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BRAND IN FOCUS // ETTA LOVES

 

BRAND IN FOCUS // ETTA LOVES

You may, (or may not), remember that back in 2017 I used to run a Q&A segment,   “NEVER CONCISE CHATS“, where I would chat to the founders of businesses or services, who also happen to be parents. One of those chats was with none-other than Jen Fuller of ETTA LOVES. You can read our original chat, here >>> NEVER KNOWINGLY CONCISE CHATS TO // JEN FULLER | @ETTALOVES

Since Edie was born in August, we’ve used ETTA LOVES products with such great success! So, I just had to write a Brand In Focus post on all the amazing items that we’ve been able to test in real life.

 

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Who is ETTA LOVES?

I love to champion a family-run business and ETTA LOVES is precisely that; founded from the sofa by Jen Fuller whilst feeding her first-born daughter, Etta. Jen quickly realised that a 4 week Etta’s gaze was locked onto a black and white jumper she was wearing – it was the first thing her daughter had concentrated her focus on, that wasn’t a face.

Something clicked and the ETTA LOVES creativity began. All of the ETTA LOVES range is carefully designed with actual science.

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“Babies are born with fully formed eyes however they are not born with the ability to see clearly. This develops with time through practice and the forming of critical eye-to-brain connections.

Because of this, at birth babies are attracted to high contrast, large scale patterns but as the weeks and months go past their vision improves steadily and the world starts to appear in more vivid detail and colour.

At Etta Loves we use the knowledge of what babies can and can’t see at various stages of their visual development to design patterns that support their incredible discovery of the world around them. It’s why our patterns are often described as magical, as babies are calmed and mesmerised as they try to make sense of the fascinating shapes and contrast before them”.

Your baby is, quite literally, spellbound by science with the ETTA LOVES designs. The range started with Muslins as Jen knew how you ALWAYS need one (or two, or three!) on hand at all times.


 

CLICK TO SHOP >> 3-PACK ANIMAL PRINT MUSLINS

We have this 3-pack of Animal print muslin’s – and they’re the ultimate multitasker! Not only are they mega soft (that Bamboo-Cotton is magical in its own right!) but they’re mega functional too. Use them as usual for spills and snotty noses and for when you need those moments of calm. I can’t recommend these muslin’s enough! Even after washing what feels like a million times, the quality is still the same. Edie was completely taken by the prints straight after they were out of the box – they’re the first things she’s learnt to focus her gaze with. The Etta Loves magic knows no bounds here!  We tie the muslins to the side of the play gym/pram/cot/back of the car seat to keep Edie mesmerised (which also gives us a few minutes peace to sit down and drink that hot cup of tea – which is so important!). The science behind the designs is really quite something – they catch the eye of everyone we come into contact with, so the print also works on adults too! Stylish AND scientific, you can’t get better than that!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What ETTA LOVES say:

Triple pack of super-soft sensory muslin squares in high contrast black and white patterns. Designed to the millimetre to support babies’ cognitive and visual development between birth and around four months.

The ultimate multi-tasker also delivers sensory calm through our scientific patterns.

Pack includes 1 x zebra, 1 x starfish and 1 x Dalmatian design presented in our stylish box packaging.

Each muslin is 60cm x 60cm.

Made from: 100% viscose from bamboo.

“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!”

JEN FULLER, FOUNDER OF ETTA LOVES

Eli is 7 and still uses a muslin for spills or when he’s got a cold – proof that this is product that you’ll be using for a long time after those new-born day’s are over!In times where we need to think and buy in more eco-friendly ways, its a good job that the muslin’s are designed to last – and even better when a muslin is as stylish as the ETTA LOVES designs.

 

click to shop >> NEW ZEBRA KNITTED BLANKET

We absolutely LOVE this knitted blanket in zebra print and wish it was made in adult sizes for us too! I’ve never felt a softer knit, which Edie loves to snuggle into. It has a gorgeous hand-feel, which hasn’t decreased since washing several times – just superb quality. We love how the science behind the design keeps Edie calm as she begins to drift off to sleep. It looks looks mega cool in the pram. It would make a great newborn gift too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What ETTA LOVES say:

Our first knitted blanket delivers super-soft sensory stimulation, for calm snuggles at home or on the move.

Our zebra print is designed to support babies vision from birth to 4 months old.

Soft, snuggly and sensory knitted blanket in high contrast black and white zebra print. Designed to the millimetre to support babies’ cognitive and visual development between birth to four months.

Perfect for in the home or on the go, keeping snuggly and calm at the same time.

100cm x 80cm with black edge (white edge on reverse) in our stylish box packaging.

Made from: 100% cotton.

Image may contain: one or more people, stripes and baby

CLICK TO SHOP >> ZEBRA COMFORTER

Much like the muslin’s, during a meltdown, we can guarantee this Comforter calms Edie. The print, plus the soft bamboo cotton against her cheek, immediately mesmerises her to sleep. We’ve washed ours plenty of times now and again, it still looks and more importantly, FEELS, brilliant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What ETTA LOVES say:

Super soft, super cute comforter in clever zebra print that your baby will want to keep in their hands and near their eyes. Babies not only love the clever zebra pattern but will also fiddle with the cute floppy zebra ears, providing an additional sensory experience.

Our zebra print is designed to support babies visual and cognitive development from birth to around 4 months old.

40cm x 40cm double lay knotted muslin.

Made from: 100% viscose from bamboo.

CLICK TO SHOP >> ANIMAL PRINT PLAY-MAT

reversible: 0 to 4 months and 5+ months

I was first of all struck by the stylish look of this play mat as it fits in perfectly with our decor – but its actually the science and design consideration of this product that mesmerises me (never-mind Edie!). The fact that the design is illustrated so carefully for brand new baby eyes is a real winner for us – its made Edie cope so much better with tummy time- she loves this dalmation print, her eyes widen and she is immediately transfixed! Really wish we’d had this for Eli 7 years ago as he absolutely deplored tummy time! The mat allows us time to get on with bits around the house or EVEN sit down for a few extra minutes while Edie is captivated by the monochrome print. We also love that from 5 months the mat can be turned over to further the eye development with the colour side – how clever is that?!

The mat itself is really soft, a great size and has lovely padding for the comfort of your babe. It rolls up easily for storage and carting around when travelling. Oh and you can whack it in the washing machine too – which is very important – as all new parents will understand!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What ETTA LOVES say:

Our playmat provides perfect stimulation for tummy time and playtime. Reversible dalmatian (0-4 month print) and leopard print (5+ months) in soft organic cotton with a comfy padded fill.

Designed specifically to support babies’ visual and cognitive development throughout their first year.

The pattern also encourages your baby to use their back, neck and shoulder muscles (helping them prepare for rolling and crawling) as you’ll notice them trying to push up to make more sense of the print before them.

Comes in our gorgeous box packaging with a band to hold the mat together when rolled up – making it perfect for home and away.

Size: Circular – 1m diameter

Made from: Outer – Organic cotton. Inner: Polyester padding

Machine washable to make your life easier too.

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“OUR MAGIC IS BY DESIGN, NOT CHANCE”

“From the colours we use, the scales within each pattern and the placement and space between each shape, everything is designed on our consultant Orthoptist Laura’s recommendation to support your baby’s visual and cognitive development.

As a result, our patterns will look different to your baby from week to week as their vision develops. This is the magic of Etta Loves and what makes us unique in the world”.

JEN FULLER, FOUNDER OF ETTA LOVES

So as you can now tell, we’re big fans of ETTA LOVES in our household. We can’t recommend all of these products enough. They would all make great gifts for loved ones. And remember 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!

What Jen has created is really quite extraordinary – especially for such a young and small brand! What ETTA LOVES has accomplished in the 3 short years that its been going is amazing and I honestly can’t wait for the new products to launch next year. Jen, you and your team of specialists are so very clever and you have helped a lot of families and babies learn and grow. That is really quite epic!

C
✖️✖️✖️

 


 

THE ETTA LOVES TEAM

JEN FULLER – FOUNDER

Founder of Etta Loves and mum to Etta and her little sister Uma. I started this business to give parents the gift of calm and babies pure wonder through our sensory patterns. I want to make everyday moments easier, calmer and super sensory.

LAURA – ORTHOPTIST

Mum to Sophie and Thomas, Laura has 20 years’ experience as an early years orthoptist (or specialist in children’s vision development to you and me). She has provided in-depth knowledge of the first 12 months of a child’s visual development, to ensure that every pattern, colour and scale we produce is led by science to delivery the sensory magic.

SHRUTI – DESIGNER

Jen met Shruti through NCT. Shruti is a phenomenal designer. She’s the super stylish one in the group, whose baby Kiran looked effortlessly cool since day dot. Once Jen and Shruti agree on the theme and style of a new pattern, she uses Laura’s expert input to create the stunning designs.

SAMIA

Samia has a wealth of experience in the children’s wear market, so brings her unique knowledge to the team to help grow and drive the brand forward. She is also critical in helping Jen make product decisions and giving the confidence to reach for the stars

THE ETTA LOVES 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 aren’t 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.

Etta Loves was created to turn everyday essentials into sensory sensations, by using the science of what babies can and can’t see to create clever and stunning patterns. The result is that babies are mesmerised and supported in their visual and cognitive development, whilst parents benefit from a priceless moment of calm.

 

*Some words taken directly from EttaLoves.com to ensure information delivered is correct.

For clarity, I was kindly #gifted all products that are highlighted in this post above, by ETTA LOVES.

This is not a sponsored, paid post or an ad and I was not obliged to write this blog post or link back to the ETTA LOVES website. I only shout about items that I genuinely believe in, so be safe in the knowledge that I’m in love ETTA LOVES as much as Edie is!

 

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NEVER CONCISE HOME // LIVING ROOM // Mid-Season Update

MID-SEASON LIVING ROOM UPDATE

As we’re now in September (HOW, seriously, HOW?),  and Eli is back to school, I can finally get round to tidying up the house. I have a rather large wish-list of items I’d love for our home, of which I am continually adding to! Having rented for the 15 years we’ve been together, it sometimes feels like our home isn’t ‘home’ as we can’t ever rip up the carpets, or decorate with paints or paper, or add extensions or knock down walls etc. But by using accessories and furniture, we can certainly make the blank canvas that we currently call home a bit more like our own.

INSTAGRAM RUG - AFAR BERBER RUG - LA REDOUTE
LA REDOUTE // “THE INSTAGRAM RUG” // Afaw Berber Rug
£99.00
LA REDOUTE // WATFORD SHELF (SET OF 2) //
£76.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rugs are a great way to add texture, warmth and of course, personality to a room. I still adore the ‘Instagram Rug‘ from La Redoute.  The Afaw Berber style rug is off white, which is flattering to any colour scheme, but also hides a multitude of sins when you have kids running about – pristine white is a bit of a no-go in our house, that’s for sure!

LA REDOUTE // HIBA MAGAZINE RACK //
£65.00
habitat coralie side table
HABITAT // CORALIE // Side Table //
WAS: £150.00 – NOW: £75.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have a few leather and natural wood accents in our home. I made the coffee table we currently use from an older butchers block with black Dansette legs. So this Habitat side table would sit really nicely next to that.

COX & COX // SCANDI LOVE SEAT // Blush Pink Velvet
COX & COX // SCANDI LOVE SEAT // Blush Pink
£1,295.00

Can you ever go wrong with a bit of blush pink? We currently only really have blush pink accents in our main bedroom. But I love this COX & COX Love Seat so much, it would have to be in the living room!

made.com bex round circle mirror in black
MADE.COM // BEX MIRROR // Black
£99.00
made.com essentials clock black morley
MADE.COM // MORLEY CLOCK // Black
£10.00

 

 

How much of a bargain is this Made.com Clock? At just £10, this is a great  timepiece for the wall with a minimalist aesthetic, reminiscent of the beautiful Swiss railway clocks.

 DYLAN BASE habitat walnut lamp standard floor lamp stand
HABITAT // DYLAN LAMP BASE // Walnut //
£95.00
Buy Cowshed Limited Edition 20th Anniversary Double Wick Candle , 400g Online at johnlewis.com
COWSHED // 20TH ANNIVERSARY CANDLE // 400G £65.00
Uyova Amulet-Shaped Metal Mirror - LA REDOUTE
LA REDOUTE // UYOVA AMULET-SHAPED MIRROR // Metal //
£27.00
Cushion cover - Beige/Patterned - Home All | H&M GB 1
H&M HOME // CUSHION // Beige //
£19.99
Buy Umbra Trigg Small Wall Planters, White, Set of 2 Online at johnlewis.com
UMBRA // SMALL WALL PLANTERS // White //
£25.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cement Style Tall Planter next
NEXT // TALL PLANTER // Cement //
£55.00

I’m currently in love with Danish planters and I love the modern twist of Cement with these from NEXT (!!!! I KNOW!).

LA REDOUTE // TREBLA BASKET // Small //
£27.00
COX & COX // BOOT RACK // Black //
£65.00
Luxe Round Bamboo Drinks Trolley
OLIVER BONAS // DRINKS TROLLEY // Bamboo //
£395.00

 

Ahhh the beautiful bar cart of dreams from Oliver Bonas! I have a feeling this will be on my wishlist for a loooooooong time. This bar cart (well, initially the stunning vintage carts and trolleys of Soho House…) inspired me to make my very own bar cart – you can see my blog post on the DIY for this > HERE!

Abstract Framed Print
NEXT // ABSTRACT PRINT // Framed //
£35.00
Jett 6 Light Fitting
NEXT // JETT LIGHT FITTING // Black Metal //
£110.00
Florbella Scalloped Ceramic Vase
OLIVER BONAS // SCALLOPED VASE // Ceramic //
£27.00

 

 

 

 

Marble Ball Incense Holder
OLIVER BONAS // INCENSE HOLDER // Marble //
£19.00

 

BuyJohn Lewis & Partners Chunky Knit Throw, Natural Online at johnlewis.com
JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS // THROW // Chunky Knit //
£65.00
Hush Linen & Room Spray | hush
HUSH HOMEWEAR // ROOM SPRAY // Linen //
£19.00

 

The Monet foot stool - Att Pynta
ATT PYNTA // FOOT STOOL // Rattan //
£245.00
Handmade Stoneware glazed plant hanger with bead detail
ATT PYNTA // STONEWARE HANGER // Handmade //
£35.00

 

 

IKEA FEJKA artificial potted plant
IKEA // FEJKA // Artificial Bamboo Plant //
£45.00

If you’re not so green-fingered, IKEA stock a brilliant range of artificial plants and flowers. I love this Bamboo, it looks really life-like in, er, real life.

Image result for Medium Fern in Crackle Pot marks
MARKS & SPENCER // FERN // Crackle Pot //
£49.50
Image result for Large Cactus in Crackle Pot marks - MARKS AND SPENCER - M&S
MARKS & SPENCER // CACTUC // IN CRACKLE POT
£49.50

 

OFFERS & PROMOTIONS

25% off everything code at La Redoute

25% off all home at La Redoute!
Code: SAVE25
Ends: 27th September 2018

CLICK TO SHOP

 

I like to move furniture about to give a fresh lease of life to a room – this is a a great way to change your perspective of a room without dipping into the bank. But if you had the cash at hand, what new Living Room items would you go for first? What are you lusting after?

#NeverKnowinglyConciseHOME

C
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THURSDAY KIDS | Kids’ Style: 16/06

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• T H U R S D A Y. K I D S •
Feat some of my current faves:
✖️Bag // @tibaandmarl
✖️Tee // @nor_folk
✖️Hareems // @stitched_up_apparel
✖️Feet // @vans_europe

MM.

 

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THE EDIT | The Black Shoulder Bag.

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APC Half Moon Bag | Image: Pinterest.

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I recently came to the conclusion that I have a new wardrobe void. I’m “missing” a small-medium sized,  smart/casual black shoulder bag (with gold hardware). Having lost my phone, not once, but twice (and miraculously TWICE it was handed in by kind folk!) from my Chanel 2.55, I have decided I need a bag that will effectively contain my wares.

I’ve trawled through my favourites and here is my Edit of The Black Shoulder Bag – perfect for shopping to dinner to dancing, and back round the shops again.

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A.P.C – Half Moon Bag –  £280. Available at selected stockists.

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SAINT LAURENT Monogram université – £1,500.

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Chloé – Drew Bag – £1, 140.

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Céline- Trio Bag – Around £650. Available at selected stockists.

 

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Valentino – Rock Stud Bag – £1, 240.

 

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Maje – Sharon Bag – £420.

 

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GUCCI – Soho Bag – £650.

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Mansur Gavriel – £395. Available at selected stockists.

 

I definitely have my eyes firmly fixed on the classic Céline Trio and the A.P.C Half Moon bag; with the A.P.C delight hitting the top of my #MoMWishlist! Which are your favourite(s)?

MM.

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Love. Want. NEED: Bella Freud | The 1970 Jumper.

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London jewellery designer, Sheherazade Goldsmith, wearing Bella Freud at home: Credit The Telegraph.


I first saw this jumper around 2 years ago. It was being adorned by the likes of Kate and Alexa; and like my favourite fashion-people I’d also lusted after the monochrome version of the now infamous 1970 slogan jumper. Much to my family and mates’ disgust confusion dislike, we’re big fans of the 1970’s. Fans of the fashion, music and most predominantly, the design and (Mid Century) interiors of the era. So this jumper struck more than *just* sartorial chord with me. But then I saw a Telegraph article on (aptly named) jewellery designer Sheherazade Goldsmith, and she was wearing a red version of my favourite woollen piece. Be still my beating heart…

So from then, I lusted for the red colourway. The super-soft Merino Wool. The cut and design. The design itself takes its signature motif from a book clipping that Freud used to wear pinned onto a plain jumper.

I do have splashes of colour in my mostly-black wardrobe and I would tend to go for red or green, unless its a vintage or leopard print (or red or green variations of leopard print!) of course.

So the red 1970 Jumper by the lovely Bella Freud is firmly on my NEED list. More or less at the top.

If you so desire, you can own this seemingly cult classic by clicking the link here: Bella Freud at Selfridges.com

Which colourway would you go for?

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#MoMWishList

MM.

 

About Bella Freud:

Freud was born in London, England. She is the daughter of Bernardine Coverley and artist Lucian Freud and great granddaughter of the inventor of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud.

She is renowned for her signature jumpers Je t’aime Jane, Ginsberg is God and 1970. Fans of Bella Freud include Alexa Chung, Laura Bailey, Kate Moss and Alison Mosshart.

Bella launched her eponymous label in 1990. Her first collection featured sexy knitted dresses in bookish colours, mini tailored suits and a small selection of shoes and bags. Bella went on to win Most Innovative Designer at the London Fashion Awards in 1991 and produced a Super 8 short film ‘Day at the Races’ as an alternative to a fashion show. Bella’s second film ‘More Clothes’ directed by Kate Garner was shot on 35mm film and showcased the SS 1992 collection.

Seasonal catwalk shows followed, then in 1999 Bella began her fashion film collaboration with John Malkovich, co writing and producing three short films: Strap Hanging, Lady Behave, and Hideous Man. In 2001 Bella also collaborated with rock icon Anita Pallenberg on Memo, a limited edition magazine featuring the AW2000 collection, inspired by the film Performance.

From March 2000 to 2003 Bella consulted for British heritage brand Jaeger, rejuvenating their image and bringing British dressing to a younger audience.

Bella’s love of film continued and in 2013 she art directed the short film Je T’Ecoute, produced by Laura Bailey starring Lara Stone, which screened at White Cube Bermondsey. Bella’s directorial debut ‘Girl Boils Egg’ is a two minute film featuring Punk, commissioned by Nick Knight for SHOWstudio.com.

2013 also saw the development of the RTW collections and expansion into the beauty market. The Bella Freud Eau de Parfum collection was launched in 2014 and has gained a cult following.

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Kids’ Footwear | New Balance Trainers / Sneakers / Sneaks.

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A few years ago we lived and worked in East London. We saw a lot of trends, styles, brands, come and go. But it was practically overnight that I spotted guys wearing NEW BALANCE trainers; and I’m not gonna lie, I was like “how are they even making a come back?!”. As a kid, New Balance were always a trainer that I saw as being fit for purpose, like for playing Tennis in or something else sporty!

A few more weeks went by, seeing more and more colours of sneaks popping up; and then I saw a pair of Bordeaux Red (my favourite wine no less) New Balance 574’s in the window of Albam, Spitalfields. I fell in love. I wanted them for myself, even though they were Men’s. I knew right then that my opinion on New Balance had been overturned, forever. And rightly so.

Fast forward 5 years and my almost 4 year old is loving life in his very own pair of All-Black 574’s.

For those who don’t perhaps know, Eli was born with several medical conditions – Talipes, Torticollis and Hypermobility. From before he was even born, Eli endured some pretty intense tests, scans, physio and corrective treatments (Ponseti method). He came out the other side meeting the milestones that all his pals met, at the same age (and some he hit even sooner than anticipated!). While, on the outset Eli looks ‘fixed’, you can’t help but notice just how clumsy he can be, how off-balance he can be and how crazily flexible he can be! He’s super-active and he never did learn to *just* walk – he quite literally got up one day and RAN. Eli also doesn’t sleep well – never has – since being a newborn. We sometimes excuse his lack of sleep with, “he just doesn’t want to miss out”, “he’s being a typical toddler”. But the older he’s getting, the more convinced we are that it could well be his conditions waking him and giving him jip. He’s commented recently on his feet and knee’s being sore. We were told that it’s likely he could grow up with Migraines and will get early onset Arthritis due to the flexibility of his joints. (We have his next check-up with his consultant in June).

When Eli did start running walking we struggled to find suitable footwear that supported him fully, that would aid against relapse and would keep him upright. With this all in mind, I wanted to highlight how good these trainers are for his feet; and his balance (no pun intended). They’re a great fit for him, just narrow enough. They tie quite tightly, with no rubbing at any points. They keep him more sturdy than any other footwear he has, yet they’re really lightweight. They’ve worn exceptionally well and actually still look brand new. Eli has commented that they’re “my comfy adventure shoes”. And I think that says it all! He’s really happy with them – he runs like the wind in them – and looks pretty cool too.

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I ordered Eli’s 574’s from OFFICE and had them delivered within the week to Berlin. They have a massive range of Kids’ New Balance styles, in loads of wicked colours. There are also velcro versions for smaller feet… or for feet that love untying those shoe laces! You can shop the full range online here.

 

MM.

 

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OMM Design, “D.I.Y Banner” | This Modern Life.

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I’ve wanted a ‘DIY Banner’ for such a long time. I’ve wanted to write out our favourite slogans or words across the walls of Eli’s bedroom – obviously, without the permanent graffiti! So a few months back I finally got mine ordered from the really lovely This Modern Life online store. It was a toss up between the black and the gold – but the black just pipped it at the post. (It stands out against everything). As soon as it arrived, I took out all the letters and laid them out to see what I could write first…

Then realised that the metal fasteners were missing! A very swift response from the very lovely Suzanne meant that a new set of clips were in the post… (thanks a bunch again!)

I set to work…

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Even though Eli’s birthday was 6 weeks away at the time, I knew I wanted to debut my banner then. We removed the antique painting from above our sofa and strung the banner up in the centre of the wall. We were over the moon with it – I think it looks spot on! It was the perfect backdrop for Eli’s 2nd birthday (we will of course be wheeling this out every year going forward! A new little tradition!)

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Obviously, the birthday banner had to come down at some point… boo.

So, I set to work again – this time, I clipped together “Always be curious”. Our family motto. (Which is actually a little longer… “Always ask questions, always be curious.”) We *might* have taken inspiration from a certain Mr Richard Dawkins’ in his letter to his 10 year old daughter there; but it fits so nicely as we’ve always wanted our children to be curious about the world around them – and Eli has definitely always been a curious boy!

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This one is on the wall beside Eli’s library.

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And I just had to keep a little something for Eli’s bed-head too 🙂

What do you think of the DIY banner? What would be your favourite words to spell out?

MM.

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From the This Modern Life product page for the OMM Design D.I.Y Garland:

We love this multilingual DIY letter banner – use it to spell out your child’s name, a special song lyric, Happy Birthday, or even ‘MARRY ME?’

There are loads of letters in each pack, so you can create several banners with one kit.

Design Tips:

 Spell out your baby’s name in the nursery, or a cute phrase like ‘night night little one’ or ‘wake up bright’.

 Write out favourite song lyrics in your kids room, or use words like ‘PLAY’ and ‘READ’ to define areas of their room.

 How about ‘WELCOME’ by the front door, or ‘LOVE’ in the bedroom? Perhaps a family message in the lounge or kitchen.

 These not only make a perfect gift, they are also ideal for ‘Happy Birthday’ banners, and as a tag on beautifully wrapped presents.

Size: Each letter is approx. 8cm tall.

Good to know: 122 characters in each pack:

AAAAA BBB CC DDD EEEEEEE FF GGG HHH IIII JJ KK LLLL MMMM NNNN OOOO PPP QQ RRRR SSSSS TTTT UUU VV WW X YY Z ÅÅ ÄÄ ÖÖ ÆÆ ØØ Ë Ï Ü ßß Œ Ç Ñ & ! ? ‘ ‘

Plus 18 symbols:

♦︎ ♥︎ ★ ♠︎

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Talipes | Struggling to find First Walker shoes.

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As I’ve mentioned, our darling boy is doing well with his walking – despite being born with Bilateral Talipes.

We’ve always just wanted Mr Eli to wear his Converse – just like Daddy (and occasionally Mummy too!). But we noticed that the Con’s just weren’t offering him much support around his ankles; and frankly, his new red Hi-Top’s are absolutely massive a wee bit big.

Eli’s Size 4 Black Converse trainers were too small, his toes are end the toe cap, so he had been wearing his new Red Hi Top Converse – which are a 5. We went to Clarks at the weekend where Eli was measured – his feet came up as a size 3F. The assistant did advise that Clarks sizing does vary against branded shoes, but it did make us think that Eli is really not wearing correct footwear right now. He requires a pair of shoes that will support his feet as he gains confidence in his walking, but also a pair that will encourage him to keep walking. The Converse he has right now seem to deter his walking as they’re ill-fitting, so he’s been mainly in stocking feet. Obviously, he can’t go outside the house like this, so we need to find him so First Walker shoes.

Here the issue begins…

It’s very common for children with Talipes to have odd-sized feet or feet that are on the smaller side. One foot could be a size 4, while the other foot could be a size 6. Meaning many children are bought two pairs of shoes to ensure they have correct fitting shoes for each foot. Clarks DO offer a discount for children affected however – you can read all about the Clark’s Odd Sized Feet Scheme on the STEPS charity website. Luckily, Eli’s feet do match up perfectly – but they are small. We didn’t realise until we started looking at the First Walker shoes in the shop… all of the shoes start at a size 4. The Pre-Walker/Cruiser shoes start at a size 3. But the sole is very thin on these styles and there isn’t the support on the shoe for a child who IS indeed walking.

We were looking online last night. Call me ridiculous if you will, but there are A LOT of boring or frankly unfashionable First Walker shoes out there. I know Eli is not par-taking in a fashion show, but we do take pride in our little man’s appearance, he has his own style. Also, these shoes are not cheap, so we want to make sure we’re all happy with them as he’ll have them on most of the day.

We don’t want velcro – we’re not a velcro family. We’d prefer Eli to be in Desert Boots, Brogue style shoes or at a push, some fashionable trainers. Take a look at the styles we’ve seen so far below…

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First Walker Shoes, Desert Boots in Brown £36.00 – Click here to purchase at Clarks.com

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First Walker Shoes, Desert Boots in Brown £36.00 – Click here to purchase at Clarks.com

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First Walker Shoes, Crazy Crew in Khaki, £36.00 – Click here to purchase at Clarks.com

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Digby, Zip up Brogue Boots, £40.00 – Available from StartRite.com

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Sullivan Brogue Shoes, WAS £49 NOW £18.00 – Available from StartRite.com

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Sullivan Brogue Shoes, WAS £49 NOW £18.00 – Available from StartRite.com

As you will notice, all of the lovely shoes above start at a size 4. So we’re in a wee pickle. If you have purchased from StartRite.com before, do their shoes match the size guide of Clarks? I’m so tempted to just get the size 4F shoes, especially considering the rate of growth; but can’t be sure that they will fit Eli correctly. So would ideally like to go into a shop to be able to have them expertly fitted.

Can you recommend any other stores where you can buy similar styles to the above? That perhaps start at ‘Clarks size 3F’ or the measured equivalent?  (And styles that don’t cost an arm-and-a-leg, to boot).

MM.

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BRAND IN FOCUS | Whistles.

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As it’s London Fashion Week this week, I’ve been really drawn to what’s actually going on, right now, on the high street. One of the first places I always turn to is John Lewis. I’m a little bit of a John Lewis mega fan…  But that’s just because I always get the best service there; as well as the best selection from all of the designers and brands they kindly house under one roof!

This week, I’ve had a good rummage through one of my fave British High Street brands, Whistles. As the weather is absolutely abysmal, I thought I’d try and brighten your afternoon with my edit of Whistles treats that are available in store and online at JohnLewis.com!

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#1 – Whistles Katlin Heart Blouse, £125.00
WHISTLES SAY:  Crafted from luxurious silk, the Katlin Blouse from Whistles is a playfully lux addition to your new season wardrobe.
MM SAYS: Got to start off with this heart print shirt, reminiscent of Burberry’s own heart blouse that has taken celebritydom by storm. I actually prefer this Whistles one however! It’s got more going on, more interesting, lovely colourway. Tucked into skirts and trousers – or even jeans, this makes the perfect addition to your trans-seasonal wardrobe.

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#2 – Whistles Lula Tailored Trousers, £110.00
WHISTLES SAY:  These smart tailored trousers from Whistles are the perfect style for summer.
MM SAYS: I’d have to disagree with Whistles here, I think these smart tailored trousers are a perfect style all year round! Love the cropped length and side-slit detailing.

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#3Whistles Blake Dress, £135.00.
WHISTLES SAY: Chic and directional; this elegant shift dress from Whistles offers a round neck, short sleeves and a flattering waistband for feminine appeal.
MM SAYS: I’m really enjoying jewelled tones at the minute – think it’s that shift into Autumn and Winter. I love this emerald green dress. The shape is beautiful, will give you wonderful definition and silhouette.

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#4Whistles Kir Royale Ankle Boots, £150.00.
WHISTLES SAY: A smart pair of round-toe ankle boots that are a perfect heel height to wear throughout the day and into the night. Versatile enough to be worn with either skinny jeans or a dress.
MM SAYS: I love these boots! Much like the infamous ‘Pistol Boot’ from ACNE, these boots look really comfortable – yet fashion-conscious at the same time. I’d team these boots with midi skirts and dresses, jeans and smart tailoring. Great versatile footwear style for your Winter wardrobe!


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#5 Whistles Cora Exposed Seam Cardigan, £165.00.
WHISTLES SAY: This luxe cashmere cardigan from Whistles has a relaxed open neckline with a minimalist shape, raw exposed seams and two draping side pockets – ideal for layering.
MM SAYS: Don’t you just want to cosy up in this cashmere beauty? Again, the perfect piece for your wardrobe; perfect for smart or casual, plus great for layering on those chilly days!

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#6Whistles Long Sleeve Sculptured Dress, £110.00.
WHISTLES SAY: Update your wardrobe with this contemporary, chic style from Whistles. It has an on-trend midi length, side panelling and a simple straight shape, it’s feminine and functional.
MM SAYS: POW! Check this amazing dress out for a pop of vibrance in your life. I just LOVE this dress (I was saving the best till last). Great colour, again, for all year round. Definitely put a smile on my face on this absolutely miserable September afternoon that’s for sure! I love the length of this dress; as well as the sleeve length. It would certainly hide a multitude of sins when you’re not feeling your best. I think it looks REALLY expensive. It’s worth the pricetag this one!

Hope you enjoyed my picks from Whistles. Don’t forget you can shop Whistles online at JohnLewis.com – they offer FREE delivery for all order’s over £5o too. Bonus round!

MM.

 

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EVENT | Celebrating 80 years of iCandy.

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A few months ago I was contacted by iCandy; it was all a little bit secret. I was intrigued, excited. Then a few weeks ago I received the most wonderfully presented envelope, in the post, that I’d seen in a long time! Inside was even better, an invitation to the  iCandy 80th Anniversary event on Tuesday 10th September, at superb events venue, One Marylebone, London.

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I was thrilled to be invited and of course made that RSVP shortly after.

Looking forward to the event, I made my journey into London early so that I could meet my OH and he could then take Mr Eli for some lovely food and then home for bed. I arrived at One Marylebone just a little after 6:30pm, where I was greeted with the warm welcome of event staff, a red carpet and a truly eye-catching iCandy facade, laden with vibrantly coloured parasols!

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Upon ticking my name off the guest list, I was ushered upstairs; where I was promptly handed a glass of Moët & Chandon and walked around the show space that displayed all the beautiful iCandy designs to date.

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I paid particular attention to the newest model, the Apple2Pear, as I hadn’t yet seen it in real life. I was astonished at the versatility and function of the design. Coming in 7 different colours, I am drawn to the Chilli and Raspberry Blue colourways. This is definitely the perfect travel system for when your family grows.

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So as the drinks flowed and the very tasty canapés were devoured, the time had come to head downstairs for the show to really begin! I was shown to a magical room filled with all things ‘woodland’, including a huge tree.

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I was seated on front row, or FROW as you fashionista’s will refer to it these days 😉 Once everyone was seated we were treated to the most amazing sounds of Whinnie Williams – voice like an actual angel!

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Other familiar faces to FROW were Imogen Thomas, Grace Woodward, Jasmine Guinness and Jodie Kidd. We were then introduced to iCandy‘s Managing Director Martin Boyle and joint CEO’s the Appel Brother’s themselves. It was incredible listening to men with such passion for their work – and their teams. I was in literal tears during the speeches. A new partnership between iCandy and The Lullaby Trust was also formally announced; and a cheque of £5,000 was given to the trusts’ CEO, Francine Beats. iCandy have teamed up with ex-Mulberry designer, Janet Collin, who has created a special new changing bag; the Emilia bag. £10 from the sale of each bag, will be given to The Lullaby Trust.

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Following the speeches was a fashion show, previewing the 2014 collection. New flavour packs in bright colours, upgraded designs (including a black chassis) and fashion-conscious handbags.

The highlight for me was the big reveal of the forthcoming new model to the iCandy family, The iCandy Raspberry. Of which, I was in actual awe – both during the catwalk show and post-show, where I stood for a good 30 minutes watching the hands-on demonstration, showing us all the multitude of ways the pushchair can be flipped and changed around, as well as folded up. The iCandy Raspberry is a stunning piece of innovative design, in form and function. The design is very, very neat, lightweight and stylish. The iCandy Raspberry is suitable from birth, but does not have a carrycot! Brilliant! There is however a very snuggly newborn “Pod” that will keep your brand new arrival warm, cosy and most importantly, secure. This pushchair has been designed for the city-dweller, someone who needs a pram that is adept in crowds and along city streets, lightweight to get up stairs and on public transport, but it’s also pretty darn cool too! The best-looking pram I’ve EVER seen – and we’ve seen A LOT of prams! This design can lay completely flat, but also reclines for older children; it’s also forward and parent-facing. Bonus. I also want to mention that I was shocked at how small the Raspberry was when folded, it’s tiny. We currently have an iCandy Strawberry and although it folds down well, we do struggle to get it in and out of the car – and it does take up pretty much the entire boot of our VW Polo. The Raspberry would give you back your boot, if you’re in the same situation!

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I also loved the large shopping basket on the iCandy Raspberry, which features a ‘glove compartment’ as I fondly like to call it. The hard case could house your raincover, keys, phone etc, great for keeping your valuables out of sight. The iCandy Raspberry will come in around 7 new colour flavour packs, names to be confirmed. But the colours that were displayed were just stunning. I want them ALL! I love that you can swap and change the colours around – so versatile.

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After the demonstration I headed over to the cupcake table, passing the very lovely ’80’ cake and took 2 cupcakes home. One for me with a midnight cup of tea and one for OH, who’d had a tough evening with Mr Eli. We both really appreciated those delicious cup cakes, believe me! I also thoroughly enjoyed my lovely iCandy goodie bag filled with lots of lovely catalogues, magazine, leather-bound note book, mug, pen and yummy chocolates!

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What an absolutely amazing evening was had by all. I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to iCandy for inviting me to the event. It was wonderful to meet the brains behind the brand and to experience the passion of everyone involved.

MM.

 

PS – Apologies for the rubbish quality of some of the photos. The show was very quick-paced and the lighting changed frequently. Plus, to be fair, I need a new phone!