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Barbie me & my baby – sale picks

6 Jul

I should start by saying that I wrote this post yesterday afternoon. I think it was one of my better ones. It involved a lot of links and photos and was quite long. Then I added the final photo and accidentally deleted the lot. Error. Can’t find it anywhere though so here we go again.

I have not been tempted much by the summer sales this year. Its hard to get excited about cut price maxi-dresses when there is a rain storm going on. It seems that a lot of the high street has been running discounts since early June to try and attract any potential punters and I don’t think the quality has been great. However, the second mark downs seem to have surfaced this week and some of my favourite online retailers have gone into sale.

Given my limited budget I have tried to think about what I will need and wear for Autumn/Winter rather than buying odd bits and bobs that are too summery to get much of an outing in blighty.

First off are ankle boots. I am a big fan of my skinny jeans and whilst I often pair with ballet pumps or uggs when on mummy duties I think ankle boots can smarten up a daytime outfit with a wooly jumper or make an evening look in the winter.  I managed to pick up these beauties from a local boutique Jules B who also have a much bigger online offering. I suspect they were last winters stock but are a classic style and without the slightly ropey ankle strap, very wearable.  Check out the online boutique for other sale bargains.  http://www.julesb.co.uk/

Next is a suprise entry from H&M. I have never purchased footwear from them before and their in store sale is often a bit of a jumble sale so I went online. On their useful online styler they had these ankle boots being modelled. Granted they are not real suede but at £12 they will form a great part of my jeans and small child wardrobe.  http://www.hm.com/gb/product/95722?article=95722-C#shopOrigin=SA

Next on my hotlist, one of my favourite diffusion brands Maison Scotch. I live in these t-shirts with a boyfriend cardy in the winter and a racer vest underneath in the summer. They are £50-£100 at full price which seems like a lot for a tee but they are lovely quality, last for ages and are just a little bit out of the ordinary. I picked these two beauties up in the sale at my local Fenwicks but Flannels fashion have a great range in their sale.  http://www.flannelsfashion.com/designers/women/maison-scotch/maison-scotch-sale.aspx

No sale shopping would be complete without Hush. I have blogged about the brand loads before as I am a big fan of their loungewear and pj’s. I have been after their jersey blazer for months and I snapped it up for £25 in the sale. www.hush-uk.com

Now on to the babe. I am one of those crazy people who, despite their small child, waits up till midnight to log onto the very start of the Zara sale.  I love their baby and kids wear and there is often very little of it in the sale so it pays to be prompt. I managed to pick up skinny jeans in the next two sizes up, a pretty dress, a couple of tees and some loafters all for £47. Would have cost me nearer £90 full price. My babe shopping principle is much the same as my own so everything I bought was suitable for Autumn/Winter.  www.zara.com

Last but not least a random and late night purchase on the Ipad. Whilst breastfeeding I developed a late night iphone ebay habit during night feeds and the ipad allows me a similar capability to shop night or day, (much to the hubby’s despair).  Whilst browsing the Asos sale I came across these suede Mary Janes by Dune reduced from £95 to £39. I have to admit to not being the biggest fan of Dune but had I not been aware of the brand these shoes would have been right up my street. Given the price I elected to order them on the basis I could always return.

I love them. Not only are they super flattering they will go equally well with opaque tights and a skirt for work as with skinny jeans and a jumper for day. Still available on Asos in a 40 last time I looked…!

Now, lunchtime is approaching. I intend to counter the negative effects left by a 12noon bikini wax with a trip to the All Saints sale…

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Best Baby Buddies

25 Jun

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I am lucky enough that my little babe has a little babe buddy. I am even luckier that the babe’s buddy’s mummy is my best mate.

I say all this because today was one of those days where you remember how important your friendships are for you and your kids.

The babe’s little buddy came running across to me and the babe this morning when she spotted us at playgroup and remained clamped to my leg until I picked her up for a cuddle. The two little ones then spent a couple of amusing hours investigating the plastic wendyhouse and offering each other raisins. Super cute.

I posted a couple of days ago about a Baby Zara body warmer I had purchased for the babe.  http://wp.me/p2hahM-7X  When I popped in at our buddy’s house yesterday I spotted the exact same one! (And believe me that is not because my mate reads my blog!)

Coordinating pregnancy number two could be more tricky…

Barbie My Baby

21 Jun

Not content with the summer sales I am beginning to get overexcited about the prospect of the autumn winter season and some of my favourite stores are offering online sneak peeks of their new collections.

Whilst my fave high street store Zara is neither in sale nor previewing new collections, they have introduced a few new items into their kids range to keep me entertained. I was not able to resist this star bodywarmer and the sensible bit of my brain knows the babe will get more wear out of this than any number of pretty summer dresses …. mores the pity.

Available in three colour ways online at Zara.com

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Toddler poo problems

30 May

After a week out of the blogging game I am coming back with the unusual mix of toddler nutrition and harem pants. Let’s deal with first things first. The babe has struggled with her poos from being a tiny thing. (It runs in her family bless her). I gave her water in between feeds when she was three months to help and anticipated drama when she moved to solids. Whilst weaning wasn’t disastrous – the babe is a tremendous eater and there are few things she won’t sample – each new food introduced had to be given an opportunity to get out of her system again before we new what trouble it might cause.

I think I have been pretty good with what I give her to eat. I bought a brilliant Beaba Babycook which I would highly recommend and which ensured early weaning friendly purées in minutes. I succumb to Ella’s kitchen fruit smoothie pouches for ease but how bad can 100% fruit be? Well, it turns out pretty terrible for a toddler with a sensitive digestive system. Despite the best efforts of my somewhat old school health visitor, the babe has struggled with her poos for at least 6 months.

My lovely childminders who I frequently praise on the blog took it upon themselves to point out to me that some of the stuff I was giving her to eat was really not helping. Some might take offence but I was soooo grateful. They know I’m a mum who only wants the best for her girl and will do anything in her power to make her life easier and I’m confident they respect me as a parent. So why not take a little advice from parents and carers who have a lot more experience in life and child rearing than me. Taking her off her favourite bananas and substituting pears and apples was a big one. (Bananas are all sugar apparently). Red meat and pasta together are almost impossible for small children to digest. (Out went her favourite homemade spaghetti bolognese and in with the ratatouille). And all per packed foods for children have massive amounts of sugar in them, natural or not, that exacerbates any digestive issues. (Even her Petit Filou yogurts have been switched for Greek yoghurt and fruit purée, very tasty).

When I went to pick her up tonight I discovered that the childminders had bought me two recipe books to help me and congratulate me on my success. How lush. I may now need to seek out the health visitor who told me that the babe should be eating the same meals that we eat all the time……

My other promised topic was harem pants. I am a big fan and I am too for the babe in summer. When she was tiny she had some gorgeous white linen ones, long ago too small. Imagine my excitement when I came across some new ones in Next yesterday. Gorgeous detail and a good price for a lovely quality item. Still available online at £11. The shot is of the babe sporting her harem pants in portugal last summer. She was the grand old age of 5 months….

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That sinking feeling…

23 May

I may have come to sound like a stuck record on issues around being a working Mum but I do seem to come up against its challenges week after week with no let up!

Yesterday my lovely babe woke up looking like something not right. I don’t post pics of her for the slightly overcautious reason that I want this blog to remain anonymous but I was tempted by this particular sight. She has a bad case of conjunctivitis. This manifested itself in hard bright green discharge from her ears to the bridge of her nose across both eyes. Compounded by the solid green snot running nose to mouth she looked like a little baby alien child. Poor thing.

After I had prised all this from her face with 101 water soaked cotton wool balls I was forced to confront the next issue; Who on earth was going to look after my highly contagious child for my working week? Despite only working a three day week this seems to be a common issue. So the sinking feeling comes in. It starts with concern for my gorgeous girl, builds to panic when contemplating the reality of the situation and usually ends on feelings of inadequacy that I have to leave her with others when she’s not feeling great.

Thank goodness I have childminders that are not only accomodating of the common illnesses of childhood but that I really trust and value their influence over my little girl.

In other news I am very excited that the warm weather has eventually allowed me to break into the babes summer wardrobe. Below is a fab coral romper that I bought a few weeks ago at George at Asda. A bargain at £6 and right on trend both in colour and style. Even with gooey eyes – supercute!

The coral one is no longer available online but this denim version packs a similar punch. http://direct.asda.com/george/younger-girls-trousers-shorts/heart-print-denim-playsuit/GEM234287,default,pd.html

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Chicken Pox Party – are you kidding?

6 May

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I just about have time to blog between putting the babe down to bed very early and the hubby arriving back from the football. The babe doesn’t normally get her head down for another 45 mins but she was falling asleep on me during Charlie & Lola so I elected to call it early. The hubby will no doubt be a little forlorn (bad result) and a little drunk (having been out since half eleven) so best to blog now me thinks!

I’ve struggled to blog for the last couple of days as the babe has been unable to go to the childminder with a v high temperature and a mystery illness. I have assumed teething but I am now starting to get the fear. I think it’s Chicken Pox. Having spent a lovely bank holiday Sunday with our best buddies I am especially worried as the rash has just appeared tonight so I may have infected our favourite girls.

This brings me to my point. Will said lovely friend and her equally lovely little girl be thrilled to understand that the babe has chicken pox thus getting the disease out of the way in its mildest childhood form or be swearing at me as soon as I put down the phone at having caused further distress and pandemonium in her already full to bursting life. This is where the very real notion of a “Pox Party” comes in. Apparently it is customary in some parts to spread the virus amongst young children as quickly as possible to get it out of the way.

As mentioned above I realise the virus is often at its mildest in early childhood but this is by no means guaranteed. I also struggle with the idea of intentionally making the babe miserable. My precious girl is just too precious to inflict suffering on her intentionally. And I’m really not a soft Mum, honest.

Going back to my mate, my mind is already turning to the reality of managing the babe with hugely infectious virus requiring her to be house bound, alongside my working week, the hubby’s working week away from home and the childminder being unable to take her. Going to be a new level of juggling. But when it comes down to it, I’ll be here with her every step of the way – because at least to me, that’s what being a Mum is about.

NB. For those looking for a fashionable note, the pic is of the babe in her latest Zara tee. I’m not a huge fan of slogan tops but the spots and neon had me sold. Still available at http://www.zara.com in 3-24 months. Seems ironic now that it’s spotty…..

Sleep Is For the Weak

2 May

Well it finally happened – the babe didn’t cry when I dropped her at the childminder! Its only been 8 long weeks in the making but it’s happened eventually.

To say that my child has an expressive face is putting it kindly. She has a scowl like nobody else I know and she doesn’t need to be able to talk yet as her eyes tell it all. When I left her this morning she sat quickly down on the floor with her little mates, looked back at me, scowled, turned back and carried on playing. Well its better than the screamy ab dabs I suppose. Bless her, i’m so glad she’s adjusting but I guess its all part of her ongoing independence.

The main focus of this week has actually been more to do with sleep than play. The more mobile the babe has got, the more reluctant she is to lie down in her cot. The sleep bag does not stop her from doing laps and trying to grab things that are in striking distance through the bars. (Last week she had managed to reach:- her toothbrush, a snotty muslin, an additional blanket and a mole cuddly toy…). All this has meant that she is taking a lot longer to settle herself and she is occasionally waking early to start her laps again. This has coincided with my concern that her sleep bag is getting a bit on the small side. Its officially up to 18months but at 13 she is filling it up. I personally hate sleeping in a sleeping bag as I am a self confessed wriggler and get all tangled up. As the babe has wriggled since the womb I thought the same might apply to her and made the switch to a baby duvet.

I anticipated trouble but after a night of kicking the duvet off and me getting up every half an hour to make sure her covers were on, she has decided she likes it. When I went through this morning I was greeted by a very cheeky baby grin from under one corner of a big white duvet. Very cute. I also figure that when she does move to a bed I may have a little bit less of a transition to cope with. One can but hope.

I also wanted to post some baby fashion ideas today as there has been a significant drop in purchases since the middle of April. This is partly due to a lack of available cash and part due to being caught up in trying to buy a new house. (For those who follow my blog, I have today been informed that the vendor has accepted another offer on my dream home as she can’t be bothered to do any more negotiating! Gutted).

One of my favourite online retailers La Redoute are in sale and I managed to pick up a few things for the babe. A lot of this stuff comes in baby and girls sizes so worth a look if you have an under 13.

First a gorgeous jumper. I’ve bought a few for her over the winter and they are lovely quality and wash well.

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Girls Pink Jumper

Next a gorgeous little leggings and jersey dress set which will be an ideal transition from spring to summer. Plus I am a big fan of love hearts!

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Love Heart Jersey Set

Finally I have added, perhaps predictably, some little summer pumps down to £7 in the sale. They come in loads of different colour ways and sizes and might be nice in the summer with shorts and socks.

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Canvas Pumps with Bow