Why I think I’m a better than average mum!

13th June to 19th June

I was in demand this week. One of the methods I use to build my business (Arbonne and The Financial Management Centre) is business networking. An awesome network I attend is 4Networking and I believe in the network so much that I am an area leader. I currently look after 2 groups in the Liverpool area but you also get the opportunity to visit other groups and stand in as Area Leader. As Area Leader you get a shout out in the script so it helps to build your profile and the profile of your business. This week I stood in as the Area Leader for the wonderful Rachael Chiverton and I got a great compliment from the Group Leader Rene Power. He told me that he had been looking forward to meeting me because I always look really glamorous on Facebook, like a movie star! He very quickly stated that he wasn’t hitting on me because he was happily married with 3 kids! Of course the regular readers will know that I look glamorous because of the amazing product which is Arbonne.

I missed Slimming World this week. I have absolutely no valid reason for missing it only that I hadn’t had a good week so I chickened out. Back on it next week!

Scarlett is dancing in a Festival of Dance next week and I very nearly missed buying the tickets! I don’t know if should just write a blog about how to be a completely rubbish mum! Do you know what though? I don’t actually think I am a rubbish mum, I think I’m quite a good mum. I’m not perfect and I have my ups and downs (mostly related to the medication I am on) but I bloody try hard. Here are some of the reasons I think I am a good mum.

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  1. I try my best. Isn’t that all you can do? When you have kids you don’t get an manual with it. All you can do is muddle your way through and keep your fingers crossed that it all turns out right in the end.
  2. I try to see things from the kids’ point of view. Kevin getting a bit aggressive..well he is growing up and trying to figure out who’s the man of the house. Scarlet…is moody and weepy…well she does have female hormones raging through her body. It can be hard being a teenager
  3. I try to be funny, well witty anyway. Just because you are a mum doesn’t mean you can’t have a joke with your kids. I have always tried to have fun with my kids no matter how old they are. The wittiness is different now they are teenagers but you can still have a joke with them.
  4. I make an effort to get on with their friends but I don’t try to be part of the gang. Mums and dads aren’t cool, even if you are cool to your friends you will never be cool to your children. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk to their friends but don’t try to be one of them.
  5. Know when to give them some distance. When Scarlet and I go shopping we normally go in the shop together, browse separately, then meet up before we get to the till. Which teenager in the world needs mum watching over them when they are picking clothes?
  6. Admit when you are wrong. I have done this since the kids have been little. There have been occasions when I’ve lost my temper and I have even hit them. If this is due to a lose of temper then I apologise after. I think it’s important that kids learn that parents can even be wrong.
  7. Appreciate their opinion. I can get seriously annoyed when they can’t see both sides of an argument but Mr Roberts thinks that’s their age. It doesn’t mean that I don’t ask their opinion, particularly Scarlet with clothes. If they know more than you about something then why not let them know?
  8. Tell them you love them every day, at least once if not twice. My kids are now teenagers and Kevin is nearly 16 but I kiss him every morning and every night. I tell him, and Scarlet, every day that I love them. I wish them a good day at school on a morning and ask if they have had a good day on an evening. Even if they have been told off or punished they still get told that I love them, but maybe not straight after!
  9. Allow them to grow up without making them group up. This is the hardest thing to do. I want to know where they are every minute of the day but this won’t do them any good. I want to make all their decisions so that I think they have made the right one but this won’t do them any good.
  10. Keep every door open because it allows for better negotiation. Recently Scarlet and I went shopping for a new outfit for a party. She picked up a really short pair of shorts and cropped t-shirt. I asked what shoes she would be wearing (her favourite are peep toes) with her thick black tights, she replied that she was going bare legged. Instead of going all “Oh no your not!” I simply said “hmm, legs or tummy, not sure about both”. Now instead of kicking off in the shop she just asked me to help her pick a different outfit…..remember she’s 13!

Just to be clear, these 10 points do not make me the best mum in the world. Maybe if I’m feeling brave next time I’ll post 10 points which make me a bad mum, just to even the score up!

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Taking Parenting seriously

10th June to 12th June

So, a little down fact about me is that I am anti-academy. Both my children are currently attending a local academy which is part of a Multi-Academy Trust. At the moment I am part of a private Facebook group which was set up to allow parents a voice regarding any issues they may have about the academy in question. Only parents are allowed to join to ensure the privacy of it’s members and allow freedom of speech. This group has had posts leaked to the Executive Principal of the Multi-Academy Trust and he is now threatening legal action. We are just in the process of setting up a Go Fund Me page where any donations can be made to help us fight our cause. The issues we are facing are  much deeper than the article indicates but I’ll keep you posted without trying to get into more trouble!

Although I have to be careful about what I post about the above issues it was thrilling to get into the press because, having shared all the documentation with the journalist concerned (Warwick Mansell), it was a real boost to the campaign for someone other than parents and WhistleblowersUK to listen to us. Now, as many people may have heard, being in the press is a double edged sword and we had to be very careful to ensure that the story wasn’t diluted or reported in a way we weren’t happy with. It is also really, really time consuming!

The campaign also takes  up a massive amount of time in itself. Over the course of the 3 days covered by this blog we have:

  • Had a meeting with our local MP. The MP was about as much use as a chocolate teapot! All they wanted to focus on was the legal issue that was in the paper where as the group has many more issues to focus on. It didn’t end well when we were accussed of wanting a quote for the press when it had taken us since September to get anyone to listen and then once it was in the press we had a response to our request for a meeting with them less than 12 hours after the article came out.
  • Met with 2 ex parents to discuss their issues and get signed statements from them
  • Had a meeting of the group to discuss next steps

The above points might not have seemed very much but I am also running a business, have a full time job, trying to set up my Arbonne business and am married with 2 children. Thank goodness for a supportive husband and a great team running the business!

What happened in the rest of the 3 days then! Well I finally went back to Slimming World to find out that I had put 3lbs back on. Not suprising given that since I feel off the sweetie wagon I haven’t stopped eating chocolate and bad stuff. But still you’ve got to be in it to win it and I certainly won’t lose any weight if I aren’t at least attending the meetings.

So, after going to Slimming World and meeting with an MP I met my parents and the children at the swimming baths (showing my age saying that!). Mum and dad had offered to take them swimming as Kevin needs to keep up on his exercise and Scarlett just likes to exercise. Kevin decide it would be funny to splash me whilst I was watching (good job I hadn’t straightened my hair!). After everyone had got dressed we all sat and had a coffee in the little cafe and had a catch up about events of the weekend.

After I had taken Kevin home, 3 hours away from the computer is far too long for him, Scarlett and I hit the shops to ensure that she had everything she needs for an upcoming performance and for school. This is how contrary Scarlett is…..we went shopping for a new leotard and tights for the dance performance then swiftly went to a sports shop to buy a pair of rugby boots! We also realised that the sports shop and another of our favourite shops had a sale on so we made a few other purchase as well! In order to diminish our guilt we bought stuff for Kevin and Mr Roberts too.

Scarlett also had a bit of a melt down on Saturday evening. Mr Roberts was telling stories about when Kevin was a baby and she got upset when he told more stories about Kevin than her. The problem is that when Scarlett was a baby she didn’t want anything to do with her dad where as Kevin spent every waking moment with his dad. It was strange to watch her because I could see her getting herself more and more upset. Until eventually she got to the point that nobody loved her. It was resolved when we spent some time cuddling in bed and sharing stories.

Let’s finish on something funny. A friend had set up a Facebook Messenger group for her birthday and someone posted that there was a sale in the stores we were talking about above. I posted “it’s a code red…..we need to get there” it turns out that the stores are closing because the rents have doubled. My friend posted “don’t get Nichole on the case it’ll end up in the press!”….cheeky monkey my friends are! Here’s a lesson for everyone….never stop smiling and always see the funny side of life!

Next time…Scarlett feels better and it’s time for meltdown week!

 

I’ve had a wobble!

3rd June to 5th June

So I had a bit of wobble over these 3 days. I think that most of my posts have been positive but I am a bit like a minstrel (or an M&M if you’re reading in America!). So, I’m hard on the outside but once the crispy coating cracks then I am can very easily melt.

A couple of posts ago I posted all of the various hairstyles that I have had over the last year. I don’t think there was any purpose to the post apart from to show that I love to mix things up a little bit. So, I went along to one of the many networking events I attend and was chatting with the lovely Jo Howarth (of The Happiness Club) and she was admiring the new hair colour whilst telling me about the shock of seeing me blonde when the lady we were chatting to, who is lovely by the way, said “haven’t you seen all the pictures that Nichole has posted of herself?”. I immediately started to doubt myself. Why did she say that? Do I post too many pictures of myself? Do I need to stop posting quite so much? Now, obviously, all this was going on in my head whilst I still half listened to the conversation and continued to smile. Looking back a couple of days later when I had stopped wobbling I realised that she meant nothing by it but at the time I was suddenly stuck with insecurity. Which leads me to 2 questions. (1) why does it matter so much to me what people think, especially those people I don’t know too well? and (2) why do we hear some things in a different way?

The day after that incident I woke up in such a negative mood it was unbelievable. Luckily for the general population it was an office day so only people close to me had to suffer through the mood. Lucky for the general population but not good for my lovely mum and long suffering best friend as they were also in the office so did have to deal with the fallout. The saving grace was that I knew I was in a bad mood so I warned them that…I am in such a bad mood I could argue with myself!” Now I don’t know about you but I always think it is better to warn people when you are in a bad mood. It doesn’t make you any easier to bear but at least people know that it isn’t them but is completely down to you. Anyway, mummy and BFF just took the mick (if you’re not from Yorkshire that means having a joke at my expense!) but they were wise enough to do it at a distance, i.e. through social media, posting comments such as “at least she’s smiling!”

Saturday was a better day although as is the norm in my life it was still a busy one! Scarlett was dancing at the weekend. It wasn’t a bad weekend for her as she came 4th in her classical ballet, her troupe came 2nd and she got 1st and 2nd in the classical duet (she has 2 duets with 2 different people!) so it was good for her. It did make me realise that I need to put some effort back into Scarlett’s dancing. 2 dances have fallen off for her as she has outgrown them but the real issue was when it came to do her classical solo and she couldn’t get her tutu over her bum! We managed to get it on but it did involve a lot of buttock clenching…..and not just for the fear that it would’t go on.

Lets finish on a funny story. On Friday I made an emergency dash into TK Maxx to buy a pair of flat shoes as I had been walking around on a pair of very high shoes for days and I had another 3 hours of standing to go and I just couldn’t bear to think about it…or that’s my excuse for spending money! So, one pair obviously wasn’t good enough, I had to buy 2! When I arrived at the office on Monday one of the pairs was still in the car (can’t be letting Mr Roberts know how much I had been spending!!). I had planned for this so I went to the office in my flip flops in order to change when I got to the office, arriving in flip flops is not a good look for an accountant! So, I arrived at the office, unpacked all the stuff I seem to lug around with me then went and got my shoes out of the car. Right foot fitted perfectly but the left was really tight….so tight that I could barely walk. Made it back to my chair and thought “I need to do something with this shoe!” took it off, looked inside and…..I had only left the bloody cardboard inside!!! The shoes were suddenly more comfortable!

Next time…in the press and steps to sort out my mood!

No more face sliding off!!

18th to 21st May

One of the phrases I have come to love during my eventful life is….”You’re never too old to learn” and I am certainly learning a lot at the moment. During the Arbonne product launch event there was a 2 hour makeup tutorial and it certainly taught me a lot of new things. The most important was setting powder! I’ve never been a fan of the old loose translucent powder but I have learnt how amazing the Arbonne translucent setting powder is! Not only that but I also learnt that you should put it on over the whole of your make up and not just over the top of your foundation….who knew! I am a recent convert to primer but now I am into the Translucent powder too. Went I went to the ball on 6th May I used the whole Arbonne range (but with translucent powder on top of foundation instead of at the end and the impact over 6 hours was amazing) but putting it on top of your entire make up literally make it stays put all day with very little intervention.

I went back to Slimming World this week after missing last week and thanks to my amazing mommy (!) I lost 1 1/2 lb ….whoop whoop! Looks like not drinking or eating sugar is finally paying off. However, I do have to give extra thanks to mummy because she brought my lunch into the office every day that I was in….how amazing is she? I keep having to remind everyone that it isn’t like I am staying in all the time either. The whole family went to a house party on Saturday and had a really good time. The last time I went to a house party I had a coffee and it felt far too boring. This time I had a Pepsi Max (party animal that I am!) which felt much better. It was funny watching my friend (who shall remain nameless!) getting drunk.

One of my  Arbonne consultants had her launch party this week, which was yet another hit. We had 2 preferred clients signed up from the meeting and 2 potential parties booked. These products are amazing. Once you see the benefits you get from using these products you can’t resist them. Not only that but they are sooo easy to use. If you can find the time to watch the video on my YouTube channel (RE9 Demo) then you will see just how easy they are to use. One thing I had to get over was using photo’s of myself. When you read this blog (and see the number of photo’s I use!) then you might think that I love taking pictures of myself but it’s taken a long time to get to this point. This is all down to the change since I started being an Arbonne Consultant.

If you wan to get involved with Arbonne why not drop me a line or leave a comment? I would also love to hear about any changes you are making in your life!

 

A normal week?????

15th to 17th May

Woke up on Monday feeling like I hadn’t had much of a weekend. I think I am permanently busy but always manage to feel like I have had a weekend. But when I woke up on Monday morning it felt like I hadn’t had a break. It was a busy but worthwhile meeting.

I have been listening to an amazing book this week and it has really made me up my game with my plan B. The audio book I have been listening to is The Flip Flop CEO and it is a pretty awesome book to listen to if you are part of a network marketing business. When you are an Arbonne consultant you often get people looking down their nose at you as they just write it off as a pyramid scheme (and I confess that I thought exactly tpyramid_scamhe same in the past). This book is far better at explaining it than I am but basically, not only did pyramid schemes become illegal years ago, but they are alos prevalent in every business in the world. Think about your own place of work, assuming it isn’t a network marketing organisation (!) then there will be a CEO at the top of the ladder and several roles of management beneath them. As you go down the different levels of management there will be more and more people. If you draw that organisation on a piece of paper it would from a triangle, in other words….a pyramid! However in Arbonne you are actively encouraged to develop people in your team to help them grow or as Arbonne call it “as wide as you are deep”, effectively a group of squares….no triangles here! If my posts about Arbonne have made you think about Arbonne as your plan B (or even plan A!) then have a listen to this book.

I, along with several other parents, continue to fight the impact of Academies on the education system in the UK. I am not going to use this blog as a political platform but I urge anyone to look into exactly what being an academy means.

I didn’t do much exercise last week, doesn’t life just sometime take over all your good intentions, but I have been back at the gym this week. Just plodding away on the treadmill trying to get to the elusive 5k for the planned run on 5th June.

Still not had any alcohol altough due to being in Coventry on Saturday I didn’t manage to get to Slimming World. My lovely mum has been bringing my lunches into the office to make sure that I stick to the straight and narrow. I honestly don’t know what I would do without her! Not having sugar is getting harder and harder but Scarlett did say that she thought I was looking thinner woo hoo!!

 

Fat Elvis and financial advice

7th to 11th May

So the ball was at the weekend and apart from the chance to play in my little (big) box of make up what else was fabulous?

Well I got a chance to try the fabulous fake tan Arbonne produce and it was yet another hit. Now I am never the most organised when it comes to fake tan.160509052221[1] The last time I applied it was when I went on a girly weekend. Everyone else had it done on the Thursday (before we went on the Friday) but not disorganised me. Noooo I had to leave it to the last minute and have it done on Friday morning, literally 1/2 an hour before we set off! The smell of biscuits on the plane….yeap that was me! Not with Arbonne though. So you know how sometimes things seem too good to be true and you think “yeah right” but Arbonne does what it says on the tin. It tans but it smells of fruit and, just like my old favourite fake tan, you can just slap it on, just what you need when you leave everything to the last minute!

The sugar 20160507_211044free aspect of my journey is getting really difficult now. I managed to resist the chocolate torte and it was placed right in front of me! You might think that I am so weirdo who likes to place temptation in front of them jsut to see how stange they are but that wasn’t the case. Someone, who shall remain nameless (but isn’t Voldermort!), said “I’ll eat your desert” but then decided her own was too sickly so couldn’t eat mine either! Having said that as it’s in public and everyone around you knows that you aren’t eating sugar some part of it is easy. Sitting in your lounge whilst your husband and 2 children eat large chocolate bars is not easy! Thank goodness for you guys reading this!

The easy part was not drinking. Watching an Elvis tribute act might have been a bit easier to accept if I had been drinking, particularly because he was Elvis from the 70’s not the 50’s but I still had a dance and a laugh with the girls. Particularly funny was watching middle aged men dancing or as I kept saying “Accountant!”. I did give in and leave at midnight, leaving my drinking buddies behind, but all in all a good night.

I also, finally, saw my Financial Advisor. That might make me sound as if I am loaded and have to plan my investments but I promise I aren’t, well not yet anyway! Here’s where I get all serious for a moment. If you aren’t planning for your future then start, no matter how old you are, then you can make proper decisions. My fabulous Financial Adviser has put all my pensions into one pot and grown it by 6.1% in the last 3 years, how amazing is that! So, here’s a bit shout out to The Pentelow Practice, and Rob Pentelow in particular for the fantastic job he has done, and continues to do. And, just as importantly for speaking in plain english!

 

Life can be a bumpy road!!!

5th to 7th May

I felt like I had a major breakthrough this week on my journey. I wore a dress that didn’t fit me at Christmas and it looked good! It was helped because the colour is one of my colours, I’m lucky to be able to wear bright colours (or at least I think I can wear bright colours!). Now the dress might be a size 16 but beggars can’t be choosers so let’s look on the bright side (no pun intended) it fit! I felt like the changes to my life weren’t just effecting my skin but were actually making a difference to my body. But it wasn’t to be….

So Thursday was a high and then Saturday morning at Slimming World was a real low……1lb on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been running 3 times this week and have built up to 5 minutes running and 1 minute walking and being on the treadmill for up to 37 minutes. I was really impressed with myself, I still hadn’t had any processed sugar or alcohol so feeling really confident, only to be let down by the scales!

How could it be? There aren’t enough exclamation marks to get across, in writing, how upset I was. Then people start coming out with the classic remarks “maybe you’re not eating enough”, “all that exercise will pay off next week”, “have you been following the plan” etc. etc. when all you really want to do is have someone stroke your hair and say “there  there” while you wail in a corner. Or is that just me?

I had to pick myself up off the floor though on Saturday night because I went to a ball! As they say in Yorkshire it was time to “get my head out of my a**e” and get glammed up, well either that or ruin the whole evening. Like a true

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12:00am

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6:00pm

Yorskhire woman….I’d paid for it so I was going to enjoy it! It was also an excellent opportunity to have a really good play with all the Arbonne cosmetics I have in my box of tricks which I use at networking events. Now before I started with Arbonne I would have gone straight to foundation but because I now know better I started with a full facial routine and then primer before I started on the foundation. The results were amazing not that I’m bigging myself up (British woman remember) but it stayed on so well. I did a little experiment and didn’t touch my makeup all night. What do you think?

Then on Sunday Scarlett and I had a little bit of girl time and watched Chicago. We see a lot of dance routines based on this musical and we have never seen it. It was really good. Some of the dancers on there were awesome!