Yummy Mummy @lifemagazines
APRIL/MAY 2018 issue 21
walk your way in style The Quinny Luxe Sport collection designed by renowned fashion designer, Rachel Zoe.
The luxury parenting publication for discerning mothers living in London
Yummy Mummy magazine
razilian Dermatologist Dr. Ariel Haus is truly passionate about helping his patients to look and feel their best. Dr Haus, who was recently named as a Tatler Guide Top Doctor, knew when he first heard about Hydrating Facials that they would be popular with one group of patients in particular. Busy mothers! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are due to welcome their third child next month, and speculation is rife over when exactly the baby will arrive. The world of kids’ car seats is pretty unfathomable. There are so many different types, designs and styles, it’s hard to know where to start. And then there was all that confusion over new rulings last year, which didn’t actually change anything for parents, but we all thought we’d never be allowed to use a booster again. Becoming a mum is a really exciting time in life, but there’s no doubt it can also trigger feelings of doubt, anxiety and worry. As mum to daughter Belle, who turns four in March, Katie Piper has experienced it all - from endless nappy-changing and late nights, to the ‘terrible twos’ and beyond. Hungry kids can be impossible to please. Creating healthier, homemade treats in between school runs and sports clubs, is mission impossible for most. PROPERCORN is making “No Junk” snacking simpler for parents with the launch of a colourful new popcorn collection dedicated entirely to kids.
Alex Lux Editor
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Editor Alex Lux ••••• Editorial Assistant Katie Miller ••••• Design & Production Lisa Wade ••••• senior business ACCOUNT manager Vanessa Lane ••••• ACCOUNT MANAGERS Nicola Drew Lisa Westerman ••••• Directors Rory Smith Patrick Smith
[ S H O P P IN G ]
BABIES & KIDS LIGHT IT UP This table lamp adds delight to a child’s room with its striking design. Made from finest white Chinese porcelain this lamp comes alive when lit by a bulb and highlights the well made details. Creating reassuring glow for children at bedtime, this bear-shaped night light will make bedtime easier. £24.99, www.bnifty.co.uk
SMART SUMMER STORAGE COSY COMFORT Who could resist this sweet little sleepy bird toy? Knitted in 100% Baby Alpaca wool, the height is 20cm and can be washed on a 30 degree gentle wool cycle. £32, www.littleedit.co.uk/shop
Meet the Storie Stool. A little seat of wonder! The Storie stool is a handwoven rattan seat, with a lift-up lid and hidden storage compartment. Perfect for toddlers and children to store all their favourite toys, books and treasures. £45, www.littlebabycompany.com
LITTLE WALKERS All Dotty Fish soft sole leather baby and toddler shoes are made from baby safe leather and are perfect for protecting little feet. A tan suede sole means they are slip resistant and so are ideal for indoor use on hard floors. This lightweight and flexible shoe is a great choice for little ones learning to walk. £8.99, www.dottyfish.com
SLEEPING IN WONDERLAND The Wonderland girls single bunk is a unique girls bed that comes complete with Wonderland curtains to cover under the bed. Made from the best solid knot free pine and hand crafted in Denmark. Safe and also beautiful, It features a whitewash finish applied on the solid pine, to preserve the natural beauty of solid wood, treated with a combination of lacquer, wax and pigments. £1,255, www.cuckooland.com 4 april / may 2 0 1 8
CONTENTS OUT WITH THE KIDS
PREGNANCY, BIRTH & BABIES
We bring you a round up of exciting events and things to do with the little ones Keeping you and baby happy and healthy throughout pregnancy and birth We’ve got everything covered from kids’ fashion to top parenting tips
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THE KIDS – We bring you a round up of exciting events and things to do with the little ones – i mage : G E T F I T A S A F A M I LY
Dr Angela Rai from The London General Practice, discusses the benefits and importance of vitamin D.
itamin D is essential for healthy teeth and bones and helps regulate calcium levels in the body. The consequences of vitamin D deficiency are cardiomyopathy (a condition which affects the heart muscle) and seizures in infants; poor growth and rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults which may present as bone pain. There is some evidence to suggest that vitamin D may protect against heart disease, cancer and diabetes but this is currently inconclusive.”
Are you at risk of Vitamin D deficiency? • Pregnant and breast feeding women • Infants and adolescents • Those with reduced sun exposure - countries in the northern latitude including the UK winter season • Those with darker skin as they need more sunshine to make Vitamin D. • If you wear clothing that covers most of your skin. • People with limited diets including vegetarians and vegans “Sunshine is the main source of vitamin D, as our body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on our skin. It is important to follow safe sun exposure and not allow your skin to redden or burn and use sun protection if you plan to be out longer in the sun. It has been recommended to have between five and 30 minutes of sun exposure to your unprotected face, arms, legs or back between
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the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. two to three times every week to produce enough Vitamin D for your body. Your body can’t make Vitamin D if you are indoors by a sunny window as UVB light can’t get through the glass, so it’s important to be outdoors. In the UK winter months, sunlight doesn’t contain enough UVB to make adequate Vitamin D, so we rely on food source or supplements like oily fish, eggs, fortified yoghurts, cereals and infant formula milk. Those considered to be at risk can take Vitamin D supplements. A daily dose of 400 units is considered to be safe for most age groups. It is recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women take 400 units daily. If there are medical concerns, further testing can be performed by a simple blood test. Those that are deficient can be prescribed higher treatment doses of Vitamin D, although medical advice must be followed as too much Vitamin D can cause toxicity. Enjoying the sun safely, while taking care not to burn, can help to provide the benefits of Vitamin D, without unduly increasing risks of skin cancer. Your GP can provide you with further personalised guidance should you have concerns.”
The London General Practice 114a Harley Street, London W1G 7JL (Entrance on Devonshire Street; between Harley Street and Portland Place)
Tel: 0207 935 1000 OPEN 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK
Private GP services www.thelondongeneralpractice.com Occupational Health and Corporate Health Services www.londonocchealth.com
FOCUS ON… THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Get fit as a family While we’re all leading busy lives, it can be hard to fit in family time, let alone time to exercise. We’ve put together some family fitness activities that will help you to bond with your children as well as keeping everyone fit and healthy!
etting the family involved in sport is a guaranteed way of improving everyone’s fitness – so why not try out some of the following... Swimming is always a surefire hit with the kids, and a fun family activity. An hour’s swimming can burn up to 300 calories as well as build your upper-body strength and it also gives your heart, lungs and all the major muscle groups in your body a good workout.
something a little more dynamic and adventurous. The opportunity to experience a new sport without compromising family time is ideal – and with the wide range of sports now on offer, there will be something for everyone. Water sports, trekking or even daily excursions are more beneficial and healthy than sun-lounger-type breaks – plus they are more enjoyable family activities.
Walking with the family. The simplest of healthy activities, costs nothing and can be enjoyed almost anywhere. A family walk over a couple of hours will tire out the children and bring a multitude of health benefits including exercising the cardiovascular system, strengthening and toning the legs and burning approximately 100 calories per hour.
Family outdoor activities.
There are now more and more safe cycling routes that are traffic-free for family-friendly cycling. Even if your child is too young to control a bike on their own, you can buy child seats or attachments that link their bike to yours. Cycling is a fun way to shift the pounds because it burns between 200 and 800 calories per hour! Indoor games for the family. Badminton, ten-pin bowling and table-tennis (to name just three) are all activities that everyone in the family can have a go at.
Whether it’s a playing in the garden, a game of ‘tag’ in the local park or some fun on the swings and slides, simple outdoor games and activities are great for quality family time and exercise. The children will love it and you’ll also benefit from the getting your heart rate a little higher. Make sure all the family members can get involved so that everyone has the chance to exercise.
Activity holidays. Nowadays, there is a growing trend for the traditional beach holiday to be supplemented by 1 0 A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 8
Family day trips. Any event that involves everyone getting up and about will contribute to the family’s health and fitness. Visiting the zoo, going to a sporting event or exploring a theme park is something that can
be enjoyed by all the family and will also involve expending plenty of calories en-route! It doesn’t have to be hell to be healthy for you or your family and using some smart combinations of activities such as the ones above means that you’ll neither neglect your family nor your fitness. Of course everyone is busy and yes, everyone wants a piece of you, but there aren’t many more important things than maintaining your health and fitness and spending some time with your family, so go and do it!
“A game of ‘tag’ in the local park or some fun on the swings and slides, simple outdoor games and activities are great for quality family time and exercise”
HOW CAN I GET KIDS OFF THEIR TABLETS AND OUTSIDE? If you’re stuck for ideas to get kids playing outside instead of inside on their gadgets, try these tips from a psychologist.
WORDS: Lisa Salmon, Press Association
’m struggling to get my two young children to play outdoors as they just want to stay in and stare at screens all day. What can I do to encourage them to get outside more? Dr Fiona Holland, a senior psychology lecturer and part of the Nature Connectedness Research Group at the University of Derby, says: “Many parents are stuck for ideas of what to do with their children outside, so looking up resources beforehand and having ideas at the ready can be really worthwhile. “Finding age appropriate ideas to engage your children helps them have a positive focus for their time outside. For example, create a treasure hunt and tick off when you see a Y-shaped stick, a heart-shaped stone, a bridge, a squirrel, a black and white dog etc. “Get ideas from books such as 101 Things for Kids to Do Outside by Dawn Isaac. This is a great resource with lots of ideas, such as making a herb garden, planting a bean wigwam, a twig plant pot, pond dipping tips, water balloon pinata, make a butterfly feeder, go star gazing, and make a rain gauge, for example. “Other ideas of events and activities organised for you can be found on websites of organisations such as the Wildlife Trust, the RSPB, the National Trust and the Wild Network. “Another top tip is to make playing outdoors a social event. Take your children’s friends along, or alternatively, meet a favourite family somewhere outside so everyone can catch up and play together. This is far more memorable than just
sitting around drinking tea together. “My advice, whatever you choose to do, is keep it simple. Find things that don’t cost a thing. It doesn’t have to be a huge day out with expensive meals in cafes. You can pack snacks or a picnic and stay closer to home. Find local free greenspace; kids like building dams in streams, making mud pies, making dens, splashing in puddles. “Don’t overwhelm your children time-wise. You might just go out for 15 minutes to try to catch falling leaves or build a den rather than making a huge effort to do a long country walk or a day trip to a faraway nature reserve. Start smaller, make it fun and build up the interest of your children in smaller activities. “You can then explore further afield, and perhaps find a local organisation that hosts nature-based events. These are often free or very low cost and children can join others in bushcraft, wildlife spotting, ponddipping, building dens and other activities. “Make sure you have some all-weather gear and keep spirits up with snacks and warm drinks so you don’t have energy crashes. “If your kids are technology-mad and won’t leave their gadgets at home, use technology to help get them outside via a variety of nature apps such as the Persil Wild Explorers app and Geocaching (treasure hunting). Even games such as Pokemon Go encourage outdoor activity and exercise. “For older children, taking photographs or videos during time outside might engage them more and can help them focus their attention on their surroundings.” A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 8 1 1
LUXURY HOLIDAYS FOR ALL
onnoisseur Travel was founded in 1994. Their efforts to strive to provide the very best and to always go the extra mile for all their clients is their company ‘Mission’. The level of success the company has achieved being evident in the many clients that choose Connoisseur Travel as a direct result of commendations made by satisfied clients who still today entrust all their travel arrangements and vacation plans to Connoisseur Travel. Your holiday needs careful planning and consideration. Whether it’s the excitement of a safari, an adventure in South America, the mystique of the Far East or the lure of relaxation on a beach with your family, Connoisseur Travel can recommend the destination to suit you, your partner and family.
“The company’s experts will share their worldwide knowledge of destinations, climate and culture” The company’s experts will share their worldwide knowledge of destinations, climate and culture to Initially the Company specialised in weddings and tailor-made honeymoon destinations. Personal recommendations and expertise in the honeymoons market resulted quickly to bookings coming in nationwide and overseas. And, with their reputation for personalised travel planning, the Company soon expanded its horizons, providing luxury specialist worldwide travel tailored not only to honeymooners but to all discerning travellers. Over the years they 1 2 A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 8
have developed their market for providing family holidays – from the very young to teenagers. Some of their clients are original honeymoon couples who now, with their growing families, entrust Connoisseur Travel to source and tailor their family holidays. Being independent, Connoisseur Travel works with a carefully selected number of tour operators which enables the company to be able to offer genuine choices and unbiased holiday advice. They will discuss your tailor-made holiday dreams with you and then produce exactly what you are looking for. Instead of a general glossy printed brochure, their website is designed to outline what they can achieve for you. They take the pain out of planning your holiday yourself, and help you realise your dream with minimum effort on your part and maximum effort on theirs! Each and every travel itinerary they organise is unique, based on the client’s individual requirements. Their specialists are available to you before, during and after your travels, and always available to serve you exclusively. If you would like professional help planning your next holiday or trip of a lifetime, Connoisseur Travel would very much like to speak with you to offer their impartial advice on any worldwide destination. So let Connoisseur Travel make your next travel experience one of unsurpassable ease. Their dedication and enthusiasm combined with their friendly service guarantees you the relaxing tailormade holiday you deserve! Please call 01403 272 143; email firstname.lastname@example.org; www.connoisseurtravel.co.uk All travel is covered by fully bonded ABTA/ ATOL/IATA tour operators
YUMMY YUMMY MUMMY MUMMY
ROARS INTO LONDON Greenwich Peninsula, Until September 2018
new multimillion-pound attraction that brings dinosaurs to life as never before has arrived in London for the first time. A unique, immersive live adventure, it has played to sell-out audiences of tens of thousands in its debut season at Birmingham’s NEC. The show’s unique time machine is set up on Greenwich Peninsula and takes families back an astonishing 67 million years to encounter amazing creatures like Tyrannosaurus rex roaming the wild. Londoners are immersed in an unforgettable experience that, for the very first time, makes them feel as though they are actually there – amongst the dinosaurs, in their world, at their time. Dinosaur tourists are whisked by time machine to join scientists at an extraordinary research station – TimeBase 67 – which has been built on the Late Cretaceous plains 67 million years ago. On the ultimate voyage of discovery, they drive with their guides through lumbering herds of dangerous dinosaurs, watch a dinosaur autopsy, witness hatchlings emerging from eggs, plunge their hands into dinosaur poo, and visit a lookout, with panoramic views of the teeming prehistoric life in every direction. The Creative Director of Dinosaurs in the Wild, Tim Haines, was the award-winning producer of the BBC TV series Walking with Dinosaurs, seen by 800
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“The show’s unique time machine is set up on Greenwich Peninsula and takes families back an astonishing 67 million years to encounter amazing creatures”
million globally. Tim says, “After the huge crowds for Dinosaurs in the Wild in Birmingham, and then anticipation we’re already seeing for our move to Manchester in October, we’re thrilled to announce that Londoners are able to time-travel too. It’s a completely new kind of immersive experience, in which we use the latest technology to make it feel like you really are there in that world, with the dinosaurs all around you.” Over a hundred artists, technicians and other industry specialists worked to create the unique experience. It weaves together high-tech audiovisual effects, animatronics and live-action theatre to allow visitors to experience the prehistoric world in a way that has never been possible before. The 70-minute adventure vividly reveals dinosaurs as they really were. Far from being green and scaly creatures, experts now believe that many were colourful and had feathers and fuzz. Dinosaurs in the Wild is open until September 2018 on Greenwich Peninsula, just a few minutes from North Greenwich Underground station. Tickets to Dinosaurs in the Wild can be booked at www.dinosaursinthewild.com and start from £25 for Advanced Off-peak adult tickets and £85 for Advanced Off-peak family tickets (2 adults and 2 children).
With lots of ideas for memorable days and family breaks, we are here to make the life of busy and expatriate parents easier and to keep children happy.
Birthdays and events Half term breaks
Summer holidays Weekends away
With lots of ideas for memorable days and family breaks, we are here to make the life of busy and expatriate parents
Let us know your preferences and will do the rest.
www.littlepa.co.uk email@example.com 07747786231
TWINNING WITH YOUR KIDS Two writers battle it out over whether ‘mini me’ outfits should really belong in our wardrobes. WORDS: Claire Spreadbury and Katie Wright, Press Association a certain way and eating disorders caused - albeit in part - by posting our lives to the world? Kim K, Beyonce, Demi Moore - I ask you this: Why do you want your daughters to look like you when they can look better? Let kids dress the way they want to and develop their own individual style. Let them be trendsetters, not followers. And stop forcing them to look like you for a shallow photo opportunity.
n response to the celebrity-inspired trend, brands are now offering kids’ and grown-up versions of the same outfit for mums and their ‘mini me’. Because if Beyonce can have custom Gucci creations made for her and six-yearold daughter Blue Ivy, then why should us mere mortals miss out? But if you’re not a world-famous megastar with millions of social media followers, is ‘twinning’ really called for - or is it narcissistic and unnecessary?
Katie Wright, fashion journalist, says: ‘Twinning is winning’ When I was little, my mum would often dress my sister and I in the same outfits. We were less than two years apart in age so people often asked it we were twins - and I loved it. In fact, if my mum could have joined us (is ‘tripleting’ a thing?) I would have loved it even more, which is why now that the fashion industry has caught up with my childhood fantasy, I’m a big fan of the ‘mini me’ trend. Just like baby animals, fun-size chocolate bars and mini lipsticks, anything that’s a tiny, identical version of something else is automatically adorable, and kids dressed like their parents are no exception. I don’t have children myself, but if I did, you could bet your bottom dollar I’d be dolling them up to look just like me from day one. OK, maybe some people are just doing it for the ‘gram, but that’s no different to how a lot of people choose what to wear/eat/ drink these days, and as long as you’re not forcing your child to wear something they really don’t like then what’s the harm? Ultimately, if twinning is good enough for Beyonce, why are we evening arguing about it?
Esmara by Heidi Klum Women’s Mac, £14.99; Girl’s Mac, £9.99, available from Lidl
Nutmeg Women’s Top, £18; Girl’s Top, £9, available from Morrisons
Here, two writers argue for and against the mini-me trend... Claire Spreadbury, journalist and mum-of-two says: ‘Twinning is sinning’ So ‘twinning’ with your kids is now a thing (yawn...). I, for one, will not be taking part. Funnily enough, I don’t want to look like an eight-year-old, and I don’t want my eight-year-old to look like an adult, either. Or my five-year-old, come to that. Whatever happened to using fashion to express yourself, your style and your personality? Isn’t that what we should be teaching our children, rather than following the herd and wearing the same things as other people? It’s yet another social media craze I will try to ignore - and that’s another reason not to do it. If impressionable young people see us copying everything influencers do on Instagram and Snapchat, we’re going to be in a worse situation than we already are. Isn’t there already too much body dysmorphia, anxiety around needing to look 1 6 A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 8
WantThatTrend Adult Blue Unicorn Skater Dress, £22.95; Children’s Blue Unicorn Skater Dress, £15.95, available from WantThatTrend.com
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Walk your way in
he Quinny Luxe Sport collection designed by renowned fashion designer, Rachel Zoe, is a luxurious take on the sporty Zapp Flex Plus. Inspired by parents on-the-go, the Luxe Sport Collection brings effortless glamour and sporty sophistication to a designer mobility solution. Classic black and white fabric, with netted accents, provide a sporty yet chic look and pop against the champagne coloured frame. A black, white and champagne pinstripe completes the look with glam detailing, allowing you to walk your way in style.
Why You’ll Love It! The Zapp Flex Plus mixes a seamless blend of comfort and convenience, so you can stroll around with ease. Suitable from 6 months to 15kgs (approx. 3.5 years), the Zapp Flex Plus offers a two-way Flex seat with two parent and three forward-facing recline positions. The sporty frame is lightweight with a highly compact fold for easy transport and storage. The pushchair is easily manoeuvrable thanks to its swivel wheels and the extendable sun canopy provides added UV50+ protection.
Complete the Look This limited edition design extends to a number of perfect-match from-birth solutions and accessories. Convert the Zapp Flex Plus into a convenient 3-in-1 travel system with the breathable and ultralightweight (3kg) Lux Carrycot or the Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus baby car seat. And that’s not all, accessorise your pushchair with the cosy footmuff to keep your little one warm or the stylish changing bag to keep all your essentials close at hand.
Mum and designer, Rachel Zoe adds “It has been such a fun process to collaborate once again with Quinny. For this collection, I was inspired by the modern woman on-the-go, who is all about looking effortlessly glamorous in her daily routine yet never sacrificing comfort for style. The mix of classic black and white staples coupled with gorgeous metallic champagne accents creates a polished and refined look, but also provides parents with functional elements like easily washable fabrics.” www.quinny.com 1 8 A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 8
WAYS TO SQUEEZE QUALITY TIME INTO BUSY FAMILY LIFE
Working parents are time-poor and it’s making families miserable. the experts for some genuinely achievable advice.
Claire Spreadbury asks
As a busy, working parent, it’s so easy to let life get in the way of having fun with your kids. When exactly do you fit in the quality time around work, school, cooking, cleaning, homework, clubs, exercise, life admin and laundry? According to new research by Thomas Cook, half of British parents spend less than one hour of quality time with their children each day, and of the 1,500 quizzed, eight out of 10 were completely aware they’re not around their children enough during the average working week. But when you simply can’t slash your hours at the office, and weekends have to be spent catching up with chores and being a taxi driver for the clubs and parties your kids want to attend, how do you fit it all in?
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erfecting the time ratio between kids and responsibilities can be a struggle,” says life coach and author of How To Be Selfish, Olga Levancuka (olgalevancuka.com). “The ‘always on’ technology culture, longer commutes and working hours, while juggling other admin around family time, can sometimes leave parents feeling overwhelmed. “However, quality family time is important, because it lays the foundations for how a child develops socially and psychologically. The time spent with your child now may impact their behaviour and understanding later on in life. “The first step you need to take is to understand that you can’t always be in control of the time. Yes, it’s useful to have a structure, but you have to accept that it won’t always go to plan. Once you have accepted this, you will relax and will be ready to manage your time without any additional, unnecessary stress.” So take that on board, along with the following top tips - and you might just find your life contains more fun, love and quality family time than ever before...
fully with them, and engaged in the time that you share, wholly together. This means that we’re not on the phone, not planning our following days or weeks, not there and wishing we were somewhere else, but totally, fully, and completely there. Present. “This is quality time. It’s a little bit like gold dust. Children thrive off it. You also only need a little bit for it to make a huge impact. It’s the quality and not the quantity of time that makes a difference. Let go of guilt, stop worrying about small things, and let your children teach you what it is to be fully present, fully alive, and freely living life.”
Think about what you’re doing and why
“In a way, it doesn’t matter how much time we have with our children if that time is spent being pre-occupied, fretting or not really being ‘there’,” says human behaviour specialist, Sophia Davis (sophiadavis.co.uk). “Very few of us are ever really present with our children, no matter how much time we have spare. Children notice when you are
Stop trying to make everything perfect “Not every single bit of clothing has to be ironed, and not everything in the house needs to be squeaky clean,” advises Levancuka. “Stop spending time trying to make everything look perfect, and use that time to have fun with your children. No one will judge you for having a messy house, it’s all part and parcel of having an energetic and happy family living in it.”
Cat Williams - relationship counsellor, speaker and author of Stay Calm And Content No Matter What Life Throws At You (staycalmandcontent. com) - suggests mulling over whether the decisions we make as parents are for reasons of love or fear. For example, we become obsessive about
chores - because we fear judgement from friends or relatives if our house isn’t perfect, or we spend too long at work because we fear colleagues will think we aren’t working hard enough if we don’t. “A love decision - on the other hand - might be leaving work early, or not doing the hoovering and spending that time having fun or relaxing with our children instead,” Williams adds. “For this approach to work, we may have to let go of some of our fears and become more confident and selfaccepting.”
Use tiny snippets of time to talk “You don’t always have to spend long hours with your kids to show them you care,” says Levancuka. “Make the most of the free slots you have available. Ask them about their day at school, offer to help with homework, or even read them a short story while you’re waiting for the food to cook. It’s not about setting aside long hours, it’s about making the most of the time you’ve got.” And when you are utilising that time, get rid of the gadgets: “Keep electronic devices out of sight. Giving each other your full attention will make the time you spend together feel much longer and more valuable.”
Prioritise the best stuff “Rank activities on a one to 10 scale and prioritise the right things,” suggests Williams. “We can ask children what their ‘10 out of 10’ activity is to do with us and then make time for it, even if it’s the only thing we do with them that week. “When we ask this question to each of our children, and our partners, their answers are often pretty surprising. What is your favourite thing to do with your partner and children, and when did you last do it?” Williams also advises using a scale to find out if your children are happy. Ask them, ‘How much did you enjoy school/your swimming lesson today out of 10?’ And if you do this regularly, you can ask questions around why it was higher or lower than last time.
Make time in the morning Mornings can be perfect for spending quality time with the kids, suggests Levancuka. “Make sure you’ve prepared everything the night before and wake your children up 15 minutes early, so you can spend that time doing something fun. Read a book, have a tickle fight, or just have a singalong to your favourite song. You may think that 15 minutes is not enough. but to your children, it’s some extra time with you.”
Show them you care even when you’re not there And finally, children love surprises, so if you don’t have any moments to spare, you can still show that you love them, says Levancuka: “Write them a note and leave it on the fridge, or slide it into their lunchboxes. Get as creative as you like - your children will appreciate the effort you’ve put into making them feel loved.”
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Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk for Save the Children 23 - 29 April 2018
his Spring will see the return of the UK’s muddiest fundraising event for little ones – Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk for Save the Children. Last year saw 160,000 children across the UK take part, raising an incredible £243,000 for Save the Children’s vital work, and this year the charity hopes even more people will sign up, take part and donate. Nurseries, early years groups, families and children up and down the country are being encouraged to take part in a Muddy Puddle Walk to raise money for the international children’s charity. Organising a Muddy Puddle Walk is a great way for your little ones to explore the world around them and jump in muddy puddles, like Entertainment One’s Peppa Pig, for a worthy cause. Whether you splash in puddles along a trail at the park or get creative and make your own puddles indoors from paper and foil – your Muddy Puddle Walk will be a fun day to spend together that littles ones won’t forget. Raise funds in the way that suits you – help walkers get sponsored for their walk, ask for a donation to take part or even bake Muddy Puddle cupcakes to sell on the day! The money you raise will help Save the Children’s work to transform the lives of vulnerable children in the UK and around the world. Sophie Pirouet, Fundraising Campaigns Manager at Save the Children, says: “We hope everyone will
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“Organising a Muddy Puddle Walk is a great way for your little ones to explore the world around them and jump in muddy puddles”
get outside this Spring, come rain or shine, and help raise much needed funds for Save the Children. It’s so easy to take part and it’s the perfect excuse to explore the outdoors with your little ones. By jumping in muddy puddles like Peppa Pig and raising money for Save the Children you can help give children a brighter future.” By taking part in a Muddy Puddle Walk and raising money for Save the Children, you can help vulnerable children around the world have a safe place to play and learn. Sign up now at MuddyPuddleWalk.org for your free Muddy Puddle Walk Fundraising Pack full of fun Peppa Pig inspired activities to help you get started – with tips for great walks indoors and out, fundraising ideas, fun activities to get your walkers ready for the big day and at the end of the walk, there’s a free Peppa Pig sticker reward for every child. The fundraising pack will also explain what life is like for children in different countries, helping them see how they are making a difference through supporting Save the Children. For more information visit: www.savethechildren.org.uk
the new FAMILY destination
Jaw-dropping scenery, amazing history and massive portions of delicious, affordable food make this Balkan country the place to explore in 2018. Noreen Barr discovers more. WORDS:
aw-dropping scenery, amazing history and massive portions of delicious, affordable food make this Balkan country the place to explore in 2018. Noreen Barr discovers more. Montenegro isn’t the first place you might think of when planning a family holiday. It’s well off the beaten track and many people don’t even know where it is on the map. Yet, all this is about to change. Both Vogue and Lonely Planet have highlighted this Balkan country, with its spectacular landscapes, as a top new European place to visit. Now the travel operator TUI has named Montenegro as a key destination for 2018 and will launch its first direct, summer flights from the UK to the capital Podgorica from May 3.
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Montenegro offers value, views and adventure
Montenegro is about five times smaller than Ireland. Once part of communist Yugoslavia, it only became an independent state in 2006. But this tiny, young nation more than deserves its sudden recognition. Like its neighbour Croatia, already a star of the travel world, it boasts entrancing mountainous scenery, a complex history and medieval towns to explore - but the newcomer is seen as being more affordable, offering great value on both food and accommodation. For our family though, one of Montenegro’s strongest draws is the sense of adventure it offers. No one we know has ever been there. After years of playing it safe as parents, sticking to Britain, France and Spain because they aren’t too far away, this feels liberating to me and my husband, Mark. Our children, Max, 13, and Eve, 5, are equally enthused. And all that separates us from our unusual destination is a short flight, lasting less than three hours.
Becici is perfect for family fun We’re staying in Becici, a family-friendly spot on the Adriatic coast. As we transfer there by taxi, Montenegro already has us enthralled. The sight of towering peaks plunging fiercely down into the bright blue sea is almost impossibly beautiful. Max (who, like most teens, doesn’t normally rave about scenery) grabs his phone and begins taking reams of pictures. “I want to climb all these mountains,” he decides. Tempting - but as we are visiting in August, the hottest and driest month when temperatures soar into the high 30Cs daily, that isn’t the most practical holiday plan. Instead, we quickly settle into a morning routine of clamouring down the 97 stone steps that lead directly from our hotel, The Queen Of Montenegro, to the 2km Blue-Flagged beach that stretches the length of the town. Becici is pretty touristy for Montenegro. There are paddleboards and kayaks to hire, stalls selling inflatable flamingos on the promenade, booths offering pizza for E1.50 and hamburgers for E2. (All excellent things in Max and Eve’s judgement.) But the pebbly-sandy beach (the pebbles get larger the closer you get to the waves, so flip-flops are a must) boasts the clearest,
sparkling waters that are always blissfully warm in summer, even at 7am. Lying on our sunloungers, we gaze at the headlands and islands artistically scattered nearby - there’s a reason this beach won a Golden Palm award back in 1935 for being the most beautiful in Europe. The urge to explore further afield becomes irresistible.
Przno is the perfect spot for a sunset swim We wait at the unmarked spot on Becici’s main road, under a billboard, where locals assure us the bus to the nearest village, Przno, will stop. The fare for the 4.5km journey is just E1 each for the adults and Max, while Eve goes free. Przno’s tiny bay offers the stunning backdrop of a small craggy islet, complete with a ruined watchtower that may once - long ago - have protected the locals from pirates. This becomes our go-to place for sunset swims, alongside other families, drawn in by the enclosed red sands and welcoming surrounding cafes. The Konoba More restaurant, in a 500-year-old house, is one step from the beach and offers fabulous seafood rizoto (like the Italian version, but spelled
differently) for E11. There’s nothing vegetarian on the actual menu, but the kitchen happily rustles up a child-friendly portion of tomato pasta for Eve that costs E6 and is enormous enough to fill us all. Travel guides say Montenegrins love children and eagerly serve them huge helpings, which turns out to be wonderfully true.
Sveti Stefan is stunningly beautiful Another day, we discover a path through the woods from Przno, clinging to the shore but shaded with olive and pine trees. It transports us to another world of the rich. Past the grand wisteria-draped Villa Milocer, once the summer residence of the Serbian royal family (back in the 1930s when Montenegro was part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes), and around the corner to a view that stops us in our tracks. Sveti Stefan is Montenegro’s most famous sight. Connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway, this scenic, fortified island holds a huddle of 15th century stone buildings. We can’t pass the guarded entrance - Sveti Stefan is now part of the luxury Aman resort. Staying here costs around E800 a night, and even visiting the private beach is E100, we discover. But frankly, it doesn’t matter. We snap countless photographs, have a heated debate about how much one stone from the beach would be worth, let Eve try out the free children’s playground and then suck bargain ice-lollies (E3 for four), before catching the bus back to reality.
Budva is bursting with history Travelling 4km in the other direction from Becici, we reach Budva - at first sight an ordinary touristy town, with modern buildings on its outskirts. Then we step through the thick walls of the Stari Grad - which means old town - and find ourselves wandering along an irresistible maze of narrow, marbled streets, past cannons and churches clustered round the main square, Trg Izmeda Crkava. This is an ancient place, founded in the 4th century BC as a Greek trading post. The Venetians, who ruled it for nearly 400 years from 1420, first fortified it against other invaders, by erecting its walls. And yet all is not entirely as it seems - the stones have not all stood fast throughout that time. For after an earthquake struck Budva in 1979, many of the buildings were doggedly restored to their original form. By evening, we know this fascinating area will be throbbing with visitors, clustering into the restaurants, bars and boutiques. But when we visit in the mid-afternoon heat, it is almost deserted; thankfully, the winding alleys give shade. Alone, Max and I wander around the Archaeological Museum (we pay just E2.50 entry for both of us), trying to get a better grip on Montenegro’s history. An ancient helmet on display, with jagged holes in the back, bears witness to bloodier times when the town lay on the fault line of the fearsome Roman and Byzantine empires. The Venetian rulers explain the delicious Italian-inspired food we’ve enjoyed. But we realise there was also terrible suffering, battles for independence by people who refused to give
up through centuries of repression, Nazi invasion, Communist rule - and finally, in 2006, a referendum vote for independence. The upheavals the welcoming locals have lived through even in recent times makes us think, hard. Budva’s cafes and shops need checking out too. Emerging back into the sunlight, we find Eve and Mark lounging with smoothies in the shade of a pine tree at one of Budva’s trendiest cafe-bars, Casper. Heading off together around another corner, we yet again find heaven - or at least Eve’s idea of it. The Pirate Candy Shop offers mountains of sweets, and happiness, in giant, wooden barrels. Montenegro, with its constant surprises that you just stumble upon without any effort, and blend of touristy fun and intriguing history and culture, offers the perfect family holiday. The biggest surprise is that it’s taken us so long to discover this beautiful Baltic destination.
“Connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway, this scenic, fortified island holds a huddle of 15th century stone buildings”
How to get there From May 3, 2018, TUI (tui.co.uk) will offer direct flights to Podgorica airport in Montenegro from London Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham. Accommodation can be booked in resorts including Becici, Budva, Ulcinj and Petrovac. A seven-night holiday staying at the 4T Avala Resort & Villa in Budva on a half board basis costs from £579 per person. Price is based on two adults sharing and includes flights departing from London Gatwick airport on May 16, 2018 and transfers.
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NO JUNK POPCORN FOR KIDS H PROPERCORN reveal new kids’ collection & colourful world of Cornivores
ungry kids can be impossible to please. Creating healthier, homemade treats in between school runs and sports clubs, is mission impossible for most. PROPERCORN is making “No Junk” snacking simpler for parents with the launch of a colourful new popcorn collection dedicated entirely to kids. Helping families meet Public Health England’s new guidelines for younger snackers, PROPERCORN’s Tomato Ketchup and Simply Sweet flavours contain less than 56 calories per pack. “No Junk”, lower salt and lower sugar and a great source of slow release energy: PROPERCORN for Kids is full of wholegrain popping power that’s perfect for lunchboxes and after school. “My love for popcorn started when I was a child, impatiently queuing up for my box of sweet popcorn at the cinema”, explained PROPERCORN co-founder, Cassandra Stavrou. “When seasoned properly, popcorn is a totally natural, wholegrain food and it has an inherent nostalgia and fun that makes it perfect for kids. We use a simple popping process- which every parent understands- and no nonsense labelling to help mums and dads make informed decisions when out shopping. We’re so excited to make popcorn an everyday, healthy snack for children, just as it is for adults.” Both PROPERCORN for Kids recipes are gluten-free, suitable for vegans and made using simple cupboard ingredients: Simply Sweet: Re-imagining the cinema classic
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with a simple, junk-free recipe. Each bag contains nothing but wholegrain corn, ½ teaspoon of unrefined, raw cane sugar and a sprinkling of rapeseed oil. Tomato Ketchup: As with every flavour in their award-winning collection, this recipe began in the PROPERCORN kitchen. Tomatoes, onion and spices come together to re-create a tangy, sweet tomato ketchup flavour.
GRAB YOUR POPTOPIA PASSPORT! The colourful popcorn-makers have sprinkled a little extra magic in every pack, taking snackers on a weird and wonderful journey to the world of Poptopia. In the shadow of Mount Pop live the Cornivores, each with their own unique personality and popping powers. Brought to life on collectible cards, available in every multipack, kids (and grownups!) can trade and play with friends and even create their own Poptopia monster. PROPERCORN For Kids Simply Sweet and Tomato Ketchup are available from Waitrose, Ocado, Asda and Tesco with RRP £1.89 for a 5x 12g multipack and 59p for a single snack pack. Their core collection of popcorn contains seven flavours, available in single serve and sharing formats: Lightly Sea Salted, Sun-Dried Tomato & Chilli, Sour Cream & Black Pepper, Sweet & Salty, Sweet Coconut & Vanilla, Peanut Butter & Almond and Perfectly Sweet. www.propercorn.com; @PROPERCORN
St Benedict’s School S
t Benedict’s is London’s leading independent Catholic co-educational school, situated in leafy Ealing. The School is a successful blend of the traditional and the progressive; proud of its heritage but also forward thinking and innovative. Within a caring, happy community, our pupils thrive, benefiting from a seamless education which can begin at the age of 3 and continue through to the Sixth Form. St Benedict’s has strong academic standards, with considerable ambition for future academic success. The School is committed to supporting all children to develop their full potential, by treating them as individuals, and catering for their particular needs and talents at every stage. Inspirational teaching, tutorial guidance and exceptional pastoral care are at the heart of the education we offer. The Junior School and Nursery provide a supportive and vibrant environment in which to learn. Sharing excellent facilities with the Senior School and a programme of cross-curricular activities help ease the transition at 11+ to the Senior School, which is on the same site.
“At St Benedict’s, there is a vital focus on personal development” At St Benedict’s, there is a vital focus on personal development, and our outstanding co-curricular programme helps pupils to thrive by enabling them to find and develop their unique gifts and talents. St Benedict’s has a distinguished sporting tradition: while many boys and girls train and compete at county and national level, everyone is encouraged to enjoy sport, teamwork and fitness. Music and Drama are both excellent; there is a strong choral tradition, renowned Abbey Choir and many instrumental ensembles. Termly drama productions have recently included Amadeus, West Side Story and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We encourage principled leadership, resilience and character in our pupils, and promote the Christian values of integrity, fairness and generosity
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to others. This is a hallmark of the School, informed by the 1500 year-old Rule of St Benedict, and there could be no better way of equipping young people for the future. Recent developments include a fine new Sixth Form Centre and Art Department, opened in 2015. A new Nursery and Pre-Prep Department opened recently, providing our youngest pupils with a firstrate learning environment. St Benedict’s School is unique. Come and visit, and see what we have to offer. You can be sure of a warm Benedictine welcome. For more information about St Benedict’s School: Telephone 020 8862 2254 or visit the website at www.stbenedicts.org.uk
THE IMPORTANCE OF RISK-TAKING IN CHILD DEVELOPMENT
ven as a baby takes those first steps across the kitchen floor, he or she is slowly learning the benefit of careful risk-taking. It is perfectly natural for parents to want to protect their children and ensure that they have a smooth path through life, but that has to be balanced with the importance of learning how to deal with challenges and take risks safely; an essential part of a child’s journey to academic success. Philippa Cawthorne, the headmistress at Bassett House, believes that children should be nurtured but not be wrapped up in cotton wool. They should be allowed to play and undertake activities to understand the opportunities and challenges in the world around them and learn how to be safe. For children, the best risk-taking finds its foundations in a safe and secure environment, where they are allowed to play and explore adventurously. Play, leading to child-led, independent learning, is at the heart of the Montessori ethos that permeates Bassett House in the Early Years, giving children the opportunity to make innumerable finely-tuned decisions. There is an emphasis on independent learning, encouraging children to find things out for themselves and be responsible for their actions and belongings. Bassett encourages the children to have a growth mindset approach to their learning, not giving up when they find something difficult to achieve; rather than say ‘I can’t do it’, they say ‘I can’t do it yet’. It is this grounding that not only helps the pupils gain places at some of the most prestigious senior
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THE DETAILS To see the school’s ethos in action, an open day is recommended. The next ones take place on Saturday, 19 May between 10am – 12.30 pm and Friday, 5th October between 9.30 – 11am. Please ring Thalia Demetriades on 020 8969 0313 either to book a place or arrange a visit to the school.
Bassett House School 60 Bassett Road London W10 6JP Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.bassetths.org.uk
schools in London but also to thrive once they have moved to their new schools. Bassett House children, right from the start of their education in the early years, have the benefit of specialist lessons in music, games, computing, French and art and an extraordinary range of clubs and enrichment activities. In addition to this, older children enjoy residential trips where they may push boundaries and let their imaginations soar. School clubs such as orienteering, martial arts and fencing are selected to encourage ‘thinking on one’s feet’, the development of leadership skills, team-building and active problem-solving. Residential trips are chosen to introduce the children to new experiences, from learning how to rig and sail a boat to bushcraft activities, where children can make their own shelter, build a campfire and cook in the freedom of a wild wood. Philippa Cawthorne believes “If we want children to have the confidence and skills to thrive in an increasingly challenging world, we need to allow them to learn how to develop their own awareness of limits and boundaries – to learn, in short, how to take risks.”
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TAKING CENTRE STAGE…
How to get your kids into stage school
hows like the X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent make fame seem fast track, but behind the scenes is often a long, arduous journey. The idea of your child forging a career on stage may seem a risky one, but with renowned stage schools offering academic studies alongside the vocational, children can perfect their talents while gaining a secure education. Read on for our guide to getting your child into stage school... Parents who are interested in letting their children follow the creative path should start looking into some of the best acting schools for kids in UK. Children at a young age will benefit from learning drama at stage schools in many different ways, not least of which is gaining confidence. Acting schools for kids help with raising child’s self-esteem and levels of confidence, and positive reinforcement is one of the key factors to successful training and fun creative outlet. Even if your kids aren’t interested in pursuing careers in the entertainment business or the artistic world, all the tools that good teachers in some of these best acting schools for kids in UK will provide them with will benefit students in many different aspects. Kids learn best when they are surrounded by fun, supportive and understanding teachers. They love to
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play and learn when the environment is comfortable and relaxed instead of being confined to stress of work. Some of these best acting schools for kids is exactly what your child might need, and the classes will usually be kept to smaller sizes in order to provide a safer, more focus environment. In addition to having kids learn acting from a variety of other sources, including reading books that expand imagination, stage schools can also be a great idea. Best acting schools for kids in UK will focus not only on educating children in the artistic field but building their confidence levels, exploring and praising their creativity. But above all else, the most important part of having your child attend one of these acting schools for kids is that they will have an insane amount of fun playing, and definitely enjoy the process!
Sylvia Young Theatre School A specialist performing arts school offering excellent vocational and academic education. The school was established in 1981 in Drury Lane. In July 2010, they moved to premises in Nutford Place, just off Seymour Place in W1. The site houses two vocational floors with studios, rehearsal rooms, a recording studio, two academic floors and a large
Italia Conti Arts Centre
canteen with two courtyard gardens. Ages: “The Sylvia Young Theatre School is nondenominational and co-educational. Students range from 10 to 16 years of age.” 1 Nutford Place, London W1H 5YZ www.syts.co.uk
The Barbara Speake Stage School The school was opened on February 10th 1945 as a dancing school only, by the present principal Miss Barbara Speake MBE. In 1963 it became a full time school providing academic and artistic training. The strength of the school is in its friendly atmosphere, traditional qualities and caring and committed staff. If you wish for a small happy school for your child, where every teacher can care for his or her indivudual needs, then it is here. It has been proved that pupils here succeed though enjoyment of their school which gives them confidence to follow whatever path they choose whether in the field of entertainment, or in a more academic career. Ages: “Barbara Speake Stage School, London is an independent school for boys and girls aged from 4 to 16.” East Acton Lane, East Acton, London, W3 7EG www.barbaraspeake.com
West End Summer School The Ultimate Theatre Summer School for 8–21 year olds. An amazing week-long course at the renowned Guildhall School of Music & Drama, past students of which include Daniel Craig and Orlando Bloom! Led by top industry professionals and West End stars that gives your child the chance to perform on a West End Stage! West End Stage, Top Floor, 17 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden WC2E 7NL
“If you wish for a small happy school for your child, where every teacher can care for his or her indivudual needs, then it is here. It has been proved that pupils here succeed though enjoyment of their school”
One of the most famous stage schools in the UK. Founded in 1911, the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts is Britain’s oldest Performing Arts training school. It is renowned throughout the world as a training centre of excellence. Italia Conti Arts Centre in Guildford, Surrey, is the addition to their growing campus and offers a range of unique courses which incorporate quality Performing Arts Training with the opportunity to undertake Teacher Training qualifications. They provide full and part time courses for students of all ages, from little ones finding their feet, through to professional training for those embarking on a career in Performing Arts and Musical Theatre. Ages: “Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, London is an independent school for boys and girls aged from 10 to 19.” 23 Goswell Road, London, EC1M 7AJ www.italia-conti.com
BRIT School The BRIT School is a Performing Arts and Technology School for teens aged 14-19, located in Croydon. Students have the chance to study vocational subjects in dance, theatre, music and media alongside the national curriculum. The BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology, 60 The Crescent, www.brit.croydon.sch.uk
Stagecoach Theatre Arts School Stagecoach Theatre Arts is a highly regarded network of performing arts schools with a proven record of delivering quality dance, drama and singing lessons to youngsters worldwide. Over the years Stagecoach has provided a springboard for some of the UK’s leading young talent and has had the privilege of watching thousands of kids grow in confidence and ability. Their formula of teaching small classes of children an hour of dance, an hour of singing and an hour of drama on a weekly basis was an instant success. Ages: “Dance, Drama & Singing Classes for 4-18 year olds” Multiple locations across the world. www.stagecoach.co.uk A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 8 3 3
PREGNANCY, BIRTH & BABIES
– Keeping you and baby happy and healthy throughout pregnancy and birth – i mage : B E P R E PA R E D : B A B Y E S S E N T I A L S
Making it personal P
rint My Smile is all about the experience of receiving a gift that means more. The brand was born out of a desire to bring beautiful design, quality products and a smile-inducing experience to everything we do. We launched in 2017 after my business partner and I became obsessed with personalised gifts when we had our respective children. Almost every family member has received something with the smiling faces of our children emblazoned across it (whether they’ve asked for it or not!), but we found a real variation in the online experience of personalised gifting sites. We decided that we should create our own with quality at the heart – including the buying part! We’re delighted to offer quality wall art, mugs, chocolates and calendars – with more to come – and a really easy to use website with a 3D preview of your gift before you buy!
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The sweetest greetings help us to give a little back A part of the range that we’re really proud of is The Smallest Babies selection. As parents, separately, to babies who were born too soon – a 27 weeker and twin preemies – one of the many experiences we’ve shared is that friends and family didn’t know how best to congratulate us on the births. So we included a selection of thoughtful gifts perfect for parents who’ve spent time on the Neonatal unit. It also enables us to give a little back to two very special premature baby charities: Bliss and Born Too Soon. We’re also delighted to offer a unique personalised chocolate card that gives something extra. We call it Sweet Greetings because that’s what we think it delivers – a sweet chocolate surprise tucked inside a card that will mean so much more! www.printmysmile.com
“We’re delighted to offer quality wall art, mugs, chocolates and calendars”
COULD TAKING BICARBONATE OF SODA HELP WOMEN GIVE BIRTH FASTER? A physiology professor explains how over-the-counter bicarbonate of soda could help speed up a slow labour. words: Lisa Salmon, Press Association
’m nearing my pregnancy due date and I’ve read that bicarbonate of soda could help speed up a slow labour. Why is this, and is it safe for me to take it during labour? Susan Wray, a professor of cellular and molecular physiology at the University of Liverpool, has just led a study into the effect of bicarbonate of soda on labour. She says: “The news about bicarbonate soda comes from a study we conducted at the University of Liverpool with the Karolinska Institute, Sweden. “Our previous work had found that women who were progressing too slowly in labour had a uterine environment that was much more acidic than that found in any other women. This was of interest because we knew acid made uterine contractions weaken. This gave us the idea of using bicarbonate to neutralise the acid and test whether this would help speed up the labours which had arrested. “The results were extremely encouraging - drinking a bicarbonate-rich, off-the-shelf preparation significantly helped improve labour outcome, and around 20% of these women avoided an emergency C-section.
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“We always need to be extremely careful when treating pregnant women, but giving bicarbonate in the low amounts used in this study is considered a safe intervention, and many pregnant women take similar preparations as antacids. It should be noted that this was a single, small-scale study on 200 women, and we now need to test the acid neutralising idea in more women and different maternity settings,” she adds. “We are also only advocating this for the 10% of women whose labours are failing, and not for the remaining 90% who will not have the misfortune of a difficult labour.”
“Drinking a bicarbonate-rich, off-the-shelf preparation significantly helped improve labour outcome, and around 20% of these women avoided an emergency C-section”
A Homage to the Modern Mother
he modern mother is enigmatic - no one knows quite how she works. Because the modern mother is no longer one dimensional, she isn’t ‘just a mum’. Mothers today are businesswomen and She-E-Os, they have aspirations for their career as well as for their kids. The modern mother has her own identity and her own social calendar. They still do the typical ‘mum stuff ’, they juggle swimming lessons with the supermarket shop and PTA meetings with parents’ evenings. But they also juggle this with their own life. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Because Emily Davison did not throw herself under a horse for women to be confined to the home. The modern mother has been empowered with her own identity and she no longer has to choose between a career and children. All too often women feel they lose their own identity when they become a mother. And it is okay to admit you feel frustrated or lost when people only seem to ask you how your baby is and not how you are, or that your name has been permanently changed to ‘Jasper’s mum’. This doesn’t mean the mother who works is selfish or that she loves her children any less. And this is where the modern mother is a little bit magic. Because modern mothers somehow manage to do both. Really well. They have mastered the work-life balance; they can balance baby ballet with boardroom meetings, lunch dates with play dates and no one knows quite how they do it, but they do. Keri Jamieson epitomises modern motherhood. As a mother of three children and founder of a luxury multifunctional handbag brand – KeriKit – she
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“Each sumptuous, hardworking leather piece is designed to be practically perfect for business, baby and travel”
certainly knows how to balance. In fact, empowering the modern mother is the foundation of her brand. On buying her first changing bag, Keri was disappointed with her options. Every bag was so focused on practicality and wipe-clean materials that style had fallen by the wayside. With no other options, she put her Dior back in its dust bag and felt she was becoming as one-dimensional as the changing bag she reluctantly carried. However, with her twenty years of experience as a handbag designer, Keri realised she was the best person to solve the problem, so she created a range of multifunctional bags for business professionals and busy parents on-the-go. Each sumptuous, hardworking leather piece is designed to be practically perfect for business, baby and travel. They aren’t changing bags. They are handbags that cater for motherhood, that multitask alongside the modern mother and help her to be effortlessly organised, so she can feel empowered to raise the next generation in style. Thanks to KeriKit, mothers no longer have to choose between the two; the bags adapt to who you are and where you are going. Whether for Sudocrem or sports-gear, nappies or notebooks, KeriKit bags are designed for life – your life. So when you wonder how mothers like Keri manage to do it all, remember that not all heroes wear capes – some wear a KeriKit. They are designed by a mother, for women who are also mothers, so when you pick up your KeriKit you know its real. And we’re not just talking about the leather. By Millie Ralston www.kerikit.com
STYLE & FUNCTION T he choice of impeccable materials makes the Mezaya baby carriers compliment an outfit, helping you retain a sense of self AND helping you multitask as a parent (how valuable are those free hands! Mezaya Baby Newborn Wraps and Linen Slings support British production, are ethically sewn and embody high quality and understated, simple design. Quote from founder and designer Victoria Lowry: “When I was pregnant with my first baby, my little girl Annabelle, like many mothers-to-be I did a lot of research into baby gear. The more I learnt about the benefits of ‘babywearing’, I more I knew it was something I wanted to try. When I started looking for my perfect carrier I soon realised what I didn’t want! I didn’t want to feel like I was going hiking, when I was only nipping into town to run some errands or hanging out for tea at a friend’s house. I also didn’t want to feel like I had to subscribe to a particular parenting style. I wanted a design that was understated, elegant and as beautifully functional as possible. I wanted to still feel like ME. I knew I if I could find a carrier in which I FELT good, that would be a win win for both me and my baby.” Victoria: “When time and space is given to feel connected to your little one, when you carry them
PARENT IN STYLE. wraps & slings designed to carry our little ones in. www.mezayababy.com
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so close that you learn to pick up on their cues and meet their needs before the crying escalates or even starts, that builds so much confidence in your parenting ability. Pure happiness and a bond of trust develop between you and your baby. It’s a truly amazing thing.
FERTILITY FEST 2018 F
The Bush Theatre, London, Tuesday 8 – Sunday 13 May
ertility Fest, the world’s first arts festival dedicated to fertility, infertility, modern families and the science of making babies, will return for its second edition at The Bush Theatre, this May. Over six days, a diverse programme of events will present 150 world class artists, experts and scientists exploring the bigger picture of fertility in the 21st century through theatre, film, visual arts, literature, discussion, workshops and debate. The festival will bring together all voices –
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whatever their sex, fertility experience or parenting stories – to explore how the human race is being made (and sometimes not being made) today, and ask key questions about fertility, science and education in 2018 and beyond. By giving a platform to these crucial conversations, Fertility Fest hopes to encourage wider public discourse around these issues, as well as improving the emotional care of fertility patients – whatever their outcome – and the fertility education of young people. Fertility Fest was founded by Jessica Hepburn and Gabby Vautier in 2016. Jessica and Gabby are amongst the UK’s leading patient voices on fertility, infertility and assisted conception, and together their personal experiences present two very different stories of IVF: Jessica went through eleven rounds of unsuccessful treatment; Gabby, a theatre and event producer is the mother of 3 year old IVF twin girls. Jessica is also the host and chair of the Q&A Stage at the Fertility Show, has written for the leading fertility magazine Fertility Road and the Guardian, and appeared on the 2016 BBC Panorama documentary Inside Britain’s Fertility Industry, and the 2014 BBC Radio 4 documentary A Family Without A Child. She is a member of the UK Fertility Education Initiative.
THE DETAILS Tickets for Fertility Fest 2018 are available from www.bushtheatre.co.uk and are priced at £10 - £35. www.fertilityfest.com @FertilityFest #FertilityFest
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What do modern, professional women wear at night and at home when pregnant?
fter all, we spend so much time in bed anyway, and when the baby arrives we often don’t get a chance to shower before noon. Since having two children of her own in her late thirties, the Founder of Bumpkyn London, Karolina Lewis has been on a mission to create a range of stylish and modern-classic maternity nightwear, pyjamas and dressing gowns which last through pregnancy and beyond. The elegant designs cleverly adapt to your changing shape, provide support in all the right places, and most of all – make you feel beautiful. We adore their easy-to-wear colours and chic, flattering styles. As a nod to a British classic, Karolina has decided to introduce her favourite large gingham into the collection – it is always in!
The entire capsule collection comes in soft, Italian jerseys and with a high-end finish – as expected by discerning, modern Mums. All nightdresses have a more generous length to them and allow easy breastfeeding. You are going to love some of Bumpkyn’s signature features such as the gem-like poppers for quick and easy breastfeeding access as well a full skirt in the Alix nightdress. The Elizabeth over-the-bump pyjamas feature a soft band which provides much needed support throughout the night and during the day. In fact, the entire range is made with lounging in mind and as a celebration of pregnancy and its wonderful features. In order to make the experience even more special, each item comes beautifully wrapped in a stylish box (with a personalised message if needed), making it a perfect treat for a Mum-to-be. In recent months, Bumpkyn’s nightwear and loungewear has graced many a baby shower, too! Karolina and her team are so passionate about better pregnancy sleep, they have designed their own booklet on how to alleviate some of the symptoms which get in the way of a good night’s sleep. The booklet is now included free of charge with all orders. Last, but not least, Bumpkyn works closely with Kicks Count, a charity promoting the importance of fetal movement monitoring. It provides strong and well-researched advice on pregnancy sleep positions as well. Find out more at www.kickscount.org.uk . www.bumpkyn.co.uk Photography: Eddie Judd
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YUMMY YUMMY MUMMY MUMMY
Be prepared: Baby essentials Maternity nurse Sarah Norris advises mums-to-be what they really need to buy before their baby arrives.
’m pregnant with my first child and don’t have much money. What are the essentials I really need to buy for when my baby’s born? Maternity nurse Sarah Norris, author of The Baby Detective (Orion Spring, £14.99), says: “Once a baby’s on the way, the instinct is to start buying, and there’s certainly enough baby paraphernalia available. But while there’s plenty of choice, the prices can be eye-wateringly expensive. “The truth is, you don’t actually need 95% of the things you see around you, especially if you’re struggling financially. “A newborn baby doesn’t need very much at all, just comfortable clothes, somewhere safe to sleep and clean feeding equipment. “You’ll probably be bought gifts when baby arrives, so just equip yourself with the very basics, enough to last you a couple of weeks.
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I’d suggest: • 6 longsleeved and 6 shortsleeved cotton newborn sleepsuits • 12 muslin squares (around 70cm square). They double up as furniture covers, clothes protectors, swaddles, changing mats, playmats, and bibs. • The cheapest moses basket you can find. Secondhand is fine, you don’t need a stand. (You will need a new mattress to reduce risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome - SIDS) • A brand new, cheap, but safety marked, mattress (you can use muslins, clean T-shirts/tea towels as sheets) • 1 cotton pram-size blanket - but you can use cotton towels and adult jumpers or shawls, just make sure they don’t have tassels or holes to trap
little fingers. • A microwave steriliser - although sterilising tablets, or a pan on a stove, do a great job of sterilising breast or bottle feeding equipment. • Dummies or pacifiers if you want to use them, 2 basic bottles, plus 4 bottles of ready-to-feed stage 1 formula. Even if you plan to breastfeed, make sure you have these with you in case things don’t go as planned because hospitals won’t provide them for you. Be prepared. • A cheap notebook to write times of feeds, which breast you started on, when baby poos etc because the lack of sleep makes it hard to remember accurately. “This will keep you going until you find your feet.”
CHILDRENS’ HEALTH: IDENTIFYING RASHES It can be very worrying when a child gets a rash. Here experts outline what the more common rashes look like and when to seek urgent help. Words: Lisa Salmon, Press Association
eeing a rash on a child’s skin can be very worrying for many parents, who often fear it could be a sign of a deadly disease like meningitis. Fortunately, such cases are not common, and consultant dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesperson Dr Anton Alexandroff reassures: “Most rashes in children aren’t serious and parents shouldn’t worry about them too much. Serious rashes are rare.” But if the child is unwell or if there’s swelling of lips, tongue or breathing problems, you should see a doctor urgently or go to A&E. And Dr Sweta Rai of the British Association of Dermatologists warns parents not try to diagnose rashes from internet pictures. “It can be tempting for parents to use the internet to diagnose a rash - we strongly advise against this,” she says. “There’s such an array of potential causes, and similar types of rash, that even for a professional it is very hard to tell the difference between them without careful study and many years of experience.” Here, midwife and nurse Jackie Hall of AXA PPP healthcare outlines 10 childhood rashes:
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These cause tiny pinprick red spots on the chest, abdomen and limbs which disappear easily when pressed. They can accompany common cough/ colds/sore throats/tummy bugs. Treatment: Many viral infections resolve within a few days without treatment, but symptoms can be managed by encouraging fluid intake and taking paracetamol for pain relief and fever control. Always consult a doctor if you’re worried about a rash on your child and if spots are accompanied by other symptoms such as drowsiness, unresolving fever, a floppy body, confusion or difficulty awakening, severe headaches, very pale skin, seizures, shortness of breath, sharp chest pain that feels worse with breathing, or coughing up blood. Is it contagious? Yes. Although incubation periods vary between viruses, children are generally most infectious in the days prior to rash outbreak, continuing until a few days after the rash has emerged.
A rash is often one of the last signs of meningitis or septicaemia, so see a doctor if you’re concerned even before you see a rash. A child with meningitis would normally be very unwell, with possible reddish/purple spots which may look like tiny fresh bruises. Dr Alexandroff says if the rash doesn’t fade when the glass test is done - by pressing a clear glass against the skin - this is very serious and immediate medical attention is needed. Treatment: Go to an A&E department immediately. Is it contagious? Bacterial meningitis can be contagious.
Slapped cheek syndrome This is caused by parvovirus and it leads to a bright red rash on the cheeks, accompanied by slight fever. A child will feel moderately unwell. Treatment: It should clear without specific treatment after a few days, and children should rest
and drink plenty of fluids, as with other viruses. Pregnant women exposed to slapped cheek syndrome should see a GP. Is it contagious? The virus is contagious before a rash develops, but not once it’s visible. Unless a child feels unwell, there’s no need for them to stay off school once the rash has developed.
Chickenpox A child will seem a little unwell for a few days, and then a few itchy red raised spots will appear on the neck, face, chest, back or other areas. These turn into little fluid-filled itchy and painful blisters. Treatment: Chickenpox is usually mild and most children feel better within a week or so, although some can become more seriously ill and need to see a doctor. It can be more serious in pregnant women and newborn babies. There’s no cure but symptoms can be relieved by the same treatment as other viruses, although ibuprofen shouldn’t be given to children with chickenpox as it can make them very ill. Topical creams can be applied directly onto the rash to help reduce itching and soothe the skin, or children can take a suitable oral antihistamine. Is it contagious? Chickenpox is highly contagious and can make some people very ill, so it’s important to try and avoid spreading it. Children can be infectious for several days before spots appear and for five days or more after, and they should stay away from nursery or school until all the blisters have dried and scabbed over, usually five or six days after the rash appears.
Measles A mass of red spots break out around the neck and behind the ears and face, although they can appear elsewhere, including inside the mouth. Initial symptoms include a runny or blocked nose, sneezing, swollen eyelids, sore red watery eyes, fever, small greyish-white spots in the mouth, aches and pains, a cough, loss of appetite, tiredness and irritability. Treatment: Contact your GP if you suspect your child has measles. There’s no specific treatment and it usually improves within seven to 10 days. If the symptoms are causing discomfort, children should be treated as with other viral illnesses. Is it contagious? Children should stay away from school for at least four days from when the measles rash first appears. Avoid contact with vulnerable people such as young children and pregnant women. Children can avoid catching measles by having the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
German measles (rubella) This is usually a mild illness with small red spots appearing on the face and spreading to other parts of the body. Other symptoms include swollen
glands and a cold-like illness. It’s of serious concern if a pregnant woman catches it in early pregnancy as it can cause birth defects in the baby. Treatment: Contact your GP if you suspect rubella. There’s no specific treatment, and the condition usually improves within seven to 10 days. Symptoms can be eased in the same way as with other viruses. Is it contagious? Yes. It’s important to reduce the risk of spreading the infection to others, so children should avoid school for four days from when the rash first develops.
Impetigo Impetigo is caused by overgrowth of skin bacteria and often begins as a red patch of skin around the nose or mouth, although it can occur anywhere on the body. The red patches become a crusty/ brownish colour after a few days. Treatment: Impetigo may get better without treatment within a few weeks, although it spreads easily if left untreated. It can be cleared by antibiotics, which can reduce the length of the illness and the risk of spreading. Is it contagious? Most people are no longer contagious after 48 hours of treatment or once their sores have dried and healed. It’s important children stay away from school until then.
Eczema Dry /inflamed patches of skin typically form on creases of elbows and behind knees, but can occur anywhere on the body. Treatment: Eczema normally responds well to the regular use of emollients or moisturisers. Steroids are useful in managing flare-ups but should only be used as prescribed by a health professional. Specific bath additives, shower gels or soap substitutes may also help. Is it contagious? Eczema isn’t contagious.
Allergic wheals (urticaria) These are blistery, reddish, raised skin blotches which can appear rapidly on different parts of the body. They tend to be itchy and are usually due to exposure to an allergen such as animal hair or food, although there may be no obvious cause. Treatment: Antihistamines can be helpful in reducing symptoms. Most often the rash settles quickly over 24 hours but if there’s associated swelling of the face, lips or any breathing problems, call 999. Is it contagious? Allergic wheals aren’t contagious.
“Chickenpox is usually mild and most children feel better within a week or so, although some can become more seriously ill and need to see a doctor. It can be more serious in pregnant women and newborn babies”
Neonatal heat spots These small red spots with a tiny white pimple on top appear on babies’ faces, necks and upper chests. They are the result of immature sweat glands becoming blocked when the baby gets hot. They are very common, usually of no concern and will disappear after a few months. A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 8 5 3
100-year-old baby names making a comeback S o how do parents-to-be tread the tricky line between common and crazy? By taking some inspiration from eras gone by. The recycling of old-fashioned baby names isn’t anything new. Edie, Ava, and Arthur are all classic examples of vintage names that have had a surge in popularity in recent years. But, there are plenty more monikers that haven’t yet been rediscovered. Baby naming website Nameberry has revealed a list of names that were popular 100 years ago and are now on the cusp of making a comeback. The monikers all featured within the top 500 most popular back in 1918 but which haven’t featured in any of the top 1,000 names in recent decades. While the most common names during 1918 were John, Mary, James, Dorothy, Robert and Margaret, the list reveals a selection of lesser-known monikers that are ripe for revival.
Choosing a baby name is a tricky business. Too popular and you risk little Lily being one of five on the pre-school register. Too ‘unique’ and you might just end up driving your little one to change their name by deed poll.
“For those parents looking for a more classic moniker for their baby boys Edmund, Barney, Ollie, Archie and Dale might fit the bill” For girls, names include the traditional Agatha, Bessie, Etta, Ida, Lorna, Muriel, Rosalind, Polly and Opal. As well as more out-there options such as Augusta, Dixie, Minerva and Odessa. Meanwhile, boys’ names such as Ambrose, Abe, Ned, Wallace, Roscoe and Rufus made the list. For those parents looking for a more classic moniker for their baby boys Edmund, Barney, Ollie, Archie and Dale might fit the bill. In a craze for ‘so old-fashioned they’re trendy names’ parents could also opt to call their baby girls Beryl, Gertie, Olga or Sybil.
While baby boys could rock a granddad-chic moniker like Cecil, Dudley, Benedict or Norris. The name of Holly Willoughby’s second son, Chester made the list, while Blake Lively and Ryan Reynold’s baby name Ines was also a suggestion, although it was spelt with a ‘z’ rather than an ‘s’. The release of the list follows news that certain names made popular in years gone by have actually joined the endangered baby names list. The monikers, which were once common on school registers, including Karen, Ian and Clive, have fallen out of favour with parents in recent years. So much so that unless parents-to-be start re-picking the names for their offspring they actually risk becoming extinct, which seems kind of sad no? According to parenting site BabyCentre mums and dads are side-stepping baby names made popular in the 1980s like Cilla, Edna and Ricky in favour of some more out-there monikers inspired by celebrities. That means that names that were previously considered ‘trendy’ haven’t been registered on the site’s database at all in recent years. This follows on from the site’s previous list of names that could soon become extinct after dropping off the radars of new parents.
The most popular baby names from 1918 Agatha Alpha Althea Augusta Avis
Bernadette Beryl Bessie Birdie Carmella
Cleo Delia Dixie Effie Etta
Fay Geneva Gertie Ida Inez
Ione Iva Lelia Loretta Lorna
Lottie Louella Lucinda Lula Lulu
Mamie Maude Merle Minerva Minnie
Muriel Myrtle Odessa Olga Opal
Pauline Philomena Polly Rosalind Rosella
Roxie Sibyl Theda Winifred Yolanda
Abe Alphonse Ambrose Archie Barney
Benedict Booker Burl Cecil Chester
Claude Clement Cleveland Cornelius Dale
Dewey Dorsey Doyle Dudley Edmund
Ferdinand Floyd Forest Garland Grover
Hiram Homer Isadore Kermit Lemuel
Lowell Lucius Luther Ned Noble
Norris Ollie Perry Pete Roscoe
Rufus Sol Stuart Thaddeus Ulysses
Vito Waldo Wallace Ward Wiley
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FAMILY LIFE – We’ve got everything covered from kids’ fashion to top parenting tips – i mage : K ID S W E A R F IND S F O R A P R INC E O R P R INC E S S
KATIE PIPER’s PARENTING TIPS The mother-of-two talks to Liz Connor about keeping mum-guilt at bay and making the moments count. words: Liz Connor, Press Association
ecoming a mum is a really exciting time in life, but there’s no doubt it can also trigger feelings of doubt, anxiety and worry. As mum to daughter Belle, who turns four in March, Katie Piper has experienced it all - from endless nappy-changing and late nights, to the ‘terrible twos’ and beyond. Now, on top of juggling her career as a TV presenter, author and charity campaigner, the 34-yearold, who survived an acid attack in 2008 that left her permanently scarred and needing multiple surgeries and medical procedures in the years since, has just welcomed her second daughter, Penelope. Confirming the happy news on her Instagram feed in December, Piper simply wrote: “We’ve been blessed with the safe arrival of a baby girl. Our family is now complete.” In an exclusive statement shared via HELLO! Online, the new mum added: “I’m so happy and busy feeding, cuddling - and managing a very enthusiastic Belle!” Now a mum-of-two, Piper says becoming a parent has “completely changed her world”, although she does admit that it takes a lot of determination and resilience. Here, she shares her key advice for any expectant parents, along with some lessons she’s learnt from becoming a mum all over again... 1. Be patient “I’ve found that parenting gives you a new level of tolerance,” says Piper. “You have to be prepared to say, ‘Put your shoes on’, nine times at 8am before the school run. It takes a lot of patience, but actually the rewards are worth it.” 2. Use reward charts The TV presenter says she sometimes struggles with disciplining her oldest daughter, Belle, but finds that tools like rewards charts can help to promote good behaviour. “My husband always has a go at me, saying I’m not a strict parent and that I give in, but we have reward charts and we take toys away when Belle is naughty,” says Piper. “I suppose I do find it hard to stay mad at her for long; she’s actually very in tune with that and knows when to fake-cry, so I have to stay strong!” 3. Learn to control feelings of guilt “I think all parents - whether they’re a stay-at-home mum or working mums - juggle guilt at different times,” says Piper. “It could be guilt for not being there in person, or guilt for not being able to afford what their peers have. It’s really important to keep perspective on your guilt - know that an element of it will always be there, but don’t let it become unhealthy or spiral out of control.”
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4. Instil good morals As well as raising happy and healthy kids, Piper says she’d love to arm her girls with a good sense of what’s right and wrong. “With my kids, the one thing I want to give them is good morals; being loyal and being honest,” she says. “If you’re a young woman in the world now, it’s hard, but I hope both of my girls can develop some sort of resilience.” 5. Strive for quality family time We’ve all had those days, where we come home and switch off in front of the TV, but Piper thinks it’s really important to make time to be present for your children. “I think quality is what I strive for over quantity, when it comes to family time. Enjoy time being present: not being on your phone, not being on social media and really making the most of it,” she says. 6. Try old-fashioned play Instead of switching on an iPad, try getting crafty in the kitchen with your little one. “I like to do art and crafts with Belle,” says Piper, beaming. “I love dressing up with her, and cooking. From my own childhood, those are the memories that I have with my mum that are really meaningful, rather than just watching telly.” 7. Trust your instincts Above all, you should learn to trust your motherly intuition, says Piper. “In my first pregnancy, I read a lot of online forums and parenting books, and they make you question different things; sometimes they can even contradict one another,” she says. “I think instinct is a powerful thing and, actually, there’s no such thing as a mistake. You might try certain methods, and some will work for you and some won’t. You learn as you go - it’s just trial and error.”
â€œI think quality is what I strive for over quantity, when it comes to family time. Enjoy time being present: not being on your phone, not being on social media and really making the most of itâ€?
Far more than just a fun treat, seeing live shows offers a host of benefits for kids and parents, as Lisa Salmon finds out.
Have you ever taken your child to the theatre? There’s no doubt it can be a magical and memorable experience but, according to experts, taking youngsters to watch a live performance could also provide a host of developmental benefits, including improved emotional intelligence and opportunities to discuss difficult subjects. 6 0 A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 8
How taking children to the theatre can boost their emotional development A
dd to that the fun - and bonding experience - both kids and parents can have from attending a live show, whether that’s a panto, play or a musical, and it’s clear that a trip to the theatre is a great family outing - particularly if you can grab a few cut-price tickets too. However, new research shows nearly a third (30%) of parents say their child has never been to the theatre. Meanwhile, of the 70% of parents whose youngsters have seen live performances, 90% say their children get excited about going, and nearly one in five (19%) say they talk about the performance for months after seeing it (for years, in fact, in some cases). The research by Encore Tickets (encoretickets. co.uk), also found that 46% of parents enjoy going to the theatre with their child, because they believe it’s good for their development, and two-thirds say
they enjoy it because it’s a family experience they can share together that brings happy memories. Experts are in full agreement. Going to see live theatre shows can help aid children’s understanding of emotions, according to Birkbeck, University of London developmental psychologist, Dr Natasha Kirkham. Kirkham, a researcher at Birkbeck’s Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, also says there’s clear evidence that attending theatre performances can help enhance social bonds, and play a useful role in helping children develop emotional intelligence. Here’s a closer look at how going to the theatre can be great for kids... It helps family bonding and strengthens relationships Research by University College London shows those who attend the theatre together will synchronise
their heart rates, which is shown to promote affiliation (close connection) and social bonding. Kirkham explains: “When people behave similarly, they perceive each other as more alike, which in turn creates a sense of connection or attachment. Going to the theatre with family and friends can therefore offer the potential of promoting relationships, in addition to the already known benefits of spending time as a family.” This has clear implications for child development, she adds, given that childhood is a vital time for forming social groups and bonding. She points out that developmental psychologists have known for years that play-acting is a fundamental part of development, allowing children to engage in different personalities, work their way through complex social relationships and navigate emotional issues. “It’s exciting to consider that attending the theatre could offer some of the same benefits,” says Kirkham. It helps improve emotional intelligence The narrative of performances can bring to life the most dramatic yet distressing issues that people experience. Topics such as love and friendship, bullying, violence and experiencing the death of a loved one can all feature in theatre productions, all of which play out the emotions involved and often the consequences. And by witnessing these sorts of topics, but in a fun and safe environment like the theatre, children can access unfamiliar emotions, even more effectively than when reading stories. A study by the University of Arkansas found that when primary and secondary school pupils saw Hamlet or A Christmas Carol, they had enhanced knowledge of the plot and vocabulary in the plays, greater tolerance, and improved ability to
read the emotions of others. The researchers, led by Jay Greene, a professor of education reform, concluded: “Seeing plays is an effective way to teach academic content; increases student tolerance by providing exposure to a broader, more diverse world; and improves the ability of students to recognise what other people are thinking or feeling. These are significant benefits.” It opens up conversations around difficult yet important subjects The Encore Tickets research demonstrated that seeing a theatre performance can have a lasting impression, as children often spoke about what they saw for months, sometimes even years, afterwards. Kirkham says this shows the impact a story performance can have on a child, and how - by exposing them to things - theatre can help enable open discussions about subjects that can be tricky to bring up. Kirkham says that after the children, parents and teachers had been to see a play that discussed bullying and violence, she conducted workshops and group interviews on these topics at primary schools in 10 inner-city areas with high violent crime rates. “By attending a play that discussed these pertinent issues, the children, their parents and teachers were able to engage in dialogue about the gap between what the children were experiencing and what the adults were seeing,” says Kirkham. “Taken together, this suggests an evident benefit of theatre attendance for children, across a range of developmental areas. Theatre can improve social bonding, allow for emotions to be explored in a safe space, and kick-start conversations about important issues.”
“Of the 70% of parents whose youngsters have seen live performances, 90% say their children get excited about going, and nearly one in five (19%) say they talk about the performance for months after seeing it (for years, in fact, in some cases)”
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Booster seats, baby seats and big seats. Claire Spreadbury discovers what’s really required in the back of a car. words: Claire Spreadbury,
he world of kids’ car seats is pretty unfathomable. There are so many different types, designs and styles, it’s hard to know where to start. And then there was all that confusion over new rulings last year, which didn’t actually change anything for parents, but we all thought we’d never be allowed to use a booster again. With the eclectic array now on the market, we can choose car seats that can be used from birth to teen, or opt for a different seat per age stage (baby, toddler and child). But if you’re still confused, here’s some expert advice... What are the rules around car seats? “By law, children must be in a car seat until they are 135cm tall or 12 years old - whichever comes first. From 22kg (around the age of four), children can
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be moved to a booster seat used with an adult seat belt,” says Britax Romer’s car seat safety expert, Mark Bennett. “It is vital that parents adhere to these rules no matter how short the car journey, as it’s the only way to ensure children are safe in the event of a collision.” While booster cushions have not been banned completely, most companies who sell car seats urge parents to use a high-back booster seat instead, which offers much more protection from the side wings and head support. Amiad Raviv, from Simple Parenting, the brand behind the Doona car seat, adds: “All car seats used in the UK must meet the relevant European regulation - ECE R44 or R129, in addition to meeting local regulations, such as enhanced fireretardant requirements. Newborn babies must travel in rear-facing car seats, while older children can travel in front-facing varieties.” How do you decide on a car seat? When you first buy a car seat, the weight of it is really important, because parents spend a lot of time carrying newborns to and from the car - and some of them are really heavy. However, there are lots of other aspects you should think about, too. “It’s not just your child’s age that you have to consider when choosing a car seat; you should think about their weight and height, as well as the best fit for your car,” notes Halfords’ child car seat expert, Emily Moulder. “Also think about whether your child will be making long or short journeys, and if you’ll need to transfer the seat from one car to another. Comfort is a factor too, so bring your child with you
“Research shows that around 80% of parents do not install car seats properly, and even the best seats on the market are much less effective when not installed correctly”
All images: PA Photo/Handout
Choosing A Child’s Car Seat
Top car seats on the market The Joie Spin 360 0+/1 seat is suitable for birth to 18kgs and has an Isofix fit. It’s unique spin feature turns, making life a little easier for parents strapping their kids in. £247, Halfords. The Ickle Bubba Solar Group 1-2-3 car seat is suitable from 1-12 years old and comes with stay-cool fabrics, Isofix connectivity and multiple recline positions. £129.99, Tesco Direct. The Britax KIDFIX II XP SICT is perfect for older children (from 4-12 years). It’s a highback booster seat that goes beyond legal safety standards. £135, John Lewis. when choosing, to try the car seat out in store.” “Something which is crucially important but often overlooked, is the car seat being properly installed,” says Raviv. “Research shows that around 80% of parents do not install car seats properly, and even the best seats on the market are much less effective when not installed correctly.” It’s a good idea to go into a shop to get savvy on installation. You can also check videos on the brands’ websites and YouTube. And Raviv advises opting for seats with additional safety designs, such as anti-rebound protection, enhanced sideimpact protection and a five-point harness (vs three-point).
The Doona+ infant car seat, from Simple Parenting, transforms from car seat to stroller. It can be used from birth to approximately 15 months and is enhanced with an anti-rebound handle for extra protection. £329.99, Mothercare.
How long should a car seat last? In theory, you can now buy one car seat that will take you all the way from leaving the hospital with a newborn, to age 12 (though do check the manufacturer’s guidelines, as some should be replaced after six or seven years). Financially, it makes a lot of sense to make a seat last for as long as possible, because they aren’t especially cheap. However, when you think about this practically, and envisage how many times a baby might be sick in a car seat, how much mud a toddler might ingrain into the fabric, how many times the velcro from tiny shoes will get caught on the base, and the number of sticky-finger swipes it’s going to face, you might feel happier getting rid of an older model to replace it with a lovely, new, clean one.
The Graco Logico L is a good and comfy high-back booster seat, suitable for 15kg to 35kgs (four to 12 years old). £50, Halfords. Mifold, the grab-and-go child restraint, is recommended for spontaneous journeys or use with family and friends. Compact, foldable and portable, it fits into a bag, kids’ rucksack or the glove compartment. £49.95, John Lewis.
dropped or damaged, all of which can affect performance. There are lots of baby products that deliver great results second hand, car seats aren’t one of them.” If there is no other option for you, however, Audrey Mizrahi, the UK distributor for grab-andgo car booster mifold, says you must ensure you have the answers to these questions: • Has this car seat ever been in a crash? • Are all the parts and pieces still attached to the car seat? • Are all the labels for proper use still affixed to the car seat? • Has this car seat ever been recalled? If you cannot find the answer to these questions, or if the seat should fail in any of these areas, she recommends not making the purchase. Top tips for buying a car seat “Use each stage of seat for as long as possible and don’t be tempted to move to the next stage too soon,” recommends Bennett. “Rear-facing is the safest option, ideally to at least 15 months, but many seats allow you to do this for four to six years, depending on the model. And if your car has Isofix (a car seat fitting system), then choose this over a belted option, as it’s easier to fit and provides better crash protection.” “If you’re buying a car seat for your third child, make sure it fits in the back seat with the two other children, who might still be in car seats themselves,” says Raviv. Fran Vaughan, founder of Ickle Bubba, the brand behind the Solar car seat, suggests monitoring the weight and height of your child regularly, to ensure you’re using the correct car seat. “Check that it meets ECE safety standards, too,” he adds. “A sticker is normally located on the car seat to indicate this. Also, make sure the car seat is compatible with your vehicle. Most are universal, but it’s best to check before you purchase. I recommend choosing a car seat that includes an Isofix base as part of the package. This will make it much easier to install and removes most of the risks associated with a seat belt attachment.”
Should you buy second hand? “We wouldn’t recommend buying second-hand car seats,” states Moulder. “Unfortunately, there is no way to tell - just by looking - if a car seat has been in an accident, collision, A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 8 6 5
KIDSWEAR FINDS FIT FOR A LITTLE
Ahead of the arrival of the new royal baby, Katie Wright selects the cutest kids’ fashion on the high street.
he Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are due to welcome their third child next month, and speculation is rife over when exactly the baby will arrive (could it be St George’s day?) and whether it will be a boy or girl (or even twins, as some overzealous bump-watchers have been theorising lately). While we won’t know for definite until it happens, chances are, the new bundle of joy will be following in big brother Prince George and big sister Princess Charlotte’s footsteps in terms of what they wear. Whenever we see them at public appearances or in official portraits, the littlest royals are always beautifully turned out; 4-year-old George in shorts, buttoned shirts and sensible shoes, while Charlotte, who turns 3 in May, has an array of pretty floral frocks, knitted cardigans and Mary Janes. With arguably the best-dressed mum in the UK, it’s no wonder the adorable siblings are already inspiring babywear designers with their prim and proper outfits.
Want to dress up your little prince of princess in a similar fashion? Here’s how to get the royal baby look on the high street... 6 6 A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 8
House of Fraser; My1stYears Personalised Gingham Robe, £26
Prince George Classic button-down shirts and navy shorts, worn with shiny laceup shoes, are the young prince’s uniform while on royal duties with mum and dad. His quilted jacket is a winter staple, and even his PJs are super-stylish - who can forget the adorable sight of the then 2-year-old meeting Barack Obama in a personalised bathrobe and gingham pyjamas?
Joules Baby Boy Popper Front Coat, 0 - 12 months, £34.95,
Marks and Spencer Pure Cotton Striped Oxford Shirt, 3 months - 7 years, from £10 John Lewis Heirloom Collection Boys’ Cotton Sateen Suit Shorts, 2 - 14 years, from £10
PRINCE OR PRINCESS Marks and Spencer Kids’ Leather Walkmates Crossbar Shoes, from £24
Monsoon Baby Nouvoux Dress, 0-3 years, £45
River Island Mini Girls Yellow Frill Collar Cardigan, £14
Princess Charlotte Cap-sleeved smock dresses in pretty printed fabrics are Princess Charlotte’s signature look, paired with Mary Jane shoes and ankle socks - an eternally cute combination - and a cardigan if the weather calls for it. The toddler looked sweeter than ever when she was flower girl at Pippa Middleton’s wedding last year, wearing a white silk dress with a sash bow and floral crown. There’s no word yet on whether we’ll get a repeat at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in May. Here’s hoping...
M&Co Floral Print Smock Dress, ages 0-3, from £18
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Treatments in Focus Hydrating Facials Only 6 steps towards beautiful healthy skin
razilian Dermatologist Dr. Ariel Haus is truly passionate about helping his patients to look and feel their best. Dr Haus, who was recently named as a Tatler Guide Top Doctor, knew when he first heard about Hydrating Facials that they would be popular with one group of patients in particular. Busy mothers! Dr Haus knows that when people have children, their lives change. Everything changes! The daily routine ceases to exist, a good nights sleep (forget sleeping in) and proper ‘me time’ are all but distant memories. Sleep is essential to maintaining good skin health and so Dr Haus also knows how to spot the tell-tale signs from a lack of it. His solution is an amazing facial treatment called HydraFacial, which as the name suggests, is a hydrating facial. The HydraFacial replenishes lost nutrients, floods the skin with antioxidants and hydration and promotes optimum skin health. Just one hour is all that is needed to leave your skin feeling luxurious and velvety. And because it’s not overloaded with products – even after just one treatment your skin will be improved, and your envious friends will wonder what your secret is…
Why Is This Unique? The Hydrafacial is the ultimate professional way to care for your skin and improve its appearance in just one hour! HydraFacial is sometimes referred to as “hydradermabrasion” because it is quite similar to the microdermabrasion treatments. However, unlike the manual extractions performed through sanding in microdermabrasion, HydraFacial uses a vacuum tip to deeply cleanse and remove impurities. As such the HydraFacial technology is considered to be gentler and more effective.
The Technical Details… 1. We start by stimulating the detox process by using the lymphatic drainage to detox and firm the skin 2. We then gently remove dead skin cells to reveal 6 8 A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 8
healthy new skin, whilst at the same time delivering glucosamine and botanical cleansers 3. During the brightening stage, gentle glycolic and salicylic agent loosens debris from the pores to create a healthy glow without irritation 4. A honey extract is then introduced to painlessly extract impurities and kill off any bacteria 5. We then hydrate the skin by deeply delivering a cocktail of antioxidants, peptides and hyaluronic acid. This incredible vortex fusion technology replenishes the skin and promotes optimum skin health 6. Finally we rejuvenate the skin with red LED light to reduce redness and stimulate collagen, or a blue LED light to reduce acne and target bacteria.
Who Can Be Treated? Anyone (it’s even suitable for Yummy Dads), but unfortunately it is not recommended during pregnancy or for mothers who are still breastfeeding. In addition to a comfortable couch and a dimly lit warm room for the treatment, we will also give you a hot drink and an armful of glossy magazines. For the next hour you will have nothing else to worry about.
How Long To See Results? Immediately! Your skin may have some mild redness for a few hours following the treatment but you will certainly notice an immediate improvement. Over the next few days you will really enjoy the benefit of the treatment. It is perfect for an upcoming special occasion, date night, or for no reason at all other than some well deserved pampering! Priced from £220.
The Hydrafacial is the ultimate professional way to care for your skin and improve its appearance in just one hour
THE DETAILS For further information or to book your HydraFacial please contact Dr. Haus Dermatology, 140 Harley Street, London W1G 7LB. email@example.com or telephone: 020 7935 6358 www.drhausdermatology.com
Andre Van Nierop, Urgent Care Centre Clinical Lead in Casualty First
ndre van Nierop, Clinical Lead, in the walk-in urgent care centre Casualty First ensures that patients and families receive first class care 7 days a week, from 8am-8pm. Andre, and the Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth set up Casualty First 5 years ago, he comments, “The urgent care centre is truly unique in that our team of A+E Doctors provide care for adults and children from the age of one year, we see patients instantly and provide diagnosis and treatment on the same day. I’m proud to say that our average waiting time in now only 8 minutes!”
diagnosed serious conditions and been able to refer next or same day treatment, which in some cases has potentially been life saving due to early diagnosis. It is so rewarding to see the difference that it makes.” “A large amount of the patients we see are children, we provide treatment from the age of one and our child friendly waiting area and consulting rooms disperse any anxiety the kids might have from seeing a doctor. I see worried and concerned parents come in to see us who within minutes are able to see a doctor and the children, and their parents, are smiling and laughing again.”
Putting patients needs first
Visit Casualty First
Casualty First provides an ease of access to treatment that is essential when you are juggling a busy schedule, Andre explains “The urgent care centre is a fantastic facility for people to access our first class care, with no waiting time and the option to receive treatment on the same day or at a convenient time. We often refer patients to see a specialist Consultant or receive imaging and diagnostics on site, in the state of the art hospital facilities” “We have seen patients come in with minor complaints, where after our investigation we have
Located at the entrance of the world famous Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth in London, Casualty First is a self pay service with treatment available for all the family, including children from the age of one year. The experienced A&E doctors treat all minor accidents, injuries and illnesses. If you think you are having a heart attack, stroke or have serious head injuries please phone 999 or go to A&E. www.casualtyfirst.co.uk; 0207 432 8300; Open 8am – 8pm everyday; 60 Grove End Road, London, NW8 9NH
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“We see patients instantly and provide diagnosis and treatment on the same day. I’m proud to say that our average waiting time in now only 8 minutes!”
ASK THE EXPERT: TEENAGERS & mental health
SPOTTING THE SIGNS OF
Dr Hayley van Zwanenberg talks to Liz Connor about how adults can best support young people with mental health problems.
tress, anxiety and depression can be tough enough for anyone to deal with, but couple that with the hormonal changes that teenagers face during puberty, and mental health issues can feel like an overwhelming and unconquerable burden for young people. For parents, it isn’t always easy to differentiate between ‘normal’ teenage angst and a more serious problem, but research suggests 20% of adolescents experience a mental health problem in any given year, highlighting that this is actually a common issue. Fear of being mocked or not being taken seriously, or a simple confusion about the changes they’re experiencing, can often stop young people from reaching out for help - which is why it’s vital parents understand how to best to spot the signs of depression in teens, and what to do if this happen. Fortunately, depression is treatable and there are plenty of things adults can do to support their children through the process. Here, Dr Hayley van Zwanenberg, a child and adolescent psychiatrist for Priory Healthcare (priorygroup.com), explains more about the early warning signs of teenage depression, and how parents can help...
Spotting the signs While occasional mood swings or acting out is part of growing up, depression is something different, explains Dr Zwanenberg. “Look out for a teenager that isolates themselves from friends and family, and a constant low mood and lack of energy that may manifest in struggling to do anything other than the minimum they have to do every day,” she says. “Also, be aware of loss of motivation, such as abandoning extra-curricular activities and hobbies, and negative thoughts like: ‘I’m a boring person and rubbish at everything’.” Dr Zwanenberg explains 7 2 A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 8
that some depressed teens may also show signs of self-harm, changes in appetite (either not hungry or comfort-eating) and poor concentration, leading to a decrease in academic performance. “Thinking, ‘I’m rubbish, I deserve to suffer, I cannot take this anymore’, or, ‘I’m going to let everyone down’, is common,” she adds. Changes in sleep patterns and feeling guilty about little things, or feeling hopeless, can also be an indicator.
Listen, listen, listen (and don’t judge) If your teen starts talking to you about how they are feeling, make an effort to really listen to them without being overbearing in your concern. “If a parent is worried about a young person, it’s best to sit down calmly with them and explain they are worried, as they do not seem themselves,” says Dr Zwanenberg. “Parents and carers need to be careful that the young person does not take this as criticism, as depression can often feel like carrying a sieve in your mind: any positive information is washed down the sink, while anything negative is caught and focused on, reinforcing other pessimistic thoughts.”
Help in a way that they are comfortable with Often, the most helpful thing you can do is ask your child what they think might help them feel better. It’s also important to contextualise the issue for them too, as they might not understand the feelings for what they really are, or feel like they are going ‘mad’ because they don’t have any background knowledge of depression. “If your teenager is struggling, calmly explain to them they might be depressed, and that the issue is treatable, but that you understand it is a horrible place to be when you are suffering with it,” says Dr Zwanenberg. “Advise that it would be worth visiting a doctor to find out if they are unwell with depression, and to get them
the right support. Reassure them with statistics, such as the fact that one in 10 young people have a diagnosable mental illness at any one time, and depression is very common,” she adds. “Explain that if they see a GP, the doctor does not have to share everything with the parent, and that the discussions can be kept confidential.” Remind them you are willing to listen too, and that you will not get upset, be overbearing in your advice or dismiss their feelings.
Reduce risks If a child is displaying signs of self-harm or suicidal thoughts, Dr Zwaneberg stresses that you should urge them to telephone a helpline, such as Samaritans or ChildLine, and to ask them to share their thoughts with you in a manner they feel comfortable with, so that you can help keep them safe. “They could text them to you, write their thoughts down, or talk to you about them when feeling calm,” says Dr Zwanenberg. “Things that parents can do to reduce risk include locking away any potentially harmful substances and asking the young person what websites they are accessing online. You should then talk through whether these resources are really helpful to them or not. Ask them how they would like you to support them,” she adds. “It might be they just want hugs, they want distraction such as watching a film with you or not to be left alone at night-time. They might find it helpful to have useful mindfulness apps, such as Headspace (headspace.com) or Calm Harm (stem4. org).”
Stay calm Dr Zwanenberg says the most important thing you can do as a parent is to stay calm. “If you need to discuss what they tell you with another family member or friend for your own support, ensure the young person does not feel their confidence is being broken,” she says. “Most importantly, seek professional help for your child. Depression is a very difficult illness that causes risks to the young person, but it is treatable, and the earlier treatment is accessed, the better.” If you’re concerned about a teenager, charities like Young Minds (youngminds.org.uk) and Mind (mind.org.uk) can offer support and advice. Samaritans provides confidential support to anyone feeling down and depressed or struggling to cope, and can be contacted 24/7 by phone on 116 123, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Helping a teenage daughter lose weight without triggering an eating disorder WORDS: Laura Williams, Press Association
ncouraging teengers to be healthier can be tricky, especially if they already have issues around food and overeat or comfort eat. So how do you approach the subject with your daughter without causing more damage? We asked fitness expert Laura Williams to shed some light. She says: “As you’ve already identified, this is a very delicate issue. Naturally, you want what’s best for both your daughter’s physical and mental health, but treading this line carefully is key if you’re to avoid compounding an existing issue, or creating a new one. “There are a few simple steps that should help you to get started... “Make it a family affair. Try and get the whole family on board when it comes to diet. Create a cooking night and take it in turns to rustle up something simple and healthy. It can be helpful to create a new context for food, something that’s a bit creative, and takes the emphasis away from the waistline aspect. “Get on board with some exercise. Moving enough is an equally important aspect of weight management, but again, trying to create non-aesthetic goals will help to form a really healthy habit. Enter a charity race together and investigate local exercise classes - find something different each week until you find a fitness community you can both settle into, and then make that your weekly fitness night. Getting the whole family into an event like Parkrun will give your new exercise routine some structure, and a goal to strive for, outside of your daughter’s waistline. “Gradually reduce treat food in the house. This one’s tricky... While you don’t want to purge your home of every tasty titbit for family members, removing temptation isn’t the same as forbidding foods. It’s a big ask if you’re trying to stay on track when cakes and biscuits, high-cal, easy-to-prepare food like pizza and oversized bags of crisps are readily available. Reduce the treat stash gradually, replacing with tasty and lower-calorie items like fruit; dips such as salsa and tzatziki, and higher calorie options that are less moreish, such as seeds. “Avoid demonising any food too much, as this can contribute to setting up boom/bust dieting scenarios - you want to focus on words like ‘tasty’ and ‘nourishing’ instead. Appeal to other cosmetic factors too - highlight the fact that fruit and veg, seeds, fish and plenty of water can have wonderful effects on the skin, hair and nails. “Avoid linking food and comfort. Food is an intrinsic aspect of family life, so we naturally associate it with comfort, and rightly so. The trick is to confine the comfort part to the creative aspect - the preparing and eating together, and away from any habit that’s been formed around seeking solace in large portions or lots of extras low in nutrients. Invest time (and money, if possible) in other comforting and distracting activities if morale is low, like shopping, cinema, bowling and theme-park trips.”
Has my son got an eating disorder?
Boys develop eating disorders as well as girls. A Beat charity spokesperson explains how to spot the signs.
y 15-year-old son tries to avoid eating with us, and a lot of food keeps disappearing from the fridge and cupboards, though he denies he’s taking it. He’s very irritable and I’m worried he has an eating disorder, although he’s a normal weight. I thought it was girls who got eating disorders, not boys? Andrew Radford, CEO of the eating disorders charity Beat (beateatingdisorders.org.uk), says: “Eating disorders can affect anyone, regardless of gender or age. Stereotypically, eating disorders are seen as a ‘female disease’ and we work hard to discourage this misunderstanding. “Researchers suggest that at least 1.25 million people in total are affected by eating disorders in the UK, and up to 25% of them might be male. Beat’s helpline receives calls from across the UK from males experiencing an eating disorder, but also many calls from people calling about others they’re worried about, particularly from mums worried about their sons. “If people call our helpline on 0808 801 0677 (or 0808 801 0711 for the youthline), they’ll speak to a trained support worker experienced in listening and talking to people in similar situations. Eating disorders are complex - there’s no one single reason why someone develops one. Becoming obsessive about food as well as changes in moods can be the signs that a person is developing an eating disorder. Someone with an eating disorder may also experience other mental or physical health issues at the same time as their eating disorder. Sometimes these can play a role in the eating disorder developing, or they may develop alongside or because of it. “Despite evidence showing the sooner someone gets treatment, the more likely they are to make a full and fast recovery, it takes an average of three years before someone developing eating disorder symptoms seeks treatment for their mental health illness. The best first step if you’re worried about anyone you think might have an eating disorder is to encourage them to speak to their doctor as soon as they can, and to assure them they are not alone with their illness.”
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Healthy & Happy Kids
LISA FAULKNER ENCOURAGES HEALTHY SNACKING The actress, mum and chef is championing the message “Look for 100 calorie snacks, 2 a day max”. Balance the unhealthy stuff Lisa says Billie doesn’t pester her for snacks too often, but explains: “When she does, we work to the rule of balance. So she’s allowed to have a naughtier snack, like an iced bun for example, on one day, but then the next day she’ll have to have a healthier snack instead.” The actress - whose EastEnders character Fi Browning has just made a dramatic exit from the TV soap - stresses how important eating healthy snacks is, however time-pressed parents are. “We have such busy lifestyles these days, and it’s easy to just grab unhealthy snacks on the go. But when many of these snacks can be very sugary, it has a real impact on our health and can make children overweight. When it comes to snacks, as a parent I’ve found that the more prepared you are, the easier it is - although I know this can be difficult. It’s really important to help children learn healthy habits and educate kids to be healthy in their lifestyles, which doesn’t just mean eating healthily but also staying active, getting out and about with them, as well as making sure they take part in after school clubs etc.”
Healthy special offers
s a Celebrity MasterChef winner and mum, actress Lisa Faulkner is more aware than most of how important healthy food is for children. And healthy food doesn’t just mean eating well at mealtimes, it means eating healthy snacks too. Lisa, 45, whose daughter Billie is 11, says: “I know how easy it can be to give your children snacks based on convenience, but many of them may be packed full of sugar.” She’s highlighting a serious issue. At the moment, around half of children’s sugar intake - about seven sugar cubes a day - comes from unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks, and on average, children are consuming three or four unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks a day. This means they’re having much more sugar than the recommended daily maximum of five cubes for four to six year olds and six cubes for seven to 10 year olds - fuelling obesity and dental decay. Now Lisa, who’s written three cookbooks since her MasterChef triumph in 2010 and is now the partner of the show’s presenter John Torode, is supporting a new Change4Life campaign promoting healthier snacks. Its message is that parents should ‘Look for 100 7 4 A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 8
calorie snacks, 2 a day max’. Lisa says following this new tip will “make it easier for me and other parents to choose healthier snacks for our children, and to give them less often”. Suggestions for tummy-filling snacks that would fit into the plan include a portion of homemade popcorn, an oatmeal cookie, a thin slice of malt loaf, a bowl of sugar-free jelly, one mini Babybel or a boiled egg.
Plenty of fruit and veg The ‘100 calorie snacks, 2 a day max’ tip applies to all snacks apart from fruit and vegetables, as children should be encouraged to eat a variety of these to achieve their 5-a-day. As well as giving children fruit to munch, other interesting fruit and veg snacks include things like vegetable sticks with low-fat hummus, or fruit kebabs. Eating plenty of fruit and veg isn’t a problem for Lisa and Billie. “We’ve always eaten lots of fruits and vegetables at home - we cut up carrots and peppers to have with dips or have wedges of banana and apple with peanut butter,” says Lisa. “Because we’ve been having these healthy snacks for a long time now, it’s become my daughter’s natural instinct to choose a healthier option. As she’s growing she’s constantly hungry, so I’m very glad she enjoys fruits and vegetables to snack on.”
As part of the Change4Life campaign, parents will be given special offers on a range of healthier snacks, including fruit and vegetables at selected supermarkets. They can also get money off vouchers to try healthier snack options, including malt loaf, lower sugar fromage frais, and drinks with no added sugar. Parents can also download Change4Life’s improved Food Scanner app, which shows how many calories, sugar, saturated fat and salt are in popular snacks.
Showing a healthy relationship with food to kids
After growing up as an anxious eater herself, she knows how easy it can be for unhealthy habits to set in. It took Cherry Healey 30 years to achieve a relaxed relationship with eating. words: prudence wade
he TV presenter has worked on various food-related shows over the years, like Inside The Factory and Britain’s Favourite Supermarket Foods, but for most of her life, food was a source of anxiety for the now-37-year-old. It is, of course, something many people will relate to - from being overwhelmed by pictures of the so-called ‘perfect bodies’ (read: skinny), to feeling the pressure to try the latest fad diets (which, more often than not, aren’t sustainable and can even be damaging to your mental and physical health). Now that Healey is older and wiser, she doesn’t want her own two children to grow up with the same feelings around food that she had. Her daughter Coco, and son Bear, are 4 and 8 respectively, and Healey is on a mission to help them foster a healthy attitude towards food.
The damage of diet culture “When I was growing up, I really got into the diet cycle,” Healey confesses. “I tried everything - all the diet foods full of weird chemicals. They had the most amazing list of ingredients, just like something out of a science-fiction film. “My weight was really difficult to control, I was miserable, I hated food, and I was never full or satisfied,” she adds. Turning 30 proved to be a big turning-point. “I decided to stop being scared of real food, and ate proper, nutritious food,” she recalls. It might sound like a no-brainer, but for Healey, this was a big shift - but one that ended up making her feel so much better. “I got full, I had more energy, and I didn’t have to eat as much because my brain was getting the message that it was satisfied,” she explains, of how things changed once her approach to eating shifted. “Now I eat things like cheese and pasta,” she adds with a giggle. “Which my 20-year-old self wouldn’t have believed!”
Looking out for ‘hidden nasties’ Now that Healey has stopped eating food that’s packed full of chemicals, she wants the same for her children. Much to her surprise, a lot of the snacks she’s been buying have a whole host of hidden nasty ingredients in them. “I’m really keen to have good, wholesome food,” she says. “Your body shouldn’t have loads of unusual chemicals in it, and I want the same for my kids - I want them to love food and not be pumped full of salt, flavourings and everything artificial.” Salt has been a particularly thorny issue in Healey’s quest for healthy snacks. “The amount of salt in some children’s snacks is staggering,” she says in disbelief. “If your kid is having that, it’ll blow their heads off, and all the other food you’re making will seem incredibly bland to them.”
Food shouldn’t be a point of anxiety Healey knows how damaging an unhealthy relationship with food can be. “I don’t want food to become a point of anxiety for my children,” she says. “Food should be a nice, lovely thing - not an
emotional crutch. If my children fall over, then I give them a big hug and lots of love, instead of them going to the sweetie jar. I don’t placate them with snacks or sweets. I don’t want them to grow up association emotions with food.”
The importance of the word ‘full’ Growing up, many of us remember being forced to always finish all the food on our plates. However, this is not something Healey believes in now that she’s a mother herself. “I use the word ‘full’ a lot in our house,” she says. “I never, ever make them eat once they say they’re full. I think that’s quite different to my mum’s generation, where there was a real thing about eating everything on your plate, but then you push yourself past fullness.” Healey is working on helping her kids recognise when they’re full, and then stopping eating. She believes eating past this point is when children can develop a tricky - and potentially damaging - relationship with food. “I’ve learned so much about the word ‘full’,” she explains. “It’s all about eating proper food and allowing yourself to eat to the point that you’re full, but not beyond. When I’m full, I don’t need to snack - I won’t come down and raid the bread drawer or eat four bowls of cereal at midnight and then regret it.” Cherry Healey has partnered with baby and toddler food brand Organix to launch a nationwide junk-busting campaign. Join the debate on social media and share what you find with the hashtag #FoodYouCanTrust. A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 8 7 5
A little more than you were expecting? Leading consultant vascular surgeon Michael Gaunt looks at the development of varicose veins during pregnancy
aricose veins are very common. In fact, up to 20 percent of the population has varicose veins and many women first develop or notice varicose veins during pregnancy. Unfortunately, broken veins and spider veins are also very common with some women developing swollen ankles and suffering from poor circulation. “Weight fluctuations and hormone changes during pregnancy, may have an impact on the development and symptoms of varicose veins and thread veins” The good news is that varicose veins do not affect your baby, and most certainly do not put your unborn child at risk. However, they can be troublesome with on-going symptoms, often worse at night and increasing as the pregnancy reaches full term. Why am I susceptible to Varicose Veins during pregnancy? As your baby grows and the uterus enlarges, it adds increased pressure onto the principal vein on the right side of your body, significantly escalating the pressure on the leg veins. With the increase of blood during pregnancy, progesterone levels rise, promoting the walls of your blood vessels to relax. Your body has to work harder to return blood back to your heart; a significant factor for blood in your leg veins working against gravity. 7 6 A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 8
What causes varicose veins? Varicose veins are caused by weaknesses in veins’ valves which prevent blood flowing properly between each of the vessels. If a one-way valve fails to let the blood through efficiently, the blood gets stored in the veins near the surface of the skin. This makes the vein expand, causing it to twist and protrude; presenting as a lumpy raised deep blue or red vein. Symptoms of varicose veins can include: • Aching, tired or heavy feeling in your legs • Painful throbbing, muscle cramping and swelling in your lower legs • Worsened pain after sitting or standing for a long time • Restless legs, especially at night • Persistent leg itching • Skin discolouration around the ankles Don’t ignore symptoms With busy family lifestyle’s many of us choose to ignore the onset of symptoms, and cover-up unsightly veins with layers of clothes. Symptoms develop very slowly over years and you may be unaware that the changes in your legs are due to varicose veins.
Self Help - recommendations • Keep moving to improve blood circulation • Try and manage your weight gain during pregnancy • Stretch and change your posture regularly • Try standing for some tasks • Wear support tights – compression tights help boost blood flow reducing blood pooling in the legs • Eat a balanced diet to reduce the risk of haemorrhoids (varicose veins in the rectum) Concerned you may need treatment? Book a mini consultation for just £95 and talk directly to Mr Michael Gaunt, Consultant Vascular Surgeon. The latest treatments can be performed under local anaesthetic as a walk-in, walk-out procedure and are recommended procedures after the birth. For more information on treatments visit: www.michaelgaunt.com Harley Street, London 01223 305858 Spire Norwich Hospital 01603 255574 BMI Bury St Edmunds Hospital 01223 305858 Spire Lea Cambridge 01223 266990 Nuffield Health Cambridge: 01223 370922 Private Secretaries: 01223 305858
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They want Disney You Want Longevity… Finding the balance in children’s room décor – here’s what the experts say! Arthouse Mermaid Wallpaper currently £11.89
Funky Flower rug – currently £132
ife’s often a compromise – and most parents agree that parenthood involves a LOT of negotiation (some would say bribery!) This is frequently the case when it comes to decorating a child’s bedroom. They see the latest Emojis or Disney characters emblazoned on a duvet and mum or dad’s heart sinks. Adults want a clean, organised and coordinated space that aids restful sleep. Kids are all about the fun with a kaleidoscope of clashing colours and all their favourite characters thrown in for good measure So how do you solve the children’s room interior design dilemma? Experts at three leading home interest brands share their thoughts on how to please EVERYONE and how to create a room that will see tots to through to teens. Interiors Expert, Lorna McAleer from window blinds brand Style Studio says: “Finding a middle ground between how children want their rooms decorated and something that will see them through to tween years can be a balancing act – and constantly redecorating and replacing children’s interiors is an expensive business too. By the time they reach 11, it’s predicted that most preteen’s rooms will have been redecorated three times according to their changing tastes and needs as they grow. In consumer research we carried out1, duvet covers are found to be the most replaced item most frequently, lasting on average a couple of years,
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followed by rugs, curtain or blinds and then wall art. Wardrobes are the item least often changed in a children’s room. And most parents cited ‘characters’ as their least favourite thing about their children’s room decor, followed by ‘stuffed toys’ and ‘gaudy colours’. But it is easy to combine practicality with personality, as well as creating a room everyone will love for years.” Alex Whitecroft, Head of Design at www.iwantwallpaper.co.uk talks choosing wallpaper to last: “Designing a room for a child is one of the most exciting projects to undertake when updating homes,” says Alex. “It’s a place to have fun and let the imagination run wild, but that doesn’t have to mean tasteless. To indulge their latest obsession without going overboard, incorporate a feature wall. It’s much more economical to cover/recover just one wall and will keep the busy decor to a minimum. Self-adhesive borders are another great way of introducing a theme without it looking tacky (even if the sticky side feels it!) Borders are a semi-permanent update, there’s no need for messy pasting and they’re quick/ easy to remove! Another tip is to choose patterns that a child won’t outgrow. Stripes are a great choice; they’re suitable for any age and can be easily updated with accessories without the need to redecorate
Cut out star rug from £119
Town Scene rug from £149
ARTHOUSE Earn Your Stripes Striped Wallpaper- £12.99 per roll,
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makes them a good investment from the start. It’s possible to introduce brightly coloured blinds that we know kids will love without a room looking garish, keep walls white or mix in some mellow shades (like sage green) throughout the room as a compromise.” * 1079 consumers were surveyed using online research techniques in January 2018
the entire space. They’re also gender neutral for siblings sharing. Chevrons are another on-trend and adaptable pattern that will last for years.” Extend the life of kids’ carpets with a rug. Comment from Daniel Prendergast, Design Director at The Rug Seller “Little ones spend a lot of time playing on the floor and with spillages a certainty (think glitter, make-up, slime, crayons and a whole host of hard to remove stain-makers) when it comes to their bedrooms, rugs are a must-have to protect carpets. A rug is an economical way of extending the life of children’s carpets, which can cost hundreds of pounds to replace. Luckily our children’s ranges are amongst the most affordable, so they can be switched easily without breaking the bank. I’d advise to throw in some colour and make a design statement with a rug in a child’s room. Make the most of floor space with a multifunctional rug that encourages imaginative play, Be it a town scene with roads to drive toy cars along, a pirate’s map to explore and search for buried treasure or a giant game of snakes and ladders these comfy rugs combine as playmats, some are washable for extra hygiene.”
“A rug is an economical way of extending the life of children’s carpets, which can cost hundreds of pounds to replace”
Kingfisher roller blinds start prices start at £78 all from www. stylestudio.co.uk
Style Studio’s interiors expert Lorna McAleer on window blinds that look great and aid sleep! www.stylestudio.co.uk “Where a child’s room should be stimulating and celebrate their individuality, it also needs to have practical features to support a good night’s sleep. Blinds are one such feature and blackout blinds are a great choice for kids’ rooms. Similarly, Style Studio’s revolutionary Hive® blinds are made with an insulating honeycomb structure that blocks or retains heat (depending on the temperature outside) and ensures an ambient temperature within the room – very important for children’s sleep. There are blackout options on many fabrics to ensure the little ones can drift off to sleep easily, even during the lighter evenings. By choosing plain, neutral coloured or non-age specific blinds, you can change the décor without having to update blinds – which A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 8 7 9
SAM AND BILLIE FAIERS ON
INSPIRING WORKING MUMS AND THE PITFALLS OF SOCIAL MEDIA Tears, tantrums, holidays - The Mummy Diaries is a no-holds-barred look at the lives of sisters Sam and Billie Faiers. Georgia Humphreys finds out more from the former Towie stars about sharing their experiences of motherhood with the world.
am and Billie Faiers’ latest TV venture The Mummy Diaries is a long way from their The Only Way Is Essex (Towie) roots. These days the blonde duo, who became household names on the long-running reality show, are more likely to be changing nappies and organising play dates than partying in the famed Sugar Hut. The glamorous siblings are getting used to their new roles. Sam, who is mum to two-year-old Paul and three-month-old Rosie, has been the star of The Mummy Diaries for two successful series. But this, the third run, is the first time Billie (mum to Nelly, three, and Arthur, 12 months) will take a leading role. Here, the chatty Brentwood-born stars take us through their ever-changing experience of motherhood.
ON INSPIRING OTHER WORKING MUMS...
ON BECOMING A MUM FOR THE SECOND TIME...
From big decisions about their business ventures, to home water births, to Billie’s wedding plans (she’s engaged to businessman Greg Shepherd), there’s no holding back when it comes to what the Faiers discuss and show on screen. “People always ask, ‘It must be stressful?’” says Sam of opening up her new Hertfordshire home to the cameras. “But it’s allowing us to work, have an income but then still be mums and spend time with our family. That’s what’s so attractive for me. “And at the end of it, it gives us an amazing home movie to have forever.”
In the first episode of the new series, viewers will see Sam talk openly about her nerves ahead of her new baby arriving. How did she find the adjustment in the end? “I mean, it did throw me,” admits the 27-year-old, who met her partner, property developer Paul Knightley, three years ago. “The first month was hard, I didn’t really leave the house at all. You think, ‘How am I ever going to get through it?’ But you do. “I’m getting the hang of it now and I think in another three months, it will be even easier.” 8 0 A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 8
The sisters have a huge fan base - Sam describes the experience of how excited people were to find out Rosie’s name (they revealed it a month after she was born) as “overwhelming”. But even though they’re in the spotlight, the down-to-earth mums want their fans to find The Mummy Diaries relatable. “We want people to see that we don’t have nannies, and extra help; we’re just doing it ourselves,” says 28-year-old Billie, who is no stranger to the show, having made guest appearances in previous series. “OK, we might do photoshoots instead of going to a normal office job, but you’re still juggling having family, and life at home, and working.”
ON FILMING THE SHOW...
“We want people to see that we don’t have nannies, and extra help; we’re just doing it ourselves”
ON BEING THERE FOR ONE ANOTHER... The outgoing duo admit they’re more than happy to be opinionated with each other: “When it’s your sibling, you should be able to say how you feel,” as Sam puts it. But the best bit about their relationship, both on and off screen, is how obvious it is that they love spending time together. “This weekend, Mum and Samantha came and stayed at mine. I cooked them dinner,” says Billie, who appeared in Towie from 2011 until 2016. “It was nice - when the kids went to bed, we were just chatting. People always say things like, ‘Do you want you time, or date night?’” chips in Sam. “We just like family time, all the time.”
ON SOCIAL MEDIA... With over a million followers each on Instagram, where the sisters regularly post adorable snaps and videos of their kids, the show isn’t the only way fans have an insight into the world of the Faiers. And Sam, who rose to fame at 19 after joining Towie, insists she doesn’t feel concerned about sharing so much of their lives on social media, even though she’s been the target of online trolls before. “I’m just really proud of my kids and you get such lovely pictures and you just want to share it,” she elaborates. “99% of the time, people are really nice and positive and happy, and I feel 1% of people can be negative. I just block and delete their comments,” she adds matter-of-factly. “I don’t even let them have the satisfaction of having people arguing with them on my page.”
ON FACING CRITICISM... One time social media does annoy the pair, however, is when people use it to share their opinions on how to parent. “Everyone thinks that they’re supermum, and that what they’re saying is right, but at the end of the day, it’s not,” declares Sam. Looking at her older sister, she continues ardently: “Every mum has their individual way of doing things - we’re not the same mum, are we? “We do things differently, but it works for Billie, and it works for me. So it’s really annoying when people come in and they’re judgemental.”
ON BEING BUSINESS WOMEN... When asked to name their favourite thing about doing The Mummy Diaries together, the savvy pair are refreshingly honest. As well as the benefits they’ve already touched upon, they hope it will help them grow their businesses - which include their Essex store Minnies Boutique, numerous other fashion and beauty collections, and online fitness websites. “We’ve entered a whole new market since having kids - the mum market,” shares Sam. “So it’s about growing our brand individually as families, and together as sisters. It’s going to open hopefully more doors to us in the future.” Billie turns to Sam, who she lovingly calls “Manth”, with a smile as she adds: “And obviously, everything we do, we always say to each other - it is for our kids.” A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 8 8 1
Photographing children in spring flowers
fter long dark winter nature bursts back to life with explosion of colour and sound. Nothing is so beautiful as spring and for many of us it is favourite time of the year. There is no better way to enjoy the vivid colours, sound of birds and intense scent of flowers and then outdoors and it’s a fantastic opportunity to capture beautiful portraits. Here are my tips how to take stunning pictures of your children outdoors: 1. Find spring flowers around you. You do not have to look for a field full of flowers, just a tiny patch is all what you need. The best place would be your local park or meadow, your garden or even your neighbour’s blossom tree with hanging branches. 2. Choose the time of day you photograph wisely. When looking for suitable outdoor light to take photos, keep in mind that the midday sun can be very harsh and will cast unflattering shadows. The best times of day are the early morning hours and the last hour before sunset. 3. Make it fun and spontaneous. Skip the “cheese”. Try to get some great action shots when your child is joyfully running in the grass or playing with friends. Children can only focus for a very
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short time and most of them simply will not be able follow complicated posing instructions. 4. Consider shooting perspective. The best way to capture a child’s world is to get down to their level. Do not shoot from a standing position. The moment you make pictures at your children’s eye level, you will start to make pictures that better capture their experience. 5. Avoid busy backgrounds. Always pay attention to distracting elements in the background of your shots, as well as any other unwanted details. For example, wipe your child’s face after having a snack and make sure that the hands and feet are visible in whole body portraits. 6. The child’s styling. When photographing children in flowers, it is important that the colour of the flowers works with their clothing. Loud or patterned clothing might distract the eye and take attention away from the subject. Whatever your ultimate creative goal, keep in mind that kids feel more relaxed in casual, comfortable clothing rather than formal wear. I hope you found my tips useful and manage to capture some gorgeous photos of your children in the spring flowers. Please feel free to share your favourite Spring photos of your child with me – I would love to see them!
THE DETAILS Anna Resner is Founder of Little Bunny Photography specialising in natural and lifestyle family and children photography. www.littlebunnyphotography.com email@example.com 074 1146 4477 Contact Anna now to book your family Mini Bluebell Session
Yummy Mummy April/May 2018 Quality parenting Magazine 2018