Guest Post - Finding Maternity Wear In The Summertime...

~ Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 1:27 AM ~

Summer can be a tricky time for pregnant women - it's lovely to be able to enjoy the great outdoors when the sun is shining, but being too warm when you are carrying the extra weight of your bump around can seriously impede your comfort levels.

If your ankles are fast turning into cankles and you think you are letting your fashion credentials slip, there are plenty of ways you can make sure you look and feel good this summer, here are five top tips:

Wear natural fabrics
Not only are clothes made from natural fabrics such as organic cotton easier to wash and care for - they are also very comfortable. Lightweight, breathable fabrics such as cotton and linen will help you weather the heat in style.

Think tailored not tent-like
Although maternity fashion has dramatically improved in recent years, many retailers' offerings still leave a lot to be desired and unfortunately there are still far too many shapeless tent-like pieces being passed off as maternity fashion. Though it's great to have enough room to breathe, some subtle tailoring can help you feel chic right through your pregnancy - and doesn't need to equal discomfort. Look out for trousers with waistbands that can be let out with buttons and poppers instead of elasticated waists and don't be shy of wearing dresses that are fitted on top.

Buy with mix and match in mind
When you are busy and comfort is your top priority it's easy to let practicalities like whether things match fall by the wayside. Make things easier for yourself by buying items that can be mixed and matched easily so that you don't need to spend time fussing in the morning.

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Look for support
Too often the key question during maternity months becomes whether you will fit into an item, but you need to look beyond size and even aesthetics and consider whether the item will be up to the job over the coming months. As you grow you might well find that you need bras and dresses with wider straps to offer you more support.

Prioritise comfortable footwear
Avoiding cankles altogether can be an impossible feat, but you can give your ankles (and feet) the best chance possible by prioritising comfort and support when buying footwear. The likes of Beyonce and Victoria Beckham may like to wear towering heels right up until they pop, but your tootsies will be far more thankful of something padded and firmly rooted on the floor.

Guest Post - Estate Planning

~ Posted on Friday, July 27, 2012 at 2:22 PM ~

Estate Planning
When it comes down to it, nobody wants to think about depressing or stressful subjects: when the next cycle of bill payments is due, how many days it is until the kids are on school holidays, or what to cook for the family’s next meal! With so many headaches in day-to-day life, it can sometimes be hard to cope when those big stresses pop up, like injuries, big bills that need to be paid, or even the discontinuation of your child support.

It may seem like you’re counting your chickens before the eggs have hatched, but estate planning is vital. Not only does it save your family undue stress, but it also takes a load off your shoulders as well – you won’t have to worry about how they’ll cope in the unlikely scenario that something bad may happen to you or your partner.

** Image credit: Google search

Here’s a few things you need to consider when you start to look at estate planning.

A will is the most recognised form of estate division, outlining the payments of final debts and the allocation of assets. You’ll be relying on an executor to follow through with your wishes, although wills must go through a probate, which can be lengthy and expensive depending on where you live (the probate is a process where your will is tested to see if it is legally valid and all disputes are resolved).

Using a trust is like using a will for estate division; however, a key difference is in the fact that in a trust, the lengthy and expensive probate is avoided altogether. Instead of an executor, the title of the person in charge of managing your estate is the trustee.

In intestacy, the court will divide your possessions according to a formula provided by your state’s intestacy statute. This occurs when estate division is not specified, and can be one of the most emotionally and financially stressing situations for your family to dispute and resolve. You really want to avoid this because it will cause so much trouble for your loved ones.
While you can try estate planning by yourself, it’s probably best to go through this process with a professional. There are many potential disputes that may arise from vague conditions and oversights that will cause much undue stress to your family, and can result in the incorrect division of all of your life’s accumulated wealth – and in the end, it’s about making it easier for your family, not difficult.

** Article bio: Julia Smith was a full-time family lawyer, now full-time mum with several friends who have had issues with child support.