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!

 

4 Months

4 Months old already… Her personality keeps growing day by day! She loves ‘Rarrr-ing’ at his Lion teddy & smiles the biggest smiles whenever her Grumps (Grandad Mark) comes in the room! She spends most of her day trying to put her feet in her mouth, luckily, she is yet to achieve this hilarious goal. For our latest photoshoot she is wearing a Tutu skirt from Next & ‘Chat’ baby grow from La Redoute.

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All photographs taken by me & may not be used without express permission. www.poppycarterportraits.com

Kim Kardashian West Hates Pregnancy…and That’s OK!

Pregnancy is a journey that can be truly a incredible and beautiful time; bringing new life into this world, it really is amazing what your body can do. But what if the journey is not what you thought it would be? What if you just don’t feel glowing and special like you’re constantly TOLD you are supposed to?

When people asked me how I was doing? I lied. Every time. I told them, ‘Oh you know, doing great.’ or just dodged the question. And why? Because I felt this unbelievable guilt for NOT loving it. And not even just a little – quite frankly I hated almost every second. Don’t get me wrong, I felt incredibly lucky and grateful for getting pregnant so easily, but should I just put a brave face on through all the morning all day sickness, or the fact that my hip problems got so bad I could barely walk by the end & my partner had to lift me out of bed?

It’s just not something that we are allowed to be honest about. For the first time I find myself relating to Kim Kardashian West (something I never thought I’d write!), she has an incredible platform to voice her opinion and in a new post on her blog announced, “For me, pregnancy is the worst experience of my life!” I read this and thought FINALLY, someone was brave enough to just say it. I can only imagine the backlash she is getting, but why? Motherhood is wonderful but life shouldn’t always been seen through Instagram filtered perfection. She continues with fervour: “I don’t enjoy one moment of it and I don’t understand people who enjoy it. Maybe it’s the swelling, the backaches, or just the complete mindfuck of how your body expands and nothing fits. I just always feel like I’m not in my own skin. . . . I don’t feel sexy either—I feel insecure and most of the time I just feel gross.”

Kim Kardashian West Hates Pregnancy and That's OK

So many other mothers have said to me, ‘Oh I had the perfect pregnancy.’ and I can’t help but feel incredibly jealous. I wanted that – so badly. I wanted to get over my morning sickness and start glowing but that never happened for me. I trawled the internet for other mums’ feeling the same but I couldn’t find anyone willing to just come out and say it how it was. I had no idea that you get a new set of symptoms every two weeks – you just start to learn how to deal with them and a whole new batch arrive for you to figure out. Or the fact that you bleed for weeks after giving birth – or how long it will take you to even START to feel like yourself again. Joy of joys!!! Maybe if someone had come out and said it, I would have been more prepared for what I was heading into?

But you know what, the second she arrived, none of this mattered anymore. I finally got that glowing feeling that I’d been looking for when I held my beautiful baby girl.

I just want to be allowed to say, honestly, how I felt during pregnancy without fearing a pitch fork carrying mob! Maybe Kim’s brave declaration is the catalyst for many women to feel able to be honest about how they are really feeling, which I think can only be a good thing.

What do you think? Please do share your pregnancy experiences good, bad or ugly in the comments below..!

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…

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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.

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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.

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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)!

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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…