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! 🙂

6 Months

Isla turns 6 months old today & I can’t believe we are here already… Sitting up, rolling over and now giving crawling a really good go! I just want to freeze time & enjoy my tiny baby for a bit longer. She brings so much love & light to everyone she meets – chatting & laughing to anyone who will pay her even the slightest bit of attention. Most nights she does ‘Twinkle Twinkle Stars’ fingers and then applauds herself in her cot before going to sleep… I can’t even. We’ve been exploring art and music a lot this month – she has even ‘painted’ her first masterpieces for her Nanny & Grandma. She loves watching videos of child prodigies playing the cello!

Our photoshoot this month was taken in the kitchen after breakfast this morning! I want to remember her how I saw her every day, just hanging out in her PJ vest, as well as all dressed up for fun.

Happy 6 Months my crazy Beanie Bear!

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Our Family ‘Staycation’ at St Moritz Hotel, Cornwall

Deciding where to go for our first family holiday was a mammoth task; we wanted somewhere luxury, beautiful and most of all happy for us to bring Isla… Easier said than done!! Travelling with a baby has it’s restrictions but that doesn’t mean you have to end up in a ‘kidz’ holiday park wishing you’d just stayed at home…

We found the St Moritz hotel in Rock, Cornwall and boy did we luck out! It was absolutely perfect. There’s a Cowshed spa, indoor and outdoor pool, gym, two buzzy restaurants and a bar. The finish is super-stylish and contemporary, the location’s unbeatable and the Guest Host is on hand to plan your stay from start to finish. You can book into a hotel room, penthouse apartment or child-friendly garden villa, all with everything you could need for travelling with kids! Cots & linen are provided (for a small fee) and if you book into a King/Twin room you even get your own sea view beach hut next to the outdoor pool – if you are planning a summer visit!

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Isla was just a little grumpy as we arrived… but that changed quickly!

Located in Trebetherick, with views across the stunning Camel Estuary and Atlantic Ocean, close to Rock and Padstow and within five minutes of the beaches at Daymer Bay and Polzeath, St Moritz is the destination for a relaxing beach break.

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Isla made herself at home on the giant marshmallow bed right away! It was such a comfortable nights sleep – we didn’t want to get out of it the next morning! Isla had a great sleep in her cot but jumped right in with us first thing for cuddles & cartoons.

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Ready to catch some waves!

After the long drive we decided to go for a swim, as it’s Isla’s favourite thing to do! The pool changing rooms were spacious & clean. They have amazing disabled access too.

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Just relaxing in her own private pool… Lucky girl!

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After our swim we decided to brave a coastal walk down to the beach… It was rather windy as you can see… But the breath taking views more than made up for it! You wouldn’t be able to take a pram – but I felt safer baby wearing Isla anyway.

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We made a quick pitstop for a hot chocolate to warm up… Isla was fascinated but had to settle for her milk! Onesie from Gap Kids.  The service we received everywhere was amazing – so accommodating & friendly.

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Baby carrier from Baby Bjorn & Bear Suit from The Little White Company.

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We had to improvise a little to get Isla into the high chair – but she found it hilarious, of course! Breakfast was included in the room price & was absolutely delicious – my eggs Benedict was a particular highlight.

That night we had a three course dinner in the main restaurant that was absolutely beautiful. The service was wonderful & the restaurant was incredible stylish. The menu is a little pricey – but you pay for what you get. The attention to detail was exceptional & it was great to watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen.

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The next morning we went for another swim before driving over to Padstow. You can get a boat/ferry over but as we were there out of season – the last one back was too early to fit in our special dinner plans!

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Padstow has some lovely little shops to explore and great walks along the cliffs. All paved & accessible with the pram. (Urbo2 in Camel from Mamas & Papas!) Isla had her eye on some fudge that we were bringing back as a souvenir for her big cousins!

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For dinner we went to Rick Stein’s Cafe… He also has a restaurant in Padstow but only allows children over the age of 3. The food was fantastic, as you would expect – but make sure you get a reservation well in advance as even on a midweek in January it was fully booked from the moment it opened! The cafe itself is very small so there really isn’t much room for a pram – leaving the pram in the car & baby wearing would be a great option.

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Full & happy, we headed back to the hotel. We spent the rest of the night watching movies in our spacious room & letting this cheeky monkey stay up after bedtime for some extra family time before our much needed mini break was over. After another great nights sleep we grabbed breakfast & headed home.

It was the perfect first family holiday, short but sweet! We can’t wait to come back to this beautiful hotel & see it really come to life in the summer. They have some amazing deals on their website for out of season – if you don’t have to fit in with the school holidays yet. We stayed on the Discounted Decadence package & thought it was amazing value for money.

Family Friendly – 10/10
Baby Change Facilities- 10/10
Hotel Room – 10/10
Food – 9/10 (Just a little too expensive!)

Swimming Pool – 10/10
Nearby Activities – 10/10

You get the picture… absolutely perfect!! Thank you so much to everyone at the St. Moritz for making our first family staycation such a success!

5 Months

Where is the time going? Isla can now roll over, and spends most of her day showing off this new skill. She just needs to learn to roll back now… She’s suffering with teething more & more, so hopefully one of those bad boys will break through soon & stop hurting!!

This photoshoot is to celebrate Isla’s very talented Daddy opening “Mrs. Henderson Presents” as Musical Director at The Noel Coward in the West End. If you’ve seen the movie you will understand her costume choice… an honorary Windmill Girl for one day only!!

The musical is absolutely beautiful & has an incredible team behind it so I urge you to go see it – you won’t regret it! Just click here for more information & to buy tickets.

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‘Yay for being nakey in the kitchen…’

This is by far Isla’s favourite photoshoot we’ve done – if it was up to her she’d never wear clothes!! Haha! Hopefully she’ll grow out of this phase soon and putting clothes on won’t be such a daily battle! xx

Bath Time Essentials

Bath time is fast becoming Isla’s favourite part of the day. We are finally into a great routine & it’s made bedtime easy & enjoyable for everyone. I thought I’d recommend a few of our favourite products for you to try too…

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First up, is Sudocrem’s new Care & Protect. I was kindly sent this to try on Isla after it won Best Nappy Cream of 2015 & we instantly fell in love with it. It’s kept her skin happy & it’s the perfect size for the baby bag!

Sudocrem Care & Protect is a nappy rash ointment – designed specifically for babies – that offers triple protection against nappy rash at every nappy change:

1. Creating a protective barrier that seals in the skin’s natural moisture and protects even the most delicate skin against external irritants.

2. Conditioning the skin – Vitamin E and Pro Vitamin B5 helps to protect the skin and keep it soft, healthy and moisturised.

3. Guarding against infection – As well as sealing in the good stuff, Sudocrem Care & Protect acts as a barrier to protect delicate skin from the bad stuff, like the chemicals in urine and poo, and from chafing and rubbing.

 Because Sudocrem Care & Protect is just for your baby, it is hypoallergenic and has been dermatologically tested. It is also free from artificial colours and preservatives. 

£6.99 for 100g.

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We use Earth Friendly Baby‘s Calming lavender Shampoo & Body wash every night in the bath – all their products are ethical, natural and organic as well as kind to sensitive skin. It smells great and leaves Isla relaxed & ready for bed.

£4.00 for 250ml.

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I love all of Cowshed’s products & this relaxing room spray is no different. A few sprays in her room before story time & we are ready to relax into an easy bedtime. They have so many beautiful products – especially for new mums and mums to be that make great gifts so make sure to check out their full range.

£18 for 100ml.

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Burt’s Bees Original Lotion contains Buttermilk, Shea Butter and Sunflower Seed Oil to deeply moisturise baby’s skin, making it smooth and super soft. Original lotion now provides scientifically-proven moisture for up to 24 hours to keep your baby’s skin soft. This buttermilk lotion is also free of synthetic fragrances, just like the entire Baby Bee line, for your peace of mind. It’s quick absorbing too which makes getting into PJ’s right after easy… well as easy as it can be when being ‘nakey’ is the best thing ever to happen to a baby!

£10.99 for 170g.

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Some nights if Isla won’t settle we try a calming baby massage. We went to a class to learn how to safely & gently massage & always use Neal’s Yard Baby Massage Oil. It’s suitable form 3 months (they have another unscented one suitable from birth) 100% organic, with calming essential oils of rose otto and Roman chamomile, perfect for a wonderfully soothing, bonding massage.

£7.50 for 50ml.

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If you’ve been following the blog or our Instagram, you’ll know how much I love everything Aden + Anais make… Muslins, Clothes & now wash cloths and hooded towels. You can get a hooded towel & wash cloth set which only gets softer the more you wash it & extra 100% Cotton Muslin wash cloths sold separately. We have draws full of them!

Hooded Towel & Wash Cloth set – £29.95.

Wash Cloth Sets – £16.95 for 3.

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And that’s it, for now! If we find anything else that we love we’ll be sure to share it with you! (Oh and the Elephant pictured is Eric P. Fuddlewuddle… from JellyCat’s Fuddlewuddle range!)

Do you have any bath time favourites that you swear by? Leave a comment here on my facebook or tweet me @Poppy_Carter

Merry Christmas from us!

Seeing as it’s Isla’s first Christmas we were always going to get a little creative & I couldn’t resist turning my little angel into a little elf… Here are just a few from our MANY photoshoots over the festive season!

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Bucket, tree (and basically everything in my house) from John Lewis… Outfit from BabyGapIsla-adventures

Elf onesie from Tesco
Bow headband from Next

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Outfit & Cardigan from Ralph Lauren Baby
Blanket from Cath Kidston

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And our christmas card..
Stocking from The White Company
Star Lamp from Made.com

All photography by me… And seeing as I’m officially back from Maternity leave in January, feel free to check out my website. 🙂

www.poppycarterportraits.com

I hope you have a beautiful Christmas with all your family & a wonderful new year! Did you dress your little one up for the festive season? Tweet me with your Christmas photos at @Poppy_Carter or post them to my Facebook!