If you’re like me and always have last minute plans and you only trust your children with certain people, finding childcare, especially at short notice can be a bloody pain if not near impossible.
Now I love my kids don’t get me wrong, but they aren’t exactly angels all the time. They need attention, conversation and most of all to be looked after safely when either myself or Alex cant be around. Finding a trusted babysitter takes time, much like finding that hairdresser that actually does what you asked for or the nail tech that can actually recreate that picture you found.
It’s like dating, you have to try a few before you find what works for you as a parent. Now i’m not suggesting you date your babysitter, this isn’t some kind of reality show, but when it comes to your kids you want to make sure its right.
I’m a working mum, as anyone who follows me on social media will know, working and managing (well attempting to manage) three small children and a baby is nothing short of chaotic to say the least.
I have one babysitter at home but there are times when she isn’t available and I have work or other commitments. This is why I use Bubble, which is an app that allows you to search for a babysitter that your friends or connections have used and left a review about, so you know if they are trustworthy and safe.
( https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/joinbubble.com )
I use the Bubble app when I have last minute work, where I can take the kids, but I need someone there with me to manage them whilst I work. For example, when I am on the radio and the kids can be there but just not on the radio, or when I am on This Morning or GMB – it means I can take the kids with me, and when I’m actually on air for that 10-15 minutes, I know they are safe in the green room, or I can see them through the glass.
The creators of Bubble are parents themselves, they understand the pain of the dreaded ‘sorry can’t get a sitter’ text. They also understand that when you are looking for a babysitter, the first people you ask for recommendations are your friends and family – which is what Bubble is, an app to ask for recommendations from people you know.
I love being a mum, I love my career, and I have no issue whatsoever saying I need help getting on top of both.
I’m also a human being, I need me time, a bath, a haircut, sometimes self-care is the best medicine when life gets overwhelming. There’s a massive stigma about working parents, and parents asking for help. However, getting that extra bit of assistance can actually help you be a better parent, it gives you more time to get organized and spend the quality time with your children that they actually need. Happy parent, happy child, happy life.
Of course, the key to an App like Bubble is trust, we’re talking about our kids here, so who we hire to take care of them is one hell of an important choice.
Bubble simplifies the whole shenanigan, you get to see all the sitters around you and read their reviews from other local parents and crucially, see which ones are known to and used by your friends and community. You can see which other parents from your children’s school use the App and see which sitters they use, making Bubble easy to talk to and connect with other parents in the same situation as yourself. Bubble isn’t like the usual childcare agencies as it prides itself on finding the best sitter for you within your own social circle.
I’m not sure if its a mum thing, but I never do anything without reading the reviews, and the feedback on this App has been absolutely incredible! Each and every sitter you will be able to view has passed an online ID check, an online background check and is also insured. If you’d also like your sitter to have a DBS check, you can make this one of your preferences when you search!
Bubble independently verifies this too so you know you can trust it. I don’t think there’s anything quite as stressful as trying to find childcare cover, especially at short notice. As every mother/father knows, taking care of children is incredibly demanding both physically and mentally, I’ve used Bubble to get a sitter to pop round for a couple of hours just so I can have some time to work or tidy the bloody house whilst she entertains (confines) the kids in one room.
Taking care of children is as much about looking after yourself as them, there’s no way you can give your kids 100% when you’re running on empty.
These everyday things that I definitely took for granted before the kids came along. With Bubble I get to choose exactly which sitter is right for me, with a full profile, and list of information about the person who’ll be watching my kids, who better to make that decision than me right?! Its all about freeing up that extra bit of time so I can be the best version of myself to raise my kids, now that’s something I’m passionate about.
You can check them out here:-
Insta handle is: @bubblebabysittingapp
OK, OK, I am not usually one for competitions, but recently I have been practising the Law of Gratitude and the Law of Attraction and as if by magic this competition to win up to £12,000 (click here) was placed before my very eyes!
Now how this came about is: I realised that Christmas for most is a magical time of year, but it can also be a huge financial stress and also put added pressure on those who are already in debt. So on my quest, I Googled to try and find a solution that could help people who are in financial difficulty and just take away that gut-wrenching and sickly feeling that most people have of “where am I going to find the money for ‘this’ or where will I find the cash for ‘that'”.
And then, as if the universe had worked in sync, I came across a company called Hanover Insolvency who is one of the top 3 personal debt specialists in the UK…AND they are giving (yes giving, after all it is that time of year) up to £12, 000 to one lucky person to ‘get out of the red and into the black’ just in time for Christmas!
Debt is a bloody crappy situation of life, most of us have been there, including me! I’ve been in a right pickle, robbing Peter to pay Paul, ignoring letters, emails and it’s awful. I had been in situations where I had worked all hours God sends, had no money to pay for things, not known where to start to organize my finances, and then it was Christmas, followed by a birthday, followed by a fine!!! So instead of tackling it face on, I would ignore it.
B I G M I S T A K E!!
What I realised was, when you bite the bullet and just sit down and go through your finances and situations, things are never as bad as they are when played out in your head. Then when you get your head above water, and you have time to breath, it’s a wonderful feeling and then that gives you a sense of achievement so organising your life, letters and emails don’t seem like the ‘never-ending story’.
I didn’t realise all those years ago that there were companies to help you sort your financial circumstances out, I was young and naive and thought that is was a load of crap – to be blunt. But actually, it’s not AND actually, companies like Hanover Insolvency can, in fact, help sort out your financial circumstances.
There are other companies out there that are similar, but I liked this one as there website and Facebook page wasn’t full of words and sentences that I don’t understand…AND the fact they have a competition on is an added bonus!
If you are struggling with debt, don’t! Below are some useful links and numbers – and I promise you, you won’t be alone!
AND BLOODY WELL ENTER THAT FACEBOOK COMPETITION – UPTO £12,000 FOR GRABS!!!!
I hope this has helped some of you!
Lots of love
Now, I like to think that I am an entrepreneur at heart, but after meeting some REALLY inspirational women I am inspired to share their stories and write a weekly post over the course of 30 weeks which will be 30 inspirational women or mothers that have achieved greatness and all under the age of 30! Which hopefully is meant to inspire all those who are reading this!
My first post is going to be dedicated to the beautiful, hardworking and inspirational Maddison Annastasia Santamaria, the founder of Love My Sofa .
Arriving late (as usual) to the press event of Love my Sofa whilst leaving Alex and the kids in the car to nip off to get a milkshake (yes its 7pm at night, yes we are an hour away from home, and yes we won’t get back until 10pm…BUT we all got to spend time chatting, singing and talking about the day) whilst I attended the event, and I also got the chance to check out all the sofa’s…which was a bad idea, as now I need a new bed, sofa, mirror dressing table and throne…obviously!
Come on, that throne does look rather snazzy with me in it – il take two!
The first thing I notice when I walked into the showroom in Macclesfield, was the quality of EVERYTHING! I was really impressed, as prior going to the event, I had looked on the Love my sofa website and found the website to be really affordable, so naturally, I thought there must be a catch and questioned the quality! However, bloody hell, I must admit as soon as I sat myself down, I didn’t want to get back up again and if there weren’t free champers and cupcakes at the other end of the room, I don’t think would have!
Everything in the room oozed expensed and had the handcrafted feel to it, everything looked pristine. Then I noticed it “the sofa of dreams’ a grand, grey, plush velvet corner sofa at the back of the room which had been designed by Tanya Bardsley. Picturing myself sprawled across it watching Emmerdale, I stopped myself, as then I imagined the three maniacs handprints splattered across it. BUT then victory struck, all was not lost, in the distance (a metre away and eavesdropping) I heard a very friendly member of staff telling another attendee the ‘Sofa of dreams” was less than a £1000! I was gobsmacked, it was a bespoke made sofa, bloody huge and came with a footstool!
I worked my self through the room, test driving each and every sofa and seeing an array of familiar faces from Tanya Bardsley (RHOF), Jade English (This years Apprentice) and the lovely Stephanie from Ledigo PR I knew this was going to be a great little event, mainly because I am a MASSIVE fan of Real Housewives of Cheshire, The Apprentice, Interior design and free champers.
So, after being pleasantly impressed with quality, price and champers, I wanted to find out everything about the women behind it – Maddison Annastasia Santamaria.
Hi Maddy, amazing event, what made you decide to do ‘women in business’ event?
Being a woman in business and also a mum, I know how hard it is to be recognised as a woman in business and I think sometimes we need to celebrate that. A lot of the women here have full-time business’, but are also full-time mums. I am also keen to help raise money and awareness for women who are less fortunate than us in the UK and also in Africa, so I worked my magic and got over £5000 worth of prizes donated for a raffle we have this evening. It is important to me, that I am helping support all types of women.
What made you decide to start Love My Sofa?
It was actually accident the way it happened, I was on Maternity leave and I was looking for a sofa, I had an idea of what I wanted but couldn’t find it anywhere and all the bespoke sofas were way too expensive. That’s when I realised there was a gap in the market, also having twin girls I thought mini replicas would be a good idea and again, there was nothing around. So I went to a manufacturer who agreed to make them and it went from there. Then I thought to myself, why am I going to a manufacturer, I could do this myself! So I did, I set up a manufactures that employs 16 people!
I believe a lot of people think that you came from money to set this up?
I know that is what is really frustrating. I had saved up for a long time, so we could send the girls on a big family holiday, then something inside of me said ’those who dare win’ and I knew I had to start ‘Love My Sofa’, so I did. I had saved £5000 and put it all into the business. I remember ringing my friend up at 2 am in the morning and she would be like “what are you doing up?” and I would reply “what do you think about this idea…”. I have worked really hard too be where I am. My husband is really supportive and he gave upon work to help with the kids, so I could really push Love My Sofa.
Why do you think you have been so successful so quickly?
I didn’t go to go school, I had no qualifications and hadn’t any real business knowledge. What I did have thought was, will drive, grit and a determination to make Love My Sofa a huge success.
What do you think you need in order to be successful?
I believe that all goals are achievable, you just need to believe in yourself and focus on what you want to achieve. A person with drive and ambition is more powerful than a person with a clipboard and a budget.
What is your next goal for Love My Sofa?
I feel like I am on a roll and I know that I can achieve my dreams and goals. In the next three years, I have projected a turn over of £10.2 million, I want to expand nationally and just make sure that the business continues to grow from strength to strength.
And there we have it, a thought-provoking interview that made me certainly have a lot more faith and belief in myself and also start reevaluating my goals. Which then leads me on to the next part of the evening, where we each got a pen and a piece of paper and we wrote down one goal that we wanted to achieve. Mine was simple;
To be happy ……and rich
Lots of Love
What is going on with the world?
Apart from having a completely ‘out of this world morning’, this morning, participating in a leg wrestle with a 6-year-old, a hair debate with a 4-year-old and no luck in anything with a three-year-old.
For example, you would think that putting a pair of shoes on a 6-year-old would be fairly easy…WRONG!!
Instead, I have her insisting that a pair of (donated) heels would be a much more appropriate choice of school shoe.
You’d also be fooled into thinking that simply clipping hair back from a four-year-old’s face, would be a breeze….WRONG. I have her insisting that not being able to see through her hair is the ‘in look’ in reception and perfectly acceptable.
And then the three-year-old, ah, Hatti….
Me: “Hattie, please will you put your socks on”
What Hatti actually hears: ‘Take all your clothes off, put a bikini on (because it’s raining), head into the back garden, splash in a puddle and roll in the mud’ …3 minutes before we need to leave for the school run”.
So, 15 minutes later and late for the school, all three are dressed, clean and tidy (ish). After the drop-off, I believe this deserves a victory cup of tea!
Thinking my day was ‘on the up’, I then spotted a popular women’s magazine that my sister had left at my house…
I could not believe my eyes, I was absolutely gobsmacked and infuriated at what I was seeing on the front cover! Jemma Lucy and Abigail Clarke, stark bollock naked (that’s not why I was gobsmacked) bragging that they have had bum implants with Jemma Lucy boasting “it was worth the pain” and Abigail Clarke stating “I feel sexier than ever.” WHAT MESSAGE IS THIS SENDING to the younger generation and this magazines readership?
Flicking through the magazine, reading its content and thinking about my three mini maniacs, made me really started to question, ‘where are my children’s role models’?
What is going on with our society when a good 75% of the women in this magazine had:
1. Some form of image altering surgery
2. No sustainable career
3. Were under the age of 30 and living within the above two.
I couldn’t believe how many celebrities have had some form of face/body altering surgery, whether it was:
- lip filler
- bum implants
- cheek fillers
- eye lift
- eye bag removal – #Nowords
- skinny jabs
All of whom are relatively young and definitely, do not need these types of procedures. What really annoyed me, are that these are the very same celebrities that promote body image, self-esteem and being happy in ‘your own skin’, surely this a warped perception. Then I thought, how many popular TV reality stars can I name, that are constantly in magazines and haven’t had ANY form of surgery? I could only name a rare few.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against surgery IF it is a well thought out decision that will genuinely help with self-esteem and not used as a tool for perfection. However, I am just not convinced this is the motivation for many of the celebs in these publications, who haven’t stopped with one procedure. It seems to be procedure after procedure – all in the search of perfection. PERFECT DOESN’T F@CK!NG EXIST!
And then let us have a look at the Love Island lot. I mean, fair play to them. Has anyone followed their instant success and felt tempted to put their kids in childcare for 6 weeks, vamoosh off to the White Isles and have a potential quickie on tv to pick up the paycheque? The amount of money, success and fame they have received so quickly, from little talent, is incredible. I loved the show and the characters in it, BUT, are they really the type of people we want as the next generation of role model?
Looking through their Instagram feeds, I see picture upon half-naked picture of adverts, materialistic items and a lifestyle that is unrealistic for many of their teenage followers. A lifestyle that is fuelled by ‘comments’ and ‘likes’. Where does it stop?
Even though I am a fan of Love Island, TOWIE, Geordie shore etc, I am just not inspired by the content of these shows or the characters in them.
Lifestyles which seem to be based on arguments, cheating, materialism, backstabbing, drama, drinking and ‘who said what?’…NOT what I want my children to be influenced by.
As a society, we are actively promoting false economies. Quick fixes to body image, quick fixes to careers, quick fixes to weight loss, quick fixes to health. When did we stop believing in hard work?
Who are our children’s ‘so-called’ role models? In these popular magazines, very rarely do I see role models that I would like to my children to grow up to be like or be influenced by.
I believe loyalty, kindness, a hard work ethic, healthy lifestyle, self-confidence, body confidence, gratitude and a humble attitude that should be promoted. This is what I want my children to see and be influenced by. I want their role models to inspire them to work hard and achieve greatness. I want their roles models to teach them to be comfortable in their own skin and to lead by example.
So, what is the alternative?
We, as a society, have a duty of care to do more for our children and for the younger generation. We are lucky to be in a fortunate position where we have the power of social media to reach people that we could not reach before. If more of us, and more of our UK celebrities, chose to show natural, unfiltered pictures of themselves and ‘unglam’ elements of their lives, chose not to have image altering surgery in the search of perfection, but chose to use their status in a positive way … wouldn’t this be a far better alternative?
So, I choose to show the real me and I choose to lead by example – will you do the same?
Lots of love
YAAAAAS!!! 9pm couldn’t come quick enough. The Apprentice was back on TV and what an episode. It’s so strange to watch the series this year. I remember instantly what its like to be working with morons, oops I mean a high caliber and a fine bunch of business individuals, Nah, I do mean morons.
Everyone talking over one another, fighting for airtime, wanting to shine in front of the LEGEND (deserves capitals) that is Claude, and trying to prove to Karren that you are more than the idiotic fool presented infront of her, all whilst wondering what information is being fed back to ‘The Don’, Lord Sugar.
And then you have the added pressure of the producers enticing you to go stir crazy, planting seeds of paranoia, which over the 12 weeks will turn into a frikin oak tree and reduce you to tears. HMM, sometimes it only takes 2 weeks….
Me two weeks deep into The Apprentice.
Firstly, I am not going to give you a word for word on what happened in this weeks task, I’d fall asleep myself writing a full synopsis, and I’m already regretting committing to a weekly conclusion. However, getting back to tonight’s episode, Task two – It simple, great quality and great margins. The boys (and I say boys, because let’s be honest…) dived straight in for the quality and luxury market, it’s bloody marvelous that it looks good, rephrase that, that you want it to look good but if you aren’t making money from it, or enough to warrant the work, then it’s not going to work. Especially with that mood board.
Whereas the girls have the ethos of, f@!k this, let make as much cash as we can selling crap, actual crap. At this point, I’m between a rock and stone (or whatever that metaphor is), I don’t know which team to back! The only thing swaying me towards the boys team, is that smooth talking, on hold, LA style voice, Jeff. I knew as soon as
I knew as soon as I heard the ‘music to my ears’ start to talk, that this young chap, this breakdancing genius, this mathematical whizz, was the underdog of this series! The born winner… erm, how wrong I was.
I mean, I know he messed up on the numbers, but HAVE YOU SEEN HIS MOVES? Just when i think he is in, they take him away from me. I need my weekly fix of that voice. Failing that, I need to find a new love for this series, well, luckily I have two, Michaela and Sajan.
I particularly liked Michaela’s use of the word ‘bell end’ in this episode, very business-esque especially in that recognizable Northern accent, a cut from the same cloth, Michaela is in my final 5.
However, I do think a boy is going to win this series, I say this as the boys are;
A) shockingly sh!t
B) have lost two weeks in a row
Which means one thing….the underdog is amongst them somewhere. Could it be my PF (Personal fave) in the boys, Sajan? I mean the clues are literally written on the wall, in red, yellow and blue! Yes I feel I could be onto something here, he could be my new champion. Him or maybe Ross, it would appear this guy gets away with murder or has some sort of cryptic power. No one tells ‘The Don’ (in so many words) to ‘shut it’ and get away with it. Could Ross be a potential winner? And have Shugs intrigued by his lingo and lack of manners..hmmm, one to watch.
Overall, it would appear judging from this episode, that if you want to succeed in life, then sell crap for a high price, forget to respect your elders (Sorry Shugs), and leave breakdancing, at the break of dancing.
Which leads me to next week, selling robots, I am eager to see how Michaela and Sarjan perform, hopefully, full witted and entertaining.
Much Love #MomBoss
Slightly excited to watch this year’s Apprentice which started last Wednesday at 9 pm. Woohoo.
I can only but imagine how each and every candidate will be feeling when the classic ‘Dance of The Knight’ “dum, di dum, di dum da” theme tune begins…
I remember all too well this time last year, I had a belly full of nerves (thinking I may literally crap myself), I’d hired a Pheonix style nightclub with a 40ft screen and had invited my family, my “SPAT” (single parents alone together) friends and of course the three maniacs to join me (yes call the school police, the kids had a very late night that night and on a school night! #badMOM). We all waited with anticipation, not knowing how I would be perceived by Nation.
The big moment had arrived, the screen was on, drinks lined up on the table and then there he was, the 40ft wide face of Lord Shugs asking “Jessica what do you do then?”.
Glass in hand, a grin on my face, I reminisced at how poised, sophisticated and savvy I was when responding to his question, but then wait, WHAT, WHAT THE…WHY I AM DOING THAT, WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING. The posied response I had so fondly remembered, consisted of the longest “Hellooooo” in history and Karen Brady referring to me as rather “Excitable”.
However, at this point, I thought all was not lost. I suddenly remembered my “Grade A” business acumen performance that took place in task one. Savvy, sophisticated and this time professional, but wait, what the….Oh no
Did I just refer to Trishna having a nice set of jugs? Yes, yes I did.
oh no, wait, what the….
Is that me pretending to drop a very expensive antique vase, THREE TIMES?
I suddenly burst into laughter and noticed the response surrounding me was the same, Hallelujah, thank the Gods. Becoming happily surprised at how I’d been edited in the first episode, I continued to watch in glee. Not in a million years had I imagined that the clips shown, would have been those shown! In my head, I’d envisaged watching all those business savvy moments which had taken place, I soon realized that wasn’t the entire nature of the show!
So, my advice to all the 2017 candidates…
- Embrace the episodes, you will cringe, you will cry, but you WILL laugh too
- Accept that you’re more than likely going to look like a fool and potentially more than once
- You only have one chance to maximise on your experience. It was life-changing for me, it can be for you.
- The edit is a true representation of yourself, maybe not your ‘business self’, but never the less, yourself!. If you disagree, you may well be deluded and then my advice would be to check yourself before you wreck yourself
And that’s pretty much it, I already like the look of Michaela, she seems cute and then there’s Andrew and Sudjan, who judging by his interview, could well be this series ‘TV Gold’.
Come back tomorrow to read my review and for an incite behind the scenes.
Jess x #MOM