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Is 45 the new 15?

#140078700 / gettyimages.com   Is 45 the new 15? I only ask because I honestly haven’t felt so ‘in between’ since I was a teenager. To start with, there’s all that moody existential questioning: What am I going to do with the rest of my life? Can I make a difference? What is it all about? Does anyone even care? Then there’s the image crisis as my grown-up body, which I’d become quite accustomed to, begins to make dramatic changes: wider waistline, grey hairs, ...

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Take care, girls with phones

  The fire safety officer came to visit my daughter’s school yesterday. She made me hoot with laughter re-telling the best moments of the visit and she passed on some actually pretty essential fire prevention advice. Every girl with a phone needs to read on! First, the class was asked if anyone had been involved in a fire. Two children had and both blazes involved burning things falling out of the fireplace and setting the carpet alight. In one incident it was a ...

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Pink books for girls, blue for boys?

The children’s book reviewer on The Independent has caused a stir by saying she will no longer review books that are specifically aimed at girls or boys. She’s cited the example of The Beautiful Girls colouring in book (pink, cover, you’d never have guessed) versus The Brilliant Boys Colouring In Book (cover, guess what – blue). Now, I have mixed feelings about this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a staunchly equal opps mum and personally I would never buy my daughter any ...

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20 Tips For Surviving The Builders

And the builders are OUT… phew! I’m breathing a huge, dusty sigh of relief and allowing life as I know it to resume. I’ve totally renovated four homes so far and although I don’t think this one will be the last, I have promised my family some peace and quiet… for a while. I’ve learned (the hard way) a few useful things about having the builders in and thought I’d share my top 20 tips in case they’re useful to anyone else ...

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My grandparents’ war

To understand my fascination with the Second World War, you have to know a little bit about my grandparents. The most intriguing thing is that they fought on opposite sides of the war, as I’m half British and half German. My British grandfather was a farmer, so because of his occupation he was not in active service, but a member of the Home Guard during the war. He was on regular patrols looking out for invaders, making sure everyone’s windows were ...

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Why fasting is such a terrible idea

Did you know that the number one book in the UK charts is currently The Fast Diet, which promotes the idea that we should fast for two days every week? If that doesn’t quite grab you, don’t worry. With summer, aka the bikini season, just round the corner, a veritable bonanaza of new diet fads is about to be unleashed to prey on womankind’s insatiable desire for thinness. Which means an awful lot of trees are about to be needlessly sacrificed – ...

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A letter to my future self about how to deal with a teenaged daughter

Being the mother of a teenage girl is a nightmare. I should know – I was that teenaged nightmare. Bad hair, out all hours, drinking, smoking… boys? Been there, snogged, torn the T-shirt. My daughter is not a teenager yet. But in preparation for the difficult years ahead I’ve written this letter to my future self, with advice I’m determined to follow.  In the spirit of Facebook, I’d like to share it with you.   Dear Me, Allow her to go to that party, meet ...

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Rocks to die for, or steal?

For the next few weeks, I’m handing the keys of the blog over to my lovely friends from:  ‘The Jewels of Manhattan’. First up, Sapphire Jewel, antiques jewellery expert, writes: I know round about this time of year, the nights get dark and all the jewellery store windows start lighting up for Christmas. Everyone wants brand new sparkly stones in the right kind of box from the right kind of jeweller. But in your jewellery box, I bet you already have some lovely ...

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Sexy and ladylike in a stunning lace dress

A long sleeved below the knee lace evening dress… Where has this dress been all my life? Could anything be more ladylike meets devastatingly sexy? This is new season D & G perfection. My favourite label for dressed up glamour. Best for LBDs and stunning evening shirts. Try one of their lace or chiffon numbers flung over jeans – mamma mia! (And the price tags are not too scary-crazy either).