My old friend Barnaby

Enormously talented is what he is. Here is his blog.
(I knew him when he was 11)


Carved Angel and Pashmak

Just had to stock up on some chutneys and jams from Carved Angel, having been given a gift set for Christmas. The beetroot chutney lasted exactly two days and it comes in a biggish jar (for chutney). The gunpowder garlic pickle is well worth a taste too – excellent with cheddar.

The 3 jar (reuseable box) gift set (choose any 3)

Whilst browsing their other products I was directed to this website – Pariya, for hand woven, rose flavoured fairy floss. Aside from the very pretty route around the products and the lovely boing-boing music, there isn’t a single thing on this website that I don’t want to eat, in quantity, and now. My back teeth are throbbing gently at the idea…..

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Put it in my eyeballs now

I have been some enjoying some splendid telly recently which has left all other telly box offerings in the shade….the good news is I have gorged and found nothing to complain about…the bad news is there is nothing else I want to watch. I even managed to get bored today when I had a spare twenty minutes and i-player had very little left to offer me in the post-work -pre-school-run hiatus…..

Here’s the best of the bunch – feast your eyeballs on this lot…


Burton and Taylor

Image for Burton and Taylor


I’m a Burton and Taylor purist – especially when it comes to Burton. I won’t have a bad word said against Liam Neeson but he should never have re-done the voice over of War of the Worlds and attempted to replicate the perfection that was Burton’s voice….. #firstworldproblems.

That said, I loved this biopic of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton that invites us to consider the short period in their lives when they came together as actors for the last time to take Noel Coward’s Private Lives to the stage.

Dominic West is being touted for a Bafta for his reprisal of Burton and it was on i-player until about ten minutes ago so I am hoping it will do the rounds again. Perfectly executed telly.




There is a small bias in this recommendation .

Shot in and around Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire where I grew up, Hinterland is a crime drama in the Scandi-style, but it is acted in Welsh and English. The Welsh is subtitled where required (surprising numbers of words need no translations – “fideo”, “pants” and “shit”) and the actors slip seamlessly between the two languages just as they do in everyday life in deepest darkest West Wales….

It is a cliche to say the scenery is a character in its own right, but anyone that has been moved by “Cynddylan on a Tractor”, done their D of E in the Brecon Beacons, or spent the day in the rain in August on a deserted but beautiful Welsh beach, will love the way this is shot. The excellent crime stories and perfect acting are a bonus.

and finally

The Trip To Italy

I missed the first series of Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan travelling, doing impressions and eating stuff. This one is set in Italy and they make their way round the coast in the footsteps of Byron and Shelley. Aside from being rendered insensible with mirth at some of their random asides, the by-line story based (extremely) loosely on Rob Brydon’s marriage was  compelling.

Loved the food, loved the look of it, loved the idiocy of two fellers (sometimes in a mini) trying to out-do each other with their impressions of Roger Moore hooting when he needs volume. At least one trusted friend has booked their Summer holiday to Italy based entirely on their dining choices so its worth a look for that level of foodie inspiration alone.


This song made me happy last night…..

The Common Linnets – Netherlands Eurovision


They came second to a very beautiful drag act who sang like a Eurovision angel to a fiery back drop of Phoenix wings and fireworks. In my humble opinion, the winner was deserving for being such a lovely representation of everything that is bonkers and gorgeous about life, and the best song came second. Which is fine.

Turmeric Milk

We have been gently switching across to raw ways of eating….when I say gently, I mean extremely gently.

Realistically we have managed one bit of concerted raw-ness a day and that starts with a smoothie. Usually something vegetable or fruit based and with as little fuss as possible.

I have been trying to extend this practice to the opposite end of the day and finish up with a comforting night time drink that is completely healthy. We’ve tried a few – de-tox teas, fennel based infusions, raw cacao hot chocolate. They have all been found wanting. Then we discovered turmeric milk.

It is simple and tastes amazing and leaves you feeling well inside and out. Turmeric is prized for its anti inflammatory and cancer prevention properties – read more about it here –, but the main reason we love it is it tastes like nothing else we have ever put in our mouths. In a good way.

Here’s our recipe but feel free to pimp…..

For two folk:

1) Pour two cups of almond milk / coconut milk in to a small pan and heat gently. Here’s our favourite one –Rude-Health

2) Peel and then grate a 2 inch fresh turmeric root in to the pan

3) Do the same with a one inch piece of fresh ginger.

4) Add a squirt of agave syrup

5) Add a heaped teaspoon of Lucuma powder.

6) Stir until it is a pleasing orangey yellow colour and the same temperature as the end of your little finger

7) Strain back in to the cup and enjoy!

Onward and Upward and Sideways and Backwards

When I first started this business I had imagined a wonderful idyll of swishy clothes, hours that fit with the children, fun events, learning by doing and generally being fabulous as a result of helping women find nice things to wear at a difficult time.

With the wonderful gift of hindsight, here are a few myth busters to temper the mumpreneur dream if you are thinking of starting out on your own and are currently enjoying a small fantasy about how it could be……

1) Hours that Fit with the Children.

This generally means working when everyone else is asleep or paying for childcare.

The days that you pass through with a baby that “should” nap, or “should” sleep through so that you can get some work done, rapidly morph in to days when they are at pre-school and will need dropping off, picking up and intense, guilt-laden extra-playing-with in between times. These are followed by school days which mean you get a small slither of time in the middle of the day to crack on, but your evenings and weekends, AND BRAIN, will be full of homework, uniform prep, school admin and general catching up ….You went in to business as a mumpreneur to be able to spend time with the kids so every minute you don’t spend fully present with them will cost you sanity points. That includes supervising play while you check your mails, helping with homework while you talk on the phone and watching telly with them while you work on your laptop. Don’t pretend that this counts as time spent with your children, because you know it isn’t really and lying to yourself only sends you madder.

2) Working for Myself

This generally means employing other people to do the bits you can’t – VAT returns, tax returns, childcare, marketing, social media….You may think you can do all of them, but if you can then it will cost you valuable time that could be spent networking, updating websites, managing stock, or just planning the business. In turn, this will mean spending money with suppliers that turn out not to fit well with your business before you find the ones that are the right price and skill level for you. It is the very lucky mumpreneur that starts her business with a team of people that she can completely trust and afford! Remember, the process of discovering which bits you really can’t do and then finding someone else who you can trust and afford to do them, also costs you sanity points….

3) Having control of my own finances / future

This generally translates as not having a pension, healthcare, or insurance should you fall ill. Very few mumpreneurs can afford to safeguard their own futures while the business is being established. Let’s also not forget the lack of holiday pay, maternity pay, cover on the days when you cant be “in the office” and any kind of job sharing or support from a wider department. You have to find your support at networking and other groups and be ready for the days when you simply can’t earn any money because someone else needs you. The stress of being less profitable than you imagined as a result of needing to put in place these safeguards, and it being ALL about you ALL the time, is also a big sanity points sucker.

4) Learning by Doing

Learning by doing suggests that just by doing something you will eventually become good at it. If the same logic was applied to sports, I would be able to out-run Usain Bolt and out twiddle Beth Tweddle. Neither of these things has happened as a result of jogging once a week and doing the occasional roly poly with my daughter. Learning by doing can mean poor accounting practices, tax penalties, sluggish social media and a second rate website. Always start a business from the premise of playing to your strengths and tested skills, and then outsource everything else. You can pick up experience in the other areas, but don’t pretend that just because the business is “your baby” that you know everything you need to know to nurture, grow and protect it, just by having a go


Being a mumpreneur can be rewarding, challenging, fun and exciting. After lots of pre-children-years in industry with very little autonomy but heaps of responsibility it has been a wild ride to be doing everything from sourcing suppliers to entering awards with only myself to blame whether it goes right or not. I wouldn’t take back a single second of running my own business- I have met some wonderful women, helped some lovely customers and it has indeed mostly been swishy and fabulous.

BUT, if I could go back in time and get a few fellow mumpreneurs a little bit pissed (not hard, most of them are very cheap dates as a result of never getting out) and quiz them as to what a life devoted to building your own business actually means in terms of time, finances, emotions and stress, then I would, and I would listen VERY carefully to what they had to say…..

If after doing that, I still thought I had what it took to run my own business, I would tell myself firmly…… “You’re probably wrong. You probably don’t.”. And then I would do it anyway.


5000 happy customers and counting….

I don’t normally do blogs that are so personal or so trumpety (? I’m sure that’s an actual word), but we realised this week that we have shipped over 5000 orders since we started back in 2006….In all that time we have had complaints -I remember both of them like they were yesterday, and I should add, neither of them were our fault, but we still bent over backwards to sort them out…..we have had disappointments (lost stock, price rises and the recession), but mostly it has just been a steady stream of very happy customers…..

We don’t stock anything we wouldn’t be happy to wear ourselves, and after 7 years in business quite a large proportion of our mutual wardrobes are stocked with designs that we have loved and continued to wear long after the babies have finished breastfeeding. My youngest is 5 so there has been no booby going on here for a while now (*boo*), but I still wore my favourite Mummy Looks Fab work dress to work this week and will be wearing another one to my son’s school event this weekend. I am happy to be proof positive that the designs we stock have great longevity.

My personal favourite has always been the tunic dress. On the days when I am feeling dress-down, they look fabulous with jeans and pumps, for those unpredictable days they are a safe bet with leggings and chunky boots, and finally (and more recently), if you feel like getting your legs out and enjoying a well-earned hit of Vitamin D, they work just as well with bare legs.

I can’t tell you how many customers have ordered one style and then come back a few weeks later to buy a duplicate so they have one to wear when the other is in the wash.

We love helping new mummies and mummies to be feel every bit gorgeous – goodness knows they have enough on their plates with all the demands life places on us. Whether you are heading out to work, looking after the children, or (hopefully)relaxing at home with your new baby, we like to think if you have invested in a couple of pieces from Mummy Looks Fab over the years at least you won’t have to work too hard to leave the house feeling “made”.

If you had asked me in 2006 what the future held, I could never have predicted that we would still be in business 7 years later, with 5000 happy customers under my belt (belly band). …

Here’s to the next 7 and I’m already looking forward to cracking out my favourite tunic dress to wear to the office party in 2020…..