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Monday, 31 January 2011

Disaster strikes!

Well, lovely followers, just when everything it going along tickety boo, a proverbial spanner gets thrown into the works.  My website for the business, is my pride and joy. I have been working on it with the web designers for two months and it was supposed to be ready to launch.  It was ready, until we had some friends and family test it out for us.  The reviews were not good.

Everyone loves the design and layout of the site, not a single criticism was found;  nothing until, they tried to use the online shop.  When you are working with personalised products, it can be quite difficult to create a one size fits all web shop.  We have now taken on board the concerns and have taken the website offline until our official launch on Feb 11th!  It's no big deal as I would rather miss 10 days of orders than put people off ordering from my website for the rest of my business days. But it just goes to show that the devil is in the details.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

It's the weekend!!!!!

Hey lovely readers it is officially the weekend. What are you going to do this weekend?  Well I am gate crashing two wedding fairs tomorrow to pick up new contacts!  I am also going to take today off, as soon as I have finished blogging, and when you have five blogs lol, it may take a while!

So, do yourself a favour this weekend and have some time to do something you love.  It's really important! Doesn't matter what it is, just fit it in.  It may be a walk, a coffee at your favourite cafe (my choice this weekend), lunch with a friend, shopping with your mum! Whatever it is and no matter how big or small it is, do something this weekend for yourself.

This is my ideal weekend:

 Let me know what you get up to this weekend and whatever you go have a great one!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Oops I stuffed up

OK so I am confessing my sins before my followers, I.STUFFED.UP. Yesterday I had a carb fest. In the morning before I started work, the MR treated me to breakfast at our favourite coffee shop in town. Problem was that I was in a bit of a bad mood and so I thought ah what the heck, I'll have toast.   

I then had such a busy day ahead of me, with all the accounting and paperwork side of the business to take care of, that I forgot to eat. I can hear you asking "how did you forget to eat" well i don't know!!! It just happened to be 3pm when I next looked at the clock and thought, gees I'm hungry!

The kids had been at after school activities and we had all be eating really well this week that we decided to get a McDonald's! Now I was all set for a double cheese burger and coke zero and just leave the burger bun.  When I got to the drive in window I got a rush of excitement for carbs and next thing I know I am stuffing a quarter pounder with cheese in my mouth, bun included and a regular fries. All washed down by a full fat cappuccino. Whoops!  

So if that wasn't bad enough I decided that because I stuffed up, I may as well watch a movie with the MR whilst eating, a cream egg, Malteaser bunny and two caramel bunnies! I know I know. You are shouting stop you stupid woman at the monitor screen.

After my massive carb binge, I felt rough, yuck, unhealthy and just generally not nice.  Today I am back to my usual plan of protein, protein and more protein.  I actually really want it, my body actually doesn't enjoy unhealthy carbs anymore! that's something!

I am a lucky girl with this eating plan however, I have chocolate every day, and I bet your wondering how on earth I eat chocolate when it's full of carbs?? Well this one isn't...

These are my complete joy!! I eat one every night when I am writing my next blog. 
So you see I don't need to grab a load of carbs, there are plenty of nice things to eat on Atkins. And now dear readers I have competition of a whole other kind..... the MR has been asked by a company to trial their weight loss programme. He is going to be guest blogging here once a week to tell you about his progress. So let the games begin. We have a bet on now, to see which one of us gets to our goal first, so now the carbs are history! I have to win this seriously I have to win!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Revolutionised cleaning

I have had some great products to review in the last week or so. Some are a work in progress and others are been outsourced for trialling.  As you all know by now, I am a busy working mum of two and if it were not for the MR very little would get done at home. 

The MR is amazing at keeping the house tidy. He cleans like a professional, and stubborn stains and marks get right on his nerves.  Today he has been using the e cloth kitchen pack, and I have to say his opinions were very vocal.

Now I know the pack says kitchen pack, but I was working from my home office at the time when the package arrived. The MR decided to test this products metal, and headed straight for our bedroom mirror, which had hairspray amongst other products on it.  we have in the past used wet wipes and cleaning cloths but nothing happened.  Either the mirror was left dirty or it was blurry and full of marks.  And so he began.  the green cloth had to be used damp, and instantly the marks came off.  He then proceeded to use the blue cloth to "polish" the mirror and what more can I say.... It was smear free!!! absolutely sparkling!  The MR was very excited and made his way down to the kitchen where a year long stain awaited him.

We have had this stubborn little mark right by the microwave for what seems like forever, we have used every product and spray, lotion and potion on it and we have never managed to get it off. Once again he used the green cloth and once again the whole thing came off!  

Now I am the sceptics of all sceptics when it comes to wonder products but I have to say this is indeed worthy of a title that proclaims "wonder product"

The MRs review of the e cloth gives it a mark of : 10/10

If you want your own e cloth then here is all the info you need.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Selling chocolate is as easy as... well chocolate

I am very lucky that my products don't need much in the way of selling. I mean one look at them, followed by a taste and you are hooked. Today I went to the University of Glamorgan, an ever expanding university, there I attended a women's entrepreneur group. I had asked the coordinator if I could bring some chocolate with the event logo on and she was more than thrilled. Now it cost me very little to take my samples along to a group of about 20 women.  Even though I knew I had a captive audience, I didn't anticipate the reaction I got.

One woman was almost crying, as she had already ordered her chocolate favours for her wedding, but said that they did not compare to the taste of mine.  Thanks for the compliment, I thought!  Then the student union turned around and explained that they loved the chocolate and that they were about to launch a new initiative at the uni, and that my chocolate bars would be just what they were looking for!!! Oh come two compliments in one visit, I was getting excited!  Then another lady, who worked for a charity asked me if I could cater for their events, and from the sounds of things there are many every year. To which I replied "Of course we can what do you need?" Inside I was leaping and so thrilled that my little freebies had gained such a great response.  And finally as I was leaving, the coordinator walked out into the corridor with me and explained that she simply loved my chocolate bars and as soon as she secured more funding she would be ordering them.

So there you go, you do get something for nothing, well almost nothing. I did have to buy the chocolate but what I will get from these few orders will far surpass the spare change I had to pay out to make them in the first place. I am one happy bunny! So selling chocolate really is as easy as well chocolate.

Have you had any experiences of  having something for free? Or maybe giving something for free? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear all about it.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

When is too much information enough information?

Today's blog is all about Munchkin. He has gained this name as a result of staring last week in a production of the Wizard of Oz, where he played one of the three lollipop league representative. Luckily he is sharing the role with two others, so he only had two performances a day for two days! 

taken from westend-musicals.co.uk

Munchkin has a double figure birthday JUST around the corner and to celebrate we are planning to go and see Thriller in London. You see when you get to double figures you are too cool for parties! So I have begun my search for tickets and to my surprise found great price tickets.  Now my dilemma began when, having spoken to one of the cast from THE OFFICIAL Wizard of Oz she said "come along see the show" and come and meet us. (she knew munchkin was appearing in his production). I thought this was a wonderful great idea UNTIL I looked up the price of tickets and one weekend away for a birthday treat, turned into the cost of an annual holiday! Like seriously.  I really wonder if there is a resource out there on the web that find the cheapest tickets?? I mean I googled "wizard of oz tickets" and got back about 10 million responses (OK slight exaggeration).  Why can't there be a money supermarket or a travel supermarket equivalent for tickets for theatre and events? If there is please leave me a comment.  And for that matter why are theatre tickets so expensive? I mean why do we scream out for a civilised culture and then charge major amount of the Great British Pound to view some of it.
Picture found in article by Hollywood reporter
Shelling out major cash brings me to the second part of my blog. There is the most exciting, "I simply have to have one" product this year The Nintendo 3DS. These are not my demands (I am merely wanting a kindle) they are the demands of the child entering double figures affectionately known as Munchkin.  He has in fact been saving for about a year to afford one as soon as they arrive in store. Anyone thinking of buying a gift for the great day, fear not he wants you to add your generous donations to his 3DS fund. They come out just after his birthday and just in time for our trip to friends in the USA. So I decided to find out more but to be honest got bored half way through the article. 

So yesterday felt like a day for absorbing too much information and I now have a pulsating brain as a consequence. I shall go and lie down, or maybe read my ebooks. 

I thought I'd have a question and answer session one day next week so please leave your questions and I promise to answer them all, openly and honestly, with not too much information.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be

I bet you know the song Monday Monday. Well the lines I have been singing today are:

Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be

I had a wedding consultation today with the red head with expensive wine taste. Her chipmunk impersonator was at work.  We did not drink wine, we had tea!  We are both in training now for the big day. She has to be the stunning bride (which I have no doubts that she will be) and I have to be the mad wedding planner, with the stamina of an ox! (this I am struggling to believe).  We have actually sat down and gone through the list of what needs doing and what has been done.  We have lots to get done, but hey who's counting the weeks down?? (Uh ME!)

I love doing weddings, it is my favourite part of the gift company.  It's exciting, fun and really enjoyable. I wonder if the reason for this is because I have yet to work with a bridezilla! I mean take the red head for example, she is THE most relaxed bride I have ever met.  Her very words today "I'm not worried if there is a fork missing or a set of glasses not been laid out, the worst thing that could happen would be that we'd turn up to venue, and nothing was done" All of this was said in a very relaxed manner. I love my red head with expensive wine taste. If you said a tornado was coming, she'd grab her bottle of red wine and calmly head under the bed. I on the other hand would be the perfect example of a headless chicken. This is what made working together so easy, many moons ago.  We were responsible for taking kids off the streets in a small town and occupying them with different tasks and opportunities. It really was us against the world. Ah I do love a bit of reminiscing, but alas, I have to get myself into gear as I am now going to source roses.  Catch ya later!

BTW if you want to use our wedding services then please check out our website Out of the Box Gifts

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Phase one complete!

So today completes phase one of my low carb challenge. I have lost 8lb in two weeks. Not bad going when you think about it.  I am now preparing myself for the slow down in weight loss.  I've read the book and the book says now weight loss goes down to about 3lbs a week, but why is it you always secretly hope that magis fairy dust spills on you and you keep losing at the same rate?

I do have a little confession to make however, last night the family had take away for tea.  Now that's not my confession, before you gasp for air.  Let me take you to where I was last night standing in the kebab shop.  Now kebab is fine when you are eating low carbs as meat is pretty much, on the whole, carb free.  I always make a point to the guys to pile up the salad and leave out the pitta.  Now if I had left it at that then I would be a very full and smug lady this morning BUT I had to go and put a tablespoon of sugar loaded BBQ sauce on it!!!! I know, gasp and shock horror, I caved in. Problem was I opened the flood gates and ate half my sons chips as well!!!!! Well have you tasted kebab shop chips, they are moorish.  For me chips are like a box of chocolates, you can never eat just one! One follows one follows one follows one until.. well you get the picture.  Thank goodness I weighed in the morning.*blush*

Well anyway today is a brand new day and this week I get 5g more per day! And i get REAL chocolate, yup a real bar of chocolate and crispies, Its like a well known purple bar of chocolate without the sugar content!

Tonight I am going to see my munchkin in his performance of Wizard of Oz so I'll take a bar of chocolate with crispies and feel quite contented with the state of my muffin top, and there's the added bonus of no guilt after eating it. Problem now is... will one bar be enough?

Friday, 21 January 2011

I need chocolate!

Aww lovely followers, today is a bad day. The cold weather returning has taken its toll on my little body and I am typing in bed today. I guess one advantage of being your own boss, is that you can work anywhere at anytime. I have worked in less comfortable places so my duvet and sguidy pillows will be my helpers for this morning. I have taken all the medication that is possible to take and now I just wait! Only problem is, I can't wait for anything! Seriously! I am so bad with the dreaded P word you know the one which means to wait.  I can't even bring myself to say it! I guess I am the product of the instant gratification generation. Well, that's my excuse and I think I'll stick to it.

You know the one thing about blogging is that I feel able to be honest and open about the way I am feeling. I usually hide my condition and it's effects from people because I don't want sympathy or judgmental comments. I just want to be well. Do you know what I mean? Not many people see the really bad effects of this condition and that's how I have wanted it, but for some reason I feel able for the first time to talk about it. So thanks for listening! (well reading, but you know what I mean)

So you all know by now that I am on a low carb, high protein regime? Well the good news is the weight loss for induction has been 8lb. I have had chocolate Atkins bars every day as a treat watching TV in the evenings but they aren't REAL chocolate. Well on my travels I across the net I found this CHOCOLATE WITHOUT GUILT I know I couldn't believe it either! I have looked further into it and yes it is in fact chocolate without guilt. I cannot wait to make truffles and lady bug chocolates, but alas today I think i might have to stick to an Atkins bar.

If you try the recipes out do let me know how you get on and I'll be sure to give them a go. If you find one that is the BOMB.COM then leave me a message straight away. Here's to weight loss and guiltless chocolate. ENJOY!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Eyes wide for every opening.

I was very kindly tweeted (sent a message via twitter) this week with a great opportunity.  I have to say I was EXTREMELY sceptical at first as I always am with online make money schemes.  There was an offer of some free emails in return for my address and a free webinar (a seminar held on the web). I mean when you tell me free, I'll tell you fabbie! So after a long crazy weekend to the world of gifts and confectionery wholesalers, I logged in to my webinar and waited to find the catch. I waited and I waited! I'm still waiting!

So let me tell you a little bit about my new venture. I have met possibly the most refreshing business people since Mrs Smith (the marketing bubbly brunette) and Mr Welsh Busy Bee (the 100 mile an hour ideas man). Erica and Antonia, who have created BaM! have really made the difference this week, with their way of looking at having more than one income rather than AN income. If you are interested in working around  your current busy schedule, you really should check it out. The schemes current registration will be with us until Friday and then the doors are closed. Don't fear the fact it looks like its for mum's, it actually works for anyone who wants to work around their life and not life around their work.  Just think there are about 50 or more females on there right now, be the first male lol and you'll be the centre of attention for sure

This is my link, and should you sign up please mention my name.

I have already benefited hugely from the first few days. I am seeking opportunity everywhere!!!! Best part is, if you sign up and then think "nah this isn't for me" then as long as it's within 30 days you get your money back! AND there's more if you choose to leave, you can do so at anytime.  Interested? Well use my link, check it out, sign up and mention me!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Dropping the juggling balls!

There is a wonderful myth that exists that women are GREAT at multi-tasking. Well you know we do what we can, but today, I had my dad to collect and return to the car garage, my two monkeys home from school so that their teachers could train to teach, and two business appointments. All whilst keeping the carbs at bay and making sure the legs worked whilst fatigue did not kick in.

I KNOW!!! Major ask!

I ended up late for one meeting, whilst arranging to get my dad home as his car was worse than first thought, make sure the kids were fine with their dad (well nobody died, so that was a triumph) and give my little body food whilst fighting the carbs. I got to my last meeting and I sat down with a cappuccino! yes a carb filled cappuccino!! ARGH!! What can I say I needed a caffeine fix!

Today will be another crazy day as I have to head to the wholesalers, which is like an hours drive each way! plus another 2 hours to complete and then collect the boys from school where their teachers will refrain from training to teach for the day and after that I'll fit in more reading, blogging and marketing. Juggling again!

The one major joy in all of this is that I don't have housework! I have a most amazing muscle man that is the MR who keeps our house looking just like a house and not a local rubbish dump. He's been my side-kick and companion for almost 12 years now and where would I be without him? Well actually.... no where! He's dressed me, nursed me, lifted me in and out of the bath, driven me everywhere I needed to go and so many other things I can't remember them all. Does he ask for anything in return? No.... although I do think he is building it all up in a little memory pile until we are financially self sufficient and then he may request a brand new Audi or BMW. Mark my words he will ask for one!

So my balls are still in the air and all I have to do now is hope I don't trip. (Major hazard of a muscle disease)

Monday, 17 January 2011

All's well that ends well!

Sunday was a great day. Yes in no uncertain terms a GREAT day!

I have now trawled over the vast amounts of trade brochures and am satisfied that I have done well to find the great products to launch our new range. Most importantly as an "out" of the box gift company lol I have found a gift box supplier. It does help to have a gift box supplier when you sell gifts out of boxes right?

I bet you've all popped in to find out about the carb battle? Well, drumroll please, the results are in and..... I HAVE LOST TWO MORE POUNDS!!!!! Happy flipping days! So we are now at 8lbs loss in one week. Now I know that the loss will slow down once on phase two but I am in this for the long haul not the quick fix. However to lose what I have gained during the festivities is a little exciting.

Talking of exciting, yesterday I became a mumpreneur. Sounds cheesy doesn't it? and I thought "oh another scheme to swipe some cash and then tell me what I already know" BUT this was just different. Erica and Antonia are mums who wanted to work but needed jobs to suit their lives and responsibilities. They have both done the hard work to reach their earning potential as it is and they are offering for a small monthly fee to help those who want to do the same. Why not check it out ? http://www.becomeamumpreneur.com/join/ You don't have to be a mum or even female actually. It's aimed at those who want or need to work from home. You can leave at anytime and if you decide within 30 days that it won't work for you, you get refund! Simples!!!

So all in all I'm making the in roads to having the life that I was created to have and so many great opportunities are heading my way! Why not follow me and come along for the ride. Don't forget to leave a comment or ask a question. I don't want a lonely journey, that's why I invited you here. Keep your eyes peeled for my next post! Usually when something interesting happen!! he he.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

A great weekend equals a wonderful future

So my weekend involved battling carbs (it wasn't that hard really) and battling my feet (I almost managed) and building my business (which was a breeze).

So then the carbs, well having been a "yo yo dieter" (going up and down in weight not looking like a round fat yoyo ;0)) for 8 years or more, I have really found eating out whilst counting calories etc really hard. This weekend filled me with dread until I used online forums to help find out what other ppl do. It's amazing what you find when you google "eating out on the induction phase". We took a large ham and cheese salad with us for our journey and beef jerky and atkins advantage bars for snacks if we got hungry! That was simple and yesterday evening i ate....... A KEBAB!!! I did OMG I ate a kebab on a diet! Praise the good Lord for Dr Atkins! I had a grilled lamb shish with loads of salad and no sauce. The MR had a donner with loads of salad and garlic mayo. It was yum and I wish i had gone large. I guess I should say No pitta was eaten during this process. And for breakfast this morning a double sausage and egg muffin minus the muffin.

My feet unfortnuatley are very painful lately and even my lovely wooly ugg boots, supplied by the red head the expensive red wine taste, helped with the pain. So I went into the local city yesterday evening (whilst looking for a kebab house) and bought air pillow insoles. After wearing my lovely smart biker boots today round a massive exhibition I pretty much managed until I got home when they started to really hurt. So minor triumph I declare!

The exhibition was A-MA-ZING!!!!! I met so many great companies and will soon have lots of new ventures springing up within the business. You are going to love it. However I have stumbled across another rather amazing opportunity that launches this week called .
I'm off to the webinar tonight to find out more. I'll let you know tommorrow what I find out.

Tommorrow I am heading off to see the design guys to get the website finalised and off to meet my mentor to work on more exciting startegies.

I'll See ya tommorrow evening back here then??? I'll have updates about all of the above AND will I have lost any more weight??? See ya then!

Friday, 14 January 2011

The gift of gift giving

As you may already know I am on the journey of starting my own business and the official launch is just weeks away. This weekend I, being so dedicated to my business am heading off on my first business trip of the year. I could head anywhere right now to source the most amazing gift products but where do I decide to go??? Next door into the west of England lol! Who said having your own business was glamorous?

With my carefully packed low carb food in tow I get to spend the day looking at over 100 sellers' wares. Lucky me! I am actually, if I am truthful with myself actually really looking forward to it as you never know what genius item you will find next. Maybe I'll find the road to being a millionaire or maybe just a nice gift box company. You gotta be grateful for what you've got! lol

I booked a hotel that looked just divine on it's website, out in the country with lovely grounds only to find that their restaurant is currently being upgraded and therefore breakfast will not be served! Well not for me anyway. They will of course have plenty of danish pastries, cereals and toast. Yup just what you need when you are on a low carb eating regime. BUT never fear I have a plan. See you back here Monday and I'll tell you if that plan went as it should. Go on off you go, have a great weekend, doing nothing but relax! Well somebodies got to!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

I'll never be a size zero!

There is such a raging debate over size zero. I only heard this week on twitter a well known stylist tell his followers that there was a competition for plus size models. Now when I was growing up plus size was like 16 and over, now it is defined as 12 and over. AWWW come on fashion world give me a break. When you think that the national average for a females size is 14, there should in fact be more "plus size" models on the catwalk than skinny.

Nobody loves tracking the fashions shows more than me BUT I hate to admit that clothes do sit differently on a size 0 than on a size 10. BUT if more fashion houses designed for what women want we wouldn't all hate the clothes we buy. And then a strange thought came to me, maybe thats what it is. Maybe they want us to be unhappy so we keep buying more.

Well fact is fact that even if I make it to a size 10 before the wedding of the red head with expensive wine taste and her chipmunk impressionist, I love food too much to ever make it to size 0.

Everyone is panicking over what I will do when I get to my weight and start having to eat "real" food again. I mena fair play i'm not panicking, I'm cruising to fit in my size 12 jeans again lol not worrying about being skinny. I just want to be comfortable in my own skin. Is that too much to ask? Well we'll see where it goes from here. BTW major downside of atkins...congestion in the colon!!!!! but after about 12 glasses of water it solved itself. What a relief!

chocolate, carbs and CMT

Hello readers. 2010 was the year of my BIG 30! Having hit 30 I decided that I needed to make changes in my life; Take better care of myself. It started with setting up my own business and led on to finding a solution to my painful feet and has resulted this year in starting a high protein low carb diet.

To regress a little and fill you in, I was born with a degenerative mussular and neurological disease but was not diasgnosed until the week of my 21st birthday. I had always been the clumsy one and the slow one but no one knew what to call it, until my dad met a genius doctor who had heard of Charcot Marie Tooth disease. As a result of two pregnancies my condition worsened and I didn't have the ability to stay in my job. fast forwarding, I went back to study got my foundation degree in business and found the one thing I did really well. Business!

I've been playing around with about 10 ideas for about 5 years and have finally landed on one that didn't needed huge investment and would work from the outset with marketing. It wasn't hard to convince me this would be a great idea. The product was chocolate and the service was personalised wrappers. Chocolate is the only food I can't live without.

So then fast forward to my friend the red head with expensive red wine taste and her chipmunk impersonator partner decide to get married. I am making all the exciting favours and things for the weddding and as such knew I wanted to look my best. The red head with expensive red wine taste had been telling me about her high protein low carb diet. The only words I remember truly were "on phase one you lose about 8lbs" Sold!!!!

So 2011 has started with three main aims, to be a size 8-10 for May, to have a really successful business by the end of the year and to get this feet problem under control. Why not join me on the journey, track my progress, shout at me from the sidelines and laugh when my day goes wrong. I'd love to hear from you so why not follow the blog and then leave comments. So here is to a year of Chocolate, Carb control and CMT! Happy new year!