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CALLING ALL > Music-Loving Mama’s!

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After having Eli my go-to daily outfit was a pair of wet-look leggings and the baggiest top I could find. I’d worked in Fashion since leaving Uni and had completely lost my way with getting dressed when King Eli arrived. 18 months later I had become so lazy and boring with my day-to-day outfits and didn’t feel like ME anymore. My excuse for everything was my 18 month old toddler, I didn’t need to dress up for him…

I had an epiphany when I stopped working from home and ventured back into the office. I started grabbing for those sacred pieces in my wardrobe that I’d kept “for best” and I started to wear them as everyday clothes. (Considering we rarely go dancing or even for meals anymore!). I became ME again. Dressing for YOU, makes YOU so much happier. (Gotta say here though, since moving to Berlin, 70% of my wardrobe is in storage, so I don’t really have a “for best” section anymore… I’m fairly happy with my wardrobe. Despite the constant stream DHL deliveries from Topshop, Zara and ASOS… (I send back more than I keep 😉 ). I’m more or less me though, depending on how much sleep I’ve had… ). But what’s important is these changes make YOU, YOU again.

I hadn’t realised until only recently, but I’d forgotten about MUSIC. Actual MUSIC. I’d always been an avid gig-goer from my teens; going to a gig every week (at least) whilst at Uni. We did the Festivals and the more intimate gig’s. Music was my EVERYTHING, just like my dressing up; from growing up, getting ready and going out, to my daily London commute! Even with my work, I had musicians come in weekly, sometimes daily, doing a session that I’d be posting across the HQ Social channels, or just help out with picking clothing from the shop-floor. Music was always with me. How had I forgotten about it? How had I forgotten how good music can be, how good it can make you feel?

Being in the office in Berlin, we have a communal Sonos system, which is great on a good day! But the majority of the time, the music can be, let’s say, eclectic (to be polite).  Which is fine, not everyone has to agree on everything, all of the time! I also work from a very old laptop that doesn’t even connect to the Sonos system, so rarely, if ever, do I input to the playlist. I have resorted to listening to Radio 1 through my headphones during work hours. But the music is pretty dire from Radio 1, it’s repetitive and monotonous. Don’t get me wrong,  I enjoy the laughs from Grimmy in the morning, Scott & Chris after 1pm and then Greg in the afternoon. But I dislike the 10am-1pm slot. A lot. Not to be rude about it. But I switch off. It’s certainly not the music that I liked to listen to. I either then grin & bare the Sonos playlist or put my Apple Music catalogue, consisting of mostly 2004, on shuffle. Last week I realised I hadn’t really listened to any new music since having Eli. I turn to The Beatles, Nirvana, David Bowie and The Lib’s for continued listening or we have shuffle on when we’re cooking or tidying up.

I’m eager to find out what other Mama’s enjoy… and what you’re listening to, right now. Basically, I want to know what exactly is ace of base! Or are you like me? Had you forgotten that music actually existed outside of that annoying Nursery Rhymes CD, the Peppa Pig theme tune or the Disney Top 100 tracks ? (Or indeed outside of Radio 1?). If you are stuck in a musical-rut then I propose a new hashtag!

 

#MamaMusicMonday

 

Going forward, I want to start my new Monday-week with some new listening. So Mama’s, let’s get sharing! What are you listening to in work, at the gym, on the school run, on the commute? What do you listen to when you’re doing a tidy up with the kids at the end of the day? What do you dance around to in the kitchen? (Or prance around to when you’ve poured that so-needed Gin when the kids are eventually asleep?!).  Share absolutely anything and everything with the hashtag #MamaMusicMonday – at any time in the week. From easy-listening to fast-paced! Any genre. Old or new! Just something with a beat that can set the tone for a new week – perhaps something none of us have listened to before – and definitely nothing remotely toddler related (please!). Music can help us in a million ways – it can do so much more than make your feet tap. And I’d so sadly forgotten that bit too. It wasn’t until darling Bowie passed away that I remembered how much music can mean, for so many. The emotions and memories you can feel from hearing one of your favourites…

SO with all that, I’m ready to resuscitate my musical education. I’m ready to regain that old ME who loved music so much. And you never know, you might spy me at a gig near you again soon 😉

MM.

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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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Mr Eli’s Quarters | Lion Print by Ingela P Arrhenius.

INGELA P ARRHENIUS - LION PRINT, £20.00. Archie's Boutique.
INGELA P ARRHENIUS – LION PRINT, £20.00; Archie’s Boutique.

We’re still yet to properly decorate and sort out Mr Eli’s stomping ground, otherwise known as his quarters bedroom. But that doesn’t stop me trawling the internet for neat finds like this one!

I just LOVE this 50’s inspired print by Ingela P Arrhenius. Mr Eli is a Leo the Lion himself, so I thought this would be quite fitting for his bedroom. (Not that we’re a family of the zodiac I might add!).

I found this print on Archie’s Boutique and here is what they say about it:

This lovely chap has so much character and personality!

Ingela P Arrhenius’ Lion poster is full of vibrant colours that are guaranteed to brighten up any room, whether it be a child’s or adults.

Stockholm based artist Ingela Arrhenius designs the most wonderful cartoon-like illustrations that are inspired by work from the 50s and 60s.

50 x 70 cm

There are several other prints available online too – such as a Tiger print and Alphabet print. Just so cool.

MM.

 

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Halloween costume inspiration, for kids!

We LOVE Halloween. But, we’d already decided before Mr Eli arrived that he was ALWAYS going to be a skeleton, with Converse on, at Halloween. Well, until he’s old enough to say “NO MORE NOW, PLEASE!”, of course.

But I can’t help but adore these following costumes I’ve found on Pinterest. Most of them would work at any time of the year too, not just Old Hallows Eve. ENJOY!

(Below is a small selection of the costumes I’ve pinned, to view the whole lot, click here >>> Halloween Inspiration)

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UP, image taken from Pinterest.

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E.T, image taken from Pinterest.

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Fox costume, image taken from Pinterest.

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Lady Liberty and Honest Abe, image taken from Pinterest.

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Spray painted toy soldier (not sure how the poor bairn walks!), image taken from Pinterest.

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Cardboard box dinosaur, image taken from Pinterest.

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Don Draper (not sure how appropriate this is!), image taken from Pinterest.

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Jesse and Walt (REALLY not sure how appropriate this is, either!), image taken from Pinterest.

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Zombie kid! Image taken from Pinterest.

MM.

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My favourite cosy jumpers, online now!

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BRRR! It’s getting chilly out there!  Here are my favourite cosy jumpers for your little boy (or girl!), that are available online, NOW!

#1 – Tootsa MacGinty New Forest Jacquard Jumper, Blue – £40.00 From JohnLewis.com
#2 – John Lewis Baby Moose Fair Isle Jumper, Blue – £15.00. From JohnLewis.com
#3 – Retro Cosy Jumper, £22.00 – £24.00. From Boden.com
#4 – Knitted sweater with buttons at the side, £15.99. From Zara.com
#5 – Cable crew neck jumper, £11.00 – £12.00. From Next.co.uk
#6 – John Lewis Baby Bear Jumper, Grey – £15.00. From JohnLewis.com
#7 – Black patterned crew neck, £13.00 – £14.00. From Next.co.uk
#8 – Cosy hotch potch top – #16.00 – £18.00. From Boden.co.uk
#9 – Tootsa MacGinty Cloud Knit Jumper – £34.00. From JohnLewis.com
#10 – Knitted stripe jumper – £5.99. From H&M.com
#11 – Fisherman style jumper, £13.00 – £14.00. From Next.co.uk
#12 – Marled sweater, reduced from £14.95 to £11.99. From Gap.com

 

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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BRAND IN FOCUS | Belle & Boo.

For those who know me, will indeed know that I have a penchant for all things old. I love things with character, a story. I’m a particular fan of 70’s interior, as can be spied throughout our family home. I wanted Eli’s bedroom to be no different (it is however still a work in progress, so I will follow up with a blog post when it’s all lovely and finished!). I came across the wonderful world of Belle & Boo completely by accident – but fell in love straight away. The illustrations are just beautiful, harping back to a by-gone time. All their products feature the whimsical drawings, everything they craft is of the highest quality (as is their lovely packaging!) and it’s just such a lovely, original and nostalgic brand.

Before Eli had even arrived I purchased the Pirate Party money tin for his nursery… but knew I’d be back for more!

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As soon as we moved house I wanted a few more  Belle & Boo pieces, so came up with the idea of using their greetings cards as pictures and promptly bought the simple white frames.

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But then of course, a fortnight after we moved into our new home, it was Eli’s birthday! I knew I’d seen some party decorations on the Belle & Boo website – and I just could not resist! I purchased some plates, napkins, a beautiful party garland, table cloth (which sadly does bear the stains of the incredible pulled pork buns and burnt beans that we had as our party food) and party bags.

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Everyone commented on how unusual and lovely the decorations were – oh, and how they matched our home perfectly too! We didn’t really have a a ‘theme’ for Eli’s party – we just wanted all of our close friends and family together to celebrate (plus we’d just moved house!), but the Belle & Boo decorations MADE the theme. I was so so pleased with how everything looked and I will certainly treasure all of the  Belle & Boo pieces from his party. In fact, I’m thinking about putting the party garland up in his bedroom, we only have bunting along the one wall, the addition of the garland would work really quite nicely.

MM.

 

Belle & Boo have not asked for this review or paid commission. I am solely passionate about this lovely brand and wanted to share my pieces with you.

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Mr Eli’s 1st Birthday!

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This weekend we celebrated Mr Eli’s first birthday with party at our (newly moved into!) home. All his friends came and the sun even made an appearance too! Here are some snaps from the day 🙂

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Dj Boy!

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Eli’s AMAZING cake! Made by Lady H Bakes, Essex.

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Eli wearing his amazing cake!

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I ADORE Belle & Boo, I used their party pieces as a kind of theme for the party.

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Ball pool fun!

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Eli and some of his buddies.

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A worn out birthday boy, ready for bed!

We had a wonderful day, with wonderful company and wonderful food. Thank you to everyone who came and celebrated Eli’s very first birthday with us!

MM.

xx

WHATELIWORE: Ralph Lauren Oxford Shirt, Ralph Lauren Shorts, Red Converse Hi-Top Trainers. Blog post coming soon. 

 

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Do you have an early teether?: Sophie La Girafe.

Mr Eli enjoying his Sophie; he particularly enjoys her head.

Poor Mr Eli has had it rough the past few weeks! Just after his 8 week injections he was extremely grizzly, crying A LOT despite the usual check list all being checked off! It was 4 days after the immunisations and he was really chewing on his little hands… more so than in the “oh I have hands!” way. I switched the big light on in our bedroom and noticed he had rosy cheeks. “OH NO!” I yelled out to my OH who was downstairs. OH raced up the stairs “HE’S TEETHING! ALREADY!”.

We managed to prise Mr Eli’s little jaw open and saw that indeed, on the bottom left, there was a REAL toothy peg. An actual tooth sitting there, ready to cut through the gum. At just 8 weeks old. Poor little mite 🙁

Obviously, at 8 weeks old, Eli was too young to understand the concept of a teether… or chewing for comfort… or even be able to grasp onto a teether for that case. We did try a few that had been purchased for us from friends and family while I was pregnant. Eli didn’t like any of them. And we REALLY did persevere.

We had the Sophie La Girafe large teether on our list ready to purchase when Eli was around 5 months old. Which is when we anticipated he’d NEED one! After looking around I saw that you could buy a small version, that was really soft and has two rings for easy gripping action… or in Eli’s case, more for him to chew and lick! At 10 weeks old Eli had mastered both grasp and chew! I firmly believe I have Sophie to thank for encouraging Eli’s gripping development!

I think the Sophie La Girafe teether is fast becoming Eli’s favourite toy. He literally cannot go anywhere without her! Eli particularly enjoys chewing really hard onto Sophie’s head (harsh, I know), which seems to give him great relief. This teether, however,  is not for the faint hearted as it makes the most almighty squeaking noise as he chomps down! Massive massive cringe (think nails down a chalk board, touching wet terracota, wet cotton wool etc).

I massively recommend this Sophie La Girafe teether to everyone I meet, best £7 I’ve ever spent! It would make a really nice stocking filler this Christmas too!

Buy Sophie La Girafe teether right now from JohnLewis.com

 

MM.

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An Eli update: 4 weeks young.

Weight at 4 weeks: 9lb

Length at 4 weeks: 53cm

Yesterday marked Mr Eli’s 4 week birthday. I actually cannot believe how quickly these first 4 weeks have flown by! I also can’t believe how quickly our little boy is changing too! He’s so strong and curious about the world; he can hold and move his head so well, already!

When your newborn, is newborn, their hearing is checked in the hospital. Unfortunately, due to my quick delivery, Eli had A LOT of fluid/blood stuck in his ears for a few days after the birth, which meant that the hearing test failed to work and would be repeated. We weren’t concerned because Eli had proven he could hear very well! From as soon as we got him through the front door he looked for where sounds were coming from and would jump if there was a bang or a clap etc. So yesterday I took him for the repeat hearing test… we got to go on a big train!

Mr Eli on the big train!

Granted, we literally went one stop on the big train – but still! He was as good as gold all the way there (even when Mummy got lost on a building site!). Then as soon as we walked into the testing room, Mr Tetch arrived! Which meant that it was difficult to get a clear reading. Breast feeding commenced and a clear response was found straight away. So that’s done with 🙂

We’re still awaiting an appointment for Physio for Eli’s mild Talipes however. I’ve been chasing the hospital on a daily basis but am getting nowhere. It’s a good job we have common sense and have been massaging his feet ourselves (which is definitely working, we can see a difference already).

 

MM.