Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A Summer Pregnancy Survival Guide

Bump photo courtesy of the lovely Laura from Strawberries & Facecream

Although I've managed (undeliberately) to time both of my pregnancies so that the third trimesters fell during the Autumn months, I'm currently watching some of my very good, very pregnant friends struggle with this heat.

A baby is an amazing gift at any time of the year, but I've always thought that having a summer baby would be brilliant; you and your tiny bundle can get out and about in the last of the summer sunshine and, with a bit of luck, Christmas will see you celebrating the end of the sleep-deprived weeks. But as my currently pregnant friends will tell you, being heavily pregnant in the warmth of summer can be tough. Here are a few tips on how to cope. 

Eating and Drinking 

If the combination of the heat and your ever-increasing bump is making you feel that you can’t face food, fight the urge to skip meals and eat light fruit and salad-based lunches and dinners. If the opposite’s true and you feel you need to eat everything in sight just to muster the energy to get through the day, make sure you eat healthily too (although if you fancy an ice cream, have one!). It’s crucial to stay hydrated, especially if the weather’s hot, so make sure you always have a bottle of water with you and take regular swigs from in it. 

Sleeping 

Even if you’re on maternity leave with your first baby, the best-laid plans to catch up on sleep before baby arrives never seem to quite work out. During the day nesting instincts tend to win over nap time, and at night, one of the great ironies of pregnancy is that just when you need to stock up on sleep, you can’t because of heartburn or having to constantly get up to go to the loo. And even if neither of these is a problem, getting comfortable probably is! Do all you can to settle by making sure your duvet isn’t too hot, your pillows are supportive (if you’re really struggling, you can get special pregnancy pillows - I had a 12ft long U-shaped one - much to my husband's delight - which was AMAZING) and if your partner moans you’re keeping him awake with your tossing and turning, send him to the spare room or the sofa! Keeping the bedroom curtains closed all day and installing a fan is also a great way to keep your room as cool as possible.  

Clothes 

When we get to the third trimester we sometimes feel guilty about buying maternity clothes. However, your comfort is of paramount importance, so put yourself first. The shops are packed with great value maternity clothes, so even if you’re not planning another baby, you can treat yourself to a few things without spending a lot of money. So when you’re stocking up on nappies and wipes, head to George at ASDA for lovely summery George maternity dresses, skirts, shorts, tops and bras that will make you feel better and look blooming gorgeous in the final weeks of your pregnancy. 


The last trimester flies by so quickly, so make sure you take the time to put your feet up when you can, enjoy something trashy on TV and daydream about the first time you look into your new baby’s eyes.... all the aches, pains and discomfort will be worth every second! 

This is a collaborative post.

The Simple Things #2

Last weekend, we met up with some other bloggers at Maggie & Rose in Kensington to talk about ways in which we can keep our kids entertained during the holidays without spending a fortune. This is something I'm pretty passionate about; the Summer holidays can end up being super expensive if you let them - but that really needn't be the case. 

Kids don't care about how much money you spend on them; they're happy getting mucky, being crafty, being noisy and spending quality time with their friends and with you. There's so much you can do either at home, or close to home, that's cheap as chips - or even better, entirely free!

Here are a few ideas to keep you busy over the next six weeks!



In my first Simple Things post last week, the girls and I paid our local park a visit. We packed a picnic, took our buckets and spades and spent a whole afternoon there; it was so much fun!



How about making saltdough?
I've posted my own recipe for salt dough on here before; its SO easy to make - and the making part is equally as fun as playing with it afterwards!



A spot of biscuit decorating?
For the price of a couple of packets of sweets and a bag of icing sugar you can spend an afternoon decorating biscuits from the biscuit tin. Then you get to eat your creation afterwards with a well earned cup of tea!





Arts & Crafts
Colouring, cutting, sticking - kids love to get crafty and by collecting a few bits and pieces here and there its super easy to put together a craft box for next to nothing. Poundland is also a great place to visit to get some crafty items (glue, glitter, coloured paper etc) really cheaply.

Have a disco at home
{I don't have a photo of this I'm afraid. Ha!}
Don't pretend you're not excited.... Put your favourite dress on, turn the iPod dock up loud and have a party! Daisy and Evie danced to the entire Frozen album (for the thousandth time) at Maggie & Rose and loved every second. They loved it even more when I joined in ;)





Have a toy swap with some friends
Kids love other children's toys.... so why not do a swap for a few days? After playing with a t-rex at her cousins house, Evie is now obsessed with dinosaurs and was made up to find an entire table of plastic dinos at Maggie & Rose!

Have you got any other good ideas of fun, affordable things to keep the kids occupied this summer? xoxo


DISCLAIMER: Thanks so much to www.vouchercodes.co.uk for inviting us along to this super event, and for giving us some brilliant ideas for having fun without spending a fortune.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Introducing.... Elizabeth Dunn, Leather Footwear & Accessories Designer


On Sunday morning, Nat from Style me Sunday, Carissa from Little Likely Lads and little old me made our way to the London studio of bespoke shoe maker Elizabeth Dunn, in order to create leather straps for our DSLRs.


The opportunity couldn't have come at a better time for me; since getting my camera last month I've been on the look out for a quirky, one off strap for it, and getting to design and make my own was an absolute dream.

Elizabeth is a true genius. Her collection of shoes, bags, journals and, most recently, camera straps are all utterly divine. Everything she makes is handcrafted using a combination of both traditional and modern techniques, and her design philosophy is to avoid one season styling, making each piece timeless, which I LOVE.

She is also a brilliant teacher and expertly guided us through the leather working process, making it heaps of fun too. We learnt about cutting, punching, stamping and using studs, as well as the different types of leather and what items they're best suited to being made into.

After looking at Elizabeth's website and Instagram, I'd spotted some gorgeous turquoise leather and planned/hoped to make my strap out of it (turquoise is my favourite colour at the moment) but at the studio I fell head over heels in love with the softest and most beautifully textured piece of black bull hide and then found some amazing brass shield studs so my design ended up changing completely. I did however incorporate a wee bit of the turquoise leather I'd loved onto my strap, opting to stamp my name onto a piece, which I then studded onto the neck strap to personalise it.



We spent two and a half hours creating our leather masterpieces, and we had so much fun in the process. 



Carissa created a gorgeous black and cream strap with striking golden eagle studs and Nat a beautiful one made from vibrant lilac leather, navy mock croc leather and contrasting gold and silver studding.


I love mine so, so much. I just adore that it's entirely unique and that I designed and made it myself.

Elizabeth Dunn products are available at selected independent boutiques across the country, or online here. Her gorgeous leather DSLR straps start at £85, and she offers an entirely bespoke service. She also regularly holds workshops where you can create your own leather item - keep an eye on her Facebook page {here} for more info. xoxo

DISCLAIMER: I was invited to take part in this workshop free of charge in exchange for this post.
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