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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

Dads on skateboards: no, no, no, no, NO!

Forget scooters. There’s a new scourge of the pavements round our way: dads on skateboards. And not just 20-something dads: [...]

By |May 2nd, 2014|Exercise, Family life, Fashion, Parenting, Travel|2 Comments

‘He was standing on the loo proudly displaying his willy’

We’ve been on a trip down memory lane in our house lately. It started when BB’s granny gave her a 1984 copy of I Want To See The Moon by Louis Baum for Christmas (pictured), a fave when I was growing up. If you don’t know the story, it’s about a little boy called Toby who wakes up in the night and wants to see the moon, but of course it’s behind the clouds. In some ways it’s very PC: there’s no sign of the mum (I always assumed she was at work) and the dad is the one who takes Toby out of his cot to the loo before making him some hot milk. But at the same time it contains illustrations you just wouldn’t get in a kids book today, like Toby standing on the loo proudly displaying his willy, also pictured. (‘You wouldn’t get away with that today!’ a male friend said when he saw it this weekend). […]

By |April 7th, 2014|Books, Craft, Family life, Fashion, Money, Parenting|3 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

School name tapes: I freely admit I can’t be bothered

Lazy mums like me are being blamed for sending 140-year-old school name tag maker Cash’s into administration. Apparently the latest [...]

By |February 5th, 2014|Family life, Fashion, Money, News, Parenting|8 Comments

Heirloom christening gowns aren’t just for royals…

When Prince George made his entrance into the Church of England it got me thinking about BB’s christening in July 2012. [...]

By |October 23rd, 2013|Family life, Fashion|10 Comments

The (nappy) bag of my dreams…

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a mother in possession of a small child must be in want of a nappy bag. After almost two whole years I am finally in possession of the one I always dreamed of: Cath Kidston’s cowboy changing bag (pictured). Isn’t it beautiful? It’s shiny and red and has pockets and pouches galore and I can’t stop looking at – or stroking – it. Pre BB the £65 price tag for a nappy bag seemed £65 too much, so I settled for a £25 eBay copy in a different pattern instead. I’ve regretted it ever since: given a nappy bag is the only one I ever use – day in, day out – think of the saving I must have made by not buying handbags for two whole years. […]

By |July 24th, 2013|Family life, Fashion, Reviews, Travel|0 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

A girl can never have too many…headbands

Now I’m not normally a fan of headbands on babies – I don’t really see the point, especially when they don’t have any hair – but check this out (pictured). This super duper little number from Cute Cute landed on our doormat on Friday and I’m in love. Forget plastic or fabric covered metal, this one is made from the softest lace, boasts a glittery pink rose and is about as Downton Abbey as you can get. Needless to say my little rose adores it, and it’s been round her head ever since. It even fits round my head, and as Misery Guts unhelpfully pointed out, it would also make a great garter (for me, not BB, of course). […]

By |April 22nd, 2013|Beauty, Family life, Fashion, Reviews|0 Comments

Comfy shoes: the thin end of the wedge gets thicker

If my plastic glasses were the thin end of the wedge, then the wedge has just got thicker. Decidedly thicker. Check out my latest shoe acquisition. Designer? No. Gorgeous? Sadly not. High heeled? Don’t be silly. It is with the greatest regret I must admit, for the first time ever with the exception of trainers, I have bought a pair of shoes based on their comfort, durability and affordability. From Clarks. They look like the sort of thing my 87-year-old Granny would wear. Worse, they are the sort of thing my 87-year-old Granny does wear. Even my 91-year-old Granny, who owns a pair of Ugg boots, is more on trend than I am. Worse still, my new pair of shoes boast WaveWalk technology. Attractive. […]

By |April 12th, 2013|Beauty, Family life, Fashion|2 Comments

Bad hair day or the coolest kid in town?

Check this out. This is the sight that greeted me when BB woke up from her afternoon nap (left). I cannot fathom how she managed to whip up such a hairdo in under one hour – my only guess is that she must have been continually grinding her head into the mattress the entire time. It’s hard to describe the amazingness of the creation – there were at least five individual sub-knots interspersed with corkscrews of hair firing out at all angles, all combined into one giant knot. When I’d finally stopped laughing I set about trying to brush it out (we needed to go to Tesco). Which only made it worse. Much worse. Then I did that thing I vowed I’d never do: I licked my fingers and tried to smooth it down. […]

By |March 13th, 2013|Beauty, Family life, Fashion|0 Comments