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All Fur Coat & No Knickers!

Packing for a holiday is supposed to be fun, but I dropped a clanger this time. We were going to Butlins in Bognor over the Easter break and we'd decided to have 2 days in the Cotswolds beforehand, so I had two bags to pack for me and the children. One to take to the Cotswolds, and one to take to Butlins. Hubby was working so it was just me and the kids, and I thought I was pretty organised.

I remembered all the swimming stuff, I packed the kids DS consoles for the journey, I had enough clothes for each of us, but when we got to Butlins, it seems I'd not packed my 9 year old daughter's knickers! After consoling her (because it really is the end of the world to have no knickers when you are nine!) I promised to buy her some more pants on the resort, but for now she'd have to 'go commando!'

On our first day, we wanted to go to the beach, so I put her in a swimsuit and dress - she didn't need knickers for the beach! So she was happy enough, she put on her dress and her favourite fake fur coat and we headed out to meet Grandma & Grandad at the beach.

My mum and I got a blanket out so we could watch the kids running around, and I was telling the story of how I'd forgotten to pack knickers. Just then, my daughter appeared on the blanket looking so cute in her fluffy fake fur coat, and my mum just said "All fur coat and no knickers!" We fell about laughing but my daughter wasn't impressed. It was just so appropriate, one of those funny moments that I know I will remember and laugh about forever, but I'm not sure my daughter will want to share the joke!

Apart from 'knicker-gate', we all had a fabulous time away. I recorded a video which starts in the restaurant one morning when we had a 'Character breakfast' with Billy Bear and Bonnie, and ends in our room where the kids want to show you round. You will see my eldest in said fake fur coat on the video. She ended up wearing her swimwear all week as we couldn't get hold of knickers, but when we got home we discovered that I hadn't forgotten the knickers after all- I'd just packed them in the Cotswolds bag! Doh!

I have to say that you can see how nice the Butlins resort is from my video, but what it can't show you is what effect the week away had on all of us. Before the holiday we were so ready for a getaway- work, school and the daily juggle build up and you get to a stage where you need a rest, so this little anecdote describes brilliantly how we unwound on our break.

Upon arriving at the Ocean Hotel at Bognor, we checked in then took the lift to our rooms. The lifts are 'disco lifts'. It's a nice touch, a bit different, but what they are is lifts with blue lighting and popular disco music belting out as you ride. On our way to the rooms after several hours travelling in the car, we were all ready to dump the bags and eat, and my mum said crankilly
"Oh, why is there music in the lifts? We never get any peace. It would be nice to just have it quiet for a bl***y change!"

Four days later on our way downstairs in the lift to dinner, she was doing the 'YMCA' and singing along with the lift!

Disclosure: Thank you Butlins for our 4 night stay at the Bognor resort. I am a Butlins Mum Ambassador for 2011-2012 so I got to stay free of charge. All opinions in this post are not affected by the fact that we got a free holiday- knickergate really did happen as well as 'Grandma' doing the YMCA!

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Get Gorgeous While You Sleep...

I suppose it's an occupational hazard in the life of a writer to sometimes write too much. As a busy mum I have to be organised with my time and the article below is not my normal blog fodder but it is a piece that I wrote for a website that I regularly contribute to.

Only problem is, that I wrote the agreed article well in advance and had it scheduled for delivery the week before the deadline, when the Editor came back to me and changed the story! I did a completely new feature for the website but I didn't want to waste all my work on this one, so here you go! The piece is about how to squeeze in a beauty routine when you don't think you have the time! Enjoy!

Having a dewy complexion and smooth hands with glossy nails is easy, and you can do it while you sleep! If you’ve had no time for yourself over the winter, here’s a quick and simple way to get ‘spring fresh’ before the clocks go forward!

Beauty sleep is our best way to stay young looking and clear headed, but what if you could maximise the time you spend sleeping to get your body looking buff too? The key is to be organised! All it takes is five minutes before you turn out the light and a bedside box of tricks and you will have softer skin, stronger nails and tanned limbs in just a few weeks!

Our bodies have been cooped up all winter so before you embark on your quick and easy bedtime beauty plan, get down to some routine maintenance. Take a soak, shave your legs and underarms, remove old nail polish and pluck your eyebrows to give yourself a ‘blank canvas’. From now on it will take just five minutes a night to unleash your inner goddess.

• Stock your bedside drawer with some essentials. If the products you need are close to hand, you won’t be tempted to miss a night.

• For tanned limbs: use a sunless tanner. Something that you can use daily to build up a natural looking glow over several weeks.

• For ‘sandal ready’ feet: smooth over a thick foot cream to soothe tired feet and combat the dried, cracked skin that forms on your heels over the winter.

• Radiant skin: choose a night cream suited to your age. Creams can work harder during the night as they don’t have make up on top of them, and use a special eye cream too for the thinner skin on your eye area. Dark circles can be reduced by taking time to moisturise here.

• Bright eyes: you are about to sleep but before you do, use an eye drop to moisturise your eyeball. Eyes can become dry and irritated after contact with the elements and a quick drop each night will help keep them well watered and clean.

• Luscious lips: Pat on some lip balm so your pout stays pert and lips feel soft.

• Stronger nails: apply a nail strengthener nightly to beat cracked, brittle nails. Also keep an emery board in your bedside drawer to keep the shape neat. It’s best to apply the nail strengthener last in your routine so it can dry whilst you drift off to sleep. Just remember to keep your hands above the duvet until it is touch dry!

Once you’ve added all the ingredients, sleep away for eight hours letting your lotions and potions do their job and wake up to a smoother and glossier you. Even with a busy schedule you can be a yummy mummy – all it takes is five minutes a night!

That's it! Normal service is now resumed:-)

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My TV Ad Starts on Monday!

So when you are tucking into your Cornflakes on Monday, watching Daybreak, the adverts will come on and wait! Just a second, isn't that Nadine? YES!

The photo above is a still from the TV advert that I'm in which will be shown on ITV1 and Sky Channels from Monday. It is to advertise the new website My Family Club, a website aimed at families to help them save money and run their homes and lives more effectively. If you look really hard at the ad, you will notice that the picture on the wall behind me is going to show me and my children on the telly but here it is a landscape. The magic of television eh?

To appear on this TV ad, I won a competition. I had to submit my best money saving tip by video - here is my tip, which my friends have told me is really good!!

The day was a lot of fun and I enjoyed meeting the crew and seeing what they did. The Director was a guy called Will Smith (not the actor!) and he was lovely. Here he is, taking me through my lines...

So I'll be on air from Monday and I'll try to tweet before the relevant ad breaks so people get chance to see it. I'm @Businessmum on Twitter if you want to follow me to get the tweets. I should have a list of when this ad is scheduled so I can be timley! If you want to see the website in question, then check out www.MyFamilyClub.co.uk

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Have You Gone Away Over Easter?

We have... to Butlins! We are there now!

It feels so odd to be writing a post announcing that I'm away as normally I'm so security conscious. I don't like to Tweet, blog, Facebook post or otherwise let anyone know any of my actions before I go away because it's like advertising that your house will be empty, but on this occasion, mine won't because my husband isn't coming!!

This is the first time I've gone away without him, but the kids and I are here with Grandma & Grandpa at Butlins in Bognor for a 'schools out' break and he has to work. Thankfully my kids are a bit older now, travelling with them is easier. We still have to make frequent toilet stops for my 4 year old, but at least they don't usually scream the place down if they have to wait for food, so it's easier for me to travel with them alone.

This break is especially nice because it's Grandpa David's 76th birthday today so we can have a lovely celebration tea later on! I packed his card and pressie before I came so I was super organised!

With the weather being so changeable recently, I've been extra cautious and packed warm boots and sandals, plus plenty of layers - you never know what the weather will be like at all do you?! I'm hoping we'll see some sun and get to the beach whilst we are here, but either way at least there is plenty to do.

Next week the kids are back in the school routine and I have to get back on track with my Slimming World. I have had this week off to enjoy my holiday, having puddings every night but that can't last forever! Whatever you are doing this week, have fun and enjoy the last few days before the clock watching begins again!

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