Escape the 9-5 with a career with animals!

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Following years of stress, there’s a spring in Julie Turner’s step as she sets off to work. The busy mother-of-one faced a two-hour commute into London every day to tackle heaps of work at an IT recruitment company.

Julie decided enough was enough and needed to make a drastic change to her work-life balance. This led to her buying a We Love Pets dog walking franchise in West Berkshire in 2014. Just one year later her branch won the title of Small Business of the Year at the West Berkshire Business Awards.

We Love Pets was founded in 2008 to meet the need of busy pet owners, by providing dog walking and pet sitting services. The business has grown to 16 franchises across the South West and South East. The franchise network enables animal lovers to run their own business and enjoy a better work-life balance.

Franchisees and their teams look after family dogs, cats and other pets. Previous customers have included snakes, lizards and donkeys.

Julie now enjoys the flexibility of working from home and taking care of her son. She manages a great team whilst enjoying the support from experts in the head office team. There are financial rewards too, as Julie turns over about £7,000 per month.

Her commute now involves going down to the kitchen to make a coffee before she starts work in her home office. She now deals with invoicing, emails, customer enquiries and staff hours, taking breaks when she wants to and meeting with her team regularly. The support from other franchisees is invaluable and they work together to face challenges together.

Julie says “The business fits in with my lifestyle and it’s great to have the flexibility to work from home. I used to commute to London and now I only commute to the home office and to meet staff – it’s heaven”.

Company Director Joanne White says, “we’re delighted with the success of the Newbury branch, her branch really has complemented our ethos to looking after people and pets. We look forward to expanding across the UK and are looking for likeminded people who want to move away from office/corporate stress to run their own businesses”.

Want to know more?

tweet me: @newburymummy or email magatha28@hotmail.com

Buttermilk launches Strawberry Bellini fudge in time for Valentine’s Day

Buttermilk-14Cornwall’s much-loved family confectioner Buttermilk has launched the perfect flavour for that special someone.

You can now enjoy Strawberry Bellini fudge – the perfect treat for the one you love this Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day.

The new handmade sweet treat is inspired by everyone’s favourite cocktail. Its unique fizzy and crumbly texture combines a strawberry and prosecco fudge topped with white chocolate and popping candy.

Gorgeously creamy, these buttery, crumbly chunks of loveliness are studded with sweet-yet-sharp freeze-dried strawberries, flavoured with white chocolate and a little dash of Prosecco, and give your taste buds a surprising tingle.

All in all, it’s a sumptuous, fruity, fizzy treat that’s perfect as a gift or for nibbling alongside a glass of prosecco and a strawberry or two.

If you eat the packet before you’ve handed it over to the one you love, then don’t worry. Buttermilk is also launching a fabulous Strawberry Bellini Easter Egg alongside its two luxury Easter eggs; Caramel Sea Salt Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate and Honeycomb Easter Egg. The Strawberry Bellini Easter Egg is infused with freeze-dried strawberry pieces and a little popping surprise. Inside, you’ll find a further helping of Buttermilk’s new Strawberry Bellini Fudge.

The 100g Strawberry Bellini Fudge box is available at selected outlets including Lakeland and at www.buttermilk.co.uk priced at £2.99. A 150g box priced at £3.99 is available at Waitrose.

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About Buttermilk Artisan Confectionery

A family-run business, born and bred in Cornwall, a love for everything sweet has been inspiring Buttermilk’s artisan confectionery for over half a century. Their story began in 1964 with the opening of their first shop in Padstow, and although demand for their fudge has grown and grown, their award-winning treats are still lovingly handmade by craft confectioners. Staying true to their heritage, the skilled team at Buttermilk can still be found using traditional copper pans over open flames, carefully blending ingredients to create indulgent, award-winning treats.

School swimming

We’ve been travelling A LONG way to get decent swimming lessons so I was interested to see that the school is now offering weekly sessions.

Swimming is one of my favourite things in the world. However, indoor pools are not. Dirty changing rooms, shouting teachers, boiling hot pools – I try so hard to keep my dislike under my hat so as not to put small son off.

 

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Job one was to put small son’s name onto his towel, swimming costume and goggles. I got out the needle and thread, sat down with an old towel and discovered that someone had got there first. My mum had already sewn my name onto the towel. Near enough, that’ll do. Then I replied to the school that I would help the children get back onto the coach after the lesson. I tend to be at the leisure centre at that time anyway for a spinning class so asked what I needed to do.

“Your job will be to keep the children away from the vending machine” came the reply.  Now that is not my forte. I have trouble with keeping away from vending machines myself, but I said I’d do my best.

On the day, the children arrived earlier than anticipated. I was still red-faced and sweaty from my spinning class (even though I might not have turned up the resistance as much as I was supposed to), and despite every one of my muscles aching, I helped some children get dressed.

Today’s session was just about putting them into groups according to ability. Two at a time, they were asked to swim a width.  The boy sitting next to small son didn’t budge when it was their turn, so small son jumped in with a massive smile on his face and started swimming alone. The teacher then couldn’t decide whether to get small son back or force the other boy in. She called one back, and of course the other one got in. Chaos.

Then they got out again and we were treated to the chaotic sight of more than 30 children getting dressed. Small son was surprisingly swift and the head teacher said we could go.  I picked up his trainers and put them in my bag and we turned to go. A child stopped us and asked us for help finding her trainers.

“Of course”, we said, pointing at every shoe and asking if they were hers, before the head teacher said, once again, that we could go.  Halfway back home, I got my house keys ready from under a pair of trainers in my bag.  But if small son is wearing his, whose are these?

We sprinted back to the pool and I presented the shoes to the girl, as discreetly as I could. “Where were they?” shouted a bunch of relieved parents. “Er, in my bag”, I said.

“But why would you do that?”

“I don’t know – a mum’s tidying up reflex I think”.

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