Sunday, 20 June 2010

Happy Father's Day everyone :)

Baby O and I just took Daddy out for a lovely meal - restaurant review coming up soon. O was gorgeously well behaved all the way through, which is always a relief as I'm well aware that people don't go out to a busy restaurant to listen to my baby screaming!

A compilation CD, some funny Daddy gifts and 2 tickets for Abba Mania in Roubaix made Daddy a very happy man, so a great day all round.

And there's still Chapagne in the fridge :)

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Starting The Dukan Diet in earnest - eek!

I tentatively started the Dukan Diet a few weeks ago, and promptly lost half a stone in about 5 days - but I wasn't following it as well as I should, and a few trips to various restaurants, and a UK shopping trip means I've let it drop by the wayside.

This weekend I've finally read the book properly, planned out menus for next week, joined the Facebook fan page, and joined up at the Dukan website.

Here's an Amazon affiliate link to the book I bought - it explains the diet very well and gives some recipes and menu plans, which are very helpful:

You can get personalised daily email coaching on the website, and it's very tempting to sign up, but they want to charge me £194 (cost is based on how much weight you have to lose, how long it will take, etc) and as there's no monthly payment options I've decided to give it a miss for now. I may sign up in future though if I struggle - but I kind of object to shelling out almost £200 for someone to tell me what I can read in the book that cost me less than a tenner!

The first 5 days of the diet will be protein based only, so no veggies, no sugar, no carbs and no alcohol - eek! 2-3 litres of water a day (shall I set up office in the toilet?), and 20 minutes of walking. I'm supposed to eat oatbran but ironically (as the Dukan Diet is named after the FRENCH doctor who invented it) I can't find oatbran here in France so have had to order it online and have it delivered.

I've also ordered the French version of the recipe book, but here's a link to the UK version as most of my readers are in the UK :)

I'm not going to turn this blog into a diet blog, but I will be posting about my efforts occasionally, as well as sharing menus and recipes both here and on Facebook. It keeps me accountable as well as giving me something to write about!

So, wish me luck - according to the website, I can reach my 'true weight' (I want to lose 4 stone) by November at a good and healthy pace, which is fine by me!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

French Nikki, meet English Nikki

Chatting to my friend Katie last night over a couple of glasses of wine, it occurred to me that I'm somewhat two faced.

I don't mean that in a bad way, I mean that there's an "English" Nikki and a "French" Nikki.

See, in English I think I'm quite witty and quick. Obviously I'm fantastic company, or the aforementioned Katie wouldn't be seen dead with me, much less let me share her wine ;). I'm quick, I'm VERY sarcastic, and can be a bit of a bitch at times (in a bad as well as a good way!). I join in with jokes, start conversations, have a lauigh with friends and can generally hold my own (and anyone else's for that matter).

In French I'm meek and mild, quiet, speak when spoken to, don't have the confidence to make jokes or say anything in case it's the wrong thing, etc. I'm like a diluted version of me.

I often wonder if my English friends met the "French Nikki" what they would think of her - I'm sure they'd find her a bit of a disappointment, and vice versa if my French friends met the English Nikki - I don't think they'd know what to do with her!

I wonder how long it will take for my two sides to combine and beome the 'Whole Nikki'? Or if indeed it will ever happen?

In the meantime I'm glad to have Katie around to vent my Englishness at and a welcome return to being the 'Real' Nikki :)

Monday, 14 June 2010

What i've been reading recently

I've become an avid blog reader, as I'm naturally a nosey person and love to find out what's going on. Some of the blogs below are from clients, some are just random blogs I've come across while mooching around:

Father's Day

It's on June 20th this year in case you didn't know, and it's nice to see so many bloggers embracing the day and using it to promote themselves and others.

The Card Company has a nice blog post featuring the things they think will make the best Father's Day gifts - all from their own ranges of course, but what Dad wouldn't be chuffed with a bottle of personalised whiskey?

The Football

I really can't convey how much I detest football, and how bored I am with all the World Cup 'promotions' dropping in my inbox, but I did smile at this football game from eMarket2, that I found out about on Twitter. It's quite addictive, and you can have it branded with your company details, so I guess it has a business use too.


It's always nice to read good things about clients, so I was really happy to receive the lastest lot of testimonials for Riverbanks Clinic, especially the Vaser Lipo ones. Some of them are being posted on the Riverbanks Blog, so do check them out if you're considering this rather effective non cosmetic procedure.

Coronation Street

I know, I know, but I love Corrie and really miss it since we moved to France. Unfortuunately the Itv website has stopped doing picture catchups, and the videos don't work over here, so I was happy to find an unofficial Coronation Street blog that has catchups, previews and articles on my favourite UK soap.


I was invited to join a new community for English people living in France, so have posted a couple of blogs over there and read loads more - it's always good to read what others have experienced, and to help out where I can!

I think that's enough for now, but what have YOU been reading over the past few days?

Friday, 11 June 2010

Stepmums aren't there to give 'real' mums a bad name!

Ooh I'm angry - not just muttering under my breath angry, but storming around the house like a mad woman angry!

I read this article yesterday about a mother who hates the fact that her ex husband's new partner 'parents' her child and couldn't believe it.

Seriously, this woman is miffed because her children's stepmother:

  • put suncream on her kid
  • bought her a sunhat
  • combed through her hair to make sure nits were gone
  • comforted her in the middle of the night when she was scared
Well I'm sorry Sonia Poulton but get over yourself love!

As a stepmum myself I can't believe her attitude! Surely she should be happy that someone is looking after her bloody kids? Because I'm sure she'd be the first to moan if they came home miserable (although maybe that would make her feel more secure as a mother, knowing no-one else could do as good a job as her?).

Being a stepmum is bloody difficult - you're constantly treading that fine line between mother and friend, you're close enough to the kids to care but actually have no say in most things, and let's be honest, having someone else's kids in your house every other weekend isn't as easy as it sounds.

Different rules, different expectations, diffrent manners - when the stepkids turn up it can sometimes seem as if everything has gone to pot and you're the one who has to sort it all out. Then you read something like this article and wonder why you bother.

I'm lucky in a way - the mother of my stepkids lets me and my partner get on with it and doesn't really question what goes on in our house, but I'll tell you something - if she ever phones up to 'put me in my place' because I comforted her kids in the middle of the night, she'll get short shrift from me!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Looking forward to our holiday(s)!

We decided to go with Eurocamp again - their holidays are well priced and great fun for the kids. We visited one of their Italian sites a couple of years ago and spent 10 days in a huge tent, but as we will have a 4 month old baby with us this year, we've gone for a chalet - deluxe, no less ;)

We're going to Le Vieux Port, which is down in the Gascony region and I can't wait!

One thing i'm not looking forward to though is the driving. Two adults, two teenagers, two kids and a baby in a 9 seater Mercedes (hired) driving from St Omer to Gascony - Google Maps reckons it's a 10 hour drive, so if you schedule in the stops we'l have to make we're looking at over 12 hours I reckon...

Twitter to the rescue! I've been Tweeting Darren Porter and his lovely wife Franca for some time, and was lucky enough to meet Darren last year when he delivered a printer to me (a long story!), so when Shaun mentioned that the guesthouse they own, Au Bellefleur was on the way to our holiday, it seemed like the perfect spot for an overnight stay on the way there, and again on the way back.

Within an hour of picking up the phone to Franca, the details were sorted and we're all feeling a lot better about the driving - a break about two thirds of the way there is ideal for us all - and i'm really looking forward to meeting Franca and seeing Darren again!

It's like having 2 holidays in one - let's hope the weather holds up!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Our 'nunu' is nunutty!

Baby O is 3 and a half months old, and despite being an extremely well behaved baby (I'm very lucky!) is still a major distraction when it comes to running a business! So on the recommendation of my friend Katie, we hired a Nanny, or 'nunu' as they call them here in France.

Betty truly is a sight to behold - a bosomy matronly looking woman with designer specs, she wafts in to the house in a cloud of perfume with 'bisous' (kisses) all round.

She talks incessantly to Baby O for the whole 3 hours she is here, 2 days a week. Unless of course, O decides she'll selpp for the 3 hours, in which case Betty wafts around my house putting things in places where I can't find them later.

She speaks in a very high pitched voice, and so fast that I frequently can't understand her, and when I make attempts at speaking to her in my faltering French she just smiles benevolently and pretends she knows what I'm saying.

She arrives on her bike with a variety of pressies for me - a jar of rhubarb jam, the odd smelly candle, some fresh mint from the garden - and offers me the occasional face massage - mad as a box of frogs, but O loves her, and we love her too!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Toby Tiger clothing from Little Sunflowers FTW!

This is my current fave outift for Baby O.

It's bright, the fabric is thick, it withstands washing and it's great for her to travel in (no nasty waistbands or zips sticking in).

I'm biased of course, because I found Little Sunflowers while I was pregnant, stalked them mercilessly until they became a client, and now I probably spend more on their clothes than they pay me to promote them :)

But seriously, this is such a gorgeous outfit that I'm about to order the next size up - Baby O looks gorgeous in it, and you can FEEL the quality. This one will be passed down a fair few times (fingers crossed that my niece Jet has a girl!) for sure.

Whatever the age of your child, (well, up to 7), Little Sunflowers has fab childrens' clothes for them, and you'll hear about them again here, that's for sure!

Who is NikkiP?

A quick introduction to me:
  • I'm a 37 year old mother of 2
  • I live in France
  • I run an Internet Marketing business based in the UK & France
  • My oldest daughter is 18
  • My youngest is 3 months :)
  • I have 2 step daughters aged 7 and 10
  • I moved to France to be nearer to my partner's children
  • My partner's name is Shaun
  • I currently own 5 cats and am renting one (the mum to 3 of the babies I've inherited)
  • I used to have a dog called LaWoof but had to give her up while I was pregnant
  • I started my first business from a council house when I was 21
  • I speak very bad French :P
  • I use way too many emoticons in posts :D
  • I don't watch TV but watch a different DVD almost every day
  • I read as often as I can, mainly in the bath
  • I love the sun, but hate to have a tan
  • I love growing my own vegetables but hate to dig the weeds
  • Luckily my eldest daughter has a boyfriend who will work for food ;)
  • I enjoy eating out as often as possible
  • I'm very spontaneous, which drives people around me mad
  • I'm also very messy, which drives them madder
  • I have TWO cleaners :D
  • I haven't ironed since 1992 and don't intend to start now
  • I'm always looking for places to guest blog, so if you like the sound of me, ask :)
I think that will do for now - my blogs will be about various things - being a working mum, living and working in France, restaurants, reviews and more - a real hotch potch of posts as much for my own enjoyment as anything else.

Feel free to pitch in and say hello on anythgin you like, of course :)

A toast to a new start :)

It's been a while since I started this blog, and I've neglected it massively in favour of my Internet Marketing blog over at

So, I've decided to start again - wipe it clean and use it more as a personal blog than a business blog. There may still be the odd business post from time to time, but this will be my place to put blogs that I can't post on my business blog, or over at Birds on the Blog.

My thoughts, news, reviews and ideas, and the odd gardening post too no doubt :)

Here's to a new start :)