Saturday, 30 March 2013

The North Somerset Butterfly House

Last weekend we went to visit a new local attraction - a butterfly house!  When Ethan was very young we had membership at our local Zoo and his favourite part was always the butterfly house.  It used to have him in fits of laughter for some reason.   When I was asked by Mum's Diary if we'd like to attend the opening of a local butterfly house, of course I said yes!

It's always lovely to discover a new local attraction and I'm keen to support local businesses.  We enjoyed our visit to the North Somerset Butterfly House and will happily go back again.  We visited them on their opening day and there were around 200 butterflies present.  A few months from now that figure will be in the thousands so I have no doubt this attraction will only improve!

We spent around an hour there.. I think Ethan would have been happy there for a long time.  Although butterflies no longer make him hysterical, he loved seeing them flying around.  Especially the huge moths!

I'll let the photos speak for themselves now:

If you live in the Bristol/Somerset area, I'd say that the butterfly house is worth a visit!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Trendy Tuesday - Buying clothes for baby

Sorry Trendy Tuesday is late today.  It's been one of those days.  I'm surviving on 4 hours sleep, pregnancy is proving to be exhasuting at the best of times let alone today and Ethan has been running a temp of 40.. We've been stuck in all day doing little more than watching TV so I feel like a rubbish Mum, but we've both been up since 4am, it's cold outside and neither of us have the energy for much... So.. if today's post is a bit rubbish, I apologise, but you can see why!

I'm 32 + 2 now and the reality of a baby is becoming more and more real.  I got all the baby clothes down from the loft months ago, washed them and put them in baby's room.. but I still can't resist buying the odd new or second hand item for this baby.  One of the lovely ladies I follow on Instagram (Jordan) has a facebook page from which she sells clothing her son has grown out of - I discovered it last week and was very happy to find out we have very similar taste!  She had so many cute little outfits, I couldn't help but buy a few.  So.. today, as I'm not feeling very inspired today, I thought I'd share the link to her Facebook page and show off the gorgeous items I bought for baby boy 2.

This little lot only set me back £12 plus postage.  A Jasper Conran newborn sleepsuit, three Molo long sleeved vests (the ones with stars) and a Maxomara penguin print vest.  I could have bought more!!

I hope you are all fairing better than we are today.  Please link up your children's clothing blog posts below - don't forget to link here/display the badge and let me know so I can tweet your link.  The linky is open until Saturday!

Polarn O. Pyret - Easter Egg Competition!

If you read my blog regularly you'll know how much I love (and I do mean love!) Polarn O. Pyret's clothing. We've been lucky enough to review clothing for them before, but I've known about them since Ethan was in my womb.  He's always worn their clothing.  They wash and wear well and Polarn O. Pyret are a lovely company who love to involve their customers (follow them on Facebook, they are always asking for customer input!).

Well,  I'm happy to tell you that PO.P are running a competition for Easter!  All you have to do is decorate an egg with your child (preferably a real egg) and send a photograph of your creation using the form on their Facebook page - couldn't be easier!  If you are a lucky winner you will receive a PO.P bunny and the overall winner will receive a £50 voucher to spend with PO.P!  For many of us it's the Easter Holidays so it's an activity to fill some time and stay out of the cold!  You have until 5pm on Friday March 29th to enter so get decorating!

Ethan and I decorated our entry yesterday.  I "blew" an egg for the first time and it was hard work, I have to be honest, but at least we have an egg that we can keep now, not one that's going to smell after a couple of days!  I let Ethan have total free reign with the decorating.  He chose to draw "a smiley face".  I'm not sure we've got a winning entry here, but it's 100% decorated by Ethan so I'm proud of that.  I think it's a lovely effort and something we'll keep forever!

You can probably tell from the photos that Ethan was wearing some vintage PO.P clothing.  A happy coincidence.  Nice and comfy for chilling out at home in!  These are third hand and still going strong, you can really tell the quality.  Some of the best children's clothing you can buy and I don't say that lightly!

I can't really finish talking about PO.P without including my current favourite item of clothing from their collection, so I'm going to show you this gorgeous tshirt.  Let's all just take a few minutes to look at it and imagine the summer that awaits us... Warm weather, come on!

Image source: Polarn O. Pyret

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

31 weeks - anxious, tense, stressed. Is this normal?

So... 31 weeks.  I suppose you could say I'm on the home run now.. At most it'll be 11 weeks until baby is here.  Could be sooner I suppose!

I want to write a little about how I'm feeling today.  When I first started this blog back in 2009 it was a mishmash of all sorts of things, day to day life, dealing with PND, the struggles and ups and downs of parenthood, fashion and style for Mum's and children.  These days I realise my blog is more focussed on fashion and style, both women's and children's and generally that's just fine, it's good to have a niche.  However, this is my blog and there will be times when actually, I don't want to write about what I'm wearing or what Ethan has been wearing.  Today is one of those days I'm afraid, so please, do bear with me!

There is a reason this blog is called Medicated Follower of Fashion.  If you don't know the history, shortly after Ethan was born I suffered from a great deal of anxiety and depression.  I wasn't coping and was diagnosed with PND.  I took medication for this on and off and only came off my anxiety medication when I became pregnant with baby 2.  So yes, Medicated Follower of Fashion - the medicated comes from anxiety medication and obviously it's a play on Dedicated Follower of Fashion, the song by The Kinks.

I've ummed and ahhhhed about posting this here, but it's the truth, this is how I'm feeling.  Brace yourself, this might be a bit of a brain dump.

I feel I'm struggling quite a bit. I'm getting myself all overwhelmed probably because I'm becoming more introverted. I don't know what to put it down to but in the last week I've felt more and more anxious. Generally, since coming off medication I've felt that I've been coping quite well. Yes, the odd anxious moment but nothing too out of control. Over the last week this has changed. Only two weeks ago I had a consultant appointment at the hospital to see how I was coping anxiety/depression wise and I was genuinely feeling good so that's what I said. I've definitely noticed a change though. I really don't know how to explain it.

It could just be the pregnancy hormones I suppose. I feel tense, irritable, stressed and anxious almost all the time now. The only time it truly abates is when I am entirely on my own doing something pleasant like reading a book. Or maybe if I'm with a group of friends (which isn't that often at the moment). Basically, any time when I feel absolved of responsibility to anyone or anything. As soon as Ethan is with me or Pete comes home from work I feel on edge. I don't want to be touched at all at the moment so when poor Pete comes home from work I feel on edge because I know I'll be touched and I don't want to be. He knows how I don't like being touched at the moment so bless him, he tries not to, but he's a good husband and he just wants to touch my bump, or give me a hug and a kiss. I know I'm pushing him away, and feeling bad about that makes me feel worse again.

As soon as I'm with Ethan I feel stressed and anxious. Everything just gets me all tense, like helping him get dressed, getting him ready for school, walking him to school, feeding him, the constant battles because he won't come when I call him, is really slow going to and from school, the fact he's stopped eating so many things, it all just seems like one battle after another. I know that's all completely normal but I'm finding it hard to cope with.

Then there's the fact that I'm 31+2 now and in only a matter of weeks there will be a newborn with us. I keep telling myself I can cope. It'll be OK. It won't be like last time. But still, just the thought of trying to get Ethan to preschool on time gets me stressed. We barely manage it at the moment!! How the hell am I going to do it with a newborn in tow?

I know my OCD type issues are getting worse. I constantly see things that are "imperfect" with the house, a speck on the floor, a messy sink, a fingerprint on a door handle and these are starting to weigh me down.  Maybe that's nesting in overdrive? I'm not sure!! It's hard not to get over analytical about these things!

I'm really not sure what to do. Is this all just because I'm pregnant? This hasn't been the easiest pregnancy, I've had so many symptoms and I know that physically not feeling my best is having a huge impact on my mood, so that could be a big part of it. I'm not getting much socialisation in these days. I think that's partly pregnancy and partly because Ethan is at preschool now. Last year we went to playgroups and other activities. I used to see my antenatal group friends several times each week, either there or for coffee or meeting up at each others houses and although we always had the children with us, we did get to chat a bit. These days I might see them for a few minutes in passing as we drop the children at preschool. We still meet when we can, mostly still on a Wednesday as before, but we don't have the car on a Wednesday, which used to be fine when I could walk no problem, but now I'm restricted with how much physical activity I can do in a day, so quite often we miss out on the Wednesday gathering. So, at the moment, it's not uncommon for me to go a whole week without really properly seeing anyone or chatting to anyone other than Pete and Ethan. I know that won't be helping things.

By far the most worrying thing, I think, is that people keep asking me if I'm excited now that baby is so close. Honestly? No. I'm fucking scared and worried I've made the worst decision of my life. That about sums up how I feel about his impending birth!  I feel terrible about that.  I know I will love this baby.  I love Ethan with my whole heart, I've never loved anything or anyone as much as I love that little boy and I know despite all my concerns I will love this new baby.  I know what a hard journey that was the first time though. The thought of facing it all again is scaring me.

I wanted to write a positive pregnancy post this week, I want to write about planning my home birth.. but this is how I am feeling at the moment, so I'm afraid this is what I need to write about.

Thanks for bearing with me, readers! x

Friday, 15 March 2013

Friday Feature - Funky Little People

Hello lovely readers!

I have something new for you today! From now on, I am going to be running a new feature on my blog.  Simply called "Friday Feature", each Friday I will be... well... featuring a company, person or product I love.  If this is something you would be interested in being part of, whether as a company or fellow blogger, please get in touch with me and I'll see what I can do!  I have serveral weeks worth of posts lined up and today I'm very pleased to start with a lovely new company!

Let me introduce to you Funky Little People.  If you are a regular reader you no doubt know all about my love of Scandinavian children's clothing.  Ethan can often be found wearing Smafolk, Katvig, Molo, Snoozy and many other Scandi brands.  I first discovered them when I was pregnant and I fell in love.  Perhaps the closest you can get on the UK High Street is H&M but if you want bright, funky and eco friendly clothiong for your child, Scandi is where it's at!

Funky Little People started life as an eBay shop but recently Anna (the owner) decided to branch out and launch a web shop.  I followed Funky Little People on Facebook and bought in the past via eBay so I knew all about Anna's new venture and wanted to help out in any way I can.  This is what  brought Friday Feature about!  In these times of recession, I want to help out businesses in any way I can, especially ones I like and support.

Anna stocks a variety of children's clothing via Funky Little People.  The brands she stocks at present are Snoozy, Jny Design, Snoffs & Nosh Organics.  She also stocks accessories such as card holders and postcards.  Perhaps best of all (and something quite unique!) she stocks a whole host of Moomin goodies including clothing!

Image Source:Funky Little People
Anna has quite a few bargains available at Funky Little People - for example, there are some beautiful blankets which are £16 instead of £30.  I know I'm tempted by them, even though I have more blankets than a blanket shop!

Image Source: Funky Little People
 Also, some fantastic trousers and tops such as these!

Image Source: Funky Little People
 I think I'm going to be buying a pair of these trousers for Ethan when we next get paid, and I suspect one of the blankets because you can never have enough spare (beautiful) blankets in the car, can you!!!  After all, we will have an extra person in need of a cosy blanket in a few weeks!

I recommend checking out Anna's shop.  Please remember it's in it's early days, Anna is planning on having more stock soon.  In the meantime, we have a little something for you, lovely readers!!  Are there any Moomin fans among you?  If so, you're going to like the giveaway Anna and I are running - Anna is offering up two lovely Moomin card holders, great for keeping cards handy in your bag, or if you have a bus pass or similar transport season pass you need to hand.

Moomin 'handys' from Funky Little People

So - if you want to be in with a chance of winning one of the two card holders, please use the Rafflecopter below.  In the meantime, do go and check out Funky Little People!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Maternity Fashion & TIffany Rose - Oh, how things have changed!

When I was pregnant with my first son over four years ago, it created a new bond between my Mum and I. We've always been close but we've never been "best friends".  I wouldn't say we are now either...but my becoming a mum definitely brought us closer, and gave me a better understanding of her. We used to talk about all sorts when I was pregnant the first time around, and I was genuinely interested in what her pregnancies with my brother and I had been like so we talked about that quite often.

One thing I remember my Mum mentioning was the lack of maternity wear in the 1980s. In fact, it's not just my mum who has commented on this, I remember my mother in law saying the same.

Years ago, the whole fashion and clothing market was different. It was more common to make your own clothing (and that of your children) than today. Mainly to keep prices down! My mum used to make do with what she had in her wardrobe pre-pregnancy, and either adapted clothing she already owned or bought big baggy dresses.

I do remember her mentioning Mothercare (Mothercare opened its first shop in 1961 and started mail order business in 1962). She bought a couple of maternity items from them via mail order - including a rather "fetching" maternity swimming costume which she still has to this day!!

It has to be said though that maternity wear is still a relatively new concept in fashion terms. Even today it can be very hard to find maternity clothing on the High Street. Certainly my local high street doesn’t stock any maternity wear. I have to travel to my nearest city or order online.

Even when you do find a shop that stocks maternity clothing, the selection is generally small; two pairs of trousers styles to choose from, some vests, a shirt, a t shirt, a dress or two, a pack of bump bands and maybe a pair of tights in one or two colours - that seems to be what most shops stock. Understandable I suppose, pregnant women aren't the largest demographic in the country!!!

Luckily this gap in the market has been spotted and there are more and more maternity wear companies popping up all the time. They have seen this gap and recognised that, actually, women WOULD like a variety of clothing styles to choose from when pregnant and *gasp* they would actually like to feel stylish and fashionable as well as comfortable!

Nine - ten months isn't long in terms of a lifetime, it's true, but pregnancy is hard enough (as any pregnant woman will tell you) so why shouldn't you feel good about yourself for the duration?  It's not unusual when pregnant to find you need to attend an event which calls for a smart outfit. Perhaps a wedding, a christening or even a work event…

Luckily there are now companies out there who provide maternity clothing for such occasions and Tiffany Rose is one of them! Tiffany Rose stocks some of the most stunning and beautiful maternity dresses I have ever seen.

Amelia Dress - Tiffany Rose
I haven't had to attend any events during my current pregnancy but when I was pregnant the first  time, I had several including my brother’s graduation from Oxford University. I know I would have loved a Tiffany Rose dress for that occasion!! I think that if I were attending a similar event during this pregnancy I would choose the Amelia Dress - short (Windsor Blue). It is a truly timelessly stylish dress. I'm obviously not alone in thinking so, several celebrity Mum's have worn it including Dr Pixie McKenna and Julie Arshavin.

Obviously, not all women are going to feel that a wide choice of maternity clothing is absolutely necessary, but I believe there are a growing number of us who do - especially among the fashion and style blogging community!  Staying stylish during a pregnancy helps to maintain a feeling of "being you", at a time when so much is changing (not just physically!). Personally, I welcome all the new maternity clothing companies to the market - long may it continue! We deserve to feel and look good when pregnant!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Maternity Fashion - 30 weeks

Is this winter not over? Is my pregnancy not over?  Both seem to be dragging a bit.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not wishing time away but I'm not finding this pregnancy easy at all.  I'm still suffering from sickness a few days most weeks (I had a few weeks respite between 22-25 weeks ish I think). Then there's the SPD, pelvic pain, varicose veins, heartburn, restless/achy legs, carpal tunnel (that in particular makes blogging hard, I have to be careful about noting tapping away at a laptop for too long!). Ugh.  The list goes on and I don't feel like being a stylish Mum.  I feel the temptation to never leave the house and wear only baggy t shirts and trackie bottoms coming on...

Don't worry.  I won't succumb   Apart from anything else, I have to leave the house to get Ethan to and from preschool.  I'm not about to start slumming it.  At least not in public!!

So.. here's a few outfits from weeks 29-30.  A mixture of maternity wear and "normal" clothes.  I'm still trying to mix it up a bit.  If we ever get any warmer weather I might be able to diversify further!!

Cropped cardigan - Room 31
Dress - Charity Shop
Scarf - Local boutique
Tights - New Look (not maternity)
Boots - Wrangler
Necklace - Stella & Dot (via me)
Owl Ring - New Look (old)

Beret - H&M
Dress - Dorothy Perkins Maternity
Cardigan - New Look
Tights - H&M Mama
Boots - Uggs via

Red Nose - Ethan's 
Stripy top - GAP
Ring - Local Boutique
Lego Flower Earrings - ebay

Looking back (OK, I know it's only a couple of outfits) I think I've done OK.  I'm still trying.  Just.  Let's see how I'm doing at 40 weeks!!

This post will be linked up in several places:

The Friday Baby Shower with Mum's Make Lists
Watch What I'm Wearing with Watch Out for the Woestmans
Sunday Style with Plane Pretty
Visible Monday with Not Dead Yet Fashion

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Trendy Tuesday - Clifton Style

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Ugh.  Anyone else in the UK totally fed up with this freezing cold weather?  The sun has actually popped out as I type this but it's barely above freezing and the wind is evil.  I have bought a few things for Ethan's summer wardrobe lately but at this rate, he's not going to need them for an age!

I love H & M for babies and children's clothing.  I honestly find that for what you pay, the quality is excellent.  They always wash well as well.  If ever I want to update Ethan's wardrobe with just a few key pieces for the season, I always check out H & M first.  Recently I've bought him a pair of shorts and some sunglasses.  He's already worn the sunglasses because he's really sensitive to the sun and wants sunglasses on as soon as there's the tiniest hint of sun.  I doubt he'll be wearing the shorts for a while.  Here are a couple of stock pics:

Image sources: H & M website
I love the shorts - they are quite smart and understated but THEY HAVE STARS ON THEM!!

So... what's Ethan wearing at the moment?  Well, as I was saying, it's cold, so our dear friends the BabyLegs leg warmers are out (or rather under - under trousers!) as are the Slugs & Snails tights, again, under trousers.  Other than that, it's lots of layers - but we're still trying to stay trendy!

This is Ethan at the weekend when we were pottering about Clifton:

Medicated Follower of Fashion - Clifton Style
Shirt - Primark
Top (under shirt) - Polarn O Pyret

Jeans - H&M

Shoes - H&M

Coat - Hatley
Neck warmer - Polarn O Pyret

If you are ever in the Bristol area, Clifton is a lovely place to walk around and visit, I recommend it!  We go quite a bit, Ethan likes to walk across the Suspension Bridge and we can always find a nice cafe to eat in.

It's over to you lot now! Got a favourite outfit you put your child in that you'd like to share?  Or simply like to show how your dressing your child in this cold weather?  Write a quick blog post (including pics) and link up over here.  The linky is live until Saturday so there's plenty of time to join in!


1) PLEASE link to my blog in your blog post and/or display my badge on your blog.
2) PLEASE leave a comment on my blog post & visit others who join in - share the love!
3) Tweet me @MedicatedFollow with your link & I'll retweet it to my followers

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Maternity Fashion - trying to stay colourful and comfy!

I'm nearly 30 weeks now... Yikes!! That seems really close to the end, but when I think that I went to 42 weeks with Ethan, it still seems like I've got ages to go.  I'm still really feeling the benefits of my compression tights but beyond that, finding something to be comfortable and feel stylish in every day is hard going.  I've got to be honest, I'm becoming more glad of the days where I don't have to leave the house.. which is probably only one day a week.. on those days I just pop on some leggings/vest tops/a cardi and I'm happy enough.

I remember the last few weeks of my pregnancy with Ethan. It was June/July and whilst not an amazing summer, it was reasonably warm.  I spent a great deal of time in the garden beached in a paddling pool.. I can't see that happening this time!! Firstly, baby is due in May so we *probably* won't have experienced too much warm weather by then (the last few days we've still had frost in the mornings!!) and secondly, due to life being busier with Ethan and blogging etc I can't see me having the time to lounge in a paddling pool!  You never know though, I suppose!

Not having much to talk about fashion/style wise this week, I'll leave you with the basics.  By which I mean photos.  Here are a few outfits from the last week:

Stripe vest - Asda Maternity
Purple Maternity Leggings - eBay
Black dress (under stripy top) - Therapy (not maternity)

Stripe top - GAP (not maternity)
Scarf - Orla Kiely for Uniqlo

Beret - H&M
Scarf - Small local boutique
Strip dress - ASOS Maternity
Cardigan - New Look
Maxi dress - New Look
Cropped cardigan - Room31

Looking back over the week, I feel I've warn a variety of outfits, even if I don't have as wide a selection of clothing to choose from at the moment!

This post will be linked up with:

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Trendy Tuesday - Men's style interpreted for boys

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Sorry there was no TT last week folks, I just didn't have time to do a post I'm afraid.  I'm not quite 100% blog focussed at the moment I'm afraid.  As I'm starting to near the end of my pregnancy, I'm afraid my mind is being taken up more and more by baby planning, making sure things are ready and organised for tiny man coming along and planning my homebirth.  I digress.. but hopefully you'll put up with me if my posts aren't as regular as they have been.

Let's get on with this weeks post!

I've not bought too much for Ethan lately.  He doesn't need as wide a variety of clothing since starting preschool - he's there on 3 days of the week and wears a preschool jumper/t-shirt and jeans combo whilst he's there, leaving me only 4 days out of 7 to style him.  It'll get worse when he starts "proper" school in September when he's in uniform 5 days a week!!  Anyway, I'm trying not to buy too much because his wardrobe is full to bursting and there aren't enough days for him to wear it all!  At least I know I can share the clothes when boy 2 comes along.

This Sunday Ethan and I were sat chilling out together.  I was reading The Times weekend supplement (my parents get it, we were at their house) and looking at the style pages.  They were focussing on Men's style so Ethan and I had a look together.  I asked him what he thought.  They featured a selection of bright colours which is was very keen on - he told me the yellow selection was his favourite.  It seems Men's fashion is staying quite smart at the moment.  Interestingly as Ethan and I were browsing the style pages he was decked out in pink jeans and his stripy blazer.  Quite fitting I thought!

Ethan's winter coat is also remaining "in style".  It seems to fit into several categories which are still "in" such as the "Pea coat" and "Army/Trench coat".  I think he looks pretty snappy in it.  The best bit is I got it second hand on eBay a little while ago for about 99p!

Stripe jumper - Cherokee Tesco's (old)
Coat - Debenhams via eBay
Blazer - H&M Kids (last season)
Pink Jeans - Maxomorra via

Whilst I'm posting photos, I can't help but share this photo of Ethan.  He fell asleep in the car yesterday for all of a few minutes.  A very rare thing these days.  We had to lift him out asleep (he was soon awake!) but I got a quick snap of him snoozing on Daddy.  So sweet.

Right, I'll hand over to you lovely lot now.  If you've taken any snaps of your stylish babies/toddlers/children lately, write up a quick blog post and link up over here so we can all enjoy their style :)


1) PLEASE link to my blog in your blog post and/or display my badge on your blog.
2) PLEASE leave a comment on my blog post & visit others who join in - share the love!
3) Tweet me @MedicatedFollow with your link & I'll retweet it to my followers

Thank you!