The Baby Show Haul

The Baby Show is an event fairly local to where we live in the midlands, I visited for the first time when I was pregnant with Nandy and didn’t purchase much as I felt completely inundated with choice and products which I wasn’t sure I would need.


This year was somewhat different and I visited with a more open mind as to the products which we use and a list of things we needed to buy.

Firstly we went off to see the lovely Kiera at Mama designs. We went last year specifically to buy one of her gorgeous mint and grey cellular blankets – it was a must for us to return to her stand again and purchase one of her gorgeous babasacs with the mono pineapple print on it!! We bagged this at a special show price, however, it has to be said that the normal price is still really competitive as the quality is superb and so so stylish!!!

It was then off for a quick bottom change for Nandy at the Aldi mamia changing area and they certainly didn’t disappoint! They gave us plenty of free nappy samples and whilst I waited they gave me some food samples too including pouches, snacks and even a pack of tommee tippee feeding spoons! All of which will come in extremely handy right now.

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Day at the Farm

Daylesford Farm Shop is a gorgeous place based in Kingham Gloucestershire.

We spent the day here in April and returned again in May 2017 for their summer festival. Sadly the sun didn’t shine the second time around but it was still a fun packed day for the family!


It’s always difficult to think of things to do with babies because they get bored at home but also aren’t active enough to take advantage of alternative activities. I’ve discovered that Nandy just loves being out and about regardless of where we are – his head is always flicking from left to right taking in all of his surroundings like a meerkat!

When we visited the first time the weather was nice enough so we decided to take advantage and buy some of the gorgeous organic produce from the farm shop to eat and set up a picnic in the field. We did seem to be the only ones doing this though, but it was so beautiful we couldn’t resist! We had cheese, pickles, olives, fresh bread, elderflower ham and sausage roll, plus sundried tomatoes and homemade potato salad – it was lush siting in the sun and snacking on the food.

We saw cows and sheep, no pigs. We took a walk over railway bridges and streams, through fields and explored where the beehives and blossom trees were.

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Tears into Smiles with Elastoplast 

Nandy may only be 9 months old but we love to get out and about and explore – we shouldn’t be afraid of letting him explore his surroundings through fear of the odd cut or scrape!


We were kindly sent some Elastoplast children’s plasters to use if (and when!) Nandy has any little “boo boo’s” or “mishaps” or “scrapes” – however you want to name those minor accidents that can occur at any time with little ones who are on the move or being adventurous!

We love to get out and about and take photos in the most unusal of places, any slip or fall could result in some tears!

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Father’s Day Gift Guide

It’s daddy Nandys’ first ever Father’s Day this year so we need to pull out all the stops to make sure his day is extra special! (Cough cough because he failed so miserably at my first ever Mother’s Day and boy didn’t he know about it) I’m a little under pressure to ensure he is spoilt!

In that regard I’ve pulled together a small guide on our top buys for Father’s Day for all budgets – including Instagram shops because we just LOVE shopping small and supporting handmade / small businesses.


 


1. Papa Bear Tshirt

This tshirt is perfect for twinning because they even do “baby bear” and “mama bear” ones to match! Get that photo on Father’s Day of you all wearing the same tops!

2. Drone

Hubby has been harping on about a drone for ages and this one is reasonably priced from very.co.uk.

3. Go Pro Hero 5

Ok so this is £400 (£299 on offer at the moment) and way out of my price range but I know Hubby would be one seriously happy bunny if he were to receive this. He has the original gro pro which I bought him years ago for his car hobby and doing short videos of our baby free holidays!! I think he could get his love of video back if I bought this!

4. Paul Hollywood baking beans & Paul hollywood Flour shaker

Hubby is a fab hand at baking bread – he loves it, I couldn’t resist sneaking these accessories on the guide as they are useful to that budding baker in your lives!

5. Daddy Print/ Card

Available from @thelittlejones on instagram or little jones website soon – you can get superhero or legend prints which you could frame and give as a gift! I think they would look perfect on their desk at work, hung in their garage or man shed…!! Or even used as a card and write a nice message on the back.

6. Nappy clutch / Man bag

Love Roo makes an amazing collection of nappy and clutch bags for mamas – I asked her to make one for my hubby and she came up with this awesome design! He loves camo (avid reader of commando dad!!!) and has a camo backpack for his main baby bag! So it made sense to have a miniature version. I know he wanted one of these to take swimming with Nandy. The nappy clutches / man bags start from £14.99.

I hope this guide has inspired you and given you some ideas for every budget on what to buy your loved one this Father’s Day! 

Rebecca and Nandy 

Nandys’ Holiday Wardrobe 

We go on holiday in a month and therefore it’s time to think about what to pack! It’s our very first ever family holiday – for ease we’ve decided to go away to Devon. So it’s British weather in May. What do we pack? 

Well just see below as to a selection of the items we will be taking with us. 

Most of the items are bought from Instagram shops as we are strong supporters of shopping small!! 

1. Letter Romper – Kids We Love – We have ordered the same as photographed but with a ‘M’ letter! 

We recently discovered this brand. We have ordered a huge haul of products from them and simply cannot wait for them to arrive!! 

2. Whale shorts – Lovebeebaby – We have a selection of items from this Instagram shop – everything is super soft and such incredible quality, always made to perfection and packaged so well. These shorts are the perfect Devon holiday design! 

3. Shark wetsuit – this is from Jojo Maman Bebe – at £19.00 we felt this was perfect for days on the beach to protect Nandy from the sun and the Sea! We will still need a waterproof nappy underneath! 

4. I am Loved Tshirt – I am Loved – we have so many tshirts from this wonderful Instagram shop, this grey colour is so summery and perfect alternative to white, which isn’t practical for us at the moment due to Nandy staining his clothes when eating! 

5. Summer hat – Love Roo – This hat is available in lots of different prints – we chose the linen stripe but we also love the whale print too!!! Perfect to keep little heads cool and protected from the sun! 

I was not sponsored or endorsed in any way to write this post. All opinions are my own. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on what to pack for a holiday with a little one! What are your go to items? Comment below! 

Rebecca 

5 things you think about when you’re a new mum on a night out 

You’ve just had baby number 1, you haven’t been out the house in months, when you’re finally let free there’s 5 key things that you may feel ….

1. Mum Guilt

It’s been an eternity since you last went out, you’re finally allowed to roam free and you spend the entire night feeling guilty.

Guilt because you’ve left them at home. Guilty for their dad or career because they’re not used to having them for such a prolonged time and what if baby is a little sod and makes their evening a nightmare?!

Guilty for the 1 alcoholic drink you’re about to consume whilst breastfeeding.

Guilty for feeling happy about going out without them….

2. Mum anxiety 

If the guilt subsides for a moment it only momentarily makes way for anxiety – anxious about what to wear, will that black dress fit?

Will the black dress be too dressy?

Will jeans be too understated? What IS the thing to wear these days?

Anxious about whether baby will behave, anxious about whether hubby will behave!!

Anxious about whether there’s enough milk stocks / food / water for 3 hours whilst you’re out (of course there is!!).

The constant checking of the texts to see if they’ve called ensues – glancing at the notifications to see if you have a message stating “get home now I’ve set the house on fire and the baby is screaming because I spilt all your precious gold (ahem I mean breastmilk) on the floor!” But actually the text just reads “hope you’re having fun, all fine here”

3. The “Why did I wear heels / can I get in my pjs yet?”

You’ve spent weeks dreaming of those heels you’ve bought especially for this night out, the outfit is planned and all ironed and ready to go and you stroll out of the house trying to walk in said shoes and breathing in from the too tight skinny jeans cutting into your mum tum.

It’s 30 minutes into the meal and you’re already daydreaming over your crab fishcake about wearing your elasticated waist cosy pjs and kicking those heels off in favour of a pair of monster feet slippers.

4. “Ooh I’d love a brew right now” 

You go out with the girls – you’re all sipping fancy cocktails, but deep down you’re thinking – “ooh I’d love a brew right now”.

That is all.

5. Fat / Ugly / Tubby / Mumsy 

So you leave the house feeling 1,000,000 dollars – heels are on, actual makeup on and hair is dried and styled (instead of the usual mum bun) then you walk into the restaurant and immediately spy a 20 year old, 6 stone, model walk past and boom! Mumsy, frumpy, low self esteem comes and smacks you clear in the face like a train which screams – ‘no you’re not young, free, single and hot anymore – you’re a married, 30 something mum with size 12 jeans on and a stretch marked jelly belly and you will never look good in a bodycon dress ever again’.

Can you relate to these thoughts? If you have your new mum thoughts then please feel free to comment and share 🙂

Rebecca

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. 

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 …

5 tips for Travelling light with a baby

Before I gave birth to Nandy I purchased a lovely baby bag from baby beau from very. I chose this bag because I felt it wasnt overly girly and therefore my husband could use it too without being embarrased by some of the pretty coloured ones you can buy!

When the bag arrived I soon realised why it was the perfect choice, inside the main bag was a small bag with lots of compartments and a fold out changing mat. This changing mat has literally transformed the way in which I travel with a baby!

The main bag stays in the boot of the car – including a change of clothing for any bum explosions or sick moments. Leaving me with only his nappy clutch in the base of the pram.

Now, I hasten to add that I am able to travel light because I breastfeed so there are no bottles to transport and also we are only just weaning so we also dont need bibs and food!

My husband is also a great believer that mums carry far too much ‘stuff’ to put it politely. He is quite a hands-on dad and when he attends baby groups he is simply astonished by all the mums who must be riddled with back problems!

Most carry their baby in the car seat with a baby bag (ram packed with stuff) ont heir one shoulder and a handbag on the other and its simply not necessary!

Below are my top tips on how to travel light with a small baby:

  1. Invest in a nappy clutch / nappy roll like this one:
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Nappy clutch from http://www.loveroo.co.uk

These clutches are simply wonderful, not only are you helping to support small business by purchasing handmade but you are also getting a high quality item which has been carefully considered to suit mums needs. I

…..and a nappy roll / travel clutch like this one.

img_5154

Baby beau travel clutch

 

Lets take a peak inside my nappy clutches…

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Clutch customised from Love Roo – includes a whole pack of wipes, 2 nappies, 2 nappy bags, a teether, a tude of sudocream and dentinox and a change of top

img_5155

My husband uses this nappy roll from baby beau, it has a tear away changing mat and pockets for nappies and wipes.

2. Purchase smaller sized / travel creams

Sudocream do a small sixe nappy cream in a tube which is perfect for transporting arounf (rather than using the big grey tub!) I can fit 2-3 pampers nappies size 4 in my clutch, including a pack of wet wipes, nappy bags and a muslin cloth (for any accidents).

3. Dont go out with things which are not necessary!

Why take the whole pack of nappy bags out with you when you can literally pull out one or two bags and take those? The handy clear pockets in the baby beau changing mat help me to keep these safe.

Pack only a few nappies in the nappy clutch and then eave some more in the main bag in the car for emergencies.

Do you really need 4 toys when they only use 1 at a time? Consider packing more discreet teethers like this one from foxsfelts.

Do you need 3 muslin cloths and 4 bibs? Again keep purely the essentials in the nappy clutch and then carry the rest in the main bag.

4. Have a normal handbag

I cant stress enough how much having a normal hangbag has transformed my life! I hear mums say how much they miss having a normal handbag! well have one then! I carry a modalu england designer handbag around with me and the nappy clutch inside. It makes me feel less mumsy and more like me!

5.Breastfeed (if possible).

I understand that not all of us want or choose to breastfeed our babies, but I dont think I could have bottlefed, its so much work, cleaning bottles, being organised and carrying the formula around – I actually take my hat off to bottlefeeding mummies as its actually harder!! I can be so lazy with breastfeeding, it enbales me to feed wherever and whenever I want with no prep and no mess.

Hope you’ve found this post informative, I’d appreciate any polite comments on how you find it best to travel with your little one.
Rebecca

NCT

When we found out we were expecting we decided we were oblivious to babies and needed some guidance. I googled ante natal classes and found NCT.

We booked on a class local to where we live, it was spring 16 and getting closer and closer to D-day!

Session 1 – there was a group of 16 in total, 8 other women expecting babies and their birthing partners. It was run by a lovely lady called Janine (or Janice as I kept calling her!) we had to break the ice and introduce ourselves, mart as usual embarrassed me with his intro but at least he made light of a tense moment.

As the sessions progressed we got to know each other, eating lunch in the playground of the childrens nursery the sun shone and it was too beautiful to be sitting inside all day on a Saturday discussing stages of labour!

It was amazing how everyone had different expectations for the birth of their baby. Some wanted home births, others C sections and me – as little intervention as possible. None of us knew when our babies would be making an appearance. It was all so exciting.

Once the sessions ended we created a group whatsapp the boys used it as an excuse to go for beer and the girls a chance to meet for lunch and talk all things pregnancy!

Slowly one by one each of us started having our babies – except me. Being one of the last in the group it was hard – it was July and hot, I was like a waddling whale and jealous of these mums who had gotten it over with!

Fast forward a few months and the babies are all here. Hardly anyone’s birth plan went as we had hoped! There were 3 C sections – planned and emergency, 1 foreceps. 4 natural deliveries some of which were induced! I think we all sampled the delights of the drugs on offer.

This group of ladies has certainly been there over the nights when things are tough with an ear and offer of support. We still all meet for coffee now, we go to the same sensory classes and I know I could not have done what I have done without them around.

I’m really going to miss them all when we start going back to work