The Holidays are coming…

I will start on 19th November! I’ve told myself this every year for the past 5 years! Gigi’s birthday is on the 18th November, so I can officially start thinking about Christmas on the 19th. I write a list, check it twice…..hmmmmm, that’s a lie, I write a list on my phone, I then don’t look at it again for another 3 weeks! This year however, at least the Christmas cards have been super easy for me to sort out.

I’ve always thought of family Christmas cards a bit twee, but then I found Basic Invite, they have some fantastic modern designs that completely fulfill my monochrome desires (you will 100% not see any red or gold tinsel in this house!). They have hundreds of holiday cards online to choose from, and its not just Christmas, if like us you also celebrate Hanukkah then they’ve got you covered. You can fully customise pretty much every last detail, even down to envelope liners!

They have busy people at the front of their minds, by offer an address capturing service which allows you to share a link on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc) allowing your friends and family to upload their addresses which will then be stored on your account. These can then can be selected during the design process and envelopes arrive already printed – AMAZING!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

They are based in the USA, but don’t let that put you off, they ship worldwide, and have super fast delivery. The design process is incredibly easy and all gets checked by one of their talented designers to ensure you will be thrilled with the results. Go and take a look at their website, their inspiration gallery is well, inspirational! But get in quick, they are currently offering a 15% discount using code 15FF51 on customised Christmas cards for a limited time only.

I am super excited about sending out the cards that we designed, and I am also pondering some new business stationary (after Christmas!). They have such an extensive range; wedding and baby shower stationary, birth announcements and even loads of free downloads to print at home.

Happy Holidays!

Joey x

 

 

Advertisements

REVIEW: Mountain Buggy Juno Carrier

So last week Blake and I were asked to test drive the new Mountain Buggy Juno baby and toddler carrier. We are huge fans of the Mountain Buggy brand, we already own a Nano (buggy that fold down to cabin baggage size), which is AMAZING for travelling and literally worth its weight in gold! So we were excited to see what the Juno was all about.

juno2

Obviously we had the black one! Which is ALL black, and was perfect, as I love black! This carrier is pretty special as it’s for newborn to toddler so you can really get a good few years use out of it, unlike my old Baby Bjorn which fitted Gigi until she was about 9 months old and then just became way too heavy for my back.

The joy of this carrier is that is has a really large, well padded hip band which really helps with the weight of bigger babies and toddlers, in the Juno Blake felt considerably lighter than in the Baby Bjorn.

img_8056

The VERY soft lining is also so nice against baby and will keep them nice and warm in winter. In true Mountain Buggy style, everything has a purpose, and everything has been thought of. All of the long straps have little elastic ties to keep them tidy and away from little fingers. There is even a pocket for your phone! It also folds down pretty small and easily fitted under the buggy or in a large handbag.

My two favourite things are the pouch/pocket on the front of the carrier, perfect for cradling the baby or just keeping your hands warm! The other is the snuggly hood, which can be tucked away neatly, and would be brilliant for nap time, on cold day or if you got caught in a rain shower.

There are so many ways to use the Juno, lots of different carrying positions as your baby grows and develops. We used in on the front both forward and inward facing and Blake seemed very comfortable in both positions. It was also relatively easy to get on and off on my own with a magnetised clasp.

juno1

The Juno is very user-friendly and we would happily recommend it! Blake was very comfortable and happy in it. The Juno is a ‘hip-healthy’ product too meaning it won’t cause problems with the childs hip development when used in accordance with the instructions. I found it much more comfortable to wear than other carriers we’ve tried, and because he’s such a large baby comfort is a big deal for me! It’s so versatile and will last a long time, so definitely worth the investment.

The Juno is available online at MountainBuggy.com 

Joey x

Note: We were not paid for this review but we were given the Juno for two weeks to trial.

What’s in your pouch?

With Gigi I would pack a HUGE change bag even to pop to the supermarket! This time around I’m a little more relaxed and still want to get to use my handbag collection (!), so I’ve been more and more opting for the nappy pouch (clutch, whatever you want to call it). 

I was gifted the gorgeous Anya Hindmarch one which is great with its different pockets and wipe clean material but at £125 it’s not the cheapest option! And to be honest it can still be a little bulky! Hence we we’ve made our own and have these canvas pouches which can be fully personalised available in the gigilovesblake shop. At £15 they are an absolute style steal!


But what do you put in it? Well in mine I have all the basics:

  • 2 or 3 Nappies
  • Wipes 
  • Disposal change mat 
  • Hand sanitiser 
  • Sudocrem Care and Protect
  • A toy/dummy/teething chew
  • Spare babygrow 
  • And a few random bits for Gigi and I (hair tie, lip gloss, plasters, box of raisins)

I’ve found that getting travel versions of the hand gel, and even small packs of wipes means that I can fit everything I need into this pouch for most outings. It’s only when we are going on a day trip I tend to take the full change bag now! And even when I do take the change bag I still find myself putting in the pouch because I know it’s got all the essentials in! 

The star of my pouch has to be the Sudocrem care and protect though, I was recently sent a sample and I love it! The product itself (easily absorbed and moisturising) is great but for me the compact size, and flip lid make this the best choice for ‘on the go’ nappy cream! 

Joey X 

For Baby & ME!

image

 

Last night I fell through the door at almost 1am (after a fab evening at my bestie’s hen do!). After negotiating the stairs I made my way to the bathroom. No matter what state I’m in or what time it is, I ALWAYS TAKE MY MAKE UP OFF! I’m not one of those ‘lucky’ ones with perfectly clear skin so washing my face before bed is so important to me. I’m currently having a ‘break out’…. and last night for whatever drunk reason I decided to put Sudocrem all over my face…maybe because it was just sitting there next to the sink looking at me!

This morning when I woke up, I was expecting have a face full of pesky spots, but I have to say they looked MUCH better! I did a google search along the lines of ‘sudocrem spot treatment’, and its everywhere, people using Sudocrem to achieve clear skin. To be fair it does also say on the pot that it can be used to treat acne, but I had never noticed/registered this. So then I got to thinking, what other baby products can be usefully to Mums, and these are some of my favourites:

  • Sudocrem – spot treatment and after sun.
  • Baby Powder – dry shampoo (!) and primer for eyeshadow and lipstick (apparently makes it last for hours).
  • Baby Oil – eye makeup remover, dry heel treatment, and removing any bits of leftover wax after a trip the salon.
  • Baby Balm – cuticle softener.

Now I just need a cure for my hangover!

What do you use your kiddies/babies products for (other than there intended purpose!)???

 

Crying over spilt (lactose) milk

Poor little Gigi, as well as the reflux she was, and still is lactose intolerant – this is my husband’s fault (!), he has been since he was born. I’ve heard the stories of 20+ poo nappies a day from my MIL a dozen times but bizarrely this isn’t how it presented itself in Gigi.

For Gigi it was the other way, the lactose makes her VERY constipated…so you can imagine the joy (NOT) of a screaming acid reflux baby plus now constipation. Again, as with all these things it took months to get properly diagnosed, despite it being in the family. GPs seem to assume everyone ‘thinks’ their offspring have allergies and intolerances, which maybe they do….but shock horror some of us actually do and they do need proper advice and treatment.

So as not to make this into a thousand word post, I will cut to the chase…we saw a paediatrician (finally when she was one), who was great and got some advice on how to deal with it. He suggested keeping her on formula as it had less lactose than cows milk and confirmed that giving her a little lactose would help her in the long run. It certainly did and now, like my husband, she can take a little lactose (maybe a scoop of ice-cream at a party, the odd Babybel etc), but on a day to day basis we give her Arla Lactofree products (Milk, cheese etc) and it seems to work for her!

So with Blake I was really aware that this might be a problem again and after a lot of research, talking to the midwife and other mums I decided to give him goat’s milk formula. The brand I chose was Kabrita (available at boots.com and Ocado). Goats milk is more easily digested and as far as I understand contains less lactose that cows milk, but still has some.

He started off well with this, but after a couple of weeks he was getting some tummy ache so I added into the formula some Colief drops (they turn lactose in the milk into glucose) which seemed to stop his discomfort. I’ve just this week weaned him off these (14 weeks) and he seems fine….so fingers crossed this more gentle introduction to lactose may have stopped him developing such an intolerance.

 

 

 

Cradle Cap

Gigi had cradle cap but I never bothered treating it as everything I read said it would just go away…and it did…BUT I think it affected her hair growth, so with Blake I decide to treat it!

My online research led me to Loyon. I picked it up in Boots. It worked amazingly!

image

I sprayed it on about 3 hours before bath time and then as per the instructions shampooed it off (using the delicious smelling Childs Farm hair and body wash, as its formulated for even the most sensitive skin). I used a Tangle Teaser to brush it through and then a wet cloth to wipe the dead skin away. Easy!

 

Bottle Warming

If I am entirely honest I never bothered with this for Gigi, I was a cooled boiled water and powder dispenser mixing kinda gal…..however our maternity nurse for Blake told me this was a big no-no….! Whoops!

Apparently the formula powder needs to hit the water at a min. 70 Degrees Celsius…to kill any nasties. So we used the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine to make up bottles for the day and store them in the fridge. However when it came to going out, or the dreaded night feeds I began to look for a way to warm the milk quickly.

Most places you go will give you boiling water etc to heat the bottle, however sometime its just not practical and during the night it just takes way too long (as do electric bottle warmers)! My Google search led me to Yoomi. These special warming units in the teat of the cute bottles heat the milk as it flows through and gets to temperature within 60 seconds!

yoomi-440

The bottles themselves are very stylish but I would say they are not as good as the wonderful Dr Brown’s, but I imagine for breastfed babies they would be great due to the shape and softness of the teat. For me though, its all about the amazing technology to warm the milk so quickly with just the click of a button.

instructions1

The sterilising and charging is a bit annoying (I chose to wash and then boil for 30mins which sterilises and charges at the same time), but to give you a warm bottle so quickly in the middle of the night, it helped hugely with Blake’s sleep training and I can’t recommend it enough!

(Note: I have not been paid for this review and I purchased the item myself)

 

 

Lighting

FullSizeRender-2

Having worked in interior design I know the importance of good lighting, and with babies and toddlers rooms its vital…firstly in the baby stage at night you want to keep it dim and calm, but light enough to see what you are doing, and then toddlers need to start getting some independence over their own lighting choices.

This is why we use the Philips myBuddy. For toddlers is great as you can set a timer for the ‘sun’ to come up on its tummy to tell them its time to wake up. The ‘moon’ can be left on all night to give a soft nightlight, and if they need extra light they can just press its hat to give a brighter light. This gets Gigi to stay in her room until 7:15am despite being awake from 6:30am most days!!

FullSizeRender-1 copy

I decided to buy a blue one for Blake’s room ready for when he was older. However I’ve realised it works very well as a nursery light, either the sun or moon give a soft light, enough for the ‘dream feed’, but not too bright to disturb precious sleep!

FullSizeRender

(Note: I have not been paid for this review and I purchased the item myself)

Maybe the best invention ever…

I am talking about the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep formula making machine. We have it in black (obvs!), but it also comes in white.

FullSizeRender-1

The Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine makes a fresh bottle at just the right serving temperature in less than 2 minutes…this means no more boiling kettles, waiting for it to cool, getting formula stuck all of the scoop from the steam, trying to see the measurements on the bottles when they are full on condensation.

I was literally dreading the bottle making and sterilising when I was pregnant with Blake. One of my friends said she had seen this devise and was thinking about getting it, well she did and then I did, and its quiet honestly changed my life! It makes bottle prep so much quicker, easier and more precise!

It works with any brand and type of bottle (we use Dr Brown’s)…I personally wouldn’t recommend Tommee Tippee, they let the baby gulp too much air and are generally crap, but this machine is amazeballs (its the only word for it!).

Have a look at the YouTube video for a demo, and look out for deals at John Lewis (we pikced ours up for £70 there).

(Note: I have not been paid for this review and I purchased the item myself)

Gigi & Blake

As the first post of the site we thought we’d just say hi and show our faces…

FullSizeRender-3

#Gigi – Hi I’m Grace (Gigi), I’m three years old and I like to cover myself in stickers, eat pasta and hide under the kitchen table every time my mummy wants to leave the house. Currently I either want to be a vet, a disney princess or a pasta taste tester when I grow up. My favourite phrases are ‘its not fair!’ and ‘can I have that for my birthday?’. My sticker reward chart is making Mummy’s life a little easier though.

IMG_4717

Next Up…

FullSizeRender-2

#Blake – Hi I’m Blake, I’m 11 weeks old and I like to smile, eat copious amounts of formula and poo myself every time my mummy wants to leave the house. Currently I either want to be a night shift worker, a superhero or a baby formula taste tester when I grow up. My favourite phrases are ‘uggle’ and ‘waaaaaaah’. My ability to giggle at basically anything is making Mummy’s life a little easier though.

IMG_5289

And not forgetting…

#Humphrey – Our gorgeous and very tolerant dog, Humphrey! He is a 7 years old black and white cockapoo, we see him as our first born child (and sometimes, actually mostly, the favourite)!

IMG_4930