Tag Archives: Claire Lancaster

Simple Pleasures No 5

A bath with my favourite bath oil – my choice for bathtime is Lime, Basil & Mandarin by Jo Malone 

Its Sunday night the children are asleep, the bath is run, hot & got my name on it!  Until next week folks! 

Claire x

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Here comes my frock meme!

Having recently spent time going through the thousands of photo’s I have for the recent favourite photo meme, I dusted off (literally) my wedding album.  Without a doubt THE most expensive photos I own containing photos of  THE most expensive things I have ever bought – flowers, shoes, cake etc.  Mr L and I got married on the August Bank Holiday weekend in 2003, the weather was sunny and warm, it was a FAB day.  I loved my wedding.  I loved the preparations, the day itself, the honeymoon, actually especially the honeymoon, oh and the champagne and cake how could I forget they were bloody gorgeous too!  Oh yes and that whole marriage thing with Mr L isn’t bad either 😉  

Fast forward six and a bit years and that day is all memories and memorabilia.  Being truly honest its not often recalled and very rarely looked at.  I have my memory box with all the stationery, the cards, our place settings, a few leftover favours, the speeches, a few pressed flowers and some bits of confetti.  I also still have my wedding outfit – my dress, shoes (Gina’s if you were wondering!), veil, tiara (but of course!) – all cleaned and boxed up.  In the immediate post wedding days I’d had this thought that if I ever had a daughter, which of course I now do, she’d like to see my wedding dress.  I never thought I’d pass it on for her to wear it more maybe to play dressing up in it. 

Now here we are in 2010.  I sit in my home, which is no longer home to two but four, my home which is filling up with bright plastic shit toys and “stuff”, at a rate faster than I can ever see the declutter process making any significant impact on.  Now here in 2010 when I look at my wedding outfit I see space and cash!  I see space potential using my “maximise your property” hat, trained by home improvement and makeover TV shows and through my eBay eyes I can see some significant £’s!  It got me wondering have I lost touch with the romance of my wedding, of creating modern family heirlooms and heritage?  Or are they unrealistic ideas in modern times anyway?  Would either me or Baby G when she becomes Girlie G get anything special from her playing with it, would she ever really want to and would I ever really let her?  Hmmm.  Is there a middle ground to keep the shoes, veil & tiara and flog the frock?  Hmmm, I wonder. 

So me and my dress.  Together on show for just one day only over 6 years ago.  It feels like an airing is long overdue!  So here it is, me in my wedding dress with my Dad in those few last single minutes.

Me & My Dad - the final single moments!

My wedding dress – should it stay or should it go!  Experience?  Thoughts?  What do you vote – keep it or sell it? 

My wedding all came long before I started blogging and the same for many others but you know what I’d love to see some “Blogger Brides” so I’m going to create this post into a meme and this is the first of the “Here comes my frock” meme!  Made up by me for me, because I love a good wedding! 

To start the ball rolling I am going to ask the following beautiful brides to share their wedding frocks and any story you choose to share about your dress and or day, where is now and in the spirit of all good meme’s to pass it on, if you tweet tag it #herecomesmyfrock so we can see get a stream of them all! 

As with every meme I do, play if you can and if you too want to be tagged consider it so!

Karin over at Cafe Bebe because she encouraged me to get my finger out and write this post!

Bec at Beetroot and Gherkins and Bumbling for being intrigued on Twitter!

Laura at Are We Nearly There Yet Mummy

Andy’s wife over at The life of Wendy Wife! 

And Snaffles Mummy

As with every meme I do, play if you can and if you too want to be tagged consider it so!

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My Themeword 2010

I wanted, and have been attempting, to write a New Years Resolutions post as the new decade approached.  But I’ve been really struggling with it.  There is so much I would like to do and achieve.  As I started to compile the list it quickly felt so big I was ready to throw the towel in on the lot and the post got saved as draft and abandoned for another day.  If I can’t write the damn post I’m never going to achieve the resolutions in it! 

I discovered blogging and tweeting this year and want to do more and be better at both!  I also want to lose weight – of course and let’s not forget the other annual entries – work less, earn more, spend less, do more exercise, be more patience, swear less, watch less TV, spend less time on the PC, cook from scratch more, not drink during the week  … hang on Mr L is shouting me – A glass of wine you say?  Oh yes please!  … Save as draft!

That is how I got to 12th January with no post about my thoughts, goals and intentions for the new year and new decade.  Then I came across #Themeword (god bless twitter!) via Erica Douglas who created the #themeword meme in 2007.  To participate, all you have to do is just think about one word that you would like to describe your new year.  Allegedly your #themeword can unfold in unexpected ways!  So here goes …

My Themeword for 2010 is ENJOYMENT. 

I am going to ENJOY the now in 2010.  I’m not going to do things I don’t ENJOY or give time to things or people I don’t ENJOY.  Life is too short and my family and time with them too precious.  I want to ENJOY food and still be able to ENJOY smaller clothes!  I want to ENJOY my freelance work.  I want to ENJOY time with my children especially whilst they are so little.  I want to ENJOY time as a family.  I want to have time to ENJOY by myself.  Now whilst I hate laundry I do enjoy it being all done and my home clean and tidy, to get another cleaner would probably suggest I headed back to the workplace – so sadly I’m not off the hook on domestic chores, just to explain some of the small print I’ve made up for myself!

This is a meme so I am going to tag a few folk but if like me resolutions feel too much to commit to consider yourself tagged!  What’s great about this meme is if you don’t need a blog to post your thoughts, if you just tweet you can still join in!  I’d love to know what the following folk would have as their #Themewords

Jordan Fleet
Sarah Walters
Clare at Love Maternity
Claire over at The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Wendy over at The Life of Wendy Wife
Dany at Tums2Mums
Bec over at Beetroot and Gherkins
Muddling Along Mummy
Violet Posy
Stefanie Hopkins
Bumbling Along

Search #themeword on Twitter to see everyone who has been Tweeting their #themeword.

Happy New Year!  Please feel free to post or link to your own themewords in the comments below!

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My High Points of 2009

I have been tagged and give that one of my resolutions for 2010 is to think less about and write more for my blog I am going to respond to the tag almost immediately (the following day, at any rate least).  It’s a New Year meme so appropriate to start as we mean to go on!  The rules are to thank the person who tagged you (thank you Tasha), and list your five high points for 2009 and tag five other people to do the same.  Simple!

  1. In January my post Lil’ H weight loss totalled three stone, in February I was pregnant & the scales started to move in the opposite direction, also thoroughly enjoyable!  But in January I was the three stone lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight and that felt good & will do again (that’s this years mission!)
  2. In April a legal matter was successfully concluded bringing closure and great relief.
  3. In May we went to our holiday cottage in Port Isaac in Cornwall and was joined by our friends & my gorgeous god-daughter.  We had a fabulous time and a brilliant friendship continued to blossom between my god daughter and my H.  We hit lucky with the weather and has some serious beach time!
  4. In October my daughter, Baby G arrived safe, sound and perfect.  My family is complete & beautiful.
  5. This Christmas has been very special for me.  Having Baby G and also this year has been the first year Lil’ H has been old enough to have an understanding and some, or should I say a lot of excitement!  December has brought some great moments and memories.

If you read this and you’d like to be tagged – well then consider yourself tagged!  Please do leave me a comment so I can come to your place and read your highlights!

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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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99 British Mummy Bloggers on Twitter

Last week I found out that I am listed at number 10 in the list of – 99 British Mummy Bloggers on Twitter.

 

I am seriously very chuffed and flattered to be listed here amongst some really great ladies and gents who’s blogs and posts I really admire and enjoy. 

 

This list is compiled by Sally who writes a couple of really great blogs and by her own admission “gives great tweet”, so if you too tweet click here to follow Sally  and if you want to follow me, Id love that, just click here

 

 

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We got the chicken pox jab!

Some of you may have read the prequel posts to this, but for those who haven’t a quick summary … I decided that rather than my son experience chicken pox and my household experience him with chicken pox I would have H vaccinated against it.  First clinic couldn’t do it due to wierd coincidence that the private doctor happened to also work at our GP Practice and there are rules about that, second, the Childrens Immunisation clinic www.childrensimmunisation.com  in Manchester were brilliant and cheaper than the first! 

The vaccination against Chicken Pox is routinely done along with the MMR, the MMRV vaccine, in the USA and Canada.  It is also done in the UK on the NHS if you haven’t contracted Chicken Pox by the age 12.  Being brutally honest my reasons are mostly very practical reasons behind the decision – at the end of the day I don’t feel there is any benefit to my son to experience the illness and the financial cost of avoiding this to give him the same immunity level as having the illness is just £95 so to me it was a no brainer.  The cost of the jab is less than the nursery fees I would still have to pay even though he wouldn’t be able to attend nursery with the pox for around a week.  Chicken Pox can be a serious illness for some, I know two children who have been hospitalised with the pox, but generally for most just uncomfortable but it does tend to leave scars and for parents a series of sleepness nights and an upset child. 

So anyway we had the jab – in, out and done in 2 minutes – my two year old cried for less than 10 seconds and was immediately distracted and appeased with a packet of chocolate buttons.  Following the jab two weeks ago my son has experienced no fever or high temperatures, no blisters or issues around the injection site (which we did with the MMR), there have been no reactions at all and he has no scars and we’ve had no sleepless nights.   Compare that to the tale of a parent with a child with Chicken Pox – all camomile lotion, scratching, tears, scars and Disney channel in the middle of the night and I feel it was money well spent! 

So, would I do it again?  Absolutely, categorically, without question, YES!

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