Baby Henry’s Room!

20140204-235113.jpg

For months I have been meaning to blog about little Henry’s nursery! I wanted to show how we decorated it and what ideas included. It is definitely a work in progress as I am always finding new ideas and styles I like and want to incorporate, but anyhow…here it is!
Whilst I was pregnant I decided that I didn’t want a cream/beige nursery which seems to be the inevitable option when you don’t know the sex of your unborn child. So, after thinking about it I realised that because little one wasn’t actually going to be in their own room for a good few months anyway I could actually wait until we knew the sex and then decorate it…However, I actually think that it’s pretty unisex after all!! But I am still really pleased I waited.
IMG_4102
I absolutely love green, it features in quite a few of our rooms at home, so I decided to instruct Mr J to paint the walls this colour as a base so we could mix it up with pink & peach florals for a little girl or boyish blues for a little boy. We went for white furniture and a dark laminate to contrast with the furniture. After shopping around for AGES I realised I wanted to get normal sized furniture rather than the children’s furniture as I found they came up really small. Because we have a built in wardrobe in the room all we actually needed for clothes storage was a chest of drawers which I bought from Homebase and matched the colour to the rest of the furniture. It had really old fashioned handles so I bought some crystal ones from Ebay and gave it a more modern feel.
IMG_9847
We decided to go with a free-standing change table instead of an over the cot one, and I am really pleased we did as it provides heaps of storage, we got ours from Mamas & Papas. I found these green and white baskets in Tiger which allowed me to organise everything into easy to grab, mid nappy change, sections! It is a life saver for bad backs as you can stand up rather than having to bend over to change the many nappies Henry goes through! A friend of mine bought us the changing mat, also from Mamas & Papas.
5aa339daefb011e29a0a22000a1fba82_5
I fell in love with this “Mia” sleigh cot bed from Mamas & Papas, but completely underestimated how huge it was! I think I could quite comfortably sleep in it! It meant we needed to change the layout from what we had planned but now I love it being tucked away in the corner of his room to leave plenty of room for him to play in the rest of the nursery.
IMG_4143
Daddy mid-build.
I knew I wanted to use wall stickers to bring some animation and excitement to the walls for little Henry, and this means we can change them when he grows out of them without having to re do the whole room if we don’t feel it necessary. I really love the look these bring to his sleeping area, I figured who couldn’t fall asleep amongst the clouds?! – Turns out Henry! But that’s for another blog!
IMG_5943
I remember the Owl and the Pussycat from my childhood and I wanted to include this traditional feature in Henry’s room. I managed to find this brilliant wall sticker from notonthehighstreet.com and it is by the Brighton based Koko Kids – which I looooove!!!! It’s a fabric sticker which was so easy to apply and Henry gets so excited when we look at the whales and talk about the rain falling and waves splashing. Take a look at all the other beautiful things they do! http://kokokids.com
IMG_5806
IMG_8396
After our 7 months of no sleep we decided on trying a black out blind to help Henry along with his naps during the day, and having already got a blind and curtains I found the Gro Company did a “Gro Anywhere” blind, which we suckered onto the window which is so effective at blocking out all of the daylight. It is absolutely huge and of course, mobile so perfect if you need to take it on holiday or away for the weekend.
IMG_9842
Personally I knew I didn’t want all matchy matchy in terms of the accessories and so I searched loads of different websites for unique things to include in the nursery. I came across this great company who make these prints and they were kind enough to make me one up to document Henry’s birth details. You can decide on your own colours and themes and they are sent on high quality paper and I bought a chunky white frame from Ikea for it. You can get your own – for any occasion from http://www.elliebeanprints.co.uk
IMG_9826
My friend Lucy also had this lovely, 3D birth picture made for us which ties in with the bunting and owls we have in his room.
IMG_5825
This is a horrendous photo but it kind of lets you see most of the room altogether!
IMG_5971
Some homemade bits…
IMG_9830        IMG_9832
IMG_9833
Bunting!!
IMG_9834        IMG_9837
The next thing I want to make are 3D hot air balloons similar to these stickers to hang at the end of the cot amongst the clouds!
 IMG_5740
Well, there we have it! I love his room and love adding to it when I find new things and there’s lots more I can’t wait to get. I am making the most of actually being able to choose what he has before he wants the whole thing football themed!!! What did you go for in your little one’s room?

IMG_9831

Maternity photography.

As the time went on, I realised more & more that I wanted to capture my pregnancy on film before the baby arrived. Despite feeling pretty fat and unattractive I knew if I didn’t then I would regret it. A close friend of mine has a fab hair and make up business and also offers wedding and maternity photography and I knew she was the only person I wanted to (quite literally) bare all to! She made me feel at ease with the camera and knew exactly what shots to take to show off my bump and not my insecurities, giving me prints which I could look back on and cherish.
Pregnant Bump       DSC_1119
I decided to have my shoot at 8 months, so my bump was big enough, but I wasn’t feeling too ginormous and suffering from water retention – even if I felt like I had a few too many chins!! So make sure you choose the right time to suit you. Confidence is key for a happy shoot, so you don’t want to be worried about stretch marks or water retention; your photographer should make you feel at ease and work around your insecurities rather than highlighting them.
Stripy Bump
Lighting in photography really makes the image, and it’s especially true for pregnancy photography. A good photographer will use the light to reflect the emotion and theme of the shot you require. A soft natural light will create a flattering image and if you want to show off your bump in underwear for example, using a sheer, voile type material to cover you will create a soft cover for any insecurities whilst showing your bump off.
Silhouette            zDSC_1140
Before your shoot have a think about any props you might like to give your photographer to incorporate – do you know the name/sex of your baby? Can you create a sign to include this? Or post IT notes with all your name choices? Maybe a balloon with the sex or name written on it, or a chalk board with the due date? Have you already bought your baby’s first toy which you could incorporate? Or some tiny baby shoes? Would your partner like to be involved? Do you have other children who you could include? Maternity shots with siblings make for wonderful pics.
Casual Pregnancy                 DSC_1250b
DSC_1270b
Have you got a favourite outfit – if any of your clothes still fit! Depending on what you have pre-organised take a selection of options with you to change into on the day. There are so many options, so if you want to have creative input then have a think about them before hand and share with your photographer at your consultation.
DSC_1220                                 DSC_1237a
It’s really important to mention that even if you categorically think a maternity shoot isn’t for you, in 10 years time when you look back you may really wish you had put your insecurities aside and have captured your blossoming self – even if you don’t show any one I bet you will pleased you did it and your photographer will bring out the best in you, even if you feel tired, fat, nauseous or terrible so you are sure to be pleasantly surprised at how good you look! When your children are all grown up they will love to see you carrying them all those years ago too!
Meadow Pregnancy                            DSC_1337
If you want to capture your pregnancy similarly to this then contact Emma either on her website, http://www.emmatrotman.co.uk or on her Facebook – Emma Trotman Photography. She is based in Hampshire and will discuss your options and give you a consultation to make sure you are given a package to suit you, to make sure you get the best images for what you are looking for while making you feel at ease and happy on the day. Let her know that you found her details via my blog.

Maternity Wardrobe; Top 10 Essentials.

I often get told off by my friends when I talk about what I’ve bought recently, or if I am going shopping – and I can kind of see their point now, with just a couple of days of pregnancy to go 😉 (Or so I hope!) However the truth is, from my point of view pregnancy is a time where you are not yourself, that your body changes in ways you’ve never experienced and you don’t feel in control of what you look like – certainly in my experience anyway! So you need to feel good in what you’re wearing, and if going shopping helps you feel good about your appearance then surely you can’t deny yourself?! Plus, 7-9 months is a long time (when you factor in the weeks after you give birth if you’re not one of the lucky ones to snap back into your pre-preg clothes) and I wouldn’t go 9 months without shopping normally, so why stop now?!

Whether you are of the same opinion as me or not – and after all, these views are only my own ramblings so I don’t expect you to agree, your body shape is going to change considerably and you will need at least a few essentials to grow with your changing figure so here’s my top 10 list of clothes to get you through this exciting time!

Just to note, I found a lot more choice and options online and the selections would be updated a lot more often than in store. I also had a work wardrobe to buy for, so depending on your needs your list may differ from the below. I have also been pregnant mainly over the winter months so I didn’t stock up on summer clothes, although now it seems like it’s just around the corner I would definitely be stocking up on Maxi dresses and mid length jersey skirts to team with vest tops and cut off denim jackets or a leather jacket for cooler days.

Summer Days

A few pairs of good quality jeans – key for so many occasions. I found some great choices from Topshop in a good selection of colours. Dress them up or down depending on what you’re doing, a pair of heels instantly uplifted me if I were going out for dinner or with the girls for a lemonade whereas a pair of pumps or Converse are perfect if you are heading out shopping or for lunch. The waistbands vary on maternity jeans; either over or under the bump. H&M do a good selection which go over bump which I found lasted a little longer than the thicker bands which go under. They also do lots of different colours.

Topshop jeans Topshop jeans blue

Long vest tops – wear these underneath shorter tops so that you can get away with non maternity options in a larger size to normal to stretch your old wardrobe as long as possible. Towards the end of your pregnancy your bump will get so big that even maternity tops don’t seem to completely cover your bump and they save having any flesh on show.

Vest topwhite vest top

A sheer shirt – I bought several with lots of different patterns and colours which I teamed with different colour skinny jeans or tube skirt for work. These don’t even need to be maternity while you’re in the earlier months of pregnancy – some I didn’t grow out of until around 7 and a half months due to their baggy style.

Sheer Shirt

Wrap dress – while the crossover style grows with your shape and shows off your waistline the v neck makes the most of your growing bust line. I bought several dresses as I wore one each day for work, but if you don’t need them for the office they are great when you have a night out planned or an event. I actually found these more comfortable than trousers and went mainly for long-sleeved as I had a real complex about my arms! If you only wanted to buy one or 2 you can change the overall look each time you wear it with what you pair it with – a cardigan one day to dress it down, blazer the next for a meeting, or simply accessorise with a scarf or chunky necklace. Isabella Oliver have some beautiful choices in great materials which keep their shape, such as the below;

      Wrap dressDress Isabella Oliver Dress

A smart and a casual blazer – these will go with just about anything and I’m a massive fan of this particular piece; dress up an outfit with a smart choice or go with a jersey blazer to give a casual outfit effortless style. Coloured blazers are great too if you have just the one pair of dark denim jeans to give your outfit a splash of colour. I like the fit of the Zara ones, however even Primark do a large selection! The best part is you can wear these when you’re no longer pregnant so don’t hold back!

Grey Blazer Red Blazer

T shirts and long sleeved cotton tops – Any material which is stretchy will show off your bump without drowning your figure and giving you no shape; great with a pair of jeans. Striped tops – usually tricky to pull off if you don’t want to accentuate your lumps and bumps, but there is no better time to show off your blossoming figure than now, it’s a great print for summer too. H&M or New Look have some really good budget options.

Stripe top Top

A long cardigan – elongate your body with the length – great if you’re feeling a bit frumpy at the moment with your current shape and it will go with so many of your  outfits. These are at Next, however any high street store has plenty of choice for now and postpartum.

Long cardi Long cardiagn

An LBD – Pregnant or not, the staple little black dress is a wardrobe essential! Perfect for me for those black tie events and festive parties. Seraphine or Tiffany Rose had some nice choices.

lbd littl black dress

Maternity tights – for me, working in an office over the winter these were essential and I bought a huge amount of pairs. I went with Mama Tights from H&M which went over my bump comfortably (think just under the boobs!!)

TIGHTS

A pair of black trousers – I didn’t actually ever get around to wearing these myself but they are great if you want to wear them to work with a shirt or cotton top. For staples such as these I found Mothercare had some good options.

I’ve never really been one for wearing leggings outside of the house; but on days where I have wanted to (and taken the opportunity to!) slob around, a pair of leggings are just so comfortable to wear. If you want to wear them out and about you can dress them up with a pair of flat riding or patent boots with a long cardigan and figure hugging top – show off that bump!! I found Asos had some good options (although that’s where my loyalties end with Asos maternity – I felt really disappointed with the quality of their maternity clothing.)

Remember, tight clothes whilst pregnant can actually make you look slimmer than baggy clothes. They will show off your bump and you’re bound to get compliments galore to make you feel great.

As you can imagine, having been pregnant since August I am well and truly ready to ditch (burn!) the last remaining maternity clothes which still fit me, and get back to shopping in my favourite stores, but it’s been a fun adventure trying out new styles and brands during my pregnancy so I hope you find your own style and enjoy the precious times that pregnancy brings.

Maternity fashion