Friday, 26 February 2010

Simple & Quick Lock Styles

Granted this lady's SLs are a lot longer than most newbies but she still has mad skills and everything she's done can be executed on traditional locks too!  Plus, with a lil creativity you can adapt most of the styles to your lock type and length.

Truly inspirational.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Why Can't Men Close Their Legs?

Ok get your mind out the gutter (you know who you are) it's not THAT kind of post.

I think I have to invent a new word like when I created 'Tallerists' to describe those inconsiderate tall people who tend to be so unmindful of where they are going that they trample petite people under foot and then wipe what's left from the bottom of their shoes with disdain, as if to say 'Well what were you doing under my feet anyway?' *scowls at those head in the cloud people*

My new word is going to be 'Biggerist'. It refers to ALL people with the "I am bigger than you" mentality, who really don't consider their fellow passengers, pedestrians, passers-by - you name it. (I find this an especially useful term for truck drivers and owners of 4x4 vehicles who keep trying to crush my car!).

Now, if you know that you are neither a Tallerist or a Biggerist you should not be offended by my post. If you get offended then all I can say is "If the shoe fits...." after which I shall stick my tongue out at you and run away. A bear can't catch a field mouse...

Once again, this 'adventure' relates to my commuting to/from work.
When female passengers get into the train and settle down into their seats - they make sure all their belongings are within the dividing line: this side for me, that side for you, thank you.

The exceptions to this rule are of course the Aunties - who believe they are entitled to sit however they please on said chairs - even if that means crossing the dividing line... or those who believe the seat adjacent to theirs is meant for their handbag/shopping bags.

Please note - ample bodied people are exempt from this observation because they cannot reasonably be expected to fit their bottoms between the dividing lines of a standard size seat. This does not make them a Biggerist - unless of course they subscribe to the Biggerist mentality.

Most men will attempt to sit within the lines...  they'll place their briefcases on their knees or between their knees or against their shins. Ok, so we've generalised and covered most people. Now we come to the Biggerists.

With my swollen tummy, I will always pick the special Priority (pregnant woman) seat - as long as it is available of course. These seats are for the pregnant, elderly and/or disabled. No problem.

Today I settled into my seat, placed my bag on my lap and tried to relax;  it's been one of those days - someone questioned why my colleague signed off on some currency yield curves and wouldn't believe me when I said it had nothing to do with me... at all (or my colleague for that matter so there must be a mistake).

Another lady settled in opposite me and tucked her coat under (so it didn't cross the dividing line - how nice) and began reading her book...

No sooner had I felt the first wave of de-stressing sweep over me than a Biggerist boarded the train. He had at least 10 empty seats to choose from. First he sat next to another man... but 5 or so mins later - he got up and shuffled over my way. I was in the aisle seat and he decided that he just HAD to squeeze himself past me and into the window seat next to me... the PRIORITY window seat (for the pregnant, the elderly and the disabled - none of which applied to him).

I blinked in disbelief and actually craned my neck around the carriages to see if I could work out what was wrong with the 9 or so other available seats.... (absolutely nothing, if you ask me).  This man just HAD to sit next to me which wouldn't in itself have been a problem - except for the fact that he SAT ON ME!

I mean honestly. I'm pregnant. I'm sitting here. I'm wearing my BABY ON BOARD badge in the special pregnant people seat ... and you still sit on me?

Thing is - I am sure he could have kept his keester on his side of the dividing line if he had SHUT HIS LEGS. Why do men have to sit with their legs all 'sprawled out'? This man decided to sit so 'cat spraddled' over de place that I had to move or face death by crushing on the blooming train home. Absolutely ridiculous!

Have you any idea what a colossal effort it was to pull myself out from under him? Huh? Have you? I just wanted to shout at him and call him an inconsiderate so and so... but I didn't.  After all, he was bigger than me.. and clearly he was into crushing small women for a hobby.

Well Mr Biggerist - this is what I think of you.

Please readers - I beg you - show some consideration to your fellow man (especially small pregnant women you may have trapped under your right butt cheek). 

Sunday, 21 February 2010

The Baby Bump

The London Baby Show (Excel Centre)

I love the Baby Show!

Each time I have been pregnant I have eagerly waited for the calendar date to roll round so I can go! Preferably without HRH but if one is heavily pregnant one does need some big hands and strong arms to carry all the goodies (and drive home so you can concentrate on sleeping instead).  The man has his uses :)

I look out for fliers all year - because invariably different companies will be offering differing levels of discount - I wait like a cat ready to pounce when I find the lowest discount! This year I could have had between £3 and £6.50 off the entry price and I almost succumbed - but holding out for another week paid off. I managed to get a two-for-the-price-of-one deal... so HRH could come for free lol. Now he had no excuses.

We dropped the princess off at ballet and, with the young prince in tow, headed across the river.

The Baby Show is probably the largest baby product exhibition in the UK, not only will you find toys, nursery furniture, bedding and feeding products; there is  a wealth of information available and exhibits showcasing natural alternatives like cotton nappies and skincare products.  Keep going and you'll find branded maternity and baby clothing; baby slings, books, and vitamins plus there are experts on hand to discuss cord blood capture, cell preservation, antenatal care, pre and post natal health, weaning, sleep, developmental milestones, breastfeeding, early years education and so much more.

The keys to getting the most out of the show?

  • If your partner is grumpy and inclined to rush you (i.e. get super miserable after 2 hours of walking and looking and comparing) - LEAVE HIM AT HOME. Take your best friend or your mum instead.
  • Get there early - the crowds will be smaller.
  • If you are taking your baby with you - take the smaller buggy/lighter stroller or carry them in a sling (if they're still small enough); although the aisles are incredibly wide - there will be lots of mummies and babies milling around with their buggies so the person with the most compact systems will be King :)
  • There are areas for discreet breastfeeding, facilities  for bottle (and food) warming and booths from which you can buy ready to drink milk formula (in cartons) and organic baby food so you can afford to travel light. Last time I went there were even free disposable nappies to use at the Pampers and Huggies courts.
  • Try to plan your time so that you have about 3 hours - if you leave earlier you wont make the most of the exhibition (nor will you have gotten your money's worth out of the ticket!). If you stay longer - you are going to be exhausted (especially if you are pregnant) because there is a lot of walking to do. Don't worry too much though as they have plenty of rocking chairs and a (pregnant) mummy chill out area where you can catch your breath. 
  • Decide how you will get your spoils home. Will you use their home delivery service? Or park and collect (on your way home)? Or will you take your partner and load him up like a camel? (Sorry - couldn't resist). 
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY - DO YOUR RESEARCH! Everything (and I do mean everything)  is discounted, however, if you don't know how much it normally costs you can miss out on some real bargains and of course, the opportunity to haggle for a price match :)
So, what did I get?

My top three objectives were to find:
  1.  my ideal double buggy at the ideal price.
  2. a set of reusable nappies at a better price than I can find online.
  3. SOFT biodegradable nappy liners (these are like gold dust!).
Anything else would be a bonus!

I bought the nappy bundle first - once again choosing to go with BumGenius V3 Birth to Potty nappies, I did go with an open mind, and was prepared to be persuaded to purchase an alternative (and potentially cheaper) brand - but after listening to a lot of impartial advice and my own observations etc. - BumGenius came out tops for my budget and lifestyle. At a RRP of £14.75, I was pretty happy to get my bundle of 15 at a 20% discount.

Research also played a key role in my choice of buggy. Faced with the 'lovely' prospect of having two little ones under 2 (and bother under 18 months for a while!), we reluctantly reached the (obvious) conclusion that we'd have to say goodbye to our faithful Quinny and buy (what we saw to be) a bulky, clumsy tanker.

Over the past 7 months I have tirelessly trawled through the internet and read every product review (printed or otherwise) I could find.

While the Phil & Ted's double is incredibly popular due to its compact size, it's practicality is limited, and the length of use is limited because as the smaller child grows - he/she quickly runs out of 'good' space. In the piccie below, both kids are the same age, it's a diff story when one is older.  The smaller has to sit/lie in the rear seat, which is fine when they're still a newborn but as an older baby they get super bored staring at the back of big bro/sista's chair!  The 
 HRH also didn't like the idea of baby #3 being so close to the dirt and dust of the road. So we ruled it out.
If you like it - you can get one for around £350. So that'd be the price to beat at the Baby Show.

Standard side by side strollers were ruled out - we do a lot of outdoor activities and those peeny wheels would never cope with the mud, gravel and grass we like to roll over! We also go to Barbados quite frequently and those little wheels would get stuck in the sand at the beach. These babies cost about £220 and up.

These tandem pushchairs were also out of the question: too massively bulky, they'd never fit in the car and are difficult to steer. We also didn't like that the kid in the back can't see much. I mean - what's the point in going for a walk when all you can see is your brother's seat? You'd get a crick in your neck from constantly holding your head to the left or right. I also had difficulty collapsing them and lifting them - so no good for petite people. Who wants to have to call HRH everytime you need to close/open the buggy? Expect to shell out £390-400 depending on where you go!
Of course there are other twin pushchairs as well - but we didn't like them. HRH called these one a 'big, ugly tanker' lol.  Seriously - the photo doesn't even begin to depict the size... it was HUGE! Expect to shell out about £700 unless you can find a good discount store (or haggle at the Baby Show)

So what did we settle on? The Out-N-About Nipper 360 double (yes a ridiculously long name) but the thing scored top points with (the notoriously hard to please) HRH, particularly with regards to manoeuvrability, ease of folding and size when folded. (If you follow the link, make sure you read the reviews and click on the videos).

Again, don't be fooled by the photo, it isn't that much wider than a standard (single) pushchair and IS narrower than most side by side double buggies (which is what we want).

Both kids have 'equal viewing rights' and of course, each seat can be raised/reclined independently of the other. 

I could fold this down pretty easily - especially considering the super fat belly I have AND once folded I could also lift it up pretty easily too.

I like the Baby Show because exhibitors always bring a WIDE variety of  items, so you can really try before you buy and compare your shortlisted items against eachother.  If this buggy hadn't lived up to all its positive reviews etc, I could easily have walked away. I'm just glad I didn't have to. RRP is around £348, most on-line stores come in around £330. I haggled and got it under £300 with a few extras thrown in. I'm very happy with that.

I also got some bargains on Tommee Tippee bottles and cups and would have grabbed a lot more nifty gadgets and toys had HRH's patience (and parking ticket) not run out. Heeheheh. 

So, I've come away with the key items I was searching for, lots of information on natural baby products, (with brochures so I can buy on-line as I didn't have time while I was there - HRH's orders) AND a massive bag of pick-n-mix sweets to satisfy my midnight cravings!

If I had the time, money and unction - I'd go back tomorrow and see what else I missed... but that would just be silly.

When the buggy does arrive (well and the baby of course), I'll let you know whether it was really worth it... and how it fares in Barbados. The Quinny did a fantastic job last year - beaches, pot holed back roads, grassy verges, the lot. Big wheels make a BIG difference.
Since you can use this with the Maxicosi car seat - we'll keep this for when it's just me and the newbie (i.e. baby # 3); or just me and the young prince - but when we're out as a family - we'll have to use the (new) double buggy.

Righty oh - all we need now is a new car, cos the princess isn't going to like being sandwiched between two car seats in my dinky Mercedes A class... *sigh*.... I'm going to miss my car...

Monday, 15 February 2010


So - this groovy 'schedule posts' function has been a god send. I have been too ill to physically post properly since mid January, but the function has enabled me to keep in touch by writing about a whole heap of things while I've felt well and scheduling them to be automatically posted throughout the month.

Anyway - Bajan Lily is back (again) lol.

This commuting while pregnant thing sucks. It does, people hardly ever get up to give you a seat even when your super huge bump is poking them in the eye! But - that's a topic for another post.

This one was just about how I got a train home that was passing by Effingham Junction. Now if you're Bajan that might mean something to you - if not let me explain. Growing up - 'Effingham Junction' was a synonym for being told to fly a kite or to go to 'hell'; being told to 'go to Effingham Junction' could not ever be something good... it just amused me to on that train this evening.

I've been unable to travel in to the office for about a week (again due to hyperemesis gravidarum). Today was my first day back.

Earlier today, my desk phone rang ... would you believe I missed the call because for the life of me I couldn't remember how to answer it? My colleague (who sits next to me) was literally dying of laughter at the bewilderment on my face. I knew there was a special button - I just couldn't remember which one!

More of my brain befuddleness, I called up a contact and started asking them about 'ABC' to which they responded they hadn't a clue what I was talking about. I hung up and turned the same colleague and relayed what had happened (since I was absolutely sure that this contact was in charge of the whole ABC program'); would you believe my colleague started creasing up again?

"He doesn't know what you're talking about because he is in charge of the CAB program not ABC... but at least you got the letters right..." *sigh* I had to call them back and say: "Ok let's pretend this is the first time I am calling you and everything I asked you about ABC just now - replace it with CAB."
After a lot of laughter - we got somewhere.

Then I had to look up someone in the internal directory... 'Desmond'... no such person at all.. not even close. Now I was convinced my mind was playing tricks on me because this person sent me emails just last Friday!  I was about to pack up my things and go home (clearly I wasn't working at optimum level today particularly if I can't find a name!) --- then my devious colleague steps in and says.. oh right, he's under a different name (like John). So his emails say one name but his phone entry says another.

At least I had some relief in knowing I wasn't totally crazy today... but how can I not remember how to answer my line?

I feel as though my brain got reset over the weekend and all systems failed to power up this morning... I think I was functioning on just about half...

Add to that on the tube (the one I got before boarding the train to Effingham Junction lol) I ended up belly to belly with a pot bellied man. I couldn't stop giggling. How can you be taller than I am and me be pregnant and yet our bellies are touching? He must have thought I was a right weirdo... but honestly! Usually I don't like people touching me - especially not Baby #3, but the tube was packed (as usual) and there was no other place or position to stand in so we had to touch.. he kept me from falling over... I just can't figure out how his belly was so big and low that it managed to be connecting itself to mine.

I'm off to bed before I do something else silly... like try to put the orange juice in my wardrobe and hang my shirt in the fridge. (Yes, I did that during my last pregnancy... rofl)


Friday, 5 February 2010

When I Grow Up...

Well, I was talking to my hair the other day (as you do) and browsing through some groovy hair pics (locked and loose) when I came across this photo.

Stylist: Thierry Baptiste

I was about to click on when I felt a tugging at my elbow - "Hey Mama", my hair said, "When I grow up, I wanna be just like them".

Now, corporate me doesn't think I could rock this style in the office but Caribbean me would love to jam this to a garden party or summer BBQ.  I think it caught my eye not only for the creativity of the mohawk but for it's elegance; the model's grace and poise also make this magical for me. I'm impressed that the style can be done with so much length! It reminded me of my own hair goals and my reasons for locking it up in the first place - but I'll leave that to another post.

One question though - I wonder how she sleeps in it...?

A Bientot :)

Love from London


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