Everyone knows customer service can make or break a business.
Treat your customers well and they’ll come back time and time again.
This is true regardless of whether your product is a £3 Lip balm or an £1800 laptop.
I know this to be a fact as I sell £3 Lip balm and hubs bought me an £1800 Laptop for Christmas last year.
I pride myself on offering top notch customer service in my business and it means I retain my customers for future orders meaning less time spent marketing and pitching to new customers.
The same is true for Hubs and his favorite PC building company. He bought a custom PC from PC Specialist a few years back and thanks to their awesome customer service he turned to them again when it was time to upgrade my very old and weary laptop. Personally, I was happy to spend around £600 on a bog standard, off the shelf, model. But being the tech snob that he is and knowing how good PC Specialist are at what they do he opted to spend over double my original budget on something a bit better.
I realised just last week why he prefers this company to high street retailers…..half way through editing a clients photo shoot my charger decided to quit! Now, normally this would mean I’d have to scour the many replacements available on Amazon and pay out for a new one. But not this time! A quick phone call to the customer service team and a new charger was sent out and arrived 48 hours later with the promise that if it wasn’t the charger at fault my laptop would be collected and repaired before being couriered back to me. Now THAT is amazing customer service! I must admit I was always a bit cheap when it came to buying….well anything really, but sometimes, when the customer service is REALLY good I really don’t mind paying extra.
One of my business mentors has a saying: How you do anything is how you do everything.
I feel like this applies more to customer service than pretty much any other part of the business because without your customers you don’t have a business at all!
The summer holidays are here and last week came the posts on social media about how parents can’t wait to spend some family time with the kids #soblessed #makingmemories etc you know the ones!
They’ll be the same people counting down the hours until bedtime and debating if 1 pm is too early to break open the 2nd bottle of Gin in 3 days!
So when that time comes here’s ideas to keep them amused without breaking the bank.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links that I may gain commission on if you click on them to purchase.
5 ways to entertain the kids under £20.
1 – Home made slip and slide.
We had hours of fun as kids with this one! We had a little green area at the front of our terraced house and the parents would take it in turns to keep watch on us while a big group of neighbourhood kids took turns messing about on a cheap strip of plastic with either a hose gently spraying it down or if a hosepipe ban was in place we’d squirt some washing up liquid on it and soak it down with water pistols! Good times! 🙂
(Note this was the 80’s and I do not recommend adding anything to help with the slipping process due to the health and safety of your little ones!)
You will need:
Thick plastic sheet – something like this is perfect! A hosepipe or access to water. Space – A clear, flat piece of grass to set up and get sliding.
Check the ground carefully for anything that may cause injury!
Small stones, sticks, and prickles are all to be avoided for this one. The ground should be as flat as possible too. Too many bumps will result in bruises (believe me I know!) and dips in the ground will result in big pools which might seem like fun but for best results and less friction, I recommend keeping things as flat as possible.
Plus from a health and safety point of view, you don’t want anything that will cause the kids to speed up too much! Controlled slipping is the aim of the game here! 🙂
Then simply spray the plastic well and get sliding!
Bonus points can be awarded if you have water pistols to hand to add to the fun. 😉
2. Rock painting
Rainy day arts and crafts are always a win because let’s face it the British summer is never perfect sunshine all the time!
You will need:
Some rocks – We collect a couple from the beach every when we visit but any medium to large stones from the garden will do. (give them a wash before you start) Paints – again you can use pretty much anything here but I find poster paints are best with the small kids as washing out spillages is much easier! You can pick these up easily from places like the Early Learning centre, hobby craft or The works for a few quid. Something like this works well http://amzn.to/2uSJLNi Finishing spray – If you want to keep your finished artworks you will need to coat them with a sealer of some kind. A coat of Mod Podge or a clear spray will work great, Both available from hobbycraft/ eBay/ Amazon etc. Both come in gloss or Matt effect so you can choose which suits you best. I use this one from Wilkinsons Paint brushes/ applicators – you can get creative here! Try a bit of rag rolling, finger painting printing with cotton reels etc or you can just go with good old fashioned brushes!
We love this set from Amazon in our house as it has a bit of everything! 🙂
Don’t forget something to cover the kid’s clothes and the floor it could get messy! 🙂
Ideas for extending this one include adding a magnet to the back of smaller rocks to decorate the fridge, adding googly eyes to make rock monsters or why not make an audience for the kids to stage their own ‘ahem’ Rock Concert…sorry 😉
3. Outdoor Chalkboard
My Pud is pretty creative and loves drawing and arty stuff so we always have a stash of outdoor chalks on hand!
They are big chunky versions of the normal blackboard chalk and they can take a beating on the rough patio surfaces.
When I was shopping for our latest batch I came across this too!
Outdoor chalk stencils! (I know they think of everything these days)
These particular ones come with chalks included or you can buy different designs and chalks seperately for less than £10 and like I said they last ages!
This one is basically free art day. Let them go to town on the patio and paths and brick walls and simply wash it down or wait for it to rain and the clearing up is done for you! 🙂
You could extend the play by using chalks for games like hopscotch , hangman, and noughts and crosses if you want to add a bit more structure.
4. Melting Snowman biscuits
A quick simple ‘baking’ idea without turning on the oven.
You will need:
Biscuits: Any plain round ones will do. Icing Sugar
Chocolate Beans: Mini smarties or the ones in the baking section work great for colour or you could just use chocolate chips.
Black writing icing or black icing pen
Twiglets or stick shaped snacks(optional)
This is an abridged ‘how to’ recipe taken from the BBC Food website.
Mix the icing sugar with a little water to make a smooth, thick but still runny paste.
spread/ drizzle the icing onto a biscuit to create the melting snow.
Add a marshmallow for the head and some chocolate beans/ chips for buttons and a nose.
break a twiglet in half and add it for the arms (if using)
Use the black icing to add 2 eyes and a mouth. (If not using twiglet arms you can add arms with black icing instead)
set until icing is dry then enjoy.
Side note: This one can get very messy but the kids LOVE it!
5. Foam pavement paint
This one is an idea from The Tiptoe Fairy
I’ve not tried it myself yet but it looks really cool so I’ll be trying it out on our next sunny day!
You will need:
Two 4 oz. bottles of WASHABLE school glue
1 cup white flour
4-5 cups plain white shaving foam
food coloring drops
1 extra large plastic zipper bag
smaller plastic zip lock bags – 1 per colour
Optional: plastic squirt bottles – I’ve just ordered these for us to useThe process to make it is fairly simple but The Tiptoe Fairy explains it so well with some great step by step photos I will now pass you onto her for that bit! Click here to visit the tiptoe fairy’s blog
Don’t forget to come back and tell me how it goes though!
If you try any of these out do let me know in the comments
Once upon a time, there was a girl……
She was just an ordinary girl, she wasn’t treated badly by a wicked stepmother and she wasn’t a fairytale princess or destined by some twist of fate to meet a prince and become a princess.
She was always a bit of a loner as a child and prefered the company of her books and favourite cartoon movies to the other kids her age as they would tease her for silly things, like not having the ‘right’ school bag (aka one with a big brand name emblazoned all over it which made it ‘cool’) or for not having crush on the ‘right’ kind of boys (what could she do? She just happened to be drawn to the geeks like herself)
Every day the girl trudged through a big swamp, not to go anywhere, in particular, it seemed to be a curse that everywhere she went there was just a big energy sapping swamp to drag herself through.
It was hard, it was tiring and sometimes when a storm arrived she would find it too hard to go on so she would just sit…..up to her neck in the thick muddy waters and wait for it to pass before getting up and trudging on some more.
A few years passed and the negative comments that had been carefully stored by the girl’s brain into a special little compartment began to manifest into a little troll who lived in her head. He was a mean and nasty little grey creature, shriveled and angry looking and he liked to whisper mean things to the girl every time she thought that she deserved something good.
One day as she was dragging herself wearily through her swamp the little troll spied a water well. He directed the girl to the well and then kicked her into it!
The well was large and it was deep and the water was just a little higher than the girl was tall. Drowning would be as easy as just giving up trying.
The girl spent many years treading water in the well and the troll was happy. She was making bad choices that kept her in the water and never tried to escape the well as it was far too high and even if she made it what was the point? She would still be knee deep in swamp water right?
A few more years passed and the girl had grown up and had a baby girl of her own. She decided that a well was no place for a baby so she decided to climb out of the well. It was hard!
The walls were wet and slippery but she knew things had to change so she ignored the troll in her head and she climbed! She slipped a few times on the way up but she kept on climbing and though it took a whole year to do it she made it to the top of the well.
The troll was so unhappy that he passed out from rage and the woman and her baby found a small patch of dry grass close to the well and lived happily on their ‘island’ for a while.
Soon through the troll recovered and began whispering to the woman again. He managed to get her to visit the well a few times but he couldn’t get her back down it no matter how hard he tried.
Happily ever after?
The woman met a man who was passing by her island and they fell in love. He was a good man and he helped the woman to empty some water from her swamp. He said nice things to her many times a day and grey little troll began to shrink and become quieter.
They had 2 more children and the sun began to shine on their now much bigger island. They were happy.
Then a storm rolled in and the troll snapped awake and seized his moment! He picked the woman up and threw her back in the well.
The woman wasn’t taking this lying down though. She knew now how it felt to be happy and she knew she would get back there again! Her husband threw down a rope and helped her to begin climbing again. He tried to help as much as he could but he children needed him too so the woman climbed when he helped her and rested when he was away. Sometimes she would rest too long and more than once she slipped all the way back down to the water but she kept climbing and once again got clear of the well.
The woman and her family will probably always live on that island near the well. The little troll now lives inside the well and calls to the woman daily. Sometimes the love and laughter of her family drown out the trolls calls sometimes a storm will blow in and make his calls louder, or worse, blow her back down the well again. But she knows no matter how many times she falls down that she can get back up again and that the sunshine at the top is worth the fight.
Having a business in Network Marketing means I see people spamming Facebook constantly with posts about how they love Monday which, I believe is supposed to trick the general, employed, public into thinking their life is somehow better because of their “awesome” business!
I can honestly say though being in Network Marketing myself, Mondays mornings are just as hard on me as they are on Hubs when he has to drag himself out of bed to go to a job he hates.
Finding motivation can be tough but there are a few things you can do to help.
Have a solid morning routine.
A good morning routine starts the night before. Getting enough sleep will set you up for a good day ahead. As the mother of a 10-month-old who still wakes several times a night, I believe I’m more than qualified on the subject of sleep deprivation and how it can ruin your day!
Wake up with enough time to do everything you need to do (make sure you include time for breakfast!) plus an extra 5 – 10 minutes to allow for any unplanned activity.
I used to scoff at the idea of the law of attraction but I’ve actually seen it in action! It’s insane!
As part of my morning routine, I spend 5 minutes each morning writing a gratitude journal.
Basically, I list a bunch of stuff I am thankful for each morning. I find it sets up my brain to focus on the good things more than the bad and as much as you may be laughing now I urge you to at least give it a try for a month and see what you think.
I know it sounds mad but if your morning is going well and you have your 5 – 10-minute allowance going spare, find an upbeat song you love and dance like no one is watching.
Swedish researchers, writing in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, have found that dancing can improve problems such as stress, anxiety, and depression! If having a boogie round the kitchen table while you cook breakfast isn’t your thing try some gentle stretches. Anything to get your body moving is a win and will help your get pumped up for the day ahead.
I’ve created a youtube playlist to help me get going in the mornings (and with the housework or just when I’m having a rough day to cheer me up) you can find it on my youtube channel by clicking below.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes for you 🙂
Have a great Monday and a great week ahead <3
Sunday is the day I use to plan out my week ahead.
All apointment on the calendar get moved onto the notice board so they are right in your face and can be seen by everyone at a glance any time they enter the kitchen which means I don’t have to explain over and over what’s on for the week…..which means a win for me! 🙂
Sunday is now also a day for sharing some details on small businesses I follow on social media and that I love! Some I have used personally, some I plan to, some I probably won’t ever need to use but have networked with the people involved and trust them to give a great service should you ever choose to use them yourselves! (keep an eye out for that post later on today)
My week ahead
So next week is a busy one (for the kids at least, which means more stress and worry for me!)
M has her first day at college for an orientation day, Pud is spending a full day at his new school (without his usual 1:1 for some of it! 😮 ) and then a half day without said 1:1 later on in the week as well as an end of year picnic with the pre school which involves some begging from me to my dad as we can’t get there without a car!
Monday sees me pick up the 1950’s housewife routine regardless of how bad the kids are! (I mean the mums in the 50’s had to get on with it regardless right?!)
I also need to find time to work on my 2 work from home businesses and keep the kids entertained! It’s gonna be interesting, especially seeing as I’m feeling decidedly under the weather today, but I’m going to grin and bare it and see if I can get it all done.
I’m also planning a few of my blog and social media posts and scheduling them today to lighten the load during the week.
I will still be checking in every day though. Checking my viewing figures each morning is a bit adictive to be honest. I’m hoping the excitement wil fade over time but knowing me I doubt it. 😀
As you may be aware my iphone is currently in intensive care after her (hopefully) near death experience in the pool.
I always like to think that I can do just fine without my phone around but the truth is I feel like I have hacked off my left arm and have left in a cuboard upstairs! It’s quite unnerving, but also a little freeing too.
I’m going to do the pre school drop off soon and normally I’ll have a message or a call to handle while I’m there and end up ignoring everyone (including the kids) to get it sorted before I get distracted and forget (it happens…..a lot!) but not today.
Today I get to be free from the takeaway tech.
It’s become so convienient having our tiny technical gods always to hand to help us with anything life throws our way.
My maths teacher actually said “yes you need to learn this unless you want to carry a calculator around with 24/7 in life!” – I feel sorry for maths teachers nowdays because, to the new generation, there really is no need to learn anything. Just use your phone!
I’m not even sure how I got so dependent on it! I was the last generation to grow up without mobile technology. When mother wanted to use the landline we had to get off the internet!
In the past I have actually downgraded my smart phone to a good ol’ fashioned Nokia brick.
It was handy to be able to make calls and texts without the distractions of fb and twitter.
But actually what I think I will miss most is having my camera always to hand.
I have a camera, but it’s a huge DSLR and is not practical to just whip out and take a pic of the kids when they are being cute. I can forgo Facebook and twitter and even my clash of clans game for a bit but I will miss my always ready pocket camera.
Maybe a bit of human interaction will make up for my feeling of loss……….time will tell.
It’s a beautiful hot sunny day today.
The kids are home, bored, getting under my feet and trashing the house faster than I can clean it.
I thought I’d keep them occupied by getting the small paddling pool out for a splashing cool time! 😀
Middle child is a bit obsessed with his technology so being the well organised and careful mother I am I took away his ipad and placed it out of reach.
Oldest child is in charge of watching him while I feed and get small child down for her nap.
I come back to find oldest child engrossed in a video on youtube on TV and middle child playing happily and more dangerous, in my mind, he’s quiet!
Yes that’s right he’s got my phone and he’s sat in the pool!! 🙁
Not gonna lie I died a little inside as I lay eyes on my poor dead iphone in the (4 inches) depths of the inflatable assassin of technology.
I’ve rescued her and wrapped her in a towel and now she will languish in the dark, lonely confines of the airing cuboard in an iron lung consisting of a plastic bag full of silica beads, in a full state of cardiac arrest!
Now I wait…..and I pray. This is not the first time she’s gone through such an ordeal in her short life and I am hoping against hope she can pull through although it’s not looking good! 🙁
Send me positive vibes people! I’m going to need all the help I can get!
PS No instagram posts will be happening until I get her back up and running sorry x
(I was planning to share a picture of my family but wrangling into one photo is nigh on impossible!)
Today is basically a quick insight into my life.
I’m 36, married to Hubs (not his real name obviously) with 3 kids.
M is 15, Pud is 5 and Pip is almost 1.
We live in a fixer upper house in Essex, UK
My son is autistic and non verbal so I try to fit a couple of work from home ‘jobs’ around his and the rest of the family’s needs.
Getting to know all about you…
Things I like:
My small but crazy circle of friends.
A tidy house
Things I dislike:
This blog is intended to be my sounding bored and a place to record my journey as I try to organise the chaos that is my life and home.
So that’s me in a nutshell.
Tell me something about yourself. 🙂