How can you still feel like you when knee deep in nappies, nipple pads and having no sleep?

My blog was started as a means of making myself feel better… after a years maternity leave feeling less than glamorous and slowly falling into a bit of an elasticated waistband, dry shampoo, make-do hole I missed making an effort and feeling good about myself when I looked in the mirror. So I started taking photos of my outfits in a bid to force myself to make more of an effort again. Even if it was just to pop to the shops or out for a playdate. A Mothers Edit was always about ‘bringing style to the every day’. So taking every day life and making sure you feel good in it, stylish in it, that it makes you happy. Of course there will always be days you spend in trackies or don’t even get out your pjs but not so much that it effects your mood.

With little Margot well and truly here now, I have had two weeks of chaos. The first week in hospital, a few visitors but mostly just me, little MG and the doctors. I had a few tricks up my sleeve to make the stay a little more comfortable though. A silk pillowcase, lavender pillow spray, my favourite music and indulgent fashion magazines (when else do you ever get to read magazines?). There were some days I didn’t shower until the evening, I just sat in the hospital bed feeding and feeling sorry for myself. But as soon as I got myself up, cleaned, fresh and back in a good headspace everything was better.  So I wanted to share with you some of the little ways I’ve been holding onto my personal sense of style, then, and the past week at home in the newborn bubble. How to feel like you.. even when you don’t recognise yourself in the mirror.

Beauty

  • Keep it simple – when I was in hospital I didn’t wear makeup but I did use Dr Lipp lip balm and used the Jurlique rosewater balancing mist. The scent every time I sprayed the mist over my face was just the perfect amount of luxury. 
  • Toe nails – paint them. Get a pedi or do it yourself. When everything else is falling apart atleast when your chin drops you see a good set of talons. 
  • Showers – find time. This morning, my first alone getting both girls up and out the door, I set the alarm for 6am and jumped in for a quick wash before they woke. I’ve been using this gorgeous natural shower gel from Elemental Herbology too, it made even the hospital bathroom feel like a spa! So important its natural post-baby and well worth treating yourself to a little luxury that won’t irritate down below. 
  • Moisturise – when your skin feels good you feel good. The sprays are great when you’re down on time, I’ve been using a dry body oil from Liz Earle which I just slap on before bed. I think you’re supposed to massage on but I have been far too tired. Anything is better than nothing right now. 
  • Body – I am a huge fan of the Belly Bandit range. Mentioned before that I have been wearing the BFF. I am now just wearing at home rather than out and about but I swear by it in getting my stomach back to where it should be. 

Clothes

  • Buy yourself some new pjs. If you’re going to spend a lot of time in them at least treat yourself to a pair you wouldn’t mind being seen in. Just be aware you sweat a lot more after pregnancy – there is a lot of water your body is shedding so cotton pjs are best! 
  • Don’t do what I did and try on all your old jeans a week after birth. I cried. Just for a minute though, then realised I was being ridiculous as well as the fact it totally did not matter. But good to have a few items of clothing that aren’t maternity but are more forgiving so you feel a little more like the old you. Drawstring trousers, shirts, floaty dresses… if you can organise them before the baby comes too then all the better. You’ll be too tired (and emotional) to start organising your wardrobe when the baby is here.

Home

  • Clean sheets – nothing feels better.
  • Pillow spray – I love This Works and Blossom and Bloom. 
     
  • Cleaner – hired help or friends and family helping out. Makes such a difference and not something you want to be worrying about.
  • A special glass for your gin/wine/tipple – get out the special china, crystal or flutes – enjoy.every.last.sip.

Life

  • Music – turn the TV off and just listen to some music. Daydream. It’s good for the soul.
  • Online shopping – one of the only things to keep me sane during the night feeds. Shame most of it gets returned.
  • DO NOT COMPARE – easier said than done but social media is the devil for this. A few truths – that girl isn’t that thin, it was a good angle/lighting, her house is not really that tidy, the crap is hidden behind the lens, their children don’t always have perfect hair/clothes/smiles, they’re devils 50% of the time and remember Instagram is a show-reel of the best bits… not the full picture.

 

Ashley

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So the other week I had one of the most relaxing experiences of my life – EVER! I was pampered head to toe for an hour and a half. I drifted in and out of consciousness and finished feeling like I was walking on a cloud. I didn’t want it to end. And I will most definitely be back.

What was this amazing experience? A mum-to-be face and body treatment with Jurlique. In the unlikeliest of locations for relaxation sits a little sanctuary, a small and perfectly formed room of heaven within their flagship store on Oxford Street.

On my arrival I was greeted by the lovely Hollie Wray, Assistant Manager, and escorted to the treatment room (actually first it was to the loo then the treatment room) and after a few questions and pieces of paperwork she started working her magic.

Jurlique

I cannot recommend this treatment enough. The products are divine, Hollie was divine, and the whole package was just perfect. It would make the most gorgeous gift for an expectant mother.

And as we are so close to Mothers Day you may even be tempted to treat your own mother…? They are launching a special Mother & Daughter treatment – the ‘Hydrating Rose Ritual’. I have popped the details below…

This 60-minute experience is the perfect treat to share with your Mum/daughter.
 Upon arrival you’ll both enjoy a glass of Rose bubbly whilst our beauty
experts guide you through your skin consultation. You’ll then be
transported into a world of pure luxury in our Nature’s Spa.
 During your 30-minute spa treatment, you will each experience a
relaxing hydrating Rose facial and our luxurious Rose hand and foot
ritual, leaving you feeling restored, relaxed and radiant!
 Following your spa treatment our beauty experts will be on hand to
advise you on your personalised skin care ritual.
 £40 booking fee redeemable against purchases on the day.
Event dates: 20th – 26th March 

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Sometimes I have to ask myself why I still have my long hair. I wear it up most of the time… styling it just takes too much time day to day and to be honest with you – washing it takes too much time these days. Ten minutes in the shower is a luxury which only occurs if Vivienne is actually extracted from the house by my husband at the weekend. If she’s home there’s a bang on the door within two minutes – five at most. Hence why I am such a fan of the top knot and the hat!

But when I have made the effort I love it. And I can’t remember ever having anything other than long hair – loosing it would be like loosing another piece of my identity post-kids and this is one piece I want to keep. A comfort blanket in crowning glory form.

So I wanted to revisit an old post I wrote a year ago now and readers still message me about – especially as I know in a few weeks time I am going to have even less ‘me-time’ with the new arrival.

So without further ado – here are my top mum-hair styles and how to get them just so…

The Hair Tuck

Definitely one for the cooler months this works best with a big collar and/or a chunky jumper. Great with dry shampoo, and actually looks better when your hairs unbrushed. It gives instant cool and no need for styling!


The casual chignon

Can be done two ways – sleek with a bristle brush and messy at the nape, or using dry shampoo, messy from the roots and kept loose. Don’t be afraid to get right in with the dry shampoo and really work it into the roots with your fingers, it’ll last longer and create a lived-in look rather than ‘dirty mum-hair’ look. This is better with mid to long hair styles.

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The half top knot

For when most of your hair is still relatively clean but the roots need a bit of attention. Quite a youthful look, playful and looks great when you have some fab ear candy to show off. Grab that dry shampoo, wave the ends and pull up the front bits into a high topknot. This works really well with short hair too.

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The braids

Whether you braid the whole hair, half braid or even add a few small braids through the length these pretty features distract from the grime and actually work far better when you’re hair is a little dirtier. I love a few small braids worked through hair to break it up. Perfect for all hair lengths!

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The ‘Batiste’

When in doubt grab that dry hair spray and then working through section by section add lots of volume, finishing with the top of the head. If you have time, add a few waves with GHD’s or a curling iron to give a bit of definition.

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Ashley

xx

 

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Forever in search of the glow… I’ve touched on my constant battle with my skin so many times now but throw in pregnancy and its a whole new ball game. I really wanted to share with you some of the new beauty finds that have been working mini miracles on my skin these past few months – and how I have been using them to suit the pregnancy and beyond.

(If you want to read about pregnancy specific beauty I have documented those pesky hormonal spots here with my six tips for pregnancy skin)

 

Face

Sunday Riley – Artemis

I have been so close to purchasing Sunday Riley products for years and the price has always stopped me. But I have started to realise that my previous strategy of stock piling on half used bottles of mid-range product is probably far more expensive than just biting the bullet and buying the product that I really want. There are three Sunday Riley facial oils that I was choosing from – Juno, Artemis and Flora. Artemis is perfect for my hormonal skin – it clarifies, purifies and tones. Aimed at confused skin, its also anti-inflammatory, great for any breakouts and puffiness. It gives me that ‘glow’ that I am obsessed with it, and its this base you need to as close to perfect as possible –  calm happy skin that you can then build on with moisturiser and makeup. I have only been using it in the evening so far, wearing it under my moisturiser and I am so pleased with the results when I wake up. In the morning I have been focusing on my tan which I’ll come onto next….

 

Tan Luxe – The Face Anti-Age Tan Drops

I have spotted this little product on a few of my favourite IG ladies dressing tables and was intrigued. The packaging is divine but what about the product? Similar to a few more well-known brands on the market’s tanning products – these drops transform your own favourite moisturiser, serum or face oil into a self tanner. They are also anti-ageing as they have a tri-collagen booster which claims to restore dull and lack-lustre skin. This is pretty much exactly how I would describe my skin when I am not treating it, especially with the pregnancy – dull and lack-lustre. I have been using this every morning with my favourite Magic cream (Charlotte Tilbury) mixing it up in the palm of my hand and then rubbing it in to my face and neck. The results – a totally natural glow – so easy to apply, no breakouts, no strange patches from toning, no horrid smell. I love it! And yes – it does look great on the dressing table.

Elemental Herbology – Vital Glow
There is a definite theme with my choices – always in search of ‘the glow’. And this is no exception. I have been using this each night over the top of the Artemis. This claims to be the ‘next generation in intelligent, restorative skincare’ and helps skin that has  environmental damage and the early signs of ageing. My environmental damage is probably more down to all those years of wine and gin consumption – as well as all those sun-beds back at university (I worked in the local salon – free beds at 19 years old was dangerous). Well this cream feels so luxurious, its thick like a soufflé texture but just melts into my skin and I love the smell. It helps with skin turnover whilst you sleep so any pigmentation from pregnancy or the sun, blemishes, old scars from blemishes etc. A great product that you use the smallest amount of so it lasts. All of the products by Elemental Herbology are suitable for pregnancy making it a great brand to get to know. Plus its British, they make all the products here which I love.
Old favourites – Pixi Glow Tonic, Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, Charlotte Tilbury eye cream, Peter Thomas Roth acne wash (this is only available from the US now).

 

Body

Liz Earle – Superskin Treatment Oil for Body

In the winter I can get quite lazy with my skincare for the body. The old adage of what you can’t see can’t hurt you… but when you take the time to rub a cream or oil into your body it feels great not only because your skin is soft and void of scales – but also from a psychological point of view. You’re more accepting of what you have. Especially important as your body changes through pregnancy and after birth. Well this body oil is an absolute treat for the skin – it helps smooth and tone which helps with firming. Liz Earle recommend using it everywhere before going to sleep – I have been using it on my arms before bed, and on my legs after showering. My skin looks visibly more healthy and far happier.

 

Old favourite – Burts Bees Mama Bee belly cream.

 

 

Vitamins

Probably nothing new here for the pregnant ladies – Pregnacare. These vitamins contain the essentials needed and a few little extras such as the Omega 3 for healthy brain development.

 

Hair

This is down to nature rather than nurture right now – my hair is definitely fuller and thicker. I am not looking forward to it falling out again post-baby. With Vivienne I had the worst re-growth for months on end. I looked like an alien every time I pulled my hair back.

Old favourite – Hair Xpertise Argan oil

Sleep

This Works – Super Sleep Dual Pillow Spray

I am trying to get as much sleep as I can before the baby arrives – as everyone says with good reason – beauty sleep works! Sleep water and exercise. Key for the glow. I am missing the excercise right now (no excuses whoops) but the sleep and the water consumption are right up there.

This week I have been trying This Works pillow spray which combines two aromatherapeutic solutions for a good night’s sleep. The original pillow spray I have been using for a good year or so now and love it – it claims to inspire feelings of calm and prepare you for a deep and restful slumber and seems to work well for me. My husband does find it hilarious when I start spraying scent all over my pillows though. Then it also includes a Sleep plus pillow spray – this is to help with night-time wakings. A slower release that works as you move about in the night. Worth a try if you struggle with your sleep.

 

 

Ashley

x

 

 

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New Years resolutions – rarely have they actually been seen through but I love thinking about them at the end of each year. Taking some time to reflect on the past, the good, the bad and the ugly. Positively plan my year ahead, getting excited about whats to come and thinking about to how to enjoy it to the full. Getting my priorities in order. What’s important to me, and what has been taking up too much energy and not giving anything back. Is there anything I have missed, anything I have been wanting to do, anything I would like to achieve…

So after a 2016 of ups and downs and exciting times with aMothersEdit I have pulled together my own resolutions to share with you.

Switch off

Taking some time to switch off, whenever I can. I’m not going to say every day, or once a week, as sometimes life really is just too busy. But having the confidence to just say no sometimes, and just take some time to switch off and reboot. Whether its a duvet day, a spa day, a walk in the park or just a soak in the bath.

Exercise routine

Routine being the key word here – going to have to take it easy at the start of the year but I love exercising and making it part of my everyday life is so important to me. At the start of this year I was trying all sorts of classes and totally loved spinning. I am going to get back on that bike this Summer but in the meantime some leisurely walks will suffice.

Take it easy on myself

With a new baby coming in March I need to remind myself to take it easy. I am already planning so much work for next year and being self-employed I will need to force myself to take some form of maternity leave. This links in with the exercising too – being kind to myself – not pushing myself too much post baby and rushing to get back in shape. Taking it slow. Life is not a race after all. And its enjoyed so much more at a slower ‘island life’ pace – which is ultimately where I’d love to be, sipping on a coconut in a bikini.

Creating a new home

So excited about moving home this year, I’ll be sad to say good bye to our first house but can’t wait to create a home for Vivienne and her new sister to grow up in together. It’s taken a good three years to get this first home how we like it though so I am sure with more space this will take even longer. I’ll have to be patient and just enjoy each moment as it comes. I am all too guilty of wanting everything perfect immediately but as always its about realising whats important and enjoying it. Letting everything else go… (as Vivienne would sing).

Quality not quantity

My friends are incredibly special to me so I want to make more time for them this year. I don’t intend to join any form of antenatal group, or attend classes with this second pregnancy as I just don’t have the time… I don’t want to spread myself even thinner. I met some fabulous girls at NCT when I had Vivienne, have the absolute best of friends from school and university and have kept some quality friendships through the many jobs I have had over the years. These are the relationships that are important to me now and I want to give them the time they deserve.  I would rather invest in good quality time with my favourite people than have lots of quick meet-ups with friends that come and go.

Stop trying to please everyone

Looking at the past year I can see those times so obviously now – where I was just trying to please too many people. And did it matter? Not in the slightest. They probably didn’t even realise, or even really care, but it exhausted me. So this year is all about whats important. Always being kind – but not bending over backwards for something that really doesn’t matter.

Love my husband… even more

I think with the new baby this will become even more important. Even the little things like walking around hand-in-hand together make me so happy. My husband is without a doubt my best friend in the whole world and I love him so much – I want to make sure he knows that this year and we enjoy being ourselves with each other as much as possible. Just to remember why we love each other so much – what we fell in love with all those years ago and how we have grown together. And I think there’s always time for a passionate kiss…


 

 

A

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