Freelance lifestyle writing

“Lifestyle issues” covers a broad spectrum of topics, including food, drink, home, garden, genealogy/family history and crafts, but many areas within this category also overlap with health, property and travel.

I’ve written on various lifestyle topics, and written lifestyle related reviews, for a range of publications, including eBay, UKTV, Channel 4, Handbag.com, Making magazine, Dial magazine, SkiEngine.com, Internet Genealogy, Family Chronicle, Discovering Family History, Craft Expert, Start A Craft Business, Start a Gardening Business, It’s On The Net, Berkshire’s County Child, Windowbox.com, UK Plus, SaveOK, BriefMe and Holisticshop.

eBay

I worked with two agencies on the launch of the new eBay.co.uk Collections feature in 2014. I created a series of home and garden collections on behalf of Fresh Design Blog, many of which trended on the homepage throughout the campaign and have continued to do so since it finished.

I also created collections for the launch under the guise of Cosy Home Blog. Both sets of collections were promoted throughout the campaign on various social media channels. I’m a big fan of eBay, so both these were thoroughly enjoyable to do!

Making magazine

Business as Usual, January 2012 (issue 16)

If you love crafting and want to turn your hobby into a business, then setting up a small craft business could be for you. Rachel Newcombe takes a look at what’s involved.

Internet Genealogy magazine

Tracing Ancestors from British India, January 2009

Exploring the online resources dedicated to British India genealogy. The magazine can be viewed here (article on pages 41 to 44).

Blogging Your Genealogy, March 2007

Article looking at the benefits of an online ‘weblog’.

Family Chronicle magazine

When Family Reunions Don’t Live Up to Expectations! December 2008

Not all family reunions are created equal….

Alternative Heirs to the English Throne, August 2007

A report on the quest to find the alternative heir to the throne of England.

Finding Old UK Maps Online, May/June 2007 

How to map out a strategy for finding your family. Also published in Tracing Your English and Scottish Ancestors (2011).

Discovering Family History magazine

Citing Sources, Preview Issue 2008

Why it’s vitally important to properly record your sources from the start.

Craft Expert

Crafting in various forms is a personal passion of mine and I was pleased to get the opportunity to write some articles for the Papercrafting section of the Craft Expert website.

A Guide to Using Brads in Papercraft

A Guide to Using Buttons in Papercraft

A Guide to Using Ribbons in Papercraft

Getting Started With Decoupage

Papercraft – An Altered Art

A Guide to Using Eyelets in Papercraft

Start a Craft Business and Start a Gardening Business

I wrote all the content for the Start A Craft Business and Start a Gardening Business websites, covering everything from conceiving a business idea and beginning to set it up, to running a business on a long-term basis and expanding over the years. Articles include:

Craft business:

Market Research: Identifying a Target Market

Creating and Establishing a Craft Website

Selling Craft Products and Craft Supplies

Applying for a Small Business Loan

How to Get Your Business Into the Media

How to Write a Promotional Press Release

Branding and Packaging Your Craft Products

Setting Up a Craft Workshop at Home

How to Set New and Realistic Business Goals

Predict, Follow and Cash In On Market Trends

Gardening business:

Analysing Your Competitors

Business Cards and Promotional Flyers

Buying a Business Franchise

Hiring Gardening Equipment

Opportunities to Promote Your Gardening Business

Finding New Market Opportunities

Developing a Contingency Plan

Scrapbookist

I used to contribute several posts a week on scrapbooking and papercrafting to the Scrapbookist blog.

Fresh Design Blog and Cosy Home Blog

I run occasional book and lifestyle product reviews on my home and interiors blogs, Fresh Design Blog and Cosy Home Blog. Examples include:

Interflora’s Designed to Order Service (Fresh Design Blog)

Tin can openers on trial (Fresh Design Blog)

Stitch! by Cath Kidston (Cosy Home Blog)

Little Book of Heirloom Christmas Tree Decorations by Jenny Stephenson (Cosy Home Blog)

Decorated Cookies: Twenty to Make, by Lisa Slatter (Fresh Design Blog)

A Girl’s Guide to Decorating by Abigail Ahern (Fresh Design Blog)

1000 Home Ideas, by Stafford Cliff (Fresh Design Blog)

Live is Sweet, by Hope and Greenwood (Fresh Design Blog)

Dial magazine

Lifestyle / nutrition columns for the quarterly Expotel travel magazine:

Food Myths Debunked, Summer 2007

Brain-Boosters and Stress-Busters, Spring 2007

Cocktails ‘n’ Canapes, Winter 2006

Rainbow Foods, Autumn 2006

Great British Grub, Summer 2006

Food Allergies, Spring 2006

What to Pick, What to Skip On The Menu, Winter 2005

Under Pressure, Summer 2005

Your Daily Cuppa, Spring 2005

Separating Fad from Fiction, Winter 2004

Are You a GI Joe? Autumn 2004

Berkshire’s County Child

I wrote regular content, plus produced the book review pages, for this bi-monthly regional parenting/lifestyle title which ran from November 2003 – October 2004. Examples of my articles include:

Interview With Errol Hendrickse, Interior Designer – Designing Children’s Rooms

Coming up with new ideas for your child’s room, let alone putting them into action, can seem overwhelming. But Errol Hendrickse, an interior designer on GMTV’s popular Hand Over Your House series, believes it needn’t be a nightmare task.

“I find designing children’s rooms great fun, as you can be really creative,” he says. “You can have fun, play with colour, come up with themes and create unique rooms.”

Pick Your Own Fruits and Vegetables

Farms where you can pick your own (PYO) fruits and vegetables are rife in Berkshire. Not only is it a great way of obtaining your weekly produce, but it’s fun and educational for children, too! Rachel Newcombe looks at what’s on offer.

Choosing a Family Car

Finding a car suitable for accommodating the whole family in comfort, but also being practical for a quick dash to the supermarket or the daily school run can be tricky. Rachel Newcombe looks at some of the contenders in the family car market.

SkiEngine.Com

Lifestyle features (some with a health/parenting/travel slant) for this US-based ski site:

Essential Ski Trip Packing

Getting all your gear together and packing tends to be the least favored part of any trip, but making sure you have the essentials is crucial. So, before you head off skiing, what clothing, equipment and other items do you need to squeeze in your suitcase?

Planning The Key to Family Ski Trips

Taking children on a skiing trip for the first time can seem a bit daunting, especially if you were previously used to child-free skiing vacations. So how can you ensure your trip runs smoothly and successfully for everyone, and that your children get the most out of their skiing experience?

Skin Protection Important on Slopes

Taking care of your skin when you’re out and about on the slopes might not seem like a top priority, but it should be. The winter sun can be just as harmful as the rays during the summer, with skin cancer a big risk, so doing your bit to protect yourself from harm is crucial.

Stock Up On Energy Foods for Skiing

Although it may not to be top of your priority list while you’re on the slopes, paying attention to what you eat could build up your energy and keep you going for longer. But what foods could provide this extra lift and how much should you be eating?

Plan To Be Safe On Ski Slopes

Skiing is great fun, but like any activity, it carries with it risks and safety issues. When you’re out on the slopes it’s essential you do all you can to keep both you and other skiers safe and out of harm’s way. But are there codes of conduct to help you achieve this and what else can you do to ensure your skiing experience runs smoothly?

Windowbox.com

Gardening-related articles written for the Amercian site Windowbox.com:

Growing Houseplants In Windows

Looking for a feature for your windowsill? Why not try brightening up an empty space with a stunning display of houseplants. Windows are a popular location, providing the much needed light for plants as well as adding a splash of color and interest to what might otherwise be an ordinary and plain area.

Hanging Houseplants

If you thought that the joys of hanging plants could only be experienced by those with gardens and the room to hang baskets outside, then think again! There are many varieties of houseplants that are ideal for hanging, either individually or grouped together, and they can be used to create stunning displays.

The Art of Flower Arranging

If you love flowers and are keen on the idea of bringing them into your home, then why not try flower arranging! Arrangements can add style and decor, as well as brighten up rooms and bring an aspect of nature into the home. With so many glorious varieties you can create stunning displays all year round and enjoy the colors, scents and textures they bring with them.

Caring for Houseplants

It would be nice to think that once potted and placed in a suitable spot, plants would happily get on with growing and living in their own humble way. But unfortunately this isn’t the case. Indoor plants need lots of regular care and attention from their owners, be it through watering, re-potting or merely keeping them in the right conditions. But don’t despair, the life of a plant owner isn’t all drudge and hard work – follow the guidelines below and your life, and that of your plants, will be stress-free!

Flowering Houseplants

Having plants in your home adds decor, style and natural life to your living environment. But having flowering houseplants adds that extra touch – of magnificent color! With so many plants flowering at different times of the year the choice is wide and means that you can add colorful touches and evoke the seasons in your home throughout the calendar months.

Propagating Houseplants

Ever fancied creating more of your favorite house plants? Then why not try propagation! Although the term propagation can sound technical and terrifying to the uninitiated, don’t panic – it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Put simply it is merely the act of reproducing plants and is a satisfying task that anyone can have a go at.

Common Houseplant Health Problems

If you thought it was only humans who suffer from health problems, then think again, as plants do too! All sorts of problems can affect plants, from wilting and loss of leaves, to insect infestations. Awareness of the common problems is crucial as it can help with a quick diagnosis and ensure treatment occurs as soon as possible. So take note of the following instances just in case your plants are suddenly inflicted and need first aid!

UKTV

Tips, trivia and facts on lifestyle topics written for the UKTV e-text service (what you get when you press the red button!). The topics I’ve written about include:

Cornish Myths and Legends

Ecotourism Holidays

Making Mosaics

House-Swapping Facts

Tea Trivia

Fabric Painting

Cooking with Pulses

The Chelsea Flower Show

Alcohol-free Cocktails

Food Additives

Scented Flowers

UK Theme Parks

Thatch

UK Wine

Kitchen Gadgets

UK Island Breaks

HolisticShop

As well as writing and researching the entire links directory, I’ve also written independent reviews of books, CDs and other products for this online retailer. Examples include:

Books:

Reiki and The Seven Chakras, by Richard Ellis

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, by Richard Bach

Rumi: Whispers of the Beloved

Thank You Angels! By Doreen Virtue

Is It Me, Or Is It Hot in Here? By Jenni Murray

Interpreting Dreams A to Z, by Leon Nacson

A Dancing Star, by Eileen Campbell

The Complete Book of Colour, by Suzy Chiazzari

CDs:

Medwyn Goodall: Perfect Sleep

Midori: Sleep

In the Presence of Angels, by Jan Yoxall

Cindy Hurn: Relax…Let Go

Asha: Music For Love

Various Artists: A Woman’s Voice

Other:

Creativity Cards, Louise L. Hay

Job Success Cards, Louise L. Hay

Forgiveness Cards, Louise L. Hay

It’s On The Net magazine

As a contributing editor to this Internet listings magazines, I wrote boxouts (including reviews of relevant websites) on a variety of topics. Some examples include:

Kid’s Just Wanna Have Fun, Summer 2002

Organising children’s parties can be a daunting task for any parent. Apart from working out if you really do have enough space for a horde of extra children in your house or need another venue, there’s invitations to write, party bags to supply and entertainment to provide! Thankfully, there’s plenty of advice and tips available on the Internet to help you through each stage, from advance planning and buying, to surviving the actual day.

Taking Care Of The Earth, Autumn 2001

Pollution is one of the major causes of damage to our natural environment, yet each year more instances occur. Unless we all act responsibly and play a part in helping to preserve our planet for future generations, long-term un-repairable harm could be done.

Fluffy Tales, Autumn 2001

Rabbits are social animals and make great pets for both adults and children. In the wild they’re used to having lots of space to hop about in, so it’s important to ensure that the environment they’re kept in as pets is fully designed with their needs in mind. Some people choose to keep their rabbits indoors, but if you’d prefer the more traditional method, a good-sized hutch and a large, secure run area where they can exercise are ideal.

Lost Forever: Endangered Species, June 2001

The world’s natural environment has a wide array of different animals living in it. Yet, many are endangered and statistics suggest that up to 100 species become extinct each day. If you’ve ever wondered why this happens, what animals are at greatest risk and what you can do about it, then the Internet can help.

Man’s Best Friend, June 2001

If you’ve got a new puppy or have recently taken on an older rescued dog, one of the key things you’ll need to do is ensure your pet is properly trained. There are lots of classes offered locally throughout the UK that can help you, but many websites also cover dog issues and can be a great source of instant training tips.

Caring For The Environment, May 2001

As a nation, we tend to be rather wasteful. Statistics suggest that 90% of all household rubbish ends up in landfills or incinerators, despite the fact that lots could easily be recycled and re-used. If you’re keen to help the environment and try recycling, then the Internet is a great place to start your quest.

Feeling Lost? Map Sites, May 2001

If you’re going on holiday, planning a journey or are visiting somewhere new, then you need the Internet! There are many sites where you can obtain free, downloadable maps and use planning tools that can help you choose the best route to take.

Feline Friends, May 2001

If you’re thinking of having a pet, why not offer a home to a rescued cat? Each year thousands of cats are taken in by centres throughout the UK. Although some cats are abandoned, other owners are forced to say goodbye due to illness, moving house or sudden allergies. Many centres are now online and the details of their work and animals can be found on the Internet.

SaveOK

A money-saving guide to shopping produced by Red Apple Publishing. The first handbag-sized issue was released n November 2004, distributed free with the Saturday Mirror (it later became Zing magazine). I reviewed various ‘hot’ products, such as perfume and unusual gifts.

What’s Hot: Perfumes (B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful, BPAL and M&S)

What’s Hot: Original Gifts (The Gift Gourmet and Lush)

Other lifestyle work

Channel 4 – Various lifestyle-related articles for the Channel 4 website, many written as TV tie-ins.

Handbag.com - In conjunction with the New York-based Cybergrrl.com, I wrote a range of lifestyle and health features in the early days (pre-launch and during the first year) for the UK women’s website, Handbag.com.

UK Plus - In the past I worked for Associated Media’s UK Plus search engine, reviewing hundreds of websites in the lifestyle categories.

Give Your Wardrobe a Makeover

* Do you need a lifestyle writer? Whether it’s for article writing, copywriting, blogging or book writing, call now on 07801 944 978 or email rachel@newcombe.co.uk