About Me

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Hello there, thanks for visiting my blog. So, a bit about me; I'm Natalie and I am a Christian, committed to living by God's Word each and every day. I am a proud mother to three beautiful children and creator of The Accidental Mogul - a blog designed to channel my ambitious juices and unleash the writer within! This blog is a reflection of me, so it contains a little bit of everything. I’ll be documenting my walk with my saviour Jesus Christ, as well as my natural hair journey, I'll be writing thought provoking posts, product reviews, hosting giveaway's and of course offering up a generous dollop of everyday mummy musings. I like to hear uplifting and motivational stories, so I’ll be interviewing inspirational people when I can to encourage and inspire others. Sharing experiences is what makes life beautiful, so let's share.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

My offspring in words

Image from carolecgood.com 

I was sitting down thinking to myself, what five words would I use to describe the personality traits of my children? After a long hard ponder I came up with the selection of words below.

Of course my children mean much more to me than words could ever express, and they are forever growing and changing, but alas I thought it'd be a fun little exercise nonetheless...

My eldest
Cautious. Inquisitive. Nurturing. Giggly. Loving.

My middly
Fearless. Cheeky. Helpful. Curious. Caring.

My youngest
Dribbly. Cuddly. Clingy. Smiley. Cuuuute.

What five words would best describe you and/or your children? I would love to know.

And happy February 29! Leap year Yay!!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Terrible Twosday

Lovely Charlotte over at The Crumby Mummy has set up a linky for parents to share the joys (NOT) of their children's terrible two's, three's, four's and beyond. Since my middle child is two (soon to be three) and can most certainly be terrible it'd be rather rude not to contribute, especially as I've probably got a wealth of material I could use.....so here goes;

Daughter number two is very cheeky and often refuses to get dressed when I've asked a trillion times. As soon as I announce we will not be going out because of her defiance, she has what can only be described as a full blown screaming, tantrum melt down. It's as if she's possessed and I've tortured her to within an inch of her life.

I put her on the naughty step then sometimes bribe her with choc buttons to keep her quiet and keep my sanity.

Then comes this....

What a cheeky little monster.....

If you want to join in with the fun and share your Terrible Twosday stories on The Crumby Mummy blog, then you can click here to link up....

Happy Terrible Twosday!!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Ballet pump brilliance

Question: When is it OK to buy not one, not two but six pairs of shoes at the same time?

Answer: When the shoes in question are from Primark, costing between four and six pounds a pair, bringing your total spend to a recession friendly  27 Great British pounds.

I was well chuffed with my purchase. Primark isn't for everyone and a lot of what I've bought in the past has been largely hit or miss, but without question their ballet pumps are the business. 

For a while it was hard to justify buying their footwear. Suddenly the prices were creeping up and the quality isn't great so they don't last long, but you can't go wrong when a pair of shoes cost four pounds. And they are so versatile. I wear mine with jeans, dresses, skirts and leggings. I dress them up with smart blazers, trousers and cute dresses and they always look great and feel comfortable.

I've never been one for heels mainly because I still don't know how to walk properly in them, and they always hurt. I'm  getting a little better with age, but flats are my one true love.

As the weather is getting brighter I feel I need to put my beloved Uggs to one side and get back on the ballet pump bandwagon. Just feast your eyes on these bargain basement beauties. You've got to love Primark.

What bargain purchases have you made recently?

Thursday, 23 February 2012

A shaky start

Image from www.cahiley.com 
February is rapidly coming to an end and so I thought I’d give a little update on my 2012 goals. I think it’s therapeutic to review my accomplishments so far and see where needs more work. If the truth be known it's all been a bit shaky, but all is not yet lost.

1) Eating healthily & more exercise - 
This has been an epic fail. If anything I'm eating more junk and doing less exercise. Very disheartening. I hate to give excuses but I'm so tired all of the time, I'm just eating whatever is quick and to hand. I must try harder to make healthier food choices. I need to get to grips with this. It is currently a joke!

2) Get son christened - Booking the date in the next few days.

3) Swimming lessons for my children - This is proving to be more difficult than expected. My local leisure centre is booked up for the next six months. I could book lessons for my baby boy and middle daughter, as there is availability for their age groups but I can't leave my eldest out. Plus I need to coordinate diaries with my sister and mother in law because each child needs to be accompanied by an adult. I'm disappointed that the process hasn't been as straightforward as I'd hoped but those lessons will get booked by hook or by crook. Alternatively we may ditch the lessons and just take them for a fun splash about each week instead, at least then they'll get used to the pool, they love water anyway - simples.

4) Organise finances - Now I'm a person who loves to save and although the better half isn't a big spender, we have different approaches when it comes to money. I'm working hard to get us both on the same page so we can start putting a decent lump sum away each month. Hoping to get this properly established sharpish.

5) Establish a way to make money from home -  That is still very much a work in progress. I’m taking each day at a time.

6) Do more fun/silly things with my children - I must admit I'm struggling with this one. I can be goofy with my kids from time to time, but daily is tough. I'm a bit of a control freak I'm ashamed to admit, and I find that once I get my kids hyped up with silly play it's tough to get them back on an even keel. It usually ends with constant threats of having to sit on the naughty step because of their failure to calm down. *sigh*

7) Spend more time with family and friends This is improving but still a work in progress. I've got some play dates booked and want to visit my grandmother next week. The kids would love to see their beloved Nanna. Me too.

8) A family holiday to Barbados - I need to get my son’s passport sorted. I fear this may be a bit of a pipe dream, but I am determined to try and go on some sort of vacation abroad before my eldest starts school and holidays are forever dictated by term times.

9) Work out how to credit photos properly on blogger -  The lovely Maria at Cheeky Pink Tulip helped me with this. I was using the old blogger interface hence the issues. All sorted now. Thanks Maria!!

10) Build my blog and meet more inspirational people through the world of blogging - Slowly but surely I’m getting there I'm meeting lots of great people and I’m loving it.

So that’s my update, still lots to improve on but lots of time still. How are you getting on with your goals for 2012?

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

A tasty snack

My little boy is teething and he simply loves crackers at the moment. I think it's because he's able to rub his little gums with them and have a cheeky nibble too if he feels like it.

I've always really liked organix products because of their natural ingredients and yummy goodness, so when the opportunity came to try their new mini cheese crackers I couldn't resist.

The little crackers are so easy to hold my son gobbled up four in about five minutes. Each box contains four packets of mini crackers which was a good thing as my daughters loved them too and worked their way through a whole packet with ease.

I had a sneaky sample and I enjoyed the subtle cheese flavour and the biscuity bite. They are a great savoury snack, made with real organic cheese.

I'm off out with the kids today so will be sure to pop a few packets in my bag for a healthy treat whilst on the go.

For more info visit the organix website just click here.

This is a review post.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

My bloggers dozen

Image from www.cupoftea.uk.com
I've been tagged by not one, but two fab bloggers - The Crumby Mummy and Jennifer's Little world to take part in my first ever meme!
A meme is when a blogger writes a post on a certain theme.  They then tag others to do the same.  

Since I've been tagged twice simultaneously, I've decided to combine questions from both taggers, so as not to overwhelm myself on my first time!!!!

The rules:
1. You must post the rules
2. Post 12 fun facts about yourself in the blog post
3. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you in their post and then create 12 new questions for the fellow bloggers you plan to tag
4. Tag 12 people and link to them on your blog
5. Let them know you tagged them
OK - Let's do this...
2) 12 fun facts about me:
  1. I love the number 3.
  2. Purple is one of my favourite colours.
  3. My mum thinks I'm hilarious - I have her in stitches often.
  4. I don't enjoy being pregnant (super sick and super moody - how I got through three, God only knows).
  5. My labours are super quick - all have been under 3 hours (repayment for the horrendous pregnancies).
  6. I love gas and air (can you say giggle biz?? Lol).
  7. Mangoes are my favourite fruit.
  8. Thanks to my daughters I am a huge fan of Peppa pig and Ben and Holly's little kingdom.
  9. Bobby Brown was my schoolgirl crush.
  10. I believe what goes around comes around, so I always strive to do the right thing.
  11. I am scared of heights.
  12. I love watching cookery programmes, especially ones with that cheeky Essex boy Jamie Oliver.

3) Questions - first six from The Crumby Mummy and the last six from Jennifer's Little World:
1) Who would you invite to a fantasy dinner party?  You can pick 5 people as your table only seats 6. Oprah Winfrey, David Beckham, Jamie Oliver, Penelope Cruz, Bishop TD Jakes
2) Chocolate. Milk, Dark or White? I want to say dark because it is better for you. But the reality is milk.
3) Which football team do you support?  Arsenal I'm sad to say. They are having a really bad run at the moment. 
4) What was the first record that you owned? Paula Abdul - Opposites Attract. 
5) If you won the lottery what would be the first thing that you would buy? A massive house for my mum and dad, and another massive sprawling estate for me, my fiance and children.
6) Blackberry or iPhone? iPhone all day long.
7) Marmite - love it or hate it? Hate, hate, hate. Although oddly I do like twiglets.
8) Disney or Dreamworks? Not sure. I guess Disney because of the classics.
9) What is your favourite holiday destination? Barbados baby.
10) What is your earliest memory? Being driven to my mum and dad's wedding reception in South London. I was two and a half I think. It is a very vague memory, but a memory all the same. I think that's quite impressive.
11) Would you wear your pyjamas to the supermarket? Err...No!
12) What would you say to your 16 year old self? Bad boys are not what they're cracked up to be.
My 12 questions:
1) What is your star sign?
2) Who was your first crush?
3) What was the name of your first pet?
4) What one word would describe you?
5) Who is your favourite spice girl?
6) What do you love about yourself?
7) What do you wish you'd known then, that you know now?
8) The London Olympics. Yay or Nay?
9) What is your favourite girl's name?
10) What is your favourite boy's name?
11) Sweet or savoury?
12) Who/what makes you smile?
4) And so I'm tagging the following lovely bloggers (please only take part if you want to!):

5) I will tweet the lovelies now..... 

Monday, 20 February 2012

Inspirational Interview - The International Wedding Photographer

Happy Monday everyone!

Today I'm interviewing a world class wedding photographer whose talent sees him travelling across the globe to capture once in a lifetime moments. Read on as he shares his ambitions, inspirations and recipe for success in this awe inspiring interview.

Birthplace:Birmingham, UK

Where do you live now?
If you asked my family or friendsmany would say I live out of a suitcase due to the amount of time I spend travelling overseas. Africa and the Caribbean increasingly feel like home but for the most part I remain in Birmingham.

I have a BEng Degree in Automotive Engineering.

What was your very first job?
My local corner shop offered me my first ‘break’ stacking shelves. The take home salary was £18 per week including bonuses! You have to start somewhere right?

What is your current job?
International Wedding Photographer.

What was your dream job as a child and why?
There were probably a few dream jobs I considered as a child. Race car driver was definitely in the mix as was a truck driver after seeing those huge American trucks in Hollywood movies. I also wanted to be a singer too but if you heard my vocals you’d understand why it was only ever going to be a childhood dream.

What is your dream job now and why?
Doing what I’m doing now whilst getting bigger and better! Photography brings out the best in me and there is so much more I want to accomplish with it.

Tell us about your business?
Bandele Zuberi Photography specialises in wedding photography with a desire to create stylish, fashion-inspired imagery for clients around the world.

What inspired you to set this business up?
In early 2007 I closed down my portrait studio and spent the next few months in limbo pondering my future direction and whether I still wanted photography to be a part of it. To help me arrive at a decision I threw caution to the wind and flew to Paris to attend a five-day workshop from one of America’s leading wedding photographers Scott Robert Lim. It was a life-changing experience and in those short few days I rediscovered my passion for photography and decided on my future direction. A few months later Bandele Zuberi Photography was born.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to set up their own business?
Setting up a business is risky, time-consuming and will take up a lot of your energy and resources. Surround yourself with like-minded successful people and find those that will help guide and bring out the best in you and therefore your business. The truth is you simply can’t do it alone. That’s why every great sports person has a coach, that’s why a President or Prime Minister has advisors and why great actors have a director to bring out their best.

What are you enjoying about running your own business?
Being in control of my own destiny.

What is the best advice you have been given?
Be the change you want to see in the world.

Who is your inspiration/role model and why?
I truly find inspiration in everyone who is a part of my life: a close friend who is just about to complete her medical degree, the couple I photographed renewing their vows after fifty years of marriage, Bob Marley for enlightening the world with his music, my family and friends who give me so much encouragement and support. I find inspiration in everyone I meet, everywhere I go, and everything I experience.

My role models are those people who exhibit some characteristic I admire and try to emulate. I therefore have many role models, each excelling in their own way or a particular field. In photography it is my mentors Scott Robert Lim and Matthew Jordan Smith who have both reached the top of their game, produced photography at the highest level, and yet are so humble and giving as individuals.

For sheer hard work and determination, my Mother, who has been uncompromising in the pursuit of a better future for herself and her children.

When I find it hard doing a testing piece of work or training, Muhammed Ali becomes a role model and I will repeat his quote “I hated every minute of training, but I said, "Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as achampion." The great thing is you can find role models everywhere not only in the present but in the past too. Many have been gifted to me with the study of my history.

What is the key to a successful life/career?
I am still working on my recipe to a successful life/career so I can only offer a few personal ingredients I’ve come up with over the years:
  • Keep family, friends and those people who are supportive of your dreams and goals close and everyone else at a safe distance.
  • Keep fit and healthy in the physical and more importantly in the mind.
  • Your life partner (husband or wife) is your most powerful ally in this journey of life so choose them carefully and make them an integral part of your dreams and aspirations.
  • Travel often, it will give you an insight into how the world really works, expose you to other cultures and give you the best education ever!
  • Don’t let materialism be your sole motivation or determine your worth.
  • Time is your most precious commodity so don’t spend it on things that won’t add value to your life.
  • Make your home a happy one, it should be a place that offers respite from what can often be a harsh and unforgiving world.
  • Be open to change and never stop learning.
  • Be charitable and help others to achieve their own success. Remember ‘The service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.
  • Pursue excellence in everything you do and never settle for average.

Here are some samples of Bandele's amazing photography:

To find out more you can visit;

Twitter: @BandeleZuberi

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Forced mini break

Image from blacktomato.com
It looks like I'll be unable to blog for the next few days.

I need to get a new laptop, so until it's purchased I'll have no means to publish my posts properly. I'm hoping I'll be able to snatch some sneaky online moments from somewhere.

If not I'll be back soon!

30 things about me (part three)

Image from jeffbullas.com

 Well here it is, the final instalment of 30 things about me. If you missed parts one and two you can click here and here to catch up. It's been a fun exercise and I've thoroughly enjoyed doing it, so without further ado;

21. I bought my first car at the ripe old age of 24. It was a VW Golf mark 4 called 'Berry'. Ahhh miss that car now I think of it.

22. I have experienced some devastating situations in my life, but my faith and love of God always brings me through.

23. Italy was the first country I ever visited. I was 16 and it was a week long school  trip with my art class. Italy is a beautiful country and I long to go back some day.

24. I used to have a six pack. I desperately want to get it back, but I very much doubt my tummy will ever be the same after three children. *sigh*

25. When my better half proposed to me he completely and utterly swept me off my feet. I'm a hard person to keep secrets from, but he is the only person who can surprise me to the point I am rendered speechless. He does it every time. Way to go boo. Love you xx

26. When I was 12 I won a Capital FM competition to see Micheal Jackson on his Dangerous tour. It was amazing and I fell in love with him deeply after that. (I think all music concerts have a tendency to have this effect on people come to think of it).

27. I was blown away when I visited New York City for the first and second time, it's just like it is in the movies only better.

28. Christmas dinner is one of my favourite meals. Yum!

29. My absolute pet peeve is when people say anythink, somethink, nothink. Do they not know its anythING, somethING, nothING??!!! It's probably a UK problem, but I'm shocked at the amount of people who do this. I've heard family members, senior work colleagues and even TV presenters committ this cardinal sin. Very annoying....

30. I have a superb memory. If you tell me your birthday I'll remember it for life.

So that's it, a bit of me. A few random facts I've shared with you.

Hope you've enjoyed reading them as much as I've enjoyed writing them.

Dr Organics - Tea Tree Shampoo

I haven't been asked to write about this product, so this is not technically a review, but I simply had to share with you all, this fabulous shampoo I bought from Holland and Barrett at the weekend.

My son had really bad cradle cap from the age of two months. My daughters never had it so when I first started seeing the thick, scaly crust forming, I thought slathering his scalp in oil, brushing out the flakes and using cradle cap shampoo would solve the problem. It didn't. The cradle cap although somewhat improved was still visible. His scalp was always dry and red and he would constantly scratch it until it bled, this was despite me constantly spritzing with water and olive oil several times a day.

I've been searching high and low to find a product that would alleviate his symptoms. So I was chuffed to bits when I came across the Dr organics range in Holland and Barrett. The range is free from harsh chemicals and parabens and is also fragrance and preservative free. There are a number of different products within the range, but I thought I'd try the tea tree shampoo, especially since tea tree has healing properties. It's not cheap at £5.39 for a 265 ml bottle, but at this stage I was willing to do what it takes to give my little boy some peace from the endless itching and scratching brought on by all the dryness on his scalp.

Let me tell you it's one of the best decisions I've made. I used the shampoo that same evening and because he is little, I only used a pea sized amount. Straight after rinsing I could see the results.  His scalp was clearer and didn't look red and angry. I moisturised his head with olive oil as I usually would and the dryness has virtually gone. He's hardly even scratching anymore and that's only after two days. I am super impressed so I had to tell you all about it. If you are experiencing something similar maybe it could work for you or your little ones too. Click here to visit the Holland and Barrett website.

....Oh and if you celebrate it, Happy Valentines day!! x

Monday, 13 February 2012

Inspirational Interview - The Fashion Entrepreneur

Happy Monday everyone. I'm sure you were all as shocked as I was to hear about the premature passing of the late great Whitney Houston. May her soul rest in peace.

It's sad news like this which makes me all the more determined to share great stories of career/life ambitions, achievements and successes that uplift, motivate and encourage.

Today I'm glad to be bringing you an inspirational interview from a determined young lady who although battling a chronic illness, is pushing the boundaries to make her own aspirations come true.     

Name: Brandee-Nicole      
Age: 23
Birthplace: Hollywood, California
Where do you live now? Long Beach, CA
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I'm a 23 year old entrepreneur and I studied Fashion Merchandising at CSU (California State University) Los Angeles. I've been interested in fashion for about 5 years and I've always loved vintage clothing. In 2009 I was diagnosed with having Lupus and recently I have been told I have Lupus, Sjogrens Syndrome, and Mixed Connective Tissue Disease. I'm most interested not only in vintage clothing and jewelry but also finding ways to take care of my health and how I can be a person that others can look to for strength.

What was your very first job?
My very first job was working at CSU Los Angeles in the admissions office. I spent 3 months scanning 20 year old transcripts.

What is your current job?
I am currently working from home and getting started on my retail website.

What was your dream job as a child and why?
My dream job as a child was to be an optometrist. I'm not exactly sure why. I also had a period of time where I wanted to be an archaeologist and a marine biologist.

What is your dream job now and why?
My dream job would be to make a comfortable living off of my website and in maybe 10 years have a small store somewhere

What do you love about life?
My favorite thing about life is that it is forever changing. If on Monday something goes wrong, I know that on Tuesday I have a chance to make it better. Also, having a chronic illness has given me a new outlook on life. I am no longer focusing on what other people want me to do, I try to always do what will ultimately make me happy.

What is the best thing you've done in your life?
The best thing I have ever done was join my sorority, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Through this sorority I have gained many new friends, resources for work & health networks, and I also met my boyfriend through my sorority.

Tell us something random about yourself?
I am 6' tall and I absolutely LOVE wearing 4" heels, anything sequined, and big natural curly hair!

What is the best advice you have been given?
The best advice I have been given is to always remember that at the end of the day I have to live with, and be happy with, my decisions.

Who is your inspiration/role model and why?
There are many strong women that I look up to. I wouldn't be able to say that I have any one particular role model but I do look to women who are entrepreneurs and who are not only successful but enjoy what they're doing.

What is the key to a successful life/career?
To be successful in life, in my opinion, is to make money doing what makes you happy. If you're happy in life and you continue focusing on what it is that you're passionate about the success will come.  

Do you have a blog or website where people can find out more about you?
I am currently revamping my blog, ellensvintique.wordpress.com, which will be focusing on my business, Ellen's Vintique, and also different day to day adventures. I'm also on twitter @HurricaneBran.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Do I really say that?

Image from christinafowler.com
I read about this particular topic on the 'Mummy's little monkey' blog, @Jax2000 writes about how she feels she has turned into her mother, with all the things she keeps saying to her children.

Click here to read the post.

It made me giggle a lot, and got me thinking about the things I say to my kids, so I had to get involved....

Here are the phrases I find I'm constantly having to repeat to my children on a daily basis. A bit cringy to say the least:

  • Ssssshhhhhh
  • Could you please be quiet?
  • Could you please start listening?
  • No means no
  • Why do I have to keep repeating myself?
  • Sit down
  • Leave that alone
  • Because I said so
  • Who did that?
  • Stop crying
  • Stop moaning
  • Get on the naughty step
  • In a minute
  • What are you doing?
  • Get down here now
  • No more
  • Give me that please
  • Don't do that
  • That's enough
  • Behave yourself
  • Leave her/him alone
  • Keep still
  • Stop messing about
  • Stop that noise
  • Stop arguing
  • Be careful please
  • Love you
  • Say your prayers
  • Goodnight 
I'm guessing I should stop there because the list is endless. But you get the gist right?? Looking over it I'm nagging at my children quite a lot. Not good. I must work on that. Hey ho...

What phrases do you find yourself constantly repeating to your children, friends or loved ones?

I would love to know.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Competition giveaway....

I'm really excited to announce the launch of my first ever competition giveaway courtesy of Busy Bee candles. Busy Bee candles are producers of a range of amazing scented candles, handmade in the UK. All candles use soy wax and the very finest fragrances available. Even a dragon thinks they're the bees knees

“Busy Bee Candles better then Yankee” – Theo Paphitis (Entrepreneur & star of Dragons Den)

The prize for the lucky winner is a stunning mini me gift set worth £16. The set consists of four mini me candles presented in a gorgeous crystal clear box.

The mini me gift set

So to be in with a chance of winning this fabulous prize, all you have to do is follow my blog by signing up through google friend connect, and appearing on the right hand side of the page under my follower gadget, and like my Facebook page; the link is on the top right hand side of my blog page.

Feel free to also follow me on twitter and blog lovin, although you will also have to do the blog follow and Facebook like to be entered into the draw. And that's it!

Those who are already following my blog via google friend connect will automatically be entered into the prize draw, as long as they have liked my Facebook page too! The closing date is midnight on Thursday 1 March 2012 and the winner will be announced shortly after.

Good luck!!

1. You must follow this blog via google friend connect and like my Facebook page for your entry to be valid.
2. The closing date is Thursday 1st March at Midnight. After that your follows will not count.
3. The winner will be picked at random.
4. My decision is final.
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