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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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:

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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ZippyUp!: Review

ZippyUp!: Review

This piece has been written in collaboration with ZippyUp and also contains affiliate links. This means that if you love these ZippyUp’s as much as I do and you purchase through my links below I get a commission from the sale with no extra cost to you! So you can help support the blog further as I will invest in items that you want to see reviewed!

It’s all very well having quaint, fussy and buttoned clothing for your mini (heck! I have a whole section dedicated to babywear come doll like creations in Bea’s wardrobe!) but 44061636_559599001142330_5058356058796326912_nafter the Newborn stage you very swiftly come to the realisation that you actually have a little person on your hands who is just that… a little person! And they don’t appreciate being fussed; and very much, like us, find aspects of their day to be quite the annoyance ie: getting dressed in the morning and getting dressed after a relaxing bath to name but a few situations. This means that the highly aesthetic pieces that you like to play dress up with are pretty much obsolete and hang in the wardrobe for situations where you feel that you can muster enough fight to battle these garments on to your child!

What can I say?! We are coming up to Bea’s half Birthday now and I started to sacrifice high style for function and clothes that can be put on and removed with as little fuss as possible. This had me wondering if there are pieces that make it super easy for Mummy to put Miss Fussy Pants in, whilst still looking like I do care about how I present Bea. Can she still look adorable and feel less vexed after the “trauma” of being pulled through tight fitting lacy numbers, kicking her way through pulling up tights then wriggling as she attempts to escape the fumbled attempts of a frustrated mummy and a thousand buttons?!!

(Why do so many baby clothes have buttons? I mean, even huge quantities of poppers are still less than desirable when we reach the point of no return. A red faced baby. A Mum on edge questioning every single choice she has made selecting outfits in the past! I curse my past self!)

One of the biggest lessons I have learnt is to always go for ease of the dressing process over how adorable your child looks. Your highly stylised outfits will still end up covered in bodily fluids, bottled milk, random patches of “what-even-is-that?” on a daily basis and when it comes to Poo’splotions the best combination of clothing has to be the classic combo of short sleeve/long sleeve body suit as I am somewhat of an expert now at peeling the short sleeved number down the body to minimise the damage from excrement that shoots triumphantly in all directions of the compass! I am always amazed how it manages to travel up Bea’s back.

But enough of the Poo Talk (which becomes the every day staple of conversation!) I wanted to find a solution for a happy baby and ultimately happy Mummy and to find a clothing compromise. It turns out that you do not have to sacrifice fashion for function! Just take a look at the gorgeous offerings from ZippyUp!

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Buy Your: ZIP BABYGROW ROMPER BODYSUIT NEWBORN – 24M (0-3M, AQUA & WHITE 2 PACK) NOW!!!

ZippyUp came into existence when another lovely Mummy (with two under 2) asked herself the same questions during those 2am nappy changes, whilst looking for that Magic Bullet that could make the bleary-eyed struggle a little kinder. Angela decided that the UK needed affordable zip fronted babygrows. They were very much exclusive to the USA/Australian market and not easy to access here, so Angela set about creating the Original ZippyUp with her background knowledge in design. Angela was the lady to bring us Mummies this much needed solution as she knows the fashion industry and has high standards so rest assured each ZippyUp has been made in her trusted factory with the best materials available.

I was gifted both the original babygrow in aqua/white and the plum/white sweater one piece and I can’t decide which I love more! The first property I noticed of both garments was the stunning quality. Durable yet super soft.

Original Baby Grow- The design ensures a good fit for your baby. There is such discrepancy in sizing in the UK clothing industry; as I have mentioned previously, but the way in which the Original Babygrow has been crafted (it is a 1×1 rib construction and weighs 320gsm) means that there is stretch in the fabric without adding elastane. Elastane can make your little wriggler hotter and the fabric less breathable so the absence of this means a happier baby and more room to grow. It is 100% cotton which I have found is so much better for Bea’s overall well being. We have made a really noticeable move towards totally organic clothing (brands such as Little Green Radicals and Lil Cubs) with similar properties and it has been a resounding success!

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Buy Your: ZIPPYUP Head To Toe Zip Babygrow Romper Onesie Pink Stripe (18-24M) NOW!

We used the Original ZippyUp babygrow as our go-to night wear for a whole week for the testing process. The zips are nylon and cleverly concealed so they never make contact with your babies skin. I just loved the neck tab that protects chubby chin skin making contact with the zip! It looks stylish but there is purpose to every element of design and it is as if Angela has turned every single Mum Worry into the perfect solution. The Original ZippyUp could truly be pulled straight from the dreams of Mummies going GaGa over buttons and poppers!

We attempt a nightly routine (in all honestly it has slipped to every other night due to Bea’s distaste of being undressed/re dressed) of Bath – Book – Bottle or Boob – then Bed, but recently found that we started having to remove the “book” element (which to me is super important) because after the bath there were tantrums! There has not been the intensity of protest to getting dressed after the bath following the introduction of the Original ZippyUp. It has not all together solved the issue, but I would not expect that from one product but it has certainly gone a long way to making changing for bedtime a much more agreeable experience. As the week went on our stress levels at bedtime have certainly reduced and now Bea only exhibits a mild annoyance rather than explosive rage at the inconvenience.

I just love the head to toe zip. It is one swift and solid movement rather than a series of late night changing fails.

Plum/White Sweater One piece- Truly my photography does not do the colour justice! It is the perfect shade for looking dressed up on more “dressed down” kind of days. I can see this romper taking us through Autumn/Winter & into Spring again as it keeps Bea suitably warm but I could imagine it still being wearable as temperatures increase again because it is breathable and I like that it it not full footed like the Original ZippyUp so we utilised it as more of day piece as it looks cute paired with white frilly socks too!

Whats great about both these pieces is that they are machine washable and can be chucked in the tumble dryer! The original also comes in a two pack and there is also a variant of the striped version in charcoal/white. If you would like to see even more colour combinations (I am now eyeing up the rose pink/white bodysuits!) check out their website.

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Angela truly has a gift for design and appreciation of what Mummies are looking for in the products they buy. Maternity pay will stretch that little bit further because the original ZippyUp is only £9.99 (in all colour combinations) and just £15 you get your paws on a 2 pack! The gorgeous striped sweater one piece is £18. Affordable, functional and rather pretty to look at!

These fabulous bodysuits are a must have addition to any babies wardrobe. Bea is looking and feeling good and we are forever Pro Zippy! #BanishTheButtons!

Have you included a fully top to toe zippy bodysuit in your baby wardrobe aresnal? Would you be keen to replace your buttoned and poppers items with zip only items? What other colour combinations would you be keen to see in the ZippyUp Range?

#StaySweet

-Bea’s Mummy x

I am Part of the Amazon Affiliate scheme and have included links that may earn me commission. As always all opinions are my own.

Bows & Bloomers & Bodysuits: Roundup of The Best of Insta Shops- 1st Week of October.

Bows & Bloomers & Bodysuits: Roundup of The Best of Insta Shops- 1st Week of October.

Can you believe how quickly it has whizzed into and through the Ber months so far? We find the Winter months drawing in closer and the first week of October has concluded! Already?! Time flies when you’re a Mum…! That is the saying right?!

Bea and I have very much enjoyed where our #InstaAdventures have taken us and I am blown away by the beauty and skill of the small business community. I would always seek clothing from small/Independent businesses now over our High Street offering because you just can’t easily source a delightful pair of bloomers or headbow that you can see from space in the local town. (#SupportSmallBusiness!)

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I have been able to source very Autumnal goodies to road test with a compliant Beatrice (I think she has now become rather accustomed to dressing up and posing for Mummy!) so I bring you a round up style post of all my new favourite things (*sang in the style of Julie Andrews/ The Sound of Music Style!!)- Please take a look at their glorious Instagram feeds. I had the privileged of virtually meeting a few of the equally fabby business owners, which as I have said before is one of my favourite parts of the experience, so I will hopefully be able to capture their voices too to add an extra dimension to this post and hopefully persuade you to shop Small Business too!

It has been a manic week so I have been unsuccessful in capturing Bea in our offering from Claudie & Co Kids, which is a beautifully festive really large gold headband (I promise you pictures in action will follow as it is just perfect for Party Season so this will be paired with one of Bea’s fancy outfits! Watch this space. But this is the picture from the Instagram feed below (beautiful but does not do the full sparkle of the bow justice!!!)

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Claudie and Co Kids turns 1 this month! Happy birthday to your whim and go for it style Melanie! It came into fruition as Mel got into making bibs and hairbows for family and friends and realised that it was not only a way to keep her busy of an evening with her husband working late shifts and bringing up her little girls, but also a great small business idea! I was really swept up by Melanie’s passion as she described her business. Her buzz words are a great foundation for any small business but I feel that Melanie really lives these values. I asked her for five words to describe her business but I got a lot more than I anticipated!

    1. Happy! – it makes me HAPPY and I hope that it makes my lovely customers HAPPY too!
    2. Custom – I don’t just make and sell (….what’s on Instagram) I also accept custom orders….If you have an idea I will have a go for you.
    3. Reasonable– I am forever being told about Claudie  and Co being reasonably priced in comparison so I will always aim to be that way.
    4. Exciting!- Claudie and Co excites me, yes it’s not huge (just yet!) but I truly believe in it and I hope it excites my customers too.
    5. Friendly– I always talk about this as I did not think that I would have met so many amazing people through Instagram. I have made friends from all over through Claudie and Co and it is an amazing community to be part of.

It certainly has that community feeling that Melanie describes and the vision to do more. I look forward to seeing how far Melanie will go. Honestly the quality of the bow was so high. The softness is ideal for a baby head and it is large but comfortable (Bea’s comfort is the most important thing to me so there will never be a case of style over comfort in her outfits but I wouldn’t have to worry about this with Melanie’s bows!)

@claudieandco.

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Now moving on to big, ruffle bums! I am a sucker for a pair of bloomers with their adorable silhouettes on baby bottoms. I feel in love with Remlyn Makes traditional aspect. Sandra created the business (an amalgam of her daughters names Remesnay and Harlynay) when she fell in love with a romper that she ordered for her youngest daughter’s first birthday, so she bought a sewing machine and began creating “handmade vintage clothing with a twist.” Like myself Sandra’s most loved garment to make are the gorgeous Olive Ruffle Bum’s! I fell in love with the fabric and I put them on Bea and it was as if they were made for her and her alone. They fit like a glove and are just so adorable that you can not help but to “awww!” out loud at them. Sandra crafts bloomers, rompers & headwear and customers can select their own fabrics too so the offerings can be really bespoke in nature.

(Pictured above is Bea wearing the two beautiful designs we got to road test obviously the Olive Ruffle Bums and the Pebble Tweed Bloomers.)

The materials used are very hard-wearing – I can imagine Bea bum shuffling in these and not having to worry about them falling apart. They are both quite thick materials but the photos really capture their fluidity too. Both pairs were easy to put on in the first instance and Bea was comfortable whilst wearing them. The colour of the Olive Ruffle Bums is so vibrant and really evokes images of an Autumnal walk. I will be pairing them with thick cream tights for Winter 2018. The ruffles fall so beautifully over Bea’s bum and I love that it has almost a playful vibe. Bloomers = cuteness anyway but these Olive’s are so sweet they could give you a sugar coma! I do feel like the pebble tweed bloomers are more for every day wear as the ruffle of the Olive may be seen as overly designed in some people’s opinion (however Bea will be wearing both pairs as daytime bloomers.)

There are some adorable offerings on the Instagram feed to feast your eyes on and have my eye on the personalised rompers there is even a super cute Halloween Set! (I adore all things Halloween so this spooktacular set is right up my street and much more a treat than a trick for me!!!)

@remlynmakes

You can never have too many bows as a Mummy to a little girl… and a slightly balding one at that at the moment! Whilst her new hair is set to grow in I have opted for 181BD1BD-EE1A-49A0-9330-E0B001B49622wrapping her little head in all kinds of material cuteness. I initially came across My Marali because of the beautifully unique pom pom blankets which I fell in love with. I thought the pink and white version would look incredible in the nursery- truly girly!

We were sent a beautiful selection box of headbands and the colour variations were perfect to take Bea through the seasons from the crisp white (which I tend to associate with snow drops of spring), to a Summery Coral (that evoked images of ice creams or flamingos!), to my favourite colour burst of mustard which is very on trend for Autumn 2018 and organic beige which will transition well from Autumn to Winter.

The presentation was stunning and very efficient customer service (turn around time was less than three days as promised on Instagram. I loved that there is a more turban type look to these headbands compared to more traditional bows. This makes them look sharp, clean and interesting. I have found the material to be quite snug to the head but not in an uncomfortable manner, but I am always checking anything I put on Bea’s head (stickler for Health and Safety and making sure I do not leave things on her head for too long at a time!)

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@mymarali.

I wasn’t lying when I said we can’t get enough of bows! I was super lucky to have won not one but TWO separate Instagram competitions for store credit at Lillies Lovelies which sell beautiful luxury hairbows #MamaApproved & choice of two bows from Everly and Me that craft beautiful handmade bows for little ladies. Of course we had to opt for headbows as our little Bea has no hair to make use of standard clips currently.

Everly and Me (2 headbands win).

@everlyandme_

Lillies’s Lovelies Goodies

@lillieslovlies.

I can’t for the life of me figure out where it even came from, but soon after Bea was born I started calling her “bunny” in hospital. It was a pet name I had not anticipated, but it stuck and I quickly started accumulating rabbit/bunny designed clothing (who doesn’t love “Some Bunny To Love” as a pun? It makes for an adorable body suit!!!)

Talking of bodysuits Cookie Dough Kids offer quirky unique designs that can be personalised for any occasion. I instantly fell in love with the Snuggle Bunny design- it was probably the glitter that attracted me! The design is simple but beautiful and made me smile. If it doesn’t make you smile I really question whether you have a soul!!!!

Kristy’s business is in its infancy (established in July of this year) but with

“cute, unique, handmade, personalised fashion”

I think there is such longevity in this wonderful small business. The body suit is lovely quality and in my makeshift “studio light” the text really sparkled.

Simple but effective! Sometimes simplicity is key and going back to basics with these lovely bodysuits and t-shirts bring charm to your babies wardrobe. There are some great designs if you are a Harry Potter fan but I do not want to give too much away! I want to you to go and checkout the website now for the full range!

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@cookiedoughkids.

The last shop I would like to feature is Lancashire based print company with heart. Having had a premmie myself I was moved by Kay’s story and the beginnings of Darling Prints. It came into fruition as a way to look after her daughter (now four) and was imagined into being because there was so much scope to come up with beautiful designs for various occasions. Kay began creating fingerprint trees for baby showers and the ideas and designs went from there- Kay still loves one of her first designs; a fingerprint giraffe and describes the business as “bespoke designs for life events.”

The service was super speedy- I literally received the beautiful prints the next day after speaking with Kay. They look so… well… Darling in their frames and add interest to the room. I love anything that relates to little people and big dreams and we are a house of animal lovers so there was something so whimsical and beautiful about the wild animal print. To add to the beautiful dreamlike feel I was even sent a beautiful gorgeous smelling wax melt too which really set apart the delivery. I love nothing more than attention to detail and getting more than you bargain for!

There are design to suit any colour pallet and there are many that look great as part of a mix and match series. There is such a breadth of design and you can see that Kay clearly has a passion for creating beautiful imagery that captures the imagination and really transforms any room. There are degrees of whimsy from more traditional designs such as Peter Rabbit to quirkier ones like the Batman Monochrome series, so there truly is a design for every style and taste imaginable.

@darlingprintsuk

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The beauty and design that can be found when you chose to shop small is very rewarding. I love that I have found a handful of newly established businesses that seem to come from the necessity to balance work and family life and live with a passion for the makers trade. There is something rather poetically beautiful about designing your own future and there is a lot to be said for being a #MumTrepreneur. Mums are Ballsy! Mums are defining their own success. Mums are choosing a happier family life by being able to work more sociable hours (often part time). I respect the way that these Mum’s have thrown themselves into running a business and many times it is about giving it a go! And boy are they succeeding. It is heartwarming. It is soulful. The background stories really appeal to me and my passion for people. That is what sets independent shops apart that there is so much to learn about the business owner.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s featured Instagram Shops and I hope they are a starting point for you and a new way of shopping (especially as the holiday’s are fast approaching!)  If you choose to purchase any beautiful products from the stores above please do mention that you found them through my review.

I think this is a lovely way to start a new week. Let me know if this is a format that you would be keen for me to adopt for coming weeks (a set of featured Instagram shops with links to their feed.)

#StaySweet

Bea’s Mummy x

 

 

As part of a review agreement I was gifted the items above but all opinions are my own.

Review: Bumble Bee Crafts.

Review: Bumble Bee Crafts.

Of course I was going to be drawn to any independent business that alludes to or directly references bees!! As Beatrice’s spirit animal and also such an integral part of the structure of our planet (#SaveTheBees!!!) I happily stumbled upon Lauren’s work on one of my Instagram Wormhole moments again… I think maybe “Beehive moments” would be more apt as it certainly sounds more appealing!

My favourite thing about supporting small businesses is that you really get to connect with the makers, the creatives, the owners of a dream; on a much deeper level. One of my favourite hashtags to explore on Instagram incidentally is #MeetTheMaker because I love to put a face to the work and beautiful items that make their way to you!

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Bumble Bee Crafts had gone through a metamorphoses since trading under an old name since 2015. After a small hiatus Lauren revamped her Etsy/Instagram stores you see today to manage her anxiety following the birth of glittle lady in 2017 and her love of crafting and customer service excellence has kept her busy!

I am a sucker for stories of the heart and a family ethos that is truly central to the ongoing success of this small business. Lauren clearly has a passion (and gift) for crafting and it is this zest that has inspired various projects including peg picture frames, bow holders, Fairy doors, tulle wreaths and most recently (and most loved by her customers) her mini Pom Pom wreaths.

In our conversation I requested our bespoke “bumble bee themed” Pom Pom wreath. The ongoing communication really set my experience apart from other shops where I have placed custom orders previously, as Lauren works in a very consultative yet collaborative fashion and kept me in the loop for the entire process. She came to me to see which colour wool I would prefer and also whether I wanted the wreath one solid colour or mixed colour to ensure my exact requirements and expectations were met (then exceeded), with pictures of the progress sent throughout our communication.

Lauren admitted that her favourite item to make has shifted due to its popularity. Initially she favoured her chocolate bouquet makes, but her mini Pom Pom wreaths have really become the star of the show and are flying out of her Craft Space quicker than you could say “Buzz”!!

I really enjoyed getting to know Lauren through our messages throughout and found out that we both have little bee’s! Her youngest daughter is call Honey (Honey Bee) and I call Beatrice my little Bea/Bee. I could really tell that she was enjoying creating my order. The process was speedier than I had anticipated despite there being a small wait for the personalised name letters to arrive for painting/finishing. For good (decadent) measure I decided on a gold glitter finish for the name.

The photos of the wreath do not do it justice. It came out of its bubble wrap protection and I was delighted with the colour! It packs a punch and certainly screams “bee design”! The Pom Poms perfectly coordinate with the wreath stripes & falling ribbons and I couldn’t get enough of the adorable addition of the felt flower. The name sparkles in glittery splendour but does not detract from the main feature of the design which is clearly the Pom Pom huddle!

These wreaths are perfect for bespoke door signs for children’s rooms. The compact size makes it ideal for room decor, though Lauren is able to offer any size and colour combination because she describes her shop and products as “different, lovely, handmade and personalised” and I really feel like she is happy to challenge herself to create pieces that are imagined by her customer. It was lovely to have an idea in my head that was actualised very successfully! It has already been a talking piece with my family commenting on how individual and quirky it is on their visits!

The mini wreaths are very reasonably priced for the skill and time invested. They are £10 and if personalised each letter is at a cost of 50p. The wreaths are fab for any occasion. My mind is already buzzing with other ideas for my next wreath order (hello Unicorn Pom Pom goodness!!!) and these would be an interesting, contemporary take on a Christmas wreath. Add the gorgeous Pom Pom baubels to your order and you are good to go for the festive period (supporting a small business and having unique items!) – just don’t miss out on Christmas order books closing! (Shipping between 1-6 weeks so place those orders sharpish!)

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For a discounted price for your bespoke orders quote BEAANDME in your communication with Lauren.

What colour Pom Poms would you select for your wreath? Do you think wreaths are perfect all year round in interior styling?

#StaySweet

Bea’s Mummy x

 

I received a discounted price on my wreath as part of our review agreement but all opinions are my own.