Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #24

Well done! You got here!

Today you just have to enjoy it all because you have done everything you need to do! Avoid the shops at all costs! They will be full of last minute panic buyers. Go see a movie, have a meal, see a relative. Put your feet up! Merry Christmas!

That's it from me until 2010. Juggle Mum is officially on holiday until the New Year - come back in 2010 but until then, have a great festive season!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #23

Today you collect all the pre-ordered turkeys, other food you had scheduled in earlier in the month (unless they arranged for you to go in on Christmas Eve!)

My local Farm Shop is open from 4am on Christmas Eve and believe me, it gets busy – even at that hour! So we get everything on the 23rd – mainly because it’s my daughter’s birthday on 24th December so that day is all about her.

It's nearly Christmas! Are you excited?!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #22

Today it's time to clean the house. Boring I know but must be done if we are having visitors at Christmas!

If you have little time, focus on the rooms where people will notice – ie: kitchen and bathrooms. Plus, also make sure you use a disinfectant wipe on the fridge and freezer door handles. They are the one thing in a kitchen that everyone uses but no-one cleans!

Stock up on kitchen roll for spills. It costs more than using a cloth to mop up spills but is a great time saver at busy times like Christmas, and just run a quick duster over the telly - everyone will look at the telly over Christmas - don't let them see the dust!

Give it a good hour of effort getting the whole family to pitch in and you will have a fairly clean house in no time!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #21

Today is the last posting date for 1st class mail for Christmas delivery so if you are struggling for the last present on your list, here is a great idea!

Booking a theatre or concert ticket for next year is a great present for someone and the best part is that if the tickets DON'T arrive before Christmas, all you need to do it print off a 'gift voucher' telling the recipient what they are getting and present that on Christmas morning - it doesn't really matter is the physical tickets aren't here.

PLUS - to get money off tickets, Voucher Codes is a great site. Just search for 'Theatre' to see all the special offers!

Also I have it on good authority that a special offer at Prezzy Box is proving really popular this year. You can get the 10% off deal for yourself by visiting www.vouchercodes.co.uk/prezzybox.com

Happy shopping and more tips for a stress free Christmas tomorrow!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #20

Competition time! I've just found out about a great new competition where you can win a 4 night break plus spending money in 2010, so take time out of your Christmas rush to do something that might yield nice results next year!

The contest is by Babeecard and the address for entry is http://www.babeecard.com/competition_Bluestone_Babee Good luck!

**This contest is now closed**

Plus, in the spirit of finding unusual gifts or places to shop, here is a website that I was told about recently where the bags sold are made in an Italian prison! I met the girl who runs the business when I was in Stockholm last month, and she gave me one of the bags. Now I've tried out some shopping bags in my time and this bag is awesome! It is really sturdy, can take quite a weight in it and has a nice minimal design. The only problem is that to buy, you will need to know Italian as the website has no English translation! Made in Carcere is here.

Tomorrow I'm back with more of your 'Guide to a Stress Free Christmas' but until then - have a great day!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #19

Today in my house it's chaos as my (soon to be) 7 year old is having a birthday sleep-over! I'll have 6 giggling girlies whacking a Pinyata, painting sparkly polish on their nails, watching Zac Efron movies and eating crisps and dips!

Today's tip is to give you a stress free Christmas for next year! Using my child's party as inspiration, what I plan to do is to take a photo of the girls enjoying their party then have it crafted into an awesome Christmas gift for the individual girls for next year's present! (I hope their parents aren't reading as it will spoil the surprise!)

I will go to the site Enhance Me and have their photo's made into a fairy dream or a winter wonderland. Their site is great - you have to see it to believe it! This will tick a few presents off my list already for next year - perfect planning!!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #18

I promised you a money saving tip today and here it is...

Voucher Codes are a website where you can get discount codes for all the main High Street stores, saving you a bundle if you shop at the retailers' website but use the Voucher Code code!

I ordered a Junior Spike Dinosaur from the Early Learning Centre for my son's Christmas present through Voucher Codes but you can also get fashion, electronics, gifts and music - all of the stores are there!

Check out www.vouchercodes.co.uk for the lowdown and happy shopping!

PS) Today is Royal Mail's last posting date for 2nd class mail before Christmas so if you have cards left to send, doing them today will save you cash on that too!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #17

We're on the last leg before Christmas now and hopefully your main presents are done along with your cards, cake and store-cupboard supplies, so now let's think about the 'not so obvious' items we'll need before the big day!

I'm talking about batteries! All shapes and sizes are needed because you won't know what the toy takes till it is opened on Christmas Day but size AA, Size C and Size AAA are most popular, so concentrate on those! Someone is bound to get the kids a toy but not the batteries to go with it, and nothing is more unfunny to a kid than seeing the toy and being unable to play with it!

Come back tomorrow for a great money saving Christmas tip!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #16

It's time to get dressed up, go out and sit on a strange man's knee! But do it safely - only go to proper Santa Grotto's - not to just any old man on a park bench!

Rather than try to squeeze a trip to the Grotto into your precious weekend with a billion other parents (which means you will be queuing for hours), do a midweek jaunt and see Santa with the kids without the chaos!

If you cannot go after school, find a Grotto to take them to the week after school finishes. It will be a bit busier but not as bad as a Saturday.

More tips tomorrow!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #15

Today, go to the supermarket before you do 'THE BIG SHOP' and stock up on the items you have not got yet- store cupboard ingredients, puddings, mince pies, nuts etc.
PLUS - more present wrapping. If you are not good or very fast with the scissors and paper, gift bags are an easy way to present a gift beautifully whilst taking no time to do!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #14

Here is a great way to keep your children motivated to stay on Santa's 'Nice' list!

http://portablenorthpole.tv


...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #13

Today is a day of rest! **Contingency day!**

There is likely to be something you need to finish from one of the other posts so far. Do this today.

If you are bang up to date with the points so far then well done! Have a rest today - put your feet up!

Come back tomorrow for the next leg in the 'Stress free Christmas plan'!


...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #12

Today's tip is a Christmas gift idea and New Year's resolution in one!

If you are stuck on what to get someone, a diary or planner is always a useful idea. Plus, if they love being organised or always resolve to become more organised each New Year, Filofax have a range of personal organisers to suit!

Check out this link for details of a special beauty giftbox offer:

http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;219640157;42939854;s?http://uk-living.glam.com/articles/detail/have_a_filofax_christmas

PLUS.....
I am on the Filofax mailing list and have just received a special discount code. They are having a one day sale on 14th December (Monday) on personal organisers, so make a date in YOUR diary to go and get someone else a diary!

Between 9am and midnight, you can get 20% off certain personal organisers by entering the code XMASMM at the checkout.

Happy shopping and happy organisation!
Come back tomorrow for the next tip in our series on creating a Stress Free Christmas!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #11

Today it is all about YOU!

I bet you have had a party invite, work do or other social event invitation by now, so we need to get your party clothes. See if you can get some childcare and get to the shops alone and spend a couple of hours focusing on your outfit.

If you can make it during the day whilst the kids are at school, so much the better (book a day off work to shop if necessary). The shops are miserable on a night when everyone rushes there after work, the assistants are tired and ready to get home and you have to drive home in the dark, so daytime is best.

Break up a long shopping trip with a cappuccino and cake to keep your energy up and find something sparkly!

Make up tip: Get a glittery eye-liner to bring some festive cheer to your face. Collection 2000 has a great range of colours and they are really cheap - I have just bought 2 sparkle liners (red and aqua) from Collection 2000 at ASDA in a 2 for £4 deal.

Technorati Claim Code: GEEQWB38YCVM

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #10

Let's talk Stockings - well, stocking fillers actually!

You got your ‘main presents’ online if you followed this plan, but stocking fillers are often overlooked. Mostly because these are the little things that catch your eye whilst out shopping for the ‘bigger’ things and you don’t know what you will get until you see it!

Today make a plan to get some stocking fillers- aim to spend an hour at the shops just wandering and cherry picking the bits that tickle your fancy.

Also, some of the online gifts you ordered should have started arriving by now, so set yourself up a ‘wrapping station’ on the kitchen table and start to wrap some of the presents! This is a job that always takes longer than you expect so start now!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #9

There is still time left to organise a fantastic 'extra' for your children whilst doing your bit for charity. The NSPCC runs a 'Santa Letter' scheme where you can pay a £5 suggested donation to the charity for a personalised letter to your child directly from Santa himself!

The last order date for this letter is 16th December 2009 but orders are taken from October so put this in your diary for next year now! Go to the NSPCC website to order www.nspcc.org.uk/santa

The letter will arrive before Christmas and makes a wonderful keepsake. It is posted via 'Rudolph Mail' in a special envelope!

Come back tomorrow so we can talk 'stockings'!!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #8

We are 8 days into December - time to get your Christmas gift wrap, foil bows, curling ribbon, tags and anything else you use to wrap the gifts!

Because there is not much else to say than this, here is a nice festive shot of the dolls from The Nutcracker - a Christmassy production! These dolls are part of our decoration at home:



...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #7 - including the best Christmas Cake you've ever had in your life!

It's time to bake your cake!
If you don't enjoy baking much or are really time pressed this year, cheat! There are loads of nice 'ready decorated' fruit cakes in the supermarkets now. They won't be as nice as this one, but they will do!

If you are baking your own, this recipe is GORGEOUS! I got it from a local cake maker - a lady who ran her own bakery for 50 years, and this was her tried and true recipe for a delicious rich fruit cake. **Note: the measurements are in ounces as this was the way she taught me. Nowadays stuff is sold metrically so you will need to convert the weights yourself**

The downside? It takes 2 days to do because we need to soak the fruit in the sherry overnight so you will need to weigh the stuff today and bake it all tomorrow.

For an 8 inch cake:

Currants 11oz
Sultanas 11oz
Raisins 11oz
Glace Cherries 6oz
Mixed Peel 3oz
Lemon rind - 1 lemon
Orange rind - half an orange
Sherry to soak fruit overnight: 50ml / 5fl oz

Ground Almonds 2oz
Butter 7oz
Soft Brown Dark Sugar 7oz
Eggs Size 2 (Large) x4
Black Treacle 1tbl spoon
Self Raising Flour 2.5 oz
Plain Flour 6oz
Ground Cinnamon 3/4 teaspoon
Mixed Spices 1/2 teaspoon
Ground Nutmeg -a 'good pinch'!

Gas Mark 2 (or 125 C) until cooked. (Approx 2h 45 to 3h 30)

-Soak fruit overnight
-Triple-line the cake tin with parchment
-Quadruple-line the OUTSIDE of the tin with brown paper (tie it with a piece of string)
-Triple cover the cake mixture with parchment

Leave the cake to cool in the tin overnight
Pour Brandy over the cake when cool (do not pierce the cake - the Brandy will find it's own 'cracks' to seep in through!)
Do not remove the parchment - store cake in it until needed.

Marzipan required - 1.5lb
Icing required - 1.5lb (I use sugar-paste as it is easier and softer to use than Royal Icing)

To present the cake, you will need an 11 inch square board (thick drum) for this cake

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #6

Now the inside looks festive, it’s time to sort the outside. Do you have outdoor lights to put up? A wreath? Fake snow for the windows?



Come back tomorrow for the next stage in our 'stress free Christmas' plan!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #5

Today it’s time to get up in the loft or where-ever you hide the Christmas trimmings and start decorating! If you don’t have a tinsel tree, then go to the Garden Centre and get your real one. Then, involve the kids, put on some Christmassy tunes and ‘rock around the Christmas tree’!




This is our tree this year- the kids decorated it last night. Part of me wonders if I should tidy it up to make it look more pleasing within the house, part of me thinks I should leave it because it is a 'whole family' production! Maybe next year I will get all matching baubles and have it look more 'magazine like'!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #4

If you are ‘hosting’ Christmas this year and have guests coming, today we focus on the dinner!

Place your order now at the butcher / farm shop / food hall for your turkey, ham on the bone and pork pies. Then, a trip to the supermarket is needed to pick up the Christmas booze and store-cupboard ingredients that are necessary but won’t ‘go bad’. So get your cranberry sauce, tin foil, beers, wines, soft drinks, Christmas puddings, crisps and crackers.

Don’t confuse this with your regular weekly shopping – today’s trip is just about Christmas. Focus on that- supermarkets can get busy and it’s stressful enough, so just one thing at a time! If you do have guests coming though, also consider the ‘incidentals’ like extra loo roll and washing powder that you will use but can’t ‘see’.

Time saving Tip: If you cannot think what you might need, browse a supermarket's online store to help you compile your list or a website like the BBC's Good Food is a great resource. It can also help you with recipes for any baking. I personally love to bake a cake but have no time so I buy everything in. Maybe when my youngest is my daughter's age, I will have a little more time to do some baking - I especially love cake decorating. It's so satisfying!

If you are lucky enough to be going to someone else's house this year, you can relax! But if Christmas is at yours then you are in the best position to wangle the festivities at someone else's house next year!

Come back tomorrow for the next stage in the 'Stress Free Christmas' plan!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #3

For a time pressed mum, online shopping makes life really easy. Where else can you go and buy things in your pyjamas holding a cup of tea and not have to lug all the bulky bags around, or get round 3 shops in your lunch break? Plus, when you have kids with you, shopping can be a real chore. They want to play in ‘their’ shops, run around and the aisles are never easy to navigate with a pushchair. Then, they decide they need to pee when you are just getting to the front of a mile long queue!

So today we are going to order our Christmas presents online, AND I have just discovered a great new website – Voucher Codes.co.uk where you can get discounts from practically the whole ‘virtual’ High Street!

Buy for everyone now, because in a week or two we will be wrapping the gifts and this is a job that takes longer than we expect.

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #2

To have a stress free Christmas, now is the time to write and post your cards. A tip for next year is to buy your Christmas cards for next year in the sales THIS year and put them away! You will get them for half price – Christmas cards do not go out of ‘fashion’ and they do not go ‘off’! PLUS, if you are super organised you can even start to write them earlier on – maybe on a dark evening in October when you have nowhere to go and a bottle of wine at hand! But back to now, write all your cards today then take 10 minutes afterwards to list who you sent them to. This will provide the basic ‘checklist’ for you to use next year to make life easier – you will know exactly how many cards you need to purchase and also are sure not to forget anyone if it is written down! We are focusing on cards today rather than gifts because no-one will know you haven’t got them a gift until 25th December whereas cards start arriving around now from others.

Here is a time saving tip – the Post Offices start to get gridlocked around now with people sending parcels, arranging Airmail and collecting pensions etc, so avoid the queues there and get your stamps in books of 12 from most newsagents. You will never queue as long in a newsagent as you will at the Post Office! If you post your cards now, you can get away with using Second Class stamps which will save you money too.

Check in tomorrow when we start doing our favourite activity – SHOPPING!!

... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!

PS) My fave blog designer April Showers is having a competition! See below!
April Showers Blog Design is having a HUGE giveaway and celebrating her OPEN waiting list that starts January 1st! April not only does blogs - but also invitations, announcements, calendars, cards, business cards, custom illustrations, and so much more! Just by pasting this paragraph on my blog I'm a winner! www.aprilshowersblogdesign.com

Guide to a Stress Free Christmas #1

The Christmas Countdown is on and this is normally a stressful time for the mums out there who have everything to think about (let's face it - all the gift buying, house sorting, food prep and kid related activities are usually down to us to organise!) so this guide is a step by step way to ensure a stress free Yule whilst actually having some 'Me' time and enjoying the whole process!

Today's tip is:
For God's sake, book your Christmas hair appointment, any beauty treatments and 'essential maintenance' (like the bikini wax!) TODAY! Next year, you will book them earlier - in October or November but this time you will probably have to accept whatever appointments you can get, as the ladies who planned got the prime slots.

Do it now - I promise you, we will get to sorting out everyone else in this tip series, but YOU are most important this time.

Come back tomorrow for the next stage in the 'Stress Free Christmas' plan!

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Celebrity Mum is a REAL Winner!

The Celebrity Mum of the Year for 2009 has been announced and I am over the moon that it is Kym Marsh!




I'm over the moon because here is a 'real' woman who had 2 kids then pursued her dream of being a pop star which she achieved and now she is also an actress and presenter. Well done her! She shows that just because you have children, doesn't mean that your life stops or that you have less ambition than you did as a single girl.

Plus like many of our UK celebrity mums, she doesn't have an entourage of nannies, personal chefs and helpers like the US 'Moms', she takes her own kids to school and when she cannot collect them she relies on 'Grandma' like so many of us UK working women!

Kym is an inspiration. A down to earth mum who juggles a busy life and looks great too! Well done Kym!

... If you like what you read, follow this blog and join the party! Go on - it's just a click in the box to the left of this post!

It's like 'porn' for mums!

To be honest with you, I wasn't sure if my title for this post would attract some 'undesirable' attention to my blog, so if you are a perv, then log off now! However if you are a busy mum, stay tuned!

I used the words I did in the title because I'm talking about something I get excited about - being organised! I have a good friend who wanders the aisles of Rymans looking longingly at the clean, hard-backed covers of the journals, the thick leaded pencils and the soft, tactile personal organisers in all their colours! I can totally relate - I love getting new stationery and feel more in control when my activities and the schedules of my two children are managed in one place, so I was excited to get a new diary for 2010 from Mums Office (www.mumsoffice.co.uk)

This pink handbag sized planner has room for not only my own schedule but also space to insert up to 4 other people, so I have labelled the columns for husband and my 2 children and am going to use the last column to plan meals for the week. It's nice to have a separate space to do that! However if you have 4 kids then you will need all the columns for them - it's hard enough juggling two, so hats off to you if you are managing more than that - you should be an Executive PA!

Here is the handbag sized pink diary- it matches my pink phone and just fits into my faux Chanel quilted shoulder-bag! (Chanel price, in the £000's. My price, £1.96 from Primarni! Bargain!)



What I loved:
I thought the pages specially for inputting 'Children's Details' were excellent. You could store their doctors and dentists details here along with their National Health No, plus all their school term dates - this would be a Godsend for women with children at different schools, in case their term dates differed. Opposite the Children's Details page was a page for their 'Class Contacts' so you can keep track of their friends' numbers and address. I have manually created this sort of thing in the past so it was nice to have a proper page printed out for this purpose. If I was to suggest a small addendum, I'd have loved space to also put on their little friend's birthday date for easier card sending and their parents name (I sometimes forget the Mum's name if they are just someone I speak to at the school gate rather than a more close friend, so it would be nice to have somewhere to remember this rather than just saying "Chloe's mum!)
I also liked the 'Travel Plans' page which I have already filled out with the trips we're taking in 2010. There will be a few as I have 2 weddings to go to so these will involve weekend breaks - plus a hen do that I have been invited to for one of them (another weekend!) and the Gift Record part was inspired! Great idea to have space to put what you bought for everyone to ensure you don't duplicate next year! I usually have a separate notebook for this reason so it was nice to have it with my actual diary.




What I didn't like:
It's hard to do and keep the diary to a convenient 'handbag' size but I would have loved more space for my activities rather than a 'Week to View' space. I tend to use my daily space for recording appointments but also reminding myself to post a card or even use for a shopping list. There wasn't space to put a shopping list in there so this could be perhaps an idea for an addition for a future diary!
The only other thing I didn't like is that with this diary I'd have to write out all the 'basic' information' about children's details and their friends plus my contacts address and phone numbers, over again in next year's diary. If the Mums Diary was in a format that could be inserted into a personal organiser where I'd keep my existing address book information and other items, I'd not be duplicating activity by re-writing all this into a Mums Diary next time round!

Overall this diary is brilliant and great value for money at £14.00 At this price it would make a very nice Christmas present for a busy mum!

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Health Kick.... I wanted to 'Kick' the Masseuse!

I was on a cruise ship last week, having a fortnight's holiday in the Caribbean - it was awesome. Picture the scene, I'd been having a 3 course dinner every night, cocktails and sodas all day, afternoon tea (with cake!) most days and when the kids had an ice-cream, well - it'd be rude if I didn't join them too! You get the picture - I really had a 'no holds barred' holiday and enjoyed myself!

However there really is too much of a good thing and towards the end of the holiday I got to the stage where I was sick of eating! I craved vegetables and water, yoghurts and bananas, so I pledged to get back on track when I got home. Whilst I was there I decided to go to the onboard spa for a massage. I'd had a bit of a stiff shoulder and back for a while and thought that it would just 'sort itself out' when I had a rest, but it didn't so I went off to the spa for a hot stone massage to have some 'proper' relaxation. At the time it was ok, but as the day wore on afterwards, my right arm which the masseuse had concentrated on became more and more painful and at the end of the night, I was in absolute agony, in tears, and enquiring about seeing the Ship's Doctor.

I was convinced that the masseuse had dome something to me - torn a muscle maybe, or caused some internal bruising. She was imploring me throughout the massage "WHY have you left it so long before coming to get a massage?" (My answer - "I don't know, when you have 2 small kids you just get on with it don't you?") Then she was saying (and I quote) "Oy Yoy Yoy, you are so stiff, Meesus Hill" (she was from Eastern Europe) and made me promise to get more hot stone massages when I get home - I agreed! So when I was in bed 16 hours later, in the worst agony with my arm (well - not quite as bad as childbirth but bad enough), in tears and unable to get comfortable, I was sending mental hate messages to the masseuse - absolutely convinced that she had 'done' something to me. I mean, it's not normal to go for a relaxing massage and come out in searing agony and having to wear a sling on your arm for 3 days afterwards.

The first job I did when I got home (after putting the washing on of course!), was to call up a Physiotherapist I know and get an appointment, to have her tell me what had happened, (and if I could sue the masseuse for GBH or something!) I had the appointment this week and was surprised to find out that this masseuse who I'd been cursing all week had actually done me a massive favour! Apparently I'd had low level niggles for a while and I'm either VERY active (going running or just running round after my children) or VERY sedentiary (working on my computer or just collapsing each night after the kids are in bed due to sheer exhaustion). This pattern along with poor posture, the fact that I'm always lifting heavy items (ie: my son who weighs a ton!) and not having a proper chair to sit on whilst working (preferring the laptop on my knee on the sofa because there have to be some benefits to working from home don't there?!) have all compounded in my body 'compensating' for these bad habits by building muscle tightly around the shoulder joint to keep me functional. When the masseuse gave me such an in-depth massage, she relaxed all these knotted muscles, thus bringing all the pain to the fore-front so I could feel the results of my actions all in one go! Nice huh?!

Anyway, I want to thank the masseuse as whilst I was damming her for the best part of a week, she actually did me a huge favour. Had I not been in so much pain, I wouldn't have sought out physio help and my posture, lower back and shoulder would have just got worse and therefore harder to fix in later years! I have exercises to do twice a day and will need about 4 physio sessions but both my immediate acute pain is being treated along with the underlying problem. Who'd have thought that motherhood should come with a 'Health & Safety' warning?! They don't give you a 'heavy lifting manual' in parent-craft class but maybe they should?!

Anyway in the spirit of generally getting my health and well-being back on track now I am home, I have made some changes. I have just tried the new Nescafe Green Coffee (yes - just like Green Tea but in coffee format!) and it's actually not bad! I think it tastes just like the 'real' coffee but it has more health giving benefits (anti-oxidants and all that). I have to say, I like a good cup of tea - it must be the Yorkshire lass in me. But Green Tea -whilst I know it is good for you- in my opinion, just 'messes up' a nice cuppa. But this coffee is great! Apparently my cleaner told me today that green tea and green coffee speed up your metabolism leading to weight loss benefits too so I hope that is true, and at least the coffee tastes ok.



The other thing I've been doing is taking the new Femibion 'Energetic Mum' supplements. I was actually taking these before my holiday and they seemed to be helping me with my active life - I didn't feel as 'drained' at the end of the day as I had done previously, so these have been quite good too! I did think they were quite expensive at about £10 per pot, but if you get them when Boots does a 3 for 2 offer, they are not so bad!

So armed with my coffee, supplements, bottle of water, pilates DVD and 'carb curfew' (this is something I learned about on holiday!) I'm on with my health kick and hopefully soon I'll be 'kicking arse' when I get into my Christmas LBD, rather than wanting to kick that poor masseuse!

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An extra special early Xmas gift for all the hardworking mums out there!

The holiday’s are almost upon us and here is a gift for all the mums out there to have them take a little time out to pamper themselves!!

Enjoy & pass it on…

X



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Best way to run a home on the fly? Treat it like a business!

As the weeks progress to the end of 2009, my life is speeding up! I've been on a 'go cart' without brakes going down a mountain since school started back in September (not literally of course!) So it has been even more useful in recent weeks that I have a tendency to treat the running of my home like a business. My husband used to smirk when I spoke about 'stock rotation in the kitchen' (otherwise known as making sure the tins with a longer use by date are towards the back of the cupboard) and when I used my project management skills to organise domestic help such as having the carpet steam cleaner come after the weekly cleaner so the carpet is already vacuumed before it is deep cleaned.

However one particular aspect of running a retail business has served me well over the last few weeks whilst I've been running through life! I have kept a full 'stockroom'! There is nothing worse than running out of shower gel during your shower and having to 'borrow' your husbands more masculine smelling one or having a head-achy child crying but you have no Calpol. During the Summer I started building up supplies as I like to be well stocked and here is my cupboard:



It's so much easier to have everything you could need at hand and replenish your stocks next time you are at the supermarket when the 'pressure is off'! I tend to ensure I have one item I'm using and one 'spare' and it is the 'spare' I replace at the supermarket.

What are your tips for the smooth running of a busy house? Leave a comment and share!

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Mumpreneurs and sassy women...Ladies, we mean business!

The past week has seen me travel more than 2,600 miles, cover 2 countries, meet in excess of 200 people (all female entrepreneurs BTW!) and deliver one speech about my enterprise journey. I have also taken part in one NCT sale to clear out my old baby clothes and equipment, 2 birthday celebrations (I have eaten so much cake this week I can't tell you!) had caviar for the first time, sat on the next dinner table to one Royal Princess (the Crown Princess of Sweden - Victoria!) been on a clothes shopping trip with my daughter, taken my son to the hairdressers, had 1 leaky pipe in the bathroom make the dining room ceiling come crashing down and still managed to get up to date with my beloved X Factor (practically the only show I watch on TV - I don't have time for any rubbish!) What a week!

To update you, I went to the Mumpreneur Conference in Birmingham last weekend where I got the chance to meet loads of awesome ladies, all managing businesses around their children and doing very nicely at it too! I was delighted to finally meet Wendy Shand of Tots to Travel who I've been in contact with for 4 years. She is a true Mumpreneur - running a very successful travel business around her 3 young children (the youngest being just 5 weeks old!)

At that conference I also met Antonia Chitty of ACPR. She has 3 children and I had a cuddle with her youngest who is just a few months old. Antonia won one of the awards at the conference, for Inspirational Business Mum and well deserved! Plus she is the author of several books including her latest The Mumpreneur Guide, and I have one copy to give away to a reader of this blog!! To win, simply leave a comment on this post squeezing the word 'mumpreneur' into the comment with your email address or a means of reaching you and I will select one comment at random next week to win!

After the Mumpreneur conference I was straight on a plane to Sweden to take part in the launch of the European Ambassador Network for Female Entrepreneurs. This event, organised by the European Commission had a programme for the day which was organised by the Swedish Presidency and after the formal conference, there was a Royal Gala Dinner at Stockholm's City Hall attended by Crown Princess Victoria. I was there representing the UK in my Ambassadorial role with Enterprise UK. Have a look at my introduction video! Plus here is the first piece of media coverage from the event! I also did a blog post for Enterprise UK with more details about the event - check it out here!

Speaking of business events, I have another give-away for you - one ticket to the Enterprise Nation conference in London on Friday 20th November worth £50! This is the UK's first Home Enterprise Day so well worth a look if you are running a home based business or thinking of doing so. There are only 150 places available and I have 1 up for grabs! To be in with a chance, just leave a comment on this post with 'Enterprise' in the comment plus your email address and I'll pick one next week!

Finally whilst I'm on a roll with prizes and give-aways, one of my advertisers is running a survey about your usage of my website and other media and would very much appreciate your feedback. The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete and as a 'thank you' for your time, you will be entered into a draw to win one of three £100 high street gift vouchers of your choice. Please click here to enter the survey! (**Note: this link has been disabled as survey capacity was reached!**)

So as you can see there are so many women who have started businesses, got great ideas and passion and are out there doing things for themselves. I'm proud to be a Mumpreneur and an Ambassador for Enterprise UK and to be a mummy blogger! I came up with a great quote this week whilst on my many air-miles - if you keep pushing the boundaries a little each day, pretty soon the world becomes your comfort zone. As I start this (more local) week in my business, on reflection I find that to be so true. Looking at the 'me' who started up almost 5 years ago and the 'me' who is mingling with Swedish royalty now, I can't wait to see what the next 5 years will bring. But whatever it is - bring it on!

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Did you see the article in Prima?

Have you seen the November 09 issue of Prima?



Well 'Nadine Hill' is in it!! On page 106!

They used two of the time saving tips I gave them and the article helps you claw back an extra hour a day. Well worth a read!

I've just been to the Mumpreneur Conference in Birmingham and I'm about to jet out to Stockholm to speak at the launch of a European Ambassadors network for enterprise (I am a UK Ambassador) so when I get back I will have a special 'Time Management Mum' update for you and also a reader give-away! Watch this space!

PS) If you are on Twitter, you are welcome to follow me! I am @businessmum

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My Little Discovery has Sparked my Christmas Shopping!

Would you consider July too early to start Christmas Shopping? Well I don't! As I've just found a lovely little online boutique called Jonnys Sister!



I came across the site in July and thought their selection of cushions, gifts, toiletries and other pretty things was really sweet. I decided to get some bunting from them with my name on it, as I was going to use it for a business event - here is what it looked like:



Anyway, after seeing how fab the bunting was, I decided to get some bunting with both my children's names on it (one in blue, one in pink) for a Christmas present for them. I thought the bunting would look great in their rooms as we are decorating them at the moment. Then, I decided that it would be even cooler if I also got some for a couple of the other children I buy for at Christmas (relatives and friends) with their names on and get started on my holiday shopping!

You mums will know, Christmas is always manic - especially as it is always down to us to buy ALL the Christmas presents (except our own hopefully), plus all the card writing, the house cleaning and tidying, the food shopping, the tree decorating and the attendance at school nativities and fetes etc. In my house it is even more eventful as my daughters' birthday is Christmas Eve, so I also have to plan a birthday celebration too, ensuring that Santa and 'Christmas Day' don't overshadow HER big day. All of this means that I definitely have all my present shopping finished by 30th November each year (it's too stressful to leave it any later!) Which allows me to actually enjoy December without having to go to the shops when it is just too busy. I don't like the crowds, I'd much rather go shopping earlier on during a weekday when most people are at work and it's quieter! (I know - I'm getting old!)

So I was really quite pleased when I'd placed my order and made a start on the mammoth task that is 'Christmas'. The bunting I got was £33.50 which I thought was great for such a unique and personal present that will last forever. PLUS it is all made in the UK and I like to support British businesses. Thankfully none of the kids I bought for read this blog so they won't find out before 'the big day' what their gift is, it can remain a surprise.

I also like the 'Love Letter's from the site too which would look great in a nursery. I have one friend who is expecting at the moment so I will keep this in the back of my mind!

So Christmas shopping started, I actually feel 'lighter' knowing I'm on my way. I do have another confession though... I wrote my Christmas Cards for this year in August, so that's another massive job out of the way!! I got this trick from my mum and it is a great time saver. We always buy our Christmas cards (for next year) in the Christmas sale when they are half price (it just makes economic sense!) and I store my cards in my loft with all the Christmas decorations so I have them ready when I need them.

Over the August Bank Holiday weekend this year, we were having a lazy weekend - laying out in the garden when it was sunny, reading magazines and having a BBQ, and I decided to do all my Christmas cards, so I wouldn't have to find time in an already busy month! They are all done now - ready to post on 1st December. (Except the immediate family's cards as I get personalised ones for them from the market in the run up to Christmas).

So come on girls, let me know what you do way in advance of Christmas so I don't feel like too much of a freak!! Has anyone started their cooking and freezing yet?!

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Are you a Jugglista?



These are my balls! (yes, seriously!) I'm learning to juggle - literally! I decided that like many women, I'm an expert in juggling a busy life so I may as well know how to juggle properly - plus it's a great 'party piece' as I'm no good at singing or telling jokes!

So in the interests of us Jugglista's helping each other stay sane with our busy lives, I'm looking for your tips that will be uploaded to a new site (currently under construction) so we can all benefit from each others' hard won knowledge!

Email any tips on managing a modern schedule, practical advice for running a home, ideas on how to keep the children happy and insights into how you get some 'me time' to tips@jugglista.com - all ideas and thoughts are welcome.
*Note: this email address is no longer in use but look at www.Jugglista.com for articles about being a busy mum!

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Getting my Groove Back!

I think last week was possibly the busiest week I’ve had in the history of my life! I got my 6 year old back to school and settled into the old routine (having had 6 and a half weeks of play and nothing ‘brain taxing’!) plus my 2 year old boy started pre-school nursery, so he’s had a lot to get used to - we had tears on the first and second sessions once he realised that I was actually going and when I went to get him at 11.30am he looked like a little lost sheep coming out of the playroom into the parents meeting hall to be collected. After the first session I brought him home to turkey dinosaurs as a special treat! Anything to make the whole ‘being separated from mum’ thing seem like a bit more fun, but as I had not had time to re-stock the fridge/freezer before the Friday, I had nothing fun for Friday’s lunch so we made do and after I got my daughter from school we all went to good old Maccy D’s for a Happy Meal! (Me included!)

The parents reading this blog will understand the huge amount of effort that ‘Back to School’ requires, it doesn’t sound like such a big deal but it really is. It’s my job to see these kids through transitions like this, making the events as seam-free as possible and ensuring that they are equipt to cope with these life changes. Not just materially, with PE kits etc, but emotionally too. Who can remember going to school and reaching out to a potential friend in the playground only to be rejected as they already had a best friend (and of course when you are 6 you don’t realise it’s ok to have more than one!) It’s heart breaking when your child runs to you and says “so and so doesn’t want to play with me” and you have to tell them that “it’s ok – they don’t have to play with you, you can go and find another friend who will be happy to play” (knowing that as soon as your child starts having a great time with the ‘second’ friend that the first friend will want to come and join in!) This is the way of life, and it starts in the playground, which is why a successful ‘Back to School’ is vitally important.

So as well as two lots of ‘Back to School’s and getting two children settled in with their new teachers and new set of classmates, I also had to spin the plate that is my business! I have run the business on a ‘skeleton system’ throughout the summer whilst I had my hands full, but it’s time to crank it back up a gear, to do my future planning, organise the next round of client newsletters , have the meetings I need to have, do the networking I need to do, to keep the business driving forward.

Fortunately a lot of my clients tend to holiday in August when their kids are on school holiday too, so the workload drops accordingly but come September it’s back at it full throttle. Last week I also gave an inspirational speech to a group of business women at a function called “Women Inspired” – the event had the theme ‘Onwards & Upwards’. This involved planning and delivering the speech, organising my outfit for the night and hauling ass right up to The Lake District to attend the event (well, it was near The Lake District but it was a bloody long way and I hadn’t realised the trek involved when I agreed to the talk!) However it was an excellent event where I met some lovely ladies so it was worth it, but with all of this activity to do, my ‘me time’ took a battering.

I am on a mission to get into size 10 jeans by next May which is a pledge I’d made to myself a couple of months ago, and for me, I lose weight easier and faster when I can exercise. I’ve really missed my exercise over the summer holidays and now the school routine has started, I want to get back on track. I like to jog down to school with my daughter – she rides her scooter and my son is strapped into the buggy, so we get a workout whilst I do another essential job I have to do. This is why women are great at multi-tasking, we think laterally. What two jobs can I combine to make life easier or to pack more in?! Anyway, I have desperately missed this opportunity to exercise and when I get this 30 minutes of activity, I feel sane! I have the chance to listen to MY music on the iPod (rather than the tunes of Hannah Montana which is what I hear the rest of the time!) plus when I run I can eat what I want and I still shed the weight so it’s a win-win! I did manage to do a 6 mile power walk last week with a couple of school run mums so I got back into it but I ached afterwards, having gotten too used to taking the car everywhere all summer.

Anyway, this week I was planning to start to get some 'me time’ back as I’ve just received my free copy of the new Kathy Lette book in the post! You may remember I did a post recently where I encouraged you to claim your free splash-proof copy (so you can read it in the bath!) and if you haven’t already done so, they still have some left! Click here to get yours!

Have a look at what Kathy says about why she wanted to join forces with Radox on this book launch:



...and here is her inspiration behind the book....



I think that Kathy and Radox have been quite brave in telling us all to be selfish. It’s like they are ‘re-claiming’ the word and changing its meaning, just like Persil did with the ‘Dirt is Good’ campaign. They took something that people would go “ewww!” at and made it into a fact of life and let’s all celebrate getting dirty and actually living! Radox are celebrating selfishness, and encouraging us all to take that time out for ourselves, which we just forget to do (or else we put ourselves at the very bottom of our lists).

Now my kids are settled back into the school routine, and now it's the end of another manic week (which saw my washing machine break down, cannot be repaired and I've had to buy a new one - it's coming tomorrow!), I can try to take some time out and be selfish – doing some of the things that I would like to do but don’t seem to get the time to do!

It’s my birthday tomorrow so I'm definitely being selfish because I have dictated that we see 'Julie and Julia' at the cinema. My hubby says "It's a 'chick flick' but it's tough because it's what we'll be watching. Don't mess with the birthday mama!

Here is Kathy practically describing my life - I ALWAYS get the burnt chop!



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D’YA WANT TO KNOW WHAT I DID IN BED LAST NIGHT?! *wink wink*!

Last night I had a treat in bed! ......

...... I got 10 whole hours sleep! Yes 10!

The culmination of not stopping for breath over the school summer holidays, constantly being on the go and also stepping up my workouts recently as I’m determined to drop some dress sizes must have had an effect and I retreated to my room as soon as the kids were in theirs!

Now my boy is 2, I’m starting to get my rest back again. It’s less often that I’m woken in the night and the sleep helps me to feel sane! I remember in the ‘newborn’ days when you are surviving on 3 hours a night if that, and you feel close to tears most of the time due to the sheer stress of it all, I used to say that I could handle anything as long as I’d had some sleep! Actually, in a recent survey of over 50,000 parents across Europe, over half of all UK mums and dads claim that lack of sleep is the biggest challenge of parenthood – no surprise there!

So in rounding up the best tips, resources and competitions on time management and juggling a busy life for the readers of this blog, I discovered that Pampers are running a competition for tired out parents to win a sleep kit!

If you go to the Pampers website - click here, you can enter a 5 minute survey to win a Pampers Limited Edition Golden Sleep Kit. One hundred entries will be randomly selected and the sleep kit includes a Golden Sleep Guide, Fairy fabric conditioner sample (750ml), Golden Sleep ‘Taggies’ sleep comforter, Golden Sleep CD of lullabies and £1 Pampers vouchers. The contest is open until September 25, 2009 so if you have babies in the house – go for it!

PLUS... (drumroll please!) Pampers are offering the readers of Time Management Mum a chance to win a session with expert sleep doctor Professor Gregory Stores!

This session worth £150 will give one lucky reader the ability to chat through their own specific sleep and bedtime routine issues to get some bespoke advice to help them get back their essential sleep!! I mentioned this to a friend of mine last week and she reckons she’ll be entering this give-away to see what advice he can give her. Baby Lola is just 6 weeks old and I know my friend is shattered – she also has a 3 year old and a business to run so she has her hands full – a typical juggling mum!



To be in with a chance of winning this unique (and possibly life enhancing!) prize, leave a comment below with the words ‘Pampers Golden Sleep’. So tell us what you would do to get some ‘Pampers Golden Sleep’ or tell us the story of your worst night of sleep when you would have loved some ‘Pampers Golden Sleep’! Each comment below will equal one entry into the draw. Become a follower of this blog for another entry (existing followers will automatically be granted one entry) and Tweet about this blog post and competition to gain a further entry to the give-away (but you will have to leave a comment so I know you have Tweeted – if that makes sense:-)

NOTE: This contest is now closed.


As we are all busy mums managing our time as best we can – we don’t need the added hassle of doing it on no sleep – after all, would you expect a performance sports car to run on no fuel!

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My solution to becoming ‘Vesuvial’? ....Just tax the stupid people!

Did you ever see the episode of Absolutely Fabulous with Patsy and Edina who were hauled up in court for some reason or another – probably driving under the influence and parking right outside the main door to Harvey Nichols? When asked to plead her case, the fabulously self centered Edina launches into a rant in which she yells “Just tax the stupid people!” I love that episode. She argues “What’s with these little railings that are outside of shops so you can’t even get in them? I know they are there to stop stupid people running out into the street and getting killed but we’re not all stupid, we don’t all need nurse-maiding! There should be a ‘stupidity tax’ – just tax the stupid people!” If you missed it, here it is – still just as funny more than a decade on!



Well today something happened to me like this. It was my son’s first morning at pre-school nursery and my 6 year old isn’t back at school until tomorrow, so after we dropped him off, my daughter and I went to the local pool for a swim. She is becoming a great swimmer – she loves the water and proudly displays all her badges on her swim towel, so I was surprised when after I set off for a length of the pool, leaving my daughter happily doing handstands in the shallow end, I was told by the lifeguard that “I can’t leave her” as she is under 8. When I replied that I’m just off to do a length and I’m her mother and I’m very confident in my daughters abilities and that I wouldn’t swim off if she wasn’t safe”, she said that “these were the rules” so I said “OK” and went to re-join my daughter.

Not long after, a second lifeguard saw us swimming in the middle of the pool and came to warn us to “Stay out of the far corner of the deep end..... because it’s dark!” (the lights weren’t working apparently) well that was it – I blew my top!

I said to the boy who couldn’t have been more than 18 and was obviously taking his life saving duties *very* seriously, “I’ve been swimming for more than 30 years, what exactly do you think will happen to me in the deep end? Is the Loch Ness Monster going to appear from the 2.0 metre depths and swallow me whole, or will I just be taken by the strong undercurrent of the council run pool to never be seen again?” I mean – how ridiculous. Why build a swimming pool if people aren’t allowed to come and swim in them! Should we all sit at home in a chair and do nothing for the fear that we might ‘do ourselves a mischief’. Come on! This pool could do with a stupidity tax – it’s ‘Health & Safety’ gone mad! I was only there trying to have a pleasant swim with my daughter – not to have to have ‘rules and regulations’ dictated the minute I set foot in the door!

I think under normal circumstances I would have just been bemused at the silly rules and had a laugh at them rather than getting wound up by them, but if I outline the rest of the week that occurred before it, my outburst may be more understandable.

Last week I took my daughter and 2 year old son to see my friend for a play-date. This friend lives a 50 minute drive away and we have to travel on 3 different motorways to get there. So we had a great play-date, then went to do a little shopping in the nearby retail park, and at 3pm I was ready to take them home. We’d get back at around 4pm –just in time to start making dinner. But after driving for just 10 minutes we hit some traffic. It got heavier and heavier until we ended up at a standstill, where we were sat for 3 solid hours. Not much fun with two tired and bored children – especially as I’m potty training one of them! He had to use his pull-up which I wasn’t happy about but my poor daughter had to pee in a cup which I then tipped out of the window! It was hot and sticky that day, and there were some frayed tempers amongst some of the other drivers too. There was some ‘lane hopping’ (even though we weren’t going anywhere) and a quick glance at their faces showed they were as fed up as me. I switched on the local ‘traffic & travel’ news to get some idea what was going on, and do you want to know what the problem was? Some stupid lorry driver had been taking a corner too fast, overturned his lorry and shed his load of eggs all over the carriageway! The radio news presenters thought it was hilarious, making jokes like “police scrambled to the scene” but I wasn’t amused!

When we got home at 6pm, I’d missed the film I was planning to see at the cinema that night (having won a free ticket!) then as I was tired, I accidentally knocked my Diet Coke all over my cream carpet then I banged my head and after that I had to unblock the downstairs toilet! It was the last straw and I just went Vesuvial! “Arrgghhh!”

‘Vesuvial’ is a great term to describe my emotions that day – and I got it from Kathy Lette. You may remember my last post where I mentioned her new book, “All Steamed Up”. Well I was watching her interview by Radox as she’s working with them on their ‘Be Selfish’ campaign, and she uses the term throughout her book. The video below shows her explaining what makes her Vesuvial:



It seems as women, our ‘Vesuvial’ moments come when we have just ‘put up’ with several minor incidents before, then as they all stack up, we explode! I think Radox are trying to diffuse our tempers and give us a sense of calm with their selfishness campaign – as they are actively encouraging women to claw back some time for themselves and they provide the products to do it!

The words ‘Be-Selfish’ are quite controversial as us women have been brought up to put others first and think of others feelings. This goes into overdrive when we have kids, and even though we give of ourselves gladly and do what we do out of love for our children, I think it’s important to recognise that WE need some pampering too and we need taking care of just as much as we take care of our children. Here Kathy gives her thoughts on why she was attracted to working with Radox:



So to stop myself going so ‘Vesuvial’ I just need some more ‘me time’! Absolutely agree – bring it on!

But Radox, if you are reading, I went to ASDA earlier this week to buy some of the lavender shower gel that you do which has a gorgeous smell. It’s my favourite but they didn’t have any so I wouldn’t object if you wanted to help my ‘me time’ by sending me a couple of bottles!

Here is an exclusive first listen of Kathy Lette’s new book “All Steamed Up” which is out this month:



Plus, you can also bag yourself a FREE copy of the book as Radox are giving away 10,000 copies! Mine is already on its way AND the book is splash-proof too so you can read it in the bath! Perfect!

Get it here...

For further information about Kathy’s book or tips on being selfish and getting some ‘me time’, visit www.be-selfish.co.uk and keep following this blog, and let’s hope we have less ‘volcano’ and more ‘Utopia’!