Friday, 27 April 2012

Posh Porn

Have you heard about Fifty Shades of Grey?

The New York Times bestselling erotic fiction paperback by E. L. James is causing quite a stir. The trilogy is set largely in Seattle, and traces the deepening relationship between college graduate Anastasia Steele and a young business magnate, Christian Grey. A bit of bondage, submission and S&M are all thrown in.  Reminds me of 'The Secretary' film featuring Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader (which I highly recommend).

Mumsnet were actually giving away 50 copies of Shades of Grey earlier in the week (which annoyingly I missed out on), and from what I have heard it seems loads of us ladies will be packing it for poolside reading this summer. Because it's now cool to read 'posh porn' - didn't you know?

Erotica that stimulates a few brain cells as well as our loins is the latest thing. We no longer have to choose between the quivering love puddings/heaving chests/thigh tremors a la Mills & Boons, or, predictable/boring/monosyllabic porn enjoyed by white van man.  Hooray! Erotica is actually being combined with a decent read at last.

The last trilogy I salivated over and guiltily coerced other female friends into reading was the Twilight saga. I think it was a safety in numbers thing. A group of us ladies (all far too sensible to be dribbling over R Patz) get together to drool collectively over the Twilight films; pizza, wine, movie and lots of ooh-err missus comments. Husbands are shooed away for the evening.

During 'Breaking Dawn' my popcorn sharing buddy whispered to me during the almost sex scene between Edward and Bella 'do you think he has a cold willy?' (Vampires are cold blooded for those of you not in the know). Whilst great fun was had by all, most of us left feeling a little cheated, it seems your appetite for erotica, along with taste in clothes and shoes, does mature with age. Teenage trysts and sexual tension just don't cut it. So bring on the posh porn I say.

 So without further ado, if you are interested, here are a few titles suggested by the Guardian of where you can find your high-brow erotica kicks...

Fifty Shades of Grey
Story of O
The Purple Shroud
Mischief Books (collection of erotica)

And finally for those of you who don't have time to read a novel - you can always wait for the film.... Casting rumours suggest Ian Somerhalder (who plays Damien Salvatore in Vampire Diaries: image left) might play the lead chappie. So yet again, I may find myself shamefully drooling over a sexy (ex)vampire - its simply unavoidable!!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Revenge is a dish best served cold....

 ...and slightly burnt


 ...and shrivelled.


Am I bad a person? Probably yes. I have knowingly allowed my husbands dinner to dehydrate as a form of punishment for his tardiness. As well as being Mr Procrastination man, my husband is chronically late for most occasions. He manages to live quite happily in the full recognition of this condition, having created the hocus pocus theory that he is also 'Mr Lucky' and so will never be too late to miss out on anything significant. Given I am 37 weeks pregnant, I hope for his sake this is true!! Seriously though, we did miss a flight which was unequivocally his fault, and whilst I knew better than to say anything at the time, my expression totally said those magic four words.

On the theme of being late for key events like babies being born, a friend was telling me how her brother missed the birth of his first born. Yikes. It seems the unfortunate coincidence of hubby being just over 2 hours away (by car) and a super fast labour meant he missed that magical moment. Not sure how I would have dealt with that considering what I have done to my hubby's dinner...

It did taste good when it was hot, honest!

I should also add my husband is a lovely, lovely man, and we all have our faults. Unfortunately for him I have lots of my own faults, and more importantly I have a blog. Love ya babe.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Slapped Cheek

Anyone for a good spanking? 

Not quite the topic for today's post I'm afraid, my cheeks are rouge for another reason...

It appears slapped cheek isn't just a cheeky arrangement between consenting adults - it is less sexily the slang name for the Parvovirus B19 virus. Sorry! A virus most commonly contracted in childhood. It is also known as the fifth disease, as it's the fifth most common virus kids catch. Most adults are immune to it - having caught it at some point when they were little. In the UK, April and May are the peak months for the virus. However, it can occur at any time.

Whilst it is relatively common and mild in kids, it is one pregnant women who are not immune want to avoid if possible - especially before 20 weeks.

For pregnant women not immune to the virus - miscarriage is more common if you become infected before 20 weeks of pregnancy. So, if you are pregnant, keep away from people who have slapped cheek disease. If you are pregnant and have been in contact with a person with the virus then your doctor may ask for you to have a blood test.

So after my good friend rang to say her two kids (aged 1.5 and 8 yrs both have Slapped Cheek) I duly called my doctor, and subsequently have had a blood test to see if if caught it this time/in the past i.e. am immune/or not at all. Luckily for me my 36 week, almost baked bubba, is pretty robust by now and the virus shouldn't cause either of us any issues.

If you want to know more about Slapped Cheek just google it - there are loads of info and images  on line. Don't worry you won't be inundated by spanking websites - but if you do spot any funny ones let me know! 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Nesting, or just a good excuse for shopping?

Four weeks to go now and a countdown of sorts has begun. I am excited about meeting my baby (part of the reason for the countdown), I am very uncomfortable with SPD (the other part of the reason), and I am starting to panic, 'oh Christ the baby could come any day now and the moses basket is still in my parents loft'. All totally normal emotions I understand based on past experience and what other pregnant ladies around me are saying.

So, I thought I would get the hospital bag sorted first. What do I need to pack?...

I am definitely going down the hypnobirthing route again, which means I need something to listen to my chilling music and affirmations on. Especially if I end up on the ward pre-labour again. Wards full of women in early labour are NOT relaxing, quiet places to hang out - take it from me. I spent 5 days on one last time - ugh.  My sisters iPOD and Seinnheiser headphones were however a god send and I was able to sit back and listen to Flight of the Conchords and chuckle to myself despite the hysteria occurring around me. And of course my hypnobirthing relaxation music. This time I've treated myself to an iPOD Shuffle (the teeny weeny cheap(est) one). I was most impressed with the fact you can get a free engraving on it, so I've gone for 'My baby's birth will be easy'. Say it enough times and it'll come true - that's the theory at least. It's also an attractive metallic green colour, which I am told by my hypnobirthing 'rainbow relaxation' CD, is the colour of labour and birth energy.  Just need to make sure we are fully charged!

I've also ordered myself two basic nighties from Mothercare, secured some delicious smelling Cowshed toiletries, and all those other glamorous items such as disposable pants, maternity pads and such that you need to patch yourself up the next day(s)... 

Am I missing anything??? Ah yes, THE BABY STUFF!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

One waddled step at a time....

5 weeks to go and all is well...

Apart from, that is, my chronically sore hip joint and the comedy waddle I developed over the easter weekend. A pregnant friend asked sympathetically today if the ligament pain were likely to improve, or just get worse now till the end? We then nodded knowingly at each other and said in harmonious sychronisation 'just get worse till the end now'. That's the thing with pregnancies, there really isn't much you can do, whatever your pregnancy throws at you have to deal with it. Hey, at least the baby isn't breach anymore.

The same friend (who also has a 17 month old and is due 2 weeks before me) relayed how she had been asked on a few occasions how she is coping with lifting her little one with a bump - given you're not supposed to do any strenuous lifting in pregnancy. Well, as I know, you do lift them and your back then hurts like buggery. Friend said she is often tempted to say 'I just drag her along by her hair'. Not that we are bitter pregnant ladies, honestly!

So other than waddling I have been pampering myself this week with reflexology - delivered by a trained midwife and reflexologist I saw during my first pregnancy, Suzanne Batchelor (based in Woking). I can't recommend her enough. It was bliss. I have always loved having my feet tickled or massaged, so I guess it shouldn't have come as a surprise to me what a big fan I am of reflexology. The bonus, on top it being a thoroughly pleasurable experience, is that it helped relieve ligament pain I had in my first pregnancy. I have what those in the baby trade call SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction) - sounds awful doesn't it?! Basically it is when you produce too much of the Relaxin (said in a Jamaican accent) hormone. Normally pregnant ladies produce just the right amount of relaxin hormone to help soften the ligaments of the pelvis so they give during birth. But if you produce too much, it means the pelvis bones can move too much and too early - so you get irritated joints and ligaments. And it hurts! Some women actually end up on crutches, so I am very grateful it hasn't got to that yet. Reflexology to treat a condition needs to be undertaken as a course, rather than a one-off session (or so I tell my husband) and I have dutifully booked my next appointment. As it can also help prepare the cervix for labour, it is also recommended for pregnant ladies to have several sessions from week 30 onwards. How can I argue with that?!

So I urge you pregnant ladies out there, with ligament or other issues, or just looking to prepare yourselves for birth to give it a go.

Right, hobbling off to do bath time....

Helpful link: Association of Reflexologists; find a therapist near you

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

F*** Famine

Young Wives Tales is a light-hearted blog - BUT as its founder I've decided it shouldn't shirk away from more challenging topics. I also believe strongly that we all have a responsibility to speak out for those less able or less fortunate than ourselves, and so, have decided to support the ONE campaign through my blog. I will still be sharing insightful, funny and cheeky posts about sex, relationships, pregnancy with you - but - mixed in with that I'll be updating you on what I've been doing to support the ONE campaign and info for you to get involved, if you so choose. Perhaps you can start by having a quick look at this video (it takes less than a minute)...

The first thing I've done as a blogger and mum to support the campaign, is to join ONE Mums.

ONE Mums is the movement of British mums joining forces with the charity ONE to spread awareness of and fight extreme poverty and preventable diseases. You may have heard of ONE already because of its famous co founder, Bono. The charity’s “blogger task force” started in America with their influential ONE Moms group and the idea is simple: mums leading a movement to promote education, engagement and activism on behalf of the world’s poorest.

If you’re concerned about world poverty, education, children’s health, the economic and agricultural well being of developing nations, then take action and be a ONE Mum! Here’s how:
  1. Sign the petition urging EU leaders to pass laws requiring oil, gas and mining companies to publish payments to foreign governments, so that local people will have transparency with their sale of their natural resources.
  2. Blog about being a ONE Mum or ONE Dad about your support and link back to the site and
  3. Stay tuned to all of the ONE Mum Ambassadors for the latest activities – there’s going to be a fun meme and Linky, a video challenge and more!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Join Our Ethical Easter Egg Hunt...

A very last minute post on where to buy the best ethical Easter eggs for similarly last-minute mums!! 

Thank goodness my little one has no concept of Easter eggs, and will just as joyously tuck into a banana. However, for the more discerning toddlers and non-religious types amongst you who just want a valid excuse to do some egg-stravagant chocolate shopping (sorry couldn't help myself!) here we go....

1. A personal favourite...(having met founder Jo Farley at a Women in Business event..check me!!)

Green & Black's Organic Thick Shelled Milk Chocolate Egg 180g  £6.00 available from Waitrose/Ocado
Suitable for vegetarians Organic

What awaits you inside is the perfect celebration of everything Green & Blacks have been proud to stand for since they began in 1991: using only Green, organic ingredients to craft the most Beautiful chocolate imaginable, in this case their thickest, most indulgent Easter egg ever. A very happy, Green & Beautiful Easter from Green & Black's.

G&B's don't settle for second best, they make all their chocolate from only the finest organic ingredients, sourced from farms that have met the Soil Association's strict organic standards. That way, everything they produce is better for both the environment and the farming communities who supply them with everything they need to make their chocolate so special. The Soil Association is the leading environmental charity promoting organic food and farming, and championing human health.

Good things come in good packages. The card G&B use to protect their perfectly formed eggs is created from forests that have been sustainably managed - where the same care and consideration is taken to harvest and replant trees as it is to create their chocolate, but they haven't stopped there; this Easter they have also removed the plastic from our packaging. Truly Green and Beautiful.

2. Ethical eggs for kids...

Green & Blacks Explorers Easter Eggs - Buy 2 for £5 Waitrose

3. Ethical eggs for creatives...

Montezuma's Organic Milk Chocolate Free Range Eco-Egg £8.99

Get Creative and WIN!
Show Montezuma your creative skills by making something interesting using this egg carton and upload a photo direct to their facebook page. The most creative artwork will get chocolate prizes including chocolate hampers. They will also display the best entries in their shops!

Montezumas Eco Egg packaging is made of just two parts: a sturdy biodegradable paper outer shell/sleeve and foil wrapping - we think it's probably the most eco friendly Easter egg around! Nearest store to Weybridge is Kingston.

4. Divine and decadent ethical eggs...

  Find out more about the ethical values behind Divine Chocolate
Divine Fairtrade milk chocolate egg & pralines

Divine Fairtrade dark chocolate Easter egg 170g

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Spring Shades by Chanel

The UK weather might not know what it is doing, no change there, but at least Chanel knows what month it is. Have at look at their three new shades below: April, May and June. Each one offering up a bouquet of spring and summer colours. Perfect to wear to those spring weddings, flowers shows, or just out and about.

Expensive make-up is my weakness, and in particular polish and lipstick. Maybe because in my experience it makes me feel pampered, not too poor post purchase, and people do tend to notice well dressed lips and nails. You do also get what you pay which means satiny smooth lipsticks that last and moisturise, and nail polish as smooth as treacle. Go on give them a try...

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour...

Shade: April

Shade: May
Shade: June

Monday, 2 April 2012

Oral sex linked to throat cancer.... pull the other one!

Or so I thought. My husband announced this depressing headline the other evening - to which I stopped folding the laundry, raised my eyebrows and told him he better come up with a better excuse than that! But no, he was most serious...and after several minutes discussion I realised he wasn't pulling my leg, it really had been in the news.

I'm all for cutting back on red and processed meats, units of alcohol a week, and eating my super foods, fruits and veggies. But come on, a life without le sexe oral, is it possible? Sadly I realise for some ladies it is and my heart goes out to them.

So, not happy with my husbands second hand medical news, I decided to consult trusty Google and find out a little more....

Good news. Oral sex does not cause cancer, BUT, the human papillomavirus (HPV) does and can be transmitted via oral sex. Saying that you or your partner(s) do have to be carrying the HPV virus, before you can give it to each other.

The BBC says, "Oral cancer cases are increasing, with 6,200 this year, figures from Cancer Research UK show, with two-thirds of cases in men. This compares with 4,400 cases a decade ago. Most cases are linked to smoking, but alcohol misuse and the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection through oral sex have been linked to the rise."

With any cancer the best way to protect yourself is to recognise the early warning signs and don't be afraid to visit the doctor. Experts say the warning signs of oral cancers include mouth ulcers and red or white patches in the mouth that do not heal. I repeat DO NOT PUT OFF A VISIT TO THE DOCTOR IF YOU SUSPECT SOMETHING.

HPV is the virus that  girls in the UK are now vaccinated against, as high-risk strains of the virus are linked to cervical cancer. According to the BBC up to eight out of 10 people in the UK are infected with HPV at some point in their lives, though most cases are harmless.If you want to read up on HPV click here to visit Cancer Research.

  1. get informed
  2. if needs be get tested
  3. don't put off a trip to the doctors if you suspect something, EVER, and
  4. live happy, contented and fulfilled (sex) lives!

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