Sri Lanka Part 2: Ocean Reef & Ayurveda Healing

After so many crazy hours worked already this year I'm grateful for lazy beach days #srilanka #oceanview #chilled #reef #travelblogger #wanderlust

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So onto the next part of my trip, 5 nights at the Barberyn Reef Resort on the South West Coast of Sri Lanka. As the name suggests this is on the beach and when I arrived it was my first glimpse of the ocean since landing. The instant I see the sea I smile, I have always been the same. To add to it, the beach front location it in an alluring mix of chaos and calm- The waves coming in from the ocean are quite rough but they break about 20 meters out on the reef. That leads to a few good things; you can walk on the reef, you can hear the waves very clearly at night and the water directly in front of the resort is almost motionless. Great paradox. Which brings me nicely into my reason for being here; the contradictions of modern life. Ones quest to feel happy and fulfilled versus the pressures of the everyday commute, bills, deadlines, the failure associated with not posting to Instagram daily. There are a lot of things at odds and I wanted to learn another way of balancing them.

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Sri Lanka Pt 1- Jungle, Culture and Safari

For the last few nights this incredible place has been my home. Living in a #treehouse in the #srilanka #jungle has been truly special experience. Can't wait to share my time there with you all soon #wanderlust #travelblogger #humbled

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Here I go- off on another adventure. Oh no wait, that was the old me. The new me just works all hours under the sun in pursuit of her dreams. Now I am not complaining, I love being an entrepreneur BUT to function at optimum levels one needs balance & that is what I am seeking in my latest series of blogs all about wellness.

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Why you never have to leave home again

OK so I am exaggerating slightly, but only slightly. As a tech entrepreneur, I look at some of my fellow tech startups and think that’s genius. It started with the likes of Uber, Deliveroo and Just Eat finding success catering to just how lazy we’ve become- ahem I mean how savvy we are to use technology and our time so wisely. Que a string of apps to have almost all of our needs delivered right to our door. This is one of the most enjoyable and fascinating blogs I have been a part of- just look at all the things I achieved without leaving my house…

Handy- London’s fast and easy home cleaning service. I found it had easy online booking but do keep in mind it’s reoccurring automatically. Super convenient and great service but perhaps over rigid- by that I mean your choices have to fit into very definite boxes. Like the addition of one bedroom window I wanted cleaning the only option was to charge for the whole house. Overall good service and you can’t help but love the convenience of rattling through the to do list via an app.

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Hello Fresh- now I’m by no means a chef but even I can do this and I loved the experience. Once a week you get all the ingredients delivered to your door. Everything you need to make fancy dinners from scratch. Step by step guides too. Childs play and forced me out of my boring food routine. I genuinely feel I’ve learnt things I can take forward and (as you know if you follow me on snap chat lauren_riley22 or Insta @misslaurenriley) They are all pretty healthy and I’ve discovered some rather interesting vegetables too.  I highly recommend giving them a try.

 

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Bevy- an app that’s designed to supply alcohol and various other associated products to keep the party going- think nibbles etc via an app. Swift and friendly delivery under an hour in fact and good communication in the meantime. I ordered only Gin and chewing gum and only wish this existed when I was a bit less business and a bit more of a party. Please drink responsibly!

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TruBe- personal trainers to your door. Exactly what you are imagining. The UX (user experience) is very intuitive and I love the idea of those people who aren’t confident enough to leap head fist into the gym having this option. Gyms can sometimes be daunting places. I like it because I am so busy, this can fit around my lifestyle easily. It is important to keep fit and healthy where you can.

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Spa by car- another one doing exactly what it says on the tin. Spas are always a favourite of mine and I the fact I was sat on my own sofa watching tv while having my nails done was a big bonus. It surprised me how much better the experience was minus the trip to the salon. I also had a massage, a must for a those leading a busy lifestyle.

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Nutriseed- juice diet delivered straight to my door (as you can probably see the particular door was my office on this occasion). All nutritional work and portion control done for you. All you have to do is keep it refrigerated and drink five times per day. It’s not going to be suitable for everyone and I don’t encourage dramatic weight loss methods but pre-holiday I wanted to give my body a detox from all the naughty stuff I put in it living life a million miles an hour. For me the best benefit was how amazing an apple tastes afterward, totally resetting your taste buds.

This was such a fascinating experiment and I will certainly use these great apps again to suit what I have going on at the moment. Thanks to the brands involved in making this happen and you for reading. Please do give this a share.

http://www.handy.com/

http://www.hellofresh.co.uk

http://www.bevy.co/London

http://trubeapp.com

http://www.spabycar.com

https://www.nutriseed.co.uk/

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Travel: A weekend in Wales 2016

 

img_1654There is definitely a theme developing with my travel blogs and just my blog in general…Escapism and living a life less stressed.

When the wonderful people from Virgin Experiences got in touch with me about the opportunity to explore a little bit more of the UK and escape the city I didn’t need asking twice. I had a look at their many and varied staycations online, each a little different from your usual break but I settled on Wales. Continue reading

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Travel: The Lakes 2016

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Camellia bathroom at The Malabar [107137]

I have been pretty open to date about the highs and lows of business and how stress can sometimes creep into the entrepreneurial journey if we don’t keep a close eye on our wellbeing. When an opportunity to visit the tranquillity of The Lake District and try out a brand new luxury B and B came up, it was bit of a no-brainer. It was a wonderful weekend and I am happy to share the experience with you.

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I took just one day off from The Link App (if you don’t count being on my emails constantly) and drove over 200miles to ‘The Lakes’. It took almost ten hours, which was unusually long and may be the subject of a much less exciting blog. Once there, totally worth it for the dramatic change of pace. I live in London so I don’t drive too many places the prospect of a road trip is even more exciting. We arrived at The Malabar at about 6pm on Friday evening. The Malabar luxury B&B is situated on the edge of the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales at the foot of the Howgill Fells. Run by first-time B& Continue reading

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Happy Birthday to The Link App- 2 today!

Today marks the second birthday of my business The Link App and I wanted to celebrate this day with you all!

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For the past two years, The Link App transformed from an app idea inside my head to a tool for law firms, thanks to those law firms who have adopted the app within their daily use. Helping law firms communicate with clients has been achieved but equally as importantly we have helped to improve customer service for firms clients Continue reading

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4 ways an app can improve your client relations

As my regular readers will know, my fulltime work and all consuming passion is my business The Link App. As part of this I regularly get asked my advice about apps for business and here is my latest business blog that I wanted to share with you guys too…

No matter how professional and reputable a service your firm may provide, it’s always difficult to remain constantly in touch with clients. The inevitable day-to-day chase-ups alongside case and administrative work means your time is precious – especially so on those extra busy days.

You know it’s important to maintain healthy relationships; but it’s also crucial if you want repeat business. Making slight changes to the way you communicate with clients can make a huge difference, but we understand it has to be practical for you too. Don’t worry, it’s a conundrum most law firms we talk to experience, you’re not alone.

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The first thing to think about if you feel you’re neglecting your clients a little, is a way of making communication faster and more efficient.

This often involves complete process changes – no thank you. Due to the fact there’s a distinct lack of alternative solutions available, we often see firms stick to the way they know best, which is understandable.


Introducing The Link App

We decided we wanted to make a change, so we designed an app which boosts your client communication abilities, strengthens your client relations, and closes the gap between you and your clients. It’s pretty unique in the fact it’s designed just for the legal industry – and it’s called The Link App.

Working as a stand alone or integrated system The Link App acts as a communication channel between law firms and clients; in the form of a desktop application and mobile app respectively. This single channel keeps the two parties in touch at all times, and the app is ideal for providing quick case updates and for prioritising communication.

Here are 4 ways the app will benefit your clients, and keep them satisfied:

1. Simple and instant messaging

By reducing the need to check multiple platforms such as email, letters and phone, it creates a more efficient process for case updates. This method of ‘real-time’ communication helps efficiency, and has several features, including:

  • — Immediate update messages via push notifications straight to clients’ mobile devices
  • — Callback requests’ which use a traffic light system – avoid phone tennis and prioritise

2. Easy to use

The app is simple and intuitive; especially for your tech-savvy clients who are used to this kind of technology. We’ve used the fewest possible pages and sub-menus in order to make it extremely easy to navigate.

The desktop application is also very straightforward, and doesn’t take much training to get everyone set up – which is also great in the long term. Not only that, we provide tech support to help you with the technical problems you may encounter.

3. Safe & secure

First and foremost on our list of priorities when designing the app was to ensure it was completely secure. Communication between client and firm are encrypted via our servers, which should allay your concerns regarding confidentiality.

Not only this, only the clients can access their own case with their unique login details. Push notification messages are confidential, and there has to be a log-in before anything private can be seen on the device, in a similar way banking apps do:

“All your client and firm data is protected. We use 256 SSL encryption – the same security levels the banks use. All data is backed up across an independent data centre and never leaves the UK or EU.”

4. Ready to go via a free mobile app

The Link App is easy to download and set up – all your client needs is their own personal log-in details, which will be automatically provided.

  • — Available on both the Android Play Store and the Apple App Store
  • — As it is a mobile app, it’s accessible 24/7 – unlike email, it’s probably with them wherever they go, meaning they are in more control
  • — Clients won’t need to pay a penny for the app

We’re at a time when the legal industry needs to start embracing innovation. By providing solutions that your clients want you can start to make the changes now. By taking up The Link App, you’ll already be showing existing and potential clients how innovative you are – happier existing clients, and not only this, it’s a great selling point for potential new ones.

Take a look at our app with a no-obligation demo. Click here to register.

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Fitness Retreat Spain

It is pretty rare that I feel compelled to share an experience with you all, but this is one such occasion. When I first started speaking to Target Human Performance last year about their fitness retreats, I thought they were a good idea as I struggled to get out from behind my desk and that it would make a welcome break for me. I booked one with some excitement a few months ago but as the date drew nearer for me to go, I have to admit I panicked about the impact of me not being behind my desk and how much busier I would be when I got back. The week before I went in May was the climax for me- I was probably the most stressed I have ever been. The better things go in business the busier I become and the more responsibility I shoulder. I love what I do but knowing there is a limit to every person’s endurance no matter how dedicated- I packed my little case and headed for London Gatwick.

I arrived my usual positive self but a little jaded. Considering this was a fitness holiday and not just a jolly, I had one of the most incredibly positive weeks! So many small things aligned on this trip to make it very worthwhile:

1)      Fitness. This is such a huge passion of mine but I frustratingly do not get to indulge like I used to when I was in employment. I was probably a good ten pounds lighter and I would estimate 5% body fat more toned. My physical appearance bothers me when I don’t train but it is so much more than that. The mental stimulation associated with exercise cannot be beaten for me. When I arrived I was three weeks post London Marathon so had concentrated my efforts on running. I hadn’t been in a gym yet all of 2016. Most of their sessions take place outdoors and involve the typical HIIT (high intensity interval training) that I love. Hard work over short periods of time. Think- dragging a tyre round, burpees, squats, pushups and many other body weight exercises. These are interspersed with boxing, stretching, running and posture training. The day always started with an early morning hike and ended with yoga-esk cool down. It was challenging at times but that’s why I was there and you could go at your own pace if you wanted. James and David delivered the sessions and tailored it to each attendee’s objectives. For example, I struggle with a sore neck frequently because of long hours at a computer and the posture classes taught me something that I can take back to the U.K.

 

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2)      Location. They have teamed up with Almond House in Spain to provide the setting for their Spanish retreat and what a choice! It is a villa/ rustic house in the middle of nowhere. So quiet you can hear a pin drop (over the sound of me working out) anytime night or day. I find it hard to put in words just the feeling of tranquillity that I managed to achieve while here. Its run by an English couple Paul and Jules who are just lovely. They share their home with four dogs, six cats and a few horses. You have to be an animal lover really but they are only in the communal parts. My bedroom was ensuite with its own private terrace and bursting with charm. The surrounding areas made the perfect setting for our hikes, challenging terrain and not another house for miles. They also do normal accommodation when the fitness retreats aren’t on so you can still benefit from the place if you needed a break. The sun shone all week which is a definite bonus!

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3)      The schedule. The say started at 07.30am with healthy juice. And typically followed a set schedule. Hike, breakfast, rest for 90 mins, HIIT type work out, one or two more classes, lunch, afternoon class and stretching, rest for 90 mins and 8pm dinner. Fortunately for me there was enough time to schedules calls to the UK for the business and to keep on top of my emails. However, if you were able to relax in this time there were plenty of rooms and a secluded pool to do so. I felt the balance between rest, keeping in touch with back home and working out was just right.

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4)      Company. I attended the retreat solo but the group is up to six so you still feel the benefit of almost personal training. They were all busy professionals mostly execs who like me were looking to escape. I was the youngest of the group but not the fittest I am ashamed to say. There were varying levels of ability but not determination. Everyone there was serious about fitness and I felt a competitive edge helped me to keep going. We did take advantage of the local wine on offer a few evenings and we became quite a close group by the end- many colourful game of cards was played and anecdote exchanged.

 

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5)      Food. Now usually I wouldn’t add a section on this but it could have formed its own blog it was THAT good. All home-made with passion they managed the near impossible of making even soup seem interesting and all healthy options super tasty. Let me just clarify- the pics don’t even do it justice!

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My experience really was a brilliant one, the retreats run throughout the summer and can be found  here.I know they are growing and will soon be adding more venue and dates. Thanks so much to THP and Almond House for forcing me to take a break, I feel fitter more relaxed and ready once more to plough on as an entrepreneur with renewed vigour!

 

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