I was invited and delighted to contribute to the “Secret Weblife” series over at Self-Employed Mum clairelancasterso here’s the inside track on my internet explorer delights!

Hello!  My name is Claire Lancaster, I am mum to 2½ year old Hugo with baby number two due early October 2009.  I am a self employed marketing consultant and founder of Dandelion Lounge www.dandelionlounge.co.uk.  My consultancy business specialises in helping clients establish and maximise their customer relationships through their marketing initiatives and Dandelion Lounge is an online store offering personalised stationery celebrating babies, children & family milestones.  Here are my top five favourite online stop offs …

http://econsultancy.com In terms of a frequent professional port of call my starting point for most things is here.  Econsultancy publish a wide range of guides, benchmarks, studies, surveys and stats.  As the online arena is so fast paced and such a critical component of all my clients businesses as well as the backbone of my own, time spent here helps me keep me up to speed and my finger (allegedly!) on the pulse! 

http://www.ebay.co.uk I have been an “eBay-er” for over 5 years now and mostly I use it to sell stuff I don’t like, need or use anymore.  I have been especially busy on eBay in the last few months selling my sons grown out of clothes (all four suitcase of them!) as baby number two is a girl.  Now I have a nice pot of money to indulge my addiction to buying children’s clothes and Brio train set pieces with!

http://www.notonthehighstreet.com I like to be different when it comes to gifts and I discovered this site in 2007 when I was housebound with a newborn baby, shopping withdrawal symptoms and gifts to buy!  This site makes it possible to buy amazing and unusual things, children’s clothes you’ve never seen before and charming, thoughtful and original gifts that people always ask “where did you get that from?”  All things you’d never find on the average high street. 

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com I am the “financial director” in our home.  I look after where our money is, or as importantly isn’t, spent and invested and keeping on top of that is one of my many jobs.  This site by Martin Lewis helps make this a much easier task.  I would say it is a pro-consumer guide to being financially savvy in all aspects of your life with some great tools, tricks and offers.  The weekly newsletter is one of only a few of the many I subscribe to that I make sure I always read.

http://www.kodakgallery.co.uk I love my photographs, the driving factor in Dandelion Lounge. I love taking, using, looking at and sharing my photos. Every month, well I try to do it every month but sometimes its every few, I load all the photo’s I’ve taken and share these with our family. My husband’s side live 250 miles away so it updates the grandparents, their boasting books and living room photo frames – it also acts like a free off site back up for our digital photos too!