Starting my journey with The Body Confidence Programme

I’m not a particularly impulsive person, especially since having Isla! When I buy something I like to research & plan to make sure I get exactly what I want & that it’s going to be amazing quality… Well I may have thrown this out the window… and for something pretty important…

I bought my Wedding dress on a whim.

Literally less than 10 minutes discussion with my Mum & it was on the way from Net-a-Porter in it’s beautiful black box!

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But not only did I decide to buy it – way before we’d even put the deposit down on our venue or anything at all… I bought it two sizes too small…

Since having Isla I have not made much progress with shifting the baby weight. My priorities have changed & I feel much more concerned with having energy, feeling good & feeling strong again. I purposely have not put any scales in my home & have been rating how I feel far higher than how I look for the first time in my life.

Now the Wedding is coming, I want to feel amazing in my dress so I knew I would need to make some changes to feel like ‘me’ again. I searched for a programme where I could take control, find my energy & ultimately feel amazing at the end of it.

The Body Confidence Program is the only 8-week fat-loss revolution that doesn’t involve restricting calories or spending hours at the gym. It is NOT about weight-loss. Stop eating for 3 days and you’ll lose weight. But is that sustainable or healthy? No. The Body Confidence Program is about lifelong fat-loss, learning how to live a healthier more confident lifestyle.

Some of the benefits of doing the program are:

  • Dropping 2 jean sizes, guaranteed!
  • Increased energy levels
  • Improved moods
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased fitness levels
  • Reduced bloating
  • Reduced body fat
  • Balanced blood sugar levels
  • Increased productivity
  • Long-lasting healthier lifestyle
  • Body confidence
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Renewed pride in appearance

So far I am a week into the programme and I’ve already reduced by 6.5inches from all over. I am absolutely thrilled with this as it hasn’t been an easy week. My sugar cravings have given me some awful moods but I think the worst of that is over & it’s all up from here. I’m already learning to make better food choices which is something that will stay with me long term after the plan has finished.

You can follow my progress over on my Instagram where I will be posting food pictures & updates as I go through the 8 week program!

For now I am feeling positive & ready for the challenges to come in the next 7 weeks. I will be posting a full review of the program at the end so keep an eye out!

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Full Disclosure: I have been invited to do the programme for free in exchange for my honest opinion!

Breastfeeding is Beautiful – A Photo Series

My journey into Motherhood has been many things; rewarding, surprising, exhausting and beautiful but what most surprised me was just how isolating it can be.

I have slowly found some incredible women to surround myself with that give me strength on the tough days, and make me laugh when we are going through exactly the same thing (and both thought we were the only one tempted to open the wine before 6pm)! This support network has been and will continue to be invaluable to me as my beautiful girl grows and challenges me more.

I believe firmly that in order for women to succeed, we must support each other and share experiences. When it comes to breast feeding there is no better way to learn this skill – that can come easily or leave you in tears.

I decided to create this photo series for any Mum’s that are struggling, or just need to know – it is worth it. Hang in there. Whether you are expressing every 4 hours day & night, mix feeding or managing to breastfeed through cracked nipples & pain – know that you are incredible. You are super woman. And you are supported.

The following photographs are of some beautiful women & their babies that have  kindly & bravely shared their experiences in the hope that it might bring a smile to your face or help you in some small way on your journey.

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This series was inspired after taking part in Medela’s ‘Big Breastfeeding Cafe’.

If you need support, or advice you can tweet their Education Manager and in-house Lactation Consultant, Sioned Hilton @Medela_UK or leave me a comment!

Please feel free to share in the comments your best piece of advice for any Mum’s that are in need of support.

For more information on my Photography work & to book me please click here.

All images are strictly copyright Poppy Carter Portraits. The images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of Poppy Carter.

Bambini & Me – Review

We were very kindly sent this gorgeous Bamboo Romper for Isla to try out from Bambini & Me today! There’s nothing better than a baby in super soft, snuggly outfits for hanging out around the house & getting that crawling/wriggling/rolling practise in! Isla has been putting it to the test all morning & it seems to be holding up perfectly! 🙂

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The eco-friendly range, full of quirky prints, includes pieces for babies from 0 to 18 months.   As well as helping with temperature control, bamboo clothing is perfect for absorbing moisture away from the skin and ensuring breathability. A perfect buy for the summer! 

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Isla is wearing size 6-12 months which is a little short in the leg but for the summer months that’s no problem at all! I would order up in the sizes where possible as I don’t think she’ll be in this one for too much longer! (She’s just going into size 9-12 months in most shops.)

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We wore the romper out to the park after our little photoshoot and got so many compliments on the pattern & colour! Who says blue has to be for boys?! 😉

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Isla is so active now that she spends all day crawling circles around me, this beautifully soft romper is absolutely perfect to keep her little knees happy & stretchy enough for her to get up to all sorts of mischief with no problem! I’d highly recommend stocking up on all things Bamboo especially the swaddles & wraps! 🙂 The more you wash them, the softer they get & are so durable!

The blue bunny Romper is available here in 3 sizes for £21.00.

Full disclosure: We were sent the romper for free in exchange for our honest opinion! 🙂

Top 10 (ok, 11!) Tips for planning your Wedding & staying on budget!

Well it’s taken us long enough but we have achieved what felt like the impossible… We have booked our Wedding venue!! Not really hard to guess, if you follow me on Instagram  as it’s our favourite place in the world!

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We have just over a year to organise everything and somehow that doesn’t seem like enough while juggling a business, a blog & being Mum! So I thought I’d share my top tips for starting your Wedding planning with minimum stress… (I just laughed out loud even saying that…ok… with maybe a bit less stress…!)

  1. Set a budget!!
    Sit down with your partner & write down what you are happy to spend. This is a list of what the average person in the UK spends and I think it’s a pretty good starting point… Start contacting venues and suppliers that you like to get an idea of costs! Total unashamed plug… If you are looking for a good photographer 😉

    Wedding venue and ceremony fees: £1,500
    Reception venue £2,500
    Catering: £2,500
    Drinks: £750
    Entertainment and venue decorations: £1,000
    Photography: £1,500
    Cake: £500
    Flowers: £550
    Transport: £250
    Stationery: £300
    Favours and gifts: £400
    Wedding rings: £600
    Dress: £2,000
    Bride’s shoes: £150
    Jewellery and veil: £250
    Hair and makeup: £150
    Bridesmaids’ outfits: £250
    Groom’s outfit: £320
    Attendants’ outfits: £250
    W-day insurance: £100
    Honeymoon: £4,000
    Total: £19,820

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  2. STICK TO IT! (No, seriously!!)
    It’s so easy to start spending a little more here & there, but before you know it you’ve added another £5k to your budget and there goes your honeymoon…
  3. Decide what matters most to you…
    Discuss with your partner which parts of the Wedding are most important to you – obviously it’s the photography for me & neither of us were fussed about having a big white cake so we’re going to have a banoffee pie instead and save the £500 or put it towards something else more important to us!

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  4. Make a spreadsheet with everything on it.
    Keep everything in one place… budget, guests contact information, dietary requirements, RSVPs, a list of tasks with a deadline & all your suppliers information. Closer to the time you can make an itinerary that your venue will probably help with & your photographer etc. will need!
  5. Ask friends & family for help.
    Don’t get weighed down by the pressure of creating the perfect day. All the people closest to you are going to be so incredibly excited and more than likely would love to help you plan! Don’t be afraid to dish out some tasks to your maid of honour – that’s what she’s there for! 😉

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  6. Don’t act on impulse. Take your time.
    When you go & visit a venue or supplier it’s very easy to get swept up in the excitement & before you know it you just put a deposit down on their triple gold package with dancing fountains and fireworks… but oh wait… THE BUDGET. Take a moment to chat with your partner to discuss what you actually went there for& reign it in!
  7. Do just one task every day towards the Wedding…
    A great way to not feel overwhelmed is to write a list of tasks & just tick one off each day. Whether thats searching for cake makers or choosing your colours, those are big decisions so don’t try & do it all at once!

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  8. Be realistic…
    We wanted rows of trees with flowers covering every inch of the venue initially, but then came back down to earth with a thump when we realised that would make our flower budget as much as our WHOLE wedding! Haha! Set your sights on something achievable & make it the best it can possibly be!
  9. Do it yourself & get the kids involved!
    A great way to save money is to do things yourself, whether thats the invites or the flowers in jars – it seems to be all the rage right now! And don’t forget to include the kids in any way you can – even if it’s just licking the envelopes it might keep them quiet for a whole 5 minutes… 😉

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  10. Cut costs where you can & spend where it matters.
    Look through your budget & spot where money can be saved – maybe swapping the champagne toast for Prosecco or having smaller bouquets for the bridesmaids? That way you can spend where it really matters – get your dress properly fitted, the rings are going to be on your finger forever (hopefully!) so make sure they are going to last & the photographs are the most important that you will ever have taken in your life – so make sure you find someone that will treasure your day & capture it perfectly for you to remember forever!
  11. Try to have fun & enjoy it!
    Now get yourself on Pinterest and start dreaming of your perfect day! Get a glass of wine (or two!) and share pins with your bridesmaids to your hearts content! You’ll have planned 10 completely different Weddings by the end of the night!! 😉

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The Big Breastfeeding Cafe with Medela

Today was the big day! Hundreds of Mum’s across the country connected to talk all things breastfeeding & expressing thanks to Medela‘s Big Breastfeeding Cafe! I hosted a cafe at home & we had an amazing time!

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All set up, ready to go including some goodies from Medela to give out!

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Isla had to be the first to tuck into the strawberries of course… 😉

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Some of the top tips shared were: “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get it right the first time… Breastfeeding takes time to establish & that can be different for every baby even if it was easy with your first!”

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“Be patient, and don’t feel silly to ask questions/advice from friends or Breastfeeding specialists!”

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Nosy girls checking out cutie Bella getting changed! Haha!

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As you can see, my littlest guests didn’t think much of the chat!

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A big thank you to Gurgle Magazine for sending over a few copies of your latest issue for the ladies to enjoy! 🙂

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Isla took to her usual position of watching everyone eat… Haha!

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As you can see Mums & Babies all had a fantastic time sharing experiences, tips and advice! We talked about everything from best nipple creams to the best/worst advice we were given & how that impacted our breastfeeding/expressing journeys!

And one final piece of wisdom for any Mum’s struggling on their journey…

“Keep going, know that you are amazing & doing the best you possibly can for your baby every day!”

Thanks so much to Medela & Bump PR for organising such a great event for Mum’s all over the UK – it was great to be a small part of it! 🙂

8 Months

8 Months old & Isla is making huge leaps each month now! She’s crawling at the speed of light and is a determined young lady to say the least… She knows what she wants and she knows how to get it. We are certainly going to have our hands full.

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Isla’s favourite thing this month has been swimming – she now happily kicks all the way around the pool, I’m fairly sure she thinks she’s doing it all by herself! Haha!

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Weaning has been going well & we have found ourselves in the world of baby led weaning as she won’t let us help her and certainly won’t even consider food that has been pureed!

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Isla has just started to pull herself up on everything and walk her way around the room while holding on, so it won’t be long until I’m running after her I’m sure! As we head into Summer I’m most looking forward to playing in our new paddling pool & watching Isla explore everything with her growing curiosity!

 

Reading with Isla & Baby Lit

If you follow us on Instagram you’ll have noticed one of Isla’s favourite activities is reading, but our little madam is rather particular about her reading material… Enter BabyLit. They make an adorable range books that can introduce classic literature to your baby in a fun & stylish way!

“At BabyLit, we believe in the power of reading. Why? Because books take us places. Good places. And when we read with a child, we go places together. It’s more than just reading. It’s learning. It’s experiencing. It’s growing.”

Sounds good to me!

When I told Isla we were going to be reading during our photoshoot today she got just a little excited…

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That is her face whenever I get one of the BabyLit books out… Absolutely hilarious.

Things get serious pretty quickly though…

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This week I bought Isla two new books from BabyLit, Romeo & Juliet – to join in with all the celebrations for Shakespeare 400 & Moby-Dick!

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Before you start worrying that Isla might be slightly traumatised by the ending of Romeo & Juliet all the books don’t really tell the story as such… They introduce key characters and themes with beautiful pictures and usually all while counting to 10! (1 town, 2 lovers… etc etc!)

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I think it’s so important to encourage reading from an early age & you really can’t start too soon! If you want to buy your little one some of BabyLit’s amazing books you can shop direct or find them at a local supplier. We’ve got our eye on Midsummer Night’s DreamThe Wizard of Oz next!

They also make play sets, puzzles, dolls, notebooks and totes so you can really bring their favourite characters off the page!

Follow us on Instagram for more & you can find BabyLit here too!

Oh and just one more thing… I couldn’t resist sharing a few behind the scenes shots from our little photoshoot…

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Isla’s personal wardrobe mistress/assistant/dribble wiper for the day was my brilliant Mum, which she thought was just hilarious!

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So much love for Nanny!!

This is the first time I’ve convinced my mum to step in front of the camera, and I’m going to treasure these photographs forever. I juggle being Mummy, blogging and running my own photography business as well as the rest of life & I couldn’t do it without the amazing support my Mum gives me! And as you can see Isla is also a huge fan! 🙂