This year I have decided to lose the leggings and baggy T-shirt look and to experiment with fashion again. I think so many mums can lose their way when it comes to expressing themselves through their outfits. Practical clothing is OK but can make us look like clones when we already feel we are losing a sense of self when we are constantly referred to as “Alex’s mum” rather than by our own name. After years in the style wasteland, looking at timeless trends can spark a new enthusiasm for rocking our own look.

There are classic looks that come back time and time again. How many of us wish we had kept a favourite jacket that went out of fashion but is now back on the catwalk?

My favourite trend of all is from the 50s because I think this would have suited my figure best accentuating the waist and then flaring out so cover any little tummy bump I might be sporting. The skirts were calf-length so you did not risk revealing too much and colours were bright and sassy. Perfect!

I love the flapper girl look on other people celebrating the best of the 20s but it is not for me. I much prefer to have sleeves in dresses and I am not sure I am fit enough to pull of the Charleston.

The 60s were OK and saw mini skirts which are definitely not my choice and also the introduction of the little black dress. Whist I accept a little black dress can be useful on so many occasions,  I always think it is best jazzed up a bit with accessories to add a little colour or bling.

I was a child in the 70s and I don’t think we ever really appreciate the fashion trends from when we are children as we probably associate them with our mothers. So you can keep your flared jeans thank you.

In the 80s I was a teenager and we honestly thought at that point that as women we would be able to have it all. Deluded or what? Power-dressing was in with big shoulder pads. I liked them if they were sewn in properly. I also remember loving Laura Ashley and Monsoon in this period.

By the 90s I was working so my emphasis was on keeping smart and professional looking. Double denim passed me by and I lost interest in pop music as this point too.

I became a mum in 2000 and so boho chic passed me by entirely as I mopped up baby sick and kept house.

Have you seen the fun infographic from Chums recently? What timeless trends mean the most to you?


Cuddle Fairy

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The Pramshed

My favourite holiday moments are important to me as they always took place with family. My Dad was of the view holidays mattered massively and that other things could wait but the making of memories could not. I think he was very wise in knowing that travel helps us to relax and broadens the mind too.

I quite fancy repeating some of my favourite holiday moments with my children and have found a cheaper deal here for Malta and as I always watch the pennies that is great to know.

I still remember Dad taking us off to Malta when I was little. I remember great architecture, friendly people and so much laughter with my brothers and uncle as well as my parents. One particular moment was throwing a bucket of cold water over my brother on the beach. Let’s just say he was not impressed as he was in his early twenties and trying to look cool. Dad shared great stories from his days in the Navy during the war when he was stationed there so could spend time sunbathing after his duties were completed for the day.

When I was around 10 years of age, we started sharing holidays with my cousin Sean and Auntie Margaret and Uncle Cyril. They were real fans of Spain so we went to various resorts. I remember a waiter singing one night and my Auntie saying he was singing to her whilst my Mum rolled her eyes at her deluded sister. Dad would take us out to events such a medieval banquets and Mum so enjoyed our visit to Granada with her passionate love of history.

We once spent a Christmas in Germany on the Rhine. Mum and Dad were sad they could not share some favourite places with me due to severe flooding. Of course, I enjoyed the whole drama of the flooding and it was different to have Christmas lunch in Germany. Mum was ill one day and so Dad took us on a brilliant wine-tasting day with Santa on the train on the way there and back.

I have a passionate love for France due to really special holidays with my parents travelling down to the Vendee and then staying in a villa there for the week and then travelling back to explore different regions of France. I remember friendly people and fine food and drink with huge langoustines on the Loire and my Mum’s favourite Cointreau on the rocks.

Later, when I was panicking at the idea of going to Cambridge University, my brother took me to different areas of France including the Camargue to see the ponies and the lovely Ceret near the Pyrenees. I thought this was like paradise with cherry crepes and cider in the little square whilst youths buzzed around on mopeds turning the head of my 17 year old self. The place we stayed had a lovely balcony where you could watch the most amazing sunsets. Very happy times!

So there you have a selection of my favourite holiday moments and I would love to hear about yours.



Cuddle Fairy

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Doing business differently can seem challenging when so many “experts” want to show you that it can only be done one way. Today, I am delighted to share an interview with Kerry Flanagan a fascinating woman who can also teach us a lot about working to our own individual strengths and living our lives our way.

Please describe your childhood and teenage years

I am the second eldest in a family with four children. My parents were both teachers and were dedicated to supporting us through any extra curricular activity we wanted to pursue. Most weekends were spent travelling half the country for cross country running events or track and field in the summer. They always encouraged us to follow our passions.

I was a very shy child in my younger years, lacking in confidence much of the time. It was often easier for me to hide quietly behind the commotions in a large family, rather than to take the main stage. Anything creative such as drawing and painting was where I felt at ease. I also had a great affection for animals and had dreams of one day being a vet but with not being in the slightest bit academic at school this wasn’t to be. Like so many children I struggled at exams and was disengaged with anything scientific or mathematical. I did manage to persuade my parents to get us some kittens though!

I had a very happy childhood with holidays camping in France and Wales and trips to stay with family in Cornwall – still a place I love to visit with my own children now. My grandparents lived in London and we would take it in turns to go and visit for the occasional weekend. It was a real treat being taken to see all of the sites but I do remember being homesick quite often!

What was your first job/career

I graduated from university with a degree in graphic design and was fortunate enough to get a job straight away at a large branding consultancy in London. Here I worked for some big clients with big budgets and tight deadlines. It was a fast pace of life and I gained a huge amount of experience in the corporate world. This set me in good stead when setting up my own agency which I did 6 years later.

What gave you the confidence to do things differently in life and business?

My husband has always had his own business and I’ve learnt such a lot from his approach of not being afraid to take risks. Sure we’ve had lots of challenges along the way but if things don’t go to plan, I watched him quickly accepting situations and learning from the experience. This gave me great confidence to follow in his footsteps and join him in the business, which I did in 2011.

We are part of the Entrepreneurs Institute which has taught us to work to our own individual strengths and personalities. We are not meant to be good at every aspect of business and as soon as I understood this, I stopped giving myself a hard time that I couldn’t do numbers, or working on processes wears me out! We now get the right people in for the job and it’s transformed the way we work.


Tell us more about what your business does

My husband and I provide print to order merchandise for influencers who want to play a bigger game in the world with our company Our clients tend to be creative types such as successful artists and musicians who have built a business based on their passion or talent. They have often got stuck running that business and are not able to spend their time doing what they love anymore.

With tried and tested services from our own online Tshirt store, we’re able to take the hassle out of running e-commerce businesses for our clients. We give them back time, revenue and help them grow their businesses and identities. For example, one of our clients is an artist who was so busy answering customer phone calls and emails that he only had one day a week to create his illustrations. Since working with us he now has four days back of his week to be creative and engage more with his fans. This has resulted in doubled sales over the recent festive period compared to that of the previous year. He’s also now able to have a bigger impact in the world by using much more sustainable products and supporting the Global Giving Initiative Buy1 Give1 (B1G1) with every sale

Who has supported you as you developed your business?

My husband has been a tremendous support in everything I do. We run our businesses together and I’m so grateful to him for sharing the big decisions and creating a business we are truly proud of together.

Our families have also been fantastic – they help out with child care, especially when we’ve needed to travel for business. Our parents are such an inspiration for my son and daughter, they are so lucky to have four wonderful grandparents that are such positive role models in their lives.

My children are the reason I get up every morning and my inspiration for never giving up. I want to show them that as long as they have their purpose, they can achieve whatever they want in life. They come with us for business conferences when possible and we’ve recently returned from South Africa with the Entrepreneurs Institute. They got to see all sorts of wildlife and visit children in a local school and witness the little that they have in material terms.

How do you juggle business and family time?

When my children were younger I used to work every hour I had around their sleeps and play groups but this wasn’t the most productive way of working and would often lead to burn out. Now the children are at school it’s got easier to work to a routine but it is still challenging to fit everything in. I’ve had to learn to that being ‘busy’ isn’t a good thing and structuring my days to work by energies makes this a lot easier. This has come through our learnings with the the Entrepreneurs Institute and is based on the ancient Chinese I-Ching system. Mondays are numbers day, Tuesdays are for bigger vision work, Wednesdays are creative day, Thursdays for connections and Fridays are time to catch up with the team and clients.

Weekends are now for family time and we try and do some sort of a family adventure on a Sunday. We also involve the children in planning out our future by creating a family adventure board. So far my daughter has been pony riding and son has been rock climbing this year.

Time as a couple is very important to us too and we’ve recently starting using a babysitter once a month who is brilliant. We’ve never wanted to burden our parents with having the children at the weekends as they help us out so much during the week, which meant it was a rare occasion to leave the house together on an evening! It feels great to have that flexibility to be able to go to out for a meal or to the cinema when we want now. Watching a movie is definitely the one type of night out I missed the most – something you never get to do when having young children!

What does it mean to be “rich” in life?

To be ‘rich’ in life for me is to have the freedom to travel and experience new things as often as possible. Of course money can allow you that freedom but I strive only to have enough to live a comfortable life. What’s more important is setting up our roles in the business so that we can work from wherever we want in the world. My children are only just starting out at school, so we’re restricted by holidays at the moment but I’d love to be able to take each school break off with them and travel somewhere new.

How are you changing the world and how would you like to in the future?

We are proud to be partners with Global Giving Initiative Buy1 Give (B1G1) With each t-shirt that rolls off the press, we contribute an essential education pack for children in Cambodia. This giving back is so meaningful for us as it not only does good in the world, but creates a strong sense of connection for our team, clients and their customers. Last year we gave over 120,000 impacts to great projects in this way and our target in 2018 is to reach over 500,000. Our big purpose is Quality Education and we’re currently working on an enterprise package to deliver into schools in UK. I would love to take this concept to third world countries where youths wouldn’t otherwise have access to business education.

If you could give one tip to a woman who wants to do things differently, what would it be?

Put your intentions down on paper. At the start of each year I write my 12 month vision for where I want to be with the business, family and personal achievements and it’s amazing what comes true once you’ve set the intent!

If you could recommend one book to a woman what would it be and why?

Meaningful – The Story of Ideas That Fly by Bernadette Jiwa. Although not specifically for women this book is for anyone with their own business, trying to put meaning into what they’re doing and to connect to their audience. Bernadette has a memorable way with words and has taught me to fall in love with our customers and not our products.

If you could recommend one website to a woman what would it be and why? has to be my favourite blog site for women facing the everyday struggles of having a family. It’s raw and real and so often features topics that hit the nail right on the head. I‘m sure thousands, if not millions of other women can relate to these stories like I do. They also do brilliant merchandise!


Sharing so openly takes a huge amount of courage so please do consider sharing this post by clicking one or more of the buttons below.

If you would like to share your story on this blog please get in touch.

Doing Business Differently


Twin Mummy and Daddy

Angioplasty is a treatment process that opens blocked coronary arteries of patient to normalise the blood flow to the heart muscle. It is a preferred treatment over open-heart surgery due to there being lesser risk involved.

It can be performed in urgent situations, such as when someone suffers from a severe heart attack, and is often the go-to option in cases where a patient has time to decide which treatment option to go for.

In the treatment, a catheter with a tiny balloon on its tip is inserted into the blocked coronary artery. When it reaches its target i.e. the blockage, the doctors inflate the balloon.

The inflated balloon pushes the accumulated plaque (which is the blockage) to the artery’s sides, making room for the blood to pass through.


A stent is a small and stretchy metal mesh coil, which is used in almost all angioplasty treatments. It’s put into the area of the artery that was treated with the purpose of stopping it from narrowing or closing again. Within a month, the stent becomes covered by the scar tissue.

Angioplasty stent insertion does not involve any risks, but before you go for the treatment, do make sure that it is the only choice of treatment you have.

How to confirm if you really need to undergo angioplasty stent insertion?There are a few questions you should ask your cardiologist to verify if there is a need to undergo angioplasty. You can ask the following questions in this regard:

  • Are there any risks involved if I opt for this treatment?
  • Will angioplasty stent insertion help me feel better?
  • Will the post-treatment preventions allow me to have a healthy and active routine?
  • Is there an alternative medication that can treat my symptoms?

If you are still in doubt after receiving all the answers, it is advisable that you get a second opinion. If your symptoms are mild, you can delay the decision. If the symptoms worsen, consult your cardiologist again.

Who is a likely candidate for an angioplasty stent insertion?

Heart bypass surgery is the last resort to treat heart problems. But before you move on to this last resort, angioplasty stent insertion is a recommended option. There are certain conditions when you are a likely candidate for an angioplasty stent insertion.

Some of those conditions are as follows:

Difficulty in Maintaining Quality of Life

If you have already undergone or are still undergoing conventional or even alternative treatments, but you have physical symptoms constantly, symptoms which interfere with your quality of life, angioplasty is a likely option.

A few of the other signs are:

  • Constant uneasiness in chest
  • Breathlessness
  • Lethargy and exhaustion after physical exertion

Coronary Artery Blockage

If the main coronary artery on the left side is 70% blocked, the heart specialist may suggest angioplasty stent insertion.

Recent Heart Attack

In addition to suffering from heart attack recently, if your present nuclear treadmill test shows intense EKG changes, you are at the risk of aggravating the heart problem.

These are a few signs that indicate the likelihood of you undergoing the angioplasty stent insertion. At Inside Radiology, you can read more details about the procedure of angioplasty.

The best way to treat heart diseases is the healthy and organic way of living, with greater focus on regular exercise and balanced diet.





Eyesight is one of five core senses that human beings are blessed with. Our eyes translate light into image signals for the brain to understand. If a person’s ability to see diminishes, it will cause issues in their day to day lives. Everything they do will be affected by a reduced capacity. Although there is no cure yet for complete blindness, people who are visually impaired can undergo refractive eye surgery and restore their eyesight.


Not every case is eligible for laser eye surgery. Candidates must meet certain conditions before they are deemed suitable for the procedure.

Eye specialists such as can assess whether you qualify for LASIK (Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis). The basic requirements that must be completed are:

21 and Over

Candidates must be at least 21 years of age before they can be considered for laser eye surgery. Any issues are likely to remain constant after maturity which is why a minimum age is set.

There is no upper limit age wise, but patients above 40 may need prescription glasses once their corrective surgery is performed. This will be necessary to deal with presbyopia, a condition which affects the elasticity of the eyes, resulting in long sightedness.

Healthy Eyes

Patients must not be suffering from any eye disease or abnormality. Any condition that may affect your ability to recover after laser eye surgery will be assessed. Examples which could exclude you from surgery are persistent dry eyes. It is a syndrome where they eyes do not produce enough lubrication. If you have conjunctivitis or pink eye, you cannot undergo the surgery as well.


They must be able to lie down, which is a needed for LASIK surgical process.


If women are in their pregnancy phase, they must delay their surgery. LASIK is also not suitable for mothers who are nursing their children. Hormonal changes affect the female body in a number of ways and a little known fact is that the cornea is also subject to change.

Pregnancy also makes your eyes drier and medications which must be taken before and after the procedure may affect your unborn child poorly. Once the hormone imbalance subsides, only then can women undergo laser eye surgery.

Dilated Pupils

Yet another prerequisite is that your pupils must not be too large. This will influence your chances of surgery. People with naturally wide pupils will face a higher risk of the side effects of laser eye surgery. These include halos, glares and starbursts, particularly during night time.

Adjusting Expectations

If you are considering laser eye surgery, it is important to understand the risks attached too. Results may vary on a case by case basis. Therefore, you should think carefully if it is appropriate for you, consult your doctor and plan accordingly. Ophthalmologists, who perform the LASIK surgery, will examine particular cases before proceeding but the factors given above are the most significant.