Travelling With Kids

With our holiday to Turkey just a week away, I thought that for the first time ever – I would get prepared in advance. Usually our holiday prep consists of making an emergency Amazon order with next day delivery and leaving the washing and packing until the night before; fine when it was just the 2 of us, slightly more stressful with a family of 5… But as I am feeling nicely organised this year, I thought I would share with you some of the products I have picked up to make travelling with kids that little bit easier! No longer is my greatest dilemma matching heels with bags, it is being prepared for almost every eventuality holidaying with children brings. So from airport boredom to pool safety – here are my must-have items…

BabyBjörn Baby Carrier One, £119.95

For the majority of the holiday, you’ll likely have your buggy to hand, but I have found the carrier to be hugely useful at the airport. Especially when you get off the plane with the endless carrier bags you’ve accumulated along the journey (who knows what is in them), all of your hand luggage, and no buggy…

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Trunki Paddlepak, Amazon, £14.99

Scarlett has loved filling this little bag with all of her essentials. It’s very light weight and splash proof so perfect as a travel bag and whilst on holiday by the pool.
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EVY Sun Mousse SPF50, £18.95

I really recommend this sun mousse for kids, perfect if your little one has sensitive skin and it is so easy to apply which is essential for impatient 2 year olds desperate to jump in the pool!
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Babymoov Anti UV Tent, Amazon, £29.95

This pop up tent is so handy for a trip to the beach. Light weight, easy to assemble and put down, it has a convenient carry handle to store on the back of the buggy plus it offers instant UV protection for total peace of mind.

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My Carry Potty, Natural Baby Shower £24.95

We are about to enter the Potty Training sagas with Savannah. She has already told us point blank that she is not interested in using a potty, or a toilet and couldn’t care less about wearing knickers no matter which Princess is on them. However, she hasn’t met this carry potty that looks like a lady bird yet so I am hopeful for success on our holiday! 233742615alt2

BabyZen YOYO, £445

This buggy folds down small enough to pass as hand luggage when travelling. I know. Genius right?? Light weight and can even be carried with a strap over your shoulder like a hand bag. The perfect travelling buggy. poussette-yoyo-babyzenTrunki Ride-on Suitcase, Amazon £32

I swore I would never be a mum with a Trunki. Now I have 2. The girls absolutely love them and packing them up with their little goodies really gets them in the holiday spirit. It also means whilst Paul is dragging them around the airport I can peruse duty free at my leisure!
81ud8iFpqqL._SL1500_Zoggs Inflatable Noodle, £7

Hours of pool time fun to be had with these noodles and a great learning tool for early swimmers. Plus, being inflatable as opposed to foam makes them really easy to travel with.300840_miss_zoggy_inflatable_noodle_24

 

LifeProof iPad Case, From £63

An iPad is quite literally worth its weight in gold when travelling with children. Paul fills ours with new movies and games that both can play when chilling out by the pool (keeping them out of trouble) and on the plane before total boredom sets in. But if you are going to trust an iPad in the hands of a child, make sure it is protected with a Lifeproof case. It is waterproof, shock proof, dirt proof, even snow proof – it is about the only thing that will protect a valuable iPad from a toddler…

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Summer Style 2015: The Holiday Edit

Holiday is booked, bikini is purchased, legs are shaved. Ok legs aren’t shaved, but we’re not going for a couple more weeks… We are heading back to the fabulous Gloria Resort in Turkey for some last minute sun and the holiday prep is well and truly underway! From hair protection to stylish sunnies, check out my break down of this years holiday essentials…

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All you need for Pool Side Glam…

1. Huit Dressy Foam Triangle Bikini, £77

Simple and elegant, you can’t beat a triangle top bikini but always go for a foam cup to offer more support and give a better shape.

2. Beaded Tusk Necklace, £19 

A subtle gold chain against a sun kissed décolletage gives just enough bling for instant poolside glam.

3. Seafolly Gili Island Striped Kaftan, £53

Seafolly do a great range of colourful kaftans with these gorgeous tasselled trims, they are so easy to throw on over your bikini whilst you enjoy cocktails by the pool.

4. Paul Mitchell Sun Shield Conditioning Spray at Hairtrade.com, £9.99

Hairtrade.com is my first stop for all of my hair needs, this conditioning spray will protect against the suns harmful rays to stop your hair getting too dry.

5. Ray-Ban Clubmaster Sunglasses, £125

The celeb sunnies of summer 2015.

6. Tigi Bed Head Totally Beachin Shampoo at Hairtrade.com, £8.99

This shampoo is really hydrating, perfect for your summer holiday wash bag and can be picked up at discounted prices at Hairtrade.com.

7. I+I Jewellery Crescent Moon Ring, £160

I discovered this brand on instagram and am lusting after this crescent moon ring.

8. Elemis Frangipani Monoi Body Oil, £34

An alternative to the after sun lotion is this luxury body oil for intense rehydration and to moisturise your skin. It also gives you a gorgeous dewey glow to compliment your holiday skin.

9. ESPA Skincare Optimal Skin ProDefense, £35

I keep this handy little pump in my hand bag and apply daily for instant protection from the sun. It’s great peace of mind whilst working as an intense moisturiser.

Review: Pacapod Madison Changing Bag

It has been a long time coming, but the Madison by Pacapod was certainly worth the wait. This is the latest style in their luxury collection of baby changing bags and I am thrilled to say I am one of the first to receive it! So without further-ado, I have photographed the hell out of it to try and give justice to this beautiful bag but if you get the chance to sample it in the flesh, grab it. This is set to be the next iconic nappy bag and I love it!

Available in soft tan leather, this structured 1960’s style bag with a classic top carry handle is the perfect combination of style and practicality.

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The front features two large pockets with magnetic fastenings which makes reaching for your essentials far easier than routing around internal pockets.

This is where I keep my phone, my lipstick and a bag of chocolate buttons (no mum of a toddler should leave the house without these – these are an instant tantrum remedy.)

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The chunky gold detail takes it from an ordinary nappy bag to serious arm candy.

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The entire front panel zips open to reveal enough space for all your day to day hand bag essentials; the sunnies, wallet, sun creams and anti bac sprays, as well as the bulky necessities such as spare baby clothes and muslins.

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At the back is another full zip to access the largest compartment of the bag.

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In here are kept Pacapod’s signature Changer and Feeder Pods.

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The Changer Pod is big enough for everything you need to change your baby. Nappies, wipes, creams and nappy bags. There are 4 separate compartments within the pod to keep everything incredibly organised…

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The pod has a further compartment on the back for the changing mat to be neatly stowed away. These little pods mean you dont need to take the entire bag for a quick nappy change in the restaurant toilets, you can just grab the changing pod and go – genius!

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The insulated feeder pod is perfect for keeping food warm and milk bottles cool. We haven’t entered the ‘weaning’ stage with Anastasia yet but this bag is perfect for my older girls. I keep the emergency stash of snacks in here as well as their water bottles.

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Again, rather than rummaging through the bag, or taking out a separate lunch bag – I can keep it all in here and only need to take out this bag for food and drinks. It has ruck sack straps on the back too which means the girls enjoy carrying it themselves! 

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The bag is slightly larger than most nappy bags, but you would be surprised how quickly you’ll fill it! It means I only ever need one bag to take out with me, and if I ever need more space, I can take out the pods leaving a huge compartment for things like jumpers and blankets for the girls.

The Madison retails at £290 and is available for Pre-Order with an expected delivery mid August. For more information check out the official Pacapod site here.

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The Crème De La Crème In Baby Skincare And Your Chance To Win It!

“Little Butterfly London is Britain’s first luxury organic-certified baby skincare range, promising the purest and gentlest care for exquisite baby skin.”

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Already a huge fan of the organic Nappy Cream, I was delighted when Little Butterfly London got in touch to see if I’d like to sample more from their luxury collection. Every product is made with only the finest, natural ingredients to protect and nurture a new borns skin. Little Butterfly London has been created by a mother who shares our passion for wanting only the very best for our babies.

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I don’t like to put too many products on to my babies delicate skin, but for bath time, soothing baby massages and a little moisturiser to keep my baby as comfortable as possible, I have now been totally converted to the organic collection by Little Butterfly London. Here is what I think of the products I have tried…

Floating On Clouds Bedtime Bathmilk, £25.50

If it was good enough for Cleopatra!? This lotion is made using buttermilk with various other extracts of goodness including cucumber seed oil and avocado oil. All I know is, it smells divine and she seems happy enough bathing in it!

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IMG_1321Anastasia in her new Babymoov Aquasoft Bath Support, it makes baby bathing very easy!

Fall Into Dreams Mother & Baby Massage Oil, £29

After a bath, I love to give Anastasia a soothing massage, she seems so content and relaxed whilst enjoying her full body rub! This oil nourishes, protects, heals and hydrates the skin with it’s magical concoction of natural ingredients. It also offers soothing support to those with eczema. It is lightly fragranced and absorbs quickly into her skin.

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Soft As Moonlight Nappy Change Cream, £25.50

This is such a rich moisturiser, it looks almost like a mousse but absorbs leaving a light oil on the skin. As the hero product of the collection, it promises to deeply nourish delicate skin and protect and heal any areas prone to irritation. I only apply this in the morning for her first nappy change and so far, she hasn’t shown any signs of redness or discomfort.

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It is worth mentioning that whilst all of these products have been created using only natural ingredients, they have all been approved and are highly recommended by healthcare professionals.

I have been so impressed with this range that I have worked with Little Butterfly London to put together this prize draw to WIN 1 of 3 Nappy Change Creams! Anything from this beautiful brand makes a wonderful gift so if you don’t have a newborn of your own, enter for someone who does!

Remember as usual, each way will count as a new entry!

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The 3 lucky winners will be notified on Wednesday 22nd July! 

In the mean time, check out the rest of their luxury collection here!

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xx

Post-Baby Summer Wardrobe

There is nothing quite so depressing as that first shopping trip after having a baby… Even after the majority of baby weight has gone, you are a totally different shape and your pre-baby style no longer seems to suit you. My advice would be to hold off on a visit to the shops for as long as you can bear and stick to your trusty yoga pants to see you through until you are feeling more body confident.

Aside from trying to find a new style that is going to suit the new body bestowed on you, if like me, you have the added shopping criteria of ‘suitable for breast feeding’, shopping can just be a massive chore! Well it has been 3 months since having Anastasia and although I’m not back to pre-baby weight and my shape is very different, I am happy with my new ‘mum bod’ and have found some really practical and stylish pieces that I wanted to share with any other new mums on the hunt for a post baby wardrobe! (Click on any pic to be taken to the site).

Vests

A loose vest will be your best friend in the heat whilst trying to breastfeed in public and the best I have come across are from Warehouse. They are such a nice shape and are flattering tucked in or worn loose. There is a huge selection of colours and are only £10. STOCK UP! I get through 2 most days thanks to baby vom…

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Stretchy Jeans

Whilst I love a good pair of skinny jeans, comfort comes first right now! I’ve just discovered Jack Wills do a brilliant pair of stretchy jeans and they are slightly higher waisted than I normally wear which again, covers any bulges when discreetly breastfeeding.

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Skirts

Dresses are simply out of the question when breast feeding, which is devastating when all you want to do is sling on a maxi and be done with it! So to stay cool, skirts are the only option but trying to find a flattering one for a 30 something is harder than you would think! I picked up a couple at Jack Wills and mix and match them with a selection of my new loose vests.

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Shorts

For those park days when a floaty mini skirt simply isn’t practical, you need a good pair of shorts to rely on. Especially if you have dare devil toddlers like me who regularly need rescuing from the top of climbing frames… Most shorts are just too short these days (and yes I know exactly how I sound when I say that) but I have found these from Zara which are practical and very stylish!

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Shoes

I’m still living in last years boat shoes from M&S, they are literally the most comfortable things I have ever worn so it’s no wonder I headed straight back there to see what they had on offer for Summer ’15! I struck gold with these brilliant suede sandals. The gladiator shoe is massive once again but you rarely find a pair that are actually comfortable. Unless you go to Marksies…

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For tips on what to look for when shopping for the ‘breast feeding’ wardrobe, check out my previous post here!

Anastasia’s Nursery

Finally the nursery is complete! In a total contrast to the girls bold prints and bright colours, Anastasia’s nursery is calm and tranquil with new white furniture and pastel coloured textiles. Her room is quite small so using these shades opened up the space and makes it feel much bigger than it is. Let me talk you through the details…

I have written more about this fabulous Stokke furniture here but to summarise; it is simply amazing. Not only does everything in it have a dual purpose (the crib will one day be Anastasia’s first writing desk!) it is unbelievably stylish. It is also brilliant quality, Paul put it all together which normally results in a few days hard graft, a lot of swearing and a few wobbly bits on the finished article – but this took no time at all and is remarkably sturdy. It is also designed to be space saving so perfect for such a small room.

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Stokke Home

This gorgeous lamp shade is part of the Millie & Boris collection at Mamas and Papas, it fits in perfectly with the calming shades of the rest of the room and gives a warm light through the fabric.

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Lamp shade, Mamas & Papas

The wooden pictures are also from Mamas and Papas and have been saved from Scarlett’s nursery 4 years ago.

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Wooden pictures, Mamas & Papas

This summer sleeping bag is by Stokke. It is linen with a soft jersey lining to keep Anastasia warm and cosy at night. You can see the bottom is currently folded up but should last until she is at least 6 months when unfolded.

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Linen sleeping bag, Stokke

The cot bed is the real star of the show with its beautiful drapes and tent roof. It’s the textiles that impressed me the most with this set; the way they are made and fit to the furniture, it makes it so easy to remove or replace them later on down the line when this is a play tent and no longer used for sleeping!

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Cot bed, Stokke

This beautiful quilt is by Susie Watson and doubles as a play mat. It is part of the Bird and Flower collection. I imagine there will be more of this print making its way into the nursery eventually…

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Quilt, Susie Watson

This fabric covered letter was a gift for Anastasia from Mamas & Papas and the colours work perfectly in the room!

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Wall hanging fabric letter, Mamas & Papas

Our new baby monitor is by Withings, it isn’t wired up yet as Anastasia is still in our room, but it’s such a stylish little gizmo I thought I’d put it up anyway! With it’s wide angle view, 12 x zoom, HD crystal clear video stream, time-lapsed recap function and sound alerts straight to your phone for noise and air quality (it’s also compatible with the new Apple watch in case you’re interested!); this is a seriously smart little monitor that will be useful long after the baby days.

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Baby monitor, Withings

The other talking point of the room is this fabulous canvas. It is the name celebration print by Illuminated Canvas, fitted with fairy lights that give a gorgeous glow to the room at night. It works on standard batteries and has a discreet switch on the side – a great alternative to a standard night light!

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Wall art, Illuminated Canvas

This stylish toy storage is also a little ‘push along’ for when Anastasia is ready to try walking! This is from Vertbaudet and currently in the sale!

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Toy storage, Vertbaudet

Her cradle is currently in our bedroom, she sleeps all night in it the little treasure! The luxury blanket is silk and bamboo and is from Babes with Babies.

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Cradle, Stokke. Blanket, Babes With Babies

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Anastasia Grace, 11 weeks old in her Superlove Merino gown

The two products I really swear by for a new born are by Burts Bees and Little Butterfly London. Both of which I use on my own skin! The Little Butterfly London nappy cream works wonders on your hands after soothing babies bottom! And the Baby Bee oil is used when I give Anastasia a full body massage after her bath.

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Burts Bees Baby Bee and Little Butterfly London Nappy Cream

And finally this beautiful Daisy Chain bunting that transforms our stark white walls in to a cosy and playful room is again, by Susie Watson.

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Bunting, Susie Watson

I wonder when she’ll actually sleep in it?!

Scarlett and Savannah’s New Bedroom!

With the arrival of Anastasia, some changes around the home have had to be made… The spare room is just too essential with a new baby in the house so we have decided to put Scarlett and Savannah into one room. As it was originally Scarlett’s room, we wanted to totally transform it so that they were excited about the new room share. Well, today the bunk beds arrived and whilst the girls were at pre-school I had them assembled and spent the afternoon adding all new accessories to give the girls a brilliant surprise when they got home! I am so pleased with the end result, I thought I would share some pics with you on here…

Trying to find suitable bunk beds for a 2 and 4 year old is harder than you may think! We finally settled on this Parisot set because it has a stair case instead of a ladder making those midnight trips to the loo far safer! It also has additional storage and shelves that the girls are going to love filling up. I managed to get this in the sale from The Kids Window and made the decision to let professionals put it together rather than Paul. It was a matter of safety… We got a middle of the range mattress from Mamas and Papas and can totally recommend it for quality and comfort.

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Bunk Beds from The Kids Window

The Ikea shelving unit was already in the room but I replaced the storage boxes with plain pink to give it a new look.

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Ikea Expedit Shelves

These beautiful children’s illustrations are The Royal Collection from Daisy and Bump. You may have spotted these already on my Instagram, these classic and elegant prints will certainly be treasured for years to come.

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Daisy and Bump set of 3 Princess Prints

These wicker lined baskets come as a set of 3 from JoJo Maman Bebé and are a great solution for storing the girls ridiculous amount of cuddly toys!

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JoJo Maman Bebé toy storage

The fabric letters are also from JoJo’s and make a great feature now that wall space is limited!

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JoJo Maman Bebé fabric covered letters

The bedding is called Horsing Around Peony and is part of the Kids collection at Designers Guild. It’s luxury to the touch (which isn’t easy to find for kids bedding – most of it gives you an electric shock!) and is colourful enough to get the girls seal of approval! I really love this cushion…

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Designers Guild Kids Bed Linen

Scarlett’s bunnies are by Jelly Kitten and the one in the middle has been personalised with her name at My 1st Years.

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Jelly Kitten cuddly toys. These ones are the favourites :)

The bold wool rug in lime greens and fuchsia pinks really brings the room together and is great quality at a very reasonable price! I picked this up from Room to Grow.

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Rug from Room to Grow

This lamp shade was made by a close friend and designer Edwina Sercombe.

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Lamp shade by Edwina Sercombe, Gro Clock & Cath Kidston Bear

Some bits taken from Savannah’s room – her personalised bag and my favourite photo from her first shoot with Mrs Shutterspeed.

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Savannah in her Angels Face tutu!

And here are the girls after pre-school LOVING their new bunk beds! Let’s see how the first night goes… My money is on them staying up all night swapping beds.

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First time on the top bunk!