Win “The Lost Smile” with Wrigley’s Smile Back Project!

I have an exciting giveaway for you today! Wrigley’s Extra have very kindly sent me 15 copies of their new children’s book “The Lost Smile” as part of “The Extra Smile Back Project”! The project aims to protect children’s smiles by donating money from every pack of sugar free gum sold during the promotional period to charity partner Action for Children. The monies will be used to create and run oral health workshops, endorsed by the Oral Health Foundation. Wrigley’s aims to protect the smiles of over 10,000 children and 5,000 parents across the UK.

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Research conducted by Wrigley’s has revealed what parents already know – that it’s still the simple pleasures in life that make our children smile. Forget technology – pulling silly faces (44%), reading stories (28%) and playing hide and seek (27%) remain the best and simplest ways of putting a smile on a child’s face.

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The book is about a little boy on a hunt to find his families ‘lost smiles’! It’s such a sweet story; Isla has read it over & over already!

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Although it seems she’s lost her smile too today… 😉

To enter the competition to WIN 1 of 15 copies of the book, just ‘Like’ my Facebook page & leave a comment telling me what makes your little one smile! Don’t forget to tag a friend that you think would like to win too!

Singing and ‘pop goes the weasel’ with Grandma is what makes Isla smile! 🙂

The competition ends on July 3rd.

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!

 

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

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.

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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!
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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…