Category Archives: Behind the scenes

Insights into my business world(s)!

Cheshire / South Manchester Tweet-up Open invite

Short formal notice but quite a few of us have talked about it since before Christmas and it appears it is REALLY is going to happen (weather permitting!!!) – The Great North Tweet-up (everyone invited!).  Ok, ok… so  sounds like it’s going to be ‘pumping’ when in fact its going to be coffee but hey, who knows it may well end up that way!  One things for sure you won’t find out unless you’re there in person!
 
I’ll stop now before I get too excited and get back to reality…..
 
What?                          Tweet-up (that’s a meet-up for those that Tweet)
When?                         Tuesday 12th January 2010 from 10am
Where?                        Caffe Latte – Handforth, Cheshire
Who?                           Open to Everyone!!! (child friendly – see link)
CONFIRMED:           @sarahwalters99 @clairelancaster @jordanfleet @lovematernity

Hope to see you there!!! Post any questions here or DM @sarahwalters99 or @clairelancaster 
 
ANY UPDATES WILL BE POSTED ON HERE & TWITTER SO CHECK BEFORE YOU TRAVEL (who knows whether we shall have more snow etc.)

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Merry Christmas!

Wishing all customers of Dandelion Lounge, all those who take the time to read this blog and follow me on Twitter a Very Merry Christmas! 
With very best wishes for 2010. 
Me, Mr L, Lil’ H & Baby G x

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My secret weblife – revealed …

I was invited and delighted to contribute to the “Secret Weblife” series over at Self-Employed Mum clairelancasterso here’s the inside track on my internet explorer delights!

Hello!  My name is Claire Lancaster, I am mum to 2½ year old Hugo with baby number two due early October 2009.  I am a self employed marketing consultant and founder of Dandelion Lounge www.dandelionlounge.co.uk.  My consultancy business specialises in helping clients establish and maximise their customer relationships through their marketing initiatives and Dandelion Lounge is an online store offering personalised stationery celebrating babies, children & family milestones.  Here are my top five favourite online stop offs …

http://econsultancy.com In terms of a frequent professional port of call my starting point for most things is here.  Econsultancy publish a wide range of guides, benchmarks, studies, surveys and stats.  As the online arena is so fast paced and such a critical component of all my clients businesses as well as the backbone of my own, time spent here helps me keep me up to speed and my finger (allegedly!) on the pulse! 

http://www.ebay.co.uk I have been an “eBay-er” for over 5 years now and mostly I use it to sell stuff I don’t like, need or use anymore.  I have been especially busy on eBay in the last few months selling my sons grown out of clothes (all four suitcase of them!) as baby number two is a girl.  Now I have a nice pot of money to indulge my addiction to buying children’s clothes and Brio train set pieces with!

http://www.notonthehighstreet.com I like to be different when it comes to gifts and I discovered this site in 2007 when I was housebound with a newborn baby, shopping withdrawal symptoms and gifts to buy!  This site makes it possible to buy amazing and unusual things, children’s clothes you’ve never seen before and charming, thoughtful and original gifts that people always ask “where did you get that from?”  All things you’d never find on the average high street. 

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com I am the “financial director” in our home.  I look after where our money is, or as importantly isn’t, spent and invested and keeping on top of that is one of my many jobs.  This site by Martin Lewis helps make this a much easier task.  I would say it is a pro-consumer guide to being financially savvy in all aspects of your life with some great tools, tricks and offers.  The weekly newsletter is one of only a few of the many I subscribe to that I make sure I always read.

http://www.kodakgallery.co.uk I love my photographs, the driving factor in Dandelion Lounge. I love taking, using, looking at and sharing my photos. Every month, well I try to do it every month but sometimes its every few, I load all the photo’s I’ve taken and share these with our family. My husband’s side live 250 miles away so it updates the grandparents, their boasting books and living room photo frames – it also acts like a free off site back up for our digital photos too!

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Competition-tastic!

I am all excited about competitions this week!  Why?  Well, two reasons – I have won one and I am running one!  

popping-champagne-cork1Competitions makes me feel all nostalogic, entering competitions is something my Nana used to do on my behalf and also with me.  My Nana was master of the “tie breaker” and she used to win loads of stuff too – a lego set and a snoopy watch (I still have the watch in my jewellery box!) are two prizes I still fondly remember! 

So what did I win, well over at Mums Like You I won two tickets to the Designer Baby Show so have the chance to spend a day enjoying shopping, talking and discovering best-of-breed baby products.  Sadly for me the timing (15th November) and the geography (Berkshire, I live in Cheshire) with baby number two due early October meant I have returned the tickets for another lucky winner to be redrawn – I like to think I am sharing the love!  So on this occassion, whilst the taking part was important it was pretty much all about the winning!  Ha Ha!

So that’s the won one, now to the one I am running … which is for my stationery business, Dandelion Lounge.  It will coincide with our Christmas Card, Festive Photo Inserts and Thank You card designs all going live for the festive season and will be running over at the fabulous Café Bébé starting on Sunday 7th through to Saturday 12th September.  Full details are already posted up there in anticipation so I shall say no more and let you head on over and check it out … and whilst you are there you still have time to enter a great competition from DaisyChainBaby to win win a gorgeous gift basket worth nearly £30. 

You gotta be in it to win it!  So please do go check it out!

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Doing the juggle…

That’s what I’ve been up to … what’s the juggle I hear you ask?  The mummy juggle of course!  Still not sure then let me explain …

I have H who is now a mere eight weeks from his second birthday, I work on a freelance basis in marketing, I run Dandelion Lounge http://www.dandelionlounge.co.uk I also run my home, kitchen, laundry, H’s childcare, Husband and try to ensure thank you, birthday & anniversary cards & gifts are with the right people for the right date.  Usually this is a fairly hectic but balanced weekly pattern, I can’t say routine because I don’t really “do routine” and working freelance isn’t a routine work choice – which is why I like it. 

Anyway, there I was at the beginning of January in dark, cold, mid credit crunch Britain thinking I’ll be at home concentrating on home, family and Dandelion Lounge – no one will have budget to use a freelancer … wrong, diddly, wrong wrong … bang, squeak, squeal … that would be the sound of the wheels in my life going off  the rails!    The last three of four weeks has seen me on trains before 8am, my son staying over with Grandparents, me working back into an office (I usually work from home visiting offices for meetings only) and worst of all me wearing a suit – I hate suits.  What are suits all about?!  They are such a grim requirement of corporate life – the whole power dressing thing has always alluded me. 

Its been a crazy month!  A bit disappointing at times, exciting at others, but all in all a great month!   If the mumy juggle sounds familar to you I’d love to hear your highs and lows! 

P.s.  I am also very pleased to have joined The British Mummy Bloggers http://britishmummybloggers.ning.com/ so if you’re passing mummy blogger I’ll see you there!

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Here they are, sharing my recent cards …

I promised to post up and share my Christmas card design so here it is, also in the gallery (if I’ve done it correctly!) should be included the “Thank you” card all featuring exclusively designed by my other baby, Dandelion Lounge!

There are loads of different designs for Thank you and other cards to celebrate and share life’s little milestones all loaded on www.dandelionlounge.co.uk so head to the lounge and have a browse.  Let me know what you think by adding your comments here or on our Facebook page.    Cheers, Claire x

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Tips for your Christmas photos

The pumpkins have been carved and the fireworks are in the biscuit tin ready to go!  I am still to choose the Christmas photo and thought I would share some of my tips for choosing the perfect photo for to your Christmas card, photo insert or birth announcement: 

 

  • Choose a Christmas card design that reflects you and your family
  • If you like a few you could order more than one design or have both a card and a photo insert
  • Select a coordinating photo that’s sweet and simple—avoid busy backgrounds or too much action
  • Think about the colours on both your photo and your card design —black and white photos tend to look best with a brightly coloured design, and you will want to avoid using a sepia toned photo with a brown card
  • Keep it simple—too many frills or colors will ruin the elegance of your message!
  • Make sure you’re camera is on the highest quality setting on your digital camera, ideally try to ensure the resolution is 300 and the image size is at least 800 x 1200 pixels

Can’t wait to see your festive choices!

Claire x

 

P.s.  Don’t forget to place your orders by Friday 14th November 2008 on www.dandelionlounge.co.uk for delivery before December (Friday 5th December 2008 for delivery before Christmas)

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