Time Saving Tip for Mummy Bloggers

Massive time saving tip for bloggers....

Since I updated my 'PR Info' section of this site to be specific about my blog and its audience I have had less 'off target' pitches cluttering up my Inbox!

I think it also helps that I say that I don't want boring statistics - I don't have time to be bored!

Read the newly updated section by clicking on the navlink above.

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. It also keeps you sane and away from the vodka! Be my friend and follow this blog - your support really does make a difference. x

Ideal Mum of the Year?



The Ideal Home Show is marking this year’s Mother’s Day by launching a nationwide search for the Ideal Mum of the Year. All you have to do to enter is tell them about those crease-up moments of mummy-madness or potty-predicaments you find yourself in when going about your day to day routine.

It may be as silly as getting stuck in the loo; or losing your house keys; a dressing disaster, or even forgetting where you left the baby – no slip-up is too embarrassing or humiliating to share. The more bizarre and unbelievable - the better!

They want to hear about those exact scenarios when you have an out of body experience and think, ‘what on earth am I doing,’ ‘if only someone could see me now’. So, share your funny mummy moment in no more than FIFTY words and send them to http://www.idealhomeshow.co.uk/ideal-mum-of-the-year/ Go to the Mum of the Year entry page.

The first 100 stories of mummy madness will receive a pair of tickets to the Ideal Home Show and the chance to go to he champagne reception on March 25th! The overall winner will also receive a VIP package for the family to this year’s Ideal Home Show, which includes; An overnight’s stay for 4 in a 4* hotel in London, Champagne and lunch in Aldo Zilli Cafe at the Ideal Home Show, Exclusive invitation to the Mad Hatters Tea Party in the Alice in Wonderland Garden on March 25th, as well as Beauty treatments and pampering for mum, in our dedicated Beauty Bar!

**This contest is now closed**

Entry deadline is 8th March 2010. Plus if you want to book tickets to the show, call the Ticket Hotline on 0844 415 4144. Or you can follow the Ideal Home Show on Twitter http://twitter.com/ideal_home_show (whilst you are on there, follow me too! I am 'Businessmum'.

I have entered, and hope to win a trip to London! I know my kids would adore the Mad Hatters Tea Party! But even if I don't win, at least I'll know that to my two gorgeous children, I'm always their 'Ideal Mum of the Year'!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. It also keeps you sane and away from the vodka! Be my friend and follow this blog - your support really does make a difference. x

Ring a Ding Ding! Wedding Day Nostalgia!

My Brother in Law and his fiancee are getting married in 5 short months and helping them get their rings this week brought back some fond memories of planning my own wedding day.

I was offered a ring from the site Tungsten Rings Online, so I seized the opportunity to help out a young couple who have to buy everything, by seeing if they wanted to choose their wedding bands from the site.



There was plenty of choice, from Platinum rings, to Titanium, Tungsten, Palladium and even Ceramic wedding bands! I was surprised at the variety of what is effectively a plain band, but this site had everything.

If you like a bit of 'bling' like me, there were some diamond encrusted bands and for variety of colour, you can get white gold or yellow gold rings.

Apparently Tungsten is a new metal to the jewellery industry. It's an alloy that has been used in manufacturing for years to make tools and machinery but has only just started to be applied to jewellery, however its roots mean that as a piece of jewellery it is virtually scratch resistant. This was particularly interesting to me as my husband works in construction and his own gold wedding band from 10 years ago is now full of scratches, so had this been around at the time, I would probably have gone for it.

The rings were delivered very fast although I was disappointed with how they came presented. I know it is because they were promotional samples, but they were delivered in a Jiffy bag envelope, each in a small, clear ziplock plastic bag. I would expect jewellery to come in a box, and their website states that all orders are presented in a leatherette ring case protected by an outer cardboard box, so at least yours will come nicely if you decide to get one!

Here is a picture of the happy couple's hands!



My brother in Law (the Groom) said how this ring felt good on - he went for the Comfort Fit option, and he compared it favourably to the bands he'd tried at High Street jewellers. He commented how substantial the ring felt - a sentiment that I'd agree with - both rings did seem nice and chunky - a durable ring, rather than a flimsy band like some you can get.

Both the Bride and Groom's rings were a good fit although we had a moment of panic when the bride couldn't get hers off again! Her fingers had swelled but we soon made her hands cold again and got the ring off! With Tungsten the ring cannot be re-sized once it is made so you have to be sure of the size before you order. The Bridge & Groom went to a local Jewellers and got their sizes (In the UK we use a letter system) and then they 'Googled' the UK Vs USA sizes to get the correct numerical size which the American jewellers use.

All in all, the rings were good value - someone from the UK buying a ring from this site would do well with the current exchange rate from Sterling to Dollars.

The nostalgia really kicked in when I noticed the Groom twisting the band around his finger, just as my husband did 10 years ago. He had never worn jewellery before and I think it was a weird sensation to have a ring on, and he couldn't stop fiddling with it! Happy memories!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. It also keeps you sane and away from the vodka! Be my friend and follow this blog - your support really does make a difference. x

How Do I Find Time To blog?

My day of juggling starts at 7am - fairly normal, but what happens after that can be unusual and anything but normal! I have a routine - but within this framework of time, my activities take me all over.

In the past week and a half I have been from the school run to the Prime Minister's house at Downing Street. From a swimming lesson with my 7 year old to agreeing to speak at a massive conference aimed at mums. I've lost 2 lbs in weight and taken on 2 new clients! I've progressed the writing of my next book and sat with my child as she learns to spell. I've received products to review for my blog and been out to buy products for use in my house!

It's also been half term - the kids have been off school and it has been tough to find the time to blog as well as run my business and my home, but by immersing myself in blogging after the kids have been in bed, I have been able to catch up with my favourite blogs (have you seen my Blogroll lately? I've added some newies in there!) and also do my own blogging and research for new blogs to follow.

It was a dull day last Thursday but I took some pictures of my Yummy Mummies Day Out when we went to Creepy Crawlies, a soft play area in York.


This is me in the middle of the 'Mummies Convoy'. Two cars ahead of me - 2 behind (we spaced out the ladies who had sat nav to spread the risk of one car going astray!)


This is 10 minutes later when we got lost and had to stop for directions!
...and this is my friend Lisa who was behind my car...


After a comic moment when the sat nav took us all off in different directions and three of us circled the same roundabout 3 times, we eventually got there for a day of fun. Five mums, 9 kids, 14 smiles and about £20 each lighter!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. It also keeps you sane and away from the vodka! Be my friend and follow this blog - your support really does make a difference. x

Downing Street Divas or Brown's Business Babes?

The day started ordinarily enough - nip to supermarket for stuff we'd run out of before usual school run, via cash machine so I have some 'walking around money' that day, remember to take buns into daughter's class for cake stall in aid of Haiti, drop off daughter's bag with change of clothes to friends mum as she's off to her house after school today then back home to check emails and answer business queries whilst toddler son watches Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. But by the end of the day I was a Downing Street Diva!

I'd been invited by our country's Prime Minister to one of the most well known addresses in the world; 10 Downing Street, to celebrate the success of Britain's small businesses.

Since I found out I was one of the lucky few to make the guest list, my trip has elicited all kinds of response. I've been dared to nick an ashtray (by my dad who doesn't smoke), I've been told to take a loo roll by a business colleague (Don't ask! I think she thought it would be better taking a consumable rather than a piece of hardware!) Someone told me I should punch the PM and call him a rude name (not my style) and my 7 year old girl wanted me to ask Gordon Brown how old he is and tell her. She also wants me to bring back something with Big Ben on it or other London related souvenir!

So the big day arrived and I discovered mid morning that I'd put my knickers on inside out - so that was a good start! Once I'd dropped my son at his Grandma's, I was able to change into my new dress - an orange, pink and black swirly V neck number from Julien Macdonald at Designers at Debenhams, which I wore with my black knee high stiletto boots and this is what I tottered to the train station in. I soon had an epiphany as I realised that I had no chance negotiating the London Underground in sky high heels and that I needed some flats so I also took my leopard print ballet pumps. The plan was to wear these until I got to my first meeting then change into the proper footwear, but the meeting I'd arranged with an advertising business account manager when I got to London had no Reception area to facilitate a speedy, discreet change so I walked into a buzzing, trendy office wearing 2 conflicting patterns looking like a fashion car crash - my former stylish Tutors at the London College of Fashion would turn in their Louboutins at the thought!

After a cappucino at Carluccio's (try saying that after 2 glasses of wine!) I had to hot foot it across London to get to Westminster where I was expected. I've never got off at Westminster tube before so I was hoping to find a tourist nick-nack stall so I could get the kids a London souvenir but there was nothing so I took a picture of Big Ben instead!



The next part is good - I was pointed in the Direction of Downing Street and so I walked until I saw a queue of people waiting outside - like a nightclub! Yes, you have to queue outside the street to get in and then you have to go through a bag scan and airport style security with armed guards to get near. But I did make it to the 'famous door' - here is a picture of me and Claire Young (Businesswoman and finalist in TV's The Apprentice) shivering outside!



Once inside it was full on hob-nobbing! Sir Alan Sugar was the person I was most excited about seeing and when he decided to move from one end of the room to the other, I saw my chance to grab his hand a pump it enthusiastically whilst saying "Sir Alan, I am so pleased to meet you!" but he looked so unimpressed that I had to stop pumping and let him go!

I also got talking to the businessman brother of Simon Cowell, and he was awesome! Plus I met the guy who organised the Beckham's wedding which I thought was cool. Forget SATC's Mr Big - we had a 'Mr Cheese' there (guy who runs a high end Fromagerie in London W1 who was really nice) and I also knocked back a few Chardonnay's with some fierce business babes. (Claire & Lyndsey - you know who you are!) All in all, business cards got swopped, photographers got us papped, rooms got explored, wine got drunk and ideas flowed. I got back on my train buzzing with ideas and inspiration, writing pages of notes of things to do and follow up on. And as for the Prime Minister? He invited me to his lair then stood me up! He had some crisis to deal with so we got Peter Mandelson instead!



A day that started with my knickers on inside out was bound to be unusual!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. It also keeps you sane and away from the vodka! Be my friend and follow this blog:-)

Rubbing Shoulders!

This week I got an invitation in the post....

On the back of the envelope were three words, printed in straight black type "No.10 Downing Street". When I saw that, I had a feeling of excitement mixed with apprehension. What did the Government want with me?! I mentally flicked through my life experiences to see if I had done something wrong that may have finally caught up with me! (Well, I didn't think I had but you never know!) But upon opening it was an invitation!

Here is the wording - you'll like this:

"To celebrate the success of Britain's small & medium sized businesses, The Prime Minister requests the honour of the company of Nadine Hill at a Reception at 10 Downing Street, Whitehall on Thursday 11th February 2010, from 7.00pm to 8.30pm"

Swish eh?!

Then, underneath it says: Dress: Lounge Suit!

What?! The only suit I wear in my lounge is my cosy pyjamas - and I'm not turning up in them! I wish it had said 'Cocktail Dress' - I have 3 of those in my wardrobe just begging for a night out, but as a WAHM I rarely wear suits anymore. Actually, I never wear suits anymore - this is the benefit of working for yourself! No stupid dress codes!

So the only option I have is to go shopping!

I have some nice black trousers which I could wear with a new top (as all my tops are too casual for No. 10!) But I'd rather have a top that I will at least wear again - so no shirts. I associate shirts with work and I wear my logo'ed shirt when I'm networking.

So help me out here - what shall I wear? ...and this is a question of significance because the more fab I look, the more likely the photographer on site will be to take my picture and I want a picture of me inside No.10! (I'm not allowed to take my own camera, and bag searches will ensure that I cannot sneak one in either, so a show-stopping outfit is the only way!)


There is this dress that I like by "Star at Julien Macdonald". See here.

OR

I could just get a fab coat like this one at NEXT and team it with my black trousers and a plain black top which I have. Thus letting the coat be the star!

Let me know what you think. Your answer could guarantee that the flashbulbs pop around me!

***THIS POLL IS NOW CLOSED***

I'll let you know how it goes!

Now I just need to choose shoes!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, (or just my own personal reflections) follow this blog.