MILLER-PEWTER

What Eli Wore | Little Bird by Jools, “Retro Pyjamas”.

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So, as dedicated followers of 1970’s interiors, we have been ridiculed a lot – to say the very least.

Some of the following statements are just a few of the regular comments that we get when people come by our house:

“Oh god, my Nana had that when I was a kid.”

“Christ, it’s like walking into a time warp in ‘ere.”

“Erm, my Nana called, she wants her crockery/cushions/lampshade/curtains* back” (*delete as appropriate).

I’d say our parents are most opposed to our fondness of all things 70’s. Apparently, they despised the era and just don’t “get” our love and adoration for the prints, the colours, the design, the style – the loveliness! We’ve had 7 houses in our 10 year courtship, so far – we love the 1970’s and we the feelings are mutual, we’re sure. We’ve collected some absolute treasures over the years – and the 7 houses – and we’ve also had some wonderful things handed down to us. We love that the majority of our ‘time warp’ of a house has a story. Most item’s aren’t just things that we bought for the sake of having a fruity looking house – there is sentiment and lasting memory.

As I have mentioned MANY a time, Little Bird by Jools is literally my favourite brand – EVER. I’ve always wanted to dress our children in that 70’s fashion – but not in the itchy or dowdy fabric’s and styles. Little Bird is spot on with design, colour and that whimsical nostalgia that surrounds being an actual CHILD. It’s a little bit of US.

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So, as soon as I clapped eyes on these fruity pyjama’s, I just had to have them! I ADORE them. I bought them back in July when they were first released and kept them for Eli’s 2nd birthday. It was so tough to not break them out of the wrapping paper! We’ve also kept the wellie’s for The Big Feastival at the weekend too. I’m definitely going to have to dress Eli in both, like the campaign – he’ll look wicked!

As you can imagine, I was pretty shocked when some of the usual folks – who would regularly give us jip for our 70’s affection – commented on the first photo of Eli, above, saying how much they loved Eli’s pj’s… and then I had a dozen comments across the social channels asking where they could purchase such wonderful sleepwear! Oh how the tables have turned… and I LOVE IT! I know they’re still just printed pyjama’s, with a retro inspiration – and I know that just because someone likes these pyjama’s, they’re not automatically going to LOVE our house and the rest of the clothes we dress Eli in. But it’s a start… and we love it all regardless, so we’re not changing for nobody! Hurray to the 1970’s!

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These ‘Retro Pyjamas’ are available in store and online at Mothercare.com now – just click here to purchase!

MM.

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BRAND IN FOCUS | Hello Apparel.

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I LOVE finding new Childrenswear brands. Hello Apparel has been on my radar for a little while – I just haven’t gotten round to writing up my Brand In Focus for them!

Hello Merch is an independent company started in 2008 by Sam Means as an outlet for artists to manufacture and sell merchandise online and on tour, without giving up their rights by signing major label-style merch contracts. Hello Apparel is available for Adults as well as kids; although, I think the kids range is much cooler! ;o

Unfortunately, Hello Merch is just available for import at the minute. But the ever so lucky Southwood Stores will be the ONLY UK stockist very, very soon! So keep your eyes peeled! I actually cannot wait!

Here are my favourite pieces, that I’d love to dress Mr Eli in!

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Hello (Kids) Navy Raglan Pullover, $35.00.

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Hello Individual Onesies,$18.00.

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Arrows (Kids) Black Tri-Blend T-Shirt,$22.00.

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Sunglasses (Kids) Raglan Tri-Blend Shirt,$24.00.

 

MM.

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“Harmony of Spring” by Vernon Ward.

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For those who don’t know, I have a penchant for old interiors – especially from the 70s. I had been particularly fond of a certain 70s print (originally a 1958 painting) by Vernon Ward, entitled “Harmony of Spring”, since we first set eyes upon it back in 2006. I’d searched and searched vintage shops, car boot sales and antique fairs for years and years and not ever come across it. I’d been recently trying to get hold of “The Chinese Lady” by Vladimir Tretchikoff on eBay and low-and-behold “The Harmony of Spring” came up along my search. Why had I never looked on eBay for it before?!

As it happens, it’s quite a popular print. A new listing of the print was coming up every few weeks, but they were either going for far too much money, it would be local collection only or I would miss the listing! I almost gave up. I then found one that was ending within a few days, no bids, it was local pick-up in Leeds. I sent a message to the seller and see if they would be happy for a courier to take the item – obviously at my cost. This is where I praise MyHermes like no other delivery company! I LOVE them! They’re a fantastic courier, dramatically cheaper than Royal Mail/Parcel Force and are so convenient! You can drop your parcel off at a designated MyHermes drop/collect point or the courier can come directly to you and collect the parcel from you. I use them frequently for sending bulky or heavy items. Amazing.

Anyway, I digress. The chap who was selling the print was so so lovely and agreed to help get the print to me, with MyHermes, should I win. The auction was ending REALLY early on a Saturday morning, of course I was up with Eli. I could not believe my luck when I won! And for a ridiculously low price too. It’s stunning in real life, quite a large framed print; originally framed at Boots!

I’m in love with this print. Hope you like it too, here are some more photos. I WILL share more shots of our house when we’re more settled – still in a bit of upheaval post-move at the end of July!

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Are there any decades or interior styles that you’re in love with?

MM.

PS – Swans mate for life.

 

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REVIEW in association with Mumsnet: Pampers Baby Dry nappies.

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We usually use Pampers Active Fit, but now that Eli has a tendency for sleeping on his front, we found he leaked most nights! We had been looking at what other nappies were out there – first choice being Pampers as we’ve used the brand since Eli was born; and also use Pampers Sensitive wipes. THEN, Mumsnet HQ got in touch regarding testing out Pampers Baby Dry – perfect timing!

I was quickly sent a box containing a pack of Pampers Baby Dry from Mumsnet HQ. I Eli immediately opened the Pampers Baby Dry pack. I noticed first off that the nappies felt different (and had lovely illustrations, again different to the Active Fit ones). The nappies are still soft but the coating felt, well, more waterproof than the Active Fit. This seemed to bode well.

The fit was good. Perhaps slightly bigger than the Active Fit. But still flexible enough for my acrobat of a 9 month old! They certainly looked comfortable.

The quality of the product is very good – like with most Pampers products I’ve used; albeit, a Pampers product does generally cost more in price. But if you shop on the likes of Amazon, it usually works out the same price (delivered!) as the likes of Sainsbury’s or Tesco own-brand. So I’m happy to pay a little extra for the piece of mind that comes with buying from a reputable brand.

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The first night Eli wore the Pampers Baby Dry he slept through. Coincidence or not, he SLEPT 12 hours! I expected to find a small puddle where he woke from sleep the next morning. But he hadn’t leaked! AT ALL! The nappy was the fullest I’d ever felt – very heavy. But he didn’t leak! YES. I would say however, he wasn’t completely dry despite this. The top of the nappy at the front was clammy, not wet, just tacky, so his skin was damp too. This is however progress!

Overall, I think the Pampers Baby Dry nappies are great. Good value for money. Perfect for overnight. I think for during the day I’d go back to Eli wearing Pampers Active Fit – simply because I think they do just fit that little bit better on him. But we’ll certainly be sticking to the Pampers Baby Dry for night times! We’re very happy! Thanks to  Mumsnet HQ and Pampers UK!

Typical prices for Pampers Baby Dry – available at most UK stockists.
Carry Pack – £6.49
Economy Pack – £9.99
Jumbo Box – £12.99
Mega Box – £17.49
Giga Box – £22.99

MM.

I was picked by Mumsnet HQ to review this product, which I received for free. This review is in my own words and reflects my true opinion. Eli is 9 months old and wore size 4 Pampers Baby Dry nappies for this review.

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Our changing bag: The Mulberry Clipper Holdall.

This has been the sight next to our front door, for the past NINE weeks. These are all our hospital bags, ready and waiting! Suitcase is mine, and is filled to the brim with every essential you need for your stay at hospital – you can read what those absolute essentials are, here>>I’ve FINALLY done it! Hospital Bag(s) are packed! The amazing Mulberry Clipper Holdall is our changing bag (more on that in a second), the Barbour bag to the bottom left is OH’s essentials (iPad, change of clothing, toiletries) and the Borough Market bag is all our food supplies!

So, Changing Bag… we spent such a long time searching for the “perfect” bag. We wanted something that didn’t look ‘Mummsy’. We didn’t want something that was feminine, OH will be carrying it around too! During our search we found that there was nothing that was completely unisex – apart from the generic black satchel style bags… which to be honest, just didn’t hit the spot for us! This is going to be a bag that we’ll use every day, so we wanted to be really happy with it! All of the ‘Mummsy’ style bags are pretty expensive anyway, £250+!

We looked for actual Leather satchels as we felt this would be most universal for us both. But with Leather, comes a pricetag. We soon found that even just nice Leather satchel bags, that weren’t necessarily for our purpose, were coming up at £400+. When we would look into the details of these bags, we found that there just wouldn’t be enough space for everything that a babba needs on a daily basis – as well as what we might need to cram in for ourselves too! We also decided we wanted something that would be kind of waterproof – Britain is not renowned for it’s dry weather is it!

We went to all the usual high street stores in search of just a standard, but small, holdall that would meet all our demands. We almost settled on this one from Barbour – Barbour Wax Cotton and Leather Trim Satchel, £119: Style available from JohnLewis.com

But, this bag is actually a little too big for what we need it for! It looked massive against me and I just couldn’t see ME using it. OH on the other hand, was chuffed with it.

So on with the search!

I’m a massive fan of Mulberry. It’s my favourite brand. So, I said I wanted a Mulberry Alexa…

Mulberry Oversized Alexa Messenger & Shoulder Bag, £925. Style available from JohnLewis.com

But then we realised that the £795 size wasn’t big enough… and £795 is a ridiculous price for a ‘changing’ bag! OH also concluded that an Alexa was too feminine for him. I did email Mulberry regarding changing bags, as they’re clearly missing a huge audience by not offering a selection! They replied to me with:

We have taken on board customer requests for changing bags and our soon to be available Autumn Winter 2012 collection will include the Rosie Baby bag in Black or Oak Tiger Print Nylon as part of the range.

Pretty exciting! But a bit too late…

Then I started looking at their holdalls. We’d always said we wanted a Clipper holdall. They’re classic Mulberry. They’re perfect for trips away. They’re a style that just will not date – but will get better with age.

We went along to Westfield: Stratford City to take a closer look. The Simple Mulberry Clipper Holdall (£350), was the perfect size! Inside and out 🙂

So we said “sod it” and bought it 😀 It’s beautiful. We’re over the moon with it – and more to the point, unlike ‘real’ changing bags, we’ll be using this holdall for years and years and years and years to come. It’s a style that is built to last! So we were happy to pay the £350 price-tag, because it’s going to get so much more use than a standard changing bag. It completely meets our very niche criteria and OH cannot wait to get outside with it 🙂

MM.

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I’ve FINALLY done it! Hospital Bag(s) are packed!

After weeks and weeks of , “Oh, I’ll definitely pack it this weekend!“, I did actually get round to packing my hospital bag(s) this week! But only after I thought I was going into labour with my coccyx pain! Perhaps Baby Boy Bump was tired of my excuses for not packing the bags too!

So, with this all in mind. I thought I’d share my list of ESSENTIALS. I’ve been through absolutely dozens of “What to pack…” lists, along with forums and speaking with friends. And I think I’ve pretty much formed the definitive list. You DO need to take lots to the hospital. I’ve chosen to take everything in a suitcase simply because it’s easier than cramming everything into lots of bags… it will also fit in the boot of our car neater 🙂 I do know it looks like I’m going on holiday, but I swear, it’s all completely necessary!

Here we go then…

FOR ME.
To have ready to hand.
Birth plan/preferences
Maternity notes
Cash for carpark
Cash for payphone – there might not be signal. The battery might go on your phone!

For labour/ward.
Maternity pads – two packs of 10
Breast pads – 15 pairs
Cheap nightie(s)
Large cotton knickers – 7-10 pairs
Bedsocks with grips to the bottom – your feet get cold during labour.
Massage oil
Lipbalm
Bobbles
Headband
Hair grips
Brush
Pillows – my usual pillow and maternity pillow
x2 Dark towels
Phone chargers
Change of clothing for leaving the hospital – baggy, to fit at least a 4-5 month pregnant bump.
Slippers/Flip flops
Fan
Stopwatch – to time contractions
Swimwear – for the birthing pool!
Hot water bottle
Plastic jug – useful for afterwards, going to the loo is likely to be quite painful. Pouring a jug of warm water over the affected area whilst going to the loo can allegedly help sooth the pain.
List of phone numbers on paper
Face cloth
Camera
Toilet roll – we like our quilted Andrex!
Plastic bag for dirty clothes/towels
Book/Magazines
Pen and paper – useful for writing down notes that may be passed on from doctors/midwives; or in the instance that I can’t talk whilst mid-contraction! Also good to have if we get bored and fancy hangman!
Clean clothing for James (Other half)
Ear plugs – it might be quite noisy… 
Nice nightie for afterwards
Dark dressing gown
Birthing ball – just incase there isn’t one spare. This can be left in the boot if not needed.
Birthing ball pump

Toiletries
Shampoo
Conditioner
Makeup bag
Mirror
Deoderant
Toothpaste
Toothbrush
Mouthwash
Facewipes
Antibacterial hand gel
Gaviscon
Anusol
Deoderant
Dettol wipes for ward
Lavender Oil
James’ wash bag with toothbrush/deoderant/bryl creme

Something extra…
Chocolates for the Midwives for afterwards
Card for the Midwives for afterwards

Food/Snacks/Drinks
Raspberry Leaf Tea
Mini cheddars
Bananas
Cereal bars
Frozen drinks – it’s apparently quite hot on the wards. A frozen drink will melt slowly, so will be much nicer than warm bottled water!
Juice – cordial
Bottles of water
Glucose tablets
Bendy straws – useful for drinking at any angle!
Crisps
Two plastic cups – so we can celebrate afterwards?!
Peppermint teabags – useful for trapped wind and cramps afterwards.
Dried fruit
Chocolate
Soreen

BABY CHANGING BAG.
Going home outfit
x5 vests
x5 baby grow’s
Pair of scratch mittens
Hat
Booties
Blanket
x6 muslin squares
x6 bibs
Soft toy
Swaddle
Towel
Cardigan – just incase, I know it’s July, but I do live in England.

Toiletries
Cotton wool balls/Cotton wool pleats
Grooming kit – for his little nails!
x27 nappies – a whole pack of Pampers New Born.
Sudacrem
Vaseline – useful for smothering over Baby Boy’s bum, it makes it easier to clean the first newborn poo’s away.
Bottles – just incase there’s an issue with breast feeding.
Ready made formula bottles – just incase there’s an issue with breast feeding.

Is there anything I’m missing from your own list?! Something that might have proven absolutely essential for you during labour or afterwards?

MM.

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Our little (Converse) family.

Couldn’t resist doing a couple of snaps of these! Daddy, Mummy and Baby Converse! TOO CUTE.

My sister surprised me this week at work by posting the Baby Converse direct to me… So of, course I had to get an obligatory shot of our little (Converse) family before Baby Boy arrives! We’ll have to get another shot afterwards, with us all wearing our respective Hi-Tops!

I actually cannot wait to get our Baby Boy in these… they are 3-6 months, so hopefully, if his Talipes has progressed, we’ll have him fixed before he’s 6 months old!

Converse ‘First Star‘ Kids Trainers, £21.99. Click here to purchase from Office.co.uk

MM.

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Our iCandy Strawberry: Seat unit/Stroller and Carrycot.

**Quick warning, this post is quite photograph heavy**

We had looked at lots and lots and lots of reviews of travel systems, push chairs, strollers, joggers, car seats – everything! We came to the conclusion that we *needed* the iCandy Apple. No, not because we’re massive Apple fans… but because iCandy products are the most innovative, easy-on-the-eye and well received. Also, it’s quite important to us that iCandy is a British brand – we’re massive supporters of all things heritage, so this was also a key selling point for us!

Upon further investigation, we found that the iCandy Strawberry was due to be released – after much anticipation. We watched a ton of videos from trade fairs and Which, along with reviews, and decided that we now *needed* the iCandy Strawberry. We called up John Lewis dozens of times awaiting the delivery of it to the shop floor so we could look at it in real life. FINALLY, it had arrived at the Oxford Street store, so we dashed down after work to have a butchers.

We were not disappointed – but knew there was a waiting list and all products that were being delivered, were going straight to customers who had pre-ordered, months and months and months previous.

We looked at a handful of forums and spoke to iCandy stockists and found that we were likely to have a 3 month wait. So we thought, ‘sod it, let’s get it ordered’. So at just 12 weeks pregnant, we ordered the entire package from John Lewis in Stratford. We just wanted to keep it simple colour-wise, black goes with everything – and is unisex. So we ordered the seat unit (£450) and seat unit flavour pack in Assam (£75) along with carry cot (£95) and carry cot flavour pack in Assam (£75).

We were told that we’d get a phone call when everything was in stock, ready for dispatch. Personally, I thought it would be longer than the 3 month wait… judging by conversations around the amount of pre-orders and the length of time it takes to dispatch to the stockist – for the stockist to then dispatch to the customer directly. Just 3 weeks later we got a phone call saying that all items would be delivered in a further 3 days time! We couldn’t believe it.

But hey, I did say we were organised, didn’t I? 😉

So, obviously, at just 24+1 weeks pregnant, we haven’t given it a proper test drive yet. But check out the pictures. We’re chuffed with it! Will have to follow up on this post when Baby Boy actually arrives! From driving it around the house, I can confirm that it is smooth, easy to manoeuvre and quite light. The iCandy Strawberry comes with ‘memory’, meaning that it can be folded with the seat unit attached still – it will then unfold back into the same position before it was folded.

What’s in the box? iCandy Strawberry Chassis, Stroller seat unit, bumper bar, wheels, rain cover and instructions/warranty.

What’s in the box? iCandy carrycot, bumper bar, rain cover, instructions/warranty.

Carry cot attached, with bumper bar. The carry cot features the Assam flavour pack – hood and cover.

Stroller, rear facing. The stroller features the Assam flavour pack – hood and seat cover.

Stroller, front facing.

Folded, free standing, with stroller still attached.

Folded, laid flat with stroller still attached.

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We’ve also ordered the Maxi Cosi Cabriofix car seat from Amazon, which attaches to the iCandy Strawberry chassis. You need to purchase the Maxi Cosi Cabriofix adapters (£30) however!

The complete iCandy Strawberry Travel System that we purchased above came to a total of £725 from John Lewis. We still need to purchase a the Parasol (£25), which can now be purchased online at JohnLewis.com

MM.