31.7.14

Mrs Jones: On the Importance of Working from Home

So I did it! I have survived the first three weeks as a (part-time) working Mama of two. I really hate that phrase working mother, because of course all mothers work don't they?! Whilst the days I am in the office are mentally more exhausting because of the super early mornings and of course the job itself, the days I spend with children are physically more challenging but infinitely more rewarding.  



One thing that did make a huge difference in helping me integrate back in to the work place was the fact that for the first two weeks,  I was 'allowed' to work a day from home. Unfortunately my boss has since told me that it isn't an option for me to do more of this in future, and I can't understand why. I work as a social media manager so my job can easily be done remotely on occasion. 

The difference being able to work from home makes for me as a mother, is enormous. It made me feel that for once I was being treated as a worthy member of my department, valued and trusted to work without supervision, because of course working from home is often synonymous with the phrase 'pulling a sickie'! I felt like I actually got a lot more work done at home too because I could actually focus on the task at hand rather than having to stop and make inane chit chat with whoever walks past my desk in work. My mother was also there with me, helping look after little E and Rufio and I was able to stop for a break every now and then, help with nappy changes, lunch/dinner times and the occasional sneaky snuggle.

From a practical point of view, as a family we didn't have to wake up quite so early in the morning as there was no commute. Consequently everyone was in a much better mood throughout the day ( myself included) and getting ready was slightly less hurried and therefore less stressful all round. 

Most of all it made me feel empowered, that I could still be there for my children whilst juggling my job at the same time. For just two days, I felt far more inspired to get on with my work, I was more focused and therefore productive and ultimately I felt far more satisfied in my job. 

The government always seems eager to push mothers back in to the workplace, without a second thought to the emotional impact this has on us as human beings. I often feel like so much is expected of me, as a woman, a mother, an employee, a colleague etc and creating a work / life balance often feels unachievable.
  
Whilst promoting flexible working hours is certainly a step in the right direction, I also feel that much more should be done to allow working from home as a viable option for mothers in similar positions to myself. From a business point of view it means one less person in the office, lower overheads and so more profitability for businesses in the long run. Equally, greater job satisfaction is known to decreases absenteeism.   

Of course you can argue that you can't reproduce the interaction that goes on in the workplace remotely. Last year, Yahoo actually banned employees from working at home because of this and I feel that this move was slightly shameful, especially given that their CEO Marissa Mayer is herself a new mother! With all the technology available to us in 2014 there is no reason why a combination of working from home and office should be an option available to mothers!

I don't usually write opinionated posts but this is something that I feel very strongly about as you can probably tell. Are you a Mama who works ( aside from bringing up your children of course) and how do you feel about having the option to work from home, I would love to hear your views.

24.7.14

Nails of the Week: Gelish & Models Own

This week my nails are super neon peach with Gelish's I'm brighter than you and Models Own- Microdots as an accent nail. If you're not in to gels then Models Own in Beach bag or China Glaze's flip flop fantasy would make good dupe to recreate this look. 


Microdots from Models Own, is a multicoloured glitter polish on a clear base, it looks great on it's own or over a nude polish but right now I'm really in to amping up the colour and layering it over neons.
It reminded me of cupcake sprinkles until little E pointed out that it is in fact Mr Tumble Nail Polish!!


She is obsessed with Microdots, she has it on her fingers and toes at the moment and makes a point of showing her mani/ pedi to anyone who will listen. I really need to get her some child friendly nail polish, without any nasty chemicals. I hear Little BU is good, have any of you tried this?  



Now that I'm back in work I am trying to be super organised, getting the children's clothes ready the night before and having prepared for the morning. Yesterday morning however, I noticed that I had unwittingly matched my nails to the kiddiewinks' outfits. I love a good neon if you hadn't noticed!!


I have been getting lots of lovely comments about my tan lately. I wish I could say it was from two weeks of lying on a beach in Mykonos, unfortunately that's going to have to wait until the end of the summer. This tan is intact from a bottle, I'll be posting a review very soon on Cocoa Brown's 1hr tan Dark. It is uh-may-zing, a total game changer!!

20.7.14

Little Jones Style: First Shoes

My mother always says ' you can tell a lot about a gentleman, by this shoes' so I had to make sure Mr Rufio set off on the right foot so to speak, with his very first pair. Rufio isn't yet walking, but when we're out he likes to walk holding and was in need of something to protect his tootsies. At home, he gets around quite efficiently using a very unique bum shuffling method which involves steering with his right hand, using his left leg to propel himself forward, all whilst pointing in the direction in which he is traveling with his left hand, a sound complicated? it is!


I really wanted Rufie to have some comfy and stylish shoes that fit well and gave his feet and ankles some much needed support. This is where I ran in to trouble because pre-walkers tend to steer towards the awkward looking side. There are some more stylish ones available but I wasn't able to find any that came in width fittings or that had the required support.


I had bookmarked these cute baby deck shoes from Clarks quite a while back and luckily for us by the time Rufio needed them they were actually half price in the sale! Mr Jones quite often wears deck shoes too and I love seeing my boys in coordinating footwear.


We were given a little certificate with a super cute photo, (top photo) to commemorate Rufio's very first pair of shoes. E's first pair were from Trotters, who do give certificates but without photos so this was a really lovely surprise and a very nice touch on Clarks' part.

We're so so pleased with Rufus' first shoes. I am a die hard shoe addict myself so I often despair at the selection of boys shoes available which tend to be ugly, clumpy and waaay too practical for my liking. Shoe shop recommendations from mamas of stylish little men would be much appreciated, for future reference!!

14.7.14

Splurge or save: Lace Espadrilles

Lace espadrilles are the ultimate in relaxed daytime chic and none more so than this beautiful Valentino version. I am however, a huge fan of the H&M copy cat pair which I have been living in all summer, a snip at just £14.99. They are super comfy and go with almost anything, (except rain) and come in a variety of styles if lace isn't your thing.


12.7.14

This Mama Loves: Benefit- They're real! push-up liner

I'm starting back at work next week following a year's maternity leave ( wish me luck!!) and am trying to cut down my make-up regime to under  5 minutes (wish me luck on that too!). I am always, always, on the look out for time saving beauty products that are easy to apply and that I can forget about for the rest of the day without having to worry about touch ups. 


 I have been a huge fan of Benefit's they're real! Mascara for some time now and have been eagerly awaiting the launch of the matching eyeliner. Following the popularity of the Mascara there has been quite a buzz around the launch of they're real push-up liner so was it worth the wait and the hype......?


Absofreakinglutely!! this product is an absolute must have!!


There are so many things to love about this eyeliner such as the AccuFlex rubberised tip which is great if you're trying to apply eyeliner on the go and run the risk of stabbing yourself in the eye! The angled tip also makes it much easier to line the eyes quickly and evenly.


It's also waterproof, I tested this out on Rufio's first birthday which was one of the hottest days of the year, I also shed a few tears throughout the day but the eyeliner stayed put. I have quite oily skin yet the liner didn't run or smudge.


There's only one thing that I'm not too keen on and that is the packaging. There is no way of telling how much product you have left so one day, when it runs out, I'm going to be totally stuck! and I'm not sure how I'm going to manage without it!!

What are your favourite time saving beauty products? Do share and help a mama in need!!

8.7.14

Aldi's Feeding Time at London Zoo

Yesterday we were invited to attend Aldi's Feeding Time at London Zoo. Aldi hosted a picnic lunch in order to launch their new own label food pouches, part of their Mamia range. The pouches are 100% organic and made entirely from British produce.

I am going back to work part- time next week and despite my best intentions I'm probably going to be too busy and stressed to cook meals from scratch for the little ones to begin with. So I was really interested to find out more about Aldi's Mamia range. The organic pouches are just the sort of thing I would leave for my mum, who will look after Rufio whilst I'm at work. They don't require any preparation, Rufie loves them because he can feed himself and most importantly, they are organic.



We also got to sample a few other products from Aldi's Mamia range, their rice cakes and baby juice were very very popular with the little Joneses. I actually tried one of the rice cakes myself and they were much less sticky and messy than our usual brand, yet equally as tasty. I was intrigued to discover that the Mamia baby juice is actually made on the same production line as a certain leading label, so it is essentially the same product yet it retails for a fraction of the price.

What really stood out for me was the Aldi no frills ethos, I love how they refuse to compromise on the quality of their products but lower the end price to the consumer by cutting back on luxuries such as having someone to pack your bags at the till.


I was so happy to see a friendly face at the picnic when we bumped in to Emily from London Mummy of Two who I had met at Britmums Live last month. After the picnic we were free to explore the zoo, so we hung out with Emily and her gorgeous girls. 
We especially loved the Penguin Beach enclosure. We were all completely mesmerised by the penguins and could have sat there for hours watching them. Neither little E or Rufio had ever been to London Zoo before and E was super excited to see some of her favourite animals. I had been really dreading my last full week at home with my bubas so it was really lovely to have a fun event like this to look forward to. Thank you Aldi!! 

7.7.14

One!

My boy turned one last week,  the year has flown by in what feels like a blink of an eye. I have had the most wonderful year being a mama to my two littles, I love watching them grow up together and become friends. No one can make this little man laugh quite like his big sister can and I love how he still gets hiccups whenever he giggles. He is just so calm and laid back, yet with a cheeky little personality, he is a total pleasure to be around. 

The year hasn't been without challenges, it certainly wasn't easy being at home with a newborn and a tempestuous two year old. Trying to breastfeed one and usher another towards the potty were my main objectives of the day at the start and as exhausting as it was, there was no where else I would have wanted to be. 



Next week I am due to return to work part- time. Society dictates that as an educated career woman, I am supposed eagerly await my return to work and so I can have 'real' conversations with adults and assert my new found independence.  But I don't. It just feels wrong. I wish that I could stay home with my babies, discussing how many Tiaras Princess Sofia has with my almost three year old and watch my son learn to take his first few steps.

I have done this before so you would think it would be easier returning to work a second time, it isn't! Once again I feel like my heart is being broken. You see, even though I work I am still a full time mother, yet in the office I am supposed to act as though my children don't exist. I am supposed to be two different people. But I am not, these two little people will always be a part of me no matter what, and I will always be their Mama


1.7.14

My C-Section Beauty Tips.

I'm feeling super emotional this week, my little boy will be One in just a few days time. I have never managed to sit down and blog about the actual birth so instead I have planned a few posts in honour of Mr Rufio's first birthday.

I have had this particular blog post sitting in my drafts for about four months now and I have really debated whether or not to post this. Why? Because I was nervous of the reaction that I would get talking about c-sections. I spoke about it with some of the lovely ladies who I met at the Britmums live conference and I decided you know what? My blog, my body and my baby.

I do feel very strongly that all women should be entitled to chose how they give birth without prejudice or judgement from others. After all, we're all want the same result, a healthy baby!
I have a few friends due to have c-sections, in the coming months and this post was initially written for them, just a heads up really for things that helped me and some extras for your hospital bag which you may not have thought of.

In the week before my daughter was born, in 2011 anxious that I would never ever have time to pamper myself again, I booked a whole load of beauty treatments. Here's what to book.... and what not to!


  • Blowdry- Ok when you first hold your baby, the last thing you're going to give a stuff about is your locks. Honestly, I didn't know what to do with myself the day of my first c-section so I waddled on down to the nearest blow-dry bar for something to do and I'm so glad that I did. I loved not having to bother with my hair until I got back home from the hospital and yes I did like having swooshy hair when everyone was taking photos of the baby. Second time around I made sure to book in a blow dry, here's me on the day Rufio was born



  • Mani/ Pedi- Yes I know this sounds mad, after all everyone is going to be looking at your beautiful baby rather than your tootsies but you probably haven't seen your toes for a while, let alone managed to reach them. Book a Pedicure, I promise you'll thank me for it! The photo below, my blog logo in fact, was taking the day after little E was born and I will never get bored of this image of her teeny little fingers.

  • Bikini Wax - you can of course do a Gwyneth and stay 'Au Naturel' but the nurses at the hospital will probably shave the area just below where your incision will be if you don't bother. The choice is yours!

  • DO NOT however try any new treatments at this late stage, pregnancy hormones play havoc with sensitive skin. I decided to get false lashes two days before my daughter was born. I suffered an allergic reaction to the glue and spent the night before she was born trying to remove the lashes with olive oil. The day of the birth I had still had itchy and puffy eye lids and no lashes, not the look I was going for! 

Some tips for your hospital bag


1. Peppermint Tea: A friend warned me about the trapped gas after a section, it's uncomfortable, embarrassing and soooo not glamorous. She also suggested I take some peppermint tea in my hospital bag, which is a great tummy soother. It helped no end, oh and the Tea Pigs brand is especially lovely.

2. Stock up on the granny knickers or anything high waisted that isn't going to irritate your c-section scar, I also bought a few sizes bigger than usual to go over my post baby tum. As unattractive as they are, it's only for a few weeks until things heal.  You can even buy some knickers designed specifically to be worn post op but I managed fine without these. whilst on this subject : Maternity pads- bring your own from, Boots or Mother care, the ones they give you in hospital are thick and uncomfortable.

3. Pack nighties and Dresses for the first few days, again you may find trousers and PJ bottoms uncomfortable against your scar. If you're planning on breastfeeding, make sure they allow for easy access too. I didn't know to do this first time around and I found comfortable and convenient clothing was one of the key elements that have allowed me to breastfeed successfully with number 2.... but that's a whole other post isn't it!





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