Wednesday, 28 May 2014

If I should have a daughter by Sarah Kay

TED talks. I love them. Fascinating, insightful talks that leave you with a nugget of knowledge or a new-found interest in something. A great way of stepping out of your comfort zone, even if it's just for ten minutes...

I found this today. 'If I should have a daughter' is a brilliant poem written and read by American poet Sarah Kay. Brimming with smart observations and witty advice for her future daughter, I recommend a watch!

Click here to watch Sarah Kay''s performance of 'if I should have a daughter'

Wednesday, 21 May 2014


After spending six years working in the city, I was slightly worried about the adjustment of staying local with my baby. I was concerned about my social life changing, it’s not so easy to pop out for a drink in the evenings now, and about missing the general hustle and bustle of London life. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how easy it has been to meet other new mums and how many baby-friendly activities there are around. My diary (and Abigail’s) is filling up quick these days!

I do confess however, that I am missing certain aspects of city life. My daily Nero coffee, being so close to Covent Garden and my weekly fix of Stylist. I’ve missed the insightful articles, a weekly slice of popular culture and the great travel and beauty recommendations. So I was thrilled to discover that Stylist  have just released an app where I can download each week’s issue onto my iPad.

I can now catch up on Stylist  from the comfort of my own home whether it’s on the 4am night feed or while Abigail has her morning nap. An easy way to stay updated with the world and keep baby brain at bay!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Tiny Hands

A lovely little keepsake we had made when Abigail was seven weeks old. Our local pottery shop, Get Fired in Purley, makes these and many other beautiful pottery items. I wasn't sure how successful we would be at taking Abigail’s hand-print (she prefers to keep her fists clenched). But we found with a sleeping baby and a piece of acetate we could capture her hand-print first time!

Friday, 9 May 2014

Swapping High Street for Nearly New

Nearly new sales are essentially second hand sales where you can pick up a lot of the items from your list for your little one. From what I've seen everything on sale is in pretty good condition and items range from used to brand new. I confess I have never been one for second hand car boot sales or vintage shopping but after assessing the cost of kitting out our new addition, and realising mummy will need some spending money for herself too, we popped along to give it a try. Now, three sales later I am hooked and am marking out the next one on in my calendar. These sales are a great way to pick up products like clothes, shoes, books, toys and other accessories and pay just a fraction of the high street price. I've always loved a bargain and was particularly thrilled when I picked up a pair of baby UGG boots that have never been worn for just £10! On our first trip we spent just £20 and came away with enough baby towels, baby grows and muslin cloths to set our little one up for her first couple of weeks. Sorted.

I'm not promising that all sales have amazing bargains and there is an element of hit and miss on some stalls but here are a few tips on how to bag yourself a bargain:

1. Arrive early- turn up at the beginning of the sale rather than at the end. be one of the first to look around rather than looking at what's left at the end.
2. Go with an open mind- forget lists just go and have a look. You can't guess what will be there and having a list of specific items that you can't find will make you frustrated.
3. Get chatting- say hello to the people selling. It's a great way to socialise and get tips from people who have recently been where you are. Plus they may be able to direct you to something on their stall you haven't spotted!
4. Set a budget- it can be easy to go a bit crazy if you find lots of bargains. your little one will only wear so many clothes so try and limit how many items you buy. Remember you will want some new clothes too at some point!
5. Go with your partner or friends/family- it's always good to get someone else's perspective on what's value for money (and what's not!) and its a nice way to bond over the new addition to the family. They will also be able to remind you what you already have at home!

Check your local NCT website for details of sales near you.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Meet Ebay, my new best friend

Up until recently I have had very little luck with shopping on Ebay and after a stint of ordering items for my wedding that well 'weren’t quite right', I promised my family and friends I would stay well away…

However, since having baby Abigail and finding out about all of the stuff a tiny little human comes with, Ebay has become my new best friend. It’s been fantastic for second-hand baby-grows, a barely used buggy, a crib… the list goes on. The app on the phone has allowed me to bid at all hours of the day-a little bit dangerous when feeding in the middle of the night and trying to keep awake- and I’ve been surprised to find some lovely current season outfits on there for a lower price.

It’s incredibly easy to go baby shopping mad (my weakness has been baby girl clothes) and spend lots of money on buying items brand new that will soon no longer be needed (we are already moving up a size in clothing (!)). So I would definitely recommend a bit of bargain hunting, that way you can save a few pounds and maybe treat yourself to something as well!

Whether you are battling morning sickness, exhausted or feeling increasingly weighed down by carrying your growing baby around with you, commuting to work on busy trains and tubes can be a real challenge for any pregnant woman. Your body is working over-time to give you and your baby all you both need and you are trying to live a normal life working in the city.  A sit down whilst travelling is often necessary and not a luxury.

Trying to get seat is a bit of a social minefield on trains where everyone is either plugged into their devices, sleeping or just looking plain unapproachable. It can be rather intimidating when you glance around the carriage and realise there is no seat available- a situation becoming increasingly common as our trains are getting more and more packed.

I picked up my Baby on Board badge quite early on in my pregnancy and it was a life saver. It meant that the few kind souls out there who are willing to give up their seat (and there are quite a few!) were able to spot me across the carriage and offer me their seats. It also meant that when I asked people directly (sometimes you just have to do this and the priority seats are the best place) they could see straight away why I was asking and were usually happy to oblige.

For me, it got easier as I became increasingly pregnant and walked bump first onto the train (although this hasn't been the case for some)  but certainly in the early days the badge and a smile were absolutely necessary to get that well needed seat. And as one lady put it ‘we’d rather have you sitting down than fainting’.