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Baby Manicures and The Shaky Wreck

If like me you were a shaky wreck trying to cut your wriggling baby’s nails, then read on . . . .

When Grace was born, she wore mitts and baby-gro’s with the mitts attached to prevent her scratching her wee face.  However, she soon learnt how to get the mitts off.

When I tried to cut her nails she used to wriggle so much that I even had to ask the midwife to cut her nails for me during one of her visits.

I remember using the baby clippers to cut her nails and she was wriggling so much, I cut her finger – I was beside myself.  That’s when my search began for a solution to my problem.  As you can imagine, I was delighted when I discovered the “Baby Nails Store”.

At the Baby Nails Store they provide a simple to use, hands-free way of keeping your baby’s delicate nails neat and trim.  The Thumble slips onto your thumb and uses adhesive nailfiles, allowing you to have both hands free to cradle your baby using just your thumb to do the filing, in a relaxed manner.

It’s recommended that the perfect time to smooth your baby’s nails is when feeding. Having both hands free allows you to feed your baby on the breast or with a bottle and file away in a relaxing manner.

The Thumble is an absolute godsend – no more long or jaggy nails.  Just perfectly filed nails, filed by a calm and relaxed parent

To try the Thumble yourself, please visit www.baby-nails.co.uk or babynails on Facebook or babynailcare on Twitter.

As a Secret Shopaholic Mummy reader, Baby Nails are offering you  a 10% discount – Please quote “SECRET” when completing your sale.

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📢 BARGAIN ALERT 📢

GAP Outlet, McArthur Glen, Livingston

40% Everything Instore

Complete the Customer Survey below PRIOR to shopping

https://gapinceuropeces.com/#/GAP/English

Take a Screenshot of your Voucher Code

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Scotland’s Baby Boxes

2 months ago I shared a fantastic Independent News article about the Scottish Government following the 80 year Finnish tradition of giving all babies born (from 1st January 2017 onwards) in Scotland a ‘Baby Box’.

As a first time mum, I thought this was a fantastic idea.  Yes, the 3 ‘Bounty Bags’ are great and full of useful products, vouchers and booklets but the ‘Baby Box’ is more than a material incentive – Finland, once an impoverished nation of poor health is now known for having one of the best maternity care systems in the world.

So, you could imagine my pessimism about the future of Scotland’s ‘Baby Boxes’ when I read yesterday’s STV news report . . . .
Read more here: https://stv.tv/news/politics/1380619-baby-boxes-may-be-vastly-more-expensive-than-first-thought/

 

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Cupcakes With A Difference

I’d been looking for a gift for a friend who has recently given birth to a beautiful wee girl.  I wanted something different, useful, stylish and unique.  As a new mummy, I follow lots of Baby Boutique style shops on Instagram and Facebook, so I was delighted when I came across the page ‘Mum and Me Baby Gifts’.

‘Mum and Me Baby Gifts’ are a mother and daughter duo, based in Glasgow, who appreciate how special and important the imminent arrival of a new baby can be.  They aim to create a stunning and memorable item for you to gift at this special time.

Their range of nappy cakes, baby bouquets, cutie cupcakes make the perfect gift for a new mum or mum to be and certainly make a stunning centre piece for any baby shower.  All of their newborn and yummy mummy gifts are hand crafted and each creation is completely unique so whether pink, blue, unisex or themed they put a lot of time and effort into creating this very special gift for a very special new arrival.

I decided to treat my friend to the stylish ‘Cutie Cupcakes’.  They’re going to be a real sweet treat for her special little bundle.  They’re baked with love and care using a variety of baby clothing.  They came presented in a beautiful cupcake box, decorated with embellishments and beautifully gift wrapped with ribbon and a rattle keepsake charm.

The ‘Cutie Cupcakes’ are cleverly crafted by Mum and Me and will go down a treat as they contain clothing essentials that every new mum needs for her little princess as well as having the luxurious, velvety plush, traditional Beatrix Potter character Flopsy Bunny comforter incorporated within each box.

The ‘Cutie Cupcake’ box includes:

 1 x Luxury Flopsy Bunny comforter
2 x Pairs of socks (0-6 months)
1 x Short sleeved bodysuit (3-6 months or 0-3)
1 x Pair of mitts
1 x Muslin square

To see more of the fantastic gifts available from ‘Mum and Me Baby Gifts’, please visit:

http://www.mumandmebabygifts.com/ 

https://www.facebook.com/mumandmebabygifts/

https://www.instagram.com/mum_and_me_baby_gifts/

To receive an exclusive ‘The Secret Shopaholic Mummy’ discount of 10%, please quote ‘MUMMY10’ at the checkout.

The ladies from Mum and Me Baby Gifts will be in The Centre, Livingston on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th February – Why not pop in to see them and their wonderful gifts.

 

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Daddy Milestone Cards

Mummy’s aren’t the only ones that need a giggle when it comes to looking after our new little bundles of joy!  Dios Designs have ‘Daddy Milestone Cards’ which look at the funny side of being a Daddy. 

From ‘Today the baby didn’t cry when I held them’ to ‘First taste of Daddy’s beer’, there are plenty cards in the pack to capture those special moments, making fun photographs for the family album.

As well as capturing those special ‘Daddy’ milestones, Dios Designs also specialise in ‘Alternative Milestone Cards’, ‘Mummy Milestone Cards’, ‘Toddler Milestone Cards’, ‘Alternative Pregnancy & Reality Cards’ and ‘Premature Baby Milestone Cards’.

At £8.99p, these are excellent value for money!

To see the full Dios Design’s range, please visit:

http://www.diosdesigns.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/DiosDesign/shop/?rid=146901635698445&rt=9

 

 

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A Day For Bargains!

Today, I popped into Tesco to cash in my winning Lottery ticket – a whole £5.10p!  Not quite the jackpot I was hoping for but I think I’m one step closer to winning a million!

Whilst waiting in the queue, I spotted what can only be described as an amazing bargain! A Vtech “First Steps Baby Walker” reduced from £33.00p to £7.50p!  Initially I thought this was a mistake but when paying for it at the check out (yes, I couldn’t resist picking one up for my wee Grace), the Checkout Assistant advised that if you buy it online it’s £15, but £7.50p in store.  Apparently it’s only available in Tesco, Hermiston Gate at this price but it’s certainly worth checking out your local store.

 

Next stop, ‘Tiger’ in The Centre, Livingston.  I popped in to get some ideas for decorations etc. for Graces first birthday.  Unfortunately the store is due to close down at the end of the month but with them closing down comes lots of reductions.  I picked up a few wee bits and pieces for Grace, including a “duck water cannon” for scooshing Grumps when we go swimming.  This was reduced from £3.50p to £0.50p.  The best bargains which I picked up were the “Hooded Bath Towels”.   I bought Grace a couple of the pink bears and watermelon designs.  These are great for when we go swimming and will be handy for our holidays too.  These were originally £4.00p but today . . . . £0.50p each!

All round, a great wee day for bargains!

 

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How Working Dads Juggle Their Roles

Gavin D'Souza and his daughter KatelynImage copyright Gavin D’Souza

Image caption Gavin D’Souza and his daughter Katelyn

Working fathers are frequently reducing their hours or taking on a less stressful role in order to balance their work and family lives, a new study has found.

According to the charity Working Families, a third of fathers they surveyed said they would take a pay cut in order to be more involved in their children’s lives and as many again said they felt burnt out trying to juggle work and parental responsibilities.

BBC audiences have been sharing their experiences about how they cope.

Gavin D’Souza, Mumbai, India

“I worked as a sound engineer for six or seven days-a-week for ten years, with no specific work times, no overtime and no extra pay. That’s just how the industry works.

“On top of that I had to get home early so my wife Kim could go to work in the evenings, she had to work so we could pay the rent on the house.

 “A couple of months ago I had to quit my job because I was asked to to work evenings too, and evenings are the only time I get with my family.

“I quickly got another job but things are even worse. This new job has no holidays and no regular working hours at all.

“I have had numerous opportunities to work abroad but I declined them so I could be a part of my daughter’s life as she grows up.

“I’ve decided to quit my new job, and today after just two months I’m leaving.

“Now I’m looking to start a business where I can spend more time with my family.”


Jessica and Dan Shuttleworth, Coventry, UK

Dan ShuttleworthImage copyright Jessica Shuttleworth
Image caption Dan Shuttleworth and his son Louis

Jessica: “My husband and I made the decision when our son was born that I should work full time and he would work part time and be the stay-at-home parent. This is because, as a woman, I get far more rights as a working mother than he would as a working father.

“I am entitled to flexible working and have more legal rights. I work 36 hours a week and he works between 16 and 18, split over a Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon which means we are at home together on a Saturday and our son only has to go to a nursery for one afternoon a week.

“It’s been eight months and it’s working so far. Dan is happy because he is at home with our son and also has a job so he feels like he is contributing to our income and Louis (our son) is happy because he has a parent at home during the week.

“We earn enough to get by and get no help from the state with our son other than child benefit.”


Tamas, Szekesfehervar, Hungary

“In my role, it’s really hard to find a healthy work-life-balance. In a lot of companies you will get benefits, such as salary increase based on the effort you invest into your job. If you are not focused on your career, then you will get no increase or not the amount that would be needed.

“If you are focused just on your career you will miss beautiful moments with your child.

“If you would like to spend more time taking care of your child, you have to work hard. Then it becomes a circle, like an infinite loop, that you cannot close.

“Some people advise to either not work that hard or to move to another company, but this is nonsense. Why? Because your family needs money. More money comes from higher appreciation at work. This comes from more hard work. However, it will also reduce the time you have for your family.

“In addition, the parental leave we have here in Hungary is near to nothing. We get two days of parental leave per year per child, which is not enough. Salary increases are also not a trend here, at least not in my case.”


Sean Fleming, Reading, UK

“I jumped off the career ladder about five or six years ago – a decision taken with my wife to effectively swap roles; she’d worked part-time since the first of our two sons was born.

“She wanted to get back to her career, and I was painfully aware of missing out on being around my boys. We had enough cash to fall back on that my not working for a while wouldn’t cause problems and then I started working part-time from home as a writer.

“There are a lot of unexpected barriers and challenges when you’re a stay-at-home dad – they almost all boil down to other people’s attitudes.

Sean FlemingImage copyright Sean Fleming
Image caption “It’s important to accept that balance comes at a cost.”

“When the time came that I wanted to get back to work I met some almost hostile responses. Many people struggled to accept that a man would want to spend more time at home with his kids for a while.

“I asked a few of them ‘would you be so negative in the face of a woman returning to work after a prolonged child-related career break?’ The answer was always ‘no’ and was often followed by an uncomfortable acceptance that they were regarding me differently solely because of my gender.

“It’s a real eye-opener into tacit acceptance of gender-defined roles in society. That’s something facing both men and women and it needs to change.

“These days I work as a copywriter for a marketing agency. I spend three days in the office and two days at home. It feels like a good balance. But it’s important to accept that balance comes at a cost.

“I earn about a third less than I did about six years ago and half what I might be earning had I stayed on the career ladder. But it’s definitely been worth it.”


Julian Wallond, Surrey, UK

“Nearly three years ago I changed jobs. I took a pay cut purely for the reason of getting a better work-life balance and importantly to spend more time with my two kids. It is a move that I have not regretted.

“Previously the stress levels I was working under were making me ill. The previous job also was further away from home, so I was spending between three-and-a-half to four hours travelling every day.

“My wife and I both still work full time – we could not afford the mortgage otherwise. Life is still a struggle, but we get by.

Julian WallondImage copyright Julian Wallond
Image caption “Family is so much more important than a career.”

“The family have breakfast together every morning now. I can now see that my kids leave home to get on the bus to school before I travel to work. I work one day a week from home and that also is invaluable.

“It means I can help with things like getting the kids to and from after-school activities – both my children are members of the local swimming club and train for around 10 hours a week.

“Family is so much more important than a career. My new employer, Virgin Media, has been good to me.”


Casey Kelso, Berlin, Germany

“I have struggled with this for many years, choosing to be paid at 80% while working 100%. I forego a larger salary for the right to look my colleagues in the eye when I’m leaving early two afternoons a week to meet the school bus.

“Yet as a manager, my commitment and my ability to manage has been called into question a few times. ‘Why don’t you get an au pair?’ I’ve been asked. Or ‘why don’t you ask your wife to work less?’

“As a man, I know the expectations on men can be tough when we want to step out of a stereotype.”


Graham Bevan, Dursley, UK, formerly of Halifax, Canada

“I think this is a very important area for the UK to improve. My daughter was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Canadian law is much more even-handed.

“At the time my wife was self-employed and so I was able to take our entire allocation of parental leave. This allowed me to be there full time for my daughter for the first eight months of her life.

“I also had the great fortune to be working for a very enlightened employer whose policy topped up my state allowance to 95% of my salary.

Graham Bevan
Image copyright Graham Bevan
Image caption Graham Bevan found parental law in Canada more even-handed

“To say this was the most important and precious time of my life is an understatement. It allowed my wife and I to fully share the role of parenting and I feel we are much stronger as a family as a result.

“As a middle manager I was the first man to take advantage of this at my job and contrary to complaining and worrying about how they would cope, my bosses were more concerned with baby showers. I felt totally supported.

“What did the employer get out of this? A whole lot of loyalty and an employee that worked hard happily, who dealt with personnel issues with compassion and empathy and a very low staff turnover rate. All intangible I know, but as an employer, if you go to bat for your employees, they will do the same for you.”


Anonymous, Middle East

“Living and working in the Middle East has posed even larger issues with work-life balance.

“With the constant drive to meet deadlines, as well as meeting client expectations, work-life balance is generally not taken into account by bosses.

“Due to ensuring that the clients are kept happy and that revenue is maximised, it is rare that I and a lot of others in this part of the world are allowed to take more than two weeks leave at a time, even though by law we are entitled to four weeks a year paid vacation.

“Due to the excessive client expectations, six-day working weeks are the norm so getting time to spend with your family is far and few between, to the extent that I will pull a sickie if I know my kid, wife or both have an impromptu day off (my wife is a teacher and my kid is in nursery).

“I’m constantly looking for work outside the Middle East that offers a better working schedule so I can spend time with my family.”

By Annie Flury, UGC and Social News Team

Article from BBC News