From the kitchen table

Eureka moments don’t just happen in the bath.

We all remember Monica's apartment in 'Friends'.

We all remember Monica’s apartment in ‘Friends’.

I know that I’m not the only person who formulates ideas from the kitchen table. Some of the best businesses were formed around a kitchen or dining table (no doubt, after a few glasses of wine): The Body Shop and The Covent Garden Soup Company, to name a couple.

I recently had the pleasure of listening to Lopo Champalimaud, the CEO of beauty website Wahanda, speak about how he grew his multi-million pound business, at The Beauty Exchange, organised by Enterprise Nation. Guess where the idea for Wahanda came from?
I remember when I started my cake business, I was sitting at the kitchen table, when I started putting the ideas together (a good place to be for a baking business). So next time you are at the table, alone, with the family or a bunch of friends, think about the ideas that are thrown across the table. Even those whacky and way-out ideas might come in useful, sometime soon.

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Some ideas should RIP

In business, it’s just as important to celebrate your failures as well as your successes. One company who does this such humour and style is Ben & Jerry’s.

Ben & Jerry's

For the flavours that weren’t as popular, no longer flavour of the month, or the flavours that were cut down in their prime, Ben & Jerry’s have a flavour graveyard, for their dearly de-pinted.


The graveyard hosts a gravestone for each flavour no longer with us:

Vermonty Python
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Cool Britannia
Holy Cannoli


It is only as they get rid of the old and less popular flavours, that Ben & Jerry’s can make room for the new and even more delicious flavours.

As a business owner, everything you try or put your hand to, will not be a success. So how can you celebrate your failures and most importantly, learn from them, creatively?

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Teacher, we salute you!

TeacherI don’t know who this teacher is, but I have so much admiration for him.  This one action allowed a woman not to give up on her education, just because she is a mother.

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Food(bank) for thought

Food bank

I was delighted that our church had started to run a food bank.  Once a month, the church can contribute groceries to help families in need in the church and the wider community.  The food bank movement is a simple yet practical way to give back.  You will be surprised at the families and individuals who benefit from a food bank.  One Christmas, a box from our local church made a big difference to our family, so I know how much they are appreciated.

Most food banks can provide some suggestions of items to contribute that are useful to families:

  • Pasta
  • Tinned food – soup, baked beans
  • Food cupboard staples
  • Cleaning products
  • Sauces
  • Biscuits
  • Tea and coffee

In most (not all) families, the person responsible for the food shopping is a woman (my husband does the food shopping in out home, I could be wrong, but I believe that we are the exception to the rule).

When you’re a woman and your budget is tight, you might not prioritise your personal care.  You cut down on buying beauty and skincare treats.  This may also mean scrimping on sanitary products too.  Weighing up whether to buy £5.00 worth of sanitary towels or some food items, can be a reality some women, even in this country, may have to live with.

Food banks

If you’ve never thought about contributing towards a foodbank, now might be the time. Next time you are buying your tampons and sanitary towels, pop a few extra packs in the basker…They will be put to good use (plus lighter to carry to the food bank, than a bag of baked beans).


To find your nearest food bank 

Statistics on food banks in the UK 

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The coolest guy in business


Some people enjoy meeting and being photographed with celebrities. I like to meet people who I admire in business. I get to meet them, plus get the chance to learn from them.

A while back, I was invited to a Ben & Jerry’s event and I got to meet Jerry Greenfield, the co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream.

Cynthia and Jerry 2

It was such a joy to meet one of the biggest names in the food industry, who continued to remain grounded and down –to-earth. We had a little chat, I told him about my cake business and this is the advice he gave to me:

* Stick to what you believe in

* Keeping working at it

* Enjoy what you do

That’s pretty sound advice from one of the coolest guys in business.

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One Direction


I’m always looking for ways to free up some time in my day. If I find something that works, I have to pass it on. Here’s my time saving tip for today:

If you find yourself frequently giving the same (long winded) directions to different people, either to:
Your home
Your studio
Your business premises
Where you meet clients

Why not create a Word document with directions. Include useful information like the nearest transportation links and landmarks. So when people ask, you can just fire off an email. If you take some time to create this, you can also use this as a marketing tool, add your branding, website and contact details.

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What your children need to know and hear

With half-term looming, you may get have the chance to hear yourself think. But here’s what your children need to hear throughout their life. As a parent, these words need to come from you.

7 thngs kids need to hear

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