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. […]

What’s wrong with a big pot yoghurt poured into a bowl and eaten with a spoon?

It’s been almost 10 years since Ella’s Kitchen pioneered the squeezable ‘pouch puree’ baby food concept and despite claims the format is no match for real fruit/veg and is no substitute for a ‘proper meal’ blah blah blah it’s fair to say the market is now awash with copycat brands. Which is why I was surprised to discover that gourmet yoghurt brand The Collective’s new Suckies are the first fresh branded yoghurt pouches on the market for kids. You’d think Petits Filous or someone would have thought of it before – why has it taken so long? Needless to say BB’s eyes lit up when a polystyrene box full of samples landed on our mat for the purposes of review this week. Like Ella’s Kitchen, Suckies come in brightly coloured pouches which became instantly referred to by BB – and no doubt countless toddlers – as ‘the red one’ and the ‘green one’ as opposed to their proper names. […]

By |July 23rd, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Money, Parenting, Recipes, Reviews, Weaning|0 Comments

Perhaps ‘Two Kitchens Kate’ simply wants to be a wife and mother

If you could have two kitchens, a fully staffed and automatically stocked one with catering standard equipment and a ‘private’ one for when you fancy preparing a meal in bare feet without a professional chef peering over your shoulder, would you?I ask because I’m becoming increasingly incensed by reports of ‘Two Kitchens Kate’ at 1a Kensington Palace. Apparently the Cambridge’s have put in an all-singing all-dancing kitchen, which presumably palace protocol dictates they have, and which  ‘scandalously’ cost £170,000 of taxpayers’ money (don’t get me started: it’s generally agreed the monarchy bring in as much tourist revenue as they cost, an industry which supports one in 12 jobs. And I bet the Cambridge’s are responsible for a large stake in that. Of course the methodology varies, but their wedding was said to boost London’s economy by £107m while the birth of Prince George boosted consumer spending by $383m according to Britain’s Centre for Retail Research) plus a smaller one for ‘Kate’s’ – why oh why does such sexism still wheedle its way into the British media? – own personal use.I don’t blame her. What if she fancies making Prince George’s tea herself, and actually wants to be the one to scrape the peas off the wall and floor afterwards? […]

By |July 7th, 2014|Family life, Food, Money, News, Parenting, Weaning|0 Comments

Days out in East Sussex: Drusillas Park

With the weather hotting up we’ve been making a concerted effort to explore the often-overlooked attractions right on our doorstep [...]

By |June 18th, 2014|Family days out, Family life, Money, Parenting, Reviews, Travel|4 Comments

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. […]

‘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

Guest post: healthy meals that don’t bust the budget

I couldn’t survive without my slow cooker. Whoever invented them deserves a medal. It doesn’t matter how cheap the cut of meat (pig cheeks make a mean chilli) if you cook it long enough you’ve got at least two separate – healthy – meals everyone will love that doesn’t bust the budget (Saturday night’s pulled pork, pictured). So for everyone who has a slow cooker lurking in the back of the cupboard which hasn’t seen the light of day for a while, or if you fancy the idea of slow cooking in the oven but aren’t quite sure how to go about it, I’m delighted to bring you a guest post from mum-of-two and keen cook Susan Jameson offering top tips on how to prepare great tasting, money-saving family meals: […]

By |March 31st, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Money, Parenting|0 Comments

Specks get into the most annoying crevices no matter how well I rinse the damn thing

I am sick of our cafetiere (ok, I know there are greater problems in the world). And I don’t even drink coffee. No matter how well I rinse the damn thing before putting it in the dishwasher after Misery Guts has left for work, by the following morning specks of coffee have still managed to work their way into the most annoying crevices of everything else in the dishwasher, like the teats of BB’s beakers. I’m so fed up with picking them out I think it’s time to join the rest of the coffee-drinking world and invest in a no-mess home coffee machine in time for Misery Guts’ birthday (I’m banking on him not reading this post, obviously). The only problem, apart from the fact that I don’t drink coffee and couldn’t tell you the difference between a skinny latte and a macchiato, is that I have no idea where to start. And Misery Guts is exacting when it comes to his morning coffee hit. […]

By |March 19th, 2014|Family life, Food, Money, Parenting, Reviews|0 Comments

Spring days out in Dorset: head for Farmer Palmer’s

Bottle feeding a lamb has got to be a rite of passage when growing up and determined that BB shouldn't miss [...]

By |March 10th, 2014|Family days out, Family life, Money, Parenting, Reviews, Travel|4 Comments

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