Saturday, 22 September 2018

How to rock your own style through pregnancy and beyond

Image licensed via Creative Commons.

Is it possible to be a style queen and also expecting a baby? Until recently, you could have been forgiven for saying no. With limited maternity lines in the standard retailers and clothes for pregnant and nursing women either being highly expensive or chintzy and frumpy, it felt like you had to park your sense of style the instant those two little blue lines appeared on the test.

Thankfully, with the advent of internet retailers with lower overheads, it's been possible to cater to more tastes, and the maternity fashion market has bloomed - there is now more choice at far better price points, and mainstream retailers have had to up their game, too. The result is that it's now possible to have a truly stylish pregnancy. Here’s how…

Seek Professional Advice

Pregnancy is a time when your figure - and your feelings about it- can change on a daily  basis. Some days you may want to hide away in an unstructured, oversized sweater but the next, you may be happy to rock your bump in something bodycon. The good news, there are now maternity clothing options for all moods and occasions. Understanding your options and what will suit you can be a minefield, so don't hesitate to seek out advice from a personal shopper or a guide to buying maternity and nursing wear to better understand what you need.

Develop A Go To Look

It's a good idea to come up with a capsule wardrobe for your pregnancy  - a small selection of well-made, great fitting basics that can be worn for work or play and across seasons by using accessories to style them up different ways. Items such as a black wrap dress, a couple of pairs of maternity jeans, some great waterfall cardigans and selection of plain tees can be made into wonderful outfits with a sharp blazer, statement necklace, killer pair of ankle boots or a patterned scarf.

Add Some Colour

Don't feel that you have to hide away in dark colours - unless you prefer them! Colour can be a great way to add interest to a stylish maternity wardrobe. Wearing bright tones can have a cheering effect on your mood. If you don't like to wear bright shades in your  clothes, you can always add interest with colourful accessories like shoes, bags or scarves.

Find Pieces You Can Re-Use

Although it may not feel like it at the time, you're pregnant for such a short period of time, so it's not worth overspending on clothes. Either sign up for the newsletters pof your favourite shops to be notified of sales or use charity shops or sites like eBay to pick up some pre-loved pieces. If you want to invest, choose pieces with stretch that will work for a growing bump and beyond. Go through your existing wardrobe and find things that can work with your pregnancy figure - anything stretchy, oversized or drapey can work, or raid your partner’s wardrobe for chunky knits or oversized shirts you can belt above your bump.

Monday, 17 September 2018

How To Boost Your Child's Academic Potential

Your children may not always care much about their school education - as you call tell by their moans and groans 
when they have to get out of bed to get into their uniforms - but you should. To help your children do well at school 
and beyond, you can be the person who helps them boost their academic potential.

You can do this in the following ways.

Research available schools. Not every school is the same. There are those places that achieve good Ofsted 
reports and those who don't. There are those who come out on top in academic league tables and those who 
remain at the bottom. Leicester High School achieved fantastic GCSE results this year, as an example, and are an 
inspiration to anybody looking for the best place to send their children. While it isn't always down to poor teaching 
or leadership when schools fail, you can still do your bit to look for those schools who consistently perform well. 
This will give your child the best start in life, as they move from primary to secondary education, and beyond.

Support your child's school. Get to know what is on the school curriculum. Find ways to extend certain lessons 
back at home, such as looking on the internet to research certain subjects, or visiting places of interest that can 
increase subject knowledge. Speak to your child's teacher and find out where there may be weaknesses in your 
child's learning, and work with the teacher in bridging skill gaps. Find out what books your child reads, and discuss 
these books at home. If you have time, volunteer in the classroom or attend parenting groups, to show your child 
that you take their education seriously. Do all you can to help, as you will have a better awareness of your child's 
educational needs if you do.

Encourage your child to take part in after-school activities. These may be things the school puts on 
themselves, from sports clubs to homework clubs. There will be groups in your local community, with such things as
 holiday clubs out of term time, and evening groups, such as cubs and scouts, and anything organised by local 
churches or community groups. Your children will continue their learning in informal environments, be that gaining
 knowledge in certain skills, or learning how to socialise with others.

Offer your child praise and encouragement. When they do something well at school, show them you care with 
an encouraging word and the occasional reward. Even when those accomplishments are small, they are still worth 
recognising to show your child that you care. Offer encouragement by attending special events such as sports days
 or school tournaments. Your presence means a lot to your child, and you can show your encouragement, whether 
they succeed or fail. And on that last point, remember that it is okay to fail. If your child makes mistakes, don't 
criticise them harshly, but rather show them how to pick themselves up, move on, and do better.

Do all of these things to boost your child's academic potential. It will help them today, and it will help them well into 
the future. And one day, they may just thank you for the support you gave them.