Every Day is a bakerdays! (Review)

Every Day is a bakerdays! (Review)
(The featured image source is: https://www.bakerdays.com.)

I was (literally) chomping at the bit to get involved in one of my latest collaborations with bakerdays!! In my opinion every day is a cake day so I was intrigued to see how many designs could be made available in a short space of time…. *** SPOILERS!!! *** there are literally hundreds of designs that cater to Cake Lovers from all backgrounds, bound together in time and space by their love of the good stuff! By good stuff I mean tasty, moist cakey goodness! Layers of delicious happiness in circular form.

bakerdays was founded by Andrea Guzyova and greeting card entrepreneur Alan Hawkes so you can guarantee beautiful design as well as great taste.

Myself, the recipient and only the top cake connoisseur’s in her friends list got to indulge in the beautiful “Peach Butterflies” Letterbox Cake that I lovingly selected for my Mum (good old Nannie H!) for her half century celebrations… or her 25th times 2 Life Experience Anniversary!

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If you are not familiar with the concept, the Letterbox Cake is conveniently packaged in a box that slips through your door, so it is guaranteed to make an appearance on the required day of the occasion; be it Birthday, anniversary, a congratulations, new job or just reminding a person that they are important to you through the medium of cake!

The cake is a compact 12cm diameter by 2.5cm height, made to fit through a standard letter box so your Postie can just put it straight into the recipients home so it is perfect for that thoughtful surprise!

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My Mother had expressed her wish for a quiet affair for her *cough* 50th *cough* Birthday. With her being less than cheery about the prospect and adamant that she wouldn’t be celebrating she begrudgingly decided on a High Tea at her house, and I was giddy with excitement as this would be the perfect setting for the Letterbox cake I was planning!

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I must admit that I was quite nervous about the condition that the cake would arrive in, and what was it about it’s tin vessel that would protect it from serious damage?! I seriously dread the state of deliveries coming from a logistics background; I see first hand packages being poorly handled, bashed around etc and I was impressed yet a smidgen dubious with the claim on the website that the cake would be packaged

“in a way to ensure that it survives the drop from the letterbox to the floor, while remaining in perfect condition.”

Innovative and unique to bakerdays, the Letterbox Cake can be used to deliver any message to the door. It is only limited to the senders imagination as to how they can utilise this edible bulletin! I toyed with the idea of the photo cake options, but found it slightly creepy to devour my own face and the faces of those I love so eventually opted for a pre set design with personalisation in the message.

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The website is easy to navigate but the challenge comes in selecting your “Chosen One!”. I spent over 40 minutes pouring over page after page of designs that each have their place and purpose and I could imagine the audience for each one. There were designs that I never knew would be required but when I saw them their relevance just clicked and I would be like “If I were an eight year old boy I would really dig this Dino design” or “If I was a lonely older person I would really appreciate the vintage designs of cakes to remind me that people remembered my favourite flower” for example. Such a broad spectrum of themes are covered.

I am a sucker for all things personalised because I love to work out what makes people tick. Obviously I know my Mother very well so I was able to pick out a Top 5 Of cake designs that would be meaningful and represent her.

As if the design choice wasn’t enough, you then get to select your sponge flavour that’s includes: traditional sponge, rich chocolate chip, lemon drizzle (which was my top choice), fruit or gluten free and dairy free to allow as many people to enjoy the cake as possible (with dietary requirements considered.)LemonRecipe

I asked my Mum what she thought about her bakerdays birthday surprise:

What did you find surprising about  bakerdays?

“The quality and look even though it dropped through the letterbox!”

What did you like most about your cake?

“The vibrant colours, font and design.”

How would you rate the taste?

“10/10. Moist, tasty, not too sweet.”

Did the cake taste as good as it looks?

“Yes.”

Would you send your own letterbox cake in the future?

“Absolutely it’s now in my gift list!”

The Letterbox Cake is guaranteed to put a smile on your recipients face and at just £14.99 with next day delivery (when ordered before 2pm) it is great value for money and could really get you out of a “jam” (pardon the pun!) if you have forgotten a birthday or event. It is a fun and thoughtful alternative to a traditional card delivery.

But it’s not just delicious cakes… bakerdays also provide extras such as helium balloons to accompany your cake as well as gifts that include diffusers, necklaces, mugs and fabulous pop up cards.

I believe that bakerdays could be your one stop shop for all events and highly recommend the service based on quality, innovation, aesthetics and taste. Hurry and use discount festive25 for 25% off all orders.

A very Happy Customer!

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The Motherhood Lessons Series- Part I: The Most Overrated Baby Items. (& the items that you can’t live without!)

The Motherhood Lessons Series- Part I: The Most Overrated Baby Items. (& the items that you can’t live without!)

Negotiating the ocean of baby products that are available on the market can be quite suffocating! Add to that the tides of “advice” and “recommendations” from everyone and their Nan- “Buy this!” “Buy that!” “This helped my LO sleep!” “This contraption is all singing and dancing!” “Buying this product will make you a better parent…” … you get the picture.

I didn’t ask for advice but I was lumbered with it in every direction I turned. I was one of those Mother’s who never picked up a baby book throughout my entire pregnancy because I believe (and still do nearly 8 months down the line of Motherhood) that babies can not come with a manual… they come with a Mother… who learns best the systems that work for her and her child! Don’t try and force your square baby into a round hole (what a strange image! I hope if there is anything you take away after reading this piece is this silly analogy; you have a little smile to yourself at the lunacy of suggesting squishing babies into different shaped crevices, then remember how individual and wonderful your own child is and appreciate all their idiosyncrasies, their love for you and how YOU too are as individual as a Mother!) #DoYouBooBoo!

If my parenting was analysed by textbooks I think it could be labelled “attachment parenting” and I am sure a lot of people would tell me what I was doing was wrong. But so far; there have been no scares and Beatrice and I work together to get through babyhood and Motherhood respectively!

It has taken some time, and a cloak of bravado to finally have confidence in my decisions as a Mummy. And judging by the Little Person who accompanies me on this journey daily, I am now confident in my ability as a ruddy good Momma Bear. And you are too! Did you feed your child enough today? Did you change them when they needed? Did you give them cuddles that sent them into soft slumber?… you did? Then you my friend have done a good job today!

But I digress… this post is primarily targeted at Momma’s-To-Be to ensure that your purchases are streamline, smart and save you money! You may be tempted to go all in, and a lot of recommendations will have suited the child of that particular Mummy. My main message is to stock up on the essentials and take the time to find out what products can be adapted to your personal lifestyle.

It is hair raising how much you could potentially save yourself. I believe a lot of baby companies are capitalising on New-Mother fear or even the fear of being a Mother to another child in this time. Perhaps there has been a 5 year gap between this child and the older child who didn’t have the wealth of products available in 2013 and in that time laws and parenting rules seemed to have changed over, and over so it can be overwhelming and quite confusing! Bam! In sweeps a retail giant with false promises of a happier baby. If they use this version of a rattle their cognitive abilities will advance three fold… blah blah blah.

A lot of products take up space and burn a hole in your pocket, so I also learnt that shopping second hand is not to be sniffed at! The quality is often so high because babies grow so fast that many items are used just a handful of times. It turns out also that one of Bea’s favourite toys was a £5 animal carousel that can be stuck on the highchair or just popped on the floor, that she bashes to spin and it features some adorable, colourful animals (including a tiger, lion, monkey, zebra and bee.) #CheapAndCheerful.

This is my own personal experience and list, but I hope it may help you make decisions at to what you want to include as part of your baby arsenal. I have also taken the liberty of including the savings to be made from either not including these items on your shopping list, or opting for less expensive alternatives.

So first things first…

1) Moses Basket.

Admittedly we had a much longer shelf life with our purchase because our tiny, preemie baby came home with us just over 5 and a half pounds and grew at a slower rate! This meant that she was still comfortably fitting in the Moses basket at 4 months old, by which time we were in the position to replace this sleeping arrangement with a more IMG_8242permanent solution (which has been a very USEFUL transition piece before getting Bea into her own room! More about this shortly!)

Moses baskets are most aesthetically pleasing and will look adorable… for a few weeks! We had been very lucky that a friend was selling her Clair De Lune Noah Moses Pod (RRP £110 and often these are sold without the stands! Madness!) and we snapped it up for just £35 which was a complete steal!

Knowing the lunacy of the market for these we sold the pod on again for £70 so we never lost money on this purchase, but if I were to “do over” the initial baby shopping experience I would have never opted for a Moses Basket in the first place. Instead the best bet is to spend out on a crib or next to you solution as it can be used until such time as you move your baby out of your room. 7 months of co-sleeping (the definition I use here is baby in same room), so for us the Babystyle Oyster SnuggleCrib has been invaluable!

I was lucky enough to have won this bedside crib through my hobby (some may call it addiction) of entering Facebook and Instagram competitions! So again this saved me over £70. I would however suggest that if you want to invest in a great piece of sleep kit then go for a Next To You style crib like the Chicco Next 2 Me. This is for longevity and is also very useful when breastfeeding.

Saving- £75 on the Moses Basket.

Saving- £80 on the Snuggle Crib.

£35 profit on selling Moses Basket on.

Money in my pocket- £190!!!


2) Sleepyhead of Sweden Deluxe.

I would describe this piece of luxury baby kit as style over substance. Yes… it’s very pretty and makes for some very cute photo opportunities but it is an extortionate price to pay!

The three occasions that we actually used the SleepyHead!

If you have been living under a rock and are unfamiliar with the Sleepy Head is essentially a pod that can be used as a bed or mat for supervised play or Tummy Time, but it is touted by famous people and those with more money than sense!

I barely used ours and it ended up taking up space in the living room. Sure it is more aesthetically pleasing than your standard, gaudy kiddy pillows or mats but you pay through the nose for that privilege! It is oh so hip, Indie and Scandi and a lovely “prop” to have if you are lucky enough to have a spare £130 knocking around… but in reality that is a sum that most Mothers-To-Be do not have!

There is also hot debate as to whether this pod actually meets the standards of Safe Sleep as defined by the Lullaby Trust etc as it only definitely meets the standards of  a pillow which it is not being used as, it is being promoted as a sleeping environment replacement and I would NEVER recommend it as such! The only truly safe sleep environment is a basket/bassinet/cot crib with fitted sheet and NO loose blankets, pillows, cot bumpers or teddies.

Influencers all over social media praise the SleepyHead but I personally found that Bea would not sleep on it any way and an activity mat provided more comfort, play opportunity and she would even fall asleep better on an activity mat after a good twenty minute kick about.

Luckily the SleepyHead was a prize I won in my mad, comping spree before going into labour! This saved me £130 of my own money!

The claims the proponents make about it are slightly ludicrous, especially when they say use it as a changing mat… this boggles my mind! Why would you use a white surface if there is the imminent threat of a PooNami?! Sure the covers are machine washable but I wouldn’t want to get any kind of unwanted staining on this overpriced pillow.

You could quite happily have your child propped on a decent Boppy Pillow at the fraction of the price!

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In the first six months there is very little sleep observed by your LO and Bea maybe napped for her 20 minute stints two or three times in the SleepyHead as she much preferred to nap on me!

I would certainly suggest doing your own research on these types of products but I feel like they are marketed to provide a solution for all your worries as a parent and prey on those unwelcome insecurities. Believe that you are able to provide the best comfort for your child without having to part with your cash over it. Not having a SleepyHead will not compromise the care of your child.

I would even go as far as to say that if it does work for your child, it is an excuse for lazy parenting!

To have Bea sleep in the day I would mostly just move my Moses Basket into the living room or have her sleep on me as she never slept/nor sleeps now for longer than an hour and a half at one time. Tummy time was hosted on an activity mat (Bea hated being on her tummy way up until her fifth month!) and changing was and continues to be done here, there and everywhere!

I feel like the SleepyHead very much is a statement to be made about being a fashionable/luxe Momma (that I am not!) and is very nice but not a must have! It is not as functional as the company try to make you believe and it is a bit gimmicky that it only lasts up to 6/8 months before your have to upgrade your Duluxe to the Grand (throwing more money at SleepyHead!!)

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When your little one has grown out of their Deluxe…why not spend another hundred or so on essentially the same item again…but with a different name… *rolls eyes*

Here’s a Boppy Pillow that you could use in exactly the same ways stated in the SleepyHead blurb (“around the house”, “changing”, “playing”, “bonding”, “co sleeping”, “lounging” & “resting” which are clearly not exclusive to this product!) and save you over £95! Sure it’s not as beautiful but it means that you can spend out for other products to use alongside it for the play & tummy time aspect.


3) Burping Cloths.

Luckily our little Bea was not a sicky baby so had I had an experience where she was covering myself and our home in vomit then I may have a different opinion on the matter, but as it is I can not recall a time I have ever used a burp cloth.

Instead just ensure you have a good stock of muslins which are hands down the most useful items to have at your disposal and invest in (other than the essential nappies/wipes). We particularly love the large muslins as they can be used in so many more ways.

We particularly love our Aiden and Anais Disney Aristocat 3 pack. They look so stylish mopping up food spills or sick!

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4) Nappy Stacker.

As a busy parent, I don’t understand why you would allocate time to removing nappies from their perfectly adequate packaging to organise/stack them in an “organiser”. They are not conducive to bleary-eyed night changes, attempting to grab at a nappy for a prompt response time. In the dark and state of confusion it is likely that you will rifle through and cause disarray to your precisely stacked nappies that can remain in perfect formation in the day time!


4.5) Nappy Bin.

In a similar pooey fashion the idea of a nappy bin disturbs me! Surely it is not hygienic to have poopy sausages festering away for a week?! Why not just make a poo run to the regular bin once or twice a day?


5) An expensive steriliser.

Again I don’t know if this is because I was primarily breastfeeding and it may have been different had I been formula feeding  for the majority of the time, but a fancy steriliser took up valuable kitchen top space and was a bit of a bind to maintain. Who knew these sterilisers had to be descaled so often which takes another 20 valuable minutes up of your time when you are running around trying to do 800 other tasks?!

I had the Tommee Tippee “Closer To Nature” 5 bottle steriliser (RRP £58.99) and it was fab because it is literally a push-button-and-go system. Though, I found that its condition deteriorated pretty fast (I initially had no clue about the need to de scale your steriliser on a 3/4 weekly basis!) so think money could have been better spent using the Tommee Tippee Essentials 2-in-1 Steriliser for just £12.99! I would always highly recommend  the Tommee Tippee products as I found that their electric pump worked better for me than the Medela Swing!


One thing that many people will argue is an item to avoid purchasing is a changing table as you do become a pro at Ninja Changing on all and any surface. You often just have the baby whipped down to their nappy in seconds on your lap!

However, I have a massive soft spot for my changing station as it was lovingly re-purposed by Nannie H. I paid nothing for the changing station (which was not the most beautiful piece of furniture in its past state!) and my Mum took it on as a fixer-upper project as part of my Baby Shower Gift. She lovingly laboured away on that piece over a series of evenings after work. She sanded it down, painted it, sorted out the shelving and then decorated it with the nursery theme in mind, and it makes a stunning focal point in Bea’s nursery.

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I try to use it every few days as part of our Bath, Book, Bottle, Bed routine, but I must confess it is not something I used every day, but I would never say it is an overrated item. I love that changing table with all my heart. I would highly recommend taken on a cheap piece of furniture and doing a little DIY project as it will save you a whole chunk of Baby Budget.

Other things that could be a drain on the purse: designer dummies (you will still lose these like regular dummies!), a wipe warmer, bath thermometer (just use your own judgement! Surely you know the acceptable range of temperature for the water!), baby shoes and one for the Mummies- stretch mark creams (regular lotions works exactly the same!)

Obviously this list is not the definitive list of useless items (there are some really bizarre items that can be found on the internet!) and I am sure people will disagree with the list and had a much better experience with the products I have listed.

It all comes back to the point that I initially made that we will find what works for us, so I would hope that this tongue in cheek piece does not serve as an instructional piece. Do your own reading, find what makes you and your baby happy. Just make sure you have the basics and you will have a happy baby.

Remember: a baby doesn’t need THINGS! It just needs you. #FreeHugs

What do you feel like you wasted the most money on? What’s been your Best Buy? Do you buy baby items second hand too?

#StaySweet

-Bea’s Mummy x

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Bea’s Favourite Handmade & Small Business Goodies: The Christmas Edit.

Bea’s Favourite Handmade & Small Business Goodies: The Christmas Edit.

*Collaborative post*- I was gifted the items below in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

At Bea & Me HQ we are riding high on the festive feelings that only the speedy descent into holiday madness provides! I blasted “Fairy Tale of New York” in a pair of cosy Winter Socks and this weekend we erect our tree, because nothing is better than a semblance of fairy lights and adorable designs that capture Christmas Cheer and your unique passions!

Too early… Boo Neigh Sayers and Bah Humbugs alike!! This is a Pro Christmas Zone. This is where glorious small businesses are totally “Sleighing” their crafts to bring their customers goodies to stuff in stockings, Christmas Eve Boxes and wrapped to bring delight.

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I don’t know if I am on The “Nice List” this year. All I can say, Dear Reader, is that I tried! I hope supporting independent creatives & vendors goes some way to getting me there though. Also bonus fun fact: this will be the first Christmas in TWO years that I can indulge in pate, soft cheeses and alcoholic beverages to my hearts content as I am not pregnant this year!

So without further a-do lets launch into #AVerySmallBizzChristmas, handmade with love or stocked with uniqueness and personality in mind. Rest assured these businesses can provide personalisation and cheer Christmas and all year round!

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These businesses have Christmas wrapped up (I am not even sorry about the pun!) but a lot of the items for review are every day items. As much as I love all the beautiful, festive offerings the longevity to enjoy the items is just not there so I have avoided Christmas Centric items that are all jingle bells but may be put away after a few weeks.

This being said, I am featuring one exclusively Christmas item but this can be used year after year! Because it is the gift that keeps on giving and can become a nice tradition.

So gather close Dear Reader and enjoy Bea’s favourite small businesses to buy from all year round!


roots and beets

Roots and Beets:          @roots_beets

Megan is a whizz at fashioning bibs and baby blankets in the most soft and gentle (and truly adorable) material. I always struggled to find bibs that didn’t rub Bea’s delicate skin and were easy to put on as historically when bibs have approached pre dinner time, a wild battle ensues that includes but is not limited to flailing arms, Neo style moves in the form of leaning back and angry war cries!F1A7BB39-9CE1-4A74-908A-6FB6E196D41D

As a #MumMaker, Megan has really thought about the practicalities and has kept in mind the comfort aspect. The bibs came into existence because her own little boy suffered with sensitive skin. Like Bea, he never enjoyed the prospect of Bib-Wearing (who can blame them?!) but the introduction of this design made meal times that little bit easier!

I have experienced the same ease of situation. With the snap fastener the bibs are quick to put on for minimal fuss (perfect damage control!) This handy fastening can even be closed one handed after slipping bib around your LO’s neck.

The super softness comes from the 100% Cotton Double Gauze (Muslim) which is an Oeko-tex Certified Material.

I fell in love with The Sugar Plum Fairy 3 pack (evoking my warm nostalgia of The Nut Cracker which remains a firm family favourite). The sparkly bibs are also Megan’s favourite to make! The colour set contains a pastel  pink, salmon pink and burgundy with White Pearl Pom Pom trim and gold studding to add extra sparkle. Who doesn’t want additional bling for the festive period over Christmas dinner?!!

The 3-pack-sets are a steal at just £19.99 and this saves you £3.41 when buying a pack as oppose to an individual bib.

There are various colour and design combinations (including polka dots and stars) that you can find on the Etsy store here. There is also a brand, spanking, new teal sparkly version available now! (Currently 20% off all bibs for Black Friday so 3 pack is £15.99 as of 21.11.18.)


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Bumble’s Studio:       @bumbles.studio

Kimi set up her business in March of this year (2018) having created clothing and crafts for her friends babies, and launched herself into the small business world as her passions took her there.

You can see the skill in the items that are handmade with such attention to detail. The passion is not only engrained in Kimi’s soul but she also achieved academic excellence in the field with her BA Hons Fashion Design Degree so the heart is certainly backed up by the skilled hands!

The teething necklaces really caught my eye as it is a very real struggle currently, though Kimi particularly enjoys making the dungarees! The clothing items are very impressive and with her embroidery machine can be easily personalised. The Bumble’s Studio experience is bespoke and colourful. The fabrics demand attention.

The teething necklace I was gifted is made from natural beech wood and crochet beads. They are fashioned with baby development in mind as the crochet texture and various colours provide different stimulation. The beech wood is untested and beads are crocheted out of 100% wool.

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2mm Rattail Satin Cord (various colours) is used to make the necklace, and the knots that hold the breakaway clasps in place are glued with a non-toxic water based craft glue for extra security. The necklace is perfect to wear whilst baby carrying or nursing and the breakaway clasp fastening is safe and easy to use.

I loved the colour combinations of the beads. The pastel is very striking and I found the length (about 60cm end to end) made it ideal for both myself and Bea. It wasn’t intrusive but could be easily accessed.


babaofmineBaba Of Mine:            @babaofmine

The Instagram feed is just stunning. *Queue major amounts of stalking!* Baba Of Mine is a Family Concept Store that stocks luxurious yet affordable brands including clothings, decor, gifts & books.

The store has its physical presence in Castle Donington and Rebecca is the curator of the beautiful things! She had such a passion for the business which possibly stems from her background in interior design,

“ I love every brand we stock that’s why we stock them! Design and ethos of the brand or designer is very important to us, to be blunt I’m very picky about what and who we put on our shelves. I whole heartedly try to support smaller brands if I think they have that ‘je n’ais se quio’ for example Matilda & Grace who designs and creates beautiful handmade bows & hair accessories in liberty prints.”

The business celebrates its first year of trade this December! The store is pioneering as it is one of the first UK stockists of a beautiful brand called Saga Copenhagen and Rebecca describes the store and it’s loyal customer base as a:

“welcoming, unique, beautiful, creative, community.”

We were gifted the “Planet Childhood” Organic Zoo mustard jumper which has become a staple in Bea’s Autumn/Winter 2018 wardrobe. It provides a colour pop 2d8276e9-e2a8-4c43-8322-c44ce046ca18and comfort. The big, jumper-hug comes with the organic cotton material used as Organic Zoo commit to sustainability, being natural and supporting people and partnerships. So not only are the products quality physically superior, you get a warm, fuzzy feeling knowing you are advocating a ethical brand.

I could spend hours scrolling through Baba Of Mine’s Instagram feed and the captions really give you an insight into who Rebecca is as not only a shop keeper but a person. Also she is The Queen of the Flatlay and there are so many beautiful Christmas items featured currently.


boop

Boop Design By Victoria:               @boopdesignbyvictoria

A beautifully packaged babygrow came to us from Mrs Boop! Herself. There really is something special about handfoiled babyclothes. It just makes everything that little more special with a golden shine!

“I am loving the chance to create little pieces to mark the miraculous, exhausting  time of life for new mums and their tiny humans.”

Victoria has managed to amalgamate her two passions and backgrounds in art and Midwifery to bring a little extra sparkle to expanding families!

The business came into existence at the start of the year and Victoria has been creating many beautiful designs. Her first piece was the “Tiny Human” design which has a huge place in Victoria’s heart and is also her customers most popular design.

The first Christmas designs are a little more complex compared to the regular designs which are just beautiful quotes, pretty typography and simple design. They say it all!

The vests are rompers are available in grey or white with gold foil. The material is really soft and the fit offers plenty of growing room (available in sizes 0-3 with feet, 3-6, 6-9 Months depending on the design.) Obviously the Tiny Human Designs are only available in newborn size or 0-3 months as they are great as part of a homecoming outfit for new LO’s!82DDA731-E293-4B49-A520-977D3932327C

(All available sizes for designs are listed on the Etsy shop and there is a Mix n Match multipack saver offer available for just £26.50 and free shipping!)

Bea remained comfortable and stylish and the designs are heartwarming and unique.


bear in the hood

Bear In The Hood:             @bear_in_the_hood

Is there anything more adorable than a LO in a knitted headpiece with animal ears? I shall answer this one, Dear Reader…. No! No there is not! I was thrilled to be sent a baby balaclava and I have taken to referring lovingly to this staple headwear as a Bear-a-clava. It has come just at the right time as the design comes in 8 different colours; perfect for your own little cub to express their personality. Obviously I selected the pretty in pink version .

I was thrilled that Bea didn’t detest the balaclava being put on (as we are currently going through a rather fussy stage when it comes to getting dressed!) I think it is because it is such a comfy piece (knitted is always for comfort as well as style), with her extra tiny head I would say the 3-6 months gives her very generous wear throughout Winter and into Spring to keep her ears warm.

Bear In The Hood don’t just offer knitted headpieces; there are also bibs, bunting, prints, cushion covers and even seeing patterns if you are at all crafty and a dab hand at sewing! (If anyone would like to make me the “Very Easy Teepee” do get in touch! Ha ha!)

The products certainly have an organic look and they scream bohemian. They are for little adventurers and families that love the outdoors. Bea’s balaclava kept her most toasty whilst exploring the woodlands on a Nannie H road trip.

Pricing is very reasonable and competitive/affordable for the personalised rollers/t shirts & sweaters.

Use code FREESHIPPING for orders over £20 on the website. Also check out the Etsy Store here.


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Figgy & Fern:                         @figgyandfern

A newly established Instagram business who will be specialising in printing personalised babygrows and other clothing. So far on the page there is a rather adorable range of Breastfeeding Milestone babygrows which I think is very special (I haven’t seen these previously.) It is a unique range to celebrate together as a breastfeeding Mother and child and almost serves as a “ticking off” of the months invested so would make for a lovely way to capture the journey.

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I was lucky enough to win their first Instagram Competition which was a lovely silicone teether (it has come at the perfect time for Bea’s emerging gnashers!) She has been enjoying the pain relief. The teether is a combination of the softer silicone beads that are free from BPA and lovely wooden rings perfect for chewing. They are CE tested and compliant with European safety standards.

There is certainly more to come from this lovely small business, so keep your eyes peeled now and you can say that you supported them before they became big!


otto and oliv

Otto & Oliv:               @ottoandoliv

I could not be more thrilled when I was approached by Rachel of the lovely Otto & Oliv to offer one of their stunning printed illustrations! My inner paleontologist was itching to get a beautiful dinosaur in Bea’s nursery so what better opportunity I thought. The very Rawr-some and unique selling point of these designs are that each dinosaur is  actually anatomically accurate too, so not only do you get a fun and quirky print for your space but there is educational value too!43CA686E-C4F3-4DB9-8924-7306041C52E5

These designs have certainly filled a massive dinosaur shaped hole in the market of prints; yes there are a few cutesy dinosaur designs (some very cliche) but sometimes you don’t just want twee do you?! You want a design that punches you in the face with awesomeness and announces its arrival into your life! These prints certainly do this and you are able to find your own favourite dino in the repertoire of illustrations. I love the different galleries: Under The Sea (that includes plesiosaurs to the milo mosasaurus), Land and Sky & Triceratops Triplets (which was the design I ended up being most drawn to!) They also did a fabulous collaboration with Tales of Boys and created three prints with awesome life advice to live by with a dinosaur that matched the sentiment. My inner geek had a little chuckle!

I was gifted the Viola version of The Triceratops Triplets (PUTTY) range. It is an A4 digital print on gloss 175gsm paper. These types are ideal for rooms where the artwork will be updated every few years and the perfect Christmas gift in my humble opinion. Rachel also offers the giclee print om matte 315gsm paper which is a way to create a more permanent piece of artwork that does not fade or discolour for up to 100 years!!! I found this incredible to comprehend.

I just love how the brand came to be. Amazingly Rachel admits it was started almost by accident!

“I was on a beach day with a group of my friends who were discussing how they’d found it difficult to find bedroom artwork for their dino loving children that also complimented their interior design visions. I started a sketch in my bullet journal and before I knew it I’d received my first order whilst still sitting on a beach towel!”

Rachel has been an illustrator/designer for 8 years before setting up Otto & Oliv in July of this year (2018). Like a proud mother she couldn’t choose her favourite design-

I feel like my dinosaurs are my children and you can’t have a favourite child!

The process when drawing up a new design is very in depth because Rachel uses actual fossils of that dino to ensure the character is anatomically accurate and adds the “flesh to the bones” by listening to her favourite documentary podcast “Your Dinosaurs are Wrong” to ensure the creatures she brings to life allow for the most up to date information about that type and the artistic license with the colours and animal prints are at random, which I think is such an adorable feature!

Viola is a stunning triceratops with a peacock print around her head crest and comes in such beautiful antique rose colours. I chose this as it was an almost perfect match for Bea’s nursery decor! The playful triceratops is peeking out of her egg. She has two other siblings Indie & Bohdi. The design is so classy it really looks like an expensive piece but it is so affordable. The whole set is from just £25 depending on the size and printing method.

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For a fun and nerdy twist for Christmas cards I hope you check out their offering of three prehistoric animals in Santa hats! – Wooly Rhino, Sabre Tooth Cat and Wooly Mammoth. (They are majestic! Find them here!)

Order your first Dino Friend with 10% off using code NEWFRIEND and if you order via Instagram message please mention that you found their beautiful work on the Bea & Me Blog!


41E89684-1579-4931-AAC6-CF2F2C5B7E05Truly Scrumptious:              @trulyscrumptioussweetsandgifts

I was saving my most festive offering until last! I was lucky enough to win a Facebook competition with Truly Scrumptious Gifts & Sweets.

These are personalised wooden Disney baubles in iconic Mickey and Minnie design. It was lovely that we could decorate our tree with both our babies (it is so important that we remember our little boy at special times of the year too!)

These baubles are only £4.50 and Truly Scrumptious offer various wooden tree decs (including the Manchester bee too which look very striking.)

Check out their full range of goodies that will be fabulous for stocking fillers!

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As you can see, there is so much heart and skill in handmade gifts; for not just Christmas but all year round too. These creations are crafted by people who love their art. The wealth of items you find when browsing small bizz is outstanding and the business owners keep offering their customers what they want. There is such an ingrained personalisation aspect in small business, a high attention to detail and duty of care to their customer.

Will you be shopping independent this Christmas and what items have you/will you be sourcing?

#StaySweet

-Bea’s Mummy x

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The Great Battle of The Christmas Ads (2018).

The Great Battle of The Christmas Ads (2018).

You know we are headed on a speedy trajectory to Christmas when you spot the Coca Cola advert on TV. It is an institution in itself these days and the chant of consumerism “Holidays are Coming… Holidays are Coming!” are a cheerful barrage… the friendliest assault and foreshadowing of the mad rush to come. Readying the troops (us as consumers) to buy far too much, then end up closing the year in misery; cursing the extra food we gluttonously gobbled because we have an increased waistline and decreased wallet size! … But we still fall into the trap EVERY  year.

At the time you just can’t turn down the extra portion of cold meats on a sandwich despite eating a bird, stuffed in another bird, stuffed in yet ANOTHER bird just hours before! Would we eat this many feathered friends in one sitting ordinarily?… heck no… but as it is the holidays give me more! And a side of pig, cow or little donkey for all I care!!!

My brain says there will be regret come January but in the moment my heart (and belly) says yes, yes, yes!

At Christmas we so easily become “yes” people and marketing teams certainly capitalise on this seasonal pull and the big supermarkets and department stores (looking at you John Lewis!) yank at our heartstrings and pockets, and convince us that their wares are the way forward. I wonder if they have a big meeting where they place bets on who’s advert is going to become the Nations Sweetheart for the year. It really feels that year on year, we are waiting for the gloriously, cinematic and epic adverts.

 

So just yesterday I finally saw the John Lewis advert, where they have drafted in the Uber talented icon that is Sir Elton John. Savvy move Team John Lewis as he embarks on his retirement tour next year and the film biopic “Rocketman” is also set for release in 2019! So it is going to be a year to come of all things Sir Elton as he hangs up his “old man’s shoes” (that is a reference to one of his tunes in case you didn’t guess!) and there will be countless documentaries and TV movies documenting his life.

John Lewis has gotten there first!

The #EltonJohnLewis hashtag is exploding on social media channels, particularly Twitter and I have seen lots of talk about the advert on my Facebook newsfeed too! I love hashtags. I litter them in my own postings as if they are going out of fashion! This hashtag is just delicious to me. Though it begs the question… will the John Lewis Advert just be remembered as “That Elton John Advert”? Not that that is a terrible thing. But are they relying too heavily on him to create a buzz and will it alienate the general public by making the central figure a star?

The formula for a great Christmas advert is first and foremost a strong, emotional story. The adverts have to take us on a journey and the John Lewis Advert does that in a very obvious way (albeit chronologically backwards) but it take the literal form of a timeline! It is never the less very heartwarming and I couldn’t help but to be taken in as it whizzes back to young Elton receiving his first piano.

Nostalgia and warm, fuzzy memories play such a huge part in the retail/consumer patterns we repeat. It is rather sweet to see an artistic representation of what made a persons dream come true. I think the criticism it has faced about being more about the life of Elton John than the spirit of Christmas is a little harsh as surely what sets our passions alive can be equated to the Christmas Spirit? Perhaps; like Sir Elton, our lives have been shaped by a gift that we have received at Christmas?!

The accompanying piece of music is the enduring “Your Song” (which happens to be one of my favourite pieces of music!) It is timeless and also serves as a nice John Lewis loop with the Ellie Goulding cover of it being utilised in the 2010 Christmas Ad!) That to me screams cohesive marketing! It’s a nod to a nod! There is Your SongCeption going on here! I think we enjoy episodes being wrapped up nicely, so the repetition of the musical choice suits our nature to close a narrative.

It is a nice advert. But it is no “The Man On The Moon” (arguably one of the all time greatest Christmas ads!!) or “The Bear and The Hare”. Also, in my humble opinion it is not the best offering for Christmas 2018!

My favourite is Sainsbury’s “The Big Night”. Everything is just great about it and I am all about the affirmation of self belief and how far it can take you. I think as a Mummy, it made my darn ovaries tingle again! All things child-centric warm my heart and there is something charming about the setting of a school play. It reaches in to my inner thespian that I left behind as I “grew up”.

 

 

The whole mini show to the tune of The New Radicals “You Get What You Give” is executed flawlessly and can we just take a minute to appreciate the most hilarious and Meme-Worthy moment where the plug launches himself at a socket?! I laughed out loud at this! How is it that an every day item has been elevated to the status of Godly proportions?! #PlugLife slays me as a hashtag and I loved that M&S gave a huge nod to this spectacular, visual delight in their tweet:

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You know your advert is going to be crowned as the King of Crimbo ads when you enlist the creative direction of none other than Michael Gracey who directed “The Greatest Showman”!! It takes the ever familiar setting of the humble “school play” and elevates it to fantastical levels! There is nothing more commonplace in the school setting than a nativity (I always wanted to be the angel but strangely was never selected for this role!) at the end of the year! But this play represents a modern appreciation of the festive period. Queue sparkly bauble, Turkey drumstick and set of fairy lights!

I think it truly hits the mark in all walks of life and is a piece to be proud of because it encompasses the joy of Christmas. The message is full of heart and the children (a tremendous cast of 59 little stars) are just so adorable that I couldn’t help “awww” my way through the advert.

The most talked about (and never seen on TV screen) advert of 2018 is Iceland’s “banned” advert that is central to their ethical and ecological commitment to remove Palm Oil from all their own range products by the end of this year! So; a good year for the environment but not so much for their advert rankings as it is a departure from the Feel-Good festive ads.

It is a beautiful and tragic animation about the impact of Palm Oil production on our endangered species (in this emotive piece an orangutan faced with the consequences of deforestation.)

The advert is certainly more far reaching and “for LIFE (literally!) and not just Christmas!”

The Managing Director of Iceland said:

“Whilst our advert sadly never made it to TV screens, we are hopeful that consumers will take to social media to view the film, which raises awareness of an important global issue. Our commitment to help protect the home of orangutans remains extremely close to our hearts. We are proud to be encouraging consumers to make more sustainable choices, even without the support of TV advertising, ahead of the Christmas shopping season.”

Luckily there is easy social media access to the piece, which is for of heart and social conscious (so in every way goes against the consumer aspect of the holiday season!) I hope that this piece of art sets ripples into action to protect our world and make it a better place for our cosmic community, children and sentient beings. This ad truly is the winning campaign if we disregard traditional channels of Broadcasting.

It is harrowing, yet hopeful… but far too hard to digest over Christmas dinner!

Whilst John Lewis and Sainsbury’s are trying to create an emotional connection with the audience “hey look! We are good/nice people and want to make you feel good/joy/Christmas Spirit too!” Waitrose and M&S are very transparent about their agenda of pushing product, products, product! It is obvious that their quality is superior (heck you know you “have made it in life” when you can do your monthly shop in these two shops!) but do we need that being rubbed in our faces at a time where we feel that we have to provide more and more for our families? Will our Crimbo Dinners be snubbed by the ones we love just because we didn’t invest in M&S Brussels sprouts?!!

Here are my Top 10 Christmas Adverts of 2018. (I am sure many of you will disagree with me! I have strange tastes!)

1) “The Big Night”– Sainsbury’s.

2) “Say Hello To Rang-Tang”– Iceland.

3) “Gifts That Get Them”– Boots.

4) “Kevin The Carrot Cliffhanger”– Aldi.

5) “The Boy & The Piano”– John Lewis.

6) “Elsie’s Gift”– Very.

7) “Secret Santa”– Cadbury’s.

8) “The Never Ending Stocking”– Tk Maxx

9) “Must Haves”– M&S

10) “Mistletoe”–  Waitrose.

Whats your Christmas List of Top adverts? Do you agree that having a more political campaign like Iceland is a great step forward? If you were in the Sainsbury’s advert what would you be dressed up as?

#StaySweet.

-Bea’s Mummy x

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I am part of the Amazon Affiliate UK programme so if you purchase any of the products that I place links to in my posts, I will earn commission at no extra cost to you… so I can keep producing quality content for you! It’s a nice little Christmas Gift from you to me and a gift that keeps giving!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“When in doubt … put a bow on it!” Review: Zo’s Bows & Bee Beau Co.

“When in doubt … put a bow on it!” Review: Zo’s Bows & Bee Beau Co.

I feel that it is about time to just rename the site now to the “Bow-utiful Life”! what with the bundles of utter hairbow joy Bea and I have recently received through the post. Happy Posts truly equal Bow Posts in my humble opinion.

Bea has become quite tolerant to… dare I venture ‘expectant’ of bow wearing on the daily. Once we had managed to escape from the Transitional Ward I would throw on a Headbow here or there to compliment her “tiny baby” outfits, but being such a dot, most one-size-fits-all creations were too big; so I went Bespoke-Bow Crazy and haven’t looked back since!

Nothing brings me more joy than scrolling through a fabulously glittery feed of hair accessories. What with our lack of hair situation we must request that the main design is affixed to a nice, soft nylon headband as Bea is still growing her hair back in after quite the significant hair loss (she was born with a full head of thick, dark hair!)

On a Bow Hunt exploration on Instagram I happily stumble across both these glorious businesses featured in today’s review. What I love is that there is such diversity in the UK Handmade arena which perfectly captures the personality of the seller and designs are (on the whole) very unique to that individual/brand. Another aspect that I love about shopping Independent is the real opportunity to communicate with the creatives & makers of beautiful things. You can really gleam a sense of their passions that explode from within onto their medium of choice.

Both Zo’s Bows & the Bee Beau Company pleasantly surprised me with their gorgeous offerings for review. I was blown away by not only the stunning designs that landed at Bea & Me HQ, but the generosity and true love-what-you-do attitude that wrapped us in a great, big virtual hug. Attention to detail and service are what has truly set these two beautiful shops apart. I couldn’t wait to ready the cavalry (my little human whirlwind) and enjoy the theatre of bows!

Zo’s Bows:

In a suitably girly candy striped bag, a flurry of zesty Autumnal and frozen-inspired Wintery bows flurries out into my waiting hand. *Queue my terrible rendition of Let It Go!* The first thing I thought was that the wintry goodies were plucked straight out of a fairy tale! These bows were clearly fashioned by a maker who understands what little ladies want.

0B5E180F-CA67-4DA8-A673-DC6B624C0B81This was confirmed by the lovely Zoe who explained how the business came into fruition just this year:

“I started playing around with ribbon last year after coming across some poorly made ribbon hair bows in a party bag my girls received from a party they went to…. these bows had glue hanging out
everywhere…they were uneven and fell off their sharp alligator clip after a few moments of my girls wearing them….. so I thought…I could make these! So I started practising and after trialling my bows in my girls hair Zo’s Bows was properly
established January 2018.”

I love when a business is fueled on a Mother’s love and the quality of the bows is certainly noticeable.

I asked Zoe to describe her business and the passion that bubbles out of her is infectious.

“Bespoke, Quality made Ribbon Hair Bows for all occasions, made solely by me with heaps of love.”

The love and care is so apparent in the design and uniqueness.

The Instagram feed is pure delight. I am like a kid in a sweet shop looking through all the goodies. The process from ordering to arrival is smooth and the communication 175F5CA8-877E-44F6-9420-65DDDFFB1AB0throughout is top notch. I think Zoe would happily chat to all her customers to offer the very best customer service and a real understanding of her market. I believe it is this that enables her to keep creating the designs that Mummies and their daughters want to accessorise in!

The wealth of choice is phenomenal. Zo is a whizz with ribbon bows, though admitted that she has not been as successful as she would have liked with the fabric and glitter bows but I think that is because she is a perfectionist. You really get a sense of this with every purposeful tuck. The precision is five star and you can tell that these bows are durable and will stand the test of time!

“My main motivation was my own 3 daughter’s…. they love hair bows and pretty ribbon and in the local stores I often came across bows that were quite pricey but poorly made. I have a tad OCD to perfection and my ribbon bows have to be made to the highest of standards…if I make a mistake I literally start again and since gaining regular custom over the past months alongside my girls being my motivation it is now also the feeling of pride when I receive positive feedback from my customers. Plus bow making is very therapeutic I love it! Only the ribbon ones though as I tried and failed at fabrics and glitters.”

It gives me confidence in the longevity of these beautiful products because they have been put through their paces by a #MumMaker with the highest of standards and three product testers on site!

We were gifted the floral Fred Bow, the floral/mustard Eloise bow, the two tone Scarlett bow, the snowflake Christmas Fred bow, the satin Ava bow in a wintry grey, the white sparkle Hallie bow & the bonus Christmas themed Mrs Clause number (which I can not wait to get her in for the run up to the festivities at Bea & Me HQ!!!)

Zoe offers so many bespoke options so you can create a bow that works for your preferred colour scheme. I think the little bits of sparkle that can be added take the designs to the next level from “day bows” to pieces that can be worn through the evening. I find that a little extra sparkle goes a long way!

Each bow has its own quirk, be it the loop, additional detail or colour scheme and I loved styling Bea. My personal favourite is the Eloise bow, but that is until I put the Mrs Claus bow on Bea as I am rather partial to character creations and a strong theme- I am “one of those people” who adore’s all things Christmas! It makes my soul sing!

I loved that Zoe provided such a great selection of her work. One of the big draws of her work is the sizing of her bows. They are mostly what I would describe as medium bows BFD4D1C5-D099-4E9D-B632-BE21A8D57CA1(with the exception of the Ava & Hallie) so I think a medium bow tends to look best for every day wear as it is noticeable, you see all the beautiful detail but it is not invasive. They are also easier to wear than oversized bows.

The nylon bands were soft and easy to wear without leaving marks on Bea’s head.

I love everything about Zo’s Bows; from the communication to the passion of the maker, to the colour pallet to the delicate details like “buckles” or glitter.

Bea will be sporting her Crimbo bow with pride next month so look out for that photo, Dear Reader!

Be quick to place your orders as the shop closes for a well earned hibernation from 23rd November until the new year. You can use FIRSTORDER10 on the Etsy store to grab 10% discount.

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Please join Zo on her special Instagram Market Night on the 30th November for the very last chance to grab some bargain stocking fillers for your little ladies. I know I will be there!

Bee Beau Co.

Click here for the Bee Beau Company Website.

“Bow Mail”and smiles come hand in hand; it’s as if a bow makes a lot of bad things seems trivial because, after all, how can you be glum when you have hair pretties in your life?!

In three of the most beautiful boxes I have ever seen, three beautiful sets of bows were presented, each with their own distinctive theme. I was captivated by the beauty as sets and individually; what made them even more impressive as singular entities is that they are fashioned from the best quality wool felt and non shredding glitter material that not only looks super luxurious, but stays put on your LO whilst remaining comfortable (with the softest nylon bands and grosgrain lining to protect little heads.)AE3A9D3D-5881-4CF9-9FD2-6D0669ABDE79

What I most love about the brand is that Renee sources her quality materials from the UK so you can trust that these creations are the best of British manufacturing.

Bea and I were lucky enough to receive three of the Christmas Sets to test: The Sugarplum Fairy Collection, Traditional Tartan and The Northern Lights Collection. They were beautifully packaged in a gift box so they feel very special and like a treat! I placed each box alongside one another and could not decide which collection was my favourite, as each box evoked a different personality from super sweet, to sensible, to edgy.

Interestingly many of the collections are named after little ladies that Renee knows  and her personal favourite is the Ava Signature collection, named after her very own little princess.

29AF24C5-2C52-41B3-A3E6-301A5A4899B8Again, it would seem that Mum’s are turning Business Woman because they find gaping holes in the market and realise that items are missing that they would be happy to put their own children in. Bee Beau Co was established this April (2018) as an answer to offering tasteful hair accessories suitable for fine hair. You can see that there is an emphasis on comfort and a section of the website is dedicated to school bows in the universal primary school shades of red, green, 25DB48A5-76C6-4644-8FE3-3BC62F17BECBnavy and grey. That is the roots of the design; from the simple and traditional to these exciting signature collections which are a steal at just £10.95!

Renee is so easy to deal with and will ensure that your bow requirements are met. Through our conversations it came to light that we are mutual bee lovers! (Yay! #SaveTheBees!)

I have thoroughly enjoyed pairing these bows with outfits and I particularly had a day of compliments when Bea was sporting the Northern Lights glitter bow which changes in every variation of light. Very much like the aurora borealis you witness such beauty in the change from blue, to gold, to green; twinkling in its majestic splendour! I had lots of people asking me what colour it was and I told them it was any colour they preferred on the blue or green spectrum. Honestly my photos do not do it justice sadly! The sparkle is phenomenal.

The headbows are so dainty and are perfect for small heads because the details are not overpowering. I just love the craftsmanship of the felt flowers. They are in beautiful, handmade bloom for eternity.

“My products are made using the best quality materials mounted onto either lined crocodile clips or super soft and stretchy nylon headbands for ultimate ‘stayputability’ (I am claiming this word!)”

jokes Renee.

I can’t wait to pair my December/Christmas outfits with the traditional tartan, navy and fir green bows and the golden, glittered Sugarplum fairy bow will be perfect for festive events (I am a sucker for anything gold and sparkly so this was a double whammy!)

These truly are luxury bows made with attention to detail and love.

Check out the beautiful Instagram feed here & Renee can also be found on Facebook.

This is the first #UnboxingVideo I made, it is certainly a skill that I need to improve if I am going to kill the Blog Game! I am aware it’s got many flaws… I was doing this as best as possible with Bea sat on my lap and a less than impressed cat that wanted feeding at the time of the recording!

 

I am thrilled to have found these two fabulous companies who give above and beyond to their craft, the bow market and capture the dreams of little (and bigger) girls everywhere!

I will always say that everything looks better with a bow. There is just something so quintessentially whimsical that evokes beautiful childhood memories and I hope that Bea looks back at the beautiful photos of her in these bows in fondness. I will treasure these super sparkly and charming moments.

If you were designing a bow for your little lady what qualities would you capture in the design? Do you prefer ribbon, fabric or glitter bows?

#StaySweet

– Bea’s Mummy x

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The bows featured in the review were gifted to Bea and I as part of our review agreement but all opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

“There’s too many Mum Bloggers!”

“There’s too many Mum Bloggers!”

The internet is saturated with Mummy Bloggers. It was indeed daunting starting up my own, Dear Reader; as I sifted through post after post and thought to myself “all the good post titles have surely been taken now!” and pondered as to where I could even fit myself in the mix.

There are so many funny Mummies (who’s antics have my sides splitting at the parenting fails, reasons to drink wine/gin/other alcoholic beverage and refreshing accounts of how hard being a Mummy truly is!), Slummy Mummies, Unicorn Mummies (who are imperfect but bossing Motherhood in their own way), Luxe Mummies (looking perfectly preened, doing yoga, strutting their stuff about the City in only the most premium brands), “Winging it” Mummies (learning the ropes along the way! I guess most of us Mummies adopt this parenting stupid at some point along the way!), Eco Mummies (saving the planet with one reusable nappy at a time & buying in organic and fair trade items), Mum-Trepreneures (running their own businesses from home in between school runs and after bedtime) and Mummies to a Tribe of 4 maybe 5 Wildings!

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Is what I have to say worthy? Will my advice be useful considering I am no expert in the Mum Arena?

Regardless, I took the advice of many of the incredible women’s blogs I had poured over throughout my pregnancy and early moments of Motherhood; judging my ability to Mum against these anecdotes,and jumped in, trusting enough in myself that I could make my own little piece of cyber space work!

Yes there are A LOT of Mum Blogs… but not too many. I think it is only a positive thing because blogs are written by experts in the field and it is encouraging that so many of us “just Mums” feel that we can be so much more than that and have so much pride in the prefix adjectives that describe our style! After all Mum’s make this world go round. We do our best and there are still topics to add our voice to because each experience is unique.

I think it is encouraging that Mummy Bloggers exist to empower other new mums, or even “old hat” mums and doesn’t it mean that our children as a collective are in good hands if more and more mums are writing about their expertise?!!

I think so.

I welcome every new Mummy Blogger.

I am thankful that there is scope to help more and have our voices heard. Not just heard, in fact; but sought out and applied as a means of virtual assistance. Like a warm cyber hug that nurtures the next Mum and reminds her that she is enough and is doing a great job!

Now that’s the kind of positivity and love that we should be spreading. Am I right?!

In a world where there is so much “bad” news, fake news, hatred and attempts to polarise global citizens, I think it’s a welcome breath of fresh air that Mun’s are giving little pieces of themselves to the wider community and bringing a little love and light.

I say… Keep blogging Mamma.

Your experience is valid. Your experience brings comfort on the darker days. Your honesty is refreshing. The love you have to give is a beacon of light.

None of us, yet all of us are pro at this Mothering Thing; an oxymoron yes! But the truth none the less. Blogging starts out for ourselves. A means to vent. To unleash our wildest thoughts. Our passions. But it goes beyond that and you soon find cries of “me too!” It is so important not to feel alienated and to love parenting. Mummy Blogging allows you to do this! If you love it… do it! Simple as!

Yes I am “another Mum Blogger” but if my advice helps just one bleary eyed mum, struggling through a night feed, feeling like she just can’t and one of my friendly reminders empowers her then that is a good thing!

I for one welcome new voices. I love to read, I love to write and I love to Mum! There’s no competition in Motherhood and when we realise this the world will be a better place… so maybe we can start in the virtual world and stand by one another and support each of our messages. We are stronger together and a Mum Collective is what the world didn’t ask for… but certainly needs!

What Mummy Blogs have you been reading? Do you label yourself as a particular ‘type’ of Mum?

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#StaySweet

-Bea’s Mummy x

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Eco Mom! Warrior not Worrier & Review: Lil Cubs.

Eco Mom! Warrior not Worrier &  Review: Lil Cubs.

I think, like the majority of the general population, I was shocked and appalled at our careless, throw-away culture whilst watching Blue Planet II.

Quite rightly it sparked an outcry and awakened the Eco Warriors within, that were latent and waiting to burst forth in battle cries of “No More!”towards producers of this toxic waste.

Following these images of plastic waste, drifting through our oceans and the coverage of albatross chicks being unwittingly fed plastic (this made my stomach turn as a Mummy To Be!) there have been various campaigns to ban the use of plastic straws, bottles and levy a tax on plastic packaging (which could be introduced by law by 2021.)

Because of this increased awareness about use and dump products and their detrimental effects to the world around us “single-use” has become the buzz word of the year in the Collins Dictionary for 2018. This refers to products- often made of plastic – that are made to be used once then thrown away.

“Single-use” has seen a four-fold increase since 2013 which I think highlights our socio political concerns about the environment and I for one welcome this conversation!

Sometimes it is difficult to live in full eco-conscious mode when you have offspring to attend to on the daily and sometimes (unfortunately) convenience is king which means the environment will take a hit. As much as possible I try to live green in the most basic ways (recycling, reusing, upcycling and buying organic as much as possible. I did also consider the use of cloth nappies but I just wasn’t brave enough to take that lifestyle plunge.)

Of course any parent may worry about the state of the world that we hand over to our little people but we can contribute to a happier world by pledging to do one thing that is green. Alone we can not change the world but if we are concerned enough joining together as a green collective will be the way forward.

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Source: Lil Cub’s Website.

One easy and fun way to live more eco-consciously is to add organic products to your little ones wardrobe.

Lil’ Cubs is one such company that formed in 2015 to offer goodies (from muslins, sleepsuits to baby gift boxes) that are full of personality and crafted with the wider world in mind. Organic cotton and jersey materials are used and the fun, graphic prints are created from eco friendly dyes.

Since choosing to shop Organic there is no way I would go back now. I was introduced to the wonderful, wacky world of Lil’ Cubs through one of their stockists Rhubarb The Bird (whom Bea brand reps for.) The first product Bea and I put through its paces was the glorious Clouds & Bolts sleepsuit. The suit features a rather cute rainbow coloured design and as the name suggests clouds and lightning bolts and a nifty little zipper!

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It made me feel better about my environmental & socio economic impact. Last year 220,478 organic farmers produced organic cotton over 18 countries and there was a 10% year-on-year increase from 2016! Lil’ Cubs is a brand that has a sustainability strategy to do their part in reducing global warming, over fertilisation of the soil, water consumption compared to conventional farming.

One of my favourite unique selling points of the brand is that the designs are unisex so can be shared between little boys and girls. I have found that organic products last much longer. Because organic cotton is harvested by hand rather than machine it does not require the chemicals to clean and bleach it so it is more durable upon being turned into textile. I have also personally found that the bodysuit has coped better with washing & drying! So I will be passing these items on to Baby Goddard To Be…

Apparently organic clothes last five times longer than their conventional counterparts and the cotton will not break down until the hundredth wash… I will test this claim out but so far the vibrancy of the suit has not changed!

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Source: Lil Cub’s Website!

We were sent the beautiful “Oranges & Lemons” muslin swaddle. The print is really individual and I love that it is a design that is relevant every season. It is bright! It is “zingy!” As I opened our package it certainly packed a visual punch.

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It is super soft. The cotton is 100% breathable and perfect for Bea’s delicate skin. I couldn’t wait to wrap her up in a beautiful, cotton-soft bundle.

It is 120x120cm so it is large and multi functional. Throughout its test period I have utilised the muslin in a variety of ways. It is great for mopping up spills, napping under a light “blanket” and most recently it has been used as a fun backdrop for an Autumnal themed photo shoot. It looked super cute behind a wicker basket and pumpkins.

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Its a staple tool in my Mum Arsenal. I have always only ever heard positive feedback about the Lil Cubs’ muslins from other Mummy friends and now I join in these voices of praise.

61D8C5F8-063B-4452-8C23-85AF58D7B3E7The pricing is very affordable at just £17.

I have been known to use the muslin as a scarf. I can confirm that the softness is out of this world! I happily share the muslin with Bea who now associates it with “sleepy time”.

Lil Cub’s is a fresh baby product company that has come a long way from just muslins and bibs back in 2015 and I see them growing and becoming a widely recognised organic baby clothing brand.

If you too want to be more Eco Warrior than Worrier I highly recommend Lil Cubs’ as a provider of organic products. Obviously it takes time to change your buying habits and create a fully organic wardrobe, so my tip would be to add capsule pieces (they WILL last) so over time your core wardrobe will shift from regular clothing to organic and it will be #FeelGood both physically and metaphorically.

Check out the colourful Instagram page to see the products in action!

How are you doing your bit for the environment? Do you have plans to adopt greener lifestyle choices?

#StaySweet

– Bea’s Mummy x

 

I was gifted the Oranges & Lemons swaddle muslin as part of my agreement with Tabitha of Lil Cubs. All views are my own.

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