Tuesday, 26 August 2014

My new baby clothes crush

Magnificent stuff
You may remember in this money saving post I wrote here that I swore by buying essentials like baby vests and bodysuits from H&M - purely because your baby is bound to ruin/grow out of/poo all over them in a matter of weeks. However, I also said that it's also a great idea because you can then set some money aside for the truly gorgeous stuff that you really can't resist couldn't possibly do without. And this is where Magnificent Stanley comes in.
I came across Magnificent Stanley whilst nosing through a friend's Instagram feed and it was genuinely love at first sight. The simple white and navy t-shirts, body suits and bibs are all gorgeous enough (and amazing quality) but the real hook here is that they're all adorned with beautiful Liberty print fabrics that you can have personalised to suit your little one. And they're all handmade with care and obvious affection by founder and creator Becky Belfield. How nice is that?!
Elsie in her 'E' tee
I went for a navy cotton tee with an 'E' in the 'Thorpe' Liberty print for Elsie and I have to say, I loved it as soon as it arrived, (beautifully wrapped in tissue paper and red and white striped string). It's super soft and the little turn-up details on the sleeves couldn't be cuter but of course, it's the Liberty print personalised letter that makes it really stand out. It's just so pretty. I'm already thinking of getting another, maybe in the 'Geometric' or 'Pears' print for Max and I've bought another for my friend's baby (they make the best gifts). Take a look and I promise you'll love.

(Prices start at £12 for a personalised bodysuit. Visit www.magnificentstanley.com for more details).

Monday, 18 August 2014

Review: Aliens Love Underpants: Live

We love pants!
It's been a super hectic last few weeks both with work and at home which means I haven't had a lot of time to go about testing the latest beauty launches or even thinking about my next blog post. Sorry about that. However, I did go and see a brilliant theatre production with Max, my four-year-old, called Aliens Love Underpants (stay with me) that I thought I'd tell you about. Before I had my one-year-old, Elsie, I made a little pact with myself that, when we were settled, I would dedicate a whole day every couple of months or so to spend with Max. Just the two of us. It means he gets me all day long, with no interruptions and to be honest it works both ways; I get to have these special moments with him that I'll cherish as he grows. 

So, back to the underpants. Those in-the-know i.e parents everywhere, will be fully aware that this is a rather brilliant book by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort all about, well, aliens that come down from outer space to steal your underpants. (It all makes sense when you read the book) It's a genuinely funny little story, not too long or too short and the illustrations are just lovely, so I jumped at the chance to check out how they'd do it at the theatre. And really, it was great. It veers a little from the book in that the story begins with Timmy (the little boy in the book) at school and dreaming of going into space. And the aliens themselves are created with hand held, life-sized puppets which the actors hold and move about (this bit I was really dubious about but the puppets are so well done, it really works). It's classic children's theatre; there are a few songs thrown in, lots of interactive sections where the kids can get involved and a whole lot of silliness. And we loved it. I know Max did because he was singing 'Aliens Love Underpants' all the way home.
(Tickets for Aliens Love Underpants are available here and cost from £10).

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Beauty Editors with Babies: Kate Jones

Kate and Rosie
It might have taken a few lost emails, astray Twitter messages and a bit of pestering (all on my part - sorry Kate!) but I'm so happy to have finally got the lovely beauty editor at Cosmopolitan, Kate Jones (nee Turner), to fill this next 'Beauty Editors with Babies' post. I've known Kate for many years and every time our paths cross, whether it be at a beauty launch or just outside the office, we've always had so much to talk about. At first, I think it was about our shared love of soft rock (!), then, when we both had babies; nurseries, sleep (or lack of it), the work-life balance (and when will we ever have coffee) became our main talking point. As the beauty editor at what is, let's face it, a hugely successful brand such as Cosmo, Kate has got a lot on her plate. She's also a mum to a gorgeous three-year-old girl, Rosie. And she's just got married. So you can see why I was so keen to get her to do this post; she has so much going on, her beauty buys must be pretty damn good to get anywhere near her make-up bag. So here they are. And Kate, I promise, we will have that coffee. Soon.

1. Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil, £39 (clarins.co.uk)
'Countless beauty editor friends recommended this oil to me when I got pregnant, and now I do the same! It's packed with plant extracts that help keep your skin firm and flexible as your bump grows. I used this religiously twice a day and didn't get a single stretch mark (and I was massive) . I also adore the spa-like scent - it felt like a mini treatment.' 

2. Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream, £23 (origins.co.uk)
'Ever since I had a baby I've been obsessed with my sleep-deprived eyes! I've become a committed-tester of line-busting magic potions, and this is my current favourite. It's light but powerful and has a really flattering brightening tint that seems to lift your whole face. Love it.' 

3. Viviscal, £49.95 for 60 tablets (boots.com)
'I absolutely swear by these hair supplements. They're packed with biotin and zinc to create fuller, thicker hair and they seriously transformed my limp, post-baby locks in about six months. It's now the longest and thickest it's ever been.
They're expensive but in my opinion, nothing works quite so well.'

4. BareMinerals Original SPF15 Foundation, £25 (bareminerals.co.uk)
'An elaborate makeup routine is pretty far down my list of priorities these days! This mineral powder foundation is a game-changer. Just swirl it on with a kabuki brush and you get a flawless, retouched skin effect in seconds. And because it's good for your skin, it doesn't even matter too much if you're too knackered to take it off at night. Bonus.' 

5. This Works Baby Sleep Pillow Spray, £16 (thisworks.com)
'This is my standard gift for new mums. It's 100% natural and its lavender, camomile and vetiver blend has been proven to help babies get to sleep more quickly and to sleep more deeply. It smells divine and, yes, IT WORKS. It's part of our bedtime routine, every night (I have the one for grown-ups too!).'