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Real Life

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Worried mum: “I was embarrassed about his bed wetting.” Confession Time Mother of all miraclescancer mum pregnant again. Hello with Harvey One mums trauma

Is breast best? Designer shopping on eBay. My epidural paralysed my body. A-Z Summer guide.

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Life & Body Get that summer body Shape Up Eat Up


Baby Boutique

Life & Style Mum’s wishlist Confide in Claire School run style


Style Radar Beauty Insider

Cute kid of the week


Mummy Makeover

Get Koutney’s sexy bump look

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eing a mum is the most fantastic, emotional, yet difficult thing a woman can experience. It changes you and makes you realise what is truly important in life. In this week’s issue we speak to some mums who have had some pretty tough times - one during labour and one when her baby was born. It really made me think as much as I moan about how tired I am, and how much housework I do, being a parent makes everything worthwhile and we should all treasure our children forever. Being a mum maybe hard work but it doesn’t mean you can’t look good while doing it delve in to our summer loving style radar pages to keep up with what’s hot and what’s not. Kourtney Kardashian and Tori Spelling show us how to make your pregnancy sexy, making your bump look good. Also when the kids aren’t at school we always try and think of things to do with them. In our A-Z of summer it gives fashion advice as well as fun things to do with the kids. So put your feet up, put the hoover away and enjoy Closer Mums.

Nikki Burton, Editor Follow me on twitter: @Nikki_closermums 5 17/05/2012 11:39



atie Redhead fell pregnant by accident and found it scary enough to be having her first child at 20. But then she found out that there was something seriously wrong with her unborn baby, and that her troubles were only just beginning … “I never thought about having children at a young age, I always thought I’d have them when I was older. But when I fell pregnant me and my partner Adam were over the moon we couldn’t wait to start our family. As I lay on the hospital bed for the first scan, my heart was pounding. I was nervous but excited, just minutes away from seeing my baby for the very first time. As the nurse rubbed the ultrasound gel on my stomach I could see her face looking slightly confused, and I blurted out: ‘What’s the matter?’ She replied: ‘It looks like your baby’s abdominal wall hasn’t fully developed,’ and I got an awful knot in the pit of my stomach. She didn’t tell me much more - just that the abdominal wall around the organs had still not developed but that sometimes it can develop slower so I was asked to come back for another scan when I was about 13 weeks days felt like years it was awful just waiting around. My heart was racing when I went back in for the scan. As I watched the screen, I was praying for everything to be OK. But the midwife paused, then told me the worst. The abdominal wall had still not developed, and she went to get a doctor to explain it. He told me gently: ‘Normally the abdominal wall completely closes around a baby’s organs as they develop. But your baby has gastroschisis, where there’s a hole in the muscles and skin that cover the abdomen. ‘It affects 1 to 2 in 10,000 children and it’s more common in babies who have younger mothers. We don’t know the cause of it.’It got worse. In gastroschisis, a

hole remains to one side of the umbilical cord. The baby’s intestine, stomach and sometimes other organs poke through this hole, leaving them outside the baby’s body at birth. By this point I was in complete shock and my head was all over the place. I didn’t really know what was happening or what to say, all I could stammer was, ‘Will my baby be OK?’ The doctor told me that when the baby was born they would need to have an operation to place the protruding organs back into the hole and apply a belly band pressure until the wound healed. I would be transferred to a big hospital in nearby Newcastle. I was heartbroken, in fact, and all I could think was, ‘Why my baby? What have I done wrong? Will my baby survive?’ I had a scan every month to keep an eye on my baby, then twice a week. The turning point for me came at my 24-week scan when we found out we were having a little girl. We were over the moon and finally excitement was setting in after all this time. But when the time came to go into hospital to give birth - two weeks earlier than my due date, to cut down the risk – the nerves came back. Even worse when I was told to go home and come back the next day as a baby with the same problem had been bought in, in the middle of the night. So off home we went for another sleepless night. I felt sick with fear the next day when we went back and hospital staff strapped me to monitors and tried to induce labour. It didn’t work so we had to start all over again the next day. Finally my waters were broken and

“I felt sick with fear” my partner was over the moon as this meant our baby would be born on the 11th November, his birthday. I had two midwives with me constantly, and a doctor and two paediatricians got an incubator ready in the delivery room. When my baby girl’s heart rate plummeted, doctors had to use forceps to help get her out. I knew she was here because her daddy started crying - he made up for her not being able to. I was over the moon, my beautiful baby girl AvaJo had finally arrived. But my euphoria was short-lived. The paediatricians took her and put her in the incubator, where all I could

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Ava-Jo just hours after her op,left

see was this mop of jet black hair and a plastic bag with her bowels inside.All I wanted to do was hold her and give her a big kiss, but I couldn’t as they took her away. I didn’t know what was going to happen from this moment on, not even whether she was going to survive. An hour later they brought her back. I only got to see her for a minute. They gave me two photos they had taken of her, and then said they were going to do the operation. I was taking to the ward which was so hard as all the mothers had their babies with them. They put me in a room on my own round the corner and it was the most sleepless night I’ve ever had. All I could hear was babies crying yet I still hadn’t even heard my own baby cry. The next morning I couldn’t walk so I had to wait for Adam to come down to wheel me to intensive care to finally meet my little girl. It was horrible going in and seeing her so helpless lying in the incubator with all these wires out of her and this little bag full of a green brown liquid which her insides were full of. All I was allowed to do was touch her hand. In all, it was six days before we got to hold her. Even that was scary because of all the wires and I was afraid I’d break her, she was so

little. Finally after being in intensive care for two weeks she was moved to a ward, still all wired up but I was happy as I got to stay in the room with her. Ava-Jo was allowed her first taste of - a syringe with 2mls of special milk - but she had a really bad reflux system and couldn’t handle it. Doctors were worried as she was losing weight and decided to put a tube in AvaJo’s head. It was horrible, they shaved the side of her hair and put the tube in as she screamed. I just wanted to take her. But Ava-Jo gradually started putting a bit of weight on, and on Christmas Eve doctors said we could take her home for two nights. I was over the moon as I put her little coat on and placed her in her car seat. It was lovely to be in our house as the little family we were meant to be. That night I just lay there watching her, and having our little princess with us on Christmas Day made it the best day ever. But our ordeal wasn’t over yet. Ava-Jo had to go back in on Boxing Day. Her weight went up and down and she still vomited all the time. Days turned into weeks until 4th March when I finally got to take my little miracle home. The whole thing was terrifying. It broke my heart seeing my little girl so helpless going through so much and there was nothing I could do about it. Most days I was depressed just sitting there watching her. But she was my little miracle and she come through it all, and now she’s a happy, healthy toddler, running round with a big grin on her face and you’d never know she’d been ill. Looking back, it was a lot to cope with when you’re 20. It would be stressful for any mother, never mind a young mother having her first child, and I think I would have coped better if I’d been older and more experienced. I’m so glad I have Ava Jo now she is the sunshine in my life and it has made me appreciate her more if thats possible, but its made me think twice about having any more children I think it will take me a while before I do.

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“I was embarrassed to tell people about his bed wetting problem” Bed wetting is common. Surprisngly it’s a lot more common than most parents imagine affecting about five to seven million children in the UK. Here Gemma Ranft, 30 tells us her story about her son Elijah, 6 who has bed wetting problem. Hi Gemma, tell us about Elijah’s bed wetting issue: Elijah has always been a fast developer in emotional areas like speech and comprehension, however he’s always been a slow developer in the physiological developments; he didnt walk until he was almost 2 and wasn’t potty trains until he was over 3. Every night Elijah goes to bed without a nappy on and I have to wake him up about 2 hours after he goes to bed to go for a wee. Even this still doesn’t ensure he wont wet during the night. Has he ever been dry through the night? Elijah has never been dry at night, he is now 6 and a half and cannot wake himself up to go to he toilet during the night. What was potty training him like? Difficult! He just wasn’t interested in potty training at all, we tried everything, but in the end he wasn’t ready. Kids do things and learn things when they’re ready, not when we want them to. I just had to be very patient and consistent with him, and we got there in the end. What sort have things have you tried to stop it happening? We tried all sorts of tactics; no drinks after 6pm, waking him once in the night, sometimes twice, reminding him to go to toilet during the day to make sure he wasn’t storing it but nothing seemed to work. The fact was that he slept too deeply to wake himself up to go the loo. When did you realise it was a serious problem and what action did you take? When he was 5 and he still wasn’t having any dry nappies in the morning, I took him to the doctors. They tested him for urine infections and diabetes, both were clear. The doctor advised to carry on with waking him up at night for a wee, and to come back to see him when he turned 6 if things hadn’t changed. We went back when he was 6 and asked for a bed wetting alarm which fits as a mat on his bed and makes an alarm noise at the first signs of urine. We are now waiting for an alarm to be delivered. How do you feel about his bed wetting? At first I was embarrassed to tell people about it as all my friends and families children had outgrown the bed wetting stage much quicker than Elijah but I realised everyone is different and its not an issue in our house, I just want to help him and now I see it as just something that needs sorting, especially as he at the age where friends are starting to have sleepovers.

Ask the expert

Childrens NHS Nurse, Sally Bolam’s Top Tips... 1) Reassure your child that it’s not their fault and they won’t be punished for wetting the bed. 2) Offer small sips of drinks from 4pm, and nothing at all to drink one and a half hours before bedtime, 3) If the problem is quite serious ask your GP for an alarm, this is triggered by moisture so they can get up and go to the loo.

How does he feel about his bed wetting? He seems ok about it, not too embarrassed, more worried about making a mess. 4) If your child wets the bed ask them But lots of reassurances that it’s not his fault are just what is needed.

to help you change the bedding but Do you think he will grow out of it? remember to stay sympathetic with Yes, definitely. I think he’s Just a slow developer, he’ll get there no matter how long them. it takes we will do it together. I will just keep reassuring him that it’s not his fault so he doesn’t feel too bad about it.

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CONFESSION TIME Got some shocking or funny stories about the kids? Get it off your chest and share it with other “I was in B & Q with my grandson when i heard a little voice shout nana come and wipe my bum. He was having a poo on the “I was at the school gate talking show toilet, I was mortified!” Rebecka ice walk had a n so we y o b y ttle nny da d my li o “Me an ps, it was a su got in t s e w n o e h h s ing .W to the ll my th : t home a a t r u a p c e left the he helped m he lady aid to t s p o e ish h h s n e th say I w o ter the t n ir u a o F c leave round. on the u’re so t day to o a y h t w r o a “W he c taken t e. we had h Mic ell !” r e k quic

to all the other mums and my little boy decided to blurt about in the middle of our conversations about one of his friends, mam did you know Simon hasn’t got a daddy?” Stacey.

I took my little girl in to the changing room with me as soon as I had my clothes off to try a new dress she opened the door and ran away so I was running round “I was in the supermarket when we saw an old man in a wheelchair.As we walked past him the shop in my underwear. Katie. my five year daughter shouted: “Mummy look at the old guy on wheels.” We didn’t get much in the trolley after that, it was straight to the checkout!” Ashleigh.

“My twin boys told their teacher that me and their mum had tried to cut their leg off with an axe. We were only trying to cut their toenails.” Fay.

eye et has an e r t s r u o n “A man in n calls him Captai o s es patch. My ime he se t y r e v e row Jack Spar rrine. him!” Co

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Mother of all miracles After being told she would never have kids at the age of three Zara Blackburn speaks out about her fight with her cancer battle and falling pregnant the second time round.


hen Zara Green was just three years old she began feeling poorly on and off and complaining of a slight pain in one side of her stomach. One day her tummy had swollen on one side so her mother, Julie Green , took her to the local doctors surgery where they become quite concerned so they began to do a lot of blood tests. The results eventually came back which diagnosed Zara with a Wilms tumour, a form of cancer in the kidneys. Zara was given immediate chemotherapy at the Newcastle Royal Infirmary hospital , where she then underwent a major five hour operation to remove her left kidney on which the aggressive tumour was found. However Zara then had a serious reaction to the chemotherapy she was given which then made her go in to a deep coma for seven days. Her terrified parents Julie and Ray, were devastated and doctors even told them she may not make it as she was bleeding internally from most of her major organs. The doctors then went on to tell her parents that if Zara did make it out of the coma that the chemotherapy may have made her infertile. Zara eventually emerged from her life threatening coma, on the seventh day she began to come around asking for her “Mummy” and started gradually making major progress . After recovering fully a few months later she was back to her usual boisterous self her mum Julie, was relived. Zara’s parents had always spoken to her about her operation and been honest from the outset that she may be infertile. Zara says:“ My mum had always told me from being young that the chemotherapy may have made me infertile and that I may not be able to have children of my own. It was just something we would have to come to terms with if it wasn’t possible.” There followed years of hospital visits and check

ups but Zara finally went on to lead a perfectly normal life .She then met her partner Robert Blackburn at the age of 17 and Zara says: “ I told Robert that I may not be able to have children and he totally accepted that , but it always plagued in the back of mind that what if it did bother him?” . However after two years together Zara discovered she was in fact pregnant her mum Julie Green says:

“We just assumed Zara wouldn’t have any children of her own and that one day she may even adopt”

“ We just always assumed Zara wouldn’t have any children of her own and that one day she may even adopt. So when we found out she was pregnant we were ecstatic we were both in floods of tears for days.” Zara then went on to give birth to her son Keiron Blackburn on April 1, 2006. Zara was over joyed when she had given birth to her little boy , she had always believed she could never have children so she saw him as her miracle baby. After a while she got used to being a parent and went back to work at Procter and Gamble in 2007 and

carried on with her normal yet busy everyday life. In 2012 Zara then began getting funny pains in her

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Zara lost her hair when she had chemotherapy but still looked so cute.

stomach and began feeling really sick on a afternoon at work on a few occassions she even had to go home. At First she thought nothing of it and thought she had maybe ate something funny, or caught a tummy bug but it got more and more frequent so she made an appointment

at the doctors when she went along they did some blood test on her, given her cancer history. When the results came back the doctor told that she was pregnant AGAIN! Zara was in total shock she says : “ I think after falling pregnant once , the thought of falling pregnant again never entered my mind so it

totally come as a huge surprise I phoned Robert straight away and he was over the moon but just as shocked as me.” Zara has been going for regular check ups on herself and has recently found out they are expecting a little girl in May 2012. Zara adds: “ I’m so happy. I’m going to have my perfect little family complete with a gorgeous baby girl. From thinking I could never have any children to having one perfect boy and be expecting a girl is a miracle, I feel so blessed im still in shock Everyone should realise how precious life truly is because I certainly have, my life is complete and perfect.”

Wilms Tumour Symptoms • Abdominal pain. • Fever • Nausea and Vomiting. • Blood in the urine. • an abnormally large abdomen. • High blood pressure. (in some cases) • Swelling outside the abdomen. • Unusual pains throughout the body

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POST IT! Got something to say? Katie wants to hear from you! E-Mail us at : CLOSERMUMS@UKMEDIA.CO.UK


Your Debate

We asked, should children be banned from having a best friend at school? As some schools in London have done... EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT...

Alicia Silverstone

Actress Alicia Silverstone sent Twitter in to overdrive recently when she posted a video of her crazy baby feeding technique on to her website the kindlife. com where she chews food and then spits it in to her 10 month old Bear Blu’s mouth. We say regurgitating is best left to the birds Alicia.

Kids should be kids and show how they really feel in life and not keep their feelings bottled up. Lauren, Facebook It feels awful to be the only one without a best friend and to be singled out. Everyone should be known as close friends. Gemma, Facebook

I think children should have lots of friends and they should all be best friends, then no one feels left out. Alison, Facebook

I think there are more serious things going on the world than this I’ve had my best friend for almost 40 years from primary school. It is a lifelong relationship and always will be. Sarah, Facebook

NAME: Freya Shaw

AGE: 5 Month’s. LIKES: Watching cbeebies and dogs.

CUTIE of the week

DISLIKES: Juice and a blanket on her when she’s asleep.

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HELLO with Harvey Gilhespy


i guys, sick of listening to adults tell you what to do and what to wear and where to go ? Well that’s what I’m here for with my picks of the week and what ive been up to.

HARVEY LOVES... THE SUMMER Us kids love the summer, it’s the perfect chance for us to run around, play in the paddling pool and stay up a little later. You grown ups seem to love it too. Here are some of my favourite things to do in the sunshine.

Splash around Get the paddling pool out to stay cool and have fun.

Go On a bike ride I love going for long rides with my mam and dad we take a picnic along. My mam always makes me wear a helmet:’ “ better to be safe than sorry.” she always says that. Stay safe, you grown ups are always telling us little ones to apply our suncream , it will only spoil our fun in the sun if we get burnt so slap it on guys.

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WHAT I’VE BEEN UP TO ... This week I’ve been down to the beach with my family I loved it, I played pirates with my dad with my new sword and shield set . I love going to the beach when its sunny on the way home we all got an ice cream, mine was the biggest.


Heres a tip guys, while the bigger ones are reading tear this out and do the fun puzzles. Have fun.

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Is breast best ? Time Magazine’s breast feeding cover has recently provoked a strong reaction from the public. On the cover L.A. Mum Jamie Lynne Grumpet is shown breast feeding her almost 4-year-old son Closer Mums asks: Is breast best? Or is bottle feeding just as good?

Laura Bartram, 29, Says:



hroughout my pregnancy I had thought about breast feeding and bottle feeding but a few years ago I had one breast implant put in as I had uneven breasts, one was a lot smaller so doctors put an implant in to make it larger. I have a valve underneath that they can add or remove saline to make it the exact size, which I will have to have removed now it is exactly the way I wanted it. Despite this I have never wanted to breastfeed, I have always found it quite peculiar. I think it’s fantastic if you can do it but I couldn’t bring myself round to the thought. Then the option was taken out of my hands due to my prosthetic breast and I knew I would find it overwhelming using one breast. I feed Darcy on Cow and Gate for Hungry babies every three hours, she has a fantastic appetite. I find bottle feeding incredibly easy, she can be fed by family and friends and it’s not just me on demand at all times. You never know exactly how much your baby has taken when breast feeding, I like to be able to keep track of her feeding regime. That way I can sometimes tell if she is unwell or is upping her intake I think breastfeeding is an amazing thing we can do for our children and looking back I think I should have tried but it just wasn’t the right decision for me.Everyone is different but im so glad I bottle fed, she is a very happy and content baby. It is easier when you can have help Darcy can go and stay out one night to give me and Chris a night out or a break. I say each to their own but bottle feeding wins my vote. 18 magazine final project recent .indd 18

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Adele Hall, 32 Says:



have two gorgeous children Ava and Joshua; I had always wanted children from being really young it just felt so natural to me to have children of my own. Before I had my family I always led a healthy lifestyle. I looked after myself, I loved to eat organic food and made sure I was well exercised. When I had my children I realised that I had tried my best to give myself the best lifestyle so why shouldn’t I give it to them? When I first tried breastfeeding I instantly knew it was for me. My first baby Ava was a slow feeder to begin with and took her a while to latch on correctly. My midwife was a big support and showed me how to do it. I also got a lot of help and support from my health visitor along with the breastfeeding support group. My second baby Joshua, took to the breast very easily. Although I thought I would, I didn’t find breastfeeding painful at all it was a little tricky at first but it never hurt once. I think the media do a great job at promoting breast-feeding but I always knew I would breastfeed. I wanted to do it for a number of reasons, for me: It’s a great way to bond with your baby by having the skin to skin contact, it’s free, it’s always available, i.e. no making up feeds etc and it helps you get your figure back after having a baby. When my children are staying over night at their grandparents’ I express my breast milk and they have it through a bottle so its so easy. I would recommend breast feeding to anyone people are worried that your breasts change mine increased in size then returned to normal when I had finished. I would advise anyone to breasfeed but everyone is different.

Ask the expert... Breastfeeding Expert for NHS, Lesley Tait, says:

“Breast milk is the most natural food for your baby. Formula. However, if you are not comfortable with breastfeeding or are not able to breastfeed you can still give your baby a good start with formula milk.”

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Designer Shopping


e all know shopping for children is expensive with them falling over constantly putting holes in their trousers , scuffing their new shoes as soon as they get them, spilling red juice on their pants and getting awful grass stains down their fronts. So most parents begrudge buying their kids designer clothes for these simple reasons ,plus they are way over priced. One mum, has a quick, easy and cheap way to buy designer clothes for her son keeping him in all the latest trends for a fraction of the price. Ashley Marshall, 28 has always liked to look good she always buy’s her clothes from the most popular high street stores such as Topshop, River Island and H n M keeping up to date with all the latest trends and fashions. Ashley works for the local council part time and lives with her long term partner Richard Gilhespy, a bricklayer and her son Mason who she had in June 2007. When she had Mason she wanted him to look good but in a modern and fashionable way, as lets face it not many babies sport the knitted hat and cardigan look nowadays. Ashley would buy him Evisu jackets , Burberry baby sleep suits, even his vests were Gap everything he wore was designer from stores and boutiques like Avenue and Fenwick’s. Then Mason started to grow, and quick, so she would have to keep buying new clothes and he would only wear them a few times so they would be put in a box, put away and forgotten about, all that money spent on one item for him to wear only a handful of times to be put away to gather dust. She then started to realise that her

money was being wasted. Childrens designer clothes were’nt cheap just like adults. For a babies Evisu jacket it was at least £40, his timberland booties were £30 and he would only wear them a couple of times as he would keep growing so fast. Ashley then started shopping at high street stores like Next and Debenhams for Mason to save herself money,

“You will be surprised what people will buy.” as she was on maternity leave so every penny counted. She wanted to wait until Mason was older until he was at a steady height and weight before she bought anymore designer items. As Mason eventually got older she waned to get back into buying him more designer stuff as he was able to wear clothes for longer. Her friend at work then suggested she should use eBay to buy his designer items and still use the high-street for his none designer stuff like pants, and vests. So she set up an ebay account online and started to search for things she would usually buy in stores her first search was for a small boy’s Ralph Lauren Polo t-shirt which came up as ‘Buy it now’ and ‘New with tags’ for £14.99, she was totally shocked only a few weeks before she had bought mason one exactly the same from a department store for £40. She began searching for other things like Burberry round neck tops, which she had also bought for £39.99,

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on a Budget Style which came up for £20 she could buy two tops for the price of one. Ashley explains how she searches for an item: “ I tend search the designer I am looking for then refine it to gender, size new or used. Then pay with my pay pal account which is the only method of payment I use due to the excellent security they provide. If I am wanting to bid on something I tend to ‘watch’ an item first and wait for the last few hours of the item ending then bid , However I prefer the quicker ‘Buy it now’ option. ” Ashley has also started selling Mason’s designer babywear on eBay in an attempt to try and regain a little of the cash she spent on them in the first place. Ashley says: “ I find selling stuff on eBay really easy as I use the application on my IPhone.You

“I use the money I have made to buy new clothes for Mason, its a recycling process”

would be surprised how much you can actually make by selling things on eBay. Sometimes I use the money I have made to pay for new clothing for Mason so it is a recycling Process. I would recommend buying and selling on eBAy to anyone just make sure you are paying in a safe option such as Pay Pal.You will be surprised what people will buy and how very similar items are to those selling for double the price in designer shops. ebay is an American mulitinational online shopping and auction site set up in 1995 in which people, business’s and companies buy and sell a wide range of goods.

Mason in one of his designer buys off ebay

This week eBay bargains Baby unisex Burberry T-shirt/Jean set, Starting Bid: £10.50 P&P-£3.00

Boy’s Ralph Lauren polo top, Starting bid: £1.00 P&P-£1.50

Girls Armani dress, Starting Bid: £24.75 P&P-£8.00

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My epidural paralysed m

Emma Kitching could not wait to give birth. She was even excited for her labour as knew she was getting an epidural which would hopefully make it pain free but for Emma it was just the start of her problems.


t was around 6am, the streets were still in darkness, and the house was in silence when I suddenly woke up with a sharp stabbing pain in my side. I knew this was it - I knew it was my labour starting. I was already ten days over my expected date and was booked in to hospital in two days’ time to be induced. I was all organised and knew I wanted an epidural to cope with the pain, so I had no worries. What could possibly go wrong? I rushed in to my mum’s bedroom and woke her up. We got dressed, and waited for the pains to become more frequent as we knew we would only be sent home from hospital if we went now. By 11am I couldn’t take the pain any more so we left for the hospital. But when the nurses checked me I was only 1cm dilated and they sent me home again. I was really upset.The pain I was in was unbearable, and I couldn’t wait to have an epidural. Instead I went home, stuck a hot water bottle on my belly and tried to cope, pacing the floor constantly and squeezing a stress ball. At 2pm I couldn’t take it and went back to hospital. They said I was only 4cm dilated, but that I could stay in which was a huge relief. The nurse asked me what sort of pain relief I wanted and I almost shouted “epidural!” as the pain was unbearable. I waited 3

hours for the doctor to come along, and I was crying and feeling very weak. When he eventually came, it took a while as we had to wait till my contractions passed. He asked me to keep still as he was putting a needle in my spine, I kept as still as I could which wasn’t easy. I prepared to relax, but as soon as the epidural went in me I knew something went wrong. I started to get sharp shooting pains down my leg, then the next bit is a bit of a blur as I fainted. My mum said the midwife pressed the panic button and loads of medical professionals came running in - there were midwifes,

“I tried to talk but I couldn’t .I was paralysed and I started to panic I couldn’t breathe.”

an obstetrician, gynaecologists and anaesthetists. Next thing I knew I was lying flat on the bed with loads of people standing round me, unable to move any part of my body. I tried to talk but I couldn’t .. I was paralysed. I started to panic as I felt I couldn’t breathe. I tried to tell the midwife but no sound would come out of my mouth so I was miming it to her. She said I was breathing but because I was paralysed I couldn’t feel it. It was the worst feeling ever - I started crying and the tears rolling down my face was about the

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d my whole body only thing I could feel. My arms and legs wouldn’t that me and Brooke were fine, and I was so relieved I move, I felt helpless and was panicking about my baby. didn’t think about making a complaint. It’s one of those things that happen - I’m just glad me and Brooke The midwives stuck an oxygen mask on me because my were OK, in the end, and the staff in the hospital were blood pressure went really low. The midwife explained what lovely. It has put me off a little bit having children again, was happening;the epidural had been put up the wrong nerve but more the pain than the epidural! I’d rather have and instead of being paralysed from the waist down I was another epidural than go through the pain of labour. paralysed from the neck down.They kept spraying my arms with water to see if I was starting to get some feeling back. “My Arms and legs would’nt My mum was really upset. She thought I was going to die. But after a few hours I started to get some sensation back in my arms and was able to move them. Another few hours passed and my epidural had completely worn off. It was 1am, I was 10cm dilated and the pain was well and truly back – but I didn’t care! I was so relieved, and I was pushing so I had something to concentrate on now. After almost two hours more, my baby girl finally arrived. I was just so tired and emotional because it had been about 22hours, and I was still in shock from the epidural She weighed 8lb5 which is a big baby considering how small I am, and I called her Brooke.

move I felt helpless and was panicking about my baby”

I got sent up to the maternity ward and stayed over for one night, so they could monitor my body. I had horrendous headaches through the night and they asked me to stay in for a few more days but after my experience I didn’t want to I just wanted to get home and start being a mum to my little girl. But after about two days at home my headaches became really bad – so bad I couldn’t stand up to make bottles. The midwife said I needed to go back to hospital straight away. The consultant saw me and told me I was suffering from “post Dural puncture” which is a severe headache caused by an epidural. When the needle is given, it sometimes passes through a sack in the spine called a Dura which holds fluid called cerebro spinal fluid. If it leaks out through the hole in the sac it causes really bad headaches. I needed a blood patch, which is where blood is taken from your arm and injected through the back to clot to form a plug to stop the leak. I was absolutely terrified, after all I’d been through, but he said it would take about week for the headache to resolve itself and I couldn’t wait that long. The consultant said it should really be done in theatre but he would do it in the delivery room with sterile equipment. I had to lie on my side again and get a small tube in my spine, then he took some blood from my arm and pushed it through the tube in my spine. I stayed in the delivery suite overnight while midwives looked after Brooke for me. The next morning my headache had gone. After

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Everything from clothes to wear to places to go for you and the kid’s this summer 27 magazine final project recent .indd 27

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A-Z Summer must haves

Aztec Prints

For you and the kids From kid’s clothe’s and mum’s fashion, to days out , toys and things to do, this guide gives you the essential must haves for everyone this summer.

Everything is going tribal this summer. Stand out in the crowd in this aztec suntop, Topshop, £26



Don’t just watch it on the telly get outside and play it with your mates, partners and the kids, its a great and fun way of excercising too .

Beach Cupcakes

Baking cupcakes is fun and messy activity which you get a scrumptious treat out of doing.


Kids love going to the good old beach, take a ball and a picnic. It’s a great way to burn some of that energy

Dungarees Keep cool this summer in these vintage dungarees from Topshop £38.00

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Embellishment Make the sun sparkle off everything this summer like this embellished shoulder dress from Topshop, £40


Take the kid’s in the park, or in the garden for a good kick a round.




Great for children and adults for that cool summer look

From feathers to ruffles to lace, it’s time to embrace your feminine side. Grab this from River Island now for £35.00

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J Jumpsuits Jump start your wardrobe with a super stylish all in one. Get this one from ASOS, ÂŁ30.00

Ice Cream Take the kids for an ice cream as a treat or have fun making different flavours at home.


Kite Get back to basics , go and fly a kite, its a great way to make use of the wind and burn off calories.


Lazy Day It’s the weekend.Leave the housework and put a DVD on.

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Moshi Monsters These are al the rage at the moment the kids love them, you can adopt them.There’s a whole family to collect.




Neon Nails Keep bang on trend with these fabulous neon nail varnishes.

Get the neighbours round for a bbq for the olympics team GBR!


Peplum Be bang on trend with the peplum dress, perfect for summer weddings

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Queen’s Jubilee


Keep fit and have fun on a sunny day. Get the neighbours and the kids in the garden for a good old game of rounders.

Have a BBQ, or a garden party with the friends and family. Celebrate the Queen in style.


Swimming Whether it’s getting the paddling pool in the garden or going to the baths, kids and adults love to swim.




Tent Kids love to use their imagination so either use a bedsheet in the garden or go real camping with family. It’s fun for everyone.

Even though it’s summer keep that umbrella close by. You know what our British weather can be like.

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Go out for a nice stroll in the park or a long the beach pick up some treasres along the way for memories.

Keep casually fashionable with Vans perfect for that cool summer look , also available in kid’s sizes.


X-ray Fashion Dare to bare this summer in this sheer blouse, River Island, ÂŁ22



Zhu Zhu Hamsters

Z Yellow is a perfect summer colour. Dark tones and mustards suit paler skins, while darker complexions can get away with bolder shades.

These furry friends are great for kids to collect. They come with different accessories and even talk to each other.

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All Aboard

Mother care all aboard summer range.


Pretty Pastels

Mini Boden keep things cool with soft tones for boys and girls.

Girls summer dress, from £24

Sailor dress,£15

Sailor bodysuit, £12


Boys summer dungarees, from £20.

This summer its all about being beach ready



splash around in protective swimear


Hats off !

Mothercare sun hats girls and boys

Boys bucket hat, £10

Boys swim set £21 Girls Costume,£21

Girs frill sun hat, £10

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Life & Style

It’s all about you!

18 Page guide to the best in fashion,beauty, diet, health and advice to make you feel like a star



Get Kim’s Body - FAST!




Confide in Claire




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Mums’ wish list

Closer Mums 10 most desirable buys of the week from £5!

1) pretty pastels

2) scented summer

Add a splash of colour to our summer wardrobe with this pleated dip back skirt. Topshop £38

3) get lippy Vital brights lipstick, NO7 £10

7) girly bottles Mini perfume bottles, £9.95.

4) Step out

Let your house smell like summer with this sicillian lemon Yankee Candle.Yankee Candle £16.99

5) Tropical splash

6) Eye Eye

colour block heels.boohoo. Summer smell, Marc Jacobs Eylure natural lashes.£5, Eylure com,£30 kumquat splash,£29

8) Get fruity Summer earrings. Asos,£8

9) top shopper

10) Jazz hands

Swtylish shopping bag, New Neon nail varnish, Topshop,£5 Look,£17.99

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STYLE WATCH We reveal the mums who’ve been snapped looking hot and not this week

Nicola Mclean,30 Nicola looks pretty in this purple asymmetric dress with orange heels- very demure Nic!

Gwyneth Paltrow, 39 Gwyneth looks stunning in the bold orange shift dress , It goes perfect with her nude and black sandals. Myleene Klass, 34 Myleene goes for a pretty nautical themed dress teamed with a girly bow. Nice touch!

Christina Aguilera, 31 Abbey Clancy,26

Abbey lets it all hang out in this ultra revealing lace number. Sheer madness!

The singer hit a bum note in this sparkle mess. There’s too many materials. Less is more Christina!

Beyonce Knowles,30

Beyonce’s outfit doesn’t flatter her bootylicious figure one bit.

Carol Voderman,51 Carol, this equation does not equal good. You of all people should be able to work that out.

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Confide in Claire Share your health concerns with our agony aunt and childrens nurse Claire Woods Q

How long are chicken pox contagious for?

A Most cases of chicken pox become none contagious five days from the onset of the rash. Usually once they have scabbed over they are most definitely not contagious at all. However it can be different in children with vulnerable immune systems. Remember keep your child away from pregnant women when they have chicken pox. Q I had my baby Q A

My baby has severe eczema, how can I soothe it?

Dressing your baby in cotton clothes and using non-biological washing powders helps. Apply a thick cream at least twice a day, the more greasy the cream the better. Avoid ordinary soap as this can dry skin out.


Q My eight-month-old baby vomits really easily, after being fed. What could the problem be? A Vomiting is common in babies, and often with no underlying cause. A small amount of vomit suggests posseting, when your baby regurgitates a little milk. It could be Gastro-oesophageal reflux where stomach acid travels up the oesophagus. I would contact your GP as it may even be an intolerance to milk.

six months ago and sex is still really uncomfortable. Should I see my GP or will it get easier? Yes you have put up with this far too long. It may be the scar tissue causing the discomfort. The other possibility is you are a little anxious, this can cause spasm of the vaginal muscles - vaginismus. Contact your GP who will examine you.

Q If I freeze breast milk, will it still be as

nutritious for my baby?


Breast milk does lose some antibacterial properties

when frozen. However it still has the perfect balance of nutrients to meet your baby’s needs. It’s best to freeze your milk in glass or hard-sided plastic containers, which have been shown to provide the best protection for nutrients and and immune boosting components.


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SCHOOL RUN STYLE Tired of looking drab on a morning? Follow these celebmums school run style to keep you looking good on a morning JESSICA ALBA Wedges Topshop, £50

Jessicas maxi dress River island , £40

CLAUDIA SHIFFER pale neon yellow scarf, John Lewis, £30

Claudia’s flared jeans New Look, £89.99 Nude chiffon blouse, The fashionbilble. com, £16 44 magazine final project recent .indd 44

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SARAH JESSICA PARKER Boyfriend Jeans, Topshop,£40

Biker jacket, Topshop, £55

ELLE MCPHERESON White bootcut jeans, River Island, £44.99

Fur Gilet, getthelabel. com,£17.99

Mustard scarf, womenlovesscarfs.,£28

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Summer It’s a Loving steal


WE LOVE ... Summer is officially here thanks to the new floral collection from Oasis.It will have you craving your flip flops and shades A Line floral skirt £55 Pineapple crop top.Not one of your five-a-day but a fruity treat, £40


Make your pins look fresh with these tropical jeans, £48

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SHOES,NEW LOOK, £24.99, Make a bold statement in these fab colour block heels perfect for summer.

BAG, RIVER ISLAND £14.99 Nothing screams summer like rainbow zig zags, this colour pop bag will brighten up any outfit. Without blowing the piggy bank.

TOP 3 ACCESSORIES Carry the sun with you with these gorgeous sun shaped studs,River Island, £7

.Not day 40


Glam up any outfit wit this gorgeous cates eye ring, Topshop, £8.50

Go egyptian this summer with this wood and gold bangle stack, Republic,£9

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Beauty Insider We’ve got the tips, tricks and product news to keep you mums gorgeous.

Top 3 Dry Shampoos So mums, when have we got time to wash our hair everyday? Grab these dry shampoo bargains to keep hair fresh between washes.

Batise, £2,19


This is the winner for us as it makes your hair smell fab and it’s so cheap,


Gemma Cloughton,22 shares her quick fire make up routine to go from drab to fab.


Lee Stafford, £5.49

Not much of a smell but does the job perfectly. No grease!


Bumble & Bumble, £20 Great as comes in different shades, Brown, blonde, black etc. Just a little too pricey for us.

MUA Powder, £2 “ This gives great coverage and it’s cheap.”

Loreal Infallible Foundation, £10,99 “I love this as it lasts from day to night.” Benefit, Hoola Bronzer, £23, “ Hoola is fab, it is more brown than orange.”

SPECIAL OFFER: Eyelure Double Lashes, £7 “These are great to open small eyes and really easy to use.”

Mac Creme Cup Lipstick, £13.50 “ It’s a soft colour and can be worn during the day or night, it’s an all-rounder.” 49 magazine final project recent .indd 49

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Make your bump

Shops have finally caught on to the idea that pregnant women don’t want to hide under baggy hoodies and joggers. They want to feel and look stylish whilst being comfortable.

By Day

Maternity maxi skirt, £29.98, motherhoodmaternity. com


maternity vest Topshop, £6

Long sweater cardigan, forever21 £20.86

Chunky gold necklace, Asos,£18

Cross body bag Dorothy perkins, £28.

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look good By Night

Add some arm sparkle with this diamante bangle. ellan, £12

Get Kourtney’s glam style with this gorgeous navy maxi Asos, £45

Glam it up with this oversized diamante ring, Debenhams, £20

For that ultimate loose curl use Bed Head Foxy Curls spray, £6

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Cute Kid of the week: Harper Seven Beckham

When your mum is Victoria Beckham and your dad is David Beckham, you’re bound to be cute, but eight-month-old Harper Seven Beckham is even more adorable than we’d expect. Snapped with mum Victoria in L.A. wearing tiny Converse, Harper fits right in with mum.With Harper’s gene pool off the richter scale for gorgeousness she is sure to grow up to be another Beckham beauty! 53 magazine final project recent .indd 53

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“Being a mum is fab but I have no time for me any more�

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t I ore”


Each week Closer Mums makes a mum from drab to fab


e all know that when you become a mum you barely have time to get a shower, never mind putting a face full of make up on everyday. Single mum Danielle Johnson, 28, knows that very feeling since having son Jak. Closer Mums give her a special Mummy Makeover.


Q & A Hi Danielle, tell us what your routine used to be like before you had Jak? I used to spend hours doing my hair, make up, lashes nails and toes. Every morning I would put a fulI face of make up on for work. I never used to leave the house without make up. Has your life changed since having Jak? Being a mum is fab but I have no time for me anymore. Everything I do revolves around Jak’s routine and I just get on with it. Being a single parent is hard to begin with, I’m now at the stage where I’m used to having no make up on and throwing my hair back just for quickness. What do you think of your makeover? I love the makeover. I feel like a different person I’m going to try and make a little more time for myself on a morning, even put a little lip gloss on and straighten my hair. It makes me feel much better and doesn’t take long. Do you have any advice for other mums? My advice is to MAKE time for yourself to be a yummy mummy it totally boosts your confidence and makes you ready to face the day. I’m definitely going to try harder.

WHAT WE DID... We firstly added some tinted moisturiser to the skin to prep and hydrate it.


Then applied a thin layer of foundation over the top, with bronzer sweeped across the forehead, nose and cheeks. Then we added a golden shimmer eyeshadow to the corner of the eyes and under the brows to open the eyes up. Then applied false lashes for a glam effect. Lastly we added a bright red lip stick with a sweep of gloss in the middle of the lips for an evening look.

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Life coach Eloise Grant is here every week to help you overcome lifes little challenges

How to beat Super Mum syndrome


ictoria Beckham is a classic example of the ‘Super Mum’. As well as having three boys , a baby girl and a famous husband to look after she also has a major successful fashion career. When we try to do everything at once and get everything just perfect it is only so long before you burn yourself out. Finding that perfect balance for you between work, family and social life is the recipe for a happy self. Here’s how to get that balance just right.


First set priorities, make a list of what’s most important and do that first! Perfectionists believe no one can do their job as well as them but let people help. Break tasks at work down. Set yourself achievable mini goals don’t overwork yourself. At home avoid checking your phone and emails unless it’s essential. That way you can switch off (literally)

HOW TO ... beat the blues

Remember you DON'T have to do everything. Ask colleagues and the kids for help.

Being a mum can become lonely and you can feel like all you do is talk to your child. If you’re feeling lonely and antisocial, it’s easy to nip in the bud with these simple steps. Make yourself go out for at least 30 minutes a day.You could meet friends for a coffee, have a walk around the shops or try going swimming. A good tip to help you feel more relaxed is to try a yoga class, concentrating on your breathing. It will boost relaxation and reduce your stress levels.

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Get that summer body Fast!

ummer is fast approaching. We all want that perfect bikini bod, well here’s how. Personal trainer and bootcamp leader Josh Cliff talks us through some simple and easy steps to achieving that desired body.

Excercises Short sprints - set out 2 markers about 10-15 metres apart. Sprint from marker one to two as fast as you can, then back to one. (repeat this 4-5 times with minimum rest - 5 seconds) Squats - legs shoulder width apart hands/arms across

your chest. With your back straight imagine taking a seat then standing straight back up. Repeat this for 60 seconds.

High knees - running forward, get your knees right up to your mid section each time that foot is placed in front.

Ab circles - lie flat on the ground with your hands under your bum, feet together. Point your legs straight out 6 inches off the ground - make small circles with your legs straight clockwise seconds then do anti clockwise.

Snacks • Apple (good form of energy) • Ryvita with cottage cheese and tomato. • Carrot sticks. • Low fat yoghurt. • Olives. • Fruit.

Meal ideas Breakfast • 2 pieces of whole grain toast + piece of fruit • 2 Weetabix (skimmed milk for cereals) • 2 Shredded Wheat • Small bowl of porridge with chopped banana and raisins. Lunch • Chicken/Turkey/Fish with cottage cheese baked potato and wholemeal rice or pasta. • Vegetables or chicken salad with extra virgin olive oil drizzled over.

Cheat Meal One day a week give in to temptation and have the meal of your choice. Dinner • Lean steak/chicken/fish/mince with vegetables or salad. • Use some low fat dressing over the top to add taste.

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Want rid of your cellulite?


“My clients always tell me they’d love to look like Kim Kardashian”

JOSH SAYS: “It’s easy to banish cellulite. All it takes is the right combination of regular excercise and healthy eating. Josh’s top tips Cellulite - which is small fat deposits around the bum and thigh that create a dimply effect- Can be caused by water retention, which you’re more prone to if you regularly tuck in to salt laden meals. Instead season food with herbs or spices and avoid junk food that’s full of hidden sodium. Tomatoes, sweet peppers and citrus fruits are great cellulite busters as they contain bioflavonoids which boost circulation. Drinking plenty of water helps to cleanse the body of toxins which cause cellulite. Dry brushing your body for four minutes a day is a good way of getting rid of cellulite. Stroke upwards towards your heart to help remove toxins and dead skin cells. Refined carbs including white flour, bread and rice slow down the body’s ability to flush out toxins so try to avoid these or switch to the wholemeal options. The obvious one is to drink loads of water. Try and aim for two litres a day, it makes it easier if you have a glass with every meal then have a glass in between meals or with snacks.

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SHAPE UP Beyonce post baby body


Pop queen Beyonce looked like the perfect yummy mummy as she showed off her svelte post baby body recently.The new mum, 30, had Blue Ivy Carter in January has been doing pilates for her stomach and filling up on egg white omlette, fruit and lean meats.

Sizzling Chinese style lamb - 2tbsp sunflower oil - 350g New Zeland lamb -340g pack mixed stir-fry vegtables -300g straight to wok noodles -2tbs soy sauce -6-8tbsp hoisin sauce -3tbsp water

Trainer Steph lamb says: “Beyonce’s doing the right thing here.After working out have protein then fresh fruit it will help put the protein in to your system quicker which will boost energy levels and help muscles recover.”

STEP1 Heat half the oil in a large saucepan, stir fry the lamb for 5 mins until piping hot and browned. STEP2 Then, heat the rest of the oil in pan and stir fry the vegtables with the noodles for 5 mins, then pour on the soy sauce. STEP 3 Add hoisin sauce and water to the lamb. Cook till it sizzles. STEP 4 pour vegetables and noodles in to dishes and serve immediately.


Three custard cream biscuits

180 Calories

Three fruit shortcake biscuits

110 Calories


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EAT UP Family recipe: This week Spaghetti Bolognese Chef Chris Gardiner “kids love spag bol, it’s easy and quick to make” Ingredients

Preparation method Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 2 hours 1. Brown mince over medium heat. Drain off fat. 2. In a large saucepan, combine mince, salt, sugar, oregano, pepper, garlic granules, onion flakes, diced tomatoes, tomato puree and mushrooms. Simmer at a low heat setting for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

450g lean minced beef 340g spaghetti 1 teaspoon salt 3/4 teaspoon caster sugar 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/8 teaspoon garlic granules 2 tablespoons dried minced onion 600g chopped tomatoes 200g tomato puree 1/2 (220g) tin mushrooms, drained and sliced

3. Cook pasta according to packet directions. Drain. Serve sauce over spaghetti. 175g softened butter 50g golden caster sugar 50g icing sugar 2 egg yolks 2 tsp vanilla extract 300g plain flour zest and juice 1 orange 140g icing sugar, sifted sprinkles , to decorate

Rainbow Cookies Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Mix the butter, sugars, egg yolks and vanilla with a wooden spoon until creamy, then mix in the flour in 2 batches. Stir in the orange zest. Roll the dough into about 22 walnut-size balls and sit on baking sheets. Bake for 15 mins until golden, then leave to cool. Meanwhile, mix the icing sugar with enough orange juice to make a thick, runny icing. Dip each biscuit half into the icing, then straight into the sprinkles. Dry on a wire rack.

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Little Chef

Our round up of meal-time essentials and the most nutritious, tasty food for you and your baby.

3 of the best BOOSTER SEATS

5 ideas for...

Bumbo Baby sitter & play tray, £29.99, Mothercare


1 Mash banana and avocado together for a first meal. 2 Chilled chunks of banana soothe sore gums for teething babies.

Booster seat, safari £23.99, Boots.

3 Puree chopped bananas with milk for a tasty milkshake.

Ladybird munch munch booster, £17,

4 Chop banana chunks into custard for a yummy desert. 5 Put banana and pineapple chunks on to skewers for fruity kebabs.


is the number of extra meals parents in England make each week to satisfy fussy eaters.



Keep carrot sticks handy in the fridge in a small bowl , that way it’s the first thing they grab instead of the sweets.

FUSS FIX! If you’ve got a fussy eater, try serving their veg with dips, research shows that when broccoli is served with hummus or yoghurt children eat up to 80% extra. Nutritionist Charlotte Stirling says: “Children dislike bitter foods such as some vegetables. Dips take the bitter edge off.”

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STAFF LIST Endeavour House, 179 Oxford Street, London W1CH 7JG TEL: 020 76588452 FAX: 020 76689433 Email:CLOSERMUMS@UKMEDIA.CO.UK Editor Nikki Burton


Executive Editor Gill Cormack Deputy Editor Katie Hughes Assistant Editor Sara Johnson Associate Editor Rebecka Edwards Editorial Assistant Gemma Cloughton

Head of magazine sales Gwen Davies Associate Media Director Emma Jackson Creative Director Natalie Jefferson Brand Director James Duvalle Sales Executive Reese Portman Media Planner Emma Blythe Regional Advertising sales Kim Gray Advertising production contoller Tim Smith

ART Art Director Sharon Cavanagh Art Editor Diane Leonard Senior Designer Stephanie Weightman Designer Rebbecca Prudhoe Art Intern Jenny Townsey NEWS & CELEBRITY News Editor Amy Bolam Entertainment Editor Showbiz Editor Sally Kiney Showbiz Writer Kayleigh James FEATURES Real Life Features Editor Lauren Pearson Senior Features Writer Lynne McManus Contributing Editor Rachel Groombridge LIFESTYLE Lifestyle Editor Leigh Woods Style Editor Lindsay Murray Style Writer Michelle Wilkinson PICTURES Pictures Editor Madeline Bowden Picture Researcher Stephanie Jonas

MARKETING Marketing Director Jill Turnbull Product Manager Katherine Edwards Communications Manager Shelia Toward PRODUCTION Manager Susan Jessica Bell Workflow Manager Helen

With special thanks to...

Steven Nickells Julie Bradford Christopher Smith

PRODUCTION Acting production Editor Hayley Marshall Senior Sub Editor Gemma Sander Sub Editor Julie Smith TV Editor Marie Donnolley Deputy Editor Laura Taylor PUBLISHING Publisher Julie Alcock Managing Editor Anne Redman

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closer mums  

mums magazine