Last Christmas I wanted to make some vegan Christmas cookies and found that initially a bit intimidating. I quickly realized that there is no need and there are a few cookies that are easy to make vegan. Turns out one of my all-time favourite Vanillekipferl …
I’m a book enthusiast! I love reading them, smelling and unfortunately collecting them. As much as I love seeing all my books when it comes to moving I always notice I have too many. Recently I have noticed these cute homemade DIY book exchange boxes cropping up in my neighbourhood and I think they are fantastic!
You may have seen different local initiatives of book exhanges. You can leave unwanted books and just take a new one for your journey. They’ve become very fashionable here in London at tube station. Many now have a little book exchange area, usually with support of the local libary. The idea is that you can get a new book for your journey and pop it back on the book exchange once your have finished. Great! And it doesn’t clutter your home.
Local Neighbourhood Book Exchanges
But recently I have noticed a new trend and I am a big fan. People reuse old wood they have and build little boxes. In these boxes they pop their old unwanted books and everyone in the neighbourhood or anyone passing by can take a book and bring their old books if they wish.
I took a walk in a different part of my neighbourhood the other day and stumbled over this adorable book exchange.
It was full of books for book children and adults so even your children learn that once they don’t want the book anymore they can pass it on to someone else. The joys of a good local community!
Community DIY Book Exchange Boxes
Of course it can be a jointly effort. If you don’t have any suitable area in front of your own home, maybe you live in a flat like myself, find out if there are other options. Maybe a neighbour likes the idea and you can work together building a little book exchange. Get more neighbours on board before setting it up will ensure it has a swift uptake in your area.
I came across this one in a different part of London before and loved bringing my old books there and replentishing my book reading list with books I may not have come across otherwise.
This one probably needed some kind of permission as it was on the outer wall of a multi-residential property. Love that they made it happen! There was also a bench just in front of it so I sometimes just sat down with my new book and read outside in the sun for a while.
Other DIY Book Exchange Options
Maybe these boxes are not the right fit but there are other options! I’ve seen disused telephone boxes that have been turned into a local book exchange in Germany. Took my family a while to get me out of there. So many books looking for a new reader.
I could imagine it would be lovely if local cafes had a little exchange shelf as well. Maybe speak to local shop owners to see what they think of the idea. There are so many other ideas of course and I am sure you will find the right fit for your local neighbourhood.
If you are not crafty enough to build a DIY book exchange just ask around in your community. I am sure someone will come forward who has experience working with wood and can help to build a book exchange that suits your local community needs. It is also a great community activity and will bond your local community further together!
Have you come across any special DIY book exchange boxes in your local neighbourhood? Did you make one yourself? Get in touch as I would love to interview someone who has build one and include some instructions on my blog!
Lemon water makes a wonderfully refreshing drink in the summer. Just squeeze or juice a few lemons into still and sparkling water and you have a lovely drink with an extra boost of vitamin C! But what could you do with the leftover lemon peel? …
The first thing that comes to mind when you have overripe bananas is to make banana bread. It is easy and quick to make and this banana bread recipe is absolutely delicious and moist. But what to make with overripe bananas if you already made banana bread and still have lots of bananas? I collected my favourite ideas in this blog post. If you have any other ideas please leave a comment with your idea and I will add it to this post.
1. Freeze Overripe Bananas
If you have enough space in your freezer then freeze them. There are different ways to freeze bananas and they all work well.
If you want to freeze the banana in slices: peel the banana, cut it into even chunks, place these chunks on a cookie sheet or similar and put it in the freezer for a few hours. Then store the frozen banana slices in a container or freezer bag. Then when you need them you can use either frozen or defrosted.
You can absolutely freeze the bananas whole. I’ve done that before and had no issues. You can peel them or not. Either works. Just put the bananas in the freezer and if did not peel them thaw them before peeling when you use them. If you peeled them before freezing the bananas you can use them either frozen or thawed.
Smoothies are such a great breakfast alternative if you have a blender! Just use the overripe bananas (frozen or fresh) and add some fruits of your choice. You can also add soya yoghurt, chocolate powder or anything else that takes your fancy. I like to experiment and add whatever I have in the kitchen.
3. Make A Chocolate Treat
You can also make a little treat with the bananas. They go really well with chocolate – so why not freeze the banana in even chunks on your cookie sheet and add some vegan chocolate on top? This is such a nice little treat and so easy to make!
4. Banana Chips
If you have a dehydrator you can make banana chips easily. Just slice in even thin slices and dehydrate! This makes an easy and healthy snack for the whole family! If you feel like it dip the chips in chocolate for an extra special snack!
If you decided to freeze your bananas why not make banana sorbet out of them for those warmer days? Just add the frozen bananas, frozen blueberries and a little peanut butter in a blender and mix well. You could also add additional ingredients like walnuts of chocolate chips after making the sorbet.
Alternatively, if you have frozen fruit you don’t have to freeze the bananas! Use 1 bag of frozen fruit of your choice, 2 bananas (more if you don’t mind the flavor), half a cup or so of plant milk and then place all ingredients in your blender. Blend until it’s sorbet/sherbet texture and enjoy.
6. Breakfast Drink With Coffee
For this yummy breakfast drink, you will need a blender and use 1/2 cup of whatever milk you like, for example, oat milk, 1 frozen banana, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee or espresso, 3-4 cubes of ice. Then you just blend everything together and enjoy a special breakfast drink with a coffee kick!
7. Make A Cocktail
Take your frozen bananas, add some strawberries, some orange juice & ice cubes and put all of these in your blender. Blend until well mixed and then add as little or much vodka as you wish. Cheers!
Obviously you can also leave out the vodka for a mocktail version.
8. Oatmeal Banana Pancakes
Use 1 cup of oat flour (or blend up 1 cup of quick oats if you don’t have oat flour), add half a mashed banana, 2/3 cup of your preferred plant milk, add vanilla and/or cinnamon to taste. Then use the mixture as you would normally for pancakes. You could also add some cocoa powder if you want a chocolate version of these pancakes.
9. Fried Bananas
Cut the banana in slices of about 1 inch and dip them in cinnamon. Then fry on each side for a few minutes. You can eat as they are or at these fried bananas on porridge or chia pudding.
Fancy making some cookies with your bananas? Mash up the bananas and then mix with oats and pat out to form little cookies. These will not spread like normal cookies so make desired shape and size. Bake at 350°F for about 10-15 min to your desired crunch. Add peanut butter, nuts, vegan chocolate chunks or dried fruit.
These are my favourite ideas for overripe bananas. If you you have a great idea that is not listed please leave a comment so I can add it to this list.
I’m sure you will find one idea you like and you won’t have to waste those overripe bananas you have in your kitchen at the moment! Enjoy and let me know how you liked the ideas!
Aquafaba is a versatile ingredient in the vegan kitchen. If you are wondering how to make aquafaba I want to share a few tips with you. I also included some tips on how to store aquafaba as it is a good idea to have some …
Freelance translators usually work for a variety of clients and translate from one language into their native language. If you speak more than one language this may be a great remote opportunity for you. Learn how to become a freelance translator and work from home. You can set your own hours and decide which clients to work for.
What Is Freelance Translating?
In my career, I’ve switched between full-time employment and freelance opportunities. I love the freedom you have when you work as a freelancer and are able to set your own rates, hours and workload.
If you consider freelance translating as a career there are a few things you should be aware of. As a freelance translator, you ideally want to work with a variety of clients and I will share with you why and how to find your first client. Are you interested in learning how to become a freelance translator?
Usually, as a freelance translator, your main task will be to translate or localize text from one language into your native language. Most respectable companies prefer it that way as a native speaker will know cultural relevance and spot anything that may be problematic in the target language.
If you are now intrigued and want to learn how to become a freelance translator, read on.
1. What Are the Prerequisites?
Many translation companies will ask you if you have a translation degree. However, very specialised companies usually also hire subjects matter experts. So you may not have a translation degree but worked in a specific field for a few years and are therefore deemed a subject expert. Smaller companies sometimes also hire native speakers without a translation degree. It is possible but maybe a bit harder to land your first project.
One important piece of advice is that a freelance translator you need good time management skills. Your goal should be to work for a variety of clients as you never know when one client pulls the budget and has no translation jobs for you for the next six months. Working for more than one client means you may have to juggle short conflicting deadlines. Sometimes projects drop very short notice so you want to make sure you can schedule your time accordingly. Especially when you set out. Some clients are quick to move on to a translator who can accommodate their urgent deadline.
2. How To Find The First Client
This can be tricky but help is at hand these days. Traditionally, you would do outreach and contact potential clients but these days my advice is to google “Freelance Translator” + Your language pair to find clients looking for translators.
The easiest way to find clients is through a network of translators. Say you know someone who translates from English into French and the client now wants to also have a Spanish translation. Often these clients reach out first to their network of current translators so they suggest relevant translators. If you know someone who already is a translator for a few clients this may be the easiest way to break into this field. It is how I found quite a few of my translation clients in the past and how I helped a few of my friends to start out.
Another option is signing up to platforms such as People per Hour, Freelancer or Upwork. The tricky bit here is that you are competing with very established freelancers. My advice is here to check out a few profiles of other translators and see their rates and what they offer. If you are just starting out you want to be a bit cheaper but not the cheapest. Remember you are trying to make a living out of this – so don’t sell yourself too cheaply!
3. How To Become A Freelance Translator
In the beginning, you will spend a lot of time doing outreach and finding new clients. Although your priorities will shift once you have found a handful of clients my advice is to always lookout for new potential clients. Yes, you want to make sure not to take on too many projects but if you find a better paying client you may want to drop the client that pays the least.
Yes, you will set your own rates but you should also increase them over time as you gain more experience. Be prepared to set your rates and stick to them. Most clients pay per word or 1,000 words but sometimes clients pay per hour. I had clients for both of these and generally preferred to be paid by hour.
Always ensure you take into consideration that you have admin time when setting your rate. It is astonishing how often you may end up chasing an invoice or resending it or similar work. It is also a good idea to consider breaks and add these into your rate and work day. You don’t want to be chained to your chair and laptop for 10 hours a day to make ends meet!
It is also good to know, that most clients will see you as an expert and it is up to you to suggest to them if they are going wrong. Using very formal language on their website or not being consistent – this is a great opportunity to reach out to them and make them aware. This way I got several proof-reading jobs to ensure their tone of voice was consistent throughout. Be smart and have the interest of the client in mind and you will create a client who will stick with you and provide you with more and more work.
4. Tools Needed To Start Working as a Freelance Translator
Generally, there are few tools that you will need. It is helpful to have access to a CAT tool like Trados which help you translating faster by storing words you have translated in the past. Some companies will provide you with access to the CAT tool that they are using internally. Others will just work with Excel sheets. It is a good idea to ask a new client up front what the translation process is like and what tools they are using internally.
Other than that you won’t need anything. You could investigate a tool for invoice creation and keeps also track of your taxes. I’ve preferred to keep track of everything via Excel and manually sending invoices.
5. What Is the Earning Potential As A Freelance Translator?
This depends a bit on your negotiation skills and your experience level but t is important that you have an idea of your rate before you start pitching for translation projects. As a new translator, you will most likely earn a bit less than established translators. It also depends if you or the client use a CAT tool. If one is used then pay tends to be lower as the tool will speed up your work significantly by memorizing words and phrases.
An average charger per word for European languages averages about between US$0.10 to US$0.17 per word if no CAT tool is used. I was averaging about £20 to £30 per hour (about US$25 to US$40) for simple non-technical translations where no translation degree was needed. Depending on the amount of work I earned about £1,000 to £2,000 per month after about 6 months. This was for English into German for Marketing copy. As I have extensive experience in Marketing this was a natural fit.
The First Few Months Of Work
It is normal that when you pitch for a new client that they may want to see a sample of your work. Most clients will actually send you a short translation and you just send it back to them. Some clients will pay you for this sample translation, most will not. So yes, that is completely normal but be aware not to get tempted to work too much for free. Generally these texts are short, maybe a few hundred words so the client can judge your translation ability. If it is more than that be wary and maybe find other clients.
This will be tough in the beginning. The first few months up to about a year or two you will do extensive client outreach and money might be irregular. It is also good to know that especially bigger clients will only pay you after two to three months. Most smaller clients are good at paying pretty quickly within a few weeks to a month. However, bigger clients have long payment terms written in their contracts so this is a good thing to know when you start out.
As mentioned before, it is extremely useful to know other translators. If you don’t know any at the moment I recommend to join a few communities or meeting up with other local translators. Build up a network of translators who be able to help you if you have questions and are usually a good source of new clients.
Advantages Of Being A Freelancer
The advantages are obvious: you are your own boss and you have the opportunity of setting your own hours. You decide which client to work for and which project to accept. Sometimes a client will reach out with a quick turnaround but generally the deadlines are very realistic in my experience and you can work when it suits you best. You are an early bird? Then work in the mornings. You are more energised working late into the evening? No problem. You set your own hours. As long as you are hitting the deadlines the clients really don’t mind.
I also liked that you can work from whereever you are. You can travel and explore new countries, as long as you are mindful of timezones (and deadlines) this is no issue at all. I also worked while travelling and used the time to earn money. I worked from parks, coffee shops and so many other places!
These were my tips on how to become a freelance translator and start working remotely. If you have any specific questions on how to become a freelance translator please feel free to leave them in the comment section and I am more than happy to help where I can.
Share this article on how to become a freelance translator with your friends. If you are interested in more freelance, remote opportunities have a look in my side hustle category. Do you have any tips on how to become a freelance translator then please leave them in the comment sections.
Easy recipe for delicious vegan paella like in Spain. All you need is a cast iron pan and a few ingredients. Add veg acoording to your own taste and make it your own family paella!