Category Archives: fashion

Halloween 2016

Man, Halloween has been fun this year!

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I dressed up as a cat to collect the Wee Man from school today. He shit himself, ran away and hid in a cupboard. Clearly I was more excited than he was.

His friend at school has an army major for a dad and the Wee Man thinks this is the coolest thing in the world. The major, having one daughter, has formed a lovely relationship with him and gave him an old army shirt and hat. The Wee Man has the salute down and marched around the neighbourhood showing off for sweets, while his little brother sang a sort of Baa Baa Black Sheep in his skeleton costume.

We were home for 6 and waited for the guisers, a ‘Welcome to the Haunted House’ mat at the foot of the stairs and our Shrek and crazy pumpkins on the steps.

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Well.

If ever we needed reminding we live in Edinburgh now, tonight we got the message.

Highlights included jokes in French, a stunning verse and chorus from Phantom of the Opera complete with falsetto, the response “Well, I’ll take the Aston Martin,” when I said we’d run out of sweets and, my personal favourite, a gorgeous impromptu rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by 12 ten year olds when the two year old forgot the words. In harmony.

So even though I’ve run out of sweets, crisps, packets of jelly, rice cakes and every pound coin in my wallet, I have been thoroughly entertained and made to feel even more at home here in the capital.

 

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How far I’ve come…

Last night I sat breast feeding my four week old and watching The Devil Wears Prada.

I had been feeling pretty good – I’d managed a shower that morning and was wearing my Hollister trackies and hoodie, smug that they fit again. Yeah. That smugness was short-lived.

I trained and worked as a journalist, and while I never worked on a fashion mag, this movie had always struck a chord. The deadlines, the networking, the desire to exceed everyone’s expectations and try to look glamorous while doing it. Now here I was, mum of two, off work, looking forward to getting back into my exercise plan and shifting a stone of baby weight. “Andy”, the main character, was a sharp reminder of how far I had to go.

But as she had to bend further and further backwards to please her cruel boss, I found myself smiling. I was so far past that eager-to-please stage. I’d been there aged 26. I’d made myself ill over it. Eventually I’d snapped. handed in my notice and scared the shit out of my boss, who was left with two magazines editor-less. I’d set up my own business, gone on to have two beautiful children and was now a much wiser 32 year old. I may be a bit squishy round the middle but, in the words of Cheryl, “I don’t care”.

Coincidentally, I had also just popped in to the office to show off KD to my co-workers. They had been lovely; excited to meet him, complimentary and genuinely interested. The conversation had turned to when I was coming back and the projects that were waiting. They were nothing but supportive, so I didn’t have any guilt about taking the time away from work or feel any pressure to rush back. I know the time will come when I’ll want to get back to work – but for now I’m happy to relax into motherhood which, by the way, is a much harder job.

I can look forward to the time when fashion will matter again, when I’ll get a buzz from networking and hitting deadlines and exceeding expectations – but I know it will be on my terms. Just figuring that out has given me confidence. I can appreciate how much I’ve learned since those miserable days just before I handed in my notice. The challenge is to remember all this when I’m sleep-deprived, frizzy, trying to keep my patience with a truculent three year old while the baby cries and wondering how the hell I’m going to organise dinner…

Maybe I’ll just read this blog.

Figuring out what's really important...

Figuring out what’s really important…

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What’s this strange feeling?

I’m feeling a surprising emotion right now – I think it’s called… relaxed.

I’m trying to figure out why.

I think it’s because I had nothing in the diary today, except a nail appointment at 3.30 to get rid of the gel polish that chipped about three days ago. Clean nails, as my friend Jenny will agree, is a very quick route to relaxation.

I think it’s also got something to do with my finally feeling better after a stomach bug and a lot to do with the sun shining all day long and my getting four loads of washing hung outside.

It’s what was hanging on my beloved whirligig, though, that’s given me this warm, happy glow.

mummykimmy baby clothes on the line

At ten o’clock this morning, with the wee man safely off to nursery and the joiners working tidily in the spare room, I sat on the floor in front of Homes Under the Hammer with a can of Dr Pepper and two huge airtight storage bags.

Inside were all the wee man’s baby clothes from birth to 12 months.

I spent a nostalgic half hour going through them all, separating out all the white, yellow and green stuff, remembering who had given us each and every outfit. Some of the stuff is just so gorgeous that I don’t even care if it’s a girl, she’ll go out dressed in blue. I mean LOOK at this snow suit!

mummykimmy blue snowsuit

As I waited for the washing machine cycles to end I ticked a whole load of small tasks off my list – you know those little tasks that always get bumped to your “one day I’ll get round to it” list – like copying over those massive video files to free up half your hard drive? I did some filing, put away the Asda shop, made a menu for the next week (yes I still do that) and generally reclaimed that feeling of control that has been so absent from my life lately.

To top off a splendid day, the wee man came willingly home from nursery, ate a whole plate of tuna salad and gave me lots of lovely kisses and cuddles. Then an amazing thing happened. Daddy came home early! The wee man just about burst with excitement when he spotted him through the window and cannoned into him even harder than usual. Off they went to play and I realised that, with the chicken roasting in the oven (great menu planning) I could actually just…. Go and sit down. So here I am blogging, with a neat little pile of folded newborn babygros next to me and unchipped nails and a clean house and a roast chicken in the oven.

I could get used to this.

The end of Shellac - it's the end of an era…

The end of Shellac – it’s the end of an era…

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#screwyouGisele

I have never trolled in my life, but if ever a picture has inspired my ire, this is it:

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She made some comment about multitasking when supermodel Gisele Bundchen posted this picture on Instagram.

She is not multitasking.

She is doing one, admittedly admirable, thing, while being spoiled from all angles.

This picture does not represent breast-feeding mothers. This picture will no doubt sicken breast-feeding mothers. I’m no longer feeding, but when I was, I felt anything but glamorous. I felt fulfilled and maternal and loving and uncomfortable and tender and tired and always thirsty, but never glamorous. My relationship with my body at that time was not ever focused on how I looked. It was on how it functioned. What mattered at that time was button-down shirts and nursing bras and eating enough healthy food and keeping water nearby and tying my hair out of my face.

For Gisele to call this multitasking is insulting. Most mothers I know, including myself, would kill to have this much help around us. To feel pampered and beautiful and glamorous. I understand that this is her job. But does she understand how this picture makes hard working mothers feel? Multi-tasking is filling the juice cup with water from the bathroom tap while he brushes his teeth and you shove your feet into your shoes as you hold the phone with your shoulder and ask daddy when he’ll be home tonight. And you certainly don’t have a manicure, flawless face and bouncy blow-dry while doing it.

So screw you Gisele, in all your unattainable gorgeousness.

 

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My Little Pumpkin

It took some getting used to, but this Hallowe’en the wee man dressed as a pumpkin

“Noooo mummy, I wanted to be a racing driver”

On Sunday we followed very specific directions to a warehouse with a velvet rope in front of the door. It creaked open to reveal what can only be described as A Supersweet First Birthday… Soft play, disco, facepainting,Organix on every surface… The wee man had an absolute ball with all his wee pals from Buggyfit and beyond. He wasn’t even on too much of a sugar high to drive us home

“Left at the next junction, right Dad?”

The costume survived and was hauled out again on actual Hallowe’en as a surprise for my mum who looks after him on a Wednesday. She just about burst into tears, my sister burst out of the living room and much Instagramming and Facebooking ensued. He was still wearing it when I picked him up at 5.30pm. “I couldn’t get it off,” Mum admitted.

My favourite moment, though, in this week of celebrations, was the one I shared with my little pumpkin today. His streaming cold had made him cranky and clingy all morning. His lunch had been violently refused and he cried his wee heart out as I changed his nappy before his sleep. Distressed, I gathered him up in a big cuddle, wrapped a big cosy blanket around us and sat in the rocking chair, singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. He snuggled in, looked up at me and didn’t squirm once. His eyelids drooped and within four minutes he was asleep, snoring occasionally as the catarrh caught in his throat. Every time I decided to get up to put him in his cot I’d drop my nose onto his hair, press my lips on his wee head and promise myself a few more minutes. In the end I sat for nearly an hour. I had a million things to do but I couldn’t bear to break the spell. I was suddenly aware of how quickly he was growing up – in a few years he’ll be too big and probably too cool to snuggle up to his mum. So I just let myself spend the hour with my wee pumpkin and enjoy a special moment in a great week.

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Protected: F for Fashion

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Protected: An M&S discovery

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The trouble with socks

It’s a common problem for pregnant women – even if you’re lucky enough to be able to see your feet, you can’t reach them.

I was complaining to my friend Jenny, who’s an Occupational Therapist, about how difficult it was to put my socks on in the morning. “I have the very thing,” she said. “A Foxy.”

A more blinding misnomer I have yet to find, but don’t let that put you off. This simple wee piece of plastic has made my mornings. Look:

One foot, one pair of socks, one Foxy

Curve Foxy, hold it in place with your knees and lay the tapes either side

Slide your sock over the top, making sure the toe is right at the edge

Pull your sock up over the ridge and make sure the elastic isn't tucked under

Fling it on the floor, slip your foot in and use the tapes to pull it up

Keep pulling

Keep pulling

Voila!

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Feeling grumpy, but I think I know why

I’ve been feeling out of sorts lately to the point where I’m annoying myself.

On Monday I got up at 6am, powered through my to-do list and even some of my one-day-I’ll-get-round-to-it list, but I still felt I hadn’t done enough. On Tuesday I decided to work from home so I could have a slower day, but I ended up feeling restless, guilty and bored.

Over the two days I ate a huge amount of crap – thanks to my friend Stuart who brought round giant chocolate chip cookies (they’ve gone), my husband who bought Kettle Chips (not even a crumb remains) and my determination to find and demolish every scrap of sugar in the house.

Today, having given myself a stern talking-to, I allowed myself a half-hour browse round the shops after my morning meetings. I bought myself this dress cos it actually made my bump look cute. So now I can’t eat any more crap cos it’s a size 12 and I’ll end up bursting out of it.

The pockets look like a heart over my bump!

But I think I’ve realised why I’ve been grumpy and antsy and generally dissatisfied with everything except chocolate lately… It’s just a theory, so let me know what you think. I’m entering my third trimester.

 

On Friday I’ll be 24 weeks, which apparently is when it stops being a foetus and starts being a viable human life. My wee small bump, of which I’ve been so proud, especially when the nail technician paraded me round the whole salon demanding everyone look at me cos she couldn’t believe I was nearly 6 months pregnant, is growing. Fast. Seriously – NOTHING fits any more. I am kidding myself with a black pencil skirt, the waistband of my leggings and tights hovers dangerously near the top of my legs and people are actually having the courage to say to me “so when are you due?” in public places.

So I guess I’m into my final three months and all the joy of nighttime toilet visits, backache and swollen ankles. But you know what? Now that I know that’s what’s up with me, I’m OK with it. I’m actually quite looking forward to being properly pregnant. And at the end of only 16 weeks I will have made a little person – and I cannot WAIT to meet him or her!

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Maternity fashion – still not convinced

There's no escaping it

I have a confession to make – I thought if I just bought my clothes a size bigger, I’d be sorted. Same me, just a bit bigger round the middle.

When I admitted this to my friend Kirstin, who was asking why I kept fussing with my waistband, she burst out laughing. “Did you think you knew something no one else did?”

So I hold my hands up – the original plan was flawed. As I approach the five month mark even my leggings are getting a bit uncomfortable and my jeans, well, I’ve folded them on a high shelf and I’m trying not to look at them.

Yesterday I cautiously typed ‘maternity fashion’ into Google – and was very pleasantly surprised with what popped up. I was taken with Seraphine and their 20% discount made buying (gulp) maternity tights and maternity leggings a little less traumatic. It’s a strategic move – these basics will allow me to continue wearing my favourite sweater dresses without cutting off my own circulation in size 10 leggings or fussing with tights whose waistband will stay neither up nor down.

So I feel I’ve made a bit of a breakthrough. I’m beginning to accept that my body is changing and I need to make (short-term) allowances. But there’s a problem. I’m going on holiday in a week and I need to make a swimwear decision. Should I demurely cover up or brazenly sport the same bikinis as usual?

I think I’ll wait til my purchases arrive and I’ve actually worn my first maternity garment before tackling that one.

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