Which Maternity Clothes are Right For Me?*

The market for maternity wear is constantly changing, it wasn’t long ago that the choices available to pregnant women unfashionable, out-dated and extremely limited. Thankfully however, this is no longer the case. 

The women of today have a variety of clothing options available to them, whether they’re looking for appropriate clothing for the office, comfy jeans for when you’re out and about, or a lovely dress for more formal occasions.

The beautiful thing about pregnancy is that no two women will have the same experience. This is especially true for selecting maternity wear. Some women will need to shop for maternity clothes early on, whereas some may not have to until as late as their third trimester. If you find yourself having to shop during the early stages of your pregnancy, consider clothes that have adjustable waistbands – this will allow for growth and can be worn again after delivery as you return to your ‘pre-pregnancy’ figure.

There is also a great variety of maternity jeans available, some will have the ability to stretch as your bump grows, and some are designed to sit below the bump. Jeans allow you to create a variety of outfits by mixing and matching your top half. Consider wearing blouses, t-shirts and sweaters – and combining them with jackets or blazers for a stylish look.

One of the most essential aspects to any item of maternity wear is comfort. There is no benefit to choosing nice fashionable maternity wear if it just isn’t comfy. High quality maternity clothing should be comfortable and allow for ease of movement – ultimately, you should feel relaxed. So it’s time to ditch the zippers and buttons and make way for clothes support and stretch, making it easier to relax and give your body room to breathe.

Some women prefer to wear dresses throughout their pregnancy (weather dependent of course). They are arguably one of the comfiest items of clothing to wear, and are particularly suited to keeping you and your bump cool during the hot summer months. There is a huge variety of dresses available, so you’re sure to find one that’s suited to your style and tastes.

Remember to search for what you’re looking for, the chances are you will be able to find exactly what you’re looking for online, and even try searching for discounts and sales. By looking around different websites you’ll be sure to find what the best look for the best price, whilst avoiding the hustle and bustle of the high street.

If you’re looking for the latest trends in fashionable maternity wear you can also take inspiration from what your favourite celebrities are wearing. Just remember to stick to an pre-agreed budget, it’s very easy to get carried away by maternity clothing, and you’ll need to make sure you have plenty of money saved for when your baby arrives.


Children and head injuries – don’t panic!*

Every Mum knows how common it is for a child to get grazed elbows, bruised knees, or a bump on the head from everyday play. Whether it’s a fun game of football in the garden, or wandering too close to that swing in the park, it is all too easy for our little loved ones to get smalls knocks from boisterous activity. Parents and carers should rest assured, as in most cases these incidents will be minor and can be resolved with little more than a sticky plaster and a hug. However, in more serious accidents, being alert to the signs and symptoms of a more serious head injury can prove invaluable.

If your child has suffered severely from a head trauma, it can be helpful to seek professional legal help. Head injuries in children can significantly alter a family’s life and finding an experienced solicitor is important in ensuring you receive adequate compensation to provide for any lifestyle changes. For mums concerned with guidance on a head injury claim, there are a variety of personal injury teams out there to help, like Irwin Mitchell.

 Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Before opting to take legal action, Mums should be aware of the nature of a child’s head injury as in many cases a little bump or bruise will not cause any harm in the long run. However, head trauma is not always immediately apparent, and symptoms will only be noticeable after the accident has happened. Whether a child gets a bumped head from falling off that new bicycle, over-enthusiastic play with a sibling or a tumble after taking those brave first steps, it is worth being alert in the hours and days following.

Head injuries in children can be external or internal. Any Mum whose child has cut or scratched their head – an external injury – will know the scary feeling of seeing blood from even the tiniest of cuts. This does not always indicate a serious injury though, as the head is full of blood vessels, making a lot of scrapes appear worse than they are. These kinds of accidents often cause the most upset for your child too, so a big hug and a plaster will often have to be accompanied by some extra TLC and your child’s favorite bedtime story!

The seriousness of internal head injuries is often more difficult to judge, as a fractured skull, damaged blood vessels, or brain trauma may not be immediately apparent. With both external and internal injuries it is important to closely monitor your child in the period following an accident and be wary of any symptoms of head injury. Loss of consciousness, dizziness, difficulty breathing, bleeding from the nose, ears or mouth, and neck pain and stiffness may all indicate more serious head trauma. In the event of your child showing any of these symptoms, you should call 999 immediately and remember to remain calm.

Little bumps and scrapes are all part of your child’s growing life and confidence, and most are not a cause for concern. However, understanding the warning signs and knowing where to seek trusted legal guidance will put any busy Mum’s mind at rest.

Top driving tips for parents*

Having a car accidents while your children are in the car is a parent’s worst nightmare, and justifiably so. But what happens when your little darlings start to act up while you’re trying to keep your eyes on the road?

Fortunately, there are many ways to keep active, fidgety kids entertained in the car. All you’ll need is a little advance planning and some enthusiasm.

Make Goodie Bags

If you know you’re going to have to travel in the car for an extended period of time, put together some bags of goodies in advance. You can include snacks, games, and fun portable activities for each child. You can even make individual goodie bags for each child, with his/her favorite snacks and toys. Kids appreciate the fact that someone took the time to think of them individually and will love that you remembered what they each like.

Play Some Fun Travel Games

Some games don’t require any materials and can be played on the spur of the moment. Examples such as “I spy,” “20 questions,” or word games like “ghost” are all great options because they require focus and attention as well as providing practice in logic and reasoning. These games are also helpful because they can be thought up on the spur-of-the-moment and require no planning.

Have a Conversation

Time spent in the car can be a great place to help kids develop social skills. Talk to them about how school is going, about their friends, and about football practice. Show them that you are interested in what is going on in their lives. You can also use the time spent in the car to talk about upcoming exciting events, such as your next holiday or planning the weekend’s activities together.

 Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Music and Audio Books

Put on some tunes that you know the kids like. As a bonus (if you can bear it), have them sing along. Even better, make it a contest to see who can sing best!

As an alternative, you can get some audio books that you know the kids will like and listen during the trip. A good story will captivate their attention and distract them so you can concentrate on the road. Audio books also help children develop auditory skills as well as practice in imagining what they hear. They also help foster an interest in reading and literature, and an appreciation for a good story.

Electronics to the Rescue

If all else fails, you can try electronic gadgets. You can have the kids bring along a laptop or portable DVD player so they can watch their favorite TV shows and movies on the road. Or, you can let them use portable gaming machines to play games.

Remember, those energetic little ones will grow up be driving themselves sooner than you think, so treasure this time with them, even if they may try your patience.

If you have unfortunately been involved in a car accident or been bumped by another car, remember you can always seek legal advice if you need it. There are tons of places to seek information and advice from, one I have come across before is Irwin Mitchell who deal seem to deal with everything from a Whiplash claim to Tax investigations, and have a specialized Motoring law team.

I’m an Intelligent Living Mum with Panasonic

On Thursday, I was let loose from the Bratlings to spend a fun day in Bracknell with well known brand Panasonic.

I’ve been to quite a few days out with brands, and they are great fun, but Panasonic left me feeling all warm and fuzzy and wanting to work in their funky offices.

We didn’t just get the usual spiel about products followed by a goodie bag. We actually learned all about the brand, from their small beginnings in Japan with just one product to the modern day and their constant drive to find the best and most useful household goods. 

Did you know, Panasonic don’t just make the obvious things we use, like washing machines and TVs? In Japan, Panasonic make the whole house, from the bricks to build it to the toilets they flush (or don’t- anyone for a self flushing loo?) its all from them.

Their founder, Konosuke Matsushita, the son of a rice farmer who worked for the countries electric company, founded the his own company as a young man in 1917. Back then, electrical appliances were scarce, but to have heat and light came at a cost. With only one place to plug in one item, consumers had to decide to have light but no heat, or heat but no light. 

Clever soon to be Entrepreneur, Konosuke solved that problem by inventing the first primitive double adapter, which became very popular. From humble beginnings, Panasonic has a whole host of clever and innovative products which make everyday life simple around the world, and now they are so well known that they don’t need clever advertising campaigns as sales are generated by word of mouth.

I love how the offices are very much built on a Japanese model, with witty slogans, and signs telling the small staff base to smile or hop skip and jump during the day. Everywhere throughout the building are boards promoting the business model which has remained unchanged since the start, to practice Fairness and Honesty.

It was also great fun to visit their in house museum, and view some amazing past products- I personally wanted to run away with lots of the old school stereo equipment! 

I absolutely loved the new models coming soon, and rather than having to read manuals, they now have The Ideas Kitchen website, which helps new and existing customers get to grips with recipes and how to advice in video form. 

As part of their new campaign to work with Bloggers like myself, I’ll be bringing you reviews, first up will be a video log of The Brats and I trying out a Breadmaker for the first time, so watch out for that soon! 

You can find the rest of us Mums at:

Emma http://www.mummymummymum.com/ 
Filipa http://www.gourmetmum.tv/ 
Laura http://www.thelifeandtimesoftheworkingmum.com/ 
Lucinda http://www.bakesbooksandmyboys.blogspot.co.uk/ 
Marianne http://marisworld.co.uk/ 
Monika http://mumonthebrink.com/ 
Penny http://aresidence.co.uk/ 
Ruth http://geekmummy.com/ 
Sara http://www.walkingwithangels.co.uk/ 

Is It Just Me: Who Fails to See What the K-Middy Boob Gate Fuss is About?

I like Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. I have long thought she is a pretty girl (much prettier than her sister in fact, who cares about her bum when she has a face like a slapped arse?) who did what any girl worth their high heels and Brazilian blow dries would have done on finding out the number one most eligible bachelor was at her University. 

I have felt for her over the Diana comparisons, and over the constant speculation over when she will get pregnant. It can’t be easy to go from Windsor to Kensington Palace with the world watching after all.

However, surely I cannot be the only one not that shocked that some French Scallywag with a massive lens had managed to photograph Kate without her bikini top on?

It’s not like it’s anything new after all, and I would imagine that prior to the Leveson inquiry, every sweaty of palm tabloid editor would have sold his Grandmother and dependent children to get his hands on these snaps. They did exactly the same with Diana, Fergie and every other celebrity, Royal or not, for decades, simply because it sells papers to us plebs.

I fail, like the French, to see what is so wrong with the snaps? They don’t show Kate frolicking with some random guy, or sucking toes, or generally being naughty.

No, they show (and yes, I have seen them) a young couple, clearly in love and open enough to be half naked in each other’s company. They don’t show the awkwardness you came to expect from photographs of Charles and Diana, they are hugging, and swimming, and relaxing in each others company, I would imagine like most young newlyweds do.

If this was a random couple round a pool, no one would care. 

Not actual French Scallywag Paparazzo  ( Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net )

The thing that struck me most was how anyone could possibly think Kate may be concealing a baby in that washboard flat tummy of hers. She is positively without an ounce of fat, and frankly, if I was Kate, I’d be happy it happened now rather than when I’d had a few of those expected heirs and everything had gone saggy!

Yes, it’s probably going to be said that this is morally wrong, an invasion of privacy. But this is a couple who have media teams at their disposal, who know that they are pursued by every Paparazzo going, and who know that, should the opportunity arise, they will be snapped. 

There is also the argument that the French find bosoms fair game. They don’t have our prudish nature, and its quite the norm for shampoo to be sold with the model flashing her boobs in full view. They will probably laugh at our British reserve again. 

So, yes, its wrong to snap a couple of holiday, but its inevitable if that couple happens to be the most talked about Royal pairing for years. 

I’d just like to invite Kate to relax and eat a few pies! As one of Elder’s (male) friend’s remarked, the only thing he was angered by when he found the pics was Kate’s lack of Boobies to ogle! 

What do you think?

Are We Becoming an Unsociable Generation?

Boris Johnson is not someone who I usually find myself agreeing with- laughing at, yes, agreeing with, never. However, something in his speech at the Olympic Closing ceremony on Sunday really stood out for me.

He made a comment regarding how strangers on the tube, more accustomed to spending their journeys in silence, were compelled by the Olympics to strike up conversations with strangers instead.

It got me thinking about how we all are in this day and age. 

Walk through any town, be it the centre, or sit on the local bus, or walk the back streets and suburbs, and most people you come across will have head phones in. They are in their own personal world with their own personal taste in music. Blocking out the outside world of traffic and noise, it creates a bubble for just them.

The once busy school playgrounds at pick up time are less the social hub of Mum’s chatting about the latest offers at the supermarket or discussions of what you watched last night on telly like when I was a kid. Most Mum’s in my playground generally don’t chat with each other save for a “hello”. One Mum yesterday made a remark towards me and another Mum as our kids- happy to see each other after a whole evening apart- ran screaming and shouting to each other in an enthusiastic game of tag. She was not impressed, moaning about the noise, and making a flouncing gesture towards the very bottom of the playground. 

Do we expect silence everywhere we go? Are we becoming an unsociable generation, happy to live in singular silence plugged into our iPhones or MP3 players?

 Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I honestly thought that, once Mini started school, I would suddenly have my own little group of fellow Mums as mates, all with kids the same age. I expected to chat and make friends and then pop along to the local coffee shop for a latte while we discussed subjects close to us, sort of like a Mothers Meeting version of Sex and the City. 

Instead, we may say, after a year, a cursory hi to each other, but that’s it. No one meets up in the holidays, no one chats idly in the morning. 

However, when online, where most of my social action starts, everyone chats everyone has opinions and voices them, its great.

I just wish my Real Life offline self experienced the same thing!

The thing is, 15 years ago, you rarely saw anyone plugged into headphones with a CD walkman, they were too cumbersome for a start. But now, as these devices have got smaller and more advanced, starting with the Sony Walkman Phone only a few short years ago, its becoming ever easier to close off the world and live in a bubble of your own. 

I feel like we will all reach a stage where the art of conversation will only exist when on a phones Internet service, even if the person you want to chat to is standing beside you. 

Are we killing the art of conversation? Do you prefer to hook up your headphones and escape the rest of the world, or do you miss having a chat in the mornings?

Let me know what you think!