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Top Tips for Managing Your Social Media During the Current Crisis

As a small business owner, it’s hard to navigate your social media at the moment.  Milla from Pink Storm Social has put together a few points to help us during this unprecedented time. I have found it so helpful and hope you do too.

Acknowledge the situation and don’t avoid it

We know it isn’t business as normal because nothing about the current situation is normal so use this time to share how you are dealing and adapting, any initiatives you are taking, any inspiration you are seeing from other people, share it.

Be yourself, be relatable and be realistic

If its relevant post a statement from your company telling your followers what measures and actions you are putting in place and reassure them.

Keep showing up and posting consistently

Now is not the time to go quiet, if you ease off on your marketing communications in general you might feel the effects in 6 months time when hopefully we will all be looking to build again. Much better to stay active and present and ride the wave.

Engage with your followers in ways that aren’t too sales heavy

Be more human. If you have senior members of the team who don’t usually feature on your social media, give them a shout! Use your stories to ask questions. If you have followers from all over the world ask where they are located and how they are being affected. Go live to have conversations with your followers. Make your content as personal as possible.

Don’t be disheartened if you see your engagement levels drop

Naturally we are going to see more people posting on social media so we might see a slightly dip in our levels of engagement.

Check what you have scheduled – grid wise and advert wise

Adjust your language and tone of voice to fit the current situation, check all your content with a coronavirus lense. You don’t want to be caught out by a post you had scheduled advertising the best places to take children on summer holidays in Europe for example. ​

Use this time to try new things on social

There are so many online tutorials being offered at the moment for free. Take advantage and upskill. If for example you haven’t posted an IGTV before, learn how to and get cracking. If you sell products online use your Instagram stories a bit like QVC!

Use social media to find people to collaborate with

More than ever find ways to be helpful to your customers, think about adding value – what products do you produce that could make their lives easier. Are there some like minded brands you could collaborate with to produce an activity pack for children for example.

Try and gather as much UGC as possible

By UGC I mean user generated content. If you sell a product and a client sends you a photo of that product in their home, that is called user generated content. So ask your customers for photos of your products. If you sell a service ask clients for reviews and testimonials that you can use in your content. Now is the time to build trust in your brand and you do this by showing how amazing your customers think you are!

Don’t feel ashamed to keep “working” and selling your product or service people are still buying, let’s face it we are all going to be spending a lot more time online over the next few months so don’t see self promotion as a negative. There is no reason why you need to stop.

Stay positive, while the situation is beyond serious we have to keep lifting each other up

Milla Richardson

Family Life Services

10 Ways To Virtually Support Your Isolated Parents

With Mother’s Day around the corner, it looks unlikely that we can do our usual Sunday roast at the pub. If they are over 70 and in self isolation (‘self ice skating’ at a 6yr old was over heard at school) how can we support them? I have put together 10 practical ways that you can help them with no physical contact necessary.

1) Set up an online delivery for them. With up to 4 hours queue on Ocado, try the smaller supermarkets. I also recommend leaving the online shopping slots available fro people who CANT get to the supermarket.

2) Investigate local Facebook groups in their area. Are there any pubs doing home delivery?

3) Order some frozen meals from Cook.

4) Ring around their neighbours and ask if they can be an emergency telephone number for your parents should they need it.

5) Get the kids to do a voice or video message or even better set up a video call on Whatssapp (up to 4 people) and have tea together! FaceTime. Give them a lesson on how to use it! (Press the video option rather than the telephone option)

6) Is there a local support network in their village or community? Gather the details and post them. The post office is still running!

7) They need to keep moving. Find them a low level fitness video on YouTube! (Any ideas most welcome)

8) Send them a personalised card. Try moonpig. Send them a gift. It is Mothers Day on Sunday after all!

9) Add them to your Netflix account. (I think this is legal) and set them up with some films or series you think they might like. Or phone them to remind them that there is something on terrestrial they might like.

10) Promote a sense of purpose. Have a plan in place for when this passes. A holiday to talk about, a gathering or a party is a way to keep them focussed on the good things in the future.

Do you have any other ideas? Would love to hear
Lucinda xx

Family Life Reviews Services

40 Guilt Free Educational Online Resources To Keep The Kids Entertained

To make this article timeless, I am not going to comment on the situation. I am no expert and it is evolving at rapid rate so I will leave that to the experts. However, the current climate has driven me to collate a list educational resources to aid us in keeping the kids entertained for when they are at home for a longer period to time than usual!

Katie’s Classroom

Pocket-size English and Maths revision cards for parents and teachers with children in Reception all the way up to Year 6/SATs/11+ Use TEACHER50 50% off your order and Katie’s Classroom Subscription Based Online Tutorials 7 day free trial and then £4.99 per month

Reading Eggs

I can vouch that this online resource to gt your kids reading is brilliant. It makes learning to read interesting and engaging, with great online reading games and activities.

London’s Little Thinkers

A trusted online community which inspires Little Thinkers with a huge amount of resources. Also follow them on Instagram for bite size inspiration

My Busy Bots

Busy bags and activities for toddlers and young kids


The trusted home of teacher-created planning and assessment materials and teaching resources! Perfect for inside and outside the classroom. Use PARENTSTWINKLHELPS for 1 month free

TT Rockstars


TTS Group

School supplies for primary and secondary education and free downloads for home learning

ICT Games

Free educational games created by a UK teacher

Education City

Engaging, educational resources and games for students aged 3-12 years, as well as time-saving tools that support teachers in the classroom and at home. You can try for free.

Phonics Play

Phonics games, planning and assessments. Free for parents and schools.

Oxford Owl

Discover FREE expert advice, educational resources and free eBooks to support children’s learning at primary school and at home, from Oxford University Press


Recap what your child should know with an in-depth look at the curriculum for the year.

Teaching Packs

High quality resource packs for educators


Free virtual Homework and learning for GCSE & A Level



The Big History Project

A joint effort between teachers, scholars, scientists, and their supporters to bring a multi-disciplinary approach to knowledge to lifelong learners around the world in a series of wonderful videos.



World Geography Games

Geography games online from Reception to year 12!

National Geographic Kids 

Games, quizzes and videos



Mystery Science

Free science lessons!




Learn computer programming


Creative Computer programming




Learn a language for free!



Done enough work? Some great light hearted ideas for what to do with kids.


Free mini courses for kids one ervtyhing from coding to e-safety

Hand In Hand Parenting

Fun ideas to keep the kids amused like Skype playdates and youtube tutorials


10 real life challenges for your kids

Virtual Museum Tours

12 of the most worldwide museums are doing virtual tours. I can’t wait to sit with a cuppa and have a look, especially the Uffizi Gallery in Florence!

Nature Detectives

Age related outdoor activities


A free, easy-to-use app for 3D design, electronics, and coding. It’s used by teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers to imagine, design, and make anything!

Red Ted Art

Easy craft ideas for kids

Blue Peter Badges

Apply for a Blue Peter Badge!

BBC kids show!

Apply to be on a kids show!

Rooster Money

Teach your kids the value of money in this digital age. Free trial.

The Kids Should See This

Wonderful videos on everything!


Let me know of any others! xx

For more tips and recommendations have a look at The Ultimate Directory

Days Out Family Life Services

Lucinda’s Christmas Fair Line Up

Eek, I haven’t posted on here since April. Why? has been keeping me busy! I shouldn’t complain, however I do miss keeping you in the loop with new businesses, start ups, fashion round ups and what’s on so I fully intend to get back to it. As I am sure you can imagine, the longer I don’t do it the more of a hurdle it is both mentally and physically to get on and do it. Where to start!

To begin with, I thought I would share some fabulous Christmas Fairs that are popping up in the South East – of which I will be displaying my wares! If you are able to pop along, please come and say hi – I don’t bite 🙂

Click on the links below for more details or to pre order tickets (the big charity ones are ticketed). 


The EEC Christmas Fair

24th & 25th September

Tidworth, Wiltshire

The Daisy Trust 

Monday 30th September

East Wing, Hurlingam Club, London

St Michaels Hospice Christmas Gift Fair 

Tuesday 1st October

Sandford Springs, Kingsclere, Hampshire

Ludgrove School Christmas Fair 

Friday 4th October

Ludgrove, Wokingham

The Dummer Fair 

9th & 10th October

The Dummer Cricket Centre, RG25 2AR

The Cotswold Fair 

11th – 13th November

Daylesford, Kingham, Gloucestershire

The Fulham Prep Christmas Fair 

Sat 16th November

Greyhound Road, Fulham London

The Absolutely Best Christmas Fair 

Wed 20th & 21st November

Chelsea Town Hall, London

St Andrew School Fair 

Sat 30th November

St Andrews School, Berkshire

It’s going to be busy, but I can’t wait!

Oh and did I tell you we threw another thing into the mix? Our darling new golden retriever puppy Jofra. (Yes, the same as the cricketer, we chose him the day after we won the World Cup!)



Books Family Life

World Book Day Costume Ideas

The speed at which World Book Day comes around each year feels as fast as Christmas does. Next Thursday is the day that we all panic and raid the fancy dress box as we realise we haven’t prepared… ok perhaps that’s just me? Whether you are prepared or need some fresh ideas, Emily from Parrot Street (a monthly book subscription for children between 5 – 11) is sharing some simple ideas that aren’t too difficult to recreate, won’t cost a bomb and still celebrate everything that is fun and fantastic about books. Thank you Emily!

Raid The Wardrobe

The easiest option is to use clothes that your child already owns and just add a few props. For the little girl from The Paper Dolls we attached a cardboard butterfly to a hairclip but, of course, the outfit wouldn’t be complete without our own versions of Ticky, Tacky, Jackie the Backie, Jim with two noses and Jo with a bow!

Paper Dolls

For Tom Gates we created a cardboard guitar and simply added one of his favourite treats, a caramel wafer! And for Claude and Sir Bobblysock we bought a cheap red beret from eBay, attached a sock to a red jumper and created a black collar from ribbon and a chocolate coin wrapper.

Tom Gates

Dig In The Dressing Up Box 

What about using a costume from your dressing up box and simply adjusting it to become a book character? Furry ears and a face-painted nose combined with pjs and a dressing gown make for the perfect Mr Bear from Peace at Last.

Mr Bear

Cardboard Crafting 

Making a cardboard tabard, connected at the shoulders with ribbon or string, is very easy to do (assuming you have a large box to hand). We just cut out the shape of this boogying pear from The Kitchen Disco before giving it a few coats of green paint!

Kitchen Disco

Get Really Creative

These last few ideas require sewing or fabric glue but if that doesn’t put you off they are pretty simple to recreate. Rosie Revere’s dress is a large white t-shirt – we just glued red and black ribbon to the bottom to make the stripes. We bought a cheap polka dot bandana from eBay and made her toolbox from a cardboard box.

Rosie Revere

Finally, we couldn’t resist recreating a beautiful parakeet from Parrots Don’t Live in the City. We slipped a green pillowcase onto each arm, secured it to the jumper and then got to work cutting the shape of the feathers. We glued some of the green fabric to a simple mask and added a cardboard beak!


None of these costumes quite right for you?

The girls at Parrot Street have created a download of over 30 more simple ideas and are sharing it as a welcome gift for anyone that joins their mailing list before 7th March.

Join the list here

Family Life

How The Cold Can Affect Your Sleep & What You Can Do About It

Winter is coming and if you’re a fan of the warm weather, there’s absolutely nothing that you can do to stop the seasons rolling around.  Something that we often associate with winter is the change in how we sleep. We think that people would sleep more and ‘hibernate’ during the cold,  dark nights, but that’s not the case!

The Lack of Sunlight 

With shorter days on the horizon, your sleep/wake cycles typically experience some sort of interference. Due to a reduction of sunlight in your life, not only do you receive less natural vitamin D, but it also means that your brain produces higher levels of melatonin, which we know is part of the process to make us feel tired and sleepy when bedtime nears.


  • The trick here is to open up your curtains/blinds the moment that you wake up in order to get more natural light entering your home or bedroom at the very least.
  • You should also look to get outside and enjoy natural light more than you might do in the lighter months too

Rack Up Some Quality Sleep 

Enjoying quality, sustained sleep is vital all-year-round, but it becomes particularly essential in the wintertime if you are to stave off feelings of being tired.

As a matter of fact, snoozing more than you should is actually medically proven to be bad for you.

Experts advise that an adult average sleep should be between seven and nine hours a night. Therefore, if you want to stay on track, ensure your bedroom space is able to aid you in feeling chilled out and drowsy.

The main things to consider are:

  • Have a tidy bedroom with zero clutter
  • Sleep with comfy, cosy and warm bedding
  • Switch off your phone, all smart devices and your TV two hours before bed


Exercise Regularly 

The dark winter nights are actually a great excuse to get out and about. You might be feeling the cold too, so, by going out to do some exercise it will help with a range of things in your life from your mood to the standard of your sleep.

By taking part in exercise during the late afternoon, so after work for most people, it can assist in lowering the onset of early-evening fatigue, as well as boosting the worth of your sleep as we mentioned.

The NHS recommends just 150 minutes of exercise a week.

Why not use the winter months to give something new a try?

If you do a summer sport that’s normally enjoyed in the dry, why not find a new training regime to improve your strength and conditioning in the gym so that you can start the new season in better shape?

Get Your Diet Right 

Wintertime usually brings with it some added weight. You might be trying to keep yourself warm, but being overweight and underweight can have an impact on your energy levels which can result in some serious sleepy feelings.

Therefore, it’s paramount to keep on top of a wholesome, healthy, balanced diet.

The temptation to eat hearty, warming meals when it’s cold outside is very real but if you remember to include a wide selection of fruit and vegetables every day you will have more energy.

You can take your pick from a whole host of winter veg including:

  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Swede
  • Leeks
  • Kale
  • Cabbage


You can use a mixture of these, plus much more to create warming winter meals. You might also realise that you have a heightened craving for sweet things during winter. Do what you can to swerve foods that have a lot of sugar in them as this will give you a huge sugar rush and what goes up, must come down; and in this case, it’ll be with a bang!

You’ll end up having naps or feeling lethargic at the wrong time of day and not feel tired at night when you should be winding down for some good sleep, so think about what passes your lips and you’ll be fine!

Family Life Services

How To Choose Your Next Family Car

With the kids back at school, a sense of normalcy has returned, but the to-do list just never seems to get any shorter and for most of us, buying a new car is still one big hassle. Who has the time and energy to schlep around all the car dealers on the weekend? Not only that, buying a new or second-hand car can be a really intimidating experience, particularly when you don’t know your carburetor from your car bonnet; and researching all the options before opening the pages of AutoTrader can be a real challenge.

This is where Car Sleuth comes in handy – it does all this for you!


I have interviewed Scott, the founder of Car Sleuth – to answer all the questions you might have…

How did it all begin?

After hearing too many examples of friends or colleagues who didn’t have the time to research the market and then felt pressured when finally making a purchase, I knew that I could help. Thanks to my lifelong passion for all cars and having undertaken auto mechanic courses, I have the expertise to help you find the perfect family load-lugger, the ideal city car or your dream weekend sports car!


Who have you helped?

Recently I helped a family replace their old diesel Audi with a new hybrid. They were becoming increasingly concerned about the rising costs of driving a diesel in central London but didn’t know where to begin. Thanks to my enthusiasm, they actually found the whole process to be quite fun! The hassle had been completely removed, and they were thrilled. Whoever thought that buying a car could be… fun?!?

Best 2019 Volvo XC90 Side High Resolution - Car Blog

Another couple had deliberated over what kind of car to buy for nearly a year. They were definitely not car people! Just one week after contacting me they were driving into the sunset in a shiny new car – a model they had never previously considered – that also included getting them a great price for their 15 year old estate!

Overjoyed, they’ve been telling everyone about Car Sleuth


How does the service work?

The service works very simply.  After asking you specific questions, I’ll spend a couple of days shortlisting suitable cars by order of preference and present this list to you with my reasoning behind the choices.

In the case of a used car purchase, the shortlisted car dealerships will be vetted and the cars personally inspected by me once confirmed by you; whilst any new car dealerships will be based at a showroom conveniently located near your home or office.

I’ll organise test drives at times that are convenient for you and they’ll be undertaken with me alongside. Once a decision has been made to purchase the car, I’ll negotiate the final price for you!  I can also run through the pros and cons of the various financing options that are available, too. I actively encourage people to ask me as many questions as possible – I love cars so am always happy to talk about them!

Scott Hylton, founder of Car Sleuth

How much do you charge for your service?

Unlike other car buying services across the UK, I don’t get paid by the car dealer. This more common payment method could lead to favoritism towards one brand or dealer rather than ensuring you get the right vehicle for your needs. With this difference in mind and appreciating that it’s better for you to know our fees up front, Car Sleuth’s car buying services start from £500 depending on the price of the car, paid in two installments: a £100 deposit and the balance paid upon completion of the car purchase.  My fee will be recouped in the car price negotiation, so I’d say that this is money well spent!

What a great idea! For more information, contact Scott on tel: 07880 646 098

If your family car isn’t safe you should certainly consider upgrading to something new. If the car isn’t safe you might want to use a business to sell it.

Family Life

Fabulous Art Party with The Little Art Society

I always admire the mothers who enjoy getting out the craft and completing a project beginning to end with their little ones.  Colouring pencils and a colouring book is as far as I go, much to the disappointment of 2/3 of my kids. My oldest (7) and youngest (4) love any type of craft and could happily sit all day sticking cutting, painting and sculpting. When the lovely Rachel who set up The Little Art Society offered for us to review a craft party – I jumped at the chance.

Hosted by my lovely pal Issy, we decided on sticking with just our combined 6 kids (as it feels like there are 12 when they are together!) and chose to use the outside table as it was such a beautiful sunny day.


Rachel decided on 3 activities to suit all ages. We started with badge making. Rachel has everything prepared in advance so there is no waiting around. They loved designing their badges and thought the process of making them was excellent!

Badge making

She advises The Little Art Society parties and workshops are for age 5 and upwards. However we squeezed the two 4 year old girls into the group and they really enjoyed it, despite needing a bit of extra help.  Here they are gluing on tissue paper to create a decoupage letter.


The highlight was the T Shirt printing with NEON PAINTS!!! Well it was my highlight nonetheless. She has chosen age appropriate white t-shirts and kindly laser cut some football figures at my request for the football crazy one – in the end he chose a hedgehog though!!


The children were thrilled with the results and it was lovely that they had useful, good quality and long-lasting items to take away with them. Here are 2 very proud T Shirt wearers!

Neon T Shirt

I highly recommend booking Rachel for a kids party. They will absolutely love it. Or why not get a group together in the holidays and all chip in for a craft afternoon?

Rachel can also put together bespoke parties for adults too – I like the sound of her lampshade decorating workshop – great for a mums Christmas party or a hen night!

Based in London and the home counties so everyone can have a go!

Contact Rachel at The Little Art Society

Book a Craft Party

Attend a Workshop