First Birthday Outfit Ideas 

So it’s 10 days until Nandy turns one. how did that happen then!? It really makes me feel emotional can’t believe a year has gone by. Before I know it he will be 18. 

To mark the occasion we have decided to visit our favourite photographer Sarah over at Pea Green Boat Photo (she took his bump and newborn photos too!) she has been known to work with Peter Andre and Emily and featured in vogue so we are in good hands! She will hopefully take a selection of photos indoor and outdoor (weather dependant) and so I decided to go for 2 outfit changes just encase. 

My favourite colours for Nandy have always been black, white and teal so it made sense to stick to that scheme for the photo shoot.

I was fortunate enough to work with Pom Pom Studio on creating some beautiful poms to match the theme. 

I also had the pleasure of customising some hats and crowns and a bib to match from lovely Instagram shops.

Everyone knows I love a spot of Instagram shopping so it made perfect sense to buy the clothing from those stores, especially ones we rep for including small ones apparel, I am Loved and Kids we Love. 

OUTFIT 1 – SPLATTER 

  • Custom Crown – Plenty of Pillows
  • Matching bib – Bibs and Booties 
  • Romper – Kids we love 

OUTFIT 2 – ONE


  • Ripped Leggings – small ones apparel
  • One tshirt – I am Loved
  • Custom Glitter Hat – Sweet and Berry 

I simply cannot wait to capture these outfits in tomorrow’s photoshoot. I just hope Nandy behaves himself because he’s been grumpy all weekend. Also let’s hope the sun shines for us! 

I hope you like these outfit ideas. Please pin on Pinterest! 🙂 

Rebecca 

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The Making of The Bear and the Bird

The Bear and the Bird were one of the very first Instagram shops we discovered, we were looking for a few custom nursery items and stumbled upon their store. Immediately we hit it off discussing a custom clay piece for Nandys’ nursery. The ladies were so accommodating and helpful with trying to come up with designs. We became friends and 12 months on we find ourselves as their reps after a stint of being enthusiasts. We have been so immensely proud of being part of Team Bear and Bird for so long and can honestly say they are the best. 

Their products are lovingly handmade and full of style. Please go give them a follow @thebear_and_thebird on Instagram 

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The Making of Love Roo

Almost a year ago we found a shop on Instagram selling handmade baby shoes which could be customised. We immediately fell in love with them and all the various options available! We even had a part to play in her iconic “Moe the bunny” shoes, following the death of our beloved bunny Moe we requested a pair of shoes in his honour and the bunny shoe was born!

Nandy and I had the privilege of meeting Aimee and her son Rudy, we hit it off right away and have been insta besties ever since!

We were proudly selected as her first ever brand reps (our shoe collection was so vast!). Since we first met Aimee’s business has gone from strength to strength and she now stocks a wide range of products such as hats and nappy clutches. It’s safe to say she is one seriously talented mama!

It was only natural for us to take some time out to talk to Aimee to find out where it all began…


Hi, Tell us your name and a bit about yourself and your family…

Hello! I’m Aimee, owner and creator of Love Roo. 27 years old from Rugby Warwickshire and mummy to my 2 year old Little boy Rudy.

What inspired you to start your insta shop?

Since I can remember I’ve always been creative. Carrying around sketchbooks, colouring and designing. I studied fashion design at Warwickshire college and then onto Birmingham City University where I based my final major project on children’s clothing and accessories.

Straight from University I went into a Job as a garment technologist. My job involved creating size specifications for high street stores including Lipsy, River island and Miss Selfridge, attending their fit meetings, quality checks throughout the factories, all product costings and so on…I enjoyed my job but it lacked the creative side which I loved so much.

I then had my little boy Rudy and it was the perfect time to finally take a shot at opening my own business! He’s the main inspiration behind Love Roo. I now get to do what I absolutely love and I also get to see my little boy grow up. Seeing Love Roo grow so fast in the last 12 months makes me so incredibly proud!

If you had to give one piece of advice to someone thinking of setting up an insta shop / etsy what would it be?

My only advice is to go for it! Have a clear business plan and ensure you have everything in place for when you open.

Who do you feel inspired by on Instagram?

I’m inspired by so many amazing small shops on Instagram! My main inspiration on social media is actually my customers. I love coming up with new ideas with them and turning their ideas into an actual product.

Tell us a little bit more about where you want Love Roo to be in 5 years time?

In 5 years time I hope to be a millionaire…. haha! Ok maybe not! But I really do hope Love Roo is still going strong

What’s your favourite insta purchase and why?

I actually don’t think I have one particular favourite item. I just love shopping small for my little boy.

A few of the amazing shops include:

@primrose_and_bear @essie_and_i @ellaandtheroo @lovebeebaby_ @thecottonbarn

Thanks to Aimee for answering our questions and as a thankyou to her loyal customers and our readers she is offering a 10% discount using code LOVENANDY for 24 hours only!!! 

Rebecca

The Making of I am Loved

 

Max has been fortunate to Rep for I am Loved since he was teeny tiny! Safe to say we Love being I am Loved reps! Sam is so talented and her prints and apparel is so unique, high quality and have you seen the packaging!! AMAZING!


Hi, tell us your name and a little bit about you and your family

Hey! I’m Sam, I’m 29 and I live in lovely Oxfordshire with my other half, Stuart, and our two cat babies Jess & Minnie. I’m originally from a little town in County Durham, where all of my family still live. I have a degree in fashion design and graduated around 5 years ago.

What inspired you to start your insta shop?

Most of my inspiration comes from my nieces, nephews and my little sister Millie. I want them to always know how loved they are. I think it’s so important that children grow up knowing that that they are brave, that they are fearless and that they are strong.

So I started to create prints with catchy words and slogans for children’s apparel and nursery décor and that is how I Am Loved was born.

If you had to give one piece of advice to someone thinking of setting up an insta shop / etsy what would it be?

Believe in yourself and your dream

Who do you feel inspired by on Instagram?

There are so so many people who inspire me. Especially those working mamas who are also running their own businesses like @lennieanco. I mean those women are super heroes. I struggle to look after myself and the cats along side this so hats off to all you Mamas!

Tell us a little bit more about where you want I am Loved to be in 5 years time?

I would like to be running I Am Loved full time. And would love to see the brand being sold in stores all over the world.

What’s your favourite insta purchase and why?

One of my favourite instagram purchases is my Jesus Origami Diamond from @origami_est. And I currently have a little bit of an obsession with buying prints for the house. Some of my faves are from @osotwee, @thelittlejones and @thenativestate.

As a thankyou for being a blog reader Sam is kindly offering 20% purchases using LOVED20 until Friday 28th April. 

Thanks to Sam for taking the time to answer our questions and don’t hesitate to go over to Iamloved give her a follow – you won’t regret it we promise!

Rebecca

Photography 

Before I got pregnant I only ever took photos on my iPhone, we owned a DSLR camera, however, it was older than gods dog!! I always knew I wanted to start a Instagram page for Nandy but had no idea what constituted a decent photo. I snapped away happily on my iPhone and posted the photos on his feed. Soon enough I started to see other Instagram accounts sharing their photos which were of significantly greater quality and much better form than mine, which got me thinking, I need to improve my photos!

So, I dusted off the old sony DSLR camera and went to visit Sarah @peagreenboat photography. Sarah has taken some awesome photos of my bump and all of Nandys’ newborn photos, so it made sense to go and get a tutorial from her on the in’s and outs of form, light and how to set the camera up manually instead of “auto” which is cheating! 

Sarahs’ photos have been featured in vogue magazine, she recently worked with Peter Andre and Emily on an advertisement for N Power and her super power abilities to put babies to sleep and recently had “image the day” from the Guild of photographers – not bad ey! 

Baby superpowers with Peter Andre, Emily and Sarah @peagreenboat

So let’s start from then beginning – Lesson 1 – It was a cold December day and the light was poor, we had to make best use of large windows in her studio to allow me to try and capture some snaps. Nandy only lay down at this point and didn’t sit up of his own accord so taking various shots was difficult to achieve. I learnt about how to deal with light and using the camera settings to get the most out of the situation by adjusting F stop, ISO and white balance. 

Merry Christmas – Lesson number 1

Christmas Nandy

Still something wasn’t right, I was having to upload the photos to my iMac from the camera and faff around then emailing them back to myself to upload to Instagram. There must be an easier way!
I reverted back to using my trusty iPhone, it was easier and more convenient. But wasn’t giving results. I started taking photos in the conservatory at home over winter as this was the brightest place in my dark house! Even with natural light flooding in – it still wasn’t enough – that’s when I took the plunge to buy a new DSLR. I read a few reviews and sought some feedback from other mums and it seemed the best choice would be a canon or Nikon.

I decided on the canon – it was relatively cheap for my maternity leave budget and would take crisper photos even with just a kit lens (I’m still to upgrade to the 50mm fixed lens!!!).

Immediately I noticed a difference in my photo quality and it made uploading my pictures to Instagram way easier due to its in built wifi function! 

I’d gotten used to taking indoor photos against a homemade white background but I hadn’t yet explored outdoor photos – I needed more help, so we went back to see Sarah….

Me (taken by Sarah)


Sarah owns a beautiful property in Worcestershire with some beautiful grounds – flowers a plenty and a view to die for. It was the perfect setting for some outdoor photos. The sun shone and the photo opportunities were aplenty! 

I did want my Instagram feed to have an overall “whiter” feel to its appearance so we scouted out places around her grounds which would lend themselves well to the look we were after. We found doorways and flowers all keeping with the white theme.

It was when I passed a beautiful magnolia tree that I couldn’t resist taking some less than “white” photos with his toes in the grass. He was loving the attention and full of smiles and eating everything he shouldn’t. 

Sarah showed me how to meter for the change in sunlight – amending the ISO settings, white balance and adding in a reflector board / shade to keep the sun off his face and create shadow (which caught the wind and smacked poor Nandy in the face).

I struggled with the change from shaded areas to direct sunlight – but with a few tweaks to settings I was back up and snapping away again.

The camera lens does limit my photos and my post production / editing skills need to improve but it won’t happen overnight. My next trick is to buy and then teach myself photoshop so I can make professional edits to my pictures.

So far this is just a hobby and I’m enjoying it. So that’s all that matters really. 

Thanks to Sarah @peagreenboatphoto for her help and support – if you’re interested in having some photos taken of your newborn / baby then contact her below …

Instagram shopping – Top buys for April

We LOVE shopping small and supporting handmade clothing online – mainly Instagram shopping. If you’ve never heard of it – then head over to instagram now and suss it out! To help you, we have put together a list of our top picks for awesome spring outfits during the month of April…

From left clockwise:- 

Spring Greens – Black and Mint long sleeved “Loved” T-Shirt from @iamloved, watercolour snood is just so pretty from @greywolf apparel matched up with these watercolour leggings from @zara from the high street.

Mamarazzi – He can’t escape the glare of my camera lately! So this T-shirt is the perfect slogan for us! available from @smallonesapparel. 

From left clockwise – Spring Greens, Mamarazzi, Whales, Cuban



Whales – The Sand colour Whale leggings from @thecottonbarn – sold out online but other colours are available! Teamed with a grey tshirt from @next and the perfect wooden camera teether is BPA free and perfect for tha tooth which is coming in – buy yours from @foxfelts.

Cuban – Hat was purchased from a Insta mum but is H&M. Shirt from @River Island and snood is handmade by @lovebeebaby. The flamingo leggings are perfect unisex and from @thecottonbarn who make amazing organic cotton kidswear to the age of 3. 

Some of the above products were sent to us for free as we are reps / ambassadors for their brand, but, just because they were free doesn’t mean we do not genuinely endorse and love them! 

Do you have any items of clothing which you recommend for spring? Care to share any style ideas with us? Then leave us a comment! 

Rebecca 

Instagram shopping – 5 Top Buys for March

If you haven’t already discovered the joys of Instagram shops then what are you waiting for. Here is out guide to our Top 10 buys on there at the moment:-

1. Flatlay Accessories – we love The Bear and the Bird for ours – these feltball garlands and clay pendants can even be customised to suit your theme!

2. Prints and T-ShirtsI am Loved stock a gorgeous array of T-Shirts and prints and they are so beautiful and unique.

3. Handmade Pram shoes – we just cannot get enough of the bunny shoes from Love Roo – inspired by the sudden passing of our old bunny we asked Aimee to make us some shoes with ears. The bunny shoes were born! They are so versatile. What combination will you choose?

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Bunny shoes by Love Roo and Leggings from The Cotton Barn

4. Organic cotton leggings and bibsThe Cotton Barn stock organic cotton items and their leggings and bibs are someone of the best around. Nandy has eczema so it’s really important that we have things which are soft against his skin and that are going to allow his skin to breathe!

5. A snoodLovebeebaby and Milk and Dagger are two shops whom stock fantastic dribble snoods! I cant get enough of them at the moment!

Thats it, our top 5 picks of March!

As the S/S17 items start to land we will post more of our favourites for you to see.

Nursery Decor

When planning the nursery I decided I didn’t want to find out the sex of the baby, so the nursery theme had to be gender neutral. I am impatient so decorated prior to the 20 week scan.

It all started with the wallpaper, which I chose from next. The geo print wallpaper was neutral in my opinion and acted as a great base from which to build on.

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Geo wallpaper with pebble paint, Peg dolls were custom painted from teddy_co_uk

We had the walls painted in ‘pebble’ colour by dulux as this seemed to match the grey tone of the wallpaper perfectly.

It wasn’t long before I discovered the delights of insta shopping and made a few custom purchases! The lovely ladies over at the The Bear and the Bird worked with me to create a beautiful clay and feltball triangle decoration and matching garland which can be seen strung below.

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Shelfie

We had a lovely wooden box which was handpainted to match his theme perfectly from Happy little folks and this came in handy for on his changing table to store all his creams and wipes in!

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This handcrafted Triangle print box from Happy little folks contains all of Max creams and wipes to keep his changing unit tidy

I found some great Ikea hack ideas before we had Nandy, and took inspiration to use the Hemnes 8 drawer chest as a changing unit, Ive divided the drawers up so that they contain the nappies and muslin cloths making those bum changes as efficient as possible!

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Drawer organistion

We found the most perfect triangle print blanket from humble and weave which makes an epic addition to his cot.

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The feeding / nursing chair was a bargain buy from Dunelm!

I couldnt live without the beautiful Mama designs cellular blanket which I bought from her at the baby show in grey and mint, I wrap it around my shoulders on a cold evening when feeding Nandy at 3am!

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Continuing on the triangle theme we had bespoke building wooden blocks made by the wonderful Myla and Oscar, and a triangle paper bunting decoration adorns the window perfectly from H&M.

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H&M Bunting

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Triangle decals work perfectly as shelf decor

It turns out we did find out the sex of the baby in the end – but I wouldnt change my choices as I truly feel the mint / grey and ochre work well for a boy.

Instagram

I must stress that before getting pregnant I was a huge shopaholic- always buying new clothes. I now buy myself nothing and all my money goes on kitting Nandy out with some super cool stuff from instagram!

I feel before I share with you my Instagram favourites the need to describe how i came to find these gems! I used to have a strong presence on social media and when I became pregnant I stumbled upon a few instamum pages – following that I made the decision to start posting about all things mum too!

To begin with I posted baby updates on my personal page – the lighting was poor and my page had no vision. It was then that I decided to create the_life_of_nandy. One place which I could spam all I wanted about Max!

Little did I realise that I would make some amazing insta friends along the way. I’m still learning how to take a good photo and edit them, we are also loving our time repping for some amazing brands a few out our favourites are:

@iamloved

@Ldwyerfashion – Get 10% off using code NANDY10 at checkout!

@buttonandsquirt

@love_roo_

@thecottonbarn

Head over to Instagram and give them a follow!!