Are you losing your hair? Did you know there's a treament that's 90% effective?

Male pattern baldness doesn't have to be the end of the world though. Being bald actually comes with its own benefits;  You save money on shampoo, you're more aerodynamic, and you'll never have a bad hair day. If you're starting to notice it, others probably have as well, so rock it! The only thing worse than going bald is pretending that you're not. Look at Patrick Stewart, or Bruce Willis for example – those guys are awesome and proud to be bald.

50% of all men by the age of 50 years will be affected by male-pattern baldness usually starting in their 20s-30s. Your hair however is a huge part of your personal identity, so the loss of it can hurt your self-confidence. Not to mention cost effiency; you may save money on shampoo as a bald man, but dome polish is expensive too!

If you're not quite ready to accept that yet, there a few options. Hair transplants appear in the media every now and then, usually focused on celebrities that have opted for them. It makes sense that it would be a celebritie's choice (see Wayne Rooney), as they can cost upwards of £20,000! Even after a hair transplant you have to continue taking Propecia to keep the hair that grew back due to the transplant.

Another, more affordable option however, is to start with Propecia/Finasteride from the beginning – the treatment has been shown to be highly effective at preventing hair loss and regrowing hair – The earlier you decide to take action, the better the results can be.

Matt Amy's journey with Finasteride is a great example of the results that can be expected:

If you're still unsure, need more proof (available under "effectiveness"), or need further information on hair loss and treatments, here is a great start and professional advice is always available from our team of dedicated pharmacists at Assured Pharmacy.

*A recent 5 year clinical study showed that 90% of balding men either regrew hair or had no further hair loss.

Four Essential Dresses For Every Woman’s Work Wardrobe (Guest Post)

When I went to Britmums Live! blogging conference last year, I attended a stylist session with Jenny from Mummy Mishaps. The very lovely stylist was desperate to get me to wear a dress, and Jenny hasn't stopped begging me since. It is a fashion item that I find difficult to wear and the last one was my wedding dress, however (as explained in this guest-post) I'm aware that there's a style to suit every woman; even little old me!

Whether your work environment is smart and sophisticated or casual and chic, it’s important to have a wardrobe that you can always rely on, and particularly that will take you through the seasons. For effortless professional wear throughout the year you can always turn to a great dress, and there are four styles in particular that we think should be a part of every ladies’ work wear collection – you’ll wonder how you ever coped without them!

The Wrap Dress

No matter what your figure, you can trust a wrap dress to flatter it, which makes this style of dress a staple in a work wear wardrobe. After all, when you look good, you feel confident too, and we all know how important that is for client meetings or critical presentations! Choose a wrap dress with three-quarter length sleeves and you’ll wear it all year-round, and what’s more, by adding a bold necklace or a fabulous pair of heels, you’ll have work-to-dinner dressing nailed.

The Shift Dress

With a cap-sleeved shift dress in your work wear arsenal, you’ll never be stuck for the perfect dress, and there are dozens of ways to wear it. In the Winter, a blazer, opaque tights and boots completes your seasonal work look, whereas when the weather gets warmer, switch your boots for ballet flats and add a chiffon scarf and cardigan to look elegant, and appropriate. Stores like Bonmarché always have a fantastic range of ladies’ work dresses to choose from, including stylish and affordable shift dresses that are designed to complement every shape, and will help you to build your essential work wardrobe for less.

The Maxi Dress

When you want to look pristine and put-together, yet a shift dress feels a little too restrictive, a simple yet sophisticated maxi dress could be the answer. Designed to skim comfortably over the figure and keep you cool and covered, ankle-length maxi dresses are perfect for Spring and Summer professional dressing as they can easily be accessorised with a wide belt and flat pumps, or even wedges for a more formal occasion. When the seasons turn cooler, add a light cardigan and scarf over your maxi dress for an on-trend layered look.

The Skater Dress

Although skater dresses are currently very much in vogue, we believe they always deserve a place in your work wear collection. The full, knee-length skirt is surprisingly flattering on many different body shapes, as it helps to add the illusion of curves to slender figures, whilst it works to balance out curves on hourglass and pear-shaped bodies. Sleeveless or cap-sleeved skater dresses are ideal for Summer, yet when you add a suit jacket and a scarf, you’ll be wearing your skater dress through Autumn and beyond.

This is a featured guest post.

Country Kids: Fun In The Sun

gruffalo hunting

With the cobalt blue sky and the sun shining so beautifully all week, getting out and about has been an absolute must for us. It coincided brilliantly with the start of the holidays, and has ensured that we haven't wasted our time together!

Sunday – Gruffalo Hunting

On the way back from Silverstone on Sunday, we stopped off at an RSPB nature walk to stretch our legs. While we were hunting for The Gruffalo and calling out to mouse to see if he knew where he was, we came across a cave and The Boy just had to explore it to see if anyone was inside!

Pebble Plopping

After Mr. TBaM got home from work on Monday, we nipped down to our local beach to partake in some pebble plopping. Mr. TBaM was determined he'd be able to skim stones, whereas The Boy just wanted to make the biggest single plop possible.

Sandplay

We met up with our toddler group down at Barry Island beach and managed to avoid high tide, but only just. Then, because we hadn't played with enough sand, we came home and built some more sandcastles.

Clifftop Picnic

On a Friday morning The Boy goes to nursery. While he's there he has lunch, but because he has so much to say for himself, he never eats well and quite often doesn't like what they give him anyway (spinach and potato pie for example). I'm not bothered because the socialisation is more important for him, but when I pick him up we always have to have a second lunch to make sure he's had enough to eat. I decided to take him to the clifftop park for he could burn off some more energy and eat a picnic lunch.

Pirates at Barry Island

The sun today heralded more outdoor play so we headed for the beach again. We originally went further down the coastline to Southerndown beach, but the problem is that when high tide is approaching there it covers all the sand and only leaves a swathe of rocks. Cue an about turn and off to the old faithful of Barry Island! More sandcastles, more buried The Boy, and finishing up with a round of pirate mini-golf!

Hope next week is just as activity filled!

Meal Planning Monday #8

meal planning monday 30th april 2012

By and large I stuck to the plan last week with the exception of Saturday when we had cheese and biscuits later in the evening because we'd been a mid-afternoon barbecue. And yes it was raining, don't ask.

  • Sunday: We went to Frankie & Benny's for lunch (a review) and mum & dad's for tea. No cooking for me!
  • Monday: Salad. Just picked up a reduced chicken salad (and a whole load of other reduced quality meat for next to nothing to go in the freezer) in Tesco's so hubby will be having that while I have a cheese salad and anything else I bung on the plate. Can you tell me enthusiasm is minimal today?
  • Tuesday: Mango and coconut paneer, carried over from last Saturday
  • Wednesday: Quiche, salad and potato wedges. An 8.15-6 day for me, so hubby needs something easy to bung in the oven for when I get in.
  • Thursday: sausage stew done in the slow-cooker. This is take two as the first one done the other week didn't really work for us.
  • Friday: turkey stew (reduced aisle bargain!) for Mr. TBaM and The Boy, something from the freezer for me.
  • Saturday: Chinese! Deep fried tofu/chicken balls, crispy seaweed, egg-fried rice, chips and spring rolls.

I'm linking this up with Mrs. M's Meal Planning Monday

The Gallery: Animals

The theme this week provided by the lovely Tara is animals:

I'm sure we're going to see a lot of photos of pets, but try to branch out, be a bit different. Test yourself. Go off in search of a cow or a ladybug or something a little more exotic.

Tara will be pleased to hear that I'm not even going to touch the idea of pets. We haven't got any and I don't want any until I can no longer avoid it with The Boy. Although before he was born, we had some gorgeous fancy goldfish including a Bristol Blue Shubunkin called Bob who was stunning. Absolutely gorgeous! He originated as a classroom pet along with Daphne, Derek, Clive and Cynthia. Daphne and Derek were sent home with two children, who adored them, at the end of the school year. Clive and Cynthia came home with me. Unfortunately they didn't cope with the move very well and turned up their fins. But Bob was indestructable. I almost killed him twice through keeping him a plastic box which, it transpires, was slowly poisoning him in the sunlight. However, I managed to save him and from then on in (for three years) we were inseparable. Until I had The Boy and couldn't face cleaning him out regularly. So he and Betty, her with the deformed mouth, were dispatched to a good home.

I've waffled on about pets when I wasn't going to.

We've had a summer of animals!

This last weekend, we have been up to Manchester with the initial purpose of seeing Mr. Fletcher at MediaCity, but ending up socialising instead. On Saturday we went to Blue Planet Aquarium, Chester with MammyWoo, AddyWoo and the Irish One. I've long wanted to take The Boy to an aquarium to show him fish, this is a really good one as it has an aqua tunnel which is 70 metres long and takes you into the world of sharks, rays and stunning tropical fish.

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Earlier in the summer, we had another tweet-up with some other fabulous bloggers (Wendy and family from Inside the Wendy House, and Helen and family from The Crazy Kitchen). Here we joined the traffic jam which is normally synonymous with Birmingham, but this time relocated to West Midlands Safari Park. As amazing as it is, two and half hours driving around a load of Safari animals who are mostly asleep in the trees is a tad frustrating. That was until we came to my favourite animal of all time. I'm not saying anything else on the subject…

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Now pop over and check out the other entries by pressing this little widget

The Gallery: My Weekend

For quite a lot of the people I 'socialise' with through social media, this weekend meant one thing and one thing only: CyberMummy. However, for me it meant one thing and one thing only: Summer Fayre.

Being a teacher doesn't only include the teaching hours that are the obvious part of the job, we are also directed to work other events as well such as parents' evenings and school fayres. Which is why, as much as I protested months ago that I wasn't interested in CyberMummy and it would feel like an INSET day, in the end I couldn't go because I had to paint eleventy billion pink butterflies on little girls' snotty faces.

And it turned out that when the decision was taken away from me, I actually really wanted to go.

Bum!

Anyway, I then tried to fill my weekend with as much fun and games in other ways that I could. Here's the proof:

 

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This is entered into Sticky Fingers' The Gallery for the theme of 'My Weekend'. Click the link below to see the other entries.

New Numbers

Charlie&Numbers

You will have to excuse the self-indulgence in this post; this one is a reminder for me in the future.

I am amazed at all the things that my child learns to do; just how these things happen astound me. How does The Boy know how to hold the crayons? How does he know that by putting his finger on that button, then the balls will drop on his gumball machine? Here's the biggy: how does he know how to talk? I mean, obviously the more you talk to children, the more they hear and can imitate. But I actually mean how does he know how to shape his mouth and move his tongue and manipulate his vocal chords? It is such an amazing feat, children are so clever.

So I was even more impressed yesterday when he started 'counting' *. We had a full "1, 2, 3, 6" from him. Absolutely astounding. Hubby recited the numbers up to ten but he didn't bite, so we left it.

Today he decided to fulfill his role as a performing monkey and bestow upon us the numbers up to ten. Ok ok, we had an ommission of '5' and occasionally '8' but without any prompting The Boy uttered "1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10".  And ok so the pronounciation on a few of the numbers is quite frankly a little bizarre but recognisable (7 is 'zenner').

It just demonstrates how much babies and toddlers absorb from the world around them. Obviously we say or sing nursery rhymes and songs to and with him, but I'm not sure how many of those actually go above five.

There is really only one place I can think of that he's heard this repeatedly. One of the television programmes that he loves is 'Charlie and the Numbers' on BabyTV channel (sky 623). Everyday Charlie plays with a different number and they have a little adventure. Then at the end of the programme there is a little song "One, one two three, one two three four five, six seven eight nine, nine ten, six seven eight nine, nine ten". So you see I think I know a reason why he misses out five, and sometimes four; they're the only two numbers not repeated in the song (long shot theory I know)

The Boy is clearly a mathematical genius – (audio link)

(* As an ex-nursery nurse and a teacher, I have a minor issue with using the word 'counting', The Boy is more appropriately sequencing. Proper counting is when a child associates the numbers with one more item each time; they point to a series of items and can say the relevant number increase each time. Merely reciting the numbers is not counting. I know this but I am not relaying this each time I write the word 'counting'. Plus he's a genius!)

My Top 5 Famous Dinner Party Guests

The lovely @katetakes5 has issued the latest challenge to identify our favourite dinner party guests. (This reminds me of 'High Fidelity' – top 5 all time greats)

My Top 5 Famous Dinner Party Guests

1) Belinda Jones – I love her novels; the places she has described have inspired a number of our holiday locations over the past few years.

2) Johnny Depp – because there has to be a bit of totty at the table.

3) My husband – because I love him and would like to spend more time talking to him, not something we get a chance to do nowadays. Yes I know it says famous and I am going to break the rules and include him in this, because it's my list. And he has been retweeted (from a single tweet) 50,000 times.

4) Chris Evans – I think he is fascinating. I'm reading his first autobiography on Kindle and it is extremely insightful as to his behaviour and television personality.

I'm having a bit of difficulty with this one… so many people but it's difficult to choose. Hmm, aha, I know!

5) Sandra Bullock – because I think she's funny, lovely and sweet. I want to ask her if she did the horizontal fandango with Keanu Reeves, why she made 'All About Steve' and died her hair blonde, and I'm pretty sure that hubby fancies her.
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