Lifestyle and Parenting blog based in Surrey.

Sunday 22 May 2016

Gifts for Newborns

So many of my nearest and dearest are currently expecting or have just had babies and I absolutely LOVE choosing gifts for their new little bundles. Everything is just so tiny and beautiful and makes me feel very nostalgic to when Sophie was teeny and brand new. I don’t think anyone needs much help in what to pick for a gift for a newborn as it is so much fun, but I thought I’d share some of my favourite pieces I have given and that I’m saving for future arrivals. 

I adore the Peter Rabbit collection which was launched earlier this Spring at Mothercare to celebrate 150 years of Beatrix Potter. Particular favourites are this Peter Rabbit neural unisex all in one (£10) , a cute romper with collar and buttons  (£12) to make any little boy look adorably smart this Summer and a this baby girls body suit (£8) with peter pan collar and puff sleeves - even the popper has a little rabbit detail. 

aden + anais are well know for their super soft painted muslins, but did you know they also offer a range of clothing in the cotton muslin material? Beautiful soft body suits (£17) and sleep suits will keep the littlest ones delicate skin super comfy. I simply adore this Night Sky Starburst Smock Top (£12) with open back detail and Night Sky Blue Ruffle Bloomer (£11). I only wish they did bigger sizes!

 I adore giraffes and Sophie has quite a few in her menagerie of soft toys. JoJo Maman Bebe have an adorable Sophie la Girafe Collection for tiny baby to 6-12 months and this sleep suit (£18) is such a lovely gift - especially teamed with an original Sophie la Girafe toy (£14)!

Mega Muslins are super useful for all sorts of baby situations - burp cloths, providing shade, a play mat, the list goes on. I love this grey elephant print version from JoJo Maman Bebe (£10) and the 'scrunch' to keep it rolled together in your baby bag is genius....

Having had my own little bundle, buying items I have loved to new parents makes me confident they will be really well received. Sophie has received so many compliments on her Toastie Pig bobble hat  (£35) and she has actually been really happy wearing it - no wonder made of superfine alpaca! I can’t wait to give this newborn size to a new family member in the autumn! 

 We have loved our Baby Bjorn Carrier from when Sophie was tiny and still use it all the time, especially now to carry her on our back. I am ‘everything in grey’ obsessed, so I was delighted when Baby Bjorn released their Water Colour Collection. This beautiful colour combination has now sold, out, but there are others greys to choose from.  Baby Bjorn Carrier One £124.99

 Baby blankets are such a special present. My mum and sister knitted one for my when my bundle first arrived which I will treasure for ever. But if you are less including to get the knitting needles out, then I love this super soft 100% cotton Knitted Patchwork Baby Blanket (£34) from The White Company is just beautiful with a patchwork design of different stitch patterns. Just ad a gift box to make this a real treat to open. 

 Do share with me any other gorgeous newborn gift selections you’ve made - I’ve got a few to be purchasing in the next few months!


Friday 20 May 2016

Signature Scents: ETRO Ambra

ETRO Ambra

I had planned to write my ‘signature scents’ posts on each Saturday in April, well I totally failed there. Life gets in the way sometimes and I’d much rather enjoy the moment than get stressed about not blogging as much as I had hoped. I have, however, decided to stay at home today and catch up with my blog whilst Sophie has her naps. My camera battery has run flat and whilst my kitchen looks like a florists and a beauty counter are at war I have hurried upstairs to my study sanctuary to edit pic and write.

ETRO Ambra

Etro Ambra is my final post for now in my ‘signature scent’ series. These are fragrances that you can use as a perfume, for bath and body products and finally in your home to give a fragrance that encompasses your world. The opposite of some of the light and floral fragrances I have perviously mentioned, Ambra by Etro is heady rich and luxurious fragrance with sweet vanilla and musk base notes. Its different, individual and you’ll have people asking what perfume you are wearing. 

ETRO Ambra

ETRO Ambra

The fragrance is available in a shower gel and milk in these gorgeous tactile resin bottles as well as a candle to fill your home with the deep fragrance too. Not everyones cup of tea, but on warm summer skin this will be a fragrance I adore.

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Wednesday 18 May 2016

Surrey Girl: Giggling Squid Esher

Having little Sophie has meant that hoping on the train to London town has become a little less frequent, but this has meant that I have been sampling eateries a little closer to home to maximise on the babysitting. Therefore, I thought I’d add a little ‘Surrey’ section to my blog about my fave local spots. 

Thai food is one of my absolute favourite cuisines (and was my craving when I was pregnant too) so finding a new place to try out for either a dinner out or a naught weekend take away is exciting. Giggling Squid is a small chain specialising in simple, rustic and fresh thai food - no MSGs here. 

Scrubbed wooden tables, low lighting and lanterns give a warm and welcoming ambiance where a romantic evening or fun times with friends is in atmospheric setting. Our welcoming hosts were happy to offer suggestions from the menu and we bravely ventured away from my standard thai order of red curry and pad thai. The salt and pepper squid was a sensation and we opting for the new menu addition of Stand up Sea bass which looked as beautiful as it tasted and our waitresses favourite Pad Cha - a delicious mixed seafood dish. 

I don’t normally go for pudding in Thai restaurants, but we went all out and really enjoyed sharing the Brighton Rose Yogurt Ice-cream and Chocolate Feuillantine - YUM. The fresh and vibrant ingredients left us contented but not over-full and ready to book our next visit…


Tuesday 17 May 2016

Bamford Skincare

You may have seen on my Instagram that a few weeks ago I had the most gorgeous day in the Cotswolds at the beautiful Bamford Haybarn Spa.  I've always enjoyed a spa day - who doesn't?! However, since becoming a mother, I have realised that spa's really were made for mums. The quiet tranquil environment was just the escape I needed to reboot and relax.

During this peaceful and relaxing day I enjoyed the Bamford Bespoke Facial (£85 for 60 mins) and my congested and tired skin was pampered for an hour leaving it plump, glowing and revived.  The only sad part of having a facial, is that you know your skin is not going to look this good until your next one. However, I have been enjoying some of the gorgeous Bamford skincare products at home and they are already becoming fast favourites.

I am addicted to the Bamford Serum (£90) which contains strawberry seed oil which injects some serious moisture into the skin and naturally derived sodium hyaluronate and micro algae to smooth  and firm. It leaves the skin feeling amazingly hydrated and spoilt.

I am also in love with  Bamford Restore Elixir (£75) which I use a few drops in my night cream. Containing the must-have facial oil reship in combination with cacay nut oil (which is the new argan oil) in combination with retinol and vitamin e, which help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

I am also using the Bamford Exfoliating Mask (£60) which contains fruit enzymes to gentle resurface the skin, promoting cell regeneration. White english clay and aloe vera are also in the ingredient to balance and calm the new skin surface. As you should leave the mask on your skin ofr about 10 minutes, I haven't managed to use it that much at home yet - but I need to book myself in a bit of pampering time!

Although the Bamford products aren't the cheapest, they are real luxury treat to keep that fresh-from-a-facial look going a little longer!

Sunday 15 May 2016

First Birthday Party

We know time goes too quickly, but the first year with little Sophie has flown by like no other. There have been moments where I have got tearful about how fast those baby days disappeared, but my funny happy girl gets more gorgeous everyday and I was excited to be planning her first birthday party.(I've linked lots of the products at the bottom of this post, so scroll right down for details).

First birthdays are really for the parents and grandparents so we opted for a super simple family get together at our home with cake and bubbles - I imagine this is probably the only year I'm going to get off so easily!

A few little decorations and an oversized foil balloon prettied up our open plan space and I filled the table with Sophie's Emma Bridgewater Melamine Tea Set and Great Little Trading Company cakes and stand.

Then added my triple tiered red velvet cake covered in cream cheese icing (which I was still finishing when our first guest arrived - oops!) to the cake stand and served with some pink champagne. Perfect.

Wearing the sweetest rose print dress from JoJo Maman Bebe I had thought much more about what Sophie would wear on her special day than my own outfit - throwing on a favourite jumper from Mint Velvet.

Sophie happily opened her presents with a little help from Cousin Evie and thankfully declined the offers of cake from naughty grandmas! A lot less effort than a full blown baby party with lots of little friends crawling and toddling about - a recommendation for busy mums who have just finished mat-leave, keep it simple and enjoy...

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TeePee (just seen) Little Nomad £68.72

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