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Twelve Days of Christmas at Next

1  Partridge in a pear treeHave you checked out your local Next store lately?

I ask because I've recently discovered that they've opened a second larger store near my home and upon visiting I was blown away by the huge variety of fantastic products available - everything from clothes for the whole family to home furnishings and unusual gifts perfect for Christmas!

I was thrilled. Why? Well, particularly since I've had children, I often pop in to treat either them, myself or my husband to something nice. I find their clothes are always top quality and wear so well that my second daughter usually gets great wear out of her older sibling's clothes.

Just last week in fact, I bought Tara this lovely purple hoody and pink skinny cord trousers as well as some nice new items of clothing for hubby!

For an audition that Sarah attended a few weeks ago, I purchased a lovely black sparkly top with matching leggings and a wool peaked hat.

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Blizzard - Memories of Childhood

Opening sleepy eyes in my darkened bedroom, I sensed that something was different. As my eight year old lanky legs eased themselves from the cosy warmth of my heavy quilt and I lifted my still tired head from my still warm pillow, my mummy opened the door, grinned and rushed towards the window. Drawing open the heavy velvet curtains she shrilly announced, "Get up quickly - it's snowing!"

Bursting with sudden energy, I found myself by her side. At this point the house was swarming with life, my six year old sister jumping up and down on the bed and me marvelling that Jack Frost had not only left his finger prints on the window pane but he'd also dropped his big sack of snowflakes all over the garden and fields behind our house!

"Quickly, get washed and dressed and you can play for a wee while outside before school."

The race was on for the bathroom. A quick wash and we were gone, like tiny adventurers off to explore a wintery wonderland!

Eyes straining against the blinding whiteness, my sister and I along with our little brother tumbled out the back door and swiftly grabbed handfuls of the fluffy white stuff. Silent snowflakes slowly tumbled all around us as we tramped our footprints over the soft virgin ground and watched entranced as cloudy puffs of breath escaped from our chilled lungs.

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Breastfeeding Reduces Breast Cancer Risk for Women

I've always been fascinated by the reputed benefits of breastfeeding for both mothers and their babies and have written about both in the past (See Breastfeeding Benefits for Mothers and Breastfeeding Benefits for Babies).

Breastfeeding has long been known to have many positive health implications and one of those most widely reported is the fact that it may help to prevent breast cancer. My thoughts on this particular benefit are that if it can help prevent just one case of breast cancer developing then it's something that must be worth a try. I know it was one of the main reasons that I breastfed each of my babies.

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Guest Post: Is It a Good Idea to Hire a Male Babysitter?

It would seem that perhaps there is a stigma attached to using males for babysitting services. This dates back into history when it was most common for the women to be assigned to the child rearing and the home responsibilities, and was the man’s job to bring in the money.

Times have certainly changed over the years and there is many more stay at home dads now that take on the role that was once considered to be only for females. This includes the babysitting responsibilities as well. There are some excellent male babysitters that have a great deal of experience in dealing with children and are fantastic, and very reputable in the babysitting role. So when considering a babysitter for your children, it really is most acceptable nowadays, to consider one of either gender?

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Ski Lessons Anyone?

I've never been skiing although the idea of it excites me. Having always been one who adores the snow and is straight out there building snowmen with my children at the first opportunity, the thought of heading off to a snowy land is thrilling. Friends who've been skiing tell me it's invigorating, great for family fun and thoroughly enjoyable but that ski lessons are a good idea prior to taking off to snowy climes!

Well, as winter rapidly approaches, if like me skiing appeals to your sense of adventure, then now might be a good time to start thinking about booking some holiday ski lessons.

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Guest Post: The Truth about Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

By the age of nine months, five percent of babies have some form of tooth decay. That figure leaps to 15 percent by one year old and 17 percent by four years old! Tooth decay in babies and children is the result of various habits including sugary drinks, sweets and night time bottle feedings.

The type of tooth decay that results from night time bottle feedings is referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. This type of tooth decay encompasses common bottle feeding habits such as slow-feeding and night time bottles. Lactose in formula contains extra sugar and when babies are allowed to hold their own bottle and slowly sip from it, milk stays in the mouth longer, saturating the gums and/or teeth. Tooth decay resulting from slow nursing is more prevalent in older babies. This is similar to what happens to babies who drink milk at bedtime — for the duration of the night, the sugary milk sits on the gums and teeth, forming cavities. When sugar sits on your child’s teeth, it combines with bacteria in the mouth that produces acids that attack the tooth enamel. In bottle-fed babies, the upper front teeth are the most susceptible to tooth decay.

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What Would You Do With £40,000?

Have you ever sat down and asked yourself what you'd do with £40,000 if it just landed in your lap?

Well, you might just get the chance to find out if you win £40000 which is what PayPal are offering at the moment. In order to be in with a chance of winning what for many is a dream salary, all you have to do is pay for your online purchases using PayPal. 

The draw will take place weekly so the more times you pay via PayPal the more entries into the competition you'll get! You can use the following link to find out more about the competition:

Well, now that I've told you what to do, here's what I'd do if I was to win.

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Mom and Baby Exercise Time

Mom and baby exercise time Any new Mom has the keen desire to lose the pregnancy fat as quickly as possible. First time Mom's figure this will be easy being as they are bound to be more active with the arrival of the little one, but are often surprised and frustrated when those extra pregnancy pounds don't just disappear.

The frustration is compounded when there is just not enough spare time to devote to a personal exercise regime, but there is a very innovative solution for this. You can devise a mom and baby exercise time that includes not only the new born, but any toddlers or young kids that you may have at home as well.

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