gifts from jewelry to clothes, handbags to scarves, and from unique carved items to facemasks!  With so many wonderful items to choose from you can find something for everyone.  My favorite item has to honestly be the beautiful earrings that they have.  I'll tell you more about them later, but I want to tell you about the unique facemasks now.

As lives and livelihoods have changed, we have renewed our belief that a better world begins with simply looking after each other. To make ends meet during COVID times, many artisans turned to handcraft unique face masks. Innovative designs crafted in comfortable fabrics display the amazing fortitude and resilience of artisans as we support each other during these challenging times.

They have so many beautiful ones to choose from.  Here are a few of my favorites.  

I received a gift code to purchase some items to review, and I chose earrings!  They are handmade and are lovely.  They are gifts for my mom, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, and myself!  I love them.

There are so many things to choose from, I want to give one lucky Shelly's Bits & Pieces reader a chance to see for themselves.  Simply tell me what item you like best in the comment section below and you could win a $50 gift code.  This will be a flash giveaway and will end Sunday night, 12/20.  Please make sure I have your email so I can message you if you win!  

Monday, December 7, 2020

Be More Productive As An Entrepreneur At Home


If your life goal has been to be your own boss and forge your own path to success, 2021 might be the ideal time for you to pursue this dream. We all know how difficult 2020 has been and the idea of starting fresh at home for a new life is definitely a promising one. 

For the new entrepreneur, the most important thing is to make the most of all of your days and try to be as productive as you can. Today we want to help you be more productive and become a successful entrepreneur at home this year. 

Create a good workspace 

The first task for anyone deciding to work at home is making yourself a space to work which is productive and easy to manage. A home office can be a wonderful thing, and as you try to work from home for the first time it is important to create a space that emulates the feeling of being in an office. Be sure to make a space that is comfortable, practical, and organized. 

When creating your home office be sure to choose a bright part of the house or at least have plenty of bright lights in the room. Be sure to bring comfortable items in the space such as a chair and cushions and even a blanket for winter. Choose your office space carefully so that it is away from the rest of your house so that you don’t get distracted by your pets or children throughout the day while you try to work! 

Separate work and home 

As we mentioned above - it is important to have a workspace and set up away from the rest of your home. We know how tempting it is to wake up, grab a coffee and sit in bed in your pajamas with your laptop - but this is not the most efficient way to work and will not help you to succeed at home. Choose a room away from the main part of your home and once you ‘go to work’ shut the door and pretend you are elsewhere. Being away from your dirty dishes, laundry, and other chores will allow you to focus on work and not keep getting distracted by things around the house. 

Wake up early 

As an entrepreneur you no longer have a boss breathing down your neck every minute of the day making sure you are doing work. While this is amazing, it is also something that can be a challenge. Be sure that you wake up early in the morning so that you have time to get up, eat, and get ready for a productive day working at home. It is important to try and be as productive as you can when working at home and an early start, as well as a big breakfast, will make all the difference to your day. 

Do a workout before work 

One of the hardest things for us to do in our lives is to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine. If you have always found it a little bit difficult to stay on track with your fitness it is important for you to consider working out as soon as you wake up. Working out first thing in the morning will allow you to wake your body up and get those muscles moving before you even sit down to start work. If you often feel groggy when you first start working, it will also be a good way to ensure you don’t spend the first hour of your day struggling to start. By doing a workout you’ll release adrenaline and also happy hormones to your brain - and these will kickstart your brain and help you get going with your day as soon as you sit down at your desk. 

Write a list the night before 

If you always find it difficult to get back into the flow of work in the morning, it is a great idea for you to write a to-do list for yourself at the end of the day and leave it somewhere you’ll find it in the morning. By doing this, you will have a clear direction to follow from the moment you wake up and it will help you stay on track with your day. Get going right away and don’t miss the opportunity for some productivity. 

Work when you feel productive 

It is a great idea when working from home to try out some different ways of working to find which one suits you best. In your first week of working at home, you might want to try waking up super early one day, waking up and having breakfast the next, doing a workout before work the next, or even waking up a little later and working in the afternoon/evening. Everyone is unique and we all have our own most productive times of the day. Find yours and stick to this for your routine even if it might not seem like the most ‘normal’ working schedule. As long as you are able to get things done it doesn’t matter what time of the day you decide to work. 

Be flexible 

It is always important for you to be flexible with yourself as an entrepreneur and also be flexible with anyone you decide to hire as part of your team. Modern-day working is all about working when we are at our most productive and as we know this is different for all. Be flexible with your employees and allow them to manage their own time. As long as they do their work and stick to deadlines that is the most important thing. 

Take breaks 

When working from home and managing your own schedule it is very important for you to also input breaks into your day. It can be difficult to manage your time correctly and be productive at home but you mustn’t end up working too much because it will tire you out and will not enable you to work efficiently. Take breaks now and again to refresh your mind and come back to your work with a fresh head. 

Use work scheduling 

It is so important if you are taking on other people in your team remotely that you are able to schedule their working hours efficiently. Be sure to do a comparison of work schedule types and decide which one works for you. Hiring employees to help you with your venture is a big step and you should make sure that even if they are based at home they are able to be productive and stick to deadlines. 

Work to a deadline 

When you work as an entrepreneur for the first time - the biggest change you will notice is that you no longer have a boss. When working in a normal office job it is natural to have your boss looking over your shoulder and keep you on track but when you work for yourself you won’t have this. Be sure to create work deadlines for yourself at home and stick to them for the best work. Ensure to create realistic deadlines for yourself to give you something to work towards. 

Get out of the house 

The most important thing you should do as an entrepreneur working from home is to make sure to get out of the house once in a while. Now that you don’t have a reason to go out to go to work you are much less likely to leave the house at all. However, if you do leave the house and go for a walk or to the shops it will help to refresh your mind as well as improve your mental health.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

How to Spend Your Free Time During the Pandemic


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2020 has been an odd year. The coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic has had countless knock-on effects on our day to day lives. From health concerns to financial concerns to sheer boredom. Now, we can definitely help you to tackle the latter. Now, many of us have fewer things we can do right now due to government restrictions and guidelines that have been implemented to slow the spread of the virus around the world. Many of us can’t mix households. Many of us are now working from home. Many of us are having to isolate in our homes for extended periods of time if we exhibit any symptoms. So, let us give you a few suggestions on how to spend your time so that you’re still doing things you enjoy in spite of the pandemic!

Find Blogs and Podcasts You Enjoy

Nowadays, we’re pretty lucky that there’s a world of free content out there that can be easily accessed from our phones, laptops, or computers, as long as we have some sort of internet connection. This means that during times like now, when money can be a little tight and there’s not much we can do outside our homes, we can still easily occupy ourselves without worrying about how we’re going to pay the bills or whether we’re going to come into contact with strangers while we do the things we enjoy. Some of the most popular and widely tuned into free content out there tend to be blogs and podcasts. Blogs provide free reading material and think pieces on a matter of topics, or specialism into specific industries and fields. You can be entertained by them. You can see yourself learning a lot. You can start to think about things you haven’t thought of before. Look into areas you’re interested in and find relevant blogs for content that will entertain you. If you’re into performing arts, for example, check out Travis Preston CalArts blog. Podcasts can provide you with all of the same things that a blog can but tend to be a little more easy listening. Again, scout out podcasts specializing in the things you’re interested in!

Find a Hobby

Many people are finding all sorts of new hobbies and interests throughout this pandemic. Sure, your new hobby is unlikely to get you out of the house or have a particularly social element to it. But there are countless things you can still do under new restrictions and our new way of living. You could get into baking. You could pick up arts and crafts projects like knitting, embroidery, or painting. You could learn a new language with learning apps. The possibilities really are endless. All you need to do is sit down and think of things you enjoy doing and then take them a little more seriously. Then, go for it. Don’t let self-doubt hold you back! Nobody is perfect at anything at first. You just need a little trial, error, and experimentation. Then, practice will get you along the way!

These are just a few suggestions for things to do during the pandemic. Hopefully, they’ll help to occupy some of your time and alleviate a little boredom!