The girls are growing up so fast! It’s so much fun seeing them turn into little mischievous girls and they are starting to really adore spending time together. They are both currently still sleeping in with Mum and Dad but it won’t be long now until they are in their own rooms! We are therefore both having a lot of fun collecting nursery bits and setting up spaces that they will love.
After sourcing furniture, curtains and all that sort of jazz, we were on the hunt for decorations! Never ones to shy away from novelty lighting, these colour changing unicorn fairy lights* from Festive Lights were perfect! The girls are fascinated by them as they slowly change colour to showcase a selection of baby friendly soft shades. Fairy lights are such a cheap and easy way to add a bit of character to a space and hopefully they will help make the transition into their own rooms that little bit nicer. Plus, unicorns are pretty great! Naturally, being babies, they wanted to eat the unicorns (!!!) so we had to come up with ways to keep them safely out the way. Thankfully they are battery operated so no nasty mains to worry about (phew) so Jo will be pinning hers to the top of her dollshouse-shaped bookcase and Victoria has a cunning plan to display hers in a clear vase that can be stored out of reach!
Don’t the girls look so cute in their matching Cath Kidston* pjs? We’ve been wondering how old they will be before they ask us to stop dressing them in matching outfits! If they are anything like us, they will both still be twinning in their thirties!
Big thanks to Festive Lights for our new lighting. With Christmas on the horizon we are sure to be spending a lot of time on your website!
This post is a collaboration and contains affiliate links, but the love of unicorns is all mum’s own.
Last week I (Victoria) had the pleasure of spending a few nights away at Nantwen, a beautiful holiday cottage in Pembrokeshire. It was a lovely present from Jo as part of our collaboration with notonthehighstreet.com. If you are ever looking for somewhere to stay in the area, I’d definitely recommend it. We had such a relaxing few days! Something that I didn’t find quite as relaxing was packing for the trip. I’ve always disliked packing but it has changed significantly since having a baby. Before, I would spend far too long making sure I had outfits for all occasions, with accessories to match. Now, I chuck whatever is clean into my suitcase and hope for the best. I then spend the rest of the time triple checking we have everything my little one needs. And she needs a lot. Babies do not travel light.
If you are a regular reader, you’ll know that we took the girls to Bluestone a few months ago (review here), who provide travel cots as standard, so I haven’t needed to think about Ada’s holiday sleeping arrangements before now. As Nantwen is more of a couples getaway, we had to take anything we needed to make sure Ada was as comfortable as we were, so my plan was to try and borrow a travel cot. As luck would have it, that very same week an email appeared in our inbox asking if we’d like to try out something from Cuggl. Not heard of them before? Don’t worry, neither had I! They are a new nursery brand who have just launched at Argos. Keep an eye out for them when you are flicking through the catalogue circling things for your Christmas list. That’s still a thing, right?
The Cuggl Grey Travelcot was the first to catch my eye because it’s in my favourite colour scheme (yellow and grey) and looks so light and manageable. However, I thought it would be more sensible to try out the Cuggl Deluxe Travelcot* and Changing Unit, because it comes with, you guessed it, a changing unit! The unit came in really handy, and it was nice not to have to balance a changing mat somewhere or change Ada on the floor. Girl’s got class y’know. Not only did the Travelcot provide somewhere for Ada to sleep and be changed, but it also creates a safe playpen. Bonus! It’s on lockable wheels, so it can be moved around easily and as you can see on the pictures below, I popped Ada in for a little play (with these two pots that she is obsessed with!) whilst I run a bath and her dad made us breakfast. She was as happy as Larry, especially as she could see me the whole time thanks to the mesh sides. I’ve already recommended the travelcot to a few other mums and they have all asked if Ada slept ok in it, and I can happily say that she did!
If you are looking for any baby related kit, Cuggl got you covered!
Along with our lovely husbands, James and Andrew, we recently took the girls to Bluestone National Park Resort for their very first holiday. For our first trip away we wanted somewhere that wasn’t too far, so at just over two hours in the car this Welsh delight was perfect! If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you may remember we visited Bluestone a couple of years ago (back when we were footloose and fancy free) to review their adult only packages. We were really looking forward to going back and seeing it through a fresh pair of new parent eyes and found it quite amazing what you don’t notice before you have children! Bluestone is perfectly geared up for little and big kids with plenty of activities for even the babies (they offer baby sensory, massage and yoga although our top tip would be to book in advance as we missed out on the sensory class). We really appreciated just how easy everything was made for us, even eating out was a breeze thanks to how child friendly all the facilities are. All restaurants should have a buggy park!
We stayed in the six person Skomer Lodge which was slightly luxurious thanks to its three beds and three bathrooms situation. The girls really appreciated having their own bathrooms – we just can’t drag them away from the mirror! We were all slightly nervous about attempting a holiday with two such young babies but thanks to the amount of space we had, we were never under each others feet and it was very easy for one baby to be crying in the night and not disturb the other. A big relief for us all! If you’ve got bigger children, all the lodges have lots of lovely outside space for running around in or for even bigger kids (hi) for drinking prosecco and eating fish and chips from the onsite posh fish and chip van. We were even visited by some friendly rabbits and ducks!
We were #blessed with good weather so made the most of being in such a beautiful part of the world by exploring and spending as much time as possible in the great outdoors. One of our favourite things we did whilst away was the very pretty nature trail. Poppy and Ada actually slept through the whole thing but we had a lovely time admiring the bluebells, fairy houses, and giant fox sculptures! After a lovely long walk, we ended up at the picturesque Camp Smokey for a quick marshmallow break and some sing songs round the bonfire. Last time we visited we only ventured here during the evening but actually much preferred it in the day. It was so peaceful and it felt very special being there with the babies. Yeehaw!
We love this photo of the girls! We are hoping to take the same photo of them every time we go back to Bluestone!
It wouldn’t be a She and Hem holiday if we didn’t try and eat all of the desserts on offer. We loved the ice cream milkshakes at Ty Coffi and set ourselves the challenge of trying every flavour! They were so good! However, the star of the holiday has to be those ridiculous freakshakes. Oh my goodness what a treat. When ordering, the waitress was curious to know how many people would be sharing the shakes and was somewhat shocked to discover that we had one each. Did we regret it? Heck no. We probably shouldn’t mention that we then went on to have a spaghetti bolognaise should we… To combat our sugar high we left the boys with the babies and booked ourselves in for a two hour spa session. It was glorious and very much needed. In fact, whilst sitting in the outdoor jacuzzi we got chatting and soon realised that everyone there was a mum having a bit of a break. We felt very rejuvenated and soaked up every second before bouncing back to our lovely little ladies and their equally lovely dads. The four of them had had a real blast while we were away.
We also had a blast swimming at the Blue Lagoon swimming pool. There’s an abundance of family-sized changing rooms (complete with baby changing tables – so useful) and the pool itself was extremely baby friendly. We took the girls in the special kiddy pool (they loved the bubbles!) and then braved the wave machine and the rapids! Such daredevils. The girls aren’t quite big enough for the flumes yet but, hey, there’s got to be some advantages to being a grown up! We must have been in the pool area for a good couple of hours which is crazy! We even did a couple of feeds whilst lounging in the poolside deckchairs.
Thanks for another lovely stay Bluestone! We will be back!
J&V (and A&P&A&J) xx
A massive massive thank you to Bluestone for inviting us. Although they really did spoil us rotten this review is 100% honest.
When East Coast Nursery got in touch to see if we (well, Poppy and Ada) wanted to review a couple of their large size floor mats, we said “ummm yes please”. It was the perfect timing, as we were about to head off for a midweek break where we would be sharing a lodge. We thought these mats would come in so handy for the babies to play on safely whilst we were away. And they certainly did! The best thing (other than the exceptionally groovy patterns) was that Poppy and Ada could share a mat easily, meaning we could put each mat in different rooms in the lodge. They are spacious, fun, and kept the girls amused for a long time. As you might imagine, we are both quite impressed with them, especially considering neither of us had actually thought about buying a play mat before. Now, we both have them out for the girls, 24/7. The pair just love exploring the mats together.
Ada’s mat (seen above) is the Patchwork Activity Mat*. This one is covered in colourful characters, one of whom is the ever charming Sally. If you follow us on Twitter, you will know that both our girls have previous experience with Sally, and are obsessed with her dolly form as a Say Hello Activity Friend. This is one toy I (Victoria) know will settle Ada if we are out and about – she loves Sally’s feet, which double as chew toys! Her mat also has a little baby-safe mirror under a sunshine, pretty ribbons and a cloud teether. All are ridiculously sweet.
Poppy’s lovely mat is double-sided for double the fun! It’s the Say Hello Friends Double-sided Activity Mat, with the added bonus of a groovy high contrast second side featuring black, white and red shapes. As you can see above, she blooming loves it. Who needs a baby sensory class when little ones can just roll around on a mat, right? On the flipside, once again you have the wonderful Sally and friends, but this mat also comes with a not one but two baby mirrors and textured fabric, so your little one can get crazy with some crinkles. Now mat’s the way to do it! Thanks East Coast Nursery.
How do I get my baby to sleep? Surely one of the most Googled things by any new parent and something I (Jo) was guilty of researching many times at 1am, 3am and 4am back in those hazy newborn days. I think it’s fair to say that my baby, Poppy, was a pretty bad sleeper. She didn’t like sleeping anywhere other than on me and whenever I would put her down she would wake up instantly. I’m not going to lie, I found it incredibly hard. We’d decided against going down the co-sleeping route and had already invested in a Ewan, a Sleepyhead and a co-sleeper – apparently Poppy wasn’t impressed by our John Lewis haul. I spent hours reading other people’s posts about the 4th trimester, falling deeper and deeper down a forum black hole looking for ways which might help. After weeks of pretty much no sleep I was willing to try anything!
One of the things I had stumbled upon in my search for a sleep solution was the idea of the swaddle sleeping bag (swaddling being one of the many things I had tried unsuccessfully!). I’d seen a couple of people swear by them and I was pretty intrigued to see if they could make a difference to us! Very kindly, ergoPouch sent us an ergoCocoon* and I must admit it was a complete game changer. Sleeping bag swaddles are designed like a regular baby sleeping bag but thanks to some poppers in the armholes, you can securely keep the baby’s arms inside the suit. The result? Poppy was unable to startle herself awake with her arms! As well as this, thanks to being in a sleeping bag rather than having a blanket, she couldn’t kick her covers off either! We did laugh a lot at her the first time we put her in it – she looked like a hotdog! But the laughter soon turned into to a huge sigh of relief when the first time we put her down in her Sleepyhead SHE STAYED ASLEEP. I sat on the bed staring at her in complete disbelief.
Poppy is now 4 months old and (currently) sleeps like a dream. We honestly haven’t looked back. After our initial success, we spent weeks placing both of Poppy’s arms inside the ergoCocoon before slowly transitioning her by keeping one arm out at night for a couple more weeks and then, finally, both arms out. It was a fantastic process and now we have a very happy baby who has now moved on to sleeping in sleeping bags.
Have you found any genius ways to get your baby to sleep? And, yes, we do blow bubbles to try and get Poppy and Ada to look at the camera!
*The ergoCocoon was provided for the purposes of review but all thoughts and opinions are mummy’s own
Toot toot! A couple of weeks ago the Boden petal-powered bus rolled into Bristol as part of their Spring Blooms tour with Bloom & Wild. A prettier mode of transport you never did see! It certainty brightened up Broadmead and added a much needed splash of colour to an otherwise dull day. How could you not get on board with that? It therefore seemed appropriate that the four of us were all decked out in their wares for our visit. It’s no secret how much we love a bit of Boden so, naturally, we’ve been pining over their baby clothes for months! Thankfully, like mother like daughter, both girls are already big fans of their novelty prints!
This beautiful double decker green bus was not only gorgeous on the outside but jam-packed with the dreamiest Spring flowers and new season garms! Upon boarding the bus, we found the bottom deck was filled with happy Bristolians being given a Bloom & Wild masterclass on how to create special edition The Johnnie Bunch, which you can grab here. Although we are two wildflowers we had the babes with us, so we were in no position to get green fingered, but we can confirm it smelt amazing. Upstairs had been transformed into a beautiful showroom where we were treated to a glimpse of the new range of occasionwear. It was blooming marvelous!
We were definitely overshadowed by our gorgeous girlies who caused quite the commotion in their snazzy outfits, especially Ada’s rose gold bunny booties*. You can find the rest of their bits and bobs here. We tagged along to pay for their bus fare in equally fun attire! I (Victoria) spotted this fab stripey shirt* on Amy from Me, Myself and Ivy‘s Instagram – which you must pay a visit to if you love colourful clothes as much as we do. I teamed it with a rather sensible pair of blue chino’s* and comfy silver trainers*, perfect for running for the bus! Jo sported the world’s best statement skirt*, an embroidered masterpiece! She teamed it with a pink cropped jumper* which although lovely was a little see-through, so definitely one to pop a white top on underneath. Her green flats* were a big hit as they were not only comfortable but they coped admirably in the rain. Top stuff Boden!
Things were very rosey indeed as we caught up with Bristol’s very own Niki from Miss Magpie Fashion Spy and Jess from @PorthJess who were both working their magic for the Bristol leg of the tour and it was lovely to finally meet Xanthe and Lucy, after admiring their Instagram accoutnts for so long. What a bunch of talented ladies!
Remember when these JoJo Maman Bébé dresses were our favourite go-to maternity frocks (you can read our posts here and here)? Well now, thanks to their genius discreet feeding slits (oi oi), they are now our go-to for nursing! Goodness me, getting your baps out in public is much easier when you’ve got easy access. Hip hip hooray for breastfeeding friendly clothing.
Anyway, enough about our boobs (this isn’t page 3 – thank God), how adorable are these JoJo Maman Bébé sleepsuits? Very! Little Ada is sporting the Foxley Wood Baby Sleepsuit* and doesn’t she look foxley indeed! We love the all over woodland print and the fold over mitts mean no nasty scratches on that beautiful baby face. Poppy is just as quackers about her Duck Appliqué Baby Sleepsuit* and we think she looks perfectly ready for spring! We’ve both been so impressed with the quality of these sleepsuits and both have so far survived a number of bottom related explosions and have, thankfully, washed really well. We are having so much fun dressing our little ladies.
*JoJo Maman Bébé very kindly sent Poppy and Ada their sleepsuits but all opinions are Mummy’s own.