Tag

Local Business

Why blog and who should blog? If you have a business and you don’t regularly blog you are missing out on using a great marketing tool. Even if your business perhaps doesn’t seem the most interesting topic there are always things you can write about. Remember that you are aiming to be useful and provide information/tips/hacks therefore be of service to your reader. If you write something useful that person may come back to your website and down the road may buy your product or service, they may also share your blog post on social media or mention it to a friend! So what are you waiting for get producing great content now and then you will see that blogging really can benefit your business!

Your aim is to drive traffic to your website, where hopefully that person will look at other pages. It raises your profile/this could be you yourself or the brand you have created.  Try to post regularly, this could be once a week or even once a month. You should aim to stick to it as your audience will begin to expect your posts and may loose interest if you are erratic.

How to Blog

So how do you get started? It depends on the website you use for business. You can simply have an area called “News” or ‘Blog” built into your website where you then place the blogs, or you might want to use a blogging platform such as:

Square Space

WordPress

Blogger

I use WordPress and find it to be the most user friendly, I have learnt myself how to update my blog from the back end.

What should you write about?

Think about your industry or niche. If you were new to this area what would you want to know?

You can use google trends to search for what is popular

Look at news websites what’s in the news at the moment are there are stories you could write about?

Have a look at your competitor’s websites, what are they writing about? There is no harm putting your own spin on the topic!

                                                                                                                                    

The structure of your blog

A lot of this is just simple stuff, but it really does make a difference and can be the turning point if someone actually bothers to read your blog or not. So think about the following:

The title – I will come back to this in SEO

Language and style

Grammar and spelling should be spot on. Consider using a plug in like grammerly

The quality of images should be excellent, make them Pinnable and give them a title/description so they are searchable.

Having useful clickable links to other websites

Paragraphs that aren’t too long, consider bullet points and perhaps headings (List style blog posts are very popular).

 

What if you don’t have the time to write blog posts?

You could consider paying a freelancer or agency to do it for you? I offer this service, so if you need help with writing blogs I could do this for you!

Image by Waggle Social

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

SEO is a huge topic and one where you will find many experts. There are companies who can look at your website to improve your SEO. But for the purpose of this basic article  few things apply:

Build up an achieve of material this will improve your ranking on search engines – such as Google.

Produce content consistently.

Search engines should be your number one traffic driver if your site is correctly optimised.

Think about your title, you need to be offering an answer to a problem or question that is what the search engines want.

Have a look at where you are ranking on Google at the moment? Where are your competitors if they are higher than you ask yourself why? Do some investigation around their website, what are they doing differently to you?

 

Do an audit on your own website:

Is your site free from broken links? So go onto any links and check they actually work.

Check how your site looks on a mobile device. You should be able to see your website in a mobile friendly way. Remember a lot of people will be viewing your site via their mobile.

How long does it take for your site to load? If it is taking ages, this will put people off and they just won’t bother going any further.

A low bounce rate (the percentage of visitors to a site who navigate away after viewing only one page).

Your page title should be under 60 characters, other it will be cut off in the search results.

You could go back over old posts and improve their SEO.

 

Next think about optimising for strong keywords

Perhaps use a plug in such as  Yoast ,  (there is a free version). It has a handy traffic light system to show you where you are going right or wrong. Think carefully about your first paragraph/into and how that will grab the reader’s interest into reading more.

Use a keyword tool which will then produce a selection of long-tailed keywords. Then create your blog post content with that keyword in mind. Use it in the title, subheadings and body of your text. Do it organically and don’t try to cram it in too much as that may go against you in Google. Google wants to reward and feature good helpful genuine content. Ideally 1.5% of the total word count.

Search Google Trends (trends.google.co.uk)  a good way to compare tends.

Get a free Google AdWords account, then you get access to the keyword tool.

The length of your post should be at least 600 words.

Photo by Waggle Social

 

Promoting your blog

This is a big topic and I could talk about this for hours, but essentially it is a process, rinse and repeat every time you write a new blog post. The amount of effort you put in to promoting your blog post really does make a difference. After all, if you have spent the time crafting a really amazing informative post, but then no one reads it then what’s the point!

So let’s start with social media: The main three are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Plus, you also have Pinterest and LinkedIn.

Facebook

We all know how hard it is to get your business out there on Facebook, of course Facebook wants us to pay for boosted and promoted posts, but there are other ways to get your blog post noticed.

Firstly, make sure your profile is updated.

Make sure you are actually following the right people, that maybe your target audience and competitors too. Engage with others, like and comment on posts that way you will get your name out there.

Once you have written your blog post share it on your page, pin it to the top of your page.

If appropriate share in local groups or with others.

Consider starting your own Facebook Group, that way you can create your own community and they are more likely to see your blog post.

Once a month or whenever you can, look at the engagement from your blog post on Facebook analytics, did this type of post do well?

 

Twitter

As soon as your blog post is live tweet about it. Pin it to the top of your tweets

Remember it is perfectly acceptable to tweet about your new blog post multiple times, of course use a variety of images to go with it and different text. Make sure you provide a clickable link,  you could use Bitly Links, which reduces the size of the text.

Use the right hashtags for your industry or niche, that is another way people might find you.

Join in with Twitter chats there are local ones such as: Ealing Hour or Hanwell Hour, or something more national.

Make sure you actually engage with others, that way they are more likely to re-tweet your post.

You could direct message someone if you want to get them to notice you, however not all accounts will accept direct messages.

Don’t forget to @ mention.

Consider overlays by using canva to point out what the blog post is about.

 

Instagram

Post about your new blog post, make sure you explain what it is about, but don’t give too much away as you want people to actually go to your website. Make sure you put a  link to your most recent blog post in your bio.

Tag people who might be interested in your post.

Use the right hashtags and that means trying to find the ones that do not have millions of users, try to use some of the more obscure ones, don’t always use the same ones, do your research.

 

Other ways

Pinterest – great for driving traffic back to your website

Linked In – publish your blog post there.

Get published on other websites like Huffington Post.

Collaborations with other bloggers/businesses which gives a backlink to your website.

Join Facebook Groups where businesses share their blogs.

Create an email list where you can send a newsletter mentioning link to your blog.

Join a linky or start your own – A linky is a post on your blog where you include code that enables other bloggers to link their own blog posts to yours. This creates a virtual party where other creatives connect usually at the same time every week.

Talk to Journalists/PR’s

Run competitions that link to your blog.

Link back to other blogs that might be of interest to your reader.

 

Evaluate

Once your blog post has been out for around 7 days go back and look at the stats, how many people have read it? Do you have any comments, overall how successful has it been? What about social media how many shares, what was the engagement like there?

This will help when writing your next post, you will get to know what is popular with your audience.

Don’t forget if you would like help with writing blogs, I offer this service for a fee. Contact me via email to find out more – hello@theealingmummy.com

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Patri is a brand new Indian Street Food Restaurant, which has recently opened on Northfields Avenue in Ealing. Founder, Puneet Wadhwhani (also founder and creative director of the independent street food chain, Chai Naasto), has created a never-before-seen menu bringing to life the snacks and dishes he once ate as a child growing up within a bicycle ride of New Delhi train station, and of those he remembers eating on board India’s great rail journeys.

We recently went to try out their extensive menu and found ourselves trying all sorts of wonderful dishes. My taste buds were on sensory overload and as their menu offers lots of vegetarian and vegan options, I was surprised to find some of the meat free dishes were actually my favourite!

Patri Restaurant – Northfields Avenue, Ealing

We were absolutely delighted to be served a wonderful selection of small plates to start off our meal. Ranging from Pani Puri Bombs, which were crispy wheat balls filled with chick peas, boiled potato and topped with tangy, hot, spicy and refreshing mint water.

We also tried the Chatpati Aloo Tikki Chaat, which was two stuffed spicy potato patties served on a bed of boiled chickpeas drizzled with lemon vinegar, onions, tomatoes and pomegranate, topped with tamarind and mint chutney.

If you are looking for something a bit different when it comes to drinks, Patri serve a huge range of craft beers, organic wines and soft drinks. We asked our waiter to suggest which drinks would best compliment our meals? He was happy to help with our selection. We enjoyed a lovely white wine and Amelia had an organic lemonade!

If you are wondering if this restaurant is kid friendly? I can tell you it definitely is! The waiter was happy to make suggestions from the menu that were not too spicy and more suited to a child’s tastebuds. There were definitely items on the menu that she could enjoy! We found the staff very accommodating for children and if you need to use the toilet facilities, you will even find a miniature toilet especially for kids and something else a bit special, but I will leave that for you to find out! Let’s just say I have only ever experienced toilet facilities of this high standard when I once visited Japan!

We particularly enjoyed the mixture of main dishes we ordered. I can highly recommend the Railway Mix Grill, which is more than plenty for two to share. It includes: half a tandoori chicken, one lamb seekh kebab and two paneer tikka’s. Amelia really loved this combination, so it’s perfect for kids.

There was no shortage of delicious dishes to try and my other recommendation would be the Murgh Makhani, which was a butter chicken on the bone, marinated and then cooked in a clay oven. It is gently cooked in buttery tomato cashew nut gravy topped with fenugreek honey and coriander.

At the end of our meal we were treated to a traditional Indian tea, which is something I haven’t tried before and have to say I did enjoy it!

If you would like to try some authentic Indian Street food? Patri is this place for you and your family. Be sure to book your table well in advance, as especially at weekends it is a very popular place! They also offer a take away menu if you would like to enjoy this amazing food at home.

Don’t forget you can also follow Patri on Social Media.

Facebook @Patri

Instagram @patrinorthfields

Disclaimer – I was given a complimentary meal in return for a review. As always all views are my own and are an honest reflection of my recent visit.

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Explore Learning has opened a brand new tuition centre in Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre. They offer award-winning maths and English tuition for children aged 4 to 14 years old. If you are looking for your child to build their confidence and make progress with their learning in the New Year then Explore Learning could be the ideal place for them!

Perhaps your child is preparing to sit the 11 Plus or a local entrance exam? Then Explore Learning can build strong foundations, whilst developing their speed, accuracy and exam technique. Or maybe your child is struggling at school? If this is the case the tutors will be able to pinpoint where your child needs extra help and concentrate on that area. Even if your child is a high achiever Explore Learning can provide support, making sure they are challenged at the right level for their ability.

Explore Learning – Ealing Broadway

If you sign your child up before the 1st March 2019 you will save the £50 joining fee, so it is worth booking in for a free trial session soon. You will be able to meet the team and discuss your child’s needs. Both you and your child will be able to see the centre in action and experience how it works for yourselves!

Our Experience of Explore Learning

Amelia absolutely loves going to Explore Learning, she actually asks when is it time to go? I really like the relaxed and friendly environment and have always found the staff to be friendly and engaging. Children are taught to be “fearless learners” which from what I have seen encourages them to ask questions, show how they have worked out their answers and to not give up. The concept that I am really keen on is that they are rewarded through effort and not ability. This means if they complete all their learning outcomes for that session, they are given lizard cards (they can earn up to 4 cards at each session). These lizard cards are used like a currency. The children collect them and in turn can can be used to ‘buy’ items such stationary or small toy as a reward for their effort. You can see the prize wall below and the sort of things they can earn.

Once the children have completed their learning they get to go to Surf Club, this is place that they can relax, engage in play, read, colour and even play a board game with one of the staff members.

How does the monthly membership work?

Your child can attend the tuition centre once or twice a week for sessions lasting approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

What are the opening hours?

Centre opening hours in Ealing during term time are:

Monday 15:00 – 20:00
Tuesday 15:00 – 20:00
Wednesday 15:00 – 20:00
Thursday 15:00 – 20:00
Friday 15:00 – 20:00
Saturday 10:00 – 18:00
Sunday 11:00 – 17:00
Bank Holidays 10:00 – 16:00
Opening times change when it is school holidays.

Do you have to book?

No, it’s really flexible, you just turn up at a time to suit you. They are open throughout the week, weekend and during school holidays.

What will my children learn?

Maths, problem solving English, reading, spelling and comprehension. This will be done via their own programme of work, which adapts to their own particular strengths and development needs.

How is the centre staffed?

The tutor to child ration is 1:6 and all of the centres are Ofsted registered.

Are there any other options to help pay the fees?

Childcare vouchers/Tax-Free Childcare, the childcare element of Working Tax Credits and the Childcare Grant for full-time students could enable you to save on your monthly membership. They also offer a fantastic scholarship scheme which gives a 50% discount to parents receiving Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance. What’s more, with their ‘Refer A Friend’ scheme members can reduce there monthly membership, simply by successfully introducing other members to Explore Learning.

You will find Explore Learning on the First Floor, Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre, Ealing, London, W5 5JY There is plenty of parking available within the shopping centre. The centre is also only a short walk from Ealing Broadway Station. While Amelia is at the centre I usually do a spot of shopping or even have a bit of time out in one of the local coffee shops! For any enquires you can contact the centre on 020 7052 1968

Disclosure – I was gifted one month’s complimentary membership at Explore Learning in return for a review. As always all views are my own and are an honest reflection of our experience.

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Have you tried GrillVille on Pitshanger Lane, Ealing yet? If not then you really must! GrillVille won second place in the Ealing Restaurant Awards 2018 and was definitely well deserved! I would describe GrillVille as a great place to go for a laid back meal. Expect mainly meat on the menu so, steaks, ribs and burgers. They do however offer some vegetarian options if that is what you are after. This is a family run restaurant and really does have a friendly atmosphere.

GrillVille serves breakfast, brunch and dinner and is open Monday to Friday 08:30 to 22:00. At the weekend Saturday 9:00 to 10:00 and Sunday 9:00 -21:00. Their brunch menu is served until 3pm, so it’s the ideal place to go if you fancy a cooked breakfast with all the trimmings.

Some where that is child friendly is so important to me, I really don’t want to go somewhere that doesn’t  make you feel relaxed with children in tow. GrillVille is perfect in that respect, they offer a kid’s menu which includes various choices of a main course and a kids breakfast for £5.95. Our Daughter Amelia was made to feel very welcome and she is already asking when she can go back!

We decided to share a starter which was onion rings served with an aioli dip. The portion sizes are generous, so it was perfect for two!

For our main courses, I went with the whole rack of ribs and my Husband decided upon a steak. Both meals were delicious and we were pleased to find out that GrillVille always tries to source their produce locally on Pitshanger Lane where ever try possible.

Our desserts were equally tasty. We had crepes with frozen berries and chocolate brownie and ice-cream.

GrillVille is a really welcoming family run business and reasonably priced too. You will find them at 114 Pitshanger Lane, London, W5 1QP

Disclaimer – I was invited to sample the menu at GrillVille in return for a review. As always the above post is an honest reflection of my recent visit.

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The Pamela Howard School of Dance was established in Ealing 70 years ago, originally named the Howard-Le Gray School and started by Pamela Howard herself. Once pupil of The Royal Ballet School and who went on to teach stars from Ealing Studios. The school offers classes in Ballet, Tap, Modern and National dance, for students of all ages and ability, and has recently expanded to include music, drama and body conditioning. All classes are taught by qualified teachers, and they welcome students of all backgrounds and experience. Many students have gone on to work in the dance or performing arts fields, and previous graduates include world renowned dancer and choreographer Graham Lustig.

My Daughter has been taking ballet classes and now also tap classes, since the age of 3 at the Pamela Howard School of Dance. I have been so pleased to see how her dancing ability has progressed. I would recommend classes to local parents, because I have always found the members of staff to be so friendly and they have made both myself and my Daughter always feel so welcome! The standard is high and children are encouraged to move on to examination if they wish.

What are the benefits of ballet for children?

  • Ballet and dance is a brilliant way to nurture confidence in young children. Attending a class usually means leaving parents outside the studio and learning to trust their teacher. Your child will meet new friends and interact with other children. Plus, there may be an opportunity to perform on stage, which for many children can be daughting at first, but can be a real achievement.
  • Ballet teaches children to focus and take instruction.
  • Your child will also develop coordination and balance.
  • Overall ballet and dance are a great form of exercise and as recommended by NHS children between the ages 5 to 18 years should be aiming to get 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

One of things that I love about this school is that they have a yearly stage show, which has been previously held at The Watermans Arts Centre in Brentford. The level of talent has been outstanding and when I have attended a performance, I have almost forgotten that I was in Ealing and for a moment thought I was watching a perfomance in the West End!

If you would like to find out more about the classes available have a look at Pamela Howard School of Dance Website. They have available places in some of their classes, so do contact them to find out more.

The Pamela Howard School of Dance can be found at 141 Broadway, West Ealing, London W13 9BE and you can contact Sue Cunningham on 07850 889948 for more information.

 

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I often get asked where I get my hair cut and coloured? So this week I thought I would share my Ealing hairdressing recommendation and introduce you to Amanda Palagina joint Franchisee of Toni & Guy Ealing. Amanda and her Husband Frol took over the salon earlier this year. I would highly recommend Amanda and her team as one of the best local hairdressing salons in the Ealing area. I have been going to the salon for over ten years and each time I am always so pleased with the result! My hair is cut with precision and after consultation coloured just how I want it.

Amanda is a busy working Mum and has two children aged six and two, so I wanted to find out how she balances her working life with motherhood? So I went to interview her in the salon to find out more about her life.

Having my hair cut at Toni & Guy Ealing
Amanda Palagina – Toni & Guy, Ealing

Amanda started her career in hairdressing eighteen years ago. She begun working for Toni & Guy in 2004 and trained at the globally renowned Toni & Guy Academy in London. In 2010 she joined the Ealing salon and eventually become the franchisee in April this year with her Husband.

It was Amanda’s dream to have her own salon and she was determine to make that dream a reality. To become a francisee was a process that meant she first became one of the Managers with her Husband Frol in December 2016. This meant she got a taste of what to expect, when she finally took over the salon this year.

Toni & Guy stock Label.M products

What is the biggest challenge running your own business?

Trying to keep everyone happy including my staff, however I try not to worry about it too much!

What are your top tips to have healthy hair?

A combination of eating a healthy well balanced diet, using good quality products on your hair such as  argon oil. Plus do try to avoid hair straighteners when you can!

Toni & Guy are involved in London Fashion Week, can you give us any insight into the top trends for Autumn?

We have seen lots of of shorter styles for women this season. Pastel colours are still very popular as is balayage.

What’s it like running a business with your Husband?

It’s amazing working with Frol. He totally understands what it’s like working in the hairdressing industry, so we can always share the challenges of the day. The hardest part is organising childcare!

How has Motherhood changed you? 

It has made me become more patient and I am even more determine to be successful, to be able to give my children the best start in life. It has also taught me what real love is!

What advice would you give to new parents?

Enjoy every second! Don’t feel like there are certain places you can’t take your baby, because you really can go anywhere!

What about Mum guilt?

When I go out to work I try to remember that I am doing this for my children, as well as me. Also I am a role model to my kids and they will see that I have a strong work ethic.

What to do you enjoy?

Yoga, is something that I aim to do as much as I can. I love to go to the local triyoga in Dickens Yard. I try to regulary meditate and believe in the power of crystals. I of course love shopping and enjoy a good coffee.

Do you have any mottos you try to live your life by?

“Treat others as you wish to be treated yourself”

“Do what makes you happy, as long as you don’t hurt others”

“Life is short enjoy it”

Amanda with Mark Byron – Head of the Reception Team

You can find Toni & Guy Ealing at 29 The Broadway, Ealing, London, W5 2NP. You can book appointments online or by calling the salon on: 020 8579 1199

Current offers:

25% off for new customers Monday – Thursday

50% off children’s haircuts Monday – Thursday

20% off Students Monday – Thursday

10% off for NHS and airline staff everyday

Thank you to Amanda and her staff for a very warm welcome!

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Here in Ealing we are spoilt for choice when it comes to Indian Restaurants, but when I saw that Mumbai Avenue has opened on The Avenue I had a feeling it would be something a bit different and I was right! It’s a family owned restaurant, which offers a wide range of Indian cuisine in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The restaurant has a limited number of tables, so I would recommend reserving one in advance. It’s bring your own bottle and there is no corkage charge for alcoholic drinks which is a bonus! They also offer a takeaway service if you prefer to enjoy your curry at home.

The decor of the restaurant is bright and welcoming. We were immediately made to feel relaxed and I found that for an early evening meal it was the perfect place to take my Daughter! The owner was able to recommend dishes that would be more suited to a child’s taste buds and even managed to rustle up her very own Aam Ki Lassi (which is a combination of yoghurt, mango and vanilla ice cream), which she was delighted with! If you are looking for an alternative to alcohol (Maybe you are doing Go Sober for October) then they also offer a range of “posh pop” including: Karma Cola, Gingerella and Thumbs Up to name but a few.

The menu is extensive and the owners tell me that all their fresh produce is sourced from Borough and Billingsgate Markets. I was particularly pleased to see lots of wonderful seafood on the menu and as you will see there were plenty of vegetarian options too.

We decided to go for the samosas and Goan king prawn baza for our starters along with the usual popadoms and some very tasty home made chutneys. Our main courses comprised of a chicken kozhi kuttan, tiger prawns and green mango curry and chicken tikka malai from the grill. We also enjoyed a range of rices and breads.

If you have any room for dessert they also serve ice cream by Ice Cream Union.

We had a lovely evening and even teamed it with a drink first at The Drayton Court Hotel which is across the road and by the way has an amazing garden with a play area, just right for our six year old. I highly recommend Mumbai Avenue and can’t wait to go back and sample some more Indian delights from their menu very soon!

You can find Mumbai Avenue at: 25 The Avenue, Ealing, W5 8JR

They are open Monday to Sunday 5pm – 11pm

Disclosure: I was given a complimentary meal, in return for a review. The above is an honest review of my experience and reflects my own opinions.

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My spotlight series focuses on different areas of London and this week I would like to introduce you to Pitshanger Lane, Ealing. I find it amazing that lots of people I have met who have lived in Ealing for a while have never ventured to this part of Ealing! Pitshanger Lane has a village atmosphere that I don’t think you will find anywhere in Ealing. Previously crowned the winner of The Great British High Street in 2015. There is no shortage of local independent businesses all along the Lane and there really is a community spirit too! So let me take you on a little tour and I will point out a few of my favourite places. I hope this will encourage you to go and visit this lovely part of Ealing! If you would like to get there by bus then you catch either the E2 or E9 from Ealing Broadway.

Where to Shop

If you love to shop then you have come to the right place! Pitshanger Lane has an abundance of independent shops and boutiques to suit every taste. My particular favourites are:

Frank & Salvi

64 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1QX

Ladies clothing and accessories boutique. Selling a gorgeous range of smart and casual pieces that you are unlikely to see anyone else wearing! From mainly British and European designers. Owned and run by the lovely Francesca.

The Pitshanger Book Shop  

141 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1RH

I love a good book shop and the fact that The Pitshanger Book Shop is independent makes it even more attractive to me, as I love to support local businesses. There is an excellent choice of fiction and non-fiction. Plus a wonderful selection of children’s books, toys and art/craft materials and activities. So if you are ever stuck for a child’s birthday present this is definitely the place to go! They also stock greeting cards and gift wrap too.

The shop supports local schools and also holds events for authors to read their own work, so do check out their website for upcoming events.

Mooch

120 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1QP

Mooch has two shops in Ealing, the other one situated on Northfields Avenue. This independent gift shop sells a fabulous range of jewellery, local prints, clothing and some lovely little finds that you will be hard pushed to find anywhere else! A really great range of children and baby gifts, toys , accessories and clothes too! The shop is a real treasure trove and I absolutely love having a browse.

Where to Eat & Drink

There are numerous restaurants, cafes and takeaways on Pitshanger Lane. I am currently working my way through them all! Anyone who knows me, will be aware that one of my favourite pastimes is sipping a cappuccino in a well placed coffee shop!

Cinnamon On The Lane

90 Pitshanger Lane

W5 1AX

The cupcakes you see in the picture above are adorned with jelly sweets and are famous in these parts! Local children always ask for them. My Daughter included! This coffee shop is very child friendly and there is plenty of room for buggies. The owner herself even commented that many Mum’s come here because they know it is a relaxed place and won’t feel self-conscious breast feeding.

The other bonus is the secret garden out the back!

Harrison’s Delicatessen and Vintners

60 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1QY

If you are looking for a great selection of cheese, wine and other delicious deli treats then you must try Harrison’s. They have tables out the front if you would like to relax with a glass of wine and perhaps a charcuterie platter! The shop was opened in 2010 by Belinda Harrison and has become a firm favourite with locals and visitors to the area.

 Pitshanger Lane for Children

This is my favourite part of course, as I love to talk about anything to do with kids! There is plenty going on for children on The Lane, so here are my top picks!

Capelli Belli 

38 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1QY

Innovation Dance Studio and Boutique

96 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1QX

Innovation Dance Studio teaches RAD Ballet syllabus, ISTD Modern and Tap and UDO Street Dance. they also offer open classes for children, which include street dance classes for 4 years and upwards, jazz/musical theatre classes, and baby classes for 9+ months. They also offer adult classes too. Next to the studio there is a boutique shop selling dance wear and other children’s fashion.

Explore Learning 

113-115 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1RH

Explore Learning provides private Maths and English tuition to children. Their programmes are tailored to each child’s need with expert tutors. They offer preparation with SATs and the 11 Plus. I popped in to have a chat with the teachers and found them to be very friendly and approachable. They offer a free trial, so I have booked my Daughter in to find out more for myself.

Other things going on in and around Pitshanger Lane

On Saturday 10th June St Barnabas Church is hosting Jazz on The Lane. At 10:30am there will be a lively Jazz Mass to celebrate the festival of St Barnabas. Then in the afternoon from 1-6pm there will be Jazz in the Garden. The Headlining act will be Rum Buffalo and a line up of other local bands. It’s free admission and suitable for families.

Party in the Park return on Sunday 1st July in Pitshanger Park. It promises to be another wonderful family day out. Many local business have stalls and there is real community vibe. Last year there were fairground rides, a dance show and food stalls too!

I hope you enjoyed reading about this lovely part of Ealing. Maybe it has inspired you to go and have a look at all The Lane has to offer ? Do let me know which are your favourite businesses and shops on Pitshanger Lane?

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I created the #MumsWhoWorkIt hashtag because every since I started blogging and completed my Digital Mums training I have met so many amazing Mums who have set up their businesses. They have managed to juggle motherhood with turning their dreams of working for themselves into a a reality. Lisa Karter owner and founder of Clasp London is no different. She too realised that she had the potential to create a business that would fit in around her children and lifestyle. I am so pleased to be able to introduce another talented Ealing Mum to you!

What’s your background and why did you decided to set up Clasp?

I’ve been a West Londoner all my life, but I’ve lived in Ealing for fourteen years. My husband and I bought our house in Northfields when we decided to start a family, and we now have two sons, aged 8 & 5. Before I had kids I worked in the fashion industry for many years – I’ve got a degree in fashion design and was working as a Production Manager for couturier Stewart Parvin when our eldest arrived in 2010. As soon as I became a mum I knew I wouldn’t be able to go back to the crazy hours I was working before, so I chose not to return after my maternity leave finished.

Last year when our youngest was in nursery I started to think about a return to work. It was a nerve-wracking prospect after seven years of being at home full-time with the kids! I researched and even applied for some part time roles but just felt that I wanted something more challenging and rewarding than the types of jobs I got offered.

I decided to start my own business and spent some time mulling it over. I knew it had to be something I could feel passionate about, but I was also aware of the risks involved in developing a high cost product, like a clothing line. I’d had some experience with setting up an e-commerce jewellery range in my previous job, so that seemed like a viable option. Clasp was born last September, on the day I waved both sons off to school for the first time.

Describe a typical day for you?

My day starts at 6.30am when I get woken by the kids. I check my emails, then get the boys fed, dressed and off to school by 8.45. I’ll then either head into the co-working office my business is based in (The Workary, above Hanwell library), or into town for a meeting. On a good day I’ll squeeze in a quick run or a yoga class first. I work until 3pm, then it’s back to collect the kids from school. A flurry of after school activities, dinner, homework, a bit of housework, then bath and bedtime for the kids. Occasionally I’ll work in the evening for an hour before settling down in front of the TV with my hubby and a good box set. I do try to give myself some down time in the evenings to unwind from the day.

How do you think Motherhood has changed you?

Well, I’ve certainly got a few more grey hairs! On a more serious note, it’s helped me prioritise – work is important, but family comes before everything. It’s made me more appreciative of the relationships I have in other parts of my life – whether you’re a new mum or setting out in business, having a support network around you is absolutely vital. I’m very grateful for my family and friends.

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given about Motherhood that you would like to share?

Everything is a phase! There were nights when I sat up for hours with a wide awake baby and I thought they would never, ever learn to sleep. They did eventually! Children change so quickly and every tricky stage is replaced by another. You learn to roll with it!

Where are your favourite places to go with or without kids in Ealing/West London?

We have annual passes to Kew Gardens which is a great place for families – we’re always discovering new tucked away places we haven’t seen before. Northala Fields is a favorite too. For a night out without kids, I love Tapelia in Northfields – it’s a fab tapas bar with great decor, a lovely ambience and delicious food.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself?

My claim to fame is that I appeared on Blue Peter in 1990, doing a book review. All I can say is I’m glad it was pre-digital TV – I’ve lost the VHS!

What are your handbag essential?

Tissues, lipstick, hand cream, sunglasses, a pen. I’m a low maintenance kind of girl!

How do you see your business developing over the next couple of years?

I hope to expand the range of products offered – I’d love to launch a range of children’s jewellery, and personalised pieces. I’m currently approaching independent boutiques in the area about stocking the collection, so I hope to be selling across the country in a couple of years.

What is your favorite piece from your range?

Ah, this is tricky! I love the Petite Linked Hoop Stud earrings for every day, plus I alternate between the Feather Duo Pendant Necklace, and the Compass Pendant Necklace. I’m lucky I have one of everything in the range!

What advice would you give to other Mums who are considering setting up their own business?

Absolutely go for it! I honestly thought at one stage I might never have a career again, but I’m so glad I took the plunge. I’ve learnt so much in a really short space of time – it’s stressful sometimes but it’s really re-energised me, and I’m discovering skills I forgot I even had. My 8 year old is really proud of what I’m doing which drives me forward.

What is the one thing you wish you had already know when setting up your business?

That it won’t happen overnight – everything takes longer than you think it will, but that’s ok.

Where can potential customers purchase your jewellery?

You can order online through the website – www.clasp.london

I’m also appearing at various markets and events over the year – details on our Facebook page. The next one is the In Cahoots Night Market at The Green, W7, on Saturday 19th May. There will be lots of other local independent brands, food, drink and entertainment for the whole family, plus the pub is showing the Royal Wedding. I’m in discussion with local gift shops too, so watch this space!

Would you like to win this stunning piece from the Clasp London collection? Head over to my Instagram for a change to win this polished circle pendant necklace in stirling sliver worth £58.00.

Disclaimer – This is collaborative post, however all views and opinions are my own and an honest reflection of the products.

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What can you do with the kids on a cold Sunday afternoon? Go and take advantage of some of the great Children’s Theatre currently running at Watermans Arts Centre in Brentford. Last weekend we went to see Jay Foreman’s Disgusting Songs for Revolting Children. I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this performance, as I haven’t seen any children’s comedy before. However I was pleasantly surprised!

I didn’t expect to actually find it that funny, but I was laughing along with my Daughter and laughing even louder at some jokes that maybe she didn’t get. My Daughter is almost 6 years old so I would say it is suitable from 5 years and up depending on the child of course.

Jay Foreman has performed four sell out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and by all accounts he has a real talent for entertaining children and adults alike! Some critics have even compared him to the comic genius that was Spike Milligan and I would definitely agree with that. we both found his show absolutely hallarious!

What I particularly enjoyed about his show was the way he engaged with the audience. My Daughter found it particularly funny that Jay asked the audience to replace a round of applause with a loud raspberry!

He mixes rhymes and songs with strange noises, we really liked the following songs: My car runs on caterpillar sick which gives a nod to being more environmentally friendly. Grandma which talks about trying to get you to eat unbranded expired food! Then there is The Sooty Show which really took me back to my childhood!

Since we have been going to the theatre on a more regular basis. I can really see the benefits to all of us as a family. Not only does it give you the opportunity to do something together, but it also means that you and your child are introduced to new topics for discussion.

I actually hadn’t laughed as much as I did last weekend in ages! We both left the theatre in an upbeat mood proving laughter really is the best therapy, especially on a cold dark afternoon!

Watermans have lots more Children’s Theatre and activities coming up over the Easter holidays. So head over to their website and check out their Children’s Family Theatre Spring Brochure for all the listings. If you can book soon, as these performances tend to get booked up well in advance.

All views are my own and are an honest reflection of the show I saw. I was given complimentary ticket in return for a review.

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