Oops! You Caught Me Changing!


Thngs are changing on this site.

It's time for a re-fresh, so whilst I'm busy getting things into mint condition, keep in touch with me on my other websites and projects.

Find me on my blog, JuggleMum

I'm also on Twitter @Businessmum

My G+ page is here

Children's Fancy Dress Review



**This is a Product Review Post**

Product Name: Fancy Dress Costumes by Mega Fancy Dress
Buy Online Here: www.megafancydress.co.uk
Price: £19.99 each
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The blurb: Mega Fancy Dress stock a huge range of Mens, Ladies, and Kid's fancy dress Costumes and all the necessary fancy dress accessories. We aim to provide our customers with the largest range of high quality products at the lowest prices around and have something to suit any theme or budget, and just to sweeten the deal that bit more we also offer same day dispatch and next day delivery options meaning that even if you leave things to the last minute it will be still with you in time for the party. Whatever the theme or budget, we've got everything you need to make your night out perfect.

Initial Thoughts: When I initially browsed the website I was pleasantly suprised at the range they had in stock. There was everything from pirates and ballerinas to Disney characters and the wild west! They had loads of stuff for adults as well as children, but kids being kids, my children chose an outfit from the Disney range. My daughter wanted to try Rapunzel, having seen the recent Tangled movie, and my son opted for his all time fave- Buzz Lightyear.

I Liked: The boys Buzz Lightyear outfit was awesome! It came with 'EVA parts' (this is what it said on the packet but to touch it felt slightly rubbery or sponge-like to me). But these bit really made the outfit more robotlike. The chest panel was made from EVA so when my son was wearing it, the chest really stood out, and there was even a wing at the back made from EVA and attached by velcro to complete the outfit. My son spent the whole time using one of the buttons on his arm to 'zap' me and shout "Buzz Lightyear, Space Ranger" - it's fab how they really get into character!

I wasn't Keen: The girls' outfit was lovely- very 'princessy' and was good quality, but we were a little disappointed that the Rapunzel hair braid that came with the costume was in two parts! The long braid was attached in the middle by velcro. I couldn't see why- whether this was a safety thing or just because the hair strands only come in one length so to get it long enough they had to make it in two halves? But it made for a little confusion at first. However the rest of the costume was lovely and my daughter will have fun playing dress up for many times to come!

Overall: The kids outfits were really cute and had enough detail to make them buy into the character that they were being. It's nice for kids to play some 'make believe' rather than passively sitting on their bums watching telly so I'm happy that these costumes will feature well in play sessions the future when we are at home all day and the kids are 'bored'. How can you be bored when you are a Space Ranger or a princess?!

At Home Column: Businessmum Luxuriates At Home!


I don’t know if it is the clocks going back, bringing darker days and darker nights, or if it is the cold weather so the woollies come out, but recently I’ve been yearning to hibernate!

Running a business, daily work, doing the school run, running a home – all of these things mean that I have to get out of bed on a morning, there is no choice, but my cosy bed is looking more and more inviting the further we get towards winter. This is why I decided to have a cosy day at home during the weekend!

Sometimes a duvet day is exactly what you need to nourish your soul in the winter months. Busy mums spend most of the time rushing round after everyone else, but we should make sure we have at least one weekend day off in the winter time to stay at home, watch DVDs, eat chocolate and pamper ourselves with luxury bath products.

When you are doing the daily juggle, it’s easy to forget to have fun sometimes. Like any special event, a relaxing day at home needs some advance planning, so here is my check list that every Jugglista needs for her own special duvet day!

First, in advance of your duvet day, wash your bedding! It makes the experience much nicer when you have clean crisp sheets to crawl into!


Next, dig out some cosy pyjamas. I have to confess, there’s nothing more appealing to me than a lovely new set of jammies so if I can afford to I like to get a new pair, or ask people for them for birthdays and Christmas then I can save them for a special duvet day.


After this, choose the movies you want to watch in advance and get it on DVD, or, if you have Sky TV, flick through the menu a week or so before your duvet day to see what movies are showing then set record. It’s a good idea to do this regularly anyway, as there are some great family movies on during the week when we don’t have time to watch them, and it feels like we are making the most out of the monthly subscription if we have recorded a few to have on the ‘Planner’ in case we get chance on a Sunday!


So you have set the scene, chosen your outfit and sorted the entertainment next we move onto the food. On a duvet day I like easy to prepare food that doesn’t require any chopping or extra thinking about so a pizza is a safe choice. I also like to have some chocolate in the cupboard... just because!


Another part of the day will involve having a bubble bath and painting my nails so I make sure that I have a nice nail colour in and also enough bubbles!


Now that all parts of the duvet day are in place, all you have to do is to enjoy it! In my house, what would typically happen is that the kids would see me about to have a bubble bath and get into a comfy bed with a stack of movies then decide they want to be part of it too, so if you want your day solo, have your partner take the kids out somewhere. I don’t mind the kids joining me though... as long as they don’t bounce around in the bed or try to take my chocolate!



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

At Home Column - Red-dy Steady Girl!





I’ve been blonde for eight years after a lifetime of brown hair. But recently I took the plunge to become a redhead! Do you like it? I love this colour – it’s very subtle but it warms up my complexion a bit and I’ve been told it brings out my eyes. So what made me take the plunge you ask? It’s one of those ‘life stage’ things.

You’ve heard of women who at the end of a long relationship have a drastic haircut, or when they move house change their whole décor style? Well my life stage is the end of the baby years at Business Mum’s house!

My son started full time school last month and so for the first time in eight years, I once again have control over my days. When he was in nursery I had to be aware of the clock if I went anywhere in the morning because I’d need to be back for 11.45am to collect him. The afternoon was the same as I’d have the school collection for my daughter so I’d have to think about the times I made appointments and couldn’t travel very far. Now my days have opened up and I can even meet a friend for a leisurely lunch!

Having six un-interrupted hours a day is great for business too. I have now made a start on all the plans I’ve had ‘on hold’ due to a lack of time and I’ve been able to take on more freelance work.

The playgroups where I’d drink coffee with the other mums whilst watching my toddler stagger round pushing an activity walker are now business meetings in a City Centre Starbucks. The baby highchair at home has been replaced with a pair of high stools at my breakfast bar. My baggy tunic style tops that cover everything beneath have been phased out and I’m wearing more form fitting shirts and shift dresses.

This next stage of my life is wonderful. I’ve got all these beautiful baby memories of my children without the accompanying sleepless nights and I get to watch them develop as little people, learning to navigate the world without me, and stand on their own two feet. I know how lucky I am – I’m a big believer in living in the moment, noticing what happens each day and not rushing through my life. But this is especially relevant now – in these precious few years before my young school children become teenagers then young adults with lives of their own.

I was brunette until I had children. Became blonde as a mother and now as a life experienced woman who is getting time to pursue her own interests again, I’m embracing these new changes with an outward change. I’m planning to make some wardrobe edits in the coming months, and who knows what other changes will happen. But whatever it is I’m ‘red-dy, steady, go!’



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

Review: Giant Outdoor Jenga Game


**This is a Product Review Post**



Product Name: Mega Hi Tower in a Bag by Garden Games.co.uk
Buy Online Here: http://www.gardengames.co.uk/acatalog/Giant_Jenga.html
Price: £49.99
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The blurb: Giant Jenga Games - Our very first product was Hi-Tower, and in the last fifteen years we have sold over 100,000 units of Giant Tumble Tower games. They really will make your party go well, entertaining both young and old all day long. One of our tower games will last for years and prove to be a hit year after year.

Initial Thoughts: Having never played a game like Jenga, I didn't know the concept until this game arrived and I read the instructions. 'Sounds simple enough' I thought, and once we'd got the tower erected- it was, and was actually a lot of fun!

I Liked: My kids played with Grandma whilst I took the photos! You can see the game in play above, and here is the 'after' shot!


The game can be enjoyed by all ages- so would be fantastic for a summer garden party. Everyone can get stuck in and we all found it quite addictive!

I wasn't Keen: I felt the instructions could have been clearer. The game itself is simple enough to grasp but constructing the tower caused 10 minutes of discussion about how to lay the wooden bricks. They are supposed to be laid with three in a row, no gaps between them, then three on top going in the other direction, but we originally built the tower with two batons parallell to each other then two more on top going in the other direction, to form a 'square' when you look down. This formation would make a fast game as it would be over when the first brick is removed! We figured it out in the end though, and now we know how to stack the tower it seems so simple, but even the simplest things can be mis-interpreted.

Overall: The game is a classic, so I'm sure we will be using it summer after summer in the garden for years to come and as it is so universal in appeal, at least the kids won't grow out of it.

Getting Fruity! At Home Column


As I write, I’m enjoying the baking smell that is coming from the kitchen – I’ve got an apple pie in the oven! Last Sunday we had a pork dinner with homemade apple sauce, and I also bought a juicer recently in which I made some apple juice to drink – but I still have two large bowls of apples picked from our tree to do something with, and I’m running out of ideas!

The tree in our back garden yields a massive amount of apples each year. In August and September we get ready to pick what we can manage and what we can’t ends up going rotten in the floor. It’s such a waste, but until now, I haven’t had the time nor the inclination to deal with them. However I think getting older broadens your interest in other activities like gardening and particularly the current economic climate has piqued my desire to reduce food bills and become more self-sufficient, so I’ve started to pay attention to food and look at what else I can grow.

My nanna used to grow her own vegetables, and so when I mentioned that I’m planning a vegetable patch, she gave me some tips on what is easy to grow and even bought me a couple of ‘how to’ books. It is quite a large undertaking for me to get my head round- growing my own food, and can be quite overwhelming, but one of the books helped grow my confidence with the catch-line, “If peasant people can do it - so can you!”

I’ve learned the best times of year to plant seed, and my onions will start the planting process in January next year so until then I’m busy planning the patch I will have, clearing the ground where I will plant and getting my bricklayer husband to build some beds. The big question is can this office dwelling, Shellac manicured Jugglista make food worth eating? Only time will tell…




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

At Home Column - Happy Birthday to Me!


Apparently I look like a monkey and I smell like one too! This is what my kids told me as they sang out on my birthday morning! Then, as is the tradition in our house, we all climbed into my bed and I opened my cards and presents. I love this- it’s a great excuse for another cuddle with the kids.

My parents call me at about 8am to sing ‘Happy Birthday’, and this is as far as I got with replaying family traditions, because what happened next has not happened before. Mum was talking about us going round for a birthday tea, then she said “Just think, 38 years ago today I was in the hospital having you!”

“Erm, Mum – I’m 37!”

“No you’re not! You’re 38 today!” I couldn’t believe she was even arguing with me about it. But she insisted I was 38, because she said she was 62.

“Mum, you’re adding another year to my age! Don’t wish my life away!” I know after you turn 30 that it’s easy to have to think for a minute when someone asks your age. It doesn’t seem to matter as much after 30 than it did before then. I’ve had moments where I’ve had to really concentrate before answering as I couldn’t recall whether I was 35 or 36, but my own Mum has never got it wrong before!

She started working it out – determined to prove me wrong, but when she did the maths she realised that I was indeed 37. So then for some reason that I’ll never know, I got all indignant and said how I’d never forget MY daughter’s age! It’s like no matter how old and supposedly mature you get, you can still act like a brat with your parents. I’m sure when I’m 62 I’ll have times where I need my daughter’s young brain to refresh my memory, but I’m really hoping I won’t need help to remember those things that a mother doesn’t forget. Like your child’s date of birth or their weight when they were born.

Anyway mum redeemed herself. She offered to babysit that night so hubby and I could have a night out. Parents of young children will know, you don’t get many occasions to go out as a couple without the kids, so we made the most of it by doing a ‘double header’ at the cinema - two movies, back to back! The last time we did that was in 1994 at the Odeon on Kensington High Street when we saw Pulp Fiction and Leon before getting the number 52 bus home. This was before we got married, living in our one bedroom flat in London, with a carefree lifestyle – we didn’t need to plan our time, we could go out on a whim. This time life has certainly changed. The preparations were part of the daily juggle and involved putting kids into pyjamas before we left, furnishing them with a drink, favourite teddy bear, instructions to Grandma to put them to bed BEFORE she gets stuck in to Downton Abbey, a round of kisses, cuddles and “We’ll be back before you know it”. It took us 20 minutes to get out of the door, and ironically, do you know what films we saw?

The Change Up followed by ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’!



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

 

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