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How can you build a brand with staying power?

Posted by on Jun 12, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

How can you build a brand with staying power?

How can you build a brand with staying power?

The brands that come to mind when we think ‘big brands’ have largely got to where they are now through excellent marketing, reliable products and the maintenance of a hard earned reputation.

No matter what size your business is, it’s crucial that your build a brand that people trust and know when they need whatever it is you are supplying.

There are a few ways to get your brand out there, but it’s down to you as a business to give the best customer experience you can for that ‘staying power’ – here are a few ideas to get you started.

Be clear about your purpose

All brands need a story; what inspired you to start this brand? What is your aim with your company? If you have a clear position in the market, it’s easier for people to understand exactly what you do and therefore trust in you. Take Levi Strauss as an example. Levi’s have been popular for an impressive 162 years now, one of the USA’s most iconic brands. But what Levi’s have done isn’t complicated, they set out to be an authentic denim producer and today they are still manufacturing high quality, authentic clothing.

Stories also help us connect as human beings, and a good story can make your brand more memorable. Try to make an emotional connection with your brand and the public by drawing on popular experiences. Bolster Creative recommends you put your story out there either through your website, either by video or written out and make it easy to share across social media: “Your story will help carry your brand beyond the short attention span of today’s digital consumers and begin to build a truly loyal following.”. To keep the limited attention span of your consumers make your story short and snappy!

Maintain some consistency 

Establish who your clientele are before you set out as a business and don’t side track from your decision. It’s down to you as a company to decide on the value of your service or products. It may seem expensive to some people but if it’s worth it, the right customers will come along in the end.

Once you have established prices, a clientele and a service, don’t change your decision as there will be certain expectations associated with your brand that if you disrupt, could weaken your brand’s reputation. Forbes contributor William Arruda compares this to the success of Richard Branson:

“Richard Branson, a brand name himself, evolved from running a record label to running an airline, with so many ventures along the way,” he says. “He has built a multi-billion dollar conglomerate around his values of risk-taking and adventure. […] But he remains consistent in delivering a customer-centric, aesthetically pleasing, mega-cool experience no matter the venture.”

If you can nail branding like Branson has, you’re onto a winner. All you need is pure, raw and exciting passion for your brand and the ability to pass this passion onto your consumers.

Put yourself out there 

Your brand is only going to get noticed if, put simply, it’s noticeable, so whether you’re advertising on the Internet or out and about make sure you market your brand correctly. Social media is one of the most effective ways to advertise, as long as you get it right. However, don’t underestimate the power of advertising the old-fashioned way, customisation of clothing and accessories can still go a long way as subliminal advertising. Plus, it gives people a chance to talk about your brand when they ask what the name means.

 

Create great product shots for your website

Posted by on Jun 6, 2017 in Blog, DIY Marketing, Making Mum’s Life Easier | 0 comments

Create great product shots for your website

 

Create great product shots for your website

Good product shots of items will increase sales. Using a professional photographer will give you professional, crisp shots that will enhance the look of the product, however if you don’t have the budget to spend, Sara Moseley takes us through how to photograph great product shots inexpensively.

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How to make a recycled monster

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Blog, Making Mum’s Life Easier, MumsClub News | 0 comments

How to make a recycled monster

How to make a recycled monster

1. Create your Pattern

First you will need to create a pattern for your monster. Either draw one yourself or ask your children to draw you one. If you get your children to draw one you may have to adapt it by making it bigger or simplifying it.

This picture shows how I adapted a drawing by one of my children (on the left) into a design I could use (shown on the right).

Transfer your pattern to newspaper or dressmakers pattern paper.

2. Cut out and Sew Together

If you are using a piece of fabric then fold it in half so that you have two layers. If you are recycling then you should have two sides already. Place your pattern on top and pin it to both layers. Cut out your pieces leaving an extra 1.5 cm around the pattern for your seam allowance.

For our monster we cut the Monster body out of the main part of the top and the Monster legs from the arms. If you do this you will need to sew the leg pieces to each side of the body before you sew the rest together.

Remove the pattern and with the right sides of the fabric facing each other pin and then sew your monster together on a sewing machine or by hand using a back stitch. Use a ball point needle to prevent laddering. Remember to leave a small gap open at one side so that you can turn it inside out and stuff it.

3. Stuff your Monster

Turn your monster the right way out pulling it through the hole you left in the side. You can either stuff it with shop bought stuffing, cleaned and carded sheep’s wool or even small remnants of fabric. Use only small pieces of stuffing otherwise it will become lumpy. Push the stuffing well down the legs using something long like a chopstick if necessary. Even very small children can help with stuffing and they will delight in seeing the empty sack take shape before their eyes.

Once it is firmly stuffed sew up the hole in the side.

4. Give it some features

Decide what features you are going to give your monster. It can be as simple or as complex as you wish. You can either cut out the features from fabric to sew on, or embroider directly onto the fabric with embroidery thread, or even paint them on.

We used some off cuts of fabric to make two eyes and a mouth. We used two colours for each and sewed the smaller piece on to the larger one with a small zig-zag stitch on the machine. If sewing on fabric like we did then pin it first so it doesn’t move around. We placed ours over the worst of the stains. Then sew the fabric on using small over and over stitches close together.

5. Give your monster to a lucky child

And there you have it: you have just created a fantastic recycled monster. There is only one like it in the world and you have also done your bit to help save the planet.

The sky is the limit here. You can make your monsters as small or as large as you like. They can have two heads, seven arms and three legs. Only your imagination is the limit.

And if you like you can also create shoes, clothes and accessories for your monster. Get creating and have fun.


All about mum:

Mairi Rivers is a work at home mum of three young children and she runs Pogglers an online store selling cloth dolls, dressing up clothes, toys, bags and more for babies and children. She started making toys when pregnant with her second child. “I wanted to make something for my new born baby to give her big sister, so that she felt included and also had something to look after,” explains Mairi. She uses natural fabrics, predominantly organic cotton, with a line of one off Funky Dolls made from recycled material.

Visit her website for more creative ideas like this one; www.pogglers.net

 

 

 

The importance of taking a holiday

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Blog, Member News | 0 comments

The importance of taking a holiday

The importance of taking a holiday!

As mum, and owner of travel company, Bookings For You, specialising in organising villa holidays to Italy, France and Croatia, Jo Mackay knows better than most the benefits of taking that ‘proper break’ and booking time off from work.

However, according to a recent YouGov Survey, as many as a third of employees aren’t taking their full quota of annual leave. And these statistics are even worse if you look at small business owners and entrepreneurs. Among this group, a OnePoll survey showed that over three quarters of small business owners and entrepreneurs have sacrificed their holidays in order to keep their business running.

So what are their reasons for not doing taking time off? Certainly for those running the business on their own, they may feel that the business can’t survive without them at the helm 24/7. Or maybe they feel if they are away, they may miss that big, once in a lifetime opportunity. Or perhaps it’s more a simply case of not feeling that they can delegate the workload.

So, whilst Jo Mackay may help thousands of people a year find the perfect holiday, does she practice what she preaches? Or does she fall into this same category of business owners seemingly unable to tear themselves away from their desks?

There is certainly no doubt in her mind that taking time out of the business can reap dividends in the long run…. giving the mind and body a much needed rest from the day to day can spur creativity, whilst being out of the office and enjoying that much needed change in scenery can truly inspire and deliver fresh ideas. Whether it’s a few days off, or even a week or fortnight out of the office, in her opinion that period of rest and relaxation definitely allows you to function more effectively and efficiently when you do return to the office, with a new zest and zeal to grow the business in the months ahead.

But, for Jo, just as important as booking the time off and taking that well deserved holiday, is ensuring that, once there, you can relax and enjoy it. All too often do you hear stories of families trying to enjoy a holiday whilst one of the parents has their phone glued to their ear fielding work calls or of days out being delayed until a crucial email has been written and sent.

There are those who believe that a holiday should reflect the other extreme and be a complete break from work… phones should be switched off and laptops ignored. But Jo Mackay doesn’t believe that this approach is either realistic or necessary either. Instead, just work smartly… the key to a successful holiday is all in the preparation.

Here are Jo’s top tips on how to give yourself that much needed break from the office:

  1. If your business is of a size where you have a good team around you, then empower those colleagues to step up to the plate in your absence.  Having a clear division of responsibilities amongst your team will ensure that everyone is clear on their roles whilst you’re out of the office, whilst being clear on the priorities will ensure that the work that needs to be focused on gets done in your absence. But don’t be too prescriptive on this either. It’s a fine balance and you may well find that, by giving your team that extra bit of freedom, that they truly shine and rise to the challenge, surprising you with their initiative.
  2. Put the workload in perspective. Most businesses can categorise their workload in order of importance and urgency. Whilst everything may seem urgent and important when you’re in the thick of it, step back and really assess priorities. Most people will find that a certain % of the ‘to do’ list can be put on hold for a few days.  As a general rule, prioritise anything that is customer facing and push back any of the back office work.
  3. Outsource the basics… You can set expectations whilst you are away by putting an ‘out of office’ response on emails. People you work and communicate with regularly will pick up on this and will start to consider what emails they sent, aware that you’re perhaps not back in the office until the following week. Or, if you want to cut down on the time you spend on devices, use a virtual assistant to check emails on your behalf. They can assess the urgency of anything and contact you with just the things that really can’t wait….
  4. Plan ahead – social media is key to so many businesses these days but with some forward planning, much of your social media can be prescheduled. The services of a virtual assistant can again be taken if you need someone to handle comments and posts on a daily basis.
  5. Schedule set time each day to check emails. In other words, set clear boundaries on when you will work each day. It’s not always realistic to switch your phone off altogether but by setting allocated times each day, you will limit how much time you spend on devices. It’s so much better than constantly checking the phone during the day and so much healthier for both yourself and anyone you are travelling with. Perhaps you may decide to get up an hour before the children to do this so that this doesn’t encroach at all on family time.
  6. Think about the best time to take a holiday. As an example, most people booking with Bookings For You stay between April and October. As a result, Jo often takes time out of the business over Christmas and New Year.  At that time, there are few guests staying in her holiday villas and most of the contact from clients is on email which can easily be managed at set times during the day. Trying to head off at the busiest time of the year for your business is only going to make it harder to switch off…

Finally, if you’re a small business owner with a team around you, it’s important to remember that, as the boss, you are responsible for setting a good example. It’s good for your team to see you putting work in perspective, it’s good for them to see you putting your faith in them to manage the workload and it’s good for business for not just you but all of your staff to take that break from the office.

 

 

 

Get 25% off until the end of March

Posted by on Mar 18, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Get 25% off until the end of March

Get 25% off Membership throughout March!

✓ Get Media Alerts
✓ Business Boosting Toolkits
✓ Your business promoted to our social media of 50k
✓ Free review products for you to keep!
And more!

10 years ago MumsClub was created on a shoestring budget. Our biggest asset came from months, and then years, of the painstaking nurturing of media and journalist relationships. But it paid off…

Getting media attention

MumsClub has been featured in countless features and articles. From a simple case study in Prima Baby back in 2007 which created our first influx of traffic, to mentions and interviews in tabloid newspapers, Tesco magazine, Good Housekeeping, Woman and Home, radio appearances, and more. It’s been great for traffic and creating awareness plus it’s enjoyable too!

As a result, we continued to grow, we’ve reached and helped thousands of women juggle parenting and business for which our founder, Jane Hopkins was made MBE in 2012.

We have never stopped sourcing media opportunities and now we’re delighted to say that journalists send their requests direct to us.

We pass all our journalist enquiries on to our members and as a result, MumsClub members have been interviewed on the BBC, had products placements in tabloid gift guides, magazine gift guides, and lots of personal case study features, from Good Housekeeping to Woman and Home, The Daily Mail, The Sun, the Telegraph and more.

Top tip: The more savvy members use the enquiries to build and nurture their own contacts.

 

Actual press cuttings of MumsClub members in the press:

In the shops now, Paola from Dr Zigs Extraordinary Bubbles has a super feature in Prima – check out the one with James Martin on the cover, it’s called “Ladies who launch” with the headline “Bubbles have become big business” it’s a fantastic example of how media alerts can work brilliantly for your business:

Easier and cheaper than you may think

Media Alerts are a simple, accessible and low-cost method of sourcing both media contacts and journalist opportunities, and is, in our opinion, essential for any small business.

Our media alerts are aimed towards women, business, products, and a few random ones thrown in for well, you just never know.

But it’s more than that!

We don’t just provide media alerts. Premium membership will help you make the most of them – how to reply, how not to reply. What information to include and what not to include. You can build your own contact list, learn to write a press release and more.

Look at what else is included;

Members get access to a growing range of Business Boosting Toolkits; interesting tricks to getting more page likes on Facebook, video tutorials on how to design your own website, where to get free fonts, designing logos, you name it there is, or will be, a toolkit feature, or downloadable ebook for it.

And it’s all included in one monthly low-cost fee or an even cheaper annual fee.

Grab the discount code now

Joining now will give you access to everything that’s available in Premium today, plus all the additions that will be added in the future.

The price will not increase to you – joining today will lock in the 25% off rate for life – or until you cancel, whichever comes first.

JOIN TODAY!

1. Choose to subscribe Monthly, or Annually (for a further 3 month’s free)
2. Click to sign up, and enter the code: SPRING25

Don’t miss out any longer, come and join our other premium members and see what you’re missing out on.

Pay Monthly:

Membership details:
 

Monthly Membership price: GBP 9.99

Signup & add code here

 

 

Pay Annually to get 3 free months:

Membership details:
 

Annual Membership price: GBP 89.99

Signup & add code here 

 

 

Don’t take our word for it, see some of our Premium members:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2017

Posted by on Mar 10, 2017 in Gift Guides, Giveaways & Competitions, Review Zone | 0 comments

Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2017

Mother’s Day Gift guide 2017

 

As we are now in March we are already seeing Easter Eggs in the shops but we can’t forget that Mother’s Day comes before Easter, so we are here to help all you busy mums (and Dads) in finding the perfect gift this Mother’s Day.

 

 

 


Nuu Mobile X4 Phone – Enter below to WIN!

£139.99  / Available from Nuumobile.com (direct) and Amazon.co.ukGame.comThis is an impressive dual sim Android smartphone, that we think rivals the high-end iPhone but at a fraction of the cost.
The Nuu x4 is an affordable, premium, unlocked, Dual SIM smartphone; ideal for business owning mums juggling family and work. It’s useful dual SIM capability means the user can use a different number for work and personal calls, and can access the best local tariffs, worldwide. Great for photos, the 13-megapixel wide angle lens camera with gesture control is fabulous, but it also has a 5 megapixel front camera and a 5-inch HD touchscreen with 1280 x 720 HD resolution. They are also super stylish, fits nicely in the hand, and has 2GB RAM for speedily switching through the apps and a 16GB built in storage and an expandable microSD card. So pop in your choice of sim card and you’re all set. An awesome and different idea for Mother’s Day, and we have one to giveaway!


Andrew James Colour Changing Diffuser

£19.99 from www.andrewjamesworldwide.com

 

Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to turn any room into a tranquil oasis for your Mum, so she can make the most of some downtime. The Diffuser doesn’t come with any fragrances so that means you can create your own blends or select your favourite scent. All you need to do is fill the 120ml pot inside with water and add a few drops of your favourite essential oil. The diffuser uses ultrasonic technology which gently vibrates molecules to release the aroma into the room. As no heat is produced, the Aroma Diffuser is safer to use than candles or oil burners, and automatically switches off when the water level is low. Not only can the diffuser spoil your senses with your favourite scents, it also humidifies the room, improving the air quality and leaving you refreshed and relaxed. For £19.99 this makes an affordable, attractive and mood enhancing gift for Mother’s Day.


IXXI Anti-Ageing Absolute

£49.00 from www.ixxi-cosmetics.co.ukWe are told that IXXI is a lovely French natural cosmetics brand, new on the UK market. Thanks to its exclusive ingredient, OPC PIN, it offers everything a busy mum can look for in a beauty treatment: natural, antipollution, antiaging while locally-produced and ecological-minded. Anti-Ageing Absolute brings effective action with highly redensifying, regenerating and protective benefits. Wrinkles are corrected and the skin in nourished, regaining comfort and radiance. The Mumsclub team have been using it for a few weeks now and can really see and feel the difference in our skin …. long may this continue!


Picture Keeper Connect

£99.99 on Amazon

Now the MumsClub team “may” have been fighting over this particular product. The Picture Keeper Connect backs up all the information on your mobile phone, without having to rely on cloud technology (which might be more attractive after the recent Amazon outage). We have all had that annoying “out of storage” message when we want to take the perfect photo but the PictureKeeper allows you to store your photos but has a handy app that allows you to print a real picture and get it delivered to your house. There is nothing we don’t like about this handy little product and for busy mums (or Instagram addicts) who always want to capture the perfect picture (and may need to take 10 images to find it), then the PictureKeeper is the perfect gift.


Kerstin Florian Correcting Eye Rescue

£98.00 from www.kerstinflorian.co.ukKerstin Florian’s Correcting Eye Rescue is the perfect at-home spa treat, featuring easy to use under-the-eye pads to treat dark circles, puffiness and fine lines. Simply spritz the eye pad with hydrating Neroli Water for a brighter, visibly plumped and more luminous under-eye area. It is worth noting that you can’t take short cuts and use tap water and you need to give yourself 15-30 minutes to carry out the treatment, so it is not something you can do on the run! We were told that the eye correcting rescue decreases wrinkles by 35% and improves skin elasticity and after trying them out, our review panel do seem to have more of a twinkle in their eyes!


Swan Easy Grip Wine & Bottle Opener

£18.34 from Avina Wine accessories It is well documented that the MumsClub team do love a good bottle of wine or two, so we couldn’t resist adding this pink wine and bottle opener into our Mother’s Day Gift Guide. This product is really designed to last, as the winged corkscrew is backed with a ‘You Break It, We Replace It’ guarantee, so you never have to buy another cute wine bottle opener again. To top it off, it also comes with a stylish bottle stopper too in a presentation box, all just for £18.34.


Salter Nutri-Pro

£ 53.99 from Amazon Well, what a treat this has been, so easy to use, just throw your fruit in with some cold water, ice cubes or frozen fruit and voila just a few seconds in the super powerful 1200w Nutri-Pro produces a fabulously smooth smoothie. A quick rinse under the tap and the blade is clean and ready for another. You make the smoothie in the cup you use so less washing up. There’s a handy booklet of ideas for smoothies, and it comes with useful attachments too. My son, who is normally reluctant to eating fruit will happily make himself a milkshake with real fruit in this. He’s never been able to drink a smoothie before because of the bits but there are no bits with these smoothies! A true time and hassle saving device for my kitchen that’s for sure.


Cachet Heart Box of Luxury Belgian Chocolates

£12.98 from Bottled and BoxedWell, nothing says Mother’s Day like chocolates, so a luxury box of specially presented Belgian chocolates are quite perfect in our eyes. In each heart-shaped presentation box, is a mouth-watering selection of milk, dark and white chocolate delights to keep Mum happy all day. If you’re yet to discover Belgian chocolates this is the perfect way to do it.


Chocolate Bouquets

From £29.95 from The Flower StalkWhat’s not to love about flowers, and chocolate? Combine the beauty and sweetness of flowers and chocolates in this lovely chocolate bouquet. Available in 5 colour combinations and three sizes, perfect for Mother’s Day, delivered UK wide £29.95, £39.95 and £49.95.


OPI nail polish collection

Prices from £14 from various stockists

Bang on trend, these are a great personal gift for mums of any age. She can choose from a going-out deep burgundy Malaga wine or a choice of two shades of nude with Dulce de Leche and Taupe-less Beach. Two coats of OPI produces a flawless gel-like nail polish and our review can testify the claim that they are chip resistant, commenting that the polish wore off rather than chipping. Also noted that the OPI nail polish brush applies beautifully, covering the whole nail in just 2 strokes.


Mother’s Day Beauty Sleep Gift Set

£45 from NYR Organic Make your amazing mum feel extra special with this soothing natural collection. She can cocoon herself in the calming aroma of Ylang Ylang, Patchouli and Cypress Essential Oils, while her skin is replenished overnight, for a beautifully blissed out Mother’s Day. £45, but currently with 30% off (applied when added to the cart – for a limited time only)


Pen Heaven Journals 

£34.90 from Pen Heaven JournalsWant a find the perfect way to give Mum some ‘me’ time?  The Amalfi Refillable Leather Journal is ideal for jotting down memoirs, sketching and writing. Available in a variety of sizes and colours, to match your mother’s style, emboss with her name, initials or short phrase for a unique and exclusive present. Prices start from £29.90. The Mumsclub team chose the shocking pink colour (to match our branding) and a standard black version (for when we are feeling the need to be grown ups) and we love that there is a range of colours to choose from. The journal oozes quality and makes a gorgeous timeless gift.


Mother’s Day roast from It’s Thyme

£40.00  from It’s Thyme


And finally, we’re not suggesting this should be “the” present for mum on Mother’s Day, but we do feel it makes a great additional token of appreciation to be able to say relax mm, we’ve got dinner coveredIt’s Thyme have a super range of tp quality food, prepared by hand and perfectly frozen for you to simply cook at home. Bringing a new meaning to frozen meals, for just £40 you’ll receive everything you need for a Roast Dinner with all the trimmings for 6 people, with plenty for left-overs!

 


 

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PR Toolkit & Media Requests

Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 in Blog, MumsClub News | 0 comments

PR Toolkit & Media Requests

Don’t write a press release until… you take a look at our PR Toolkit and see how it can help get your business media attention.

As mums, we’re all incredibly busy juggling a business with the madness of family life, and the one thing that we tend to let lapse is writing press releases and getting our business media attention.

 

MumsClub Membership now offers a PR Toolkit membership option, that for a small monthly cost will provide you, not only access to media requests from journalists, along with contact details but also a Toolkit full of PR tips, tricks and advice on how to use those media requests.

 

 

 

You will get help with:

  • How to respond to media requests
  • How to write and distribute a press release
  • PR Planner to download and keep for every year
  • Press release template
  • Submit your press release to MumsClub
  • Tips to make your posts stand out and more!

 

There are no contracts; you simply pay monthly or choose annually for a big discount.

Don’t miss out a moment longer!

 


Join now:

Pay Monthly: Signup

Get 3 months free with annual: Signup

 

 

 

How we won* the lottery

Posted by on Jan 31, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

How we won* the lottery

How we won* the lottery

(*almost)

I remember with fondness, the launch of the UK lottery in the back in 1994. Everyone was talking about it and I didn’t know anyone who hadn’t bought at least one ticket. I sat with my family and we decided which numbers we would use, we spent ages cutting up numbers pieces of paper like raffle tickets and taking it in turn to pick out our own numbers, strangely we all picked out number 49, couple this with the massive hype created by the Lottery PR team, we (along with millions of others) firmly believed we were going to win. We didn’t. But we had fun planning what we would do with our winnings.

Since then I’ve never had a problem with my own family playing the lottery. It’s technically betting which I wouldn’t like my children to be hooked on but the lottery can be a fun family activity.

This Christmas we had a family go at it again, you know that lull in the Christmas holidays after boxing day but before New Year’s Eve? I don’t know about you but that time always seems to fall a little flat. This year we started talking about winning the lottery after my son had found a fascinating video on youtube about people who had won the lottery and lost it all, it was interesting to see what had happened to these poor people. Literally poor now after being so wealthy. But it sparked a conversation about how we would spend a large amount of money that we may come into, whether winning it or finding it…or any other reason.

 

 

I’m delighted to report that my family would opt for both investing for the future and creating a holiday village for less advantaged children and families, complete with petting farm and riding school. We even went as far as finding an appropriate rural farm that was for sale and mentally redeveloping it!

Historically we’ve used the website to play the national lottery direct but this time we hopped online and created a Lottoland account. There are so many lotteries worldwide, and you can bet on the numbers of any of them right here. Interestingly you’re not actually buying a ticket with the actual lottery provider, you are betting on the numbers of that draw, but it is Lottoland who payout by matching the prizes of each tier, including the jackpot, that each official lottery operators pay out. It is as though you had won with an official lottery ticket. So in that respect, there’s no difference in using Lottoland, but additionally, they can offer benefits such as free bets, and special jackpots that they individual promoters are unable to offer.

So we went for the Irish Lottery, firstly because my grandmother was Irish, secondly there’s that luck o’ the Irish and thirdly it was really easy to play.

The odds of winning on the Irish Lottery are 1 in 29, which is quite good. The odds of winning the jackpot is 1 in 10 million, which, compared to other lotteries, isn’t too bad.

Draws take place every Saturday and Wednesday at 8pm. It costs £2 to play which offers a jackpot of a minimum of £1.4million, and for another 50p you get another 2 chances to win; the plus 1 and plus 2 draws, which gives you a chance to win £360k and £180k respectively.

We chose our numbers, strategically of course, and then we went into positive thinking mode to help us win. We did win on that one! Not a huge amount but it meant we could play again a few more times. More than anything, we had lots of fun with it and gave us something to look forward to at that quite time over the holidays.

We also placed a single bet on the Powerball – the biggie from America where someone once won a Billion, yes a Billion pound! Didn’t win…

 

 

 

My journey: Victoria Casebourne

Posted by on Jan 24, 2017 in Blog, Member Profiles | 0 comments

My journey: Victoria Casebourne

My journey as a mum in business: Victoria Casebourne

It has taken me a very long time to truly understand who I am. It has to be said that I am a navel gazer and love reading self-help books but even with years under my belt it has only just dawned on me that the things I have been fighting are actually my strengths. No not just strengths but true superpowers which make me who I am.

I started my business in my early 20’s and am now reaching 16 years in business. I feel so blessed that I was able to jump off the 9-5 train so early. Not only because I had to endure just a handful of years being slave to some unimaginative boss with an ego the size of England, but also that I managed to get so many years under my belt before “social” media took over.

I was in my own little creative business bubble. Working on my website and doing my thing without a care in the world. I had very little to compare myself to and in all honesty, ignorance was bliss. I was totally focused and like a dog with a bone. It didn’t occur to me that someone out there had a 7 step system I could have followed or that someone out there had done what I wanted to but in 3 weeks and could now teach me for £5000.

I feel sorry for those just starting out as the noise is immense.

Listening to all these 20 somethings telling you what you should be doing. I mean my 2 and 4 year olds have a lovely time telling me this so why do I need even more people shouting at me through my screen?

It has become impossible to find the people who can genuinely help you and are not following some launch formula and count their success by how many 6 figure months they have (regardless of whether they spent 6 figures getting them!)

Sorry I ended up going down a little ranty path there.. Apologies.

Back to my original point.

We are all different. Our true strengths are often seen as weaknesses by people who do not understand us. They make us feel like we are failing, that we don’t fit and that we aren’t enough. The thing is that the thing which is making us feel like this is often the thing which will set us apart. And what I have found is that when you truly own who you are then you feel free.

I am dyslexic and have beaten myself up for many years about it.

People gasp at the miss-spellings, missing punctuation and poor grammar which I simply can not see. It is not because I am lazy (as my teachers used to tell me) but I honestly cannot see it. My brain does something remarkable and changes what I see to what is on the paper.

I used to feel embarrassed, lazy and ashamed but now I don’t let it worry me as this gift of dyslexia is actually the thing which allows me to think the way I do. I am a very creative thinker. I can think myself out of pretty much anything. I can see things from many angles at once and can turn problems into opportunities in minutes. I love talking to people who feel stuck and then seeing their faces light up as I point out the small thing which they have missed which makes it all fall into place. Without my dyslexia, I don’t believe my brain would work in the same way. It allows me to skim over the detail and see the big picture with total clarity. I put the fact that I have never run out of a way to grow my business in 16 years down to this gift.

Then there is my other ‘gift’ of being a multi-passionate business owner. I get distracted with a new idea every day and I am ‘lucky’ that I can go down various paths at a whim. I have to say this is not profitable, nor sensible BUT this gift of being able to see all of these different opportunities anywhere, combined with my creative thinking has allowed me to pull together some of the most random of ideas into one cohesive plan. Seeing how things link together which on the outside look like they are poles apart. I believe this is an immense talent that only someone with my mixture of ‘gifts’ could achieve. I was born like it. I can see things others can’t and for that, I need to pay the price of not being able to spell and getting a tad distracted at the various opportunities which pop into my head every day.

So if even a small part you feels you don’t fit, that you are missing something or that you wish you could change something about yourself (as I did for many years) then promise me one thing…

Look deeply at what is happening and see if these ‘failings’ actually are creating the gifts which you own. We are all unique. We all have our own special place in this complex world. Stop trying to crow-bar yourself into someone else’s box just to fit in. Commit to understanding who you are and owning it.  The world needs you in all your glory as you have something special inside of you. Stop fighting and let it shine. It is ok to not be the same as everyone else as it is those who dared to step out of the shadows that went on to change the world.

 

With love

Victoria

Createyourwaytosuccess.com and victoriacasebourne.com

 

 

Are you having problems breastfeeding?

Posted by on Jan 20, 2017 in Blog, Member Profiles | 0 comments

Are you having problems breastfeeding?

Are you having problems breastfeeding?

Perfect Balance Clinic believe that breastfeeding can be a fulfilling, positive and pain-free experience for mums and provides the best form of nutrition and protection early in life for babies. Breastfeeding should not be painful and nobody should be told to feed through the pain or to continue feeding when their nipples are sore, cracked or bleeding.

Whilst you may only need help with position and attachment to ensure a comfortable latch for good milk transfer, it is important to identify and treat problems quickly to relieve any pain or discomfort feeding and ensure your baby continues to get sufficient nourishment. If untreated, poor latching can develop into Mastitis, which can cause further pain and discomfort feeding.

Other issues which also affect feeding are:

Thrush, which can make the nipples very sore. Some mothers describe the symptoms as a burning sensation or as stabbing pains in the breast.

It is easily treated but both mother and baby need to be treated as your baby may not show visible signs of thrush which can be misleading.

Tongue-tie, which is thought to affect approximately 1 in 20 babies, restricts the movement of the tongue and can make correct latching more difficult, thereby resulting in problems with breastfeeding.

How can Perfect Balance help mums with breastfeeding worries or problems?

We know that breastfeeding can be a bit tricky to begin with and there’s a bit of a knack to it – like all knacks it’s easy when you know how and hugely frustrating when you don’t. So if you are feeling uncomfortable when feeding or think that your baby is not getting sufficient milk, then it’s worth giving us a call.

Our lactation consultancy services will identify and help treat the root causes of any pain or problems that you are having whilst feeding your baby. We can offer you the full range of services, either at one of our clinics or in your own home, which hopefully makes it less disruptive for you and your baby.

By visiting you at home, this also gives us the opportunity to assess how your baby feeds normally, observing your baby’s latch, position and ability to lie comfortably. We will also check your baby for signs of feeding difficulties, such as tongue-tie, and carry out a full suck, swallow and rhythm assessment. We may also suggest a thrush swab test as a quick and simple way of ruling out thrush as a cause of your breastfeeding problems.

Once we have established why you are having difficulties feeding, we can help with:

*sore nipple management using cold laser, healing pads and breastfeeding assistance

*positioning and attahment advice to improve your latch

*advice and techniques for suck training

*breastfeeding mechanics (low milk supply, fast let down) to

*help colicky or unsettled babies

*ultrasound therapy for blocked ducts and mastitis

 

 

Unsure whether it’s worth booking an appointment?

We help mums with all sorts of breastfeeding worries and problems – if you are interested in our services or just want to talk to someone about your breastfeeding worries, then give us a call on 0800 0724 012 or email us at pregnancy@perfectbalanceclinic.com