Wednesday, 13 June 2012

The New Blog Is LIVE!

I have now moved to the new site, I really hope you will join me in Zoe & Drew's new home


I look forward to seeing you there!

Zoe
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Friday, 8 June 2012

New Blog is Almost Ready

Morning! I hope you are all well and having a good half term.  Unfortunately myself and a couple of the children have been struck by some horrid bug yesterday, but are now recovering.  This has unfortunately slowed me down in launching the new blogsite but I am planning to share with you all next Monday.  I am so excited about the new site and the new features I am offering, all to be revealed very soon.  I have also started planning some great summer posts and have a new team member to help me expand my coverage of products for the 0-5 age range.  A new site will mean that Zoe & Drew can keep getting bigger and better. 



I also wanted to share a couple of other things with you.  Just when we thought it was safe to take down the bunting Euro 2012 starts today and I have posted a fab football party inspiration board over on Let's Plan A Party.  Hopefully it will be helpful in planning a party for your budding Beckhams.  Also I wanted to share something I read in a tweet from The Design Trust earlier today, with the opportunity for funding for creative projects.  This seems like a great opportunity and something I am looking into to help get a huge project off the ground that I am working on behind the scenes with a very dear friend.

I'm off now to recover properly and will put the finishing touches to the new site this weekend.

Have a fab weekend,

Zoe
x

P.S. If you would like to find out more about placing an advert in The Directory, a new feature on the new site (pictured above), please email thedirectory@zoeanddrew.co.uk for a media pack.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Kit Heath Giveaway Winner

Hello, just popping back to announce the Kit Heath giveaway winner. So drum roll please............


The winner is Lisa Williams
Congratulations!

 I will now contact Lisa to confirm her address so that her prize can be sent as soon as possible.  Be sure to keep reading as I am hoping to have some fabulous giveaways throughout the summer.

Enjoy the rest of your day,
Zoe
x

Our Jubilee Roundup

Morning! I hope you all had an amazing weekend.  After watching the Jubilee pageant and the Jubilee concert I felt incredibly proud to be British.  With union jacks flying, bunting streamed around our country I am sure we all felt the same way.  Celebrations have been fun here in our village, starting on Saturday morning with a fun run.  The youngest villagers started the races with lap of the football pitch, then Kitty ran two laps of the pitch in her race for 5-7 year olds.  She wasn't fazed when I realised she had to run two laps, not one, but smiled and carried on running! Next Lucy and Amber ran three laps of the football pitch, however their race got off to a rather fast start which left many of the runners with a stitch by the third lap, yet both girls ran well and had fun.  Connnor and Jack were in the 12-15 year old category, which was running alongside the adults, due to the restrictions on the time we were allowed to close the roads in the village.  After a lap of the football pitch the runners headed off for 5km around the village, whilst Kitty, Lucy and Amber played in the park with their friends.  The wait wasn't too long before the runners started appearing across the playing field and Jack was amongst the first three runners to appear.  But their race wasn't over and they still had another two laps of the football pitch to finish the full 5km! Jack kept his third place, finishing first for his age group and third overall.  Connor wasn't far behind and finished in the Top 10 of his age group and Top 20 overall.  I was incredibly proud of all my children and they all came away with tired legs and special Jubilee wristbands to be tresured for years to come.


Jubilee cupcakes made by Drew


Sunday was a quieter day here, so we took some time to catch up on some jobs and watch the Jubilee pageant.  I know many of you headed to the Embankment to wave your flags and cheer on this amazing flotilla along the Thames.  What an occasion to witness, I am sure you will be treasuring such memories forever.


Amber & Kitty at the Jubilee Tea Party

We woke on Monday to grey skies and drizzle, which didn't bode well for the Jubilee Tea Party at the village school later in the afternoon.  However the sun broke through, the clouds turned to white and the party could go ahead outside on the school playground and field. Phew! The girls and I spent the morning making crowns and tiaras for the headwear fancy dress competition, whilst Drew baked cakes fit for any Jubilee celebration.    Finally it was time to head to the party, it had been a long wait for Kitty who was very excited.  There were fun games and the fancy dress parade, followed by plenty of food and special cakes.  Then the village postie and his band played whilst the children played unihoc, football, skipped with hula hoops and blew bubbles.  The party came to an end with a Tug o' War, which we of course joined in.  This was a wonderful party and I hope the girls remember it when they think back to 2012.


Kitty playing at the Jubilee Tea Party


Our evening was spent watching the Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace, with mixed opinions on the performer choices, but certainly enjoyed most of it.  The graphics projected onto the palace all night were amazing, the highlight for me being when Madness were singing on the roof.  A good ol' sing song and I was pleased that Connor, Jack & Lucy knew the words to the old songs aswell as the new!

This was a huge celebration and one I will not forget in a very long time.  I am sure we will all remember 2012 for the Jubilee and our own celebrations aswell as the big ceremonies and parties.  Today I am proud to be British.  Let's keep those flags and bunting flying, as we look forward to the olympics and remember why Britain is Great.

How did you celebrate? I hope you had fun however you celebrated.  Be sure to share some photos as I would love to do a round up of Jubilee celebrations, wherever you are in the world.

Enjoy your day,
Zoe
x

Friday, 1 June 2012

Celebrate the Jubilee with British Design

Morning! It's Friday and I am looking forward to a lovely long weekend.  Although I will be sneaking in a little work as I finish the new blog but I will also be making sure I spend lots of time with my family.  There are all sorts of things going on in our village this weekend to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee and we will of course be hanging out some bunting in the garden.  I also plan to watch the Jubilee River Pageant and the Jubilee Concert from the comfort of my sofa, but if you are lucky enough to be attending please share some photos with me, perhaps I can even share some here on the blog.  I was only tiny when the Queen celebrated her Silver Jubilee but I have a large coin to commemerate this special occasion.  I also have one of these coins to celebrate Prince Charles marrying Lady Diana, I think I also had a mug. Teatowels, mugs and other souveniers are still wonderful commemerative products for such special royal occasions but I am pleased to say the designs now are far better than previously.  So for todays post I thought I would pick out some of the best products that celebrate the Diamond Jubilee over on Not On The High Street, designed and made here in Britain.



Jubilee Plate from Gallery Thea
Jubilee Mugs from Catherine Daley Designs



Jubilee Hearts Picture from Little Cherub Design
Diamond Jubilee Screenprint from Susan Taylor



Jubilee Teaparty Teatowel from Victoria Eggs


Have a wonderful weekend everyone, stay safe and enjoy the celebrations.
Zoe
x

Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Big eCommerce Conference - Part 2

Welcome back! Thank you for all you lovely comments and feedback about my write up so far of The Big eCommerce Conference.  The next seminar was delivered by Suzanne Dibble, who I know from Twitter (@law4mumprenuers).  With the brand new Cookie Law coming in to play a couple of days before the conference Suzanne was keen to teach us what this meant to our websites.  For those that think the only cookie is filled with chocolate chips, Suzanne explained what internet cookies are and what they do.  Cookies store data of website users, which is done in the background without us knowing and tracks users habits on various websites.  I reguarly delete my cookie history on my own laptop and advise you all to do so too, as too many cookies from the internet has a similar affect as real cookies, it makes your system sluggish and slow! 

With the new EU law coming into play here in the UK this month we now all need to make sure we are compliant.  However at the eleventh hour the directive shifted the goalposts as there were concerns that the new cookie law would affect an already struggling British economy.  So should we all be rushing to ensure we have a cookie policy on our websites? A question that remains unanswered however Suzanne advised that we should all try to comply with the new laws.  Therefore you will need an opt-in consent form for all users of your website. Businesses can get a cookie policy widget from www.heartinternet.co.uk/eu-cookie-law.html and there is also a Wordpress plugin available for cookie consent, I am yet to find one, but will let you know when I get a moment to look! 

Another point raised by Suzanne whilst discussing cookie law was the need for websites to have a privacy policy.  The cookie policy can be an extension of your privacy policy.  As a blogger I am not yet sure how this all affects me and I assure you I am investigating this and when I know I will update you, incase as bloggers we need to take action.

Pinterest is still a hot topic for debate with regards to copyright law and I am not even going to try and tackle this hot potato as so many other bloggers have dealt with it so well.  At the end of the day you need to decide about using Pinterest, but I urge you all to pin carefully and wisely, ensuring the links you pin from are the original image source.  If you do not want people to pin from your blog or website there is a code available to block pinners.

Suzanne then moved onto explain that Twitter, Facebook and Blogs all come under the CAP Code, the Committee of Advertising Practice.  All advertising must be legal, decent, honest and truthful.  You can sign up for email updates regarding the CAP code here.  Continuing the seminar we were reminded that all email marketing should be done with opt in boxes, to ensure we were gaining peoples permission to send regular email newsletters or campaigns and that as direct sellers we must ensure we have a 7 day cooling off period period. 

The internet is so huge that measuring and ensuring compliance to the numerous laws is a huge undertaking and we all know that there will always be somebody avoiding compliance.  However I think it is important as responsible business owners that we should make sure our own affairs are in order and legal to avoid future reprimands that could affect our businesses dramatically.

What are your thoughts? I know as small businesses we have so many hats to wear and law is probably the most complicated.  Suzanne's website can be found at www.lawyers4mumprenuers.com if you would like some help with understanding the legal minefield.

I will be back tomorrow with more ideas and information from the conference as well as some fabulous finds to commemorate The Queens Diamond Jubilee.

Have a wonderful afternoon,
Zoe
x

Family Fun - National Maritime Museum

Morning! I hope you are all well and I expect you are looking forward to the long weekend ahead.  Contining my ideas for family fun in London I have found a great activity at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.  With the River Thames being a focal point of the Jubilee celebrations, especially with the Thames River Pageant, what better way to get involved than attempt to build your own Flotilla!  Throughout half term you can join one of the twice daily workshops at the musem to create your own barge or boat, that can then contribute to a giant Jubilee flotilla display. 



Whilst in Greenwich you really should visit the Cutty Sark.  Just a few weeks ago this beautiful tea clipper has started welcoming visitors onto her decks again, after having to be restored after fire almost destroyed her.  Over the bank holiday weekend children can join the special workshops to design a souvenir mug or cup to celebrate someone who is important to them.  This activity is free with your Cutty Sark ticket.  I remember visiting the Cutty Sark as a child and being quite awestruck by it's size.  She really is a beautiful ship and apparently you can now get underneath, something I don't remember doing, where you can sit in the cafe and enjoy a cup of Twinings tea.  Sounds perfect!

Have you visited the Cutty Sark since her restoration? I am sure it is wonderful and I know that you can buy souvenirs made by Snapdragon, specially designed for their visitors shop.  So even a great tourist attraction such as this supports British small business, which is fantastic.

Have a wonderful day and I'm hoping to post the next installment from the conference later today.

Zoe
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