Festive baby fashion from Next

With a son born so close to Christmas (23rd December to be precise – and trust me I did everything I could to get him out 15 days prior on his due date!) it would be rude of me not to embrace the Christmas spirit by bringing some festive fun to his wardrobe!

We’ve recently enjoyed a Christmas themed shoot celebrating his first ‘proper’ Christmas and also marking his upcoming first birthday. Here’s a selection I’m sharing with you, and I’ve linked to all of his outfits (all from Next)…

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15 Gifts for under £15 from Neal’s Yard Remedies

What I love about Neal’s Yard Remedies (beyond their ethical and organic credentials) is that it’s affordable luxury, and even more because a little goes a long way. No fillers are included meaning there is no need to use an excess amount – whether that’s skin care, body products or their essential oils.

The products look glamorous, but for good reason –  the packaging is recyclable, the blue glass preserves the product for longer and prevents UV rays causing damage to them – tick tick tick!

I’ve chosen 15 gift ideas, all for under £15 – whether it’s for a loved one, a Secret Santa idea or as a stocking filler.

Beyond skincare, Neal’s Yard Remedies is a lifestyle brand. With products for the body, mother/pregnancy and baby, hands and feet, essential oils, health products, teas, supplements, aromatherapy remedies,  mens products, hair care – the list is long and there really is something for everybody.

If you’re stuck for gift ideas, then hopefully there will be some inspiration here for you…

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The “Mumpreneur” era is upon us

For a while now I have wanted to cover off the subject of “mumpreneur” and I feel now is as good as time as any for two reasons…

  1. The media, social and blogging worlds are bubbling with lava(esque) news stories regarding the lack of flexible working hours and high childcare costs. It’s not easy for working mamas – fact! Pressure is somewhat building and we have great thanks to the likes of Anna Whitehouse of Mother Pukka with her Flex Appeal campaign.
  2. Henry is 10.5 months old, and it is around about now when I was originally planning on heading back up to the big smoke to my Monday-Friday full time job.

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Messaroos! A Messy Play Group for Babies and Toddlers: Review

As a mother who enjoys taking her son to baby groups and classes since he was two weeks old (not obsessively – twice a week is ample!) when Messaroos  – a baby/toddler group – launched, I had to check it out. This wasn’t just any baby group, but a messy play group! THIS IS EVERY PARENTS/CARERS DREAM!

The touch, feel, smell – and maybe taste haha – of (safe) messy play ingredients help to stimulate the senses, encourage little ones to learn new textures and enhance their concentration levels from being out-of-the-norm from regular sensory toys at home. If you don’t want too much mess at home with messy play, then why not let someone else set up shop elsewhere, arrange all the messy fun and then leave it to them to clear up afterwards! It’s a genius idea for a play group which is unique to anything else I’ve taken Henry to. All you have to do is take a spare change of clothes for your little one, and maybe a pack of wet wipes… 😉

I’ve enclosed some photos of Henry’s experience and I have also interviewed the co-creaters – Jo and Ella. They are both young yummy mummies, who saw a gap in the market for a new pre-school group idea and who are embracing and inspiring the #mumpreneur era.

I’m championing every parent who a) has found it difficult to return to their full time employment post pregnancy (due to redundancies, lack off flexible working and part time opportunities, financing childcare etc) and have therefore bitten the bullet and started a new business venture. Jo and Ella are inspirational parents indeed…

Messy play stimulates, focuses and develops your little ones’ senses and is great for learning new textures and for having fun!

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Let’s talk vaginas with ease, with Eve…

How much do you know about vaginas? Yes that’s right, I just said the word VAGINA! Ask your boyfriend, husband, brother or father if they know what a vulva is! Your partner may have been down the “business end” during the birth of your children and still not know what a cervix is!

A shocking 25% of men aged 18 – 24 claim to know nothing about gynae health, or that gynae health is not a male issue.

Well, listen up boys! If your female partners, relatives and friends are diagnosed with a form of gynaecological cancer, you will want to support your loved ones and be informed. Every woman who is diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer has a man in her life who cares about her.

As sexual partners, you are relied upon to spot any symptoms your partner may be unaware of. It is then also your life-saving responsibility to inform your sexual partner (or for some of you reading this – partners!) of any findings – it could save their life.

Far too many men and women don’t know the signs and symptoms of gynae cancers or are too embarrassed to do anything about them and we need to be more open with each other. Regardless of how many years, months, days or hours (!) you have been intimate with a partner, just think, you could save a loved one’s life by finding the confidence to speak up, and this post will help you to do so…

Let’s talk facts. In the UK alone, over 21,000 women are diagnosed with a form of gynaecological cancer each year. This equates to 58 women being diagnosed every day. Sadly, 7,700 of these women will succumb to one of these cancers, which is of course is 7,700 too many. 😦

I have a long standing relationship with The Eve Appeal, the only UK charity raising awareness and funding research in all five gynaecological cancers – womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal. It gives me such pleasure to continue working for them and help drive awareness of their latest campaigns – #IamAdam (for men to become more aware) and #knowyourbody (including a quiz for everyone to take part in).

Here I speak to Athena Lamnisos, Chief Executive Officer of The Eve Appeal who answers many important questions which will be useful for all of us. She talks signs and symptoms, how to approach a sexual partner if we’re concerned, why it’s important for men to be informed, how we can help spread awareness and get involved as well as an update of future screening tests for women (more than the cervical screening already on offer).

Thank you for reading. And please, to all men and women out there reading this post – share, share share!

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My recent love for organic #FeedYourHappy

Food makes us happy, right? Well it makes me VERY happy! I turn to food when I want a treat or a dose of happiness, as do so many of you I’m sure. But in recent years, part with thanks to various medical blips and hurdles I’ve jumped (or fallen!) through, I’ve become more aware and savvy about what I’m consuming.

This isn’t a healthy eating blog post by any means – I say, currently dunking a digestive in my cup of tea whilst I’m proof reading this post. Becoming a parent has made my eyes open to the food choices I make for me and my family, especially now I have a baby son eating solid foods. I’m responsible for his wellbeing and what he eats, and I have learned so much about how important it is to ensure I provide him with a nutritional yet safe diet.

This is featured post, working with the Organic Trade Board, to help their celebrity campaigner DJ Sara Cox spread the organic love this September with their “Feed Your Happy” campaign, designed to promote the awareness of organic food throughout Organic September and why it makes us happy. I’m joining in, as I want to share my views on organic food, and why it makes me happy – albeit only recently. #FeedYourHappy…

Celebrity campaigner, Sara Cox

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