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BRAND IN FOCUS // AMAZON.co.uk – THE BABY WISHLIST

Baby Wishlist

When it comes to a new baby, regardless of whether its your first or 5th child, you will ALWAYS need to buy new things/newborn safety products/textiles/GENERAL STUFF. Plus, there’s always something new thats come out to make life as a new parent easier too.

When we had Eli, we were pretty organised. We love a spreadsheet and we love a bit of market research as it happens too. Getting organised was a real pleasure and never, ever a chore. We spent  a lot of time researching exactly what we needed and using the spreadsheets helped keep us in check with budgets too. Once you’re into the swing of this new parenting lark, you will realise that there are more items that you simply cannot live without. You won’t know this until the baby is earth-side and understand how your baby works and what their additional needs may be. You’re learning on the job basically.

When it came to this pregnancy we were obviously excited to get organised again. We pulled out the pram and got it cleaned up. Went through all the old furniture, toys and essentials. As there is a 7 year age gap between our two children, some things we had sold, donated to charities or as we sadly found, a lot of the remaining items had actually perished (yes, you read right, we’ve actually had plastic items, electronics and textiles perish) after 5 house moves and their years in storage. Out came the old spreadsheet and we continued to add to it as we remembered all the items we really could have done with in those early weeks/months with Eli. SO many new items have launched since we had Eli in 2012; that will definitely help us and keep our little family unit afloat amongst the newborn chaos that will very soon ensue.

So? Whats this a bout a wishlist then?

WELL, stranger on the internet, I just had to share the secondary helper in all this organisation. Let me introduce you to >>>The Amazon Baby Wishlist.

Firstly, this has been great for us to keep track of what we still need to buy and what we’ve managed to get. Amazon is usually the cheapest place to find items; with the exception of individual retailer sales and promotions. We always cross-check before we buy online. But in general, Amazon.co.uk is our go-to! Its been great for budgeting too.

So? What’s so good about it then?

Well, let me talk you through how it works!

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 // CREATE YOUR WISHLIST

This is mega simple to set up with your details, including potential baby arrival date. You can have a few users who can participate in adding to the wishlist – this is helpful for when James and I are both looking at different items and can easily see what eachother has found. You can also see what has been purchased too (this is great when you’re sharing the wishlist, but I’ll get to that bit shortly).

// ADD ITEMS FROM ANY WEBSITE OR BROWSE THE AMAZON CURATED LISTS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

The curated lists are really helpful, especially for first-time parents!

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// PLANNING ON A BABY SHOWER? OR SIMPLY WANT TO SHARE YOUR LIST?

This is a great, great tool! You can easily share the link of your wishlist with friends and family so they know *exactly* what you would like, or in our case, exactly what we NEED. This also means you’re not getting duplicate items from well-meaning gift-givers or items that you really don’t need or have the space for! Thus saving your friends and family time and money too.

 

// FINALLY, ADD ITEMS AS YOU GO AND KEEP TRACK OF EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE

As mentioned earlier, this is great for when several users are adding to the list. Again, also useful to see what’s already been purchased – especially when you’ve shared your list with friends and family, so no duplicate items! James has a tendency to delete items from the list once purchased. But there’s no reason why you can’t leave items on the list as the status changes to “Purchased”.

And thats not all!

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FREE WELCOME GIFT
An exciting new gift is released each month, choose one and make it yours.
Claim yours here >

 

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SAVE UP TO 30%

Prepare for baby’s arrival by saving up to 30% on a wide range of baby items.

// Spend £200 to receive 10% off. Use code WISHLIST10

// Spend £500 to receive 15% off. Use code WISHLIST15

// Spend £800 to receive 20% off. Use code WISHLIST20

// Spend £1000 to receive 30% off. Use code WISHLIST30. (Prime members onlY)

 

We managed to take advantage of the 20% code above – it worked out so well – especially as we had been given gift cards too. We managed to get £800+ worth of items for £360 in the end! There are several terms and conditions to being able to take full advantage of the codes above however – so make sure you read all the details here. Our main issue when trying to checkout was the delivery, oddly. For this promotion to apply, you need to make sure you select the same delivery option for all items being shipped, for example, all items must be dispatched to you using FREE delivery or all PRIME etc.

Head to the Baby Store on Amazon.co.uk to get started! You’ll find the ‘Add to Baby Wishlist‘ button on each product page, in the right hand navigation, as I’ve highlighted for you below:

If you’re pregnant or know someone who is, please share this blog post with them. It’s honestly been so much quicker, easier and CHEAPER for us using this Amazon Baby Wishlist this time!

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For clarity, this is not a sponsored or paid post – but does contain Affiliate links.

I only shout about items that I genuinely believe in however, so be safe in the knowledge that I’m in love with this Baby Wishlist tool!

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BRAND IN FOCUS // COWSHED x SCAMP & DUDE

 

If you know us, you know how house is filled with Cowshed products – in every single room! Yep, we’ve been avid Cowshed aficionados since circa 2009 when we first visited Shoreditch House and had our first whiff of Cow Pat.  Ahhhh dreamy.

As you might notice, I’m always interested in brand collaborations, so when I saw the latest collab from Cowshed, I was pretty overjoyed!

I’m a little bit in love with Scamp & Dude. Founded by the wonderful Jo Tutchener-Sharp, Scamp & Dude is a truly beautiful brand with such an amazing back story…. 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.

From something dark came something light*

The Scamp & Dude slogan (and ethos, if you will) is  ‘a superhero has my back’, which tells children that someone is watching over them, even when they can’t see you. I also take this into my own adult heart too.

Jo says:

“I love everything about Cowshed, its ethos, heritage, the spas (especially Babington House which is one of my favourite places on earth!) and of course the products, so Cowshed seemed like the obvious partner to create a Superpower Spray with.”**

 

If this isn’t the backbone for a brilliant brand partnership, then I don’t know what is. So what does the collaboration consist of I hear you ask – well, take a look below at the three items that have now been released.

 

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Cowshed x Scamp & Dude Good Luck Candle

£38.00 – CLICK TO BUY


Cowshed and Scamp & Dude created this limited edition version of the invigorating Wild Cow room candle. With an unstoppable mix of energising Lemongrass, invigorating Ginger and reviving Rosemary essential oils, this bracing blend of essential oils will create a fresh atmosphere to stimulate the senses and help focus your thoughts.

• Invigorating light, oriental fragrance with lemongrass, Ginger and Rosemary essential oils

• 100% natural soy wax and Egyptian cotton wick

• Free from GMM, pesticides and herbicides and suitable for vegetarians

• Approximate burn time: 60 hours

 

 

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Cowshed x Scamp & Dude Superpower Spray

£16.00 – CLICK TO BUY


Limited edition, all natural Superpower Spray will help little Superheroes sleep and provide a burst of superpowers when required. The light, floral fragrance features Mandarin, Neroli, a splash of Chamomile and Lavender in a gentle Bitter Orange flower water base with absolutely no nasties. Spray on your little one’s sheets, clothes, their favourite teddy or blanket to help them feel calm and secure both at home and when they’re out in the world.

• Mandarin, neroli, chamomile, lavender and aloe vera

• Gentle Bitter Orange flower water base

• Spray on bedding, clothing and soft toys to evoke a feeling of calm

• Great for travelling

 

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Cowshed x Scamp & Dude Courage Candle

£38.00 – CLICK TO BUY


Cowshed and Scamp & Dude created this limited edition version of the uplifting Grumpy Cow room candle. With its invigorating, refreshing blend of Mandarin and Grapefruit essential oils, this zesty citrus fragrance is perfect for lengthening a short fuse, or as a wakeup call. Mandarin can help soothe the nervous system while Grapefruit is a known anti-depressant and both smell delicious, making this candle the perfect pick-me-up.

• Uplifting citrus fragrance with Mandarin and Grapefruit essential oils

• 100% natural soy wax and Egyptian cotton wick

• Free from GMM, pesticides and herbicides and suitable for vegetarians

• Approximate burn time: 60 hours

 

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This is such a lovely brand partnership and I do hope there is more to come from Cowshed x Scamp & Dude; but for now, I will admire them from the laptop until I can get my hands on the products and give them a good sniff in real life!

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*Words from My Story, at ScampandDude.com
** Words from Introducing Scamp & Dude, blog post, at Cowshed.com

 


For clarity, this is not a sponsored or paid post – but does contain Affiliate links to Cowshed.com. I only promote items that I genuinely like however, so be safe in the knowledge that I’m in love with this brand collaboration.

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NEVER KNOWINGLY CONCISE // LEGO: BUILD TO GIVE

LEGO // BUILD TO GIVE

Help make this festive period brighter for 500,000 children around the world.

 

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know, we’re a LEGO family.  Like, not just a family who has a son who LIVES FOR LEGO (which we are)… but a family who all love to join in with the brick-making too. Just this weekend I completed four LEGO builds – and refused to let Eli play with any of them until I had managed to fully complete the set of four. Yep, I’m THAT Mum.  For me, I find LEGO therapeutic. It works as cathartically as writing or reading does. I find solace in LEGO.  Perhaps this is also why it has the power to hold Eli’s concentration for so long too.

Eli lives for LEGO.

Take today for example, its Children in Need (BBC Appeal Day, 2018), and the theme at Eli’s school was “Do Your Thing” (dress as someone you aspire to be/something you’d like to be). Eli chose to be a LEGO MASTER BUILDER. OF COURSE HE DID! There ain’t no costume for that, I so engineered this one myself (if you want a DIY post on this, do let me know).

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Eli builds the most interesting, engineeringly brilliant and clever creations. Just like  how I am with cooking; Eli rarely likes to stick to the instructions… he prefers for his own imagination to take full focus. It’s been a real education for him – especially as he was born with several conditions; LEGO has potentially helped with his fine & gross motor skills, as well as encouraging role play and story telling. We’ve seen first hand how powerful a “toy” LEGO really can be for a child. With this in mind, I wanted to share with you an AMAZING initiative that LEGO have set up.

This festive season, the most awesome gift you can give is the gift of play.  Visit a LEGO Store between now  and 9th December or use your LEGO Bricks at home to build a holiday ornament. Display it in-store, in LEGO Life (on the app) or share online with #BuildToGive. For every ornament built and shared, LEGO will donate a LEGO set to a child in need of play. Now how good is that? And so simple too. I know a lot of you will have LEGO at home, so lets get building and sharing!

LEGO Life

If you have budding builders at home, they can join #BuildToGive in LEGO Life by building a Christmas decoration at home, uploading and sharing it in the app

Help LEGO reach THEIR goal!

By participating in #BuildToGive you can help LEGO reach their goal of giving 500,000 children the chance to play this Christmas.

 

HERE IS A QUICK EXAMPLE OF A SIMPLE FESTIVE HEART ORNAMENT that I MADE

 

FIND OUT MORE

Find out more about the Build To Give initiative, including  building instructions to give you a quick-start, by heading to LEGO.com or click here.

 

 


Legal disclaimer: *In connection with the #BuildToGive 2018 Holiday Campaign, the LEGO® Group will donate one LEGO set to charity for every #BuildToGive ornament that is built either at home with LEGO Bricks and shared on social media with #BuildToGive or in a LEGO Retail Store. Children under the age of 13 must obtain parent’s permission to post to social media. Total donation not to exceed 500,000 LEGO sets with a total value of 5,000,000 USD. No purchase necessary.

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BRAND IN FOCUS // &OTHER STORIES x HOUSE OF HACKNEY

Not shy of a good collaboration, one of my favourite fashion brands, &Other Stories has joined forces with one of my favourite interior brands, House of Hackney. Having looked through the entire collection, I can say its as bold and brash and opulent as you might expect!

This is a whole collection of summer must-haves that encourage a style filled with playfulness and extravagance. Founded in 2011 by wife-and-husband team Frieda Gormley and Javvy M Royle, House of Hackney is known for championing bold print and colour.

PS. Every look in the co-lab has been inspired by the zodiac, aligning each star sign with a maximalist summer style horoscope. Discover yours here.

Here are some of my favourite pieces.

&Other Stories x House of Hackney // Bag  – £35
&Other Stories x House of Hackney // Jacket – £110
&Other Stories x House of Hackney // Dress – £110
&Other Stories x House of Hackney // Mules – £79

 

&Other Stories x House of Hackney // Skirt – £79
&Other Stories x House of Hackney  // Swimsuit – £35
&Other Stories x House of Hackney // Dress – £69

 

&Other Stories x House of Hackney  // Culottes – £69
&Other Stories x House of Hackney  // Dress – £79

This collaboration will be available online and in selected stores from May 24th.

Make sure you don´t miss it by signing up for the &Other Stories  newsletter.

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Wife and Husband team Frieda Gormley and Javvy M Royle, House of Hackney, talk to &Other Stories.

How do you describe the spirit of the co-lab?

Like a heightened version of nature. This collection show how women are walking to the beat of their own drum. We want those who wear our pieces to feel wonderful, strong and feminine.

What’s the inspiration?

We’re inspired by Victorian psychedelia, in particular Victorian paintings with flowers that don’t exist in real life. Just exquisite flowers created from the painter’s imagination.

Is dreaming up flowers something you’ve tried?

Yes, actually, in this co-lab one of the flower prints is based on the poppy but the rest are flowers that don’t exist in real life. They’re heightened versions of blooms that nature in fact hasn’t created. Yet.

You’re influenced by the author Virginia Woolf, in what way?

The collection is influenced by the style that Bloomsbury artists, like Virginia Woolf, wore when going on country retreats or when she was meeting up with her artist friends around Bloomsbury. The Bloomsbury Group was a crew of true bohemians and free-thinking artists who had meet-ups around Bloomsbury, London, at the start of the 20th century.

How would you style the co-lab pieces?

We love the bohemian mood of the pieces. Playing with the proportions, like wearing the blue velvet jacket with one of the floral dresses. Throwing on a pair of the flat mule shoes, which feels very modern, adding accessories like the small bag with vintage zebra print. And why not tie one of the scarves around your head?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BRAND IN FOCUS // HUSH

HUSH are a clothing brand aimed at women of all ages who like fashion but are not a slave to it, who want to look good but don’t want to spend ages doing so, who want to be comfortable but not at the expense of style.

Australian born, Mandy Watkins is the creative director and owner of HUSH, having started it back in 2003 from her kitchen table with a laptop, a single phone and the perfect amount of optimism that she could start her own clothing label.

Just over 10 years later, her business has gone from strength to strength. Its “uncommercial” approach – which accompanies some very commercial product – is what sets it apart. Spotting a gap in the market,  Mandy initially launched Hush as a nightwear and loungewear brand. She had the idea she could suggest films for people to watch, and sell hot chocolate and blankets, to “make it more of an experience”.

HUSH now offers several categories, including daywear, swimwear, footwear and accessories.

I could quite easily buy EVERYTHING that HUSH design, testament to their conscious attention to detail of what the modern woman wants & needs. All pieces are made with a classic quality, meaning they’ll transition from season-to-season, and indeed, from year-to-year. Clothing is designed to be comfortable AND wearable. Accessories are used to enhance an outfit, with small leather goods and scarves taking a good focal point for Autumn/Winter. The Jewellery collections are simply beautiful – minimalist, yet eye-catching – almost all designs being made in both Gold or Silver, to suit your current wardrobe.

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As the HUSH AUTUMN/WINTER 2017 collection has just launched, I thought I’d share some of my absolute favourite pieces. These will also be available to purchase in The Never Knowingly Concise Shop, along with a few extra bits! Let me know what you’re coveting in the comments section below or over on IG.

CLICK TO SHOP >> Lightning Bolt Jumper // £85

 

CLICK TO SHOP >> Andes Bell Sleeve Top // £89

 

CLICK TO SHOP >> Leopard Fur Coat // £220

 

CLICK TO SHOP >> Hera Maxi Dress // £149
CLICK TO SHOP >> Mini Tassel Earrings // £35
CLICK TO SHOP >> Lightning Necklace – Gold // £42

 

CLICK TO SHOP >> Tansy Dress – Green // £65

 

CLICK TO SHOP >> Majestic Star Trainer – £169

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Brand in Focus | Cult of Youth.

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I first came across CULT of YOUTH on Instagram last year…  And it wasn’t long before I could see how utterly incredible Kelly, (founder) really is. She is the ultimate #MumBoss. An amazing Mama, juggling her gorgeous-chops little boy between everything life throws at you and this wicked jewellery business. She’s a total mega babe who is 110% dedicated; with her passion and frank honesty pouring out through her day-to-day postings. (Kelly generally responds to emails and comments with her son on her lap or in the middle of the night – quite likely both scenario’s at the same time (having received just a few 2am emails from her myself!). I literally have no idea how she’s doing it… I’m pretty sure she’s made of magic?!).

Kelly makes all her jewels by hand – the majority made to order – back in England. When Eli was Elvis’ age, I could barely make it to to the shops… (see, told you she was made of magic!) Not only does this mean that each piece is made with her love and care, it also makes her jewels extra special. (Yours  probably has might have even been made with a little added midnight magic too).

I instantly fell in love with the ace of base MOTHER necklace…

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…and then one day this beautifully wrapped (and ever so slightly psychedelic) parcel arrived on my desk in Berlin. My necklace hasn’t left my neck since (well, I will point out – it does come off for showers and bedtime – she’d probably slap my wrists otherwise).

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CULT of YOUTH, may well be famous for the signature #MAMAChain (now available with added skulls, ‘cos you know, us Mum’s do enjoy Rocking and Rolling still), but do check out Kelly’s other products too as they’re proper good – from personalised slogan necklaces to dainty initial pendants in Gold, Silver and Rose Gold. Gift wrap is also available now, making your jewels fit for a magpie’s nest from the get go; whether it’s a surprise for your loved one, or a well earned treat for yourself.

Basically, I’m really very proud to be a Mama / Mother / Mummy / Mammy / Mum / Mam / Mummy Dinosaur. Being a parent is a daily struggle – and we’re all in it together, one way or another. Wearing a statement necklace, made by a Mama, who went through a struggle to present it to you, is so exceptional I can’t even get it into words. It’s admirable and inspiring and everything inbetween. As a real human being, Kelly is one of the most honest Mum’s I’ve come across. Her raw emotion hits every nerve within me. So truthful and so eloquent. From Mother to Mother, the Sisterhood is real.

All the loves Kelly – keep doing what you’re doing pet, you’re bloody amazing!

Shop all CULT of YOUTH products: Click Here

MM.

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CULT of YOUTH was created early Autumn 2011 by head designer, London trained silversmith Kelly Seymour. Forged out of chaos in a Hackney warehouse, the first collection of heavy cross chokers and silk bound animal bones launched at London Fashion Weekend that autumn. Two years at Portobello market followed which led to meeting head accessories buyer at Urban Outfitters with three subsequent seasons in stores including Oxford Circus, Paris, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Berlin.

 

*NB: This is in no way a sponsored post. I just wanted to big up a Mama who I think is frikkin amazing*. 

 

 

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BRAND IN FOCUS | SAINT LAURENT.

That’s right, SAINT LAURENT.

Saint Laurent Creative Director, Hedi Slimane, decided to drop the ‘Yves’ ahead of the ready-to-wear collection during Fashion Week last year. A bold move, that of course did not come without criticism. A spokeswoman for Slimane said “he was drawing inspiration from 1966, when the ready-to-wear line was launched as Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. The name changed again after Saint Laurent retired. He produced the label’s last haute couture collection in 2002, and died in 2008. The founder himself may have approved, as he enjoyed making radical changes: he became the first couturier to diversify into ready-to-wear, pioneered the trouser suit and introduced the first black models to Paris catwalks.”

I was confused when I first saw ‘SAINT LAURENT’. I steered clear. But now I am well and truly obsessed. The re-brand has been magnificent. I want it ALL.

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SAINT LAURENT – Gold Vermeil Bapteme I.D. Bracelet, £260.00 | Available from MatchesFashion.com

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SAINT LAURENT – Polka Dot Silk Blouse, £605.00 | Available from MatchesFashion.com

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SAINT LAURENT – Medium Bucket Bag, £1265.00 | Click here to purchase from Selfridges.com
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SAINT LAURENT – Rock Suede Chelsea Boots, £695.00 | Available from MatchesFashion.com

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SAINT LAURENT – Zip Jersey Sweater, £395.00 | Available from MatchesFashion.com

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SAINT LAURENT – Slit Detail Leather Pants, £3, 395.00 | Available from Net-a-Porter.com

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SAINT LAURENT – Paris Suede Court Shoes, £390.00 | Click to purchase at Selfridges.com

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SAINT LAURENT – Sac Du Jour, £1560.00 | Click to purchase at Selfridges.com

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SAINT LAURENT – Classic Babylone Art Deco Ring, £395.00 | Available from SaintLaurent.com

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SAINT LAURENT – Leather Card Holder, £110.00 | Available from Net-a-Porter.com

 

 

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BRAND IN FOCUS | Belle & Boo.

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

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

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

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

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

MM.

 

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