10 articles Tag tips

6 Winter Makeup Tips

Winter is upon us, and that means different things for many of us depending on where we live. However, overall it typically equates to cooler outdoor temperatures and indoor heat so it’s best to be ready for the changes this will bring. And while we need to moisturize and hydrate more to combat the evils of dry skin, our makeup will need to change as well.

Don’t worry if you’re watching your pennies, as these aren’t huge changes by any means … but changes nonetheless. Need some cold weather inspiration? Read on for six winter makeup tips that will keep you glowing during these colder months without opting for permanent make-up.

46805218 – happy candid girl with white teeth and perfect smile warmly clothed in winter
  1. Go Lighter with Your Foundation

Even if you were diligent with your sunscreen over the summer, you likely had at least a hint of a tan. In fact, you probably had to go darker with your foundation because of it. Unless you plan on vacationing to tropical areas all winter long (lucky you!), it’s time to go back to a shade that’s a better match to your natural skin tone.

  1. Fixing Fun with Correctors

No one’s skin is flawless (even you, Kate Beckinsale) but our flaws tend to become more apparent during the winter. This is probably because we don’t have the benefit of hiding behind the aforementioned tan. Don’t fret, though, as a good corrector can do the trick. Hiding dark spots, blemishes, and other imperfections, a palette with various shades of correctors is a makeup artist’s favorite tool. Not only will this corrector conceal your flaws but it will also brighten the skin during the winter months.

  1. Bring on the Bronzer and/or Self-Tanner

If you’ve got Nicole Kidman-esque porcelain skin, go ahead and rock that all winter long. The rest of us often need a bit of help to look as though we haven’t actually died without anyone knowing. Most everyone looks good with color, so work with a makeup artist at your favorite cosmetics store to find a bronzer or self-tanner that will give you a sun-kissed look without getting orange in the process.

  1. Get Festive with Blush and Highlighter

Many women assume they can’t pull off highlighter, but everyone can and should! Again, if you’re not confident in your ability to apply this fun kind of cosmetic to your face, ask a makeup artist for help. Combined with just the right amount of blush, this can be a magical look. While a powder highlighter would be fine, a liquid one would be even better for winter. And if you’re going to a holiday or New Year’s Eve party, you might even consider choosing one with a bit of shimmer. Have some fun!

  1. Beware of Pores

We want to avoid doing our makeup in such a way that our pores becoming visibly obvious. What will help with that is a good primer, as this helps makeup to avoid going into the cracks and pores. This will also help to avoid highlighting wrinkles, so it’s a win/win. You also want to stay away from anything too powdery during the winter and stick to dewy products due to dry skin.

As celebrity makeup artist Nick Barose says via Allure magazine, “Powder can make fair skin look duller.” Instead, he says to go with a moisturizing cream that’s one shade warmer than your own skin tone.

  1. Keep Those Lips Luscious

We all have friends who are lipstick addicts but the harsh truth is that, if your lips are prone to cracking during the winter, lipstick is only going to highlight this. You can opt for a moisturizing lipstick or stick with a tinted lip balm. The latter is handy for that time under the mistletoe during the holiday season.

58600123 – female putting applying lip balm moisturizing balsam. girl taking care of lips. skincare.

The winter months can be harsh on our skin so we need to give it a good base by getting plenty of rest, keeping up with our cleansing routine, and perhaps even giving a bit more TLC with hydrating masks. But beyond that—if you follow these makeup tips during these colder months—you will have that glowing, dewy skin many assume you can only get during the summer months.

Making Holidays Simpler

As you’ll know if you read MTW regularly, we’ve yet to take the girls away on holiday. Having an elderly dog makes it basically impossible, but we’d love to take them away sooner rather than later and are lucky enough to live close to an airport which flies to some really great, family-friendly destinations. I’ve been doing some research on how to make family holidays easier to manage and thought I’d share some of them with you here:

Know the Lingo

I’m not suggesting that you get yourself fluent in the language of the place you’re travelling to, but having SOME knowledge of the language is really important. I find that, here in the UK, language education is woefully lacking and according to a survey conducted by Holiday Autos Car Hire, over a quarter of Brits don’t bother to learn ANY language before they go on holiday, and just under a quarter said that they only holiday in resorts where they know people speak English. It’s all well and goo d until you find yourself lost or in an emergency and completely unable to communicate, when knowing a bare minimum could really help.

Know The Etiquette

When I was 16, I went on holiday to Malta. I stayed in an area which wasn’t really full of holiday makers and I wondered why the locals looked disgusted with me when I left the flat in a bikini top! I was young and naive, failing to realise that this wasn’t really the done thing in a fiercely Catholic country, but had I bothered to read up first I’d have worked out that bikinis should be limited to beaches and touristy areas. This kind of knowledge is absolutely essential in some countries and could be the difference between staying safe and not.

Have Your Papers in Order

When Husband and I went to the Maldives, we didn’t realise until the last minute that we’d need to purchase a visa to stay there once we got to Male airport. All of our money was in travellers cheques and it was only by luck that we managed to change some up to enable us to get our visas. Knowing what paperwork you need to either gain entry, or in case you need healthcare, is vital.

Provisions?

When travelling with young kids, it’s essential to know what you can buy once you get there and what you need to take. Are things like nappies, wipes, formula milk and kid-friendly snacks readily available or do you need to pack these before you go? Getting to a foreign country and realising you can feed your kids or buy them nappies is a huge disaster!

Medications

If you don’t speak the native language, the prospect of finding medications like Calpol or Nurofen to give to your kids can be really daunting. From not knowing what to ask for to the potential of giving the wrong dose, it’s a minefield which can be easily avoided by packing your own. Take a First Aid kid along with paracetamol, antihistamines and anti-inflammatories and you’ll have most of your bases covered.

Do you have a holiday tip you’d like to share? Leave me a comment below!

Slow Cooking Do’s and Don’t’s

Slow cookingOver the past few months, I’ve become slightly obsessed with slow cooking. It’s really invigorated my interest in doing things in the kitchen and has made me so much more adventurous with the things that I’ll attempt to make. It also saves time AND money; a slow cooker is cheaper to run even over the course of 6 hours than a conventional oven is to run for one hour, and often the cheaper cuts of meat are the ones which lend themselves best to ‘low and slow’.

With all this in mind, I thought I’d give you a few of the do’s and don’t’s that I’ve picked up over the last few months of reading and researching slow cooking recipes and methods so that you can, as they say, learn from my fails!

Slow Cooking Do’s and Don’t’s:

Do: read the manual! Slow cookers often vary from brand to brand and things that you can do with one slow cooker may not apply to another – for instance, some pots will crack if no liquid is added while others will be fine.

Don’t: put it in the fridge. The ceramic part of your pot can crack if put into a cold fridge and a cracked slow cooker is the saddest thing of all!

Don’t: cook meat from frozen. I know there are a LOT of people who say that it’s fine to slow cook from frozen but I’ve also seen lots of compelling evidence which says that, on a scientific level, the slow cooker just doesn’t heat the meat quickly enough and allows bacteria to grow. People will tell you that it’s fine to do it, but for me it’s not worth the risk.

Don’t: Add milk or cream to a recipe until about half an hour before you want to serve. I’ve seen SO many pictures of potentially lovely meals which have been ruined by split or curdled dairy products.

Don’t: Be afraid of cornflour. People have had disasters when adding it as a powder but mix it into a paste before you add it to the pot and it will really help to thicken meals which have ended up too watery.

Do: Think about fat. Lots of people (me included) adopt a ‘chuck it all in’ attitude and hardly ever brown things off, but this can often leave you with a layer of fat on top of the finished meal. Browning things first allows you to drain fat before you add it to the slow cooker if you don’t want your food to be too fatty.

Don’t: Be afraid to try things! Some of the best things I’ve cooked in my slow cooker have some from chucking things in and giving them a go.

Do: Allow your pot to cool before you wash it. Adding water to a ceramic pot which is cooler than its own temperature can also cause cracks.

Don’t: Use a slow cooker to reheat leftovers. Things which have been cooked and then cooled need to be reheated thoroughly, quickly and evenly, and a slow cooker just doesn’t get things up to temperature quick enough.

Do: Make sure you check that the electrical cable isn’t underneath the pot while you cook as this can be a fire hazard.

Don’t: Add too much liquid. Slow cookers aren’t the same as cooking on a hob and all of the moisture that you add at the beginning will effectively stay in the pot because of the lid. Also, most foods tend to contain liquid which will cook out and add to the overall moisture of the dish.

Don’t: Overfill your pot. I once spend 8 hours waiting for a lamb stew to be ready, only to find the meat half cooked and the root veg hard because I’d put too much in for the heat to be able to distribute through the cooker.

Do: Think about layers. Things like potatoes, swede and carrot are dense and will take longer to cook than meat, so add them to the bottom of the pot as they’ll be closer to the heat and will cook for longer.

Do: Try not to lift the lid too often! The inside of your slow cooker is a little hot-house for your dinner and every time you lift the lid, you let some of that heat out!

Do you have any other amazing slow cooking tips? I’d love to hear them.

(Big thanks to my fellow Fun Slow Cooker Saddos for their input!)

Housework Hacks – My Top 5

As I’ve mentioned about a billion times before, I’m not a fan of housework. I’m not ashamed to say that if I were rich, I’d probably pay someone to do it. It’s a thankless task that is never done. As soon as you think the place is spotless, someone wears something, eats something or pees somewhere and you have to start all over again.

Just recently, I’ve discovered a few little things that have helped to make the cleaning process a little easier, which is something we could all do with. Since we moved, we’ve had a few different cleaning challenges to deal with, such as laminate flooring in the hallway, which is something I’ve never had to care for until now. We all know about white vinegar, lemon juice and newspaper being a great help, but the ones I use may not be so well-known. So here are a few things that could make your daily chores a bit less of a, well, chore!

Housework Hacks – Fabric Softener

Housework Hacks - Fabric Softener

This is an odd one, but I’m not a massive fan of polish or aerosols in general. I find it smells pretty rough and as is the modern way, I don’t really have a lot of true wooden furniture, mostly Ikea-tastic units that don’t actually like polish very much. I don’t know where I read this one, but instead of polish I use a tiny bit of fabric softener on a cloth instead. We have oak effect laminate flooring in our hallway and not only does this get it shiny, it makes it smell lovely as we walk into the house! It smells nicer and helps you to pick up dust and remove drinks rings far better than a dry cloth. I wouldn’t recommend this if you have antiques or wooden units as it’ll dry out the wood, but for anything laminate or laminate floor. You can also combine it with tip number 5 and use old socks as your dusters…saving you a whole load of the money in the process.

Housework Hacks – WD40

 Housework Hacks - WD40

WD40 is one of those things that most people have in the garage or shed but never think to use for cleaning. In fact, WD40 is AMAZING a getting rid of grease. Just recently, I cleaned our cooker hood using WD40 and a soft cloth and not only did it cut through the cooked-on grease with seriously minimal effort, the cooker hood came up to a beautiful shine too. In the grand scheme of things, WD40 doesn’t even smell too bad either and I can’t convey just how easy this made the whole job.

If you go to the WD40 site, there’s actually 2000+ uses for it and Husband informs me that it’s also amazing at getting waxed crayon off of painted walls and laminate flooring!

Housework Hacks – Bicarbonate of Soda

Housework Hacks - Bicarbonate of Soda

This is a pretty well-known one, I think, but it’s pretty old-fashioned too so I’m not sure if it’s as well-known to my generation. We keep bicarb in the house constantly as it is so cheap and so useful for so many things. We’ve used it on a saucer in the fridge to wick away any unpleasant smells, diluted in boiling water to brighten stained mugs, made into a paste and used with a toothbrush to clean tiles and the bit round the base of the taps that goes scummy. We even used it to get the smell of sick out of our memory foam mattress after Sausage did an EPIC chunder one night and no amount of cleaning product would get rid of the odour.

Housework Hacks – Chamois Leather

Housework Hacks - Chamois Leather

If you have a dog which is a short-haired breed, especially at this time of year, you’ll notice that those spiky little hairs are BLOODY EVERYWHERE. You can’t brush them like you can with a longer haired breed, but rubbing their coat with a slightly damp chamois leather a couple of times a week helps to get rid of all of the loose hairs and will make their coat come up a treat. Plus, if your dog is anything like our big baby, they’ll just love the fuss! (It has to be a proper chamois though, not an artificial one)

Housework Hacks – Old Socks

Housework Hacks - Old Socks

This is another slightly odd one, but old socks actually make excellent dusters! If you’re like me, you probably do a 6 monthly blitz on socks, where you go through drawers and separate anything which either doesn’t have a partner or has holes in the toes. Don’t throw them away – stick a sock over your hand and it does a really good job of picking up dust and can be washed and reused time and again.

So there you go, five little tips which may make your day a bit cheaper and easier. If you have any of these little gems, let me know! Also, check out Floors Direct for some excellent flooring solutions. Two more things which are great for laminate flooring maintenance are acetone-free nail polish remover and ice. The nail polish remover will help to remove stubborn marks like paint, oil, tar or markers. Using ice to freeze substances like chewing gum before gentle scraping them off of laminate flooring is also a really efficient (and free!) way to care for your laminate.

Tips for Mummies on Frugal Car Maintenance

car maintenance Copyrights (Chandra Marsono) on Flickr

Forking out for a mechanic every time that a simple bit of maintenance to your car is needed is an expensive way of running a vehicle. Of course, if you simply do not have any knowledge when it comes to car maintenance, then this is what you have to do. Nonetheless, maintaining a car does not require a great deal of engineering skill or mechanical know how, especially when finding the best speakers for car. For the more advanced jobs, then you will need a trained mechanic, but for simpler jobs you can do it yourself. Remember that the more of these little maintenance jobs that you do for yourself, the more you will save.

Spark Plugs

An essential maintenance job to keep your car going is to change its spark plugs once in a while. This is because the metal on the plugs’ electrodes can wear away over time and suffer from carbon deposits which coat them. Spark plugs that are in poor condition tend to have problems igniting the fuel and air mixture in the engine. As a result you will notice a drop in power and the fuel efficiency of the car. Fitting new ones can be done by anyone. Installation of new plugs is as easy. Just remove the ignition wires from the old spark plugs so you can work safely. Then pull the old spark plugs out of their sockets. Before installing new plugs, coat the inside of the ignition wire boots with a little grease to get a good connection.

Tyre Maintenance

Check your own tyres every few thousand miles. This is cheaper than having them inspected professionally each time. Keep your tyres fully inflated to the car maker’s specification because this will lower the amount you spend on fuel. Check your tyres’ tread with a twenty pence coin. If the rim goes in fully, then you have enough tread. However, if it does not, then you’ll need to have new ones fitted by an expert like Point S to remain street legal. Remember to check all over the tyre – not just in one place.

Lights

Check all the lights on your car once every few months. You can do this yourself and – if you don’t have someone to help you with the rear lights – place a mirror behind the car so you can see them. Don’t forget the side lights, reversing light, fog light and even the number plate light. Car owners’ manuals tend to not be that helpful when it comes to changing bulbs and – as a result – tend to encourage you to take the car to dealer. Look for advice on your specific model online, because many car owners post instructional videos which can help you do the job for yourself. You seldom need anything more than a screwdriver.

Air Filter Replacement

With the majority of cars, switching the air filter is nothing more than flipping a few clips or undoing a couple of screws to remove the filter box. Then you simply take out the old filter and place the new one in. It should take no longer than a couple of minutes and be conducted about once every 15,000 miles depending on your model.

Post C-Section Tips

 Post C-Section TipsThe date of my planned c-section is looming fast and I’m already aware of (and very happy about) the fact that this will be a totally different experience to last time. For a start, I’m more than 5 years older and totally not taking for granted what five years worth of ageing can do – I feel very different as an almost 30 year old than I did as a just-turned-24 year old, and I’m aware that this could make the healing process a little different. There’s also the fact that this will be my second c-section and that could well affect my healing time and recovery afterwards.

The biggest difference, though, will be the birth itself and subsequent days. Sausage was in NICU for the first week of her life and I had been sent home, so for those 7 days I was waking, showering, going to the hospital, sitting next to our baby and then going home to do it all again in the afternoon. I must have walked miles of corridor in that first week – a far cry from the ‘as much bed rest and sleep as you can manage’ advice that’s given to most new mothers. Having said that, I actually healed and recovered from my operation pretty quickly and I wonder if my ‘carrying on regardless’ kind of helped?

Anyway, instead of going into the second c-section feeling mystified, I thought I’d ask some of my blogging pals what their best tips were for post c-section recovery, and here’s what they had to say:

Jenny from Mum of One: “Take it slowly. It is easy to forget but it is major abdominal surgery and it will take a good while to recover. Enjoy cuddles in bed with your baby as much as possible those first few weeks.”

Laura from Tired Mummy of Two: “Pillow on your belly for the first time you put a seat belt on!”

Vanessa from HPMCQ: “Do not sneeze!”

Nikki from Stressy Mummy: “Get as much help as you can for the first couple of weeks and don’t lift anything heavier than a kettle”

Stacey from Five’s a Fellowship: “Don’t even thinking about having a bath – take a shower for the first week or so otherwise you’ll find yourself unable to get back out of the tub!”

Kelly from Domestic Goddesque: “Very big pants!”

Cat from Cat’s Yellow Days: “Take it easy but do make sure you still try to keep moving even if it’s just up and down the hall to get a cup of tea. Not getting any exercise at all can leave you feeling even weaker in the long run.”

Rebecca from Here Come the Girls: “Ignore everyone’s requests to show you the scar! On a serious note; write down a list of all the times you have taken pain killers as you’ll forget and you don’t want to do that.”

Jenny from Cheetahs in my Shoes: “If you have SPD and a C-Section it can be worth asking for a walking frame to get you moving again to stop you twisting too much when you mobilise again. It’s not glamorous but can really help”

Sarah from Boo, Roo and Tigger Too: “If you do not have a changing unit downstairs then change babies nappy on a changing mat on the sofa, to save you having to get down to the floor and bend over too far”

Anna from The Imagination Tree: “I’d say take peppermint oil to ease the wind pain as it’s excruciating after a c-s! Wear mega pants up to your belly button- buy granny knickers from primarni rather than the expensive ones made for the purpose. Walk around sooner than you feel able to and it will increase your recovery time massively. Keep all vital baby equipment at standing level. Wear your hubby’s trackie-bots or a nighty as everything hurts around the waist. Phone a doctor the very second there’s redness or swelling in your scar (eesh!) Try not to get mastitis at the same time- you’ll sob and ask for someone to kill you ;-)”

As for me, my own tip would be to invest in a v-pillow or even just a spare, regular pillow to put under your tummy if you sleep on your side; having a bit of extra support while you’re healing can really help with your comfort levels in the first couple of weeks after surgery.

Thanks to all of my lovely friends who’ve contributed their wisdom. If you have any other tips for me, please leave a comment below – knowledge is power and I need all the help I can get!

Cooking Tips for the Disorganised Mother

Listen, it’s no secret that I’m not exactly a domestic goddess. I like to cook at times, but I don’t have a huge amount of skill in that area, nor do I have the patience for constant chores (don’t pity my Husband too much, will you?!). However, I am the master of the cookery bodge and I thought I’d share some of my awesome cookery tips for all of you other disorganised mummies out there, to get you out of those tricky cooking mishaps.

1. Cheesestrings are still cheese.

In true slummy fashion, a while back I was using one of those sachet mixes to make a pasta bake. I hadn’t realised that the recipe called for grated cheese to be sprinkled on the top of it before baking and the only cheese I had in the fridge were some of Sausage’s Cheese Strings.

Et voila! Pasta a la Cheese String! It may not look amazing, but it tasted great…honestly!

Cheese String Pasta Bake2. Bacon and Eggs Made Easy

Boiling eggs can be a pain in the arse, as is washing a grill pan after cooking bacon, so this method of cooking cuts down on the greasy dishes and timing issues. Grab a silicone muffin case, lay a rasher of streaky bacon around the sides of the case, crack an egg inside, place on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes at 180c. Easiest bacon and eggs ever, and it looks fairly impressive too! Serve with a toasted English muffin.

Baked Bacon and Eggs

3. Cocktail Sauce

cocktail sauce

4. Garlic Bread

If you’re having a meal that would go lovely with a bit of garlic bread, but don’t actually have any, you’ve probably got all the bits to make it yourself (I don’t know about you, but I can usually muster up a couple of garlic cloves or even garlic powder or paste from my cupboards). Grab some normal sliced bread, toast one side, take a tablespoon of margarine or butter and mix some minced garlic or garlic powder to it, them spread the mixture on the un-toasted side and stick it back under the grill. Just as nice as shop bought garlic bread and a fraction of the cost.

5. Toastie with no Toastie Maker?

So, you’re craving a toasted cheese sandwich, but don’t own a toasted sandwich maker? You know who makes awesome toasted cheese sandwiches?

George Foreman Grill

George Foreman does.

Seriously. I know Mr. Foreman probably didn’t intend for his ‘fat reducing’ grill to be used for melting cheese between buttered bread, but we use ours to make toasties ALL the time and it does a brilliant job.

Five Tips for Low G.I. Eating

Five Tips for Low G.I. EatingI’ve been following a strict eating regime for the last few weeks, in an effort to keep my blood sugars regulated while I’m pregnant. I developed gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with Sausage and through a combination of stress and not taking care of myself, it stayed with me once I gave birth. Now that I’m pregnant again, going into pregnancy with Type II diabetes is a whole different ball game, it means closer monitoring and more appointments with specialists. In fact, this time around, I even have to have an extra scan, at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, to check that the baby’s heart is developing properly.

I’ve been put on a diet of foods which are low on the Glycemic Index, but low GI eating is not as straight forward as it may seem – there’s more sugar in the most random things that you wouldn’t even expect. GI is calculated out of 100 and parsnips, for instance, are a whopping 98 on the Glycemic Index, which is almost as high as drinking glucose syrup! Along the way, though, I’ve managed to discover a few things, which have really helped, so I thought I’d share them in case there are any other miserable pregnant ladies out there, struggling to contemplate 9 months without sugar!

1. No Added Sugar Doesn’t Mean NO Sugar

When I first fell pregnant, Husband and I went to the supermarket to try to stock up on things I could eat and things that would make a convenient snack. We spotted some Vimto ready-made jellies on the shelves which had ‘NO ADDED SUGAR’ emblazoned on the pot and started throwing them into the basket with wild abandon. Something made Husband stop and look at the label and we discovered that they actually contained 25.6g of sugar PER POT. No added sugar doesn’t mean the same thing as sugar free, it simply means they’ve not added any extra sugar, on top of what’s already in the ingredients.

2. Peanut Butter is Magic

Peanut butter is around 29-ish on the G.I. scale, which is very low, and it’s been proven that eating a low GI food can actually help to reduce blood sugar. I have a slight dairy intolerance, which means I can’t eat a lot of cheese or eggs, but milk is okay in small doses, so Husband has started making me the most amazing peanut butter and chocolate milkshakes. They’re low GI, contain a whole load of vitamins and minerals and really help with the sugar Jones. (recipe to follow)

3. Meat is Good…Mostly

Meat, as we all know, is largely protein, so as a rule unprocessed meat won’t raise your blood sugar. However, processed meat contains bread, so things like sausages, breaded ham and shop bought beef or chicken burgers all contain breadcrumbs, which will make your blood sugars rise. Also, many meat items, such as chicken Kiev, turkey escalopes, scampi and nuggets are all coated in breadcrumbs or batter. Also, if you’re increasing your intake of animal fat, don’t forget to increase your cardio so that it doesn’t affect your cholesterol levels. In addition, if you have high blood pressure or are on a low-sodium diet, consult your doctor before increasing your intake of meat, especially red meat.

4. Drink Water

Drinking a 250ml glass of water after eating, and then another 20 minutes later, can also help to lower spikes in your blood sugar. That doesn’t mean you can eat a tray of Krispy Kremes as long as you drink a gallon of water afterwards! Also, if you’re increasing your intake of meat, the chances are you’re increasing your intake of sodium, so you’ll need to drink more.

5. Choose Your Carbs Wisely

When I first started eating low GI, I cut out all carbs altogether. I discovered that this meant two things: firstly, I was feeling exhausted by about 2pm and my energy levels were at an all time low. Secondly, it made eating both uninteresting and a bit of a chore. Now, I choose my carbs wisely. Go for wholemeal bread, wholemeal pittas, tortillas, thin spaghetti rather than thicker pasta shapes and oat-based things as opposed to things made from corn. I now know that I can happily eat spaghetti Bolognese, giving me a carb fix without making my sugars spike.

BONUS TIP:

Experimentation is key. I bought myself a little book from Amazon with an easy to read ‘traffic light’ system, which showed in red, amber or green dots which foods are low, medium or high GI. If you want something from the higher side of medium, combine it with two other low GI items and it can even things out. Also, I’ve noticed that some things are subjective – I read that sourdough bread was low GI, however it made my sugars go sky-high, so don’t be too disappointed if you try something thinking it’s low but has a negative effect on your sugars.

Most of all, don’t lose hope. I know it can be daunting, the prospect of feeling like you can never have anything you like again, but you will find things you can eat that don’t affect you.

(In case you’re worried about eating peanuts while pregnant, the NHS website says “Go ahead and eat peanuts or food containing peanuts (such as peanut butter) during pregnancy, unless you are allergic to them or a health professional advises you not to. You may have heard that peanuts should be avoided during pregnancy. This is because the government previously advised women that they may want to avoid eating peanuts if there was a history of allergy (such as asthmaeczemahay feverfood allergy or other types of allergy) in their child’s immediate family. This advice has now been changed because the latest research has shown that there is no clear evidence showing that eating peanuts during pregnancy affects the chances of your baby developing a peanut allergy.”)

Seasonal Fashion Tips from Bon Marche

Season change looks

When the seasons change lots of us just can’t wait until to ditch the winter woollies and bring out the linens. If only life was that simple though. The seasons don’t really have a defined start and finish when it comes to our unpredictable climate. We might have bright sunshine one day and then the next day the temperature drops again. In those in-between type weeks transitional clothing and layers really come into their own to make dressing easy.

Subtle colour changes

One of the first things that really signify a change of season is a colour change. In nature we start to see green leaves and flowers coming through and in our wardrobes it’s time to put less focus on the browns and blacks and start introducing some colour to your look. This spring summer pale and pretty pastels are on trend, but on the other end of the scale, neons are too so take your pick. Introduce tops in brighter colours while still pairing them with your denim or black trousers and you’ll already start to feel more summery in an instant.

Spring accessories

Accessories are always a quick transformation and in the transition between seasons there is no better time to start adding some fun, colourful jewellery. Beads are a pretty, but light way to introduce colour through jewellery and their fun touch is less heavy than solid silver or gold for example. A change of footwear could also be quite literally afoot! While the winter is a time for big boots and dark shoes, the weather warming up is a good prompt to ditch them in favour something a little lighter. Ballet pumps are a versatile and practical choice. These days they come in a whole rainbow of colours and prints so you can inject some colour into your wardrobe easily and at low cost.

Layering Up

Layering is the key to transitional dressing enabling you to add and take off layers easily to adjust to slight changes in the weather. Layering isn’t always easy without looking bulked up in places you don’t want to but a few simple rules can help.

Keep your layers to three to avoid looking both messy and overdone. This should be enough to keep you comfortably warm and still look elegant. Start with your thinnest layers and then work out to your thicker layers. Wearing a woolly jumper and then a thin blouse over the top doesn’t look good on anyone. A pretty vest top worn under a simple blouse and then a chic cardigan is a perfect combination for a relaxed day with friends. This combination looks great with cropped trousers or jeans and you can even get away with this over knee length shorts too if you’re expecting the sunshine.

Key transitional pieces

There are a few pieces that are worth their weight in gold in that tricky in-between seasons phases. Jersey dresses are great as they can work equally well with or without tights and with or without a cardigan or jacket. They’re a good choice for the workplace and they’ll certainly earn their value back no time.

Light knits are brilliant for taking you through one season to the next and they’re a good way to add colour to your look even if you are still wearing your winter blacks and greys underneath.

Cropped trousers are the seasons popular length and it’s great news as a good pair of cropped trousers are a perfect trans-seasonal piece. For cooler weather pair with a blouse and jacket and ballet pumps but when the temperature soars they’ll look just as happy with a sleeveless blouse and sandals for a smart casual look.