The secret to Calm and Confident Parenting. An official Gina Ford website

Lifestyle Features

  • A Slice of the Good Life, edited by Sheherazade Goldsmith looks at how to take small steps towards a more natural lifestyle, doing your bit for the environment in ways that can be simple, affordable and effortless. We've included some advice on going green in the playroom and on choosing safe products for children.
  • Feeling dissatisfied and wanting more from life, our Life Coach, Maria Sweetman, gives her views as she considers acts of self-fulfilment.
  • Top Tips for Life compiled by Kate Reardon, has some great ideas to help you with everything from beauty and cooking to work and technology. We've selected some of Kate's tips for life, including advice on raising your self-esteem and boosting your confidence, dealing with getting older and how to stop worrying and enjoy life.
  • Top ten tips for the neglected mum: March brings Mother's Day, which ought to be a golden opportunity to escape from household tasks and relax a little. I know how hard it can be to make time for yourself when you have young children, and author Grace Saunders offers her tips along with five commandments to help you change your approach to 'me' time, which may inspire you to treat yourself now and again.
  • Cleaning tips from the professionals: Cynthia Townley Ewer specialises in home organisation and management, and she's put together advice from professional cleaners on how to clean speedily and efficiently, to help you get through the house cleaning in record time.
  • How to use to-do lists successfully. It's easy to end up with long lists of things you'd like to do which never seem to get any shorter.  Our Life Coach Maria Sweetman gives her ideas on how to make your lists a help rather than a hindrance
  • The secrets of a successful marriage is full of tips from Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall, who can offer a wealth of experience on the subject having been happily married for 47 years.
  • Delia's Christmas: Food is a big part of what makes Christmas so special, and Delia Smith gives advice on planning for Christmas and seasonal cooking .
  • Getting ready for Christmas: A little forward planning can help make sure you enjoy Christmas yourself and prevent you getting overwhelmed and trying to do too much.
  • Life Coaching for parents - Relationship difficulties by Maria Sweetman: When you're focused on a new baby or young children, you may find that you don't make time for your partner and in our regular life coaching session for parents, Life Coach Maria Sweetman looks at how to deal with relationship troubles.
  • Making time for you: It's not always easy when you're busy with a baby or toddler, but our special feature Making Time for You will inspire you to recharge your batteries so that you can be prepared for anything!
  • Eco House Book by Terence Conran: This feature focuses on The Eco House Book by leading designer and retailer Terence

    Conran. The book is packed with tips for having a greener home whether you're just doing a spot of redecorating or considering major alterations, and we've taken a look at some of the suggestions.

  • Baby's first holiday: Our feature offers lots of advice on different types of accommodation, travel and the all-important issue of what to pack!
  • Family Days out by Dawn Fozard: This list contains suggestions from members for family days out right across the UK, and we hope you'll find something that would be fun for your family.
  • Life Coaching for parents - Gaining a perspective on your worries by Maria Sweetman; Life Coach Maria Sweetman explains that most parents worry about their children, and looks at some ways of dealing with your concerns.
  • The Art of Contented Baby swimming by Fiona Campbell: Fiona Campbell explains why it is so important to get your young children accustomed to the water and has a look at some of the types of swimming lesson available for babies and toddlers.
  • Life Coaching for parents - The importance of being good to yourself By Maria Sweetman: Our Life Coach, Maria Sweetman, explains why it is so vital to find some time for yourself in your schedule, and gives some helpful advice on how to achieve this.
  • Living with a family pet - Q and A with Helen Briggs of the RSPCA: Many parents do worry about their pets being jealous of new babies, or about toddlers getting scratched or bitten, and the RSPCA have answered all these queries for us.
  • Thrifty Chic - Interior Style on a Shoestring by Liz Bauwens and Alexandra Campbell: Our featured book Thrifty Chic gives some advice on new looks for your home. It explores the latest trend in interior design, and covers ways to update your decor on a tight budget. We've spoken to one of the authors, Liz Bauwens, who gives some tips on interior style on a shoestring.
  • Spring Cleaning: This feature aims to inspire those of you who may be wondering where to find the time or energy for a major clean,

    with tips to help you sort through your clutter and give your home a fresh, new feel.

  • Family Easter activities: We've put together a guide to some traditional Easter activities you could introduce to your children

    at this time of year.

  • Life Coaching for parents - Being happy in your own skin by Maria Sweetman: Our Life Coach, Maria Sweetman, has some helpful tips on being positive about parenting.
  • 'Family Garden - simple steps to success' by Lia Leendertz : We're featuring a lovely Royal Horticultural Society gardening book called Family Garden, which looks at how to create a garden for the whole family to enjoy.
  • Mother's Day - a great idea, but where did it come from?
    Although we're all familiar with how we celebrate Mother's Day, this feature takes a look at how the idea of Mother's Day came about in the first place.
  • 1001 Ways to Get in Shape by Susannah Marriot
    Susannah looks at the ways you can get fitter and more active as part of your daily routine. Here are some tips from her book.
  • Make your own Valentine's Day Chocolates: There's nothing like a home-made gift for showing someone how much you care. Take a look at our delicious chocolate recipe!
  • Ultimate natural beauty by Josephine Fairley: Here are some quick and easy recipes from Josephine's book 'the ultimate natural beauty book, which will show you how to make your own beauty products.
  • Money saving tips: Here are some of the things you can do to relieve the pressure on your bank balance whilst still enjoying life to the full.
  • Life coaching for parents - Beating the Winter blues by Maria Sweetman: Maria Sweetman offers help and advice to anyone suffering from the New Year blues on how to build up your enthusiasm for 2009.
  • Top Tips for Managing your Day by members: We have compiled this very useful feature from members' suggestions. You'll find some great tips on how to get through the household chores, cooking and cleaning as quickly and efficiently as possible, which should leave space to make a little time for you somewhere in the day.
  • Some things you may not know about Christmas by Kate Brian: Kate looks at some of the more unusual aspects of the season, and you're sure to find something here that you can surprise your friends and relatives with over the holiday period.
  • Life-Coaching for Parents: Have yourself a merry little Christmas By Maria Sweetman: Maria explains how to cope when your partner's parents don't share your views on how to look after children and their routines, and her suggestions should help you all to have a happy, calm festive season.
  • Christmas tips - Part Two By Gill Macaulay: This is Gill Macauley's second part of her two-part series on planning for Christmas. Gill's feature is full of tips to make things run smoothly and miminise the stress and anxiety for busy mums.
  • Christmas tips - Part One By Gill Macaulay: Christmas is often a stressful time for busy mums, but Gill's article is full of useful tips to help you get ahead of the game.
  • Useful Summer Features: A selection of features whch you may find interesting and useful over the summer.
  • How to cheat at camping by Kate Brian: Kate's useful article looks at ways that you can enjoy all the delights of camping without any of the downsides!
  • Emigrating: Making the Most of it by Linda Russell: If you are thinking about emigrating, then Linda's piece should help anyone adapt to a new situation abroad.
  • Life-Coaching for Parents: Adjusting to moving away from friends and family By Maria Sweetman: Moving away can be very tough. Maria's advice should help anyone adapt to a new lifestyle.
  • Could you get rid of your family car? by Kate Brian: Read about families who choose to live 'car-free' in Kate Brian's thought-provoking article on Car-Free Families, and see if you could occasionally choose to walk rather than getting in the car.
  • Life-Coaching for Parents: Love the life you live By Maria Sweetman: Maria focuses on enjoying the moment and appreciating the life you have.
  • Me-Time by Linda Russell: Modern mothers feel under so much pressure to ensure that every minute of their child's days is occupied, and feel guilty if they do try and snatch a few minutes to themselves during the day. Linda shows how you can achieve a little me-time in your busy days.
  • Calculate your Child's Carbon Footprint by Briony Jenkins: Instead of counting the monetary value of raising your child, why not consider the environmental cost and calculate your child's carbon footprint? Briony provides lots of tips for easy ways you can make changes in your daily life, to reduce your child's carbon footprint.
  • Christmas is for Families - not for Stress By Linda Russell: Linda's article provides lots of useful hints on how to ensure that you spend a relaxing

    time with your extended family over the holidays.

  • How to look Fabulous in 15 minutes by Briony Jenkins: Briony provides heaps of useful tips on how to make the most of a short amount of time in

    which to beautify yourself - extremely handy for the party season.

  • 'Twas the Month before Christmas - How to Ease the Stress by Kate Bouverie: If you find yourself becoming anxious at the very thought of the Christmas holidays, Kate's article has some super suggestions for seasonal activities with children, and ways to reduce the pressure during the Christmas holidays.
  • The Great Green House Clean By Kate Brian: Kate decided to give natural cleaning products a try - see how she got on in this article.
  • Life-coaching for Parents: Managing your Chores By Maria Sweetman: Our Life Coach, Maria Sweetman has put together some suggestions on managing your chores in the house. We hope you will find it very helpful, like we did.
  • Life Coaching for Parents: Finding your Parenting Style By Maria Sweetman: Maria offers advice on how to develop and feel confident with your own parenting style.
  • Life Coaching for Parents: Positive Mental Health - Learning to Relax By Maria Sweetman: Read Maria's piece for some sensible reassurance and suggestions on how to bring back the spring to your step after having a new baby.
  • Caravanning: the New Cool By Kate Quarry: Caravanning is becoming more and more popular and is a great holiday choice for families. Kate's feature is really useful if you are considering caravanning as a possible holiday option
  • Life Coaching for Parents: Adapting to a new baby in the family By Maria Sweetman: Maria's excellent feature looks at the challenges which a family may face following the arrival of a new baby.
  • A Special Break - with the Little Ones By Kate Bouverie: If you feel like treating yourself and taking a little break away from daily life, read this wonderful feature where Kate gives us some great suggestions of hotels to visit for a bit of indulgence with your children.
  • Communication, Communication, Communication By Catherine Payne: We are very pleased to introduce Relate counsellor Catherine Payne who will be writing on all aspects of relationships, and giving advice on how these can be improved.
  • Life Coaching for Contented Parents: How to Get Out of the Rut By Maria Sweetman: Maria Sweetman is a qualified Life Coach, who works with clients, guiding them from where they are in their life to where they want to be. In this article Maria provides Life Coach-focused responses to members' frequently asked questions.
  • From Contented Baby to Contented Marriage by Sali Hughes: Parenting can and will pose a series of challenges to any couple, but by following the experts' nine golden rules, you and your partner can ensure your baby is the greatest thing ever to happen to your relationship.
  • A week in the life of Yamini Franzini: In “A week in the life of Yamini Franzini”, Yamini, a much-valued member of the team, shares her busy life with us. Find out what it is like working behind the scenes for, as well as taking care of three children.
  • Is it twins? by Christina Hopkinson: Regular contributor Christina Hopkinson, who is expecting her second baby, shares her thoughts about pregnancy – and the things people say to you - in her piece “Is it Twins?”
  • Days to Remember by Gina Ford and Dawn Fozard: In this article, Gina Ford and Dawn Fozard take a look at the value of happy family days out and give tips and suggestions on where to go and how to get the best from your day.
  • Travel Tips by Pauline Kell: Pauline is both an experienced mother and an experienced traveller, and her travel tips will help you avoid anxiety as you prepare for your first major holiday with your little one.
  • Travel with Baby by Christina Hopkinson: In this feature Christina Hopkinson focuses on the positive travel opportunities that children bring, rather than the limitations. If you have not yet decided on your holiday destination this year, check out Christina's feature for some inspiring ideas.
  • Less Television - More Time and Space by Dawn Fozard: Dawn describes how she reconsidered both her own and her family's television viewing habits. Find out how the changes went down with her two boys in this insightful article.
  • A Guide to Contentment by Darla Shine: Darla describes how she turned around her domestic life with some positive thinking and a change of attitude.
  • Television: Are you damaging yourself and your children? An interview with Dr Aric Sigman by Dawn Fozard: In his latest book, ‘Remotely Controlled', Dr Sigman looks in depth, not only at the serious effects that television has on growing children, but also how it can lead to depression and obesity in adults. Dawn Fozard conducted an interview with Dr Sigman, which we hope you will find insightful.
  • Is there sex after birth? by Jo Waters: Jo Waters attempts to answer some of your questions about post-baby sex that you may be too embarrassed to ask. She tackles issues such as sex drive (or lack of it!), contraception and the delicate issue of stitches.
  • The meaning of Christmas by Frances Howard-Brown: This is a lovely feature dealing with Christmas traditions and how you might choose to introduce these to make Christmas special in your family.
  • This Christmas – More Stuffing and Less Stuff! by Dawn Fozard: Dawn, as a mother of two young boys, has written this very personal piece about how to make Christmas fun and memorable, without drowning in the sophisticated commercialisation of it all.
  • Be prepared… to enjoy Christmas by Gill Macaulay: Gill Macaulay tackles the subject of preparing for Christmas. Her personal survival tips on gift shopping, food preparation and pre-planning should prove invaluable before Christmas time.
  • Your Little Stars: Do your little stars' zodiac descriptions match their characters? We have highlighted some of the typical characteristics of each star sign, and are inviting you to let us know whether your little ones' personalities match up. This is also a chance to meet some of our “little stars”
  • Mothers-in-Law by Gill Macaulay: In this feature Gill discusses some of the common problems that can occur and suggests ways of improving relationships if things go wrong.
  • Insomnia by Clare de Vries: Clare discusses insomnia, a major symptom of post-natal depression.
  • The Work-Life Balance: Can it be done? by Jackie Ashley: Jackie discusses the juggling act which is combining motherhood with work. She discusses various types of childcare and what the future holds.
  • Breaking The News by Christina Hopkinson: Christina talks about when and how to let people know that you are expecting.
  • From Here to Maternity by Joan McFadden: The biggest life changing event most of us experience is becoming a parent, but until it actually happens we have no idea how ill-prepared we are. Joan McFadden talks about the miracle that is motherhood.
  • The Shock of Motherhood by Gill Macaulay: Gill discusses some of the downsides of motherhood that are not readily acknowledged, shares her own experiences and offers some excellent advice.

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