Another Mum Blog

A blogazine for mums.

Contact: mieka.smiles@live.co.uk
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How cute are these tees (and Harriet of course…)?

Ethical, organic, fairly traded - but above all comfy cotton and cute designs. 

Anything not doused in nasty chemicals is a huge plus for me. I’m no eco-warrior but by choosing WWF’s Animal Tails range of clothing you know you’re ticking so many environmentally friendly boxes.

This seahorse design is £13. It’s super soft and made from organic and fairly traded cotton. A reminder that all species of seahorse are in danger through over fishing. 

Shopping with a conscience for summer. 

I’ve invented a new game! (Possibly).

It kept George entertained for hours - and for a three-year-old that’s no mean feat.

It’s ideal for summer outdoorsy parties and i’ll definitely be keeping it in mind as the weather hots up.

You will need:

* Water guns (one for each player). We used this one, £1, from Tesco.

* A bubble machine. This one is £5, again from Tesco.

* Loads of washing up liquid/ bubble mixture

* Someone to keep score

Load up the bubble machine and aim it so that the bubbles fly over the garden/ open space.

Fill the water guns, arm each child with one and the player who can pop the most bubbles with their aim wins. Easy.

There can be as many or as few players as you like. Younger ones may just enjoy playing on their own, like George.

Have fun!

Love this. It’s so cute and perfect for Easter parties.

With Peter pan collar and polka dots your princess will also be on-trend for spring.

I’d pair with white textured tights.

£6 from Primark.

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Hitting the right note with maternity fashions can be tricky - and weddings with a bump can pose a style panic.

I love this dress, £40, from ASOS. It comes in a mouthwatering selection of pretty pastels and features one of the season’s key looks: lace.

Also a sure winner for a summer baby shower.

Be quick though - I can’t imagine them sticking around for long.

As far as bibs go these Funky Giraffe ones are pretty cool. I reckon if SJP designed dribble-moppers they’d almost certainly look like these:

Here’s my little girl Hattie rocking one:

When it comes to bibs though, it’s probably the thing you want to splash the least cash on…

The ‘bandana bibs’ are £4 each - but the more you buy the more you save. So five would cost £11 (£2.20 each) and 10 £20.50 (£2.05 each). And after an order 10 they are £1.90 each.

I may be tempted to stock up so I always have a stylish but practical baby present in the house for newborns.

The quality is fantastic. The design is printed onto cotton, they have a snug fleecy backing and two sets of nickel-free poppers to the rear so babies of all ages are catered for.

The selection of prints available is fantastic. Take a look here. I’m a convert.  

Of course we have a competition for you. Just email mieka.smiles@live.co.uk with your name and address by February 15 with the subject line Bibs for your chance to win three designs of your choice. Get browsing!

It’s bloody miserable outside today. But there is a way to lift the gloom. Look at the latest coats from Joules luscious kidswear range. Just wish they did them in my size.

1. Baby Girls Quilted Pram Suit, Pink, £37.95. 

Sizes: 0 - 12 months

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 2. Girls Hooded Raincoat, Praline Garden, from £49.95.

Sizes: 3-12 years

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3. Girls Hooded Raincoat, Candy Pink Pony Print, from £49.95.

Sizes 3 - 12 years

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4. Boys Hooded Jacket, Marine Navy, from £49,50.

Sizes: 3 - 12 years

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And, as always, we have a great discount for you - £10 off when you spend over £50 at Joules online. It even applies on top of current sale prices. Just enter the code BOOTS13.

Get splashing.

I lied. It’s get fit for 99p actually. And it’s an absolute revelation.

No poncey gyms. No embarrassing fitness classes. No red-faced jogging.

The answer? My new pedometer. 

A pedometer counts how many steps you do in a day. You simply clip it to your waist and you’re good to go.

So far I’m falling into the just above average bracket, which is between 3,000 and 4,000 steps a day.

The aim is 10,000 steps a day. If you reach this golden goal it will have a significant impact on your health - which is what we’re all after, isn’t it?

And the best bit is that you can step to it at every spare minute, fitting it in and around your average day.

I have a new spring in my step knowing that all my running around is for a good cause.

The benefits?

* It can help weight loss

* It tones your legs, bum and tum

* …and your arms

* It strengthens your heart

* It lowers risk of disease including diabetes, asthma and some cancers

* It can help prevent dementia

* It can help prevent osteoporosis

* It can boost your energy

* …and your mood

And there are hundreds more reasons to walk it out that I’m hoping to soon discover.

So join me in my 10,000 a day steps challenge. I promise you won’t be sorry. 

A tea towel on the head and dressing gown cord around the waist. How things change.

If you’re running low on creativity - or are a bit rubbish at sewing - then Asda has the answer for this year’s nativity… at £8 a costume. 

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Tesco is also in on the nativity action. Their outfits are 50% off at the mo. A cracking £5 for the Mary costume and £3 for the star. Bargains.

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And let’s not forget Sainsbury’s. Sometimes a bit posh and pricey I find, but they’ve come up trumps with the nativity wear this year. £10 for the king and £11 for the sheep.

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And you can pretend it was all your own hard work. I won’t tell.

Christmas fashions fill me with dread. Why retailers think we like glitter-laden Lycra is beyond me.

Thankfully Matalan has stepped up to the plate this year. I adore the Abbey Clancy range.

This Abbey Clancy Space Dye Midi Dress, £20, is my choice for the office party. Use this code for 20% off: XFF520 (and 30% off if you spend over £50).

Thanks Abbey. Job well done.

Start a tradition and kit yourselves out in Christmas jumpers on the big day.

Here is my bargain-busting round up.

1. Festive Christmas Jumper, £3, ikrush

The best Christmas jumper deal around. As part of ikrush’s 12 Days of Christmas offer, on December 10 you can bag this top for just £3! Mark it on your calendar now.

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2. Father Christmas Sweatshirt, £32, Cath Kidston 

Cath Kidston quality but at a fair price. Don’t forget to get your 20% discount code from yesterday’s blog post, which would bring the price down to £25.60.

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3. 3D Christmas Pudding Jumper, £14, Asda

George at Asda has a fantastic selection of festive winter warmers at fabulous prices. I like this one the best.

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4. Maternity Grey Seasons Tweetings Robin Christmas Jumper, £17.99, New Look

One for the mums-to-be. You mightn’t be able to enjoy a Christmas booze up but you can enjoy this sweet treat. And get a cool 20% by signing up to their store card here.

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5. Women’s Retro Skier Jumper, £12.80, Peacocks

This for me is the clincher. Retro cool. Made cooler still as it’s been marked down from £16. 

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There’s a tradition in our household: Christmas Eve PJs.

Santa is not allowed to see you in shabby PJs when he comes a-visiting. 

I love these from Cath Kidston. 

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Yes they’re a tad pricey, but in my experience quality nightwear does last the distance. And with this special 20% discount they work out at a more thrifty £40. Use the code BBY13 at the checkout. There is also a special £1.80 delivery offer if you order today.

Now you won’t be embarrassed should the postman - or Santa - catch you in them…

I’m back at work and have taken great delight in ditching the dowdy mum get-up for some smart work clobber.

I feel as though a part of my long-lost identity has returned.

But as my first pay day hasn’t arrived just as yet good old Dotty P’s has been my back-to-work wardrobe saviour.

And today there’s an impressive 40% off on many items - plus an extra 10% off if you sign up to the newsletter AND free worldwide delivery on orders over £50 with this code: DPDEL50

Love, love these Paper Dolls dresses. The navy panel body con dress was £52 and is now £36.40. The cream and black panel dress was £48 and is now £33.60.

Happy shopping.

Take supplements but not if you’re taking antidepressants. Supplements aren’t proven to work but they can interfere with antidepressants (despite not working).

Keep yourself busy but remember to find time to relax. Look after yourself first and then dedicate your time to others, volunteer.

Find God. Find yourself.

Cut out dairy. Cut out meat. Cut out gluten. Eat melted cheese. Eat more potatoes. Eat more meat. Sugar is evil. Remember to treat yourself to cake.

Delve into your past to get to the root of your problems. Then forget the past, move forward, concentrate on the future.

You can work it out, never give up - although never forget that acceptance is key.

Routine, routine, routine. Routine can solve many ills - going with the flow is also helpful.

Cut out all alcohol. A bit of what you fancy does you good though - and a glass of wine never harmed anyone.

Enjoy the here and now but always make plans. It’s imperative to have things to look forward to. Push yourself but don’t expect too much of yourself.

Think positive but if you do think negatively don’t fight the feeling.

Fake it until you make it and be yourself - at all times.

Find a hobby. Be still. Keep active. Exercise. Relax. Yoga. Meditate.

Think of the big picture. Don’t think too much though, just about the things you can control. In fact it’s probably best not to think as you are not your thoughts - except when you are your thoughts. When they are good thoughts you are your thoughts but negative thoughts aren’t you. Ignore them. Become the watcher of your thoughts. Observe them.

Don’t spend time alone but set aside 15 minutes each day to spend time alone. Have ‘me’ time.

Get out into the world except when visualising your safe place - then you must forget the outside world and retreat into your safe place.

Allow yourself time to heal. Time is a healer. Let time pass. Don’t forget though that time is of the essence and you must enjoy every moment. Believe in the power of now.

Pass your fears to God, he has the answer. You have the answer though, you always have.

Massage. Reiki. Aromatherapy. Homeopathy. Herbal tea.

A problem shared is a problem halved: talk it out. But be dignified; if you’re going through hell keep going. Be strong. Be brave. Survive.

Hope that helps.

Husband (in bed this morning): “I’ve got a coupon for some Cif.”

The Rollercoaster