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Taking out a pension and making a will: eeek eeek eeek…

Getting a pension and making a will. Those are top on my list of life admin which I’ve been vowing [...]

By |May 8th, 2015|Baby, Family life, Health, Money, News, Parenting, Reviews, Work life|0 Comments

New nuclear, blended or klingon: what type of family are you?

The idea of the nuclear family – mum, dad and two point something kids living together – is being stretched [...]

Shared parental leave: it could easily end in divorce

The new shared parental leave policy comes into force next week. Having just returned from maternity leave, I don’t think [...]

Purifyne Cleanse review: an internal makeover for your body

Cold pressed, ready to drink fresh detox juice delivered straight to your door. Doesn’t that sound fantastic? There’s never been [...]

Aldi bedding review: I’m a bedding snob

There’s been a lot of bed hopping going on at our house. With me working in London on three consecutive [...]

By |March 16th, 2015|Family life, Money, Parenting, Reviews, Work life|0 Comments

How to work from home with a baby and stay (relatively) sane

I’m coming to the end of my second month being a stay-and-work-at-home-mum (SWAHM - yes it does exist!) and to say [...]

Dream job interview: my out-of-date noughties outfit was fine

These things are never as bad as you think they’re going to be, are they? Leaving Little B with Granny and going into central London and back again really wasn’t that bad, even though I did miss him terribly and it felt like we’d been apart an age. My stinking cold managed to contain itself for an hour or so, my out-of-date noughties outfit was fine (according to Gok flared trousers are actually back in), my boobs didn’t leak and instead of being the grilling I thought it would be the interview was more like a nice chat. And it’s fine just to work weekends. I start next Sunday. […]

By |February 13th, 2015|Baby, Breast feeding, Family life, Health, Newborn, Parenting, Work life|2 Comments

Getting to the job interview has required military-style planning & industrial-scale milk pumping

I’ve got an interview for my dream job. It’s writing features on a freelance basis for a national newspaper (which [...]

School admissions: what would God say?

I can hardly believe it’s time to apply for a school place for BB. Being an August baby she’ll start school within weeks of turning four next September, which means we have until January to get our application in. Our first choice is the local Catholic primary, whose performance is ranked in the top 7% of primary schools in the country, which unfortunately is also one of the reasons it’s the first choice of parents across town. The school is so oversubscribed there exists a list of Strict Criteria one must meet in order to be in with a chance of obtaining a place, and that criteria is ranked into Strict Categories. For example, it’s not enough to simply be a practicing Catholic and live in the parish. Our priest must fill out a form stating exactly how often we attended mass in the six months prior to applying for the school place, and when it comes to the dreaded Strict Criteria there’s a big difference between attending ‘frequently’ – twice or more a month – and ‘regularly’ – three or more times a month. Several Strict Category rankings in fact. (Surely twice or more a month could mean three times a month, which makes one a regular attendee rather than frequent, in which case I’m totally lost…) […]

By |November 24th, 2014|Family life, Parenting, School, Work life|2 Comments

I may have overplayed the ‘he won’t actually be able to do anything’ card

I think it’s fair to say BB has taken to being a big sister like a duck to water. After six weeks of broken nights and being generally unsettled in the run up to Little B’s arrival, almost a week in we couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. She goes down at night without a fuss about ‘the baby in mummy’s tummy’, sleeps through the night and no longer wakes up grizzling. She loves kissing him, looking at him and lying next to him (pictured), and I may have overplayed the ‘he won’t actually be able to do anything yet’ card as she’s delighted when he simply grips her finger. […]

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

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: bye bye second trimester

Week: 27 Waist: 37.5 inches (+0.5 inches but 0.5 inches less than week 25) Feeling: Like I’ve swallowed a stick sideways It looks like we might have made it: against all the odds (it seems to me) this weekend marks the final days of the second trimester. There’s no doubt the baby is getting bigger. According to the midwife he or she is transverse, meaning they’re lying across my tummy sideways. And don’t I know it. With the placenta at the front acting as a kind of ‘shield’ I’m feeling all the baby’s movements to the extreme left and right, and sometimes behind, which feels very odd as this never happened with BB who was most definitely at the front. I also feel like I’ve swallowed a stick horizontally with the skin straining to accommodate it, so am slapping on the cocoa butter with even more zeal than usual. […]

‘I’m guilt-ridden and torn between two roles’

Guilt-ridden, torn between two roles and overlooked. This is the current state-of-mind of working mums according to research revealed by The Work & Family Show this week. Apparently 80% of new mums feel guilty about going back to work and leaving their child in the care of others, and childcare responsibilities still fall on the mother’s shoulders even when both parents are working. I suspect this study is only scratching at the surface of the mental state of working mums today, who if anything like me are on a constant treadmill of trying to run a household and raise children while at the same time earning enough money to ensure the smooth running of that household and maintain a career. […]

By |January 31st, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, News, Work life|0 Comments

Conversations I’ve overheard at the beach (and wish I hadn’t)

The heatwave continues and you can forget Brits abroad: Brits at home are priceless. Following a week in Spain, the second half of our annual holiday involved a staycation – and what a week to pick! After seven days on the beach here are the top conversations I couldn’t help but overhear: 1) A family spent a good half an hour setting up towels, sun umbrella, dispensing sun lotion and blowing up a lilo before the mother declared ‘right kids, 10 minutes and it’s time to go home to get ready for Jasper’s party’. Why oh why. 2) A father repeatedly telling his daughter to ‘stop moaning’ while complaining loudly and laboriously to his wife about various office politics. I can’t imagine where the daughter gets it from. […]

By |July 22nd, 2013|Family life, Travel, Work life|2 Comments

Who needs a mummy anyway?

Owing to an increased workload BB has spent her first full day at nursery. Sending her there for an entire day is something I had thus far managed to avoid thanks to a combination of both grannies and a series of morning sessions instead. But last week there was no getting away from it: we were parted for eight hours. Twice. It’s not that separation anxiety was the reason for half day sessions only, it was more a case of bedroom anxiety. With BB still in need of a nap in the afternoon, the idea of her ‘key worker’ putting her down in one of a line of cots as other tots wail and whimper themselves to sleep fills me with a dread I would rather avoid. Even if it means starting my work when Misery Guts arrives home from his and finishing at silly o’clock, or working at the weekend instead. […]

By |June 17th, 2013|Family life, Work life|0 Comments