My favourite online florist, BLOOM & WILD, have partnered up with one of my favourite furniture and decor brands, Maisons du Monde, to give one lucky winner £500 to spend with them online for a unique home refresh, plus 12 months worth of blooms.
That’s enough to make your home look so gorgeous, you’ll never want to leave it!
Bloom & Wild are my go-to for sending flowers through the post. They’re always packaged perfectly and come in bud so you have them brightening your home for much longer. The quality of the flowers always amazes me – the care they’re packed with is also pretty amazing too!
“Cut with care, packed with pride, sent with love”
– Bloom & Wild
To enter this very lovely competition, simply enter your details on the Bloom & Wild website, here >>> WIN WIN WIN
Bloom & Wild are the UK’s top rated flower delivery company, with a range of letterbox flowers & plants along with hand-tied bouquets. Their mission is to make sending and receiving flowers a joy again, so that you can be there from anywhere for those you love using technology to empower people from the palm of their hand where our messages, news and emotions arrive.
Looking for the perfect housewarming present? Look no further than the letterbox Fern. The Boston Fern has the ability to clean the air in your home and can remove the pollutants formaldehyde and xylene.
Maisons du Monde is a French furniture & decor brand with a difference. Their stylists capture inspiration from around the world, developing exclusive pieces to suit all budgets and styles. With 7 core styles to choose, from vintage to industrial, each collection is made with flexibility in mind, so you can mix and match pieces to create a home that’s as unique as you are. This autumn, whether you’re planning major changes or simply need a room refresh, Maisons du Monde makes it easy to update your home with five exciting, new season decor trends. Snuggle down with Cosy Blue, filled with effortless Hygge essentials or Miss Bloom, a look that will keep things rosy and warm no matter what the weather. Be sure to check out their latest arrivals to discover something uniquely different…
To enter the competition you must have a UK postal address and be 18 or over. The winner will be chosen after the competition has closed and they will be notified by email. No cash alternatives available. One entry per household.
First of all, you’re a strong and brave woman (she says, as tears roll down her cheeks). Your body hasn’t failed you, you haven’t failed you and you haven’t failed anybody else. Your body has successfully made life, (technically it made a whirlwind! But we are certainly more than happy with our little whirlwind!). It grew and was home to that tiny human – 10 fingers and 10 toes – Eli was 8 pounds of sheer perfection.
Your body CAN do it. Please don’t blame your body.
It was just that this time round, Science cruelly said that something wasn’t right. Your body, in this instance, did the right thing.
We all know that if the ingredients aren’t measured out right, a cake won’t come out right. The science of conception is just the same – obviously a lot more complicated – but this works for my metaphor, at least. Bear with me! In fact, only 20% of couples actually manage to conceive in a monthly cycle. It’s just that complicated. Science said something was wrong – science said we had to let the baby go. I know it’s not something that I DID wrong. I know all of this, so why does it still hurt so much?
Your body went through hell and back when you miscarried. The physical ailments may be healed, but your head and your heart will take so much longer. And you need to know, that’s ok.
Some day’s you’re completely fine, enjoying life as a Mama-to-one. Then sometimes it smacks you in the face like a brick. It especially hurts when your beloved whirlwind settles down beside you, patting your tummy and so sweetly says “but Mummy, when can I have a baby brother or sister?”.
Mama, you’re ok to cry. Even though its almost a year on. You’re allowed to still grieve, to take time out, to not want to speak. But don’t bottle it all up, because that won’t help anyone, will it? You’re a ticking time-bomb if you don’t communicate at all. So take your time. Go at your pace, not under any pressure to go at any nobody else’s. Speak when you want to speak. Cry when you want to cry. Shout when you want to shout. Just make sure you do it all, and then-some.
Also Mama, you’re going to be sensitive. You’ll notice the pregnancy and birth announcements more….and also notice when pregnant women moan about how difficult being pregnant in the heat is. You’ll feel bitterly resentful that they’re complaining – “shouldn’t they be feeling lucky that they’re pregnant at all?!”. But remember how you were at full-term with Eli in the soaring temperatures of August 2012? You know firsthand just how much torture that is. Try not to hold grudges. Try not to sweat the small stuff. Try to keep calm – stressing yourself about other people and their complaints isn’t going to help. You’ll feel jealous when you see your friends, or even complete strangers, pushing their baby in the pram around the park, shopping in Waitrose or coo-ing over them on the train. That’s ok and that’s normal too. You STILL want that. So try to keep the jealously at bay – turn it into something positive. Take the opportunity to rest. Maybe even have more ‘me-time’?
Yes, it’s really scary, yes you’re full of worry and anxiety… but one day, you WILL be ready and able to try again. Another pregnancy will not replace the one that you lost. The baby that never was will always remain in your heart as your favourite ‘…what if?’. Never, ever forgotten.
Most importantly keep talking Mama.
You’ll get there eventually.
Peace & love C
Being a mama can be all kinds of wonderful and all kinds of intense. Whatever journey you are on, you hardly ever get time to reflect on how far you’ve come. hi mama asks you to do that, to return to a time when you were at your best, or at your worst, and write to the mama at that stage with all the wisdom, experience and knowledge of your present self.
Writing a letter about your experience has double benefits; it can be really cathartic and allow you to reflect, and will also offer support to other mamas. We spent hours online searching for reassurance from the words of other mamas – still do – and we hope to create a library of letters that will offer words of wisdom for any situation. Inspired by the social community, by how mamas reach out to each other with positivity, grace and inclusivity, we want hi mama to become a source of strength and solidarity for all.
the mamas behind hi mama…
Shared experiences got us through the first years of being a mama. We are secondary school friends, Sophie Taylor and Shelley Lawrence and are hoping to extend the network we have relied on so much to fellow mamas far and wide. We have been sending letters to each other throughout our friendship, from notes about boys in school, to bridging the oceans when Shelley lived in Australia. Letters have a poignancy and an intimacy, they can be funny and light-hearted and offer up your barest and most honest self. We appreciate our youthful (and often cringeworthy) notes now more than ever.
I have a little boy, Felix, who is two years old, a funny old pug called Tam and a husband called Stuart. Family is hugely important to me and I am really lucky to live close to my parents and to Stu’s Mum. I started working life as a runner for a television production company in Brighton, and now work in communications, first for a charity, then for the ambulance service and soon to be for a police force.
I am mama to two fiercely ‘spirited’ girls; my mum calls it payback! I have worked in events and marketing for 14 years whilst studying to become CIM certified. My husband James and I lived and worked in Australia before returning to Cambridgeshire to have our eldest daughter. I quickly realised that going back to the 9am-5pm (ha ha… 7pm-8pm) full-time, corporate world just wasn’t going to work for me as a mama. So, I decided to set-up as a freelancer, launching my own website offering marketing support on a flexible basis back in 2010. I’ve taken on many exciting projects over the years, leading to my current role as Marketing Manager for Splash Event Solutions.
We are secondary school friends, Shelley Lawrence and Sophie Taylor and we want hi mama to be a site of sisterhood for mamas far and wide, based on sharing strength and solidarity, through letters written by mamas to themselves.
It’s the launch, I’ve personally, been waiting for… Tiba + Marl x Scamp & Dude, is here! (Well, almost!). Today the Pre-Order has launched on both TibaandMarl.com and also on ScampandDude.com. All pre-orders will then be sent out on 20th August onwards. I also have it on good authority, that once these orders have gone, thats it! So get your pre-order in, before its too late!
Now the formalities are done with, let me introduce you to the coolest four-piece you’ve seen, since One Direction went on without Zayn.
THE MINI ELWOOD
THE MINI ELWOOD – £40.00 (each)
COMES IN BLACK OR MINT PRINT
The much loved Tiba + Marl MINI ELWOOD backpack gets given a super-hero transformation in Scamp & Dude’s iconic signature leopard and lightning bolt print. Mini fashionistas will love this best selling kids backpack, featuring a zipped front pocket, adjustable straps, and top carry grab handle. Each backpack showcases a patch with Scamp & Dude’s trademark slogan ‘A Superhero Has My Back’ and is adorned with ‘Superpower Button’ neon rubber lightening bolt zip pullers – prepare for playground envy!
Water resistant & wipe clean inside & out
Zip front pocket
Adjustable padded straps
Rubber lightening bolt zips
‘A Superhero Has My Back’ woven patch on back of bag
Top grab handle
100% Nylon with Faux leather trim
H: 29cm W: 22cm D: 12cm
THE ARLO SNACK PACK
THE ARLO SNACK PACK – £25.00 (EACH)
COMES IN MINT OR BLACK PRINT
Designed exclusively in collaboration with much-loved kids brand Scamp & Dude, the super-handy ARLO snack-pack by Tiba+Marl is the perfect everyday choice for you or your little dudes. Looking fierce in Scamp & Dude’s signature leopard and lightning bolt print, and featuring a patch with Scamp & Dude’s trademark slogan ‘A Superhero Has My Back’ it is also adorned with ‘Superpower Button’ bespoke neon rubber lightening bolt zip pullers – could this be the coolest cool pack ever?? Perfect from weaning right through to school – it is fully insulated and features internal slip pocket and an elasticated strap to keep bottle/cup upright. It also comes with removable name tag and an easy grab carry handle that can be clipped onto the buggy or a school bag.
Rubber lightening bolt zips
‘A Superhero Has My Back’ woven patch on back of bag
Wipe clean inside & out
Elasticated bottle holder
Internal slip pocket
Nylon & plastic with Faux leather trim
H: 16cm W: 20.5cm D: 14cm
I do have a tendency to go on about how much I love Tiba+Marl – but I do just bloody love them. We got our T+M bags when we moved to Berlin and they still look brand new (see my old post, here). We didn’t even use our Elwood as a changing bag, Eli was too old. We’ve always used it as a family back pack – or taken it to the gym/park, its also perfect for carrying a laptop! Eli is never without his Mini Elwood. So this is proof that Tiba+Marl produce quality products that have uses beyond ‘age’. For instance, I LOVE the Arlo Snack Pack – I’d use this for Eli as his lunch bag, but also as my own lunch bag… maybe even great for toiletries and cosmetics too!
So there you have it, the Pre-Order is live, so get ’em while you can! My only issue… which colour-way to go for?! Which do you like best?
Peace & love
NB: This post is absolutely not affiliated with or sponsored by Tiba+Marl or Scamp & Dude. They’re just bloody amazing brands whom I adore and want to shout about xxx
MORE ABOUT //
Tiba + Marl (Pronounced Teeba) was created in 2015 by London duo, Anna Tizard and Lydia Barron. Both Mothers, they spotted a gap in the market for contemporary, trend inspired parent changing bags. Anna, a former Bag Buyer for Urban Outfitters and Topshop, and Lydia, a Footwear and Accessories Designer for Kurt Geiger and Sigerson Morrison, set about to provide cool Mums and Dads with a range of cleverly designed, super functional changing bags where an edge of cool always comes as standard.
Tiba + Marl’s contemporary collection of bags redefines the staid tradition of baby changing bags by combining modern graphic prints, premium and high tech materials, and stylish but practical design. Inspired by the catwalks and street-style, their award winning collection breaks the mould for cool, modern parents who are seeking unisex designs that don’t compromise their sartorial choices.
Meticulously designed to merge high-fashion features with practical function, included with each bag is a co-ordinating clutch, that is water resistant and comes with a cross body strap – great for wet items or can be used as a separate, effortlessly-cool cross-body bag.
MORE ABOUT //
Scamp & Dude was created by Jo Tutchener-Sharp, founder and previous MD of Beauty Seen PR.
With a long history in the world of fashion and beauty, Jo directed PR campaigns and arranged events for high profile individuals and brands such as Tom Ford, Matthew Williamson, Dolce & Gabbana, Vogue, Estee Lauder, Topshop, NARS and The BRIT Awards.
In October 2015 Jo’s life took a difficult turn when she suffered a brain haemorrhage. She had to leave her children for a lengthy stay in hospital to undergo life threatening brain surgery.
Every parent understands the feeling you get when you have to leave your child, whether it be a business trip or first day at school. That knot in the stomach and the ache in the heart.
It was this moment that inspired Jo to create a brand that helps children feel more secure when apart from their loved ones, and Scamp & Dude was born.
Except, this is a kind of lie and is not my look today – this was what I wore yesterday… today I have been in a loose Zara T-Shirt dress with one shoe on and one shoe off. If you’re following my IG (@JudyPink), you’ll see that I hurt my foot yesterday. Today Eli and I sat in A&E for 4 hours while I was assessed and tested and x-rayed up by our amazing NHS. Thankfully, it’s *just* a bad sprain in a bad place… a few weeks rest (LOL) and it should sort itself out.
Anyway, onto today’s outfit. I’m wearing one of my all-time favourite Maxi Dresses, from GLAMOROUS, you can find it on ASOS.com and Topshop.com. This style is pretty much what I look for in a dress, as I’m petite (I say I’m 5 ft 1, but we all know thats a lie too – I’m more like 5 foot… and I refuse to believe I’m shrinking any more than that!). Due to my height restrictions, the bottom of this dress took quite a beating on my birthday as we dragged Eli away from those fountains in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, so after it’s first wash, I took scissors to the bottom hem and took around 7-8 inches off. Yep, I’m that short!
As a side note, if anyone see’s any dresses in this kind of smock/empire line shape with 3/4 sleeves, give me a shout. I think this is a definite go-to for me.
Secondly, let me introduce you to my new favourite sliders – though, today, it’s been a case of one off and one on. These ones are from Monki at £30. They’re mega comfy and pretty cosy too. They’re a bit of a Chloe Kerenn dupe, but
Woah, woah, woah. TOPSHOP.com have just launched a pretty cool deal!* They’ve whacked 50 of their most beautiful blouses into their own category and for this weekend only, they’re all £20. Brilliant!
Universally flattering, versatile and season-less; the blouse is an ultimate wardrobe hero. Shop the 50 best blouses for just £20 now, including classic button-down styles, feminine frills and party-ready satin.
Anyone else feeling completely frazzled out? Maybe all this staying up late watching Love Island and then not being able to sleep ‘cos drama is starting to take it’s toll! Good job it’s only on for another week… waaaaaaah!💘 #DaniFish #JackandDani #Jani #imloyalbabe
Today’s tiredness calls for red lips (yep, that old “red lips to distract from the tired eyes” trick) and lots of leopard! It’s a little chillier today, so I’m going for Vans and a Fedora too. This dress is perfect for just chucking on in a hurry; its comfy and will obviously work well into Autumn/Winter with tights and a leather jacket.
I recently came across Batoko whilst pointlessly scrolling browsing through Instagram. The prints of the swimwear stopped me in my tracks – “James, holy moly, loooooook, these swimming costumes! They are so pretty – if only I’d seen them before holiday!”. Our big holiday may have been and gone, in a flash, but a swimsuit like one of these certainly wouldn’t be! I went on to look at the Batoko profile, first point of call – are they UK based? YES – Batoko were founded off the North West Coast (as in, where we now reside… ish). Before my second point of call (price), I was again, stopped in my scrolling tracks… these swimsuits are RUBBISH?! They’re actual RUBBISH!
No, no, it’s not what you think! They’re still epic swimming costumes… but even more-so now that I know they’re made from ACTUAL RUBBISH that has been dished from our ocean. This brand are actively protecting our marine life. This isn’t just cool or ‘neat’, this is revolutionary.
Here is what Batoko say, in their own words:
Living by the sea, plastic pollution is something we witness everyday on our local beaches. Plastic bottles, bags, cups, straws, food wrappers, balloons, containers, toys, polystyrene, fishnets, ropes, textiles and micro-plastics. You can bet that every item of plastic you can think of is in the sea and with each tide comes a stark reminder of an issue that is otherwise out of sight, out of mind.
“We create high quality swimsuits that are not only flattering and fun to wear, but are helping change the world for the better”.
Of the 300 million tons of plastic that’s produced globally each year, it’s estimated that less than 10% of this is recycled, with an astonishing 8 million tons of disposed plastic waste entering our oceans annually. The greatest issue with this is that plastic doesn’t degrade. Once we’ve made it, used it and binned it – it stays with us, breaking down into smaller toxic pieces that pollute our environment for generations.
The Batoko Mission
We’re part of a positive process that is attempting to clean up our oceans and help reduce the negative impact of plastic on the environment. We want to show that slowing down the production of new plastic materials in favour of using existing sustainable resources, is the way forward.
“All our swimwear is 100% recycled from plastic bottles, fishnets and post-consumer waste such as carpets and other textiles. Recycling helps reduce energy usage, reduce consumption of new raw materials and reduces air and water pollution (from land fills and marine waste)”.
Our swimsuits are printed digitally which is an ecological printing method designed to reduce water and waste. Our inks are free of harmful chemicals and we consciously print the designs onto the fabric after it’s been cut to minimise production waste. Our fabric is vegan, too!
We are a proud member of the UK’s leading marine charity – the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). The MCS work to ensure our seas are healthy, pollution free and protected. To date they have helped pass a number of government legislations such as the 5p plastic bag policy, gained protection for endangered Basking Sharks and secured 50 marine conservation zones in English waters. MCS organised beach cleans have also removed 6 million pieces of litter from UK shores. Each year a proportion of our profits made from our recycled swimwear go to supporting this amazing organisation, helping to ensure a healthier future for our oceans.
Rather than adhere to the pressure of a disposable, fast-fashion culture, we are going against the grain; consciously keeping our collections small and introducing new designs at a slower and much more sustainable pace that’s kinder to the planet and the people that make them. This also allows us to focus on quality and the individuality of each swimsuit design, enabling us to tweak and improve along the way – ultimately putting the value back into clothing and keeping the Batoko spirit alive for years, not just a season.
We work with an audited factory in China that takes necessary measures to avoid both environmental degradation, along with following and respecting the labour principles set out in the BSCI Code of Conduct which ensures a fair and safe working environment for all it’s workers. This ethical business behaviour ensures that all workers have increased awareness of both their labour rights and human rights, along with access to grievance mechanisms if they feel their rights are not being met. BSCI principles also include fair pay, no forced or bonded labour, no child labour or workers below the legal minimum age, decent working hours (observed by law), no discrimination and equal opportunities. We feel a great amount of responsibility to maintain a stable business relationship with our supplier, which is turn gives the factory a reason to invest in continuously improving it’s working conditions.
“We’re Rubbish. Literally”.
We use recycled and sustainable materials wherever we can. For shipping, we use 100% recycled poly packaging from Eco Enclose. Eco enclose recycle their mail bags from post-consumer and post-industrial plastic waste, giving new life to material that has already been used rather than it ending up in landfill or in our oceans. They are the most minimal packaging option in terms of size and weight; lighter than their paper counterparts, so more energy efficient. We ensure that the mail bag fits to size with no excess space, essentially working as a protective sleeve for your swimsuit during transportation, nothing more. The mail bags have an extra strip which allows you to reuse the packaging. As they are recyclable, you can pop it in your recycling bin after you’ve finished using it to ensure that it get’s a another new life after use.
Join The Movement
Keep in the loop by following us on instagram or by joining our newsletter. We’re obsessed with our customers photos (or ‘postcards’), so don’t hesitate to tag us @batoko if you wanna show off your awesome new recycled swimsuit, we like to show you off too!
How absolutely amazing is this? This is more than just a fad… a ‘fashion with a conscience’ trend, that we so often see in passing; that sadly doesn’t continue after the trend has frazzled out. This is something really quite major. And I’m so excited by this brand and its ethos. I just can’t quite believe how brilliant it is.
I briefly touched upon our recent horrific experience regarding global sea-life during our trip to Florida. I wanted to do something for the better in support of our incredible oceans… well, I am completely aware that this is just a small step to ‘helping’ the cause, but its better than nothing, right? And such a brilliant step in the right direction.
And without further ado, here are my Top 3 pieces from their online collection(s). Some pieces are in the SALE, so be quick!
I want to finish this post by saying THANK YOU to the wonderful people at Batoko. Thank you for creating something so extraordinary, so special and so important.
Peace & love
DISCLAIMER // This post is absolutely not sponsored By or affiliated WITH BATOKO, in any way shape or form, I just had to share how awestruck I am by thIS INCREDIBLE ETHICAL brand. Please check them ouT!
“The thing you’re most afraid to write…. write that”.
Following the horrendous confirmation, that I was in fact, miscarrying what should have been our second child; I wrote my first blog post: Miscarriage & Me. I didn’t know what to do with myself, I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth. I was exhausted, but could not sleep. “I’m fine” was the biggest lie (and probably still is!) and most-used words that I spoke. Bashing my feelings out on the keyboard of my laptop; my experiences of our Miscarriage – and being 100% honest, no matter how gruesome – was what I was afraid to write. Because writing it made it all the more real. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t in denial of what was happening – it was just so bloody surreal. But I am so glad I did get it all typed up. Not only was the process of writing the blog posts cathartic AF, but they actually helped people. Who knew the internet could be such a lovely place, in such dark times?
Today marks one year since we finally saw the words we so wanted to see. Pregnant 1-2 weeks popped up on that Clear Blue Digital Pregnancy Test (other tests are available… ).
ONE WHOLE ENTIRE YEAR.
365 days of trying to remember the much-wanted baby… and trying to let go, simultaneously.
So, hows it all going? During the horror of miscarriage, I thought we’d never try again. It really hurt me in a way I didn’t think I could ever be hurt. It hurt both of us. Well, I’m finally feeling well enough, physically, to try again. I KNOW (!!!) Cycle-wise, it’s a bit all over the place still. I have ALWAYS been a 28-day cycle girl. Always. Even once my periods returned after having Eli, it was straight back to 28 days. Since my ERPC however, they’ve been a bit all over… 28-34 days seems to be the norm. My latest cycle being 31 days. They’re still beyond painful though, so nothing ever changes there! So do I need ovulation kits?! Or do we just wing it?! I feel really quite naive all of a sudden… any help would be greatly received with regards to this. I do remember we did the “Temping Method” when we were trying for Eli, but tbh, I cba with that!
Mentally, how’s it going? That’s another story. The mental battle of ‘trying again after loss’, is a cruel mistress. The battle of so desperately wanting to hold our own second child in our arms, rather than just in our hearts is, thinking about all that could go wrong… well, it’s pretty heart-wrenching. I’m scared. I’m really bloody scared. I have so many ‘what if?’ scenario’s going on, that I’m making myself dizzy. And quite tearful when I think about how things could well go. We haven’t even ‘tried’ yet and I’m already beside myself with worry. I’m guessing that’s normal though – for trying for that all elusive Rainbow Baby – even if you weren’t a born worrier to begin with! The fact Eli so desperately wants a baby brother or sister is very encouraging though, it’s certainly helped the process along. And I know he’s going to make THE BEST big brother, ever <3
So, what’s the whole point of this blog post?
Well, I wanted to just give myself a little reminder that, 365 days ago, we were so ecstatically happy. And we can be again, I know we can.
And if you’re going through the same pain of Miscarriage, but can’t find the words to speak out loud…try bashing them out on the computer keyboard instead. There is ALWAYS someone there to listen, to offer help and support. Especially if you use such amazing resources like Tommy’s or The Miscarriage Association,
Sometimes the words, they come… sometimes they don’t. And for everything in-between, I have to acknowledge my favourite poet, Rupi Kaur, who is just a genius when it comes to getting the perfect collection of words together for you.
To mark the launch of the new HUSH capsule summer collection, they’re offering you the chance to win a trip to California’s Pacific coastline, with a five-night stay at the Surfrider hotel and flights included! HOLY MOLY indeed.
Opposite the eponymous beach, with sweeping views down to Malibu Pier, sits the Surfrider hotel: your Californian beach house fantasy come to life. If Nancy Meyers made (another) movie set in a beach house – this would be the set.
There are still shades of the 1950s motel in the vintage surfboards casually propped around the place, but the rest has been made over in impeccable coastal-inspired taste: think natural textures, crisp white cotton bed linen, wicker chairs, over-sized rattan lampshades, white-washed wood, and sea-view terraces for two. Plus – of course – those luxury touches no self-respecting boutique hotel should be without.
It would be easy to while away the hours swinging in your own hammock and soaking up the view, but then you’d miss the Roof Deck – the in-house bar and restaurant serving organic Calfornian fare (don’t worry – it’s residents-only, so there’s plenty of space for lounging up there, too). If you can be lured away from that view, the hotel can arrange picnics, hiking adventures, and – of course – surf safaris.
If you’ve come over all California dreaming, simply enter your details in the form for a chance to win.