Thursday, 5 May 2016

What the Boys Wore - Rockin Baby

The forcast for this week tells me that Spring has definitely started and we are beginning to feel pretty summery some days too.  There are days when the sun is so bright that jumpers are discarded and we return from our adventures rosy cheeked.  

I have been having so much fun planning Finn's summer wardrobe and filling it full of bright clothes practical for my crawling baby, visible on a busy beach and light enough for warmer days.  We discovered Rockin' Baby last year and loved their vibrant autumn/winter range and their summer collection is beautiful.

Not only are you supporting a great cause buying from Rockin' Baby  as for every item purchased they donate one to a family in need, but you are buying great quality kidswear too.   Every item we have had has washed really well and kept its bright colour even after everything this little monkey can throw at it.

We chose two outfits from the new collection, the first was perfect for a beach day as the t-shirt has a sandcastle on.  Yellow is my favourite colour and this shade is great, even on my pale skinned baby.  The blue trim matches perfectly with the cuffs on his trousers which remind me so much of Elmer the elephant.  These leggings are designed to stand out with their bold pattern but they are wonderfully childish and they look super comfy.  This outfit is size 12-18 months, a size that Finn is just going into.  The trousers come up a little small - they are the perfect size for him now but I would suggest sizing up if you are torn between two.

The second outfit had more of a jungle theme and the trousers with their beautiful print were a much looser fit with cuffs that can be turned up or down meaning they last much longer.  Even with a cloth nappy these trousers are really generous and they look super comfy.  Finn loved exploring the park in them and they had plenty of stretch for his climbing.  The t-shirt has an envelope neck (unlike the poppers on the sandcastles) and it came up quite big.  Again we went for the 12-18 but I found these items much more roomy.  I love the matching cuffs and collar again and the orange looks wonderful in the sunshine too.

I love how childish both outfits are with baby's comfort clearly at the forefront of the design.  Everything is soft, stretchy, colourful and comfortable and cloth nappy friendly, even with the bulkiest of bums. 

The new collection is about to be released and there are so many wonderful clothes, not all of them as bright as the ones we chose, so if you prefer a more muted look then still check them out.  Rockin' baby kindly sent a gift for our little bump too and I can't wait to dress her in it!  It is so girly without being too pink and I love the little details like the star on the foot.

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Monday, 2 May 2016

What Mama Wore - Tiffany Rose

I have got to the point in pregnancy where the most important aspect of an outfit is comfort.  I can still wiggle into my maternity jeans and put on some socks, but all I want to wear are dresses and slip on shoes with no waist bands and no reason to struggle and reach my feet.  The weather isn't quite warm enough to live in summer dresses yet, but we are well into Spring now so I am holding on to it warming up soon.

Luxury British designers Tiffany Rose sent me a couple of their maternity dresses and they are by far the most comfortable things in my wardrobe right now.  They specialise in occassionwear, but with nothing to dress up for on the horizon I opted for a couple of dresses that I could dress down enough to get away with as day wear.

Maxi dresses are the ultimate summer maternity item and this one is just beautiful.  It is lined which helps it hang well (and stops the white becoming see through), comfortable and amazing quality.  The cut is flattering throughout pregnancy and would last from a tiny bump until after baby arrives - I don't think I will be packing this away just because my bump has gone.  I often find that this style of dress comes up short as I am 5 foot 9, but this one is a great length that I am not tripping up over it, but it still is nice and long.  

I love how this dress can work for so many different occassions, on its own it would look wonderful for a summer wedding or Christening, but paired with a denim jacket and flipflops it is casual enough for everyday wear.

The second dress was a shorter length but a similar style with the same crossed over top and empire line cut.  As the weather wasn't as nice I wore it with tights and flat shoes but my plan is to wear this with just sandals and a cardigan or jacket to dress it down in the summer, but maybe put on some low heels if I want to wear it out too.  It felt wonderful to wear and I had so many compliments.  The rich blue colour is really stunning and I found it incredibly flattering on my changing figure.

 Tiffany rose are proud to be designed and manufactured in the UK and their dresses are made to the highest quality and come beautifully packaged too.  These dresses are currently £84 and £89 which I think is great value considering the outstanding quality.

Thank you to Tiffany Rose for sending over these beautiful dresses.

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Saturday, 30 April 2016

Me and Mine April

April has been the month that really highlighted the unpredicatability of British weather.  We have had wondeful days at the beach where we bared our arms and came home with rosy cheeks followed by days where we put our ski jackets back on for the school run and jumped in every puddle we could find.  

We were actually ridiculously organised and took these photos quite early in the month! My little sister came home after 5 months of working abroad and we all had a lovely lunch at the local beach cafe.  We got down there early as the weather was so nice and spent the entire day there with our buckets, spades and ice creams.

April has been busy in some ways but full of routine too.  It has flown by all too quickly and I am glad that we have a long weekend now to see it out.

This month Mama has been loving summer dresses and flip flops because she doesn't have to reach her toes,  seeing Britney Bump again at the growth scan, finally getting her hair cut - the first time since Finn was born, and afternoon tea at the Savoy as part of P&G's Thank You Mum campaign with Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Daddy is loving that the living room is decluttered, exploring in the woods with the boys, that summer is on the way and how well Archie is doing with potty training

Dylan is loving after school clubs that he started this term, the penny arcades,  teaching Finn new things and getting his hair cut.

Archie is loving wearing big boy pants, going to nursery with his friends, eating apples and watching snooker on TV

Finn is loving being discharged from peadiatric care, singing to us in his own little way, pushing his wooden trolley up and down the living room and eating grapes.

We are excited for May now, hopefully the start of more stable good weather, lots of time enjoying our family just the way it is and two bank holiday long weekends too.

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Thursday, 28 April 2016

When Pregnancy is Tough

I have spent three pregnancies feeling overwhelmingly happy.  I skipped the morning sickness, the heartburn and the strange cravings, I grew a bump perfectly round and all out front and managed to enjoy pretty much every moment.  Of course there were bits that were tough, I lost sight of my feet pretty early on, I got out of breath walking up hills and I got really tired.  Overall though, I sailed through those first three pregnancies, I loved the whole experience and couldn't wait to do it all again.

This fourth one though, it isn't the same at all.  From the beginning this pregnancy has been tough, there have been more tears and more pain than the other three combined.

I still don't have it bad, somehow I managed to skip the nausea and morning sickness for the fourth time and for that I am ever grateful, but the first trimester tiredness was just debilitating.  I could barely function as a human let alone a parent and our house descended into chaos as I thanked the TV gods that Blaze and the Monster Machines was on pretty much constantly on Nikolodeon.  Toys piled up, washing overflowed, dishes were left dirty for far too long and bed sheets were rarely washed.

I felt like I should be enjoying our little secret, this fourth and very much final baby I was growing, but instead I just felt tired, overwhelmingly tired.  The first trimester problems seemed to clear up slightly at around 16 weeks and I had a few weeks of respite, but way before I reached the final trimester, things started to get tough again.  I am not getting any younger, my body has carried four babies in four years, my pelvic floor muscles may not be as strong as they once were and this little madam I am growing is already rather large.  My back started to struggle first, and rather than taking it easy, I chose to power through, something I am now regretting.

Somedays I am fine, others I can barely walk by the evening, the bottom of my back aches, I feel bruised and heavy and this baby is nestled (breech) very low in my pelvis.  My body is struggling this time and things that I am so used to doing throughout pregnancy are getting harder.  My pace is slowing, my ability to lift my children comes with a sacrifice of an evening of pain, because quite frankly they are pretty heavy boys.

And on top of this, I really understand what people mean by pregnancy hormones.  I cry more than ever, but I also feel overwhelming love more often.  I need time to myself every day to be a tolerant person and that doesn't come easily with three small people who need me.  My moods can dip unexpectedly and nothing can pull me out and my patience wears thin very quickly.

I love pregnancy, and I still do, despite everything.  I am not ready for this little one to arrive, I want to grow bigger, to feel her kicking from the inside a little longer, to embrace my changing shape and watch this miracle happening.  I am still amazed every time I look down, I still smile and rest my hands on my tummy everytime she kicks and I want to savour each moment, each final week with her safely inside, and my three boys just the way they are.

But this pregnancy is tough both physically and emotionally.  I feel stressed and tired and achey and moody and I never expected it to be this difficult, especially not with 10 weeks still to go.

I wouldn't give up the chance to carry this baby for anything, I know how lucky we are to be adding another member to our team, I really do know how lucky I am, but it doesn't mean that pregnancy isn't tough sometimes.

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HUGGIES® Little Swimmers®

Summer is right around the corner, some days I can nearly smell it and I start looking at shorts and suncream and planning our days at the beach.  Of course there is still the odd day where it feels like we are only just shaking off Winter, but on the whole it is feeling a whole lot like Spring down here.  Every now and then we get a day of unexpected sunshine, enough that we throw off our jumpers, bare our arms and come home with slightly sunkissed cheeks.

This summer I am excited to be a Huggies® Little Swimmer® Get Set, Splash ambassador - well Finn is anyway!  With the launch of their new swim pants featuring Dory from the upcoming Disney Pixar film 'Finding Dory', I know this little boy of mine is going to be out splashing at every opportunity he can.  He is a real water baby and we now have a couple of pairs of swim pants in the changing bag so that if the sun suddenly decided to shine and he fancies a crawl into the sea then we are prepared.  They don't leak or expand in the water so they won't get in the way of his chubby legs as he crawls and splashes and I can guarantee no nasty accidents!

I am partnering with Huggies® to show you how easy it is to get out and get splashing.  Impromptu adventures are our favourite kind and keeping a pack of Little Swimmers® in your changing bag means you are always prepared!  Whether it is the beach, a pool or a garden sprinkler this summer is the time to make a splash and make memories.

With Archie now at nursery three days a week I am looking forward to getting splashing much more with my water baby and I can't wait to start taking him swimming properly, with our Huggies® Little Swimmers® and our lovely new towel too!  HUGGIES® Little Swimmers® is inviting families to “Get set, splash”, inspiring them to enjoy fun in the water with their little ones, giving them the confidence that they’ll be protected from any little accidentsTo join in the fun pick up your pack of HUGGIES® Little Swimmers® from the baby aisle and visit for more information, top tips and advice

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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

My Boys

With only ten weeks to go (ish) until we add a sixth member to our team, that feeling of the end that is so familiar now has arrived.  I remember during my first pregnancy trying to get my head around the fact that things would change beyond anything I could possibly imagine and I spent those final weeks with my friends, going out in the evenings (and treating myself to an orange juice), going for long walks, going out for dinner and enjoying my social life.

When I was pregnant with baby number two, I couldn't possibly comprehend how I could fit a second little baby in my life and those 10 weeks were spent enjoying everything about my first born, living life at his pace, letting my newly mobile toddler walk, as we had nowhere to be, there was no rush and nobody but us.

During my third pregnancy, I wanted to make the most of me-time, and I went to the cinema at least once a week as I remembered all to well how little personal space you get with a baby around.  I went for walks on my own along the sea front in the evenings, sat in the hairdressers and just enjoyed peace whenever I could find it, as three was set to be loud, chaotic and always busy.

This time I have realised that the weeks with 'my boys' are soon to be over, there will be a little girl on our team, and everything will change all over again.  These boys have been a three for 14 months, they have such beautiful bonds, they are learning and growing together and they are just wonderful to watch.  My focus will shift, I will be more outnumbered than ever, and I will have to stop saying 'my boys' and start saying 'my children' or 'my family' when I refer to them all.

It seemed to hit as I turned 30 weeks, it is a milestone week and these photos make me a bit emotional.  I feel so incredibly blessed to have three amazing little boys in my life.  To be the one that gets to wake up to their smiles each morning, and tuck them up in bed with a story and a song each night.  I get to watch them grow into the men they will become, nurture friendships with each other, learn alongside one another and be a little team.

These next ten weeks are about them, about making memories, about getting out together, exploring and observing, because I love to just watch them.  I want to have adventures that are easier without a new baby in tow,  I want to capture them as they are now, whilst it is just the three of them, I want to prepare them for a sister without making them wish away the present, because the present is pretty awesome right now.  

These photos are from the weekend and they may be my favourite ever, they capture so much of who they all are, they capture them together, they were in their element, outdoors, exploring, having adventures and you can see that in their smiles, in the way they are so relaxed.  I took my camera out only a couple of times, I wanted some special photos of  'my boys' as they are now, but the rest of the time I got stuck in with them all, I searched for the Gruffalo and got excited when we found the snake's log pile house.  I squelched in the mud, marveled at sticks, and came home with muddy feet.

It feels so strange that my time with just these boys is numbered, that things are going to change all over again, the dynamic, the pace of life, the size of my heart, and whilst I am confident we will adapt and find space and it will soon become our new normal, I am excited for the final 10 weeks, our final adventures just as we are and that I get to watch them just as a three for a little longer.

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Monday, 25 April 2016

What the Boys Wore - Dapperbaby

I love dressing my boys, picking clothes that suit their personalities, their colourings and their lifestyle.  Finn needs comfort, the right fit for crawling and the right shape for his growing pot belly.  Archie needs freedom to run and jump, he doesn't want to be restricted, his clothes need stretch.  Dylan needs to look 'cool', or whatever a 4 year old considers cool, because he is starting to want an input in what he wears, but he also like soft and bright.

We have found brands that fill every criteria and the places we buy them from and whilst I love discovering new brands, there are some old favourites that I go back to every season.  Dapperbaby is one of my go-to online retailers as the lovely Emma stocks a mix of our favourites alongside new brands that I can't resist trying (and always love).  Her service is amazing, my orders tend to arrive the next day and a little bag of Haribo always makes me smile!

albababy, dapperbaby, alba playsuit, 13 month old

Emma sent us a few pieces and this playsuit from Albababy was the thing I was desperate to open.  The colours look so perfect together, it is practical for Finn to crawl and move in, the shape and cuffs mean it will last for a long time and I love how he still looks like a baby in it.

I bought my first Albababy item quite recently and have been slowly stocking up ever since, the quality is outstanding and I love the cuts of the classic pieces.  These are definitely clothes that you can keep for future children and Britney bump will have plenty to grow into. 

Albababy isn't just for Finn and Archie was sent this classic brown and white striped top.  His wardrobe contains a lot of patterned trousers and I know that stripes are guaranteed to go!  The cuffs on this are currently folded over and I think this will last him a very long time too.

These dog leggings are from Maxomorra, a company I have written about several times and who make up quite a chunk of all three boys' wardrobes.  Archie loves leggings and with potty training they are ideal for him.  He loved the design and they are perfect for this in between weather where it isn't always warm enough for shorts but he doesn't need anything heavy.

Archie really likes to put clothes to the test, and these definitely passed!

albababy stripes, maxomorra leggings, maxomorra dogs, dapperbaby, scandinavian kids clothes

Archie is wearing the leggings in 98/104 and the top in size 104, he is a pretty average sized just turned 3 year old.

One of my favourite things about Maxomorra is how they make a print work for all children.  Many of their designs come in baby vests, leggings, dresses, hoodies and t-shirts alongside other items making it great for matching siblings of different ages.  Emma stocks a great selection at Dapperbaby and she sent Dylan the hoody to match Archie's trousers.  Made from organic cotton like every Maxomorra item, the hoody is soft, lined, stretchy and considered 'cool' by my boy - everything we want!  I love the contrasting yellow that keeps it bright and fun.

And finally, Maxomorra make the most amazing summer suits, I just love how light, practical and bright they are.  Finn was sent the racing cars, and I fell immediately in love.  During the spring months he can wear it with a vest underneath and the dungaree look and by summer it will be a romper on its own.  The sizing is so generous that this will definitely last him until Autumn and it is super soft and stretchy making it perfect for a baby that sits, crawls and cruises.

These playsuits go up to a size 92 which would probably fit your average 3 year old still and they look so incredibly comfortable for days at the beach, exploring the garden and enjoying the sun. 

maxomorra racing cars, summer soft dungarees, dapperbaby, kids fashion blogger

And I may have taken quite a few photos of this one, because it is just too cute!  I think it is definitely going to be one of those items that Finn lives in this summer.  Maxomorra do several prints each season which include some 'girlier' colours and more neutral ones so there is something for every baby.

I really recommend Dapperbaby for fantastic kids clothes.  Many of the brands she stocks are organic, all are beautifully made and they are a great alternative to the highstreet.  It helps that first class delivery is free and Emma is happy to measure items and chat about sizing if you aren't sure what to order as well - Find her over on the Dapperbaby facebook page

learning to walk, maxomorra, dapperbaby, racing car dungarees, bib shorts

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