Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Happy Feet & Lessons learnt

Now that I am 7 months with a generous bump in position, I can call myself a fully fledged, sound effect making, waddling, slightly swollen, occasionally greedy, momma to be. There is no disguising I am pregnant, other than when I am sat behind a desk or a table and dressing now is straight forward, as long as I don't attempt to stray away from a heavily edited selection of items, may I reiterate that I said straight forward, not easy\fun\enjoyable nor do I look hot to trot, for work I would describe my look as simple yet presentable, with more emphasis on my hair than my clothes, I've found it acts as a good distraction, thank God for Kerastase.

Much like we look back on our younger selves wishing we could impart the knowledge we now have on them to make their life easier, and discourage them from making the same mistakes, I have found myself laughing and cringing in equal measures at my earlier pregnant self. Had I had realised how tiny I was at 14 weeks, I would go back and tell my self not to be so hasty to crack out the bump friendly jersey maxi dresses and flats, as as much as they will be handy in the coming months, they aren't necessary now.

I know now that I could have easily kept my expanding waistline under wraps for a lot longer by wearing certain shapes and avoiding others, but am guessing\hoping its the norm for 1st time bump-carriers to immediately embrace the bump and let it be known she is “in the club” I imagine a large part of this is due to your pre pregnancy weight and style of dressing, I have never been a dieter, in fact those who know me best would say I have very healthy appetite, but I have always used my skinny jeans as a “chubby gauge” if they are getting tight  its time to politely decline that Nutella crepe. So growing out of my jeans so quickly was a shock to say the least, not only did it leave me without my wardrobe staple it was the first sign I was kissing goodbye to my figure, at least for the foreseeable future, typical really I spend years moaning about how i wish I was thinner, and then realise it wasn't all that bad after all, considering my distinct lack of exercise and penchant for chilled Sauvingnon.

Its predictable but true to say you learn from your mistakes, Mrs Beckham hasn't just the added benefit of disposable cash, she is a seasoned professional when it comes to pregnancy. I have to say I have wasted little to no money on unwearable post pregnancy clothes up to now, it has been suggested that had I bought some designer maternity jeans they would have been very useful, prevented wardrobe tantrums and can be used again if I have another baby, but I haven't felt much like wearing jeans recently, and now its too warm....which leads me to my next point.

A mix of Vanity and lack of organisation led me to come to London this week without sandals. I can no longer paint my own toe nails inbetween pedicures, this is endlessly frustrating, boyfriend is sympathetic, even attempting to apply my polish for me, for an engineer with a eye for detail it was a surprisingly bad attempt, he firstly blamed the polish (clumpy) then it was my toe nails (too small, short) before giving up totally and leaving me with one botched foot and one bare.

Anyway this week I brought with me to London a natty pair of patent jazz pumps and some suede ankle boots (with a heel, not a big heel but definitely a heel) this morning against my better judgement I chose to wear the boots with my dress, my mistake wasn't recognised until after lunch when I removed my boots to sit at my desk in comfort (it was ridiculously hot its not something I normally do) you've probably guessed, but I couldn't get the damn things back on, not a chance , my feet (not slender at the best of times) had swelled to what felt like 5 times ( but was probably more like 3 times) their normal size.

This problem is not only unattractive and embarrassing ( yet quickly solved with the generous loan of a pair of sandals)  but a sharp reminder that my style choices will always play second fiddle to my pregnancy....

One thing i don't have to compromise on is pedicures, so i swiftly booked my self in and am now sandal ready once more. Happy feet, Happy Bump, Happy Me

Monday, 18 April 2011

Think Happy Thoughts

Part of my hypnobirthing course (a huge part of it) is learning to relax, chase away anxiety and stress and feel at ease, to do this my “guru” (she doesn’t call herself that, i just like sound of it!) anyway my guru, has taught me to think of a place or time where i felt most happy, calm and confident, and imagine myself there again, this means imagining everything to create the scene in my head, including the sounds and smells. Smells in particular are so powerful, the sudden waft of a perfume can instantly remind me of a place in time sometimes in a negative way, and there are certain smells that evoke particularly happy and relaxed memories for me, not always a single moment in time, but i will feel a strong sense of positivity.

Am told important part of preparing for my time in labour is to surround myself with things that make comfort me, again smells are important, as are sounds, some people (like me) find music relaxes them, others find silence more effective. I have to think of physical ways of staying comfortable too, my Dream Genie pillow http:...................will play a BIG part in this, its the only think that helps me sit / lie down without feeling like i am being crushed by a boa constructor, as will my new toy, my birthing ball, its actually just an exercise ball (its silver, and looks like a space hopper for grown ups, minus the handles and the rabbit face) but apparently it will be very useful when it comes to D-Day as there wont be many positions i am comfortable sitting in, i don't recall owning a space hopper as a child so perhaps i should get some practise in??   

The first thing to be ticked off my to do list was smells. i love the smell of coconut, it immediately conjures up wonderful thoughts of holidays, beautiful beaches and warm sunshine, so along with smothering my bump in copious amounts of Body Shop coconut butter (i know i know stretch marks can’t be prevented, but God loves a try-er) i have treated my senses to Heidi Kleins beach candles.......................http:link this candle is as close to perfection for me as possible, with coconut and............................................a decadent but totally justified luxury, all things considered, don't you think ???
Now there are also the practical things to consider during labour, such as what to wear, not from a style point of view do i pose this question but seriously, do you wear a dress? Just a top?? At which point do you remove bottom halves? I don't have a nightie, does that mean i will have to wear a hospital gown? And my hair, will it need to be tied back? i expect i will be quite hot and i don't want it getting in the way, maybe i should do a Monica from friends and get corn rows to avoid the effects of humidity? None of my baby books have the answer to these questions, and they aren’t the kind of questions i want to ask the midwife, i don't want her thinking i am a vacuous dolly bird, its time to consult my mummy friends.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Bring out the bunting!

I debated not writing anything about the forthcoming Royal Wedding, then realised my decision to stay silent was because I couldn't find anything negative to say, the majority of people I have heard even mention William and Kate's nuptials have been down right vicious, I've heard every manner of opinion, waste of tax payers money being a popular one with anti royal slurs being high up on people's to do list. Now I have never considered myself a royalist, still don't, but I am finding myself becoming more and more patriotic as I get older, i am not about to praise the Royals, i think its clear they are far from perfect, but they are a wonderful tourist attraction and i think that its a shame its considered embarrassing to be excited or remotely interested in the big day.

Well I am a big girl now (nothing to do with how much I weigh, thank you very much) and I am going say out loud that I am actually rather happy about the whole event, not only do we get an extra bank holiday, but I love the fact young and old can wax lyrical about our loved up royals like we actually know them.

The secrecy surrounding Miss Middletons dress is a guessing game everyone is welcome to join, just like the day its self, we may not be propping up a pew rocking a fascinator, but we are all invited to have a day off, kick back and enjoy the show. I am endlessly jealous of those having street parties to mark the day, I want to hang bunting and possibly even drink tea from a commemorative china cup!

Now my feeling may be linked to 1 of 2 things, first of all pregnancy, being pregnant has made me rather warm and fuzzy and dare I say....soppy, or perhaps its because I wasn't born to witness the last wedding of a monarch to be (Charles & Camilla don't count, it was their 2nd time around and she wasn't exactly a blushing young bride, sorry cam) for what ever reason I plan to be positive about the whole shebang, my little nieces will witness a “normal” girl becoming a princess, that's pretty magical, isn't it?

Now all the princess has to do for me to keep her part of the bargain is...wear an incredible wedding dress, preferably British, McQueen or Temperley either would be wonderful, and finally promise NEVER to wear American tan tights again, that will really make me regret standing up for you!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Confession time

Its been 7 days since my last confession, and I have to admit its been for several reasons, when not masquerading as a blogger I have a proper job to attend to, but also I have been fighting some personal demons, I am embarrassed to admit it but I've committed the cardinal sin of comparing my pregnancy to other expectant women, from the size of my bump, to how much weight I have put on else where (bum,legs,arms,ankles) and worse still, how well I am handling being pregnant, beating myself up for wearing flats when I see other pregnant women in heels, like I am letting the side down, and worse still, asking myself if I am being a wuss for slowing down my general pace (work & socially) all this comparison left me exhausted and feeling quite bad about myself, after a pathetic self pitying winge to the boyfriend I started to think about things a little more clearly.

Pregnancy I have realised can not be compared, as each and every woman has a different experience physically, not to mention variance of lifestyle, i often wonder how the hell my mum coped with 6 pregnancies, on top of looking after the existing children, my dad is no 90s man, he earned the crust and my mum took care of house and babies, i think i would have had a tota meltdown!
I have also been scolding myself for not taking better care of body (from a vanity perspective) thinking how I should have taken up pregnancy yoga and swimming, but the fact is I had time for neither of these things pre pregnancy so it was unlikely I would have done them as soon as I realised I was expecting!! I have had to be realistic and think how lucky I am to have avoided 9 months of nausea or worse, a close friend of mine developed a condition called placenta previa which meant she had to stop work months early, rendering her practically house bound, my pregnancy feels like a breeze when I remember that.
Body wise I've accepted that each woman is totally incomparable, who would have thought a stick thin model like Eva herzigova would gain as muc weight as she did ???

Its such a 2011 thing to do, expect to be a superwoman, I am from the "have it all” generation, and it seems that has now extended to thinking we can put on only the necessary baby weight, not a lb extra, work right up until our due date and spring back to shape immediately, the pressure is palpable, and unnecessary.

I am starting my very own revolution, and it doesn't involve eating dozens of crunchie ice creams guilt free, but it does mean I am going to stop being so hard on myself, yes my ankles are swollen and my legs no longer look good in short dresses, and no I can't face wearing heels for more than an hour, but I have kept up with my work commitments, stuck with hypnobirthing and haven't missed a friends birthday night out AND I've remembered to take my pregnacare vitamins, all things to pat myself on the back for I think?

Viva la revolucion!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Inspire me

I was asked some quick fire questions by a journalist yesterday, one of them was who do I feel inspired by (style wise) now there are obviously the classics (Audrey hepburn) modern style heavyweights (kate moss) and the magazines introduce us to a new style crush on a weekly basis (Emmanuelle alt most recently) but my honest answer is I get inspired every day by the women i am surrounded by, from strangers in the street to work colleagues and friends i am constantly taking note of how women dress.

In the my-wardrobe office there is a constant runway of trendy young hotties (my affectionate nickname for them) parading around, these girls are rocking trends before the magazines have featured them, pleated maxi skirts paired with a fishermans knit, sheer blouses and crop tops, you name it they`ve worn it, and once the moments gone, you wont see them again, at least not in the same ensemble. The grown-ups (as they shall be known) in the office have had longer in the fashion game, and are more likely to choose a particular item from a trend, a pop colour Equipment blouse, a flared J Brand jean, a statement Danni Jo necklace or a fierce Camilla Skovgaard heel and wear it more frequently, allowing it to settle in comfortably with their existing wardrobe. At home (Liverpool) my own friends are just as eclectic, seamlessly pairing vintage with highstreet for work and in the evening, with stunning effects.

Its the way each person chooses to put their look together that makes it so special, small tweeks and details that make the look their own. My most recent spot? White skinny jeans, grazing the ankle, with an ever so slight turn, almost rolled hem, so 1950s, so subtle but i absolutely loved it.

From vintage to highstreet, designer to bespoke, i have no preference, its the way its executed. Which is why age also has no bearing on my style hawking, from 16 - 60 and beyond, its always in an positive way, i have no time for picking holes in others appearances, its shallow, and i cant bear magazines that feature real people in their do & donts pages, life maybe a catwalk for some people, but dont bully those for who it isnt.

They say the trends that appear on the catwalk actually start on the street, which is why street style photography is so popular, we are bombarded with images of celebrities wearing samples, or clothes that they have been sent, or even worse that have been chosen for them from top to toe by their stylist, its not reality, its theatre, we all love to see real people wearing the clothes they actually own, in real life.

I have decided to keep a note of the looks, details and styling i find inspiring, its my job, my hobby, and i love it!  

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

my life, my choice

My weekend pleasure is the sunday supplements, I look forward to them, my tipples of choice are Sunday Times Style (great pregnancy front row fashion feature this week, not to mention our very own my-wardrobe CEO Sarah Curran gracing two whole pages looking foxy) and YOU magazine.
But I have to confess that Mr Bump (aka the boyfriend) and I also indulge in a weekend rag, a dirty red top tabloid with which to indulge my voyeuristic side (how can I complain about kerry katona and katie price if I haven't taken the time to read what they are up to???)
Afore mentioned tabloid also has a supplement, their fashion features aren't my cup of tea, but I do enjoy reading Amanda Holdens shameless diary of her tv celebrity life, Ms Holden has had some time off since the devastating loss of her unborn baby and the magazine have been filling her page with guest columns, this week was someone from the Apprentice, a previous female (mother of 3) contestant giving her tuppence worth about stay at home mums, now I really didn't want to give this nasty piece of work any more air time but her venom laden article really got to me.
She spoke about how she got on with her pregnancy by buying some "snazzy suits" (this was my first warning sign, she may be clever but this chick clearly has no taste...if you call it snazzy, chances are they ain't)
how she worked 12hrs the day before she gave birth, then got an eyelash tint and pedicure (fair play) and how just a couple of weeks after having the baby she discovered the joys of hired help and formula milk (her choice)
she then went onto to launch a scathing attack on women (career women) who choose to spend any further time at home with their babies, clubbing each and everyone together branding them with insults and stereotypes i dont wish to repeat.

Now I know I don't have the right just yet to say what I plan to be like as a mummy, will I go earth mother and enjoy making organic baby food? maybe, will I be new age and enrol my little darling in baby yoga? quite possibly, or will I be like most other mums I know and work my new life as a mum around my existing life? I hope so. My point is that however you decide to proceed, or cope as some call it, that's entirely your choice, and not for anyone to judge, certainly not for this reality tv contestant to casually throw dispersion and generalisations upon. How dare she suggest stay at home mums are any less worthy, in the same way i disagree with people judging women who choose to return to work, its a personal choice.

This whole issue got me worrying about how much you change as a person when you have children, and inevitably i got onto the subject of clothes and style. I am happy to make a few minor adjustments, sick proof clothes in the early days (or should i say machine washable, as opposed to wipe clean!) It has also been brought to my attention you are unable to carry an umbrella whilst pushing a pram so a coat with a hood becomes a must have! Then later on flat shoes for the school run....but does it need to go further than that ? A colleague of mine said she gets VERY funny looks at the school gates when she turns up in her work "uniform" of leather leggings, jeeez, is there a whole new set of rules for the school run...will i need to tailor my wardrobe for that too ?? It seems like every thing that happens in a woman's life requires a different wardrobe of clothes, from pregnancy to motherhood, can i not just wear my "normal" clothes??

Now i like buying clothes as much as the next girl, but i don't want my existing clothes rendered useless, not only is it dreadfully wasteful but the wardrobe i own is like a story of me, my high and low points, i have sentiment for dresses i have worn on various special occasions...its the only thing i collect and enjoy...i plan to figure out a way to make my old clothes work in my new role, as a mummy