The past few months have been pretty busy. Having a baby and buying a house has certainly kept me busy. But as the dust is starting to settle and we are in our new home I thought I’d go old-skool and bring back my Sunday inspo posts. And today’s inspiration centres on feeding the soul… looking after yourself, taking some time to yourself, relaxing and resetting.
It’s all too easy when you have little people to look after to neglect yourself and it’s something my blogs always promoted – happy mother happy child…
‘always put your own gas mask on first’
So whether its taking time out to read a book in the evening, going for a run, using a face mask, or just sitting in silence in front of trash tv – don’t forget to indulge yourself.
And my favourite ways to restore the equilibrium
The cliche of a glass of wine in the bath exists for a reason. Mine is always red and large.
Exercise – still not quite back into that but when I am it feels great. And my gym has an amazing creche – even better.
Dancing – alone, or with Vivienne, to loud music (Kisstory always a winner for me)
Cooking. Being in the kitchen preparing and cooking a meal from scratch. Less common since the arrival of Margot and the end of ‘bedtime’ but hopefully it’ll return soon.
Blogging – saved my sanity when I started after having Vivienne. It’s an outlet that allows me to be creative and have fun. And I am so grateful to you for reading it.
After spending nine months looking forward to being able to wear ‘normal’ clothes again along comes breastfeeding and all the sartorial complications it brings with it… but it doesn’t have to be hard. With a few simple rules to take with you to the shops and key styles to look out for you can still wear your favourite looks and confidently breastfeed.
Buy a handful of tight, stretchy vest tops – H&M are perfect – make sure they’re long and can be popped under the boob when you feed. I wore these when I was pregnant too – the longer length is great over a bump.
If you’re wearing a ‘normal’ top I just like to choose something looser I can easily pull up. I’ve linked the Stradivarius breton I have been wearing a lot so far just below. The fabric is great on the post birth tummy too. And this where the vest comes into play so you don’t get an eyeful of belly whilst feeding. Top up, vest down.
Wrap dresses and shirt dresses are everywhere right now and so easy for feeding in.
Test the top in the changing room – literally whip a boob out and check you’re comfortable. If you feel too exposed you’ll end up never wearing it out.
I like to have a really lightweight scarf with me that I can just drape over my shoulder if I feel exposed out and about. Zara scarves are great for this – really big but light fabric.
I have rounded up some of my favourite breastfeeding friendly pieces here, from wrap dresses, shirt dresses, button dresses and jumpsuits – to loose tops perfect with a vest underneath, stylish shirts and silk blouses.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’m not sure there’s a more special relationship than that with your mother. And being a mother is far more than biology. Working mums, foster mums, grand-ma-mums, gym mums, coffee-shop mums, stay-at-homes mums…. this Mothers Day notonthehighstreet.com is celebrating mums from all walks of life by championing their differences.
#ForMumsWho is about recognising our uniqueness, our diversity and our individuality – celebrating it with gifts that are just as unique and special.
Not a single week goes by where I don’t think about how lucky I am to have my mum. She is incredible, having had three daughters herself (I am the eldest of three sisters) she’s now the proud grandmother of three grandchildren. My mum is that mum who just does… and does everything. She still works but when she has free time she gives it up to look after Vivienne for me, to allow me to work. My mum’s the mum who makes sacrifices to allow her own daughter to succeed. And not just since I had Vivienne – since forever. My mum is the mum who is constantly giving, completely unselfishly giving herself, her time, her energy, her love, her knowledge and her wisdom. Whenever I am lost, upset, confused I call on my mum. Whenever I am happy, excited, desperate to tell – I call on my mum. She is my best friend in the whole world.
I hope that one day Vivienne and Margot will feel the same about me. If I can be even a small part of the mother my mum is I will be proud of myself. She is my inspiration every single day.
When notonthehighstreet.com got in touch with me and invited me to work with them on their #ForMumsWho Mother’s Day campaign and choose a gift from their site for my mum I knew instantly it had to be something that involved her grandchildren. Something she could wear close to her heart and something that was as stylish as she is. So this Mothers Day I treated my own mum to a beautiful personalised necklace from Rachel Jackson. This stunning amulet contains crushed pearls and aquamarine the birthstones of the months her three grandchildren were born in. It also has their names beautifully engraved around the front and the ‘Nana’ on the back. I know already she’ll love it.
Forty whole weeks gone by, exciting, nauseous, exhausting, apprehensive and thrilling weeks. I can’t believe the time has finally come to meet my new daughter. To add another little person to our family. This small little person that will have her own personality, her own traits, moods, features and appearance. When I try to picture her I just see Vivienne and its so hard to imagine someone new that my husband and I have created. Another little terror for us to love endlessly.
It’s gone just as quickly as it has slowly. Some weeks have skipped past in a heart-beat where I have barely remembered that I am even pregnant. Other weeks have been drawn out with chronic heart-burn, exhaustion and a lack of sleep. But in general I know I have been pretty lucky with the pregnancy and I am grateful.
So as I have neared closer to d-day I have been busy stocking up on all the essentials, and the luxuries, ready for her to arrive and I wanted to share these with you in the hopes it may help any mums-to-be.
I have gone big here – the Bugaboo Donkey. The look-out guys I am taking over the pavement buggy! But in all seriousness that’s the misconception – the reality is an incredible buggy that with just a few clicks changes from a single to a double. And actually is no wider (not even a millimetre) than some of their other designs like the Buffalo. It’s all down to clever design. It fits effortlessly through the small front door of my cottage and is easy to put into storage mode when I’m not using it. My main worry with choosing a buggy was do I just get a buggy board for Vivienne or do I go for a double. I liked the idea of a buggy-board but I know if I am in a rush to get to nursery, the shops, a doctor appointment or baby weigh-in (which I know they’ll be plenty of) she will be jumping on and off and it’ll end up quite stressful. So this means I can rush off with them both securely strapped in and then if for example I drop her off at nursery I can leave her seat there and click the buggy into a single. Will let you know how I get on with it.
I have the absolutely gorgeous limited edition version here…
and I have linked others below too…
The Car Sear & Isofix base
I have chosen the rather attractive and amazingly engineered CybexCloud Q car seat this time around. This bad-boy is ground-breaking, I know it seems crazy getting so excited about a car-seat but its amazing. It was created in conjunction with midwives and doctors and actually allows your baby to be in the flattest possible lying position reducing the risk of breathing difficulties while the baby is sleeping…
…The 11-position adjustable headrest changes the length and angle of the harness so it grows as your child does. This can be easily adjusted with one hand without needing to take your child out of the car seat. The new telescopic Linear Side-impact Protection can be easily and individually adjusted. This offers the very best protection against impact. The flexible material and structure of the infant car seat then absorbs the forces of an impact and channels them away from the baby.
Well worth looking into buying if you have a baby on the way.
We used my old moses basket for Vivienne which had so much sentimental value but in reality, in our tiny cottage with its teeny bedroom it wasn’t ideal. This time around I have opted for the SnuzPod, a 3 in 1 bedside crib. I have it in the softest putty grey which I adore, and all the matching grey bedlinen. The beauty of this crib is it can be whatever you want it to be. If you love the idea of co-sleeping its a great alternative, great for breastfeeding, c-section mums, and mums like me that just want ease in the night. A quick reach over for bubs, feed and back to sleep. At least thats what I am hoping for!
Featuring a unique 3-in-1 design; a bedside crib for a safe and easy night’s sleep; a stand-alone crib for the nursery with handy storage shelf, and a lift-off bassinet for daytime naps around the home or away allowing you to keep your baby’s familiar sleeping environment.
Awarded Best Cot, Crib Or Moses Basket in Mother & Baby Awards 2015
Awarded Best Cot Design in Junior Design Awards 2016.
Best Crib & Best Sleep Solution in the Loved By Parents Awards 2016.
Made from high-quality beech wood, and available in an array of versatile colours to match your decor or room theme. These cribs features see-through mesh window which aids breathability and allows you to feel reassured without risking disturbing baby’s sleep. The unique zip-down side wall means you can comfort and feed your baby, before returning back up to provide them with a safe and secure space, out of the way of any loose duvets or bedding. The SnuzPod cribs are height adjustable, so you can match the SnüzPod mattress base height to the mattress in your bed
The Breast Pump
I am planning on breastfeeding and all going well, expressing when needed, not only to increase the supply but also so that I can let others feed with a bottle. So to get the most from my (currently rather large) breasts I have opted for the amazing Medela Swing breast pump. Medela are found in 94% of UK hospitals and there’s a reason for that – they’re worth the money they cost.
Medela’s Swing Maxi double electric breastpump has a 2-Phase Expression function that allows you to collect up to 18% more milk than single pumping. Short, stimulating patterns are followed by longer ones to ensure optimal milk flow. The small and compact design is easy to use, transport and store. It’s quick to assemble and easy to clean, so it’s ideal for use on the go with batteries, or at home using the mains adaptor. One Calma Solitaire teat included, which mimics the unique breastfeeding sucking behaviour of a baby. Also includes two bottles and two bottle stands. The comfortable design features a range of vacuum levels and settings. Quiet operation for added privacy. Can be used in double and single modes.
The Baby Carrier
Style-conscious parents will love the Yema for its sleek design while babies benefit from the close contact. Thanks to the seamlessly adjustable seatpanel and the adjustable headrest the carrier grows with your child. It is suitable from birth to two years (3,5 kg – 12 kg, ca. 86 cm) and offers three carrying positions: front parent facing position, hip carry position, and back carry position. These positions promote a natural spread squat that is important for baby´s hip development.
This is one baby carrier you won’t be ashamed to be seen wearing. I opted for the grey colour but if you like to make a statement check out the fashion collections – Birds of Paradise and Hide & Seek. They’re stunning!So what makes this so unique – its ‘ergonomical perfection’ and ‘high fashion’. The minimalistic design and the carefully implemented details make the Yema a fashion accessory. Plus its super clever – you can wear it in three ways – front, back and hip. I’ve included the shots below.
This is ‘baby-wearing’ at its most luxurious – Artipoppe Sling
A lightweight, airy woven wrap is your best option for the summertime. Not only because of the variety of blends, compared to stretchy or structured carriers, but mainly because of their versatility and convenience. Linen, hemp and silk with cotton are often great options for hot weather. Wool or cashmere blends can also be attractive because of their temperature regulating qualities. Furthermore, Artipoppe’s seaweed blends are spectacular in warmer climates, because of their delicate cool touch and airy character.
I totally fell in love with the prints on these muslins – I have the butterfly design but how cute is this nature inspired animal design?!
I feel a bit guilty admitting I haven’t bought many clothes for the new baby… I kept a lot of Viviennes clothes so they’ve been lovingly washed and folded (by my amazing mum – thanks mum!) ready for her arrival. But I did want one special item that was hers and Mama et Moi has the most beautiful pieces. Run by the lovely Carla its a relatively new Mama, Baby and Child boutique. She loves finding pieces that are a little different from the average highstreet clobber around and works with some great European Brands as well as some amazing British brands. She is also very passionate about being able to give back where she can, whether that be from the brand and their social responsibility projects or from themselves.
With a soft cotton sleeve and silicon pebbles in each end, you can easily adjust the pillow’s shape and firmness which is ideal if you’re using this before your baby arrives to sleep and then afterwards when feeding. It’s also great for the baby to lounge on!
We are passionate about creating a better world and life for our children, and have chosen to make its sleeve from cotton, which is highly sustainable and environmentally friendly, as well as silky soft against the skin. The sleeve is OEKO-TEX certified, and is machine washable on Warm (40 °C).
The pillow itself is EN71 food grade certified, and is easily cleaned in the shower. It is filled with a kind of beads called ESP, which is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and certified for use with infants. The pebbles are made from BPA-free silicon rings, and double as the perfect teething toy for your child.
I used a Belly Bandit after having Vivienne and I swear it helped me get my stomach and waist back. I put it on when I was in hospital as I had to stay a few nights due to waters breaking early and then a few checks they needed to do on Vivienne. I then wore it day and night for a good few weeks. It gave me that much needed support physically and I think mentally too. I had the original and the bamboo and they were both fantastic. This time I have opted for the BFF. Shop the collections here including some really great support bands for during your pregnancy…
Thank you for reading, and best of luck to any expectant mothers… enjoy the journey!