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MINT VELVET. Created by three working mothers with a fashion background, who were frustrated with the lack of relaxed, glamorous clothing available, Mint Velvet offers women a stylish wardrobe to match their modern lives. Available in sizes 8 to 18 at www.mintvelvet.co.uk, HOF and Fenwick's stores, and boutiques in Windsor and Chichester. 

Hello from Mumsnet Towers...

Where we're squabbling over suitable snackage for Sarah Brown as she joins us for our Big Night In in aid of Piggy Bank Kids tonight at 9pm. Do log on for a virtual glass of wine and a natter.

Hope you've noticed our new advice-packed Child internet safety content. We've also made a lovely new Topic on Talk for internet-safety convos - including one where Google want to know what more they can do to help us keep our kids safe online.

Thanks for the handsomely honed (and hilarious) haikus you've been entering in our Win a ticket to MN's 10th Birthday Party competition. We've bagged Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy to judge them:

So no pressure, then
Just keep 'em coming, won't you?
Party frolics await.

Now for this week's parenting news...

Childcare costs still rising: The cost of childcare has soared, despite a squeeze on family finances in the recession, according to figures compiled by the Daycare Trust. Over the past 12 months, nursery costs have increased by around five per cent across England – almost twice the rate of inflation. And rises are even higher for childminders and after-school clubs. Demand for childcare has "held up well" despite the tough times economically because, says the report, parents were forced to "stay in work for financial necessity". (Daily Telegraph 10.02.10)

Teen girls eat badly: Adolescent girls are the least healthy eaters in the population, according to new research from the government's Food Standards Agency. It found that girls aged 11-18 eat too many processed foods, sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks, almost half don't get the recommended minimum intake of iron or magnesium, and fewer than one in ten eat the minimum recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. (Guardian 09.02.10)

WIN £250! TELL US ABOUT RESTAURANTS/CAFES AND CHILDREN. We'd like to know what makes a good restaurant/café for you and your children. What do you currently do when you fancy a cuppa with your baby/toddler/post-school-drop-off mates? The survey is open to all mothers living in the UK.

Other stories in brief

Hot threads

Quote of the week
Libra goes for an early Valentine's dinner-date and is rather underwhelmed by her DH's romantic murmurings: "Halfway through, DH leans across the table and says, 'Last night I used my new iPhone to measure your snoring. Would you like to know how loud you are in comparison to an incoming jet at Heathrow?'"

Competitions
This month's prizes are:

It's easy to enter (and keep an eye on winners' corner to see if your name has come out of the hat).

IS YOUR FAMILY ON A LOW INCOME? Tell us how money worries affect your relationship with your partner and children. Everyone who fills in the Turn2Us/Home-Start survey will be in with a chance to win £250 of Amazon vouchers.

Looking for a day out? Mumsnetters say try:

Find more Mumsnetter recommendations for great days out near you in Mumsnet Local - and once you get home, please add a review in our Days out/Attractions section.

Aitch's TV round-up: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Thurs 18 Feb, C4, 9pm
Yowza. The Style and Beauty lot will be clutching at their tastefully-arranged Hermès scarves over this. Wedding dresses so enormous that the brides have to be smushed into their limos like hand luggage for a fortnight in Marbella. And yet, for all that it's easy to drop our jaws at the clothes, the unquestioning sexism and clannishness is infinitely more shocking than a 27-stone dress that makes the young girls' hips bleed.
Discuss this show (and others) in our Telly Addicts topic on Talk.

Recipe of the week: MrsMacs's pancakes
Flipping 'eck, it's Shrove Tuesday next week. So you'll be needing this recipe, some over-excited children and an acrobatic way with a saucepan. Serve with traditional sugar and lemon - or ring the changes with a blob of jam, peanut butter or even some bacon and cheese.
Review this week's recipe here - or why not post one yourself?

That is all, we're off
To get posh bics for Sarah
Love MNHQ

PS: It's half-term next week, so we're taking a break. See you with our next Parenting News on 25 Feb.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT NURSERY FOOD – FOR A CHANCE TO WIN £250 STORE VOUCHERS. The Soil Association and Organix, who are launching Better Nursery Food Now campaign, want to know what you think of food in nurseries. Please take this quick-click survey (open to any parent in the UK who has a child at nursery or had a child at nursery within the last three years) to be entered into the prize draw.

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