Every Day is a bakerdays! (Review)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What did you find surprising about  bakerdays?

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

What did you like most about your cake?

“The vibrant colours, font and design.”

How would you rate the taste?

“10/10. Moist, tasty, not too sweet.”

Did the cake taste as good as it looks?

“Yes.”

Would you send your own letterbox cake in the future?

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

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

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

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

A very Happy Customer!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


roots and beets

Roots and Beets:          @roots_beets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


bumbles studio

Bumble’s Studio:       @bumbles.studio

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

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

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

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

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

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


babaofmineBaba Of Mine:            @babaofmine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


boop

Boop Design By Victoria:               @boopdesignbyvictoria

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


bear in the hood

Bear In The Hood:             @bear_in_the_hood

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Figgy & Fern:                         @figgyandfern

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

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

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


otto and oliv

Otto & Oliv:               @ottoandoliv

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#StaySweet

-Bea’s Mummy x

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zo’s Bows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bee Beau Co.

Click here for the Bee Beau Company Website.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

jokes Renee.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

#StaySweet

– Bea’s Mummy x

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

 

 

 

 

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:

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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