The “Organised Mum” Saga Continues & Review: Grizzli Bear.

The “Organised Mum” Saga Continues & Review: Grizzli Bear.

The depths of a Mother’s bag are a lesser explored world… much like the deep sea or the farest reaches of our galaxy! With great trepidation we reach in to retrieve the required item, the “gold dust” item; all the while navigating crusty wipes, smooshed bananas or worse! It’s is a lucky dip as to what your hand may brush past. Sometimes unlucky! I love it when you find a snack bar or a missing dummy that your LO has been longing for.

I was having one of those “Mum Meltdown” days and the final straw came when I could not get instant access to a nappy after a particularly ferocious PooNami and it was a literal shit storm as poop trickled down Bea’s legs! It’s these “precious” moments that you feel like you fail as a Mother. Bea was crying. I was crying. I wondered if in a parallel universe there was a version of me doing a better job at Mumming with handy, hacks and tools of the trade that could avert disaster.

So I was looking through Instagram and cheerfully came across a business that produces gorgeous bespoke nappy pouches and tote bags. Jenny Baker is a fellow Momma & designer, creative and sewer at Grizzli Bear based in our Capital! She truly makes the daily grind much more colourful. Who doesn’t love an extra rainbow to drag them through their storm?

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The imagery of the rainbow is very central to our ethos and close to our hearts, what with Little Miss Bea shining light into our lives following our difficult 2017. She is our Rainbow Baby and along with the bee emblem, I incorporate the majestic rainbow in as8113DA53-F9A1-4792-BA6B-74283BFB582A many of the items I purchase as possible. I was instantly drawn to the rainbow nappy pouches and loved that I had the option to showcase the Bea & Me identity I am busily attempting to establish in the blogging arena.

The business was established through Insta & Etsy just this year, though Jenny has been sewing much longer and you can truly see this from the quality of the pouch. It is robust and fortified, ready for filling with “Mum Stuff”. There is so much scope for bespoke design and the only limits is the customers imagination.

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Jenny says of her items:

“my favourite piece to create is anything personalised. I love making something that I know someone will love and is just what they want. I found some cute Peter Rabbit fabric for a customer once as their little one’s favourite comforter was a Peter Rabbit and they were so excited!”

It is clear to see that these items are truly handmade with love.

I really enjoyed my conversations with Jenny (who always makes herself available for a friendly chat.) She is very open and honest and has a passion for people and her craft.

“My main motivation for setting up Grizzli Bear was to help new parents. There’s so much stuff that you have to lug around with you when you have a teeny human to look after, and with so many post-birth hormones whizzing around, the last thing you need is an overflowing changing bag to stress you out even more. My pouches try to sort all that extra stuff out so you don’t have to think about it. No more rummaging around for wipes and finding a half-chewed rice cake, a random toy, and no wipes!

I really struggled with postnatal depression and organising all the baby stuff into pouches helped me feel more in control. I want to help other people feel that way too.”

In the crazy introduction to the world of parenting Grizzli Bear offers a beacon of hope and the goodies are “funky” and “modern” adds Jenny. I agree. I loved scrolling through the Instagram feed and thought very apt wording have been 538AAF7E-A34D-4AFD-97F2-6855E0D13F6Bincluded as part of the designs including “You got this Mamma”, “You are the light”,  “Held Fast” (all very positive and empowering affirmations) and she doesn’t forget that dads co parent too with her designs “Daddy’s Turn” and “Dad Bag”. I love that the pouches are so inclusive and unisex.

I would suggest the best way of staying organised with these pouches is to have each one labelled “nappies”, “clean clothes”, “fast food” & “everything else” so there are no unpleasant surprises inside the bag and you can control your outside circumstances as best as possible in the fast paced world of raising little whirlwinds!

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Making Parenting simpler! Grab & go pouches for all the necessities!

Having utilised the pouch for an intense two week “testing period” I have since implemented it as part of my arsenal daily as it is fab for impromptu trips out so that you don’t have to lug around a full Mary Poppins bag. It is also great for day trips. I brought it along as part of our recent trip to the zoo and it was a godsend for finding my wipes easily for sticky, monkey fingers! (No I am not talking about the enclosed animals!)

You literally “Clutch-And-Go” but you can look stylish and appear as if you have your shit together! It’s a refreshing feeling to have the important items to hand because you can feel out of control at the drop of a hat! I love having a slice of Grizzli (Momma) Bear in my life and the style is not sacrificed for ultimate utility.

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Check out Jenny’s goodies at @grizzlibear_gb (Instagram) or at GrizzliBear on Etsy!

Things I have done this week to get organised:

1) I batch cooked and froze Bea’s meals for the coming week. It was the first time using my cute Ikea ice cube trays! It certainly beats whizzing up Bea’s dinners at the same time as trying to cook our dinner.

2) Hoovered the livingroom before heading up to bed. It means I feel confident letting our little Commando roll around the floor in the morning.51CTuZZ5+9L._SL250_

3) Colour coded my diary for the purposes of planning and scheduling my upcoming product reviews and Baby Classes. I used these rather snazzy Post-It Index Flags!

4) Shopped online for upcoming birthdays! This saves so much time in a few clicks rather than wandering around a physical store because I tend to get distracted! It also meant I saved money because I found offers that meant the item I had my beady eye was actually 30% cheaper than I expected. Huzzah! More SMP in my pocket to stock up on all things baby.

5) Bea is a rice pudding Monster and by happy coincidence I found it reduced to clear at Tesco for 66p a jar so I cleared the shelf! Rice Pudding for days!

I feel much more accomplished and it is rather tremendous to celebrate these mini victories when times get darker! I also have my beautifully vibrant nappy pouch by my side.

How have you stayed organised so far this week? What wording would you select for your own nappy pouch?

#StaySweet

– Bea’s Mummy x

 

I was gifted the nappy pouch by Jenny at Grizzli Bear as part of our review agreement, but all opinions are my own!

I am part of the Amazon Affiliate UK scheme so if you purchase products through my links at no additional cost to you I may earn commission on that sale to ensure I can keep producing content that you want to see.

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Mommy Self Care & Review: Willow Organic- Sorbet Glow Range.

Mommy Self Care & Review: Willow Organic- Sorbet Glow Range.

In another life before back to back pregnancy I would “treat” myself to a luxurious bath after stressful days at the office (these tended to increase whilst pregnant with Mylo) and if I felt a little bit extravagant I would light a few tea lights and chuck in a Bomb Cosmetics bath bomb because I couldn’t always afford LUSH ones and would keep them ‘for best’; whatever that means!  (As it is nearly Christmas… yes it is… there is no point in denying it now! Here is a rather jolly festive version of Bomb’s bath goodies. A lovely little gingerbread fellow!)

I think this perfectly illustrates the woman I was, Dear Reader. I have never been someone that has looked after myself as number one and I think this must have taken an emotional toll on me at the very least. Post childloss I have stopped (or are trying to daily) giving a heck about peripheral people and focus on being the best Mummy I can be to Bea. Afterall, how can you pour from a cup that is itself empty? It’s most pivotal that I am not an empty vessel, and these days I give sparingly to those people who come out of the woodwork when they want something!

But often as a Mum, and I am sure all the #MumArmy will attest to this: I forget about myself still. It’s all very well that works of Self Help or magazine ‘psychologists’ advise to act with intent and put yourself first, but like the most adept chess players in the world; a Mum has to attempt to plan at least 8 moves ahead of the child and account for a million scenarios that could play out, so with all the best will in the world it is not really an option to enforce structure. You just have to find those delicious pockets that pop up in the day where you’re can enjoy a hot cup of tea, read a chapter in the “new” book you started skimming 2 months ago or blow dry your hair. (I am sure it gets easier… I have seen light at the end of the tunnel when I see the updates of Mummies who are Parenting 3/4 year olds… but I do not want to wish away my NOW with Bea, so instead I will look a hot mess and take a hit on the consumption of anything hot and wear mushed carrots as a badge of honour!)

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Mums tend to operate in a world of Damned-if-we-do-Damned-if-we-don’t and I think we foster the wrong sort of connection to ourselves. That pesky “Mum Guilt” which is damaging and as much as comparison; a thief of our potential happiness. But where do we even start if we are absent from our own To-Do lists? We have 500 things to do a day, probably don’t get through half of it, promise ourselves we will try again tomorrow. But crucially, we neglect Self Care and I personally believe this is the key to a better balance of commitment to Motherhood and Selfhood.

I have found Motherhood has offered an opportunity for me to enjoy my writing again (hence this blog that I somehow manage to dedicate a few hours a week to!) so I have found joy in my hobby and being able to connect (if only through a phone or computer screen) with other women. I have certainly found myself evolving in taking up the mantel of Mumma Bear and my intentions have certainly taken  a change of direction. I feel lucky to be a person who was happy to throw myself into a career pre children but now it is Motherhood that sets my soul on fire. And that, is “enough” for me. If I could just sort this #MomBod I would feel a lot better in myself too. Our inner most passions keep us joyful and fully alive. I am not one of these mums that will ever say that “I lost my identity when I had a child” because for me personally, becoming a Mum made me! I wouldn’t even swap the Poonami’s, teething woes, sleep deprivation and feeling like a Mombie most days for a pair of sky high heels & nights out.

Hello Mombie! *waves*

One thing I have “gifted” myself though is the time for a skincare routine in the morning and evening. This is a ritual that marks the start and end of my pretty full on days. Its terrible to admit, but I wasn’t even moisturising this nearly 30 year old skin until a few months ago. So I was excited to try out Willow Organic’s new range of face goodies called Sorbet Glow. If you are just salivating at the name just wait until your senses are involved- the products are aesthetically pleasing, sound great when squirted from their reciprocals, smell incredible, feel sumptuous on the skin… but please don’t eat them!

The range harnesses the power of the natural world in the delicious and perfect combination of fruits, botanicals and other powerful ingredients such as Gatuline®Expression that sets the brand apart.

-This small plant, which blossoms all year long, has a broad geographical footprint, covering the whole tropical zone in South America, Africa and Asia.
Originating from Peru and Brazil, Acmella oleracea is a cultivated non-endangered species, known and used for a very long time in Madagascar and La Réunion.

The extract has scientifically proven myorelaxing properties. However, these myorelaxing properties are totally reversible in 24hours making it perfectly safe. 

In vitro & In vivo tests have medically proven that the use of Gatuline® Expression reduces the appearance of crows feet within 24hrs – 83% of participants agreed.

Source: Botanical Glossary.

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The collection consists of:

Daily Cleansing Wash, Radiance Day Cream, Cell Renewing Cleansing Mask, Vitamin Facial Oil, Super Firming eye Treatment, Nightly Rejuvenation Balm and a Vitamin Lip Oil.

All of which this exhausted Mummy got her paws on to see if these products could become my Go-To skincare saviour. The brand boasts certification of true Organic status by both Cosmos and The Soil Association. This means that the products are not just organic content (some brands represent themselves as organic and it is very misleading as their products may only contain 5% organic matter for example!) Terminology does not often reflect the true nature of the product. I don’t know about you but I would rather not be using a product that is labelled as “95% natural” when it contains methylisothiazolinone, a preservative which is also found in window and floor cleaners and air fresheners *cough* Nivea *cough*! That is just fooling the consumer so the advice that I have gleaned from this is to spend out a little more on the certified products if you want the fully organic experience.

Obviously if you just want an affordable product (I totally get it because that’s how I used to shop!) then you are sacrificing the quality of the goods. Willow Organic is certified having gone through its rigorous review by The Soil Association (one of the UK’s most reputable certified bodies) which has meant every ingredient contained is tested to confirm they are Non-GM and have never been subjected to chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or any other artificial processing. All farms from which the ingredients are produced must have been cleared of any chemical fertilizers and pesticides for a minimum of 3 years!

As if this wasn’t a stringent enough requirement, in addition to this factor each product must satisfy a minimum content of 70% organic and Willow Organic have delivered products that meet then exceed this expectation with each product being 75% organic at least!

Scientist I am not, but to me that sounds like a high level of care for the body to me and when you are slathering products in to your skin (the bodies largest organ) you may not be benefiting your body. Skincare products inevitably end up being filtered by our liver so it will pay to be mindful of what we are essentially putting INTO our bodies. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists warned pregnant women from using unnecessary amounts of products with chemicals in on their skin, saying the effects on unborn babies is not yet know but there could be detrimental effects.

“The ingredients for our entire range have been carefully selected to provide effective, hard working skin care for you. We do not test on animals, we do not use parabens, microbeads, sodium laurel sulphates, palm oil or any mineral oils in our products.”

source: Willow Organic website.

Another plus is that all of the beautiful packaging is 100% recyclable (but with my slight Hoarder Mentality I am struggling to part with the beautiful boxes!) This Brand truly has thought about every aspect including their philosophy, sustainability, ethical compatibility and look. It is luxurious yet soulful. It is organic but hardworking. It is not the cheapest on the market for sure but I would be happy to splurge on my favourites of the range because the brand will not compromise its values and that has got to count for something in this world of business that is just chasing another fast transaction but not necessarily ensuring the future of their customer. Willow’s approach is refreshing and my skin has certainly felt the benefits of this glorious. Sorbet rainbow. I mean, just look how fabulous they look all lined up in their full glory!

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So let’s get into it!

These seem like bold statements that I have made above, but the superior quality speaks for itself. When my Mother came to visit me she mentioned my “healthy glow” and thought I had been on a cocktail of vitamins! Being a busy mum, I rarely have time to apply a full face of makeup any more but I have confidently ditched the foundation and concealer (opting just for a light swoop of bronzer) because my skin has been noticeably fuller & more a-glow-glow which has allowed me to shine through the day with very little upkeep and maintenance. I feel confident in my skin (literally) which is one battle won. As Mothers we are very aware of which battles to pick and you can feel like you have one aspect of your life under control so you can just throw your hair up into a Mum Bun and go!

Below I will directly pull from the website the description of the product then a few word review, verdict and star rating for each product used.


Daily Cleansing Wash-

(With Gatuline Expression® & Acai oil.) 72CE53A5-99A4-46E8-90CC-F74851249A7D

“From the new Sorbet Glow range, a gentle yet effective daily cleansing wash which will cleanse and gently exfoliate your skin.

It contains Acai oil and Chamomile oil which have calming and anti-bacterial properties. Finely ground bamboo makes a wonderful natural exfoliant, is rich in skin-protective anti-oxidants and anti-irritants to protect as it exfoliates. Bamboo also has astringent qualities which help to clear oily or blemished skin. Acai is rich in vitamins to leave skin glowing.”

I personally love this product and do see myself investing in this as part of my future skin care regime. It was easy to absorb into my skin and I could feel the difference instantly. About three days in I noticed a change in the properties of my skin. I can tend towards a pinker hue and get rather ‘attractive’ blotches at times (curse this sensitive/combination skin *shakes fist*!) but this was slightly remedied by the daily use.

I coupled this cleanser with my Simple toner and Olay moisturiser. It was easy to slot into the routine and I got used to adding the extra steps of the addition of the eye cream and facial oil. This was a new concept to me. Who knew the daily skincare regime had so many steps to complete?! Well I certainly didn’t but my skin has since thanked me!

I didn’t find the smell to be overpowering but it was certainly fresh. The consistency was full yet easy to absorb and I liked the feel of it on both my hands and face. (Sometimes I can be a bit funny about products being unnecessarily sticky which could be one of the reasons I have previously avoided a full skincare routine!)

As previously mentioned, Willow truly consider their customer and the cleanser comes with a beautiful organic Muslin cloth which just adds to the full experience. I am a sucker for “pretty things” and if there are little extras that company has my heart and loyalty! Freebies go a long way, so this was a nice additional touch.

Verdict– My skin feels great. The pores are well and truly unclogged. There was no residue left on my skin and it was quite happily rinsed with lukewarm water. As an aside: I also used this cleanser to give my makeup brushes a good clean as I had not taken the time to do so since Bea’s arrival (yes I know that is skanky but it’s just something that is not at the forefront of your mind whilst Daily Mumming!)

Rating– 9/10. Does what is claims! No fuss. Easy to adopt as part of daily routine.

 

 

 

Radiance Day Cream-

(B50F5D9D-392F-42F6-9F86-6784462107E7With Gatuline Expression® and Pomegranate.)

“Age-preventative hydrating day cream from the Sorbet Glow range, with soothing Shea Butter and collagen rich Pomegranate which helps smooth and firm your skin by promoting collagen and elastin production. Pomegranate has also been proven to help prevent hyperpigmentation through its natural compounds which protect against free radicals and environmental damage. Pomegrante helps oily skin combat breakouts, can reduce scarring and soothe minor irritations.

The Radiance Day Cream also contains Cranberry seed oil which helps improve the skin’s elasticity and encourages cell regeneration.”

This little beauty smells divine. It is thick and luxurious in texture. I didn’t use this every day but I loved how it made my skin feel afterwards.DE797962-C43A-4726-9940-E0443E5C620B

Verdict– I am unsure as to whether it was this product that stopped my skin getting oily particularly on my T-Zone as I was using all the products at one time, but I have noticed that my skin seems more normal by description and there have been zero breakouts over my 2 week intensive testing period.

Rating– 7/10 – smells dreamy but I wouldn’t necessarily use it every day personally so the value is not in it for me. I would use the daily cleanser over this.

 

 

Cell Renewing Cleansing Mask-

(with Gatuline Expression®  & Coconut extract.)
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“This dual action mask from the Sorbet Glow range is designed to cleanse the skin whilst providing deep nourishment, removing impurities and brightening your complexion.

Coconut oil extract is valued for its hydrating properties; it is highly absorbent and nourishing, enabling moisture to get into the layers of dermis fast. With anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial qualities, it is effective in the fight against a number of bacterial infections, soothing inflammation, fighting acne and pilliates red dry skin which can cause acne.

Coconut extract also gently helps to remove the surface layer of dead skin cells, making the skin smoother and helps prevent premature aging.”

I think we are all aware by now of the amazing benefits of coconut oil… Bad Skin Day: Rub in coconut oil… Bad Hair Day: wash it in coconut oil… Bad Husband Day: Wipe coconut oil all over him…!! But in all seriousness coconut oil is the Don of all things body care.

Verdict– I have gone #CocoLoco for this mask and it was one of the products I would use on a more regular basis. Everything about it is great. It came out in a very satisfying blob.

I do think my skin has a more youthful glow after using these products and seems to have tightened under my double chin! I feel that incorporating these products into a daily skincare routine really will improve the appearance of your skin even to the level of not ever having to consider cosmetic surgery such as Botox.

Rating- 9/10 – just delicious in use and results!

 

Super Firming Eye Treatment-

(With Gatuline Expression® and Cacay Oil.)

6BF3F38F-83B4-44E6-A532-B25588AFC1EB“Sorbet Glow eye treatment gel, formulated with a combination of Evening Primrose oil and Cacay Oil to soothe the eye area whilst targeting fine lines and wrinkles.

Amma-linolenic acid (GLA) which is found in Evening Primrose oil is known to have a multitude of skin benefits including smoothing wrinkles, whilst Cacay oil (sustainably sourced) is one of the Amazon’s best-kept secrets with high percentages of naturally occurring Vitamin E and Retinol making it a perfect moisturiser and age-prevetative treatment. Reducing wrinkles and replenishing depleted skin cells.”

This is the winning product for me personally. Never do you feel more permanently exhausted than when you are full time Mumming. I NEVER used to get bags under my eyes and heck I feel like I have ages substantially especially around my eyes so I was super excited to use a product that contains miracle ingredients!

Verdict- Even the gel itself glows like gold. It is a very pleasant consistency and is easily applied to the eye area. I always worry about my sensitive skin but it was as though the gel was made for me personally. No nasty side effects like other treatments I have used on the past.

I did see results in just two days of application (I wish I had captured a before and after shot but I have wanted to hide from the camera rather than point out all my flaws!) but trust me when I say that these are the most obvious results, so if you buy just one item from the Sorbet Range go with this pocket pocket. Only downside: 30ml is not enough!!!

Rating- 10/10- Dream product for looking bright eyed and bushy tailed. My star buy of the bunch. Real results and fast!!!

 

 

 

Vitamin Facial Oil-

(With Gatuline Expression® and Rosehip.)

“From the new Sorbet Glow range, a potent Facial Oil loaded with vitamins A, E, C & F. Formulated to hydrate, protect and nourish.151F6A69-2AA7-4DC0-88E0-5DBF93F482C8

With healing Rosehip and super-hydrating Jojoba. Rosehip naturally contains Retinol, Omega 3, Omega 6 plus anti-oxidants and essential fatty acids which has be known to help to correct dark spot pigmentation and hydrate dry skin, leaving it soft and smooth to touch.

Vitamin C is an incredible multi-beneficial ingredient that works to build collagen and even skin tone.”

Verdict– This is not my favourites of the range and I could have quite happily left this out if my skincare routine. I don’t think I was particularly keen on the Rosehip/jojoba combo. Maybe it was too aggressive for me. But something did not click with this product. That’s not to say it didn’t boast results as with the other products but I did not personally enjoy using this. I think it did help even my skin tone, but not sure if this was due to the combination of products I was using.

Rating- 6/10 – to be used for results not the pleasure of using it. It just seemed an unnecessary step between cleansing and moisturising! In my personal opinion I would not spend the money on that- I would double up on the firming eye treatment!

 

Nightly Rejuvunation Balm-

(With Gatuline Expression® and Acai Berry oil.)

“An age-preventative rich and creamy rejuvenating night balm from the Sorbet Glow range, formulated with vitamin rich Acai oil to deeply hydrate, and Gatuline Expression to plump out fine lines while you sleep.C500CDF4-D159-4AD3-B94A-F30D9DF257FF

Açai oil, a powerful emollient which is easily absorbed and effectively relieves dry, cracked skin. Acai berry oil also contains concentrated, nutritious fatty acids, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and is full of anti-oxidants.

The Nighly Balm also contains Cranberry Seed oil which helps to improve skin’s elasticity and encourages regeneration, and Rhododendron Flower extract to soothe inflammation.”

As previously mentioned, I didn’t have any routine when it came to skincare, or even really “Me Time” (which was thrown out the window in full force when Bea decided to make her surprise appearance seven weeks early!) so it was quite the novelty having a specific product for night time! I really enjoyed my ritual face massage I gave myself each evening (the only kind of massage I have received  of late) – Top Tip: smooth circular motions to be employed when using these products rather than any scrubbing kind of motion. The trick is to be soft.

Verdict- I am going to be honest now #RealTalk: I used to think that night creams were just a way for cosmetic companies to squeeze more money out of our pockets. I thought it was just down to marketing but this night balm has been a godsend to my skin in this colder weather! This balm was a beautiful texture (much thicker than its day time counterparts!) and it left me waking up with a dewy glow every morning.

Rating- 9/10 – a must buy if you are hoping to boost your blood circulation and wake up looking and feeling fresh!

 

 

Vitamin Lip Oil-2D7C3AFB-F518-418E-A959-969F6906373C

(With Gatuline Expression and Mango Butter.)

“An amazingly soothing, vitamin rich lip oil with Vitamin E, extracts of Raspberry to provide natural UV filter, Mango Butter which is rich in anti-oxidants, Vitamin A to moisturise without being greasy, and Vitamin C to encourage collagen production for beautifully hydrated and gorgeous lips.

Blended with Orange, Chamomile and Jasmine oils.”

I think this was the nicest smelling products but I am biased towards the exotic breakfast fruit, which also makes a nice sorbet ingredient too. I guess this is why it is included as part of this beautifully, fruity range.

Verdict- I didn’t mind the oil consistency of this product as it was less greasy feeling than the vitamin  facial oil (maybe as it is spread on a smaller area.) It certainly made my lips feel kissable and well plumped. It was very hard not to lick my lips.

Rating- 7/10 – Fruity fun and soft lips followed. Perfect for smooching my baby girl!

 

 

Overall the range is of a high quality and I felt the difference in the organic content. There is something to be said for organic products (I hope it doesn’t turn me into an Organic Products Snob now but in all honesty I would now opt for these kinds of products and will keep Willow Organics daily cleansing wash and super firming eye treatment in my Self Care routine.)  The claims made are substantiated. I noticed results in just 2-3 applications of most of the products. As I mentioned previously, I can not confirm if each product did exactly what it said on the tin so to speak because I used them in combination and didn’t isolated each product for a period of time. Regardless, my skin has bounced back after some seriously tough months (4 month sleep regression was a killer) and I personally think I look much more alert again and not as though I have been exhausted since 2010- those bags were not designer…

I wouldn’t say the range is necessarily affordable, but for the results you get it is not expensive either; but I would certainly have to save up a little to buy the products that I would want to use in conjunction with one another. I would personally say that for my personal useage the vitamin facial oil wasn’t worth the possible expense of it. Obviously it was not out of my pocket because the lovely folks at Willow Organic gifted me the full set as part of an Instagram competition win.

The whole set is valued at £270 which is much less expensive than Botox injections at between £150-£300 a pop! These require top ups and the full effects may not be noticeable for 2 weeks whereas my results from the Sorbet Range were noticeable from Day 3! I still have a good amount of the products left so will continue my routine as best as possible. I had lots of fun using these products and learned a lot about skincare along the way so now I feel like I could justify why Organic products are best for us!

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Check out Willow Organics social media pages:

INSTAGRAM: @willoworganic
FACEBOOK: @willowbeautyproducts
TWITTER: @willoworganic

One of their tag lines is “Feel skin confident at any age with Willow” and I truly got the boost I needed! Before writing about these gorgeous products I never realised September was International Organic Month. Willow Organic write a comprehensive blog about all things organic! Here is a handy little guide to the fruity & botanical ingredients used in the Sorbet Range.

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Please excuse the poor quality pic that my phone took of the Willow Organic pamphlet!

 

Here are some more lovely Willow Organic beauty products you may also enjoy:

willow organics
Radiant Energy Body Balm – £32
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Radiant Energy Collection – £24

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is difficult to put yourself back at the centre if your world when your baby becomes the whole of it but I think it is a powerful message to illustrate to your child that self care is very important and should be practiced to ensure a happy and healthy balanced lifestyle. For example; you wouldn’t allow your child to miss a healthcare appointment so why should we let our health fall by the wayside. I personally want to be the best version of myself to be the best Mummy I can be so the bottom line is that we should schedule in those annual appointments, cervical screenings, flu shots, mammograms, sight tests and dental checkups.

As Parents (and particularly Momma Bears) we are always on the go, but we shouldn’t be burning ourselves out. Yes raising a tiny human being is exhausted but it shouldn’t be what defines us. We need to stay positive and invigorated. I love this piece at Motherly   that reminds us that small acts can keep us a little bit more sane. If the mood strikes you here are a few self care “presents” you could treat yourself to.

  1. Book of Minfulness.
  2. Facemask.
  3. Scented Candle.
  4. De-stress Tea.
  5. Snuggly thick knit blanket!
  6. Exercise Mat. (No I would never use that one either!!!)
  7. Adult Colouring Book.

How do you ensure that you also remain a priority in your life? What’s your self care tip? Do you have a skincare routine and do you buy Organic?

#StaySweet

– Bea’s Mummy x

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I am part of the Amazon Affiliate UK scheme whereby I may earn commission on any of the above links you may use to buy a product, at no extra cost to you. This will allow me to keep my blog relevant and have access to the products you may want to see a review for.

I won the Willow Organic Sorbet Range as part of an Instagram competition when the range launched.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Baby In the Mirror: A Reflection on Loss.

The Baby In the Mirror: A Reflection on Loss.

Nothing brings me more joy in this world than watching our little Bea explore it; curiously and fiercely. I love how unburdened she is. A tiny package of innocence and pure love. It makes my heart swell, then it drops… when I think about the other little person that could have been in our lives. I always say could now rather than should…because I could not imagine my life without our beautiful Bea and if Mylo were here then she would not be. In a perfect world I would have BOTH our children. But the world is not perfect. However, my life with Bea is.

We now hold her up to the mirror and she is fascinated by the face that stares back quizzically at her! She loves to “kiss the mirror baby”. Slobbery mouth touching the glass, she coos and looks back at us to make sure that we are finding her utterly hilarious (which we always do!) as we chorus “awww do you love mirror baby?”And Bea throws her head back in laughter and delight.

Then I get to overthinking and the imagery of a “Mirror Baby” ties an awful knot in the very pit of my stomach and my heart breaks for the baby boy that is not in my arms today, a one year old bouncing boy who also loves to laugh a his funny little sister.

I wonder if Bea is the image of her big brother. She has been the baby that has lived all the milestones so far that Mylo never did. From their scan pictures alone, I assume Bea is Mylo’s little feminine double. At my 12 week scan it surprised me just how much Bea looked like her big brother.

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This post comes at the beginning of a difficult couple of months for our little family as the 1st birthday’s of Bea’s cousins approach. This year I asked for birthday cards for Mylo and it stung when only 6 turned up. This year there will be the obligatory birthday announcements and messages for the cousins who were born after Mylo and these first birthdays (quite rightly) will be celebrated. But we could have been celebrating three first birthdays in a row- October through to December. Instead I will watch the other two babies become a year older as our little boy remains ageless.

It’s almost as if there are two other Mirror Babies of Mylo that I watch, full of utter adoration yet sadness that Mylo was not in the 2017 1st Christmas photos of the other two dressed as elves, and not in a 1st birthday photo with his cousins. I completely adore my niece and nephew to bits and watching them both grow offered me comfort and a sense of healing as we came to terms with the loss of our little boy.

In one sense though, it was particularly hard as I had spent lots of time with my sister in law as our bellies grew and we talked about how our babies would grow up together. But the reality is they will not. My body gave Mylo up to the world in  June 2017 and my sister in law kept cooking her little lady away until December. I am sure she felt guilty that she continued with her pregnancy in relative ease. But I have never felt bitter.

A lot of Parents Of Loss have admitted that they feel negative emotions towards others who are pregnant/have had their baby, and that is a perfectly valid emotion to experience whilst navigating the journey of Baby Loss; but I never let myself project feelings of hurt, jealousy or anger on to other families. Babies are a blessing and as such every successful pregnancy should be celebrated. I knew our time was to come, so as hard as it was I would enjoy other people’s joy. It brought me comfort.

The joy comes from seeing life flourish and seeing a little of what Mylo could have become (especially watching his cousin Fred whom I imagine he would have caused great havoc with!) Being able to enjoy (for better lack of a word) the life of another baby is not a betrayal to the memory of your lost child. I learn this every day as Bea becomes her own little person and we tick off her list of firsts.

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No, I will never stop thinking that Mylo not being here is astronomically unfair. It will always hurt a little when I see his cousins do all the things he will never get to do… but then I have the utter joy of living these things with our little Bea and that means the world to me.

The imagery of a mirror is beautifully poetic and apt. I see Mylo reflected in our little Bea but she’s sees herself staring back and she will know herself as Bea; not just Mylo’s little sister because she is loved irrespective of the circumstances of her conception (as a Rainbow Baby.)

Mylo will always be a part of all our lives but I want more than anything for Bea to know that she is our entire world. There is no Magical Mirror realm where we can pull Mylo back into being but he will be reflected in my heart and thoughts for a lifetime, whilst we move forward (but never forget) as Bea becomes the little person she is.

#StaySweet

– Bea’s Mummy x

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Winter is Coming! But you don’t have to be S.A.D about it (Lumie Review & Giveaway.)

Winter is Coming! But you don’t have to be S.A.D about it (Lumie Review & Giveaway.)

It’s swiftly heading towards “that time of year” again… I must admit that despite my  ability to spring up and at em in the morning for the majority of the year, I find Winter Mornings more testing and there could be good reason for that!

I don’t think I exaggerate when I say that most of us (to some degree at least) suffer with typical Winter Depressive symptoms of fatigue, hypersomnia, lowered levels of motivation and sociability, and an increase in irritability (Winter= “I am not a morning person!”) and eating for a small army! I readily accept some causal link between my declining mood and the change in season. I am forever saying things like “The weather/cold is really affecting me!” or “I am struggling to do anything because of the Winter Days”.

Obviously, as with most syndromes or “illnesses” there is a continuum of severity which can range from a little lethargy (the most common side effect of SAD) to functional disability. Luckily if you are on the lesser end of the spectrum a few well placed Self Help Books may be all you need to negotiate the Winter Months more cheerfully and energetically!1DA76715-968D-4D6A-85D8-99E7F2F09A40

I recently started reading around the premise of HYGGE (there must be a reason our Scandi European cousins consistently stand out in studies as an overall happier nation!) The Danish people spend a lot of time in the Winter Season so really embrace an active solution to their potential Winter “blues” by fully embracing this ethos (which is not directly translatable into an English word but is more about capturing a feeling of ‘cosiness’ and embracing the colder months!) Just type Hygge into Pinterest and you will be bombarded with boards of glorious roaring fires, cosy toes in thick knitted socks, huge drinking receptacles filled with warming goodness from tea, to hot chocolate to a cheeky tipple and living rooms lit with candles! This is the most basic level and in my opinion a very inviting premise to explore further.

Really it’s great success comes in the positive mindset to find that warmth and intimacy in every day life when it becomes more difficult to remember in the Winter months. Worldwide there is clearly a need to embrace this pro activity  towards finding a passion for all things Winter because 4-6% of people experience clinical depression related to Winter and a further 10-20% may additionally experience mild symptoms of SAD over the Winter Months. So this is a very real problem.

In this post I have included a few ideas on how best to manage your potential symptoms of SAD from easy home hygge to the introduction of Light Therapy in the form of the Lumie Zest that I have been testing out over the last few weeks. As always the opinions in the review section are my own and I have not been compensated by Lumie.

(This post is not officially sponsored by Lumie but I will be including affiliate links whereby I will gain commission on any purchases made from my links on this post.

This post also includes a Giveaway hosted by Bea and Me [see full terms and conditions at end of post.] )

The charming thing is that Hygge can take any form and there is no set template so it is really about opening yourself up to an inner creative process. So launch yourself into a E274C10A-CFEE-49EE-8A7D-048F7589627Dnew way of being which will not only see you through the Winter Months but also benefit further aspects of your life. I took the following lessons from “The Little Book of Hygge” that one of my lovely Mummy friends passed on to me last year when my work had started getting me down in the dumps!

I have distilled my own version of Hygge into the below points but by no means is this an exhaustive list. There are so many options to Live Hygge so start living your best life.

 

1) Get Mindful!

A great starting point is to be in the present and put a little distance between yourself and the world of social media. Hygge doesn’t ban electronic devices but it certainly shows that it is worth putting your phone down to foster genuine connections with people and your true self again.

The calm acceptance of your own thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations moment by moment is a way to improve your overall mental wellbeing & this can certainly be applied to Winter. We can accept that Winter has arrived and look at ways to enjoy it, rather than count down to Spring!

2) Get Soft!

Who isn’t partial to a good snuggle?! Personally I am a very tactile person and Hygge is very much not just about an aesthetic but how things FEEL. So in my home I have selected fabrics and interior furnishings that are cosy, homely and soft to the touch. It has been about almost creating a womb-like experience of warmth and comfort, so throws, blankets & rugs are a must. I guess it is about transforming your space into your own little nook of goodness!

3) Slow Down!

Alongside the mindfulness component a big part of Hygge is to eat cosy! Love your kitchen and find the joy in waiting for your food. The longer something takes to cook the more Hygge it is but it’s also about simplicity so no need to worry about julienating veggies & complex glazes… it could be as simple as a nice, warming soup. Slowing down to eat and drink and perform processes such as searing foods allows you to appreciate food not just because it sustains your energy, but because it makes you feel whole.

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4) Do Good!

There is undoubtedly a link between your levels of happiness and helping others. It’s worth getting out there and spending time on social initiatives that increase the feeling of “togetherness”. An isolationist mindset that Winter can bring is damaging to our mental health. So try to increase your human interaction (no matter how difficult it starts to get!) What better way to remember the true goodness of humanity than being part of groups of people that have a passion for people and changing someone’s day for the better?!

5) Put the Kettle On!

We Brit’s are no strangers to a good cup of tea solving (most of) life’s problems! 85% of Danes equate Hygge to enjoying a hot drink of some description (Meik Wiking found this is his research for his book “The Little Book of Hygge”.) It is such a simple way to evoke a happy and cosy feeling. I love adding seasonal flavours to my drinks as I associate certain flavours with winter.

6) Light Up The Room!

I am personally obsessed with Yankee Candles and love nothing more than treating myself to a new scent each season. I particularly love the winter varieties. Currently we are burning a rather delicious limited addition candle called “Frosty Gingerbread” and it fills up the room with such a beautiful aroma like Christmas baking!!

The Danes purchase more candles collectively than any other European Country and are a key component in any Hygge Nook! What’s great about Hygge is that the expensive scented varieties are not essential as all flames are equal! “Hygge is about enjoying the simple pleasures in life and can be achieved on a shoestring budget.” So buy bulk of cheap little tealights because a little candlelight enhances any space!

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7) Get Outside!

Its difficult to pry yourself out of your sofa fort in the winter, I get it! There is certainly an Amber Shaped crevice in my sofa around this time of year and it makes me feel bad because I know I am missing out on this he majesty of nature. It is rude not to get out and about living in stunning Devon as we are sandwiched between moorland & coast so opportunities aplenty to explore incredible scenery.

Even mustering one purposeful walk a day means you can practice your mindfulness daily so grab some comfy boots and go experience the outside world. You can really live the value of moment-by-moment then afterwards treat yourself to a fat, warming hot chocolate & slice of cake because, Dear Reader… What’s more Hygge than that?!

Happiness is about simplicity and in a world that is always on the go, with consumerism, technology, capitalism and the next fad we are often exhausting ourselves trying to keep up and live a life that is not our own; often just a set of tick boxes. Our achievements and dreams are not our own. We are told what to strive for… no wonder we are often miserable. We are moving too fast, not cocooning ourselves both physically and metaphorically in enough softness and barely giving ourselves enough time to connect to the world on a truly meaningful level!

I wanted to Think Myself Happy this Winter. I have found that it certainly helps being on maternity leave. I returned to work just last week to complete a Kit Day (Keeping In Touch) and I completed my decreased hours that I agreed before Maternity Leave and it left me frazzled. I tried to maintain my breathing techniques that I have implemented since being at home, but I couldn’t help but feel like I was drowning in other peoples problems… yes I guess that is what you should expect from working in customer care, but all I could think about was being with my Little Bea; crunching through leaves, getting read noses and then having big cuddles under our fluffy blanket!

I think getting up for work would have been EVEN harder had I not started training myself into a morning wake up routine with my Lumie Zest for the week before heading back to the grind.

Science has proven that just 30 minutes a day exposed to natural light (with at least 2000 lux – a measure of it’s brightness) can be enough to stimulate feel good hormone and keep your body cycle in check!

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The Lumie Zest is a dedicated “SAD Lamp” and is a certified medical device. Lumie have been pioneers in the light therapy arena and it’s not hard to see why as the Zest practically punches you in the face with light in the morning. Other reviews had warned of this so I was ready to face the glow… by having the Zest positioned on my bedroom floor rather than on my bedside table! Even from below; the 2000 Lux of light is a very effective wake up call (most other SAD lights output is only between 100 & 300 Lux) so the Zest truly is the Don of lamps! It pushes out 10 times as much light as most other SAD Lamps on the market so I found that I was feeling refreshed as I woke up to the lamp each morning!

I was skeptical before I set the Zest up to sort out my rather broken body clock. The  Zest is simple to set up and it doesn’t have some of the features other lamps now have such as radio or nature sounds, but as a purist that really doesn’t matter to me. I like simple designs with proven results so the Zest perfectly complimented my lifestyle and personality.

So what’s the scientific bit?

The Lumie Zest can be utilised as a 2-in-1 device: SAD Lamp & Waking Up Lamp.

The brightening light brings you more gently out of sleep, prompting your body to reduce the production of sleep hormones such as melatonin, while increasing the levels of hormones like cortisol that help you get up and go.

This provides a fantastic start to the day for sufferers of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and the winter blues, and helps anyone who is not naturally a morning person to feel brighter and more energetic first thing.

It’s not just a nicer way to wake up. Waking to natural light every day resets your sleep/wake cycle and has been shown to boost your mood, productivity and energy levels throughout the day. Our physiological body clocks are aligned by sunrise and sunset.

As most of us experience a mix of early starts, late nights, weekend lie-ins and sometimes travel disruption, our internal sleep rhythms are thrown into disarray. We feel tired and stressed trying to wake up for work, school or sports training.

A dawn simulator device re-sets your body clock to run in time with your day, helping you feel more awake during the day and more ready for sleep at night.

Source: Lumie Website.

Would I recommend the Zest?

Compact, easy to use, no fuss and fast results. I found by Day 4 my body was back into a useful rhythm and my sleep was better. I did accompany the use of the Zest with other techniques that promote better sleep such as unplugging from the digital world an hour before my bedtime and I used Feather & Down Pillow Spray. Clearly the combination worked for me as I was consistently getting 7/8 hours of sleep (only being woken by Bea) but my mornings did in fact feel a lot easier to combat and my feelings of dread were noticeably low level (I wouldn’t say that the morning struggle has fully been rectified) but exposing myself to more light has had noticeable benefits. No SAD symptoms currently so I will continue using the Zest for a brighter future (literally!)B1F7F19B-2920-486F-B733-E69BA90BFC6B (1)

Due to the obvious positive changes to my sleeping/waking/wellness experience I have also purchased a Lumie Bug for Bea for when she makes it into her own room in the next few weeks. I can only assume that as she still shares the room with us she has also benefited from the use of my Zest as she has been sleeping better through the night again! I will be reviewing the rather adorable bug when Bea is in her nursery. (Wish us luck for that change!!!)

Now having experienced happier mornings I would love to spread love and light by running a competition to win a Lumie Vitamin L light (worth £90) It is slim & about the size of a tablet so it is easy to transport from room to room or between home and the office. It can be positioned both landscape or portrait. It is proven to treat symptoms of SAD.

Enter below to win (competition running until 20th November & winner will be contacted within 48 hours directly and posted on site thereafter.) Here are the full terms and conditions.

 

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CLICK HERE TO HEAD TO MY RAFFLECOPTER COMP PAGE!

 

How will you be fighting symptoms of SAD this winter? What’s your favourite Hygge tip?

#StaySweet

– Bea’s Mummy x

 

 

 

I am part of the Amazon Affiliate UK programme and may gain small commission on any purchases made via my links at no extra cost to you.

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So how much sleep does your baby actually need?… You may be surprised…!!!

So how much sleep does your baby actually need?… You may be surprised…!!!

We have just made it through that 4 month Sleep Regression stage; battered and bruised… but we fought through it together (I think I may have cried more than Bea for those 5 weeks! Man it was hard! And Sleep Regression IS real!) We have come out the other side and I believe that Bea now has a much keener appreciation again for day naps (she had been keeping herself awake by all kind of means included but not limited to what sounded like singing to herself and scratching her own face!) so we also had the added challenge of dealing with an over tired baby.

I think there is certainly a lack of medical/scientific information readily available at your local GP about baby sleep and in a panic that I wasn’t parenting right I read many a horror story of sleep regression on Parenting forums. Then on the other side, I was airing my own sleep deprived woes with two Mummy friends who both seemed a lot more bright-eyed and bushy tailed than me (despite having their daughters around the same time as me) and one of the little ladies had been sleeping in their own room from the start and the other was not waking up in the night and sleeping through. This lucky Momma had consistently been achieving 8/9 hours of unbroken sleep!

Is my baby broken?! What was I doing wrong to have to deal with hourly wake ups?! There was a week period where I saw at least one minute of every hour in different iterations each day- 12pm…1am…2am….3am…..4am…..5am so as you can imagine this did start putting a strain on my relationship with my Husband (who is about as useful as a chocolate teapot in the early hours) as I felt like he should be doing more to relieve me and I was ashamed to recognise it, but it felt like I was starting to dislike my baby at these crazy hours. It’s insane to think the depths you plunge to (the lack of sanity) when you have not managed to get enough “shut eye”. Then I would feel so guilty to even be thinking like that! But shit happens when you don’t get sleep! I realised I can be a very crabby kind of person. Historically, I have never struggled with waking up early and being fully functional and quote “annoyingly chirpy”… but this was certainly one thing I was not. I was less an early songbird and now some kind of permanently exhausted pigeon!AF988229-D5C8-4AE7-B70C-8432D4F1B159.jpeg

But there is light at the end of the tunnel and I think we have a very squiffy expectation of baby sleep! To distill the answer to the age old question “How much sleep does my baby need?” … simply put: however much THEY need as an individual so your baby will lead you. It does not mean there is something wrong with your baby if they wake themselves up after a 20 minute Cat Nap or do not sleep through the night. It becomes problematic when we put an adult expectation on their sleep patterns. Perhaps these “baby sleep problems” are more our own issues?!!

There is no normality in the field of babysleep. Recommended guidelines for Sleep are so broad. For example The National Sleep Foundation state that the limits of acceptable sleep are between ten to eighteen hours over a 24 hour period in babies between 3 and 11 months old so most patterns of sleep should fall within realms of normality.

The NHS advice on sleep suggests that by 4 months old a baby should be sleeping double the length spent in the day. This seemed to work as a rule of thumb for me as Bea got out of any sort of habit/routine for daytime napping! This is where advice “sleep when you baby sleeps” was utterly useless to Bea and I!!

What made me feel better about our Sleep Journey was finding “Why Your Babies Sleep Matters” by Sarah Ockwell-Smith (follow her fabulous blog here!) because she is a gentle parenting proponent and has a relatable way to translate science to actual parenthood.

 

 

The advice is refreshing because essentially it is pointless to track our child’s sleep pattern; parent reporting night-wakings are inaccurate. There is an expectation in our society that our babies should be sleeping through the night by 6 months old, but this is an unfounded because in reality research in Sarah’s book shows that 84% of children aged 6 months are still waking up at least once a night. Our expectations of our children’s sleep is unrealistic and it would allow us all a sleep-deprived sigh of relief if we realised that these “expectations” (turned limitations) are just constructs and “sleep problems” are just our little ones actually sleeping completely normally!

Did you have an expectation of when your child would be sleeping through the night? Have you put any successful routines in place that has encouraged sleep through the night? How much do you find yourself waking with your child?

– Bea’s Mummy

 

I am part of the Amazon Affiliate UK Scheme so if you choose to purchase this Top Read through the link above I may earn commission on the sale with no extra cost to you!

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Bea’s Joyful Gathering! (Jenny South Photography, Plymouth.)

Bea’s Joyful Gathering! (Jenny South Photography, Plymouth.)

This time of year is always somewhat of a whirlwind and never is this truer than with a sassy six month old. I feel that I have neglected my duty to this blog, but Bea and I have just been having too much fun for me to be tied down at a keyboard!

Last Monday it was a girly day with my Mini, Mother and Little Sister; all very civilised. A morning beverage down at the beautiful and historic Royal William Yard in Plymouth which is certainly one of our #HotSpots (great food, culture, events and businesses by the sea) then a photography shoot with Jenny South Photography to experience her #JoyfulGatherings sessions she is offering throughout October and November… perfect to get those Glad Tidings underway. Yes… I am “one of those people” that start celebrating *Christmas* (ah there I said it in October!!!!) as early as possible, and unapologetically in fashion, so what better way to involve our little Bea?!

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The studio is tucked away in a beautiful courtyard on the Royal William Yard site in the old Cooperage Building. You ascend an old stone staircase and a quaint studio awaits, set up for the session ahead. There was so much gold I imagine for us it was like when Howard Carter discovered the Tutankhamun Tomb! We love glitter and we love gold so Bea was ready to dazzle in her mini sequined romper (quite the miniature Kylie Minogue we thought!)

Jenny is so creative (you can literally see the ideas flying around her head!) and she works with her client to create memorable photographs. She is a storyteller and clearly loves everything she does. She certainly had a special way with Bea who was more than happy to pose happily in front of the lens. The relationship that Jenny takes the time to set up with you as her client is priceless and the pre photography work that she conducts ensures maximum client satisfaction. You have a pre-session consultation to discuss your requirements, and that time certainly assists you to narrow down your theme as Jenny can facilitate whimsical through to elegant and more. It really is a case of your imagination is your only limit as Jenny will work meticulously to deliver results that you can be proud of and share for years to come.

I think one of the words I use frequently to describe Bea is a little Diva so the shoot outfit was spot on to shine alongside her cheeky character. Jenny allowed Bea to get comfortable on the set and made sure she was at ease. It was honestly a laugh a minute and I was really relaxed as a parent on the sidelines watching my little girl pose and have a great time. I think it helps that Jenny has such great credentials and is part of BANPAS (which is the association for newborn and baby photographers) so peace of mind for the parents!

The communication is so easy with Jenny who makes herself available to answer any questions and does a wonderful job of keeping you in the loop. I was impressed that despite it coming up to the busiest period the editing of the images was done and full set of photos available within a week! I am a sucker for punctuality so this was a big plus of the entire experience.

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Click to book your very own #JoyfulGathering and quote BGBR01 for your discount!

The photos are just delightful! There is certainly an air of celebration and jubilation. I would say the images are classic, clean and just adorable! I feel that Bea connected with Jenny’s direction, care and photography style. I also appreciate the fact that Jenny is working with other local businesses in partnership to offer additional Seasonal goodies including personalised tree decorations and cards of the photos from her sessions with Faithful Designs. I love that you can keep your Christmas offerings so local and I will certainly be ordering in our cards this year!

I am thrilled to have experienced the full Joyful Package but there are so many options and Jenny works on such a bespoke basis you are sure to have your expectations met and exceeded.

Please feel free to use Bea’s Joyful Code: BGBR01 for your own experience.

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Here are the pictures. They just melted my heart and gosh darn if I wasn’t all a flutter for Crimbo and good tidings already I well and truly am now! Thanks for your time and kindness Jenny. May your sessions be full of joy! Get yours booked as they will be booked up very soon and I can assure you, you do not want to miss out on the fun.

To see the photo’s in their full glory please visit: Bea & Me: The Bea-Utiful Life Blog page.

Beas Mummy.

Jenny offered Bea and I a shoot free of charge in exchange for our honest review and Bea being a Brand Representative for Jenny South Photography, All view are my own. All rights to photography belong to Jenny South Photography.

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Review: Bumblebee Collection- “It’s just a bunch of Hocus Pocus!”

Review: Bumblebee Collection- “It’s just a bunch of Hocus Pocus!”

Darkness falls across the land
The midnight hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
To terrorize y’all’s neighborhood
And whomsoever shall be found
Without the soul for getting down
Must stand and face the hounds of hell
And rot inside a corpse’s shell…

I have always had strong affinity with Samhain (or Halloween to the less creepy folk!) I tend to believe that our bloodline of women have historical links to witchcraft or at the least paganism. It has always fascinated me and I was encouraged to explore a spiritual path from an young age.

Queue the angsty, teenage years when I would cast spells to bring love, wealth and happiness. I had odds and sods to use alongside simple incantations such as feathers, herbs and different coloured candles for various spell types. Really it was a belief system that allowed me to navigate the challenges of growing up because a lot of the “lifestyle” was about being close to nature (which has proven health benefits), positive mental attitude & recognising the value of people and life. Wicca was very positive and taught me a lot about myself.

Should Bea show an interest in this way of life I would certainly not discourage her. It is not dark and destructive. It is in fact a force of positive energy much like other derivatives of self improvement (eg: yoga, meditation) as it is a focus for change and allows you to affirm your positive presence in the world. Ask the Universe and you shall receive!

So there’s a random nugget about my past interests. And in the present I still carry the benefits of what I learned. This Halloween I will be my regular Witchy self and watching Practical Magic with my mini witch #MidnightMargaritas anyone?!  I feel so happy to have grown up in a time that made witchcraft feel appealing and acceptable. I was part of the Sabrina The Teenage Witch generation. (It gives me a warm feeling inside when I just think about it!)

Another of my all time favourite Witch-centric movies is Hocus Pocus. It has certainly aged! It exudes 90s charm/cringe (you decide which side of a very blurred line it traverses!) in my humble opinion I have nothing but love for it! I can’t help but to join Bette Middler in song in the “I’ll Put A Spell On You” scene.

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It is no secret that Bea and I are massive fans of a bow or two… so we were thrilled to be gifted October’s Subscription Box from Louise of the Bumblebee Collection; aptly named “Hocus Pocus”. The name itself evoked a warm glow in my very soul. I couldn’t wait to unwrap the five very different but equally beautiful bows. They looked both beautiful as a group and individually.

Each bow exceeds the quality I expected, having scrolled through a beautiful Instagram feed. The photography I have captured, I do not feel shows the bows in their full glory when you see them in person; in particularly the shine of the glitter bow and how the ombré fades seamlessly. They are very striking and I loved the attention to detail and that each bow relates to a specific dimension of Halloween.9C144919-543F-4557-A3D1-C8A9AE3A694F.jpeg

The names of the bows are as follows:

Ghouls Ombré Ribbon Bow, Wizards Tulle Bow in navy, Witches Magic Glitter Bow, Glow in the Dark Ghost Bow and Black Magic Painted Bow- #SpookTacular!

The colour scheme of the bows very much lends itself to the aesthetic of Halloween. The designs are both very overtly related to the holiday (such as the charming glow in the dark ghostie that lit itself in a phosphorescent glow much like a splodge of ectoplasm!) and bows that are more wearable all year round (Glitter is for every season!!!)

The headbands are very soft and I have found that after a long period of time have not left as obvious marks on Bea’s head as other bows. She has found them most comfortable to wear and they are easy to slip on with no fuss.

 

What I particularly appreciate is the sizing of the larger bows (Ghouls Ombré & Wizards Tulle.) I would describe these two as “oversized” bows. They occupy the largest top section of Bea’s head and are very prominent. They could also be refered to as head pieces

Personally I would then size the Witches Magic Glitter Bow as medium and the Ghost and Black Magic bows are more petite.

The materials used are of utmost quality and every effort has been employed by Louise to ensure that the comfort aspect has really been exceeded. For example glitter can be uncomfortable but the bow has been fashioned to limit the glitter rubbing the baby/child’s head directly because there is sufficient padded material on the underside of the bow.54B5049B-E63F-4A0B-9730-1920733805C5.jpeg

I couldn’t decide which bow was my favourite as each can be paired with all sorts of ensembles. I would say they are more than an “accessory”. Whilst Bea’s hair is growing back in I would say that to me personally, dressing her head is just as important as the rest of her body so it is important to me that the headbows are both unique and functional/comfortable. I must admit I “awww’ed” out loud as the tulle bow and “ooooh’ed” at the glitter bow as it’s colour changed in different lights.

I couldn’t help but to join in the Halloween Fun and dressed Bea for a suitably themed shoot; showcasing the glow in the dark ghost and black magic bow. I haven’t seen a ghost design like this before so it was pleasant to own an eccentric and one of a kind piece. The black magic bow was more classic but there’s a reason why bows like this are made: they look good! All bows are handmade with love and the value is incredible in my humble opinion. The subscription boxes are only £12.50 and they feature designs that are unique to the sets that Louise creates for her themes to showcase fabrics and designs that her customers may never have purchased previously.

 

The boxes ship on the 1st of each month. I will certainly be placing my order for the next available box as October and November sold out so speedily.

Blink an eye and they have gone! I feel so privileged to have gotten my (monster) claws on these gorgeous bows. I have enjoyed matching outfits to the bows (This Momma loves CB6BEA0C-DC88-4390-9970-294C49752518a challenge!) These bows are not just for “dress up”; though I have loved incorporating them into my Halloween Photography. They are so wearable and the bows form a Go-To capsule of headpieces that I know look good, but also feel comfortable for Bea.

Bea will certainly be wearing her black magic bow with her witch costume this year (as pictured). The bows have cast a spell on us and are a “treat” this Halloween. I feel this outfit will honour our ancestry whilst Bea looks adorable (#TooCuteToCreep!)

Have a wonderful Halloween all and remember to observe safety as well as fun with your Little Monsters.

– Bea’s Mummy/Momma Witch.

 

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I was gifted this set of bows by Louise of Bumblebee Collection but all opinions are my own.

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