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

Organix Goodies – fruit gummies Review 

Organix sent us some lovely ‘Goodies’ fruit gummy shapes to try out and here’s what I think!

They come in a variety pack of 5 and the flavours include:-

  • Strawberry and apple
  • Raspberry and apple
  • Blackcurrant and apple 

Organix Goodies


Organix have a no junk promise and each goodie contains mainly apple juice concentrate and fruit purées with nothing else added.

Moo shaped goodies

  

The goodies gummies come in differing different shapes – the ones featured above are very small (smaller than I anticipated they would be) and cow face shaped. Not sure what the connection is between raspberries and apples and cows though? 
The packaging is really bright, fun and attractive in purple and pink colours, but not sure the packaging makes them appeal to boys as well as girls? I appreciate that is a very gender biased statement to make – but perhaps a picture of both a boy and girl on the front of the packing may have been better. 

I actually tried the taste of theee goodies myself as Nandy is still a bit too little to eat them and found them to be very sweet and a great alternative to actual sweets for your children. 
Rebecca 

The Making of The Little Jones

The Little Jones is a perfect Instagram store selling the most adorable prints for your home / nursery or playroom – we love their collection of prints and if you haven’t followed them already then go ahead! They can be found here

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

I’m Kate and I run The Little Jones! I’ve been married to my hubby since 2014 and we have a little boy, Harry, who is 16 months old.

What inspired you to start your insta shop?

I had always wanted to start my own business when I had children, rather than going back to full time work. I had designed lots of bits in the past, including our wedding stationery, so when Harry was born I designed some prints for his nursery and that was the start of The Little Jones.

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

Have faith in yourself and be consistent! I didn’t tell anyone about The Little Jones when I first started as I was too nervous about what people would think. I wish I’d been more confident at the beginning! I also think consistency with Instagram is key – posting good quality images that work with your brand and doing it every day!

Who do you feel inspired by on Instagram?

So many people! I love kids interiors feeds such as @kidsdesginlife and @_honeypunch and fellow shops like @wonderandrah and @lalalovesdecor. I think Jaz from @themilkcollective has built an amazing brand! I recently found @nedintheclouds, an account which is run by Claire who runs a blog about autism. She recently organised a charity auction (AUT:CTION) and does so much to raise awareness of autism and I find that very inspiring.

Tell us a little bit more about where you want The Little Jones to be in 5 years time?

I have big plans for The Little Jones, but also want to make sure I remember why I started it in the first place – so that I can spend more time with Harry. I’d love to see The Little Jones stocked in more retailers and would like to expand our range to include more than just prints. I’ll be launching greetings cards later this month and have plans to make my own frames as well. I would hope that in 5 years we might have another little one (or two!) running around keeping me busy too!

What’s your favourite insta purchase and why?

Oh that’s a tough question as I have so many! I love our @bulblondon ‘Love’ bulb, I have 3 @velveteen_babies garlands and Harry has loads of amazing clothes from Insta shops. I recently bought a print from @sooukdotcom which I adore and money from each sale went to AUT:CTION, so that’s probably my favourite.

 

As a thankyou to my blog readers Kate is offering you all 20% any purchase on her website using code NANDY20.

I really enjoyed reading all of Kate’s responses to my questions, I hope you did too. Please give them a follow and be sure to follow our little blog too to read more “making of” stories from this series every Monday at 8pm.

Rebecca

The Making of Foxsfelts

This is a series of many blog posts around the making of some of our favourite Instagram shops. I was lucky enough to speak to Amy Ford, owner of Foxsfelts about her story. 

Hi, tell us a little about yourself and your family…

Hi! I’m Amy Ford owner of Foxsfelts, aged 32, I have two little ones Grayson 4, and Knox 3 months. I’ve been married to Ben for 10 years. 

What inspired you to start your insta shop?

I’ve always been into something creative, when I fell pregnant with Gray I began Fox’s Felts – so we are 4.5 years in the making! I found Instagram in 2015 and now it’s pretty much the only social media that I use! Grayson was my inspiration and I wanted to be able to look after him and not have to do a job I disliked so I started with needle felting mobiles which can still be found on my website today. I am now focusing on teethers – something which I began when I needed to sell smaller items to keep the business ticking over between sales of mobiles and other items. 

We began selling silicone teethers in 2015 they went mad and took over the business somewhat – so now that’s what we are focusing on!

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

Advice would be to put a clear business plan together, seek advice when you need it and believe in your yourself!

Who do you feel inspired by on Instagram? 

I’m inspired by many I can’t name just one! 

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

In five years time I’d like to be running a team of five (or more) staff and turning over five times the figures I am today Amy says. 

What’s your favourite insta purchase and why?

Favourite insta purchase this year would have to be a blanket for Knox from Clem at so Satsuma @sosatsuma – they sell Handmade merino wool lusciouness 😍
Thanks to Amy for taking the time to answer our questions and you must head over to their website to see the full range of teethers on offer, we simply adore ours! 

Healthy, Tasty & Convienient – Piccolo Pouches Review 

Convienience – it’s all about it these days isn’t it? Especially being a mum. One thing I’ve learnt is that convienience is my friend. 

It’s month 6, I started out very prepared with weaning Nandy, Annabel Karmel book to the ready, I’d puréed broccoli, sweet potatoes and butternut squash within an inch of its life and frozen it into ice cube trays. Now this is where the fun started – whilst smashing frozen food out of ice cube trays one pinged up and smacked me square in the eye – the other flew up into the air and landed behind the freezer! Great! Not a great start!

Then ensued the defrosting element – thus had to be done in a jug if hot water which took hours as microwaving is considered bad due to hotspots in the food! 

You can only imagine that this routine didn’t go on long before I thought sod this for a game of soldiers and started looking to buy food – for convienience. But, what about when convienience doesn’t suit – for example, the worry of wanting the best for your baby and what’s easy for you as a mum!?

The answer – Piccolo food pouches – they are natural and contain foods which even I would normally eat, chickpeas, kale, sweet potatoes …. all those “in” things which a good for us and full of flavour and herbs. 

Plus, they’ve just been made finalists for the 2017 best new brand in the world food innovation awards!!! How amazing is that! They are supported by the NCT too, which always gives you confidence. 

Due to a lack of availability in my local supermarket I ordered a bulk of the pouches on Ocado.com for delivery to the house (even more convienient right!) my weaning journey literally transformed overnight.

Nandy LOVES the chickpea, squash and pepper purée, I mix it with his vegetables, cous cous, pasta, tuna … all manner of stuff!  No more waste, no more defrosting, ease of transportation, fresh and tasty! 

I also mixed the carrot pouch with some mashed potato! 

Homemade mash


I really wanted to try the mango, kale and pear with a hint yoghurt but couldn’t locate it anywhere – so we were kindly sent a few pouches to try from Piccolo directly – they went went down a treat too!

So far the only pouch Nandy is yet to really enjoy is the chicken – it smells divine and just like a chicken roast! Perhaps he is going to be vegetarian – who knows!

Even though we try and follow baby led weaning we can still use the purees mixed with porridge for breakfast or with vegetables for tea! 

Rebecca

Piccolo did not sponsor or endorse this post, all opinions are my own. We were sent a few pouches of food to try for free, but this was not in connection with any advertising. I chose to write about Piccalo of my own accord. 

If you would like to purchase any Piccolo pouches then you can do so from Asda / Waitrose / Ocado supermarkets. 

Kokoso Baby – Natural baby brush review

Nandy has cradle cap – he’s had it since he was very small. It’s an inconvience – it looks ugly and unsightly and I’d do anything to feel his soft and scale free hair and scalp.

It is important to note that Nandy also has eczema which we need specialist prescribed creams for from the GP which limits what we can do with his dry skin / cradle cap treatment and always advisable to seek advice from a health professional if your baby suffers from skin conditions and you’re not sure what to use on their skin. 

We have tried a number of products on his head such as olive oil, dentinox cradle cap shampoo, baby oil, emulsifying ointments and unnatural plastic bristled baby brushes.

Now it can be said honestly that his cradle cap has improved over time with the use of the cradle cap shampoo, and some combing with a plastic comb and brush, but, it’s still there and can occasionally flares up even when we think it’s on the out! Just when I thought that we would be stuck with this issue forever imagine my excitement when this package from @kokoso baby landed!


Their cradle cap brush is made of 100% natural bristles and beechwood and can help with the cradle cap, or so they say….
We set out in testing the theory right away and used the brush to gently exfoliate Nandys scalp only once a day for a few weeks. 

The Result – I can honestly say his cradle cap has almost gone!!! 

Whereas we used to have large sized greasy scales on the top to the front of his head – there are now only the odd signs of tiny white dry flecks which are more like dandruff now rather than scales!

The brush is made so beautifully with it’s beech wood handle so it looks so nice in his nursery too! No more nasty plastic Brushes. 

Kokoso coconut oil and cradle cap brush


You can always finish off after brushing with a nice baby head massage using Kokoso coconut oil. Unfortunately we didn’t do this as we only use the coconut oil on Nandys face to help with any dry patches but it would certainly be acceptable to use on the hair and scalp and may have even helped to clear the cradle cap quicker than just using the brush alone. 

You can purchase the Kokoso cradle cap brush from their website at a great price if only £7.99! 

Rebecca 

We were sent the natural baby brush to review and genuinely love it, we were not paid to advertise this product. All opinions and reviews are my own. 

Note **Kokoso always recommend you carry out a patch test first before using the product to be sure your little one doesn’t react. 

KidloLand App Review

We were contacted by the lovely team over at KidloLand and asked to review their app which is suitable for babies and children up to the age of 5. 

Having an active youngster I was eager to download the app right away and start to find out what it was all about and hopefully entertain him.

The app can be downloaded from your mobile App Store either Android or Apple 

iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/app/apple-store/id533412119?pt=275891&ct=lifeofnandy

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.internetdesignzone.nurseryrhymes&hl=en

Amazon Appstore: https://www.amazon.com/KidloLand-Nursery-Rhymes-Educational-Preschool/dp/B00HFQBCEU

After subscribing you get access to content such as nursery rhymes, games and educational tools.

Really intrigued

The app is fun, bright and noisy – perfect for entertaining a interested baby or toddler.

Example of the menu – Bright and colourful


Immediately I downloaded the content for the nursery rhymes section – the downloads are fast but I must admit you do need to take time to download the content in advance so that it is there for when you need it most!

Learn to trace


Ok so let’s start with just a couple of Negatives:-

  • You have to download the content before you can use it.  
  • The singing voices could be better and the song lyrics can sound really made up (to the point that my mum and I were really laughing at some of the lyrics they chose)!  

Now onto the Positives:- 

  • It’s brightly coloured and loud and immediately gets their attention!
  • It’s informative and educational 
  • It’s handy!! – on your phone or tablet so you can transport the entertainment around!
  • It has plenty of options for what to play so your baby won’t get bored easily! Games, music, even Christmas themes – all sorts! 

If you have a tablet device I can imagine this app would be even more handy to have – I was just using my iPhone to play the content to Nandy and found he kept trying to take the phone into his own hands – so I would seriously recommend you download the app onto a device you aren’t bothered about handing over to your kids to get their mucky hands and dribble all over! 

We were sent a free 6 month subscription to this app in exchange for a review. We would not take part in a review if we did not pride ourselves in the fact we give honest feedback. 

We would recommend you download the app if you have time to download the content and you want an educational and fun tool for your little ones! 

More information on the app and the subscription charges can be found by going to the KidloLand Website.
Rebecca