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MIMI ROSE AND ME

A UK FAMILY LIFESTYLE AND BEAUTY BLOG

Christmas Day Outfit Ideas

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I don't know about you, but I always seem to have some trouble making a decision when it comes to an outfit on Christmas day. After all I plan on eating my body weight in chocolate, turkey and  stuffing balls so I want to choose an outfit where I will be comfortable but look super festive and stylish at the same time. I have complied a few ideas for Christmas day that are versatile and can be paired with different options if some are not to you. So whether you decide to rock the pjs or like to dress to impress there will something for everyone. First let's start with the most obvious choice. The Christmas Jumper Edit. Christmas jumpers have a bit of a reputation, they’re known for being loud, tacky and offensive to the eyes. They’re a bit like marmite, you either love them or you hate them. Personally, I don't mind the festive look and I have seen some lovely jumpers out there. 


Jewelled, Top Shop £59 | Reindeer, New Look,  £28 | Sequin, Esprit, £28 | Snowflake, Dorothy Perkins, £26 | Penguin, M & Co, £22 | Sequin Antlers, Esprit, £45 | Fairisle, Next, £26 | Two Reindeer, Warehouse, £39


Soft and Cosy

As you know my plans on Christmas day are to eat my weight in turkey so it makes complete sense to choose an outfit to ensure that I'm comfortable and cosy. Despite wanting to stay in my pyjamas all day, after lunch we always like to go and visit family so I have to get dressed anyway. I adore this next outfit choice. It's white, it's fluffy, soft and cosy with pale pink hues throughout. What could be better?
Jumper - Dorothy Perkins
Jeans - New Look
Scarf -  Brand Outlet
Hat - Forever21
Watch - Olivia Burton


90s Throwback Inspired Look

However, sometimes it's essential to delve out of the comfort zone somtimes. This is where this beautiful 90s throwback inspired outfit comes in. My favourite pieces in this whole outfit is this skirt, can we just take a moment to appreciate it's beauty. It's a dense, soft fabric with bold all-over checks in a wintry wool blend with a long zip with a ring pendant in the centre front. Paired with an elegant cream knit and knee highs you'll be sure to turn some heads. Not forgetting the all important festive makeup with this beautiful rose gold watch sets off the whole outfit. What do you think?
 

Top - River Island
Skirt - Esprit
Boots - ASOS
Lipstick - Charlotte Tilbury
Eyeshadow Palette - Urban Decay
Watch - Michael Kors


Relaxed and Comfortable 

The next outfit oozes relaxation and comfort, perfect for all the fun, the indulgent food, the games and laughs that will happen on Christmas day. I do have to say that my favourite part of this outfit is the oversized jumper, it just looks so comfortable. Meaning that it's perfect to hide the over indulgence that happens over the festive period. 
Jumper - River Island
Jeans - River Island
Scarf - John Lewis
Bag - Boo Hoo
Boots - New Look

 Do you have a favourite outfit? So what will you be wearing on Christmas day?

THE BABY FEEDING SERIES WITH MIDWIFE AND LIFE

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Hello and welcome back to another instalment of The Baby Feeding Series, that features real stories from real parents who have experienced how hard and baffling feeding your baby can be. I want this series to be a place where parents can share their own experiences in the hopes that other parents who are struggling can feel less alone. Being a parent is the hardest job in the world but it's one of the most rewarding jobs too and so I want to share their stories.


I am so excited to say that this week for the second time we have the lovely Jenny from Midwife and Life guest posting for us. I was so excited when Jenny offered to take part again, I have been a huge fan of her blog for some time. I would go as far to say that Jenny as her blog has provided me with so much information, advice and tips to help me with my own journey as a mother to one. It's worth a visit or two. So without further ado I'd like to hand you over to Jenny...


WHY I DON’T LIKE OR AGREE WITH THE TERM ‘FED IS BEST.’ GET OVER THE GUILT TRIP

I believe the guilt is on you. It’s not coming from breastfeeding mothers, or breastfeeding advocates and lactation consultants. It’s your guilt you’re feeling each time breastfeeding is heralded. No-one is shaming you, making you feel bad on purpose. It’s a bit like when someone tells me how great they are at crafting with their kids, keeping the house clean, holding down a job and have a perfect relationship. I feel bad for not being Mary Poppins but then I realise it’s not their fault, the guilt is on me. Plus, Mary Poppins left the kids to it eventually and flew away, she’s not perfect. Except it doesn’t exist. Nobody’s perfect, least of all me. I may have breastfed my children, some longer than others, but I’m not good at a lot of other things about parenting. I do my best and I love them with a passion. I don’t believe for a second that breastfeeding elevates me to Supermum status, all consuming earth mother, lording it over you dirty bottle feeders giving poison to your babies.

You know breast is best, you get told it enough, yet you chose to or had to formula feed, and that’s OK. You’re OK. You’re a good mother, because if you didn’t feel guilty about something, then you wouldn’t care. Let us talk about our breastfeeding struggles, wins, share our brelfies and talk about how amazing it is. You can talk about how amazing other aspects are. Don’t project any guilt or shame on something I said.

We all do it differently. Whether you tried breastfeeding, or didn’t want to from the start, that’s your bag. From time to time I like to talk about the benefits of breastfeeding, or my breastfeeding journey. I know for a fact 98% of women will have enough milk (whether they believe it or not), it’s more about support and the right information to keep going. If I hadn’t had the support of friends and my local La Leche group this time, I may have stopped far sooner. What I don’t like, is any time I post about breastfeeding, or make a comment about it, I’m accused of making formula feeders feel guilty or shaming. Don’t project your feelings of guilt on me. I’m not out to make mums feel bad.

Fed is not best. Fed is a given. What’s the alternative to fed? Starve the baby? Of course fed is best, fed is the minimum we should be giving our babies. Formula definitely has it’s place, but it is not the best food for babies. Once a single formula feed has been given, the gut changes forever. It irks me every time I see that phrase when formula feeding mums get up in arms about breastfeeding. Any breastfeeding information is given in good faith, people just want women to be educated about their choices. Informed and well supported choice is best, what and how we feed our children matters, being educated and supported to make choices that are best for our families and free of bias that shouldn’t even be there is what matters. To say that fed is all that matters is doing families a huge disservice. At the end of the day, it’s still a choice, as is the diet we have. I know what’s healthy for me and what’s not, but I still reach for the crisps, wine and chocolate. I give my children sweets, fizzy drinks and aspartame, it’s my choice given the information I have.

That isn’t to say that families who don’t breastfeed are inferior, and parents who rely on formula through necessity or choice aren’t by default less loving or less competent, but the fact is, just like with many other food stuffs, other feeding methods are inferior. It’s difficult to quantify the differences but there’s no denying that differences are there.

Breastfeeding advocates in fact want all infant feeding choices to be discussed more honestly and more helpfully for all, and want formula feeding families to be supported in making informed choices that are truly best for them and not for anyone else, as is currently often the case.

The Huffington Post (and there were others of a similar vein) published a post with someone whingeing that world breastfeeding week should be ‘world infant feeding week’ because it celebrated something she couldn’t do. The responses where priceless!

“Oh dear god….. its about promoting breastfeeding, getting society to realise breastfeeding is natural and people shouldn’t be embarrassed to feed their baby in public! Its about getting support and encouragement to those who want to breastfeed.
It is not about slating those who don’t breastfeed but no way should it have its name changed.”
“I could not win an Olympic medal but I still like to celebrate the achievement of athletes and raise awareness of the benefits of participating in sports.”
“You ask me how I would feel about “the whole world celebrating for a week something I couldn’t do?” – the same way I feel about gay pride month where all the LGBTQetc people celebrate their sexuality and it had absolutely nothing to do with me and so I have no need/right to pass comment….The reason there is a world bf week is because bf is scientifically the better option for feeding your child and statistically there is only 5% of women who give birth who physically/biologically cannot breast feed – so for all other mothers it is a choice. If you choose to feed your baby formula- that’s great. Your baby is fed. But you also come from a privileged society where access to clean water to be able to make formula is taken for granted. In 3rd world countries, bf is the only option. As a bf mum, knowing how much I had to battle in the early months with various problems to keep going, and how much I have to fight for my legal right to feed my baby in public, I will damn well have my week and do everything I can to promote breastfeeding over formula. The UK has the lowest bf rates in the developed world, that is a horrendous statistic and something we should be working to change. So, if you are a formula feeding mum, good for you. But let us have our week promoting the best feeding method for babies, as advised by the world health organisation and articles like this one don’t help.”
“This reminds me of when people say there should be a White History Week, or a Straight Pride…”
“Shall we rename talk like a pirate day to just talk day so as not to offend non pirates??? Formula feeding is second best, breastfeeding is best. Inconvenient but true. Not unfair. Not forcing it down anyone’s throats. Just a cold hard biological fact. Same as beef burgers are second best to steaks. Sort of the same and will both feed you but one is better.”

You get the gist. I agree with all of these statements. I felt bombarded with formula feeders exploding about feeling guilty rather than celebrating a week of awareness of breastfeeding. I know I should ignore it but it did affect me, hence this post.

MY BREASTFEEDING JOURNEY OVER 4 CHILDREN (INCLUDES FORMULA FEEDING)

When I had my first daughter, I breastfed exclusively for 4 months. At the beginning it was excruciatingly painful, but after 2 weeks it eased up. What didn’t was the frequency of feeds and the evening colic. I was her only source of nutrition and it was breaking me. She wouldn’t take a bottle so I could have a break. I wish I’d known then what I know now about giving breastfed babies a bottle. I was exhausted, suffering from PND and couldn’t see a way out. Eventually, we arranged for her to go to Grandma’s overnight, I needed to relax and sleep. At the same time, I saw the GP and they prescribed antidepressants. When she went to Grandma’s, she took the bottle, she had no choice. When she came back to us, I was so scared she’d never take a bottle again I carried on. I think I gave a couple more breastfeeds as I was so engorged but I never looked back. My mental health improved, probably a combination of giving up breastfeeding and the medication. It didn’t even occur to me to feel guilty at the time, I did what was right for me at the time. Looking back afterwards, I did wonder what I would have done had I sought out more breastfeeding support, but I felt like it was me, I couldn’t cope with it and the expectations it placed on me.

With my second I was so paranoid about him not taking a bottle that I exclusively fed for a few weeks and then introduced a bottle. He was no trouble, took to both, but after a while more bottles crept in and at 5 months our breastfeeding journey was over. My third child was the same. I didn’t feel guilty at the time at all, but later I wondered whether I should have stuck at it more. There was a niggling feeling that other mothers could do it, why couldn’t I?

When I was pregnant with Daniel, my 4th child, I was more determined to be ‘successful’ at breastfeeding. I had the support of friends and family, I sought out La Leche League, I really wanted to get past 6 months and possibly 12 months. Those first few months were hard, I won’t deny it. He was a clingy baby and I ended up wearing him in a sling most of the time. Evenings were difficult, he was like Amy in that respect. I did give him formula a couple of times in desperation, but it made no difference to how he behaved. I stuck at it, then at 5 months he turned a corner and was far less fussy, he started to eat solids at 6 months and we’re still going at 2yrs 7 months! Far longer than I thought I would, and the bond is amazing. He feeds twice a day now and still really enjoys it. It’s definitely for him and not me – if he wasn’t interested, I would have stopped long ago. I’m so proud of myself for sticking at it and it gives me and my son so much joy that I will not apologise for shouting it from the rooftops and wanting other families to benefit the way I have.

Support is so key when it comes to breastfeeding. A lot of women stop because of misguided expectations, or lack of confidence. Many had a bad start to it due to their or the baby’s birth recovery and couldn’t continue. Some get conflicting advice and information, and stop because they can’t find the right way. Some don’t feel comfortable breastfeeding in public, or in front of family members – society has a lot to answer for in over sexualising breasts and women feeling uncomfortable about a natural process.

It’s a scientific fact that breastfeeding is better and geared towards our babies more than formula. It’s also been linked to fewer hospital admissions and higher IQ. All the world over. The benefits don’t stop after 6 months either. It’s also true that if you formula feed, the bond can be as strong, and the baby will most likely grow up fine. But you’re taking a risk.

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About Jenny

Jenny is a Mum to William (7), Phoebe (6) and Daniel (2), she is also as a Midwife and is very passionate about writing - On her blog, Jenny likes to write about pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding; reviews; fashion and beauty; home; my life and family; parenting tips and tricks.


You can find Jenny over at Midwife and Life

Don't forget to go and find her social media platforms and give her a little like or follow

How to avoid post-office queues during the busy period.

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The food, the fun, the family time… regardless of how wonderful the festive season is, it can have a big impact on your finances. Buying Christmas presents can be expensive, not to mention having to send your gifts far and wide to reach loved ones that live in a different part of the country, or even the world. One of the cheapest and fastest ways to have your parcels delivered is through a courier service. There are a few things you should bear in mind when buying and sending festive gifts in order to keep the process as cheap and stress-free as possible. 


If you already know that your gifts will need to be delivered, it’s best to plan ahead when buying them. Check the list of restricted and prohibited items to make sure that couriers are allowed to handle your parcels. Purchasing gifts that are small and weigh very little will keep delivery costs to a minimum. It’s also important that your parcel is packaged correctly as this will keep it safe and protected on its journey from sender to recipient, but will also allow the gift to remain a surprise!

My Parcel Delivery, a courier comparison site, can help you to decide which company offers the best delivery options based on your needs, whilst also finding the cheapest courier service available. Using a courier not only helps you to save money, but also saves valuable time. You can wave goodbye to the queues at the Post Office by leaving your parcels at a designated drop-off point if you choose to use a courier such as UPS. You could even have your parcels collected from home with an express service by Parcelforce. All you need to do is input the weight and size of your parcel into the My Parcel Delivery website, alongside the destination of the gift, and you’ll be presented with some of the best deals around.

We all know that the sooner you complete your Christmas shopping the better, especially if you want presents to be delivered on time. Not only will it banish the unneeded stress of last-minute shopping but it also means that you don’t end up paying more than you bargained for because the presents you were looking for are out of stock. If last minute shopping does feel like it will be an inevitability, make sure to check out the last delivery dates before the big day to avoid disappointment!

Yes, Christmas can be expensive, but it is a wonderful time to celebrate with loved ones and it shouldn’t be ruined by financial worries. There are many ways in which you can have a fun-filled festive holiday while still saving money, it just takes a little bit of extra planning. I hope these tips are of some help to you and that the run-up to Christmas is a pleasant and stress-free experience!

Gift Guide: For Little Girls

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Wow, can you believe that we are in the third week of December. Not too much longer until the big day, which brings me to why you are here. A gift guide for little girls. Now if your little girl is anything like my little lady she will be appreciate any gift she receives, however if they are anything remotely to do the princesses, fairies or unicorns you will have a new best friend. So today, I have complied a few gifts ideas that are perfect little girls. If you’re starting feel the Christmas pressure of finding just the right gift for the girl in your life, this gift guide may help and inspire you. Girls aren’t impossible to please, you just have to know what you’re doing when you make a gift selection


In my opinion the best way to encourage language development is to read for at least 20 minutes every day and talk about things you do throughout the day. Bed time story is my favourite time of the day with her, we will sit together and go through the story and pick out certain parts and talk about them. So we decided to get The Julia Donaldson Story Collection*. When it comes to books for toddlers, Julia Donaldson can't be beaten and you'll find all these and more in this brilliant 10-book collection! Sure to quickly become bedtime favourites, our collection also includes Julia Donaldson stories that may not be as well known but are just as delightful. Another way to help encourage her development and her imagination is with her boxes of Happy Land toys, and so we want to look to add to her collection with this Happy Land Watering Can. As you know my daughter adores princesses and so it makes complete sense to adding some dress up pieces into this gift guide for little girl. Ever since my daughter started nursery she has become so what obsessed with a Snow White dress and she keeps asking for one, as the one at nursery is a tad too small for her. 

Being in the digital age, children are obsessed and my daughter is just the same. And seeing as I have a brand new phone, I am a little more protective and so perhaps having her own mobile phone may be the solution. Monqi* is unique in that it’s a smartphone aimed for children and controlled by adults. The phone works in harmony with an app on the parent’s phone. The child’s smartphone is controlled via the app, which can restrict time spent on apps on the child’s phone, the apps they choose to download, how long they can spend on the phone and how many texts they can send. The safest smartphone on the market.

For the more creative little girl. The GeoSafari My First Microscope* from Learning Resources is a wonderful introduction to magnification for preschoolers! Encourage scientific exploration and introduce your little one to a key scientific tool that is fun and exciting to explore! So we have been exploring everything from a fairy wand, pine cone to stones and sticks, you can magnify any flat or dimensional small object up to 8x it’s size, this is a real working microscope designed for kids and perfect for little hands! Play Doh is always a great option for your creative little girl, I mean what child doesn't like Play Doh and with this cake play set they will be able to do just that. Shape all kinds of cakes in the oven or with the cutters. Use the decorating tool to top it off with swirly make-believe frosting. For even more festive fun, this creative bakeshop comes with Confetti compound! 

Amara Living have an array beautiful toys but this one is a cut above the rest, seriously how  gorgeous is this tea set? Enjoy afternoon tea with your little one with this Children’s Tea Party Play Set*. Crafted from wood, this set includes a teapot, two cups, two cupcakes and two spoons sitting prettily on a white tray. I know that my daughter will have hours and hours of fun with this little tea set, I can't wait to see her face. 

Finally, I managed to get my hands on a gift that my daughter has been begging for, for far too long. The Moana Singing Doll. Do you have a Moana fan? It’s all about the sunshine, greenery and beautiful scenery. Moana has all of this. Beautiful Hawaii, blue seas and amazing plant life. It's so much better. This singing Moana will be the perfect gift for our little lady and this doll comes with two beautiful outfits, detailed accessories, and a 'Wear & Share' shell necklace, just like Moana’s!

Do you feel inspired? What gifts are your favourites?

* Some of the products featured in this post have been kindly gifted to me, but all thoughts are my own.*

Gift Guide: For Men.

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Finding gifts for men is often difficult. My husband is so hard to buy for, actually come to think of it most of the males in the family are difficult, that's probably why most end up with about ten sets of Nivea. So today, I have taken the time to create a small men's gift guide for every type of man in your life, so please feel inspired and take a look at the special gift guide for men. Whether it is a gift for your brother, a gift for your dad or a gift for your husband, I am sure that there is something for them in the gift guide for men. 



Come on let's start with the most obvious gift for men. Socks. Is it even Christmas if the man in your life doesn't receive a pair of socks, whether these are festive, novelty, plain and simple or practical. You'll be able to find something for them. These Heat Holders* are amazing warmth together with a slip-resistant grip makes them perfect for around the home. The inside of each fully cushioned sock has been brushed creating an incredibly soft feel, ensuring warm air is trapped close to the skin, keeping feet warmer for longer.

Most men love electronics, so this is sure to be a safe bet for sure. First up let's talk about phones. Whether he loves an iPhone or an android is more their thing there is something out there for them. With the recent release of the iPhone X everyone wants or is at least talking about it. But be prepared to dig deep for one of these beauties, but this does mean you may be able to get some fantastic deals on the older versions so don't forget to compare. Now don't forget the all important accessories to go with their brand new phone, why not try these all important essential bundles. This bundle is a real must-have when you get your new iPhone. You can keep it protected against knocks, charge while you're travelling and keep the dazzling screen free from annoying scratches. Are they are big music fan? The Electric Jukebox*, a device you plug into the back of your television, comes with a voice-activated remote control and a year's access to all the music you could possibly want. So what's included? A years premium music pass, unlimited music, sing with the stars, name that tune, sound machine, wireless controller and microphone and a TV hub. This one is a gift that not just for him, it will just take a couple of glasses of snowballs before you're on the Karaoke. 

For those men who like to keep a clean sharp look Wahl Lithium Plus Hair Clipper is a great way to start. This Lithium Ion Pro LED clipper can be used with or without the cord, offering the freedom of movement with an impressive 100 minutes cordless run time, or with the cord when the charge is low. The intelligent LED charging indicator makes it easy to see when your clipper is charging and when the charge is complete. Saves so much time. As I have said we all know how hard it is to buy for the men in your life but I may have discovered the perfect solution for all those 'I don't know what to get get you'in the form of a subscription box from The Personal Barber. The Personal Barber subscription box is described as “The ultimate shaving subscription for men”. The team behind the box want to provide men with a shaving routine into an experience to look forward to, rather than a daily chore doing this by offering deliveries of razors and new hand-picked shaving products on a regular basis with free UK delivery. BOOM! I am sure that my husband isn't the only man that get boxes and boxes of toiletries and even though that's the case, I still like to get him a couple of bottles of aftershave. But I like to get him something that he hasn't tried before and after a spritz or two in the perfume shop I settle on this Lacoste Live Male Eau De Toilette. For the Dads, Uncles and Grandads, something that they seem to love is good ole bottle of Old Spice, this Bearglove Old Spice is a great one.

A wallet is something that my husband asks for every year and so it makes complete sense to add this into a gift guide for men. This black wallet from RJR.John Rocha+ is made from premium Italian leather with a tabbed popper fastening and a fold out pass holder and it all comes in a gifted box, making the perfect gift. You will be able to find an array of watches on the Watch Hut, which are sure to be the perfect gift for someone. I adore this Ben Sherman London Watch. This attractive gents Ben Sherman London watch is made from stainless steel and is powered by a quartz movement. It is fitted with a black leather strap and has a off white dial. The watch has a date function. Trainers are always on my husband's Christmas list, and I think it’s always nice to get something you know they’ve had their eye on but possibly wouldn’t treat themselves too. I managed to figure out which trainers he wanted and ordered them in his massive size 12s. Normally he loves either Nike and Adidas and so I decided to get him these Adidas Daily Team Nubuck Trainers in a dark grey and black. 

I have left the best until last, something a little more personal is always a great way to show your loved one you care. Now there are so many different personalised gifts that you can seek out for them but I think that something that could come in handy, or useful would be a great gift. Just like this personalised Tea Mug* from Bags of Love. A personalised tea mug is a beautiful gift, which can feature a few treasured photos or designs, custom printed mugs will be a family favourite in any household and make an extra special gift. Tea makes everything better, but this personalised tea mug will definitely make any brew experience even more enjoyable. Normally I like to get a small gift from the little lady for him and I have to say that a personalised keyring is a cute idea and so we have picked out a couple as he has so many keys.

~ Some of the products featured in this post have been kindly gifted to me, but all thoughts are my own. ~

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