How Shopping For Jewellery At Auction Could Save You £££!

Looking for some fancy new jewellery or a swanky gift?

Well, you might want to buy it at auction!

Not only a sustainable way to shop. You can also find beautiful, unique items for a much cheaper price.

And no, you don’t have to be David Dickinson to shop under the hammer.

It’s actually SO easy to navigate.

We caught up with jewellery specialists Fellows to find out how to become a pro – with no effort at all.

And watch out for our giveaway details and the bottom of this article!!

Why could it save me money?

Familiar with how cars depreciate the minute you drive them off the forecourt? Well, the same rule applies to jewellery and some accessories. Buying a second-hand piece will get you a whole lot more for your money. Meaning you’ll be able to afford higher-value metals and gemstones. And if size is an issue, it can solve that too.

Here are some of Fellows’ previous sales
Shopping second-hand helps the environment

Buying pre-loved items can save you money but it is also a more sustainable way to shop, as it means that no extra energy or resources have been used to make a new item. It’s especially appealing for those who feel guilty about splashing lots of cash on themselves. What better way to clear your conscience?

How do I become a pro?

Plain and simple – you don’t need to be pro. Ok, it’s worth doing a little bit of research into what you’re buying. Like you would do with anything. But if you’re completely clueless, then you can speak to the team at Fellows, tell them what you’re after, how much you have to spend, and they’ll advise you in the best possible way. *As Fellows aren’t a jewellery dealer, they have no vested interest in making you purchase a particular piece, so you can trust them wholeheartedly.

How do you know how much to bid?

A little bit of research into the item will give you a good indication of what the retail value is. Still, if that seems like too much hassle, then you can just head to Fellows, as they carefully assess each item they sell and mark it with an estimated value.

Dates for your diary

Mark these upcoming auctions in your calendar stat!

• April 19th – Luxury Watch Sale – The perfect place to shop for a spectacular gift.
• April 8th – Online Jewellery – A timed auction with a range of gold and silver jewellery, featuring designer names such as Bulgari, Gucci, and Tiffany & Co. (prices range from £100 – £1,000)
• April 29th – Jewellery – Need something for a special occasion? Maybe your wedding? You’ll find pretty period pieces, innovative contemporary styles and designer jewellery from the likes of Bulgari, Cartier, and Chopard. (price range £1k – £5k)
• June 7th – The Designer Collection – Hello luxurious handbags, shoes and accessories! You’ll find names such as Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Mulberry and Gucci.

Can I see the items IRL?

Yes! From April 12th, you will be able to view some of the items in Fellows’ Birmingham or London showrooms (mainly the higher price lots). Can’t get there? Or your item isn’t available to view? You can either study the high-resolution catalogue online, request more photos or book in for a virtual appointment. Private online appointments are great for those who want to know more about particular items at auction, and it’s a chance for you to ask the specialists any questions you have about the product or the process. Seen something you like?

Book one HERE

How do I know they’re real?

At Fellows all items are checked and vetted by their in house gemmologists and horologists (aka watch people). And they even have handbag and designer collection specialists that check all of those items too.

I want to buy a watch for my fiancé, but I have no clue where to start.

Fussy partner? Yep, we know the one! Don’t fret. Just speak to the team at Fellows and give them a description of your htb’s jewellery tastes or a watch that he already wears, and they will offer up a set of choices to suit his style.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Searching for a particular item but can’t see it on-site? Fellows have got you! Their ‘lot alert’ service is a personal notification system that lets you know as soon as one of your keyword items comes on for sale. How brilliant is that? *Types… Chanel diamond-encrusted tote. Enters: partner’s email. Aaaand….send.


To Enter Fellows X TMC competition to WIN a £500 voucher to spend in one of their auctions click on THIS LINK.

Also check out these Sale items on Jewellery & Designer bags now!

Travelling With a Newborn Made Easy

Meet the hotels and products that take the stress and strain away.

The Fish Hotel

Near Broadway, Cotswolds, England

The Fish Hotel can be found on a hillside, in the middle of a 400-acre private estate in the middle of the Cotswolds. With the comfiest Naturalmat mattresses, not only does it ensure a good night’s sleep, it has a fun, quirky and refreshingly modern set up: rather than all being found in one main building, accommodation consists of shepherd’s huts, tree houses and rooms in a series of beautiful Cotswolds stone buildings. The Fish is an ideal place to take a new-born for a relaxed holiday in beautiful surroundings. The staff are incredibly friendly and will happily accommodate your requests for all things baby. Make sure you take an hour or two for a leisurely lunch in The Lounge, and order the tacos from their specialised taco menu – delicious!

Rooms from £150

Bedruthan Hotel & Spa

Newquay, Cornwall, England

Set into the clifftop overlooking Mawgan Porth Beach, The Bedruthan Hotel & Spa is a must-stay for families. Management and staff could not be more considerate of families with small children, with a variety of restaurant options, an indoor and outdoor pool, a spa and even an indoor soft play for rainy days. The hotel has been run by the same family for over 60 years, so it maintains a family feel but with the air of a luxury beach side hotel. They can provide all the baby and toddler equipment you need.

Rooms from £129

Another Place

Ullswater, Lake District, England

Another Place has a dreamy position on the shores of Ullswater in the Lake District. It prides itself on being a relaxed hotel that prizes quality family time, while still offering an incredibly high standard of food, service and accommodation (if you’ve ever been to its sister location, the stunning Watergate Bay Hotel in Cornwall, you’ll recognise a similar vibe). The hotel has a variety of rooms that can easily accommodate a cot, much of the baby equipment you might need, and pantries with microwaves, washing-up facilities and a fridge – so useful! The swimming pool has incredible views of Ullswater, and there’s a glorious which is perfect for a post-partum massage.

Rooms from £270

Woolley Grange

Bradford-on Avon, Wiltshire, England

A countryside retreat in a 17th Century Jacobean Manor, with an impressive personal touch that keeps families returning year after year. This hotel has thought of everything needed to keep parents relaxed and their children entertained. All necessary equipment is provided, and the staff clearly adore children. To ensure that new parents in particular have a successful first holiday, a ‘Baby’s First Stay Away’ package includes treats such as a baby singing class, baby’s first swimming lesson and a baby massage class. The garden is a highlight, with chickens, rabbits and pigs, scarecrows, a tree swing and even a fairy garden. Truly a hotel worth introducing to your special new addition.

Rooms from £119

The Gleneagles Hotel

Auchterarder, Perth and Kinross, Scotland

Luxurious, decadent, opulent… if you want to push the boat out for baby’s first trip then this is the place. There’s so much to explore and enjoy in this iconic hotel, and Gleneagles has thought of everything to make your family stay as comfortable as possible. Baby equipment is easily provided, bespoke baby food can be prepared by the hotel’s top chefs, and experienced babysitters are on hand if needed. When your baby is older, the hotel has thoughtfully-designed children’s spaces for them to enjoy – they can even try their hand at outdoor pursuits such as archery, off-roading in a mini Land Rover replica, or they even ‘own a pony’ for the day. Just hope they don’t get too much of a taste for it…

Rooms from £295

The Products to Help You Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Upgrade your travel cot with a much comfier mattress. Black out the morning light. And pack a sleep inducing sound machine… *Then cross everything!

How long will it take for my tummy to shrink after birth?

Being a living breathing vessel is bloody hard. At nine months you just want to scream, “I’m done with this sharing malarkey, just give me my body back!

Then your wish comes true. And while it’s great – mainly because no one is internally kicking you anymore. This new you is not old you, and quite frankly, it feels a bit shit.  

But it doesn’t last forever.

Messages online will say it takes months or years for your stomach to return. Others will declare that it won’t ever be the same. Oh, and of course, you’ll see images of women who don’t even look like they’ve had a baby.

A few will make you feel better. Most will make you feel worse.
So, want to hear the truth? Not one person is the same. All our tummies, pregnancies and births differ. Your stomach before baby, in pregnancy, and after, will be different to every mother you know. There are so many variables, and there’s NO WAY you can compare both your bump and your body’s recovery to someone else’s.  

Now for some good news…

“The majority of women can get their tummy back with a sufficient level of guidance”, says Specialist Pelvic Health Physiotherapist Emma Brockwell.

A message we can all get on board with. Read on to find out how.

How will my tummy look after birth?

“Hold on? I still look pregnant”, said every new Mum in the history of motherhood.

It’s a shocker for sure, but it’s completely normal explains Emma Brockwell, “Your stomach has taken a long time to stretch to that shape, but it will go back”.

Mentally that’s hard, so don’t worry if it makes you upset because you won’t feel like this forever. In the meantime, wear lots of loose flowing tops and dresses and read on to find out what else you can do.

How long will it take for my tummy to shrink?

You’ve lived the last nine months reading how your body might change every week, so it’s understandable that you’d like some guidance on how things might go post-birth.

Fiit Mum trainer Charlie Launders, explains “Frustratingly, it is difficult to give an exact time or estimate because we are all so different. The time it takes for you tummy to return to its pre-pregnancy size will depend on your genetics, the size of your bump, the type of birth you had, and the amount of weight gained in pregnancy”.  

Also, let’s be honest, it would be pretty weird if your tummy did just snap back, “In the weeks and months following birth all of the organs that were squished and moved to make way for your baby need to return to their usual places. Your core muscles will be recovering without you even realising it, as well as your pelvic floor, so try not to put too much pressure on yourself “says, Charlie Launders.

How can I make my tummy flat after birth?

Yes, yes, we hear you cry. But when? “Expect it to take longer than 6-weeks, which is usually what women expect”, says Emma Brockwell. She adds, “Even if you haven’t had a c-section, that abdominal wall will take a good couple of months to strengthen” But that doesn’t mean it won’t gradually go down, because it will.

Does having a c-section mean your tummy takes longer to shrink?

If you didn’t plan to have a c-section, then it can be quite shocking. The recovery process can take some time, and it’s upsetting when your stomach doesn’t seem to be going down.

Want to shout, ‘Fuck off!’, at anyone that says, “You should be proud of your body, it grew your baby!”. Yeah, we don’t blame you. We love our babies, but we’d also quite like to feel like us again.

Think of it this way, you have had abdominal surgery, and yes, it will take a little longer for the tummy to strengthen and shrink, but at least your vagina is still intact. Small wins people.

What is diastasis recti?

Irrespective of delivery, any woman can experience diastasis recti. Even though it sounds very technical, it is very common (about 60% of women have it) and it is a term used for when the muscles in your stomach separate in order to make space for your growing baby.

Tummy exercises you can do after birth

Straight from the get-go, “The first thing you can do to start flattening your stomach is your pelvic floor exercises. Your pelvic floor connects to your core, which is what helps flatten the whole abdominal wall”, says Emma.

When can you do actual exercise after birth?

We sound like a broken record, but it really does differ from person to person. As Emma explains, “Slow progressive abdominal exercises are best advised on an individual basis by either a pelvic health physiotherapist or trained postnatal fitness instructor”.

How much is a postnatal MOT?

Feeling a bit broken? We’re not surprised, you’ve just carried a baby inside you and don’t even get us started on labour. 

Check-in with a professional and give your body the care and repair it deserves. Dependant on where you live, a postnatal MOT costs around £80. This will usually consist of an external and internal examination, where they will check the strength of your pelvic floor, your core and see if you have any muscle separation. Then they will advise you on recovery methods and exercises.

Feel like it’s a splurge? Just think about all the baby crap you’ve bought. You deserve this, so don’t feel guilty about having it.

Will my tummy always be different?

No actually, “Some women’s tummies aren’t that affected by having a baby, it depends on your connective tissue, how you carry your baby during pregnancy, how you’ve delivered and your genetic makeup. For the majority of women, they can get their tummy back with a really good level of guidance”, says Emma.

How To Refresh Your Underwear Drawer Pre, During & After The Birth

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

Remember your pre-pregnancy underwear drawer? We wouldn’t try to guess what was in it (one woman’s stretch jersey is another woman’s embroidered tulle) but we can bet it held more options than it does now. Bodies change, priorities change, and when your own needs slide to the bottom of the pile there’s rarely time to buy a new bra, unless it’s to support growing boobs, or for quickly feeding a hungry babe. But can we suggest that there’s more to lingerie – and life – than that? A new bra (one that fits, feels good and looks pretty cute) is a mood boost we all deserve; throw in some matching knickers and you’re a whole new woman. We’d also suggest you look at Lindex, which has an incredible range of lingerie, loungewear and sleepwear, including sleek maternity basics and some sexier pieces for whenever you’re ready.

Keep it comfy

Seamless shapes, non-scratchy lace and fine merino fabrics; these comfort-first separates are a supportive hug in underwear form.

Add some spice

Modern shapes, luxurious hues… Lindex’s strength is in pieces that look more expensive than they really are – which always comes into its own on date night.

Before the babe

From nursing bras to post-partum pants, Lindex’s maternity range is exactly on the right side of snug. You might even miss them when real life resumes!

TMC Recipe of the week: Strawberry-Oat Bars

We’ve partnered with Zenia Deogan, Nutritionist and Chef @thesensorykitchen to create some super easy, super speedy recipes of the week.

A fruity tray bake treat for any occasion – friends, family, tea, breakie, a snack, picnic, a celebration or just for some easy Sunday baking – enjoy these gorgeous strawberry squares.


– 1 cup Rolled Oats
– 3/4 cup Plain Flour
– 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar
– 1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 6 tbsp unsalted butter/coconut oil
– 2 cups finely diced strawberries and raspberries (1 cup of each) or jam mixed with 1 tsp corn starch and 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
– 1 tbsp granulated sugar


– Preheat oven to 190°C and line an 8×8-inch baking tray
– Combine dry ingredients. Add melted butter/coconut oil and stir until evenly moistened to resemble a crumble type texture.
– Divide mixture, press 1/2 mixture into an even layer in the bottom of tray. Scatter strawberry/raspberry mixture over oat layer and then evenly spread remaining crumble over the top (some fruit will be visible)
– Bake the slices for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden.
– Cool, slice, serve and enjoy!

Totally Rational Fears Every Mother Has Before Baby No.2

Most people think that deciding to have your first child is the biggest decision you’ll ever make. The truth is, deciding you’re ready for round two can often be just as terrifying. You’re not alone. Here’s our TMC guide to things every parent worries about before Baby No.2…

How Will I Deal With Pregnancy Whilst Looking After My First Child?

If your pregnancy was spent napping and hugging the toilet bowl for the first 2 hours of the day, it’s only natural that you might wonder how the f*ck you’re going to get through 9 months of feeling like utter shit whilst chasing after a toddler. The answer of course, is that women are super-human and somehow no matter how awful we feel, we manage to suck it up for the sake of our family. Don’t be afraid to lean on your family and friends for much needed respite and if your first kid still sleeps in the afternoon; feel zero shame in joining them.

Fear Of Giving Birth

This is not your first rodeo; this time you know those 20 minute births you see on One Born are total bollocks, and the reality is a much longer, much messier affair. Needless to say, you will not be wasting valuable snack room in your hospital bag packing shit like Lavender Oil; nor will you be attempting the first 48 hours without ALL THE DRUGS. Forewarned is forearmed, so take comfort in the fact that you’ll know what the hell is going on this time, and equip yourself with the information and support you need to get through it.

How Will I Love As Much As I Love My First?

You. Just. Will. You might not take as many pictures, or be able to instantly recall how many days/weeks old they are; but cliches are cliches for a reason, and your love will just grow with every new addition.

What Have We Done?!

Having a baby turns your world upside down and inside out. You’ve just got your shit together, found a routine that works for you, maybe gone back to work and then BOOM; those two little lines turn blue again. You might feel ever-so-slightly panicked whilst you try to imagine how on earth you’ll juggle another one in your already jam-packed schedule; but within weeks it will feel like they’ve been here forever.

Will Our First Kid Feel Neglected?

In the short-term it’s totally normal for first-borns to act out a little whilst they get used to the new (and very loud) new member of the family; but in the long run, you’ve just grown them a best mate for life. Try the old trick of buying something from their little brother/sister to give to them when they come to the hospital, and resist the temptation to laugh when they ask ‘when the baby is going back’.

Will We Disappointed If It’s a….

Let’s be real here; gender disappointment is a thing, and we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it. You might have spent your whole life imagining a little girl to go shopping with when she’s older, and realising that dream is over takes some adjusting. The truth is, every kid is different and whatever you end up with, once they are here you won’t be able to imagine your family any other way.

Is It Bad If I Don’t Breastfeed This One?

Breastfeeding is a big commitment and if your BF journey wasn’t smooth sailing, you might be considering if you can take on the physical and mental toll the second time around; especially with another one to look after. There is no wrong answer; a hungry baby just needs feeding, whether it comes from you or a bottle.

Will We Ever Leave The House Again?!

In between feeds, nap schedules and PUT YOUR BLOODY SHOES ON; it’s hard to imagine ever being able to leave the house without reinforcements ever again. The short answer is yes (but it might take several attempts).

What To Wear This Week

With the ever-changing weather and the past year being spent mostly in joggers, the stress of actually having to dress ourselves again is real!! We want to make life easier for you with some quick outfit inspiration for the week ahead!

Things They Don’t Tell You About Breastfeeding

First things first, YOU get to choose. You carried your baby for nine months and only you can decide whether they’ll spend the next few months (or more) attached to you by the boob.

Breastfeeding can be hard in the beginning

For something that is so ‘natural’, it can takes a while for both you and the baby to figure it all out, so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen as easily as you’d expected.

When it clicks breastfeeding is easy

There’s no need to wash and sterilise, or worry about the perfect temperature.. Once you’ve found your way you can whack ‘em on the boob, morning, noon and night and you’re always good to go.

Your baby might not take the bottle

The dream is having a bit of both! Boob when it’s convenient and a bottle, so your other half can share some feeds. But the likelihood is your baby will probably prefer the boob and you won’t get much say in it.

It feels lovely knowing that your body is all they need to survive in the early days

Mother Nature is a boss.

It can hamper your sex life

You can feel over-touched, have leaky boobs…. and one thing they REALLY don’t tell you; is that it can become very dry down there. Natural organic lube is your friend – when you actually feel like it.

Your nipples go much darker than they were before

Don’t panic, it’s temporary.

Some (other) people are uncomfortable with an exposed breast

You might be too, which is totally fine (a huge muslin and some strategic layering will sort that out) but in our experience, trying to keep yourself completely covered up will stress you and the baby out, and practically guarantees you’ll end up exposing the nipple you were trying to hide. Just relax and remember it’s their problem.

Your nipples might be sore

Sore and bleeding nipples can happen to a lot of women and will make the journey more difficult but you can get help. Read more here:

A hot shower helps relieve blocked ducts

So does hand-expressing. You’ll feel like a cow but the relief is something else.

It’s not a method of weight-loss

Although those -500 calories are handy when you’re justifying a second slice of cake.

It doesn’t always ruin your boobs

When you do want to stop, do it slowly and they’ll end up looking less like a pair of golf balls in socks.

Babies get distracted

There comes a time (generally when feeding in public) that the world is suddenly more interesting than your nipple. Cue an exposed boob spurting milk all over your flat white.

When you decide it’s time to stop, your baby will be ok

They might be a little upset, and most likely so will you. But they’ll get used to it. Enlist the help of your other half, be strong and we promise it will all be ok.

You can have a glass of wine

Pump and dump the milk if you’ve had a big night out. But if you want a glass of wine, don’t let that be the reason you move to formula.

Don’t feel pressured to put them on the bottle if they aren’t taking to it straight away

There are some cases where your baby will need to be topped up. But if you feel strongly about breastfeeding, then persevere and you will get your supply up. Topping up with formula will just deplete it.

Cluster feeding is a thing

There will be a time when it feels like you feed for days on end. Set yourself up with a box set, get some snacks in and nestle down. Just like everything else, it shall pass.

You won’t lose the bond when you stop

The love is still there, they will still need you for a million other things (trust us on this one).

Whatever you decide is OK!

So what if your sister-in-law breastfed her son ‘til he was five, or your workmate didn’t even give it a go. We’re all in this together.

Need help with breastfeeding? The national helpline is a free service available to those looking for support (0300 100 0212)

Weaning: The Six Recipes We Used On Rotation

Easy is our speciality

Weaning can be so much fun. It’s so cute seeing their little faces tasting foods for the first time. It can also be bloody annoying. Especially when you’ve spent 45 minutes making elaborate quinoa patties that just end up on the floor.

Plus, it’s a prime-time opportunity for Mums to be put under pressure.
But just because Amy from NCT is making extravagant meals every day, it doesn’t mean you’re the Devil if lunch is served from a pack. Your kid. Your rules.

However, If you want to give the cooking thing a go and don’t want to spend hours slaving over a stove, you might want to check out the following recipes.

Butternut Squash Bolognaise

From 6 months old
From 6 months old

Use these cubes to add flavour to pre-made packs and mix it into everything from couscous to pasta. It’s also tasty on top of toast or potato – sweet or plain.

  1. Step One
    Chop one onion and sauté in a pan with a smidge of unsalted butter.
  2. Step Two
    Add 1-2 cans of chopped tomatoes, a generous squish of tomato puree. One crushed clove of garlic. One tsp of Italian herbs and some pepper.
  3. Step Three
    Simmer for 10 minutes, then let the mix cool.
  4. Step Four
    Meanwhile, boil one pack of pre-chopped butternut squash/sweet potato until soft.
  5. Step Five
    Once cooled, mix, blend, and then transfer into large ice cube trays and freeze.

Want your baby to try meat? When you’re ready, add 1/4- 1/2 a pack of cooked mince (lamb or beef).

*Top tip: Boil an extra pack of the butternut squash/sweet pot mix and leave some out to mash. Decant into ice cube trays and freeze. It’s a great back up to increase the veg of any meal and also mixes well with avocado or banana.

Pizza Toast

From 6 months old
From 6 months old

Baby crying and doesn’t want to be put down? This is our go-to meal when there is zero time (or brain cells) left.

  1. Step One
    Cover one piece of lightly toasted bread with puree (We like: veg lentil bake or tomato and lentil bake from Ella’s kitchen).
  2. Step Two
    Finely grate mild cheese over the top.
  3. Step Three
    Grill until it bubbles.
  4. Step Four
    Cut off the crusts and slice into small portions.
  5. Step Five
    Serve with some leftover puree that you can spoon-feed.

Leftover Porridge Muffins

From 7 months old
From 7 months old

Constantly making way too much porridge? This recipe from Leading Children’s Nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed, is a great way to use up lefties.

  1. Step One
    Take porridge leftovers from the pan.
  2. Step Two
    Add more oats if it’s quite watery and stir through.
  3. Step Three
    Add to muffin cases or press into a greased tin.
  4. Step Four
    Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes for tomorrow’s quick or on the go breakfast.

Peanut butter & Banana Cookies

From 6 months old
From 6 months old

This recipe makes too many for your baby to eat before they go stale. Which sadly means you have to eat some – sorry about that.

*Recipe adapted from
  1. Step One
    Preheat your oven to 190C/375F.
  2. Step Two
    Mash 1 small banana in a bowl.
  3. Step Three
    Warm 1 level tbsp of coconut oil, then mix with the banana and 1 tbsp of desiccated coconut, 2 heaped tbsps of plain flour and 2 level tbsps of (unsalted unsweetened) peanut butter.
  4. Step Four
    Make about 12 balls and flatten into cookies.
  5. Step Five
    Place on a pre-lined tray, then bake for 15 minutes and leave to cool.

Easy Peasy Brunch

From 6 months old
From 6 months old

Breakfast for lunch or dinner, is a real saviour when you’ve run out of ideas on what to make. *Top tip: Always make extra, so you don’t steal their whole meal.

  1. Step One
    Scramble one egg and cook for 1-2 minutes in a pan.
  2. Step Two
    Add a squish of veg puree to a bowl or plate.
  3. Step Three
    Serve with avocado, either on small slices of toast or mashed up with a touch of lime and pepper.

Freeze Me Fish Pie

From 7 months old
From 7 months old

A great one to whack out in front of the Mother-in-Law. These make you look like a Supermum with hardly any effort. Plus, you can reduce the number of ramekins you make and steal half the mix for a grown-up dinner. Just add in more fish and smother some mash on top.

  1. Step One
    Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6
  2. Step Two
    Melt 15g of butter in a pan with 1 finely chopped onion and 1 thinly sliced leek.
  3. Step Three
    Cut approx. 350g white fish fillets into cubes and fill the bottom of approx. 6-8 ramekins
  4. Step Four
    Stir in 1 tbsp of plain flour into the leeks and onion mix and then gradually add in ½ pint of full-fat milk.
  5. Step Five
    Stir in 50g of grated cheese, then spoon the mixture over the fish.
  6. Step Six
    Sprinkle a little more cheese on top of each one, then bake for 20minutes until golden.
  7. Step Seven
    Cool, cover with foil and then freeze.

*To reheat microwave for approx. 2mins, stir and then let it cool. Serve with some veg. We like to use sweet potato mash or offer soft broccoli or carrots as finger foods.

An AM/PM Skincare Routine Using The Ordinary

A stripped back guide to the no-frills skincare brand that’s anything but basic

There was a time the beauty industry kept the real science behind the scenes. Sure, you could buy a spendy elixir made from rare plant dew gathered at dawn, or a gold-lidded jar of distilled babies’ tears (and we’re only just exaggerating), but highly efficacious skincare using proven ingredients at prices we can all afford? Not a chance. And then in 2013 along came The Ordinary, with its functional-looking line of clearly labelled formulas, showcasing hero ingredients such as peptides, retinol, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. In short, the stuff that really works. So far, so revolutionary. But where another brand might have one simple vitamin C serum for example, The Ordinary will have a whole range of powders, suspensions and solutions in wildly differing percentages. It’s an offering that’s not only mega in scope but seemingly requires a chemistry degree before you can pronounce the names on the bottles, let alone put them into a skincare routine.

Which is where we come in. And although there’s no such thing as one skincare regime to rule all others (no matter what the brand), there are some key fundamentals that can help you put together an effective morning and evening routine. Roll up for your as-basic-as-possible The Ordinary explainer.

Morning skincare routine

1. Cleanse

Don’t even think about skipping it – you need to wash off all the sweat and dead cells (true story) accumulated during your action-packed quarantine dreams. Plus, if you’re planning on applying any skincare or make-up afterwards, this is where the prep starts.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser, £5.50, works by gently trapping and removing impurities on the surface of your skin without stripping away its natural oils – unlike harsh, sulphate-loaded cleansers that can leave you feeling dry and tight. Rub between your palms before applying to a dry face; massage in then rinse away.

2. Trap in moisture

A juicy splodge of hyaluronic acid, a molecule that helps skin to conserve moisture, keeps skin plump and hydrated. A pea-sized amount of lightweight The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, £5.90, is the one here. The B5 helps to strengthen the skin barrier, thus extending your skin’s capacity to hold onto water while fending off daily wear and tear.

3. Treat

Now for a shot of vitamin C – it’s the potent antioxidant that dermatologists agree is key to brightening skin tone, helping to prevent pigmentation and slowing collagen breakdown. You’ll reap maximum rewards if you apply it in the morning as it’ll help to reinforce the sun protection prowess of your SPF product while fending off damaging free-radicals that come at you during the day by way of pollution, smoke and radiation.

Many of us already pop some vit C on the daily (The Ordinary reports that sales of  Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone, £5.75, have rocketed by 161% since lockdown began) but this is strong stuff so if you’re a vitamin C newbie or have sensitive skin, start your vitamin habit with Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%, £4.90. It’s still potent but will ease you in nicely while our old friend hyaluronic acid comes to your rescue on the moisture front. Speaking of which…

4. Hydrate

Depending on your skin type (and how emollient your SPF is) you may find you can skip this step, but most skin will likely benefit from an added moisture hit.

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA, £4.90, is your relatively rich daily hydrator. If you still like the texture and feel after you’ve used your first tube, go large for £6.80. It’s better for the environment from a packaging point of view and you’ll save precious pounds too. Let’s face it, the travel sized minis are pretty redundant right now anyway and the sales figures are showing it – The Ordinary’s ‘super size me’ options have seen a 35% lift in purchases.

5. SPF

Yes you do still need to wear SPF in lockdown, since 90% of skin ageing is triggered by UV exposure and your living room window is a portal. Mineral sunscreens are considered less irritating to skin than chemically based formulas and The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 30, £8.90, is the brand’s highest mineral based formula. It has a lot going for it in terms of soothing hydrators, but one downside is the white cast it leaves behind skin. If you’ve got dark skin this will be especially apparent in which case we’ll give the off-menu recommendation of Ultrasun Face Anti-pigmentation SPF50+, £32, which provides high level protection that’s suitable for sensitive skin and doesn’t come off ashy. One brand can’t give you everything.

Evening Routine

1. Cleanse

This time around, you’re double cleansing (exactly as it sounds: cleanse, rinse and repeat) using a warm flannel or muslin cloth, especially if you’ve been wearing make-up or SPF, both of which are designed to stick to the skin as long as possible, so need thorough attention.

2. Exfoliate

Twice a week max, especially if you’re using the much ‘grammed The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, £6.30, which often pops up on Stories owing to the blood red ‘vampire facial’ hue created by its fusion of pore clearing, surface smoothing acids. A patch test is advisable before applying all over your face. Even then, use only in the evening as AHA acids leave skin more sensitive to sun damage and never leave for more than ten minutes.

For a gentler facial acid trip, Lactic Acid 5% + HA, £5.80, is the one. It doesn’t pack such a punch in terms of fading pigmentation but it leaves skin soft and is a milder starting point for sensitive skin or chemical exfoliant beginners.

3. Treat

On days you’re not exfoliating, this is where retinol, and all other Vitamin A derivatives come in. Vitamin A is one of only two skincare ingredients clinically proven to definitively delay signs of premature ageing (the other is SPF) but be aware that not everyone can tolerate it so it’s best to start ‘low and slow’. Begin with a gentle retinol formula (in the case of The Ordinary, Retinol 0.2% in Squalane, £4.20) and apply a small amount once or twice a week, building up to every other day or moving onto a stronger formula as your skin develops a tolerance. It’s not wholly dissimilar to weaning. On which note, steer clear of vitamin A if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. There’s plenty of time to get on the retinol train later, and in the meantime an all-rounder serum such as The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, £5, can have a reversing effect on breakouts and dullness.

4. Moisturise

Wait at least twenty minutes post retinol application and then it’s on with The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA, £4.90. If you’re a facial oil fan and have dry skin, consider layering The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane Oil, £5.50, over the top of your hyaluronic acid serum for ‘no messing’ nourishment instead.

All that said, any skincare routine has an element of ‘you do you’, so Deciem (The Ordinary’s parent company) recently launched an At Home consultation service which allows you to chat or schedule a video call with an in-house expert. Whether you have questions about individual products or a new routine, or want to find out what the hell you can put on that raging spot, they’ll shed some light and (if you give them the go ahead) can check in three weeks later to see how you’re getting on. It’s not a facial, but in the current times, it’s something.

TMC Recipe Of The Week: Chunky Vegetable, Butter Bean, Lentil and Quinoa Soup

We’ve partnered with Zenia Deogan, Nutritionist and Chef @thesensorykitchen to create some super easy, super speedy recipes of the week.

Who doesn’t love a one pot wonder? A hearty, wholesome and delicious chunky soup with so much goodness and a hint of rosemary.


1 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Garlic, crushed
½ tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp of Dried Rosemary
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can Butter Beans
1 cup red lentils
1 cup quinoa
Mixture of vegetables – for example, Sweetcorn, Cabbage, Courgette, Leeks, Celery, Broccoli, Carrot
Vegetable/Chicken Stock Cube
Salt to taste


In a large pot add olive oil, garlic, black pepper and rosemary. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and prepared vegetables. Add stock cube, then followed by lentils and quinoa. Add water, cover and simmer for about 25-30mins, stirring occasionally. Add more water for desired consistency and season to taste.

When Life Gives You Triplets

Multitasking when you’re a new mum is tough!

We can’t imagine what it’s like when you have three newborns in tow. And a toddler!!

Tbh, it makes our brains go fuzzy just thinking about it.

And even former Olympic athlete Jaime Halsey admits it was a shock for her.

Here she shares her story….

In February 2012, we had our amazing daughter Flo. My birth experience was pretty horrific, so I was adamant I wouldn’t have any more (ha, the irony!). But not long after Flo turned two, we had ‘the chat’ about having another baby.

The next thing I knew, it was time for our 12-week scan. Life has always been full of ups and downs, but nothing could have prepared us for the news we were about to receive.

We were having triplets!

I will never forget that moment, the shock and fear that went through my body as the nurse showed us three little people, all growing in my belly. I remember saying to my husband, “what the f**k do we do with three babies!? I mean, seriously, what do you do with three babies? I still ask myself this most days.

The following four months was a worrying time as we found out we had identical twins and a singleton. And anyone with identical twins will know that they carry significant risks in pregnancy (the chance of twin-to-twin syndrome or intrauterine growth restriction), so we had these concerns, and had another baby in the mix.

As the doctors asked if we wanted a ‘managed reduction’ (meaning to abort two babies), we faced an incredibly tough decision. After seeing three babies on the screen, this didn’t even feel like it should be an option. But the risk of them being born early was extremely high, and with prematurity also comes the possibility of problems or disabilities. The specialists also advised that if we went ahead, the odds on the babies surviving were 50/50. It certainly wasn’t an easy choice to make. However, we are both firm believers in what’s meant to be will be, and we decided we’d been given three babies, and that’s what we’d have.

Fast forward to February 2015, the date we welcomed our three beautiful girls into the world. Eden was our biggest at 3lb 14, Amber was 3lb 1, and our little diddler Erin was 2lb 13. They were so teeny tiny. I would shake every time I had to change a nappy around the wires or tubes attached to their bodies. It was such a scary time with all three children in incubators, fighting to get stronger and bigger.

We stayed on the ward for six more weeks, and it seemed like the longest wait to get everyone safely home, but a few days after we got out of the hospital, we wished we were back in. Feeding three babies every 3-4 hours was a shock, to say the least.

Looking back, I often wonder how we survived that first year? The sleepless nights, triple feeding, winding, crying, changing. And that was just the triplets. We still had a 3-year-old too! It was good in a way, as it meant I HAD to leave the house to drop her to nursery or a playgroup. It would have been easier to haul up in the house with my jamas on and a massive bowl of ice cream, but perhaps not so good for my mental health.

There have been some tough times over the last two years. I’ve often thought, ‘I just can’t do this’, ‘I’m not the right person for this job’ and needless to say, there have been tears. But as hard as it’s felt, there’s not been a day where I’ve regretted the decision to ‘keep’ all three babies. Even when I’ve been up all night managing a million kiddie needs.

The triplets are two now. They can walk, feed themselves, hold a conversation (kind of!) and play. It definitely feels a lot easier (in some ways), but it also brings new challenges. I generally feel like a referee most days or a human climbing frame. I never get to have a wee by myself and always have some sort of snot or biscuit down my jumper.

We still get 452 million questions when we’re out and about, which was ok at first, but after a few months of questions, it began to get on my nerves, especially when some were as rude as; ‘IVF job?’ ‘Triplets, oh, how awful!’  ‘What a nightmare!’, ‘You’ve got your hands full’,  ‘Rather you than me!’, ‘How did they come out?’

I know it’s not something you see every day, and I get people’s interest. I was the same with twins before I had children, but I’m pretty sure I would never have asked some of the questions people ask me. Well, not without saying hello first.

One thing is for sure. Our life is never dull. It is crazy, loud, happy (most of the time) and mentally and physically demanding, but I would not change it for the world!

The Best Ways to Recover From a C-Section

Image: Jorgen House

With any other major surgery you would be sent home to rest and given the correct care plan to repair your body.

However, it’s not quite like that with a C-section – mainly because you have a new tiny human to look after. But also because the guidance given is just not good enough.

So we’ve summarised the key things you need to aid your recovery.

Just because you’ve had a baby, it’s so important to “Make sure you take care of you”.

The first couple of weeks:

Keep a track of your pain relief:

It’s so easy to forget what you’ve taken and when and when the pain kicks in it can really set you back. Either chart it on your phone or the fridge and set reminders or get your partner to take charge of it for you. With so much going on in your brain it’s nice to offload something and let them take care of you. They’ll probably like that they can help too.

The best way to rest

We know this can feel impossible but you really do need to rest. Pull in all the help you can get. Pause any other unessential tasks like washing, cleaning etc… and use tools like pre-made meals. Try and reduce screen time and sleep when you can and let other people help you recover. You may feel like you want to do more but we promise it will only delay your healing and can also cause infection.
Stock up on face masks and beauty treatments that you can do sitting down and make the most of it.

Garnier Moisture Bomb Sheet Mask
Garnier Moisture Bomb Sheet Mask

How far to walk after a C-section

Start with small walks around the house, avoid walking up and down stairs and when you do try and hold your scar and stomach and move slowly. Then when you’re ready take a small walk outside and don’t be afraid to turn back on yourself if a destination feels too far. You’re healing and there’s no shame in admitting you need to return home to rest. It’s essential.

Arnica will help you to heal

Great for healing and not something your hospital will supply you with as it’s homeopathic. You can take the capsules and also use the gel or cream on the scar once the dressing comes off.

Weleda Arnica Tablets
Weleda Arnica Tablets

A high temp doesn’t always = an infection

But keep an eye out for it. A high temp can sometimes happen when your milk comes in but it’s always best to check any sudden spike and to ring your health visitor if you have one.
Also keep an eye your scar to see if you think it’s not healing well. You should have regular check ups for this anyway but it’s always good for you to familiarise yourself with what it looks like. And again this is also something your partner can do for you if you don’t feel ready to look, which is completely normal if you’ve had an emergency section. It will get a lot easier.

Up your fibre content to avoid constipation

Avoiding this is important, for healing and overall health. Post op you might find it takes a few days to settle back down to normal. Help yourself by keeping your fluids and fibre rich foods up to aid in bowl movement. If this persists abdominal massage can also help.

Lifting things and being lifted

Avoid lifting anything heavier than your baby and when you need to get up from the sofa or bed get your partner to help raise you up. You will regain strength quite quickly but it’s important to really let them heal, especially in the first few days and weeks.

Get yourself some big high waisted pants

The pants they give you in the hospital tend to cut in too low and are just plain rubbish and the other all in one pants can make you feel sweaty. We’ve found the best thing is a high-waisted maternity knicker with a pad placed inside.

High waisted seamless pants
High waisted seamless pants

Sneezing, coughing, laughing and crying

You might be crying a lot and hopefully laughing, which can cause pain. And having a cold or cough is complete bitch as it bloody hurts. The best way to combat this is to gently hold your scar and tummy, almost cupping it, and this will help.

Treat yourself to some new high-waisted joggers

Often women find the section above the scar is tender too. This is because of the internal incisions you’ve had and can also be down to internal trauma caused from having the surgery, so the higher your pants and trousers the better!
Don’t worry about jeans or heavier materials, loose and soft clothing is key. You won’t be in them forever but you need them right now.

MAMA Ribbed trousers
MAMA Ribbed trousers

Keep your blood sugar levels up with dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is a winner for helping you get some energy and a great treat to have on standby.

Lindt Honeycomb Dark
Lindt Honeycomb Dark


You’ve started to heal, what next?

Complications that can happen

Your scar is just the bit you can see but under the skin there is a lot more healing taking place. During the healing process adhesions form, initially good (to close the wound), however they can cause potential issues as they bind to organs and tissues in the pelvis, which can cause incontinence, pelvic pain, and back pain.
Which is why it’s important to take care of yourself. Women also often find that they experience pulling or restrictions in the area, when getting back to moving more. So once you feel comfortable to do so, start reconnecting with your body by gently massaging the stomach (no need to go directly on the scar to start with), above and below the scar and once it has fully healed, on the scar too.

Feeling disconnected from your body

After a C-section lots of women express a lack of ‘connection’ to their body, like it has failed them in some way. Please remember that you have definitely not failed. You just grew a tiny human and you birthed that baby and went through a huge journey to get where you are. You will recover and you will feel better in time. It is so normal to feel like this and like everything it will improve as you strengthen your physical and mental health.
You can also feel like your tummy or parts are disjointed. This is often accompanied with poor core control, stress incontinence and other issues. Again this is a completely normal feeling to have. It will improve as long as you give yourself the proper care and attention to recover.

How to get the care you deserve

Speak to your GP and request to see a women’s health physio. Or take matters into your own hands and book an appointment with your local practioner. You will find lots of Google, ask some friends who they used or look for your nearest Mummy MOT. Mummy MOT is a brand we trust and have used personally and you can find them almost anywhere.

What does a women’s health physio help with?

They will check your scar and tummy. They’ll be able to tell you if you have any stomach muscle separation. Most will offer an internal examination too, which checks for internal damage, prolapsing and measures the strength of your pelvic floor. It sounds invasive but after birth you won’t mind and it’s actually very reassuring to know if everything is ok in there or not. After your chat and examination they’ll give you advice and exercises to help you recover. If you end up paying for it yourself we guarantee you won’t regret it.

Before you do anything just breathe

All of the core muscles (Diaphragm, Pelvic Floor, Abdominal wall, Lumber Back muscles) work together when we breathe. Sit with your hand on your tummy (or if no time, do it when you’re lying down just before sleep) take a deep breathe in and then exhale through pursed lips till you have no air left. You’ll feel the tummy move away from your hand, you might also feel the lower back tighten and the pelvic floor move upwards. Repeat this as often as you like, it will aid recovery, reconnection and relaxation. This is the first step back towards any type of ‘exercise’ as it’s setting the foundations for a strong and well functioning core.

Starting to exercise after a C-section

The best way to repair your body and regain strength is to focus on breathing, postural exercises and gentle walking that you can build up slowly with time.

Rehabilitating exercises you can try after your 6-week check up:

Pelvic Tilting: Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on floor. On an out breath, tilt your pelvis so your lower back presses into the floor, inhale and release. Repeat x 10

Bridging: Start position as above. As you exhale, lift your bum off the floor till you have a slope from your knee to your chin, inhale as you lower. Repeat x 10

Leg Slides, start position as above. As you exhale so the belly moves down, start to slide the leg forward, just as far as you can without your pelvis moving. Inhale as you bring the leg back in. Move slowly! Repeat x 5 each leg

Try and eat some healthy foods

We know it’s so hard and cake is all you want. But poor nutrition will slow post natal healing. Especially after a c-section when the the body needs to repair the damage done by the operation part of your birth. If healthy eating feels too hard, include a green smoothie into your day, they’re quick to make and will help you tick off some essential nutrients that you need.

You need:
Protein – helps tissue repair.
Vitamins A, C & E – repair the skin and underlying tissue. Boost the immune system, reduce inflammation and help wound repair.
Magnesium – attracts water into the intestines so helps reduce constipation.
Collagen – great for wound healing and scarring
Omega-3 – helps maintain cells and reduces inflammation.

Read next…             

Green Smoothies That Every Mum Needs

Smoothies are a great way to stay topped up with essential nutrients.

An easy way to drink a shed load of fruit and vegetables while you get on with other things.

Self Care Myths That Really Need To Do One

Basic Personal Needs = Self Care

Instagrammable bubble baths don’t count as #selfcare if you’re being constantly waterboarded by a toddler. Other basic human rights include peeing alone, showering, drinking a hot cup of tea and/or sitting down to eat.

Being Tired is Just Part of Being a Parent

We might have signed up for sleepless nights and early mornings; but actual exhaustion is no joke. Rope in as much help as you can and feel no shame about shipping them off to Grandma’s for the night so you can get full 8 hours.

Self Care Costs Money

Don’t get us wrong; we love a good 90 minute hot stone massage as much as the next person, but you don’t need to splash out on a spa day to fill your proverbial cup. Activewear is not essential (but elasticated pants are 100% required).

We Have to Earn the Right to Practice Self-Care

It’s easy for Mums to feel like we have to constantly justify ourselves especially if you’re on Maternity Leave ‘with nothing to do all day’ (LOL). Keeping a tiny human alive requires 100% of your energy and focus

There’s a Right or Wrong Way

The definition of self-care is ‘the practice of consciously doing things that preserve or improve your mental or physical health’. For some people that might be running 10k or practicing yoga; for others it might be binge watching Netflix and consuming an entire Easter Egg. No judgement.

Self Care Has to be Complicated

You don’t need to meditate for 4 hours or cover yourself in organic Indonesian yak butter to practice self care. Some days, it can be about taking the time to apply some make up (if you like), or putting on a t-shirt not covered in baby vom.

Self Care Means Being Alone

Sometimes lying in a dark room alone is absolutely what we need; and sometimes seeking out friends and the company of others fills our soul. There’s nothing a coffee, cake and a chat with a good mate can’t fix.

Self Care is Only for Women

Boys need me-time too! (*And possibly why they spend 3 hours a day sat on the loo).