The Verdict!


I've used it 12 times and the verdict of the jury in the Juggle Mum household is.... (drumroll)

Quantumatic is cool!
It has its good points and bad points, but overall I think it does an excellent job of getting the really grotty stuff off the pots! This picture was taken on the day of my shoot with the photographer and he wanted all the dirty pots leaving out!

Here are my reasons 'For' Quantumatic:
-I used to scrape off any 'baked on' food debris before loading into the dishwasher when I used tablets, with Quantumatic, I don't have to- it gets it all off!
-It's easy having 12 wash cycles in one unit so I don't have to always check I've put the tablet in. I'm always good to go!
-I feel confident that the plates & glasses are clean as the first time I used Quantumatic, steam literally came out of the top of the machine, I've never noticed that happening before, so I think it was the Quantumatic making the wash a lot hotter!

Here are my reasons 'Against' Quantumatic:
-It takes up the space of one glass in my top rack- with a family, every space counts!
-It costs more than the tablets. I buy tablets in bulk from Costco or when they are on promotion in the supermarket so you'd have to stock up on Quantumatic when they are on BOGOFF or whatever the special deal is!

How I'd improve Quantumatic:
...with the instructions! On the pack it didn't tell me where to position the Quantumatic other than 'in the top rack' so after the first wash I was hopeful that I'd done it right! I didn't know if it should be toward the back of the machine on the top rack, or to the side or if centre would be best. I went for positioned centre, to the front and the results were ok but it would have been nice to have some clearer instruction.

A funny story about the Quantumatic:
When I was positioning it in my machine for the first time, my hubby walked in and said "What's that - a bomb?!" I can see his point - it does look like something that Jack Bauer would diffuse in 24!!

How I'll use Quantumatic in future:
I still have loads of tablets to use up so I'll probably use those on my everyday washes, and use the Quantumatic for the heavy duty casseroles and Sunday Dinners.

This is a sponsored post- the opinions are my own.
Thanks for reading! You are looking hot today! x

At Home Column #11 - Life's Little Details

Mums love details. Fact. They need them in order to run their lives, and don’t forget, we are also managing the diaries and lives of our offspring too! I was in the gymnasium recently at my daughter’s parents evening to discuss her progress with the Head Coach.

She has been taking gymnastics for just under a year now but since birth she has never been the right way up! When she needs to get from one side of the room to the other, she doesn’t walk, she forward rolls! Gymnastics is in her blood, so when we found this group, we were both delighted. Her, because she could learn her craft, and me because it gave her an outlet for all her energy and would help her to develop control over her own body.

So we were discussing her progress and the Coach mentioned she’d like to move my daughter into a new training group that would be picked on ability. This would mean that she’d start training with a view to entering competitions. It would be highly disciplined and a big commitment. There would be three training sessions per week and extra on the lead up to competitions. Or, we could opt to have her go to a different training group which would have a more recreational focus. She’d do her badge work and continue to learn her movements and develop her skills, but the pressure of competitions wouldn’t be there.

Whilst I was listening to all this, I’m thinking – “I need the details!”, I need to know what times and what days the training sessions for all of the above will be on. I need to know what the new group is going to cost, and how many competitions would be likely per year. I can’t hope to make an informed decision with my daughter without the details!

Daily Juggle
Details are so important to help us manage our lives more effectively. I hate to waste time but I find I have a lot of small windows of time in my day, because of school runs, nursery runs and other fixed regular appointments like most mums up and down the country. These segments of time are not long enough to hope to get large projects done, so I have to break up most of my activities into a ‘little and often’ cycle. I can get a little done now and a little done later and over the course of the week it all gets done, but if I had a few concentrated hours to just get on with it, I would certainly have more free time! However when I know the details of when and where my little pockets of ‘dead time’ would be, I can plan something suitable to fill them, so I’m not wasting the time but using it more productively. I’m a bit of a planner by nature, it’s the Jugglista in me, so a few years ago I even brought out a personal organiser for busy women called The Busy Book which is like a desk diary with sections for helping to stay organised! My love for time management is such that I needed to make my own diary!

Too many details
There is however a difference between productive details and pointless fact churning. There was media hype in Australia last year when tennis star Lleyton Hewitt released the name of his new baby daughter via a premium rate SMS service so fans had to pay $2 each to learn that the baby was called Ava! I’m all for a bit of celebrity gossip but I wouldn’t pay to hear a baby’s name that will almost certainly be reported on a blog somewhere within a few weeks.

If the devil is in the details then I’d say cashing in on your baby’s name qualifies! How important are life’s little details to you? Drop me a line below...



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 At Home and leave me a comment on the post there so they get to see your opinions too!
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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, managing her small business, being a best-selling author, running her home, public speaking and finding time to get to the gym! 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

Mischievous Me!

This is me aged about 8 (middle) - the age my daughter is now!

I pulled out this photo after Tara at Sticky Fingers started pulling together a 'Blogger's Yearbook'! ...and this is Tara looking as mischievous as me!!

This photo has really cheered me up today! The day started off badly, as my daughter sneezed into my Weetabix so I did the school run hungry as I didn't fancy a side order of snot! On the way out of my drive, I smashed my car's wing mirror. By the time I'd got to school I'd abandoned the idea of going to the gym and headed for McDonalds instead to load up on a Sausage & Egg McMuffin and a latte! Then the guilt started. I missed the aerobics class last Monday too! I've worked so hard to lose 2 stone and I don't want to start creeping back up the scales.

So when I found this picture to include in the Blogger's Year Book, I looked at the cheeky girl in the middle. Yes, I was the sort of girl who would sneeze in someone's breakfast too! I also used to get told off for chatting in class, I once got put on report for peeing in the showers when the school went to swimming lessons and when I was a teen, I sneaked out of the bathroom window onto the carport roof and went dancing to 'Rooftop Gardens'!! Yes, it was a cheesy club I was too young to be in, and I had a great time until my mum found out I wasn't in my bed and came to the club looking for me! My daughter is an angel in comparison to me, so I'm turning today around and counting my blessings that I don't have to parent the young miss in the picture above! I can't wait to see the finished Yearbook!

Thanks for reading! You are looking hot today! x

The Jury's Out.....

I'm in the middle of my Quantumatic trial and still deciding what I think of it.

My initial thought when I saw the product was that it takes up space in my glass rack - the space of 1 glass. In my household, I need to get as many glasses in as possible so my usual tablets are more space saving than the big butch Quantum!

When I put the first load in with the Quantumatic, it seemed such a momentus occasion that I refilled my rinse aid and the dishwasher salt! They were due for topping up anyway but at least I started the trial with everything to play for!

Here is me and my 'challenge':



...and this is the 'after'!



I really was impressed that the baked on stuff on the baking tray was gone. I'm still taking notes and deciding which i prefer - tablets or Quantumatic, so I'll have my final verdict soon!

Thanks for reading! You are looking hot today! x

At Home Column #10 - Posh in 60 Seconds!

I made it my mission this week to find the easiest way to go from bedraggled to beautiful in one minute flat because this is all the time I usually have to work on myself on a morning – after the kids are dressed and fed, dishwasher put on and the days schoolbags and work materials collated and bundled in the car! I’ve scared the kids on the school run before now with my pale, colourless face and frizzy hair when there has been no time to get some blusher on or the GHDs out, so whilst I was in organisation mode, I decided to do a make-up edit.

I have a make-up kit on my bedroom dresser that contains everything I need to pull together a look, but often once I’ve got the kids downstairs and eating breakfast from the kitchen table, I never seem to get the chance to get back up the stairs to fix my face, and I drive to school naked (face wise anyway!), so I created a second make-up bag to keep in my glove box, so I can grab a minute when we get to school, to apply my look in the car.

The basics
This is what I’ve put together for a normal work day. The Youngblood tint (www.ybskin.co.uk) will give me a smooth base and has a nice consistency. Also, Denise Van Outen and Cheryl Cole use it so if it’s good enough for the red carpet, its good enough for my concrete streets of the school run! After that I’ve found a great colour stick from e.l.f that is a multi-tasking product – the best kind! When we are doing the daily juggle, we need our ‘stuff’ to work as hard as we do. I love this compact stick which takes up no space at all but in seconds you can add colour to your cheeks, eyes and lips, so you get a healthy glow in no time! The Complexion Perfection powder by e.l.f is another must have, I use this to even out my skin tone before I head to the gym, so my face looks more awake than I feel first thing, but then I don’t have a face full of make up to take off when I get there! (www.eyeslipsface.co.uk)

Because I have long hair, it gets in my way sometimes, but the new Linziclips will hold up long hair without putting an annoying kink in the hair, which you can get with other clips! Plus, as it has a patented flat backed design, you can do a yoga class or rest your head on an early commute without it sticking uncomfortably into your head. If you have ever tried to lay down with a regular butterfly clip in, you’ll know what I mean! You can get them from Amazon or www.linziclip.com and if you love a bit of bling, they have just brought out a fab diamante range!

Good preparation
To achieve the best look, the skin underneath needs to be well nourished, and I found pure moisturising genius from Italian spa brand Comfort Zone (www.comfortzoneskincare.com). Their Glorious Skin Serum has been dubbed ‘botox in a bottle’ and gives a lifting effect with regular use. It smells really nice too!

When you are rushing around all day, it’s easy to forget to moisturise your lips, but Eco Lips will help you to avoid neglecting your smallest area! Their lip balm has organic ingredients and is also sun protection with SPF 15. But the best thing is the aluminum carabineer clip which attached the lip balm to your bag, buggy or jacket, so you cannot fail to take it with you! (www.forever-natural.co.uk)

The multi tasking Balaton Spa Face Mask made it into my kit when I decided on a pamper night, but the kids ended up getting in the bath with me! The mask has immediate effects like a mini face lift, and the jar is enough for 16 full facials, so maybe I’ll have better luck getting some bathroom time alone next time! (www.balaton-spa.co.uk)

...and for pure glam!
The easiest way to get a highly groomed look in less than 20 seconds is to use a fake bun, but this only works if you have hair long enough to get into a ponytail- however short! All you do is clip on the ready-made bun and you look like Alesha Dixon! No seriously, you do! I can literally go from scruff to sleek in 30 seconds by scraping my hair back and using a hair-piece, and these are a bargain! They are only £14.99 from www.beautyworksonline.com - no Jugglista should be without one!

I really hope these tips help you in your busy day. If you know of any time saving beauty tips or products that I’ve missed, tell me about them below!



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 At Home and leave me a comment on the post there so they get to see your opinions too!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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, managing her small business, being a best-selling author, running her home, public speaking and finding time to get to the gym! 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

I'm on The Jury!

...but the trial isn't in a courtroom, it's in my kitchen!

I went to London this week to get the product and have a briefing as I've been invited to be a member of the jury for The Finish Quantumatic Trial!

Finish have asked 12 'house proud women' to trial the product and give it a rigorous testing! Here is the full Quantumatic product and a refill pack:



I'll be doing my regular heavy use of the dishwasher and noting what I think. After 12 washes I'll deliver my verdict! As a family of four, I have the dishwasher on daily, and we get some pretty 'baked on' ovenware, so I'll be impressed if it tackles all that. Plus, as you know I love anything that saves time, multitasks or makes life easier so I want to pay particular interest to how easy the Quantumatic is to use.

Speaking of multitasking, my dishwasher itself is an appliance with multiple benefits - I often get a mini facial if I open the dishwasher too soon after its cycle with all the steam!

Check back soon to see what I think!

Thanks for reading! You are looking hot today! x

R.I.P Time Management Mum, and 'Up Yours' to its new Owner

I'd like to take a moment's silence to grieve for the loss of Time Management Mum. She was a good sort, enthusiastic blogger and a massive supporter of us busy women.

Now I'd like to confirm it is 'Out with the old' - and 'in with the new'! This is my new blog 'JUGGLE MUM'!!!! The same fabulous design, the same *interesting* posts (about everything from va-jayjay covers to going to Number 10 Downing Street!) and the same writer - that would be me, Nadine Hill!

So why the change I hear you ask?
Well, it was all down to an error. I got this blog designed two years ago by an awesome blog designer based in the USA. I knew I wanted to call it 'Time Management Mum' and I wanted to have the 'dotcom' URL of the same name to point it to, so whilst she was designing for me, she offered to get the domain at the same time to make for an easier installation of the blog at the right address.

When the dotcom domain was up for renewal a year later, she paid the relevant fee and I paid her back. I also tried to find out how we could transfer the ownership of the domain so I wouldn't always have to bother her at renewal time, but I suspect she was so busy doing designs that she never got round to giving me the auth codes and whatever other info I needed to take control of the domain.

So this year (2011) I emailed her a month before the renewal date to ask how much the renewal would be- last time I'd paid $10, and offered to send it to her in advance. I never got a reply. I have since found out that she had changed email accounts in the last year so she didn't get my messages.

...and what happened then is that the domain lapsed, and a domain grabber from the USA swooped in and took the expired domain like a vulture spotting its lunch, and www.TimeManagementMum.com now points at a GoDaddy holding page with a badge on it saying "want us to help you try to buy this domain?"

I'm sure the *person* who did this expected me to get in touch, begging for the domain back, and offering to pay them large sums of money to acquire it! Well my message to them is "UP YOURS".

This is a copy of the email I sent the domain grabber when I had got hold off the 'whois' details for the domain:

To: joe@web1syndication.com
Sent on 13th march 2011
Subject: good luck to you, you cuckoo
Message:

Hi Joe
I see you have swooped in and bought my expired domain www.TimeManagementMum.com

A third party who bought this domain on my behalf two years ago let me down and failed to renew. If you are hoping that I will be begging you to re-purchase the domain you are sadly mistaken.

Time Management Mum is a brand I made up - it came from my imagination and my marketing skills went into making it known. You obviously don't have the creativity to create a brand yourself from scratch - you would rather swoop in and take another person's brand. You are no better than a thief.

Good luck to you in making this work. I have moved on with a new brand and a new website, Time Management Mum is OLD NEWS.

I hope you can sleep well at night.
--

Nadine Hill, Time Management Expert

Did you see me in March's issue of Pregnancy & Birth with top time tips for new mums? Issue out now!


So, I'm back as Juggle Mum - a better name, sharper, to the point, shorter and less fiddly to type in than the former! I have plans to make this blog even better - more video content, more fun and more tips, so stick with me guys! If you can update your blogrolls with this new information I'd appreciate it! (The new URL is www.JuggleMum.com)

...And after a short break from blogging (I'm taking the rest of the week to make strategic plans for the blog and let this post stay on the homepage for as long as possible), I'll be back next week with my usual two posts a week minimum!

See you then!
Nadine
x


Thanks for reading! You are looking hot today! x

Pancake Day- where my husband is NOT a caveman!

I need to explain my blog post title!
You see, hubby & I have been together for years, more than 20 to be exact, and out of all that time I'll never forget the day I lovingly prepared a tomato & mozzerella tart made with filo pastry (home-made too!), a fresh green salad with some new potatoes and a glass of white wine each and waited for him to come home and be in awe of my domestic goddess-ery!

On the day in question he came home from a long day at work (he's a builder so has a very physical job), looked at my 'trendy cafe' style meal and said "I need meat!" I'm condensing the actual conversation of that day because it's too long winded but the gist of it being that I was upset that my hard kitchen work wasn't met with the delight I was expecting, and his point being that after 10 hours of labour where all he'd had to eat was a cold sandwich, he needed something substantial when he walked in the door. Ever since that day years ago we've been laughing at this story, and I tell him he was a caveman that day!

So every night when he walks in from work, he gets his meat and two veg! I'm not going to pretend that I always cook it- I'm aware I sound a bit like a pinny wieilding 1950's housewife, running round after her man, no he's the foodie in the family and loves to cook himself, but whichever one of us cooks, meat is always on the menu.

Except for one one day of the year - PANCAKE DAY!!

This week we had a feast of pancakes. I'd been super organised and bought some Betty Crocker shake mix last week. (The easy method!)


Hubby preferred the measuring flour, eggs and water method - I told you he was a foodie! But we both made a stack for us and the kids. Here are some pictures of them enjoying them!







...except hubby had a secret. He'd stashed 2 cans of Irish Stew in the cupboard to have with his pancakes! He really does need his meat after all!

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

International Women's Day at Juggle Mum

Today is International Women's Day! A day to celebrate the achievements of women, so in the spirit of celebration, I'd like to launch my own spin on it.

Being Juggle Mum means that I value the time we spend doing nothing as much as when we are productive, so I'd like to encourage women everywhere today - take a break at some stage today to do what YOU want!

Want to enjoy a cup of tea with no distractions, curled up in a chair? Want to feel the grass under your feet? Want to soak in some bubbles? Watch your TV show? Paint your nails or cuddle your kids or your pet? Then do it today - but do ONLY that.

Don't multi-task or try to rush your activity. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you do ONLY that and be mindful and present for the time it takes, and really relish the time. It will be your gift to yourself today.

Happy International Women's Day!
x

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

On the Floor - toe tapping greatness!

I just had to share this new music video from Jennifer Lopez - I love it!


I haven't been able to stop singing it all day! Hope it makes you dance round the house & smile too!

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

Time to Myself

Look what happens when I get some time to myself...


... a kid comes in and takes a picture!!

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

A Trip Down Memory Lane - My At Home Column #9

I was clearing out the loft this week when I found an old Jackie mag, circa 1990. What’s special about this particular magazine is that it contained photo stories (remember those?!) and I was in one! It was 1990, I was at college and one of my tutors had some influence over who got used for the photo stories. A bunch of us put ourselves forward to be in one, and I got picked with three of my friends!

I played ‘Lucy’ who went out with ‘Kevin’ and we were a really annoying loved up couple, while our friends (Allison and Andy) were constantly fighting. The story was shot in the canteen of Wakefield College and the surrounding streets, and contained a ‘moral of the story’ about learning to get along in a relationship, but it was the proudest moment of my young life! I got paid £25 for appearing – a fortune to my 16 year old self, but the real excitement was actually being in a photo story. I used to devour them all as a teenage girl.


Teenage bibles
Jackie, Blue Jeans, My Guy, Just 17 - I bought every single issue. From these 'teenage bibles', I learnt how to make my own home made face masks, how to successfully paint my nails (one swipe of the brush down the middle of the nail then one swipe either side!), taught how to not leave my drink unattended or let my girlfriends walk home alone. I wasn’t really old enough to be worrying about that when I was reading these articles, but they were helping to educate me as to what it was like to be a woman – all grown up. I once remember having my Just 17 magazine confiscated at school and having my parents called in because I was reading it in class. I really shouldn’t have been reading a magazine in double maths, but it was the content of the article which bothered the teacher as I was only about 11 at the time. It was called 'How I lost my virginity' and contained anecdotes from the celebs of the day.

Now that I’m a mum myself to an eight year old daughter, I breathe a sigh of relief that her magazines are called Wizards of Waverley Place and Girl! Her pin ups are of fluffy cats and Hannah Montana. Mine were of Jon Bon Jovi and Balthazar Getty. I know the time will come when she wants to read about Justin Bieber and find out about s-e-x, but long may her beautiful innocence continue. Let me get a few more facial lines before I really have something to worry about.

Mags and moody teens

It’s only when you have children yourself that you truly learn what worrying is. Do you remember telling your teenage friends "my parents don’t understand me”, and really believing that they knew nothing about ‘first love’? Those teenage years are hard - you are figuring out who you are while being ever so sensitive to the slightest hint of criticism, clashing with your friends on a daily basis and, on top of all this, working out what you want to do with the rest of your life. It’s a lot to cope with - no wonder teenagers are moody!


When doing the daily juggle that is modern living, it can be easy to speed through life without stopping to make sure no-one is left behind. Teenage magazines like the ones I used to love are a great way of helping introduce life subjects to your children, which you can then expand upon at home with your child. Every Jugglista should have a tool-kit of strategies to help her tackle every life eventuality, and remembering what you were like and dipping back in to the teenage world is a great way to see what issues are facing kids today. I often pick up a More! magazine along with my SHE, but next time I’m at the shops I may see if there is anything ‘younger’, so I can prepare myself before my baby starts asking for explanations. 


I’d love to do another photo story but unfortunately magazines aimed at women in their mid 30’s don’t feature them! Even if they did, I’d have to get my friend ‘Kevin’ to star alongside me again, but he might not fancy it. He’s a radio DJ with a morning breakfast show now!



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 At Home and leave me a comment on the post there so they get to see your opinions too!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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

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