Review: Slendertone; System Abs!



**This is a Product Review Post**

Product Name: System Abs by Slendertone
Buy Online Here: http://www.slendertone.com
Price: £119.99
Star Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

The blurb: 'Slendertone System Abs is our most powerful abs belt with advanced technical features to deliver results in just 4 weeks. It delivers a complete abdominal workout to the rectus, oblique and transversus abdominis muscles. Use 5 times a week for 4 weeks to see firmer, flatter, more defined abs.'

Initial Thoughts: Who wouldn't want flatter, firmer abs in just 4 weeks?! I was excited to try this out, so when it arrived I excitedly measured my waist so I could see how much I would lose over the coming weeks! Staring measurement - 99 cms. (I'm currently a dress size 18)

The first time I used the belt it was a weird sensation - it takes some getting used to, but on the second night, I realised that I'd only turned on one side the night before! You have to increase the intensity on either side of the belt at the same time - the controls are on separate buttons, so I was only working one side the first time - doh! The picture above is my son modelling the box!

I Liked: I liked the promises, I liked hearing how I'd be more toned and firmer in just 4 weeks, and I loved the daydreaming I was doing about the little skirt I was hoping to get into! I really wanted to give this product a glowing review and tell you how I'd managed to get into my skirt but alas it didn't happen!

I wasn't Keen: When you press the pads onto your skin they are a bit slimy. It reminded me of the TENS machine I had with my first birth. Of course the pads have to stick on and these do, but I didn't like putting them on and taking off because of their texture, but this is just a personal opinion - you might not think anything of this! The other thing is that I found it hard to remember to use it every night! They recommend 5 times a week for 4 weeks and I did do this. One of the weeks I probably did 4 times rather than 5 but overall I stuck to the plan. It just got tricky to remember. I'd settle down with a cuppa after rushing round after work and kids all day then I'd see the Slendertone box and remember to put the belt on! Of course the 'exercising' itself is easy as pie! You just put the belt in the right place, set the routine you want and let it work whilst you watch tv or do something else. It takes no effort to exercise - the effort I found, was in remembering to use it!!

Overall: If you are hoping to have a stomach like the model on the box in a month or two then you will be disappointed. Plus you won't be able to eat what you want and still expect to be toned! I go to the gym 3 times a week and eat healthily although I do have sweet foods if I want them, so I wasn't just relying on the Slendertone belt to do all the work for me. I was working out myself too. I did lose 0.5cms from my waist in the 4 weeks but it's hard to tell whether this was because of my own weight loss efforts or the belt! Maybe a combination of both! As I say above, I am currently a dress size 18 - I've lost 3 stone so far on a 6 stone journey, so I am a bit 'cushioned' around the middle! Maybe the results of this belt would be more noticeable on a woman who has less fat left to lose - someone nearer to her goal. I will carry on using the belt, and maybe as I get into a dress size 14 I might be reporting more toned abs, but we'll have to see!

My results were as follows:
Start of trial- 11th October 2010. My waist measurement is 99cms
End of trial after 4 weeks - 8th November 2010. My waist measurement is 98.5cms

Have you ever tried using something like this? How did you find it? Drop me a comment below!

I hope you like my blog. I feel like a party host and you are my guests so it's important to me that you feel welcome! Do follow this blog so I know who my guests are! Your support really makes a difference. x

Review: iPod Car Transmitter



**This is a Product Review Post**

Product Name: FM Transmitter for iPod & iPhone by Mobile Fun
Buy Online Here: www.Mobilefun.co.uk
Price: £19.99
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The blurb: This accessory fits the iPhone, iPod nano G4, iPod Touch G2. I have an iPod - not sure what spec but an old one!! However my husband has an iPhone and we could use it with that too! This transmitter charges the iPod whilst in use too.

Initial Thoughts: At first I wondered if I was putting the device in right as it needed a good shove to get into the cigarette lighter! However once it was in, it sat nicely so I could mount my iPod into the cradle and figure out the next step! I had to get my husband to show me how to find the frequency on the in car radio, but once I'd had my 'lesson', I was away! I loved being able to access my iPod playlists in the car as I have built lists for myself but also my children onto my iPod, so we could listen to Camp Rock or Hannah Montana when they were in the car but then I'd switch to some Eminem or Tinie Tempah when they'd got out!

I Liked: How we could use it with both my iPod and my husbands iPhone so we could both have 'our' music on, when we were driving! Makes for less arguments over the radio!! Plus the sound quality is good whilst you are driving and you can change the volume through the car radio which made things easier!

I wasn't Keen: The only downside was how long it took me to figure out how to get it in the car and find the frequency, but this could just be me!! My hubby got it sorted within minutes, but it did take me a play with it before I gave in and asked for his help! You'd probably be ok!!

Overall: If you are looking for iPod Touch accessories that would make excellent Christmas presents, then this is a fabulous product and definitely something to get for those 'hard to buy' for people! It is something quite different too so you wouldn't risk duplicating presents with anyone else!

I hope you like my blog. I feel like a party host and you are my guests so it's important to me that you feel welcome! Do follow this blog so I know who my guests are! Your support really makes a difference. x

The Truth About Getting Braces in Your 30's!

Yes, just like 'Ugly Betty' I have got fixed metal braces on both sets of teeth - just had them fitted, and they will be in place for 18 months!
One part of me (after I had tooth and jaw ache for 3 days after having them applied) wondered "why oh why did I do this again?" but my more 'sensible' side told me to get on with it, and it will all be worth it at the end!

I had braces as a teenager you see. But being young and stupid I demanded that they be removed before my treatment had ended. I probably had about 6 months to go until *perfect teeth* but now I will have to wear them for 18 months and then wear a retainer to sleep -every night, forever! A few people have expressed surprise that braces still work when you are an adult - that you can still get results, and I have to confess that I wasn't sure they'd be viable when I went to ask the dentist, but indeed you can, and the Treatment Co-ordinator at my Orthodontist told me she had her braces applied at the age of 38 and taken off at 40 and never regretted it!

When I was a teen, I'd just started seeing my boyfriend (who became my husband), and I had braces, spots, glasses and was overweight. I was the most tragic teen *looks wise* that there was, and I'd become fed up with it all and just wanted to be pretty like my friends! So I asked for my braces to be taken off, so I could snog my boyfriend all day and night with no chafing! (I didn't tell them that of course!)

So I got what I asked for and the braces came off and I was happy, but when I got into my late twenties, I started to wish I had *perfect teeth*! It was just a niggling thought that was always there, but I was self conscious about my crooked teeth, not so you would notice, but the fact that I didn't have the 'perfect arc' smile like you see on TV would always be on my mind. So I decided to take the plunge - again! It is very true that you can't put an old head on young shoulders!

This time I'm older and wiser *guffaw!* but at least I understand the commitment I'm making and am prepared for the dentist visits every 6 weeks to get the brace tightened, the fact that I have to thoroughly brush my teeth and brace after every single meal which takes a good 5 minutes each time, and that I have finally given up drinking Diet Coke (and fizzy drinks in general) because I was warned that my addiction to Diet Coke would rot my teeth (which I knew but chose to ignore before) but now, with braces fitted it means that if I continued to drink Diet Coke, there was a strong possibility that I'd have little white squares on each tooth when the brace came off, after the teeth around the brace got eroded.

This was finally the kick up the backside I needed to ditch the Diet Coke, which I had an addiction to- I had a headache for 3 days after I stopped which was the sugar/ sweetener withdrawal, but quitting has made me definitely snack less, and I've visibly lost weight after just 3 weeks.

So braces in place I was a bit shy at first, my speech was slightly affected- I felt like I had a lisp, and I didn't really want anyone to notice my braces. My kids (7 and 3) said that I look 'sparkly' with them and I look like I have jewels on my teeth, so I decided to embrace the mouth bling and just tell people "I've added a little extra sparkle into my life" if they ask about my brace!

People do notice- my friends who know me well enough to ask directly have all asked about the brace! But bless him, my dad didn't notice. I sat through a Sunday Lunch with him waiting for him to notice and ask, and when I actually said "Dad- can you see anything different about me?" he said "You've had Botox!"

I hope you like my blog. I feel like a party host and you are my guests so it's important to me that you feel welcome! Do follow this blog so I know who my guests are! Your support really makes a difference. x

Win some Whooga UGG Boots- Great new Competition!


Guys- those of you who see me on the school run know how much I love my UGG boots - so comfy and warm in this Great British weather!! So how excited am I that I can tell you about a fab new competition to win yourself a pair of Whooga UGG boots and I've secured an exclusive discount for readers of my blog too, so you can purchase some at 10% off!! See how warm they look....


The people at Whooga have offered a pair of Whooga UGG boots to people who sign up to their newsletter. You can do that by clicking here. The winners are drawn at the end of each month and it's open to everyone in all countries..

If you can't wait that long, then I’ve secured an exclusive discount code for readers of this blog. You can get 10% off for the next week only by entering the following code: 966TIME
at the website: http://www.whooga-eu.co.uk/ ***NOTE: This offer has now expired***

Happy shopping!!!

I hope you like my blog. I feel like a party host and you are my guests so it's important to me that you feel welcome! Do follow this blog so I know who my guests are! Your support really makes a difference. x

Review: Babysitting Mama Game for Wii

**This is a Product Review Post**
Product Name:
Babysitting Mama game for Nintendo Wii
Buy Online Here:
http://www.game.co.uk/Games/Wii/Activity/Cooking-Mama-World-Babysitting-Mama/~r351381/?s=babysitting+mama
Price:
RRP £49.99 but use the link above for GAME to get it for £39.99
Star Rating:
5 out of 5 stars

The blurb:
Babysitting Mama is the first videogame to come bundled with a life-sized baby doll peripheral designed exclusively by Cooking Mama Limited. Wii owners will place the Wii Remote™ into a secure pouch in the doll’s back to bring it to life! Each doll is hand stitched, making no two babies exactly the same. Playing along with Mama, players will have to follow instructions to carry out all the duties of a diligent baby sitter, including feeding your baby food, playing with toy blocks, changing nappies and helping baby take its first steps.

Initial Thoughts: Seriously, this game is red hot!! When I first heard about the game, I knew my daughter would absolutely love it, but the surprise was that my husband and I really loved it too! We laughed the whole time we were playing one night, after the kids were in bed!! Have you ever seen the TV show 'An Idiot Abroad'? Well my husband kind of looks like Karl Pilkington and is as 'dry' as him with his humour, and I really thought that he was him on this task! Here is a picture of Simon 'burping' the baby...

It was hilarious! We loaded up the game and got the doll ready with the control then set about 'choosing a baby'. After this we wanted to change its nappy but the game wouldn't let us - it seems you have to do certain things in order, so you can unlock new tasks as you progress. We ended up going to comfort the baby. This involved gently rocking it as the doll made gurgling sounds, children would really love this as it is being 'just like mum'! After Simon swayed the baby a little, it started crying, so he said he'd take it out for a drive in a minute - this is what we did with our daughter when she wouldn't sleep! It made us laugh, remembering the crazy plodding up and down in the middle of the night we used to do - desperate for some sleep!

I Liked: After we comforted the baby, we then fed it with 'milk'. This was where you tilt the Wii control at an angle to put the bottle in, then use the on screen measure to keep the bottle at the right angle. This is harder than it sounds and the bottle kept dropping out of the screen baby's mouth, making it cry! The doll makes 'Mmm' sounds, like it is taking in milk and occasionally says 'Mama'. After feeding the next task was 'burping' the baby - this bit had me in stitches! In 'real life', I breast-fed my two and after I would always hand the baby over to Simon for winding, so he could take part in the whole feeding thing too. This made him an 'expert burper' and on this game he achieved a perfect score when burping the doll! It was so funny watching him do it all again with the Wii doll, and I took loads of pictures of him, for my own amusement! However, he couldn't get the hang of soothing the baby. As the screen said "Just do it like Mama", he tried to rock the baby in time, but at the end his score was a measly 36 points. Mama said "You'll do better next time!" in an encouraging way, to which my husband replied "Cheeky cow!"

Here is Simon rocking the baby!


I wasn't Keen:
There wasn't anything to dislike about this game. Kids will love to role play at 'being mum', and there are enough tasks to master to keep them busy for a while! It's fascinating that Nintendo have created a doll to game with, I'm intrigued to know what they will come up with next!

Overall: My 7 YO daughter and 3 YO son will love this game. My daughter is a big fan of Cooking Mama on the Nintendo DS and my son is starting to play with this game too - chopping and stirring, so the Babysitting Mama with its doll is even better! It is an excellent way for families to introduce the idea of a new baby in the house in a 'child friendly' way, and had this been around 3 years ago when my son was born, I definitely would have bought one so my daughter could have played with it and learned what new babies are like, before the reality hit! For a Christmas gift that is sure to be played for years in a young household, this game would make an excellent present!

I hope you like my blog. I feel like a party host and you are my guests so it's important to me that you feel welcome! Do follow this blog so I know who my guests are! Your support really makes a difference. x

How to Plan When Nothing Goes to Plan! - My 'At Home' Column

I write a fortnightly column for At Home - the Premier UK celebrity and lifestyle magazine, and this one appeared on their site www.AtHomeMagazine.co.uk a month ago. Do visit their website and leave me a comment on the post there so they get to see your opinions!




“How to Plan when Nothing goes to Plan!”
Sometimes I get through the day by the skin of my teeth! It’s funny how when you generally seem ‘together’ in your outward appearance, people think that your life always runs smoothly and that you never mess up!
Sorry to shatter the illusion but yes, I fall on my ass sometimes – literally too! Last week I tripped over my shoe straps in Castleford Market and did one of those funny skipping steps as if I meant to do it! I daren’t look around in case anyone saw me which they probably did, but by me not acknowledging that -I can pretend it never happened! Don’t laugh- I bet you’ve done it too!

This morning was a case in point. We are doing the morning school run, so I have quite a lot to remember for the children, like jumpers, water bottles and book bags but I also have to forward plan my own day and ensure that I have everything I need if I’m dashing off after the school drop to a meeting. The day you are rushing is the day you have no petrol in the car, so I try to mentally run through busy days the night before so I have time to sort things like this.

Snack Attack!
Anyway, I managed to forget my daughter’s snack. Now she is in Key Stage Two, they have to bring in their own healthy snack like an apple- the school only provides fruit for Key Stage One kids. Fortunately, I had some yoghurt covered raisins in the car- I have the odd long life ‘snack in a packet’ hanging around for after school munchies and was able to make do! My daughter has no idea I forgot her snack today, because I produced the goods (or second best- a packet snack rather than fresh fruit) but at least she isn’t the only one in her class without a snack today. Home goal saved!

Every Day is a Learning Experience
When I have a day when nothing goes to plan, I don’t just write it off, I try to learn from it. So as I’ve forgotten a snack before I make sure I have a couple of packets of something suitable in my Glove Box, which won’t go out of date and can be used in an emergency! I keep a small make up kit for me in the Glove Box too, for the days when I don’t have time to get any blusher on my face before herding the kids out of the door, because I can snatch 2 minutes in the school car park to put some colour on then I look half decent. I also keep a purse of spare change in the car so I always have money for the meter! This ‘Parking Fund’ has paid for a sausage sandwich before now, when I’m in that mood and just need some comfort food, so it has a dual purpose!

Structure Sets You Free!
Being organised sounds really boring but it has set me free, meaning that I can ‘save’ a day before it gets onto a downward spiral of little things going wrong.

Get into the habit of looking over your diary for tomorrow the night before and getting out whatever you might need that day so when you are living in the moment you have your tools at hand. If you are prepared for what is to come then it’s easier to stay on top of your daily juggle when you get stuck in traffic or when someone keeps you talking as you are trying to get to your next event.

When you are present at your meeting or at work, you can be your ‘fabulous self’ to get the job done, but it’s those occurrences that happen to us that seem to take us off course. Being a Jugglista means you have learned to keep those plates spinning and dodge the curve balls that life throws at you, or at least you are trying!

If all else fails, do what I did last Friday evening. I’d been at the gym that morning and got locked in the shower! Then, as I was tugging at the door trying to free myself, I whacked the door frame onto my eye, so now I have a shiner! After that, a car almost ran me off the road with their aggressive driving, so I had a few choice words with the driver (and a few hand gestures!) at the traffic lights when we stopped there! Later that day I was emptying the dish washer when my hand slipped and I smashed a cup! I decided that someone was telling me to slow down so when my husband got home I curled up with a bottle of wine (I rarely drink- this is how bad the day was!) and let go! It made me sleepy so I got an early night and the next day was a clean slate. Sometimes, no amount of planning will stop you being locked in a shower, but at least when you are organised, you will have the headache tablets to hand the next day!!
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About the Author:
Nadine Hill is a busy working mum (“Is there any other kind?!”) who has a fascination with time management which borders on the obsessive! She loves to find more effective ways of doing the daily juggle whilst enjoying the journey and has lots of practise through raising her two children, growing her small business, being a best-selling author, running her home, public speaking and inspiring others as an Enterprise UK Ambassador. Nadine’s ambition is to help busy mums claw back a bit of ‘me time’ so she shares her tips with AT HOME in these fortnightly columns and her own life stories on her blog-Juggle Mum. She also micro blogs on Twitter where she is @Businessmum. You can learn more about Nadine at www.NadineHill.com

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I hope you like this blog. I feel like a party host and you are my guests so it's important to me that you feel welcome! Do follow this blog so I know who my guests are! Your support really makes a difference. x

Review: 'Me Finder' Wristband for Kids!


**This is a Product Review Post**

Product Name: Me Finder by Kids Show And Tell
Buy Online Here: www.kidsshowandtell.com
Price: £14.99
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The blurb:
Losing a child in a crowded place is a very common occurrence but is also every parents worst nightmare. Me Finder is a new digital wristband that helps parents to teach their child what to do when they are lost. Designed and created by British parents for their own children, its manufactured in cool designs that kids will actually want to wear. The wristband stores up to 5 phone numbers which means you can switch the number to whoever is looking after your child - parents, grandparents, child-minders, teacher on a school trip etc. Me Finder is simple but very effective in helping to reunite a parent/carer with a lost child quickly.

Initial Thoughts: The Me Finders I got were the green 'robot' style one for my son and the pink flower for my daughter. They were really attractive looking and the kids were excited to open the box! The wristband is really soft and comfortable, and has a 'closing system' so that it's hard for the child to remove the band themselves. I did actually find it tricky to open the wristband in the first place as I was worried about breaking it! I couldn't tell if it was a 'press stud' fastening or not and I didn't want to pull it apart to find it wasn't! It fastens with a square 'button' and a track of 'buttonholes' so you can select the correct wrist size for the child. The plastic strap stretches to allow the fastening button through.

I Liked: My 3 year old son loves his Me Finder and proudly wears it every day. I also feel reassured because I know that he is wearing my number, so if he should wander God forbid, then at least there is a way of reaching me. My daughter wanted hers to be programmed with 'Mum' rather than 'Mummy' as she felt that at almost 8 years old, it's not cool to have 'mummy' written on it!! But she also likes knowing my number, as it makes her feel grown up!
I've programmed our Me Finders with my mobile number, Daddy, both Grandma's and another Grandparent who is home all day and therefore next to the phone!

I wasn't Keen: The programming of the Me Finder took a little getting used to. I'd suggest tackling this when you have 20 minutes spare to sit down and concentrate on what you are doing, as it took me a few attempts to successfully get a phone number in! Although once you have done it, just follow the same procedure for the other names and when everyone is in, hold down the middle key to save until the screen goes back to 'Mummy' - the default setting. You know you have done this right when there is nothing flashing on the screen - when it just shows 'Mummy' and the number.

Also, be aware that if you travel abroad at all, you might want to put in your International dialling numbers, using the +44 code for UK, to save you having to re-programme it all again before a trip! Trust me, once you have got the numbers stored, you won't want to go through it all again, so make it easy on yourself the first time round!

Overall: Just knowing that I have given myself the very best chance of being re-united with my kids if we were ever separated is real peace of mind. I really hope that we never need to use the Me Finder in an emergency, but I'm glad it is there. I suppose it's like your home insurance. You don't want to use it but would be glad it was there if you needed it.
We are going to a music festival next Summer and I will make sure my kids wear their Me Finders 24-7 at this event, just in case.

Here are some product features:
Super-lightweight; curved edges; adjustable shorter strap made from very soft, comfortable plastic
Child-proof safety-catch on wristband
Funky animations to entertain your child, with your phone number set as default
You know your contact number is displayed, even if your child plays with the buttons
Environmentally friendly. Not only do you use it time and again, the packaging materials & the materials in the wristband can be recycled.
Waterproof - ideal for the pool or the beach.

Tell me what you think - how do you handle the possibility of a 'wandering child'?

I hope you like my blog. I feel like a party host and you are my guests so it's important to me that you feel welcome! Do follow this blog so I know who my guests are! Your support really makes a difference. x

The Last Supper...



Guess how much this loaf of bread cost? Go on, have a guess!

Let me tell you that it came from a gourmet bread shop, specialising in bespoke breads. An artisan baker prepares each loaf and this particular loaf is a Shepherds Loaf.

The bakery has twice won the organic loaf of the year award, so now I have given you all the credentials and you can tell this is going to be more expensive than a 'white sliced from Greggs', go on and have a guess at what you might pay for this loaf of bread? Made from flour and water.



Twelve quid!

That's right - I was gobsmacked! I was thinking, a fiver maybe. OK, so the bread is more exclusive than the Hovis or Warburtons I usually get at Tesco, but blummin 'eck! I could buy a whole outfit for £12!

My husband, the foodie, was the one who made the purchase. He wanted to try produce from this bakery which had been on TV. It was Hobbs House Bakery, and when I went online to check out their website I can see that their 'buy online' price for a Shepherd's Loaf is now £21!! So maybe we got a bargain?

It really was the last supper we could afford that week!

I hope you like my blog. I feel like a party host and you are my guests so it's important to me that you feel welcome! Do follow this blog so I know who my guests are! Your support really makes a difference. x

Review: Mums Office Diary 2011 - Stay Organised!

**This is a Product Review Post**


This is my 2010 pink diary next to the new teal 2011 diary!

Product Name: 2011 handbag diary by Mum's Office
Buy Online Here: http://www.mumsoffice.co.uk/ also in John Lewis, Fenwicks and Waitrose
Price: £14.95
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The blurb: For many mums, juggling the often conflicting needs and schedules of a busy family is a daily chore. With different family members taking part in different activities, just having an overview of what's happening can almost be impossible. Mum's Diary is designed to solve that.
Initial Thoughts: I had a diary in 2010 so I've had a year to get used to it, but for 2011 they have introduced a very handy pen loop, so you can carry a pen with the diary. This is helpful. Also, they have added a page of tips for mums like 'label it or lose it' and 'get ready the night before'. Finally someone else is putting out the kind of tips I do on this blog!!!
I Liked: I love the unique grid function of the diary which splits the week into 'My Week' and 'Everyone Else's Week!' I can keep each child separate so I know exactly what they are doing on a given day, and can remember sports kits etc accordingly! There are 4 columns so women with up to 4 children are catered for, but as I have 2 children, I section my own diary into my girl, my boy, my husband (this is where I list everything I want him to do, like installing cat flaps etc!) and I use the last column to plan my meals for the week. When I'm doing my online shopping I can write in each day what we are having and it helps me to not overspend at the supermarket but also seeing the week at a glance means I can ensure we don't have red meat two nights running or a week of pizza!!
I wasn't Keen: There are just a few pages at the back headed 'Need to Know www' and 'In Case I Lose my Mobile' which are really useful, but it would be awesome if there was a way in future diaries of removing these pages from an old diary and placing them into the new diary because I have to re-write all these 'Need to Know' details from my 2010 diary into my 2011 one! Anything which saves time is great, as I hate to replicate effort for the same result.
Overall: This diary is so useful for a busy working mum like me, and it would make an excellent Christmas Present for the woman who has everything. If you are ever flustered or overwhelmed by your life then this is a tool that can help you take control!

I hope you like my blog. I feel like a party host and you are my guests so it's important to me that you feel welcome! Do follow this blog so I know who my guests are! Your support really makes a difference. x

I'm Writing for AT HOME magazine, Here is the 1st Column!

It's here! My first column for At Home - the Premier UK celebrity and lifestyle magazine is now live! I will be writing for them every fortnight, so check out www.AtHomeMagazine.co.uk to see what's new!



If you are a woman then at this moment in time you are probably completing several chores, working at a job, maybe a project at home, helping out a relative, planning a holiday and attending to children or friends? If this is you, I’m guessing that you probably find it hard to find any time to yourself!

Do you ever feel like you are on a treadmill where one job done results in another cropping up to fill the space, work seems to demand the lion’s share of your energy and the ironing pile never gets to the bottom! If you ever find yourself saying “There just aren’t enough hours in the day!” then busy girl, this column is for you!

On a good day, you just get on with it - doing what needs to be done each day and if there is any time left at the end, you collapse into bed with the idea of reading your book, only to fall asleep before you’ve opened a page. On a bad day, you can feel like a pack horse - if you do a daily school run, this is an apt description when the kids fling their coats, book bags, lunch boxes and water bottles at you. I’ve started carrying round an extra large ‘Bag for Life’ so I have somewhere to stash it all! But when you are feeling overwhelmed with daily life, it’s easy to lose your mojo and with it, some of that sparkle that makes you – YOU.

So next time you are seriously considering screaming the ‘F’ word, scooping up every last bit of clutter from your home and throwing it in a skip, or God forbid - having your hair cut into a ‘more manageable’ (read: sensible) style to make things a bit easier, take a time out, grab a cup of tea (or an ‘iced’ one from Long Island!) and read these tips to rediscover your inner mojo!

Juggle it!
The first step to immediately getting rid of the overwhelm is to re-frame your thinking. You are not a dogsbody or just there to do everyone else’s bidding, you are a world class expert in the demands of your life and how to get it done. In fact, you are a ‘Jugglista’ – a woman who juggles like it is going out of fashion!

Get some 'me' time
The next way to find your mojo is to think of an activity that you used to love but have not had any time for recently. Did you love horse riding? Curling up with a good book and a box of chocolates? Or maybe you used to go through your wardrobe and customise your clothes to freshen up your stuff? Whatever activity you used to lose yourself in needs to be resurrected, and you need to make time for it. If you allow life to take over, it will and as you know, nature abhors a vacuum. If there is space, something will come along and fill it, so make sure you fill your space with ‘Priority You’ activities, then you can genuinely turn down any requests you don’t want to do by saying “Sorry, I already have plans”.

Little Miss Multi-Tasker!
The most efficient use of your time would be to always aim for the win-win. This is where the activities that you do, have a ‘double win’ effect of satisfying two areas of your life. It’s like killing two birds with one stone, to quote a popular phrase! So you could literally ‘run’ on the school run - get the kids onto scooters and you in your trainers and jog to school, which fulfils the objective to drop the kids off but also gets in some exercise for you too! Or whilst you are online surfing or doing some work, take the chance to order your groceries for the week so you save yourself a trip to a busy supermarket. Think about what you can do that serves you twice, to save energy on the necessary tasks, giving you more energy for the fun stuff!

Do you have any great ways to get two things done at once? Visit the At Home website to the original article and leave a comment!

About the author
Nadine Hill is a busy working mum (is there any other kind?!) who has a fascination with time management which borders on the obsessive! She loves to find more effective ways of doing the daily juggle whilst enjoying the journey, and has lots of practise through raising her two children, growing her small business, being a best-selling author, running her home, public speaking and inspiring others as an Enterprise UK Ambassador. Nadine’s ambition is to help busy mums claw back a bit of ‘me time’, by sharing tips with at home in her fortnightly columns, her own life stories on her blog Juggle Mum, and micro-blogging on Twitter. You can learn more about Nadine at www.NadineHill.com.