How Victoria Beckham helped my Son slay the Dragon!

My son was playing, running round the living room pretending to fight with his toy sword, when he suddenly stopped, went to get a book and sat down to learn 'tactics'! He can't actually read but he consulted his book and said "That's how you get the dragon" then jumped up and carried on fighting!



I went to see which book was the oracle on dragon slaying, and laughed out loud when I realised he was reading 'Victoria's Secrets' by Victoria Beckham!!

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

Cock a Doodle Doo! I met Cornelius!

Which of the following statements do you think is true?
1. I once kissed Ian Beale from EastEnders!
2. I have my face on a box of Kellogg's Corn Flakes!
3. I'm a secret game show addict and have been on Wheel of Fortune, Blankety Blank, The Weakest Link and Who Wants to be a Great Cook!

The answer is that all three are true but it's the Kellogg's Corn Flakes that came true most recently!

Last week I was invited to Kellogg's Head Office in Manchester to an event called 'Snap Crackle & Blog', an event for Mummy Bloggers. The team at Kellogg's wanted to reach out to the mummy blogging community and so got thirteen of us 'Northern bloggers' together for a day of information, cereal making and fun with the kids!



Here is a picture of me and the girls!

I'm the one doing a weird curtsy at the front. I was trying to not block anyone's head!! Do you like our jazzy aprons?

...and this is my face on a box of Kellogg's Corn Flakes


Do you know how many people I've fooled with this box? I keep telling people that these special edition boxes are on sale in ASDA with my face on and they are amazed until I crack and have to confess that that box is the only one in the world! Kellogg's kindly made a personalised box for each of us to take home as a souvenir of the day- cool, isn't it?! How many other people can say they've been featured on a box of Corn Flakes?

We had some talks from the Kellogg's MD and a nutritionist, then we were let loose on making our own cereals. Mine was called "Bling!" and involved oats and cranberries! My son came with me and loved meeting Tony the Tiger and the Coco Pops monkey (AKA Dan and Phil in Sales!) but the kids didn't seem to care!


So 'who is Cornelius' I hear you ask... Well this is the name of the cockerel who adorns the Kellogg's box. Can you believe it? I didn't realise he had a name! Isn't that cool?

Oh! ... and the Ian Beale thing? I was 12 and he did a personal appearance at a teenage hang out in the mid 80's! He was the first 'famous person' I'd ever met and he gave me a peck on the cheek!! Given the choice to go through that again, I'd rather have a bowl of Corn Flakes!

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 Cycle of Life- or of Teeth!

I think my husband feels like he's come full circle! We are childhood sweethearts- together 21 years now (and I'm only 36!) and when we met I had braces on my teeth, big bushy frizzy hair (it was only just 1990- we'd just come out of the 80's - the big hair decade!), I wore glasses and I had a face full of spots! I was quite a catch!

Bless him, but he saw through all of the 'outside' appearances and fell in love with what was inside, and me him. Appearance wise, things could only get better, and they did. I got my spots sorted under the care of a dermatologist, had laser surgery on the eyes, GHD's were invented for the hair and the braces came off. Except that a few short months ago, whilst in my thirties, I had them put back on!

Now I'm creeping up to the big 4-0, I want to fix all those niggly things we all have about our appearance. For me it is my crooked teeth. I had the teenage braces taken off soon after hubby and me got together. Not because of him I hasten to add - just me. I decided that I'd had enough, I wanted to be pretty for my boyfriend, and I thought the teeth were 'straight enough'! So against the dentists advice, I requested them off! I wish they had refused, but I suppose the customer is always right - and it's so true that you cannot put an old head onto young shoulders!

So anyway a few months ago I took the plunge and got my braces re-attached. I was worried about how they might look at first, when I went to my business meetings for example. But do you know what- they look OK. They are not a big deal, to me or anyone else, and in 18 months, they will be off and I will finally have straight teeth! Ways of caring for orthodontic braces have moved on since my teenage years and now you can get these Interdental Brushes which make life a bit easier. I can carry these round for keeping clean during the day whilst I'm out and about. It makes it easier to stick to the Orthodontists advice of actually brushing after every meal, which I have to confess, I never did as a teen!

So I've come full circle. On days when I have to time to style, my hair is just as bushy as it ever was, and the braces are back! As long as my dress sense from my late teens stays in history, I'll be ok. I don't much fancy wearing a puffball skirt on the school run!

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 #6: Go With the Snow!

If there has been one great leveller of recent weeks it has been the snow! Nature doesn’t care if you have a high powered meeting or if you have nothing in your cupboards. It doesn’t care if you have kids to get to school or if you are about to give birth at any minute. The snow has affected all of us this winter, no matter what walk of like you are treading, but like many wise mothers, Mother Nature has a subtle yet firm lesson that she wishes to communicate, and like the very best teachers, she is allowing us to learn the lesson for ourselves.

Slow down.

I bet within the last month- pre snow, that you have had at least one day where you were rushing. Maybe your life is lived at 100mph and you have forgotten how to be still? I know when I lived in London after University that I got so caught up in the pace of life, that I spent my days rushing around, on and off tubes, and I didn’t really know what I was rushing for! It did me no good. Always feeling like you are one step behind in this race you cannot win, feeling hot and bothered in my fashionable clothes, so I can’t enjoy how they look because all I am focusing on is how uncomfortable they feel. Running around is best done in lycra and trainers, not pencil skirts and high heels! When you are doing the daily juggle it can be so easy to get caught up in what you have to DO that you forget to just BE.

You’ve heard the expression ‘go with the flow’? Well I have a new one for our current weather situation – ‘Go with the snow!’ Listen to Mother Nature’s quiet but forceful lesson and take things slower. If you try to run on ice you will slip. If a baby tries to run before she can walk she’ll fall, so as adults who should know better, let’s remind ourselves of the basic laws of nature and allow ourselves a breather. Cancel any appointment that is not absolutely necessary. Once you have done your hunter/gatherer task of getting food in, close the doors, sit next to the fire (or radiator!) and snuggle close to those you love.

Whilst there have been inconveniences with this weather, I have also enjoyed how quiet the streets are in the day with a blanket of white snow over them. It has seemed peaceful and contemplative. Good time management is more than just getting things done, it is also about investing time in what matters to you. Purposefully choosing how you spend your time and the art of leaving things undone. I always say that a Jugglista is a woman who juggles like it is going out of fashion, but don’t mistake competent juggling as being frazzled. A Jugglista is a woman who knows what is important to her and puts that at the top of her priority list, just like many of us have done in this snow.

Has the snow taught you any life lessons? Drop me a comment and share your thoughts! ...and stay warm till next time!

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 at this address so they get to see your opinions too!



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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

A Long Way to Collect my Shoes!!

I went to my local cobblers this week to collect some shoes. As they say- if it's worth wearing, it's worth repairing! So I often take in scuffed heels and broken straps for fixing, having the 'make do and mend' upbringing from my Mum!



I'd been having a purse clear out and chucking old and out of date coupons and receipts, and I found my ticket stub for the shoes at the back of my purse! I'd obviously forgotten to collect them at the time, but I'd written on the back 'collect on 29th'. I knew it wasn't 29th of December as I'd have been busy over Christmas with the kids, so I thought I'd left the shoes in since the end of November.

When I got there, the man at the counter said that he clears out the unclaimed shoes every 3 months, and we deduced that it must have been June when I dropped them off! This is 6 months ago!!

When I asked what had happened to my shoes, he told me that they go into the recycling and are sent to Africa! So a woman in Africa is now enjoying my snakeskin wedges!! That made me laugh!!

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: Hotter Shoes



This is a Product Review Post
Product Name: Verdi Boots by Hotter Shoes
Buy Online Here: www.hottershoes.com

Price: £75.00 (but I've just found out they have £10 off now!!)
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The blurb: Dress up any outfit to the nines with stunning Verdi boots. Understated elegance in faux reptile or smart black, with block heels that are so contemporary for this new season. These dazzling boots ooze with hidden comfort features to make them feel good all day long.
Initial Thoughts: Having owned a pair of Hotter shoes myself before, I already knew how comfortable they were. I've had mine for a year and I still love the comfort of them, so I knew that my Mother in Law would love the feel before she had even set eyes on the boots! I ordered these for her and her initial thoughts were very positive. She liked the style of them and the quality was apparent to us both. You know how sometimes things look nice online but they disappoint when you get them up close, I'm pleased to say that these didn't!!
I Liked: Well *I* liked that they make my MIL happy!!! It's always a good result when a gift you give gets a smile!! She loved the way they looked. The picture above is her modelling them in the kitchen! She also said they were very comfy. She is on her feet a lot during the day so it's nice that now she has some warm boots that won't make her feet ache when she's in them all day!!
I wasn't Keen: The size 7's seemed a little tight at first, but my MIL assures me that they will be fine. I would feel happier if I knew that she didn't have to 'break them in' before she could have the full comfort, so maybe look at getting a half size up from your usual size when ordering. Fortunately this website does cater for half sizes which is quite unusual nowadays, so allow for thick socks with the boots!
Overall: I think the boots look lovely on her and I know that this classic but fashionable style will mean that she wears them a lot. There is a wide range of styles to choose from on the website and they are getting much more fashionable than a year ago. When I first looked at the Hotter offering, there was only 1 style that I found 'trendy' enough to review, whereas now they have quite a few shoes 'of the moment'. I'd say that my Mother in Law and my Mum are the perfect target market for this brand as their styles are exactly the sort of thing they like!!



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

Get Knitted!!

I have a little secret- I can knit!! Well, I'm just learning actually, but this is what I have just made- my super chunky snood/scarf!



Do you like it? My daughter took this pic today! She is off school this week with a cold, but we were collecting the young 'un from nursery at mid-day.
This is us.


...and this is us when we'd collected 'the boy'!!



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 #5: The Busy Mum's Bucket List!



Mums lead the way in time management, even the most disorganised mum is a million times more effective with her day than she was pre-kids. But what’s the use in shaving time off the boring but necessary tasks if we don’t use the time we save to our own ends? I think it’s pointless to get a job done quickly just to do more jobs, so I’m asking mums to really have a think about what they want from life, and make time for it.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my Bucket List! I’m not being morbid or anything but I see my babies getting bigger and with my youngest is at nursery now, there is a realisation that time is ticking. Before I kick the bucket I want to be sure I’ve done most of the things in life I really fancy, so I compiled a little list! Hopefully it will inspire you to write your own list then start doing some of the things you want to do. Doing the daily juggle can keep you very grounded in reality, and it’s nice to have a dream, so for every Jugglista out there, take 10 minutes out of your day this week to lie back and dream up your own list. See if any of my ambitions resonate with you....

  • Go to Fashion College – done!
  • Write a book – done!
  • Go to a music festival – in progress!
  • Dine at Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons
  • Travel on the Orient Express for my 25th wedding anniversary
  • Stay at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills
  • Take in a show at the Moulin Rouge, Paris
  • Do a sky dive from 20,000 feet
  • Learn to play the piano
  • Go in a submarine to view a shipwreck – maybe Titanic!
  • Visit Niagra Falls
  • Perfect the art of juggling three balls – in progress!
  • Make a model village of my home and surrounding area
  • Stay in my pyjamas all day and watch every box set of 24
  • See a headline show in Las Vegas
  • Take my children to see Santa in Lapland
  • Attend the TED talks in America
  • Eat strawberries and cream at Wimbledon’s Centre Court
  • Climb the Eiffel Tower
  • Prepare a Christmas dinner for all the family – by myself! I am learning, this one is in progress!
  • Go behind the scenes at Walt Disney HQ
  • Fill up my Pandora bracelet – in progress!
  • Learn how to blow glass
  • Go to a red carpet film premiere
  • Complete all the levels on the game Donkey Kong
  • Go on a champagne Hot Air Balloon ride
  • Be a guest speaker on a luxury cruise-liner

So what’s on your Bucket List? What you want to do? Have you done any of the things on mine? If so, let me know how you found them! Drop me a comment below to share!

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 at this address so they get to see your opinions too!