Where I can, i’ve been making changes towards a more eco planet around the house and for my own personal lifestyle. One of the main things for me was sanitary wear.
If we stick to the basics of what is mostly used and available in the supermarkets, the tampon and sanitary towel, lets be honest, neither are particularly pleasant right and then add to this the amount of plastic and toxins injected into them, who knows what we’re putting into our bodies.
Stat: 1 sanitary towel takes between 500 and 800 years to decompose
A couple of years ago I was introduced to reusable sanitary pads – some say gross, I say like wearing a pillow for your vag. Wear, rinse, wash. So you have to deal with a bit of blood in the rinsing process, but it’s your blood.
I really like how they feel, they’re not messy, they don’t rustle as you walk or kick off a mouldy lavender smell because the big brands think that’s a great way to hide your natural stink. And then, one of my friends only went and created a successful brand of reusable sanitary pads https://www.wearemout.co.uk/. Lauren, the founder, designer, director describes the brand as ‘A New Way to Period’ and has a vast knowledge of sanitary wear that she shares in an entertaining and honest way on her social media platforms.
Stat: 700,000 panty liners, 2.5m tampons and 1.4m sanitary towels are flushed down the toilet every day in the UK.
I opted for the lighter trial pack because after the first day, my periods aren’t particularly heavy and only last about 5 days. This consists of 2 mega flo, 2 medium flo and 2 mini flo pads, plus a handy bag to put them in when you’re out and about.
Not to disillusion a favourite childhood fairytale, but they’re like the less aggressive 3 bears of the menstrual world and I am goldilocks. Daddy pad (mega) , mummy pad (medium) and baby pad (mini). So what i’m saying here is that there is a (just right) pad for everyone.
So how do they wear and wash. I can honestly say that for me, I could not even tell I was wearing anything. They are super comfortable, super secure and even the over night mega flo came into it’s own. No leaks and no odour.
I rinsed them out after use and wore some up to 8 hours a time, then popped them in the wash with a normal load and hung them out to dry.
Wear ’em Out – Our pads are produced in the UK and made of breathable fabrics with double-binding edges. These edges block leaks, while the breathable fabrics allow moisture to evaporate. The less moisture, the less bacteria. And as it’s bacteria that causes odour, there’s no need for perfumes or harmful chemicals
I have such confidence in these pads and will be ordering some more medium flo pads as they’re the ones I use the most and 2 aren’t enough for me. That’s another great thing about Wear Em’ Out, you can mix and match, buy in packs or as individuals depending on you and your flo. Having a baby, then why not try the post birth box or have a teenage girl about to start or has started her period? There’s the teen box too and the perfect generation who are keen to make changes for a better world.
Check out The Blob (that’s blog) to me and you, that’s full of educational info on making the change to reusables, saving the planet and everything in between.
How do you feel about making the switch to a reusable pad? Does it creep you out or would you give it a go? Perhaps you have made the change already? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Putting this post out makes me feel vulnerable, so please be kind. When I realised I had ante natal depression I had a google and # search and I could find no information from other women in the same situation. Did you know, there are only around 1000 posts on instagram on the subject. Now i’m not a huge social media fan although I do use it for work, but this statistic surprised me. You # search ‘fashion’ and there are millions and millions of posts. Everything was organisation led, so i’m posting in the hope that if one of you reads this and is going through the same, you are most definitely not alone. I can’t fit everything I want to share with you into one post, so am going to call this Part 1 and hope i’m brave enough to continue my story once this has gone live.
It’s been a rather confusing and big year for me and my family, i’ve spent most of it being pregnant and to be honest I’m looking forward to saying au revoir to 2019. In January this year I found out I was pregnant and then had a very pro longed, stressful and upsetting miscarriage. Not long afterwards I got pregnant again and since finding out, I have been suffering with ante natal depression. Mentally I was not ready to be pregnant again.
I didn’t even know ante natal depression was a thing. I remember after having my son 5 years ago being terrified of getting post natal depression as I’m an anxiety sufferer anyway and did find the first few months a struggle. I think that was more pure exhaustion and lack of confidence, but how I felt about finding out I was pregnant with my son, is most definitely not how I felt this time around. Cue the guilt and fake smiles at tears of joy from family and friends alike. Aren’t you meant to be happy when you find out you’re having a baby?
A complete 360 from talking about fashion and styling, but I am like us all, a mere human figuring out life and the path of life is never a smooth one, so if I can’t share my human side, how do you connect with me? Although, saying that, I still have to wear clothes and am finding that experimenting with non maternity clothes and an ever expanding waist both fun and frustrating, but that’s a share for another time.
When I found out on 2 January this year that I was pregnant, I was so angry. With myself, with my husband and with the world. 2019 was my year to fly, I’d written my goals for the year, for me, for my work and for my family, I was excited and instead of embracing this new life, all I felt was inconvenience, panic and frustration … and then I miscarried. Hindsight being the wonder that it is, looking back, the signs were all there for the onset of ante natal depression, but being caught up in my anger and resentment, it’s not something I gave any thought to. The world kept turning and our lives went on.
I’m not going to hide anything and judge me all you want, but there was a part of me that was relieved that it was gone. I was also confused, upset, traumatised and angry. The hospital I was under had treated me so badly and made me feel I was going insane. I fought with my husband and threw a glass at him one evening because well, I don’t really know. But I was heartbroken that I couldn’t keep that little person growing inside me safe, my child. The ultimate failure for me as a parent.
After a while we decided again that we would not put ourselves through such an experience again yet did nothing to stop it happening again and happen it did. Which brings us now to week 28 and over these last few months is where I’ve found myself getting progressively deeper into a dark fog of nothingness and slowly coming out the other side with hard work, self love and support from those around me.
Now I blame my friends in the nicest possible way for deciding to have the most beautiful wedding in Lake Garda back in May for our current situation. So what if we’re old enough to know how making a baby works and did nothing to stop it happening. We were caught up in the heady atmosphere of love being in the air and I believe fate played a hand in giving us a second chance.
One thing I don’t do well is change. I am a creature of habit and too many things going on at once really stresses me out, so you can imagine how 3 days before we moved to our dream house it went down when that test was positive. Not only that, but my son didn’t have a school and it was the Summer holidays, plus I also didn’t take well to being in a different house, losing my wardrobe room to a nursery and everything just not going to plan. Can you tell i’m an only child?
And this is when I stopped doing anything. I stopped caring about my family, I didn’t want to talk to anyone, my son drove me insane, I hated my husband, the house, my life, everything. I didn’t cook, didn’t clean, just sat and watched TV or slept. I would shout at my son for no reason and could not stop crying once I started. One day when I was heading home from an emotional weekend away with my friend in the car I literally thought about keeping going, seeing where the road took me and running away from everything. That’s when I realised something was very wrong mentally and I needed help.
I’m going to leave it there for now and pick this up again in another blog, but if these feelings are anything you can relate to, I can tell you, you are not on your own as I thought I was. The doctor has been taking me very seriously and given me some numbers and sites to contact and visit. I’ve been referred to PEWS under my midwife and am waiting for my appointment.
These are my opinions, my thoughts, my feelings, i’m no expert in the area and am feeling my way through the next few months, but if you are too then let’s stick together. I know that I am exceedingly lucky to be having this child, so please, no nasty comments as it’s taken a lot for me to begin to share my story.
I joined the school run brigade in September this year. How can I describe it? I wouldn’t say i’ve qualified to Motherland status just yet, more regression back to new motherhood when you’re trying to remember all the things you’re meant to do just to keep them alive.
School uniform, check. Is it clean, check – brownie point for you for remembering to wash it! Snack, check – books, check – child, check – extra brownie points for being early.
Now i’m sure many of us do this, but I know for me especially because of the nature of my job, I do love to check out what the other mums are wearing and not in a judgemental way, far from it, i’ve rocked up in my husbands tracksuit bottoms for drop off before, who am I to judge. No, i’m just interested in peoples style and if there’s any inspiration on the school run for me to change it up a bit.
I have been asked on a few occasions for ideas on school mum run style and i’ve tried curating a ‘heres my top 3 of xyz’ on a blog, but it just doesn’t work for me. My interests in writing don’t stretch to researching the top 3 macs for school run in the rain. If I see something I like then i’m all about the sharing (find me here), but i’d prefer to share my opinions with you, get conversations going and drop in some of my style ideas along the way.
So, for me there are 5 mum styles out there and we all have our right to those specific styles if that’s what makes us feel good without judgemumt (you see what I did there)
Gym mum – goes without saying that there were always going to be the mums out there that put all the jean mums to shame by dropping the kids off to school on their way to the gym. I have to say there are some mighty fine gym kits out at the moment and if I had any inclination to go to the gym at 9am (I don’t) then the school gates is where i’d be getting my inspo from.
Whilst looking for ‘All The Gear’ to start my yoga journey a while back, these were a couple of my favourite places to go for gym wear
Skinny jeans mum – classic skinny jeans, ankle boots or trainers, barbour jacket and logo sweat of choice (could potentially fall into Insta mum bracket). Always looking well turned out and put together
Now personally skinny jeans are something I have stepped away from although post baby could potentially be back on the cards, but all I would say here is invest, invest, invest! If you’re into your skinny jeans, don’t go cheap and let them sag at the knees. Whistles have a great super skinny in currently and their denim is on point – https://www.whistles.com/women/clothing/jeans/
Insta mum – Shes in the Zara dress, she’s in the logo sweat / T / Top, the white trainers and she’s styling it out like the influencers do whilst totally rocking it. And why the hell not! Being a mum is tough and if it helps to take some inspiration from social media to make yourself feel good without having to think too hard about what to wear then bloody good on you.
Trendy mum – The mum who looks like she doesn’t even have to try. So she’s just wearing jeans and converse, but how does she make it look so effortlessly cool. Even when doing the school run in the rain she nails it! Now I would put these mums into another bracket when it comes to womens fashion of ‘the woman who doesn’t even have to try’. The ones who when they get out of bed they have total bed head, but in a really cool way. Not like me who gets out of bed looking like i’ve been hooked up to frankensteins machine for the night.
If this is somewhere you see yourself, start gradual by adding a funky trainer to your every day look and clashing a pair of socks with them.
I don’t give a shit mum – And this is me. As my brand name depicts, I am all about wearing who you want to be and on the school run, on the days when i’m not working or have somewhere to be, I do opt for cosy. I am the mum that just doesn’t give a shit what she’s wearing and I really don’t. Maybe it’s my age, or the fact i’m comfortable with what I wear, perhaps it’s sheer and utter laziness, who knows, but I make no apologies for how I turn up to school. This is currently helped by the fact it’s cold and so I can hide my pyjama top under my winter coat and just throw some jeans and trainers on (see trendy mum)
Who needs to put on a bra when you’re just going to come home and spend the day writing about the fact you don’t need to wear a bra on the school run or do the housework. My son does love to point out that I am wearing my pyjamas, but I don’t think he’s told anyone at school just yet
If you’re the don’t give a shit mum and fancy stealing hubby’s tracksuit bottoms (see paragraph 3), then I can totally recommend these from Marks & Spencer
Are you a school run mum? Do you have a particular style? Any questions, thoughts, or ideas for an article, i’d love to hear from you. Drop them in the comments below xx
No pressure then! I mean, there are a lot of clothes that come with pockets, but when we start narrowing down to the style of an item, lets say a dress or a skirt, the colour, the fit, then that’s a whole new ball game and I do love a challenge when it comes to styling women.
I’d like to start sharing with you snippets of work I do when I go on shopping sessions or wardrobe detox’s. I’m hoping you’ll find it interesting and maybe a little bit witty and lighthearted. I take my job very seriously and I love what I do, but I think we can all have a bit of fun along the way and fashion should be an extension of your exuberant personality, so why not have some fun writing about it too.
Now, back to pockets. This was one of the first things my client said to me as we were having a good old rummage through her wardrobe. I’ve said it before and i’ll keep saying it, this is one of my favourite things when working with new clients. Your wardrobe is such a personal space whether you love whats in it or not and then you invite me round, I have a good old nose, take everything out, put most / some (delete as appropriate) things back and tell you how to wear your clothes differently, that takes some guts ladies and I’m always grateful to be a part of it.
Anyway, I digress as per usual. Post detox we set a date to go shopping and my clients requirements amongst other things consisted of clothes she could put on without the need to look in the mirror because she knew they looked good and she felt good, practical because she has a young family and pockets because we all know children get snotty and a tissue to hand is always helpful.
I like to do a pre-shop before we go shopping, so i’m ahead of the game and know which shops we’re going to hit and which brands are going to work for each clients requirements. It saves time and means we can stay focussed.
We shopped, laughed at some of the pieces I got her to try that didn’t work and to be fair, she was extremely open to trying my suggestions. I do gage very quickly how far I can push a client in stepping over the line of their comfort zone. We danced when she loved something and I relished in my glory when she tried something she didn’t like until she put it on, but I knew would suit her down to the ground.
We grabbed another drink because seriously, all the talking, whipping clothes on and off and laughing is thirsty work, then made our final pit stop for some good fitting, wider than skinny leg jeans. Question: How do we feel about skinny jeans? Personally I think they have had their day now and there are some amazing less skinny shapes out there now. You can really go to town with a good jean in my opinion.
I’ve laid out below some of her favourite pieces we walked away with and some that didn’t quite work for her, but for one of you would look amazing. I hope it gives you inspiration to try something new. Let me know how you get on
Top row- hush, Middle row – Boden, Bottom row – Boden skirt, Max Studio jumpsuit both at John Lewis and Levis ribcage jeans
I never share photos of my clients as for me, I see this as their personal journey, they have allowed me to be a part of it and paid for my time. It’s a big step having someone come along and tell you what you’re wearing is completely wrong for you (bit harsh: it doesn’t actually happen like that) and so I throw myself 100% in to focussing on them and if i’m ever luck enough to work with you, i’d do the same for you. If, however, clients wish for photos to be taken and shared, then I absolutely will.
If you would like to know more about what I do or are interested in having a wardrobe detox of shopping session for yourself, I would love to hear from you. A consultation is free and there’s no pressure to take it any further. You can contact me at email@example.com
I hope we should all know by now how to put on a swimsuit, but what I mean is, how can we dress it up effortlessly? Like we’ve just got up, rolled out of bed and thrown the first thing that comes to hand on. When really you’ve been up for 2 hours, contemplating everything in your wardrobe, nothing really goes and so you end up settling on something from the dirty wash pile because it doesn’t smell too bad!
I’m a real fusspot when it comes to swimwear and I can never find exactly what I’m after, which even I find an increasingly frustrating trait. It shouldn’t be that hard to find something to sit on the beach in whilst you rotate yourself on the sun bed like a rotisserie chicken to get that perfect tan. I even got stuck in a swimming costume the other week and had to be pulled out of it by a fellow colleague. I thought i’d totally won the jackpot with this find, it was exactly what I was after, but it did not like me and lets just say it all got a bit personal in the changing rooms and me and my colleague now share a bond like Monica and Joey from friends and the jellyfish incident!
For me, the perfect swimwear needs to be able to take you from breakfast, to beach, to pool, to bar, to beach and back again and maybe even sometimes to the evening. Not too much to ask, am I right? It’s not unheard of that I will don a swimsuit for an evening look. Hey, if it works, it works, don’t be shy to try. It’s got to be easy and cool, I don’t like fuss, but I do like fun and with fun comes colour and statement.
BIMBA Y LOLA is a brand that’s pretty new to me. I’d seen them advertised here and there, but never really paid attention until they caught my eye whilst strolling the streets of Kensington and from that a recent bag purchase with 40% off, so thank you for that and a subscription to their online newsletter, which leads me to the following.
They are all over sharks this season, I don’t know if it’s a replacement for the cactus trend, or the pineapple or pug trends, but hey, it works and i’m obsessed.
The above little number caught my eye and I loved how BIMBA Y LOLA styled it up on their site, but obviously that’s way too easy to click, click, click and buy, so I did it my way and I can totally image wearing with some oversized sunglasses and straw/rattan/wicker (delete as appropriate) bag to finish the look off.
The shirt is by OYSHO, a sustainable brand specialising in swimwear and beachwear. They’re a European brand, so currently only available to us in the UK online – Linen Short Sleeve Shirt
These gorgeous little sliders are from online boutique Born at Dawn. A super website of a capsule collection of seasonal trends – White Leather Sandals
I’m off to start prepping for my Summer holiday now (actually i’m not, we’re moving to the seaside in a couple of months, so i’ll be packing up the house), but if you love the idea of the simplicity of beach ready outfits for your upcoming holiday and either don’t have the time or the inclination to do so yourself, I can absolutely help. An initial consultation is free and i’m really good at chatting on the phone. Contact me here to start your style journey firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s always a tricky one when you make contact with someone for the first time that you know nothing about, but when I opened the email from Gemma asking me if I was up for a challenge, I just knew we were going on one hell of a ride.
I want to take you on our journey, so you get an idea of what having a personal stylist is about. A lot of ladies I speak to find it can be an intimidating experience and are really nervous, but I say if you didn’t want it, you wouldn’t have got in touch in the first place and it’s OK to be a bit nervous, it’s a huge investment in yourself and who has the time to do that, am I right? Big changes are coming, but lets have some fun along the way. I promise to be gentle and i’m really lovely
Lets start with an initial consultation. It gives me a better understanding of why you contacted me and where I think our main focus should be of getting you out of your fashion funk. We get to know each other and you can ask questions and I can find out more about your shopping habits, lifestyle and budget. With Gemma, she was really keen to get to the shops, but we agreed that an hour or so looking through her wardrobe first would probably be a good idea because she wanted a full style transition and I wanted to see what we were starting with.
The Wardrobe Detox
Gemma had a somewhat eclectic mix in her wardrobe (and I mean that in the kindest of ways) of high street, to higher end to 1950s inspired to a full on original vintage circus Ringmasters Jacket. I’d never seen anything like it and I knew behind the 6th Ted Baker satin floral dress there was a girl who loved fashion just waiting to get out and just like entering Narnia, I had to dig deep and find her.
So we got rid of it all! All the Ted Baker, all the high street, we both agreed it wasn’t her vibe and it had to go.
Here’s an example. She had a wedding coming up and was going to wear a black satin shift dress. When we were talking she didn’t sound inspired or bothered about what she was going to wear. Not OK in my book, after all, this is what I stand for you and you NEED to feel amazing in what you wear, so I hit the pause button and asked her – pick me an outfit, out of all your clothes if you were going to this wedding right now what would you want to wear, not what you think you should wear, but lets see what’s inside you. I can tell you it wasn’t Ted Baker!
Don’t worry, I did leave her with some clothes, but it also enabled me to pull a list together of gaps in her wardrobe which would give us some focus on what we needed to be looking for when we went shopping.
The Shopping Day
We went Vintage. It was never going to be H&M for this butterfly and so off to Brick Lane we went with her budget firmly in my head and her list of wants in my hand we hit the shops … hard!
I pulled out items she wasn’t sure of, but was open to trying, some worked, some didn’t and that’s OK, if you don’t try, how do you know. She pulled out her own items and had her own ideas. I kept her in check with her budget and she totally ran away with it, but hey, that’s her prerogative. We always bought it back to what was in her wardrobe, as after all, at the end of the day, an experience like this although super fun, is always about making your wardrobe work for you and your lifestyle.
We stopped for lunch and put the world to rights then carried on our way. We found a treasure trove of underground vintage and discovered Gemma has an addiction to jackets. She also discovered life after skinny jeans and the lure of 80’s vintage was particularly high.
After an intense morning of shopping, she went home super happy with her new purchases.
The Post Shopping Wardrobe Smash
This is where we take your existing clothes and together with your lovely new ones that we shopped for, we pull together new, fun and creative looks. I took photos and created a look book to keep Gemma inspired with ideas of how to mix and match her new wardrobe. As you can see, Gemma is a bit of a shrinking violet.
We played dress up and Gemma now has a wardrobe that absolutely works for her based on her personality, her lifestyle and her budget. She has rolled with it and we talk all the time still. Now I’m confident in what I wear, I know what I like and how I dress, but she even inspired me to think about shopping more vintage and embracing more of what I want to wear rather than conforming. Even as I have been typing this, she’s been texting me outfit ideas for an immersive dinner experience in London and what she’s going to wear. How amazing is that! That’s the thing about working with me, I got your back even when the experience is over.
This is Gemmas journey. She totally embraced the whole situation and has given me permission to share our story. Yours will be different, but I guarantee it will be fun!
I hope this has given you an insight into what you could get from a styling experience and if working with a personal stylist is something you’re interested in doing, you can get in touch here for a free consultation. I would love to hear from you.
It’s been a while since I posted Part 1 of this blog and there are a few reasons for that. 1, There is so much I want to tell you, I didn’t really know what to say, 2, I have a 5 year old, heavily pregnant and the wrong side of 40, it’s all too consuming and 3, i’ve been diagnosed with Pelvic Girdle Pain, so have been shuffling around never mind like a geriatric mum, I think we can safely say just geriatric getting the nursery sorted and house straight. Am in total nesting mode now.
But, today I find myself all caught up with mundane life admin and it seemed like a good day to write.
So I left Part 1 wanting to flee my husband and son, not a good place right! I didn’t leave! I came home and made an appointment with my GP, where I sobbed my heart out. I was advised to self refer for counselling, which I then did and this was back in August, but am still waiting for my first counselling appointment. As I’m getting this all out, i’m trying to figure out what to say that will be beneficial to anyone reading this and if I have any words of wisdom on how i’ve got through the last 5 months. I just had to pull my pants up and deal with it because I did not want depression to define me or stop me doing anything. It could well have done and I did crawl back to bed a lot when my son was at school or i’d disappear at 8pm. I would literally count down the hours when I could sit on my own and wallow.
I appreciate that is not the case for everyone and it wouldn’t be so easy to just ‘man upand get on with it’, but I can only go on my experiences and feelings.
Cry – Truth be told, I cried …a lot …, I opened up to my husband fully and honestly about how I was feeling. We had a huge heart to heart over a romantic dinner pour deux one evening where I yet again sobbed into my starter and mains (if the tears come, the best thing you can do is roll with it, we did actually end up having a lovely evening together). It was good to also hear things from his side and realise he wasn’t against me, didn’t hate me, things he’d been doing were all for my benefit and us as a family. I think for me, that was a HUGE relief and the acceptance from him I needed that I was OK to have down days and he’ll be there to look after me and our son.
As much as us women like to think we can do everything (and I am one of these women), it’s OK when you can’t and it’s not shameful to ask for help. It took a lot for me to accept that.
Acceptance – Also, I was still until very recently (and again, i’ve accepted this and no longer feel guilty for these feelings) struggling with accepting we’re having another child. Having one, as much as I would never be without him, was a huge deal to me, the maternal side of my personality leaves a lot to be desired and so to find out I was pregnant, hating that I was in this situation, miscarrying, finding out I was pregnant again, was a massive fucking deal. My first birth did not go to plan and was pretty traumatic. This could have been something that was putting me off the idea of doing it again subconsciously maybe, who knows, but this shizz needed dealing with head on.
Talk – Talking to someone neutral, that has helped me so so much over these last 5 months too. I practised hypnobirthing with my first pregnancy and unfortunately didn’t get a chance to put it into practice, but this time round, lets not rose tint it, i’m freaking petrified for all manner of reasons and before I felt I could refresh my mind with hypnobirthing, I saw a birth trauma counsellor. What an unexpected relief and liberating experience. I sat for an hour and half in our first session, sobbed (again) and got everything out about my first pregnancy, the birth, the miscarriage, this pregnancy, my fears, the depression. She listened, gave me tissues and my god did it feel good.
There’s a lot of hard work that goes into facing up to something traumatic and don’t get me wrong, it was emotionally draining and upsetting, but the process of being able to accept what happened, put it into perspective and have someone make you think differently about your experience, was so therapeutic and helped re-focus my mind, begin my hypnobirthing practice again and prepare myself for however this baby is going to make it’s appearance into the world. I genuinely believe it also knocked some of my depression into next week too.
Know your Worth – I am so bad at accepting I have the right to anything. To feel good, to feel scared, to feel vulnerable and ask for help. This does not do you any favours. We are all worth it, deserving of it and allowed to have all these feels with no judgement. Now i’m on maternity leave I spend at least half an hour every day doing my meditation and treating myself to a good bath. Sometimes i’ll even have a full on ‘get into bed, snuggle down’ nap too and make no apology for it. I am (as are you), growing a tiny human. I need these moments for me, to check out of real life and prepare for the things I know put me in an anxious state. I took out a small mortgage in Lush picking out lots of yummy bath bombs to treat myself (please ask the sales assistants about any you can’t use due to the ingredients in your pregnancy) and I indulge in the hottest bath, sometimes with relaxation music, sometimes with a podcast or sometimes in total silence and it is bliss.
Now where I am at as of today, I honestly can’t tell if I still have this ante natal depression, I don’t feel like it, but that’s the thing with depression, it’s a lurker. I mean i’m tearful constantly (Please note: do not watch Instant Family if you are pregnant, it’s a tear jerker), but i’m also nearing the end of the pregnancy and super hormonal. I feel content with my life and happy with some decisions i’m making currently around work. I can feel my creative juices flowing when it comes to creating a home for my family and our baby has a beautiful nursery to call their own, which excites me.
I’m no expert and don’t pretend to be (please, please, please seek medical advice if you even just think you may have slight depression), but from me to you, take each day as it comes. If you feel shitty one day, accept it, acknowledge it, but don’t dwell on it. If you want to put your partners tracksuit bottoms and jumper on, do it (come on, it’s not just me), if you want to throw on a dress and some make up do it. There are no rules, just your emotions and you need to roll with them how you see fit. Spend some time focussing on you, however that may be. Grab a coffee, grab a mate and go for a long walk, get fresh air, have your fancy lush bath, treat yourself to some posh PJs and take a nap!
I feel like there’s so much I want to share about my pregnancy. I really hope as infrequent as they are, these blogs are useful. I can’t dwell anymore on how the ante natal depression affected me, but please share any comments below. I don’t feel there is enough information out there from women who have been through this, so let’s talk!
If you are interested and I cannot sing her praises enough, my birth trauma counsellor was Clare Curtis, based in Leigh on Sea, Essex. She started the #motherssupportingmothers campaign 3 years ago as a way to bring women together and offer her support as and when we need it through pregnancy and beyond. Clare, you most certainly do! https://clarecurtiswellbeing.co.uk/services-2/
Once a month I meet up with an awesome group of women, we have coffee, we put the world to rights and we bounce ideas off each other. I honestly feel like I’d be lost without them now.
At our latest coffee morning, the girls were asking me if I was still swimming once a week and I proudly confirmed I was. Which then lead seamlessly onto the topic of swimwear and what to wear if you’re lady garden has been left to grow wild and untamed.
So this is how my latest post transpired …. Using a swim suit to cover your muff because you haven’t tidied since the dark ages. Well you gotta take your inspiration where you can get it right! We did have a couple of strong contenders and a discussion around how we struggle to find good swimwear that we feel is practical enough to hold our bits and pieces in, whilst feeling comfortable and confident.
When I was young I was a really good swimmer, I swam for my school and every Friday night was always at the local pool attempting to chat up the lifeguards! Fast forward a few (cough) years and I’ve started again, swimming that is, I’m too old, tired and married to chat anyone up now! I only go once a week, but I’m loving it and I totally lose myself once I get into the swim of things. BUT I always forget that my lady garden has been left to go wild until I go to put my swimsuit on and by then it’s a bit late to do anything about it. I attempt to tuck those strays back in as best I can and just think to myself that once I’m in the water no-one will see anyway and it makes me get in much quicker!!! It’s not something I really care about either, I can’t be arsed to maintain down there on a regular basis, I just hope no one has goggles on in the pool!!
We then dipped our toes into body confidence and whether we should wear bikinis to show our children that even though our body’s aren’t perfect (says who?), we shouldn’t be ashamed to wear one even if we ourselves feel uncomfortable …. Here’s my opinion on the subject. ABSO-BLOODY-LUTELY NOT! Firstly, your children love you no matter what. Secondly, if you don’t feel good in what you wear, they will pick up on those negative nancy vibes and cling to them and thirdly, by wearing what you want to wear / how you want to wear it, be it proudly showcasing those stray pubes, hiding that bush with a skirted swim suit or covering the bare minimum with tiny pieces of triangular material, you are teaching your kids that you don’t have room for judgement from other people no matter your style and embracing your look because of who you are, not what you think you should be.
I’ve scoured t’web and below are some of my stand out muff friendly and not so friendly swimsuits for this coming season. It was interesting to find some small independent brands that are recycling disused fishing nets and turning them into swim wear. This blows my mind and I would love to find out how they do it. They’re actually pretty stunning pieces too and if your taste isn’t the same as mine, click through their websites and see if anything else takes your fancy
Marble are a sustainable and ethical swimwear brand
Auria are a sustainable and ethical swimwear brand
Oysho are an ethical swimwear brand
Batoko are a sustainable and ethical brand
Ohoy are a sustainable and ethical brand
Called the boyleg if you want to find your own style, but these are Boden and come in a range of colours
From &Other Stories, good for covering bingo wings!
One more things before I go. What’s your vibe on swimwear? What do you feel more comfortable in and how confident are you in swimwear and why?
There are ways to hide the areas you’re not comfortable with, it’s just knowing how, so if you struggle with body confidence, how to dress for your shape and feel you would benefit from some style advice, please get in touch. email@example.com
They say to make changes something big has to impact your life. At the end of last year I was pumped with ideas on how and where I wanted my business as an image consultant to go, what I wanted for my family, the days out we were going to have, the new experiences we were going to share and the memories we were going to create. We’d made the decision a long time ago to only have one child and then bam, at the ripe old age of 41 I’m pregnant and I remember feeling like in that grotty M&S toilet as the lurid pink lines appeared in front of my eyes how my world had just been blown apart.
Looking back now I realise how over dramatic I’d been. There were rows, tears, words of hurt thrown around, but you have to give me a break here, I was so hormonal and then at 8 weeks I lost it. Just as I was coming to terms with being a new mum again and starting to feel excited about the little life we were going to love and care for, in the blink of an eye it was gone.
I’m not going to dwell on losing my baby, that’s not what this is about, it’s just a lead into my musings. It wasn’t fun, it was pure hell, full of heartache, pain and agony, but my blogs are light hearted and entertaining and they remain to be, but please don’t think for one second that I am OK with what happened, I am not, but they’re my dealings.
I was invited by a friend to join her on a
6 week course on Living a Happier Life, pah! and up until this point I’d been groundhogging
(is that a word?), keeping the child alive, attempting to have my own business,
bringing in pocket money working in a shop and having enough sex with my
husband to keep him at bay. Turns out,
I’m not that happy, but I didn’t realise this until asked the question – What
does happiness look like?
Oh my god, what does happiness look
like? It’s a harder question to answer
than you first think. I mean my kid is
happy and my husband is happy, so that’s great right, that should make me
happy. And it does to a certain extent,
but it doesn’t make me whole. So now we delve
a little deeper and by jove it’s working.
I’d literally forgotten who I was, me, Alex, an independent woman who used to be high on life, always out, the last one off the dance floor, the first one to say yes to a night out. Now I’m lucky to see 10pm and I’ve swapped my dancing shoes for slippers or trainers. None of this makes me happy. OK, OK, so things change when you have a kid and get older, I know this, but I feel like I hit my rock bottom and now I’m on a delightful scenic railway around my life as I reach deep inside and find my happiness again.
I’ve pressed pause on everything whilst I’ve began to figure out what I want, what can I bring to the table and how. I’m not fucking superwoman and i’m accepting that. It never used to be OK, I used to give myself little goals at work like how quickly I can get out the online orders and if it’s not done I’ve failed. How quickly can I answer that text, to the point of pulling the car over if I was driving. That’s a lot of pressure to put on oneself and for what? All my ideas sit unread in Notes on my laptop, but now, slowly, I’m getting some wind in my sails again. I’ve started swimming once a week and have taken up Yoga in my lounge. Sometimes it’s not pleasant and I don’t want to do it, but I do and sometimes I have a 4 year old shouting Namaste at me or behaving like a puppy whilst I’m downward dogging underneath me, but for these things I’m starting to feel grateful. I’m doing them. I may be almost drowning as I hit length 10 and my feet are actually on the floor of the pool as I get to the shallow end, still breast stroking with my arms, but leisurely walking to the end to complete my length and I may be breathing in all the wrong places as I go from forward fold to mountain pose, but I’m doing them. It’s these little things that are starting to make me happy again.
We’re now 4 weeks into the happiness course (I can’t think or type this without imagining it comes with a scene of skipping through a meadow dressed as a Walton – if this is a look that entices you, get in touch, I’m an image consultant) and my perception of me and of life and what’s important to me has changed immensely. So although the notes on my laptop remain closed for now, the ideas are beginning to turn over again in my mind and the passion for what comes naturally to me when wanting to support women to feel confident in what they wear is coming back in. So my point is, sometimes shitty things happen for a reason and it’s OK to press pause and figure out a change in direction, a new way of thinking / behaving, not spending every spare second wishing for someone else’s life on social media. I’m a huge believer in fate and now I have to begin to create my own destiny!
I always feel I have so much to say and share, it’s one of the many adoring traits my husband fell for in the first place, gob on a stick he used to say, but who wants to hear this shit? Well, if I’m writing it then maybe some of you out there can relate to it to and hop on your own scenic railway to make sense of your happiness.
It’s panto season!! And with it comes the Christmas spirit, the singing and dancing, the excitable children screaming at the actors as they pretend not to notice the giant 2 man horse behind them and the brightly coloured over the top costumes. So with this in mind, I thought we’d get into the spirit of things over at Wear Who You Want To Be and go crazy with some fun and creative outfit inspiration based around 3 of the main characters from such an English yearly tradition.
(image taken from an Independent newspaper article)
I donned my skinny jeans and thigh high boots the other night. I don’t wear them very often for fear of emanating Vivienne from Pretty Woman, but who am I kidding, Julia Roberts I am not and LA, Essex is not, but all the same, when it’s not something you wear very often, sometimes it can take a while to get comfortable, but it got me slapping my thigh and those creative juices started to flow.
Kicking off in the early 19th century, it’s well known that the hero of a pantomime is played by a female and for reasons unbeknown to me, not that it’s an issue, I think it’s actually a pretty cute look, but they usually end up donning some brocade pantaloons and thigh high boots. But the hero of my story has upped her game and she’s ready to save the day!
And finally, I doubt anyone would boo and hiss you in this beauty of an outfit, i’ve incorporated vintage and current trends here. The baddie is always a spiky little minx and you’ve got to keep your wits about you. I think this shirt definitely eludes to the idea that the wearer is not to be messed with and on their head be it! Or off with their head, depending on which panto you are watching.