100 minute hour

My two youngest still nap for an hour at lunch, this is my saving grace when it comes to keeping ahead and yes, they could probably manage without it now and again but I definitely couldn’t! I usually plan in my head in the morning exactly what I want to fit into that time frame and it ensures I’m chilled with the kids because I don’t have numerous chores to fit in when they want to play.

Example – this Saturday I had a big girls night out, so Friday lunch hour:

12.30 – put a colour on my hair

12.45 – topped up my Shellac nail colour from Christmas

12.55 – mopped the kitchen

hair dyed, nails done..on to the mopping!

13.00 – loaded the washing machine ready to turn on when kiddiwinks awake

13.03 – emailed local nightclub to organise VIP entrance (girl’s nights out are such a treat it had to be done haha!)

13.05- tweezered my brows

13.10 – showered and rinsed hair, body brushed and face scrubbed!

13.20 – epilated under arms

13.22 – hung evening outfit up

13.25 – took Saturday’s meals out of freezer to defrost

13.26 – put roast chicken in oven for tea

13.28 – kettle on and cup of coffee made

13.30 – kids up!

Now that, pre-kids, would have taken at least a day and a half!

I could have easily tried to fit that around the kids on Saturday but will have undoubtedly not achieved half of it in double the time and it left me Friday night for my first bootcamp session – the pain!!

Diaries are Dead!

Syncing makes multitasking a cinch

Manic multi-tasking is a true art-form and women are pretty darn good at it. It comes naturally to most of us and it is the very best and underestimated skill to have on this earth!

The tests start rolling in with kids, the first real test with kids plus work AND the uber test comes with multiple kids, a social life (yup we are allowed!) plus a serious work schedule!

I’m a demon possessed most days and achieve a lot in 24 hours, but when I missed my son’s first non-uniform day my happy world collapsed and the guilt rolled in like a huge thunderstorm. I vowed never again.

I know you can’t always keep all balls in the air and I would have coped if it was a work-thing, but just the forlorn face of my five year-old still haunts me now 😦

So…..I googled, synced and installed plug-ins so now my work, home and social diary is all on my iPhone. This has been the most valuable tool for me to manage the manic circus life!

Every morning I switch it on when I wake and I get reminders beeping at me for school trips, after-school clubs, sports kits needed, dinner money, playdates, my girls nights out, yoga, meetings, awards do’s, when the kids are away, holidays (yes please!). I can create a calendar entry wherever I am-shops, playground, bath, bed (all the obvious thinking hotspots!) and it is immediately uploaded and never lost or forgotten.  I get so engrossed at work that it even beeps at me to remind me to leave the office to do school pick up – my phone beeps, my computer beeps and my Office Manager has my diary and also gives me a shout!

I had a few calendars which I needed to sync but this link here makes it sound so easy:


My mobile is now my world, but luckily it’s synced so if I lose it, it’s all saved in cyberspace and I can use Google calendars on any computer so I’m now safe from the roll of thunder!

Roll on…

va va volume with velcro rollers

Adding some va va volume doesn’t need a visit to the salon, simply two minutes and a handful of velcro rollers whilst the kids are eating breakfast!

The added bonus is that it is always better with at least one-day old hair as freshly washed hair is too smooth and slippy 😉

Grab the biggest velcro rollers you can and simply separate your hair into sections, slightly backcomb each section and roll the hair around the rollers. It literally is a two minute job. I then leave them in until I am about to load the kids into the car. It is a’just stepped out of a salon’ moment! Sprtiz a bit of hairspray, work with your fingers and away you go.

These are my favourites which I use:




Just Browsing

The fairer beauties amongst us are far more aware of the importance of framing our faces with strong brows – especially as the years roll on, framing our ‘delicate’ bone structures becomes more and more important 😉

Being dark, I have simply focused on combatting the perils of bushy brows and tweaking the shape (always have tweezers near every mirror in the house in case I spot a stray!).

I have only recently realised the benefits of simply adding extra pigment to my brows can wake my face up dramatically. Now when I don’t apply any other make-up I still frame my brows and apply mascara.

before and after

I love mineral make-up and this one is my must-have brow kit so far http://janeiredale.com/eyebr_bbk.html

It is so easy to use, doesn’t look overly applied and the three brushes each do their job perfectly.

Blue Monday

Tomorrow is officially the most miserable day of the year in Britian – a combination of weather, Christmas blues and debt 😦

Sadness solution = release your inner smile and get active.

I can 100% guarantee that exercise makes me stronger mentally, more positive and the finest feel-good factor I have ever experienced….shame it took me 34 years to work this out!

Running keeps me going. Since the recent marriage breakdown I have done two triathlons, two half marathons and aiming for NY marathon this year.

One teensy weensy consolation that has come out of the divorce is I have Sundays and Tuesday evenings all to myself…this was heart-breaking and red-raw eye material at first, but has soon become my life-saving pep time. Many friends aren’t so lucky with free time and we run straight after work (key here is to have running kit in the office so you don’t go home and get embroiled in excuses not to run!) for a quick stretch round the block – it still has the same smile factor 🙂


Today is gorgeous blue skies, stunning, crisp and frost-kissed. Goodbye Blue Monday!


Gap hat and snood, Monsoon cape, Osprey handbag, CK jeans, Russell & Bromley boots

Wet and windy, greasy, beach-bum – hats can be the epitome of style and cover sinful ‘slap head’ hair!

On casual days, if I can get away with it, a hat is a must. It immediately gives the impression you’ve made an effort.

Today was a greasy day 😉

Boys joined in with gorgeous Monsoon headgear.

The Monsoon mohair wrap is several years old and I don’t know what I will do without it as the quality of the mohair would make anyone feel like a sumptuous Snow Queen!

Hint – decent quality handbag with cute detail lifts a casusal outfit ten-fold. This Osprey has great chunky leather stitching.


5,4,3,2,1…morning count down

I get ready when the kids are having breakfast – nothing new in that.

I get breakfast ready the night before = saves at least ten minutes in the morning rush.

I never shower in the morning, always the night before, so then I just need to quickly blow-dry over the sleep frizz = 5 mins max.

The boys are 5 & 3 – their uniforms out and book bags/spellings on the table for them to do whilst eating. They get ready themselves with the bribe, 5 mins Power Rangers TV once dressed and ready = saves at least another ten minutes not having to dress the 3 year old.

My routine is perfected with my 2 year old who pleasantly waits in her cot bed (don’t ask me how I’ve managed this one – not sure!) until I’m fresh as a daisy and ready to hoof it to the THREE different schools they’re currently at!

All in all an extra 20 minutes for me to get ready in the morning – now that is luxury in a mum’s morning 🙂

Nailed time-saving

Looking fresh, shaped, polished and manicured every day of the week needed either silly time or money. Looking down at peeling, dry, detergent poorly nails just isn’t fun and definitely doesn’t make you feel good.

I have found a DIY delight which keeps bringing a smile to my face every time I type, wash up and change a nappy!

We all have heard of the 3-week manicure, Shellac or whatever other brands are out there, BUT it is still the same old story of needing the time and money needed to pop in for a talon touch-up. At an average of £25 a pop it’s still an expense I’d rather not  have, even if it is now only every 3 weeks.

Perfect nails with Shellac

Save time, money with DIY Shellac

A bit of googling and hey presto I am now my own in-house Shellac technician for less than one trip to the salon! A nail UV lamp, three colours, top coat, base coat all bought on ebay. There are plenty of colours to choose from all costing about £6, so you can have a rainbow of colours which you can play around with each month. http://shellacnailscnd.com/

All you need now is a steady hand, a decent episode of Sherlock to entertain you and tada you have fine fingers every day forever!

Check out this video to show how easy it is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mItP5g9d4M