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NEVER KNOWINGLY CONCISE CHATS TO // Jen Fuller | @EttaLoves

Say hello to Jen Fuller, founder of  ETTA LOVES –  an incredibly stylish collection of sensory baby muslins designed with love and science to support your baby’s development.  We love to champion a family-run business and Etta Loves was founded from the sofa by Jen! When you buy from a small business, you’re supporting a family. And that always feel’s nice. Even better when the products are this clever and functional!

CB: Firstly, please introduce yourself and your concept.
JF: Hello, I’m Jen Fuller and I am the founder of Etta Loves, we produce stylish and sensory baby textiles that are designed with science to support babies’ eye development.

CB: Brand names are a really important first impression of what you’re about, so how did you come up with your brand name?
JF: Funnily enough I love my daughter Etta’s name (it was my choice; my husband would have called her Aida) so when I devised the idea of sensory baby textiles it seemed to slot into place. It was discussed at length with my NCT friends, who are a bunch of smart, creative and inspirational women, and everyone agreed it was unusual and catchy, with a sense of authenticity given that Etta is chief product tester!

CB: Where did it all begin? What inspired you to start up your Brand/Social account(s)/Business/Service/ Movement or Concept?
JF: I was sat on my sofa during one of the fairly boring early days feeding 4 week old Etta and watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race, when I realised that Etta’s gaze was locked onto my black and white patterned jumper. It was the first thing I’d notice her actively try to concentrate on, that wasn’t a face, and something just clicked. Muslins are so omnipresent for the first year of life, and beyond, so when you add in how multi-functional they are and the close proximity they come to a baby’s face it made sense to start there and make them do something far more valuable than just mop up baby yuck!

CB: What is your brand ethos?
JF: To make products which start with the science, but never forget the style or the function. Products that both you and your baby will love. Products which complement your little one’s visual development whilst retaining a real sense of style for you.

CB: On a day-to-day basis, what or who inspires you?
JF: I’m inspired by all sorts of random things, but am also lucky enough to live in Walthamstow which has the most amazing community of entrepreneurs and wonderful small businesses. I really feed off the people I have met during my journey so far, and when I team that with two of my NCT friends who are actively involved in the business it’s just a joy and hard not to keep being full of ideas.


CB:
Can you tell us about or give us a sneaky peak of something new that’s coming up?
JF: We are about to expand the Etta Loves Animals range into washcloths and dribble bibs, and the second “Etta Loves …” collection is in the design phase, with samples due soon. The new collection will have the same stylised unisex appeal but is a very different inspiration from “Animals”.

SENSORY WASH CLOTHS // COMING SOON

CB: Anything you wish you’d known before you became a parent / best piece of parenting advice?
JF: The best advice for me was that everything is just a phase, which is so commonly banded around but so so true. When you’re stuck in the deepest despair about them not feeding, napping, pooing etc it can feel like you’re totally helpless and that it will never change, but it always does. That and to ask for help, lots and lots of it.

CB: Parenting-essentials, we know there are more than a few! But what is the one thing you can’t leave the house without? What is your most used piece of parenting/child paraphernalia?
JF: Funnily enough muslins, especially given that Etta is the snottiest baby I’ve ever come across! Second only to Calpol and Cedric the zebra!

CB: Along the same vein as above, what is your ultimate Mum-Essential? What is your go-to item that you just can’t live without?
JF: Dark chocolate and eye cream. They were essentials before and whilst my world has shifted they are just as important, if not more so!

CB: What gives you ‘Mum-Guilt’? And how do you get round it?
JF: Going to work (not Etta Loves) 4 days a week. Being on my phone when Etta is in the room. Doing anything at the weekend which doesn’t involve her. The usual really. I don’t get round it I think I just justify all types of work as being essential to our future, and have to tell myself that I do need to prioritise myself every now and again as ultimately it will make me a better, well rounded mum.

CB: Me-time is super important too, what do you like to do to zone-out?
JF: I really enjoy Yoga but have been a bit crap sticking to it. Reading a book is a rare but enjoyable treat, and actually gardening in these spring / summer months.

CB: Which are your go-to brands/shops?
JF: I am a big fan of Zara for Etta and I, and I also love Born at Dawn, a new curated online shop for stylish and classic piece for adults. For kids clothes I adore The Mini Edit as they have the best collection of cool clothes I’ve come across and within it I’m addicted to Mini Rodini for Etta. I also discovered this week that Cos does baby clothes… which is dangerous information! I’m a huge fan of interiors so will lose myself in House of Hackney or the John Lewis haberdashery department.

CB: What current wardrobe item is your all-time favourite and why?
JF: It’s between my Hush boyfriend jeans and a new Stella Nova jumpsuit from Born at Dawn.

CB: Choose 3 words to describe yesterday.
JF: Paris, workshop, wine.

CB: Tell us something that might surprise people about you.
JF: Perhaps that I am working full time in my role at a media agency and running Etta Loves in the spaces in-between. Or that I lived in Spain for a year, and it turned out that my old boss is now being hunted by Interpol…

CB: What’s the kindest thing anyone has ever done for you?
JF: I generally find that people are kind more often than not, however my husband Chris often surprises me with little acts of kindness. I knew he was a good’un when after a few weeks of going out I caught a nasty cold. My doorbell rang and when I opened it no one was there but a box full of everything that I both needed to tackle a cold plus a few of my favourite treats was sat on the doorstep. It was such a thoughtful thing for someone to do, it really stuck with me.

CB: Recommend a book, film or album from the past year.
JF: I’ve just finished reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and wow was that a beautiful yet harrowing read. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

CB: What can you see out of your closest window / what is your current view?
JF: It’s dark and we live on a fairly busy road so I can’t see much through the obscured window film! New people have just moved in across the road so my view is normally them mooching about their daily life.

CB: Other than with your family & friends, where would you most like to be this weekend and why?
JF: In the countryside breathing clean air and with a 24-hour beauty therapist on hand. I need some serious buffing and revitalising at the moment!

Loved chatting with you Jen – you’ve created a wonderfully functional and SCIENTIFIC baby product; that is super stylish too. Eli is almost 5and we have muslin’s still in use – proof that this is product that you’ll be using for a long time after those new-born day’s are over! Looking forward to watching how Etta Loves evolves!

Be sure to follow Jen & Etta Loves on Insta: @EttaLoves and shop the latest collection: Shop Now.

C

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ETTA LOVES // THE STORY

Sat on my sofa with a heap of mucky muslins by my side, I realised that 4-week old little Etta was staring at my top. It was the first thing I’d noticed her actively trying to focus on and unsurprisingly it was a simple black and white pattern.

After a month of trying to rotate black and white clothing (which got both difficult and boring) this got me thinking; why isn’t one of the most seen items by babies designed to stimulate them and capture their attention? And why wouldn’t you use medical knowledge of babies’ visual development to make them the best that they could be at doing this? And while you’re at it they should be stylish… 

Functional, developmental and stylish muslins are what I wanted to create.

Now don’t get me wrong, I own other lovely muslins and some are black and white. But whilst these provide some stimulation for my little one through the very fact that they are high contrast, they haven’t been developed with this as their primary objective.

Etta Loves muslins are not only practical, super-soft, absorbent 100% cotton, but they have been designed with input from an early years visual expert, to ensure that they stimulate babies’ visual and cognitive development. As such the range is split between 0-4 months and 5+ months.

As an added bonus they look fabulously stylish, so whoever uses them will look great, regardless of which bodily fluid they might be trying to catch…

ETTA LOVES // THE SCIENCE

 

At birth, an infant’s vision is very limited as their visual system is not fully developed. Over the first few days and weeks of life vision improves steadily and infants will be able to see high contrast patterns in black and white.

Very young infants do not see in colour because the cells in the retina which detect colour have not yet fully developed. Their main focus will be on objects 8-10 inches from their face – which is happily the approximate distance from their face to your face when you are interacting with them.

By around 6-8 weeks of age babies can focus on your face more easily, and that is when you might notice that gorgeous first smile being returned right back to you.

During the first few months the brain is working out how to work the eyes together as a pair and vision starts to improve quickly. At this stage babies will start to learn how to track objects and will start to reach out for things that they find interesting.

It is generally thought that by the age of 5-6 months children have much better colour vision, although at this stage it is still thought to be not as sensitive as that of an adults. Children of this age will mostly be attracted to bright, strong primary colours.

Vision continues to improve steadily through the first 12 months and beyond into toddlerhood. It is possible to assess vision in infants, babies and preverbal children and any concerns about your child’s vision should be discussed with your GP.

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& Other Stories | Recycling is EASY.

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&Other Stories is one of my favourite places to shop in store, browse online and take general inspiration. I love their forward-thinking, on a not so expensive level that doesn’t make your pursestrings tight. I was browsing online the other day, looking for more shoes, of course, and came across the recycling scheme that Stories are currently involved with. I thought it was bloody great, so wanted to share! They’re recycling both used & Other Stories Beauty packaging and Textiles (from any brand).

See full details below on how you can get involved in-store; you will also receive a 10% off voucher as a thank you!

 

 

 

RECYCLING WITH US IS EASY

We want to reduce the environmental footprint in the fashion world, and recycling is a big part of that. We try to find solutions for it in every part of our process and have, since our launch in 2013, established an in-store recycling program for our beauty packaging. Starting in 2015, our stores in Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States offer in-store textile recycling too. To make the most of this exciting task, we cooperate with experts within this field, and rely on you to recycle with us.

BEAUTY RECYCLING:

We have an overall sustainable approach within our beauty range, using standard packaging and keeping the paper use to a minimum by printing all necessary information on the inside of the boxes instead of on a separate folder. To recycle & Other Stories’ beauty packaging, bring back the empty containers from our colour cosmetics, bath & body and skin care ranges to any one of our stores.

This is how it works:

1. Simply return one, or more, of our empty beauty containers to one of our stores, and get one voucher with a 10% recycling treat as a thank you. Please note that your voucher can be used once and is valid for three months.

2. The packaging is sorted according to material directly in the store and then passed on to the nearest recycling station.

Recycling with us is easy

TEXTILE RECYCLING:

Bring any textiles from any brand (old socks and tired towels are welcome too), to any of our stores in Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States and wish them luck in their new life as insulation material for the construction materials industry, geofleece, carpet underlay, and rear shelves in cars, stuffed toys, shoe insoles, among many, many other things.

This is how it works:

1. Simply fill a bag with any textiles (all brands are welcome!) and bring it to your closest store, and get one voucher with a 10% recycling treat as a thank you. Please note that your voucher can be used once and is valid for three months.

2. Your bags are then collected from the store by our recycling partners. They have the infrastructural solutions in place to sort the items ensuring that the different materials are handled in the best possible way. Each piece (no matter its age or condition) is a valuable source of raw material – a treasure ready to embark on its second chapter. By recycling with us you create a circle that keeps all these raw materials from being produced again from scratch.

3. All textiles are passed on for their next best use via our recycling partner and are sorted into the following categories:

• Recycling – everything that is not suitable for producing new garments is converted into recycled fibres and non-woven fabric.
• Rewear – garments that are still wearable move on as second-hand clothing.
• Reuse – textiles that can’t be worn anymore are turned into special products, such as cleaning cloths.
• Upcycling – when the product is turned into another product of higher, or equal, quality.

Read more about our partner I:CO and their process on
www.ico-spirit.com

We are recycling-ready, hope you are too!

 

 

 

 

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REVIEW | BLEACH London.

Bleach London - review

A few months ago I decided I wanted to be back blonde. Truth be told, I was bored with my dip dye; despite it being very low-maintenance. I thought it might be nice to be a ‘natural’ blonde – something along the lines of Sienna Miller. After 6 boxes of home dye I realised it just wasn’t going to happen. And now I had weird wishy-washy dip dye. YACK.

“Why didn’t you just visit a salon?”, I hear you ask. Well, juggling Mr Eli, work, driving lessons (yes, I am 10 years late to the game) and sorting out the day-to-day running of your family home does not leave much time in the way of pampering. (In fact, it leaves zero time!). I’d dyed my hair on an evening once Eli was in bed and Mr Memoirs could tend to him while my hair “developed” – albeit, it didn’t develop into much as I previously mention.

Fed up – I came to the decision that I now wanted to go back to my not so natural roots.  The platinum (with an old ladies blue rinse mixed in for good measure) me. The old me.

I’d seen LOADS of hype about BLEACH London. The salon itself residing in WAH Nails on Kingsland Road, was masterminded by Alex Brownsell (super hair colourist extraordinaire) and Samantha Teasdale (brains behind the business – also a one time friend-of-a-friend and Teasdale Twin to Louise; the actual live-in hair stylist for One Direction).

Anyway, I digress.

BLEACH London have done incredibly well – obviously helped along by their insane black book of celebrity clients, of course – but they have only been open just over a year. The salon prides itself as the first people to recreate the Ombre look. A BLEACH London dip-dye is not for the faint hearted, think rainbows and My Little Pony. Just amazing unconventional dye jobs – that also remind me of Kate Winslet’s character, “Clementine Kruczynski”, in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (one of our all time favourite films, EVER!). You also won’t fail to notice that BLEACH London cleverly names itself after it’s speciality (bleaching, and lots of it) and after the Nirvana album (which famous font they also share).

Back in October, BLEACH London launched a range of vibrant dyes, treatments and styling products to Boots.You can purchase in store and online at Boots.com, choosing from colours such as Awkward Peach, Washed Up Mermaid and Bruised Violet. All products in the range cost under £10; which is ridiculously good, considering!

I purchased two boxes of the Total Bleach and a box of White Toner (in the 3 for 2 at Boots). I have used both boxes of bleach and the White Toner and this is the current result:

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I absolutely LOVE the Total Bleach. It smelt like really strong peroxide as I was mixing it and took my breath away at times – but the consistency is great. It goes on fairly easily, but would recommend you buy two boxes for hair longer than mine as it doesn’t stretch too far. Within the Total Bleach box you also get a mixing bowl, mixing brush and gloves. In both the Total Bleach and White Toner boxes you also get a tube of the amazing Reincarnation Mask; which I was going to purchase on it’s own anyway. The tube states to keep the mask on for up to 20 minutes or so; but twice now I’ve left the conditioning treatment on my hair for a few hours and kept it covered with a shower cap. This has DEFINITELY rescued my poor hair which has been through the mill, to say the very least!

BLEACH London is my new favourite bleach. It feels like it is very kind on my hair and it actually feels in a much better condition now than it did before I started the bleaching process. I’m so so happy with it. The colour is even and has a lovely shimmer, which I didn’t get with the previous brands I’ve used to achieve this same colour. I’m also using the following BLEACH London products:

Bleach London
BLEACH London Reincarnation Mask, £6.00 – Boots.com
This mask smells so so nice – almost like Men’s aftershave; not your usual fruity scent. My hair has a shimmer and feels so much stronger and less dry. I will be using the mask once a week to keep on top of dryness and damage.

Bleach London
BLEACH London Silver Shampoo, £5.00 – Boots.com
I have used several ‘silver’ shampoo’s in my time as a platinum blonde – but NONE of them compare to this one from BLEACH London. Again, it smells divine and took every tiny bit of yellowy tone that was present away. It’s made my hair very ashy, which is the look I was going for! Careful though, this could make your hair pretty blue if left on too long. I would also recommend that your alternate using different shampoo’s to avoid toner build up; which will definitely result in blue hair (unless thats what you’re wanting of course!).

Bleach London
BLEACH London Split Fix Serum, £6.00 – Boots.com
I’m finishing my hair with this incredible serum. I’ve tended to avoid things like this previously as they can be overly greasy and do more harm than good. But not this Split Fix Serum! This serum is amazing, it is controlling my hair like nothing else, fights frizz and fly away – without weighing my hair down. It also has that wonderful scent to it. I’ve been using this serum both on towel dried hair and on dry hair to tame those fly aways.

I seriously cannot recommend the BLEACH London range enough. I’m shocked and surprised at how good each and every product is – I’ve seen amazing results of their rainbow home-dyes too. Check out their Instagram for updates from their many happy customers! @BLEACHLondon.

Would you dare to experiment with the BLEACH London range? Would love to see your results!

MM.

 

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Boots.com Baby Event!

Boots.com baby event
Click here to shop at Boots.com >>>

Just found out that there’s a special Boots.com Baby Event happening – SAVE £15 when you spend £60! Plus, remember you get those double parenting points on your advantage card!

Perfect for stocking up on all your baby essentials – or perhaps you’re pregnant? Stock up on EVERYTHING before your baba arrives from the comfort of your sofa!

Terms:
– Discount applied at checkout.
– Only 1 discount applied per transaction. 
– Online across 1000’s of products. 
– Excludes infant milk under 6 months.

Click here to shop at Boots.com >>>  

Let me know what you purchase!

MM.

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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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THANK YOU to John Lewis + iCandy.

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Mr Eli was so happy to be back in his iCandy Strawberry!

As I have previously documented, I’m a huge fan of iCandy. No-less because they’re a British brand with eye-catching, yet hardwaring products. It’s also very well documented that as a family, we’re HUGE fans of John Lewis. Again, another British brand with an amazing ethos for quality products and a company that prides itself in looking after its customers; and it’s partners (general staff!).

So, you can imagine my horror when one day I couldn’t remove the safety bar on my iCandy Strawberry pram. Eli was wearing his Ponseti Boots so it made it awkward to get him out. Eli had only been riding in the stroller/seat unit for about 5 weeks. So it was still pretty much brand new. I can’t say that this travel system was on the cheap side either; all in all it did cost nearly £900. BUT as I walk everywhere, the iCandy Strawberry was a definite investment – and I absolutely LOVE it.

As a Social Media wizard, my first point of call was to message the iCandy Facebook page. I left a comment on their wall and got a lovely response soon after. The iCandy Facebook assistant advised I contact John Lewis. So I did just that.

Unfortunately, you can’t call a store directly. You go through to the John Lewis central customer service centre, even if you have a direct number for the store you wish to contact. This however, is not a bother. The customer service advisors are so astute and just want to help you out. So jolly (but not annoyingly jolly!) and helpful they all are. This also means that all discussions are kept under a reference number so everything is kept organised and each advisor you speak to already know everything there is to know about the nature of your call.

I was advised that someone from the Stratford store would contact me with regards to having the seat unit fixed.

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Our iCandy Peach loan, soon after it arrived!

Someone called me from the Nursery department at Stratford about an hour later. After a few discussions it was decided that someone from the Stratford store would personally come to my home, on the train, with an iCandy Peach loan. Then they would take my iCandy Strawberry seat unit back to the store, where it would be sent away to be fixed. I cannot drive and now I’m working from home it makes it difficult to take a whole day off – plus it would mean paying for the cost of trains to and from Stratford, twice. I thought this was just incredible.

After the weekend sure enough, a lovely chap called Calvin from the Nursery department turned up, bang on time, with my iCandy Peach loan.

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Our replacement iCandy Strawberry seat unit came back in just over a week!

A week later, Calvin came back with my new iCandy Strawberry seat unit and collected the iCandy Peach loan.

Absolutely above and beyond. Just simply wonderful service from start to finish. I can’t think iCandy and especially, John Lewis enough. I’ve never ever heard of a retailer doing that for anyone. Retailers just aren’t like that these days. John Lewis have completely set the standard in retail customer service and they should be extremely proud of all who work for them! That kind of service is just off the scale. Unheard of. Exceptional.

THANK YOU JOHN LEWIS AND iCANDY! Just superb.

MM.