Review: Morphy Richards Vorticity Plus a Massive 50% off for my Readers!

**This is a Product Review Post**



Product Name: Vorticity Vacuum by Morphy Richards
Buy Online Here: See at the end of the post for a special discount!
Here’s a link to the general product site www.vorticityvacuums.com
Price: £199.99 or £219.99 depending on the spec
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The blurb: It’s a vacuum cleaner called Vorticity and it differs from other vacuums on the market in that it uses air in a completely different way. It’s defining feature is the floorhead, which uses the power of 22 mini cyclones to draw in ambient air and force it down, dislodging particles of dust, dirt and other undesirables from in between carpet fibres and floorboards. This means that even dirt that is stuck on gets sucked up.
This vacuum will make the cleaning less of a chore and should dramatically speed up the process. Work-at-home mums and business owners don’t want to be bogged down by housework when they should be getting other things done and investing in a good quality vacuum cleaner could help minimise time spent doing this.

Initial Thoughts: Well - I love a good challenge so when I read that this vac will suck up even stuck on dirt, this was my focus! I started glaring at my carpet with a beady eye to find dried cat vomit, the kids discarded pez sweets or some muck from my builder husbands boots' to tackle - all of which are usually staples on my living room carpet. But on the day I wanted to trial the vac, there was nothing! Only the usual carpet dirt- biscuit crumbs and bits of shredded tinsel from my daughter's cheerleader pom poms - this wasn't a challenge! This was dirt that moved! Anyway FYI - the Vorticity sucked it up! There was also a gobstopper sized bit of artificial Christmas tree that one of the cats had pulled off and was using as a play toy. Normally I would pick up any larger bits of debris before running the vac over the rest of the floor, but today I wanted to throw something at the vac, and it just swept over the bit of tree and neatly sucked it up - no getting stuck in the tubes for this vacuum!! Result!


I Liked: I loved the way the vacuum looked. I know it shouldn't matter what something looks like as long as it does the job, but it was a bit trendy, which made me happy! The floorhead nozzle with the cyclones in it was really easy to manoeuvre, especially in awkward places and I could get right under some of my higher furniture that shows the carpet, which I couldn't do with my usual upright vac without having to dismantle it to use the hose attachment. The vac itself was a little heavy to carry, but when you have it in the room, the hose is long enough to do what you need to without moving too much, and it is on wheels too so it follows you round. It is just if you carry the vac upstairs for example, it's heavy, but I suppose most vacs are. I loved how easy it was to empty and I was amazed by how much dirt was in the chamber. Now before you cast me as a sloven housekeeper who never cleans, and therefore has loads of dirt, I should say that I have a cleaner who comes weekly, so the house is kept up to standard!


I wasn't Keen: I trialled the vac on my kitchen floor too, where there were a few bits of dried on dirt. Some crusty Weetabix dropped by my 3YO and some other dried up spill, but I have to say this was where I was a little let down by the Vorticity. It wouldn't pick up these bits and it was a wooden floor - I'd imagine, a lot easier to collect from than a carpet. I had to dislodge the bits of dirt with my fingernail before the Vorticity sucked it up. To be fair, dried on Weetabix is like cement, but my dishwasher copes with it on bowls so I was kind of hoping the Vorticity would win on Weetabix too, sadly it didn't.

Overall: This vacuum was really good. It did the job quickly and neatly and was easy to use. There was just one thing I was confused about when setting it up in the first place. I clicked all the parts into place according to the instructions, but on the bit where the hose meets the body of the vac, it didn't 'click' into place, just sat there so I was unsure if I'd done it right! Everything worked ok and nothing fell apart whilst cleaning but I would have liked a satisfying 'click' when I pieced it all together! The things that please some people eh? But R&D people - if you are reading, this would have made me feel more satisfied.

Time management is a big passion of mine - I love to get things done more effectively and with less fuss - especially boring things like cleaning. Let's face it - who would rather clean the house than snuggle up with the kids on the sofa watching a Disney DVD with a bowl of microwave popcorn? So products like this help me create more time to do what I really want to be doing. I love how we are living in more enlightened times now where big companies listen to us mums who are using their stuff, and not just pushing products onto us in a 'sell, sell sell' mode. The nice chap who does PR and Social Media for Morphy Richards, Tom, told me about their blog and social community portal www.homeofthehouseproud.com which I have 'Liked' on Facebook. I want to hear what other real people think and any tips, and you can get that here so if you want a nice home, check it out!

PLUS.....
I've negotiated a fantastic 50% discount on this vacuum for the readers of Juggle Mum! There are two models of this vac, and here are the links to each and the codes you use at the checkout...

For the 71080

http://www.morphyrichards.co.uk/ProductDetail.aspx?Product=71080
Use the code TMM8050

AND
For the 71081


http://www.morphyrichards.co.uk/ProductDetail.aspx?Product=71081


Use the code TMM8150

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

Melt into a Good Book like I Did... & Maybe Win One!

This is a sponsored post

I love this time of year as it is the only time when the rest of the world seems to slow down (after the initial chaos!) and we retreat back into our families, taking time to do things like play board games together, try out all the new smellies we got for Christmas or actually read a book!!

Juggling a busy life nowadays makes it tough to find the time to read for pleasure, I know I was speaking to one of the mums at the school gate a few weeks ago and she was an avid reader and nowadays collapses into bed at the end of the day having had no chance at all to read one of the stack of books on her bedside table! I'm the same. Pre-kids, I used to be able to take 14 books on a 2 week holiday with me and read every single one! I'd do a book a day, so much that I love reading, so when Galaxy chocolate said they wanted to send me a few books and some chocolate bars, how could I possibly refuse!! They knew where my soft spot was, the chance to read and a bit of chocolate as well - a perfect night in!!




When my parcel from Galaxy came, it contained 3 books and a few bars of Galaxy -some of the flavours I'd not seen before like Orange & Shortcake. It sounds very Christmassy so I'll have to break that bar out on Christmas Day, but the book I chose to review was one I'd never heard of before and wouldn't normally choose for myself at the book-store. It was called 'Freedom' by Jonathan Franzen.

I like books that I can relate to in some small way, and I liked the main female character Patty. The authors observations of her and of the way she relates to the life around her were really insightful. I admire it when someone is able to articulate themselves in a clear way so that they can be understood by everyone else, and in writing this book, Jonathan Franzen has demonstrated that he can get inside the female mind of his main character and portray her in a believable and empathetic way so I feel as though she is a living, breathing friend of mine.

This book was a winner in the recent Galaxy National Book Awards in November, which is designed to celebrate and promote British Authors and the best books of the year. The Awards covered 9 categories and Jonathan Franzen's book 'Freedom' won the accolade of Galaxy International Author of the Year!

I'm still halfway through this book, it is over 500 pages long and I only get chance to read a few pages in bed before sleep takes over, but I'm enjoying being taken along Patty's journey, and the mysterious twists that the book unfolds the deeper I get into it.

Galaxy has launched a competition to help us all 'melt into a good book' with 1 million books to be won before May 2011. To enter, simply buy a promotional bar of Galaxy and enter the code which is inside the wrapper at this website http://www.galaxybookclub.co.uk/ You will be told straightaway if you are a winner or not, and if you get chance to choose your top two preferences from a list on the site, you will be sent one of them, stocks permitting! *****NOTE: This competition is now closed*****

The five best-selling books that are in the One Million Book Giveaway Competition are

1. Audrey Niffenegger – Her Fearful Symmetry
2. Katie Fforde – Wedding Season
3. Lisa Jewell – The Truth about Melody Browne
4. Jane Green – The Beach House
5. Ian Rankin – Knots & Crosses

However just for readers of Juggle Mum, I have two prizes up for grabs for people who comment on this post!
The books I have to give away are Ian Rankin- Knots & Crosses, which is an Inspector Rebus novel, and Audrey Niffenegger's 'Her Fearful Symmetry'. Audrey also wrote 'The Time Traveler's Wife' which I recently enjoyed watching the movie version of with the gorgeous Eric Bana, so I bet this one is just as good! Plus, I will send a bar of Galaxy chocolate out with the book too so you can have a luxurious night in, just like I did!

*****NOTE: This competition is now closed*****

To win in my competition, you must be based in the UK as I cannot post outside of this area. All you need to do is leave a comment below with your contact details (an email address is fine)and tell me which of the two books would be your preferred one, and I will choose winners randomly from all the entries received by 4th January 2011 when I'll be switching my computer on again after a Christmas break!!

*****NOTE: This competition is now closed*****

In the meantime, you can read author interviews, book snippets and take part in polls at Galaxy's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/galaxy

More information on the Galaxy National Book Awards is at www.galaxynationalbookawards.com

Have a wonderful Christmas and I hope you get a chance to rest and have a bit of 'me time' over the festive period!

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

History Repeating....

I remember as a kid going to see the Blackpool Illuminations with my family. My dad would drive out to the coast and we'd time the return journey home to co-incide with the big light switch on. My brother and I would stare from the back seat at all the twinkly coloured lights, thinking it was fantastic, eating biscuits my mum had brought and saying we needed a wee every five minutes, but loving the time we were spending as a family - in the case of my childhood, times like this were times my parents weren't fighting. Thankfully my own children can enjoy these days for what they are and not because they are a respite from what was going on at home.

The funny thing is my husband and I found ourselves doing exactly the same recently - quite by accident! We'd driven from Yorkshire to Lancashire to purchase something I'd found on Preloved, and whilst we were out that way, Hubby suggested going to see the lights. As it was lunchtime and the lights didn't come on until 5pm when it was dark, we drove to Lytham St Annes and walked along the beach. It was deserted but for a few dog walkers and young families doing what we were doing, but Simon showed our kids the shells from the Razorfish, and bits of seaweed as we walked along. It was lovely. His family like walking along coastlines - Simon spent many a childhood weekend at his Grandparents place on the East Coast, so this afternoon was spent in the same way he spent his own childhood.

After we'd had some lunch and a nip into town for a rejuvenating Costa Coffee (it was cold on that beach!) and some snacks for the way home, we went back to the car as it was getting dark and headed for Blackpool.

We hit the top of the strip just before 5pm and there were a few cars waiting at the side of the road to set off down the road as soon as the lights were switched on. We were unsure of the exact time it would all start but were hoping it'd be 5pm as it was 4.45pm when we got there. I cracked open the biscuits and gave everyone a juice and we sat munching and drinking until 5pm.

As we drove through the lights, I look loads of pictures (probably shouldn't have been doing as my camera had a flash - the car in front probably thought they had gone through a speed camera!) But this picture is a good one - it shows a tram to the left covered in lights.

The kids loved our special impromptu day at the beach, and I loved creating a day for our kids that they will remember. It's family days like this that make the best memories when you look back, and we had such a great time. What did you do with your parents that you find yourself doing with the kids now? Do leave 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

At Home Column #4: Get Some TST!

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!


'Get some T.S.T - Time Saving Technology!'


Do you need more TST in your life? I think every woman does, as we are always so busy. Personally, I need a clone of myself. By that I don’t mean I want someone to dress like me and follow me around (that would be a bit weird) but just the ability to split myself in two so I can get everything done! Does this sound like you too?!


I work from home now but I still remember the days when I’d be rushing to work in my smart clothes, wearing an old t-shirt over them so any stray porridge or bogeys from the kids didn’t get onto my ‘office wear’! Then at the other end of the day, I'd be screeching to a halt at the front door, having raced home in the dark to get back to my family and still having a meal to prepare, washing to do and the marketing presentation to finish!

We all do it, and we either deserve a medal or certifying, but if neither are forthcoming then see if any of these little gems can make your daily juggle that bit easier...


At the Start of the Day
My parents used to have a Teasmade in the 1970’s but in our ‘Grand Design’ and ‘Property Ladder’ era, this would seem naff, so how about a solution that lets you switch on your downstairs kettle from your bed? The Siemens Home Automation system from B&Q allows just that! You use the remote control to activate the kettle so your ‘wake up’ coffee can be making whilst you are still waking! Genius! Once you are up, you can make a dent in the household tasks by getting a wash load done in only 14 minutes! The Beko machine has a 9KG drum and the fastest cycle time of all washers of this size, so you can hang the clothes to dry before you leave and they’ll be ready to iron that evening!

During the Day
I firmly believe that the internet is any Jugglista’s best friend. You can be everywhere at the same time – shopping, ordering birthday presents and working out what film to see at the weekend, all without leaving your seat! But it can become more trouble than its’ worth when you have to get up even earlier than you already do to arrive at the postal depot to collect all the parcels that got delivered when you were out at work. Shop Box is a new device that you can rent to stay outside your home and provide a secure drop off point for any deliveries. It is secure, but has its limitations (for example, they recommend emptying it between deliveries which you can’t do if you are at work all day- so you’d have to plan and make sure your stuff arrived on different days), but it is a possible solution to avoid the running around after work! See www.shopbox.co.uk for more details.

With the Kids
I recently found this little lifesaver - it's a funky child’s wristband that you programme with your mobile number (up to 5 numbers in total) so that if the child wanders off, an adult can use the band to get your number and call you! Its heart stopping in a busy shopping centre if you can’t see them, and this device provides peace of mind – genius! It’s called a Me Finder and it’s from www.kidsshowandtell.com.

At the End of the Day
How cool would it be if you could let your dinner cook itself?! It can if you use the Jamie Oliver Multicooker. Just chuck in your chicken and it can be left unsupervised and cooks really fast! This is perfect to allow you chance to help with your child’s homework whilst the meal is getting sorted!

Remember that washing you hung out this morning? It's dry and ready to iron by the end of the day, but this usual chore can be 30% quicker with the new Rowenta Steamium iron. Keeping on top of the ironing pile is one of the biggest time stealers but this just got easier, and trust me, I’ve tried it and this iron works!

Sweet Dreams
If you have a baby in the house, you will do anything for a bit of extra sleep. This new technology in baby bottles promises an extra 30 minutes in bed as it delivers a perfect breast-milk temperature feed at the touch of a button - in under 60 seconds! Yoomi is the UK’s first self warming baby bottle, which brings an end to stumbling around the kitchen in the middle of the night. All you do is pick up Yoomi, push the button and baby’s feed is ready in under a minute so you can get them settled quicker and back to bed yourself! For more information, go to www.yoomi.com.

Let’s face it, when we have everything to do, a little technological help can go a long way! Do you have any secrets for bending technology to fit your life? Leave a comment on the At Home article and let me know!


Before you go, I have a confession... I originally called this article "Get Some TiTS!" (Or 'Technology that is Time Saving)' but At Home thought it too risque! Do you like my headline better? Just for fun, let me know what you think below!!

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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: EasiYo Yogurt Maker


**This is a Product Review Post**

Product Name: Yogurt Maker by EasiYo
Buy Online Here: www.easiyo.com or at http://www.juliangraves.com/foods/easiyo/easiyo-fresh-yogurt-maker.html
Price: £16.49
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The blurb: The Tastiest, Freshest Yogurt in the World! People have been making their own REAL yogurt for thousands of years. That’s because no other yogurt tastes as good, or is more beneficial than freshly-made real yogurt! Besides it being truly delicious, EasiYo Yogurt is rich in absorbable nutrients and has BILLIONS of live lactic cultures (those beneficial 'good guys') in every spoonful! You just can't beat yogurt when it's at its freshest! The EasiYo Yogurt Making System is adored around the world for its fabulous taste, wholesome New Zealand ingredients, simplicity and economy! As soon as you taste EasiYo, you'll realise why millions of people have made it a part of their daily lives!


Initial Thoughts:
The PR Lady who sent me this said it was so easy, it was like making a cup of tea, only you have to wait 8 hours for it to brew! It does sound very impressive to say you are making your own yogurt, but the reality is is the most easy thing in the world to do, so you can accept all the culinary praise for this, knowing that it is really as simple as adding water and giving it a shake!

I opened the box with my 3 YO son and as he played with one of the packets of flavouring, I read the instructions and boiled a kettle. All you do is half fill the yogurt maker tub with water from the tap, then add the powder from the packet - put the lid on and give it a shake, then pour boiling water into the main outer tube, place the inner tube with the shaken yogurt in it into this chamber and leave it for 8 hours or overnight until it sets! ANYONE can do it, it really is that simple. Plus I'm now addicted to the taste of this yogurt - it has a lovely thick consistency and tastes really creamy, and I'm assured by the packet that this yogurt is healthy and less calories and saturated fat that other shop bought yogurts.


I Liked: I loved several things about this. Besides the health factors like having billions of live lactic cultures in the yogurt, I loved practical things like the fact that that the packets of un-made yogurt keep in the cupboard for at least a year before their 'Best By' date so you know you can ALWAYS have fresh yogurt in the house. Plus I loved how you decant your made yogurt into little pots so you have individual servings. I don't suppose you HAVE to do this, but I did to make life a bit easier, and I loved eating my yogurt from a ceramic ramekin rather than a plastic pot. I guess it's the difference between having your cup of tea out of a china mug rather than a plastic vending machine cup! For me, it just made the experience of eating my yogurt that bit better!

I wasn't Keen: When your fresh yogurt is ready you can store it in the fridge, but I didn't want to store the whole 1 litre I'd made as it was. I wanted to store in individual servings so I got out my ramekins which only usually get used at Christmas! When I was pouring the yogurt into the pots, a great big blob gushed out before I could stop it and covered the ramekin and half my counter! You have to be careful when decanting, but other than that, this system is foolproof!

Overall: I'm really impressed with this yogurt maker and the two flavours I initially tried (peaches & cream and raspberries & cream) which were really tasty. As you can see from the picture, I have been out and bought several more flavours to try. I couldn't find them at Tesco, but when I searched the EasiYo website I could see a couple of local stockists plus Lakeland who sell by mail order, so I can get hold of the sachets fairly easily. I can't wait to try the 'Fruit Squirt' which adds a real fruit topping to the yogurt you make, and there is a 'Greek Yogurt' style which I've bought to see how it compares to supermarket varieties!

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 Quickly they Grow up!

My son is a monkey! No, officially he is! He is only 3 but since he started going to morning nursery, I've noticed him coming along in his development, his talking and understanding of things - and also his mischievousness!

He took a long time to toilet train. We are there now (finally!) but in the early days he didn't seem to mind when he was wet- he'd stand around in his wet trousers and not even tell me if he'd had an accident. Then later on in the process as he'd started to 'get it' and he actually did run to the toilet when he felt the urge, we'd have the excuse of " I couldn't get there in time" if there were wet trousers to be changed. I'm not talking about a dribble here - I'm talking about proper sodden clothing, but he'd found a good 'excuse' as to why they were wet- he couldn't get there in time. How can I be mad at that when he'd tried? He had caught on!

So patience was the order of the day. I was inwardly experiencing frustration, but outward patience to him and gradually he got it, he made it on time to the loo and he learned to hold it a bit when there was no loo around (or nowhere to stop if we were driving!) I got good at carrying round an empty Oasis bottle (larger spout!) which was perfect for popping his tinkler into when we were in public but not appropriate places to go against a wall! (Boys are much easier than girls in this respect!) and now, finally, we are there. The boy is dry and I say "we are there" because it feels just as much my achievement as his! I was with him every step of the way, running to the bushes at school to relieve him before he wets in front of everyone, picking up poo off the carpet when he threw it there after wiping his bum (I don't even know why!) and pulling over in the car at any convenient layby to pee on the wheels, getting my own hand covered with sprinkles as much as his as I had to help him shake it after. But finally we are done.

So today I see him run from the toilet with no top on. I've seen him streak, naked from the waist down loads of times as his wet pants sit on the toilet floor, but this time he was naked from the waist up! His trousers were dry, so I asked "Where is your top?"

He looked at me in the eye and said "I couldn't get to the toilet in time". I said "What?!" How do you get pee on your top and not your trousers, are you having a laugh?" (said in a tone of voice which is clearly not about joking and more said in annoyance!) "Where is your top"

He took me by the hand to the top which had a wet patch but from the positioning I could tell is was where the taps splashed him whilst he was hand washing, so I got him a new, dry top to wear. He said "I'm having a joke with you!"

Little monkey!

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: Fade Out Moisturisers



**This is a Product Review Post**

Product Name: Fade Out Skincare Products
Buy Here: Boots, Savers, Superdrug and Independent Pharmacies
Price: From £7.99 to £8.99
Star Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

The blurb: An advanced range of mass market skincare products to visibly brighten, even out skin tone and restore a youthful, natural radiance. This re-launched range is being compared to Clinique and can help solve and prevent pigmentation problems such as hyperpigmentation, freckles, age spots, melasma and sun spots, to achieve a flawless, youthful glow.

Initial Thoughts: I do suffer from uneven skin tone and dark circles under my eyes - these are just my genetic make up. My daughter has a similar complexion, but I've learned to conceal dark circles and even up my skin tone over the years with make up. So I was keen to see whether these products could make any real difference to the natural state of my skin.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to blog this, but in the interests of visual proof on this review, here is a picture of me looking very tired 'before'!

...and this is me after 4 weeks of use:


Now bear in mind that I'm make up free on both pictures (hence my reluctance to post my bare naked face!) but what do you think?
The first picture was taken when I was extremely tired one morning. I don't always look like this! Plus you have to bear in mind that the second photo is taken in more flattering light - it is sunny and I'm stood by the window against a yellow curtain, but to be honest, I personally cannot see any real difference on my skin, when I look in the mirror, as I still have uneven skin tone.

I Liked: The day and the night cream both moisturised. They were a nice, thick consistency and they kept my skin feeling moisturised and soft, but as for any 'fading out', I'd have to disagree. I don't have freckles to speak of, so for me, the aim was to even out and brighten my skin tone. I would probably say that my skin is a little brighter on the second photo, but not massively so.

I wasn't Keen: The smell of the product is not very nice. It's not stomach churning or anything, after all, I did use it for 4 weeks day and night, but it wasn't as pleasant as my usual Olay moisturiser. I stuck with it to do the trial and also I don't like to waste, but once these pots are used up, I won't be dashing out to buy new ones.

Overall: The product is a moisturiser and it does moisturise, so this product is not a total loss. I really don't like the smell all that much so now this trial is over I might just use up the pots as a body lotion and rub it on my legs where I don't have to smell it!

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

At Home Column #3 Run Your Home Like a Business!

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!



Have you ever heard of a Managing Director getting onto their hands and knees to scrub ketchup out of the carpet? Or maybe the Head of Marketing stopping during a presentation to discipline a subordinate for shouting “Poo”? I have. It happens every day in our house, *oops* “firm”.

Seriously, I used to think I worked hard doing 12 hours a day in Public Relations, but the business world is no match for the business of being a Mum! Over the 8 years I’ve been doing it, I’ve seen many similarities in home making and the world of commerce, so over this time I’ve developed ways to apply business solutions to my little home team as a way of making order out of the chaos! Here are my best tips...

First challenge – keeping them in line!

In the business world, incentives are regularly used to keep employees motivated and performing well. A company I used to work for took the top sales performers on a booze cruise or to Dubai for doing well, and the prospect of a nice jolly away from the office did wonders in producing the right attitude at work. So I have developed my own little incentive scheme in the form of a “Lucky Dip” box! Every time we visit McDonalds, I take the toy out of their Happy Meal, before they see it. I reckon that a meal out is a treat enough, so my kids don’t expect a toy too. I put these little toys into my Lucky Dip box then whenever I want to incentivise good behaviour, I promise them a dip in the box when we get home. The Lucky Dip box is a real treat and they love to rummage through and choose a new toy. Plus, it hasn’t cost me anything extra as I already had the toys! Try this – it works wonders!!

Challenge Two – Know Your Bottom Line:

In other words, know how much you are prepared to give before the deal on the table becomes unworkable for you. So the kids want a later bed time but you want some peace and quiet sooner, so offer an extra 10 minutes of play if you know you are willing to allow 30 minutes. This gives you room for manoeuver. Also consider extra incentives that you can use to sweeten the deal of going to bed on time. If they go now, they get to watch a DVD in bed for 20 minutes or they can play in their room for a bit. My daughter has become an expert negotiator which stands her in excellent stead for when she is unleashed into the working world, as she can spot a win-win deal at 20 paces! We were at the supermarket last week when she spotted a £2 headband. She doesn’t need it, but it caught her eye and she liked it, so I asked what she was prepared to give to get that headband. Based on the price tag, I decided that it was worth 2 household chores to earn the money, so we shook on the deal and she has to fold the laundry and tidy up downstairs before that headband becomes hers. She might be wearing it now but really that headband is mortgaged! She doesn’t fully own it yet!

Challenge Three: Eliminate Waste to get ‘More Bang for your Buck’!

Think of your kitchen as the engine room to your home. It produces the goods that keep the rest of the family working, but it can also be the room with the biggest cost wastage. When unused food is thrown out for being past its best and overspending occurs on luxury items, the kitchen can affect your homes’ balance sheet. So like any good restauranter, do a stock check and apply stock rotation, so the newest items are placed at the back of the cupboards and you use the oldest first. Getting the most out of your stock is good home economics, so look at how you can use every bit. I was in a cafe over the weekend and they sold delicious home-made cakes by the slice. By the till they had a box of ‘cake ends’ priced at £1.95 (a slice of cake was £1.85) but this box had a variety of cake flavours and it was just the off cuts – the bits that didn’t look ‘perfect’. I thought it was very enterprising of them to use every resource rather than just eating the off cuts themselves!!

Being the Chief Jugglista in your home is not just about ‘doing’ it all, but developing strategies to get it all done. If you apply some business thinking to your home, you can keep the plates spinning and even find some time to yourself! What are your thoughts on running your home like a business? Drop me a comment at the original article!

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