Happy Mother’s Day with Mamas & Papas!


Hurry! It’s not too late to enter Mamas & Papas fantaaaastic Mother’s Day competition. They’re teaming up with Don’t Buy Her Flowers (because let’s face it, who really enjoys flowers that wilt after an hour?!)  If you enter the fan-tab-ulous competition you could be opening, like me, The Recovery Package – upon opening the outer parcel, I was surrounded by all the wonderful aromas you only normally experience within a beautifully luxurious spa in the Cotswolds but the real treats awaited me inside…

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I’m a sucker for natural products and I’m pleased to announce Don’t Buy Her Flowers have succeeded in ticking all the eco boxes for me. I almost squealed in delight when I noticed there was some Coconut Oil in there. I’m also a bit of an exfoliating scrub fiend so can’t wait to try out Skin & Tonic’s Gentle Scrub and Laughing Bird’s Lemon & Walnut Body Scrub with Apple Seed Oil. I can see you’re dying to know what else is inside these hampers and it just so happens…

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The Recovery Package contains:

Love & Peace tealights: subtly scented with essential oils Citrus, Geranium, Patchouli and Orange.

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Skin & Tonic Gentle Scrub: gently detoxifying leave skin feeling soft and nourished.

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Sister & Co Coconut Oil: among many uses, soften cuticles and conditions hair.

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Laughing Bird Lemon & Walnut Body Scrub: moisturises, smoothes and cleanses.

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Laughing Bird Shea & Cocoa Butter Body Cream: For velvety soft skin. A little goes a long way.

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Last but definitely not least, Mamas & Papas have kindly thrown in a divine silver plated photo frame which will have pride of place in E’s nursery (when she eventually decides she wants to sleep by herself!)

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I am going to have a very relaxed  Mother’s Day with huuuge thanks to Mamas & Papas – if YOU fancy the same, enter, enter ENTER!

 

Love, Kohl Mama <3


Autumn/Winter Work Outfit Ideas


I am LOVING having a play around with autumnal fashion at the moment. More for three days a week that I work. rather than when I’m at home with the children, when my attire is normally whatever is closest to me that morning and normally ends up covered in dinner/snot/mud (anyone else get mud marks at the top of the thigh from carrying children with muddy footwear?!).

I don’t tend to follow trends in fact, I couldn’t tell you what’s ‘in’ at the moment, I just wear things if I like them. With the colder weather we’ve been having I am enjoying some warm, knitted wrap skirts teamed with roll neck sweaters to fight the chill. Heeled or flat ankle boots in black are smart enough to wear for work and keep the cold at bay!

I bought this grey wrap skirt from Next, and brightened it up with a yellow/lime roll neck sweater from Marks and Spencers. I currently wear it with some heeled black ankle boots from Next but if I’m on my feet all day flat boots, such as the dreamboats below from Crockett & Jones, are on my wishlist. Autumn Workwear

Since Next have some outrageously gorgeous skirts for autumn and winter I may have purchased not one but two and grabbed another colour roll neck from M&S while i was there. These roll necks are just so versatile you can wear them with anything especially the black one and the yellow/lime one adds a fab pop of colour to an otherwise lack-lustre outfit! If you’re reading Mr. VW also from Crockett & Jones these boots are firmly on my Christmas wishlist!

Autumn Winter workwear

 

Last but not least, jacquard trousers are an easy way to jazz up boring work clothes. I wear my trusty M&S roll neck and these smart loafers from Crockett & Jones (can anyone tell I’m a fan?!).

Autumn Lookbook

The key is to always pair a patterned or printed item with a plain one. Tartan skirt? Yep, plain top. Bright jumper? You guessed it plain trousers or skirt. Shoes I tend to keep plain unless I want to make a statement or a pop of colour to brighten up a plan outfit. Remember to have fun with your clothes and let your personality shine through!

 

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Winter Is Coming


O BlackberryI never thought I’d be the type of person to entitle a blog post with the words of House Stark but the title is very apt as Mr.VW and I have recently become GoT (Game of Thrones) addicts, a little late to the party, I know, it’s also indicative of the season we currently find ourselves in. There is something so wonderful about this time of year, I’m not sure whether it’s the crisp autumn air, tinged with the excitement of snow and Christmas, wrapping up to head out Blackberry picking or just having the opportunity to wear winter warmers but it truly is a special period and I have a lot of fond autumn memories. Foraging for conkers with my brothers and sisters being among them – something I have passed down to O and he squeals with delight when we spot one on our regular walking route.

Mentioned above, the cooler weather brings plenty of opportunities to indulge in snuggly clothing. UGG season is upon us, hurrah! If you don’t already own a pair and want to treat your tootsies to foot heaven then please don’t buy a fake pair as the biggest crime against footwear is likely to occur. This. WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT:

UGG Collapse

 

Ladies and gents, please buy your UGGs from an approved retailer somewhere like M and M Direct is ideal and you won’t commit UGG murder or inflict the atrocity above on society.

Baby UggsWhen O was a baby he received some baby UGGSs and I was willing him to grow faster just so he could wear them. He’s long since grown out of them but E  wears them as slippers as she is running around now but they are still in fantastic condition, as are all three of my pairs which I have had for almost ten years – it really does pay to buy authentic products. Baby Uggs

 

As Winter approaches we are coming to the end of our renovations and I am busy painting some furniture to go in the new dining room, so do look out for my next post all about DIY up-cycling!

 

 

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint


Happy Anniversary Mr. VW


Happy AnniversaryMr. VW and I recently celebrated three years of marriage. They say time passes fast when you’re having fun and I can testify that this is most definitely true. I have also heard that marriage is hard work but for me it has been incredibly easy and we have produced two beautiful children who provide us with more joy than we could wish for. Looking back at our wedding photos has brought a tear to my eye, if you’re about to marry, savour every moment of your special day, it passes in a blink of an eye.

Happy Anniversary

 

I bought my dress off the shelf from The Wedding Wardrobe a few months before the big day, it is by the normally exuberant Faragé Bride (I’m not actually a fan of their normal style). The manager chose the dress for me. Admittedly, I don’t think I would have given it a second glance but she had an excellent eye and i immediately fell in love. The backless feature was what particularly sold it to me. It’s more Jenny Packham than Faragé which suits me perfectly.

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary

 

I wear my wedding and engagement rings with pride, every day they remind me of my beautiful family. Happy Anniversary, Mr. VW and here’s to the rest of our lives!

Rings

 

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Globber My Free 2C 4 in 1 Scooter – Review


Globber My free 2C 4 in 1 ScooterWe have been toying with the idea of getting O a scooter for a while as they’re great for aiding in the development of fine and gross motor skills as well as helping little ones learn how to balance! This is why we jumped at the chance to review the Globber My Free 2C 4 in 1 Scooter. What is so brilliant about this particular scooter is that, as the name suggests, it’s 4 products in 1 and can be adapted to O’s 18 month old sister, E.

Globber My Free 2C 4 in 1 Scooter

When the scooter first arrived, Mr. VW was at work and I have to admit I panicked thinking “there aint a chance in hell I am going to be able to assemble this on my own” but it literally is a question of clicking the different parts in – no screwing, no twisting just click click click. Happy days.

As you can see, the scooter transforms (extra cool Mama points for pretending that the scooter is an actual Transformer!) into a balance bike for smaller members of the family (yes, you little Miss. E!). You can attach the handlebars to the back of the balance bike for guidance or pushing from a responsible adult – maybe not a mischievous sibling!

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To transform the balance bike back into a scooter you simply unclick the handle bars, take off the seat and click the handlebars back into the front section of the scooter. If I find it easy as pie, anyone will.

Globber My free 2C 4 in 1 Scooter

Now we have it, we are thinking of buying one for E,too as O wants to take it everywhere with us and they’re such good fun for outdoor playing. In a few weeks as O really gets the hang of it, and it’s amazing to see how much he has progressed already, we will have to buy him a helmet as it can pick up speed quite quickly even on a slight decline. Here’s a cute little video showing Globbers in action! Globber My Free 2C 4 in 1 Scooter

These nifty little scooters are priced at £79.95 and available to purchase here. They would be ideal as a Christmas gift for the toddler in your life (did I just write the C-word?!)

For the purpose of this review we received the Globber My Free 2C 4 in 1 Scooter free of charge but all opinions are my own and of course, honest!


“I’m supportive of breastfeeding, but…”


*If you have even thought about uttering these words before, I’ll save you about five minutes and recommend that you stop reading now. This post is probably not for you.*

Undoubtedly one of the most flawed and illogical sentences floating around online at the moment; there should be no caveats, no buts, no restrictive covenants embedded in your ‘support’, not least because it undermines the very definition of the word. I’m not entirely sure what aspect of my breastfeeding you place limits to your support on; is it that I feed my child in public, or perhaps it unnerves you that my daughter can now “ask for it”?

I'm supportive of breastfeeding but

 

“I’m supportive of breastfeeding, but when they can ask for it, it’s time to stop.”

I can only assume that you are unaware that new born babies also, “ask for it” by rooting, sucking fingers, licking lips and, in the later stages of hunger, crying. As they get older, some babies will also sign for milk which can help ease frustration when hunger cannot be communicated in any other way but crying. What is the difference between non verbal and verbal communication in small dependents again?

“I’m supportive of breastfeeding, but there is no need to wap your boobs out in public. put them away, no one wants to see!”

Responding to a child’s cues and in turn, needs with breastfeeding  means that at some point a public feeding is a necessity. To say that you fully support breastfeeding but not in public is a big fat whopping contradiction. Sorry.

“I’m supportive of breastfeeding, but only for the first 6 months, there’s no nutritional value after that”

What? I can’t even. Who knew that after six months lactating women automatically start producing water instead of milk? I certainly didn’t. Nursing provides so much more than nutrition and I don’t need a jumped up Daily Fail Mail-reading ‘doctor’ with a degree from the university of Google to tell me otherwise.

“I’m supportive of breastfeeding, but only exclusive breastfeeding, formula is the devil”

Because the boot can indeed be worn on the other foot. Being a self proclaimed lactivist, completely passionate about normalising breastfeeding, I can say without any hesitation that formula milk is not the devil. I’d also be a bloody hypocrite if I said otherwise since it kept my first born alive.  Sure, multinationals who market powdered baby milk  have some extremely questionable morals but the invention of formula has saved and will continue to save  lives. Try telling a mother who faces a double mastectomy in pregnancy that formula is the favoured drink of Beelzebub.

No more buts, just support.

 


A Journey Extended


Thanks for hopping over from  Positive About BF and welcome to my post for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt Day 5 Extended Breastfeeding we have over £700 worth of breastfeeding and baby goodies up for grabs including prizes from More4Mums providing a set of ‘Hot Milk’ Lingerie, a signed hardback limited edition copy of Milky Moments and a £30 voucher from Milk Chic  Full details of the Grand Prize can be found here and all entries to be completed via the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Extended BF Photo 1

First feed – ten minutes young,

An unwritten story seconds begun.

Matted hair, wrinkly skin.

As one until the cord was still.

Five days old. Swollen. Burning.

You and I – we’re still learning.

Tearful days, long nights.

But through the tunnel, we see light.

Six weeks old now, growing stronger.

Where’s my milk to calm your hunger?

At the breast is where you’re happy;

Enough milk! A yellow nappy.

Three months has passed without me knowing;

Time escapes us and you keep growing.

Fluffy hair, skin like silk;

Twist-on wrists, high on milk.

Half a year has passed since you arrived;

Drinking my milk, you’ve blossomed and thrived.

Now you reach for food on my plate,

Leaving you (and the floor!) in a terrible state.

How did this happen? It’s been one year!

“She’ll be breastfeeding ’til five!” is the general fear.

A wriggly bottom, a finger in nose;

“Relax” I say, “we’ll see how it goes”.

Eighteen months old and here we are.

I never believed we’d make it this far.

Life never works out they way you intended,

So for now this is us ~ a journey extended…

BF a journey extended

 For more extended breastfeeding experiences please hop on over to Mum in a Nutshell  where you can gain further entries into the grand prize draw. Full terms and conditions can be found on the Keeping Britain Breastfeeding website. UK residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


#PositiveAboutBF


I’m thrilled to be part of #PostiveAboutBF here is my introductory post on the collective blog.

Whenever I’m asked ‘why did you decide to breastfeed’ I have real difficulty explaining my choices. Perhaps because it wasn’t a choice, there was no choosing – when I was pregnant with my son I hadn’t bought any bottle feeding paraphernalia, I had no idea about sterilising, I had a bumper pack of breast pads and I had stocked up on Coconut Oil. I was ready.

 


For me, it’s always been less about choices and more about following my instincts. Unfortunately my instincts didn’t get me very far with my eldest. I stopped breastfeeding on day twelve, utterly heartbroken and feeling like a failure.  I swore I would help other mothers who find themselves in the same position I was in, three and a half years ago.
During my second pregnancy I had come to know about La Leche League and baby cafés (drop in centres with peer supporters offering mother to mother support) – basically I gave myself no other option than to establish a successful breastfeeding relationship and here we are almost eighteen months later.
I live in Durham, North East England where breastfeeding rates are one of the lowest in the country. I am completely passionate about normalising the continuation of a healthy breastfeeding relationship and I hope I make a difference in my small corner of the world. I am honoured to be part of  the #PositiveAboutBF movement and I look forward to reading the contributions of others – especially during World Breastfeeding Week.

 

 

 


Introducing George!


German ShepherdThis is George. George is my parent’s German Shepherd. I am also called George (Georgina) – it gets confusing.

O is a little frightened of George. E would probably ride George as if he were a horse and pull at his ears; she’s totally fearless. G-dawg is our third German Shepherd but the first that I haven’t lived with. I don’t think I can cope with the hair-shedding that comes with the long-haired variety but I can’t deny their loyalty, intelligence or their just utter cuteness.

We’ve never had a name tag for any of our pets and George is no exception. The kind folk over at Collars and Tags sent one over so we never have to worry about him being unidentifiable again. Happy Days.

They come in all shapes and sizes but I thought the bone shape was the most apt for a dog! Look at how handsome he looks – and so proud of his new engraved pet tag!

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Radley London Elliot Vale Bag – Review


Radley LondonI’ve mentioned a few times that I’m not one for typical ‘mumsy’ changing bags. I’ve always thought if I’ve got to lug all the baby paraphernalia around I may as well do it in a nice looking bag which is why I jumped at the chance to try this little beauty by Radley London. Okay, so it’s definitely not designed for a change bag, and as it happens I’ve used it for my own things as well as stashing a few nappies while out and about.

First things first is that it’s made out of a wipe-clean material which as you’ll know if you’re a parent is a God send with young children.It’s not too large so i doesn’t flap radley londonaround when you’re walking, in fact it always lands just in that little curve just above my hip. Secondly, I wasn’t sure about the print at first but I’ve kinda fallen in love with it now, it’s definitely very cheerful, who needs dull, right?

I will add that it’s probably not big enough to be used as a changing bag for all the things you’ll need for a newborn, especially if you’re not breastfeeding as you’ll have to cart bottles and what not but it is perfect for older babies who don’t need all the extra stuff.

It has inner compartments for car keys, phone, makeup or whatever. useful as I’m always losing my car keys in my Longchamp bags. You can also wear it over the shoulder like I am in the photos or remove the long strap and carry it by the handles – probably more appropriate for work or smarter occasions.

Why not check out the other ranges by Radley London?

Radley London Elliot Vale