As mentioned last month, Amarya has merged with LoveLula and my monthly Beauty Box subscription has carried over to LoveLula. This is the first month I’m receiving the new LoveLula Beauty Box, and as they offer an even larger selection of natural and organic beauty products – working with over 100 global brands – I’m excited to see what the monthly box of samples, trial sizes or full size products from their leading brands will offer.
Besides Oxygen, the brands included in this month’s box are new to me, and I’m looking forward to trying out their products. I have oily combination skin, so I’m particularly interested in trying out the S5 Purity Serum for Blemish Prone Skin and Evolve Perfect Radiance Facial Polish. The ila body lotion and bath soak, along with the Oxygen Purifying Honey Masque, all smell lovely and come in good sizes to test them out. All in all, I’m happy with the variety of products to try in this month’s box!
ila, which means “Earth” in Sanskrit, is a range of luxury organic skincare, spa products and treatments. Ila use only the finest natural plant and mineral ingredients, wild-harvested in remote, untainted regions by artisan producers who value traditional, sustainable practices.
ila Body Lotion for Nurturing Skin – £9.60 for 150ml
ila’s organic, heavenly scented and super effective Nurturing Body Lotion is made with the purest natural oils including deeply softening apricot oil from the Hunza region of Northern Pakistan and rose geranium to nurture, regenerate and smooth all skin types.
ila Bath Soak for Pure Relaxation – £9.60 for 150ml
A super-pure bath soak that allows you to enjoy the luxury of ila’s organic spa treatments at home, blended with the purest oils of calming vetivert and petitgrain and deeply softening apricot to nourish and soothe body and mind, resulting in feelings of deepest calm.
S5 skincare is the first range of organic cosmeceuticals, developed by a specialist team of natural dermotologists and cosmetic scientists, and specifically designed to reverse the visible signs of problem and ageing skin using 100% natural, highly effective organic bioactives.
The S5 Purity Serum provides targeted breakout control treatment for blemish prone skin with rainforest bioactives to reduce the appearance of blemishes and pores for a clearer complexion. Its 100% natural ingredients include Amazonian Bioactives – which have an irritation-free synergistic effect on blemish prone skin and have been found to reduce the appearance of blemishes by 43% in clinical tests – and Alpine Bioactives – which reduce oil production by 55%, the appearance of pores by 18% and the acne inflammatory mechanism production by 66%.
Product Page - https://www.lovelula.com/products/s5-purity-serum-30ml
evolve offer natural skincare products that are packed full of safe, highly effective superfoods, which contain powerful nutrients and phytochemicals and absolutely no nasties. All products are 99.5% natural and have been certified organic by Ecocert, the international organic standards body.
Evolve Perfect Radiance Facial Polish – £12.99 for 100ml*
Suitable for all skin types, this deliciously creamy facial scrub polishes and perfects, leaving skin smooth, radiant and visibly hydrated. It is made with organic superfood Acai kernels, which gently buff away imperfections, and Brazilian Acerola, one of nature’s richest sources of Vitamin C, which brightens and moisturises for a flawless finish.
* LoveLula are currently offering a free 100ml Evolve Facial Polish with any Evolve purchase over £20
Oxygen is a natural skincare line based in New Zealand. Their skincare products contain only natural ingredients found in plants and essential oils that benefit your inner health as well as your outer beauty as the aromas of essential oils are therapeutic and emotionally rebalancing.
Oxygen Purifying Honey Masque – £19.95 for 200ml
This light, soothing mask uses Oxygen’s local Nelson active manuka honey to hydrate and repair, while soothing and healing botanicals absorb into the skin and help to combat moisture loss.
I’m looking forward to trying out these products! Having gone through each brand’s range on LoveLula, I already have my eye on a couple of products I’d like to purchase using this month’s Beauty Box discount of 20% off ila, Oxygen, Evolve and S5 Skincare. Learn more about the LoveLula Beauty Box here.
Are you subscribed to a monthly beauty box? Have you tried any of these products or other products by these natural and organic skincare brands?
I haven’t done a Bookmarked Recipes post in a while, although I’m always saving new recipes to try, mostly on my Pinterest board, and the latest recipes I’ve been looking at are for freezer meals – mostly soups and stews. I’ve whipped up a few freezer meals to store away for the first weeks with our newborn when cooking a fresh, healthy meal will be the last thing on our minds, focusing on my favorite soup recipes that freeze well. And especially now that we’re heading into autumn, a warm bowl of soup always makes for a delicious, comforting meal. Here’s a roundup of the recipes I’m looking forward to trying soon!
Tried & Tasted Favorites
Recently Bookmarked Recipes
Following yesterday’s post on What’s in My Hospital Bag, here’s what I have packed and ready to go the hospital for Baby T.
I am using the Mima changing bag that I received with the Mima Xari pushchair, which comes with a changing mat, bottle holder and dirty nappy bag. I left the bottle holder out for now and will be bringing the changing mat and plastic bag (for Baby T’s dirty laundry) along to the hospital.
I’m very happy with the Mima Xari changing bag – it’s great quality, very practical and roomy inside with plenty of pockets.
What’s in Baby T’s Hospital Bag
So here’s what’s been packed away – I’ve included a couple of extra outfits for Baby T to be on the safe side! I love the Frugi newborn kimono bodies – the fabric is super soft and the style looks so easy to put on and comfortable to wear. The rest of the baby clothes I’ve packed away are mostly from The Little White Company and John Lewis. I stocked up on a bunch of basics from the John Lewis Baby range – including muslin cloths, scratch mitts and basic bodysuits.
- Sleepsuits – The Little White Company [similar here] and John Lewis Baby Teddy Sleepsuits
- Bodysuits – Frugi Newborn Kimono Bodies and John Lewis Baby Short Sleeve Bodysuits
- Hats – Mamas & Papas Welcome to the World Hat and John Lewis Baby Knotted Hat
- Scratch Mitts – John Lewis Baby Scratch Mitts
- Booties – The Little White Company Essentials Jersey Booties
- Cardigan – Baby Gap V-Neck Button Cardigan
- Blanket – The Little White Company Cellular Pram Blanket
- Swaddle – Aden + Anais Night Sky Muslin Swaddle
- Wet Wipes - WaterWipes Baby Wipes
- Nappies - Naty by Nature Babycare Diapers
- Muslin Cloths – John Lewis Muslin Squares
- Pacifier – MAM Perfect 0+ Soother
All packed and ready to go!
On the next Baby Buys post, I’ll go through where I’ve been shopping – online and in person – for the rest of Baby T’s wardrobe. We’ve been buying a mix of newborn size and 0-3 months to start off with. I’ll also post my favorite picks from the latest collections – I’ve really been looking forward for the Autumn/Winter collections to come out so we can start shopping around for some knitwear and outerwear!
I’ve had our hospital bags completely packed for a couple of weeks now, since I was 36 weeks along, although I’ve been collecting items along the way in a drawer over the previous weeks so it was mostly a matter of moving what was in the drawer into the carry-on sized bag. To pack our bags, I followed recommendations from my NCT antenatal class and pregnancy books, as well as these websites - NHS – Pack your bag for labor and BabyCentre – What to pack in your hospital bag.
I packed with the idea of staying two nights, just to be safe, although hopefully we’ll be right back home after one night. We live about 5 minutes away from the hospital, so if we end up staying longer, my husband will head home to pick up a fresh change of clothes and whatever else we may need, in addition to topping up the cats’ food and water. For food and drink, I’m packing quite a few light snacks for while I’m in labor – biscuits, fruit, cereal bars etc – and some to have for breakfast the next day. Other items, like the MamaTENS and iPod, I’ll most likely be using at home when contractions start, so we’ll be packing those in the bag right before leaving to the hospital.
What’s in My Hospital Bag
- Nightgown & Robe - Melba Maternity Nightdress and Robe [NCT Shop]
- Hospital Gown - The Pretty Company Nicole Gownie [The Pretty Company]
- Disposable Hospital Panties - Emma Jane Hospital Pants 7 pk [Amazon UK]
- (3) Nursing Bras – e.g. Emma Jane Next Generation Nursing Bra [FigLeaves]
- Breast Pads - Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads [Amazon UK]
- Maternity Pads - Natracare Organic Maternity Pads [Amazon UK]
- Lounge Trousers and Tank Tops
- House slippers
- Flip-flops (for shower)
- Wool Socks
- Eye Mask
- Swimsuit (for birthing pool)
- Dirty Laundry Bag
- Going Home Outfit (Wrap Dress)
- Eau Thermale Avene Water Spray
- Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Nipple Cream
- Antibacterial Hand Gel
- Lip Balm
- Body Wash
- Body Lotion
- Face Wash & Wipes
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste
- Makeup (BB Cream, Mascara, Blush)*
Food & Drink
- Sports Drinks
- Bobble Bottle (for water)
- Belvita Biscuits
- Nakd Bars
- Eat Natural Cereal Bars
- Bananas and Apples*
- Mixed Nuts
- Dried Fruit
- Maternity Notes and Birth Plan
- Nelsons Homeopathic Arnica Pillules
- Earth Mama Angel Baby New Mama Bottom Spray
- Pregnancy Vitamins
- iPod* & iPod dock
- MamaTENS Machine*
- iPhone and Charger*
- Camera and Charger
- Book or Magazine
- 2 Pillows*
- Wallet and Cash*
* Items that will be packed right before leaving to the hospital
Each of our hospital bags (mine, my husband’s, our baby’s) plus any miscellaneous items that I might need to use before going to the hospital (MamaTENS, Paracetamol) are being kept together on the changing table, ready to go at any moment. I still use the camera and iPod now and then but I make sure to put them back (ideally fully charged) so we aren’t running around the flat looking for them when it’s time to go.
Next up is what I’ve packed in our baby’s hospital bag!
This week I used the AngelSounds Fetal Heart Detector for the last time, to record my baby’s heartbeat onto the supplied CD, something I’ve been meaning to do for weeks now!
I purchased this doppler during the first trimester for about £20 on Amazon UK and have enjoyed using it, especially for those first months. You can start to hear the baby’s heartbeat from about 12 to 14 weeks. I was able to hear the heartbeat from 11 weeks, although it took some time and a very full bladder to finally hear anything. And it was a wonderful, reassuring feeling that I couldn’t wait to share with my husband! Definitely well worth the £20! From then on, we listened to the heartbeat every week or so, using the stopwatch on iPhone to calculate the beats per minute to make sure we weren’t confusing his heartbeat with mine.
The AngelSounds Fetal Heart Detector came with headphones, a small tube of ultrasound gel, a recording cable, a blank CD and a USB driver disk. It’s very straightforward to use – just plug in the headphones, turn it on, rub some ultrasound gel on your belly and roll the doppler around until you can hear the heartbeat. After a couple of tries, you’ll figure out where are the best spots to track down your baby’s heartbeat. For me, it was below the belly button, near the bikini line. The sound isn’t always very clear on the doppler – there’s a lot of static – and especially when you’re searching for the heartbeat, be careful to keep the volume down or your ears will be ringing for about an hour from the sudden loud bursts of crackling noise. The small tube of ultrasound gel didn’t last long and I ended up buying a bottle from Amazon for about £3.
What wasn’t very straightforward was the process of making a recording of the heartbeat – a reason why I left it for so long to investigate further! The instructions aren’t very helpful:
When you hear the fetal heartbeat sound, you can connect one socket with a headset, and another can connect with computer. You can replay the recorded sound files anytime, and you can send them whoever you want.
I assumed the USB driver CD was included to help me record the heartbeat – but when I inserted it into my PC, all I could see was a bunch of Japanese instrumental songs.
I downloaded the free trial of MP3 Recorder Studio, which is very easy to use. The only issue I had was with the ever-present crackling noise that cropped up the moment I plugged the doppler into my PC’s Audio Input jack. I could not find a way around it, so I carried on until I found the right spot to hear the heartbeat loud and clear and recorded a couple of 60 second long files (the maximum time per file allowed with the software’s free trial) onto the blank CD, which is now kept in my Bump to Birthday journal. Not the best sound quality, but a nice memory nonetheless of those reassuring moments we could listen in on our baby’s heartbeat at home.
At only £20, I do recommend using the AngelSounds Fetal Heart Detector, especially for the beginning part of the second trimester. Once I was feeling our baby’s strong kicks and movements on a regular basis, we weren’t using the doppler anymore, but we did make good use out of it over several weeks and it always brought us peace of mind to listen in on our baby. The sound quality isn’t fantastic, and it took some time for me to figure out how to make a recording – and I’m not 100% happy with the results – but it was always wonderful to hear our baby’s heartbeat and those moments we shared are some of our favorite memories from these past months.
I’ve been collecting overripe bananas in my freezer for a couple of weeks now, just waiting to make a new batch of Paleo Banana Bread. Using thawed frozen bananas is my favorite way to make moist, flavorful banana bread. We always have a bunch of bananas on the counter, and whenever one goes brown, I take off the peel, put it into a Ziploc bag and store it in the freezer. I carry on collecting up to four bananas this way, all the ones I need for the recipe in the same bag, which makes it easier when it comes time to thaw them all out. Some people just toss the unpeeled bananas into the freezer on their own, but I’ve just found it so messy to peel them afterwards, when they’ve thawed out, the banana skin is very rubbery and they’re letting out a slimy juice. Instead, I put the Ziploc bag on a plate (just in case) and let the bananas thaw out in the fridge overnight. Once thawed, I scoop each one out of the bag, leaving the slimy juice behind, as I need them for the recipe.
When I make banana bread, I’ve just been adapting the method used in Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations’s recipe, which is a great foundation also to incorporate additional ingredients for different tastes. This time, I also added 1/2 cup of cocoa powder for an indulgent treat that we’ve been enjoying for breakfast or dessert.
Chocolate Paleo Banana Bread – adapted from Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations’s Paleo Banana Bread recipe
- 4 thawed frozen bananas, mashed (3 for batter, 1 to fold in)
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 4 tablespoons grass-fed butter or coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F / 176 C
- Combine 3 bananas, eggs, almond butter and butter or coconut oil in a food processor and mix well until blended
- Add coconut flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and sea salt and mix well
- Fold in remaining banana chunks
- Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan with butter
- Pour batter into pan and spread evenly throughout
- Place pan in preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. For a glass loaf pan, this is approximately 55-60 minutes. For a metal pan, approximately 35-45 minutes.
- Remove from oven and carefully flip your bread out onto a cooling rack
- Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes then slice and enjoy!
* UPDATE – Just wanted to add one more photo of when I made this banana bread without the cocoa powder, but folded in dark baking chocolate chunks at the end with the 1 mashed banana. Another great way to enjoy banana bread! Check out the original recipe for more variations that don’t involve chocolate – I know I’ll be making the pumpkin pecan one soon!
I’ve been receiving deliveries almost daily over the past couple of weeks of baby furniture and accessories, along with miscellaneous items for our hospital bags. We now have all the essentials ready for our baby’s arrival! Since coming down with a bad cold last week, I am especially grateful for online shopping to carry on with our purchases from the comfort of my home. There were a few days when I barely had the energy to perform the simplest of tasks, however, I’ve been slowly starting to feel better over the past couple of days and getting all caught up. I’m very excited that we received the Stokke crib and Mima Xari stroller just in time to put those together over the bank holiday weekend! With that, a couple loads of baby laundry and finishing to pack our hospital bags, we will be all ready for our baby’s arrival!
This past weekend, my husband put together the changing table we ordered on Amazon, the Geuther Clarissa table (shown on the bottom part of this webpage), and we’re very happy with how it looks! It is very sturdy and fairly compact (for a changing table – one of the smallest I could find) with plenty of space across three shelves, plus castors so we can move it around the flat if we so desire. I hope to stop by The Holding Company over the long weekend to pick up some baskets for the two lower shelves to store diapers, wet wipes, toiletries, towels, bodysuits etc. Overall, it was a great purchase at just over £80 for a convenient storage unit that we can continue to use when our baby has outgrown it.
Here’s what else we bought for our diaper changing duties!
(1) This thoroughly mobile wooden changing trolley on castors slots in exactly where it’s needed. It has two spacious storage shelves that are fitted with braces on three sides, which prevent items from slipping off the trolley, even when on the move. Made with high quality FSC certified beechwood, to the highest and strictest European Safety Standards. Measurements: W 56 x H 90.5 x L 74.5 cm [Geuther Clarissa Changing Table, £83.31]
(2) This changing mat by bébé-jou is made with high quality elastic PU comfort foam to provide a long-lasting product with additional head and neck support and raised sides that keep your baby safe in the middle. The Oxo-Tek and Toxproof certified cover and ventilated foam are made of environmentally friendly and safe materials, without any harmful substances. [Bébé-jou Changing Mat Bibi and Bobo, RRP £27.50, now £22.80]
(3) Nature Babycare disposable nappies are made with renewable and natural materials, based on GM-free corn, which provide a naturally breathable product that can minimise nappy rash and other irritations, while stretchy front fastening tabs along with the comfortable leg gathering enable your baby to move freely. Nature Babycare nappies are 100 per cent chlorine-free and fragrance-free, and over 60 per cent biodegradable, meaning there is less need for landfill or polluting incineration. [Naty by Nature Babycare, Newborn Size 1, RRP £8.18 - now £5.72 for 52 nappies]
(4) Suitable from birth, WaterWipes are made with 99.9% pure water, 0.1% fruit extract and provide the mild, gentle care required to clean a newborn baby’s delicate skin, with the absolute purity and efficacy of cotton wool and water. With a clean, fresh non-greasy feel, they leave no residue or unwanted chemicals on the skin, and are free of alcohol, perfume, chlorine, formaldehyde, parabens, phenols, phthalates, quaternary ammonium compounds, SLS & SLES, lanolin & unnecessary additives. [WaterWipes Super Value Box - Total 540 Wipes, RRP £19.99, now £15.99]
(5) This came highly recommended by a new mom visiting our NCT class! The Organic Pharmacy’s best selling nappy balm is made with soothing and disinfecting oils for areas of dry and sensitive skin. Propolis, marigold and neem protect and soothe, while jojoba and sunflower nourish the skin. You can find Organic Pharmacy shops on Kensington High Street and King’s Road. [The Organic Pharmacy Nappy Balm, £19.96]
(6) Lastly, after reading great reviews, I picked up this nappy bin (which is on sale at Sainsbury’s and over half off on Amazon at only £10) to seal away any germs and dirty nappy odours. The system works by individually wrapping every nappy in an antibacterial, odour-control film that kills 99% of germs on contact. The tub holds up to 28 nappies and each film cassette wraps up to 84 nappies, lasting about a month. [Tommee Tippee Sangenic Nappy Disposal Tub, RRP £24.99, now £10.00]
I’ll be sure to post reviews of these products once we put them to good use! For the next Baby Buys post, I’ll be going through what I’m packing in our hospital bags.
Here’s what I received the other day in the August Amarya Beauty Box, the last box under Amarya now that the company has merged with LoveLula. Everything will stay the same – I will continue to have my monthly subscription with a selection of samples, trial sizes or full size products from leading natural and organic beauty and skincare brands – just with an even larger selection of brands! I look forward to seeing what’s in store starting this September.
Update: Forgot to mention that I also received this lovely Amarya tote in the Beauty Box!
I’m always pleased to try out moisturisers and both of these by Lavera – a hand creme and face moisturiser – sound lovely. I’ll be saving the Lucy Annabella treatment oil for after my pregnancy (not long left – just over a month!) when I’m done using my anti-stretch mark oil. I have very dark, fairly thick eyebrows and don’t usually need to use an eyebrow pencil but I will give it a try. The INIKA eyebrow pencil can also be used as an eyeliner, so I’ll most likely being using it for that. I am also interested in trying other INIKA Cosmetics products, so will certainly be making use of this month’s exclusive 20% off discount to purchase other items!
Lucy Annabella Organics was established in the heartland of Northern Ireland, where the organic product range is still formulated, developed and created in Ballygawley, Co. Tyrone. At the heart of Lucy Annabella Organic products is founder Colleen Harte’s love of natural and organic ingredients and her drive for perfection. The Lucy Annabella Organics luxury skincare product line includes moisturisers, treatment oils, bath milks and candles, blended with precious aromatherapy oils.
Lucy Annabella Argan & Bergamot Organic Treatment Oil - £38.00 for 125 ml
This organic treatment oil is handmade using a blend of 100% organic ingredients, including argan oil and Vitamin E to nourish the skin, and lavender, bergamot, and cypress oils to awaken the body and revive the skin. This ‘little pot of magic’ can be used daily as a body oil or anytime as an uplifting and refreshing massage oil.
Lavera offers award winning natural and organic skincare and cosmetic products which contain NO parabens, NO SLS’s & NO synthetic ingredients. LoveLula describes it as an affordable beauty cabinet must have brand that provides incredible results – and a great place to start if you’re new to organic skincare.
Lavera Basis Hand Cream - £4.45 for 75 ml
Lavera’s Basis range is gentle, effective and suitable for the entire family. Recommended for use as an everyday nourishing, quick-absorbing hand cream, it is created with a blend of almond oil and shea butter, to protect and moisturise hands in even the most extreme conditions, and chamomile extract which calms and cares.
Lavera Basis Sensitive Organic Moisturising Cream - £10.45 for 50 ml
The perfect multi-tasking all-rounder, the Lavera Basis Moisturising Cream hydrates, revitalises and offers anti-aging protection. Made with organic jojoba and organic aloe vera, which give your skin ultimate moisture, along with essences of organic rose, organic lemon balm to revitalise and refresh your complexion, this cream is suitable for all skin types and recommended for use in the mornings and evenings.
INIKA is a 100 percent natural beauty brands incorporating mineral makeup, vegan and organic products that are completely free from synthetic chemicals and harmful ingredients. INIKA is committed to delivering the highest quality, safest ingredients, the best performing natural cosmetics and uniquely stylish and fashion forward makeup. Half of the INIKA product range is Certified Organic, the other half comprises of 100% pure mineral makeup. All INIKA products are Vegan, Certified Halal and Certified Cruelty Free.
INIKA Eyebrow Pencil in Brunette Beauty - £13.50 (as shown)
This 100% pure mineral pencil is soft, flattering and easy to use with no waxy residue. The creamy formula glides on to deliver real depth of colour and staying power, helping to define and volumise your brows, giving your face dimension and shape, and ensuring that any missing hairs are filled in and naturally coloured. The brow pencil comes with a complimentary sharpener lid and is also available in a Blonde Bombshell shade.
Product Page - https://www.lovelula.com/products/brow-pencil-by-inika
I always look forward to receiving the Amarya Beauty Box and being introduced to natural and organic skincare and cosmetic brands. I am interested to see what’s in store now that Amarya has combined with LoveLula! As I’ve mentioned before, each month Amarya offers its beauty box subscribers a special discount on the brands featured in the box – this month’s exclusive offer is 20% off Lavera, INIKA and Lucy Annabella products, valid until 30 August 2013. Learn more about the new LoveLula Beauty Box here.
Are you subscribed to a monthly beauty box? Have you tried any of these products or other products by these natural and organic skincare brands?
I love looking back through the cherished items I’ve managed to keep from my childhood: old greeting cards and letters, photographs, school projects, jewelry and trinkets, a little teddy bear I used to carry everywhere from when I was 3 or 4 years old… It’s so special to still have these items that serve as a glimpse into my past and bring back memories, although I am missing anything from my very first year as a baby. I hope to do a good job of holding onto the special mementos of my son’s childhood and am already looking for ideas on how to store these keepsakes through the years. Here’s what I’ve found for inspiration so far, and do keep checking out my Pinterest Baby board for more ideas.
In addition to being a safe place to keep items together for those special firsts, shadow boxes add a wonderful touch to the home, displayed as wall art or on a shelf. I already know I’ll be putting together a “going home outfit” shadow box and love the idea of creating shadow boxes to capture vacation highlights, a child’s shoes through the years and first hobbies.
Image Source - BabyCentre
Image Source - Martha Stewart
Image Source – Art & Frame Express
Image Source – Real Simple
Image Source – BabyCentre
Image Source – Martha Stewart
Memory Boxes and Time Capsules
With all that I collect as it is, I can already picture us having stacks of memory boxes and time capsules! I love the idea of having a birthday box to keep together cards and gift tags, decorations and the party invitation, the candle (s), photos and other mementos from the big day. Also, I really like the Pearson baby prints memory box (shown below, available at John Lewis) that includes space on the front for a photo and a foot impression (kit included).
Image Source – Martha Stewart
Image Source - Martha Stewart
Scrapbooks and Memory Binders
I’ve always been a snap happy person, so I’m already expecting heaps of photos – and I’d like to get back into the habit of printing photos so they don’t just end up sticking around my hard drive. I hope to put together some scrapbooks here and there. There’s a lovely woman in Fano (my husband’s hometown in Italy) who makes beautiful personalised photo / scrapbook albums by hand and I’ll be asking her to make us one next time we visit.
For memory binder inspiration, I think Anna’s Baby Book is absolutely amazing!! I have included a couple of photos here to give you an idea, but highly recommend you stop by her comprehensive blog post, which includes a video, for ideas on how to put together an outstanding baby memory binder teeming with beautiful photos and special memories!
Images Source – Anna’s Baby Book
Lastly, I’m looking for ways to create mementos for us to keep and to give to our families – especially a “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament with our baby’s foot impression. Here are some ideas I’ve found online so far – gifts created by capturing finger, hand and foot prints with paint, silver or clay, or gathering up items such as outgrown baby clothes to have a unique keepsake cushion made!
Image Source – Pinterest
Plenty of creative ways to cherish those wonderful memories and first moments for years to come! What do you use or have you used to display or store your baby’s firsts?
This past weekend was very exciting for us because we placed an order with Peppermint Chiswick for our baby’s crib and pushchair! We will receive everything in the next week or so. We stopped by the store for one last look at the pushchairs (we were still deciding between two brands) and ultimately we went with our first choice, which we pretty much decided on during our visit to Italy in Easter: the Mima Xari. More on the Mima Xari once I have received the pushchair and set it up. I can’t wait to go out on our first walk with it!
For the crib, we chose the Stokke Sleepi, in walnut brown, which starts off as the Mini size for 0-6 months, then with an extension kit and its adjustable mattress height, easily converts into a toddler size bed for up to 3 years. As with the Mima Xari, we decided on the Stokke Sleepi months ago. I first saw it at the Baby Show at the ExCel Centre in February and just fell in love with the look and clever design. We decided to forgo a Moses basket, because with its lockable wheels and narrow 67.2 cm width, we can simply move the crib around our flat to keep our baby close while he’s sleeping.
So now that we’ll soon have the crib, I’m picking out what else we’ll need for baby’s bedtime! Here’s what is on our shopping list for our newborn;
(1) The crib we went with is the oval-shaped Stokke Sleepi Mini. It creates a nest-like environment that is comfortable and secure, with smooth action lockable wheels that can be used to rock your baby gently to sleep and easily move the crib from room to room. Comes with a mattress and a canopy drape rod. [Stokke Sleepi Mini, £399.99 or Stokke Sleepi, with bed extension included, £489.00]
(2) In addition, we purchased a couple of fitted sheets and a white canopy, but not a cot bumper due to the risk factors associated with SIDS (more details and an alternative here). [Stokke Sleepi Mini Fitted Sheet in White, £17.00] and [Stokke Sleepi Canopy in White, £57.50]
(3) I’ll be buying sleeping bags to keep my baby nice and snug and I love the ones by Aden + Anais. For early autumn, I plan on getting the Night Sky muslin sleeping bag, and for winter, one from the Cozy Sleeping bag range, which are made with four layers of muslin. [Aden + Anais Sleeping Bag, £29.95]
(4) We bought some adorable sleepsuits from Jacadi, JoJo Maman Bébé and The Little White Company. In addition to a pack of basics from John Lewis to stock up, I might just get this one too – it’s so adorable with little starfish, turtles and whales on it! [The Little White Company Turtle Sleepsuit, £20.00]
(5) I’m still looking for a mobile to hang on the crib’s drape rod – I’m having a hard time finding that matches our nursery “theme”. I love Beatrix Potter stories and characters and may just end up with this very cute musical mobile with Peter Rabbit! [Rainbow Peter Rabbit Musical Mobile, £40.00]
(6) I’ll also be purchasing a few cellular blankets. I love the super soft cellular pram blanket I got from The Little White Company, so I’ll be picking up a couple of the cot version in white and blue. [The Little White Company Satin Edged Cellular Cot Blanket, £20.00]
(7) One more item from The Little White Company – I just love shopping there! I already have their whale rattle and will be getting this small whale comforter toy to give to our baby at bedtime. It’s a small baby blue whale attached to a very soft white plush square that he can snuggle up to. [The Little White Company Whale Comforter, £12.00]
(8) In our antenatal classes, it was emphasized time and time again the importance of replicating the comfort of the womb to soothe your baby in those first weeks. I’ve been recommended to get Ewan the Dream Sheep, a soft toy that replicates the soothing sounds of a pregnant mum’s womb and heartbeat, combined with household, musical and natural sounds at low bass frequencies of 125hz to produce ‘pink noise’ – the type of noise that babies predominantly hear when in the womb. [easidream Ewan the Dream Sheep, £29.95]
That hopefully will cover what we need for bedtime during those first weeks with our newborn! Stay tuned for more “Baby Buys” posts coming soon – covering Changing, Feeding, Books & Toys and more – as we prepare our flat. Less than 6 weeks to go!