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.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Twitter and my winning streak...

Since joining twitter several months ago, I have won so many competitions I don't know what to do with myself. It's like Christmas, but better!

Within days of setting up my account, I won a selection of Color blind greeting cards simply for following them and retweeting their competition tweet, the following week I won some fancy tweezers from Black hair and beauty magazine for doing the same thing. Following and retweeting a message.

A few weeks after that I was approached by a PR agency to review Lego Duplo products. With three small children this was such a great opportunity. I was and still am so honoured that they felt my blog was good enough for this purpose, especially as I'd only just started out on my blogging journey.

Then it went quiet for a few months. I think I got busy with moving etc, so didn't have time to enter anything. But when things settled down, I got straight back at it and entered the anniversary competition on the lovely Nicola's 'Belle Noir Bride' blog. I won that giveaway too and the prize was a gorgeous, luxurious and expensive shower cream, body lotion and hand a nail cream set which smells absolutely divine. I LOVE it and do not want it to run out...

Then I won tickets to the 'invite only' Beautiful Textures UK launch courtesy of Crystal Afro's 'United Kinkdom' blog. That event was amazing, I'm super glad I got to go. I met some fabulous bloggers, the goodie bag was fantastic and the party was even better.

Most recently I won hair products from Fiona at 'Love your tresses' blog. The prize was hair conditioner and a really expensive hair pudding  which I can not wait to start using. That's once I get through the mountain of products I've accrued as a result of all the fab events I've been attending lately

Twitter is brilliant. It's so fast paced and responsive. I've heard about events and breaking news, not to mention been a part of humorous conversations and discussions via this addictive medium. The connections I've made have been meaningful and extremely beneficial in terms of building my blog and sharing its contents.

I guess the main reason behind this post is to encourage those who want to try Twitter or who are not too sure what the benefits are, to give it a try. The opportunities are endless and the goodies are plentiful. And while you're at it why not enter my latest giveaway, you never know you may just win the prize....

Have you won many prizes via Twitter? Do you feel Twitter has exposed you to opportunities you otherwise might have missed? I'd love to hear your experience.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Little man

This little boy was born nearly 12 and a half months ago.

He is doing something different every day now. Copying my every move, dancing, singing, almost running. Yes running.

His personality is growing bigger everyday.

He is so quietly confident.

So little, yet so mighty. Such a boy.

Children can be hardwork, but they are also the best thing. Ever.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Feeling frustrated

For quite some time I've been feeling frustrated.

It's not a feeling that is constantly there, but sometimes it creeps up and leaves me feeling overwhelmed and fed up.

Today for instance I woke up in a bad mood, well not such much a bad mood, more sad. Sad that I feel so bleurgh.....

I don't like feeling this way because I really do not have much to complain about, well not really, but I'll list what I think are the triggers for my frustrations all the same. Maybe it will help me find solutions. Who knows....

I'm frustrated that I have a  mum tum, dimply thighs and wobbly upper arms that will not go away. It can't help that I do virtually no exercise. Of course I'm running around after my children all day every day, but I really need to tone up. I can't believe I had a six pack before children. It. Has. Gone. *sigh*

My hair is frustrating me. It doesn't do what I want it to do. I think it's because I'm at that weird in between stage where it's not really short, but it's not long either, so I'm struggling with styling. I'm happy with the condition of my hair, the regime I have and the products I'm using, I just need to find time to experiment with styling.

I'm frustrated with feeling tired all of the time, I'm trying to fit everything in and it means I'm sacrificing sleep. Something has got to give and soon.

I'm frustrated that the majority of the child rearing/organising duties seem to be left to me.

I'm frustrated that hayfever is kicking my butt and I keep on forgetting to buy antihistamines because I'm so preoccupied with my kids.

I am frustrated that I find time to blog, tweet and facebook but struggle to find time to read the Word. Lord forgive me, help me to do better.

I'm frustrated that my OH has lost his passport therefore holding up the application for our little boy's passport. I really need a holiday of some description. At this point a long weekend at a UK seaside resort will do, I'm really not fussed.

I'm frustrated that my little boy is so ridiculously clingy right now. I can't seem to do anything without him grabbing onto my leg for dear life. I can't cook or clean without having to leave him crying hysterically while I rush to get things done. What is going on with him?

I'm frustrated that I never seem to have any ME time.

I'm frustrated that I'm frustrated. 

That pretty much sums me up right now. *sob*

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Keeping it moving

LOVE this idea. My OH has gorgeous
handwriting too. Will have to do this!
Things seem to have picked up pace on the wedding planning front. 

I've found a church. Again.

I can't believe we didn't seriously consider this one before. It's my aunt's church and it's where we got daughter number two christened. It is big with a beautiful interior, in short it's a 'proper' church in the traditional sense. 

I've spoken to the administrator and she's pretty certain we'll be fine to get married there. She just needs to organise all her marriage enquiries before she can confirm our date, so she'll be responding to my email in the next week. All being well we'll be booked in for a meeting with the bishop soon after. Can I get a high five?? 

I suppose I shouldn't get too carried away just yet, but it is feeling like a dead cert. Plus the Pastor from our church could still possibly marry us, and if not exclusively, he can still be involved in the ceremony in some capacity, as long as the residing bishop agrees. A bit convoluted if you ask me, but hey.....

This church has a hall attached and a new kitchen too. We're going to check it out for suitability. I told you it's all go.

We've also got our eye on a caterer.  I did toy with the idea of having tasty but simple Italian fair - hours of watching Jamie Oliver back to back on More 4 inspired me. But I guess it's safer to stick to what we know and at least then my Nan will be happy lol. So the caterer we are getting a little bit excited about, cook West Indian food in a bang on trend 'street style' and it's good. Lord knows we've paid for our fair share of average to below average Caribbean grub, so we know this definitely hits the spot. If we can get them on board that would be another item to tick off the never ending 'to do' list.

Hopefully we'll get these three main things firmed up in the coming weeks, then it'll be 'save the date' time and everything will become realer (I don't think that's a word) than real *chews nails in nervous anticipation*

Lil old me is going to become a Mrs...

Monday, 25 June 2012

Along the river

I had big plans for Saturday, but a combination of laziness and disorganisation overwhelmed me and scuppered them all.

Determined not to let the day turn into a wash out, I managed to get the kids sorted, rouse the OH *sigh* and get out of the front door for just gone 3pm. As time was getting on we decided to mosey on down to Canary Wharf to get a bite to eat and see what was going on in the world.

We took a lovely long walk along the river and although it wasn't sunny the weather was nice, not too warm and not too cold with a lovely riverside breeze thrown in for good measure. 

I so love London. It's simply beautiful. I can't explain it but I have such a close affinity to this vibrant city. Ever since moving away to live in West Yorkshire for a year and then coming back, I have begun to see the city of my birth in a whole new light. Before I used to take it for granted. But now I relish all it has to offer and I want my children to enjoy it too.

Better started getting organised. Fun times ahead methinks....

Daddy with our eldest and our youngest.
Middle child was relaxing in the buggy
and didn't want to move. Tsk.

Our lil man is walking up a storm bless him.

Dinner at Wagamama. Yum,Yum

Leisurely stroll

Ships ahoy

Smiles aplenty....come on Daddy!!

Health and Safety

Fancy boat

London really reminds me of New York sometimes.
Especially here. Just need some yellow taxi's.

As soon as  I lifted my phone he said 'Cheese'
Such a clever boy.

My little girl is pooped. Home time..
Such a lovely afternoon.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Grecian style/two bun flat twists

My dear mum taught me to canerow when I was 12 years old and ever since I have loved to plait hair. My own as well as others. 

You'd think that since I have two daughters of my own, I would be in my hair braiding element, but alas they are a nightmare when it comes to anything hair related, so I have to keep things very simple when working with their young tresses. The screaming and carrying on, although slowly improving is still quite soul destroying.

Luckily for me I have family members who help me to fulfil my joy of plaiting without all the nonsense. In particular my  sister who has a full head of luscious, thick, kinky, gorgeous natural hair. She is very compliant and always jumps at the chance to let me experiment with styles on her. She loves, being the guinea pig, I love doing the braiding. It's a win-win situation.

On Thursday she came over  to mine with freshly washed, damp hair and I set to work creating a little bit of magic. She had already conditioned and added Jamaican black castor oil, so I added some Curls Unleashed curl defining cream mixed with a little more Jamaican black castor oil, then parted her hair into small sections and proceeded to flat twist each section, sealing with Anita Grant's creamy vanilla latte as I went. I flat twisted her hair into two distinct bundles ready to join up into two chunky flat twists.

From start to finish it took me about two hours, (that included numerous interruptions from my little boy, who in typical baby fashion wanted all of my attention when I had something else to be getting on with.) The beauty with this style is that it is quite versatile. After I finished I wrapped each section into cute buns, but my sister wanted something that would stay in for a bit longer, so I flat twisted each section down. If she likes she could even wear it all down or pin the front up and leave the back section of flat twists out. 

I must say I loved the finished result and so did she. What do you think?

My sister's freshly washed and conditioned hair
before I started

The finished style from the front

Side/back view

View of the back

Friday, 22 June 2012


My children are growing. Fast.

It is such a cliché, but since becoming a parent I've come to truly understand the meaning of the well known phrase. 'Time flies'. 

In September my eldest starts school. And in a few days time we'll be taking her to visit and meet her teachers and buy her school uniform. It is insane to me that my little bean, who came into the world five weeks early, weighing little more than five pounds is going to school. 

I blinked my eyes and before me stands my self assured, but sometimes shy, beautiful, giggly, four and a half year old. She is about to enter a new chapter in her life, she will be learning new things, making new friends. I feel so guilty because for a while now she has wanted to learn how to read, but I haven't spent enough time with her teaching her words and helping her to recognise the spelling in the books we read. Life as mum of three is busy, but that's no excuse. I must make the time. 

From now until September I vow to read with my girls everyday and teach them how to write their names and count confidently to 30 so they are ready in September. I say girls because daughter number two will be starting pre school in September too. My babies are getting so big, and my heart although bursting with pride quietly aches. My children are evolving.

Soon they'll be no more 'quiet' mornings. I'll be joining the millions of other parents doing the school run. How quickly things change. Nothing in this life is ever permanent. I must always remember that. 

No matter how diabolical or amazing a situation may seem it will not last forever. Much like life itself.  

Soon my little boy will be following suit and my hands won't be as full as they are now. I must cherish every second with my children while I can. My time with them is temporary.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

My first LEGO DUPLO farm

So we received another brilliant LEGO DUPLO set to review last week. Oh how I look forward to those lovely boxes of joy.

On this occasion we were sent the 'My first farm' set. I had it all planned out and hid the box away from the children for a few days whilst the excitement of our little boy's first birthday calmed down.

The OH had other plans and let the kids loose on it without my careful guidance, so I was unable to see the look of delights on their faces first hand. 

It was however Father's day and I was laid up with a nasty cold feeling sorry for myself, so it was his way of keeping them entertained and yes of course it worked. In record time a hush enveloped our household. Bliss.

LEGO DUPLO is amazing at keeping young minds occupied. Even my one year old got stuck in despite the 2-5 age recommendation. This set is farm inspired and there are a range of great pieces; from pigs, cows and sheep, to tractors, windows and gates. The children loved discovering and building with them, thus providing hours of fun.

At a price of £19.99 for a box of 62 pieces it's great value for money, plus LEGO and DUPLO is interchangeable so it can be added to existing sets too.

The kids are always in their element when playing with LEGO DUPLO, their imaginations go into overdrive and it really helps to channel their creativity. From a piano, to a magic wand, to a hen house they've been making it all. Three cheers for LEGO DUPLO!

Getting down to business

Little brother doesn't want to miss out 

So much fun

Hen house

Tower house with beautiful flowers

I think I'm going to join in with the next play session and see if we can have a go at building the farm - Exciting! If the kids co-operate, pics to follow...

This is a review post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Inspirational Interview - Lovefro

It's been a while since I've had an Inspirational Interview on the blog. It's not for want of trying (everyone is so busy with life and making things happen at the moment, it's crazy. In a good way of course). I love hearing the stories of how people are turning their dreams and aspirations into reality. To be able to share those experiences on my blog and spread inspiration, motivation and encouragement really excites me.

I'm currently on my own journey to self discovery, attempting to find 'that' or 'those' little thing/s that really make me tick creatively. This blog and my natural hair journey are two things which have really unlocked my creative juices and seemed to have opened up the floodgates of endless possibilities. 

As a blogger it goes without saying that I love reading other blogs, and it was whilst getting my daily fix of  Natural Belle that I came across Jacqueline Laing of Lovefro. Jacqueline is the brains behind a workshop entitled The Business of Natural Hair which takes place in London on 14 July. This event really struck a chord with me, so needless to say I've purchased my ticket. So on the 14 July that's where I'll be. It promises to be a truly educational and inspirational event and I'm super excited to be going. 

I caught up with Jacqui to discover more about her and her business Lovefro, the motivation behind the workshop and why she thinks natural hair has become such big business.

Name: Jacqueline Laing

Age: …..uhmmmm put it this way….the Wombles and Tiswas, were the highlight of my week!

Tell me a bit about yourself and how Lovefro came to be? Where do I start…? Well I am a graduate in Theology and training to be a minister of religion, within my denomination. Outside of that, I am working on developing my natural hair brand, ‘Lovefro’, with the view to bringing out a range of products, in the not too distant future.  I love running my own company, find baking therapeutic, and enjoy contemplating life.  I’m always seeking to understand how to live more successfully and meaningfully in his life.

The choice to go natural has really taken off all over the world. Especially in the US and UK. Why do you think this is? Well, to seek to isolate the growth in the natural hair movement, to one reason, would, in reality be unwise.  I think people transition or big chop (B.C) for many reasons, and as a community, we should accept and respect that. I think a better way of determining market growth, is to see it as an awakening, a sense of coming of age in the black community; being more at ease with self/personal identity, and understanding that beauty, is more than one thing.

I decided to go natural because I was fed up of the poor quality of my hair despite expensive relaxers. I'd simply had enough. Plus I wanted to be an example for my young children and embrace my natural kinks? What influenced your decision to go natural? Actually, I had wanted to go natural for may years, but just didn't have the courage to. But the final decision to transition came when, I just couldn’t afford salon hair care any more, and so my journey began. I B.C'd 10 months ago, after transitioning for 11 months, when my hair began to lock!!!

What is your hair regime? What regime?  Lol…really…I don’t have a regime, I wash my hair as and when.   ‘When’, I do wash my hair, I detangle with a mix of oils and conditioner - TRESemme at the moment.  Wash with a mix of bentonite clay, coconut milk, and avocado oil. Deep condition with Organic Hair Mayonnaise, mixed with more oil/mayonnaise, rinse with ACV (Apple Cider vinegar), then moisturize and seal with a lovely organic moisturizer and pomade that I have been toying with.

What are your favourite/'go to' hair products at the moment? If anything, it would be the Bentonite clay, TRESemme Naturals Moisturising conditioner, avocado oil/olive oil and perm rods!!

You are holding a workshop entitled 'The Business of Natural Hair Workshop, on 14th July. Tell me what those who wish to attend should expect? Well, apart from goody-bags, attendees will come away, inspired and motivated, to build their business on a solid foundation, and/or strengthen their existing business, by understanding the market further, and identifying and honing in on their ideal customer. In addition, they will ADD VALUE to their business by:

1.  Having a better understanding of consumer attitude to the UK Natural Hair Market
2.  Gaining valuable insight into the Cosmetic/Beauty industry as a whole
3.  Learning how to capitalize on the opportunity
4.  Understanding how to build a business around their strengths
5.  Knowing how to develop market research on a budget,
6.  Knowing how to formulate questions that draw out the right information from potential/existing customers.

Plus much more….book now…places are limited: http://www.thebusinessofnaturalhair.com

Why do you think it has taken black people so long to get properly established in the black beauty industry? (I.e. manufacturing and selling products) I think a large part of our failure to capitalize in this or any industry is our inability, to see ourselves as owners/manufacturers, as opposed to simply being consumers. I also think its a combination of ‘not knowing how to’ penetrate the cosmetic industry, a sense of being unable to financially compete, with the large manufacturers and a perception or mind-set, dominated by ideas that the beauty industry is the domain of other nationalities.

Who is your motivation and inspiration? Well, on a public level it has to be Oprah Winfrey, Margaret Thatcher (although I’m not a Tory); I quite like Tony Blair, and academics such as Dr Robert Beckford. On a private level, it is those one or two individuals, who have proved to be ‘successful’ in church  life, family life or married life, my former tutor, Graham.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Picnic in the park

Beautiful Greenwich park
A sunny spell after the wind and rain intervals.
On Saturday we went to lovely Greenwich park with the OH's mum, sister and nephew to celebrate our lil man's first birthday. 

Greenwich is gorgeous and there is so much to see and do. It is virtually unrecognisable at the moment as preparations go into overdrive for the Olympics. 

It's like a massive building site, and most of the green areas that would usually be used for ball games and picnicking are now out of bounds as the stadium gets constructed. We managed to find a nice, secluded patch of grass close to the Royal Maritime Museum and proceeded to have our picnic there.

The weather was typically all over the place. Dear UK, what exactly is the deal? One minute sunny, then spitting, then cloudy, then really, really windy, so I didn't get to take any photos of the amazing spread. It was lovely but we were all so busy trying to stop everything from getting wet and blowing away, not to mention the arduous task of keeping four children under five entertained and in one place, that taking photos took a back seat unfortunately.

Once the picnic was packed away the children had a free for all in the playground and on the way back I managed to grab a few  pictures of the transformation Greenwich park is undertaking. It really is rather exciting.

The stadium is being constructed

My girls running free

Great views of the city

Tried to catch an aeroplane in the blue sky. Think I failed.

It's all go in Greenwich

Monday, 18 June 2012

House of Loulée giveaway

It's give away time! And there's an ultra cute prize for two, yes two lucky winners.

This competition comes courtesy of House of Loulée, a beautiful clothing label inspired by wonderful vibrant 100% cotton African Wax prints.
The prizes are these two pairs of gorgeous baby soft wrap shoes; so two people will win one pair each. The shoes come in sizes 0-3 months, 3-6months and 6-12 months so if you win you can specify the size you require.

Prize one - Gorgeous.

Prize two - So cute.

Lucy Lee, founder and creator of House of Loulée is an incredibly talented designer and hand makes all of her creations. Her work is a celebration of beautiful African prints, patterns and colours made into wonderful children's garments that can be worn everyday. House of Loulée also make clothes for adults but the focus is currently on the children's range which is super cute, so do check out the website.

The House of Loulée baby soft wrap shoes are great comfy footwear for your little one. But if you don't have a little one, or your little ones are not so little any more, you could always gift them to a niece or nephew, a grandchild, a friends baby....the options really are endless. So why not try your luck and enter the competition.

To be in with a chance of winning this adorable prize all you have to do is;
  1. Follow my blog 'The Accidental Mogul' via google friend connect or blog lovin (links are at the top right of the side bar on this page)
  2. Like The Accidental Mogul Facebook page here
  3. Like the House of Loulee Facebook page here and follow House of Loulee on twitter here.
  4. For one extra vote you can also follow me on twitter @theaccidentalmo and retweet the competition whenever you see my House of Loulée competition tweets.
  5. Please leave a comment in the comment box below to confirm you have entered the competition by completing all of the above, please also state which method you have used to follow my blog.
  6. The competition is open to UK only.
Please make sure you fulfill all the relevant criteria as Lucy and I will be checking.

So that's it. 

The competition ends at midnight on 30 June 2012. And the winners will be picked out of a hat at random. 

Good luck lovelies.

House of Loulée baby wrap shoe range.
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