I've Moved!

Juggle Mum is now at www.JuggleMum.co.uk If you have stumbled upon this Blogspot address, you are on the old blog. This blog will no longer be updated. Please head over to www.JuggleMum.co.uk for all the latest information.

All Fur Coat & No Knickers!

Packing for a holiday is supposed to be fun, but I dropped a clanger this time. We were going to Butlins in Bognor over the Easter break and we'd decided to have 2 days in the Cotswolds beforehand, so I had two bags to pack for me and the children. One to take to the Cotswolds, and one to take to Butlins. Hubby was working so it was just me and the kids, and I thought I was pretty organised.

I remembered all the swimming stuff, I packed the kids DS consoles for the journey, I had enough clothes for each of us, but when we got to Butlins, it seems I'd not packed my 9 year old daughter's knickers! After consoling her (because it really is the end of the world to have no knickers when you are nine!) I promised to buy her some more pants on the resort, but for now she'd have to 'go commando!'

On our first day, we wanted to go to the beach, so I put her in a swimsuit and dress - she didn't need knickers for the beach! So she was happy enough, she put on her dress and her favourite fake fur coat and we headed out to meet Grandma & Grandad at the beach.

My mum and I got a blanket out so we could watch the kids running around, and I was telling the story of how I'd forgotten to pack knickers. Just then, my daughter appeared on the blanket looking so cute in her fluffy fake fur coat, and my mum just said "All fur coat and no knickers!" We fell about laughing but my daughter wasn't impressed. It was just so appropriate, one of those funny moments that I know I will remember and laugh about forever, but I'm not sure my daughter will want to share the joke!

Apart from 'knicker-gate', we all had a fabulous time away. I recorded a video which starts in the restaurant one morning when we had a 'Character breakfast' with Billy Bear and Bonnie, and ends in our room where the kids want to show you round. You will see my eldest in said fake fur coat on the video. She ended up wearing her swimwear all week as we couldn't get hold of knickers, but when we got home we discovered that I hadn't forgotten the knickers after all- I'd just packed them in the Cotswolds bag! Doh!

I have to say that you can see how nice the Butlins resort is from my video, but what it can't show you is what effect the week away had on all of us. Before the holiday we were so ready for a getaway- work, school and the daily juggle build up and you get to a stage where you need a rest, so this little anecdote describes brilliantly how we unwound on our break.

Upon arriving at the Ocean Hotel at Bognor, we checked in then took the lift to our rooms. The lifts are 'disco lifts'. It's a nice touch, a bit different, but what they are is lifts with blue lighting and popular disco music belting out as you ride. On our way to the rooms after several hours travelling in the car, we were all ready to dump the bags and eat, and my mum said crankilly
"Oh, why is there music in the lifts? We never get any peace. It would be nice to just have it quiet for a bl***y change!"

Four days later on our way downstairs in the lift to dinner, she was doing the 'YMCA' and singing along with the lift!

Disclosure: Thank you Butlins for our 4 night stay at the Bognor resort. I am a Butlins Mum Ambassador for 2011-2012 so I got to stay free of charge. All opinions in this post are not affected by the fact that we got a free holiday- knickergate really did happen as well as 'Grandma' doing the YMCA!

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Get Gorgeous While You Sleep...

I suppose it's an occupational hazard in the life of a writer to sometimes write too much. As a busy mum I have to be organised with my time and the article below is not my normal blog fodder but it is a piece that I wrote for a website that I regularly contribute to.

Only problem is, that I wrote the agreed article well in advance and had it scheduled for delivery the week before the deadline, when the Editor came back to me and changed the story! I did a completely new feature for the website but I didn't want to waste all my work on this one, so here you go! The piece is about how to squeeze in a beauty routine when you don't think you have the time! Enjoy!

Having a dewy complexion and smooth hands with glossy nails is easy, and you can do it while you sleep! If you’ve had no time for yourself over the winter, here’s a quick and simple way to get ‘spring fresh’ before the clocks go forward!

Beauty sleep is our best way to stay young looking and clear headed, but what if you could maximise the time you spend sleeping to get your body looking buff too? The key is to be organised! All it takes is five minutes before you turn out the light and a bedside box of tricks and you will have softer skin, stronger nails and tanned limbs in just a few weeks!

Our bodies have been cooped up all winter so before you embark on your quick and easy bedtime beauty plan, get down to some routine maintenance. Take a soak, shave your legs and underarms, remove old nail polish and pluck your eyebrows to give yourself a ‘blank canvas’. From now on it will take just five minutes a night to unleash your inner goddess.

• Stock your bedside drawer with some essentials. If the products you need are close to hand, you won’t be tempted to miss a night.

• For tanned limbs: use a sunless tanner. Something that you can use daily to build up a natural looking glow over several weeks.

• For ‘sandal ready’ feet: smooth over a thick foot cream to soothe tired feet and combat the dried, cracked skin that forms on your heels over the winter.

• Radiant skin: choose a night cream suited to your age. Creams can work harder during the night as they don’t have make up on top of them, and use a special eye cream too for the thinner skin on your eye area. Dark circles can be reduced by taking time to moisturise here.

• Bright eyes: you are about to sleep but before you do, use an eye drop to moisturise your eyeball. Eyes can become dry and irritated after contact with the elements and a quick drop each night will help keep them well watered and clean.

• Luscious lips: Pat on some lip balm so your pout stays pert and lips feel soft.

• Stronger nails: apply a nail strengthener nightly to beat cracked, brittle nails. Also keep an emery board in your bedside drawer to keep the shape neat. It’s best to apply the nail strengthener last in your routine so it can dry whilst you drift off to sleep. Just remember to keep your hands above the duvet until it is touch dry!

Once you’ve added all the ingredients, sleep away for eight hours letting your lotions and potions do their job and wake up to a smoother and glossier you. Even with a busy schedule you can be a yummy mummy – all it takes is five minutes a night!

That's it! Normal service is now resumed:-)

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My TV Ad Starts on Monday!

So when you are tucking into your Cornflakes on Monday, watching Daybreak, the adverts will come on and wait! Just a second, isn't that Nadine? YES!

The photo above is a still from the TV advert that I'm in which will be shown on ITV1 and Sky Channels from Monday. It is to advertise the new website My Family Club, a website aimed at families to help them save money and run their homes and lives more effectively. If you look really hard at the ad, you will notice that the picture on the wall behind me is going to show me and my children on the telly but here it is a landscape. The magic of television eh?

To appear on this TV ad, I won a competition. I had to submit my best money saving tip by video - here is my tip, which my friends have told me is really good!!

The day was a lot of fun and I enjoyed meeting the crew and seeing what they did. The Director was a guy called Will Smith (not the actor!) and he was lovely. Here he is, taking me through my lines...

So I'll be on air from Monday and I'll try to tweet before the relevant ad breaks so people get chance to see it. I'm @Businessmum on Twitter if you want to follow me to get the tweets. I should have a list of when this ad is scheduled so I can be timley! If you want to see the website in question, then check out www.MyFamilyClub.co.uk

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Have You Gone Away Over Easter?

We have... to Butlins! We are there now!

It feels so odd to be writing a post announcing that I'm away as normally I'm so security conscious. I don't like to Tweet, blog, Facebook post or otherwise let anyone know any of my actions before I go away because it's like advertising that your house will be empty, but on this occasion, mine won't because my husband isn't coming!!

This is the first time I've gone away without him, but the kids and I are here with Grandma & Grandpa at Butlins in Bognor for a 'schools out' break and he has to work. Thankfully my kids are a bit older now, travelling with them is easier. We still have to make frequent toilet stops for my 4 year old, but at least they don't usually scream the place down if they have to wait for food, so it's easier for me to travel with them alone.

This break is especially nice because it's Grandpa David's 76th birthday today so we can have a lovely celebration tea later on! I packed his card and pressie before I came so I was super organised!

With the weather being so changeable recently, I've been extra cautious and packed warm boots and sandals, plus plenty of layers - you never know what the weather will be like at all do you?! I'm hoping we'll see some sun and get to the beach whilst we are here, but either way at least there is plenty to do.

Next week the kids are back in the school routine and I have to get back on track with my Slimming World. I have had this week off to enjoy my holiday, having puddings every night but that can't last forever! Whatever you are doing this week, have fun and enjoy the last few days before the clock watching begins again!

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The Difference Between Postal Deliveries

I don't usually like to moan, but Royal Mail had me fuming last week!

I got a parcel in the post- quite an interesting looking parcel I think. It was a large padded Jiffy bag which obviously had several items in it. This parcel arrived torn open with one of the items inside missing, and was given to me by an apologetic post delivery lady with details of how to complain!

This might not sound like reason to be fuming, but it is not the first time that I've had parcels and brighly coloured envelopes delivered to me already opened. On my last birthday, one of my cards had already been examined. I suspect that the person who opened it thought that there might be cash inside, but thankfully it was just a card. I've also had some foodstuffs sent to me in the post where the outer package was opened. Big packets seem really exciting when you don't know what's in them. When this one was opened, all my foodstuffs arrived intact - the person who opened that item obviously didn't fancy a fat free vanilla pudding, but it's irritating to get your post delivered to you in a clear plastic bag with a standard Royal Mail apology on it, saying that occasionally post gets damaged in transit. Strangely enough, none of my letters about Council Tax, utility bills, post in plain brown envelopes or junk mail arrives damaged - only the 'exciting' looking stuff.

So what was in my damaged package? I was sent some Dettol cleaning wipes for the kitchen and bathroom from a lovely PR, and also a Dettol No Touch was in there too- this is one of those handwash and dispenser systems that has a sensor so you don't have to press a pump to get your soap. Guess which item was missing when my post arrived? Let's just say I have a very clean kitchen and bathroom!

The Dettol stuff was sent to me because they have just launched a new Power & Pure range which cleans with no chemical residue so it is safe for mums to use around their children. Because it doesn't use bleach, the need to wipe away afterwards is removed too- saving time on the cleaning, and we all want to know how to save time don't we? I tried out the wipes and I found them nice smelling and effective at getting up the dirt, so I'm glad I got to try them out. Personally I prefer wipes to sprays when it comes to cleaning, if I can help it- as I find them easier to whizz round, but the Power & Protect range comes in a spray too. You can learn more here: www.dettol.co.uk

So that was one delivery last week and contrast that to my other experience. One lunchtime, a DHL van pulled up outside and the driver came to my door with a large box. I knew that Kellogg's were planning to send me a box of their new Mini Max cereal to try, but imagine my surprise when I got 10 boxes- a whole crate!! I think the driver thought I'd won a competition or something, but I skipped inside carrying my cereal! Much as I love cereal I didn't think I could eat 10 boxes, so I kept three for myself then gave the rest out to my family and friends. The school run mums were happy that day when I turned up with 5 boxes of Mini Max to give out! Here is me pulling along the extras!

This new cereal is made with wholegrain wheat to help you stay fuller longer, and I found it really tasty too. My kids weren't willing to give it a try unfortunately. My daughter likes her bacon for breakfast and my son can be fussy anyway, but I will definitely eat the Mini Max myself- all three boxes worth! If you want to try it for yourself, it is in supermarkets now.

**I want to thank Kellogg's for the free cereal they sent me and also Dettol for the Power & Pure wipes. The lovely PR is also popping another Dettol handwash into the post for me as my last one went astray, so thank you for that too!

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Shall I Slip Into Something A Little More Comfortable?

That's just it - all my clothes are a little TOO comfortable - they are all too big!! It feels so nice to say this - a lot better than saying "My clothes are too tight" which is something that I've said a lot over the years!

Last weekend I had a massive clear out of my wardrobe because I've lost more than a stone in weight since January, and dropped two dress sizes. I've been going to Slimming World which has been brilliant in offering team support and some fresh ideas of things I can cook so I don't go down the 'eating the same thing all the time and getting bored' route! It is working. Apart from a week each month when I go a little off the rails for reasons you ladies will understand, I've found the plan easy to stick to and as long as I use the website and magazine for recipe ideas, I've had so much variety I can't get bored!

So what to do with all my big clothes? The timing is perfect because TK Maxx have just launched a campaign in April called 'Give up Clothes for Good'. This is the fifth annual campaign which encourages people to take quality used clothing to their nearest TK Maxx store during April, which will then be passed to Cancer Research and sold in the charity shops, with the proceeds going to fund research into children's cancer

I've got a couple of pairs of jeans (really nice ones too!) plus a few tops and two flowery dresses to donate which should raise some money for a great cause whilst clearing some room for me in my wardrobe! Fortunately I have some 'smaller' clothes to wear- things that I've been storing for the past 4 years or so and can now fit into again so I'm not completely naked!

For more info about the TK Maxx campaign, see here: http://www.tkmaxx.com/page/giveupclothes/give-up-clothes/page/giveupclothes

For Slimming World, see here: http://www.slimmingworld.com/

But if you are in the Methley area of West Yorkshire, my Sister in Law is about to open up the latest new Slimming World group (on 24th April)! Stop by and say "Hi" and in a few weeks you too could be clearing out your bigger clothes! Lyndsey's group is at Methley Village Centre on Tuesdays at 0930 - tell her that 'Juggle Mum' sent you!!

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Nadine in Internet Video Sensation!

Did the headline make you think this would be a 'Tulisa sex tape' kind of post? Sorry to disappoint if that's what you were after but I really do have some great news about me and video and the internet at large!

This blog has been shortlisted for a BiB Award which stands for 'Brilliance in Blogging', and it is one of 20 blogs that are shortlisted in the 'Video' category!

Video Shortlist

The funny thing is, when I appealed for a few votes a fortnight ago on this blog, it wasn't even for that category! I was going for 'Inspirational blog' but I guess my readers had other plans and thought my videos were better! *Thank you!*

Doing videos on my blog has always been a passion of mine and I have plans for some great new videos in the coming months too but if you wanted to see all my videos in one place, check out my YouTube Channel.

What happens now is that the voting has started for all the blogging categories and I would like to ask you all, dear readers, if you would do me the honour of voting for this blog!! Every single vote helps me get to the final and being a finalist in a blogging awards would be the best thing ever! I've never been in a blog award final before and would LOVE to have the chance to get glammed up - I may even get my tiara out again and be the 'queen for a day'. Remember this picture when I got onto BBC Radio Leeds?

To vote it is REALLY simple. It will take about 30 seconds, I promise! Just go to this page: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/bibs_shortlist and you can see all the categories and the shortlisted blogs. Go to category number 6 for the 'Video Award' and this blog, Juggle Mum is blog number 8. Just tick the box next to 'Juggle Mum' and go to the bottom of the page to click on 'DONE'. That's it!! You don't have to give your details, you don't have to fill out a complex form, just vote for me and submit the vote, that's all there is to it! However you can only vote once from your computer so if you want to vote for other bloggers in other categories, make sure you do it all on the same form!!

If you wanted further proof of how importantly I take my video blogging, check out this recent post I did on Juggle Mum, which was a challenge to survive a day without paper! HP set the challenge and I wrote my script, shot each segment of video, recorded it (with the help of my children!), edited the video and published it to this blog. I was paid for doing this video which goes to show how modern marketing methods for big companies are changing - turning to vloggers like me to help them get their message out alongside their other promotional activities. I have been paid for doing several videos on my website, not all of them, and I do put a note into the blog post where 'sponsored content' is shown but isn't that fab? How mums these days can be at home with the kids and still make money from doing something that they love?

There are exciting times ahead for video blogging and I will be at the forefront of them, showing you what I've been up to and how I did it so if you are interested in getting a bit of the action for yourself, you can see how! It would mean such a lot to me to be a finalist in this awards category, so please do cast a vote my way, and if you have any thoughts about what kind of topics you would like to see me cover in future video blogs, leave a comment below and I will make a list of future videos to do!

Here is where you can see which blogs were shortlisted for all the categories and the link to the voting form is here too.

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