Tag Archives: Working mum

Follow Friday – 30th Oct 2009

This Friday’s Follow Friday theme are some of my favourite mummy businesses on Twitter – not a comprehensive list by any stretch – but they have helped me with their great products and services and maybe you would like them too… check them out …

MumsLikeYou (Ivet Nikolov) founder www.mumslikeyou.com online mums community
Tums2Mums (Dany Griffiths) lovely lady, hynobirthing guru & resources
Soph4Soph inspirational childrens wear – god daughter gifts – tick!
justdresses because they embracing all things girlie at www.justdresses.co.uk
Aroma4kids loving their Special Little People range – the Christmas blend is devine!
childrensjewell fab childrens jewellery – more off the Christmas list from here!



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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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Getting ready for baby number two

I am 31 weeks pregnant, my due date is 5th October and according to my iPhone I have 62 days left to my due date – that sounds organised doesn’t it?  But I am so not organised.  So not ready.  Getting ready for baby number two is what I am SUPPOSED to be doing, but I actually, weirdly don’t really know where to start.  I feel so not ready that today it actually scared me! 

What little time I have when my 2 year old is sleeping is filled with project managing house renovations, trying to work out how to prepare my toddler for the imminent arrival, getting the Christmas 2009 collection for Dandelion Lounge finalised and general anxiety about “hitting reset” and rewinding to where we were two and a bit years ago being responsible for a newborn life.  Add my bestest little guy, H, into that equation and I can’t see how life will add up from October onwards.  Life at Lancaster Mews since H arrived has revolved around him and his routine, so who’s routine is going to be followed when there are two, very different routines, needs and agenda’s?  How the devil do you prepare for and do that?  Answers on a postcard/comment box please! 

So to my getting ready list … OK so I have “the stuff”  – the moses basket, the cot, car seat etc.  I have some experience – I know which way round a nappy goes, that babes cry and eventually I’ll start to understand why and to make sure the frill isn’t tucked in to the inner liner on nappies to help avoid busting nappies (one of my top tips for first time mums that one!).   But this time getting ready isn’t about stuff or just about me and Mr L its about H.  Its a teeny bit about delivery and a lot about making it right and positive for my toddler H.  The latter I really don’t know where to start with.

I know me, H and Mr L all survived labour & delivery.  I know it was a long 36 hours.  I know gas & air doesn’t start to kick in until inhale number 10 so I know to start just before the contraction begins (another top tip!)  I know I couldn’t have loved anyone more than the anaesthetist who gave me my epidural after 28hours and that in the end it was all worth it, but that is about it.  I have successfully blanked everything else from my brain.  I also know that I wrote in my diary on the day I gave birth …*Remember c-section planned next time* – I left myself a message – surely I did this for a reason?! 


First time round Mr L and I spent 2 hours a week for 9 weeks attending NCT classes, learning all about the choices and options.  As yet I have yet to pick up a pregnancy book.  I have loads and they are all still in the loft – first time around I knew exactly the size of my foetus, embryo, baby throughout my 40 weeks in relation to various, generally edible items, from coffee beans, to plums, to apples to grapefruit etc.  This time I have to check my iPhone between nursery runs, toddler classes, play dates, phone calls, work, home and the odd occasional splash of a social life!

Last time labour started and I went to hospital around 1am, we can’t just go to hospital with a toddler in the house!  I really don’t  want to be seen by, or subject my parents to, having to see me in labour.  So I am hoping that I will go into labour on either a Monday, Tuesday or Thursday morning between (9am & 1pm) while H is at nursery.  That way Mr L can simply call the Grandparents to pick him up, we simply shimmy off to the hospital when we’re ready, welcome baby number two and return home with new babe in arms to little H who’s had a fabulous day and possibly overnight sleepover with his Grandparents.  Is that a plan?  No it clearly isn’t but that is all I’ve got right now, so if you’re listening to me reviewing this post out loud baby number two – Monday, Tuesday or Thursday morning work for us, and that includes you – OK?  Please?  OMG I am begging my unborn child to do things, next I’ll be attempting bribery with colostrum, the power has already shifted, she already holds all the cards!

Whilst pregnant in 2007 I turned my office into H’s nursery which is to be “baby number two’s” nursery – choose baby name is on the to do list!  Now H is being promoted to what was, until a few weeks ago, our guest room and I am just putting the finishing touches to his big boys bedroom with his own “big bed”!  I plan to move him from nursery to bedroom and from cot to bed hopefully next week (blackout blinds & John Lewis permitting!)   Also at 27 months want to tackle potty training, that may afford me a few nappy free weeks before I return to 12 a day – but wondering if I have left it too close to a new sibling arriving?  Had planned to start on Thursday but now H has come down with a virus & it feels unfair to try to start if he’s under the weather, sigh!  Definitely one that needs more thought! 

Well you know what I feel better just having blogged this out, I’m sure all these things will happen, in their own time and if they don’t they don’t … but deep down, well not that deep at all really, I am a planner and I would them all to be done, quickly, easily and preferably by now! 

Anyway I am signing off for another restless, uncomfortable, dare I say it “bumpy” night ahead!  More to come on the ever evolving “to do”, “to get”, “to order” lists I create as I count down the … 62, nearly 61 days to baby number two … all advice, warnings, tales & recommendations received with mucho thanks!


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£1 off Pizza Invitation

My inbox received this promotion this week and I thought it worth sharing – Pizza Express are launching new flavours to their eat at home/supermarket range and to celebrate have a £1 off voucher for any pizza express pizza from any supermarket just print and take the voucher along – here is the link: 


You can’t beat an easy meal – Sloppy Guissepe is my favourite – what’s yours?!

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Introducing AlderleyEdge.com

I am always really keen to help support mummy run businesses (so if this describes you please do get in touch). 

Well I’m very pleased for a friend of mine, Lisa, who has recently launched a new website:  www.alderleyedge.com and am posting this to request a few minutes of your time to click the link and check it out! 
This is a community driven web site offering news, views, useful information, and discussion on the things that matter to those that live, work and socialise in Alderley Edge so for many of you will be of local interest as well as potentially a great route to this local market for those of you with business here.  You can also register on the site which is super fast to register and since doing so I have already had some great dining special offers which have been certainly worth the minute of my time to do so!  
Please direct any feature, editorial suggestions, opinions, questions, feedback, thoughts and ideas to lisa@alderleyedge.com 

Claire x
p.s.  Please feel free to review on your own blogs etc. and help spread the word that www.alderleyedge.com is there!

Sharing in the local knowledge at www.alderleyedge.com



Share in the local knowledge at www.alderleyedge.com

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Maternity Sale – up to 75% off!

“Love Maternity” is my favourite maternity clothes store.  OK I confess its geographically local to me so I do pram past but they also have a fab online shop too at:  www.lovematernity.com 

“Love Maternity” is run by a mummy friend of mine, the lovely Clare, who chooses great stock – fab looking and most importantly fitting and feeling maternity clothes and she’s introduced me to some fab brandsincluding Noppies, Home Mummy, Forty Weeks, Seraphine, Picchu Maternity to name drop a few.  I’m always keen to support and help promote other mummy run businesses and their Summer sale, including the current 2009 Summer collection, starts this Saturday 25th July – please feel free to spread the news far and wide to all those with burgeoning bumps – full details below: 

Please Note: All Sale items are non returnable.


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Its been a while …

… since I wrote about what I’ve been up to and the trials of life sent our way.  I’m now 24 weeks pregnant with baby number two and having been terribly ill for the first 14 or so weeks have had a good couple of months sickness free and generally feeling quite well, if a little tired but that is life as a working mum with a two year old toddler! 

I have been working on some freelance marketing projects and met some really nice new people I haven’t worked with before which is great – a big shout out to the teams at YOYO Media and MadHouse HQ and fingers crossed for their imminent pitches!  Dandelion Lounge has displays, sample packs and competitions running at a number of Summer Fairs and Charity events.  If you aren’t at one and want a chance to win some of our fabulous cards, its easy, just register on www.dandelionlounge.co.uk before 30th September.

Currently and for the last three weeks (and counting!) my family and are living with my parents whilst we have a new kitchen and bathroom fitted – we are already a week over and the frustration around the whole project and unreliable tradesmen is too great to write anymore than that at this point – grrr – I’ll write more on this I am sure but when tempers and patience aren’t as tested and fraught! 

On a happier note I am counting down to a weeks holiday back down at our place in Cornwall at the begining of July.  The journey down there is a 5 hour one so we are treating ourselves and breaking the journey up with a hotel stop over either way and including a day trip to Thomas Land at Drayton Manor www.thomaslanduk.co.uk my little H is a big fan!  I will report back with a review of our experience in July.

Well I had better sign off, the weekend is here and although we are uprooted from our home on the plus side we do have extra grandparenting childcare!  Tomorrow is Fathers Day and we are headed for a day trip to Monkey Forest www.trentham-monkey-forest.com  so need to head out under grey June skies (I want a refund on Summer so far!) and buy food for our picnic.

Ciao for now!  Claire

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