I’m loving NOT being pregnant

Isn’t the human body amazing? It takes 40 weeks to grow a baby but just a matter of days for it to look like there was never anything there at all. This is how mine has changed in the 10 days since Little B was born, although suggesting it looks like there was never anything there at all is stretching it a bit. There’s no doubt I’m a mother: the tell-tale linea nigra across my stomach, the midwife’s needlework skills and the fact I’m in dire need of some serious heavy duty eye cream are all dead giveaways, but all things considered, when fully clothed, I reckon I’ve escaped relatively unscathed. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: spoiling the sibling

Week: 39 Waist: 40 inches (no change) Feeling: In the mood to spoil I’ve spent my first week of maternity leave thoroughly spoiling BB, knowing it could be the last week it’s just the two of us at home. I’m probably setting us up for problems with the level of spoiling that’s gone on, and as predicted, it’s been a fairly busy week. We’ve been to the park, the library, baked, eaten the products of our baking and this afternoon we’ve got a hotly anticipated trip to the cinema. This morning, with BB safely stowed at pre-school, I also had a pre-labour pedicure so my feet are now officially ready for the delivery suite (when I had BB I had one foot firmly wedged on the midwife’s shoulder, so thought it best to safe than sorry). […]

What IS it about David Beckham?

I’ve been pondering this since writing a story about Haig Club whisky, the result of a collaboration between Diageo (Smirnoff, Baileys) and Becks, before starting maternity leave this week (I’m not sure how much input the man himself actually had, or whether Diageo just threw money at him to front the brand). I don’t mean 1990s matching-leather-Gucci-and-hair-gelled-curtains David Beckham, I mean 2014 suited and booted designer-stubble-with-creases-around-the-eyes Beckham, who you’ll soon see supersized on ads promoting the whisky if you haven’t already (pictured). There’s no escaping it, he certainly looks better with age. Which got me thinking, can the same be said for the fairer sex? […]

By |October 22nd, 2014|Beauty, Family life, Fashion, Health, News, Parenting, Work life|0 Comments

Aldi maternity clothes: you could get more than you bargained for

As a forces child I spent several years living in Germany, where our local supermarket was Aldi. I used to like going there because of the bins of totally non-supermarket and often pointless items, like watering cans in the shape of gnomes and solar sunflowers for the garden we didn’t have, which ran up the middle of the shop. As of next week those UK bins are now going to contain a ‘capsule’ collection of maternity and baby clothes, and I’ve been sent a few by way of sneak preview. There are dresses (£11.99, pictured), leggings (£6), tops (£9.99) and even a nappy changing bag (£14.99). The range is part of Aldi’s ‘specialbuys’ collection, which go in store every Thursday and Sunday and are only available while stocks last. It will be interesting to see how long these stocks last. […]

By |September 12th, 2014|Beauty, Breast feeding, Family life, Fashion, Parenting, Pregnancy, Reviews|0 Comments

Foot rubs: I’ve made a rod for my own back

I’ve been rubbing BB’s feet ever since she was a baby. We didn’t go to any baby massage classes, and I have absolutely no training or knowledge of foot massage, I just like my feet being rubbed so thought she might too. What I didn’t bank on was just quite how much she would like it. The plea to ‘rub my feet’ is made several times a week (pictured – excuse the chipped nails and polish, beauty therapist I am not), and must include the whole foot and each individual toe or she shakes it in frustration saying ‘do it properly’. And if I don’t or can’t drop everything to complete the said foot rub she can turn into quite a little Veruca Salt. I thought foot rubs would be a good way of showing her how to have ‘time out’ and of recognising that it’s good to sit back and relax sometimes, but there’s no doubt I’ve made a rod for my own back. […]

By |September 3rd, 2014|Beauty, Family life, Health, Parenting|10 Comments

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: hello third trimester

Week: 28 Waist: 37 inches (-0.5 inches…again!) Feeling: Coming down with a cold, worst luck The quest for decent maternity clothes continues. When I was expecting BB in 2011 there was a plethora of inspiring ranges to choose from, and I remember having to rein myself in to curb the spending. What’s changed? Last month I ordered four tops from H&M – nothing fancy, several vests and a ‘smart’ top – but the fabric was so thin it was virtually transparent so I sent them straight back again. Instead I’ve spent the last few weeks in a (non-maternity) maxi dress from Peacocks, which is just the ticket in this hot weather. Sadly this isn’t going to see me into autumn though, and it was while pondering this that I stumbled upon what actually appears to be a nice selection of affordable outfits to house my growing bump. And you’ll never guess where from: Asda. That’s right, you did read correctly. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: I’ve gone over to the elastic side

Week: 25 Waist: 38 inches (+ 2 whole inches!!) Feeling: Properly pregnant owing to new ‘over the bump’ jeans My plan to make do with low-rise jeans for the duration of the pregnancy has been thwarted: the button on my Levi’s simply won’t stretch any further and, not wanting to ruin them, I’ve gone over to the elastic side. I’m talking full-on maternity jeans with an ‘over the bump’ elastic panel (below – I’ll spare you a picture of me actually in them – it’s not a pretty sight). Misery Guts laughed out loud when he saw them and I can’t say I blame him. They weren’t what I intended to buy at all. I intended to find a non-maternity pair that simply fitted, but when the sales assistant in JoJo Maman Bebe enthusiastically encouraged me to try them on I was too polite to refuse. Oh. Lordy. They are sooo comfortable I was instantly converted. I knew as soon as I pulled them up and before I looked in the mirror I had to have them – I didn’t care what they looked like. Like my over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder maternity bra, which also isn’t a pretty sight. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: it’s time to dress the bump

Week: 20 Waist: 35 inches Feeling: Optimistic with spells of nausea There’s no getting away from it: at 20 weeks pregnant it’s time to dress the bump. So far, being superstitious and fearing that buying maternity clothes will make something go wrong, I’ve cautiously bought a three-pack of maternity vests from New Look (pictured), but that’s not going to cut it for much longer. I’m literally busting out of everything else that involves a waist. A trip to both Mothercare and New Look left me decidedly underwhelmed – think dull coloured tops (Mothercare) and poor quality fabric (New Look). And I’m simply not prepared to spend Isabella Oliver-level cash on clothes I’ll wear for less than six months. Where are the hot pink tees and empire-line linens of my imagination? So I’m going to do exactly what I did when I was expecting BB: cover my bump with a maternity vest, stick to low rise jeans and take to the internet to find non-maternity clothes that can fit over the top. And I’m particularly pleased with one little find: Joe Browns. […]

I’m in drastic need of some hair-spiration

There’s something about going on holiday that makes you come back and want to start again, with a new refreshed outlook on life. It’s been more than a week since we returned from Portugal and I’m still doing my best to maintain that post-holiday glow, mainly by slapping on the after sun twice a day. But having actually had time to peruse the fashion mags filled with summer trends while on said holiday, I’ve had my annual ‘it’s high time to change something about my appearance’ attack. The problem is, I might be creative with the written word but I’m pretty useless when it comes to being creative fashion-wise. The whole thing frightens me. Take my hair for example; it’s been the same for years. The only time in the last four years I have deviated from a centre parting and straightened sides was on my wedding day (pictured), when I enlisted the help of someone who actually knew what they were doing, and last summer when my (very creative) friend neatly plaited it for me (also pictured). Even though she painstakingly told and showed me exactly what to do, I still can’t recreate those plaits. And I’ve tried, I really have. […]

By |June 4th, 2014|Beauty, Family life, Fashion, Parenting, Reviews|0 Comments

Why do they always discontinue beauty products I love?

Just when you find a beauty product you really like they go and discontinue it. Why do they do that? Just three months after falling in love with Mama Mio’s Clean Slate cleanser they’ve gone and revamped the whole range, ditching this little gem. They haven’t even reformulated it, it’s just gone. Why can’t these companies give us some notice, so we can go and stock up in advance? Like a Boots 17 nail polish in chateau red which I adored. If they’d said they weren’t going to make it anymore I’d have bought loads. Instead I’ve never been able to find the same colour again. […]

By |February 21st, 2014|Beauty, Fashion, Health, Parenting|0 Comments

I’m afraid I’ve spawned a giant

BB was exactly two and a half on Saturday. Apparently, the height of a child at two and a half is precisely half the height they will be when fully grown, and I’ve had the height chart at the ready for months to see what it will be. BB was just over 3ft 1 (pictured). Which could make her at least 6ft 2. Cripes. After entering this information into my Dairy Diary (this is where all important milestones are recorded, just like my mum whose 1985 edition includes entries such as ‘crummy mummy and her brother played together all weekend.’ I’m not kidding – it really does) I started to think. While such stature could indeed put BB in the running to become a super model, if she inherits Misery Guts’ clumsiness she could well turn out to be more Miranda than Macpherson. […]

By |February 17th, 2014|Beauty, Family life, Fashion, Health, Parenting|1 Comment

‘Mummy and daddy gone onna mini break’

This is what BB has been telling anyone who’ll listen following our night away at Foxhills Hotel & Spa in Surrey at the weekend. ‘Mini break’ sounds so extravagant and self-indulgent, and I suppose it was (pictured). Luxurious rooms with king-size beds, a king-size bath (even Misery Guts, who’s 6ft 4, could lie down in it) and a health spa complete with a 20m pool with vaulted ceilings and ‘mood lighting’ all promised and delivered a restorative 24 hours away from being mummy and daddy. And all despite my reservations that the trip was going to go pear shaped when Misery Guts demanded 10% off the bill before we’d even left the house because the hotel’s restaurant was closed (a fact they failed to tell us when making the booking) even though we had never planned to eat there in the first place. […]

By |February 12th, 2014|Beauty, Exercise, Family life, Health, Parenting, Reviews, Travel|2 Comments

How to be a mum with a clean slate

I’ve got a new secret weapon in my make-up bag: Clean Slate cleanser by Mama Mio. I haven’t been asked to review it or sent the product free of charge: I paid £22.50 of my hard earned cash for it, which may sound on the pricey side for a face wash, but Oh. My. Goodness. This stuff is amazing. So I’m writing about it because I thought you might like to know too. I have never, ever, come across a skincare product that has actually delivered visible results instantly, but this one did. Here’s a picture of my clear (un make-upped) blemish free skin, two weeks in, to prove it. I’m not quite sure how they’ve done it: it contains a mix of high protein organic aloe leaf juice with probiotics and essential oils and omegas, and my skin felt more alive after the very first use. Even Misery Guts, who normally wouldn’t notice if I wore a paper bag over my head, commented on how good my skin looked just a day after I first used it. […]

By |November 13th, 2013|Beauty, Reviews|1 Comment

Mums-to-be: a bunch of reckless, risk taking half-wits

It’s official: all mums-to-be should hermetically seal themselves in a sterile bubble for the entire duration of their pregnancy. According to advice from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists today, pregnant women should avoid eating or drinking anything from cans or plastic containers, minimise their use of cosmetics and moisturiser and not buy any new furniture to avoid exposure to certain chemicals. It’s a wonder the human race has survived at all. The paper stupidly suggests women take a ‘safety first’ approach – implying mums-to-be are all a bunch of reckless, risk taking half-wits. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything so ludicrous. […]

By |June 5th, 2013|Beauty, Family life, Health, News|2 Comments

M&S: Am I alone in thinking…?

So Marks and Spencer is in trouble. Again. The chain has reported a big fall in profits and the blame has been laid squarely at the changing room doors: sales of general merchandise, including clothes, are down 4.1% – that’s hundreds of millions of pounds to you and me. This surprises me. Since becoming a mum I have bought more clothes from M&S than I’ve ever bought in my entire life. Underwear used to be the only St Michael garments you’d find in my drawers – now I own coats, jeans, tops, jumpers, vests, bags, even shoes. I first ‘discovered’ M&S in 2011 while en route to the baby section for newborn essentials and was pleasantly surprised by their offering. Yet an industry ‘expert’ described their SS13 clothing ranges as ‘frumpy and shapeless’ on BBC Breakfast this morning. Oh dear. I fear this reflects worse on me than it does on them. […]

By |May 21st, 2013|Beauty, Family life, Fashion, News|0 Comments