Your mom deserves the best gifts. Get her the best gifts you can think of. You could get something like a coffee mug or something complex like a love letter. Its not something in the pricey side you should get your mother because mom like cheap gifts. It is something more on the “I really care about you side.” Moms want your appreciation over all gifts. Getting coffee mugs for mom is a gift for appreciation. Do not forget about appreciation when getting a mom gift.

What do you get a mom who has emotional problems, zero free time, and sleep deprived? You get a her nice little coffee mug. Yes, get her something that makes her happy to wake up in the morning. Get her something that takes her mind off of the 9 to 5 job. This coffee mug gift might seem like a mistake but its not. All moms have to wake up early and you should strive to give your mom the best happy gift. Happiness is key when getting your mom a gift. Here are a few gift ideas to start with.

Get a Simple Coffee Mug With A Simple Color

Coffee mug gifts don’t need to be complicated like the ones celebrities have. Coffee mugs for mom should be simple and for love. You can have a simple coffee mug with a light blue or yellow color. Life does not need to be pricey and high class like the people you see on tv. It would be nice to have all those things, but how much time do you have to enjoy the highest priced gifts that life can give you? Not that much. So, get your mom something simple like a coffee mug. Bring some simple things to her life. Make her feel like her life is simple instead overly complicated. Life should not be complicated. It should be simple, so you can get through it with a one two step.

Buy Coffee Mug With a Love Phrase

Want to do something for your mom that shows love? Show her your full heart with words of fire. Pick a coffee mug that has a love phrase. Not any phrase that is generic or too plane jane. Get her something that is from your own heart. Something you tell her from time to time when she has a problem. You got to tell her you love her but it got to come from you. Choose a coffee cup that fully says the love word.

Make a Art Drawing Connected to Love

Art is not something you should toss aside for a gift because it can show love. Love is something moms all around the world need. Love is what pushes the people who don’t feel like it and what keeps people moving on. They need love to keep doing what they need to do. They need love to give them the energy to face life’s woes. Life is full of a lot of road blocks and weights to lift. Love, is the only thing strong enough to overcome these weights and road blocks. Draw or paint something a piece of paper. Make it look good and make it good enough to be on a wall. Don’t worry, your mother would give you a big kiss if it sucks. Moms are more accepting then dads when it comes to gifts. So you got this if you plan to draw something for her this time.

Water is an essential element that all of us have in our bodies and need to replace every so often to ensure our health. The water in an adult’s body (about 60% of your total body’s composition) is used to do everything that the body does to sustain life. In children, however, the water level represents 75% of the body mass in infants. This decreases as the child grows old. The body water level is also dependent on other factors, including the body composition, the age, and sex of the child. Even with these differences, anyone should maintain the body water level for the body to function as it is designed. If not, you may not be able to do as you should with enough body water in your systems. For children who are always active may find it easy to replace any lost body fluids when he or she has one of the best water bottles for kids from which the child can sip smartly any time.

If you have a child who spends more time in the school than with you, it may be possible that your kid is not getting enough water to keep him or her hydrated. When that happens, those who may observe the child may see that he or she is a bit irritated. The child may also have difficulty focusing on what he or she is doing and will be exhibiting other symptoms of dehydration. This is not what you want to happen.

But even if you are spending time with your kids for a vacation or a holiday, there still could be a possibility that your child may be skipping water in exchange for other sweet drinks and delicacies. These water sources may not be the right food items for your child. Still, you may have disregarded the fact and thought that your child is still consuming something that can contribute to him or her filling full. Unfortunately, not everything that your child consumes is acceptable water replacement.

So, whether you are spending a day at the pool, the beach, basketball training, or allowing your child to participate in any sports event, you will need one of the best water bottles to keep your child hydrated. It’s the best way to keep cool whatever the season is. But you know that not every water bottle is created equal.  And the fact that some of them may actually leek toxic chemicals to your child’s drink, you may want to find out if there is a better alternative than those plastic bottles that you have been using for years.

Fortunately, there are water bottles that are made to be safe for kids. When choosing the best water bottles for your child, don’t just rely on the product’s general appeal. Most kids may be driven to drink from a water bottle carrying their favorite cartoon character. The question, however, is whether that water bottle is safe enough for your child. Your child may be having fun and enjoying all the activities you have planned your kids to engage in throughout the season, but are they really safe?

To ensure that your child is well taken care of with every sip that your child makes from his or her water bottle, make sure that you take note of these considerations when looking for the best water bottles to buy for your child. Don’t just rely on advertisements on TV or social media. Give your due diligence to search for related reviews and information about the products that you would like to compare before actually deciding which water bottle to pick.

Why should you consider buying a water bottle for your child?

Reusable water bottles are not only economical. It can also be safe if you keep your child’s bottle thoroughly clean and properly sanitized regularly. When looking for the best water bottles, make sure that you consider the bottle’s design and shape as there may be water bottles which may need a special tool to clean the nooks and crevices inside the water bottle to ensure that no bacteria will grow inside the bottle that may affect your child’s health.

There are also water bottles that are freezer safe. That means you can keep your child’s water bottle inside the freezer and this will give him or her a refreshing drink if he brings it outside while he/she plays or get some tan in the sun.

Water bottles come in different materials –plastic, metal, stainless steel, and glass. Most plastic water bottles are considered safe. But just to make sure, you may need to refer to the recycling symbols printed on the bottom of most plastics. The symbols that look like three arrows in the shape of a triangle and surround a number from 1 to 7 differentiate the types of plastic that water bottle is made of. Numbers 1, 2, 4, and 5 are considered safe to use for food and drinks. Bottles indicated to be “BPA-free” plus one of these numbers are also safe. Those marked with a 3, 6, or 7 should be avoided for use with food and beverages.

BPA stands for bisphenol A, a chemical present in certain plastics and is sometimes used food and drinks packaging. This chemical is said to mimic estrogen and is believed to have negative health effects, which may pose the biggest threat to infants and unborn babies. When looking for a water bottle appropriate for your child and you want to have a lighter water holder, avoid water bottles with the recycling codes 3 or 7 as they may contain polycarbonate (the type of plastic known to contain bisphenol A).

Other water bottles available for sale online and at local stores may be made of metals. If you’d rather have one of these bottles, make sure that you buy a stainless steel and not one made with aluminum as one with such material may not contain the liner required to meet food grade requirements. Note, however, that you cannot freeze or heat  stainless steel bottles as heat can change the shape of the bottle.

A glass bottle is another alternative. It does not contain BPA, and may also be shatter-proof. However, they are not recommended as a first option if you are buying one for your child.

When looking for the best water bottles, make sure you consider the material, shape, size, design, safety features, and all other benefits that you and your child can get from the water bottle. Buy one that will give you the most value for your money.

Everyone gets excited at the news of a woman getting pregnant. But it’s not only the pregnant woman who gets high with this update. Every family member and other close relatives find many reasons after this to gather and just check the condition of the pregnant woman. And there are some good reasons for that. Expecting a baby is both a joyful and a challenging time, especially for the pregnant woman.

There are so many changes that happen throughout this period that may affect a woman’s confidence level. This happens as pregnancy affects the hormonal levels in the pregnant woman’s body making unusual changes in her physical appearance. Not only that, expecting mothers will also experience a lot of pains — from the back down to the feet. Headaches, nausea, vomiting, will also be a part of the condition, and more. All of these are mostly due to the developing baby inside the mother’s womb.

It could be really difficult at times, especially if you’re the kind of woman who likes going to work or being active all the time. Walking will be troublesome, but there are a few simple changes to your maternity footwear that can help relieve many of these pains. Read on to find out some of the essential tips that will help you choose the best pregnancy shoes while, at the same time, keeping your own sense of fashion.

Invest in Some Good-Quality Maternity Shoes

Pregnancy will cause your body contour to change drastically. You will put on a lot of weight and your center of gravity will also change. These will cause you to have a lot of difficulties when walking. You will actually waddle instead of walk. Pretty sure by now you get the picture. Pregnancy can put a lot of strain on your whole body. Your feet, back, and ankles will be most affected by the weight that you gain, so will really need to find the right footwear to wear throughout your pregnancy.

Changing your heels for one with a pair with a sturdier heel or by wearing flats can help ease the aches that you feel. If you think investing in a new maternity wardrobe is a good thing to do, you should also consider adding a few pairs of pregnancy safe shoes. You can find some fabulous pairs for less so you will still have a few bucks for bigger purchases once you have given birth to your new bundle of joy.

Choose Shoes For Swelling or Swollen Feet

During the third trimester, a pregnant woman would most likely to suffer from swollen ankles and feet. Be prepared and find a couple of pair of high-quality shoes that will ease those swelling feet, perhaps even help relieve them.

Choose a pair of shoes that is a size or two larger to make sure that your feet will have plenty of room. It is also a good idea to buy shoes in the afternoon or evening. By this time your feet will have already become swollen and that will give you a better idea of what size to look for. Bigger-seized footwear will also help lessen the probability of any painful tightness or blisters. Even if they are a bit too big, you can just wear an extra pair of socks to have a better fit. A pair that is in the wider fitting range will just be as fantastic as the bigger sized pairs and they will be a welcome addition to your maternity wardrobe.

Once you found a good fit, try them on and see if you can easily get them on and off your feet. It’s better to have shoes that do not have laces as it will be difficult for you to tie them as you go, especially when your baby bump becomes bigger.

Opt For a Pair Made of Light and Breathable Materials.

A pair with Velcro straps will be much easier to adjust. That means you can wear them throughout your pregnancy. You will also need to find a few pairs that are made of the right material. Remember that your feet can become hot when you are expecting, so you will need to so find lightweight shoes that are made of breathable materials. This will help keep your feet feel a lot comfortable.

Opt For Shoes That Offer Support

As already noted, your whole body will bear more weight while you are pregnant. It is important that you find a few pairs of shoes that will provide ankle and foot arch support. Give some time so you can try out several pairs before deciding which pair to go with.

Comfortable Can Also Mean Fashionable

Pregnancy should not keep you from finding your own personal style. You can actually look fashionable even while keeping your feet comfortable. During the early phase of your pregnancy, you may still wear your pre-pregnancy shoes. Ballerinas and low-heeled shoes will just be fine in keeping your feet comfy and safe.

One thing to remember, though, when looking for the best shoes to wear when you are pregnant, it is best to let go of thoughts of wearing high-heeled shoes. But if you can’t really ditch your heels, find a pair with wider heels as they will provide better support to your feet.

The Best Shoes For Pregnancy

Here are some of your options when it comes to the pair of footwear that you can keep while you are pregnant.

  • Flat ankle boots for colder seasons
  • Canvass shoes
  • Bright lightweight trainers
  • Slip on shoes
  • Mule slippers
  • Flats (loafers, moccasins, ballerinas)
  • Soft boots (for colder months)

So, if you want to have a little more stress-free pregnancy, find the best shoes for pregnancy. Keep this guideline and for sure you will find the best fitting footwear that will give you not only the support and the comfortable wear you need.


Expecting a baby is a wonderful experience and you need to make sure that you take care of yourself well. A few changes to what you are wearing will help soothe the pains that you may experience if you won’t find some good-fitting comfy footwear.


Staying hydrated is essential. Even when you are not doing any strenuous activity, you still lose water when you perspire, urinate, or defecate. Everything that happens inside your body also requires water. If there is not enough water to sustain the proper functioning of every organ in the body, you know what happens next. Without sufficient water in the body, you will have problems concentrating and making intellectual connections of things around you. The blood thickens. This pushes the heart to exert more effort to help the blood to be transferred just in time before you experience the signs of dehydration.

Tips To Stay Hydrated Before, During, and After Runs

If you do not pay attention to proper hydration, it will not only affect your body functioning at the moment but may also result in other heat-related conditions. When you are out doing your regular runs, it is best you  bring the best water bottles for running to keep you hydrated. If not, your performance will be affected. Improper hydration may lead to exhaustion, headaches, dizziness, muscle cramps, difficulty in breathing, and many other things. If you will continuously disregard the signals that your body is sending you, you may later experience heatstroke, fainting, even worse, convulsions and heart failure.

If you are always on the go to complete your planned run for the day, you need to pay attention to what and how much you are drinking before, during, and after your workout. Following are some essential reminders that you need to take seriously if you want to gain more from your running streaks.

Pre-Run Hydration

Pre-Run Hydration

Hydration should never start only when you feel like drinking. As I have already pointed out earlier, your body continuously uses water. If you are doing more and are moving about, your body will require even more water. Factors such as the intensity of your activity, the environment, overall health, and age. Special conditions, like if you are pregnant or are on a diet, have urinary tract stones, bladder infections, have gout, or are constipated, will require you to take more liquid.

There are some health conditions that may restrict your water or fluid intake, however. No matter your overall health is, if you have set to go on a regular run or activity any time of the day, you need to pre-hydrate to be at your best once you start running or doing other exercises.

If you intend to do a long run or will participate in a race, it’s critical to make sure that you’re well-hydrated during the few days leading up to the event. You can be assured that you’re well-hydrated if you urinate about six or more a day and your urine is light-colored. Pre-hydration should start days before your long run (or race). Drink a lot of water and consider no alcoholic drinks during this period as it can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.

Just an hour before you start your run, drink about two glasses of water (about 16 ounces) or other non-caffeinated drinks. Make sure that you don’t over hydrate or you might end up needing to go to the bathroom during your run.

Drinking While on the Run

Drinking While on the Run

It is critical that you drink sufficient water throughout your run as this will sustain your stamina and allow you to perform optimally. To do this, it is best to time your drinking at regular intervals.

As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of factors that may influence your fluid intake. It may not be be the best to drink to thirst as studies have proven that the sensation of thirst or one’s drive to seek water, as well as one’s natural drinking behavior are driven by several intrinsic and extrinsic factors. For instance, by the time that you feel thirsty, your body might have already used up much water and you are in fact already dehydrated.

Drinking to thirst vs. drinking ad libitum

If you consume water whenever and whatever volume you want to (also called drinking ad libitum), experts impressed that you will have more time to think about your training and competition rather than continuously get distracted with your need to take a sip as you consider both internal and external factors that may influence your “thought” need to drink water.

This will also prevent the risk of overhydrating, which can lead to a serious condition called hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is a condition when the blood’s sodium level is depleted due to an excessive fluid intake.

Set your timer to alarm you to drink 6 to 8 ounces every 15-20 minutes. During longer workouts, it is recommended that you include a sports drink to replace lost sodium and other minerals (electrolytes). The carbohydrates and electrolytes present in the sports drink will also help your body absorb the fluids quicker.

For workouts or training, you will need to bring one of the best water bottles for running so you can sip smartly as needed. There are several brands that offer features such as the ability to retain the beverage temperature for about 12 to 24 hours, drip resistant, break resistant, add-on carrying belt or strap, and so on. is one of the best places to search for the best brands and make for your requirements.

Post-Run Hydration

Post-Run Hydration

As much as you will need constant hydration while on the run, you’d also need to replace lost fluids with water or a sports drink after your run. You may need to weigh yourself before and after you run to determine the fluids that you have lost throughout the training or the race. You will need to consume 20 to 24 fluid ounces of water for every pound lost. Check the color of your urine. If it is still dark yellow after your run, you need to keep rehydrating.


As noted, replacing the fluids that you lose throughout an activity is essential to maintaining an optimum output whatever you are doing. Just drink enough but never over-hydrate. This will also ensure that you will get the best out of exercising.


Even before you became pregnant, you may have already gathered a lot of information related to pregnancy, including the things that you should and should not do. You might have heard of, read, and seen stories of women who have been in the same situation. However you would like to compile every possible solution to concerns raised by expecting mothers, there just seem to be new interesting concerns that arise in the succeeding days.

At this point, you may have seen changes in your body, including on your hair, skin, and nails. You were advised to take the necessary precaution in everything that you do, eat, drink, think about, even those that will probably touch your nails, skin, and hair. You understand fully well that with your condition, you can easily be affected by just about anything around you, even more, those elements that get into contact with you.

Some of the changes that you observe are not at all appealing, so you want to look for ways to compensate for those unsightly changes. Manicures and pedicures seem to be a relaxing activity that you usually enjoy. Waiting for your nails to be done eases your temper, calms your nerves, and allows you to regain your mental balance. However, as you have heard that there are certain chemicals on nail polish that may not be good for your baby’s health, you start to worry. You contemplate on all the pros and cons (as there are different opinions concerning the use of nail polish during pregnancy). You noted points raised in several articles you have already browsed through while going through possible sources of information on pregnancy.

You remembered that several research results indicated that there have been no significant findings linking the use of nail polish products to problems in pregnancy. This gives you the confidence to have your nails done.

But will any product be right for your manicure or pedicure?

Note that there are chemicals that usually added to nail pigments that you may also have been acquainted with already. Think of the toxic trio (DBP, Toluene, and Formaldehyde) that may be hiding in your nail polish bottle. Among other things that you have to worry when thinking of having a manicure or pedicure even while pregnant, is not just the brand, the type of the product used, but also the manner of the application of the product, as well as the maintenance of the manicure.

To remind you of some safety precautions when using nail polish during this sensitive period of your life, think about these tips:

You can postpone a manicure but not the date of your baby’s birth.

By the fourth week, after you conceive, the ball of cells (blastocyst) rapidly divides and begins to burrow into the uterine lining. From this point onwards, everything that goes through every hole in your body may also reach the fetus. It is only on the 12th week that the baby’s brain has fully developed. Even then, not every part of the baby is fully recognizable as well.

Whether the formula you intend to use on your nails is safe or otherwise, it will be best if you will just postpone having colors on your nails. Your nails will also thank you for this as you are giving them some time to rest from the pressure they receive with every nail cleaning that you do or have others do for you.

If you really are bent on having colors on your nails, opt for the healthier alternatives.

There are many acrylic alternatives that are not only toxin-free but also made with a variety of essential vitamins that make the nail stronger and healthier. These nail polish brands are also water-based, odorless, kid-colored, and vegan-friendly. Acquarella, Suncoat, OPI, Zoya, and Essie, are among the nail polis brands that offer such benefits. Always check the label for any difficult to recognize ingredients that may be harmful, not only to your nails but also to the developing fetus as well.

Find a longer wearing nail polish.

Aside from being healthier alternatives, there are nail pigments that can also last for up to three weeks without chipping. Having a nail polish color that can withstand harsh elements, constant unintended pressure, and still remain glossy, break-free or does not peel, is what you need to for your nails. If you do, you will have weeks of glamorous nails that will just keep your nails growing more fabulous.

Look for an expert nail technician to do the job for you.

You can be an avid fan of DIY projects, but doing a manicure, even more, a pedicure by yourself, is quite impractical when you are heavy with a baby. Just let the expert do the job for you. Just make sure that exposure to the formula is limited and you are allowed to stay in a well-ventilated room while having your nails.

Keep your nails from unnecessary pressures.

It takes hours to have the nails done. If you want to wear those gorgeous nails longer without seeing them breaking or chipping, make sure you protect them if you need to do any activity. You can wear a pair of gloves, but make sure that your nails are already totally dry when you try to put the gloves on.

When it is time to remove your old nail polish, make sure that an acetone-free nail polish remover is used.

You also need to wash your hand with soap and water to make sure that there won’t be any nail polish color residue on your nails.


Do you have other questions related to pregnancy and skin safety that you have not found any answer to yet? Would you like us to feature a topic that you have in mind? For suggestions and other concerns, contact us and we will see if we can include your suggestions in our upcoming posts.

Your world suddenly changes once you hear the news that you are on your way to becoming a mother. There a sudden rush of excitement as you unravel every detail of the nine-month long journey. The changes may not be quite noticeable at first, but as the days pass by, you experience pregnancy-related symptoms that you thought would just go away in seconds. These changes occur as the hormones in your body start kicking in and works more to adjust to your condition.

This overproduction of hormones triggers changes in your physical, mental, as well as emotional well-being. Your body responds to the baby growing inside your tummy. As a result, you will feel different things inside and outside your body. You observe your whole body system adjusting to your condition. And even if your doctor has provided you with a list of do’s and don’ts, still it does not seem that everything has been well covered.

Your secondary care providers are there with you most of the time as well. They are not the first to feel how your body responds to the growing fetus in your womb, however. You are also the first to experience and see the changes in your hair, skin, and nails. With all the information that you have been provided with, you still need these safety guidelines to ensure that you will have a healthy pregnancy.

Lessen the risk

Hormonal imbalance during pregnancy makes a woman’s body quite unpredictable. Pregnancy-related symptoms appear in most pregnant women. It could be from the most common changes as morning sickness, nausea, swelling, to the less common health concerns, like vision changes. Other than the overproduction of hormones in the body that triggers unusual changes, there are other factors that may put your and your baby’s health to danger. It is best that you understand what these things are and make sure that you only do those things that will lessen the risk.

Avoid alcoholic beverages, smoking, even second-hand smoking

We all know that even alcoholic drinks are bad for health. So is smoking. The danger is greater for pregnant women as whatever she consumes will affect the fetus as it draws everything from the mother. Heavy drinking, according to studies, can cause fetal alcohol syndrome.

Smoking, even more, second-hand smoking, is also not healthy for pregnancy, so make sure to avoid it.

Say No to coffee and soda

Experts say that drinking more than three to four eight-ounce cups of coffee) may increase the risk of miscarriage. It is better to drink juices and more water instead.

Cold, Flu, and Pain Medications

Medications used to treat allergies such as Benadryl, antihistamines, and most cold remedies are safe for use during pregnancy. However, doctors advise that expectant mothers should not take decongestants as they can trigger high blood pressure and uterine contractions. Aspirin, on the other hand, can cause blood clotting in the fetus. Other pain relievers like Tylenol, ibuprofen, and other over-the-counter remedies should be taken with precaution. It is best to consult your primary caregiver if you need to take any of these drugs.

Exercise. You may feel sluggish during most of your pregnancy

Exercising for about 15 minutes away will keep you feeling refreshed and in a positive mood throughout the day. Start with simple exercises such as walking, swimming, and other light exercises if you haven’t done it before pregnancy. Make sure that you keep your body hydrated while doing the exercises.

Take supplemental vitamins and herbal remedies

It is good to take supplemental vitamins, especially if you are experiencing pregnancy-related symptoms that limit your body’s absorption of the essential nutrients. However, there are vitamin supplements and herbal medications that are dangerous when taken when pregnant. Some herbs may be toxic, hence should not be taken. Vitamins A and E, on the other hand, may cause birth defects when taken in high doses.

For the recommended dietary requirement, consult your doctor for the appropriate prenatal vitamin or supplemental vitamins that you need to take.

Take precaution when using devices that emit high-frequency radiation.

It may be impossible to totally avoid exposure to devices that emit radiation. But if you can manage not to use or limit the use of devices that will expose you to this harmful radiation (like TV, mobile phones, and so on), do so.

Make sure to take only cooked meat and fish.

Consuming these food increases the risk of bacterial infection and parasites that may be passed to your unborn child. This could affect the brain development and impair the growth of your baby.

Travel less

There is a greater risk of travel-associated miscarriage according to studies. It will be a smart decision to stay close to home, especially during the first trimester. If you will have to travel, make sure to plan ahead to have a stress-free one. Always bring the necessities and engage only in activities that will be safe for both you and your baby.

Wait for the third trimester before having hair treatments.

There are so many hazardous chemicals included in hair treatment formulas. These chemicals may pass through your skin and enter the life-giving source for your baby. Even if they say that studies linking to the negative effects of these hair treatment products on pregnancy, it is still best to stay safe than sorry.

Anyway, you can always have that hair treatment you have always wanted once you have given birth to your baby.

Knowing is only half of having a healthy pregnancy. Make sure that you remember and follow these guidelines throughout your pregnancy to ensure that you will enjoy a stress-free delivery. If there is anything that confuses you, always consider the advice of your primary care provider.

So it’s been a while since one of my Wobbling in Heels entries. I do apologise, but life, that thing I’m trying so hard to be good at, kind of got in the way. My last entry was titled Cinderella and was about what I was going to do after graduation. Well here I am, an MA graduate. No longer a student, unless I happen to win the lottery and then you might find me studying classic literature in Europe somewhere. Have I worked out the next step yet you ask? Not a chance.

Since hand in day, I’ve been hitting refresh on Gorkana’s website looking for any journalism jobs that might take on little ol’ me, and I have to say its all internship. Internship. INTERNSHIP! Now, I knew this was the case, but how can there only be internship and senior editorial positions out there. There’s no middle ground, at all. And two weeks into the job-hunt process I’m feeling a little depressed. OK, so I have had some luck. I decided to email the Creative Director of Twin Magazine and she replied! Yes, there was an actual back and forth of emails happening. Something quite unique it may appear. And now I am helping out as Editorial Coordinator at one of my favourite magazines. Although an unpaid position, I have the chance to communicate with some of the best writers, stylists and editors in the biz, from both New York and London, but I still need to earn some dollar. And that’s were it gets a little sad.

Earlier this week, on the same day I might add, I got two replies from the numerous emails I send out daily. One from one of the biggest newspapers in London, and the other, a start-up company I’d never heard of, but applied to out of sheer desperation. One, the newspaper position, is for an intern role on the fashion desk (returns at the ready) and the other is for a Senior Editor position that would involve me managing a team of two. Now does this not seem ridiculous to you? I sent the same CV out to both companies. Yes one may be a start-up magazine, but surely they wouldn’t risk giving someone who’s only worthy of an internship a senior position. It seems the only way to get anywhere here is to pimp myself out to every magazine that will take me. But how many internships is enough? When are we supposed to turn around and say “Am I not worth anything yet?” In total, I have carried out five internships at different companies, and that’s not including the jobs I do, or have done, for free. Surely five is a good enough number? Evidently not. Do I screw the dream and head back to PR? I bet they won’t even take me now, because this epidemic is not just bound to journalism. But I didn’t have to tell you that.

Everyone my age has come out of university and is expected to work for free. And what’s sad is that I don’t think ELLE’s Edited By The Interns initiative, set up to give people like me a chance to get a job, will actually make it that much easier. I have been getting responses, and I think ELLE has helped with that in a big way, but there are just not enough paid positions out there. The great thing about ELLE is that they are so tuned in to our young demographic that they know how hard it is. And they paid us, (did I ever tell you how much I love ELLE Magazine, well I do). And Company magazine also ran a similar competition that gave eight young fashion graduates a chance to edit their October issue, seems Hearst Magazines know what we want. Lucy Mangan, the columnist at Stylist last week was discussing the rising age for first time buyers, and it made me think, if we don’t get paid sometime soon, and by we I mean my generation, how in hell are we supposed to buy a house before the age of 35?

Feminism is a word I hear more and more often these days. It seems a shift has occurred, both in print and online, that is making people stop and listen. It is an area I always used to be a little dumbfounded if asked about, yet now I feel more confident to discuss the topic and what it means to me. My feminist education comes from books, magazines such as Twin, and many online ‘zines. One that I came across was Pamflet, a fanzine style ‘pamphlet’, that revels in the female condition in a humorous fashion. Its creators are Anna-Marie Fitzgerald and Phoebe Frangoul. I caught up with the pair to find out more about Pamflet and feminism, as well as fashion.

When and why did you start Pamflet?

Anna-Marie: We met through a mutual friend at university in London and after graduation were both working in dead-end jobs in our early 20s and were pretty desperate for a creative outlet for our various frustrations. We had similar tastes in music and books and both loved girl-made pop culture and had always wanted to make zines (because we were into alternative/punk music as teens) so it made sense that our project should take the form of a fanzine. We are also both English Lit graduates, so books have always been a major reference point for us. The first issue of Pamflet was released in September 2005 so its seventh birthday has just happened! (The word Pamflet is our initials combined with the word pamphlet).

Who is your typical reader?

A-M: It’s always been safer for us not to wonder who our typical reader is so that we’re not tempted to self-censor and continue to just please ourselves! But if we had to guess she’s probably in her 20s or 30s, lives in London and is perhaps interested in intellectualising fashion a bit.

What does she do on a Saturday morning?

A-M: If she has a Saturday morning (and unless you’ve stayed out very late you should) then probably wearing clothes that are NSFW, doing some kind of exercise outside the house, going out for lengthy, elaborate breakfasts and looking at what people are wearing, flicking through the Guardian Review, making lists of all of the productive stuff she plans to achieve by Sunday night… Ok I’m talking about my Saturday mornings.

What topics are your favourite to discuss in Pamflet?

A-M: My favourite kinds of features to write (which I know is not what you asked) are tongue-in-cheek fashion bits like Try-Hard Trends which was a regular slot in the zine. THT reported on a mix of real and made-up zeitgeisty looks and lifestyle suggestions which were always really fun to write. One of the rules was that Kate Moss would always be pictured trying one of the trends out which only seems right really. I also enjoy putting a feminist filter on topics like shoes or 80s teen films or shopping. As you can probably tell, in the zine we could be fairly self-indulgent and topics veered from social observation (indie boys are rubbish) – to style (what our friends wear in bed), but we mixed it up with serious stuff too…

What does feminism mean to you, today?

A-M: It’s still as important to me as when I first discovered it in books as an 18-year-old, but what it means to me has changed a lot since then. My feminist enlightenment (corny I know) happened almost entirely through literature, as I started to see how women had been marginalised in that particular cultural history and then became conscious of other issues that I’d probably been fortunate enough not to really be aware of before. So to me feminism has always been primarily about supporting women-made music/art/books because those are the things I love and know about! For example, I was too young for riot grrrl but it’s been fun seeing it being referenced and revived by Kate Nash or Meadham Kirchhoff in the past couple of years and that’s the kind of thing I mean. We also only play girl-music at our parties and it’s rare that anyone notices that something might be amiss.

I think the overwhelming popularity of recent books like Caitlin Moran’s How to Be a Woman has marked a shift in the general public’s and media’s perception of feminism over the past few years for the better. It shows that angry, funny women are not a crazy ‘niche’ and that in fact many ‘normal’ women are interested in living a kind of pragmatic feminism.

In the non-Pamflet/real world I support the Fawcett Society and there are some brilliant new lobby groups like UK Feminista doing important campaign work around workplace equality, family issues and reproductive rights too.

Phoebe: I’m interested in the different ways feminism is developing around the world – particularly in the Middle East, and how it’s not always ‘compatible’ with traditional definitions as we understand them. I’m inspired by the work of charities like Dignity! Period. and the Campaign to End Fistula which are doing amazing work to raise the standard of living for women in Africa. I also run a Brownie unit and I’ve been reading a lot recently about how the Guiding movement has always had feminist principles – long before feminism even became a coherent movement. I just read How the Girl Guides Won the War by Janie Hampton which showed through astonishing anecdotes how Guides and Brownies put their badass skills (including Morse code and engine maintenance) to good use during WW2 – proper feminist icons for me!

You have been asked before, but do you think fashion is feminist?

A-M: I think Phoebe’s probably best placed to answer this question, but as an observer (my day job is as a publicist in book publishing), I don’t think the fashion industry is particularly feminist – (this is v simplistic!) it’s about making money and design/innovation. However, there are many individual women (and men) within the business who I’m sure would consider themselves feminists and conscious role models for, and mentors to, younger women starting out in the industry.

It’s shocking that the fashion industry isn’t taken more seriously in the UK when it has such an impact on the economy and employs so many millions of (mostly female) people – and it’s something that we’re rather good at! That does bother me, particularly seeing the coverage that LFW just got on places like Radio 4. But perhaps that doesn’t matter as much as actually getting on with things and doing the job well. [P: I would add to what Anna-Marie said that the fashion industry contributed £21 billion to the UK economy last year – twice what car manufacturing contributed.]

On a personal level, I think clothes are an incredibly important part of my identity and I’ve always loved dressing up rituals like Saturday Nights and special occasions and absolutely respect the imagination involved in putting a cool outfit together. How I’ve dressed has helped me make friends, get jobs, start debates, make people laugh, make a point when I find it hard to find the words I want to say out loud… which is pretty important to me. So maybe I’ll put it this way – I think feminists don’t need to feel guilty about caring about what they look like!

P: I’m a fashion editor and a feminist so the short answer for me would be yes! But obviously it’s not as simple as that. I think what I find frustrating about this question (which we’ve been asked SO many times!) is does anyone ponder whether pharmaceuticals, car manufacturing or farming are feminist – why is it always fashion? Fashion is enjoyed by millions of women – many of whom might not feel they have any form of self-expression other than the clothes they choose to wear every day. That choice can be powerful, so I would argue, if pressed, that fashion can be feminist on a personal level and as an industry if the right choices are made – but we should be looking at all industries and asking the same challenging questions of them too.

What magazines, print or online, do you both read religiously?

A-M: SO MANY. I subscribe to VogueElle (since I was 14) and Harper’s Bazaar. Although I am by no means an uncritical reader and am always silently threatening to terminate my subscriptions. I also get the American magazines Bust (cute, glossy, feminist lifestyle mag) and Bitch (a revelation – a quarterly subtitled ‘feminist response to pop culture’) and have subscribed to them both on and off for about 10 years. In terms of UK indie mags I love The Gentlewoman and Betty and Canadian fashion journal Worn too. And Rookie is the ultimate teenzine online – it’s the only thing that makes me jealous of teenagers today. They have Rookie; we had Sugar.

P: The magazines I spend money on are: Vogue, Tatler, Harper’s Bazaar and The Lady. I like mags to be funny, intelligent, inspiring and escapist and those four deliver for me on all counts.

What is The Pamflet Salon?

A-M: Pamflet’s had a party element since we started – we’d have a launch to mark the publication of each issue and then started finding excuses to party and put on gigs in between issues and would occasionally DJ at non-Pamflet events too. When we took a break from the zine at the end of 2010 we still wanted to do Pamflet happenings but in a setting that involved more talking than dancing! We’ve been part of a very fun book club since 2010, read a lot and wanted to somehow combine book chat with booze and get lots of friends together and that’s where the salon came from. We usually have a speaker followed by a Q&A and then a book club-style discussion afterwards on a text that’s been ‘assigned’ in advance (yes we give homework). Our regular venue is our fantasy/imaginary-living-room Drink, Shop & Do, but we’ve adapted the format elsewhere for our events at Port Eliot Festival for example.

One of our ultimate Pamflet icons, Luella, was our first ever salon guest and read from her Guide to English Style. She was as lovely and funny as you’d imagine from her writing and designs. We’d love to do more salons and more regularly so keep an eye on our website for updates. Our problem – like many people – is that we have lots of ideas and not enough time…