With a bit of energy you can bring in some extra cash with these ideas. 

Even though we work hard for a living, working mothers often find ourselves searching for ways to make extra money or spend less. This extra money is often used for luxuries, such as family holidays, new furniture, high-tech gadgets, etc.

Maybe you can’t imagine finding time to make extra money when you already work full-time. However, there are some creative ways you can make extra money without cutting into your quality parenting time.

Many working mums long for jobs that can be done from home. Imagine a ten second commute into your home office where you could work, make money and be near your children. Home based jobs allow you to spend more time with your children. Many of the best home jobs for mums also allow mothers to have flexible schedules whereby they can adjust their work routine to accommodate their children’s school needs and extracurricular activities.

Not sure what you can do from home to make a living? How can you find a job you can do from home?

While we all can’t be writers or bakers, keep in mind that you can use one of these popular home-based jobs as a starting point to create the unique job that will suit your lifestyle and financial needs.

Try making extra money by doing one or more of the following jobs:

 

Babysitting

If you no longer have babies, but your friends or neighbours do, ask if they want a Saturday night out on the town. Maybe you can babysit and bring your children along as helpers. This way you spend time with your family while making money watching someone else’s child or children.

 

Personal shopping

Love to shop, but have friends or colleagues who hate it? Offer to do holiday shopping for friends and family members who don’t have time.

Charge 10-15 percent of what your customers spend as your fee.

Most of the shopping can be done online and delivered directly to your customers’ homes. Offer to make returns for your customers at no charge, so it’s not a hassle for them. If you get several steady customers, you can earn money all year long when they need to purchase apparel, electronic or household items for themselves or others.

 

Direct marketing

From selling healthcare product lines, such as Juice Plus+ or Forever Living, to becoming a representative for direct marketing companies that sell items such as jewellery, household products, or weight loss products you can make extra money.

Many of these direct marketing jobs require you to host parties in people’s homes, where you earn a percentage of the sales you make. In most cases, you can do this on a weekend evening after your children are in bed. It’s a great way to make extra money, and socialise at the same time. Just make sure you don’t end up blowing your extra money on products for yourself — or spending so much time on marketing and planning that your pay ends up rivalling minimum wage.

 

Sales Jobs

From a cosmetic representative to a gift basket designer, there are many sales oriented jobs that can be both profitable and easy to for mums to do from home. If you are unsure about the type of sales job that will work best for you, try to find something you’ll enjoy selling.

If you’re not familiar with the sales business you’d like to launch from home, try to identify a niche. Seek out a product that is in demand in your area. You can research online the types of sales jobs that net the biggest profits. It’s also wise to research how you’ll be able to ship products, and you’ll need to learn the most efficient way to do so. There also are sales jobs that offer products, like insurance policies, that can be sold from home. Many companies will allow representatives to work from home.

 

Craft making

Have a special craft-making talent? Do you have a knack for making decorative household or personal items, such as jewellery boxes, floral wreaths, or homemade jewellery? Make these items at night after the kids have gone to bed.

In turn, you can sell your items via word of mouth, by posting photos on your Facebook page, host a party at your home, or setup an Etsy shop.   Again, be careful that the time you spend doesn’t end up dwarfing the amount of money you can make, based on the prices you can charge. The time away from family is precious, after all.

 

 

Online Jobs

If you want to launch an online business, think of a service or products you can offer online. This can be everything from a life coach or wedding planner to a custom cookie maker. You can broaden your market and buying audience by launching an online business. You can attract many more clients by having a website that markets the products or services you sell.

 

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Sculpt Your Life’s Blog
Email: Mary@SculptYourLife.ie

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Halloween trick or treating can leave a child packed with thousands of calories from sugary junk – so maybe it’s time we did our bit to make the occasion a little healthier for our kids. 

 

Although it comes around only once a year, the annual Halloween gorge fest does nothing to help battle society’s ever-growing daily nightmare: childhood obesity.

 

That’s not to say I’m the Halloween Grinch. In fact, I’m a big fan of the spookiest night of the year and love joining in the dress-up fun with my kids.

 

However, Ireland is haunted by news that we’ll be Europe’s fattest nation by 2020 and, with that in mind, Halloween can be the perfect starting point for changing our national mind-set on sugar intake.

 

Handing out copious amounts of sweets at Halloween is a relatively new habit. Traditionally the Halloween diet in Ireland was all about whole food harvest feasts of fruit, turnips, kale, barrack and other treats enjoyed around a blazing bonfire.

 

Today those treats have been replaced by bags of jelly sweets, chocolate bars, cakes, fizzy drinks and any number of sugar-filled snacks. To put it in perspective; if an average-sized child consumed 7,000 calories in sugary sweets it would take more than 40 hours of walking to off-set that intake.

 

I read recently that the American Dental Association (ADA) launched a ‘Stop Zombie Mouth’ campaign, offering coupons for a game called Plants vs. Zombies that parents could distribute to trick-or-treaters instead of sweets to help avoid cavities in kids – or, as the dentists called them, “zombie mouths.”

 

While we don’t have to go that far, there are many cheap and handy alternatives that can help us reduce sugar intake in our kids without hampering any of the fun.

 

A good starting point for our own little ones is to make sure they are full up by serving them a wholesome meal before they head off on their trick or treat expedition. This measure is important yet limited in that most children – resourceful as they are – will stash their treats for later.

 

An altogether more beneficial move is to provide alternative treats to any little devils, witches, ghosts or fairies who come a knocking on the spookiest day of the year.

 

We’ve put together a few examples of tricks which are sure to go down a treat.

 

Stickers

Children love stickers – why else would the doctor or dentist hand them out when kids visit the surgery. A book of stickers is just as cost effective as a big bag of cheap jellies and can give kids something different on the doorstep.

 

Glow sticks

A glow stick is a treat with the added bonus of providing safety for children. The road safety aspect is all the more reason to provide these glow in the dark accessories to trick or treaters.

 

Transfers/Temporary tattoos

Fun transfers and temporary tattoos are always a big hit with children and are a perfect treat for Halloween. Why not get some extra spooky transfers to mark the occasion?

 

Pencil case fillers

Pencils, pencil toppers and erasers will all come in handy for kids at school. Why not contribute to their education instead of their sugar intake.  

 

Lucky bags

From plastic vampire teeth to plastic spider rings and temporary tattoos there is a myriad of items that can make a lucky bag fun and healthy.

 

Snack bags

Why not try a traditional snack bag filled with fruit, nuts, raisins, a small bottle of water and whatever other healthy snacks you can find?

 

Loose change

Help your trick or treaters to fill their piggy banks by taking the lazy way out and doling out your pocket change. It may well go towards buying something other than sugary sweets while also making you a little lighter.

 

Happy Halloween!

 

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Our little ones are making their big screen debut this weekend in front of 4,500 people and it’s going to be such a memorable surprise for them – so we hope.

So far Jamie and Abbie have only been shown a taster of the new international advertisement for Juice Plus for which they spent three fun-filled days filming in Germany. This weekend’s JP convention in Bournemouth is the setting where all will be revealed and, although the kids are coming along, they don’t know that yet.

We purposefully haven’t told them what’s going to happen in the auditorium in the company of thousands of people, simply because of the potential of the information to cause either super excitement or unnecessary anxiety, or both.

So we’re going to wing it. Personally, I can’t wait to see the reactions on their little faces when they light up the silver screen.

Another reason we’ve decided to wing it is the fact that it’s been so crazy in our house recently that myself and Seamus have hardly had time to think about this weekend’s convention and all the trappings that go with it.

Like so many people I meet these days, we’ve had so much to do and so little time to do it and that makes my head spin. It’s been so hectic that we’ll be relieved to finally board the plane bound for the English Riviera where our first stop will be a fabulous mystery ball in a top secret location.

If it’s anything like the last Juice Plus Club 39 event in wonderful Warwick Castle then this weekend will be a truly royal experience of fun and fine dining, not to mention the well-earned, obligatory flute or two of beautiful bubbly. The occasion will also give us a little escape for a few hours as my mum and dad have very kindly agreed to come along and hang out with the kids for the evening.

With the excitement of the ball behind us, Friday and Saturday will see us back to work as fresh as daisies. We’ll be all geared up for the convention and, most importantly, Jamie and Abbie’s big moment.

I may well be a little teary-eyed when I see them on screen in front of such a large audience but who would deny a proud mum that right.

In that moment there may also be further consolidation of the realisation of what we have achieved with our new business – our Juice Plus adventure.

What started as simply using a product to improve my health and lifestyle less than four years ago has blossomed into thriving family business which has truly allowed both myself and Seamus to reinvent ourselves and our careers while creating more time to focus on enjoying our family life.

For that I’m thankful every day. It’s a feeling which I am sure will swell in me during our big moment when Saturday comes.

 

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Summer holidays have an irritating knack of putting paid to best laid plans for health and fitness routines.

It’s been almost four weeks since our fabulous Sculpt Movement retreat in sunny Portugal but I still feel a little sluggish in my training while my healthy eating plan has taken a bit of a knock too.

When faced with a square or two of chocolate or similar treat the devilish thought of ‘sure why not, I’m on my holidays’ has a tendency to hang around long after the plane hits the rain-swept tarmac in Ireland.

Of course I always have the best of intentions when jetting off for a few days’ fun and relaxation. Great care is taken to ensure the trainers are packed and the gym gear is all present and correct even before the passports and ticket checks are completed.

My plan is always to fit in a minimum number of sessions – short jogs, some HIIT or even a quick swim. 

Regardless of whatever plan I’ve made, by the time I arrive in the hotel I’ve invariably decided to take the first day off and spend it relaxing.

However, what follows is a spiral of overindulgence and skipped training sessions – the guilt from which is easily shrugged off by the old ‘sure why not, I’m on my holidays’ attitude.

The inactivity and eating frenzy are in themselves negligible because after all it’s only for a few days while on holiday.

My problem is getting back on the wagon when the holiday dust has settled. It’s something I’ve been struggling with since my holiday ended and is now causing me a little anxiety because I’m due to jet off for another break in just four weeks’ time.

The only solution I can come up with is to be strict with myself in toeing the line with my health and fitness routine right up until check-in and doing the same upon my return. Based on past experience planning for during the actual holiday is somewhat pointless for me.

So for one week only I’m abandoning the plan. Who knows, maybe I’ll fit in a little bit of exercise around all the family fun – maybe I won’t. One thing I know for sure, this time it’s not going to bother me. 

I’ve made up my mind that there’ll be plenty of time for hard work and healthy living when I get home. Perhaps a good rest and not worrying about missing training sessions will leave me ready to hit the ground running when I return and ensure I beat the summer holiday  sluggishness once and for all.

 

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Where would we be without our parents or ‘granky’ and ‘papa’ as our little ones have playfully dubbed my mum and dad.

 

It’s papa’s birthday today and to celebrate he mum have been gifted the joy of caring for our kids for the entire weekend.

This is the first time we’ve been away from the children for such a long time and I must admit that I’m more than little anxious at the thought of jetting off for the Sculpt Movement retreat in sunny Portugal without the ‘terrible two’.

My mum and dad assure me that there is no need to taint my excitement with the anxious nausea brought on by worry over how Jamie and Abbie will manage without us for a whole four days.

I suppose they’re right, it won’t kill them – or us to break for a few days. It may even make the heart grow fonder in accordance with the old cliché.

Anyway, the kids have the excitement of papa’s birthday to look forward to. Jamie, our five-year-old, just can’t wait. His comment on what he needs to get papa as a present gave me a great chuckle the other day while also serving to remind me of just how innocent and sweet he can be.

“Do you know what papas most favourite thing in the whole world is,” he quizzed. “Cowboys” he exclaimed quickly.  He then elaborated: “So do you know what he should get for his birthday? Woody, because he’s the best cowboy of all.” he revealed without even pausing for a breath.

Jamie believes everyone should get a toy on their birthday, whether they’re 6 or 60. And the ‘Toy Story’ hero is the perfect gift for his western-loving papa.

I can only hope that Jamie or his little sister Abbie don’t ‘reach for the sky’ (as Woody would say) when we take off for Portugal this weekend.

All my worrying aside, I know the break is just what myself and Seamus need to relax and find some alone time.

We’ve been planning this retreat for months and the team can’t wait to get the fun started.

Seamus is one of only four fellas among the party of 30 on the retreat and I think the lads may be a little concerned about how they’re going to cope with all the sun cream application for the ladies.

Don’t worry boys, I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it after day one.

The itinerary for weekend involves a little brainstorming and a lot of fun activities on the beach.

We’ve booked into a five star hotel and will get into the spirit with celebration cocktails by the beach on Friday evening. Saturday will involve a beach training sessions and some surprise fun activities. On Sunday we’ve arranged to cap off the weekend with a sunset cruise complete with dinner and recognition of the Sculpt success stories over the past 12 months.

I’m certain spare a thought or ten for Jamie and Abbie – and granky and papa – while we try to relax but I promise not to pine too much for my little cowboy and cowgirl during the sculpt posse adventure.

My parents have told us to getaway and have some fun – I suppose it would be rude not to. Thanks a million mum and dad, I think we will. 

 

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Pressure is mounting in our house with Seamus’ final exams looming large.

I seem to be feeling it more than he is – as ever my other half remains so cool calm and collected on the outside. 

We both know he’s got all the hard work done but exam pressure can be a persistent little mite that eats away at you no matter what your level preparedness. I still have nightmares about sitting exams in my school and university days.

That’s not to say I haven’t every confidence that the outcome for Seamus will be nothing short of fantastic. The truth be told I’m already tremendously proud him for his achievements.

It’s been a long four years since Seamus made the tough decision to go back into education and take on the challenge of an honours degree in computer science. People initially thought he was mad in the head to go to college at 31 years-old while trying to support a young family. We knew it was the right decision from the first time he entertained the option – it was a quintessential ‘no brainer’.

We approached the decision with the mentality that four years will pass anyway. We thought why not start them off by putting time to good use rather than waiting for something to ‘turn up’.

As a carpenter with two young children in the biggest property crash in Irish history, it seemed the only progressive and positive option. Like so many other talented and skilful entrepreneurs, Seamus hit a dead end with his company (the aptly named ‘Stairways From Heaven’) as Ireland’s construction industry collapsed in an economic wasteland.

A drastic shift in direction in life and a change of career was decided upon.

And what to you know, an opportunity for transformation did indeed ‘turn up’. It was a game-changer that neither us expected. Our lives and lifestyles have been turned around by the decisions we’ve both made and it looks great so far.

In just a few weeks’ time, after much hard work and dedication, Seamus will emerge from his four year journey through third level education with new skills and a valuable qualification. He now has the added bonus that during his years of study we have also created a business which is thriving. Seamus’ decision to gain new skills and expertise will now allow us to grow our business even further through the use new technology.

Exam pressure is one thing but the pressure of not knowing what the future held was a very different kind of stress. In 2012 I was on maternity leave, Seamus was out of work and the future looked bleak for us.

Due to the decisions we’ve taken, we’ve since transformed the way we live and work. We are now both proud owners of university qualifications who have built a flourishing franchise business from the ground up.

In fact should we want to take our studies even further we can now easily do so and still comfortably run our family business.

We’ve both learned that making the right decisions under pressure can produce fantastic results. Thankfully our stress was short-lived due to our deciding on change and putting in a lot of hard work to create it.

Perhaps that’s food for thought for anyone feeling stress right now – whether exam related or otherwise.  

 

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Team Penrose has crashed and burned in more ways than one – it’s been a tough week all round.

Due to high drama at home on the eve of our big Dublin conference and high spirits on the evening of conference day two, both myself and Seamus have spent a few days picking up the pieces.

On Friday crisis struck when Seamus’s web project for his Computer Science Degree – which was due on Monday  – totally crashed, leaving him in the depths of frustration and facing a re-coding nightmare weekend.

The digital crash also forced me to make the conference trip alone. The absence of my usual chaperone may also have contributed to my own personal, self-inflicted and champagne-induced crash on a night of post-conference fun with my team.

I’ve often heard people utter that ‘you need a good blow out once in a while’ but almost a week after I crashed and burned my body is still screaming: ‘NEVER AGAIN’.

The ‘shot-queen’ is a tag which I’m neither proud of nor altogether happy with yet – following the fabulous conference highlights of Saturday – I was stuck with it for the remainder of the event.

I spent Sunday beating myself up believing that I’d somehow let myself down. In reality though, my mind-set was just the depressing side effect of an unhealthy combination of excessive champagne consumption, minimal food intake and far too little sleep.

The truth is that the whole team had a fantastic evening which lived up to the tremendous success of the super speeches which preceded the celebratory carnage.

Successful and inspirational speeches from the ‘boss babes’ in my team at the event were the highlight for most who attended the three-day conference. For a few

hours I adopted the attitude that ‘if a girl can’t celebrate success, then what’s the point in success’. I knew the price to be paid for overdoing the bubbly and

necking more than a few shots – at least I thought I did.

Then came the crash. Sunday morning’s hangover hit me like a ton of bricks. My life and my career revolve around healthy living – it’s in my heart and soul. On

Sunday morning I wished beyond wishing that I had stayed the healthy living path. With every pound of my head, pang of guilt and feeling of impending dread,

I cursed everyone from the French monk who pioneered putting bubbles in wine to the bar staff who poured the shots into our glasses. Nevertheless, in my heart

of hearts I knew the hangover was nobody’s fault but mine.

Monday wasn’t much better but at least – while I was partying and suffering – Seamus had managed to bring his project back to life and submit it before the deadline.

Slowly I’ve been coming back to life but by Thursday morning things still were not back to normal.

As is usual the early alarm sounded for my gym session but it took every ounce of will power I could muster to get up and get at it. I did though. Such attitude is

what I strive for in my life and in my team – I firmly believe it’s the first step to success.

With the value of hindsight it’s a pity I didn’t apply such will power on Saturday night. Then again I did enjoy letting my hair down a little and having some

spontaneous fun even if it did earn me the unwanted title of ‘shot queen’.

 

Never again though.

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Just imagine my surprise when I returned home to find all of my wardrobes had been emptied.

“Oh no, I think we’ve been burgled,” exclaims my husband, Seamus.

After an initial reaction of shock and horror it finally dawned on me how the curious case of the empty wardrobes had come to be. I recalled an unusual text message I’d received from our new housekeeping assistant earlier in the day.
It read something like: ‘I couldn’t get everything finished because I didn’t have enough bags’
My attention was then drawn to the plastic bags on the floor of every room. They were packed full of practically every item of clothing we own.
Not knowing whether to laugh or cry, I took a deep breath and put the situation in perspective. I then let out a little chuckle as I recalled how my instructions to “put away” all the clothes “including the ones in the bags” had been misinterpreted.


It turned out that the language barrier had duped us both. However, after a brief moment of panic, I saw the funny side of how simple instructions can sometimes be lost in translation. My wonderful housekeeper – although a little embarrassed at first – also enjoyed a good laugh with me about it when she arrived the following week.
I had simply taken it for granted that she understood and she did her best to carry out what she believed were her instructions. It was easy done but there was no harm done. In fact Seamus and I were actually delighted that our initial fears that house has been burgled were not realised.


Communication problems can lead to many mishaps and misunderstandings – especially when comprehension is taken for granted. When put in perspective this situation amounted to no more than a funny anecdote which I’ll be able to reference from time to time at dinner parties. This was simply an initially irritating yet refreshingly hilarious outcome resulting from an innocent misunderstanding.

The housekeeper listened to the instructions but didn’t understand – I can only imagine what it can be like to try to interpret every instruction in a language which isn’t your first.

I took for granted that my instructions were understood – I shouldn’t have because I know how frustrating it can be when people take things for granted.  Some people take for granted that they understand network marketing – people take it for granted that it is not a good career opportunity. That’s really frustrating because they are so wrong.

Network marketing has provided fantastic opportunities for me and my family. It has transformed our lives by giving us much more free time and the healthy finances to enjoy it in comfort. It’s also transformed the lives of the people I work with.

I can’t understand how anyone could associate network marketing – a perfectly respectable and rewarding career choice – with negativity. My experience in my new career over the past few years has been nothing ultra-positive.

So while finding the empty wardrobes was a shock, which in the end gave us all a good laugh; the curious case also served as a reminder that understanding should never be taken for granted.

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The excitement is reaching fever pitch in our house as we gear up for a family trip to Arizona.

I’m hopeful that by the time we get to Phoenix we’re all still smiling – well perhaps more anxious than hopeful.  My anxiety at the prospect of enduring an eleven hour flight with the kids has already lost me a few hours of sleep.

I’d be delighted if the first line of the famous Glen Campbell song reflects our long-haul trip (‘By the time I get to Phoenix she’ll be rising’). But judging from the excitement in our house, the chances of our three year-old Abbie getting any sleep at all on the plane will be nothing short of a miracle. I’m more than a little worried that both Abbie and Jamie (5) will be ‘rising’ frequently as we jet across the Atlantic.

It’s fair to say that there is strong potential for a little bit of transatlantic turbulence from the tiny two followed by some Stateside jetlag. That prospect doesn’t play ‘Gentle on my Mind’ – to borrow another of the famous Arizonian country singer’s song titles.

Don’t get me wrong: both Seamus and I are delighted to be getting a break with Jamie and Abbie. Our kids are good as gold but they are still kids and many of you will know well the potential of little ones to cause havoc – especially at 30,000 feet.

Setting my parental flight-risk worries aside though – and with all of my corny Glen Campbell references put to bed – we really are brimming with excitement about the family trip.

Of course, our trip is veiled as work because we’re taking part in the fabulous Juice Plus+ Global Conference in the Phoenix Convention Centre but I can assure you that we’ve planned for fun, fun, fun.

None more than Jamie who is veritably bursting to go on holiday with his sister – whether it’s the Grand Canyon State or somewhere 30 minutes down the road. Recently, during his fifth birthday party celebrations, I overheard him tell his grandmother that he needed to buy a suit. ‘Why do you need to buy a suit,” his granny quizzed.  The birthday boy’s matter of fact reply gave us all a warm chuckle:  “I need a suit to go to the conference with mammy and daddy in America,” he exclaimed.

That little moment was both a sweet reminder of the innocence of our first born and cause to reflect on just how quickly he’d grown up.

In that instant it was very clear why we would decide to embark on an eleven hour flight with Jamie and his little sister. It was something of a moment of clarity which highlighted just how fast their infancy is passing. It underscored the importance of making the most of every minute and hour of their childhood.  In that moment I said to myself: ‘if making the most of it means enduring eleven hours of chaos inspired by infant boredom, bring it on’.

We’re going to enjoy as much time together as a family as we possibly can – to hell with the jetlag.

You never know, maybe Jamie will get to address the conference just like his daddy; he’ll certainly have a suit for the job.

 

I don’t know if we’ll be smiling by the time we get to Phoenix but I’m sure we’ll be able to look back on our experience with very fond memories – whatever happens at 30,000 feet.

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WOW – what a spectacular weekend that was.

From revelling Cinderella-style in a medieval castle to addressing a packed auditorium, Seamus and I felt more than a few spontaneous urges to pinch ourselves to be absolutely certain we weren’t in a dream.

We jetted off to Birmingham on Thursday for what was a truly royal experience packed with castle dining and convention speeches.

Our weekend of excitement didn’t end there. To crown off a fabulous few days we jetted back to Ireland on Saturday to celebrate the Penrose family’s main event on Sunday – an energy filled fifth birthday banquet for our very own little prince charming, Jamie.

The landmark birthday got me thinking about the changes not only in Jamie but in our family. Just three short years ago our lives were completely different. Our outlook was completely different. In fact, everything about us was completely different. Never in our wildest dreams did Seamus and I believe we could ever enjoy such a fabulous few days of fun – and all in the name of work.

What we’ve realised over the past couple of years in particular is that ANYTHING is possible when you truly believe in your ability and surround yourself with the right people.

For me the icing on the big birthday cake of life is being able to experience all of my new found friendships, healthy lifestyle and dream job with my best friend.

Together Seamus and I have found a way in life which allows us more time to enjoy each other’s company – and our children’s. That’s not to say we don’t have to work hard in order to play more. Last weekend  we got the opportunity to do both on a royal scale.

After jetting in to Birmingham on Thursday we started preparing for the company’s gala ball. We didn’t have any clue where the event would take place but we expected it would be impressive. When evening fell we realised the party would be a whole new level of spectacular.

A white limousine whisked us off to wonderful Warwick Castle – a playground of royalty since the 11th century. We were more than a little daunted at the thought of dining at William the Conqueror’s table – within ramparts which had hosted kings and queens of England through the centuries. Cue a flute or two of Bollinger though and soon we found our royal rhythm for the evening. It was an evening we will never forget.

With the mystery of the ball well and truly unravelled our nerves began to jangle at the thought of addressing more than 3,500 delegates from stage at the company convention on Friday.

Apparently I gave off an air of confidence during the presentation. I was surprised to hear that because I can assure you all that a flutter of butterflies was swirling around my insides as I struggled with the question of how on earth I found myself in such a position.  I’m just normal girl from a small town in the West of Ireland yet I have managed, along with Seamus, to draw applause from 3,500 people in a packed auditorium. It was a tremendous moment, although a little nerve wracking and emotional for us both.

Our nerves soon settled as we got into the flow of our presentation. The interaction with the crowd was electric. It really did give me a great buzz.

The biggest buzz though was from the new and old friends we met over the course of the few days. Their kind words of support are a tremendous foundation for the continued success of our franchise business. Both Seamus and I were brimming with gratitude for all of our good friends and colleagues as we boarded the plane on route to the grand finale of our fabulous weekend.

Despite the flurry of excitement over the sparkling gowns, effervescent tipples, rapturous applause and inspiring words of wisdom from our more knowledgeable colleagues – Jamie’s birthday party was by far and away the highlight of our weekend.

 

The kisses and cuddles we received from the both the birthday boy and our little three year-old Abbie served as a beautiful reminder – as if we needed reminding – of why we do what we do and simply love doing it.

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