Friday, 7 December 2012

Launch of our dainty new 451 nursing bra

It’s been a busy year at Emma-Jane Maternity as we continue to introduce new lines to our award winning product range.  Our latest new arrival is the 451 nursing bra, a smooth bra with dainty spots, available in either black or white.

Priced at £25.00, it's available in sizes UK32-38 B/C D/DD E/F.

As with all Emma-Jane bras, the 451 gives a smooth and comfortable fit.  For extra support each cup is made with two layers of fabric, and is lined with organic pure cotton for added luxury.

Each cup opens individually so when one cup is open the other continues to give support.  The four back eyes allow adjustment as a woman’s body changes shape post pregnancy, and the bra extender 586 can also be used to increase the length of the bra.

Emma-Jane designer Freda Scholey said, “This lovely soft bra is very comforting against the skin, whilst being practical and supportive.  It’s not just our children we want to wrap in cotton wool, sometimes it’s ourselves too, especially in the months after delivery when a women is bonding with her child.  Clothing is an important part of how we feel about ourselves, which is something we really recognise at Emma-Jane when we’re designing and choosing fabrics.”

Monday, 3 December 2012

Easing the return to work when maternity leave ends

Maternity leave has been in the press again recently, with Nick Clegg announcing that father’s are to be able to share leave under new laws to be announced by the Government. 

For any mum returning to work, it can be a daunting experience – there may be guilt from not being with your child every day, worries about how well you’ll do the job again, concerns about how you’re going to juggle it all.

There’s lot of advice out there, but the best comes from other mums who've done it.  We've compiled a few of the best tips, but please do share your experiences with us too.

Start the settling in early

It’s good to get the routine established before your first day back.

Organise back up childcareBabies and children get ill, sometimes quite often; colds, tummy bugs, chicken pox, to name but a few common ailments, so it’s important to have back up in case you can’t leave work.

Look work ready to feel work ready

Make time for a hair-cut, and invest in some new clothes to look and feel the part. One mum said made an appointment at a make-up counter for some quick and easy tips to get her out of the house quickly in the morning.  Another great idea is a session with a personal shopper – Topshop do this, so it doesn't have to cost a fortune to look great.

Get someone else to do the drop-off, but do the collection yourself.

There’s nothing worse than having to leave a child who’s clinging onto your legs crying for you not to leave, and no one is going to find it as upsetting as you are.  Going back to work is hard enough without walking in tear faced and upset.  If you can get the same person to do drop off each day, it will help establish a good routine and ensure you get to the off ready to work.  You get the good bit a pick up when your child flies into your arms shouting mummy at home time!

Allow extra time for your journey home

Better to get to the nursery half an hour early than half an hour late.  Plan for traffic jams, cancelled trains and tube problems.

Don’t feel guilty and focus on the positives

It doesn't make you a bad mother for going out to work.  Focus on the positives – what does going out to work mean for you - more holidays, career satisfaction?

Make the most of your time together

Even if you were at home all day, it’s unlikely that you’d be spending 12 hours of quality time together (cleaning, shopping, laundry, checking Facebook?!).  Make the time you have together count – without beating yourself up if a day out doesn't go as planned, life isn't perfect (bad tempered toddler, rain, queues, illness and so forth!)

Monday, 26 November 2012

Emma-Jane Maternity launches pretty new nursing bra

At Emma-Jane Maternity, we understand that while support and comfort are essential when breastfeeding, women still want to feel feminine.  So we've added to our existing range with the launch of the pretty 429 style. 

The 429 bra is black with delicate white lace flowers over the cups, which are lined with 100% cotton fabric.  It is available in sizes UK 32-38 B-G and retails at £25.00.

Two layers of fabric and straps with restricted stretch provide additional support for larger sizes.

As with all Emma-Jane nursing bras, each cup has a clip that allows for quick and easy access to breastfeeding, and opens up individually, so when one is open, the other continues to give support.  Four rows of back eyes allow the bra to grow as a woman’s shape changes during pregnancy, and it can also be used with bra extenders.

Emma-Jane designer Freda Scholey said, “As we go into the Christmas party season breastfeeding women still want to feel good about what’s under their clothes as well as on top. The 429 style provides practical, sexy femininity.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Winter warming superfoods, mmm...

If you’re pregnant maybe you’re craving the foods you can’t have; pate, brie, sushi?  It feels as though there’s a new headline each week about what you can and can’t eat, what will cause your baby harm, what’s good for baby’s development, what’s going to improve their IQ...

Whilst there’s lots of confusing information out there, experts widely agree that the top pregnancy foods include eggs (not raw), which are a great source of protein, salmon with its omega 3 fats, beans such as lentils and chickpeas, which are packed full of fibre (great for constipation), sweet potatoes, whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, lean meats, walnuts, popcorn, all those lovely bright and colourful fruits and vegetables and Greek yoghurt – a great source of protein and calcium.

We’re not medical experts, but we’re up for anything that supports the health and development of you and your baby, so here are a few of our favourite ‘superfood’ winter warming recipes:

Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Soup
  • 2 red peppers seeded and cubed
  • 500g / 1 ¼ lb of sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 2 pints of vegetable stock
  • Tabasco sauce to taste
  • Salt and pepper

Put all the ingredients into a pan (except the Tabasco), bring to the boil then simmer for 30 mins or until the vegetables are soft.  Then simply blitz in a food processor and serve.
From soup by Debra Mayhew

Indian Style Salmon Curry with Tomato & Lime
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 10-15 curry leaves
  • 250ml vegetable or fish stock
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 900g of skinless salmon fillet
  • Freshly ground pepper

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat and cook the onion, until translucent. Add the coriander, cumin and turmeric and cook for another 2 minutes or until fragrant.

Add the cayenne, tomatoes, curry leaves, 1 teaspoon of salt, then pour in the stock.  Cook, stirring frequently for 10 minutes.  Add the sugar and lime juice and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Cut the salmon into cubes, add to the pan and simmer for 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes to allow the salmon to finish cooking.
Season and serve the steamed rice.
Feed Me Now! Bill Grainger

Winter Vegetable Chicken
  • ¼ cup plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground roast cumin seeds
  • 2 chicken legs
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 1 carrot peeled and chopped into small chunks
  • 1 turnip peeled and chopped into small chunks
  • 1 parsnip peeled and chopped into small chunks
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 celery stalks washed and chopped
  • 1 leek, washed and sliced
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • Roughly chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).  Put the flour and seasonings into a bowl and toss the chicken pieces so that they are well covered.

Put half the vegetables into the base of a casserole and ten top with the chicken (shake off any excess flour).  Add the remaining vegetables and stock, cover the dish with a lid of foil and put in the oven for 1 hour 20 minutes.  Remove and serve sweet with potato mash and your choice of green veg.
Fresh, Marie Claire

Monday, 5 November 2012

Tips for a good night's rest when pregnant

If you’re an expectant mother, you’re probably hoping to stockpile as much sleep as possible before your baby arrives, but this isn’t always what nature seems to have intended.

Our bodies don’t seem to be designed to sleep well in the weeks running up to the arrival of a new baby.  Finding a comfortable position with swollen boobs and big bump is almost impossible and there isn’t a mother out there who doesn’t worry about the health and safe delivery of her child.  These are all very normal emotions; caring and worrying about our children is what us good mothers. 

Many women also experience indigestion, heartburn, leg cramps and the need to constantly visit to the loo.  Luckily, they all disappear as soon as the baby’s born and there are a few practical things you can do to aid a good night’s rest in the run up to your delivery:

·         Drink as little as possible in the hour before bedtime
·         If you’re feeling sick at night, eat a high carbohydrate snack such as a rice cracker.  Nausea always feels worse on an empty stomach.
·         If you suffer from indigestion or heartburn, eat meals at least four hours before bedtime and avoid citrus foods, fried food, spices and chocolate because these can irritate the oesophagus. The one pill you can take when pregnant is an antacid!
·         If you suffer from leg cramps, gently flex your foot or massage your leg.  Another trick is to place a hot water bottle on the cramped area or to walk around.
·         Purchase some good underwear to support your breasts when asleep.  The same goes for nightwear, look for soft, button and clip free bras, nightdresses and pyjamas.
·         A warm bath, some fresh air or gentle exercise during the day can also aid a good night’s rest, especially if you’ve been lying awake for hours in the night.
·         Antenatal classes are a good way to meet other parents to be.  Talking to other mothers you’ll find you’re not the only one with worries and anxieties.

Perhaps it’s just nature’s way of easing us gently into sleepless nights.  Rest assured (excuse the pun), all babies eventually sleep through the night and before you know it, they’re teenagers you have to drag out of bed.  Sometimes it seems difficult to savour the moments, but time goes by so quickly and before you know it, you’ll be wishing for it to happen all over again.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Introducing our new & elegant maternity support tights

We're really excited to announce the launch of our new maternity support tight, which gives the support of 70 denier tights, with the appearance of a sheer 40 denier.

We know that many expectant mums find it difficult to source good basics that offer quality, support and style but don’t cost a fortune.  Our new, black 552 maternity tights are perfect for wearing with work clothes, for dressing up for special occasions or a night out with friends.

Our chief designer, Freda Scholey, says of the new tights: “New technology means expectant mothers no longer need to wear old fashioned support tights.  The 552 combines both the classic style you’d expect from a sheer tight with the support you need during your pregnancy.”

The black, 40 denier, 552 range is available in sizes medium and large and is priced at £9.00.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Introducing our new sleep bra

We've just launched our new 342 sleep bra for expectant and nursing mums.

Many new mums and mums- to-be find their fuller breasts need additional support at night and can become uncomfortable, preventing much needed sleep!  The pretty, new 342 sleep bra is designed especially for night time wear with room for breast pads and no metal or plastic fasteners that can dig in.  The ultra-comfy 342 is made from extra soft, seamfree fabric which helps mums snuggle down and get that all important rest.

Our chief designer, Freda Scholey, says of the new bra, "The uncomfortable latter stages of pregnancy and young babies mean most mums feel sleep deprived.  When designing this bra, it was vital to ensure it felt like a second  skin adding support, but not the discomfort of rolling onto a metal hook in the middle of the night.”

The 342 sleep bra is available in black, nude or white in sizes UK 32-38 with just one cup size that fits B-E.  Priced at only £10.00.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Babymoons, the last ‘a dieu’ to life as you know it...

Babymoons. Love or hate the title, we’re basically talking about that one last holiday when it’s just the two of you.  That one last holiday when you might have a bit of money to spend on yourselves, because as any parent will tell you, once the children arrive, there never seems to be any spare cash to spoil yourself with.

Cornwall is a great place to spend a few days, there are some lovely hotels overlooking the sea that offer packages especially for ‘babymooners’.  The Award winning Scarlet Hotel is an eco luxury hotel in Mawgan Porth, which offers bespoke treatments for pregnant women, as well as sumptuous rooms and a restaurant offering delicious food including a vegetarian menu as well as seasonal dishes.

If you’re going for all out style, the luxury prenatal travel website, has a wide range of options, with most hotels offering ‘babymoon packages’ throughout Europe, the Middle East, the US and Asia.  The Reef Babymoon package in Sri Lanka, for example, has designed specific treatments for both the father and mother to be, in addition to a private yoga session for two.

If you don’t fancy the flight, closer to home, the Hotel Caruso in Ravello, Italy also offers a pre maman massage, a special present for the baby and a bottle of Italian Spumante, fruit and flowers on your arrival.

Those are some big budget holidays, but what about cheaper alternatives?  Bath is great for a long weekend, there are some lovely shops and restaurants and if you’re into spa treatments, or just want to float about, the Thermae Baths are a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.

Bruge and Paris are always popular and can be reached by train, particularly important if you suffer with DVT. A decent hotel in Paris is expensive, so why not consider an apartment for the weekend? The website has a great selection.

Setting aside budget, there are some things to consider when deciding where to go.  Check the jabs situation with your GP, there are anti malaria pills which aren’t suitable for pregnant women, for example.

Bear in mind that you can’t fly after 34-36 weeks (32 weeks with twins), and even then, some airlines require a note from your doctor if you’re over 28 weeks.  Always check with your airline.  Travel insurance is another must; check the policy wording to make sure it covers travel in pregnancy.

Most women suffer with some constipation during pregnancy, which can be made worse by flying.  Try to keep drinking water during the flight, eat plenty of greens and swop tea for peppermint tea if possible.  

Also remember that your blood gets more ‘sticky’ when you’re pregnant, so your chance of having (DVT) or a blood clot increases. Compression stockings can be a good idea but they’re probably not enough to fully prevent DVT.  To reduce the risk further, stay hydrated, keep moving your legs, and take regular walks around the plane. This is easier if you can book an aisle seat. 

Whatever you choose to do, enjoy, life will never be the same again, but who wants it to stay the same?

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Emma-Jane Maternity on-trend with the launch of our new 362 maternity/nursing bra

With bright bold colours coming off the catwalks, the introduction of our Blue or Fuschia 362 nursing bra is bang on trend.

The 362 is an extension of our Next Generation Range, which are seamfree to give an extra comfortable fit, and designed to grow with mothers during pregnancy.  This pretty bra has a ruched centre, and a soft knitted underband for extra comfort.

For improved support, the shoulder straps have restricted stretch, and each cup has a clip that allows quick and easy access for breastfeeding.  Each cup also opens individually for feeding so the other continues to provide support.  The four back eyes allow for full adjustment as a woman’s body shape changes during pregnancy.

It is available in sizes UK 34-38 and has one cup size (fits B-F cups).  Priced at £14.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Emma-Jane Celebrates 500,000 Sales

We're all celebrating at Emma-Jane after sales of our 428 style nursing bra hit half a million.   One of the most popular products in our range, this pretty, comfortable and supportive bra is multi award winning, having picked up several accolades as well as being widely recommended across online review sites. 

The design gives breastfeeding women support and ensures they feel feminine whilst feeding.  From a practical perspective, the cups are made from 100% cotton, which is soft yet strong, and the undercups are made from two layers of fabric, giving it extra support for ladies requiring larger sizes. 

Additional support and control comes from the restricted stretch in the elastane sides and bra straps.  Clips on the cups give quick and easy access for breastfeeding and each cup opens individually, so one cup can continue to offer support whilst the other allows for feeding. 

Available in sizes UK 32-40 B-J (EU 70-90 B-J).

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

New arrivals, new names!

According to recent reports, Jennifer Anniston could be expecting, although whether it is true remains to be seen, how many times has she been rumoured to be pregnant?!

It’s been a bumper year in the world of celebs with a huge crop expecting over the next few months...congratulations to Fearne Cotton, Adele, Gisele Bundchen, Imogen Thomas, Megan Fox, Robbie Williams and wife Ayda, Drew Barrymore, Guy Ritchie and wife Jacqui, Lilly Allen Cooper, Clare Danes, Sarah Michelle Geller, Anna Paquin, Melissa Joan Hart, Adriana Lima and Matthew McConaughey and wife Camilla.

If anyone has a baby due soon and is stuck for a name, there have also been lots of new arrivals too: Sienna Miller celebrated the birth of Marlowe, Jessica Simpson Maxwell, Torri Spelling Finn, Kourtney Kardashian Penelope, Jack Osbourne Pearl, Chantelle Houghton Dolly, Snooki a boy named Lorenzo, Stacey Sollomon Leighton, Anna Faris Jack, Beyonce Ivy Blue, and Mark Owen a girl named Fox.  Other celebs who welcomed a new baby this year include Sophie Ellis Bexter, Alyson Hannigan, Kristin Cavallari, Rosamund Pike and Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens.

Film, television, music and sport all influence our choice of baby names and the popular names over a particular time will tell you something about sporting successes (Jenson a.k.a Button), popular shows (Kylie) and political figures (Boris a.k.a  Johnson). Some new names have made it on the UK’s top 100 baby names this year including Tommy, Blake, Frankie, Elijah and Jackson for the boys and Bella (think the Twilight films), Willow, Elsie, Kayla, Francesca and Lydia for the girls.  Harry, Oliver, Jack, Alfie and Charlie remain some of the most popular boy’s names and Amelia, Olivia, Lily, Jessica and Emily the girls names. 

To have a look at the trend for your name, or a name you’re thinking of choosing for your baby, log onto England and Wales Baby Names.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Tips for holidaying with tots!

If you’re a first time mum, the thought of taking a new born baby on holiday can be terrifying.  For a start there’s the amount of gear you need to transport, the fear of upsetting an established routine or the anticipation of a long journey.

However, travelling with a young baby, especially if you’re breastfeeding, can often be one of the most relaxing holidays you’ll have as a parent.  You don’t need to worry about bottles or boxes of formula, and their lunchtime nap means you’ll get a quiet couple of hours by the pool!

Over the last few years, the travel industry has woken up to the needs of parents travelling with young children.  There are now specialist travel firms who cater for families holidaying with pre-school children.  They provide properties all over the world with all the baby equipment you could ever need including cots, highchairs, sterilisers, toys, change mats and secure pools.

There are even concierge companies who will send nappies, formula, sun cream, Calpol and whatever you request to your holiday destination, saving hassle, leaking products and excess baggage charges.

Once you’ve booked your perfect holiday, there are a few things to think about.  If you’re formula feeding your baby, and you need a specific brand, do some research to see if you can get it where you’re going?  If your child is on medication, make sure it’s legal for you to bring it into the country you’re travelling to. 

Being stuck on an aeroplane can be testing for most children and whilst you can expect in flight entertainment on a long haul flight, you need to go prepared.  In our experience, revealing a new toy, packing paper and pens, colouring books, snap cards and a fun camera and all great for slightly older children.  With babies, keep a little bit of milk in a bottle for take-off and landing or a lolly pop for toddlers.

On arrival, split the team so one person goes ahead through passport control to get the hire car whilst the other gets the bags – it can save long queues in humid conditions.  If you’re arriving late, pack essentials at the top of your suitcase, and if self catering abroad see if you can pre order a few essentials such as bread and milk (and wine!).

Make sure you familiarise yourself with how to reach the local doctor, you wouldn’t be the first mum to find yourself in the middle of rural France with a sick baby at 3am not knowing how to get medical help.

Something to bear in mind is that in Europe, swimming pools are only really warm enough for children to swim in late June through to early September, unless they’re heated.  Buying a little boat in resort is a great idea and will keep children amused for hours on land or on the water.

So enjoy yourselves, go with the flow; travelling with children changes holidays, but you’ll find yourself enjoying a wide range of activities you’d never have experienced pre children.  And the best thing about holidaying with children, the smile on their faces as you enjoy quality time together as a family.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Win an Emma-Jane maternity swimsuit!
Maternity Swimsuit - Maternity Swimwear - Emma-Jane - 952

As we post this, Team GB is in third place in the medal's table, with 17 gold, 11 silver and 11 bronze medals.  Like most of the nation, we're swept up in Olympic fever and to celebrate are giving away two of our maternity swimsuits. Available in both black and purple, in sizes UK 10-20, it has a striking criss cross strap and is great for expectant mums looking to exercise in the pool.

To win one of our lovely swimsuits, just answer this question:

How many medals did swimmer Rebecca Adlington win during the 2012 London Olympics?

Please send your answer to

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Olympics - Feeling Inspired?

With the Olympics about to start, talk in the media has turned to how it’s going to turn us into a nation of couch potatoes whilst we sit in front of the TV watching sport instead of taking part in any!

Although being pregnant can some days leave you feeling as though you’ve run a marathon, gentle exercise when pregnant is great for both your body and mind.  As well as helping your body cope with the strain of pregnancy on your joints and muscles, exercise also reduces constipation, backache, fatigue, bad circulation and varicose veins.  

There are some sports that should be avoided – contact sports where you could get hit in the stomach, horse riding, high impact aerobics, scuba diving, running on the road or anything that involves heights.

Walking, stretching and toning are all great when pregnant providing any classes you attend are led by a qualified instructor who is experienced in pregnancy yoga or Pilates. If you were already attending a class before you got pregnant, tell your teacher you’re pregnant so they can let you know of any parts of the lesson you should avoid.  Swimming is particularly good and is great for backache in late pregnancy as the water supports your whole body.  Check out the classes at your local leisure centre, most offer antenatal exercise classes.

At Emma-Jane we have a lovely maternity swimsuit and tankini, available in a choice of colours, as well as soft leggings, and our award winning maternity bras, which are supportive, stylish and above all comfortable.  All in all, the perfect garments for some gentle exercise.

Last but not least, don’t forget to do those important pelvic floor exercises!  Your pelvic floor is the muscle that supports your uterus, bowel and bladder.  Pregnancy and childbirth puts pressure on the pelvic floor and can leave some women with stress incontinence, this is where they lose a few drops of urine when they sneeze or cough.  You can tone your pelvic muscles so they maintain their strength – often called the ‘invisible exercise’ it’s when you pull in and tense your muscles as if trying to stop the flow of urine.  Hold for 5 seconds then relax.  Aim to about 10 sets of 5 exercises each day. 

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Twins Top Tips

Linda Nelson is mum to 7 year old identical twin girls.  Admittedly she's well past the breastfeeding stage, but with a little distance between then and now, she gives us her top tips on how to make things a little bit easier when your family unit doubles...

Upon learning we were having twins after the first scan we went out and celebrated with a nice meal. My pregnancy went without a hitch until my waters broke early at 35 weeks and one week later we were blessed with two beautiful identical baby girls. However, the learning curve was steep and we got precious little sleep in the early days! Here are my top tips for survival: 

1) Routine, routine routine!  Get into a routine in terms of feeding, bath time and bedtime; 
2) try get out every day even if it is pouring with rain- get your waterproofs on and roll out the pram. It gives you a break from the four walls
3) get as much sleep as you can- a bit of cat napping when you can, will take the edge of your tiredness; 4) Team work with your other half is essential.  My husband did the evening shift and I did the night shift. I often went to bed at 8.00/9.00PM and then did the night shift from 12.30ish so we both managed to try bank some quality sleep. Unfortunately we had to do this as ours were very poor sleepers for many, many months no matter what we tried! 
5) We made up our bottles the night before and had them in the fridge ready to roll the next day- a quick warm up in the bottle warmer and they were ready to go!

The main thing and above all else- enjoy them. It is a unique experience having and bringing up twins and though the first couple of years  were tough, they are joy and it goes in a flash!

Good luck

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Business of Babies

My name is Isobel Thompson and if it wasn’t for the premature birth of my twins, I’d never have founded my business Morrck. 

 It was in the scorching hot summer of 2003 that I’d produced two tiny babies (twin girls by the way), born many weeks too early.  I was lucky, my girls grew strong and left hospital – and they’re like any other healthy 9 year olds now.

But that first goodness..I thought the next time I’d actually manage to get out of the house was when I was drawing a pension!  Disappointed with the utter impracticality of so many baby products, I decided to do better, and so invented the Baby Hoodie. 

Baby Hoodie
The award winning Baby Hoodie is a unique, hooded travel wrap, shaped to fit into a car seat or pushchair.  It means an ends to fiddly coats, buttons and snowsuits.  No more rigid limbs being forced into snowsuits that are too big, too hot and time consuming!  Slits in the Baby Hoodie allow safety harnesses to feed through the soft fleece, allowing you to strap your baby in and wrap the hoodie around them.  Our Lightweight Hoodie is perfect for the warmer months, giving protection from the sun and warmth in chilly summer breezes. 

As a thank you for all the support I received when my babies were small, we donate £1 for every hoodie sold to TAMBA and to celebrate Twins, Triplets and More Week 2012, we’re doubling up to donate £2 from each sale.

We were delighted last year to be able to donate a Hoodie for the four Little Lambs born as sextuplets but sadly lost two of their siblings.  We hope our Hoodies made this super mum's life just a little bit easier!