30 weeks today…

30 weeks today & we can’t wait for our adventure to start! Photos taken by my wonderful partner at Center Parcs Woburn Forest this weekend.

Adventures With Isla Blog Maternity Photography

Adventures With Isla Blog Maternity Photography

Adventures With Isla Blog Maternity Photography

Are you planning on booking a maternity photo shoot to remember your pregnancy? As someone who is always behind the lens I forced myself through the painful experience of posing and I know I’ll be glad I did in years to come. If you are nervous, like I was, why not take a prop or make a Pinterest board of poses you want to achieve so you feel like you know what to do when the moment comes?

Booking a photographer can be difficult but you should be able to get a good sense of someone from their website & work – email back & forth, ask lots of questions and make sure you are completely comfortable with them before you shell out lots of money!

My photographs above were taken using my Canon 5D Mk ii & processed in photoshop by me.

2015: The Year of the Gender Neutral Baby

We are only half way through the year and already we have noticed this promising trend growing stronger every day. BabyCenter‘s mid-year report shows gender-neutral names like Amari, Karter, Phoenix, Quinn and Reese are rising in popularity. “As usual, baby names are reflecting a larger cultural shift,” says BabyCenter’s Global Editor in Chief Linda Murray. “Millennials are an open-minded and accepting group, and they don’t want their children to feel pressured to conform to stereotypes that might be restrictive.”

And names are just the beginning, with campaigns like ‘Let Toys be Toys’ vast numbers of people are calling out to the big toy stores and supermarkets to think before they label their shelves with Pink or Blue stereotypes.

My partner and I both decided early on that we wanted to leave these choices to our little girl and have already asked family and friends to avoid anything that brands her ‘Little Princess’ before she’s had a chance to decide if she even wants to be one! Her wardrobe has been filled with a healthy mix of dinosaur print baby grows and equally lovely florals – ignoring the ‘Baby Boy’ or ‘Baby Girl’ sections has led us to just choose what we think is fun and cute for our daughter.

If you too are hoping to give your little girl or boy more choices and less negative stereotyping – here are just a few ideas…

Having a baby shower is slowly becoming more of the norm here in the UK & my Mum and Sister are busy planning an English Tea Party for me next month… The easiest way to avoid gender stereotyping here is going for a more neutral yellow, grey or cream colour scheme instead of the usual Pink or Blue…

Adventures With Isla Blog Cream & Brown Baby Shower

Adventures With Isla Blog Yellow & Grey Baby Shower

The nursery is the next best place to keep things neutral. I love all things Scandinavian, simple and clean so these ideas will feature heavily in our little one’s new room…

Adventures With Isla Blog Gender Neutral Nursery

Adventures With Isla Blog Gender Neutral Nursery

Adventures With Isla Blog Gender Neutral Nursery

You have only a limited time until they learn to say no and want to pick out their own clothes… So for now here are a few great sites that give you the option of staying neutral for every budget.

Adventures With Isla Blog  Cute Baby Gender Neutral Clothes

Mammas & Papas, The White Company, Etsy, Babies “R” Us, Carry Me Home, Bob & Blossom, Caramel Baby & Child, Mothercare.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be looking forward to getting creative with your little one and that starts right from the birth announcement.

Adventures With Isla Blog Birth Announcement

Adventures With Isla Blog Birth Announcement

Leave me your great gender neutral ideas in the comments below or tweet me @Poppy_Carter

10 Things NOT to say to a pregnant woman

Getting pregnant is a wonderful, joyous & exciting time but during your 40 weeks you’ll probably encounter more than just a few people who say the wrong thing. I’m assuming (hoping) the majority are just woefully un-informed or lack any tact, but the only way to make it through is just to laugh it off…

1. ‘Was it an accident/planned?’
Errr… Is it any of your business? Either way, thanks for being excited for us!

Adventures With Isla Blog Ryan Gosling GIF

2. ‘Is it Twins?’
Oh yes, that’s only the 80th time someone has made that joke today. And I really can’t even pretend to laugh along anymore. Buying two of everything is exactly what we want right now…

Adventures With Isla Blog Demi Lovato GIF

3. ‘Say Goodbye to your sleep!’
Another painfully common reaction to announcing your pregnancy. How about, ‘Congratulations, that’s wonderful’ instead?

Adventures With Isla Blog Emma Stone GIF

4. ‘Can I touch your bump?’
No. The answer is always no. If I say yes, it’s only because you have made me feel uncomfortable in a social situation and I feel like I have to say yes. I’m British and being uncomfortable is easier than confrontation.

Adventures With Isla Blog Adele GIF

5. Every disgusting & painful thing that will happen during pregnancy & birth…
It’s too late now and I know this thing is going to have to exit somehow, but I really don’t need your horror stories to add to my already active imagination!

Adventures With Isla Blog Funny GIF

6. Your bump is so small/big…
While you may think your comment is just idle small talk, you have no idea about all the details of the pregnancy and every little worry that runs through a pregnant mother’s head every second of the day. Is my baby growing properly? Is something wrong? So why not just say, ‘You look incredible’ and leave it at that?

Adventures With Isla Blog Anna Kendrick GIF

7. ‘Have you thought about how you are going to lose all the baby weight?’
Are you serious? Because there isn’t already enough pressure on women to look a certain way? I just successfully grew a HUMAN with my BODY. How about I do what I want and you run along now…

Adventures With Isla Blog Jon Stewart GIF

8. ‘I was still running 15 miles a day when I was 8 months pregnant…’
Good for you! Do you feel better about yourself now that you’ve made a hormonal woman feel bad about herself? I’m active, a healthy weight and my baby is growing perfectly but great… thanks so much.

Adventures With Isla Blog Honey Boo Boo GIF

9. ‘You just wait…’ And everything that follows this line..
You think you’re tired now, you just wait until the baby is here! You think your back aches now, you just wait until week 38! And you just wait until I head-butt you…

Adventures With Isla Blog Funny GIF

10. ‘You don’t need to buy anything’
But you see…the thing is… It’s my baby, I’m excited & why should everyone else get all the fun?

Adventures With Isla Blog Meryl Streep GIF

What are the worst things anyone has ever said to you? Leave them in the comments below or tweet me @Poppy_Carter

Oh Mama… It’s hot!

Well I think we can officially say summer is here and my goodness what a start we are having here in London! Dressing for this sticky, humid weather is never going to be easy but with a bump in tow it’s essential to stay cool whilst braving the tube & tourist packed streets! I’ve found maternity shopping more than a little tricky, especially when so few stores actually keep it in stock! Even knowing what size to order is problematic when you are growing everyday. Things that I bought thinking they would last me the whole pregnancy are getting to be far too small already (12 weeks to go!). So far I’ve stuck to Topshop skinny maternity jeans and a rotation of the same few bump friendly T-Shirts, but it’s time to step it up a gear now that summer is here! So here we go… A few top picks for staying stylish and cool in the city…

Adventures With Isla Blog TopShop

TopShop Denim Dungarees

For an everyday look that’s as easy as it is cute, why not throw on these Denim Short Dungarees from TopShop (£38)… So simple, comfy and practical. What more could you want?

Adventures With Isla Blog ASOS Swing Dress

ASOS Swing Dress

I love this light, pretty look. It’s easy to dress up or down and will keep you cool no matter how much running around you still have left to do before your little one arrives! ASOS Swing Dress – £25.

Adventures With Isla Blog Arizona Two Strap Birkenstocks

Arizona Two Strap Birkenstocks

You really can’t go wrong with a good pair of Birkenstocks. I love the double strap on these to make sure you feel secure in every step as your balance starts to go. And they are adjustable if your feet do start to swell. Plus, it’s the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a pedicure! £54.95 at Office.

Adventures With Isla Blog Mamalicious Maxi Dress

Mamalicious Printed Maxi Dress

This lovely print is great for summer & would double up well for everyday or even for a Wedding. Unfortunately, I’m 5″2, so Maxi dresses are always at least a foot too long for me… So this one is for you to wear and me to live vicariously through you! Mamalicious Printed Maxi £38.

Adventures With Isla Blog Salon Skater Dress - Silk Organza

Salon Skater Dress – Silk Organza

Speaking of weddings… I find it so difficult to find anything pretty and formal that would fit my bump. But this gorgeous number would be absolutely perfect for any summer occasion and it’s only £65 from ASOS.

Adventures With Isla Blog ASOS Striped Swimsuit

ASOS Striped Swimsuit

The whole way through your pregnancy one of the things you’ll hear again & again is how important it is to stay active, so why not do it in style? I’ve found swimming outdoors in Richmond Park in the sunshine a perfect way to get some Vitamin D and take the weight of my bump off my hips and back for an hour or so! ASOS Maternity Stripe Swimsuit £28.

Adventures With Isla Blog Sophia Webster Adele Banana White Sneaker

Sophia Webster Adele Banana White Sneaker

I am obsessed with my Sophia Webster Banana Sneakers (£140). I’ve pretty much worn them every day since they came out – they are supremely comfy and as your bump gets bigger bending down to tie your laces gets trickier so these solve that problem! Oh and whats even better…? They also come in mini sizes (£70) for when your little one arrives! I can’t tell you how tempted I am…!

Adventures With Isla Blog Sophia Webster Kingston Banana White Mini

Sophia Webster Kingston Banana White Mini

So there we go… Just a few picks to get your summer maternity wardrobe started! It’s a tricky balance between wanting to look and feel good but not breaking the bank for something you (hopefully) won’t fit into for very long once baby has arrived! What are your top picks? Leave them in the comments below! Happy Shopping!

Adventures With Isla Blog Bump and Sophia Webster Banana Sneakers...

My Bump and Sophia Webster Banana Sneakers…

So much to buy… So little time…

The first thing you will notice about being pregnant is that EVERYONE is trying to sell you something that you just absolutely can’t live without… It’s a minefield that you have to navigate your way through so I thought I’d try and help with a few recommendations that I really actually couldn’t live without.

Adventures With Isla Blog  Pregnancy must haves

My pregnancy must haves…

1. Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate –
I had this before I got pregnant but fell in love with it in a whole new way once I got pregnant. Your little bump will start taking all of your nutrients and leaving your skin looking less than perfect – but with this you can try to stay hydrated while also feeling supremely pampered. It also smells incredible and the lavender is perfect for helping you to sleep if you are suffering from insomnia like so many pregnant mum’s! It’s quite pricey but lasts such a long time that it really makes it worth the £36.00.

2.Sanctuary Body Butter
At only £10 this is a steal for such an indulgent product. I cover myself in this every night before bed and although my other half isn’t a fan of quite how strong it smells I always feel hydrated and great by morning.

3. Pregnacare Plus
This handy little box comes with everything your growing baby could need in just two pills – never mind taking 20 different things when you can barely remember where you put your keys or if you even put underwear on today… Thanks baby brain!

4. What To Expect When Expecting
The worst thing for me about being pregnant is the waiting! I just want all the fun to start but for now I want to feel proactive – I’ve found reading every book I can get my hands on has helped. But don’t forget to just take what you like from each book and ignore the rest. Theres no right or wrong and what works for one baby, might not for another!

5. It’s Just Water, I Swear
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things at this exciting time, so why not get a fun cup to make this a little easier – after all, when you can barely get up off the sofa thanks to your huge bump – having a massive cup full of water that you don’t have to refill all the time is priceless.

6. Widgey Plus Pregnancy and Sleep Pillow
I know there are a million of these on the market but there really are no words to express how in love with this pillow I am! My partner bought it for me when I was just 8 weeks pregnant and I really didn’t think I’d need it. Boy, was I wrong! Getting comfortable with your bump gets harder and harder as the weeks go by – and this pillow makes it just so easy. It’s called 5 in 1, but I think it should be re-named 4567 in 1 as it just works on so many levels – and once your little bundle of joy arrives it works as a nursing pillow too. Just… buy one… you won’t be sorry.

7. CowShed Maternity Gift Set
My lovely sister bought me this for my birthday and everything in it smells delicious and feels even better. It has shower gel, body oil (which you can never have too much of!), and a really refreshing leg and foot treatment that will feel great when everything starts to swell up… (Yup, pregnancy really is a joy!)

8. Bio-Oil
I have covered myself in this from before my bump was even starting to stretch in the slightest and (so far) not a stretch mark in sight! Buy it in bulk, put it on as often as you can and hope for the best! They say stretch marks are genetic so you will get them (or not) no matter what you do. But better safe than sorry, right?

My other top pregnancy purchase was the app ‘Pregnancy+‘ – it has absolutely beautiful pictures, helpful blogs links and a great timeline for you to follow your progress. I don’t think it was free but my partner and I love reading the weekly updates that help us feel connected to our little girl and find out what amazing milestone she has reached each week. Worth every penny!
Adventures With Isla Blog pregnancy+APP

What are your top maternity picks? Share them in the comments below!

I’m pregnant… Now what?

I can’t be the only one that found out I was pregnant and immediately googled… ‘WHAT ON EARTH AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW?’. If your little miracle was planned or a surprise you will be filled with so many emotions and it’s ok if they aren’t all positive right now. Panic is natural and actually, google is your friend.

The first thing to do is to contact your doctor & set up your first appointment to start your care. It can feel like weeks before you even get your booking in appointment – but don’t panic. Head out and grab yourself some pregnancy vitamins (if you aren’t already taking them), grab a big glass of water and relax – all the fun is about to begin.

To me, these first few weeks felt like they were the slowest of my life, your body is about to go through some serious changes and if you are as unlucky as me – some serious morning sickness. I found sites like MumsNet absolutely wonderful for making me feel better – for some reason reading that 2000 other women are also going through exactly the same thing – AND IT’S COMPLETELY NORMAL – is so very comforting.

It’s natural to be nervous and unsure, especially if this is your first child – but there is nothing wrong with googling to check something out… Obviously use your common sense here and don’t panic yourself – but I’m taking about all the little crazy things (like having incredibly itchy armpits) that you really just don’t need to call a doctor about every 5 minutes of the day!

I’ve found the most important thing, are the people around you. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have the most supportive partner and best friend that is my fiancé. And not to mention my incredible parents, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and friends who have given me so much advice, love and support from the word go!
So once you’ve calmed yourself down – start to think about who you want to tell and how…

Some people wait till after the 12 week mark or even later when you just can’t hide your growing bump anymore. Just know – there is no right or wrong but whatever you choose make sure you and your partner are on the same page.
We just couldn’t wait to tell our immediate family but decided to only tell our closest friends in person from week 10 and then sent out the first scan at 12 weeks to a slightly larger group of friends. We kept everything off social media until I went to vote and couldn’t resist sharing our bump with the world in my first picture as a pregnant lady (at around 22 weeks)!

Adventures With Isla Blog

Time To Vote…

How did you feel when you first found out your news? And did you make a big announcement or keep your little miracle to yourself? Leave me a comment below…

A Brand New Adventure…

Well here we go… a whole new chapter. My wonderful fiancé, Barney and I are expecting our first child. We are both filled with so much love, excitement and anticipation for the next step in our lives together. I thought it might be wise to move my blog on over to something a little more ‘child-friendly’ as running around London trying every new restaurant and cocktail on offer, just doesn’t seem realistic anymore – at least not for the next 9 months! So I would like to take this chance to thank everyone who has followed me on ‘Your London’s Calling’ & I hope you will make the leap with me into this new adventure!

Adventures With Isla Blog

12 weeks in…