Wedding season is now officially upon us and I (Victoria) am delighted to be a guest at my second wedding of the year next month. Oh, I do love a good wedding! However, shopping for an outfit has been slightly harder this year, as I am still exclusively breastfeeding my little girl. First time around I went for a skirt and top combo and used a technique known as ‘one up, one down’. For the uninitiated, this simply means wearing a vest underneath your top to pull up or down (aha!) as needed, neatly protecting your modesty while feeding in public. A top mum hack there, learned, like so many other things, from a Facebook group!
As regular readers will know, we are very much dress girls here at She and Hem, so I’ve long been on the hunt for some breastfeeding friendly pieces. As luck would have it, I think I’ve found the perfect one! Unless the weather takes a drastic turn, the Clemmie Shirt Dress from Boden is the dress I’ll be rocking up in. This cotton shirt dress falls just below the knee, which is super flattering, especially when constantly picking the little one up and putting her down. It also has what I now consider to be a daily essential; pockets. Another perk of this dress, and one I had never really considered, is the hidden buttons! Located on the chest, these Mum friendly gems ensure there’s no dress gape or accidental flashing. Ingenious! I would go as far as to call them a personal game changer and will definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for more brands adopting this subtle little twist.
Keen to see more breastfeeding friendly dresses? Just let us know in the comments!
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.
Having fun with fashion is something that’s important to both of us and something that we’ve both desperately clung on to throughout pregnancy and now new motherhood! It’s blimmin’ hard though when your body keep changing! We both optimistically assumed we’d be squeezing back into our old pre-pregnancy shirt dresses but boo hoo those new big boobs aren’t having any of it! This has resulted in a fair amount of laziness with jeans and tops becoming an everyday go to whilst all those glorious novelty prints are resigned to the back of the wardrobe.
So we were so excited to receive these breastfeeding friendly beauties from the new Sugarhill Boutique SS17 collection and somehow managed to take some outfit shots whilst Poppy and Ada slept in their prams (just out of shot!). We felt like a couple of super mums as we balanced our camera on a buggy and set it to self time – haha! So professional.
Both dresses are such an excellent length and thanks to their simple but stylish nature, a doddle to accessorize! Victoria is wearing the vintage inspired Beatrice Sundress* in a lovely stripes and heart print that’s exclusive to the Sugarhill Boutique website. She teamed it with an M&S red belt and her brown boots from Boden* (similar here). The cut is going to be perfect for Summer and, naturally, we love the full skirt and pockets combo. I (Jo) am sporting the Laria Roll Sleeve Palm Print Shirt Dress* which features a dreamy floral palm print that I’m quite obsessed with. I love yellow and navy together so I added a pop of colour with my belt (the dress does come with a matching tie belt though, if you’d rather) and finished off with my yellow and silver shoes from Kaleidoscope*. This dress is so floaty and soft that’s it’s very comfy to wear. Ideal!
Many thanks to Sugarhill Boutique for our new frocks!
Hello hello! Welcome back to Double Thumbs Dresses, our roundup of the frocks we have deemed worthy of the highly coveted double thumbs seal of approval! Remember back in February when I said I was ready to start writing these posts again after having baby? Yeah, sorry about that – turns out having a baby is quite time consuming. What I have found time for, however, is online shopping and over the past couple of months (mostly at 3am) I’ve been saving all the frocks that have caught my eye meaning I’ve accumulated somewhat of a bumper crop. So, here they are all! ENJOY.
*FYI click on the image for a direct link to the dress*
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!
It’s been a good while since we first featured purveyors of fancy shirts, GANT, (you can read our other post here) but now that we are all about ease of access it seemed like to good time to revisit them! As luck would have it, GANT have gone shirt crazy this season with many a jazzy number to choose from and we were kindly invited to pick a couple to style.
Victoria chose the Grid Dip Silk Blouse* from the Diamond G collection, which is made up from tailor-made pieces featuring graphic prints inspired by abstract impressionism – just like us. Victoria really liked the silky fabric (100% no less) and envisions wearing it on lovely hot days in the Summer to help hide those pasty arms. We think that teamed with her pink British Tweed Boden skirt* this outfit is very secretary chic (who said smart shirts are just for the office?) The two contrasting prints really compliment each other – just like us. She finished the look with some metallic shoes from Next (similar here)
I (Jo) plumped for the Voile Island Flower Shirt* in yellow (it also comes in pink or blue). It’s such a bright fun print and the relaxed fit is really flattering. I’m probably going to be wearing this a lot with jeans, as that’s my Mum go-to at the moment, but I like that it can also be tucked into skirts for when I’m posing with old cameras in front of brick walls. I also went for a pink Boden skirt (similar here) and my Pink Floral Occasion Slip-on Skater Shoes from Next*.
What do you think of our looks? You can check out the full range of GANT shirts here!
We’d really like to thank the fabulous Jess (aka porthjess) for taking these photos for us! If you don’t already follow her on Instagram, you should! She’s kind of a big deal.
*GANT very kindly sent us these shirts but all opinions are Mummy’s own.
Hello hello! Welcome back to Double Thumbs Dresses, our roundup of the frocks we have deemed worthy of the highly coveted double thumbs seal of approval! We both had our babies over Christmas and New Year (check out our Instagram for lots of baby spam) so the blog has had to take a bit of a back seat while we both spend time with our beautiful newborns and learn how to function on very little sleep! I am just about coming out of the foggy mess that was the first few weeks and, as my baby has decided to take a nap, I thought I’d dust off the old keyboard and find some dreamy dresses!
*FYI click on the image for a direct link to the dress*
First up, we are absolutely loving the new Yumi collection! It’s full of beautiful bold colours, fun prints and some excellent frocks! Our pick of the bunch is this Kate Spade-esque striped beauty. It’s a clear winner and, thanks to those lovely buttons, breast feeding friendly too! Hoorah.
We always love seeing what Boden have up their highly fashionable sleeve and their latest offerings are, as is to be expected, rather wonderful indeed. We are digging this retro long-sleeved shirt dress (BF friendly once again!) that has a super flattering fit and flare shape. It is however the fab botanical garden print that makes this one a knock out! If pink isn’t your thang it’s also available in navy.
Oh my God it’s like a magical unicorn threw up on a dress! This & Other Stories number is simply heavenly. It has everything! Pleats! Frills! Buttons! Colours! Sleeves! Flares! As the kids say, I die.
How dreamy is this dress by TU? I always find Sainsbury’s have incredible clothes but sadly for me (not so much for my bank balance) my local store doesn’t stock fashion. It’s a good job they sell some of their pieces online now! Anyhoo, I’m totally obsessed with those fluted sleeves!
Argh my novelty print klaxon cannot cope with these new Cath Kidston dresses! I also cannot cope with the fact that I won’t be able to wear either until I’ve stopped breast feeding. I NEED BUTTONS, PEOPLE. The fast car print is excellent fun and I actually really love the beige colour it’s set against. This new CK shape with sleeves and pleats is also a winner and one I hope we see more of in the future. The roarsome dinosaurs are also a sure fire hit especially as they appear on the classic CK sleeveless shape. I am all about those hidden pockets.
As my new baby (have I mentioned that I had a baby?) is called Poppy, it’s only right that my wardrobe should be full of them. Weirdly, the high street seems to know about this as poppy prints seem to be popping up left right and center. This Warehouse number is my current fave, mostly due to that stretchy waistband. I am all about a bit of stretch right now.
Good ol’ Next have got some lovely pieces in at the moment. There’s just so much detail on this stunning floral print and the high neck looks so fab with the ruffles and long sleeves. Dreamy.
Speaking of ruffles, I am also a big fan of this nautical but nice striped shift dress from M&S. It’s such a great silhouette and, praise be, there are buttons!
Last but not least, it would be remiss to be this close to Valentine’s Day and not feature a red dress! This frilled frock from Pull and Bear ticks all the V Day boxes and it’s a bit of a bargain too. You’re welcome.
It wasn’t so long ago that we wrote our first maternity wear love letter to JoJo Maman Bébé (you can read the post here) and it’s fair to say that not much has changed. We really really dig their fashion and it’s so nice to find a brand that stocks such great quality and affordable maternity clothes but that are actually rather stylish too. When they got back in touch to ask if we’d be interested in featuring some of their multibuy items we were delighted and began putting together outfit ideas! Turns out, you can save money if you buy two of the same style!
Having featured their dresses before, we were both keen to get hold of more nursing dresses that we can wear when breastfeeding (if it all goes to plan!) but look equally fab whilst we are pregnant. I (Jo) went for Floral Maternity & Nursing Tunic Dress* with Victoria plumping for the Stripe Maternity & Nursing Tunic Dress*. Both dresses are so comfortable and, we think, are super flattering. They both have pockets (yay) and thanks to the fabric, require no ironing whatsoever! Hoorah! The hidden openings for breastfeeding are so discreet and clever and if buying two dresses you can save £10. Sold! I teamed my dress with a red floral statement necklace from Tatty Devine (similar here), maternity leggings* from JoJo Maman Bébé and my trusty Tan ‘Marina’ Lace Up Boots from Dorthy Perkins. Victoria broke up her stripes by adding an old black belt and is wearing maternity tights* from UKTights and Tan Chelsea Boots* from Boden.
Our next look is a bit of a bold step for us as it involves, wait for it, TROUSERS! Who knew we could wear them? We were both were keen to get hold of black jeans so chose two different styles and, once again, you can save yourself £10 when buying two pairs. I went for the Black Super Skinny Maternity Jeans* which actually fit like a dream. I was worried they they might be too tight but there’s still plenty of stretch around the middle and I’ve been living in them since they arrived! Victoria chose the Supersoft Maternity Skinny Jeans* which don’t really feel like jeans at all making them oh-so-comfy. Finally, to complete our look, we chose two of the Breton Stripe Feeding Tops* in different colours (you can save yourself a Fiver when doing this). We love how clever the double layer system is, making breastfeeding so much easier and the cut is flattering yet roomy. As is often the way, we both accessorised in a similar fashion! My cosy grey hat is from M&S (similar here) while Victoria’s black floppy hat is from ASOS. We both also went for gold glittery trainers (even the most casual of outfits can benefit from a bit of sparkle) with mine from Keds for Kate Spade and Victoria’s from La Redoute (sadly they seem to be sold out).
You might also notice that we are sporting some rather fetching brown leather satchels. These are actually Chester Satchel Changing Bags* and are going to be used an awful lot of the coming months/years! Each bag is packed with useful pockets and compartments and comes with an insulated removable bottle bag and a padded changing mat. It just goes to show that even the most practical of pieces can still be stylish!
You can find the full range of JoJo Maman Bébé multibuy items here! Happy shopping!
Back in the Summer we grabbed our BFF Ellie from Better Bristol and Beyond (new blog klaxon!) and jumped straight on the Dreamland bandwagon. We had spotted several other bloggers had been along and enjoyed it’s colourful rides, tasty hot dogs and retro rollar disco, and as we had a girly weekend away already booked in neighbouring Whitstable, it would have been a crime against Instagram not to spend a day thrill seeking in sunny Margate and join the fun! As Jo and I are pregnant we were quite limited as to what rides we were able to go on, but we were more than happy to spend our afternoon indulging in fizzy pop and donuts whilst Ellie roadtested the rides. If you couldn’t tell by that huge smile, the rainbow slide above was her favourite.
We had such a great time soaking up the atmosphere and admiring all the deligtful retro touches. Dreamland really did live up to the hype! We also really really enjoyed the food (hello hotdogs!) and Ellie was full of high praise for their extensive (and delicious) vegetarian options. We also really liked how all the staff seemed to be having a ball and it was hard not to be swept up with their joy.
We wanted to go for a retro vibe for the occassion and, as our bumps weren’t so big back then we were still able to squeeze into a shirt and skirt combo! Victoria wore her Spotty Shirt* from Sugarhill Boutique, a Demin Skirt* and bag* (similar here) from Boden, cat eye sunglasses from ASOS (similar here) and glittery trainers from La Redoute. I wore my beloved cat shirt (can’t wait to fit into that bad boy again) from Topshop (similar here), skirt* from Boden, Pink Trainers* from Superga and a bag* from Boden. Ellie wore the incredible pencil dress from Cath Kidston that all three of us own!
When Aspire Style got in touch to ask if we’d like to style a few pieces from their ‘New In‘ section, we were a little nervous. Not because we didn’t think there would be anything that we liked, but because we were concerned we wouldn’t be able to fit into anything! These bumps are getting out of hand! How wrong we were though, as our favourite maternity fashion hack (sizing up) worked a treat.
Jo’s chevron stripe shift dress* by Closet is so striking, it’s a must for any chevron fan. Keen readers may have also spotted that it fits all of She and Hem’s dream dress requirements; it’s a good lentgh, has cute sleeves and most importantly…pockets! Dreamy. Jo kept her styling simple with black Boden boots* and spotty grey tights* from UK Tights. I picked the adorable Julita snow dress* by Louche in the hope that I’ll be able to squeeze into it a few more times over the festive period. With its Christmas trees, deer and snowflakes, it could just be the perfect Christmas print! I would say it hits the right balance between twee and subtle, but then again, during they festive period, I think anything goes. Next time Louche, plonk some candy canes on it will ya?
Whilst browsing Aspire, I spotted that fabulous pink fluffy jumper* by Yumi. Now, while I’m not usually a huge fan of pink (it doesn’t really get my party started), I felt like it had to be mine. Thanks to the loose fit, I’ve recently been layering it over a maternity top and teaming it with jeans and boots, and boy oh boy it’s like a big, warm hug. As we shot this on quite a chilly day, I wore some thick maternity tights* from UK Tights and blue Boden boots* (similar here).
Have you spotted any festive pieces that take your fancy?