Lifestyle and Parenting blog based in Surrey.

Monday 5 October 2020

Little Girl's Bedroom Design

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I’ve been asked to share the girls bedroom decor previously - but I never thought they were particularly ‘insta-worthy’ but this is the reality (after a good tidy!!) rather than perfection. When we moved in before the renovation, the room we choose for Sophie had black walls... but it also had shutters and laminate floor, so it felt the cleanest room to put her in.

We stayed at my parents for a first few days after we moved in, so while Gareth was unpacking I painted her bedroom as I couldn’t bear her to have a black bedroom, as it felt so depressing! We painted it in Blackened (colour match F&B) which made it feel so much cleaner and fresher. Sophie was still in a cot at this point and with the move and dodgy electrics it certainly didn't feel the right time to move her to a big girl bed.

As Sophie was three when we moved back in after the renovation, wanted it to have a more grown up feel compared to her nursery at our first home. We had the house decorated as part of the project and her room we repainted (the walls were a complete state despite my efforts when we moved in!) and we went for a slightly different shade (Farrow & Ball colour match Ammonite - which is a lovely warm grey) rather than wall paper as I thought she might ‘grow out’ of a design that I chose for her quite quickly.


Sophie’s room is the only room that we kept any of the built in furniture from the previous owners, so these were all repainted in brilliant white with an eggshell finish.

The room certainly wasn’t finished straight away, and I’m not sure it is even now! But one of the first things we bought was her big girl bed from Wayfair and her mattress is from Simba Sleep* which is really comfortable! I love White Company Bedding - occasionally they do beautiful embodied children’s bedding, Sophie loves this Fairy set* as much as I do, and they currently have a similar style in stock which I'm very tempted to get too!

These cute house shelves  above her bed are from The Great Little Trading Company* - Sophie often changes what toys get to ‘live’ there. And then we also put a fairy wall sticker (Wayfair) by her bed that was a big hit. We’ve collected cute girlie cushions over the years, which move from her bed to the teepee and back again... 

The teepee that was her 1st birthday pressie now in Chloe's room and the Little Green Sheep Teepee* that was in Chloe’s room is below Sophie’s window as it was a bit too large for Chloe’s room. Sophie loves it when we make her bed up on the floor and she ‘camps’ in it - especially pretty if you put fairy lights up at the top so it feels like she is sleeping under the stars.

Her cloud rug is also from The Great Little Trading Company and Sophie loves to jump from cloud to cloud before bed... anything to delay sleep time! This design is no longer available but they have other lovely designs here.

Last Christmas Sophie really wanted a dressing table - hers is from The Great Little Trading Company* and she loves storing her treasures in the draws and sits to put o her lip balm when she goes to parties!


The shelves are full of books, pictures and toys which we always change depending on what she currently wants to play with.



As her room is neutral, hopefully we will be able to keep changing it gradually as her tastes change, rather than making a really pink room!

We've collected prints and pictures pictures over the years, Sophie's favourites are the personalised princess and the unicorn which are above her chest of drawers from Wellies & Tutu Illustrations* that I've put in Ikea frames.

We also have a radio as it has a bluetooth connection so that I can link up the iPad to play Sophie her Moshi bedtime stories to help her get to sleep.

Toy box was from Aldi, chest of draws and bedside table IKEA.


Thursday 23 January 2020

Shopping for your newborn

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When your pregnant for the first time you can go into baby stores and be given a ridiculously long list of all of the 'essentials' you need for your new baby that can be pretty daunting! When I was pregnant with my first baby, my mum and sister really helped me work out what I needed, and as my sister was already a mum of two at that point, she generously lent me most of the things we needed. Borrowing, or buying second hand is a great way of saving money, as babies don't know whether the kit you use is shiny and new or not! So here are my 'essentials' and 'nice to have' pieces for the latest addition to your family, whether you are buying new or looking to borrow or buy pre-loved.

The Pram - One of the biggest purchases you are going to make.

When we had Sophie my sister lent me her Bugaboo Chameleon which was fantastic. This time round we went for the Fox*, which is a bit larger so more comfortable as baby becomes a  toddler has bigger wheels at the front, so it better on rough terrain and up and down curbs! They are really robust, lots of storage and look great too. We also have the buggy board which has a 'bike' seat on it that Sophie sits or stands on to go to school in the morning. I also love the sun canopy which come right over, perfect for Chloe who naps on the walk home from school in the morning.

We have also had the Baby Zen Yoyo* which lots of my mum friends have been raving about, which I don't think was around whenI had Sophie. It is so compact that you can take it onto the aeroplane as hand luggage when you travel. You can unfold it and push it single handed which is ideal when your also holding hands with another child (or holding a coffee!) I keep it in my car and use it all the time that we are out and about, saving valuable boot space and it is much easier to manoeuvre around town.

The Carseat - An important first purchase, you won't be able to take your newborn home without it!

This is going to be one of the first items you are going to use and you want to make sure your baby is as safe as they can be. I recommend going into store and talking to trained car seat experts who can make sure the set you choose is safety tested in your type of car and can talk you through all the different safety mechanisms. We have the Nuna Pipa Lite Lx* which I love for the dream drape which as well as making sure the sun stays out of babies eyes can help them sleep better when they are travelling in their carseat.

Sleeping - Sleeping is the biggest luxury when you've got a newborn. Getting the right crib and sleep accessories for your baby to get the best nights sleep in an essential in my book!

We had a traditional moses basket for Sophie and she slept in it really happily. Chloe didn't take to it as well, so we kept the moses basket down stairs for her naps and had the Snuz Pod3* next to me in our bedroom. It has zip down sides which makes it really easy to get baby out for feeds during the night, which was really helpful having had a C-section. It has some other really good features, such as mess sides so you can see baby easily, you can rock it to help baby get to sleep and it has a colic tilt which we found useful as Chloe had a cough when she was little and it helped her cough less at night.

Sleepyhead* was a relatively new product when Sophie was born, and again, as she was a great sleeper we never thought of getting one. Chloe wanted to be held and cuddled rather than put in her bed, so the sleepyhead really helped as it mimics the enclosure of the womb. It is also really useful as somewhere safe to put baby down during the day, which was even more helpful when I was playing with Sophie. There are lots of different colour options to choose from to match your colour scheme and I'd recommend getting a spare cover too.

Sleeping bags are perfect for keeping baby snug at night, and you don;t have to worry about baby kicking off their blanket or it moving. Make sure you check what age/weight they are suitable for and that you are using the correct tog rating for the temperature. I love the Snuz Pouch* as the nappy changing zip is so handy when you are doing your up-teenth nappy change of the night.

A baby carrier is an essential in my book, so you can hold the baby and still have your hands free to get on with things. Especially if this is a subsequent baby and you want your hands free to play with your other child(ren).  Carriers seem to get better and better, with increased back support and super soft fabrics. We have always loved Baby Bjorn and their new Mini and Move carriers* are suitable from birth.

You may well want to wait to get a highchair for your little one until they are approaching weaning which can also help spread the cost, my parents bought us the Stokke Trip Trapp* for Sophie's 1st Christmas Present which we have loved, it grows with your child and she still uses it now. I've included it here as Stokke also have a newborn insert* which means you can 'sit' your baby at the table with you when you are eating. This has been brilliant for a second child, as Chloe wasn't on a different level to us when I was sitting colouring with Sophie, or at meal times. It would also be brilliant if you had pets or a toddler and wanted a safe higher space for baby.

Chloe has LOVED her bouncers, which have been a life saver having somewhere to put her down when she was awake. We have actually got two - a hand-me-down from my sister which is in our bedroom where I can put Chloe when I go in the shower and get ready in the morning and one down stairs. The upstairs one is certainly 'less insta friendly' with makes sounds, lights up and vibrates, but is certainly the favourite now! Downstairs we have the beautiful BabyBjorn Bouncer* in soft grey Jersey fabric. It fits in with our decor and looks so comfortable. Chloe happily sits in it to watch her sister playing or me doing jobs!


You may also want a play-mat for your baby, where you can lie them down with toys for them to look at. We bought a SkipHop woodland playmat for Sophie that is fold away, that we have used again for Chloe. I also love the CamCam Copenhagen Play Gym* that converts into a tent and you can choose the different toys you like - which is more aesthetically pleasing...

A bath support is hugely helpful in making bathtime less stressful. We have the Angel Care Support* and it has a line to tell you where to fill the bath too and you know baby isn't going to get a face full of water. It has also meant I have been able to bath the girls together, which Sophie has loved.

Muslins are a new mum's hero item. When Sophie was a baby we went for plain white, but in the night they were camouflaged in my white bedding, so this time I went for the cutest patterns. A mix of the big swaddles, which can be used for so, so many other things, actually swaddling baby, shade, blanket, cover for feeding, play-mat etc and the smaller ones that fit in your bag more easily. I think I've tried most brands now(!) and the absolute softest (in my opinion) are Pattie but I also love Aden & Anais. I'd say have about 10 muslins so you've always got a clean one to hand.

You may have clear ideas about how you are going to feed your baby, or you may be waiting to see what happens. Either way, if you do want to express I can't recommend the Elvie Pump* highly enough. When I had Sophie I borrowed my sister Meduala Swing which you have to hold and keep plugged in whilst pumping. For a 1st baby you can make the time to do this, which I had to, as Sophie lost too much weight in the first week and we had to top her up with expressed milk after each feed. However, when you've got another child to run around after, I don't think I'd have ben able to find the time to sit and express. With the Elvie, I had it ready so in the morning when I was getting ready to take Sophie to school I popped it on, so so easy. I even took it to the O2 - its so silent and discreet that I used it during a concert.

If you are bottle feeding in any way, you need some bottles... I used Mam when Chloe was tiny, then she suddenly refused to take them when she reached 4 months and only accepted Lanisoh bottles* Babies are born with a sucking reflex, so should accept most bottles, but they are all different and may get fussier as they get older...

You don't need a steriliser, you can boil bottles in hot water for 10 mins, but steam sterilisers may be more convenient. We used the Tomme Tippee Steriliser.

You'll also want to bulk buy the nappies, wipes and bottom cream. I have worked in paid partnership with Lidl for their Lupilu nappies and I have been so impressed that they are all I have used on Chloe since trying them. I remember my mum telling me newborns can need changing ten times a day, so use that as a guide and get enough for the first week at least. We set up changing stations in our bedroom (where both girls slept for the first six months) and down stairs. You'll also want wipes and cream for your changing bag, so get at least 3 tubes of bottom cream and I'd say a minimum of 5 packs of wipes.

I really hope this has been useful - I wish you every happiness with your new bundle!

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