Back at Work

I went back to work this week. My colleagues probably think I was off forever, but to me, it felt like my maternity leave had just started. One of the girls sent me a text a few days ago asking me whether I was stressed to come back. Not! The logistics of arranging childcare were a lot more stressful than being at work.

It might sound a bit cliché, but going to work felt like a bit of a break. I love my four children with all my heart, but I also have a career. Looking after small children who have “more demands than terrorists” (my friend Loraine’s words – so fitting!) can be draining, and it is somewhat refreshing to be around lots of adults with whom I can hold a conversation for more than a minute without having to wipe a nose, start nursing or magic a snack out of my handbag.

With a family of six including four small children, school runs, playgroups, various clubs and activities, a home to keep half-decent, food to cook for all of us, laundry and paperwork, life is never quiet or still. It is nice to know that at work, although I have plenty to do as well, I am allowed a break for lunch and I can even have a cup of coffee (a warm one) whilst working (sitting down) before the day starts.

When I spend some time away from the children, I can put the tantrums and sulking into perspective; they make me smile again. I appreciate every minute spent with the little ones. Dinner time spent chatting about our day is something I really look forward to, bath time is a pleasure and I would not miss out on their story time before bed. The house is a mess, the laundry pile higher than ever and dinners not as nice as when I am off, but I enjoy my job and I think that stress, if channelled in a positive way, is healthy and makes us move forward.

After I had Crevette and went back to work full-time and with managerial responsibilities, I cried in the toilets expressing milk on my first day. This time round, I am not going to lie and say it was easy or relaxing, but I am now working part-time and my first couple of days were far from unpleasant. I managed to achieve a lot in a short period of time and feeling productive is great!

The day before I went back, I looked in my wardrobe and rummaged for clothes that would fit my current body shape. Your body changes so much after having a baby (or four!)…  The priority for me was being comfortable so I went for some of my wardrobe staples.

A Work Outfit with Pops of Colour - bold blue Oasis to, blue Aldo open-toe shoes, pink nails, suit trousers from Warehouse, Gucci watch, Martha Jackson tree necklace

On my first day, I wore a bold blue Oasis top with matching Aldo shoes. Colours put me in a good mood, heels give me confidence and having open-toe shoes meant I could have a pop of pink thrown in for good measure. Perfect way to start! I also wore suit trousers from Warehouse as well as my Gucci watch and new Martha Jackson tree necklace.

Beautiful Blue Oasis Top and Martha Jackson Tree Necklace

On my second day, I went for Paraphrase trousers, a crisp white Benetton shirt, my little Hilfiger Denim jacket with its gorgeous red floral pattern inside, a Martha Jackson feather brooch,  Red Sasha shoes to match the inside of the jacket, pearl earrings & necklace as well as my watch.

Comfy but Classy for Work - Hilfiger Denim jacket with a gorgeous red floral pattern inside, Martha Jackson feather brooch, Red Sacha shoes & pearls

I absolutely love the two beautiful pieces of silver jewellery from Martha Jackson.

Martha Jackson tree necklace & Feather Brooch
The necklace is quite simply beautiful, delicate and I find it perfect for a formal occasion yet cute enough to be worn when dressed casually. I wore it at work, but also when I went to the Harry Potter studios with Crevette a couple of weeks ago.

Martha Jackson tree necklace & Casual Style

 

Win, win, win!

One lucky winner will get a £50 voucher to spend on Martha Jackson jewellery. What would you choose?

 

Entries are open until midnight GMT time on 21 April 2015. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclosure:
– The prize will be supplied directly by Martha Jackson.
– The giveaway is open to UK residents over 18.
– I was sent the tree necklace and feather brooch for the purpose of this review. No payment was received. All opinions and photographs are my own.

 

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Comments

  1. I have a silver necklace with my children’s names engraved on – I treasure it!

  2. Linda Harrickie says:

    Bracelets!

  3. My favourite piece of jewellery is a silver love heart locket that my husband bought for me 30 years ago.We had only been dating for a week and it cost him his weeks wages of £25 🙂

  4. Deb rooney says:

    I love a little whitby jet necklace

  5. Lucy Pasifull says:

    My favourite bit of jewellery is the ring I got for my 18th birthday.

  6. winnie says:

    my wedding ring

  7. Pat Stubbs says:

    A glass pendant necklace which was made for me by a friend

  8. My wedding and engagement rings are my favourite pieces of jewellery. So glad that you are happy being back at work and that it is helping you to put the challenging moments in perspective and really be able to enjoy the time with your children. I love your friend’s comment about children having more demands than terrorists – so true! 🙂

  9. Helen Hodgson says:

    Diamond Kissed Silver Locket – beautiful

  10. aaron broad says:

    I don’t really wear jewellery but would get a gold chain if I could

  11. Those outfits are gorgeous! Glad the return to work has gone well. I can’t quite imagine a world without wipes always being to hand! Thanks for sharing with #WotW x

  12. laura banks says:

    my necklace i wear that the hubby bought me i never take it off

  13. That’s a beautiful blue top there – my favourite piece of jewellery though is my pink sapphire engagement ring. It means I’ve always got a bit of pink and it signifies so much more x #wotw

  14. My Links of London matching necklace and bracelet my OH got me

  15. Liam Bishop says:

    My wedding ring 🙂

  16. claire eadie says:

    A gold bracelet that my Nanna left for me x

  17. Katy M says:

    my engraved silver bangles 🙂

  18. Naomi L says:

    My wedding ring…and not JUST because it’s my wedding ring. When my grandmother passed away a few months before my wedding, she left me three of her rings, and I had them all melted down and the stones used to make my ring. So it’s special for all sorts of reasons 🙂

    • This is such a beautiful thing to do. My nan did something similar when her mum passed away. It meant keeping her mum’s jewellery on her whilst having a design she liked. Special!

  19. My fave piece is a little silver celtic knot ring my dad bought me when I was a kid – it only fits my pinky finger now though!

  20. Heather Jenkinson says:

    I am lucky enough to have inherited my Grandmother’s platinum engagement and wedding rings, and the only other person’s fingers they fit are mine, they are so tiny!

  21. Sarah Pybus says:

    My wedding and engagement rings they mean the world to me 🙂

  22. ashleigh allan says:

    My engagement ring!

  23. emma falvi says:

    i don’t have any jewellery, maybe one day i will

  24. So Many Beautiful Items!. I Love The Forget Me Not Cluster Necklace xxx

  25. Gorgeous jewellery worn with stunning outfits.xx

  26. clair downham says:

    my amber earrings

  27. I don’t really have much jewellery, but I was given a lucky penny necklace by my sister that I am quite attached to.

  28. Really pleased it went well my lovely, and might I say you are looking stunning lady xx

  29. Tania Atfield says:

    My favourite piece is a silver necklace engraved “you & me forever” that my husband bought for me for Christmas.

  30. Leanne V Mckenna says:

    I love statement necklaces x

  31. It is hard going back, but it is much easier when you have less responsibility, I did the same as you and went back part time rather than to my managerial position, which was a BIG change but the right one (especially since I got pregnant again the same week, whoops!)

    My favourite piece of jewellery is my wedding ring, as I designed it myself so it is unique. I love the variety from Martha Jackson and the Vintage Oval Locket with letter charm is definitely on my wishlist now!

  32. My heart diamonte necklace x

  33. Maria Blythin says:

    any silver locket x

  34. Jayne T says:

    Mine is a lovely heart pendant that my hubby bought me at Christmas.

  35. Shirley Evans says:

    love the silver locket

  36. Hi Mel, I adore your style and well done you for going back to work with such a positive attitude. I’m sure you will do brilliantly. xx

  37. I love the blue Oasis top, I used to wear a lot of Oasis when I was working. Glad to hear you’re enjoying being back x

    • Same here; I love Oasis. I know I don’t have to try their clothes. When I spot something I like, I buy it and it always fits!

  38. jodie yorke says:

    I have a lovely footprint necklace which my mom gave to me before she passed away. i cherish it now.

  39. Rebecca Hall says:

    Wow – just had a look at the jewellery site – it’s gorgeous and I might have to order a little something! My favourite piece of jewellery is my leaf inspired engagement ring which I helped design myself.

    • When I found out about them, I ordered a gorgeous pair or earrings straight away! Have you seen the discount code on the post?

  40. A diamond solitaire pendant which was a gift.

  41. kellyjo walters says:

    my engagement, wedding and eternity rings…

  42. My silver necklace with my son’s name/date of birth, & my wedding date on.

  43. Mine is a silver butterfly necklace that my mum bought me.

  44. Maxine Owen says:

    My wedding ring as it is engraved on the inside with a special message 🙂

  45. A ring my parents brought me x

  46. kayleigh Bates says:

    My engagement ring

  47. Trent Turton says:

    I like my necklace.

  48. Lynsey Buchanan says:

    I like the SILVER PEAPOD EARRINGS

  49. A watch that my sister gave me before I went here in the UK. #wotw

  50. George Brabyn says:

    Gotta love earrings…

  51. claire griffiths says:

    i have a locket which as my grans and grandads ashes in it i treasure it dearly

  52. Olivia M says:

    All of my tatty devine 🙂

  53. Kat Lucas says:

    My wedding ring as it always reminds me of that special day and my lovely hubby

  54. I don’t wear any jewellery so this would be good to win so I can buy some.

  55. My wedding ring!

  56. Frances Heaton says:

    My eternity ring, it’s diamond and sapphire, and I love it.

  57. S Edwards says:

    my wedding ring

  58. joanna Russell says:

    My dad’s wedding ring hung on a silver chain

  59. Laura Jeffs says:

    Definitely bracelets 😉

  60. anything silver

  61. Sarah Griffiths says:

    The silver bracelet my parents gave me for my 21st and my charm bracelet that my gran started when I was born

  62. Leanne moore says:

    My wedding band

  63. From Martha Jackson, I really love the Silver Pussy-cat And Bunny Ring , really different

  64. Elizabeth Hinds says:

    A bit predictable maybe but my favourite piece(s!) of jewellery are my engagement and wedding rings 🙂

  65. claire blaney says:

    My wedding ring x

  66. Laura Kilby says:

    I’ve got a beautiful ring that I bought in Kos

  67. Karen Barrett says:

    A gold bracelet that was made from my Grandads watch chain which he received for his 21st Birthday present

  68. Oh Mel you look beautiful as always and you are so right, working is often a break although I am usually working with the toddler running around (but he’s just started nursery so will have more structure now)-hope work went well xx

  69. fozia says:

    My favourite piece of jewellery is a ring I got from USA

  70. Heather Haigh says:

    My eternity ring is my favourite piece. Hubby surprised me with it and he chose perfectly.

  71. My favourite piece of jewellery is my evenstar replica from Lord of the Rings 🙂

  72. maureen findley says:

    a crystal necklace that has brought me luck

  73. Mary Farrar says:

    My pink pandora ring

  74. Claire Harrington says:

    I have a lovely delicate jade bracelet my partner got me about ten years ago

  75. Caroline H says:

    A pair of earrings I was given years ago as a present and still love.

  76. Keshia Esgate says:

    my wedding ring

  77. tiggerific1973 says:

    My engagement ring 🙂 x

  78. lynn mitchell says:

    i like the love wings locket

  79. katherine grieve says:

    A ring my gran gave me for my 18th birthday

  80. Val Swift says:

    A necklace with my childrens name on it

  81. My gold watch that my husband bought me 20 years ago

  82. Fiona S says:

    My wedding ring, it was my husband’s gran (who I never met) and I feel very privileged to wear it.

  83. my silver ring

  84. Cat Culmer says:

    My grandmothers wedding ring

  85. alex monroe

  86. tina holmes says:

    My Thomas Sabo charm bracelet, which has the words marry me on from my other half

  87. Gemma Snell says:

    My engagement ring

  88. Hannah Lewis says:

    My favourite piece of jewellery are silver swallow hoop earrings which I got from Martha Jackson

  89. suzanne brzeski says:

    My engagement and wedding ring x

  90. saetana says:

    A pair of silver spiderweb earrings that my husband bought me a couple of years ago – they go nicely with my silver spider ring ;o) Rafflecopter entries are in my real name NIKKI HAYES

  91. charlotte qualter says:

    my fav piece of jewellery is my wedding ring x

  92. Natalie Osborne Thomason says:

    Love heart locket

  93. Janice says:

    my silver bracelet

  94. Ruth Harwood says:

    I have a Chakra necklace that I love x

  95. Ruth Bugg says:

    A necklace my friend bought me, double heart with an amythest, my birth stone

  96. I love birds and have a tweetie bird necklace by Alyssa Smith, I even have the tweetie bird design tattooed on my wrist!

  97. Lesley says:

    Would have to be my Eternity ring 🙂

  98. Susan Ellams says:

    my locket that my husband gave me

  99. pixiepie123 says:

    my eternity ring

  100. Sue ellins says:

    My gold chain

  101. Laura Anne Farnworth says:

    Gorgeous jewellery! iwould choose the Forget me not necklace pendant.

  102. Lorraine Tinsley says:

    A silver pendant engraved with my daughters’, my husban’sd and my name

  103. I love my childrens hand and foot print charms I have for my necklace

  104. Pandora bracelet

  105. Jayne K says:

    I love earrings

  106. My beautiful Pandora bracelet that my brother bought me for my 21st!

  107. debbie smith says:

    i love hoop earrings ! fab competition !! and lovely photos x

  108. jen morgan says:

    my earrings

  109. Hannah Ingham says:

    My quote necklace 🙂

  110. katie skeoch says:

    A fab druzy ring

  111. Lizzie E says:

    An angel’s wings necklace that I found on sale in New Look. I wear it on the days when I feel like I need an extra bit of luck or want to feel like someone is watching over me.

  112. Kat Glynn says:

    My diamond tennis bracelet that was a 40th birthday gift from my hubby 🙂

  113. Tammy westrup says:

    My wedding ring is my fav x

  114. Tammy Tudor says:

    a beautiful necklace I got for my high school prom

  115. I’m so glad you enjoyed going back to work, For me, going back part time was just enough to change my environment and allow me to enjoy it, without me having to take on too much responsibility!! You look gorgeous, and I love navy blue, I think it’s a really smart colour and clearly suits you xx

  116. Lucia Critchley says:

    A bracelet my stepdad gave me

  117. Kristiina says:

    my ring

  118. My wedding ring

  119. Lynn Brown says:

    My fabulous engagement ring

  120. love the first outfit! Hope being back to work isn’t too exhausting.

  121. Michael Rattray says:

    A ring made in Shetland. A gift from my sister

  122. Emily Clark says:

    I have a turqoiuse ring that I bought when I was about 15. It wasnt expensive, but the colour is so vibrant, I just love it.

  123. How are you feeling now? 🙂
    I think starting back to work can be as much of an emotional roller coaster as family life!

    You look STUNNING! And the tree necklace is gorgeous on you.

    Now for my favorite piece of jewelry – it has to be my engagement ring …Closely followed by my grandma’s slimline white gold wedding band <3

  124. Angela Kelly says:

    I have a Russian wedding ring that I bought when I was 14

  125. I would have to say my wedding ring which has our names engraved on the inside

  126. Monica Gilbert says:

    My engagement and wedding rings.

  127. CAROL PATRICK says:

    I would buy a pretty necklace x

  128. A charm bracelet my partner bought me years ago.

  129. Katherine L says:

    I love long necklaces!

  130. Michelle Carlin says:

    I love my Granny’s ring, which I inherited. I never got to meet her, so it’s lovely to have something she wore.

  131. Carroll Marsh says:

    My Favourite piece of Jewellery is a silver wishbone ring that my hubby bought me on our 6th date!That was 1978 and it doesn’t fit me anymore!!But I am seriously loosing weight now and hopefully it wont be too long before I wear it again!!Loving your blogs,Thank-you for your giveaways XX

  132. Christine Caple says:

    My engagement ring

  133. Teresa Lee says:

    My jade pendant

  134. julie booth says:

    a ring my hubby bought me on a cruise as it will always remind me of that happy time.

  135. katherine b says:

    I like dainty gold necklaces

  136. Lisa Wilkinson says:

    A necklace my grandad gave me on my Christening Day

  137. sally brown says:

    My grandmothers wedding ring

  138. Tracey Morgan says:

    Silver Calla Lily Jewellery Set is Beautiful i would love this

  139. Michelle Whyte says:

    I have a silver bangle that I always wear that my Mum bought for me, inscribed, life begins at 40

  140. Katie Kingsbury says:

    My engagement ring.

  141. Sarah S says:

    I have a lovely painted wooden bead necklace from Topshop that I love. Each bead is painted in the style of a Russian doll. People always ask me where I got it. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

  142. Laura says:

    My favourite piece of jewellery is a heart shaped necklace I have with my initial in it. It’s just a cheap one from topshop though so i’m afraid to ruin it by using it too much!

  143. Anthea Holloway says:

    My favorite piece of jewellery is my Kokopelli silver necklace made by the Hopi Indians in Arizona.

    • When I was studying for my BA in English, we had a module on American Indians, and I was fascinated by Hopi Indians. One of them is a famous author (cannot remember his name now) and I really enjoyed his books.

  144. leanne weir says:

    my clogau necklace

  145. Sarah Franks says:

    My favourite piece of jewellery is a plastic plectrum on a chain – it was one of the last plectrums my dad used to play guitar with. He taught me to play guitar, and passed away a few years ago while I was just a young woman. So it isn’t valuable in the usual sense, but it’s priceless to me and I wear it almost every day.

    • It is definitely priceless. What a lovely piece of jewellery to wear, especially since playing the guitar was ‘your thing’ as father-daughter. Beautiful.

      • Sarah Franks says:

        Yeah, he was a huge influence on me and I miss him every day. He was terminally ill and I’d go to his every weekend and we’d trade his guitar back and forth and I’d show him what I’d learned that week. I was trying to show off, but he took it in good humour… 😉

        Anyway, there was one time when I was about 14 or 15, and he’d had one of many stays in hospital. But this one was a bit longer than usual. And the weekend came (I’d been visiting daily up until then) and I realised we wouldn’t have our regular guitar session. So I thought, why not? Got on the bus and went to his, got his guitar and took it into the hospital and said I know we can’t trade back and forth today, but here’s what I’ve been learning, and then gave an impromptu little ‘concert’ in the ward!

        I say impromptu because a lot of it was showing little riffs and scales and new chords I’d learned, so it wasn’t a proper concert. But I also busted out some full tunes. The patients all loved it, but I did get a few funny looks from some of the nurses at first…..totally worth every dirty look they gave me, though. And I had no nerves about playing in public there, because it wasn’t about me, it was about us and about not letting his illness get in the way of that.

        So that’s the kind of thing the necklace means to me. And when he died, being able to play his guitars and the tunes we’d shared, that was my way of grieving. I don’t know what I would have done without it, really.

        • Oh Sarah, I have a lump in my throat… It is amazing what a little piece of plastic can mean. It sounds like you were incredibly close. I love your anecdote! x

  146. Doreen Mccarthy says:

    my favourite piece of jewellery is my rotary watch in silver and gold I love it

  147. Mark Chamberlin says:

    My engagement ring! Obviously!

  148. Emma Nixon says:

    I have lots of bracelets. My current favourite is my Lovelinks blue and silver bracelet

  149. Joanne Holton says:

    A necklace with my boys birthstone s on it!

  150. My wedding ring

  151. amber earrings

  152. lynn Heath says:

    I have a gold cross that my parents gave me when I graduated from University,

  153. Andrew Hindley says:

    My wedding ring

  154. Layla Thomas says:

    I have a silver locket that my Dad gave me the last time I saw him and I’ll always treasure it.

  155. Gemma Holland says:

    A necklace in my Mum’s handwriting with the initials of my sons either side

  156. Emma Wolski says:

    The most expensive jewellery I own, My Michael Kors watch my boyfriend bought me. So special to me! It s gorgeous!

  157. My engagament ring, closely followed by my wedding ring.

  158. Kat Allinson says:

    Silver Ribbon Heart Necklace

  159. Jaelin Farrow says:

    I have a ring made of Guyanese gold, it’s the shape of the country. My Grandma is Guyanese and my Mum had the exact same ring until she lost it so it means a lot to me!

  160. A ring that my mum and aunties all got me for my 21st birthday, I feel lost if I don’t have it on =) x

  161. Aside my engagement ring, I really love a silver turquoise blue gem stone ring I bought on holiday about 7 years ago…looks great with a tan but unfortunately I haven’t been on holiday to get one since! hehe! x

  162. Paula Phillips says:

    My watch that my husband bought me as an anniversary gift 23 years ago.

  163. my mockingjay pendant

  164. Sarah Lewis says:

    I have a silver teddy which was my first proper piece of jewellery as a child x

  165. pamela gossage says:

    a ring

  166. Chantelle Kemp says:

    The necklace I got for my 18th

  167. RavenSinead says:

    A necklace that my grandmother gave me for my 21st birthday

  168. Kristy Leanne Brown says:

    A beautiful necklace that my hubby bought me – for once it wasn’t something his gran would wear

  169. Jenny Jones says:

    A sterling silver Key pendant it was the first thing i brought as a treat for myself after my divorce so to me symbolises new beginnings 🙂

  170. Has to be my wedding ring.

  171. sarah says:

    mine is a necklace that belonged to my gran

  172. steph lovatt says:

    My engagement ring, he chose it himself 10 years ago even got the size right

  173. A bracelet I was given for my 16th birthday – a long long time ago

  174. Jane Middleton says:

    earrings, I don’t really wear any other jewelry

  175. Emma Davison says:

    A ring my cousin gave me

  176. Sarah Parker says:

    my wedding ring 🙂

  177. hi it was so difficult finding just one item Martha Jacksons jewellery is stunning. this is one i love http://www.marthajackson.co.uk/collections/earrings/products/silver-forest-circle-earrings

  178. A silver locket I have had since I was a girl

  179. Holly Boyd says:

    My wedding ring. It may be plain and simple but it represents so much more.

  180. Joanna Sawka says:

    definitely any silver earrings

  181. A ring my mum got me for christmas years ago, it’s still the only one I wear

  182. Natalie Crossan says:

    The whitby jet necklace 🙂 xx

  183. some lovely long earrings in a light pink shade

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