How Much Is Too Much?

Hey Guys,
I just wanted to check in with you to ask for some feedback on my blogging frequency!
I've been experimenting over the last few months. At the start of the year I was blogging about once a week, then it went to 1.5 times a week on average. Then after a month or so I started blogging 3 times a week (usually Tuesday's, Thursday's and Saturday's) and now I am settling at about twice a week (Tuesday's and Thursday's).

What is the 'right' amount for you? I kinda like twice a week - Tuesday and Thursday. It's an amount I can handle whilst managing all my other activities. But I know that some people say you need to blog every day to keep your readers! What do you think?

Do leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts. I don't want to blog so infrequently that you forget about reading TMM but I also don't want to blog so much that I become another 'thing' on your 'To Do' list. As Juggle Mum, I know ALL about 'To Do Lists' and this blog should be a pleasure not a chore!

Tell me what's the best amount for you!

...... Being organised saves time, money, boosts your productivity and helps you enjoy the 'little stuff' of life.
Like my content? I'd be honoured if you added me to your blogroll and followed this blog - your support really does make a difference. x

My 80's Heart-throb!

Now this could be embarrassing, but one of my pin ups in the '80s was Irish pop punk prince Feargal Sharkey! (Alongside Shakin' Stevens and Andrew Ridgeley - I know, I know!)

But recently I got to meet Feargal in the flesh when he spoke at a Business Link event! Here he is with me and my 2YO son:



I am pleased to say that I didn't fancy him! But he was a very nice man - straight talking and very passionate about the music industry. He is CEO of UK Music now.

I don't normally take my son to business meetings but I really wanted to hear Feargal speak and so I asked if it would be ok! Needs must when you are a working mum - it makes you resourceful and a bit cheeky!

What teenage pin up would you like to meet? (Or have you met) Spill the beans!...

...... Being organised saves time, money, boosts your productivity and helps you enjoy the 'little stuff' of life.
Like my content? I'd be honoured if you added me to your blogroll and followed this blog - your support really does make a difference. x

Sales Success and Sanity Saving Tips for Stressed out Mums!

As a business owning mum, I'm always looking to grow my marketable skills so that I can keep up to speed with the business world, because as other mums will know - being with young kids makes us expert negotiators, peace makers and motivators. In fact, we'd do well in the United Nations, but the core business skills we need like sales and marketing can often get left behind.

Anyway, my 'Training & Development' budget is practically zero, so I have to find cost effective ways to upskill myself - that can be done at any time of the day or night - or around a child's schedule! ....So I do a lot of reading!

My most recent book fascinated me as it involves selling (something I'm not a natural at) and acting (which I've always had an interest in). It is called "Sell Your Self - Act Your Way to Sales Success" by Bryan McCormack.



The book had a unique take on sales and persuasion and was unlike other sales books out there. The author says that "Actors need selling skills more than sellers need acting skills" which I can see would be true as actors have to be believable and to 'sell' the show they are in, so the book was written through this perspective, showing you the techniques that actors use to 'sell' their products (ie: themselves) and how an actor would deliver a sales script so it didn't sound false.

The book shows you how to develop a 'sales character' to play when you are selling, like an actor plays a role. This aroused my curiosity - by having a 'sales character' that I can slip into when I need to talk 'sales', I can avoid the rejection of having the prospective client say "No" to me, because if they do decline, they are rejecting my sales character - not me!

I can see where a character that I can slip into would work in other life areas too. When I'm having a day with the kids where they would make Mother Theresa snap, I can just put on my 'Mary Poppins' suit and gracefully deal with the situation without becoming a fishwife! Hmm, I'll try that one - it could save my sanity sometimes!

Whilst I liked the authors approachable writing style, one negative for me was the constant chatter throughout the book. I wanted to understand his ideas but I found the kind of 'one way chit chat' a bit distracting. He'd propose an idea then say something like "Did you get that? Good!" but then I'm a very 'cut to the chase' person where business is concerned, and don't like 6 words where 3 will do!

Two sections in the 'Reflections on Rejection' Chapter really stood out for me, and made the book worth the £15 cover price alone. The first sub-section was called "Efficient Living" and was about making sure you spend your life doing only what you enjoy (here here!) and the second was called "Inside Out living" and spoke about how radiating positivity is better than a life spent dealing with what others project onto you. I am firmly behind both of these outlooks, and in fact my blog re-design which will be complete later this year will show "Time Management Mum" with the strap-line "Investing time in the important things in life" as my take is that I INVEST my time in the things I do rather than SPEND my time. Nothing I do is wasted time as it has a pay-off in one arena or another, whether it be business, relationships, personal growth etc.

Sell Your Self is an enjoyable book - like a blueprint for achieving sales success, but can also be applied to other areas too as a life strategy. If you are looking to add to your business education, become more confident or for an unusual way to move forward, give this book a whirl!

...... Being organised saves time, money, boosts your productivity and helps you enjoy the 'little stuff' of life.
Like my content? I'd be honoured if you added me to your blogroll and followed this blog - your support really does make a difference. x

What did YOU want to be when you grew up?

My 7YO said to me today that she wanted to be a famous ballet teacher! Not just a ballet teacher but a FAMOUS one!!

When I asked why, she said that you get to wear make up and get to go places. I said that you can go places when you are not famous, but she said that when you are famous you get to go there for FREE! Kids are not daft are they?

So what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a pop star from the age of 5. Then, I was going to be an air hostess, then I wanted to be a dance teacher with my own studio as I got older (I loved jazz dancing!) then when I was a teen, I wanted to be a fashion journalist!

Hmm, did I get there? I do earn some of my living from writing (I have authored a book and am working on the next - plus I write this blog which is kind of like a hobby that has benefits - free products etc!) I do love fashion, and as for air hostessing - I serve people meals and drinks all day (my kids!) And now I have my disco ball in my kitchen, I enjoy a boogie whilst cooking! So maybe I got what I wanted all along!

Tell me what you wanted to do - nurse? librarian? train driver or vet? Or were you going to be a pop star like me?!

...... Being organised saves time, money, boosts your productivity and helps you enjoy the 'little stuff' of life.
Like my content? I'd be honoured if you added me to your blogroll and followed this blog - your support really does make a difference. x

My Productive Day...

So I went to Costco to stock up on kitchen roll as I'd used the last sheet this morning. When I got back home, I re-filled the kitchen then went to store my spares in the garage.

I opened my cupboard door....


....Oops!

...... Being organised saves time, money, boosts your productivity and helps you enjoy the 'little stuff' of life.
Like my content? I'd be honoured if you added me to your blogroll and followed this blog - your support really does make a difference. x

How to be a Millionaire Mumpreneur



A new book launched last week to help and inspire mums who are in business or want to start a virtual business from home. It is called 'Millionaire Mumpreneurs' by Mel McGee - herself a Mumpreneur with three kids and a successful home based business called 'Supermummy'.

I read this book in about 3 sittings - it was that good! Plus I had to read it with a notepad by my side to make lots of notes! Mel has created a very positive book here. I especially loved the case studies from other Mumpreneurs - I could identify with something from each of the women's stories, and I picked up a few ideas from reading about their journey.

The book talks about creating a virtual business from home, selling your knowledge and expertise - rather than a 'bricks & mortar' business like a coffee shop. It starts by exploring the mindset you will need to get going, then how to keep things rolling once you are on the way! The case studies highlight the concepts Mel talks about and provide some inspiration and reassurance that if they can do it, so can you!

The key thing I will take from this book is to do something uncomfortable every day to expand my comfort zone. This was a great tip and is something I can implement immediately! If you want to become a Mumpreneur or already are one and need a boost, this book will provide just that! You can purchase the book with some special offers like a bonus e book offer and free sample chapters by clicking here. Plus there are also extras like online training packages and memberships to mastermind groups for sale if you are serious about getting going!

I really enjoyed this book and will definitely revisit it again when I need to freshen my thinking!

...... Being organised saves time, money, boosts your productivity and helps you enjoy the 'little stuff' of life.
Like my content? I'd be honoured if you added me to your blogroll and followed this blog - your support really does make a difference. x

What Do I Think Of Motherhood? (And Win A DVD!)

My own experience of motherhood is exciting, fun, exhausting, frustrating, loving, complex - it is a million things all at once. The biggest rollercoater ride in the park. This week I was asked to say what I thought of Motherhood - the new movie staring Uma Thurman, and I was sent a review copy. I had such high hopes for the film, I so wanted to root for the main character. But I felt let down.

Uma plays Eliza, a mum of two with a husband, living across 2 rent controlled apartments in New York, up a million stairs, in cluttered chaos, strapped for cash, and mummy-blogging in her 'tiny wedges of time'. Pre-kids she was a writer and the film is about her trying to juggle her life as a mum whilst trying to find a scrap of her old self again - the carefree young girl who loved music, was attracted to her husband for his eccentricities and who wrote fiction which she won prizes for.

To this I can relate. I had to 'claw' myself back - and am still fighting the urge some days to put on my comfy velour trackie bottoms and 'mum jeans'. If I get on 'optional extras' such as a belt and a string of beads it is a good day, and I always was / still am a fashion loving woman. But it isn't about fashion - it is about giving yourself the time you deserve and nugding yourself up the priority list from the last place that you inhabit once babies come along - and we all have to learn how to do it at some stage.

This movie could have explored all that in more depth. I would love to watch a movie where I can learn something - maybe about a tip to make my life run more smoothly or a movie that inspires me to do something. A movie that makes me smile in recognition or one that gives me a 2 hour break and a bit of escapism. Instead, I felt like taking poor, sad, hapless Eliza; de-cluttering her apartment, taking her shopping for some practical but stylish items such as a trolley shopper on wheels (by Orla Kiely, not by a mobility accessories store) and giving her a life coaching session to build her self esteem.

The best bit of the movie for me was when she put on her loud music and started rocking out in her apartment with the courier boy. She lost herself in the moment for just a minute. She remembered who she used to be and was that person again. I highly recommend every mum gets to listen to some of 'her' music from time to time. Music has that ability to raise you up, make you feel free, let you wiggle your bum, tap your foot, get moving - the moving releases the endorphins and they make you feel awesome! I rocked out on Friday at the gym - on the treadmill, singing along to Gabriella Cilmi whilst I pounded the beats of "I am a WOMAN - on a MISSION - wooahhh! Nothing can STOP me, I'm STRONGER than ever. I will do what I GOTTA DOOO!" I mean, I know all the words to "Chuggington - Chugger chugger chugger" and Carrie & David's Popshop" and whilst I enjoy singing along with my kids, you can't beat a bit of Hip Hop, Girlie pop or a good old Rock Ballad!

The film became more watchable the second time I watched it. I wanted to give it a chance as I'd spent the first time round shouting at the screen at those annoying mothers in the playground who thought they were doing their kids a favour by putting them in a Haz-Mat suit to ward off the UV rays when in reality they are setting their kids up for a lifetime of getting wedgies and their heads shoved down the toilet from the bigger kids at school. Oh, and this mum also wiped sun lotion in her kids' eye and when the kid started crying she cried back at him (to empathise and soothe him!) Freak! Then there was the other psycho mum who pounced on Eliza the second she observed her own kid getting a telling off. I mean, come on love - take a chill pill and stop fighting your kids' battles. This kind of 'over-parenting' drives me mad in reality - they are little people, not Buddhas to be worshipped at the altar of. Yes, we have to protect, but we also have to prepare them for the real world.

My 7YO daughter watched the film with me both times - she liked that there were young kids in the film - any film with young kids in it is fun for her! So the second time round I noticed more honesty in the scene where she's talking to her husband in the car before the party - this was a good part of the film where I could get behind the main character and really feel her position.

As far as 'mummy films' go, I preferred "One Fine Day" (1996) with Michelle Pfeiffer where she juggled motherhood with a career and met a man in one helter-skelter day. That is a good film to watch on a rainy Saturday afternoon, tucked up on the sofa with a child under each arm and a bowl of popcorn on my lap.

Motherhood" The Movie is out at selected cinemas now and is also released to buy on DVD in March 2010.



If you would like to win a Motherhood DVD fresh off the presses, then leave a comment below for one entry and become a follower of this blog for 2 further entries. All the entries will be placed in a hat next week and winner selected on 18th March. I have 3 DVDs to give (courtesy of Organic Marketing)to the first 3 names I pull out. Good luck!

**THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED**

PS) Existing Followers automatically get 2 entries but it would be great if you commented too so I know you are there! xx

...... Being organised saves time, money, boosts your productivity and helps you enjoy the 'little stuff' of life.
Like my content? I'd be honoured if you added me to your blogroll and followed this blog - your support really does make a difference. x

Happy Mothers Day, Ladies

To all the mothers out there - tomorrow is OUR day and I wanted to be the first to wish you a Happy Mothers Day!

My kids and hubby are taking me out for Sunday Lunch which is nice. I hope to get a lie in too! (Let's see!)

For my own mum and my mother in law - we are having a girly night and tonight we are going to see Calendar Girls at the theatre. It is touring the country and will be in Leeds this evening.


As you can see, it is starring Lynda Bellingham with Gemma Atkinson, Judith Barker, Letitia Dean, Jan Harvey and Hannah Waterman. It should be a really good show!

Whatever you do with your mothers, and children - enjoy your Mothers Day!

(and come back tomorrow for a special Mother's Day Giveaway!)

...... Being organised saves time, money, boosts your productivity and helps you enjoy the 'little stuff' of life.
Like my content? I'd be honoured if you added me to your blogroll and followed this blog - your support really does make a difference. x

Disco Ball Coffee Morning - the Launch!

Look at this...


This is the awesome disco ball I have just had put in my kitchen!!

Now you may think this crazy - why would anyone want a disco ball in their kitchen? Well this is 'me' all over! This ball represents me owning my kitchen!

You see - for years, my husband has been the chef in our house. I haven't had much kitchen confidence which is odd given that I love eating and I have a confident personality. But in food preparation - alas, no!

It stemmed from my school days when I was overweight. I'd started to put on weight just before puberty (comfort eating - my parents were divorcing) but as I grew bigger, the taunts started. I was called "Blue Peter Belly Appeal", "Fatso" and my all time favourite: "Last week Nadine was sunbathing on the beach and Greenpeace found her and threw her back in!" (This one was quite creative but to a teenage girl, being called a whale is not funny at the time!)

So I stopped listening in Home Economics. I didn't want it to look like I was interested in food or cooking, so I wouldn't get teased. And so I never learned. I didn't know how to boil and egg or prepare a meal and I had absolutely no idea how to start to construct a meal - what to put with what!

It didn't matter so much when Simon and I started living together. He's always been a 'foodie' and he learned from his mother about making meals. My mum never loved the kitchen - making meals was a chore rather than a pleasure so I just never picked up any skills in this area. But when I became a mum myself, things changed.

It was ok for me on my own to live on beans on toast if Simon wasn't around to make something, but when I was home all day with young children, I had to step up to the mark. It has taken a while to start to develop confidence in the kitchen, and I still fail sometimes. I'm by no means an accomplished cook, but I can now prepare a dinner from scratch, doing the vegetables, meat, potatoes, etc and getting everything ready at the same time! (This in itself was a massive hurdle for me before!)

So back to the disco ball. I have started to relax whilst I'm cooking now - I don't need to have everything quiet and no distractions so I can concentrate! Now I enjoy some funky music whilst I cook, and I like to dance - and every dancer should have a disco ball! The kids and I love it!! We can belt out some Girls Aloud or The Saturdays, and boogie whilst we cook and have a party atmosphere! My kitchen is now 'Mine' - not just a place where our food is stored, waiting for Simon to come home and cook it, but it's a room in the house where I can be as valid as any other.

Here is the ball in 'situ':


The disco ball is very "me". Those who know me in person would agree that my personality is like a sparkly, glittery, larger than life disco ball! So now you know its history, join me regularly for a disco ball coffee morning on this blog, where we can have some light relief from a juggling mums day, and dance like no-one is watching!!

...... Being organised saves time, money, boosts your productivity and helps you enjoy the 'little stuff' of life.
Like my content? I'd be honoured if you added me to your blogroll and followed this blog - your support really does make a difference. x

Feelin' Hot Hot Hot!

Hands up who loves new shoes?!
Yes, I KNOW I'm not the only woman out there with my hands up! So how excited was I when Hotter Shoes contacted me to see if I wanted some new shoes!!!
...and here they are!

My 7YO took the pic as my toddler and I were at the door about to do the school run!

So let me tell you how it came about. The PR person for Hotter Shoes asked me to visit their website and choose a pair to review. So off I went -like a kid in a sweet shop, but when I got the site up, I have to admit being a little disappointed. Some of the styles displayed looked ...how shall I say this.... slightly orthopaedic in nature? I was about to turn down the request, but thought I should give the site a chance, so I avoided all the styles that my Grandma might choose and went on the hunt for some fashion!

The site promises shoes to fall in love with and comfort and we all know that fashionable shoes aren't always comfortable, so I put on my stylists eye-goggles to see if I could find some footwear that would be both comfortable and fashionable. This was when being educated at the London College of Fashion really came into its own. I spotted a handful of little gems hidden in their range - shoes that I would be proud to dash around town in or do the school run.

I liked the lace up heeled brogues and some of the sporty shoes were cute - I would certainly wear those when visiting a theme park or soft play area with the kids as I know I'd be doing a lot of running around.

I chose a pair of chocolate suede slouch boots called "Jade". They had sold out of most sizes but I was able to get a size 8 (even though a 7.5 would have probably been a better fit) it allowed me to wear them with chunky socks to keep me warm. These boots were like wearing slippers - they really ARE that comfortable.

The day I got them I was dashing round to the school run, supermarket and to the bank so I was on my feet all day. As a busy mum I welcome anything that is easy to use and looks good, so I was pleased that I didn't have to think about my feet that day! In that, if shoes hurt, your feet are on your mind, but when something fits well, you don't think about it! It was also raining that day, but the rain didn't affect the shoes at all - I was able to brush off the drops when I got home so the boots stayed looking nice.

I love to be cosy and warm, so these Hotter Shoes boots are now one of my top two boots along with my faithful UGGS. Here is a picture of my two favourite pairs of boots!


You cannot fault how comfortable these shoes are but I'd say to Hotter Shoes that they need to display the 'trendy' styles more prominently on their website so that younger buyers are not put off. Aesthetics are important, whether we like it or not and people do judge a site by its appearance. But for speed of delivery, product presentation when the boots arrived and courteous, friendly service - this company fitted the bill. ...Oh, and they are a British company and make the shoes here too which I also liked!

...... 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

Uma Thurman in 'Motherhood' - win a DVD!

Sunday sees the one day in the calendar when us mums are given a lie in and breakfast in bed so to celebrate, I'll be reviewing the latest mummy film starring Uma Thurman - Motherhood.

Come back on Saturday (Mother's Day Eve) for the review and I will be giving away 3 DVDs to readers of my blog that day too!

You can learn more about the film here: www.motherhoodmovie.com


...... Being organised saves time, money, boosts your productivity and helps you enjoy the 'little stuff' of life.
Like my content? I'd be honoured if you added me to your blogroll and followed this blog - your support really does make a difference. x

My Tweenie is halfway to being a Tweenager!

Look what my daughter posted to Twitter:



She's so gorgeous - she's 7 years old and loves her mummy more than anything in the whole wide world! I remember that. I remember being 7 and my mum was my hero - before you get to the teenage stage when she doesn't understand because of course, she hasn't been through what you are going through!

A few days later I went to the bathroom and saw this...



Awww!

My daughter has really surprised me lately, with how grown up she's becoming. She loves Twitter, and asks if she can go on it most nights after school. I agreed to set her up an account so she could become computer literate and practise her spelling which has had the desired effect, but she only follows 1 person (Me!) and she only has 1 follower (Me!) I protected her tweets so she wouldn't be read by anyone else.

As well as Twitter, her favourite sites are anything related to the Disney channel and especially Hannah Montana. She also loves her school VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) where she can pick up classwork to do and leave comments for the teacher on the latest class poll. But the biggest surprise came when last week she took her dad's laptop, switched it on by herself and navigated to Playhouse Disney by herself. It wasn't long ago that she'd ask me to get the site for her! It's good that we keep the laptops on the dining room table so I can always see what she's doing.

What has surprised you about your kids? Or how have they just grown up overnight?!

...... 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

The Supermarket is my new Selfridges!

Did you know I used to work in a Central London office right opposite Selfridges? I was a graduate of the London College of Fashion and I was working at my first job in Fashion PR, as the PR Assistant earning £10k per year. I used to go to the catwalk shows at London Fashion Week and assist at photo shoots to produce the new season brochures twice a year. You couldn't get more glamorous than this could you?!

Nowadays I am a WAHM. I run my small business around the school run, stay & play sessions, potty training and practically work from my BlackBerry ...and I try to be glamorous, but this is more of an uphill task than it used to be!

When I was fluent in fashion and knew my Manolo from my Margiela, I used to actually detest the supermarket. Going to get groceries was a chore and my plan of action was get in, get what I want, get out - ASAP!

Nowadays I'm more fluent in breast pads and blankets, I can spot a toddler tantrum at 20 paces and my knickers are of the "Gee - they're big" rather than the "G-String" variety, and I absolutely LOVE the supermarket! How times change eh?

The supermarket is great, but only when it stocks fashion. I can't be doing with the mini mart places that just do the food - no WAY! I like to get the groceries I need but also have a little browse amongst the rails of brand new clothes! Soft cotton pyjamas with no kiddie spills on them that will make my life so much better when I can waft around in them before bed! That new handbag that is a bargain at £15 and freshens up everything else in my wardrobe. The 'Jeggings' that I'll only wear for this season because they are 'In' and because they are only £12 I can justify this - it's just like buying a packet of washing powder!

Here is my recent booty from my favourites Tesco and ASDA:


The bag, vest and necklace were from Tesco and the red spotty bra was from ASDA - just £3 in the sale!!

The supermarket is open 24 hours, has aisles wide enough to shop with a buggy and also stocks magazines and other stuff like books, DVDs and magazines - what's not to like?! Anything that saves time and costs little is a hit with me!

...... 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

What's in my Bag? Inside the bag of a Mummy-Blogger!

This meme is taking off with the mummy-bloggers and I recently saw a vlog by Carly at Wives & Daughters who tagged 'anyone who wants to join in the fun' to post 'What is in Their Bag'!

Here goes - this is my latest bag.

I love pink and it is a great size - it fits in everything! I also love the gold clip on the front - even though the woman at the till in the shop said it would drive her nuts!

So here is what is in it!


Here is a list:
Posh sunglasses
My business cards (for The Dream PA)
My diary. If you squint really hard you can see that I'm having my nails done today and the cat (Star) is going in for a castration on Weds!
Pen
Chewing gum (the idea is to stave off hunger pangs!)
Purse- I love purple and esp. purple snakeskin!
Black swirly purse is what I keep the dummy (also pictured) in!
SHE notebook. This is my blogging notebook for ideas I get for posts, inspiration, things I don't want to forget!
Empty BlackBerry case - I was taking the photo with my BlackBerry!
My 'other' phone. This one is personal - for school or nursery to contact me when I'm not with kids. I always have this one on. I often tuck in in my bra! My work phone (BlackBerry) gets diverted to my receptionist when I'm unavailable.
Clarins Hand & Nail Cream. My favourite. I always get it duty free when I can.
Plastic hair band. I was at the gym and wore it under my hat!
Daughter's Easter Colouring Competition entry. We need to hand this in to the Town Hall this week for her to have a chance of winning!
Pink make up bag containing loads of essentials such as wet wipes, MAC lipstick, compact, emery board, hairclip etc!
the red thing underneath is my 'bag for life' - spare shopper that I have so I don't have to take carrier bags!
Lastly my son's Gameboy was in here too but he took it back when he saw me setting up the picture!

Check this out:


This was an old post I did last year. As you can see, I carry much the same stuff - I just change the purse, bag and business card case regularly!!

Isn't it funny how we love to nosey round other people's bags, homes etc. I love seeing what other people carry round! I'd like to tag the following mummy-bloggers and also anyone else who wants to join in the fun! Leave me a comment and let me know when I can go and have a snoop at yours!!
Mummypreneur
Supermummy
Glamumous

...... Being organised saves time, money, boosts your productivity and helps you enjoy the 'little stuff' of life.
Like my content? I'd be honoured if you added me to your blogroll and followed this blog - your support really does make a difference. x