Food, Glorious Food
This week, Emily has #takenover bump’s blog to share her love of baking with a must-have biscuit recipe for every home baker…
It’s not a secret that everyone in the bump office loves a treat now and then, if you’re not aware of this – seriously where have you been?! Just check out our Instagram to see our love of food broadcast for everyone to see… office bakes, hot chocolates, freshly baked doughnuts, mega sandwiches from the one and only Chilli B’s, bagels, milkshakes and pretty much anything and everything the lovely town of Hitchin has to offer.
Of course we do have our good days, where we discuss the amazing new diets we are starting the following Monday, the number of calories our favourite snacks steal away from us (Have you ever checked the calories in a McDonald’s milkshake? Just one word, don’t! Lisa and George made this mistake – never again will any of us enjoy a McD’s shake!) and the inevitable ‘Ok no treats next week guys…promise!’ But either way, if it is our nominated Thursday treat day or the first day of a new diet – cake, food and recipes will always be a winner here at bump HQ!
It is no surprise then that we have well and truly hopped on the Bake Off bandwagon and any excuse for us to do some home baking and bring in for the 11am tea round is welcomed! To this day, I have to say I have stuck with cake – cupcakes, muffins and brownies, steering clear of all biscuits, for one reason only – I ALWAYS end up burning them or they just don’t turn out quite right! So, when a friend sent me this super easy recipe courtesy of Rachel Allen, I felt I just had to share! Needless to say, I will be bringing some in to the bump office this week – look out for a snap on Instagram! Happy Baking! x
225g of butter, at room temperature
110g Caster Sugar
275g Plain Flour
- Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3.
- Cream the butter in a large bowl or in a food mixer until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
- Sift in the flour and bring the mixture together to form a firm dough.
- Using your hands, roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and place them slightly apart on a baking tray (no need to grease or line). Flatten them slightly with the back of a damp fork and bake in the oven for 13–15 minutes, or until they are light golden brown and slightly firm on top
- Carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
A British Supporter’s Troubles
As the bumpPR’s love for cake continues to grow so too does our head count. As of September, Hermitage Road will be the home to 8 fabulous members of the team (including the adorable Toby) and one very big tea round! We’ve decided our blog is the perfect space to share some of our experiences, loves and general knowledge to our lovely readers! This week, George has officially #takenover and decided that having only just recovered from the Euro’s, now is the perfect time to discuss how it feels to be an English lover of sports….
I really hope the England players weren’t too upset on their luxury yachts after their performance in what has been the most disastrous England team in history. Losing to a team where the manager worked part time as a dentist as our multi-millionaire ‘professionals’ pranced about the pitch kicking it everywhere but into the back of the net was not something I had expected as the Euros approached. ‘Let’s get excited guys, this could be our year’ I announced to the office as the blank faces looking back at me suggested I had some work on my hands trying to persuade them to get on board with the Euro 2016 hype. To their credit, it was agreed that England’s second game would be on the computer and radio in the office – we must have been a good omen given that was the team’s greatest achievement for a long time! But my encouragement was soon short-lived and I found myself apologising for ever suggesting that supporting our home country during the highly anticipated tournament was a good idea.
So what is the life of a British sports fan like? What woes are in store for those of us who continue to support the £500,000 a week footabllers and who need to desperately just cling on to the success of the Andy Murray’s and the Danny Willet’s of the world!
So for those children who have just entered this whirlwind I offer you this advice:
1) Don’t pester your mum to spend £50 on the latest England shirt. You’ll probably only get to wear it once before we’re beaten by a country noone’s even heard of. You can support them without the shirt and I promise, everyone will be less mad.
2) Always watch Wimbledon. Even if tennis bores you, it’s the best of British. Pretending to the rest of the world that we sit around in the sun drinking champagne and eating strawberries is what we do best – relish in that. And plus we might win too.
3) Don’t assume that just because our football team turn up to training in Bougatti’s that they’re better than the rest.
4) Watch every single sport in the Olympics that you can. You won’t be able to lay around on the sofa for the summer holidays for the rest of your life. So watch trampolining, and the volleyball (your Dad’s probably got that on anyway) and definitely watch all of the Athletics, we’re pretty good at that.
5) When the time comes to pick your team to support…Follow your heart. Your home town might not be Manchester United, but trust me, there’s a greater sense of pride in the success of an underdog! (Isn’t that right Leicester?)
6) When we win a major tournament in football, we tend to cling onto that for at least… 50 years. So be warned if it ever happens again.
7) Don’t write golf off as boring. I assure you that watching Jordan Speith on the final day of the Augusta Master’s was more exciting than any moment during England’s Euro 2016 campaign.
8) There’s a reason that our football fans have developed a stereotype of beer-bellied hooligans. Eating pies really does make one feel better after disappointment.
9) Remember no matter what happens, we put up with torrential rain in July – we can get through whatever disappointment sport brings.
10) Embrace every sport that you can and that even through the difficult times, there really is nothing that brings more national pride than British success! (Except maybe for this…)
So I leave you with those thoughts, and hopefully you’re now all prepared and ready for the 2016 Olympics – undoubtedly the most exciting time for any sports fan.
Will you and your little ones be watching?
The Difference a Decade Makes!
A topic that has come up a few times in the office recently is what we all watched on TV as youngsters. The conversation stemmed from Lisa’s enthusiasm for the theme tune on Toby’s favourite show Ra Ra The Noisy Lion, and spiralled in to a great distraction from work! We quickly realised that all being born spread out over 11 years, a decade (+1) can make such a difference in the world of children’s TV shows!
We reminisced about some all-time classics that we ALL enjoyed such as Rugrats and Blue Peter and found out that Lisa had missed out on Teletubbies and George and Lucinda certainly hadn’t heard of The Shoe People!
Here are the shows that we remember loving… Recognise any?
bumpPR’s Fathers Day Gift Guide 2016
In the office we’ve all agreed that buying for dads is a jolly difficult task! To make a huge generalisation, men don’t tend to like ‘stuff’ like women do, and we often have different opinions on what is and isn’t ‘useless tat’. We all want find the perfect gift for the dads in our lives, something that they really want, so we’ve scoured the internet for some ideas.
We have identified three types of dad: The Adventure Dad who wants something useful and functional, The Gadget Dad who wants something entertaining and innovative and The Dapper Dad who always likes to look his best. We hope that you enjoy our Fathers Day Gift Guide as much as we enjoyed putting it together!
Anya Hindmarch Bespoke Two-Sided Flat Card Case / Jason Markk Gift Box Set / Radical Dadical Men’s T shirt / Liberty Print Queue For The Zoo Tie / Paul Smith Navy Cactus Socks / Tom Dixon Cast Shoe Doorstop / GB Kent & Sons Shaving Gift Set
Thanks for stopping by… What’s new in your world?
The coffee table. Mummy and Daddy’s lounge is littered with toys AND I’ve got two cool dogs to play with, however the coffee table ceases to amaze me at the moment. Mummy and Daddy are always putting things on it! Life is even more of an adventure now I’ve discovered the coffee table.
What’s your favourite thing to do with Mummy?
Wake her up. *giggles* because then I get extra cuddles which is my real favourite thing to do with Mummy.
What’s your favourite thing to do with Daddy?
Every day with Daddy is an adventure. We have lots of fun when mummy is at work, walking the dogs and playing in the garden especially!
What is your best memory so far?
Definitely trips to the beach in Norfolk. Although Mummy was a meanie and dipped my toes in the sea- that was rather chilly!
Is there anything you can’t wait to do when you’re bigger?
One day when I’m big and strong I will walk the doggies and hold their lead on my own!
What do you like to eat?
Apart from car keys… I love avocado!
Who do you call your closest friends?
My NCT chums, closely followed by my fluffy friends Oreo and Poppy
Any big plans for the weekend?
I’ll be playing on my new smarTrike!
You always look so fashionable. What’s your favourite thing to wear?
Mummy is my wardrobe coordinator and she’s got pretty good taste most of the time. We both love my red hoodie from Frugi but I’m giving her a warning about the Nemo t-shirt, complete with fins. That is just silly!
Which song could you listen to forever?
Dingle dangle scarecrow!
And which song do you dance to in the kitchen?
This week it’s Justin Timberlake’s new one, Mummy loves it too!
Highlight of the week?
Is always Sunday morning snuggles when Mummy and Daddy are both at home!
I love my tipi, it’s my special space which is full of all my toys!
Do you watch TV?
Oh yes, I’m loving Fireman Sam at the moment
Have you got any teeth?
Yes! I have 4 teeth and my 5th is pushing its way through
What game do you love playing with Mummy and Daddy?
Pulling hair! (is that not a game???)
What makes you squeal with delight?
Playing in the bath of course! I love to splash!
Thanks Toby it’s great to have all of those important questions answered. Have a lovely weekend!
Our Non-Negotiable for Happiness
We’ve spotted a few of our blogging friends posting about their ‘non-negotiables for happiness’. We thought this was SUCH a lovely idea and got us thinking about what ours are. Here’s how we like to keep ourselves sane!
Chloe – When I want to relax, I love to play the piano. I just shut myself away in the room, and enjoy playing all my favourite songs. I have recently started playing again and I am so pleased I did. It’s been great to learn new songs like Adele, Fleetwood Mac, and most recently the Jurassic Park theme tune! It’s a much better way to spend my free time than sitting on the sofa!
Lisa – Pre Toby it would have been a cup of tea (ideally with a slice of cake!) and seeing my dogs everyday… Which both still rank highly, but now it simply has to be Toby time! A morning squeeze is essential!
Lucinda – This is easy. Mine is absolutely baths! I am obsessed. If I’m feeling rubbish, I know that a bath will sort me out straight away. Candles, bath oil and dimmed lights are essential… I have been known to spend 5 hours in the bath watching films after a particularly heavy weekend.
George – As corny as this sounds chocolate is 100% one of mine…I have to have a little bit after every meal or I can get into a bit of mood (that makes me sound like such a brat) but I just love chocolate! But as well I like to have a phone call with my Mum- she always keeps me happy no matter what mood i’m in! And a bit of online shopping always does the trick as well. It normally takes my mind off things, even if i’m not always purchasing, I like to see what items are new in everywhere!!
Giving Birth: How to Embrace The Adventure
I don’t want to do the usual list of things to pack, or any serious advice, but I do want to share these little tips…
A water birth is a wonderful thing if you can have it. Yes, they might scoop poop with a net and yes you are surrounded by bodily fluids and gunk (both of which nearly put me off) but you simply do not give a hoot – it is the very best of moments and I do highly recommend it.
Freezer pops, freezer pops, freezer pops – enough said – pack freezer pops. They were refreshing, a great way to get sugar and amazing to crunch on!
Focus on something – for me it was the crack in the door -I desperately tried to breath all the air out of that crack in the door of Room one, MLU Lister hospital, Stevenage!
Food – Toby arrived 10 days early (in fact on the day we had planned to go and get hospital bag essentials – like snacks!) At around 3am the midwife told Jack to get me some snacks. Bless him, he went and bought one of everything in the vending machine- unsure of what I fancied! Still to this day we have a flapjack that he bought in the treats tin – holds some happy/terrifying memories! I am still not sure what I fancied but yes, have some snacks! One thing I do remember is demolishing a mars bar minutes after Toby arrived!
I was so concerned about what I would wear during labour – I had no idea… I bought a cheap nightdress from Primark and had a huge t-shirt – but all I ended up wearing was my trusty Bravado Confetti Nursing Bra. In the moment you will just make sure you’re comfy so don’t overthink it (like I did!)
Home comforts – as nuts as the midwives thought I was, I had Friends playing on the iPad for the first few hours of contractions it was just perfect for me. We moved onto Yoga tunes, that I had enjoyed during my months of NCT yoga classes, when it all became a lot more intense and Chandler’s jokes were no longer appropriate. These helped me focus.
Do not beat yourself up! After a long decision I accepted Morphine, but I felt quite guilt ridden like I shouldn’t do it – I didn’t want it to affect the baby, I wanted to be natural. This was all good and well but in the moment it was essential and I can see that now. You midwife is there for you – listen to them and trust them.
Trust your own body – you can do it! I truly didn’t think I could (still question how it happened)! But it did… what clever bodies we have!
My final thing – again a little nuts… but enjoy it! Me and jack saw it as an adventure, had a bit of a giggle, got to know our midwives which added to the experience and generally relaxed – I really do have the best of memories from the 12/13th July 2015!
Thank goodness for Gas and Air!
I have been meaning to write this for some time now and as I am sitting down to watch this week’s Call the Midwife it seems an appropriate time!
It seems to be an obligatory question to ask someone who has had a baby – ‘how was the birth?’ On the whole I smile and say it was quite fun (to their shock!) as I really do have such fond memories – sounds nuts I know because let’s face it I did give birth!
Sunday 12th July… I happily sat in Frankie and Benny’s with what can only be described as a dream brunch in front of me (it was 11am)! when I got my first contraction – I knew what it was, it was different to the braxton hicks I had experienced. The night before I did feel different, like it was happening soon so I was half expecting it!
I calmly said to Jack “I think this is it?” and then promptly ate my pancakes before swiftly leaving quick sharp! I called the hospital as we left and they advised I head home and settle for a few hours until things progressed…
We got home at 1pm (after a mad dash to borrow an NCT chums Tens machine, which seemingly I didn’t get on with at all). I had a shower, and a bath, desperate to find a position that was comfy – for over an hour I just laid on the landing (possibly the smallest landing ever!) with Oreo (the dog) looking at me in a confused manner while I moaned like mad – it was probably this moment that it started to dawn on me what was going to happen!
A few hours past and I just became so unsettled at home – I wrote a few emails (yes you read correctly) to clients to explain why I wouldn’t be calling the next day as we had planned (Toby came 10 days early!) and then after a call to the MLU they agreed (having heard my panicked noises) it was time for us to get in!
It was 6pm by the time we arrived!
My pool was ready and waiting – after an examination, which confirmed I was 3cm dilated, I got in and what a relief that was. We had Friends series 3 on the iPad and to my amazement I was offered tea and toast… it was quite fun – although intermittently ruined by regular minutes of intense pain!
Once we were settled and things seemed to be progressing well, Jack and me put bets on – when would the baby arrive? Jack thought 1am and I punted for 3am! What a joke that was!
Many, many hours passed… I got in and out the pool, 3 midwives came and went, a lot of gas and air was inhaled, and a fair few terrifying moments happened…. wondering not only how much longer, but also how on earth will this baby get out! Still at this stage I was somewhat perplexed and in denial I would be pushing an actual baby out of me!
The morning came and still no baby – I was exhausted having been going for nearly 24 hours! The midwife and her student who welcomed us the night before arrived in our room at the start of their next shift. Although this somewhat demoralised me, I was pleased to see the familiar faces as I had grown fond of them!
After an examination the midwife, who can only be described as a super hero realised something was not right – she asked me to trust her and allow her to direct me. The baby was in the wrong position and as it was I would never have had a natural birth. I truly feel her expertise and knowledge got me the birth I wanted. We did some weird, wonderful and agonising moves – but after over an hour of basically doing head stands the baby had turned and we were ready for the off! It only took him 20 hours to get there!
Up until this point I had only been on gas and air… what a miracle that stuff is… I literally wouldn’t let it out of my sight and chewed my way through 4 mouth pieces! However, the many hours so far had taken their toll. I was offered Morphine but kept saying no (I had read about how it can affect the baby) but the midwives explained to me that it might help – let me have a rest before the main event and me and Jack decided it was right. I have no idea what the timings are at this point, but I had an hour or so very much spaced out – going in and out of sleep.
Jack tells me during this period of time the midwife wrote him a little note to explain what was going on – it said we still have a few hours left, but you will have a baby by this afternoon. Apparently she didn’t dare tell me this as she worried it would set me back – in my mind I needed the baby to arrive then! I will always thank her for reassuring and supporting Jack.
After my morphine induced chill out I had yet another examination. A bit longer and we’d be pushing she said! I got back in the pool and powered through a few more hours of contractions, – the feeling on every contraction that it can’t possibly get more intense – and then it does – will always be firmly imprinted on my memory!
So, I pushed and pushed. I will never forget the moment the student (who was the loveliest, happiest lady) was delighted to report to me ‘I can see the head’ – I truly thought she meant the head was out – the whole head… but alas it was just that she could see a teeny bit of the head when I was pushing, before it vanished again! After a rather stern, yet friendly word with her she kept her excitement to herself until it was actually a whole head she could see.
Oh my god what an intense and unique feeling. It is impossible to truly describe that moment. The final push was terrifying as his shoulders were stuck, but yet again my midwife was calm and direct and told me what to do – and there he was… this bright purple, alien like, amazing baby, that was all ours who entered the world at 2.43pm on 13th July weighing 7lbs 1.
I initially said no to the injection they offer to encourage the after birth (sorry not sure of technical terms!) but wished I hadn’t. With ten minutes to spare before the midwife warned me they would have to intervene, we had a big panic on to get it out – I had the injection in the end, just in time and all was well!
After lots of skin to skin, all the usual bits were done – cord cut, baby weighed and checked and while daddy enjoyed skin to skin I tried to convince the midwife I didn’t need stitches… tried and failed! Well that bit is not fun, but it had to be done.
Me and my brand new boy tucked up in the hospital bed while daddy got some much needed food for us – a big mac with fries was on order… well seriously if you can’t eat burger and fries after 27 hours’ hard graft, when can you!
Goodness, once you start you just can’t stop – but I will! The days and weeks that followed were equally amazing – for another blog post!
All it leaves me to say, in a very Oscar award winning speech like way is… Thank you – Thank you to the midwives and student midwives, thank you to Jack for his unfaltering support and thank you to Toby for arriving in the world without too much pain!!!
Can women have it all? Career vs Kids?!
Well, this is a fully loaded question and one that is not only difficult to answer, but one that will have a different response depending on who you are talking to!
The other week I (Lisa) was filmed, along with lovely hubby and bouncing baby, for an ITV Tonight documentary airing tonight (11.02.16) about women having it all – the big career vs children quandary! The crew arrived at our house with the presenter of the programme, ex Blue Peter star Helen Skelton, for an afternoon of filming in late January. It was an interesting experience, lots of fun and, if nothing else, it was just brilliant watching our neighbours ogling at the sight of the ITV cameraman and a celebrity on the street, desperate to ask what was going on, but of course not daring to #urbanlife!
We got involved with this documentary because, as many of you might be aware, I returned to work 3 months after having our little boy Toby (now 7 months), while my husband, Jack, took the reins at home. For a little background Jack and myself had always agreed this would be our set up – at that time, having a baby was just hypothetical, but it was in our life plan. Jack explains more here.
So, fast-forward a year or so and we now have Toby. God what a blessing he is, we just adore the little mite! We had 3 amazing months as a family and then I ventured back into the office and left daddy to rule the roost as chief Stay At Home Dad!
During filming we were somewhat grilled about how people have reacted to this – have they been disgruntled? Did they think we were mad? No, not at all. People who care about us and know us well totally get it. They understand how it works for us and they can see how happy we are – most are a little jealous to be honest!
Now let’s get this straight – I don’t go to work because I don’t want to be a mum, or because I don’t enjoy it… far from it! This is what suited our family for many personal reasons and you know what, it works! Do I miss Toby? (I actually got asked this the other day!) I mean what a nuts question. Of course I do, every single minute…and I do have a wave of sadness when I leave every morning. I constantly wonder what the boys are up to and how Toby is … has he pooped yet today ranks highly on my list of Toby thoughts! Oh yes, while speaking to important journalists and replying to clients I am pondering Toby’s bowel movements. I also always have my daily ‘I wonder what Toby’s outfit looks like today’ and await my photo from daddy (it’s fair to say one my favourite moments is when I pop into his room before I leave to lay out his outfit!).
Getting my Toby fix!
So, back to the big question… do I have it all?
I’m not sure what having it all really means, or how would you judge this but, nonetheless, for the purposes of tonight’s show, it needs to be answered…so, no, I don’t think I have it all. But, does my family (me, Jack, Toby, Oreo and Poppy) have it all? Are we happy? Do we enjoy ourselves? Do we care for each other and
have fun?…Yes! We have a unique set up, which we love!
For me it is all about balance.
I do absolutely love my job – Bump was my original baby and I have put blood, sweat and tears into making it what it is today. I love my clients and I love my team and the fact that Jack is now a big part of the company too makes it even better. I still get a buzz from the work we do and the excitement of getting coverage. I am extremely lucky to work at something I enjoy so much, however since the arrival of Toby I am constantly juggling my time. I grab all the “Toby Time” I can (breakfast club is my new favourite time of day!), whizzing to work to be as productive as possible and then sprinting home, guilt ridden, as I’m always ten minutes later than I want to be! I join daddy for tea time, we have family bath and bed and then normally I work for a few hours! So lets face it – this level of busy is not ideal… but for now it is all good! It is busy, but it’s a balanced busy!
However, I should point out that I am also very lucky – I work 10 minutes walk from home and, thanks to my industrious pump (Medela of course!) and a devoted daddy bringing Toby to the office for a daily feed, I was able to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months (until the boy got teeth!), which was a big goal for me. I was not willing for the return to work to stop this special time for me and Toby. For me feeding him was by far the most important job of all.
Forget working 9-5… I was pumping 9-5!
Goodness knows how the show will be edited! They seemed determined to have Jack looking like he hangs out with the oven gloves on all day – how very wrong they are! Yes Jack cooks far better than I, and he is the clean freak (sorry for my shoes that keep lingering on the staircase and the 100th scarf strewn across the sofa!), but when he has free time his arse is firmly planted in front of the playstation – not baking! But what he is, 100% …is the very best of dads and such a loyal and supportive husband – ultimately he is the one that makes all this happen and for that I am so bloody grateful! Yes, I sit at work thinking I am missing out a little, but I am happily reassured in the knowledge that Toby is in the very best pair of hands, being loved and having a great adventure!
My thoughts on the amazing and clear benefits of ‘daddy day care’ to both Toby and Jack calls for another blog post… but needless to say I would not swap or change what we have for a second!
You know who certainly does have it all… Toby! #besottedworkingmum #greatstayathomedad #happymumanddad #funfamilylife
Our Charity Announcement
If you’ve been keeping an eye on our social media you will have seen that we’ve recently announced the three wonderful charities that we’ve decided to support in 2016. It was a seriously tricky decision and we did have to call in for some help and suggestions on Twitter. We wish we could support all of the amazing charities out there.
After much deliberation, we decided on our three. We hope you’ll agree that they are all brilliant causes.
The One That Lisa is Passionate About – Guide Dogs UK
If you’ve read our post ‘The Gift of Giving’ you’ll know that this is a cause really close to Lisa’s heart and as an office of dog lovers, one that we are all thrilled to support. We’re so looking forward to receiving the updates of little Eddie and covering our pin board in adorable pictures of him!
Change someone’s life – forever. That’s the huge difference you can make with guide dog puppy sponsorship. It’s amazing to watch that magical moment when a newly qualified guide dog meets its blind or partially sighted owner for the very first time. It’s even better to know that the money you donate has played a big part in making it happen.
Find out more at http://www.guidedogs.org.uk/
The One We Were Introduced to on Twitter – MAMA Academy
When we did our Twitter callout there was a lot of love for this charity. A huge thank you to everyone who introduced us to MAMA Academy.
MAMA Academy is a registered charity working alongside The Royal College of Midwives with the aim of helping babies arrive safely. All our information has been written by our medical team of health professionals and our website is RCM accredited for professionals.
Find out more at http://www.mamaacademy.org.uk/
The One that is Simply Amazing – The Sick Children’s Trust
This is a brilliant charity that Emily used to work for so it was a very obvious choice for us. It was lovely to hear from some people that have benefited from this charity when we announced this one on Twitter.
The Sick Children’s Trust believes keeping families together significantly improves the recovery of seriously ill children. We provide free, high-quality ‘Home from Home’ accommodation, as well as emotional and practical support, to families with sick children in hospital in the UK.
Find out more at http://www.sickchildrenstrust.org/
THE JANUARY SALES : Tales and tips from team bump
An ever-popular topic of conversation in the office is our shopping activity. What we bought that we shouldn’t have, what we’re trying to suppress the urge to buy and the worst… What we’ve bought and seen is now reduced!
Well we all know my rant about this – the pressure… I hate that feeling that I am missing out. I do not want to miss a bargain, equally I hate that throughout the whole of December when I want to buy something the voice in my head says – it might be in the sales! Argh. I also hate the post-sale period when I feel guilty for buying something full price! Third world problems right!?
I have however embraced the sales a little and got a pair of lovely new Ugg boots – no one tell Jack?! I have also made a deal with myself (well don’t you all walk round the shops talking to yourself!) that if a necklace I like from Joules is still there when I walk home tonight I will buy it! I have had my eye on it and there was only one left yesterday!
I’m not one for sales shopping at all, I hate the busyness, the endless queues and the general messy shop floors. Even when I find something I like, I can never find the right size which is so frustrating. I haven’t been sales shopping this year but my biggest tip would be to go as early as possible when the shops open (the only time I ever go shopping!)
I love the sales! But like Lisa, I feel such pressure that I should be out there, grabbing myself a bargain … on a daily basis! I always see things I like whilst shopping (my ASOS saved items is never-ending), so my general rule is if it is something I really love and it’s gone in the sale, I will get it and not feel guilty about it. However, a lot of the time, the one thing I love won’t of gone in the sale, and I obviously refuse to pay full price, when the rest of the shop is in the sale.
What I really hate about sales is that they happen too often! I now find myself refusing to buy things unless they at least have 40% off …
This Jan, my favourite sale buys have been …
Some black/tan leather boots from Clarks £90 cheaper than original RRP – http://www.clarks.co.uk/p/26111650
My office navy £32 cheaper than rrp – http://www.office.co.uk/view/product/office_catalog/2,30/1946030475
And … my sausage dog jumper from Joules half price! – http://www.joules.com/Women/Jumpers-Cardigans/Marsha/Intarsia-Jumper/Caramel?id=T_MARSHA%7CCARAMEL
The January sales are just unavoidable! There are sale alerts streaming so steadily through my inbox and social media timelines that despite avoiding the horror that is physical shops during the sales (I’m with Emily on that one!), I’m already somehow on 2 cashmere jumpers, a necklace, some make up, an all in one Stella McCartney for Adidas outfit and a yoga mat (the last two possibly being the most cliché January sales purchases one could make!). I’ll let you know if they are still being used in a few months time.
EXTREMELY annoyingly I made an & Other Stories order the day before they went in to ‘second sale’ and everything I’ve ordered is much much cheaper before it’s even arrived!
Grievances aside, I would have to say that waiting for the sales to buy cashmere jumpers was a very wise tip. I can’t remember who told me/where I read it but I have saved lots of pennies there so it is definitely now my top tip!
The Gift of Giving!
I first got introduced to charity when my dad adopted a dolphin for me… I was filled with confusion about how one earth we were going to care for a dolphin in our house and such excitement about the fact I had helped such an amazing animal … Both emotions were very quickly overridden by massive disappointment when it dawned on me the dolphin was in fact not arriving at our house… Ever!
Once my dad had explained to me exactly what adopting the dolphin meant and how important our support was I was fully on board and since then have adopted a whale and a giraffe! Hmmm, what next?!
I have always been brought up to be thoughtful to others and to give to charity – my dad always goes around doing the poppy selling in the village and at Christmas I used to have the important job of going round the houses with the Santa’s sleigh and carol singers collecting! My dad has always supported 3 or 4 charities each month and I have followed in his footsteps donating personally to Centre Point and the RSPCA every month. Also, since rescuing Poppy (our 2nd dog!) I have supported the local dog shelter. But now it is bumps turn – I am keen for the company to support a couple of charities in 2016, but we need help to pick which ones.
We’ve done a number of charity activities at bumpPR and we were especially proud to sponsor the photo booth at the Matilda Mae barn dance in 2014 and Welly Walk in 2013 , but next year I’d like us to have a couple of charities we support each month. The saddest part of this is we can’t support everyone. From a tweet we were introduced to some great charities: MAMA Academy, SWAN UK and First Days.
I also know the team have some ideas of their own below, but please do email me if you have some others to suggest and we will make the final decision in January! Three charities in total will be selected.
Lucinda – A charity that I think would be hugely deserving of our support is Blue Smile. They provide counselling, therapy and mentoring to support the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children in schools. The charity relies on fundraising and donations to deliver the service at a time when public cuts make the other service provision and funding streams uncertain.
Chloe – I don’t support just one charity, but do always donate £10 a month to a different ones. I have obviously given to lots over the years, often influenced by timely appeals/campaigns, such a Syria Relief, Poppy Appeal etc. If I was to choose a charity, it would have to be either Alzheimer’s Research or MIND. I also think Save the Children would be a fab one to support as they help children in 120 different countries, in lots of different awful situations.
The Sick Children’s Trust is a charity that provides ‘Home from Home’ accommodation for families who have seriously ill children in hospital. Many families have to travel far from home to get their children the best treatment available and often, it is not possible for parents to stay with their child in hospital. The Sick Children’s Trust has 10 ‘Homes from Home’ based at specialist hospitals across the UK enabling the whole family to be by their child’s, brother’s or sister’s bedside.
The Alzheimer’s Society is a dementia support and research charity. There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and the charity works to support all those living with dementia as well as their families and carers. It can be an incredibly upsetting and distressing illness so to offer support to those living with dementia and their families is so important.
For me I would like us to sponsor a guide dog puppy – These dogs are just so clever and how wonderful for an animal to be able to support the day to day life for someone… Over to you all.
Thanks, Lisa and team x
It’s That Time of Year!
So… it’s December! The festivities can OFFICIALLY commence… We’ve been restraining ourselves throughout November and other than a little flirtation with Christmas sandwiches, managed to hold off adorning our desks with tinsel and all other Christmas activity until the 1st December.
Here’s how we’ve been getting in to the festive spirit on the first week of December at bumpPR…
- We celebrated the #GiftofGiving with our #FrugiFamily where each member chose a fellow blogger and gifted them with something lovely from Frugi for their little one. After all, giving is what Christmas is all about!
- Of course there has been baking of the Christmas variety. Lisa’s rice krispie Christmas pud, an absolute chocolate fest! Lucinda’s Golden Walnut Wonders and we still have Emily and Chloe’s to come.
- Aforementioned tinsel desk adornment, as well as a Christmas tree complete with twinkly lights and jingle bells on the door handles!
- Smooth Xmas-the only radio station we will be needing this month thank you very much.
- This week’s sandwich run saw ‘Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence’ all round! That would be turkey, brie, cranberry and mustard, mmmm…
- And no office excitement is complete without the inclusion of Toby! He melted our hearts in his little reindeer outfit.
We each want to share with you what Christmas is to us.
Oh goodness, what do I love about Christmas… everything! That warm fuzzy feeling that lasts for days! I love the drive home and the moment we arrive and see what my mum has done to the house – it is always so magical. Walking into the house is so snug and warm, with the AGA in the kitchen, the log burner in the dining room and the wood fire in the lounge – cozy is king! We all get so snug in the house for a few days of total Christmas fun…with nieces and nephews (and this year Toby is the icing on the cake!) and the dogs! We chill, play games, cuddle up and watch Xmas movies (always Disney themed!) and enjoy country walks and beach visits with the dogs! Christmas eve always sees me manically wrapping all the gifts until 1am. Christmas day itself always sadly whizzes by with great excitement and then to boxing day – that I love, love, love… the boxing day buffet is a key moment during the festive season for me!
I flipping love Christmas and with the arrival of Toby this year is going to be the best ever – I have endless novelty outfits for him (poor boy!) roll on the festivities!
Christmas is definitely my favourite time of year… I love going to pick the Christmas tree, all my family go together and its officially our first festive outing! A tradition in my family is to watch Santa Claus The Movie (the original one with Dudley Moore) every year – it is our all time favourite, with Miracle on 34th Street being a close second! Reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ on Christmas Eve was a must when we were little as well as leaving treats for Santa. Not forgetting of course… all of the festive food which is just amazing and lasts the whole week not just Christmas Day! xx
For me, the Christmassy vibes are more present in the lead up to it, rather than on the actual day. Decorating the house, everyone coming home from uni, Cosy pub evenings, Christmas shopping mayhem, Winter Pimms, M&S Christmas food, an excuse to wear sequins and in my house, trying to guess the theme of our highly anticipated stockings!
Christmas day itself is usually spent up a French mountain, blissfully peaceful and my idea of heaven. Skiing is the one thing that everyone in my family truly loves so it is the perfect way to spend Christmas together, with regular stops for vin chaud of course. We swap the traditional roast turkey for a cheese raclette (perfection), and the day feels much like the rest of the week we spend there. The real magic happens on Christmas Eve… The French go big! We’re talking real life reindeer and over 100 Santas paragliding on to a slope and skiing down holding fire torches, simply stunning.
Like this! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVJSE99MeMw
Like Emily, Christmas is by far my most favourite time of the year. As soon as September arrives, I am getting excited for the festivities.
There are so many things I love about Christmas, the lights, decorating the tree, advent calendars, wrapping presents, receiving Christmas cards, eating lots of mince pies and Christmas sandwiches, making sure I watch all my favourite Christmas films (Elf being my fave), gift giving, seeing all the family, Christmas jumpers, playing games …
Traditions for me is I always go to the pub with the girls Christmas eve and see old faces, Christmas day my family and I always go on a long walk in the morning and then after eating my body weight in food, we all put our new pjs on and play games like articulate and charades, followed by watching ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ on the sofa with a Baileys in hand and the tin of Roses going around.
Everything that Made us Smile
This week we discovered the marvellous work of Paula Zucotti and her latest project Everything We Touch. It is a series of portraits of people from many different walks of life, told through their possessions, or rather everything (excluding permanent fixtures such as taps) that they touch in one day. The items in each picture are laid out in chronological order of when they were used.
Our favourite portrait was that of Arlo Butler, one month old – His mother Tess recorded everything he touched while at home in London, including her bra during a breastfeeding session.
We spotted a familiar face… Can you see him?
Other portraits told the stories of a butcher, cleaner, tattoo artist… We found all of the compositions SOOO interesting so do check them out! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34810693
We didn’t quite find the time to do make our own compositions of items we touch in one day but we have made a little arrangement of 10 things that have made us smile this week.
- A big bag of goodies from Vinegar Hill- Lisa kicked off the Christmas shopping and managed to tick a handful of people off her list one morning before 9.30 with a trip to our favourite shop in Hitchin
- Flowers! Who doesn’t love flowers?
- Christmas Costa cups and Christmas Costa drinks!
- Lisa’s reindeer glasses.. She did put them on to write some emails but we all agreed that mid-November is a little early for this sort of behaviour
- OK! Magazine.. In particular, Emmerdale’s Charley Webb’s baby shower where we spotted HappyHopperz, a, Doona and a SnuzPod. Fab coverage!
- An exciting delivery from Momymoo.. How gorgeous is this bag?
- Toby- well duh! Toby always makes us smile
- A tin of fancy biscuits. Jack did NOT let us down with this Friday afternoon treat… We were only expecting digestives!
- The first tea round with our new mugs.. We told you we were excited about this
- And of course, spotting Ewan in Paula Zucotti’s Everything We Touch
bumpPR Celebrity Baby Awards
Let’s be honest, we are a nation obsessed by celebrities. What are they wearing? What are they eating? WHERE are they eating? Who are they with? It’s quite spectacular how the tabloids can spin a whole article out of mere speculation. Regardless of how much of their personal lives these famous faces share with us, we’ve made it our business to know every tiny detail about their lives and there is no topic more fascinating than a celebrity pregnancy. What IS IT about them that fascinates us so much? The sad reality is that we probably know the middle names of celebrity’s babies better than those of our friends!
The girls at bump are without doubt some of the biggest fans – we love nothing more than a good bit of celeb gossip – unless it is a celeb story about one of our clients – now that is the best of the best!
Introducing the very first… bumpPR Celebrity Baby awards.
Most Stylish Pregnant Celeb:
Victoria Beckham wearing Victoria Beckham at the royal wedding in 2011
Most Coveted Maternity outfit:
Kate Middleton’s £35 ASOS maternity dress which sold out in minutes after the pictures of her wearing it emerged
Most helpful Dad
If you follow Tom Fletcher on Instagram you’ll know already that he is the coolest, most hands-on dad. Here he is doing a 4am feed with is Medela Calma bottle!
Cutest Celeb Dad
The way David Beckham dotes on Harper and his boys certainly earns him this title!
Best Cover star:
This award can only go to Demi Moore, who featured on the iconic Vanity Fair cover in 1991.. Some say she is responsible for the trend of pregnancy photos and flaunting one’s bump.
Best Celeb Baby Name:
Buzz Fletcher, son of Tom (McFly) and Giovanna somehow pulls off his ridiculously cool name.
Highest Heels and Biggest Bump:
Drew Barrymore in Las Vegas 2014
Best Celeb Pregnancy Announcement:
When Beyonce unbuttoned her jacket and rubbed her belly and everyone knew exactly what was coming!
Kourtney Kardashian proudly sharing a picture of herself pumping with her Medela Swing Maxi breastpump
Best Baby Wardrobe:
Harper Beckham always looks beautiful and we got to see a collection of her little outfits when they were donated to a London charity shop. Stylish AND charitable.
If you follow us on social media, especially Instagram, you may already have some insight in to the sort of silliness that we get up to in the office. We really do have a lot of fun so we wanted to share with you some of what we’ve been up to recently.
The Halloween Bake off….
We decided to make October the month of Halloween bakes. 4 weeks, 4 girls (+ Jack), 4 bakes.. Well, that was the plan until Chloe decided to show us all up by bringing TWO bakes to the table.
Top Left: Lisa and Jack’s spooky carrot cake
Top Right: Chloe’s witch finger biscuits
Bottom Left: Emily’s Gingerbread man mummy cakes
Bottom Right: Lucinda’s pumpkin rice krispie treats
Chloe’s very naughty second bake- raspberry and white chocolate brain cakes
Team Night Out
On Thursday last week we had a super fun team night out.. Watch out Hitchin! We visited Pots of Art where we each painted a mug and made a joint effort at a team teapot. Call us sad but we know the first tea round with our new mugs and teapot is going to cause a lot of excitement!
For once there wasn’t much chatting as we were all in deep concentration
Hmmm.. Did you notice that 3 out of 4 of us were wearing stripes? This happens a lot at bumpPR!
After Pots of Art we went to a restaurant in Hitchin called Hillmans Burger co. where we ate delicious burgers and had those huge milkshakes that come in big stainless steel cups.. You don’t want to know how many scoops of ice cream we were told go in to them!
Playtime in the office
In the bumpPR office we have a lot of product samples….. AKA (in some cases) TOYS!!! Occasionally the temptation to try them out becomes too much. Lisa’s friend from NCT came round for tea and cake with her little one who fell in love with the Happy Hopperz… on the same morning the new smarTrike SkiScooter arrived on our doorstep which Jack hopped on right away! The office turned in to big kid heaven.
Little Arthur modelling a HappyHopperz Playful Pup
Who do you think is enjoying themselves the most? Possibly not Toby..
And that is what we’ve been up to recently!
Being with family is so much fun because there is probably nobody else in the world that you have experienced so much with. As cheesy as it sounds, they were there through the best times and the worst, but most importantly the funniest! You’re allowed to be a little bit weird around your family and that is usually how funny little made up words and phrases become part of your family’s vocabulary.
Here are ours..
I’m from a family of 3 girls and one man. A man that graciously and meticulously endeavours to complete all of the laundering and ironing of everyone’s clothes. You cannot fault him for even attempting to learn who’s lacy vest is who’s and who’s black leggings are who’s but on occasion he does get things wrong. In this situation if one of us were to find something that did not belong to us in our room, we would have to announce to the rest of the house that a ‘Plotty’ has occurred aka ‘dad has lost the plot’. We’ve probably been using this word for about 15 years now!
For me it is that unbelievable ability for me and my mum to always know what the other one is talking about – when no one else does! We can both be holding our own conversation and still be on the same wavelength! It goes as far as we can both be talking – walk in and out of the room – and still know what the other is talking about – while both still being focussed on our own topic! There is a lot of ‘you know that thing’ or ‘you know thing a m’jig’ or ‘oh yes thing a me’bob’! Somehow, remarkably … we always do know that thing the other of us is talking about!
Another one is, even when cleaning my teeth my mum used to have an ability to know what on earth I was trying to say – often I even didn’t – but somehow her motherly wizardry meant she just knew! As a mum myself now I can only hope I have such powers!
When it comes to family words/ditties… the Bryant claimed ‘Longcut’ was given to my dad’s never ending attempts to take short cuts and get them wrong!
My mum is ALWAYS coming out with brilliant things.
A favourite whilst I was at uni …
Me: “Mum, I have really overspent this month and have no money for food, can I borrow some money?
Donna: “Rolls Royce life, bus fare money”
A weekly one ….
Me: “Mum, I just don’t understand, whatever I do I can’t lose weight”
Donna: “You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”
Whilst dealing with a hangover …
Me: “Mum help me”
Donna: “You’ve made your bed, now lie in it”
When my primary school crush said I was ugly…
Donna: “Just remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There is plenty more fish in the sea”
One of her originals …
Me: “It’s so unfair, Kitty’s hair just always looks amazing and mine is like a sheet of paper on my head”
Donna: “Life would be better if we were all zebras. There would be no jealously. No one would be fat and everyone would just look the same.”
On this occasion Emily wasn’t in the office to join in the discussion, so baby Toby kindly agreed to step in for her and share one of his first ‘familyisms’
My mummy and daddy have a made-up word for when I get upset. I don’t get upset very often and I am usually a very smiley little person but sometimes the frustration of being unable to vocalise my thoughts and feelings is just too overwhelming and I simply have to scream the place down. This is called ‘Toby going to melt-town’ which I will admit is sort of funny…ish
Do you have any funny words in your family’s vocabulary?
We cannot believe it is October already!
We cannot believe it is October already. We’ve got Lisa back in the office for good (hooray!) and tiny Toby popping in for his lunchtime feed. We all love watching Toby change a little bit every day.. Especially when he cracked his first smile for us all. We cannot get over how sweet he is!
Hot on the heels of The Great British Bake Off which we have all enjoyed watching, we’re doing our own Halloween themed bakes, one per week. We will be sharing them on our Instagram so make sure you check them out! https://instagram.com/bumppr/
We had a super cool new product arrive on our doorstep this week.. The Aloka SleepyLight from Potwells (Available at: http://www.potwells.co.uk/Night-Lights-Nursery/b/4186366031). You can also catch us ‘ooh’ing and ‘ahh’ing at its brilliance on our Instagram.
It has been a huge excitement this week that Lucinda’s dog had puppies yesterday! Five ridiculously small little velvety creatures that we can’t wait to watch grow in to fluffy balls of energy. Lisa is full of admiration and sympathy for her having to feed so many little mouths without ever getting a break.
In other very exciting news, Lisa has revealed that our office Christmas party will be a luxurious spa day. We are all sooooo excited! In fact, we are very much looking forward to Christmas in general and have discussed today where in the office we should put our tree.
We hope you all have a brilliant October!
Team Bump x
So now it’s officially Autumn, we can swap the Sunday BBQ for a Sunday roast, maybe treat ourselves to a new coat, go and kick some leaves about and embrace all things Autumn. Our tummies have had enough salad (*ice lollies) and are crying out for lovely, warming, stodgy comfort food.
Comfort food tends to stick to a basic colour palette but it more than makes up for that in its flavours and textures. In all of its cheesy, meaty, tomatoey, juicy, fluffy and crumbly glory, lovingly prepared comfort food is a way to show people that you love them and JUST what the doctor ordered when those chilly nights close in.
bumpPR comfort food favourites:
Lucinda- My go-to comfort food was discovered by accident when there was very little in the fridge and I was desperate for something warming. It is cauliflower cheese with crispy chorizo and warming it is! The oil from the chorizo makes beautiful orange-coloured swirls in the cheese sauce and adds the perfect amount of heat, it is just delicious.
Chloe- When we were at uni, my flatmate and I came up with the ultimate hangover cure – ‘The Sausage Surprise’. No … it’s not what you’re thinking. It is the ultimate comfort food and each portion is about 5,000 calories. The recipe is secret, but think sausages, bacon, onions, potatoes, cheese, Philadelphia and much more, all baked together. I’ve made it for loads of friends and family since and they love it. Also, crisps and dips are a must whilst you wait for it to cook. Followed by Ben & Jerries caramel chew chew.
Emily- Following Chloe’s hangover cure, my guilty pleasure would definitely have to be Chicken Supernoodles or any Pot Noodle come to think of it – a habit stemming from my uni days! Although it is still my ultimate comfort food!
Otherwise any meal involving carbs – pasta bake is a big favourite! I’m starting to get hungry just thinking about it…
Lisa-For me it is my mums shepherd’s pie – has to be made by her though as neither me or jack can get it right! Although she once put baked beans in it (to use them up) it was far too random for my liking and not appreciated! It caused such a family melt down she has never dared change the recipe since. This meal can quite simply only be followed by syrup sponge and custard – 2 helpings of it!! Of course, since having Toby I feel I have a free card for snacks… given I’m feeding I need the energy right? So the comfort food still includes cake and chocolate, but in recent weeks (in the wee hours sometimes when I am trying to keep awake!) I have added tea cakes and crumpets to this list – oodles of butter a must!
A Day Out with the Kids!
We love a good day out here at bumpPR and do believe that they are an extremely important part of making childhood memories. We’ve been remembering our favourite days out as kids, the things that HAD to come with us and feeling sorry for our parents because now we realise how much planning and preparation must have gone in to them! Days out when you’ve got little people in tow do require immense preparation and a lot of gear! Whether you’re exclusively breastfeeding and saving yourself the bottles or weaning and taking the whole kit and caboodle- you’re inevitably going to have a big old bag to take!
Lucinda- One of my favourite days out as a child was to Cattle Country near where my grandparents live in Bristol. I mostly (only) liked it for its vertical slides in the soft play area and would ask to go back EVERY time we went to stay. We would have to take a camera with us because my Nana doesn’t ever stop taking photographs of my sister and I!
Lisa- For me it will always be the beach… Love it now and then!
What I have to take… Hmm… It has to be Doona as we don’t want the whole pushchair but it’s great to have a little seat and wheels.
For me it is the ultimate family trip, either for an hour or the day… You can run free, swim, play, eat picnics.. Nap even!
I used to love going to Banham zoo (http://www.banhamzoo.co.uk/). Wellies and a waterproof coat were a must as it always rained.
The products featured at the top are all things we would consider essential for a day out with the kids and can be purchased at the links below:
A Snoozeshade for nap time on the go- http://www.snoozeshade.com/for-single-prams-pushchairs/snoozeshade-plus
Travel food and snack pots- http://www.vitalbaby.co.uk/travel-kit-bundle.html
Tidy freaks to keep the back of the car nice and clean- http://www.tidyfreaks.com/products/gimmi
A 3-in-1 baby carrier- http://www.wemademe.com/pao-papoose.html
A compact and portable highchair- http://www.totseat.com/english/product/?product=49
A stylish bib- http://www.skibz.co.uk/shop/skibz-dribble-bibs/cowboy-star
A portable nursing cushion- http://www.thrupennybits.co.uk/classic-range/classic-breastfeeding-cushion-pink-grey-floral
A car seat that transforms in to a stroller in 10 seconds (!!!)- http://cuddlecoshop.co.uk/product/doona-car-seat-sky/
You may have heard already- this week is #ZeroWasteWeek and the theme this year is ‘One More Thing’.
We have been celebrating with TotsBots, as the UK’s leading cloth nappy brand launch PeeNut, a unique system using minimum bits, but offering maximum bots! In a nutshell it’s pure brilliance! Unlike anything else on the market, the new PeeNut nappy system offers an amazing combination of performance and simplicity and is the brand’s most economical (less waste than ever before) and cost effective nappy ever made! Parents can sometimes feel daunted at the thought of using cloth, but the PeeNut range is sure to eliminate any concerns in an instant! Not only does it offer outstanding performance, but it offers flexibility and ease of use. Parents simply pop the pad in the wrap and it’s ready to go. Have a read here as some of the UK’s top parenting blogs test the new system:
If you’re thinking about reducing your waste, we hope this post offers some inspiration. We’ve compiled a list of suggestions you could think about doing to get involved!
It could just be a fun thing to do with the kids or it could be something that becomes part of your life… Either way you’ll be doing your bit to help the planet.
Investing in Reusables-
So many things that we use day-to-day can be bought in re-usable form:
- Coffee cups (bet you’ve already got one lurking in your mug cupboard!)
- Milk bottles- support local farmers and reduce waste by getting milk delivered in reusable bottles
- Bags for life- make sure you remember them every time you go to the supermarket
- Stock up on reusable microfiber cloths and banish kitchen paper
- Add a few swanky stainless steel drinking straws to your miscellaneous kitchen drawer
- If you’ve got a little one in nappies, help #makeclothmainstream and switch to reusables. We think Totsbots are the best obviously- http://www.totsbots.com/
- Feminine hygiene products, breast pads, baby wipes and make up remover pads can all be purchased in reusable form from http://earthconscious.co.uk/
Things to stop binning
- Leftover food can be great to blend for baby or check out these frugal recipes on the zero waste week website: http://www.zerowasteweek.co.uk/category/recipes/
- Old toothbrushes make the most amazing cleaning tools! Use them to reach those hard-to-get-to areas
- Bras- did you know how valuable your old bras could be to a woman in a developing country? Take them to your local bra bank http://www.againstbreastcancer.org.uk/get-involved/fundraising/recycling/513/bra-recycling/
- Jam jars and glass bottles- who knew you could upcycle them in so many different ways? Good old Pinterest!
- Everything??? One man’s trash is another man’s treasure and all that… Pop your unwanted car seat, pots and pans, coffee table, cushions, Halloween outfit or pretty much ANYTHING on Freecycle or take it down to a charity shop https://www.freecycle.org/
George is leaving! :(
Today is a very sad day in the bumpPR office as the wonderful George is leaving us to embark on her final year at university. She has promised to come back and visit, so it’s not goodbye forever. We’ve been playing some of George’s favourite albums today and of course there has been cake!
As the new intern at bump, taking on George’s role (not that she can be replaced!), I wanted ask her a few of the most important questions.
Describe your time at bump in 3 words
Wonderful, truly wonderful!
We all know how important lunchtime is! What is your favourite office lunch?
Well, when we were in London I ate copious amounts of burritos/Mcdonalds/ general halloumi themed lunches, which my thighs did not appreciate so now we’re in Hitchin, I really just love a sandwich and crisps from Chilli B’s- you can’t beat it!
What have been your favourite topics of conversation in the office?
I always thoroughly enjoy discussing current news from the DM in the morning/during lunch as well as any box sets or programmes that we’re all watching as well as what the afternoon treat was going to be.
Can you see yourself going in to PR in the future?
I hope so, unless I win the lottery…
Have you got any top tips for me?
Be up for a laugh as everyone is so lovely and amazing- you’re honestly going to have such a good year! Also, really embrace the afternoon treats, dieting will not come easy with all that cake around!
This week’s news brought our attention to the children’s book entitled ‘The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep’. Developed by Swedish behavioural psychologist and linguist Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin, it uses psychological and positive reinforcement techniques to help children relax, focus and eventually drift off! Parents are instructed to yawn frequently, emphasise certain words and speak in a slow and calm voice when reading the words in italic.
Hats off to Carl-Johan for creating the first self-published work to ever top the Amazon charts, but I am personally not a fan of the book’s dull illustrations, or in fact how boring it sounds! Of course the purpose of the book is to send little ones off to the land of nod and it seems to actually work. This is of course impressive, but doesn’t that take the magic out of story time?
The bedtime stories that I remember all had amazing illustrations (The Very Hungry Caterpillar) and catchy little rhymes (Green Eggs and Ham). They were colourful and giggle inducing. Children’s books help to widen their vocabulary and create a special bonding time with their storyteller.
Here in the Bump office we’ve been remembering our old favourites and have managed to narrow them down to one each:
I’ve been told that aged 3, having forced my parents to read it to me every night, I memorised my favourite bedtime story ‘Not Now, Bernard’ cover to cover and managed to convince extended family members that I could read with full competence. Me? Precocious brat? How dare you!
We were big Shirley Hughes fans in my household… A personal favourite was Dogger- the tragic tale of a young boy who’s toy dog is maliciously (well, accidently) taken away by his mum and put up for sale at the school fate. It’s gripping. Another Shirley fave of ours was Angel Mae, this was especially good at Christmas, but really we loved it all throughout the year. It’s about a young girl who is given the part of Angel Gabrielle in her nativity play…I’ll say no more as I don’t want to spoil the story!
Emily chose ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’. Such a classic and beautifully illustrated. Every kid wished they could have a tiger for tea after being read this one!
Chloe went for the ‘The Twits’. An entertaining one from what I remember! With some horrible descriptions but a very important message that if you have ugly thoughts it begins to show on your face.
Oh I do like to be beside the British seaside!
Where. Has. The time. Gone. We simply cannot believe that at the speed of light, July has turned into August and we are now starting to think about how we’re ever going to carry on with life once the summer is over. Not to mention the fact that when it is over, all there will be to think about then is Christmas (sorry, the C word has been mentioned with excitement multiple times already in the bump office). SO because of this, and because we still have officially 3 weeks left of summer, we urge you all to make the most of it! We know the weather is a little unpredictable at times and that for many people, if you’ve already had your summer holiday, then you consider summer to be over and don’t bother with the crowds of tourists as they await the sun’s appearance. But we think there is no greater time to make the most of the British sunshine (when it appears) and the wonderful beaches that are on offer here! There’s the beauty of Bournemouth, Brighton, Cornwall and Norfolk just to name a few not to mention the delights of the north with Abersoch and Crosby beach in the land of the Liverpudlians. There’s no denying that the beach truly caters to all ages, genders, you can play sports, you can relax, you can dig, create, converse, eat your mums picnic and obviously indulge in ice cream, after ice cream, after ice cream. I don’t even think you need nice weather to go down to the beach- there’s nothing wrong with sitting in a jumper and some jeans and enjoying the sand. You may not be whipping out your Speedos and diving in Tom Daley style into the cold sea but where there’s sand, there is always a castle to be built!
So, good friends, we urge you all to get your cool bags out, grab a towel and a football (or any type of ball you prefer, that’s fine too), and head down to your beach… Unless you live in Derbyshire, in which case it’ll probably be winter by the time you ever make it to the beach.
Here we have our favourite toys to take down to the beach with your little ones, that will keep them entertained all day long whilst you work on tanning those British legs.
Unlike anything else on the market, Scrunch is the unique brand behind the brightly coloured squashable, foldable toys, perfect for playtime at the beach or at home. Made from soft, non-toxic silicone, the fun range can simply be ‘scrunched’ into your pocket or bag so you have them for anywhere, anytime! Following the huge success of the original and bestselling ‘Scrunch’ bucket, the brand has now launched a whole collection of ‘Scrunch’ toys with the same clever concept in mind, including a ball and collapsible fishing net. With an aim to provide children all the tools they need for a day at the beach, a camping holiday or even garden games, the Scrunch collection also includes a mini-size spade and soft sand moulds.
Quut is the truly innovative brand on a mission to introduce a new frontier of wonderfully multi-functional beach toys. Uniquely designed, guaranteed to last and offering the ultimate play value, Quut beach toys ensure the best childhood memories are treasured for the next generation.
The Quut beach collection is guaranteed to be popular this summer and includes eight striking toys, all of which provide hours of seaside fun:
- ‘Ballo’ and ‘Scoppi’: A completely different take on the traditional bucket and spade – Ballo is an ingenious, spherical bucket that makes carrying water easy and Scoppi is a fabulously unique spade designed for digging deep and with the built-in sieve, it makes finding shells and stones easy.
- Triplet: Perfect for digging out moats, raking, sieving and even funnelling water for the final touches to the moat!
- Alto: The stackable sandcastle builder.
- Cuppi: A shovel, sieve and ball all in one.
- Ringo: An exciting aerodynamic game.
- Sunnylove and Starfish: Perfect for making beautiful patterns in the sand!
…If these beach toys don’t have you running to your nearest beach in your socks and sandals, we don’t know what will.
Fun Outdoor Games To Play With Children
Ahhh the kids’ Summer holidays. Barbeques for dinner, playing in the garden or local park, making up games with their siblings and friends and tiring themselves out before going to bed when it’s still light! For adults it can definitely be an exhausting, not to mention expensive time of year! There’s temptation to plonk your little one in front of a screen when it seems the only way to get them outside is a daytrip that requires planning and seemingly endless expense!
Cue the Supertoys!! Here’s a selection of toys guaranteed to add the wow factor to outdoor play and promise to keep little ones entertained all day long!
- Lil’ Monkey Dome Climber by TP Toys- A world first for the toy industry, this highly innovative climbing frame has a technological twist! With the downloadable App, children can take a rest from climbing as they experience a virtual world that interacts with both their mobile device and the Dome Climber, bringing what is on the screen to life! RRP. £129 available at www.tptoys.com
- Happy Hopperz- This one isn’t just for the kids! Available in different sizes to cater for 12 months to adults, the whole family can enjoy Happy Hopperz. Just hop on and bounce away, hey you could even have a race! A very popular mode of transport for those just on their feet. Prices from £21.99 available at: www.happyhopperz.co.uk
- Cheeky Rascals Quut and Scrunch- Finally, the standard plastic bucket and spade has had an update! If you’re heading to the beach, or sandpit then make sure you bring some of these. Multifunctional and easy to transport, make sandcastles fit for royals! Prices from £1.99 available at www.cheekyrascals.co.uk
- SmarTrike- Not just a toy but a fantastic (and much more fun) alternative to a buggy that can be used as a trike when your little one is ready. No adventure to the post office, park or even the school gates should be made without a SmarTrike. smarTrike’s latest innovation, the Explorer 5 in 1 incorporates 5 unique stages that adapt as the child grows, including a new sleep mode from 10 months. RRP: £130 Available from: Smyths, Mothercare and TRU
- SkiScooter- Using advanced and patented technology, smarTrike have re-invented the face of scooting to provide the most exciting and thrilling ride yet with the ultimate two legged, three wheeled SkiScooter. The first of its kind, the SkiScooter is sure to be a hit with families and with an easy fold design is ideal for holidays and even scooting to school! Using exceptional Swiss design, the SkiScooter cleverly adapts to changing terrains, whether that’s the beach, park or school playground! Its unique patented system creates force resistance that in turn generates acceleration, creating the ultimate free-style riding experience, just like skiing! Available exclusively from: Smyths Toys Superstores |5+ Years RRP: £89.99 |7+ Years+ RRP: £99.99
As a self-confessed hoarder I am often encouraged by my mother to be more ‘ruthless’ with my clear outs.. But you never know when you might need that personalised ribbon from Aunty Katherine’s 2008 wedding, Hello Kitty shaped water bottle or pebble that looks like a hot-cross bun found age 4 on Brighton beach. The answer is never. But these things make me happy and I can’t let them go. And so, my love affair with what seems to others as random pieces of tat, rages on.
It’s not that my mother is completely unsentimental, she has kept a ‘Special Box’ each for my sister and I which we recently delighted in opening. Personal favourites from my special box include my adorable first shoe (note that she only kept one which was completely fine with me), insightful Reception school reports (before the days of software-generated ones) and anything I had handwritten. Do kids still write poems? Or will parents be saving screenshots of their precious darling’s high scores on Candy Crush?
I dread to imagine the scale on which I will want to save the memories of my future children.. I expect like many parents seem to find, I will feel obliged to keep every pasta necklace and every snotty tissue.
I am writing this as advice to my future self so take from it what you will and maybe you’ll think some of these ideas are cool.
- Collectables: As a 90s baby I was under the innocent impression that my beanie babies would be worth hundreds (maybe even thousands) of pounds when I was older. They aren’t. Which is just as well because they were ruthlessly sent to a charity shop by my mother. The issue with keeping collections is that you end up with so much stuff- take a photograph, pick ONE favourite to keep and be done with it.
- Treat it as a time capsule. This is a really good piece of advice; the longer your child waits to see what’s inside their ‘Special box’, the more nostalgic and warm they will feel inside when they do delve in to this extensive archive of their lives. A friend of mine received hers as a sentimental 18th birthday gift and I know that she loved it.
- Get creative! Very few people have the time and patience to scrapbook their child’s existence on this planet but a lot can be said for those Pinterest-types and their creative ideas. Here’s the best ones I found:
- Book of quotes- how often does your child come out with the most hilarious things that you just have to tell everyone you see.. Only to be forgotten the next week. Write them down in a book of quotes which will provide perfect birthday/wedding speech material when they get older.
- If you’re in a particularly creative mood one empty weekend or have an especially bored grandparent on your hands you could make a ‘memories quilt’ of outgrown clothes. Very cute.
- Scan. As the world goes paperless, there is no reason why you shouldn’t scan and chuck that Gold Award for ‘starting school with a smile’, or else you’ll end up with an unmanageable stack of paper. You can buy memory sticks especially for storing photographs and things like this from http://www.memoriesofgrowingup.com/ or just store them online on http://www.keepy.me/
- One picture each day. Or week. Or Month? With almost everyone on smartphones these days it’s easy enough to snap a regular portrait of your child which can transpire in to a great series of images you can have in one place to watch how they evolved. Awww. Cuteness immortalised.
If you’ve got the skill you could even make a video like this one:
And finally, whatever you do, DO NOT use a loved teddy bear as a printmaking device (as suggested on a buzzfeed article). This should be a crime.
The hills are alive with the sound of The Mail Online. This app, this source of inconsequential, meaningless rubbish is the answer to all of my problems. Bored? Tired? On my own in public? Or even being forced to watch any rugby … I turn to my trusty old friend, the Daily Mail. I can almost hear the tutting coming from you all at this moment in time as you can’t believe that anyone would dare admit to such an addiction. The taboo in finding entertainment from other people’s misery, of seeking delight in hearing of celebrity turmoil, or even celebrity triumph is seldom admitted, but most people I know are sure guilty of it.
I’m going to put it out there, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to turn to the Mail Online when in need. It’s an escape, it’s a way to make you feel better (or worse if Irna Shayak is featured) about your life, or just to waste away some time without having to think about anything or anyone else in the world. I think deep down, we all like to know what’s going on with celebrities. We love to know what they’re wearing, who they’re dating, what they’re eating for lunch and how much weight they’ve gained or lost. As PR girls, we’re self confessed celebrity lovers. The influence they have over the public is quite simply amazing, and like it or not I can guarantee once in your lifetime you’ve thought ‘ooohh, I like that bag’ or just generally admired someone and thought how much you’d love it yourself. I’m forever trying to keep up with the enviable fashions, figures and fortunes of the rich and famous and I live in hope that one day, when I take a picture of Cara Delevigne into the hairdressers, they will actually pay attention and make it look even slightly like the picture.
*que friends moment…*
Monica: THAT’S DUDLEY MOORE., I said I wanted it like Demi Moore.
Phoebe: Oh, OH.
Monica: OH MY GOD.
Phoebe: I’m sorry, I’M SORRY. Which one is Demi Moore?
Monica: SHE’S the ACTRESS, who was in DISCLOSURE, INDECENT PROPOSAL, and GHOST.
Phoebe: Oh! Oh, she’s got gorgeous hair.
Monica: I KNOW.
Anyway… As you can imagine, there’s always much excitement when we find out a celebrity is pregnant. Everyone wants to know which buggy they’ll have, Will it be a boy or girl and most importantly will the name be something worse than Katie Price’s previous choices. Probably not. But with all of the money and gifts that celebrities have when pregnant, we like to think that they only end up with the very best products, and here are a few of our favourites right now…
Blooming Lovely Jewellery
(We spot a Ewan in the corner!)
Tom and Giovanna Fletcher
(We’re not sure who loves the smarTrike more?!)
She loves her Medela breastpumps!
Dawn O’Porter & Chris O’Dowd
They love their Doona!
Fun in the Sun!
Oh I miss school, I really do. Having spent 11 years of my life moaning and groaning about the horrendous stress of being young and carefree I never thought i’d see the day where finishing at half three really could no seem more appealing.. To have six weeks off, followed by another week in October, followed by two weeks at Chirtsmas, two weeks at easter, one week in may and back tot he six weeks again. What’s that you say? Become a teacher? No thanks, what I really want is to go back to the days where I’d turn up for school at 9, spend all day in lessons with my friends, not really do anything, have another two hours with my friends and then go home at half three. What. A. Life. I will never forget that feeling I used to have when we broke up for the school holidays… I’d walk home, ice cream in hands feeling as free as a bird. So much to look forward to, late nights, late mornings, no homework, and of course going on holiday. Holidays as a child are magical. Not only for the excitement of going on an airplane, or spending time by a swimming pool or by the sea but because going on holiday as a child means there’s no stress of packing, or booking or PAYING, or eating vegetables and it almost always means a very happy set of parents! It is because of these things that I look back so fondly on my school holidays as a child. From the younger days even to my teen years – I loved them. Here, we take a look at our fondest memories from the glory days where 6 weeks off in the summer really was the best.
Living just 5 minutes from the beach in Norfolk kind of felt like a holiday all the time (and saved all the packing and travelling!) We’d go strawberry picking all the time (during which I lived by the rule of one for the punnet, one for me!) walk the dogs every day, cycle to the beach most afternoons for a swim (via the ice cream man) and generally play the garden. It was such a relaxed, happy time and appealed to me from the age of 5 to 15…in fact still does now!
When it comes to actual holidays we kept these simple… A villa with a pool or camping in the South of France, which were lovely… But it took a lot to beat my parents haven in Norfolk where you can eat fish and chips and 99’s daily and go to the beach whenever you wanted!
One uncomfortable but funny memory I have of summer holidays spent is my mother seizing the opportunity to photograph my sister and I in some great natural daylight.. But these weren’t natural shots of us frolicking in the garden in swimsuits. These pictures were taken for the family Christmas card! So we would pose awkwardly in the summer heat whilst she draped us in tinsel and got her picture. These photo shoots continued throughout my awkward early teenage years and even more distressingly for me, my best friend’s parents STILL have one of these pictures on the pin board in their kitchen.
I used to love going away on holiday and spending two weeks pestering my older brother and sister to play with me in the swimming pool. I loved family holidays seeing new countries and trying different foods – going to America and not seeing a vegetable or piece of fruit for two weeks was always a highlight. But, as well as this every year my mum and her friend would take all of us children (there were 5 of us in total) to a house on the beach in Norfolk. Now looking back, it wasn’t the most glamorous of places (the name ‘Scratby’ alone suggests that) and I couldn’t tell you anything exciting that was going on other than the crashing of waves and the entertainment we provided for ourselves. We’d create plays, re-enact Disney films, ‘choreograph’ questionable dance routines and build sandcastles bigger than ourselves. Those really were the days.
I remember one summer holiday, I must have been about 6, I was sent off to a dance camp. We had to put together a show to perform in front of our parents at the end of the week. I remember making up a dance to Bjork Shhhh and also going on a trip to London to watch the Starlight Express. That was great fun. We would always go on a family summer holiday too, which was always good. I remember going to the Aqua parks with my brother and Dad, and also always making a friend at the kids club – Jolly Rodgers!
It has to be my holiday to Disney World – the most magical and fun place ever! My favourite holiday and I honestly think I would enjoy it just as much if I went now.
Getting to know you, getting to know all about you
There are a lot of things going on in the bump office at the moment! Firstly (and probably most traumatically) the bump treats have been put on hold. There are diets everywhere I turn in this office and these days everyone seems to be favouring a salad over a sandwich. What was once a sweety haven is now unrecognisable in all it’s healthy glory. Boo! On more exciting news, there is of course the anticipation of the imminent arrival of baby Morris! It could be any day now, and we’re all waiting for the moment baby decides to make an appearance (eeek)! There is also the wonderful news that we officially have a lovely new member of the team!! *Waves* This week Lucinda joined us in Hitchin to start her year on University Placement a sa Junior Account Exec, and replace Georgina as she heads back to all the glitz and glamour that being a student in Nottingham entails.
Because of these big changes to the office, we thought we would introduce ourselves to those of you who don’t know us and to those of you who do, we thought it would be essential that you know these really important facts about ourselves…
Role at bumpPR: Senior Account Executive
Favourite Film – Beauty and the Beast
Favourite Song – Dancing in the Dark – Bruce Springsteen
How Do you Like Your Steak? – medium rare
Are you a morning or a night person? – morning
Last meal of your life would be? – hmmmmmmm, probably would have to start with bruschetta, then steak and stilton sauce with all the trimmings for main and then banoffee pie for dessert!
Favourite thing about where you live? – Lakeside (and Costco) is less than ten mins away!
Best Boxset you’ve watched in the past year? Peaky Blinders or Dexter – really can’t choose
What chore do hate doing? – ironing – now alleviated from this chore as I now have an ironing lady – phew!
If you could go for a meal with 4 celebs who would it be? – Can they be dead? If so … Freddie Mercury, John Lennon, Henry 8th and Robin Williams
Favourite Item of Clothing You Own – Can it be an accessory? If so, it would have to be my Mulberry!
Favourite Book? – Thousand Splendid suns – Khaled Hosseini
Favourite Place you’ve ever been? – Can’t decide …. Probably between the French Alps or the Maasai Mara in Kenya
*Sorry for looking like an old Skeleton today*
Role at bumpPR: Junior Account Exec (University Placement Student)
Favourite Film – Inglourious Basterds
Favourite Song – Night Moves, Bog Seger
How Do you Like Your Steak? – Medium (Currently trying really hard to like it with all the blood)
Are you a morning or a night person? Night.
Last meal of your life would be? Mussels, Fillet Steak with Peppercon Sauce with Gu melt in the middle Puddings to finish.
Favourite thing about where you live? Well, I live in Milton Keynes so I’d have to say hmmm… Erm…Welll…. The John Lewis?
Best Boxset you’ve watched in the past year? Dexter – I’m still quite teary that it’s all over
What chore do hate doing? Taking the bins out
If you could go for a meal with 4 celebs who would it be? Audrey Hepburn, David Beckham (definitely for his intelligence), Anna Wintour and Tom Hanks
Favourite Item of Clothing You Own – Mulberry Bag
Favourite Book? To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Favourite Place you’ve ever been? South African Safari
Role at bumpPR: Intern
Favourite Film? The Parent Trap
Favourite Song? Everybody Wants to be a Cat
How Do you Like Your Steak? Rare
Are you a morning or a night person? Definitely night!
Last meal of your life would be? Lobster rolls
Favourite thing about where you live? The architecture in Cambridge is very charming
Best Boxset you’ve watched in the past year? Gossip Girl- just as good the second time round!
What chore do hate doing? Ironing
If you could go for a meal with 4 celebs who would it be? Mark-Francis Vandelli, Kate Moss, Justin Bieber and Prince George
Favourite Item of Clothing You Own? A pink and white feather gilet
Favourite Book? Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Favourite Place you’ve ever been? Fire Island, New York
Role at bumpPR: Account Executive
Favourite Film: Either Armageddon or Matilda
Favourite Song: Imagine Dragons – On Top of the World
How Do you Like Your Steak? – Medium
Are you a morning or a night person? – Morning
Last meal of your life would be? This is a tough one but I think it would be Spaghetti Bolognaise and Garlic Bread!
Favourite thing about where you live? It’s close to both the countryside and the city
Best Boxset you’ve watched in the past year? Hmmm, I can’t just pick one so my top three would be Breaking Bad/Prison Break/Mad Men
What chore do hate doing? Hoovering
If you could go for a meal with 4 celebs who would it be? Ant and Dec, Michael McIntyre and Emma Watson
Favourite Item of Clothing You Own: Definitely my onesie!
Favourite Book? I love P.S. I Love You and I’m a big fan of the Harry Potter books
Favourite Place you’ve ever been? Montenegro
Role at bumpPR: Director
Favourite Film – Seriously – too hard! Disney!
Favourite Song – So many –but do love a classic Take that hit – Never Forget!
How Do you Like Your Steak? Rare (when not pregnant!)
Are you a morning or a night person? Morning!
Last meal of your life would be? Pâté to start, fish and chips (or nachos!) for main and my Mum’s bannoffee pie to finish!
Favourite thing about where you live? Best of both – town and country!
Best Boxset you’ve watched in the past year? Re run of Desperate Housewives
What chore do hate doing? emptying the dishwasher – don’t we all
If you could go for a meal with 4 celebs who would it be? Helen Mirren, Julie Walters, Judi Dench and Mcfly!
Favourite Item of Clothing You Own: always a hoody – for slouching in winter!
Favourite Book? Winnie the pooh
Favourite Place you’ve ever been? South Africa
Here come the summer holidays…
Now that ice cream season is in full swing and the summer holidays seem to be approaching at 1534530mph, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to entertain your children for six. Whole. Weeks. It may sound like a terrifying thought, but one thing is for sure, if my memories of school are still correct someone presses a fast forward button at the start of them so they flyyyyy by! So no need to fret, simply blink and they’ll be gone! However, despite all of this, children definitely need to be entertained! There’s no denying that a day in the park, or a picnic in your garden really are amazing ways to spend a sunny Tuesday afternoon but we’ve got some even better ideas on how you can make one day extra special for your little one… There are of course, hundreds of things to do in all types weather situations (we all know the British sun likes the change its mind willy nilly) and all types of destinations… But we’ve managed to pick our top favourites places to visit!
Let us know if you take a trip to any
Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre
‘Visit our great little award-winning Museum, situated in the Buckinghamshire village where Roald Dahl lived and wrote for 36 years.
The Museum, aimed at 6 to 12 year olds, features three interactive galleries. Boy gallery looks at Roald Dahl’s school days while Solo gallery houses his original Writing Hut. The Story Centre puts your imagination centre-stage with fantabulous activities to inspire the writer in you.’
The LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort
‘Play your part at the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort with over 55 interactive rides and attractions. Fly through the treetops to escape fearsome dragons, ride the thrilling rapids with a Viking Fleet, join LEGO® divers on a magical underwater adventure on Atlantis Submarine Voyage or enjoy the UK’s only LEGO® Star Wars™ Miniland Model Display.’
Longleat Safari Park
‘Longleat Safari & Adventure Park has been one of the UK’s best-loved attractions for over 60 years. It features an extensive Safari Park, is home to BBC Animal Park and CBBC Roar and also has over 20 fabulous attractions, including Penguin Island, The Jungle Cruise, Monkey Temple and Longleat House, one of the most stunning stately homes in Britain’…. Plus we’ve heard a rumour there are some dinosaurs stomping around at the moment!
The Chester Zoo websites describes them selves as ‘Where do we start? With our 12,000 animals, in 110 acres of award-winning zoological gardens? With the 1.4 million people who come to visit every year? Or with the many conservation projects we’re involved with, at home and abroad?’… enough said?
National Space Centre
‘The National Space Centre is an all-weather attraction for all the family, situated in the heart of the Midlands, located just two miles from Leicester city centre. Why not take a tour round the centre, or check out our special events and birthday parties for a full range of ideas to make your visit out of this world.’
Or alternartivelu, you can never go wrong with a picnic, a football and bare feet on the grass!
Happy summer everyone
Keep your kids cool!
Ok, so I think the sun may officially be here to stay! I feel this way mainly because the thought of getting into bed now just makes me feel hot and stressed and getting into my car at the end of the day feels like getting on the tube at Oxford Circus in a ski suit. Not only this, but I am starting to have a breakdown every time I need to dress in the morning because I’m slowly realising that jeans are no longer practical and that leg shaving season is in full swing once again. Darn.
The heat really can be a difficult thing to live in, especially for us pale Brits and I know that as soon as the temperature rises above 13 degrees (i’m from the north) I really start to feel the affects. There’s no doubt that it’s important to be dressed appropriately for this weather, and try to avoid the inevitable sweat patches and a very wet pair of socks at the end of the day… Sorry, but we’ve all been there haven’t we?
So, I wonder how do children really feel when their delicate bodies first get that blast of sun… And this is where the wonderful Frugi come in! Their pieces are made from organic materials and whether it’s paddling in the sea, jumping in puddles or playing in the park Frugi allows your children to do so in durable, cool and long lasting clothes! We’ve got some beautiful pieces from the summer collection that will truly will allow your kids to be kids and to run around in the summer sun without a care in the world!
Boat Neck Body Dress
This body dress is both pretty and practical! The jersey body is super soft on skin with poppers at the crotch. The skirt, made from woven organic cotton, makes this dress a summer favourite for baby girls.
These short dungarees with an appliqué boat are perfect for those warm summer days! The dungarees come with poppers at the crotch and adjustable button shoulder straps. £26
Run Around Romper
This adorable romper is perfect for running around on a hot summers day! Made from soft jersey cotton, it also has a fun pocket detail and popper fastening at the back and inside leg to make changing quick and easy.
Lovely Layered Skirt Dress
Pretty Garden ditsy print skirt dress in one with removable straps and smocked detailing.
These slim fit chinos are perfect for dressing smart or can be dressed down with one of our t-shirts. They are made with organic twill cotton with a touch of elastane for extra comfort and have a popper and zip fastening with an adjustable waistband.
The Day Of the Dads
In case you’ve been in a hole, and have managed to avoid Not on the High Street’s 68754657 emails over the past month then you may have forgotten it’s Father’s Day in two weeks! Which means, if your Dads/husbands are as ridiculously impossible to buy for than mine…You better get looking ASAP.
I’ve got to say, I like father’s day. I think there are lots of excuses and moments throughout the year to buy women something, no matter the occasion. There’s flowers , earrings and jewellery, things that smell nice and of the course the weird little bowls for nuts and anchovies that women like to keep in their weird little bowl cupboard. Consider for me, the last time you bought a man a present for no reason? I don’t think my Dad has had anything from me but hugs and love (nice and cheap) over the years when it hasn’t been Christmas or a birthday and i’m now feeling quite guilty about it! I always just decided that buying Dad a birthday present was painful enough without having to find a token gift as well… I think he’s going to be lucky this year if I mange to find a card that doesn’t have gems on and or say ‘greatest Dad in the world on’. I’m not saying he isn’t, but I just feel that’s a bit emotional for me and my Dad on a day that, if we think about it, is really just an excuse to go out for Sunday lunch…
Though despite my dislike for soppy cards, I think a nice gift on Father’s Day is important because where would we be without Dads? Who would be the linesman for your Sunday league football games, who would help you buy your first football boots and who would take the crown of worst dancer at every wedding! They’re brilliant, and I think they all deserve breakfast in bed and something very cool this Fathers day…
The Doona is not only the ultimate Dad gadget, but it is the first of its kind. With a simple click of a button, the amazing Car seat turns into a stroller in less than ten seconds, making trips out easier than ever before for parents. Doona makes the errands of any parent so much easier with not only extra boot space for Dad’s golf clubs but more importantly a valuable pair of free hands! £299.00
This stylishly classic bag from BabyMule comes with a 22 litre capacity and includes everything from a changing mat and pouch, bottle insulator, and wet bag in a handy purse. The stylish bag has 4 colour ways that are perfect for any Dad, including dark blue, grey, black and brown and it’s versatile design means it can be suited to both Mum and Dad- being worn as a practical backpack, stylish messenger bag or it can be simply clipped to any buggy. Any Man would feel comfortable and masculine carrying this around on his days alone! £85
We Made Me
And for the Dad without a newborn…This is essential.
Lisa’s Pregnancy Story…
This week, Lisa has been chatting to the wonderful Medela about some of the things she has been experiencing during her pregnancy so far! We’ve got a little snippet below to give you a taster of what’s in store…!
“There is no denying that finding out you’re pregnant is just wonderful – how clever are our bodies and the fact peeing on a stick is the deciding moment, yes or no, how easy it is to find out the fate of your future!”
To read on, simply follow the link below…Enjoy
Swim Season is Here!
Swimming to me, epitomises the word ‘holiday’. Splashing about in the sunshine is probably one of the few things in life that is as enjoyable for a child as it is for an adult. (Though I enjoy mostly the fact that being in the water helps develop the tan). I LOVE to swim, the first thing I do when I get on holiday is get the old swimsuit on and dive in the pool, no matter how cold- I wait all year for that first water bomb.
I probably couldn’t tell you anything about my childhood holidays other than my memories of being in the water. Of learning to dive for the first time, playing games in the pool with my siblings (or any willing participant of ‘inflatable races’), pretending to be a dolphin *goodbye street cred* and snorkelling along the bottom of the pool- probably not something I would encourage anyone that doesn’t like hairballs or toenails to do. It is therefore, very fair to say that swimming pools, the sea or just the water in general have provided heaps of memories for me that still make me smile to this day.
I appreciate that not everyone loves the water, sometimes a dip of the big toe is enough to put anyone off and if getting your hair wet or being forced into a game of water polo isn’t your thing then I totally understand. There are however, some major benefits to your child learning to swim from a young age. I found a report (written by ASA), that stated how swimming will keep your child’s heart and lungs healthy, improves strength and flexibility, increases stamina and even improves balance and posture! It was music to my ears to know that swimming is not only fun but beneficial for health reasons too.
So if you’re taking your little one away this summer and you’ll be spending some time in the pool or by the beach, we’ve got some great products that are a must to take away with you. You may have to sacrifice the extra pair of wedges to fit them in…But we promise it’ll be well worth it.
SwimFin is the first truly new development in the teaching of swimming for decades – tried and tested to assist anyone in learning to swim. Unlike arm-bands, noodles or other devices, SwimFin is a flotation device that works in harmony with the body, helping to develop a better and more natural swimming position. SwimFin complies with international safety standards, providing enough buoyancy to keep an adult afloat. And after it has done its job as a learning-aid, SwimFin will always find use as a fun water toy!
Little ones love a splash about, but what to do about their nappy? If you’re a fan of re-usable nappies, you’ll love the funky SwimTots from Totsbots! Available in two fabulous and original prints: Beach Bums for the boys and Knickerbocker for the girls! Not only do they give tots some serious poolside cred, they have been expertly designed and manufactured in the UK to keep the little ones comfortable and protected.
A The award-winning Scrunch-bucket is designed to be taken anywhere, to be squashed into small spaces and to be used for a multitude of purposes. Made of food-grade silicone in a multitude of colours with a matching rope and solid silicone handle- ideal for squeezing into your suitcase!
The Triplet is a unique, multifunctional toy that is easy and fun to use.It’s part shovel, to help kids dig holes, build foundations and carve out moats. It’s part sand sifter, to help remove shells and other sediment, for smooth, shapeable sand. And it’s part rake, to let kids create extra designs. The hollow handle can even be used as water funnel to finish off the coolest sandcastles ever with sand art! It should just about squeeze in the case!
Money Money Money
There are many nights, (most actually), where me and my partner sit in front of the tv and conclude that despite paying for hundreds of channels there is NOTHING to watch. This exact scenario happened the other night, and we reluctantly agreed on Channel 4’s ‘the world’s most expensive food’. We’re huge foodies so I assumed this could only be good. I made sure I was full up from dinner and pudding (just in case the programme made my tummy rumble) and we were good to go. For those of you who were fortunate enough to spend your Tuesday evenings doing something far more productive/romantic/exciting/generally not rubbish I’ll do a little recap about what the programme entailed… It’s basically about the ridiculous habits of people with too much money, where the finest food simply isn’t enough and what they desire is now not necessarily good quality food, but to have an extravagant story behind it. To put this into perspective, one man on the show had demanded that he have certain beef aboard his private jet because it had been raised on a farm on the other side of the world that had the same family name as him.
I like to think that from the title, you’ll have, like me, been lulled into a false sense of security that this would be a programme about fine restaurants and the world’s best steaks and fish. I was hoping to learn a little about fine dining (for when I become a millionaire myself), but instead all I learnt was that no matter what anyone says you can have too much money. Now you may be shaking your head, but the minute you start demanding salmon fillet that has been played jazz music in order to make it taste nicer, you’ve most certainly got too much money.
So having wasted an hour of my life on this programme it of course sparked the age old ‘what I’d do with a lottery win’ debate. I actually have a life plan for myself if I won the lottery, I’ve considered where every penny would be spent and adjusted this to every lottery sum scenario – a worrying game to play with my head given I have more chance of seeing The Queen in Nandos than ever winning the lottery. But we’ve all done it and we all know it’s heaps of fun! So much so, that I asked the bump team what the first three things they would do with their lottery win would be….
- First thing is first, I’d book a holiday for the following day to Necker Island and hire it out for all of my friends and family. (I’d be obviously only going to get tips for when I purchase my own Island)
- I think I’d need to get a new car… Somehow I don’t feel like a Citroen C2 is a fitting way to travel around when I’m carrying around more change than the car is worth in my pocket.
- I think I would then begin looking for a big plot of land somewhere and build my absolute dream home as well as pay off mortgages/buy houses for all of my closest friends and family
- A boat
- A cake shop so I could bake and ice cakes all day
- A house by the sea
- For me it would be houses – one in the English countryside and one abroad, maybe somewhere in the south of France, by the seaside? Or Italy… Oh I don’t know!
- A life supply of candy King!
- And my dream – to buy a dogs home and let all the homeless dogs move in!
- I would really like to employ a full-time multi-talented assistant. Their job role would include: being my personal chauffeur, stylist, makeup artist, beauty therapist, masseuse, hairdresser, personal trainer, motivator and chef. If this person doesn’t exist, I would just have to employ ‘Chloe’s personal team’
- I would have to buy something that brought in some revenue so I could continue my newfound luxurious lifestyle. Perhaps something like Necker Island. Some sort of amazing hotel or resort where people paid 10k a night to stay there. This would also allow me to mingle with celebs.
- To ensure I wasn’t going to go to hell, I would probably set up a charity. Something where I built camps/hotels in countries where people have had to leave their homes/were refugees, so they had somewhere safe to live, eat and get an education/learn a trade so they could make a new life for themselves.
Let’s Talk Maternity Wear
For those of you with impressively brilliant elephant memories, you may or may not remember that we’ve done a little post about maternity fashion before…. Well, the Anna Wintour in us is back and this time we’re talking about our favourite maternity pieces for this summer!
Having never been pregnant myself I appreciate that my advice on what to wear when you’re carrying another human around with you as it plays football with your bladder for nine months may be hit and miss given my lack of experience. I really promise that I’ve tried as hard as I can to imagine how this feels. To image feeling hotter than the hottest I’ve ever felt is possible and how needing to inconveniently go to the toilet once during a day out is a luxury compared to pregnancy. I’ve tried to imagine what the extra weight feels like and how funny feelings in your tummy isn’t just your body screaming ‘GET ME SOME QUAVERS NOW’, it’s an actual human being trying to find a comfier spot in your belly which probably = a very uncomfortable spot for you.
I decided I needed to do some research. What had do mums recommend in maternity wear and how do they feel about maternity clothes? Whilst looking around for said inspiration I read a quote from a mum saying:
‘Maternity fashion is like sushi in Kansas – either really expensive and worth it or cheap and questionable.’
Now, having never eaten sushi in Kansas, I imagine it’s probably like eating sushi in England (overrated in my humble opinion), but if Instagram is anything to go by… It’s exceptionally cool. Therefore, I understand exactly what she means- I guess it’s the same with all clothes, *except you can’t fool your partner that this expensive dress is worth the money because you’ll wear it for the next few summers too*…. But it’s funny I should come across this quote because Lisa has made exactly the same point. Having purchased some tops from New Look as well as some less reasonably priced (but still very reasonable Jack) clothes from Isabelle Oliver, the difference in quality and comfort was astronomical.
So that leads us to wonder, is it worth spending lots of money on clothes that you’re only ever going to wear (on average) for maybe 18/26 months of your entire life? Or should you just buy cheaper clothes that you can chuck away and consequently leave well deserved wardrobe space for post-maternity loveliness? Well, I have 2 answers to that for the men nodding their heads, and here they are…
- You are carrying a child around for 9 months. You’ve sacrificed brie, prawns and a steak cooked rare on behalf of you and your partner. Expensive clothing is the least you deserve.
- No one actually keeps clothes for 9 months without thinking ‘hmm I’d quite like a dress to replace that one I bought half a year ago!’- 9 months is a long time in a wardrobe for clothes when they’re not even maternity.
So with all that in mind, I’ve tried my best to include these things: breezy material (but not too breezy unless you get cold), stretchy, not too tight, not too thick, not too thin, not too short, not too expensive- but not quite Chanel and definitely not too small. They’re flattering, whilst highlighting the big bump you would, in any other situation do anything you could to hide… Here are my picks for maternity wear this summer. Happy hot pregnancy!
Absolutely love this outfit (minus the hat obvs). There’s no doubt it’ll feel lovely and completely flatter- Isabelle Oliver doesn’t fail.
Isabelle Oliver – £95 (Ouch)
A trench coat is essential in every wardrobe. Love this maternity version, that you could no doubt wear post pregnancy too.
Topshop – £79
Absolutely love the little bell sleeves in this top!
Asos – £28
This is classic, timeless and amazing for all breastfeeding mums this summer!
Bibee Maternity – £60
I’m a total sucker for a culotte and I’m actually considering buying this despite the lack of pregnancy in my life? #obsessed
Asos – £42
Topshop – £45
Stripes are perfect in pregnancy! We absolutely love this little breastfeeding number with a tie cardi – ideal for those cool summer evenings…
Frugi – £50
It’s a Princess!
It’s a great year to be British, once again! There’s nothing like a royal celebration to make us all feel so splendidly pleased that we were born into this rainy nation, for we have a new Princess with a perfect name!
So be honest, did any of you guess it? In retrospect the name was so predictably predictable I can’t believe more people didn’t predict it! A touching nod to many members of not only the royal family but the Middleton’s too, that truly is suitably fitting for our new Princess. Despite having a lovely sentiment behind it, I am thankful that using the female version of your father’s name isn’t going to be a new tradition…If so my daughter will be called Geoffreylette, which just doesn’t quite have the same ring.
We couldn’t possibly talk about the royal baby without bringing up the question on every woman’s lips…. How on earth did Kate look better than me on my absolute best day straight after giving birth? I don’t think any amount of make-up or time spent on my hair could make me look so fresh and I don’t think anything but a pair of bags under my eyes will be wearable after birth. I know she’s a Princess, and she has hair and make-up artists to hand, but as Lisa so truly said… We’d have all had just a little bit more love for her should she have replaced her dress with a pair of leggings and put her hair in a little bun on top of her head! Amen. But we still love Kate, because let’s face it we’re all just totally jealous of her official occupation…
We’ve mentioned Kate and of course Charlotte, but the real star of the show was George, as our future king and his royal wave made a long awaited public appearance. His adorable little chubby legs, teamed with the knee high socks and his comb over that even Bruce Forsyth would be jealous of managed to melt the hearts of even the most miserable of Brits and remind us why we all awkwardly mumble a tribute to the royal family at every national occasion!
So, in honour of Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Dianna, we’ve got some products which are perfect for all of those little Princesses out there…
Royal Wave Nappy
Perfect for every majestic bottom, The Royal Wave is undoubtedly the creation of TotsBots. In true signature style, the print is absolutely delightful! Covered in rocking horses, teddy bears, trees, baby blocks and of course a royal baby too, the Royal Wave will ensure little princes and princesses feel very noble indeed!
Liberty art print
This gorgeous limited edition Betsy baby Jacket from shmuncki, comes in soft jersey cotton with delicate liberty art fabric trim and hood. Available in beautiful floral pink this jacket is fit for a Princess!
We Made Me
This eminently stylish and practical Pao Papoose™ is We Made Me’s super-adjustable, soft-structured carrier ideal for Princes and Princesses aged 4 to 36 months.
Little Green Sheep
This luxurious, organic baby blanket has been knitted into a cellular weave to create a beautifully soft, lightweight, and long-lasting blanket.
The Stomp all in one travel system is our all singing, all dancing, complete package that takes the strain away from paying for all those niggly extras.. Carefully designed with equal consideration for both functionality and style, the Stomp all in one travel system not only looks great but glides effortlessly around pedestrians, restricted spaces and the corridors of Buckingham Palace!
So as we face a big day today, in waiting to find out who will be our new prime minister it’s good to have the certainty of The Monarch before us, spreading across the world love for the Brits all thanks to two very cute faces!
Reading and Relaxation!
For some of you lucky lot, you’ll already be thinking about your summer holidays. Imagining how you’re going to fit all of your stuff into the suitcase, and about that deliciously cold, icy drink that you’ll be sipping on as you bake yourself in the sun…
There are few things more exciting than the run up to your holiday, and potentially few things less stressful. As you run around, not only trying to pack all of the lovely maxi dresses and new bikinis you’ve been working hard to fit into but you’ve got at least one other person to think about. You’re now having to think about what your little one is going to wear, is the sun cream factor high enough? Can we fit this dingy into the case? Do we need to take any food? No, don’t be ridiculous we can buy it all there… I’m convinced my mum used to forget that unless you’re planning on holidaying with Bear Grylls, you’re going to be able to buy anything that you need or forget, over there.
So once all of this panic is over and your partner has indulged themselves in the 1cm square space they have in the case for their 1 pair of shorts, trunks and a t-shirt (how do they do it?), you’ve got your whole wardrobe and the kitchen sink. You’re ready to go. You’ve been building up to this moment for weeks, you’ve been working hard, running around buying Boots’ entire supply of Factor 50, trying on swimming costumes, dresses, wondering if those shorts might be just too short, have you got enough after sun, have you got a pair of sandals to go with each outfit? You’ve painfully removed every spec of hair on your body and you’ve even more painfully force fed your family with the entire contents of the fridge because it can’t be thrown away… Block of cheese and an old bag of lettuce before we leave for the airport anyone?
You know what you need now? A holiday.
We can safely say, that as a Mum (except for maybe Katie Hopkins’ husband) there is no one who deserves a holiday more than you. You’re exhausted and ready for the summer sun; now all you need is a good book to truly take you away from reality, and we’re here to help! We’ve all got a recommendation for our favourite books that we’ve read this year to help you escape into pure paradise…
There’s too many good books to chose just one, so I’ve created a list, to give you a little choice…
A thousand splendid suns – Khaled Hosseini
Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi
Trumpet – Jackie Kay
The Crimson Petal and the white – Michel Faber
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer
The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
Jemima J – Jane Green – I read this book when I was like 13 and really loved it, so much so, I read it again twice. However, I expect I might feel different about it now …
I’m not as kind as Chloe to give you a choice. I’m telling you to listen to this….
So this isn’t actually a book… It’s a podcast. Normally more a fan of books, i’m still shocked by how involved I became with those story. You’ve no doubt heard of it and you’re probably sick of hearing about it, but I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a week by week podcast based on a real-life case of a man (Adnun Syed) who has been in prison for 15 years for the murder of his ex girlfriend. Sarah Koenning, the narrator, is a journalist who has been asked to look into the case and see if she can find enough evidence to prove the innocence of Adnun. It’s beautifully crafted and amazingly narrated. It’s free to download and I can guarantee that after one episode, you’ll be completely addicted.
To my shame I am not much of a reader – I just don’t seem to have time and my husband will tell you when I say I am off to bed early to read my book, what that actually means is I will read a page and pass out – in fact all I have managed to do in the last 4 months is read the same two pages of a book as I always forget what I read the night before! So for me it is holidays when a book might come out – but even then it is safer to stick to magazines!
However, being pregnant has made me want to read more – thank god my husband is an obliging reader – as he reads me a chapter a week before bed! Saves me waking up with bruises on my face when I have dropped the book on my face having fell asleep, one page in!
Harry Potter or The Hunger Games all the way! I couldn’t put either of these down and the films definitely don’t do them justice…!
Happy holidays everyone!
Here Comes the Sun!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! The sun is out! I believe this officially means that the season of pale legs and socks and sandals has begun. I realise that it is only April, so forgive me for being slightly premature in my excitement, but once I begin to stop craving hot chocolates and think constantly about how I can create the most delicious and calorific milkshake of all time, I know it’s summer. Being a British native, I know full well that this isn’t going to last from now until September 1st. The sun is already reminding us on a daily basis that it’s prepared to start the day one way, and end twenty degrees in the opposite direction, which means that at least 50% of the time I’m dressed entirely inappropriately. I think the sun purposefully plays devil’s advocate with my winter wardrobe in an attempt to make my mornings 100% more stressful as I rifle through the jumpers and jeans looking for something that means I’m not covered up from my chin to my toes, praying that there’s something in there thinner than my dressing gown… There isn’t.
Despite all this, it really is so nice to walk through the Hitchin town square and see children and their grandparents eating ice creams, or rather smearing them all over their face and clothes (generally the children, not the grandparents), skipping around without a care in the world. I know we’re a nation famous for our misery but even the lovely sun can’t hold back the smiles and laughter that is imperative in every garden around the country. There’s absolutely no doubt that summer is not only the best time for adults, (beers gardens and Pimms) but the best time for kids too! They can play out in the sunshine, away from the confines of four walls letting their imagination run wild.
In celebration of this, we’ve put together some of the coolest things your little one can have this summer to let them make the most of the sun whilst it’s out!
Perfect for exploring the great outdoors smarTrikes can be used by little ones from 10 months up to 3 years. The patented touch steering, innovative swivel wheel and magic button make this a must for riding around in the sun and exploring surroundings! https://smartrike.com/global/
One that we’re really excited about, that is due to launch in May is Lil’ Monkey! This is a new and revolutionary multi-dimensional climbing dome and consul game that has introduced Interactive Augmented Reality to the Outdoor Toy Category for the very first time. This unique patented toy enables children to be physically active by climbing, swinging and hanging off their sturdy climbing frame whilst playing with their wireless device! http://www.lil-monkey.com/
Happy Hopperz are the creators of the modern space hopper. With many different, brightly coloured characters your little one can bounce around on a dog, horse, bull or one of the new vehicle collections which includes police cars and bikes! These are fun for children indoors and out and can let them bounce the summer away! http://www.happyhopperz.co.uk/
Your little one can transform their scooter into a pony or scary dinosaur with these funky animal scooter accessories! Given that scooters are now one of the most popular ways for children to get to school, they can truly arrive in style with these fun characters that are designed to survive our British weather when the summer is over. http://www.scootaheadz.com/
The bumps, the myths the legends
Being in the industry we are in here at bumpPR you can imagine that amount of chatter outside and inside of work that revolves around babies. Well, that and: the fear of giving birth, buggies, pregnancy, baby names, the fear of giving birth, baby clothes, the fear of giving birth, baby toys, nursery decorations, the fear of giving birth, cots, morning sickness, the fear of giving birth, oh… And the absolute earth shatteringly, mind numbingly incomprehensible fear of giving birth. We’ve discussed many things in this office, (even more so now that Lisa is going through it all!) and on some occasions we’ve taken it really seriously and created lists. Yes that’s right; we have lists of what we’d like to call our children. Something we know you’re all bound to be guilty of, because I’m afraid to say it guys but mental lists count too.
So if we add together all of the above, a member of the team, a new aunty, a Nan and an excitable mother it’s no wonder the parenting topic came up this weekend on my visit home, or more specifically the myths and legends surrounding parenting. I, the superstitious pessimist retaliated to every ‘Ohhhhh NO! You must NEVER do that when you’re pregnant’ with a ‘oh please’ and the occasional *head in hands* action. I couldn’t quite believe that in 2015- after well over 10 billion births we still believe in some of these things. I know at times, we women could be vulnerable- I too have believed that I would look like Cara Delevigne in that little dress and I too have believed that face cream would make me look photo shopped every day. But this is a whole other level for me. A level I can’t even comprehend. This must be how my Nan feels every time I try and explain to her how the internet works…
So I decided I needed a second opinion. Was I being a complete pessimist? Am I destined for a hideous pregnancy and eternal bad luck just because I might not have anywhere but the house to put my new pram? I don’t know, but I’d like to see what you all think. I’ve picked up on the most popular and ridiculous myths I could find, and given my own verdict on its reliability. Feel free to let us know about any legends you have come across or if you have any real life experiences with those below…
Myth: If you’re carrying your baby low it’s a boy; high, It’s a girl
What it claims to do: Tell the sex of your baby
Our Verdict: Well, you’ve got a 50% chance of getting it right. So if this has been proved in the past, they did have good odds in the first place.
Myth: Amber Anklet to help with teething
What it claims to do: Amber is supposed to have pain relieving qualities…
Our Verdict: Can a pain relief travel up from the ankle into one’s gum? I’m not sure.
Myth: There is an old superstition dictating that everything around a woman in labor must be “undone” so as not to block the passage of the baby through the birth canal. Those abiding by this belief make sure that necklaces, shoe strings, and doors and windows are all unclasped, untied, or opened
What it claims to do: I’m not even sure
Our Verdict: It’s clear to me that Health & Safety regulations were lacking back then. I think if there’s anyone in the world who shouldn’t be leaving doors open and shoe laces untied it’s heavily pregnant women.
Myth: Years ago, midwives would place a knife under your bed to ease labor pains
What it claims to do: Ease Pains?
Our Verdict: This isn’t worthy of a comment.
Myth: If you’re experiencing heartburn during pregnancy, your baby will be born with a full head of hair.
What it claims to do: Tell if your baby will be hairy? (Not sure why you’d need to know this)
Our Verdict: Well my trusty mum told me she had terrible heartburn with my sister and she came out bald as a coot. So I’m sceptical.
Myth: Don’t bring a new pram into the house
What it claims to do: Brings bad luck if you do!
Our Verdict: You’ll be surprised to hear that I think this is a load of rubbish. My mother however, may curse me forever should I not indulge in this utter ridiculousness.
Myth: If you put the pregnant mother’s wedding ring on a string it’ll tell you the sex of your baby
What it claims to do: If it swings back and forth like a pendulum it’s a boy, if it swings in a circular motion it’s a girl
Our Verdict: I was never very good at science so I’m not sure about this one. Any actual evidence this has worked? Anyone? No? I’ll cross this off the list too then.
Myth: Going outside when you’re pregnant during an eclipse could give your baby a cleft palate
What it claims to do: Give your baby a cleft palate
Our Verdict: I’m speechless. Half because somebody tried to blame the eclipse on a cleft palate – a perfectly natural and common occurrence (quite unlike the eclipse) and half because there are people in the world who believe this.
Fears, Phobias and E.T
This week, the four of us here at bump got to know each other just a little bit more. A conversation that began with a pleasant reminisce about the Easter weekend’s activity, quickly turned into a confession about our phobias. We were forced to admit our irrational fears of hideous creatures that alone make rainy England seem far more appealing than any other countries in the world and the stories behind these. We realised that Chloe was afraid of a much loved, children’s character and Lisa’s fear of spiders even included the teeny weeny ones that house themselves in the corner of the ceiling, or the shower.
This conversation did leave me with a sick feeling at the pit of my stomach (you know, that feeling of nervous dead you get before the dentist) but it also left me with a very happy feeling as I remembered the greatest thing to have ever been on Sky One *except Lost* – Fear Factor. I know my parents would agree, because this programme alone allowed them a whole night of peace from their 3 children who would not blink for the whole time Joe Rogan was on our TV. Crazy Americans would walk on a rope between two buildings, drive a car through flames and lay in baths of snakes, spiders and other earth shatteringly horrible creatures all for a $50,000 prize for one of them. It had me thinking, what could you buy for $50,000 that would be worth laying in a bath with anything but a bottle of Molton Brown inside of it. Nothing, you certainly couldn’t buy a memory eraser and you definitely couldn’t buy yourself a sleep without nightmares again. They are phobias for a reason and I think here in our office in Hitchin we’re very content with never having to face our fears… Except for maybe Chloe who will be finding pictures of E.T around the office from now on.
So, as a way of you truly getting to know the bumpPR team, we have all answered 3 questions about their fears, phobias and frights.
What is your number one phobia?
Spiders, spiders and more spiders!
What’s the closest you’ve come to your phobia?
Oh god, jack was at work once and this massive spider crawled out of the sofa… the cushion I was sat on! I leapt off the sofa and stood there for what felt like an hour until it found its way to the carpet! I was armed with a massive kitchen pan and threw it over the spider to catch it! it give me shivers reliving it! I love Oreo and Poppy for many reasons, but the fact they make the spiders scurry away from me when I am being terrorised is a massive bonus!
Would you lay in a bath with your phobia for $50,000?
I really don’t think so no! I am pathetic, fact!
What is your number one phobia?
*Cue laughs from the whole office*
What’s the closest you’ve come to your phobia?
The first time I tried to watch it. As soon as his horrible face appeared, I ran out of the room screaming and have never tried to watch it again since. I had nightmares for years about him when I was little and still at 26, Danny will try and scare me before I go to sleep if we have had an argument (and it works).
Would you lay in a bath with your phobia for $50,000?
Absolutely not! Not even for a million.
What is your number one phobia?
What’s the closest you’ve come to your phobia?
At a children’s Christmas party when I was little. The entertainment was a company that brought reptiles for everyone to see and hold! I didn’t go anywhere near them and I think I actually had to leave the room – not very entertaining for me!
Would you lay in a bath with your phobia for $50,000?
I would like to think I could lay in a bath with snakes for $50,000 – depending on how long it would have to be of course!
What is your number one phobia?
What’s the closest you’ve come to your phobia?
Luckily I have never been faced with the ultimate fear- the Ostrich. Even seeing Helen Flanagan in a closed room with one on I’m a Celebrity made me feel sick. However I was once on holiday with my friends at a waterpark and for some god forsaken reason they took me to see a bird show. Naturally, I kicked up a huge fuss about not going, but later decided I’d rather sit and hide than stand on my own. Suddenly a huge stork made its way over. It was uncontrollable and looking for a kill. Me. There was then an announcement that read ‘Unfortunately Steve the Stork doesn’t seem to be listening today, so if it does decide to attack there isn’t much we can do’ (from what I remember hearing over my tears). Deciding that I obviously wouldn’t be a suitable dinner the bird left and sprinted its way down the path where I would have been standing had I not gone. I fear I wouldn’t have lived to tell the tale.
Would you lay in a bath with your phobia for $50,000?
No. You couldn’t pay me to knowingly be 5 miles from one.
So there we have it. We have the four fears of bumpPR. We can conclude that we are all a bunch of wimps
Harrogate Nursery Fair Fun!
Lisa and I have just returned from the nursery industry’s biggest event of the year – the International Nursery Fair in beautiful Harrogate. It was my first experience of the full three days and although I was suffering a little with a cold, I certainly enjoyed myself. It was lovely to see our clients in their element and also to meet up with many of the journalists I speak to on a daily basis. Here are some of my highlights …
1. Having a great night out with the CuddleCo team at the BANTAS and of course meeting the hilarious Jason Manford
3. The We Made Me Ltd press event – and of course indulging in some colouring in!
4. Meeting the newest member of the SweetDreamers flock – ewan the grey!
5. Meeting the inventors behind Doona and GreenTom (not Lisa by the way!)
We also enjoyed some fab events with B magazine, Mother & Baby and Progressive Preschool!
All in all, it was great fun. It was so lovely to put some names to faces and see all the new and exciting products which will soon be launched into the parenting world.
Have a Blooming Lovely Baby Shower!
It’s time we all just started admitting it. We’re turning into Americans. Slightly paler but undoubtedly funnier Americans. We’re slowly but surely adopting their ways, habits and questionable pronunciations- FYI Microsoft Word it’s ‘organisation’ with an ‘s’ not a ‘z’. We’ve stolen their black Friday, (I’m secretly pleased about this one- 30% off at Asos is welcome in this country whenever it likes). We’ve started spending excessive amounts on school proms for 11-16 year olds who are now graduating ‘high school’, isn’t it secondary school? We’re now telling people we’ll be ‘a half hour’ instead of ‘half an hour’ and asking ‘can I get a..?’ No. You can’t get anything, but you CAN have a slice of cake. Despite all of this, there is one tradition that we have adopted over the last ten years that is quickly becoming a real ‘must’ for all mums-to-be. Baby showers! Despite our many unnecessary celebrations this is a great one… A baby shower is for someone who truly deserve it. Someone who spends nine months carrying around a child, going to the toilet every 2 minutes and eating her body weight in whatever oddity suits her craving. We think eating copious amounts of cake and drowning herself in tea for just one day is the least a pregnant woman deserves and the presents just may well distract her from the fact that the worst it yet to come… Labour. *shivers*
So for those of you who will be attending or hosting a baby shower this spring, we’ve put together a little list of things that we think are lovely gifts to surprise your mum-to-be with…
Blooming Lovely Jewellery
The Mexican Bola pendants from Blooming Lovely Jewellery make the perfect maternity gift, each one is delicaltly wrapped, presented in a hand made pouch including a card detailing the traditional meaning of the jewellery.
ewan the dream sheep ®
ewan the dream sheep ® from the multi award winning Sweet Dreamers is a must for new babies. ewan emits soothing sounds at a low base frequency and a calming pink warm glow which when combined, help settle babies and toddlers into a peaceful sleep.
Designs below include romper from the Harbour collection, a Long Sleeved Vest from the Liberty Print collection and a Romper from the Woodland collection.
Shmuncki is a childrenswear specialising in classic and stylish babywear. The Lonon-based design house takes inspiration from heritage designs, teamed with the colours of the season. Beautiful!
Little Green Sheep
The Celluar Blankets from The Little Green Sheep are luxurious, organic baby blankets knitted into a cellular weave to create a beautifully soft, lightweight, and long-lasting blanket. Suitable for a pram, crib or moses basket, these extra soft cellular blankets moulds around your baby’s body to create a secure, comfy and breathable environment for your baby.
This beautifully soft, organic cotton babygrow in a fab buzzy bee print is ideal if you don’t know the gender before the baby shower. Fully poppered for ease of changing with clever integrated scratch mitts and cosy feet. So cute!
P.s If you’re going to be throwing a Baby Shower… We know a fab website with some lovely pieces you’ll need…!
Have An Alternative Easter!
There are no national holidays we don’t love at bumpPR. We love Valentines day , we love St George’s day (loved particularly by George), we love New Year’s day and of course we absolutely LOVE Christmas, but there’s one more that we have a particular soft spot for… Easter. Easter means family time and it means you can’t go to the supermarket without buying a malteaster bunny or a giant easter egg. But we all know that chocolate = happiness, so that’s fine. Not only this but we have two bank holidays, it’s the beginning of spring and there are pictures of very cute bunnies everywhere! Plus, if you were strong enough to last the 40 days and 40 nights of lent you can indulge in whatever you gallantly gave up! We bow down to you- our sandwich sacrifice lasted just short of two weeks. We probably don’t even deserve any Easter eggs.
But of course it isn’t just about mini eggs and post Easter fillings, it’s about having quality time as a family and being able to celebrate something- as well as having a delicious roast dinner cooked on Easter Sunday. Cheers mum! Here we have some lovely Easter themed goodies to buy for your little ones if you don’t want your child to have to pay a visit to the dentist first thing on Monday morning…Or if you just want to make them look as cute as an Easter bunny!
Skibz, the multi award winning makers of the original dribble bib, have a lovely Easter design, which not only looks adorable, but is sure to provide some protective attire whilst your tots feast on their chocolate! £10 www.skibz.co.uk
Cloth nappy fans will love this Humpty Dumpty themed print from Totsbots, the UK’s leading cloth nappy brand. Made with bamboo, cotton and minky blend fabric interior, this certainly makes an egg-cellent choice for your little ones! £16.99 www.totsbots.com
Allow your little one to bounce like a bunny this Easter on board the Happy Hopperz horse! For children aged 12months +, Happy Hopperz are designed to encourage imaginative play, as well as build confidence, strengthen core muscles and improve coordination- a much healthier alternative to chocolate! £21.99 www.happyhopperz.co.uk
This luxurious, organic baby blanket from The Little Green Sheep is the perfect way to keep your little one wrapped up this spring! With a selection of seasonal colours including Duck Egg Blue, this is no doubt the ideal way to treat your baby this Easter! £22.95 www.thelittlegreensheep.co.uk
If all else fails… Here’s 12 amazing desserts made with Cadbury Creme
Eggs that we think will make anyone love you. Particularly us.
London Survival Guide
Maybe it’s because im a LANDANERRR that I hate tourists…
It wasn’t until I came down from the delights of the friendly north to visit the big smoke until I realised how hostile Londonder’s can be. And it wasn’t until I started working in London until I realised why. God, I used to think- how am I supposed to know you’re not meant to stand on the left hand side? Why are they in such a rush, isn’t everyone off work like me today? No George, the answer is no.
As I sit in our sparkly new office, tanning one arm through the huge windows with my stuff spread over my huge desk I can only look back to the days of commuting into London and feel nothing but a shiver down my spine… The stress of my day would begin before I even passed the border into London, just the initial train journey would have caused my body temperature to have reached astronomical temperatures. The half an hour train was used to mentally prepare myself for what was to come. Would there be lots of tourists there today? Oh god it’s half term. School trips are the worst! As I stepped off the train at Euston, I would know (as all commuters do) exactly the path I was going to take. I’d dart to the escalators, pushing my way past any keen tourists who had considerately started their day on the left hand side of the escalator (cheers for that). I’d make it to the underground and no doubt sigh loudly at whatever person would inevitably be in my way because their oyster wasn’t working. *Note to all*- If it doesn’t work after the second time, get some help. I’d then make my way to the exact location I stood every day… (A little to the right of the open doors so I knew I could slip in when everyone was off). I’d wait and then no doubt be pushed aside by the rest of London as I contemplated whether i’d fit onto the tube without my bag or head getting caught in the closing doors. No, i’d always think, I’ll wait for the next one. I’d get off at Tottenham Court road and want to pass out after climbing the mount Everest escalator- regretting it every time. Then i’d be out in the open using all my will power to resist going into every cafe and bakery I passed before I reached the office…
I wanted to explain my day to show that as a London newbie I soon became swept up in the angry, hideous commuter tendencies and found that my temperature was not only rising because of the unbearable heat but the stress too. I want to give a few tips to all of you who like me, have not been briefed on how to survive in London without making a single person angry as I sit at my, cool and very light office in Hitchin where I no longer have to face a single member of the public on my commute to work. Bliss!
If you have a map, try not to read it in doorways, middle of pavements or at the bottom of escalators.
If you’re sweat patch prone, avoid grey tshirts… Despite the cold and rain London has a way of making you feel 5000 degrees regardless.
Prepare to get intimate with lots of strangers. Eyes down, headphones in and if you’re with a friend, try not to talk too loudly, this WILL annoy everyone.
4) Oxford Circus
Don’t go to Oxford Street station from 7am-9pm. Or just avoid its sheer hideousness altogether.
5) Left hand side
Please please please please pleaseee stand on the right hand side of the escalator. Please.
6) Fill the Space
If you’re on the tube and you can move down the carriage. Please do, you’ll keep at least 5 commuters very happy
7) Oyster Card
If your Oyster card or ticket isn’t work, try again a maximum of one more time. Any more and you’re doomed to make the walk of shame back through the crowd of loathsome commuters who are now at least 15 seconds behind schedule because. Of. You.
If you’re feeling a little hot and weary from number 3 and 4 find yourselves a hummingbird bakery. The cakes can lift a person on their worst day get you through any upcoming unpleasantness.
9) Stopping dead in the middle of the street.
You don’t have break lights and your sudden change in direction or speed may cause chaos for anyone who is close behind you.
10) Baby on board badge
Guarantee yourself a seat with this badge. As much as we all love to believe the old ‘ladies first’ is a serious law, the tube will remind you it’s not. You’ll need a badge to have any chance of getting a seat. Obviously you can only wear one if you are female and preferably pregnant.
The Bucket List
Someone once said ‘To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all’ – a wonderful little quote and a great moto to have on your wall- be it the brick or the pintrest vareity. Either way, we here at bump completely and utterly, wholeheartedly agree. We love to live life on the edge, living life in the fast lane- (aside from when Chloe is on her Cambridge diet or when we’ve given up sandwiches for lent or when we spend hours discussing how our lives have been taken over by a boxseat, or Eastenders) – but apart from that we love to be wild! We feel It’s important to have things that you strive to do, be it big or small whether it’s climbing Everest, getting a celeb selfie or giving birth (A nice and easy one ey Lisa?). The amazing thing about bucket lists is that it is completely and utterly personal, some may list of the most adventurous, hedonic activities they can dream of whilst others may wish to make a difference to other people lives but it doesn’t matter because no matter what’s on there you can prize yourself with an overwhelming sense of achievement and perhaps a congratulatory glass of wine! There is just so much to see in the world, you’ve got to just get out there and do it and in the words of Andy Dufresne … ‘Get busy living or get busy dying’. Name that film?
Here are the things we would like to do in the bump office… It took a great deal of thought from
Lisa us all to think of them, but we think we’ve got a few goodens in there…
Do a bungee jump
Run a marathon
Go on an elephant ride
Go to an airport and buy a ticket for the next available international flight
Learn a new language
Ride on the back of a motorbike
Go Skydiving & Bungee Jumping
See the Northern Lights
Travel to every Continent
Run the London Marathon
Go to Glastonbury
Go to Harry Potter world theme park
See the Northern Lights
Go to La Tomatina
Celebrate Holi in India
Visit Madagascar – but this is very dependent on if they banish mosquitoes so I don’t have to take anti-malaria tablets!
See a polar bear and penguin in their natural habitat
Build my own house – with help from a builder I should add!
Lie in a bath of Skittles
Take a summer holiday (as if!) and go to France and work on a vineyard – squashing grapes and making the wine!
Be an extra on Eastenders!
Mum’s the Word!
Mum’s, the greatest people on earth with undoubtedly the world’s toughest job. A job that requires outstanding stamina, the ability to work even when you’re too tired to stand, to show earth shattering patience, you’re constantly on your feet and exerting yourself. This isn’t just a job, this is the most important job in the world. Mum’s are a shoulder to cry on, a councillor, carer, chef, cleaner, maid, shoulder to cry on, teacher, life coach, stylist, taxi driver, and best friend. So many people say there is no greater joy than being a mum, knowing that you have brought life to a beautiful being is the greatest thing in the world! As Lisa hurtles towards motherhood it has been an exciting time in the office, wondering how on earth two people ever agree on a name, or how you survive on no sleep or most importantly, how any human makes it through labour… And it is for that reason alone Mother’s day (that’s the 15th March men), should be all about you!
Currently the highly anticipated celebrity mum of the year awards are going on. We’re all losing sleep worrying if it will be Katie Price, Sam Bailey or even Katie Hopkins *DUN DUN DUN* to take the crown…Who cares, because you should all be winners! Surely cleaning and cooking and washing and caring and loving for someone all day long is enough to be crowned Mum of the year. So go on, put the kettle on, get those tired feet up and start throwing some hints to your other halves way in time for mother’s day…
Blooming Lovely Jewellery
We absolutely love every piece of jewellery in this collection, including the famous Mecxican Bola. However, we particularly love this little number.. The bee charm with the Liberty London wrap makes a sweet ‘boho’ bracelet. As the symbol of fertility the bee represents the sweetness of life found within our own heart. Such a lovely gift!
We absolutely love Bibee Dresses and are particularly obsessed with some of the new designs! Check out this beautiful maxi dress- ideal for summer and can be worn to work too!
The Mumdrum is a place for mums and mums-to-be to share.
With their innovative online Child Memory Books, mums and mums-to-be can share their own journey,
and their child’s journey, publicly or privately. Perfect sentimental mother’s day gift!
Breakfast in bed & a Bath!
5 years and counting!
It has officially been 5 years since Lisa resided herself on her parents kitchen table and began plotting and planning on how to make the most amazing parenting PR company in the world…And so it began. The bump journey. The last 5 years has seen many things, friends made, coverage received, offices grown and a real life bump. Lisa can’t quite believe that we have ended up here, in this fabulous office in lovely Hitchin. No more commuting, no more sweat patches, and no more delayed trains! We are here and we have so many things that we love about this wonderful company. So many things in fact that there’s one for every letter of the alphabet…Obviously we could not mention everyone and everything because there are just too many, but if you’re reading this feel free to place your self on the appropriate letter
C- CAKE/ Chocolate/coverage
G- Green Parent
H- Hermitage Road/Harrogate fair
I-I paper top 10
J-Jack’s new blog…
K- Kind + Jugend
P-Pregnancy (obvs) /Poppy/ Percy Pigs
Q-Queen (the Royal kind, not the band- though we do love them)
R-Radio – Bob FM
U-Unsuccessful diets (see ‘C’ and ‘S’ for more details)
V- Very calorific food
W-Wolf Hall! NOT/ Writing
Z– Forget it. Unless you like zebas, you’ve got no chance.
50 Shades of Valentines Day…
Love is in the air, love is in the airrrr! The most romantic day of the year has come and gone! Brilliant, our favourite day as it means we’re guaranteed to be bought chocolates and flowers- what could go wrong! M&S fed the country with their Dine In For Two and weall exploded from happiness at how unbelievable those melt in the middle chocolate puddings were. It sounds to me like an exceptional way to spend an evening, and if you spent it on your own it’s actually a bonus- that means there were two puddings for you? There is lots of scepticism towards Valentines Day, people moaning about ‘what’s the point?’, why do we need a point? The way we see, you only have gifts to gain and a lunch break spent looking for a card. Come on guys! But, for those of you who weren’t so keen on the old romance this year you have of course the next best thing- spending Valentine’s day with a bag of popcorn and Jamie Dorman, now that my friends does not at all sound like a bad option. I imagine you’re all sitting there now thinking ‘ooh I’m just not sure about going to see it’, ‘it’s too weird’, ‘I think I’ll wait until the DVD’ as I have myself wondered if watching 2 hours of sex would be entirely comfortable or appropriate in front of an audience where my mother or even my Grandmother could be lurking somewhere in the dark corners of the cinema… But I’ve read the books and that I think is enough reason to be going to see it- you know, to see how much of the book has been cut out and how well the script has been converted to cinema? Not to see Jamie Dormans’s chamber obvs.
Anywho, being the loving people that we are at bumpPR, we decided to fully embrace Valentine’s Day and use it as an excuse to have cake with our morning tea. There were some outstanding efforts from everyone: Chloe, Lisa, George and Jack really did prove themselves to be quite the bakers and to make all mornings, (even the Monday variety) quite pleasant!
So if like us, you’re deciding to carry on the Valentine’s day celebrations we’ve got some really lovely little gifts that would be perfect for making your/your little one’s day full of love…!
Blooming Lovely Jewellery
The perfect gift to receive from your other half on Valentines day, this elegant chiming pendant allows you to bond with your bump through the tinkling chime that soothes and serenades your unborn baby. £29 http://www.blooming-lovely-jewellery.co.uk/
Ickle Bubba are the British nursery brand behind the stylish pushchairs and high chairs! The Stomp V2 certainly does not compromise on value or style- so you’ll look LOVE- ly pushing your little one around in this on V’day. £499 http://www.icklebubba.com/pushchairs-and-travel-systems
We absolutely love the Bibee dresses and especially in this gorgeous red colour. This is perfect for your valentines day meal with your other half- especially if baby will be joining you! http://www.bibeematernity.com
This ingenious piece of underwear transforms any top into a breastfeeding top! Simply put on your breast vest under your Valentines Day outfit and you’ll be ready to breastfeed whenever your baby needs! £10 http://www.breastvest.co.uk/
For team bump not many days go by without a lot of fun and excitement … Movie club, the bake off, Lisa’s wedding last year was up there… New products, celeb spots, only beaten by celebs spotted with clients products! We’re not hard to excite, but it is fair to say the most recent news from the bump girls has topped the lot! A lot of screaming occurred when I let slip my big secret! It was in the cab before the M&B awards in November!
“ Girls, you might notice I won’t be drinking tonight” well this was enough to send them wild!
“No, are you, really… Pregnant!”
Indeed I was…
And if we weren’t all sure of it the sickness, 4 times a day certainly confirmed the rumours! Wow… It’s not been a fun ride so far, but I’m thrilled to say I am over it (fingers and toes crossed). Jack is officially free from sick duty, which he has become a dab hand at in recent months! Even my mum got involved over Xmas. The lowest point was dashing to the loo on the commuter train and on a recent dog walk!!!
Anyway, onwards and upwards… I am 15 weeks, due on 22nd July, how very royal of us! For those who know me well, you will not be surprised to learn the timing was planned… A summer baby when work is a little quiet…although not much! And how lucky we were my body played ball!
Life is exciting right now, Jack (my husband) who left the police in September last year is very excited about his upcoming promotion to stay at home dad and boy he’ll be great at it. We love our new life… He helps with the office, volunteers for a wildlife Trust, cooks yummy food and is soon to be launching his own blog ‘The Stay at Home Man’. We made a life changing decision on our honeymoon to have less money, but a happy life in which we actually see each other…. I love my work so throw myself into that and he supports me! It works perfectly for us! And now the second big decision… A baby!
Eeeeek! Needless to say there will be many an instalment from me and I’ll be proudly shouting about his blog in months to come. I am already wearing my Bibee dresses (http://www.bibeematernity.com/) and Bravado bras (http://www.bravadodesigns.com/uk-en/home/ ) and will soon pop on the Mexican bola from Blooming lovely jewellery (http://www.blooming-lovely-jewellery.co.uk/) . But boy I can’t wait to pick my Doona (http://simpleparenting.co/car-seat/) , sort the babies wardrobe out courtesy of Frugi (http://www.welovefrugi.com/), pick theBabaSling colour of choice (http://www.thebabasling.com/) , not to mention which SnüzPod (http://www.thelittlegreensheep.co.uk/) ! Jack has picked his navy blue Babymule (http://www.babymule.co.uk/) and no doubt we’ll find a bargain or two from Wauwaa (http://www.wauwaa.com/) !
I will have every gadget under the sun thanks to Snoozeshade (http://www.snoozeshade.com/) , Sweet Dreamers http://www.sweetdreamers.co.uk/) , Snugglebundl (http://www.snugglebundl.co.uk/) and Fill n Squeeze (http://fillnsqueeze.co.uk/) … And will be breastfeeding (while returning to work early) thanks to Medela (http://www.medela.com/) and a little help from Breastvest (http://www.breastvest.co.uk/) and Thrupenny Bits (http://www.thrupennybits.co.uk/) !
So after 8 solids weeks of sickness (Xmas was nonexistent!) I am now delighted to be telling everyone our news… I am moving into a new stage where I pee every hour, have lost contact with my size ten jeans and am craving Peporami and chewitts by the day! Also, reading magazines at work have a whole new meaning!
Here’s to the next 6.5 months! Lisa and Mini Morris xxx
We are almost a whole month into 2015. Already. HOW?! The time has flown by and we are well on our way to waking up to the sunshine and lovely weather, hurrah! I have to say, I’m glad January is behind us. It’s the hardest month of the year. No money because of Christmas (and lack of will power in the sales), Pale arms & legs- I can’t even have a finger nail showing because the weather is so cold and of course the post Christmas weight. I went to the doctors the other day and had to be weighed for the first time in 6 months… The awkward silence was broken with the doctor saying ‘Clearly someone had a good Christmas’ Brilliant. Good bye January and hello summer bod!
According to Back to the Future, now that we’re in 2015 we should be driving flying cars (driving or flying?), we should have self tying shoes (more of a need than a want), self drying jackets and robot petrol stations. Where are they all?! We’re in 2015 and all we have to look forward to at the moment is the general election and ugly politicians taking over the television and news is not my idea of fun. Jamie Dorman in 50 Shades however, is. But for us at bump we’ve already experienced lots of excitement and changes here in the bump office and know that there is so much to look forward to. There are a few sneak rumours going round the baby grapevine and we thought we share them with you. Just because we like you all so much…
When I Grow Up…
‘When I grow up I want to be’….The question without any limits, the question of hopes and dreams. The question to decipher the dynamics of our future generation! There is something so amazing about a child’s ‘sky is the limits’ philosophies. No realism, just a heavy dose of imagination where mortgage or rent isn’t in their vocabulary and their career dreams are based solely on something they love and admire. Fancy that.
According to a recent survey, the top jobs that children dream of doing are: fire-fighter, vet and sportsman closely followed by spy, teacher and zoo keeper. I love that nothing has changed since my time as a child, remembering the kids at school- hoping to conquer the world as prime minister, conquer space as an astronaut or conquer the premiership as a footballer. An article I read in the Guardian recently asked a group of school children to write down what they would like to be when they grow up. There was one particular answer that caught my eye. A young girl answered with, ‘I would like to be a vet because I have seven cats. I like animals and want to be one’. Brilliant! Let’s allow the flames of childhood dreams burn for as long as is possible… Hopefully even after they’ve grown up.
So, what did the bumpPR team want to be?
I always wanted to be a vet – my dream soon changed when I realised what this would entail!
When I was little I really wanted to be an Air Hostess, I’ve obviously never had a fear of flying! It looked really glamourous and I thought all air hostesses were constantly on holiday, visiting new places which was an amazing idea! Then at some point it changed to a teacher which most likely came from playing ‘grown-ups’ at school!
I went through a range of different things that I wanted to be when I was younger but for some reason I seemed to really see myself as a sportswoman. I remember deciding that I’d like to be a gymnast until I reached the horribly grand old age of 18 and then I would move these incredibly transferable skills onto the football pitch. I wanted to be a famous footballer, and be the first woman to play on a team with David Beckham… For his football skills of course.
When I grew up – age six I wanted to be a supermarket checkout girl – the beep, beep thrilled me when shopping with mum! Age 8 I wanted to be a vet – until I went with mum and my bunny got picked up by his ears and then put down… age 12 and beyond no idea – my parents panicked and luckily I fell into PR!
So, what does your little one want to be?
Keeping Up With the Resolutions
New year, new start, new list of resolutions. If I had a pound for every time somebody told me they were going to lose weight this January I’d be rich enough to buy out Duncan Bannaytne. I must hasten to add, that I include myself in this group of self indulgent liars and consequently should have paid myself a pound every time I claimed to be on a diet instead of spending it on a caramel shortbread every lunch. Choosing a single day of the year to make a drastic life change seems strange doesn’t it? Surely January 1st is the worst day to begin a new (generally) health kick?! We wake up, feeling slightly worse for wear from a bottle glass of champagne or two, we look out of the frosty window and decide that actually, the only thing that would be humanely possible to do today is see what films are on the tv- (hopefully Mary Poppins or The Sound Of Music) and watch them from the sofa, through the endless adverts despite having the DVD. That’s the only way that January 1st should be spent. I feel like my faith in New Years Resolutions has been somewhat hindered over the years, and having seen only one become a complete success and a genuine life changer I struggle to motivate myself to stop eating crisps with my lunch just because I have repeatedly told myself this year is going to be different…. And it is, I promise- as soon as I’ve finished all of my Christmas chocolate.
But, besides all of this we have still in this office decide to try give the old new year’s resolutions thingy a go!
Mine, is hideously cliché and I urge you not to scream hypocrite at your computer once you see it. Get myself a gym membership. It has, I must say, been said light heartedly and with the thought that I’ll start it as some point in the year… I don’t need to start doing it on the first month back at work when quite frankly, going to the gym is going to do nothing to negate the Christmas blues! But in the next month or so I like to think I will have slipped back it into my daily routine, just about ready for when Easter comes around and I suddenly find myself swimming in cream eggs and malteaster bunnies…Not the gym swimming pool.
I had a few resolutions, all of which I have already broken. They were to swap tea for green tea (I haven’t started this one yet), give up carbs (I have eaten carbs pretty much every day), only have one can of diet coke a day (had more like two a day) – so I am not doing very well. On a good note, I have been going to the gym and really enjoying 2015 so far – so not all bad!
I am hopeless with NY resolutions – they just do not happen! Last year the wedding kicked me into the obligatory New Year diet, but no such luck this year! I did get my nutri bullet for my birthday though and aiming to have one a day – let’s see how long it lasts!
New Year, New Office, New Cake Shops!
Well, how quickly did that go? The Christmas holidays have once again come and gone and our houses are bare and seriously lacking in sparkly lights for another year. Hot chocolates now only cause feelings of guilt and the cakes are now only essential to get us through the unbearable cold. (The cold that only a month ago was exciting and gave us an incredibly warm feeling inside). Normally, January the 5th meant going back to the same journey, and continuing work like those ten days never happened. But not here at bumpPR!! For we had a very exciting start to the year. No more London, no more rush hour, no more sweat patches on the tube… For we have arrived in Hitchin town!!
After 5 years in Central London, Lisa made the decision to move the office 20 minutes away to Hitchin to a much MUCH bigger office of our own! This is such an exciting time for the company and we now have room for a sofa, for plants and most importantly a lunch table! We have all of our wonderful samples on display from our fab clients and we now have to walk through another room to make the tea (very exciting news, and a great way to justify biscuit eating). Lisa and Jack have been working extremely hard for the last couple of months to transform the office into a light, airy and generally fabulous work place for us all- we absolutely love it!
Hitchin is such a lovely place and after one short exploratory lunch George and Chloe have already discovered all of the sandwich shops, coffee shops and of course the cake shops! There is so much here, and certainly all that bumpPR needs (food and work wise)- with London still just a 20 minute train journey away!
Let’s show you around…
The desks! (Eek we have our own desks!)
The chilling sofa, and some of our clients fab products!
Our latest addition to the team- Oreo!
Lisa’s new assistant- Poppy!
Most importantly the lunch table to eat our favourite sandwiches from…
Our favourite new lunch spot!
We absolutely love it here- here are a few little snaps of the new office and the new home to bumpPR! Be sure to come and say hello if you’re ever passing
The year of the many things. The year of the referendum, the Sochi Winter Olympics, the Brazil World Cup, the year we lost the incredible Robin Williams and the year we began to look forward to our second royal baby. The world has seen some big changes, as have we here at bump. We are going to look back on our highlights of the year and what’s in store for 2015…!
It feels only right to begin the post with the biggest event of the year. Lisa’s wedding. Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful weddings we have ever seen… The weather was perfect, the venue was perfect and of course, so were the bride and groom. So perfect in fact, it had a whole newspaper dedicated to the event!
Around the same time as the wedding of the year, we also had some team changes! We had a new member of the bump crew- George. It only took a week (or maybe even at the interview) to discover that she shared the love of cakes and treats with the other girls and naturally, fitted right in.
The year has been a great one. As always, there have been some very exciting pieces of coverage for bump and our clients! We’ve been in the independent, The Telegraph and on Emmerdale- not to mention being spotted with a few celebs! Check out some of our favourite pieces of the year…
Greentom in The Observer!
Ooop! We were so excited to see WAUWAA on This Morning.
Doona made its way into the Telegraph Magazine this year!
The X-factor contestants loved their Happy Hopperz!
The SnuzPod and Ewan the Dream Sheep sure did come in handy on Emmerdale this year!
We are so proud of all of the amazing places our fabulous clients have been this year, all thanks to the hard work of the fab bumpPR team! We of course, especially love seeing celebrities enjoying the gifts we have sent them…
Claire Sweeney absolutely loves her Bibee dress
Sam Bailey took to Twitter to share her Doona love!
Laura Hamilton has loved having her Doona!
Tina O’Briens little one looking adorable in a Little Green Sheep cocoon towel!
So as the summer flew by and we sweated our way through the boiling hot August in Central London, our favourite treats continued to be consumed! The winter came and dark nights began to draw in earlier…September soon became November and before we knew it, we were back up on the stage at the Nursery Industry Awards winning the ‘Best PR Company’ award for the second year running! Incredible!
The year has completely flown by with all of the exciting events that have been going on, but we sure did finish with a very fabulous bang! The bump Christmas party! None of us quite expected what was to come but my god. It. Was. Incredible…
The day began with a trip to Cowshed. The incredible and magical spa on Carnaby street. We were all treated to an amazing pedicure and massage- kick-starting the day in the most perfect way. Pampered and relaxed we then sauntered over to our next treat (I know, there was actually more)- it was afternoon tea at the Langham hotel!! The food, (in quality and quantity) was truly amazing and we consumed as many sandwiches and scones as we could possibly manage- along with champagne and cocktails. What more could a girl want? And THENNNN there was more… We had one last treat and it really was incredible. A Box at the Drury Lane theatre to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Having a box made us feel completely special and the performance was just amazing. Such a perfect day.
Despite all of the exciting and fabulous things that have happened this year we have sad news to leave you with… We are losing the wonderful and amazing Poppy Sheen. Having been such an incredible member of the bump team for three years now we really are so excited for Poppy to start her new job and for all of the fantastic and amazing things that are in store for her. We wish you all the luck in the world Pops. You’ll never be forgotten and bump will never be the same without you.
So this is the final post of the year everyone! It certainly has been a great one, and an exciting end to the year with some amazing and exciting changes to come- though some thing’s never change and we will no doubt continue with the cake eating and tea drinking habits
Have a perfect Christmas everyone and a great New Year everyone- see you then!
bump Bake Off!
As you may or may not have established from every single one of our blog posts we like cake. Whether it’s chocolate cake, brownies, muffins, croissants, caramel shortbread or macaroons we love every single bite. Being in the office that we are in, we are spoilt. We’re dangerously close to a multitude of deliciously fattening treat-filled shops. There’s Hummingbird, Pret, Starbucks, Gale’s Bakery, and M&S all within sight of our desks. So it’s hard. It’s really hard, and no amount of will power could stop anyone in the world from indulging in these delights every so often. (OR all the time). But because of this, we decided to turn our love into a competition- a perfect excuse to have cake for breakfast and afternoon tea. This year we decided to do a Christmas bake off!
The bake off began well. Very well. Chloe came in and set some high standards. There was panic in the room as we all began to wonder how on earth we would beat the chewy, soft and deliciously chocolate shortbread snowmen. The icing was festive, the taste was delicious and we thought that would be it.
UNTIL. dun dun dun… Poppy threw a spanner in the works. Poppy decided to show off her decorating skills with piping that even Paul *I’m nasty because I’m desperately trying and failing to be the Simon Cowell of the Bakeoff* Hollywood wouldn’t have criticised. Boy did they live up to their appearances… They were moist and chocolatey and in the middle Poppy surprised us with a delightful little cherry number to mix things up a bit. Good work Pops, the two of you can officially not be beaten.
Next up was George. With the serious competition deemed unbeatable, it was a brownie bonanza baked in vein. The Christmas tree brownies were good (slightly overcooked)- but hey! What chocolate brownie isn’t good? The decoration was not quite up to Poppy’s standard, or any standard for that matter but they did go well with our morning cup of tea!
(they were more of a taste sensation than an aesthetic delight)
So that’s it, the bump bake off. Let us know what you think and which you have got your eye on!
With only 4 days to go until the bumpPR Christmas party, 10 days to go until Christmas day and 11 days to go until we find ourselves unable to do anything but lay on the sofa feeling uncomfortably full we really cannot contain our excitement in the bump office! The Christmas decs are up and the packed lunch containing leaves and vegetables is well and truly out of the window. The one thing that we are most excited about is going home for Christmas to fulfil the yearly traditions that occur every Christmas time. The opening presents rituals, the scrambled egg and smoked salmon, the champagne with breakfast and of course the Boxing Day buffet. No one in the world ever does your Christmas traditions quite like your family do and you can’t help but love the way you do things just a little bit more than everyone else.
Between us we really have discovered a wide range of fun things we do at Christmas time, and we have even learnt some new traditions that we had never heard of before…
Chloe: Does anyone else hang their Turkey Carcass on the tree?
Poppy, Lisa, Georgina: Erm Chloe…On your Christmas tree?
Chloe: No guys! The tree in the garden!
Oh. Thank. God.
Other than the presents, we can conclude that Christmas hasn’t changed all that much since being children… I still rush downstairs in the morning to see what presents have been put in the sack. I still don’t open any presents before breakfast (mainly because even at 21 I’m still not allowed) and I still love playing bin ball with my siblings with the wrapping paper. These traditions haven’t changed despite me, my brother and sister all being in our twenties- so, prepare yourselves parents, you’re in for a long run with the Christmas stress!
So we’re desperate to know what your Christmas traditions are, and what you do with your little ones every year. Do you give them a present on Christmas eve, do you have a time when they are allowed to wake everyone up or are they allowed to open their presents once Santa has been? We can’t wait to hear what you all have to say and give us that warm, Christmassy feeling on this cold, cold Monday.
Merry Christmas everyone!
The best presents in the world…
There is something irreplaceable and exquisitely magic about being a child at Christmas. The sleepless night, the screaming ‘he’s been, he’s been!’ and the rummaging through the presents to see if you recognised anything in the stocking from the list- the list of ridiculous things that at the time seemed completely necessary to your childhood but were not deemed so by Mum and Dad (I still stand by the fact that age 8, I genuinely needed that candy floss maker). But we all know that despite the bags of toys and games, there is always that one that sticks in your memory- the one that was the best present ever in the whole wide world.
We have all looked back to that Christmas present that we all remember. A variety of things, all equal in sentiment and memory making ability. It really proves what a special time Christmas is and what a lasting effect it has on us all! So of course, the next question is… What was your most memorable?
I do remember one year getting an amazing Barbie house. It literally came with everything: an electric lift, a pink convertible, a swimming pool with lights inside, a TV where you pressed the button and it showed different images – AMAZING! I wish I still had it now to be honest!
Having an older sister meant I was constantly wanting everything she had- most memorably, the doll’s house. My parents one year very wisely ignored 90% of the things on my Christmas list, that after one flick through the Argos catalogue had quickly become longer than the M6 and bought me a huge traditional Dolls House- better than anything I could ever imagine! It’s safely in the loft ready for when I have my own children… Basically just an excuse to play with it again!
It has to be my Fisher Price Kitchen, when I was 5 – I loved it! Ironic as I hate cooking now, but as a child I was making everyone fried egg and bacon (of the plastic variety!) on a daily basis!
The Sylvannian House boat with the otter family was a real hit for me! The otters spent many hours sailing the seven seas (aka the stairs) getting caught in whirlpools (my brother’s room) and finally making it to safety (my room). I think I must have been about 6 or 7 when I got these!
Despite all of these incredible toys we were all a little bit concerned that Polly Pocket didn’t’ have a mention. We would, therefore, like to pay tribute to the hours of memories and fun that the Polly Pocket phenomenon created for us and we are truly sorry that they have ended up in the loft and the bottom of this post- a poor reflection on Polls and the many adventures she has taken us all on.
Champions, Chickens and Champagne!
Starting a morning with a bacon sandwich and a hot chocolate is a sign of only one thing- a very good night! We are all soldiering on after an amazing evening at the Mother & Baby Awards in London last night! The night began with a champagne reception at the Park Plaza, followed by a three course meal and of course, more champagne… The room looked amazing and the awards were kicked off by Alun Cochrane- who was about as funny as the dinner was delicious. There was the chance to win Spandeaux Ballet Tickets, the anticipation of ‘entertainment’ later on and cheesecake on the menu- we were living the dream!
The awards went on, (almost as quickly as the wine) and then the excitement began! Totsbots were first with their win in the best reusable nappy category, and then the amazing Little Green Sheep won the best Cots, Cribs and Moses Baskets category with the SnuzPod! Not only this but we had two of our other amazing clients taking away awards! Frugi took silver in the Best Breastfeeding Bra/Top or Accessory and Cuddle co won silver in the Best Car Seat 0+! We have to admit that despite this overwhelming excitement it was still very nerve wracking waiting for the Best Product for Breastfeeding winner, given Medela had three of their products in the category! But much to the ridiculous excitement of our table, Medela won with their Swing Essentials Pack!! (You might have just been able to hear the screams from your sofa!) It was so exciting to see so many of our fab clients winning such amazing awards!
After this, it was time for the party to get started as the rumours started to creep round about who the night’s entertainment would be. We were perhaps a little ambitious in our predictions (McFly were the bump bookies favourites) but it turned out to be none other than……. FIVE! Well, technically there were only three of them, but it was Five all the same! They honestly were amazing and it was clear that everyone loved travelling back to the nineties and (remarkably) remembering every lyric.
It was such a great night- the awards won by our clients were amazing, the food was delightful (for more info please contact Lisa), and seeing FIVE has now officially been ticked off all of our bucket lists. Until next year M&B!
All I want for Christmas is…
5 weeks to go and counting. The Christmas lights are on, The Pret Turkey sandwiches are out and we have officially ‘ooohd’ and ‘ahhhd’ at every Christmas advert under the sun. We really have been getting in the full Christmas spirit here in the bump office and embraced the season. We’ve had Starbucks red cups, we’ve gallantly tried out the Christmas hot chocolates and Lisa will soon let us have Smooth Christmas on the Radio! But let’s be honest, it isn’t all fun and games, and if there’s one thing you learn from growing older it’s that buying presents for others is up there with enduring the Xfactor live shows as one of life’s tougher challenges.
Present buying can go either way. If you’re organised and you have lovely family members, who, despite the hilarious comments of ‘oh you don’t want for much then’ provide a list of things that they really want, then buying Christmas presents can be nothing but enjoyable. Knowing that you’ve provided someone with a gift that you know they will really love is a great feeling! Providing you don’t avert from the list of course- unless you’ve got gold medals in present buying NEVER avert from the list. But unless you are like me, and you have parents and grandparents and brothers and sisters who decide that there really is ‘nothing in the whole wide world that they want at all’ then you may be giving Santa a run for his money on the grey hair scale. What do you buy the person who has everything? Or the person who only likes Diamonds? Or the person who wants for not one single thing in the whole wide world? With all of this stress, and no Santa to help you out, we can’t imagine how it must be to have children to buy on top of this too! Because of this, we thought we would try and help you out a bit. We have all chosen one thing we would love to buy for our children (if there were any bump babies running around!) We really hope it helps you- even if it means buying you some more time to find a present for your Nan. Oh, and if you do, let me know what you’ve bought her will you? I’m really struggling here.
Russell the Dream Sheep Dog
I have to say, we all wanted to pick this one. New to the Sweet Dreamer’s collection is Russell. The cute and cuddly dog will take over from Ewan when the little ones reach 18 months, and support sleep time struggles for as long as they need. Russell helps toddlers with his softly changing rainbow light, and comes with a voice recorder, so parents, or even grandparents can record themselves talking, singing or reading a favourite bedtime story to enjoy for as long as little one needs. Not going to lie, I wouldn’t mind putting this on my Christmas list myself. £34.99 http://www.sweetdreamers.co.uk/
Disney Frozen Sticky Mosaics
If I was buying for a little one, or if I could travel back in time, then I would undoubtedly be buying/asking for the Frozen Sticky Mosaics set! I’m not ashamed to say that since watching Frozen for the first time, the DVD has not yet been removed from the player and the soundtrack has not stopped playing! The Sticky Mosaics set is amazing and it will keep your little one entertained for the whole of Christmas day, or prove to be a delightful bedroom wall decoration! In fact, I think I might just put it on my own list anyway. £19 http://www.kindtoys.co.uk/
The smarTrike is the ultimate gift for your little one’s first Christmas, wouldn’t you agree Gwen Steffani? As the world’s leading tricycle brand Smart-Trike certainly have a lot to shout about. Their clever trikes transform as baby grows so little ones can enjoy their first tricycle from the tender age of six months. Their new collections make use of the latest trike technology and come complete with Touch Steering, Magic Button and a Swivel Wheel. Amazing! From £49.99 https://smartrike.com/global/
Button Bag Christmas Crafts Kit
For those of you who know Poppy, you’ll know she loves a good craft. Which is why it’s no surprise she has picked the Button Bag Christmas Crafts Kit from WAUWAA. This adorable Christmas Crafts Kit let’s crafty kids get really artsy so your family can have unique Christmas Decorations made by your own little ones. Complete Christmas Crafts Kit with all the essentials you’ll need to create a stocking, bauble, bell, tree and star! £12.99 http://www.wauwaa.com/product-bundle/buttonbag-christmas-crafts-kit?destination=shop/button-bag-craft-kits
It’s a tricky one. A really tricky one. To embrace the Christmas shopping or to not? The latter seems ever the more appealing given shopping in December comes with a severe price… People.
Christmas Shopping really is the only thing that can turn a winter’s day into a sweaty, sticky sauna that will bring sweat patches to even the most waterproof of winter coats- (if you’ve ever been in the Trafford Centre at lunch time on a Saturday in December then you’ll know exactly what I mean.) There’s crowds, there’s disarray and if battling your way through the mass to find a suitable gift wasn’t enough, you’ve then got to get your elbows at the ready and prepare for the ‘paying’ part, in a queue worse than this…
The stampede of people seems worse than a protest in the middle of Tiananmen Square and there seems to be no shop, regardless of size of standard that can cope with the volumes of humans looking for a bargain. You think you can trust a good old department store. But instead, you only end up being swept away, up the escalator in a cataclysmic, human tidal surge and on the 3rd floor looking at lamps. The queue isn’t so bad on this floor; can I just buy someone a lamp? No.
In the current digital age we really have been blessed with the greatest thing that has happened to Christmas since Love Actually. Online shopping. All that is required is: pyjamas, a kettle, dvd player, bag of Malteasers, slippers, debit card, and laptop/phone/tablet. What could go wrong? The most effort you will have to use is getting up to make a cup of tea or the worst case, world-ending disaster would have to be the prospect of standing in a queue at the post office one depressing afternoon to return some packages. Not ideal but this requires no time on hair and makeup. Bonus.
Despite all this we all know hitting the shops is essential over the period so we have put together a little tip each in the hope that they bring you even the slightest bit of help to you all this season.
Happy shopping everyone!
‘I get my brother to buy all the boy presents and I buy all the girl ones. So much easier to shop for my Mum and Grandma than Dad and Grandpa!’ – Poppy Sheen
‘I love to do a good bit of research first! I start with an idea or theme and look around for something that the person would never think to buy themselves- I think they’re the best kind of presents. Plus, it can all be done from the comfort of your own sofa which is essential now the Sky Christmas Movie Channel is back! -Georgina Dowding
‘I don’t like to rush getting a present. A couple of months before, I will write a list of everyone I need to buy for and then I will write a budget and ideas next to their name. I will try and remember things people have said they like or get something a little different. One of my favourite things about Christmas is surprising friends and family with gifts, so planning is a must. Plus, there is a sense of accomplishment, when I cross a name of my list! ‘ -Chloe Ward
‘I’m a huge fan of buying everything online! I love a bit of Not On the High Street where you can get quirky gifts that you can’t get elsewhere. But as long as I am prepared and not buying things last minnute then i’m happy!’- Lisa Bryant
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Someone once said that this is ‘the most wonderful time of the year’- and we wholeheartedly concur. Alright, we know it isn’t quite December yet, but the decorations are sprouting as we speak and I can no longer leave a supermarket without a bagful of Malteaser reindeers. There are many things which are incredibly special about winter time and we believe that there is no feeling like a warm hot chocolate with whipped cream on your top lip.
Being a winter baby myself, I really don’t think there is a nicer feeling than sitting inside, listening to the rain crash down almost a little bit too loudly to hear Macauly Kulkin shout ‘When I grow up and get married, I’m living alone. Did you hear me?’ – lucky I know it off by heart so I don’t really need to hear it anyway!
I know many of you may not like winter. The cold, the rain, de-icing your car in the morning, getting up for work in the dark…Many of these things may lead you to not appreciate the fact that it doesn’t really matter what you’re wearing because you can just throw a coat on over the top, you can wear tights to cover up your English pale legs and for dinner you can throw together everything from your vegetable section in the fridge and concoct an original, but undoubtedly delicious soup- full of goodness so you don’t feel too bad about the Gu puddings and hot chocolate later.
So if you’re not feeling quite ready for Christmas, or the winter weather yet we are here to give you 10 things to get you excited for the festive season!
1) Christmas markets
2) Christmas decorations in the street
3) Christmas decorations at home
4) Having an excuse to look at Jude Law every night
5) Having to buy a new winter coat and boots and jeans and of course some sparkly dresses- because last years may still be in the wardrobe but you just couldn’t possibly wear them again (even though you promised they would last forever)
6) Getting out the Christmas DVD’s
7) Christmas Chocolate
8) Christmas Jumpers
9) The sales! Where you can buy all the things you’ve bought that season for half the price!
10) Or, on the other hand… Carry on laying around eating chocolate and watching tv
The Gift of Giving With the #FrugiFamily
As some of you may know, the amazing Frugi are really involved in giving back to charities and are part of the incredible 1% For the Planet (http://onepercentfortheplanet.org/about/) – managing to have already given away a whopping £130,000. They also raise money for an orphanage in India through their sample sales so are really rather lovely!
This Christmas Frugi really wanted to focus on this message, and the whole theme of ‘giving back’ over the festive period. Frugi allowed each member of their fabulous #FrugiFamily, a cherished group of bloggers who have been working with them, to pick a blogging friend to receive a gift from the new Frugi Christmas collection-http://www.welovefrugi.com/new_frugi_goodies . Today was the day of the #giftofgiving and twitter has been buzzing with people unwrapping packages and enjoying their new goodies! Blogging friends opened their parcels to reveal the gift, and they really did look great!
We’re always up for some fun in this office, especially when a client is involved, so we gave ourselves the ridiculously difficult job of looking through the incredible Frugi Christmas collection and trying our best to pick out our favourite pieces that we would love to gift somebody for Christmas. We spent a rather long time admiring all of the amazing clothes, whilst our hearts slowly melted into Frugi loving mush… Here is out choice – although to be fair Lisa and myself changed our minds a fair few times!
So now we want to know… Which would you pick?
Sonny Angel Ladurée Pâtisserie Collection #BigReveal
The bumpPR Sonny Angel
There are two things we love in this office. Cake, and Sonny Angels. You can therefore imagine our excitement when we found out that Sonny Angel had teamed up with Ladurée Pâtisserie- the iconic Parisian baker, to celebrate their tenth year anniversary. The Patisserie collection features 12 new characters- six of them wearing the baker’s infamous macaroons and the other six are topped with artistically beautiful pastries, including Saint-Honor, Rose Framboise and Ispahan. Ooooh and like all Sonny Angel series, there will also be a super secret version!
Founded in 1862, Ladurée is famous for its double-decker macaroons, renowned for being the best in the world. The adorable characters complement the baker’s most famous delicacies perfectly and introduce the most sophisticated and luxurious Sonny Angel collection yet.
Upon knowing about this delicious collection, we were super excited to be involved in the Sonny Angel #BigReveal along with 11 other amazing bloggers! The #BigReveal has not only meant that we get our very own BumpPR Ladurée Pâtisserie Sonny Angel, but we are running our very first competition on the bumpPR blog so that one of you can own one too (right at the bottom of the post)…
It really was an exciting day when our Sonny Angels arrived to spread good luck through the bumpPR office (well, good luck and hunger). The blind boxes they come in have long caused much excitement and nervousness amongst the team, as the moment of truth reveals our new desk companions. Having revealed the team Sonny Angel, we were lucky enough to pick our own boxes, one by one, and nervously opened them to see which we had chosen (knowing deep down that it didn’t actually matter as they’re all incredible). Then, all of a sudden, Lisa leapt in the air! She’d opened Isaphan! Followed by two Macaroons and a Casssle Violette! They now all have pride of place on our desks and have the ability to not only make us all smile but to make our mouths water at even the slightest glance- making any hope of a diet impossible. What a shame
So which is your favourite?
For your chance to win a Sonny Angel from the Ladurée Pâtisserie Collection, simply enter our competition below!
Competition opens at 12am tonight.
Naughty Little Bumps
When I initially brought up that I wanted to let the world know that the Bump team did in fact cause many a bump to their innocent siblings and friends, I was overwhelmed by the stories and tales of mischief and havoc caused by what you all have been lead to believe to be such a lovely team of women. It’s fair to say I will never look at Poppy some of the Bump team members the same again upon hearing about some of the things their poor younger siblings were put through…
We thought it would be fun for you all to guess who’s story matches which Bump team member- and we will reveal it for you all later on today! Get guessing everyone…And of course, be sure to tell us your own naughty stories on our Facebook page!
1) Aged 11 I developed my first real crush…Leonardo DiCaprio. I went to the cinema to watch Titanic seven times with my friends (ok my friend’s mum worked there and let us in for free…but seriously). My room was covered in posters of him, and then along came Matt Damon and Michael Owen. So many boys, so little time. I am still not sure why I did this, but I decided to scratch those names into my wooden chest of drawers. It was an old chest, in fact it was my mum’s when she was a child. A few days later my mum discovered the evidence and asked me to explain myself. I did my best shocked face and said I had absolutely no idea. I suggested in fact, that they had always been there –maybe the chest just came like that. I think my mum found my excuses so funny she didn’t know how to react. (A very lucky escape).
2) I remember my dad bought me a beautiful wooden Wendy house for the garden. I had my friend over as soon as it was built and we asked if we could paint it. He absolutely refused and made me promise I wouldn’t do it. He went off to work and Kitty, being the dominating one, persuaded me to paint it. We got all the emulsion paint we could find out of the garage, put on oversized chicken boiler suits (my dad is a chicken farmer) and painted the Wendy house a few lovely shades of magnolia, blue, pink and brown. When my dad got home, he was truly upset and I remember feeling so awful as I had completely ruined a present he was so excited about giving me.
3) It actually still makes me quiver in my adult shoes when I think of the day my Mum morphed into The Hulk. Me and my Brother were (as standard) using our lounge as a football pitch, and it was going really well as I dived and rolled around David Seamon style, carefully making sure the ball didn’t make it all the way to the glass doors- because that’s what I so foolishly deemed as the only danger to indoor football in the living room? Oh how naive I was. My brother, becoming cocky decided to take his next free kick from the study- this meant curling it round the door and over the sofa. Looking back, I really should have told him there and then that he wasn’t ever going to be as good as Steven Gerrard- but I’m sure he wouldn’t have believed me then and he probably still wouldn’t now… But anyway, you see where this is going… Ball kicked. No Curl. Ornaments. Smashed. Everywhere. Disaster. Very. Angry. Mum.
4) When I was young (5ish) I decided that my Mum’s favourite white wicker chair wasn’t jazzy enough for me. So being incredibly creative and using what colouring tools I could find I decided to borrow another of mum’s possessions to make it a little more exciting! I think it’s fair to say my Mum didn’t agree that the legs of the chair that I had painted with her pink nail polish looked as great as I thought and I spent what felt like hours hiding her from her in the house. Contrary to her reaction, she still has the chair now!
One For the Mums!
Ok guys. Brace yourselves, because it’s 76 more days until Christmas. To be precise that’s 11 Friday’s, 1,822 hours and 6,7557,317 seconds. Now, I really don’t mean to scare you all, but it’s certainly fast approaching -as i’m sure the sudden appearance of Christmas chocolate has already given away! Before we know it, pumpkins and fireworks will be a thing of the past and we won’t be able to walk anywhere without being blinded by the glare of tacky lights and Santa’s shiny beard. (It’s amazing how well he juggles public appearances during his busiest month isn’t it?). I know this is a really terrifying thought, but let’s look on the bright side- 11 more Friday’s means it’s definitely acceptable to start watching Love Actually and The Grinch again, and that my friends is outstanding news. I know, from my experience of being a daughter that Christmas can be a stressful time for mums. The magic can take a vast amount of organisation and stress, especially with the pressure of buying all of the presents, you know, because men are allergic to shopping until December 24th aren’t they? But it’s you mums who make it extra special, and I don’t think I’ll ever truly understand that until I am one…Perhaps I’ll just stay young forever.
So, pardon our extreme organisation but we want to show you some lovely gifts that you can surprise your mum with, or even treat yourself to. Whether they help you or any special woman in your life get through the next few months, or even if they are a gift for the big day itself, we know they’re going to be loved by everyone…
Blooming Lovely Jewellery
For those soon to be mums, the Mexican Bola is an elegant, chiming pendant with a charming story that goes back over a hundred years and is a concept treasured by mums-to-be all over the world. It is worn low over the bump- allowing the soft tinkling chime to gently soothe and serenade the unborn baby as mother goes through her every day activities. Once born the familiar sound is said to comfort baby.
Bibee dresses are undoubtedly the ultimate style option for breastfeeding mums- offering a diverse approach to trendy maternity wear. The beautifully designed range work as a mix and match collection; with one dress as the core garment mums can alternate various dress-fronts to create a new look each time. Whether you’re wearing it for lunch, to the shops or out for a dinner this dress is easily transformed from casual chic to smart and stylish. A definite must have to every maternal wardrobe!
The Messy Me Clutch is a stylish saviour for any potential messy moments! With a changing mat wrapped up inside the wipeable, portable bag it truly is ready for any occasion or situation that may occur! The clutch bag can usefully fit into the basket underneath the buggy, into a changing bag, or can even be held- if there are any mums out there with a spare hand! The clutch bag comes in 4 stylish options and really is the ideal companion for every mum.
It is so important that breastfeeding is a comfortable experience for both mother and baby. The innovative Thrupenny Bits cushion has been created to not only ensure comfort but practicality too- with its zip and space for carrying every day essentials. The tie straps mean that not only can you carry it around with any bits inside, but you can tie it closely to ensure that baby is as comfortable as possible. The Thrupenny bits pillow, which is endorsed by midwives, is as stylish as it is practical with an impressive array of designs and colours available, from floral print, zebra, and stripes to plain colours- providing a perfect gift for mums with a colour for everyone!
From £33 http://thrupennybits.co.uk/
This lovely owl tunic was one of many stylish pieces in Frugi’s new autumn/winter collection. Not only do we love the fashionable print, but these designs have been made with breastfeeding practicality in mind – allowing mums to enjoy skin-to-skin contact whilst maintaining subtlety and discretion when feeding. The collection perfectly brings together style, practicality and comfort- all things so important to mums. The sizing comes in a versatile S,M,L,X – allowing mums to wear the items before, during and after pregnancy.
The Pegasus joined the amazing Babymule collection almost a year ago, based on the same principles as the original Babymule, and ideal for the adventure mum. The changing bags are made from 100% cotton canvas- making them sturdy and practical for everyday use and the on-the-go mum! Just like Babymule, Pegasus can be carried in three different ways; worn over the shoulder, clipped onto the buggy using its hidden clips, or simply carried by its grab handles.
Rants and Raves of the Bump Team- how we feel about the maternal and marital news this month…
Is it just us, or has September 2014 been one big, action packed, drama filled omnibus of Eastenders episodes as far as weddings and babies concerned?! We would like to give a little summary of some of the wedding and baby news that has excited us this month!
It’s fair to say, I really miss the days where my biggest worry every September would be the beginning of early bed times and the dread of wearing a stiff new blazer to school that even Frankenstein would kindly decline…But here I am, in the real world, worrying about much more important things like why I wasn’t at the Clooney wedding, or why Jordan named her baby Bunny…
This post is for the most light hearted of news stories of this month that have evoked many a conversation in the office, but we couldn’t do this without mentioning the Big Dipper of all rollercoaster relationship rides that we have been taken on as a nation. It’s nice to know that one day we will look back on the campaigning, and worrying and sweaty palms and think ‘phew’, David’s pleading to maintain our enviable connection to kilts and bagpipes was so worth it. Mainly because we can all continue our normal lives singing Auld Lang Syne in our kilts and tartan scarves whilst proudly waving the British flag and knowing that it really wouldn’t look as good without the blue.
Speaking of marriages, we’ve definitely had a couple of good ones this month! We have recently been blessed with pictures of Amal Alamudin’s wedding dress. And all wanted to never eat again. I have to say, I really think this is one of the best celebrity wedding dresses I’ve ever seen- so I’ll obviously be phoning Oscar De La Renta personally when my time comes to whip something up for me. The wedding truly took over the news at the weekend and the guest list really did manage to make the rest of the world feel like nobody’s as we saw an entourage of actors, designers, Singers and Anna Wintour take over Venice for the new power couple in town.
There has of course, been another wedding that took the world by surprise. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Surprisingly it wasn’t that the couple of nine years tied the knot, it was Angelina’s dress. Now, none of us can deny that we haven’t at one stage wanted to be Angelina/wanted to have Angelina’s wardrobe but her wedding dress was. Erm. Well, it was a something… As many of you will have seen, she let her children draw all over it. I mean sure it’s cute- if you’ve got hundreds of thousands of pounds to spend on a custom designed dress by Versace and ruin it! We did honestly find it really sweet, but put it his way, Lisa isn’t feeling remotely annoyed that she didn’t think to do it first…
Speakingggg of amazing, beautiful people- KATE MIDDLETON IS PREGNANT! This is very exciting news and we can’t wait to see if it’s possible for them to create something even half as cute as George- we all know that’s going to be a real challenge. But we here at Bump are very pleased because this means we can bet more cupcakes on names, dates and weights- and if there are cakes up for grabs, then we are all happy bunny’s…
Now there’s being prepared and there’s being prepared. As many of you will know, we are all childless women. But being in the Bump office (as you can imagine) we spend many of our days conversing over cake about how we could spend thousands of pounds spoiling our future children…Our favourites being prams, car seats and maternity clothes. Maternity clothes is a funny concept really, because it’s not like prams where it would be highly frowned upon to buy one when you’re not actually expecting, – they’re just clothes. Clothes that more often than not are just the elasticated, bigger versions of the clothes we wear now.
But despite this, there is something really special about dressing your bump, and we have put together some of the things we think would look amazing….
We all absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this maternity dress from Frugi! Sadly however, we all have to admit that we couldn’t possibly wear it knowing that it’s so Poppy Sheen. It looks comfy, stylish and the polka dots… Well everyone knows you just can’t go wrong with a bit of polka dot. Poppy said as well as an array of empire line dresses she’d go for the maxi dress in the summer and team a shorter dress with some leggings and boots in the winter! We especially love these ones…
Chloe’s staple piece of pregnancy attire would be the maxi dress. The dress that seems like the perfect thing for a glamorous pregnant woman: Breezy, stretchy, feminine and of course comfy. Comfort being the main thing of course given we heard a vicious rumour going round that pregnancy could become a bit uncomfortable? Here are some dresses that Chloe loves…
*Chloe’s laying around the house outfit…
Chloe’s nipping to the shops outfit…
We like to think that every woman in the world dreams of being a graceful pregnant lady- beaming with that healthy pregnancy glow. Lisa has confessed to this and since decided she’ll actually be one of those effortlessly cool mums to sport jeans and a cookie monster t-shirt…And the occasional Bibee dress of course!
I have one pregnancy dread. Well, that’s a lie. One Born Every Minute has given me about three thousand pregnancy dreads but one particular worry is kankles. Whenever I take a long haul flight my kankles swell. I have therefore, lived with the fear that I’ll suffer from nine month of kankles during pregnancy and have consequently had to adapt my choices to some longer items of clothing. I have picked a couple of ankle covering maxi dresses, but given that I can rarely be bothered to wear dresses now, I may as well stop pretending that I won’t just chuck on a pair of jeans and a stripey t-shirt- because if there is a time where you can wear a stripey t-shirt- it’s pregnancy right?
So there we have it…The bumpPR team’s little look into the future! I am absolutely certain that those of you who have had children are sniggering at all of the lovely dresses we’ve said we are going to live in, thinking how naive we must be!
But don’t fret, Poppy’s got it covered…
‘I imagine I’d also spend a lot of time in oversized jumpers and pyjama bottoms’
Let’s Hear it For The Boys!
Have you ever seen the Stepford Wives? Well you should. It’s incredible, honestly- not only because Cruella Devile (AKA Glen Close) is in it, but because it’s an obscene satirical thriller (verging on comical) film that mocks the world’s age old perception of women and family dynamics. It is because of films like this, (and the old post WW2 fairy liquid adverts) that people were made to believe that it is a woman’s job to bake, and cook, and wash up, and iron and clean, and hover and wash, and empty the dishwasher and make the beds and pick up everyone’s clothes up off the floor and throw outstanding Tupperware parties and…Well you see my point. I feel quite proud to say that as a result of growing up in the 21st century, other than the tupperware parties, my male counterpart is better than me at doing all of those things- though I must say, I am and always will be exceptionally good at nagging. (That, we women will always be better at). But if there is one thing that makes me glad that I’m living in this era and not the fifties, it’s because of this new army we have. This revolution that would make even Mrs Doubtfire (It still hurts to even mention that name) beam with pride. It’s the Stay at Home Dad! It makes us here at BumpPR so happy to know that the number of SAHD’s has doubled since 1989- with them now totalling 16% of all stay at home parents. We love everything about the SAHD and every product that comes with this new era in parenting… So, in tribute to the army of domestic Gods, we have put together 5 of our favourite parenting products fit for even the manliest of men.
The Doona is not only the ultimate Dad gadget, but it is the first of its kind. With a simple click of a button, the amazing Car seat turns into a stroller in less than ten seconds, making trips out easier than ever before for parents. Doona makes the errands of any stay at home parent so much easier with not only extra boot space for Dad’s golf clubs but more importantly a valuable pair of free hands! This ultimate Dad gadget is available with a full range of stylish accessories from rain-covers to matching essentials, all-day changing bags as well as coming in 5 beautiful colours. This really is the world’s first car seat to offer safety, comfort and mobility all in one stylish product. £299.00 http://www.toysrus.co.uk/
Being a stay at home Dad, definitely entitles a say in which changing bag is going to be the chosen one! This stylishly classic bag from BabyMule comes with a 22 litre capacity and includes everything from a changing mat and pouch, bottle insulator, and wet bag in a handy purse. The stylish bag has 4 colour ways that are perfect for any Dad, including dark blue, grey, black and brown and it’s versatile design means it can be suited to both Mum and Dad- being worn as a practical backpack, stylish messenger bag or it can be simply clipped to any buggy. Any Man would feel comfortable and masculine carrying this around on his days alone! £85 http://www.babymule.co.uk/
There is no greater way to bond with your baby than by wearing the beautiful product theBabaSling. This has not only made baby-wearing fashionable but really is perfect for getting things done, as well as allowing baby to feel the natural rhythms of life. theBabasling can be used from birth to 2 years in 5 different positions- offering the ultimate baby wearing solution, allowing two free hands for Dad to pick up the shopping as well as bond with baby on the move! http://www.thebabasling.com/ £44.9
It is often easy for Dad to feel left out early on if Mum is breastfeeding. But thanks to Medela’s innovative Calma Feeding Device it is now easy for Dad to feed baby expressed milk. The bottle cleverly mimics that of a nipple and allows for the interchange between breasts and bottle to happen without too much hassle- perfect for when Dads are looking after baby on their own. The Calma also enables babies to maintain their natural feeding behaviour learned from the breast and used on the bottle. Babies are able to drink, breathe and pause regularly making it the perfect way to maintain the breastfeeding whilst mum is away. www.mothercare.com £15.99
Mumbucks is a universal reward system that has revolutionised the way parents reward their children. Mumbucks has been designed and created to provide a fun and engaging way for children to learn valuable life skills allowing them to earn, save, and trade. The Mumbucks set comes with realistic note based currency that is earned for good behaviour, saved for special treats and traded for time towards doing things they love! The product provides an important consistency when rewarding children, allowing them to understand what their good behaviour is worth, whether it be Mum or Dad around.
We all know Men love a good gadget, and boy is this good one! SmarTrike are the world’s leaders when it comes to trikes and truly are at the forefront of innovation. The smarTrike grows with your little one- from the age of 10months to 3 years, so that as soon as your little one is ready, you can remove the parent handle and let them pedal off on their own! smarTrike’s latest model- the Boutique comes complete with a patented Swivel Wheel, Touch Steering and a Magic Button to make switching between parent and child mode simple. Complete with its amazing design features, this really is the perfect way to make the most of the amazing great outdoors with Dad!
In a world ruled by technology, having something to steer your children away from the bright lights and big screens is a blessing. CALAFANT’s 100% recycled cardboard constructions are the perfect way for your child to delve into a world of fantasy. The high quality models have been specifically designed so children can play safely and are sturdy enough to be transported easily. We’d love to tell you this is the perfect time to put your feet up and relax as the kids get stuck in…But we know you won’t be able to resist getting involved too! The CALAFANT range includes an amazing array of fantasy constructions from tree house to pirate ship to princess castle. From £16.95 www.kindtoys.co.uk
Those were the days…
I have a confession to make. I’d give up all the cakes in the world to have it be socially acceptable to sit and read children’s books on the train to work. This is a bold statement I know, but there really is nothing quite like it. On my occasional visit to Waterstones, where I wander up and down the million floors (completely aimlessly and pretending to be intellectual), I longingly gaze over at the beanbags and illustrated front covers and wish I could settle myself there for a day (or five) – I really think that no matter how old you are, a children’s book can never fail to put a smile on your face. Being the veteran 20 year old that I am, It really wasn’t too many centuries ago that I released my tight clutch on children’s literature, and I really do still have a horrifying, vivid memory and about the day I allowed Mum to throw away my Jacqueline Wilson book collection, (the weight was putting a real strain on the loft floorboards).
So here we all are at bump HQ, looking back longingly to the days where our biggest concern was when the Tiger would be arriving for tea or whether our houses really were going to sail away…
This is too hard. I’ve really had to be stern with myself and just make a decision. Having spent the last ten critical minutes considering my unconditional love for anything Roald Dahl has ever touched, and remembering the days when My Mum and Dad would put The House That Sailed Away on in the car for any family road trip – undoubtedly the only thing that stopped them both going grey as it silenced us bickering three young children in the back- a miraculous achievement that probably makes it the most deserving of this prestigious honour. You see, I have a real predicament on my hands… But I’ve defied the impossibility of Sophie’s choice and gone with my absolute favourite. Dogger. Written by Shirley Hughes, this amazing book recalls the story of a young boy whose favourite toy dog is accidently sent to his school to be sold at the school fait. Dave (not so keen on the name Shirls), cannot afford the extortionate 5p that Dogger is being sold at, and therefore must think up a way to buy his dog back…UNTIL (dun dun dunnnnnnnn) another young girl buys it first. Intense. I don’t know if it was the cruel mother, or the originality of the dogs name, but I adored this book then, and I still do now.
Lisa’s choice was the classic, the brilliant, The Tiger Who Came to Tea. I refuse to believe there should be a person out there who hasn’t come across this amazing book. The book has since become loved worldwide, and has even had us buy tickets for any niece or nephew we can get our hands on in order to make it acceptable to go and see the stage performance. Lisa still remembers asking her Mum when the Tiger would be arriving to join them for tea and then asking whether the cat could eat with them instead (a very generous compromise on Lisa’s behalf if you ask me). This book really should only set up children for disappointment of only having their siblings join them for tea, but the magic of the book doesn’t allow that to happen. For those of you who have the misfortune of not having read this book it begins with a little girl, Sophie who sits down to tea with her mother when they hear a knock at the door… They know it isn’t the milkman as he has already been; it isn’t their father as he has his keys. So who could it be? Go on; take a stab in the dark…
Chloe’s favourite is the jolly postman. This incredible, INCREDIBLE book is not just 3D but it comes with actual letters to and from fairytale characters. In it is an apology for the three bears from goldilocks, a postcard from jack to the giant and a solicitor’s letter on behalf of little red riding hood for the wolf that ate her grandma. This book is so clever and provides each lucky reader with a letter from a wolf. Yes. An actual wolf!! If you’re looking for a way to silence your child for a few hours then this is definitely the book. It’s truly is amazing and seeing as its September, you will obviously HAVE to get the Christmas edition too….
Poppy just couldn’t decide between her all time favourite- Frog’s adventure and every single book Jacqueline Wilson has ever written. The Frog’s Adventure follows the crazy journey of two frog’s who are bored in their native pond and naturally, find themselves in charge of a laundrette and a baby whilst Mrs Crumple (the laundrette owner) fishes peacefully in their pond… It sounds really quite eventful! I don’t know about you guys, but I’m certainly intrigued, (and very concerned about Mrs Crumple’s work ethic)!
Of course, I also needed to mention the incredible Jacqueline Wilson, as she really did seem to be a common theme in the office between us all. There is not one book she has written that did not make early bed times too painful and there was no greater feeling as a child then coming home from school, lying on the sofa and watching Tracey Beaker. Ahh, those were the days!
So there we have it. Our favourite children’s books. Here, we leave you with a few of our favourite books ever. Ever.
Don’t Panic, We’ll Help You Go Organic!
It’s September! Oh so beautiful September! It’s that very special time of the year when the sun tans begin to fade, and the tennè hue of people’s skin will soon match the leaves.
September marks the beginning of everything: Oversized school uniforms, Halloween,
Bonfire Night and the inevitable beginning of the Christmas excitement. (110 days, but who’s counting?) …HOWEVER, before we get carried away, we must first celebrate the exciting Organic September! The Soil Association are encouraging everyone to make small changes in their day to day lives this month. Whether it be buying the organic beef for your spag bowl or simply having to buy yourself a beautiful organic blanket for those winter evenings watching X-factor- every change, no matter how big or small will contribute to making a big difference!
So, as a bit of help for you all we’ve put together some ways to swap a few of your baby bits for these beautiful organic pieces- just for you guys
It can be tempting to spend a fortune on cute baby clothes, but instead of buying hundreds of outfits that will be outgrown shortly, why not spend your pennies on something long-lasting, super soft and kind to the environment? Frugi have an adorable range of organic cotton clothing, and you’ll certainly be able to pass it down to a younger sibling or relative. Best of all you won’t have to sacrifice the cute factor! www.welovefrugi.com
Organic bedding is not only soft and cosy; it’s breathable, safe and great for young, delicate and sensitive skin. The Little Green Sheep is an organic baby brand specialising in creating a natural sleep environment for babies and children. Their award-winning organic bedding sets include everything from a super soft blanket, two fitted sheets and one of their extra-special mattress protectors. From £39.95 www.thelittlegreensheep.co.uk
Being a green baby doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your cute factor! Skibz Organic bibs not only make your little one look super cool, they provide the softest touch for newborn’s delicate skin. The organic range is made from 63% silky bamboo towelling with a natural coloured cotton lining and its super-absorbent softness comforts and protects your baby from dribble. But best of all, because bamboo is a completely sustainable source, you’re helping the environment, too! A must have for beautiful bonny babies! £10 www.skibz.co.uk
theBabaSling® Organic is a great solution for parents wanting to ‘wear’ their baby or toddler. Little ones can be carried in five different ways from birth to two years; Mum can breastfeed discreetly in the early stages and Dad can enjoy some quality bonding time. Made from 100% organic cotton, it’s a great choice for parents who want an eco-friendly sling. Even better they’ve just released two brand new colours for 2013 – Pebble and Berry so you’ll look super smart too.£44.99 www.thebabasling.com
The changes don’t all have to be expensive, Tushi Stick is a gorgeous organic nappy balm made from 100% natural ingredients. It’s pretty special as it’s a stick, not a lotion or cream. It’s really easy to use, there is no waste and it lasts for absolutely ages. It truly is brilliant for little bums! £10.50 www.cinnamonsue.co.uk
A Crafty, Colouring, Calafant Filled Day!
Today is a very special day. Not only is it Friday tomorrow but it is of course the day that Asobi’s lovely #AsobiAmbassadors (and a few special guests) have unveiled their fab CALAFANT reviews!
We were of course, ridiculously excited about this, and decided that we just had to have a go with one ourselves! This was not only a perfect opportunity to show everyone how much fun Calafant is, but to also unleash our colouring skills on our very own Bump Castle! We chose the Castle, but the CALAFANT cardboard fantasies come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from a Fairy Tale Castle to Pirate Ship and Tree House, allowing every child to delve into their own fantasy world. The CALAFANT models are the perfect way to steer your children away from the bright lights and big screens, allowing them to be totally consumed by the world of craft and creativity.
So as we drew (pun not intentional) out our colouring pens, our lunch break was for the first time, no longer centred around cakes and crisps, but rather the depths of our inner creativity (and perhaps an unofficial colouring competition)… Which tower is your favourite?
Drum roll please…….
Life’s a Beach!
Wow. It’s the middle of August already? How those sticky mornings on the tube and days spent gazing longingly out of the window at the sun have really flown by…
Oh we’re only kidding! We absolutely love the summer here at bump! We love picnics in the park, days on the beach, not having to fake-tan and best of all, we certainly love love love ICE CREAM!
Speaking of which, have you guys tried making your own? We particularly loveeee this recipe! http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/270913/Forest-fruit-and-apple-lollies
We’ve all had so much fun this summer at Bump! Kick-started with Lisa’s incredible wedding and honeymoon, followed by Chloe, Poppy and George’s holidays as well as many an office treat (and the occasional Asos parcel) what could be better?!
So before August melts into September and we find ourselves suffocated by layers of coats, and scarves we want you to make a most of this rare, but oh so beautiful British sun and take a trip down to the beach! We know when we take our trips down there we never go without…
Baby-Mule Changing Bag
With three unique ways to carry this fab bag, you can switch effortlessly between rucksack, satchel and a bag to clip to your buggy…A must have for those days at the beach!
This genius gadget will not only help your baby sleep on the go, but will also help to provide high level sun protection- perfect to keep your little one out of the sun whilst on the beach where the only shade is the Ice Cream hut!
Totsbots- Swimtots Nappies
These stylish nappies are comfortable and stretchy and allow your little one to splash happily in the sea- so cute!
These delicious pouches allow your little one to have a healthy, homemade diet that is mess free! (I know, we can’t believe it either!) Not only that, but you can reuse the pouches over and over again…
Who ever thought you could change your deck chair into a high chair? Believe it or not, you can…with this amazing, stylish and fab product!
Who could go to the beach with a baby and not have this with them! This stylish sling gives you two hands free to dig away at your sandcastle, and eat your ice cream!
Bucket and Spade
No trip to the beach is complete without these…Well, there really would be no point in going without.
And don’t forget…Our favourite part about going to the beach!
Let us know how your beach trips go! We want to see pictures and hear stories. We do love to feel jealous…
The news of Robin Williams’ death was enough to silence us all at the lovely, bubbly office that is BumpPR HQ. Stunned by the news, we proceeded to recount our favourite films of his and all of the amazing characters he has portrayed. He was a true legend, a comic genius and will forever leave an irreplaceable legacy in the world of film. We wanted to pay a tribute to all of the hilarious and touching memories he has left with us all, through his life as a genius and a legend.
1) Mrs Doubtfire
3) Good Will Hunting
4) Dead Poets Society
8)Good Morning, Vietnam
10) Patch Adams
11) What Dreams May Become
13) Happy Feet
Now if that doesn’t make you drop all of your plans to spend the weekend eating Ben & Jerry’s and watching Robin Williams films then we don’t know what will.
RIP Robin Williams
Toys ‘R’ Royal!
The people of Brent cross (Geoffrey the Giraffe included) didn’t quite know where to look when the beautiful Kate and Wills walked through the doors of their local Toys ‘R’ Us store on Saturday afternoon. Well. It may have actually been Simon Watkinson and Heidi Agan, but who’s asking?
‘Kate and William’ were out shopping, looking for the perfect 1st birthday present for Prince George who, (you probably haven’t heard?) turned 1 last week! After perusing the shelves, The Royal SmarTrike was deemed a spiffing present for one’s birthday by Kate and Wills- adding them to the ever growing list of smarTrike fanatics. They were joined by fellow fans, all of which were able to hop on to the royal smarTrike to capture a photo of them being a Prince or Princess for the day! We have some pictures here for you to look at, and consequently spend the rest of your day wondering who those look-a-likes are and what on earth they have done with the real Kate and William…
A Royal Spectacular!
We here at Bump HQ, can’t quite believe it’s been a year since the adorable Prince George was welcomed into the world in front of seven million ‘cooing’ admirers with his equally beautiful, doting parents- Kate and Wills… And what a year he has had! Prince George has since had a busier year than most have in a life time, seeing more places and people than one could shake a sceptre at. So it seemed only appropriate that Prince George’s birthday was celebrated in style with a right royal hoo-ha!
In tribute to the big day the amazing smarTrike created 10 limited edition royal trikes and were also launching #RoyalRide- a nationwide campaign that saw everyone from bloggers to celebrities out and about on their smarTrikes wishing Prince George a happy birthday!
On George’s birthday, celebrity parents: Laura Hamilton, Michelle Heaton and their beautiful children: Rocco and Faith took a ride around London on one of the incredible limited edition trikes! They were also joined by some of the country’s top parenting bloggers whose children joined in the festivities with their union jack flags and a ride on their own trike!
The Royal Trike is from the leading brand smarTrike- who are successful, award winners in the industry and producers of the most advanced trike on the market! It truly is a special trike, and thanks to its Royal makeover, it’s even more exclusive- and a perfect 1st birthday present! *wink wink Kate and Wills
’But what if my child is older than one?’ We hear your cry…
Well do not fear- Because the clever trike transforms in four different ways, from ten months to 3 years and beyond! In the early stages parents take control, and as their little one grows up, Mum or Dad simply pushes the ‘Magic Button’ which instantly allows their tot to start triking about independently!
This array of fabulous trikes have been sported by many children of celebrities including Coleen Rooney, Tori Price, Donal Macintyre and Gwen Steffani .
Wait. Gwen Steffani?!
Well, if it’s cool enough for Gwen…
So if you and your little one got involved in this extremely exciting extravaganza then why not join in the twitter hype by hashtagging #RoyalRide and send us a picture of you and your little one celebrating with your smarTrikes and/or British flags (if you’re not too embarrassed to get them out again after the world cup) Because after all, we Brits do love to be patriotic. Don’t we?
Family at the Festival- The Fundamentals
With all the fantastic summer events out there that the little ones can enjoy too, festivals are becoming a real family affair! However attending these summer shindigs with the tots in tow needs preparation. Here are a few of the festival fundamentals that will ensure you are quite literally the coolest family there, as well making sure you can relax and enjoy the festival atmosphere.
It’s difficult to get a baby to sleep at the best of times, so you can imagine how hard it must be to send a baby off to sleep with all the noise and hustle and bustle of a festival. That’s where SnoozeShade comes to the rescue, the world’s first breathable blackout blind provides the perfect remedy to send your baby straight to sleep, no matter where they are. Also with the added benefit of it being UPF 50+ means that you don’t need to worry about your baby catching any harmful rays. The latest SnoozeShade Deluxe Plus is sure to add some signature style to your stroller too! £34.99 www.snoozeshade.com.
Thrupenny Bits are the creators of gorgeous breastfeeding cushions that can also be used as a bag, making breastfeeding portable, comfortable and stylish – perfect for a festival! From £33.00 http://www.thrupennybits.co.uk/
There is nothing more useful than a backpack when you are out and about watching bands or taking part in festivities. This bag from Babymule is waterproof and has a 22 litre capacity, plus a wet bog, bottle insulator and changing mat, so you can be prepared for all eventualities! £84 www.babymule.co.uk
No parent wants to be stuck with a pushchair at a festival! Stay hands-free with theBabaSling! The hammock style sling allows parents to wear their babies and toddlers, whilst still maintaining that cool festival look! It even comes in a Lite version for Summer! From £39.99 www.thebabasling.com
Looking the part ….
Festivals really are the epitome of ‘cool’, so you want your tot to make a great first impression! Fear not, Skibz has your little ones festival fashion fix covered. These ultra cool dribble bibs can turn any simple little outfit into the perfect festival attire. With a vast range of colours and designs, Skibz bandana style bibs will not only ensure a great look, they are also super absorbent so they can be worn all festival long. £10 www.skibz.co.uk
How about letting the little ones create their very own outfit to wear at the festival? Seedling, the New Zealand craft brand, has the ultimate kits to ensure the little ones look super cool. Whether they want to be a superhero for the day or they want to make a stylish tutu, Seedling has everything you need so your little ones individuality can be seen in their festival attire! £34.95 http://www.kindtoys.co.uk/
Festival Feasting ….
We all know that the little ones can be rather messy pups, and bringing along their high chair to the festival is impractical to say the least. The Totseat is a simple yet ingenious design that makes it easy to convert almost any chair into a fully functioning highchair. So whilst you are all enjoying a picnic, your little one can join you in a civilised manner by turning your pop up deck chair into a high chair. It will be just like when you’re at home, no fuss, no hassle. RRP: £24Stockists: www.totseat.com
During the hot summer days it is vital that you don’t allow the little ones to become dehydrated and during a crowded festival, it is difficult to keep going to fetch drinks, not to mention frustrating having to queue up and miss your favourite band! The fantastic TUMTUM water bottle would mean your little one would never forget to keep drinking their juice. It’s bold and bright decoration make it the perfect drinking bottle for the festival. RRP: £7 Stockists: www.tumtumtots.com
Fill n Squeeze is the clever food preparation system that allows parents to prepare fresh homemade food and store it in bright and appetising pouches that kids will love. Having prepared the family meal, pop it in the Fill n Squeeze jug, prepare it using the masher provided or a hand blender, fill the pouch, and then squeeze when the time is right! Easy to store, these will be great to pop in your little ones bag! £19.99 (for the starter pack) www.fillnsqueeze.co.uk
bumpPR blog take over #6 Kirsty and Clara
We couldn’t have a blog take over without including Kirsty and Clara from My Two Mums !
We started working with K & C when Monkey was just a little baby, and I still remember setting up our first review – some Vital Baby Weaning gadgets! Since then they’ve written some wonderful posts for us, and BabaSlings our lovely client were their Britmums sponsor this year. We absolutely love working with Kirsty and Clara, and have been lucky enough to meet them and the gorgeous Monkey a few times now. I’m always admiring the beautiful photos they post, and am loving their #capturingcolour project at the moment. They are lovely ladies, and we feel privileged to have been able to work with them so often.
What do you think makes a good mum blogger?
I think there are so many different types of parent bloggers that it’s hard to define specific qualities that make a great blogger. I think someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously, writes well and illustrates their point beautifully is a blogger we are drawn to.
Whose blogs do you enjoy reading the most?
What do you think that you have gained by becoming a blogger?
Friendship, a sense of belonging in a vast community and the opportunity to do things we would never have achieved if it weren’t for our blog. The friends we have made through our blog are no more “online friends”, they are friends we talk to every day, go to with problems and laugh with over dinner.
What do you feel that your children have gained from your blogging experience/journey?
I think M has gained lots of lovely friends through the other parents we have met and also he does quite well on the toy front. Though as he grows we plan to ration them so he doesn’t think it rains toys.
What made you want to start blogging in the first place?
We wanted an outlet to share our adventures in becoming same sex parents. Clara was pregnant and I kept searching for blogs to read about other lesbians raising a child. I found lots of American sites, but very few from the UK. We sat down one night and discussed it and My Two Mums was born several months before our little man was.
What do you find is the most effective way to approach PRs?
I find it effective to allow them to approach you 99% of the time. I kind of believe in the whole “if you build it, they will come”. If you are ticking all the right boxes then a PR is going to eventually find you. If there is a product you are really passionate about and feel you have an unusual angle or maybe can cover it in a way that hasn’t been covered, get in contact with the PR and see how you can collaborate. Don’t be afraid of a No, just as you know what you like to write about, a PR will know what kind of coverage they want. Write for you and not what you think people want to read.
What has been your blogging highlight so far?
We have been blessed with so many amazing experiences since starting blogging. We were part of a Stonewall award winning advertising campaign with Mamas and Papas, were featured in a global publication of an Ikea magazine and have reached the finals for both the Mad Blog Awards and Britmums Brilliance in Blogging Awards. Each day we are so grateful for the opportunities we receive. One of the best highlights has been the support we receive via social media, when things are tough or when life is great, there is always someone there to smile or offer a shoulder for you.
bumpPR blog takeover part #5
Welcome to part five of our blog take over – and say a big Hello to Donna from Redhead Babyled. We started working with Donna a few months ago, and haven’t looked back since. She replied to one of our Twitter requests for bloggers, and we were really impressed with her enthusiasm and efficiency. She’s been really supportive ever since, and she and her beautiful kids have reviewed some pretty cool items from smarTrike and Frugi for us
Thanks Donna for getting involved with our project!
What do you think makes a good blogger?
For me, there isn’t really such a thing as a ‘bad’ blogger and it’s down to each individual to decide if they are good at what they do. For me the best blogs are ones where people write about whatever they like because they want to, the ones where you can tell they just love to write.
Do you have any favourite blogs you’d like to give a shout out to?
I have a few! Mummy Daddy Me is my all time favourite blog. It looks great and is so family focused – Katie’s girls are beautiful and it’s always a pleasure to read about them and see photos of them, she also has her great Ordinary Moments linky on a Sunday. Hurrah For Gin makes me laugh until I cry with most posts. She illustrates posts herself and is just so funny – and normal – She says what we’re all thinking! I also love My Family Fever and Going on an Adventure, these two come as a pair for me as they both host the Tried and Tested linky on a Tuesday but are fantastic – The linky’s a bonus!
What do you think that you have gained by becoming a blogger?
The main thing is that I finally fit in. Not for being the same as everyone else, but for being me and just being a blogger. I’ve found an identity that I never knew I had and I love being part of the blogging community. I have also gained confidence to go to blogging events and things like BritMums Live that I wouldn’t have dreamed of going to a few years ago.
What do you feel that your child(ren) have gained from your blogging experience/journey?
The children have now got a constant record of their lives, documenting their milestones and achievements. I hope it’s something they look back on and appreciate and understand why I started blogging.
What made you want to start blogging in the first place?
I started blogging when LP was around 7 months old to document her weaning progress. We were doing baby led weaning – hence the blog name – and from then until LP was 2 I only blogged once a month at most with weaning updates. I then went self hosted and started blogging daily about our lives, days out and that kind of thing.
What do you find is the most effective way to approach PRs?
I don’t often approach PRs. I find that quite a lot of brands and PRs have now contacted me and if I’d like to review something that I have seen and it’s a brand I have worked with before or even just had emails from in the past then I’ll email them and ask them if I can review it – Along with stats and a good reason why I’d like to review it and how I can promote it for them. I rarely contact PRs that I haven’t spoken to previously.
What has been your blogging highlight so far?
I have a few! Every time I’m asked to be an Ambassador for a company it is a highlight for me and I am so proud of how far my little blog has come. The overall highlight has got to be getting sponsorship to go to BritMums Live!
bumpPR blog takeover part #4 Kelly
The fourth blogger taking part in our #blogtakeover is the lovely Kelly who you will all know from her blog Tia’s Mum We discovered Kelly’s blog about this time last year, and it’s safe to say we have been fans ever since. We love reading about her and Tia’s adventures, and we were lucky enough to meet them at our birthday party back in January. We love working with Kelly, and a big thanks to her for answering our questions!
What do you think makes a good blogger?
I know it’s been said before, but honesty. I think if you make out that your life/children/hamster is perfect 100% of the time it’s hard to relate to you. I often answer the door to the postman in my pjs still, and I cannot be bothered to pick Tia’s toys up constantly throughout the day so I leave them till nap and bed time. I’ve written about the hard parts of parenting and they’ve been some of my most read posts.
Do you have any favourite blog you’d like to give a shout out to?
Yes I have a few that I love reading regularly. Lucy at the pie patch for amazing recipes, proper everyday food, not fancypants food.
Kerry over oh so Amelia I love this blog, everything’s so pretty and enchanting.
Katie over at hurrah for gin! what can I say, she’s hilarious and I’m so sure she’s going to win an award, go take a peek.
Clare at little pink teacup an honest blog, plus she loves cloth nappies too!
Katie at KTBTW I love reading this little blog, Katie writes from the heart and her daughter is adorable.
Lastly it’s Emily from tea lady mumbles. A blog I’ve followed for a long time, I enjoy Emily’s style of writing, very easy to read.
What do you think you’ve gained from being a blogger?
Where to start! I’ve gained a ton of friends, some whom I’ve met in real life. I’ve gained confidence in myself since my blog has been read more and more. I felt a bit lost when I left my full time pharmacy job to become a stay at home mum, and through blogging I’ve found myself a bit again.
What do you feel your children have gained from your blogging experience/journey?
Tia’s quite often being sent pretty clothes to review (Which she loves, she loves dressing up)! She’s also reviewed some great toys and pushchairs.
But also we’ve been on days out that I’ve heard about from new blogger friends, for instance the baby Tilda barn dance a few weeks back. Tia had so much fun that day, and I wouldn’t have know about it before blogging.
What made you want to start blogging in the first place?
Do any of you remember that google advert? The one where the parents add photos and messages to an email account to show the child when they’re older? I wanted that, it sounded like the sweetest idea and blogging seemed an even better way to do this.
What do you find is the most effective way to approach PR’s?
Haha, next question!! 😛 I don’t really do this, I kind of hope they notice me!
What has been your blogging highlight so far?
Being told by a total stranger that they had read my work, and loved it! I was at a Kiddicare event, and a lady who worked on the front desk asked if I wrote for them, I said I did and told her the name of my post. She immediately said she had read the post and laughed so hard. Made my day!
bumpPR blog take over part #3 Jennie
When I first started working at bumpPR (almost three years ago now!) one of the very first bloggers I was introduced to was the lovely Jennie from Edspire. As a new exec I was instantly drawn to working with her because she was so friendly, polite and did amazing reviews. From smarTrike to Bravado – Jennie and her family have helped us enormously with all their hard work and testing!
We’ve met Jennie a few times now, and one of the things she said to us was ‘bump has grown with us’ and it couldn’t be more true. When she was pregnant with Tilda we had a lot of pregnancy and baby clients (we still do!) but now that the twins are older, we’re still able to work together. They are Asobi ambassadors, part of the Frugi Family -and I’m sure there will be plenty more when Rainbow baby arrives!
Jennie is a wonderful, inspirational lady and mum to all her children and a fantastic blogger, so thank you so much for taking part in this!
What do you think makes a good mum blogger?
I think that a good mummy blogger writes from the heart.
I also think that they are honest in the tales they tell.
I like an honest heartfelt blog with good photographs.
I like blogs that tell a story.
I like blogs that respect their children and the fact that one day they will grow up and read this stuff back.
My blog often feels like it has no real direction.
I write about all aspects of parenting premature twins and pregnancy and babies and living through the loss of a child.
I write what comes into my heart and my head.
I have no planner, no calendar, I write what I am feeling that day.
I like blogs that feel like they do the same.
Whose blogs do you enjoy reading the most?
I do not read as many blogs as I would like to or as many as I should do
The ones I dip in and out of and would love to sit and read from the start are
What do you think that you have gained by becoming a blogger?
A space that is mine to say what I like
Opportunities to meet new people and try new things
Opportunities to raise awareness of issues that are important to me
A chance to meet people who have walked similar paths
Support and understanding
What do you feel that your children have gained from your blogging experience/journey?
Esther and William have been offered some amazing opportunities through my blog
Special trips to magical places and amazing products to review
I had not heard of so many small brands before I started blogging
Esther and William have the best footwear preschoolers can have after we discovered Livie and Luca
They got their amazing Smart Trikes through you at Bump PR
I have learned so much about messy and sensory play
All of that is passed on to Esther and William
And was to Tilda too
My blog is also an outlet for me
It allows me to clear my head each evening
And be ready each morning, most mornings, to start a new day
What made you want to start blogging in the first place?
I started blogging when Esther and William were in NICU
Born at 27 weeks they spent 59 days in hospital
I wrote a diary as I sat beside their incubators
And at night I typed my diary up into a blog
I did not ever really expect anyone to read it
It was an outlet for what I thought were going to be the darkest days of our lives
What do you find is the most effective way to approach PRs?
With a story or a plan
I do not approach companies or PRs very often but when I do I try to have something in mind
A series of posts about play
A review of a product over time
Creative ways to share different aspects of a product
I do quite a lot of reviews on my blog but I only do things that are relevant
I am not always the quickest at turning reviews around
But I think I write openly and honestly about products that we try
And things we love I will write about time and time again
I also just always try to be open and honest from the start
What has been your blogging highlight so far?
I feel very proud to have been a finalist in The Mad Blog Awards for four years in a row
I write my blog primarily for me but it is lovely to know that people read it
I love getting emails from people telling me their stories of prematurity and baby loss
I have had so many thank yous from people who have been through a similar situation to me and have not known how to tell people how they are feeling
It means the world to me that my words are able to help people
I have also made some very special friends through blogging
And I could not be without my blog now
Of the 9 short months we had with Tilda her life is documented on my blog
From conception to death and I will always always be grateful for that
bumpPR blog take over part#2 Danni
Continuing our bumpPR blog takeover to celebrate all things blogging, please welcome the lovely Danni from It started with a Squish . We started working with Danni during her pregnancy with baby E, and we are so pleased we did! She’s an amazing blogger, super creative, very speedy and takes some great photos too. We’ve loved working with her and are sure we’ll continue to do so for a long time!
What do you think makes a good mum blogger?
I think honesty is the main thing that makes a good mum blogger… you’re naturally more easy to relate to. And it’s nice to know you’re not alone in having those bad days just as much as you love reading about the joys of family life. Taking on the ‘perfect mum’ persona can be an easy trap to fall into when you start blogging (kind of like a blogging ‘front’) but if I did that, I think I personally would feel like I was reinforcing the media’s approach of mostly choosing to show tall skinny airbrushed women… and how boring is that? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t reveal everything in my life and maybe I do angle pictures so you can’t see that massive pile of washing in the corner- but whatever I choose to talk about I approach with honesty.
Whose blogs do you enjoy reading the most?
Oooh, this is a difficult one because I don’t actually read particular blogs religiously… I like the ‘see what’s on Twitter’ approach as you get to sample a lot of different blogs that way. I guess blogs I continuously find myself going back to are MummyNeverSleeps because of the honest way she writes… I can almost hear her voice as I read – you should check her out. I also love Mammasaurus for her creativity… I’m pretty sure she changes her blog design on a weekly basis. I’ve made some fantastic friends too who I stalk via their blogs such as MotherGeek, Methemanandthebaby, Thatlancashirelass and Redrosemummy.
What do you think that you have gained by becoming a blogger?
So so much. Before I started blogging I was sort of lost in my own baby bubble at home with no real drive to do much else. None of my friends had babies and we had moved into a new area so I didn’t know many people with whom I could relate to. After finishing a short course at Salford Uni on Social Media Marketing I was persuaded to start a blog. It took me months to feel confident enough to publish my first post but I haven’t looked back since. I managed to integrate myself into a network where I ‘fit’… I get to harness creativity into my blog, have made some amazing friends (I go for regular coffees with some of them!) and on top of all that have had fantastic opportunities benefiting both me and my family. I think the parent blogger network is so vast because there are so many of us at home without a voice and blogging has given us that platform to shout from.
What do you feel that your children have gained from your blogging experience/journey?
Oh they get spoilt rotten which also has it’s pitfalls but I am so thankful for the opportunities blogging has brought to both Squish and E. They have been on lots of days out, had new toys, new clothes – even beds, things that we wouldn’t have been able to offer them otherwise. Regardless of all the physical items they are spoilt with I think the gift they will most treasure (whether my blog is on or offline by then) is that they will be able to read back on all my posts when they are older. I love the thought of my daughter reading through my pregnancy diary if she ever becomes pregnant.
What made you want to start blogging in the first place?
I suppose it started out as hobby but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t attracted by the idea of working with PR’s. I am the type of person who usually gives up on most things though and but with blogging this hasn’t happened. I really love it. I love getting my thoughts and opinions down, messing around for hours editing photographs, thinking about what I can do differently… my kids are my life and I get to write about them (amongst other things) and reap benefits for doing it. It’s a joy and something I can’t see me ever giving up.
What do you find is the most effective way to approach PRs?
I think if there’s a certain product you reeeeally want to review or an event that has caught your eye I would try and sit down and put together a sort of proposal. Tell them a bit about you and your blog, make an impression and tell them what you love about XYZ and why you’d make a great ambassador for them. Flip things around and think about what that particular PR or brand might like to see… whether that be a series of posts, a video, sharing content or if you had any ideas, share them. There are plenty of bad ways to approach PR’s…. but I am glad you didn’t ask me what they are! J
What has been your blogging highlight so far?
My blogging highlight has been making it to the finals of the MAD blog awards for ‘Best Pregnancy Blog’. I mean, wow. It’s been a bit of a goal to make it there… I remember following the hype on twitter in my 2nd month of blogging during the awards ceremony thinking how unattainable it would be to get there. It turns out all you have to do is have a baby!! … I’m joking btw. But yes, this is big for me… so thank-you to everyone who voted.
bumpPR blogger take over part #1
We love working with bloggers here at bumpPR and this year we’ve been lucky enough to meet lots of our friends, and even help set up some sponsorships for Britmums later this month. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be handing over our little blog to some of our favourite mums so they can share some of their thoughts.
To kick off the process, we’d like to introduce the lovely Lauren, from Real Housewife of Suffolk County who we are lucky enough to have sponsored to attend Britmums this year. Lauren has been working with us for a few years now, she’s done some fantastic reviews and competitions for us, as well as this fab post on the blogger/PR relationship. She’s a wonderful mum, and consistently helpful, polite, supportive and generally a delight to work with.
We asked her some questions….and here are her answers! Stay tuned to see who else is involved in the bumpPR blogger take over!
What do you think makes a good mum blogger?
Someone who is passionate about writing and sharing aspects of their life, and someone who wants to join in the community. I think you have to be willing to put into the community as much as you want to take from it.
Whose blogs do you enjoy reading the most?
I have a few favourite blogs and at the moment I’m making a real effort to discover at least 5 new blogs a month. I’m currently loving Shutterflies, My Two Mums, Mummy Daddy Me, Life At The Little Wood, Potty Mouthed Mummy, Cool Bananas and Innocent Charms Chats. And I Heart Snapping because I am a contributor.
What do you think that you have gained by becoming a blogger?
It might sound really cheesy but confidence in myself and support around certain issues in my life. One of the best things about blogging is the community and people around you and it’s nice to help each other out.
I have also made the most amazing friends who I talk to every single day even though we live a long way away from each other.
What do you feel that your children have gained from your blogging experience/journey?
Again a cheesy answer but a happier mummy. I use my blog as therapy with my depression and anxiety and I’m able to get a lot of things off my mind by writing them down.
They’ve also had some wonderful treats as we’ve been able to visit London and had a few days out and I think that quality time has been amazing for us a family.
What made you want to start blogging in the first place?
I’d been trying to blog for a while but couldn’t get into it, then one day decided to start the Real Housewife of Suffolk County mainly because I was feeling lonely as a stay at home mum as my friends returned to work.
What has been your blogging highlight so far?
Being sponsored by Medela for Britmums Live 2013 and bumpPR for Britmums Live 2014 has definitely been a highlight as not only has it given me confidence in regards to my blog, it has also lead to me making some true life long friends. Last year I met two bloggers in particular who have really changed my life and I don’t know what I would do without them now. I have blogging to thank for that.
Simplify Family Life with Doona
bumpPR launched an extremely exciting product last week that is set to change parenting forever!
Introducing Doona™, by Simple Parenting, the world’s first infant car seat with a fully integrated mobility solution. Having already won leading trade awards from the nursery industry, the highly anticipated arrival of this true innovation is a game changer when it comes to travel solutions and safety, and best of all Doona™ will simplify the life of parents.
Doona™, which is fully patented, is uniquely designed for families to be an effortlessly practical product. It offers simplicity, style, ease and convenience at their fingertips. With just a touch of a button, the car seat turns into a stylish push along mobility system. Incorporating deep double walled side impact protection, orthopaedic inner cushion, and anti-rebound technology, the Doona™ is also larger than most car seats, meaning that your infant can remain in the safest form of car seat for longer.
The Doona™ car seat transforms in less than ten seconds, meaning you can be out of your car and on the go with your little one straight away. No longer will you have to take up valuable boot space with a cumbersome travel-system, struggle in the rain while trying to unfold or fold your base, or balance your infant in your arms with bags of shopping. The Doona™ really is an essential for all families, whether you’re in the city or countryside, running into the supermarket, doing the morning school run, at a restaurant, getting on the tube or going on holiday.
The Doona™ is the next generation in parent and child mobility and the clever design also fits down the aisle of the aeroplane, making it the perfect solution for international travel. It is fair to say the designers at Simple Parenting have created a dream product for parents and as it comes in five striking colours including; Love, Storm, Dune, Sky and Night.
The Doona is suitable for newborns up to 13kgs and is guaranteed to become an essential for any new parent. As the name suggests, Simple Parenting is passionate about convenience and have created a full range of accessories for the Doona™, including rain-covers, sunshade, changing bags and additional storage options.
£299 – Pre-order yours now from Babies R Us
Six of the Best Outdoor Toys!
The summer looks like it might have finally arrived and with half term approaching, it’s great to get the little ones outside.
To help you with this, we have come up with six fabulous toys that guarantee that the little ones will be enjoying the great outdoors all day long! Whether it’s cowboys and Indians, den building, trike riding, scootering, hopping or a spot of gardening, these toys are sure to be a hit!
Five of the best ways to celebrate music with your little ones!
We all know babies and children love music, here are five ways to encourage them to get involved from the word go!
You can start introducing your baby to music from day one. The Music Time Kit from Babycademy is a unique toolkit developed by a mum and a child development expert; Dr Brenda Todd. Inside parents will find a CD of original music, enchanting stories, a hand puppet, rattle and sensory scarf as well as ten lesson plans. Dr Todd explains that music is great for playtime as sounds, words and actions are all integrated, boosting memory development. £50 www.babycademy.co.uk
Even the youngest children will have fun with these colourful wooden maracas! Let them make noise, learn about rhythm and generally have a lot of fun. A simple and traditional toy that will last for years and years and make a wonderful keepsake. £11.99 www.amazon.co.uk
Nursery Rhymes are a fantastic way to introduce babies and toddlers to songs. The new collection from cloth nappy specialists TotsBots, features five much-loved nursery rhymes including Humpty Dumpty, Incy Wincy Spider and Hickory Dickory dock! Nappy changes will not only be a whole lot of fun, they’ll be filled with rhymes and songs! £16.99 www.totsbots.com
Budding musicians will love this vintage style piano from Vilac! Children can tap away at the keys to create their very first musical masterpieces. It’s a great way to develop motor skills, and learn about rhythm and sound! £59.99 www.herbertandstella.co.uk
If your little one is music mad, they’ll love this cool instrument inspired t-shirts from Frugi. Made from organic cotton they are super soft and comfortable, and will ensure they are shouting loud and proud about their love of all things musical! Both £19 www.welovefrugi.com
The Celeb Baby Boom!
Whether it be a cheeky spot along Wardour Street or a sneaky browse through the Daily Mail website, we at bumpPR do love a celeb or two. We all have our favourites, from Chloe’s love of Rhianna and Kim Kardash and Poppy’s love of Robin Williams to Lisa’s penchant for Gary Barlow. And what do we love even more than a celeb? A celeb with a bump or a baby!
Whether it be how they dress, their feeding choices, what pram they will be using or their birth stories, we are always eager to hear! It’s safe to say, we have a minor obsession. We even have a ‘guess the babies gender’ guessing game (I lost the first 3 month’s in spectacular fashion!).
Needless to say, when we see a celeb using a product from one of our clients, we really get excited. Below are a couple of our favourites from the past few months!
Tom and Gi Fletcher with Buzz
I’m sure you’ve seen the adorable pictures of Tom and Giovanna Fletcher’s new baby son Buzz, born last month. We sent them a few baby goodies to celebrate and we were thrilled to see that they proved a hit!
Tom has been having fun sharing his parenting story on Instagram– is that a Medela bottle we spot? We think it is!
Giovanna blogged throughout her pregnancy and beyond for Hello magazine and has featured quite a few of our clients along the way, including Bravado, ewan the dream sheep, Babycadamy and Milkysnugz!
Katie Piper and Belle
We love Katie Piper – what an inspiration that lady is! Earlier this year, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl called Belle. We sent her a selection of gifts from our clients, including a blanket from The Little Green Sheep, which made an appearance on the covers of Hello and Mother and Baby!
With so many celebs due this year, we’re really excited to see what happens next. We are particularly looking forward to see if Holly Willoughby has boy or girl and if Sam Bailey will stay in the spotlight after she has her baby!
Oh and hi Prince George. Fancy popping on a pair of Frugi trousers and donning a cute bib from Skibz and waving at the camera for us? What a coup that would be!
Introducing Stomp v2 All in 1 – Big Impact, Ickle Price
Team bump are very excited to announce that we have just started working for Ickle Bubba! For all parents who love to get incredible value for their money, this is one for you!
Ickle Bubba is the brand behind the unique travel systems offering parents exceptional value. This week, the team were delighted to announce the arrival of their eagerly anticipated Stomp v2. This fantastic upgrade on their original Stomp is packed full of enhanced features and fabric upgrades and best of all, despite raising their game, the Stomp v2 will continue to offer unbeatable value with a price tag that remains under £500.
The Stomp v2 All in 1 is set to be the number one travel system on the market. Ickle Bubba has pulled out all the stops to create the definitive pushchair that promises maximum stomp! With value, quality, practicality and style at its core, Ickle Bubba is set to impress parents once again. The new version is available in black, pink, red or blue, has a stunning new lycra hood design and non-puncture wheels. The colour co-ordinated seat liner has been designed for a more comfortable ride and the new and improved carrycot is now easier to attach, guaranteeing better functionality.
As if this wasn’t enough, the Stomp v2 All in 1 comes with a deluxe changing bag, new changing mat and colour co-ordinated cosy toes. These items will be essential in the early days of parenthood, making the Stomp v2 a fantastic investment for every new parent! For added convenience, this upgrade comes with a new one handed function that makes it even easier to recline the pushchair.
Having launched just one year ago, Ickle Bubba has already wowed many families and it is no surprise why. Unlike many travel systems, the brand has truly captured the essence of the ultimate product at an affordable price, without compensating on style or functionality.
Commenting on the launch of Stomp v2, Ickle Bubba’s Co-founder Fran Vaughan said: “We are extremely excited to unveil the Stomp v2 this April. At Ickle Bubba, it is our mission to deliver a full travel system that is comparable with all the leading brands, but at a much more affordable price; the Stomp v2 takes this to the next level.”
If you think Stomp v2 is the travel system for you, head to www.icklebubba.com to find your nearest retailer.
The Mumdrum #52Memory Challenge, a la Team Bump
Having already helped countless families capture precious memories in their unique online Child Memory Books, January saw The Mumdrum launch their ‘Making 52 memories’ campaign – the idea being that parents can capture one memory per week to share with family friends. Sensitive to busy schedules and the ever-growing juggling acts parents’ face these days, The Mumdrum team were passionate about developing a realistic challenge for all families to get involved with!
Never one’s to back down from a challenge, we at bump decided that we wanted to take part – every Wednesday we would upload our memory of the week on Facebook and Twitter with #52memories. We are now 14 weeks in, so we thought that it would be nice to give you guys a progress report…
Here’s to the next 14 weeks!
Why don’t you join in?
Face Behind the Brand: The Little Green Sheep
Now as I’m sure that you’ve noticed by now, we at bumpPR work with some truly lovely brands. Lovely products and lovely people. You all know about the first bit – but what about the second part? Much of what makes our clients so great are the faces behind the scenes, so we thought we’d be generous and share a few of them with you! This week we will be speaking to Mark and Paul, the men behind the organic baby brand The Little Green Sheep.
Here they are, looking a bit sheepish.
We decided to ask them a few choice questions in order for you to get to know them better. This is what they came back with…
What inspired you to start Little Green Sheep?
Paul: Family was a big inspiration for us both. Mark’s dad grew a family run builder’s merchant into a multi-site regional operation, whilst my grandfather had multiple companies based in the North West fabric and mining industries. I think it’s safe to say we both have business in the blood. In terms of the organic side of the brand, it doesn’t take a genius to look at the chemicals that are in some mass produced products and think ‘I’m not sure I want that near my baby’.
What did you both do before LGS?
Paul: I was a recruitment role back up North and Mark was in the Marketing department of a large company. It set us up really well as we both had very different degrees and also very different experiences after university, so between us our skill base was quite broad!
When and how did you meet?
Paul: We lived together at university when we were both studying at Aston. I did Product design and Mark did Marketing!
How do you balance running the business with having a family?
Mark: I would be lying if I said that my work/life balance is perfect. My belief is that getting a balance in life across all things is the ultimate goal, and one which is a continued and enjoyable part of the journey! As a new Dad, of course I experienced all the chaos and fun of being a first time parent! But by clearly departmentalising my life into work time, family time and me time, it made going through this testing work/life challenge much more manageable.
Do you have embarrassing stories about each other?
Paul: I once heard one side of a conversation where Mark was on the phone to a customer, who was clearly struggling to understand his brummy tomes…
“The postcode was FK13”
“No – F-K-1-3”
“NO – F-K-“
“NO – K!!”
“F for Freddie”
“K… for cat”
I hear you go on man dates… care to indulge?
Mark: I’m not sure we should admit this but we actually have a date night…. we call it ‘mate night’ actually… gives us time each week to actually talk as friends, not colleagues. It is a lot of pressure at times and having a friend there who genuinely knows 100% what you’re going through is a huge support. I think we both feel very lucky we’re not doing this alone as a lot of people do all of this individually, which I have huge respect for.
So there you have it – what a partnership! From students to budding business partners, these guys are as thick as thieves. The only way is up!
Stay tuned for a further peek behind the blinds of some of our clients – we’ve got some good’uns, I can assure you!
Gifts Beyond the Easter Egg
Shelves laden with brightly coloured, shiny eggs may seem the obvious place to find a gift for your family this Easter. Although we all want at least one tasty treat, with recent reports about the dangers of eating too much sugar, it might be best if we don’t overindulge, especially the little ones! With this in mind, we have thought about some Easter alternatives that are cuddly, cute and just as fun. Introducing eight egg-ceptional alternatives to chocolate this year, we present …
Cloth nappy lovers will love this Easter themed nappy from Frugi! Covered in little chicks, bunnies and Easter eggs, your tot will look just the part! £17 www.welovefrugi.com
Milkysnugz, the award winning brand making drinks huggable, has recently unveiled the Universal Collection. The unique, cosy and cuddly bottle comforters are now compatible with 98% of baby bottles and work with Sipper Spouts so toddlers can keep using! Rosie the Rabbit is perfect for Easter! £21.99 www.milkysnugz.co.uk
As newborns can’t indulge in chocolate eggs, a cuddly toy would be a great alternative! Hoppy is the innovative, super cute rabbit that has been developed with safety and breathability in mind so that all those worried parents can guarantee a peaceful slumber whilst their little one can snuggle up to their bedtime buddy all night long. This soft cotton cot toy is made from airmesh and stuffed with hollowfibre, therefore minimising the risk of suffocation and allowing the bond between baby and cuddly toy to flourish! RRP: £14.99 Stockist: www.safedreams.co.uk
It’s not just bunnies that hop at Easter – in the outback, the kangaroos aren’t far behind! Your little one will love snuggling up with Joey, the adorable plush baby kangaroo toy from Bubbaroo. Bundled up in his sleeping pouch and made from super-soft fabric, Joey will soon become baby’s favourite bedtime comfort companion. A sweet alternative to chocolate this year! RRP: £8.95 Stockist: http://bubbaroo.co.uk/
Every little one needs an Easter outfit, and this gorgeous set from Frugi is perfect for Spring. The cute pink smock top features a friendly bunny rabbit and chick and some colourful flowers, and the stripy green pull-up trousers are super comfy! Even better is made from beautifully soft organic cotton that’s kind to skin. £24 for the set www.welovefrugi.com
Skibz, makers of the award-winning dribble bibs, have a beautiful Easter egg design, especially for Easter! This lovely bib would guarantee the adorability factor when the little ones venture on their egg hunt! RRP: £15 (comes in a gift box) Stockists: www.skibz.co.uk
For all those toddlers who love their eggs for breakfast, the Spring-themed Trainee Egg Set from TUMTUM is perfect! Suitable for 3 years+, with a clever elongated spoon, non-slip base and lots of room for soldiers, this set can only be described as…eggcellent! RRP: £12 Stockists: www.tumtumtots.com , John Lewis
What about something a bit different for Easter? Sonny Angels are the newest collectable craze from Japan and these gorgeous 10 centimetre high figurines with their rosy cheeks, pert bottoms, tiny wings and cute smiles are guaranteed to capture your hearts with just one look. The bunny angel would make the perfect gift this Easter and will bring your toddler happiness, luck and daily enjoyment. RRP: £5.99 Stockists: www.kindtoys.co.uk
As you can imagine, in this office we need to stay on top of all of the various goings on in the wonderful world of childhood and parenting. With this in mind, we thought that it might be fun to share our findings with you, our lovely, busy mums! Hence, #bumpdaily was born, our daily Facebook and Twitter news update!
This last couple of months has been a bit of a whirl wind of controversy, from breastfeeding to parenting methods, childcare costs and quite frankly, quite a lot of cuteness! Here are a few stories that came to our attention recently;
Over the past week or so, breastfeeding has been all over the news. A mother is dubbed a ‘tramp’ for breastfeeding public; whilst another is told that she cannot breastfeed in hospital. Mums from all across the country are throwing their arms up in indignation and saying ‘No! We will stick together and we will shout out for our rights!’ Quite inspirational, don’t you think?
Also at the top of the agenda has been the spiralling cost of childcare for working mums vs. getting a fair wage for child carers. The government has announced that they will pay 20p for every 80p spent on childcare by every parent working and earning less than £300,000 per year… will this work? What do you think?
With the ‘Tiger Mom’ rearing her head this month and releasing her first book and a mother facing losing her child after it was revealed that she was using the ‘free range’ parenting method, parenting styles have been hotly debated. ‘Attachment’, ‘pushy’ and ‘treating your child like an adult’ schools of thinking have all been thrown in to the mix – do you stick to a style or do you just go with the flow?
Finally, after all of these heavy topics, I thought I’d give you this;
Please feel free to comment and let us know your thoughts or experiences on the above topics – we’d love to know what you think!
Creating your own Wedding Creche!
Those of you who have been keeping track of bumpPR gossip will know that Lisa is getting married in… oh my! Only a few weeks now! As you can imagine there has been lots of talk in the office of all things weddings, which inspired us to create our own wedding creche ideas!
Deciding whether to invite children to your wedding is a tricky one, but if you knew you only needed a few key items to keep them calm and content all day…it could change things! After all, a wedding is not complete without a flower girl or two – and there are plenty of ways to keep children entertained and cared for. Here are some of our practical and fun ideas to keep kids under control.
First you might be having visions of children running around, causing utter mayhem on your big day. Fear not – Popdance Kids dance classes are a great way to keep kids occupied and give parents (and you!) time to enjoy the day. Fun routines, great teachers and suitable for all abilities, Popdance Kids has been a hit around the world, from America to Dubai! Find out more at www.popdance.co.uk
These cute, affordable and brightly coloured inflatable bouncers are very popular with tots across the land, so why not grab a couple to keep those toddlers out of trouble? Available in a range of designs (from pink cows to purple dino’s) you could even match one to your colour theme! And you never know it might be an amazing photo opportunity! £21.99 from www.happyhopperz.com
Ah, that finely tuned seating plan need not be affected by highchairs and the like – just look to Totseat to save the day! Totseat is an award-winning washable, squashable highchair that easily converts any chair into a safe seat for a baby or toddler. An incredibly versatile product, it can be shortened or extended to fit all manner of chairs – high backed, low backed, stylish, traditional, weird and wonderful – even deck-chairs! £24 from www.totseat.com
No kid’s area is fun unless there’s a bit of mess… but what about those lovely frocks and suits? Well MessyMe has it covered – a collection of oilcloth bibs and tunics that look great and are comfortable, hardwearing and entirely wipe-clean. With several different colours and designs, we think they’d be perfect in keeping with a stylish wedding creche. From £7.99 from www.messy-me.com
Snoozeshade is a breathable sun and sleep shade and so a great option for putting babies and toddlers down for a nap in their pushchair. It fits all types of pushchair, protects baby from UV rays and makes any time nap time! It really is ideal for babies who might get a bit fractious as the day progresses. £19.99 www.snoozeshade.com
Naturally, after all that dancing, bouncing and making a mess, there will be plenty of sleepyheads ready for bed. A Lights Out blind is a portable black-out blind designed to fit any window, anywhere, and best of all doesn’t require nails or screws. Great for getting the kids to bed even on summer evenings, or just for napping during the day. £34.95 for a pair www.lightsoutblinds.com
A Roaring Good Play Time!
From Triceratops to Tyrannosaurus Rex, dinosaurs came in all shapes and sizes, and the same can be said for dinosaur toys! We have put together a few great ideas on how to make play time a truly Jurassic experience…
Meet Steggy, Dippy, Terry, Topsy, and last but not least ‘Rex’ – the Wondercube dinosaur family! Pull the dino squares from the Wondercube activity toy one by one, then rearrange them and stick them together – a fun and simple idea that works on your little dinosaur fan’s motor skills and makes learning fun!
RRP: £17.99 (For Wondercube) and £6.99 for the Dinosaur filler Available from: www.mywondercube.co.uk
Suitable from birth, these fearsome knitted dinosaurs from Best Years appear to have walked straight out of the history books. Soft and durable, the loveable dino-pals will give your little ones years of pre-historic playtime!
RRP: £12.99 Available from: www.just4baby.co.uk
Your little one’s can invent their very own dinosaur species with CALAFANT! Made from 100% recyclable cardboard, children can build and design their fossil friend, letting their imaginations run wild! Easy to put together and made of lightweight, yet sturdy card, this eco-friendly kit is perfect addition to any Jurassic toy collection!
RRP: £7.00 Available From: Amazon
Authenticated by palaeontologists, these miniature dinosaur collectables from Safari Ltd are hand painted and incredibly vivid. Based on genuine fossils, these life-like critters will add a fantastic realistic dimension to playtime!
RRP: From £7.00 Available from; Amazon UK
A playful and exciting spin on the 1970’s space hopper, these dinosaur Happy Hopperz will have your little bouncers jumping with joy. Suitable for ages one to three, horns to hold onto and 3 bright colours to choose from -there is a pre-historic hopper for every child!
RRP: £24.99 Available from: www.happyhopperz.co.uk
Transform your child’s scooter into a brightly coloured prehistoric pal with Scootheadz – simply clip the dino-head onto the t-bar of the scooter and ready your little one for a wild, scooting adventure to the past!
RRP: £14.90 Available from: Jojo Maman Bebé and Amazon
The Baby Show 2014!
It’s that time of year again when we all head out on a bumpPR expedition across London to the ExCel to visit The Baby Show! It was my first time at the show, so I was super excited to have a wander around and soak up the atmosphere, checking out the latest trends in the baby and parenting industry. Along the way were some of our lovely clients, including Tots Bots, Sweet Dreamers and Vital Baby™!
After a nice long leisurely browse around the stands, checking out the latest trends and several enquiries as to whether I was expecting, I was all prammed and cotted out and headed back to the office – what a lovely way to spend a morning! Until next year!
Getting crafty with Asobi
Here in the bump office, we love a good craft. Be it making bracelets, painting a spinning top or good old fashioned colouring in, we’re always game. That’s why, over the course of the last couple of weeks, we’ve been getting on it with some craft kits from the lovely Asobi collection, including Seedling and CALAFANT!
CALAFANT – Whether your little one wants to create their own fairytale castle, pirate ship or tree house, CALAFANT cardboard models make these dreams a reality. Using an extremely sturdy, yet light and flexible cardboard material, CALAFANT has made it possible for every child to have their very own magical escape! All pieces are pre-cut and pre-punched and can easily be put together without glue or scissors, thanks to the CALAFANT slot-system. Once their masterpiece has been built, children can paint and decorate it as they wish and the final result is a toy they take great pride in!
We chose to put together the Sports Car set and coloured it bright red! – If only it came in a full, drivable sized version!
Ranges from £6.95 to £117.95 www.kindtoys.co.uk
Seedling – This New Zealand brand is passionate about igniting the imagination and inspiring the minds of children everywhere. The range of innovative craft kits allow children to create, discover and explore using their own initiative. No matter what their interest is, Seedling has the kit to allow children to learn at their own pace. Whether they want to build their own erupting volcano, create a nature habitat from exploring the garden or teach themselves geography with colour the earth, Seedling will make it a reality!
We made a sock owl called Howard, who is now our office mascot and got a bit friendship bracelet-happy with the jewellery and bed kits.
Ranges from £8 – £50 www.kindtoys.co.uk
Such creative fun and great for keeping your children (and you!) busy whilst the weather continues to be terrible.
I’m a little smarTriker blog challenge!
smarTrike has launched a brand new blogging challenge for anyone who has a smarTrike or loves the great outdoors! I’m a little smarTriker is here….
The smarTrike Dream has 4 different stages, and to celebrate smarTrike are asking you to complete one challenge from each stage you reach on your triking adventures. Once you’ve completed your chosen challenge just post a photo on your blog using the hashtag #imalittlesmartriker
When you’ve completed 4 challenges, you’ll get your very own certificate. If you have already been using your trike for a while, it’s fine to use an old photo, or to just skip the first stages. Share your photos on Twitter too by tweeting @bumppr and @smarttrike and we’ll send you a badge to celebrate the stage your little one has reached.
Any questions – email Poppy on firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m a little smarTriker challenges
Please complete at least one challenge in each category to earn your badge.
Stage 1 challenges
- Go to the park on my smarTrike
- Visit a friend on your trike and let them have a go!
- Go and feed the ducks (take some bread in your trike bucket!)
Stage 2 challenges
- Remove the back padding (when your little one can sit up on their trike unaided)
- Go out on your trike 3 times in a week
- Let a big brother or sister push you around on your trike
Stage 3 challenges
- Reach the pedals and fold away the foot rest
- Have a go at steering (with someone helping you!)
- Give a toy a ride in your smarTrike
Stage 4 challenges
- Remove the parent handle and start wheeling about independently
- Trike to the end of your street and back again
- Pass your trike onto a younger sibling or friend who can enjoy it!
Now you are ready for your certificate!
smarTrike: the 4 stages
The 4 Stages
1 – Parent controlled trike from 10 months – Extra back support, enhanced steering experience with the touch steering and handle bar clutch that neutralizes the handlebar.
2 – Guided Trike from 18 months -still provides parental control, but now that the little one can sit up unaided the back support and extra padding is removed but the handlebar still remains for baby’s safety.
3 – Training trike from 24 months– the footrest is folded in, the pedals are folded out and the handlebar clutch is pushed in so the child starts mastering handlebar movement. The pedals are still neutralized but the child’s feet are now on the pedals as he starts mastering the pedals movement!
4 – Classic trike from 30-36 months – having built their confidence and mastered the skills in the first 3 stages, the touch steering parent handle is now removed, clutch is pushed in and your child can ride around
Laura’s First Month!
The ‘New Year, New You’ mantra is as old as the hills, and often it’s a buzzword for earnest attempts at unattainable resolutions and healthy eating for the first two weeks of the year. For me though, this year, the phrase actually carried some weight – on the 9th January, I joined bumpPR as a Trainee PR Executive. What a marvellous way to begin 2014!
Joining the lovely Lisa, Poppy and Chloe in the cosy Soho office surrounded by colourful fairy lights, Ewan the Dream Sheep and motivational pictures of Bear Grills, I instantly felt at ease. Reassured by their love of cake (even if they are currently avoiding it) and the Daily Mail celeb gossip column, I slotted into the team and started to be a sponge for all that is bumpPR.
The first week or so, along with saving off coverage, learning about the clients and manning some of the social media accounts, was dominated by getting ready for the bumpPR 4th birthday party blogger event. This involved packing some (rather excellent) party bags, coming up with 30 possible alternative names for Captain the cat and learning all about our blog-tastic guests, amongst a whole host of other things.
We trekked across the city to the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green with some scary taxi drivers and a ton of party paraphernalia the night before the party to set up and it looked great, if I say so myself!
Despite the schedule going out of the window a little bit thanks to technical hitch, the day itself was great success, with the Happy Hopperz, glitter and dressing up clothes providing endless entrainment for the 40 children. It was great to meet so many bloggers in person so early on and they were only too grateful for the chance to catch up with each other. And there was rainbow birthday cake. What more can you ask of a party.
A week and a half down the line, I have launched #BumpDaily, I have liaised with mummy bloggers and in a minute I will be writing a backgrounder. I am very much enjoying myself as a member of a very helpful, friendly and warm team, learning more about the clients and the job itself every day.
I may be doing pretty badly on the ‘celeb baby gender’ guessing game and am failing miserably in the healthy eating stakes, but other than that, life couldn’t be better.
Keeping Fit with Popdance!
If you’re looking to continue your healthy groove from January (aren’t we all?!) – Popdance might just be the fun solution you are looking for! With classes all around the country, you can be sure to find one near you.
Having started out as a class of a small group of friends, Popdance now takes place all over the UK and even across the world! Catering for anyone of any age and ability, you can still tone up, get fit and make new friends even if you have two left feet – there is no pressure to get the steps right, just have fun working out to your favourite pop-tastic tunes.
Find out where your nearest class is at www.popdance.co.uk
Baby Gifts for £20 or less!
We all know that on arrival of a new baby, we want to help out where we can and shower them with gifts – but how best to do this on a budget and still get something unique?
Here are a few of our ideas for gifts that keep on giving but don’t have to break the bank!
Based upon a simple idea, Wondercube allows little ones to use a variety of skills and encourages them to explore, stimulate babies’ senses and develop their fine motor skills. Each square has a different feel and sound to investigate and the pieces can be pulled apart, stuck back together and rearranged in any order. And, even better, the Wondercube is a real investment as it has been designed to grow with the child. With a huge choice of innovative add- on fillings – including numbers, letters, animals and storybooks – the adaptability and versatility of this simple cube is infinite. So you can always add to it at birthdays or Christmas and extend the life of your gift!
From £17.99 http://mywondercube.co.uk
This gorgeous organic babywear brand recently launched in the UK with their lovely collection of bright, quirky and fun baby clothes! And just as functional as they are fun, each detail has been thought of and you’ll find such features as nickel-free poppers, integral mitts, reversible hats and double-lining give real value for money! Plus, who can deny that the little fox is just too cute!
From £10 – www.dotandco.co.uk
If you are looking for a completely unique accessory that is also multi-functional and eye-catching – look no further. Le bibble is a double-layered, reversible piece of soft premium cotton fabric that sits under the neck of any bottle, and can be used to wipe baby’s mouth clean and help prevent the dreaded dribble rash and sticky necks! Even if baby is breastfed, at later stages it can be used to introduce baby to expressed milk, or later when transitioning from breast to bottle. Available of lots of lovely colours and patterns.
From £5.99, http://www.cinnamonsue.co.uk
This adorable Joey toy is made from soft, plush fabric and sleeps safe and snug in his own Bubbaroo Joey Pouch Swaddling Bag. We think he’s just too cute to resist!
From £8.95 www.bubbaroo.co.uk
Starting afresh with a new reward system!
Move over naughty step, goodbye golden stars, hello to the brand new reward system that truly works and is set to bring the tradition into the 21st century! Introducing Mumbucks, a fun and motivating way to encourage good behaviour, educate on discipline and help children learn the facts of life!
The Mumbucks system is created around realistic looking note based currency which is EARNED for good behaviour, SAVED for special treats and TRADED for time towards doing favourite activities. Mumbucks comes in a beautifully presented box and includes 82 notes of different denominations, and a reward chart to monitor success. The product provides families with a toolkit to create a positive, effective, and light-hearted parenting approach that can be incorporated into everyday family life.
Mumbucks was created by a Mum of two, Amanda Allerton, who devised the product for her own children when traditional reward systems started to lose their appeal and value. The Mumbucks reward system is the result of extensive research with families of children age 3 – 14 and is the fun, flexible and effective approach that parents have longed for. There are a huge range of benefits that families can take from the system including, consistency (can be used by grandparents, friends and other carers), convenience (use Mumbucks anytime & anywhere), motivational (encourages positive, helpful behaviour), educational (helps teach the value of money and concept of saving) and collaborative (siblings can work together to pool their Mumbucks for greater rewards).
What makes Mumbucks brilliant is it can be personalised to fit into the lifestyle and values of each individual family, giving the system an enduring appeal. It’s up to each family to collectively decide which behaviours are most important to them and to reward with the treats that matter most to their children. It’s also up to each family to decide on the value of individual Mumbucks. For instance one family might decide that each Mumbuck is worth 25p or 15 minutes of TV or gaming time whilst another might make each Mumbuck worth 10p or 30 minutes of friend time or staying up late time.
RRP: £14.99 Stockist: www.mumbucks.co.uk
New Year, New Choices!
As consumers, we are always encouraged to make green choices, but although our intentions are good, we don’t always quite get around to it and often opt for a more convenient or cheaper option. With a new baby arriving, shopping choices become all the more important and with such a huge, vast market out there, it can become a bit of a mind boggle. However, the arrival of a little one (and a new year) presents the perfect opportunity to start making some choices that will not only make you feel good, but are also great for your baby as well as the planet!
A staggering 8 million disposable nappies are thrown away per day in the UK. Not only is this a terrible waste and bad for the environment, this huge amount of nappies means a real strain on a parent’s pocket. TotsBots, the UK’s leading reusable nappy brand are passionate about the importance of using reusable nappies and encourage parents to make the switch as it will be the best choice they’ll make for the world, their pocket and their little one’s bottom (plus they look super cool too!)
RRP: Starting from £8.99 Stockists: www.totbots.com
Being a green baby doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your cute factor! Skibz Organic bibs not only make your little one look super cool, they provide the softest touch for newborn’s delicate skin. The organic range is made from 63% silky bamboo towelling with a natural coloured cotton lining and its super-absorbent softness comforts and protects your baby from dribble. But best of all, because bamboo is a completely sustainable source, you’re helping the environment, too! A must have for beautiful bonny babies!
RRP: £10 Stockist: www.skibz.co.uk
RRP: £44.99 Stockist: www.thebabasling.com
Considering newborns spend the majority of their time sleeping, choosing a mattress for the little ones is a very important decision. The Little Green Sheep has specialised in making the highest quality natural and organic baby mattresses that are entirely chemical-free and safe for babies. From saying ‘no thank you’ to fire proofing chemicals, pesticides and herbicides, and instead only using natural and organic ingredients to create a firm yet comfy support for your baby, The Little Green Sheep prove that a green choice is the best one.
RRP: from £145 Stockists: www.thelittlegreensheep.com
Whatever happened to good old classic baby toys? Today’s shelves are often filled with plastic, battery operated, noisy, flashing toys that are no good for the environment. Uncle Goose has carved out a niche as the world’s premier manufacturer of beautifully crafted, high quality alphabet blocks. From the classic ABC blocks, to every language under the sun (including hieroglyphics!), to blocks of the periodic table – the Uncle Goose range never goes out of style and provides you with a traditional baby gift that your baby, you and the planet will love!
RRP: £12.95 Stockist: www.kindtoys.co.uk
All these great products are for babies, but what about something green for the other little ones in your life? Meet Oobicoo, the enchanting, soft and huggable toy tot who at 60cm tall, is the perfect size to be an instant baby brother, sister or best friend to your toddler. Designed to be dressed in hand-me-down-baby clothes, this simple idea encourages the reuse of outgrown baby clothes, providing Oobicoo with an instant wardrobe – all ready for imaginative play! Oobicoo has been manufactured using recycled and recyclable materials so he is very eco friendly. And best of all with each sale, Oobicoo raises money for the Children’s Immunology Fund.
RRP: £34.90 Stockist: www.oobicoo.com
New Year Resolutions
Happy New Year everyone! Naturally, it’s that time of year again, and how quickly it has come around! After all that Christmas dinner, countless mince pies and delving into the chocolate tin, you’ve guessed it, we’re on a diet for at least all of January!
Yes, that’s right, the girls at Noel Street are from henceforth on a strict regime of no cake, squat challenges and detox juices. Sigh. Gail’s Bakery, Hummingbird and Pret are certainly going to miss us.
We have lots to look forward to this year though – Lisa’s wedding (certainly a huge motivation for our fitness drive), the Baby Show and maybe even new clients and awards. Fingers crossed!
We also have some great ideas for the bumpPR blog coming up, so stay tuned for more news and gossip from bumpPR HQ. Tell us your own New Years Resolutions (and diet tips, if you have them – we need to stay motivated!).
A Busy Year for bumpPR!
Well – what a year it’s been! Looking back to where we were last year I think it’s safe to say we’ve grown faster than ever before, and achieved some amazing things in 2013, including lots of new clients, awards and of course stacks of cake!
Of course we wouldn’t be where we are today without our fab clients – thank you to you all, and here’s to another successful year!
The Snowman Christmas Card #howdoyoudrawyours
We’re delighted to show off our Snowman Christmas Card this year…
Over the last few weeks we’ve been gathering drawings from clients and bloggers, and are so pleased to see so many fab snowmen on the card. We had lots of drawings, collages and photos to choose from – aren’t they great!
Thanks to everyone who took part and if you want to join in the fun, you still can! Pop your Snowmen on Twitter and use the hashtag #howdoyoudrawyours!
Five Fabulous Christmas Gifts For Kids!
Choosing the perfect gift for little ones can be a real challenge! Whether you want to get them something to wear or an accessory for their much loved scooter, we have five fab suggestions for little ones aged ten months right up to ten years.
The ultimate gift for any baby’s first Christmas is a smarTrike! The fantastic 4 in 1 Dream trike starts at just ten months and transforms as the little one grows. In the early stages Mum or Dads takes control with the parent handle, and thanks to its patented Swivel Wheel it really is a ‘Dream’ to steer! This trike will last little ones years and years and they’ll be able to trike around independently once they are ready. £99 from Toys R Us, Mothercare and Smyths
Trikes are perfect for keeping the little ones happy on their outdoor adventures, but if you want something for indoor fun Happy Hopperz are just the ticket! Get your little one hoppin’ around the Christmas tree this year – Rudolf the Reindeer from HappyHopperz is a fantastic take on the retro space-hopper with ears & horns for children to grip on to and feet to steady the bounce, plus they’re great at improving balance, strength and confidence! Brand new for 2013, tots can go hopping mad on the purple addition! £21.99 from www.happyhopperz.co.uk
For those youngsters who have outgrown their bouncers and trikes and are caught up in the current scooter craze Scootaheadz makes the ideal gift! The funky animal heads attach to the T Bar personalising it and turning it into a roaring dinosaur or frolicking pony! Choose from Pink or Purple ponies or Green and Blue Dinos. £15 from Amazon
Dressing up for Christmas is a serious task! Every family will have an idea for their little one, but whether they’re a little pudding or a cute elf, you’ll want something to save their outfit from their Christmas Dinner and all those baby dribbles! Skibz has designed a brand new gorgeous Christmas bib especially for the occasion. Made here in Britain, it’s super soft and comes in a beautiful keepsake Christmas tin. £10 from www.skibz.co.uk
Snuggling up around the Christmas tree is one of the best parts of Christmas! Silver Sense has designed the ultimate cosy wear for children. Wonder Onesies are really rather special, as apart from being super stylish they are also made from pure silver threads. Delicate and soft, there are no tags or labels ensuring little ones will really be as comfy and cosy as possible this Winter. Every child needs a onesie to and there are two colours to choose from, mocha and magenta. £39 from www.silversense.co.uk 18 months to 8 years
Coming Soon…Snowmen! #howdoyoudrawyours
Our Christmas Card this year has been a collaborative effort and involves a lot of snowmen, drawn by various clients and bloggers! Here’s the fun we had trying to pose for our contribution to the card! Stay tuned for the final design – we are due to receive it next week. You can also keep an eye on Twitter and join in the Snowman fun #howdoyoudrawyours
Five Ways to Keep Colds & Flu At Bay!
Winter is without a doubt one of most wonderful times of the year, but with Christmas lights and seasonal celebrations come the dreaded coughs and sneezes. Looking after a little one with a cold is tough, but here are five fab products to help you deal with it all!
As every parent knows wiping a snotty little nose is tricky, and getting children to blow their noses is even harder! Aleva Naturals™ Bamboo Breathe Easy Baby Wipes are made entirely from plant ingredients and easy congestion with one simple wipe. Made from bamboo and enriched with natural saline solution, eucalyptus and menthol oils these wipes are soothing and super soft on dry skin. They are also 100% biodegradable! £3.99 www.vitalbaby.co.uk
All parents know that the school playground is normally to blame for their little one coming home with a cold. One way that would certainly reduce germs spreading is if the little ones stuck with their own drinking bottles. Bandino is a simple innovation that enables parents to personalise their children’s bottles and cups to ensure they are easily identified. The stretchy Bandino is a fun concept to make little ones feel like they have their own special bottle encouraging them to keep hydrated, as well as alerting others to allergies and also reducing the risk of spreading germs. £8.95 (for a pack of 3) www.bandino.co.uk
It’s the time of year when you’ll be worried about germs getting everywhere, but thanks to Vital Baby Aquaint Sanitising Solution, parents can sterilise with just a spritz! The unique spray kills 99.9% of bacteria in just seconds. Made from a unique mix of water and Hypochlorous Acid, a completely natural acid that is actually produced in the body itself, parents can be confident that this is safe enough to use from birth! Keep one bottle at home and a small one in your changing bag to make sure you all stay germ free. £2.49 for 50ml £4.99 for 500ml from www.vitalbaby.co.uk
Hats, Scarves and gloves are a must at this time of year to keep colds at bay, but one of the common problems parents face is trying to ensure the little ones keep them on! Snoodz ‘n’ Mitz is a truly unique hat and glove set that not only stay on all day, they are always there when you need them! This ingenious winter solution promises that lost hats and gloves will become a thing of the past and what’s even better is this new winter accessory is set to be the next fashion must have for tots! £12.50 www.skibz.co.uk
Parents looking for an affordable and handy kit packed with everything you need to deal with colds and fevers, Vital Baby Health and Safety Kit is exactly the ticket. Inside each kit there is a nasal decongester, 3 in 1 thermometer and Benji the Bear bath and room thermometer. So whether you need to check temperatures or ease snotty noses, this kit has it all. £16.99 from Boots
Milkysnugz, Drinks with a Hug!
Milkysnugz, the multi-award winning brand making drinks huggable, is delighted to unveil its new and improved Universal Collection. The unique, cosy and cuddly bottle comforters are now compatible with 98% of baby bottles and due to popular demand, they now work with Sipper Spouts and sports cap bottles too so toddlers don’t have to give up their cuddly friend! A further product development introduces a transparent window, making it easy to see how much is left!
Milkysnugz, which was originally launched last year, makes feeding time easier for baby! The genius collection not only provides comfort and takes away coldness from bottles; they also become a wonderful buddy to snuggle up with. In the early days they help dads get involved. When feeding expressed breastmilk baby might miss mum, but with Milkysnugz baby has a warm snuggly bottle from dad, which makes for an ideal combination! In the later stages the product aids the transition from breast to bottle and beyond as these cute cuddlers reduce separation anxiety by offering companionship.
What’s even better is these clever comforters aid independent feeding and help develop fine motor skills as baby learns to grasp and move their hands. Milkysnugz is a unique product that is a true investment, whether you choose Benji the Bear or Humphrey the Hippo from the six options available; baby will have a milk time companion they will build a great bond with from day one. Thanks to the new and improved design little ones can use their Milkysnugz with their Sipper Spout and water bottle too so there loyal friend can join them at nursery and preschool!
Sukhvinder Javeed, the lady behind this huggable brand comments: “I am so excited to unveil the new and improved design and offer hugs to even more babies! I breastfed both my children for a few months but along the way I wanted to get Dad involved. However my baby was used to the warmth and comfort of breastfeeding and didn’t like the bottle. So, I wrapped the bottle in a towel and surrounded my baby with teddies and it really helped. Eureka … the idea for Milkysnugz was born and I am just overwhelmed with the amazing reaction we have had since; it seems lots of parents were experiencing the same problems. Breast fed babies are used to a warm flow of milk, Milkysnugz ensures this comfort lasts for as long as baby needs!
She continued: “The bonus of the product is that it really seems to stand the test of time and now with our new designs, they aid with Sipper Spouts and sports bottles too, so little ones can use from birth and beyond!”
RRP: £21.99 (inc p&p) Stockists: www.milkysnugz.co.uk
Skibz Gets the Spooks!
Skibz, makers of the original bandanna style dribble bibs, are adding a fantastically spooky design to their ‘Made in Britain’ range, a collection of limited edition bibs that were launched last summer. Joining the immensely popular series is the Halloween Skibz, an eerie design that provides the perfect attire for tots to celebrate this year’s fright night!
Skibz, the multi award winning brand, provide cool kids everywhere with the ultimate functional fashion accessory. There is no doubt that the Halloween design is the creation of the innovative brand, as the print is unlike traditional Halloween scenes. The vibrant orange backdrop with the ghostly silhouette of a cemetery at night is sure to be a hit with the cool kids this Halloween!
Just like the original Skibz, the Halloween design is made from 100% cotton and has a beautifully soft backing, best of all it is extremely absorbent and comfortable, so your little one can wear it all day. Skibz were the first to introduce a bandana style dribble bib to the market that is as stylish as it is effective! Working like a super-absorbent bib, they look just like a little scarf, making them the ultimate accessory for today’s modern babies and toddlers! Skibz’ huge choice of designs, patterns and fabrics mean that there is something for every little one!
The limited edition Skibz comes wrapped in a lovely gift box and like all fellow Skibz, this creepy design has a unique double layer backing system that literally draws moisture from the skin, preventing delicate skin from chaffing and keeping dribble at bay! This is the perfect gift to give the little monster in your life this Halloween and will certainly help protect their clothes when they are munching away on all their trick or treat goodies!
RRP: £15 (Limited Edition comes in a gift box)
The Slow Toy Awards 2013 at Harrods, London
Last Thursday morning, the winners of the 2013 Slow Toy Awards were unveiled and the team were very excited to head over to Harrods magical Toy Kingdom to reveal the winners – each one honoured because it captures the essence of the inspiring Slow Toy Movement.
The Slow Toy Movement is the creation of Thierry Bourret, a man whose unfaltering passion to campaign for change has secured the success of this cultural movement, which began in 2011. The disappearance of the more traditional, beautifully crafted wooden toys is at the heart of the movement. Frustrated by the annual ‘Christmas wish lists’ which included countless battery operated plastic toys that distract children with noises and lights, Thierry decided to alter the mind-set of those in the toy industry. The concept was met with great interest and thanks to his awards the message has spread far and wide and it has even gone global! The Slow Toy Awards aim to highlight the ‘real’ toys on the market that inspire children, will stand the test of time and offer true play value.
Now in its second year, the awards have captured the attention of millions and this year’s winners even include an entry from America and Germany, proving the Slow Toy Movement has captured the world. This year’s final Slow Seven are a true reflection of the Slow Toy message. The winners include; the traditional Moover Dolls Pram, the beautifully crafted East Coast Activity Cube, the classic GALT Tiny Trike, the imaginative HABA My First Play World Fire Brigade, the inspiring Meccano Multi Models Set, the innovative TWIG by Fat Brain Toy Co and the educational Bigjigs Around the World Train Set!
The response to the 2013 awards was overwhelming. Not only was there an unprecedented amount of entries, but with the world famous Harrods department store hosting the event and a panel of admirable judges including life and style editor of the Guardian, Kate Carter and much loved children’s TV presenter, Angellica Bell, this year’s awards were sure to make their mark once again! Although there is a place for the technical and mass produced toys of today, the reaction to this movement shows there’s certainly a need for ‘real toys’ too!
Commenting on the exciting news announcement, Thierry Bourret said: “I was blown away by the success of the 2012 awards and I wasn’t sure we would be able to entice the same interest again, but how wrong was I? The Slow Toy Movement and it’s awards seemed to have taken on a life of their own, not only has it engaged industry experts but our campaign has been mentioned in articles not only nationally but internationally too! It was my dream to have this level of appreciation for good quality, well-made toys that encourage traditional play and stimulate a child’s imagination and I am just overwhelmed that this is now a reality. He continued: “Not only has the 2013 awards uncovered seven wonderful products, we have also managed to team up with one of the world’s most prestigious department stores to help spread the word! I can only hope that the Slow Toy Awards has established its place firmly in the industry, so we can continue to bring the world’s best toys to the toy boxes of children in the UK!”
We’d also like to say a huge thanks to the judges, Liat Joshi, Kate Carter, Nicola Hinchcliffe, Angellica Bell, Annalise Quest and Michael Underwood for all their help.
Seven Splendid Christening Gifts
With the royal Christening just weeks away, the nation has begun to ponder, what does make a good Christening gift? Silver gifts are traditional, but if you want to go with something a little more fun and practical here are seven super suggestions to ensure you turn up at a Christening with a gift the family and little one are sure to love.
If you are looking for something truly different made from silver, why not try this gorgeous babygrow from Silver Sense. It’s made from a unique combination of pure silver threads and natural cotton! Silver has amazing healing and anti-bacterial properties as well as being thermo-regulating so is great for young and delicate skin. £36 from www.silversense.co.uk
This gorgeous gift-set of organic toiletries from The Little Green Sheep makes a lovely present. Including baby oil, body wash, shampoo and a nappy balm this is certainly a gift that will come in very useful for any family. All the goodies are made from natural ingredients and will leave baby’s skin lovely and soft, perfect for getting rid of all that Christening party mess! £21.95 www.thelittlegreensheep.co.uk
A cuddly toy is a must at a Christening, so how about one that is truly unique? Meet Hoppy and Patch, the super cute duo that might be the safest cot toys around. This innovative duo are completely breathable, so worried parents can guarantee a peaceful slumber whilst their little one can snuggle up to their bedtime buddy all night long. £14.99 www.safedreams.co.uk
A Christening or naming ceremony is a momentous occasion in your baby’s life, so why not buy a gift can be a treasured memory of the day. Baby’s Handprint in a Tin from Seedling presents a gorgeous gift that allows mum and dad to record a memory of their baby’s little foot or hand that they can then keep forever! £23.95 www.kindtoys.co.uk
If you are looking for something a little more practical for a Christening gift, a blanket is a staple which parents always need and they don’t come much more gorgeous than the Bubbaroo Blankie. Generously size, beautifully soft and in three natural colours, the Bubbaroo Blankie makes the perfect present and guarantees that sleep will be all the more divine! £29.95 www.bubbaroo.co.uk
Something personalised is a great way to ensure your gift is never forgotten. The Wondercube is an activity toy where children can pull out textile squares one by one. Each square has a different sound or texture to investigate and with a variety of add on fillings, this toy will grow with the child. You can even personalise the toy, so the little one can pull out their own name, one letter at a time! £17.99 www.mywondercube.com
Still stuck on what to get? This little box of treats is especially tailored to baby’s age and stage, comes beautifully wrapped and is delivered straight to your door. A great way to get something a little different and if you are feeling extra generous, you can ensure baby gets a little box every month for a year! Subscriptions from £22/ £29 for a one off www.sassybloom.com
Newborn Essentials – Saviours Part Two
Last week we brought you Part One of our Newborn Essentials – as promised, here is Part Two!
The early days of parenthood are typically associated with sleepless nights and crying babies. In the main, this is simply due to the baby’s feeding patterns, but some newborns do struggle to adjust to their new environment. ewan the dream sheep is designed to soothe unsettled children and promote healthy sleep patterns. He can be used from birth in almost any cot and helps babies and toddlers establish a healthy sleep pattern by closely mimicking certain sounds from the womb. This ‘womb experience’ helps trigger a calming reflex, so reducing crying time and inducing quality sleep. RRP: £29.99 Stockists: www.sweetdreamers.co.uk
SnoozeShade is a universal breathable sleep and shade solution for baby’s on-the-go. It attaches to any pram to enable baby to sleep for as long as they need, wherever they are! The SnoozeShade will create a snug and dark haven so your little one can easily maintain their regular sleep patterns even when out and about! This is a wonderful support for new mums who still want to get out to meet friends or do the weekly shop, but do not want to stop the routine and certainly do not want to disturb essential nap times! RRP: £19.99 Stockist: www.snoozeshade.com
It is amazing how much stuff you need when the baby arrives – your first few trips out may indeed overwhelem you –but panic not! Hamster Buggy Bags provides you with the extra room you will always need, whilst also ensuring your buggy remains stable when juggling your new responsibilities! A pair of bags attach securely and neatly to the sides of buggies using strong hooks. Hamster Buggy Bags are designed to distribute additional weight towards the front and sides of the buggy, preventing it from tipping backwards when loaded up with lots of baby essentials and shopping. RRP: £29.99 per pair Stockists: http://www.hamsterbags.co.uk/ Amazon and Kiddicare
Aleva Naturals is a unique maternity and baby skincare range made solely from plant based products from Canada. None of the products contain parabens, perfumes, animal products or mineral oils. Their flagship item, Daily Soothing Moisturiser really is a miracle lotion. Made from extra virgin olive oil which is blended with rich shea butter from West Africa, chamomile, jojoba oil, oat kernel flour, and sweet almond oil to create a lotion so creamy and smooth that skin is instantly revived. The formula is gentle, 100% chemical free, but has very powerful effects. Available from: http://www.vitalbaby.co.uk/types/aleva.html £9.99 for 240 mls
Last, but not least, a little treat for mum. Thanks to Sugarjack, who have perfected the changing bag, mum can now have a luxuriously stylish, beautiful leather bag, whilst also remaining a practical and functional mummy must have! Ideal for every mum loving her new role but also keen to keep hold of her style and own identity! With nine designs there really is a bag for every mum. And thanks to their ‘secret ingredient’ a detachable baby organiser, these bags make being a new mum a breeze! Once baby is out of nappies and mum no longer needs a changing bag her Sugarjack can enjoy a new lease of life. All she needs to do is unclip the baby organiser, and she has a stunning handbag ready for any occasion.
*Each bag comes complete with a thermal insulated bottle holder, a luxury changing mat, a plastic zip pouch to store wet items, a nylon / leather detachable zip pocket pouch for storing small items, creams, medicines etc. (or make-up!) and a secure zipped pocket.
Hope you’ve enjoyed our Newborn Saviours… what were your favourite essentials for your newborn?
Newborn Essentials – Saviours Part One
When a new baby arrives, knowing what to buy can be a mind boggle to say the least! We have come up with ‘The Saviours’ that will help get you by during those early days! Here are the first 5 Saviours – more to follow next week!
Bubbaroo is a beautiful, eminently stylish and practical nursery brand that has just arrived in the UK from Australia. This luxury clothing line for babies has been thoughtfully created to ensure it is not only 100% safe and functional; it is also premium quality and beautifully designed. Babies love to be securely swaddled when they are newborns, as it makes them feel secure – mimicking the mother’s womb -so wrap them up in a luxurious Joey Pouch! RRP: £24.95 +p&p Stockist: www.bubbaroo.co.uk
The Cot Wrap is a revolution in safe sleeping which is set to make quilted cot bumpers obsolete. Made from innovative Softbreathe fabric which babies can breathe right through, the clever design also uses velcro rather than dangerous ties to ensure the ultimate safety. With an inner surface of 100% cotton, the Cot Wrap gives the cot a lovely cosy feel similar to a moses basket and is surprisingly padded to protect against knocks and bumps. RRP: £25.99 (2-sided) Stockist: www.safedreams.co.uk
The SnüzPod Bedside Crib™ is the latest sleep solution from The Little Green Sheep created to ensure baby is always close. Its innovative design tucks it neatly alongside the bed so baby can sleep right next to mum (or dad)! Even better the breathable mesh side can be opened making it easy to comfort, settle and feed baby without leaving the bed. Thanks to the removable rocking bassinet the SnüzPod™ can be moved around the house so parents can keep baby close at all times and even rock them to sleep. RRP: £169 Stockist: www.thelittlegreensheep.co.uk
Snugglebundl are the creators of the world’s first ever baby lifting blanket! As parents, we all know how strenuous it can be when you are continuously lifting and manoeuvring your
bundle of joy. This incredibly functional blanket makes getting your baby from A to B easy and it prevents disturbing them too, which can be a godsend in the early days! RRP: £39.99 Stockist: www.snugglebundl.co.uk
Silver Sense babygrows are perfect for delicate newborn skin as they are made from a unique combination of natural cotton and pure silver threads. Silver has long been used in hospital garments and professional sportswear because of its amazing healing and antibacterial properties, but this is the first time it has ever been used in children’s clothing. Stylish and colourful the entire collection is handmade and designed here in Britain and will ensure baby’s skin is a gorgeous and soft. RRP: £36 Stockist: www.silversense.co.uk
Pop back next week for Newborn Essentials – Saviours Part Two!
Six Style Savers for Stylish Mums!
Being a mum doesn’t mean you have to give up your sense of style, quite the opposite in fact! There are plenty of gorgeous things for mums out there as the Duchess has already proved. This Winter treat yourself to something glamorous, with everything from luxury changing bags to baby friendly jewellery – there’s something to suit every budget.
The Christmas collection from Bibee Dresses has been especially designed to make sure mums and mums to be can make the most of party season. The stylish navy outfit is made from a standard Bibee Dress that sits under the bust. A t-shirt with sequinned sleeves is simply slipped on underneath, and a Dress Front buttoned over the top so mums can feed baby discreetly if they need to. From £115 www.bibeedresses.co.uk
Changing bags don’t need to be bright pink and flowery, in fact they can be seriously gorgeous. The latest offering from Sugarjack is Bea, a rich tan leather bowling bag with a cross shoulder strap. Inside mums will find a detachable baby organiser for all their essentials as well as a changing mat, insulated bottle holder, wet pouch and plenty of compartments. Best of all, this bag will last for years and years, as once baby is out of nappies mum can simply unclip the organiser and get her handbag back. £239 www.sugarjack.com
Crown Chewels is a brand new jewellery brand for both mum and baby. Each necklace has been cleverly designed to ensure it’s not only beautiful but suitable for baby to chew on! Mums will know exactly how difficult it is to wear jewels around their little one, but now they can relax and accessorise. The Guinevere necklace is a silver plated chain with a semi-precious stone and the secret ingredient; a pink quartz teether made from non-toxic material. £45 www.crownchewels.co.uk
theBabaSling Cozy is truly the most stylish way to carry baby this Winter. Babywearing is all the rage, and with this extra quilted snug sling, there is no need for bulky layers or extra blankets, you can be sure baby will lovely and toasty cuddled up to you. It has a 2.0 TOG rating, and was shortlisted for a Design Award earlier this year. Slings are a great way to bond with baby and also leave your hands free! £69.99 www.thebabasling.com
Every woman can vouch that a great set of lingerie makes you feel great from the inside out and the great news is that this doesn’t have to stop once you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Bravado’s Sublime Maternity and Nursing Bra offers the perfect mix of lace, colour and support. We’ve heard it’s very popular with celebrities too! £35.90 John Lewis
Sometimes mums need something just a little bit pretty to brighten up their day, and that’s exactly what this gorgeous vintage print breastfeeding cushion from Thrupenny Bits does. Mums can settle baby on this beautiful pillow as they feed, and once breastfeeding is over, they can simply remove the cushion from its lining and use it as a bag! What a genius idea. From £33 www.thrupennybits.co.uk
From Nappy to Toilet – The Five Simple Steps for Potty Training Bliss
Toilet training can be a daunting time for parents, so we have come up with five fabulous products that will take your tot from happy nappy days to toilet experts, with ease, comfort and style!
All our little bundles of joy start out in a nappy and if you are a parent looking for comfort, style, cost saving and eco friendly, look no further, you need TotsBots! TotsBots are leading the way to making cloth cool and have a huge collection of brightly coloured and funky designs that babies and parents alike are guaranteed to love! The only problem is tots might not want to get out of them. RRP: Starting at £8.99 Stockist: www.totsbots
Whilst the little ones are in nappies, skin can often become dry and irritated. The Little Green Sheep’s organic baby nappy balm provides the perfect relief against nappy rash and chapped skin, and is handmade in England using 65% organic ingredients including Beeswax (a natural antiseptic), soothing (non-greasy) Coconut oil and Shea butter (perfect for treating dry, rough or flaky skin). RRP: £6.95 Stockist: www.thelittlegreensheep.co.uk
The dreaded potty training days are a must for all parents, so why not make them as easy, hygienic and as comfortable as possible. The multi-award winning Pourty potty is much more hygienic and easier to empty and clean than a standard potty! The handle is at the front so it’s easy to hold the Pourty while pouring the waste away through the unique duct at the back with no annoying mess or dribbles. RRP: £9.99 Stockist: www.pourty.com
Whilst the little ones are mastering the art of potty training, it may be a good idea to invest in some Potty Pants from Quack Quack Moo, to make the transition a little easier! The cow print is a unique fabric that has been exclusively designed by the brand and uses Dribble Bubbs technology – a triple layer of fabric that provides a waterproof and absorbent protection guard, so your little one is always 100% protected! RRP: £12.50 Stockist: www.quackquackmoo.co.uk
Once tots have finished with the potty and are ready to tackle the toilet, they are going to need a Flexi-Fit toilet trainer! Pourty’s toilet trainer has been especially designed to help make toilet training easier for parents and give greater confidence and comfort for little ones. This unique toilet trainer is incredibly versatile, it has clever squeeze flex action and adjustable prongs so that it can fit securely to almost all toilet seats, meaning that children won’t wobble around, giving them the security they need! RRP: £14.95 Stockist: www.pourty.com and www.amazon.co.uk
Silver Sense support families every step of the way!
When we learnt about National Eczema Week, we immediately thought of one of our very clever clients – Silver Sense.
Silver Sense are passionate about helping babies and children with sensitive skin, and their gorgeous clothing and bedding is made from a unique combination of pure silver threads and natural cotton to sooth and heal sensitive skin.
We were shocked to learn that one in five children in the UK suffers from eczema, and as young skin is especially delicate, many families do seek natural alternatives to the harsh steroid creams often prescribed as treatment. We love the fact that Silver Sense provide an incredibly special solution, as all little ones need to do to heal and sooth their skin is wear a stylish outfit! From babygrows to the season’s must-have onesies their range covers everyone from babies to adolescents, and they even have a complete set of bedding!
You might not be aware that silver has magical healing and anti-bacterial properties (I wasn’t!) and in fact it is often used in hospital garments and professional sportswear. Silver Sense is the first brand to be using pure silver threads in children’s clothing and the concept has been so successful that the brand has now introduced day wear and bedding to complement their sleepwear range! In fact you can read some really lovely stories on the Silver Sense website about how children and families around the world have managed skin conditions such as Eczema with Silver Sense products.
When we asked Co-Founder Sarah Davies about National Eczema Week said ‘It’s really important to raise awareness for Eczema, as so many children do suffer from it in some form. From experience I know just how hard it is to put lotions on small children, and that’s why I came up with the idea for Silver Sense. It’s a really gentle yet effective way to sooth and heal skin and best of all it really does work. The feedback we have had over the past two years has been incredible and we hope we can continue to help families all over the world and not just during Eczema Week!’
From breast to table: A feeding guide for your family
One thing you know for sure before you become a parent is that your life will revolve around feeding. At times it can be challenging and frustrating, but it can also be very rewarding and satisfying. To help you along your journey from breast to table here are six top products that will no doubt come in very handy.
Medela are the world-leading breastpump provider, and their breastpumps are designed especially to help mums throughout their breastfeeding experience. Whether they need to boost supply, or they want to share the feeding with Dad, a Medela pump allows them to express milk quickly and efficiently. Thanks to their unique 2 phase technology, Medela pumps actually mimic the way a baby feeds at the breast, fast and light at first and then slower and deeper. Included with every Medela 2 phase pump is a Calma Feeding Device designed especially to support a smooth transition from breast to bottle and back again. Medela Swing £130 from Mothercare and Amazon
Once parents feel baby is ready to progress to solids, feeding time can be a lot of fun (as well as pretty messy!) Vital Baby’s Unbelievabowl sticks to any flat, smooth surface so that little one can’t chuck their food all over the floor! Teamed with some of their soft-tipped weaning spoons which are gentle on tender gums parents will have weaning all sorted! Unbelievabowl £4.99 and weaning spoons £3.49 (pack of 5) both from www.vitalbaby.co.uk
Once you’ve started weaning you’ll want plenty of homemade purees on hand to make sure your little one is getting that all important nutrition. Fill n Squeeze is a clever food preparation system that allows parents to mash up baby food and pop it in a re-useable pouch. It can then be taken with you wherever you go, making mealtimes on the go a doddle! It’s a lot healthier and more cost effective than buying ready-made food pouches. £19.99 Jojo Maman Bebe and www.fillnsqueeze.co.uk
We all know that the little ones can be rather messy pups, and bringing along a highchair on all your trips and travels is impractical to say the least. The Totseat is a simple yet ingenious design that makes it easy to convert almost any chair into a fully functioning highchair. So whilst you are all enjoying a picnic on the beach, your little one can join you in a civilised manner by turning your pop up deck chair into a high chair. It will be just like when you’re at home, no fuss, no hassle. £24 www.totseat.com
It won’t be long before your little one will be sitting up at the table and wanting to take a more active approach to feeding. When they want to feed themselves they’ll need just the right tools in place to help them along. TUMTUM’s 6 piece Tiny cutlery set has been especially designed to make it easy for little ones to scoop up food. The bowl shaped forks are perfect for catching peas and grabbing pasta, and the straighter edges on the spoons are perfect for sloppy food. Best of all each set has a fun animal picture on it and you can even create your own species! £15 www.tumtumtots.com
Finally, just because they are sitting at the table doesn’t mean they will suddenly turn into perfect diners! Messy Me has a lovely range of wipe-clean oil-cloth tunics perfect for little ones indulging in some self-feeding. Parents can relax and let their tot enjoy exploring and tasting their food without worrying about the mess. Messy Me Tunics have no arms and an open back so little ones can still have plenty of freedom to move about. Choose from a stylish star design or vintage floral! £11.99 www.messy-me.com
So there you go – some great advice and fab products for feeding your baby!
Back to School – the first offical blog trail!
This month marks the launch of a brand new blog project for us – the bumpPR Blog Trail!
Each month we’ll be teaming up with bloggers to give away a set of fantastic prizes based on a theme, we’ve even got our own logo! Make sure you collect prizes from these lovely ladies this month.
As the summer holidays draw to a close, it’s all about going back to school. Some parents may be relieved, but tots will be starting to fill with dread! So, here are six ‘back to school’ favourites which will ensure tots will be running through the school gates with glee!
Everyone’s favourite preparation for getting ‘back to school’ is getting a new school bag and pencil case, so why not let your little one design their own with Seedling! The two gorgeous craft kits will ensure that kids will feel the coolest in the classroom with their bag and pencil case which is completely unique to them (they will have lots of fun designing it too)! £12.99 (Design my own pencil case) £29.99 (Design my own tote bag) www.kindtoys.co.uk, John Lewis, Selfridges
Visit the lovely Rachael to win a design your own pencil case kit!
TUMTUM is the brand behind ingenious tableware that makes dining a whole lot easier for tots and the out and about range is sure to be a hit when it comes to lunch time. The unique lunch set comprises of one simple container that can be divided by a removable pot, helping parents offer their children variety and a healthy balanced diet! The brightly coloured drink bottle and snack pots will also guarantee there are no mix ups when break time arrives! £10 (lunch set), £8 (drinking bottle) £8.50 (snack pots) www.tumtumtots.com
Visit the lovely Pippa to win your very own lunch set!
Over one million children in the UK ride scooters and it is fair to say that it will be a lot of kids preferred mode of transport for the school run! And who can blame them, especially if they are the proud owner of a Scootaheadz! These all-weather friends ride on the T-bar of scooters, personalising them and making them a whole lot of fun. Kids can choose from two different ponies and dinosaurs, so before you know it little ones will be ‘galloping’ and charging their way to school! £14.99 from Jojo Maman Bebé
Visit the lovely Lauren to win a Scootaheadz of your choice!
Now something for the preschoolers … whether it’s paint, mud or lunch, the smallest members of the family are guaranteed to come home from their first day of school with stains splattered on their new uniform. Messy-me tunics are made from gorgeous oilcloth so cleaning up mess means a simple wipe, plus your little ones will love wearing these beautiful designs! £11.99 from www.messy-me.com
Visit the lovely Kara to win a tunic of your choice!
It is essential to ensure your little one is hydrated throughout the day, so a water bottle is a must and most schools now require them to be labelled. Bandino provides an easy way to label your cup or bottle. The Bandino is a fun, durable and personalised band that can be stretched to fit almost any cup or bottle. It easily identifies the owner of the cup making them perfect for nursery, school and after school clubs and ensures there are no misunderstandings on the playground! Great for kids with allergies too. £8.95 from www.bandino.co.uk
Visit the lovely Lilinha to win a personalised set of your own!
Introducing the Great bump bake off!
3 PR girls, 3 cakes….1 winner!
It’s no secret that we love CAKE here at bumpPR, so we decided to introduce our very own bake off.
Each month all three of us will bake to a theme. Cakes will be judged on: Creativity, taste, texture (no soggy bottoms!) and presentation. The first theme (for July/August) is British Summer.
Here is first entry – Poppy’s Sandcastle Special (a lemon drizzle cake with raspberries)
Scores will be revealed when everyone has baked!
Fun in the sun – seven simple solutions!
What lovely weather we’ve been having! To celebrate we have joined forces with seven awesome bloggers to bring you a ‘bump -er’ (teehee) competition to celebrate. Big thanks to Kirsy & Clara, Joanna, Charlotte, Kerry, Tina, Rebecca and Jennie for hosting! Check out the post below to see where you need to go to win what!
Little squeals as sea water splashes toes, sheer delight at a first taste of ice-cream, first experiences of Summer are a lot of fun for any family. Whilst it’s easy to get caught up in a perfect little daydream, real life can often present its own challenges – sticky hot weather, thirsty babies and long light nights can make it tricky! To ensure every family can make the most of the gorgeous weather we have found seven products to make summer life a little easier.
BundleBean Solar is a truly unique lightweight accessory that provides UPF 50+ protection in five different ways, making it the ‘sole’ item you’ll need this summer! Made from a breathable, moisture-wicking woven fabric it’s super cool and can be popped over any pushchair, car seat, bike seat or front style baby carrier or sling. In addition to this, the Solar also comes with a detachable soft layer of fabric, which can be used separately as a super absorbent hooded towel – perfect for days at the beach or pool. £34.99 www.bundlebean.com Visit Jennie to win one!
Little ones love a splash about, but what to do about their nappy? If you’re a fan of re-usable nappies, you’ll love the funky new SwimTots from Totsbots! Available in two fabulous and original prints: Beach Bums for the boys and Knickerbocker for the girls! Not only do they give tots some serious poolside cred, they have been expertly designed and manufactured in the UK to keep the little ones comfortable and protected. £9.99 www.totsbots.com Visit Rebecca to win one!
If you’ve ever tried to wear your baby in the heat, you’ll know that the lighter the material, the better. theBabaSling® Lite is 20% lighter than their Classic sling and is made from a lovely breathable airy cotton twill so it’s really easy to keep baby comfy and cool whilst out and about. The Lite can be used to carry babies from birth to two years in five natural carrying positions. £39.99 www.thebabasling.com Visit Kirsty & Clara to win one!
American born Pacific Baby is fantastic for a day out this summer. The vacuum sealed stainless steel bottles keep liquids warm or cold for up to ten hours, making them an essential for busy families on the go and perfect for a day at the beach! What’s even better is, these bright and functional bottles transform 3 ways, from a baby feeding bottle into a sip cup and then a drinking bottle, giving them a lifespan of five years plus – they can be taken on summer holidays for many years to come! £17.50 www.pourty.com Visit Tina to win one!
When your little one has had enough of the heat and wants a little nap pop them in their buggy and simply clip on your Snoozeshade. The award-winning breathable sleep and sun shade fits all pushchairs and provides a cool and shady place for a peaceful snooze on the go. It’s the perfect safe and secure alternative to the common sight of prams draped with blankets and best of all it provides SPF50 protection. £19.99 www.snoozeshade.com Visit Joanna to win one!
Lights Out Blind is fantastic for ensuring the little ones have regular naps and can sleep no matter how light it is outside. Instead of having to hang blankets, towels or even bin bags over the windows especially in the summer months, Lights Out Blinds go up in seconds, doesn’t need adjusting and even works on open windows. It is perfect for maintaining baby’s sleep routine on holiday and great for daytime napping too – it also ensures little ones room remains shaded and cool all day long. Lights Out, portable, pop-up, blackout blinds keep bedrooms dark and your kids asleep. £34.95 (for a pair) www.lightsoutblinds.com Visit Kerry to win a set!
We all know that the little ones can be rather messy pups, and bringing along their high chair on holiday is impractical to say the least. The Totseat is a simple yet ingenious design that makes it easy to convert almost any chair into a fully functioning highchair. So whilst you are all enjoying a picnic on the beach, your little one can join you in a civilised manner by turning your pop up deck chair into a high chair. It will be just like when you’re at home, no fuss, no hassle. £24 www.totseat.com Visit Charlotte to win one!
So there you go, seven ways to make your Summer stress free!
Tern-ing into a mother
‘A ‘breast pump’, you say? Goodness, that sounds painful.’ Such statements have been a common reaction during my first week at bumpPR. I’ve been introduced to a world of baby products that seem to be far more advanced than the building blocks and ‘bappit’ that were present in my earliest days – when I say ‘bappit’ I am of course referring to my unpronounceable ‘blanket’ that at twice the length of my 2 year old self I would drag around wherever I went and in doing so flout any health and safety rule (another, albeit unwelcome, addition to modern childhood).
With this plethora of toys and equipment available to parents nowadays I can’t help but question which of these products I would choose as an expectant mum, (don’t worry if you’re reading this mum, I’m not actually pregnant!) Where to start when shop shelves are brimming with fantastically innovative and fun products, each one insisting that they’re absolutely indispensable to the successful raising of your child? Not every parent can buy the entire floor of John Lewis’ baby department so here’s an outsider’s insight to infant essentials…
Toys and technology may flit in and out of fashion, but babies will continue to perform three very basic and fundamental tasks – feed, sleep and poop. So it doesn’t take a genius or years of motherhood to say that products that cater to these bodily functions are top of the mummy priority list, unless you want your baby to sleep in your knickers drawer or garden trug.
I’ll begin with feeding; since I’m a firm believer in breast is best (and it is breast feeding week after all) I can quite securely say that I won’t be putting mini-Jane on the SMA. For that reason Bravado’s Sublime Nursing Bra will certainly be holding a vital spot in my lingerie collection – perhaps one in every colour à la Angelina Jolie. If I’m going to have to have a flabby post-birth tummy then the least I can do to salvage any sexiness is to invest in this gorgeous (and practical!) bra.
Sleeping – a most favoured and high priority pastime for any baby. If they’re not feeding, crying or defecating then I would be willing to place a decent amount of money (from my highly experienced point of view…) that they’ll be sleeping. For me, there’s only one route to go down for sleepy babas – the moses basket. They’re organic, traditional and exude country living. The Little Green Sheep has a fantastic Organic Wicked Moses Basket and Rocking Stand which fits nicely into the image of my future country house and nursery that I’m building up in my mind (and on Pinterest!)
Now we get to the big dollar subject – changing. Before I came to Bump I imagined that any mum using cloth nappies automatically fitted into the hippy, organic-living category – I take it all back. TotsBots are the funkiest, cutest and cheapest nappies going and I can’t wait to kit mini-Jane(s) out in these washable life-savers adorned with The Three Little Pigs and Chicken Licken.
And there it is – the outsider’s insight to infant essentials. My three indispensable baby products for three inevitable baby functions. Though before I sign off this blog seems to inadvertently be moulding me into a hippy mummy who praises all things organic and eco. There’s only one way to redeem this small error – my final wish is a SugarJack! A predominantly selfish and appearance-orientated investment, this leather bag will be my pride and joy…after mini-Jane.
Bumping inter PR
Sat on the tube, hurtling towards BumpPR for my first day, I feel as though I’ve taken on a cooler London persona – advancing from UCL student to PR intern – and, thus, I don the smart-casual look that seems apt in the heart of funky Soho.
Any feeling of London aloofness, however, is quickly dissolved in place of more characteristic sentiments of broodiness as two mini Boden-clad little girls sit down opposite me with their stylish yummy mummy, who looks like she’s been lifted straight out of a Cath Kidston magazine. The younger of the two, Fifi (as I understand she’s called), quickly buries her head in a Hello Kitty colouring book with stickers to match, naturally. She has to frequently be reminded that the stickers must follow the colouring-in, just as her chocolate must later come after her bagel.
A wave of Fifi-esque excitement consequently washes over me for my fast approaching internship – now a mere two tube stops away – as I realise that a week of doting on babies and children lies ahead of me at BumpPR.
The beaming faces of Lisa, Poppy and Chloe against a backdrop of floral bunting, baby pictures and red polka-dot blinds confirm to me that I’m going to be very happy during my two weeks in the cosy office on Noel Street. The white board on the wall bears the Celebrity Baby Predictions table, seamlessly placed alongside piccies of Ryan Gosling and Gerhard Butler.
I start the morning with a few hours researching marketing contacts; the new Smart Trike is to find its place in amusement and theme parks nationwide, Lisa has decided, and so I find myself with a list of marketing directors from Chessington World of Adventures to the ‘Cumberland Pencil Museum’, though none of us in the office can say we would have been hugely enthusiastic about the longest colouring pencil in the world as a child…or adult.
The afternoon offers the chance to write a backgrounder on a new product, the Snugglebundl. I feel as though a chance to prove myself has arisen – a backgrounder, this sounds like proper PR girl material. If it wasn’t for the fact that I mixed up a backgrounder for a press release, providing, in other words, too much waffle and minimal product details, it might have been an impressive start… A few more days left to crack the vocabulary remain yet though. PR girl status is in sight.
The breast essentials for a new mum!
It’s National Breastfeeding Week this week, and as breastfeeding supporters ourselves we wanted to celebrate the week and give mums a chance to win some fab products. Here are 6 of our favourite products, and this week you can win all of them by visiting 6 different parenting blogs, make sure you visit them all!
The first few feeds can be tricky, but with these essentials from Medela every mum can be prepared. The Breast Care Set comes packaged in a pretty yellow make-up bag so it’s really easy to pop in an over-night bag. Inside Mums will find a tube of PureLan nipple cream, 15 disposable breast pads and 2 soothing hydrogel pads for sore nipples. £15.99 from Amazon
Make sure you visit the lovely Lauren to win one of these and a Calma Feeding Device!
A good nursing bra is a must-have for any mum planning to breastfeed. Not only does it offer great support, it allows baby quick and easy access to the breast. Bravado’s best-selling Body Silk Seamless bra is smooth, supportive and exceptionally comfortable. It comes in a selection of bright and neutral colours and best of all can be converted into a regular bra once you’ve finished feeding. £29.70 from John Lewis
Make sure to visit the fabulous Tracy to win one of these lovely bras!
This gorgeous breastfeeding pillow from Thrupenny Bits makes feeding super comfortable for both mum and baby. It’s a handy size too so mums can take it with them wherever they go. Available in several gorgeous designs, this is something all breastfeeding mummies will be lusting after! It’s not just a pillow though, once breastfeeding is over mums can simply remove the filling and it becomes a lovely bag! From £30 www.thrupennybits.co.uk
To win one of these gorgeous pillows please visit the lovely Katie
breastvest is an ingenious breastfeeding accessory that can turn any top into a breastfeeding top! Not only is this product perfect for breastfeeding mums who want to keep their post natal tummy covered whilst breastfeeding in public, it means mums can get straight back into their favourite outfits without having to spend lots of money on nursing tops! RRP: £15 Stockists www.breastvest.co.uk
If you’d like to win a breastvest please visit the lovely Kimberley!
theBabaSling is a stylish and practical sling that allows mums to not only keep their baby close at all times, but also breastfeed discreetly. Breastfeeding in public can be a little daunting especially in the early days, but theBabaSling offers mums two different positions in which they can nurse confidently. Beyond this there are three other ways to carry baby as they grow, and Dad can get involved too. £39.99 www.thebabasling.com
For your chance to win a BabaSling please visit the lovely Rachel
It’s not the most glamorous of products but a breastpump is pretty much essential for any mum wanting to breastfeed. They may well plan to exclusively breastfeed, but in the first few days when their milk comes in, a pump can provide great relief. It’s helpful for boosting supply, and ensuring that milk ducts don’t get blocked. Later on if mum is planning to go back to work she can express so her baby can still benefit from the nutrients in breastmilk. Medela’s flagship pump the Swing is super-efficient, and thanks to their 2 phase technology, that mimics the way a baby naturally feeds mums can get more milk in less time. The Swing has won numerous awards including a Which? Best Buy. £130 from Mothercare and Amazon
To win a Swing please visit the lovely Luschka!
Thanks for getting involved everyone, and Happy Breastfeeding Week!
Doing it for the Dads! Five firm favourites for your fella!
There’s no denying Dads are hot right now! Television shows are dedicating whole series to embracing fatherhood, magazines are running full features on Dads, Daddy bloggers are taking over our computer screens and we’re hearing more and more about SAHDs (Stay at home Dads of course!) so here are five gadgets to take Dad from newborn to toddler!
Babywearing is a great way for Dad to bond with baby. Having been carried by Mum for 9 months, it’s now time for Dad to get in on the action. Not only will baby feel comforted and secure, they’ll be able to engage in the natural rhythms of life and get to know the most important man in their life. theBabaSling Lite can be used from birth to two years in five different positions. It’s very practical too, and lovely and light for the warmer Summer months. Available in two new colours for Summer 2013, Mint Green and Lemon. £39.99 from www.thebabasling.com
Whilst some Dads might be ok with occasionally carting around pink flowery changing bag, the majority will want something a little manlier! Especially if they are off out for the day. Babymule’s black back pack comes with a 22 litre capacity and includes everything from a changing mat to a bottle holder. Send your man off with one of these for the ultimate Daddy challenge, a day out alone with baby (and a few dirty nappies!) £84 from www.babymule.co.uk
In the early days it’s easy for Dad to feel left out, especially if Mum is breastfeeding baby. Feeding time is quality time, but thanks to Medela’s innovative Calma Feeding Device it’s easy for Dad to feed baby expressed milk. Calma is based on Medela’s own research which proves a baby creates a vacuum when they suck; the innovative teat makes baby work for their milk just as they do at the breast. Therefore making it ideal for families who want to support a smooth transition from breast to bottle and back again, so Dad can get involved too! £14.99 from Mothercare
Fear not adventurous Dads, a new addition to the family doesn’t mean the end of your outdoor explorations! BundleBean, the highly versatile 5-in-1 waterproof travel cover will ensure that your little one can accompany you on your outdoor escapades, wherever you are going. Whether it is a marathon cycle through the woods, a mountain trek, a camping holiday, fishing trip or even skiing! BundleBean will guarantee Dad and little one make the perfect team! Pop it onto a baby carrier, pushchair or bicycle seat and off you go! £29.99 from www.bundlebean.com
Once it’s time to start weaning, get Dad in the kitchen! With the handy Fill n Squeeze Kit he can have a whole lot fun mashing up homemade fruit and veges to feed baby. Purees can then be transferred into the portable feeding pouch and fed to baby wherever the family may be. We’re sure he’ll love it, but do be sure to remind him this is all for baby not him! £19.99 from www.fillnsqueeze.co.uk
A Guide to Organising a Baby Shower
One of our fab clients, Blooming Baby Showers, have kindly put together the below ‘Guide to Organising a Baby Shower’ for all you expectant mums or friends of expectant mums and what a beautiful day to plan a summer shower!
Baby showers are officially hosted on behalf of the mum-to-be and received the name from the “showering” of gifts and lots of love before the big day. It is a celebration of her impending milestone and an opportunity for friends and family to wish her lots of happiness.
A baby shower is normally held between weeks 25 and 35 of pregnancy and originally they were only thrown for the first child but it is now commonplace to have baby showers for the second, third and even fourth child!
They are traditionally an afternoon event and include food, favours, games and fun all coordinated by the hosts who are normally friends and family of the mum-to-be. A baby shower is often held at her house and the occasion can be an informal gathering with lots of chatting and cooing or more structured to plan the time for lovely food and cheeky games!
Invites are sent out and replies taken care of by the hosts as well as the planning, booking, ordering and buying and it is common for the flavour of the event to be baby-themed! Traditionally, the costs would be covered on behalf of the mum-to-be but this is less common today with the mum-to-be often contributing to if not paying for the full celebration.
Originally established as a get-together with her girly friends and family, baby showers are increasingly becoming a celebration for the mum and dad to enjoy together, celebrating their joint happiness as one.
In organising a baby shower, the most important thing to know is that you should create beautiful memories that will last for years to come!
A quick check-list:
It is important to start organising a baby shower early so to assist with your planning, here is a quick checklist of the main things you will need to consider:
- Sort a guest list from the mum-to-be, including contact details
- Agree a venue, date, timings and budget
- Choose an event theme, often baby-orientated
- Send invitations to all guests, usually 6-8 weeks in advance
- Produce a plan for the day to include a welcome, food and drinks, some games and the showering of gifts
- Select a menu and allocate responsibilities for prepping, cooking or buying
- Organise and prepare games, with any props bought that are required
- Set-up and manage a gift list if requested by the mum-to-be
- Purchase a good selection of beautiful decorations including paper plates, napkins, bunting and balloons.
All these products can be found at www.bloomingbabyshowers.co.uk
It’s a shark, it’s a whale, it’s a SwimFin!
The team behind SwimFin, the world’s only vertical buoyancy aid, are excitedly gearing up for the Summer months! SwimFin is the truly innovative swimming accessory that has taken pools across the globe by storm.
Summer holidays are filled with children having fun splashing in the sea or the pool, but safety is key, especially as little ones learn to swim and gain confidence in the water. Wearing a SwimFin is the modern alternative to the traditional bulky armbands and rubber rings. Not only are they a lot of fun, the SwimFin’s unique design gives children the freedom to move their arms and legs about without any restrictions, allowing them to tackle all four strokes from their first dip!
SwinFins are worn on the back and cleverly work in harmony with the body to provide a more natural position in the water, that supports balance. A SwimFin will never slip off, and they won’t tip a child forward or back either so little ones will enjoy thier new found stability. They can be used from as young as two years old to nurture little ones from their very first swim and, thanks to their adjustable straps, the SwimFin can be used for years and years .
It won’t be a struggle to get children wearing a SwimFin either as they will adore being ‘little sharks’. They’ll instantly gain confidence, who wouldn’t being a shark…and parents can relax safe in the knowledge that their kids are completely safe in the water. Parents won’t have any trouble spotting their little fish as the fins are pretty distinctive! Children can even pick from six fun colours each with its own fishy name!
Swimming teachers and parents across the world love using SwimFin and tests have actually proven that children who start swimming with a fin learn much faster than those who use other floatation aids. Once little ones have mastered swimming, they can also use the SwimFin to aid swimming underwater, perfect stroke technique and also for those who want try their hand at snorkelling but not stray too far from the water’s surface!
Sales and Marketing Manager for the UK, Emma Gibson commented ‘Summer is the ideal time to introduce youngsters to the water, and SwimFin makes it a whole lot of fun too. Children adore pretending to be sharks, and parents love it too as everyone can have an enjoyable, safe experience in the water. Learning to swim is a life skill and we hope SwimFin helps everyone wanting to learn or improve their abilities in the water.’
She added: ‘SwimFin has even been tested by a 16 stone adult – so Dad won’t miss out!’
Also a big hit with dogs! We’re waiting for Lisa to try one out with Oreo!!!
The joys of a Push Present!
Sometimes it makes me laugh that I know so much about babies, as I am not a mum myself. In fact Lisa said to me today, ‘Oh Poppy it’s amazing how you know about things like oxytocin and mastitis’ working at bump is definitely preparing me for parenthood – not ANY time soon though! So sometimes I forget that my friends know so little about parenting lingo. Last month we ran a survey with Sugarjack about Push Presents, and I mentioned it to my flat mate who had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.
Push Presents are an interesting one, and I genuinely think they are a great idea. Of the 200 mums that took part in the survey 67% said they thought it was a great idea and would love to have received one. So I think it must really be taking off, and my friends clearly aren’t keeping up with the news!
I imagine that following the birth although you are pretty high on oxytocin (the love hormone – see I do know what I am talking about!) you’re also feeling completely exhausted. I think a little gift just for you is probably something most mums would appreciate, having gone through labour. It could be anything from a few pampering treats a piece of jewellery or a little keepsake to remember the moment by.
I asked mums on Twitter if they’d got one and those who replied seemed really pleased that they’d got one – so apparently they are very much appreciated – Listen up Dads. Some people said they’d got flowers (lovely!) but another lucky mum got a diamond eternity ring – oh wow! It seems it varies greatly depending on the hubby…maybe we should all start casually dropping these stories into conversation…..
The survey also revealed that a third of mums only treat themselves once a year! I am not the kind of person that wants lots of treats or presents, but I do think sometimes a bit of retail therapy goes a long way. A good treat for me would probably be a bar of Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut – don’t tell me that when I am a mum I won’t be allowed any or I may cry!
So did you get a push present- what was it and what did it mean to you?
Team bump visit The Baby Show!
So today was the day we’d been waiting for all week, we were off to The Baby Show! It’s always a fun day for us, we get to see some of our lovely clients and have a look around at all the latest baby gadgets and gifts. Highlights this year included Chloe having a bounce on one of the XL Happy Hopperz and taking some Vital Baby bath toys off on a tour of the show.
So here you go – a bumpPR tour of The Baby Show in photos….!
Although some of our clients didn’t have their own stands, we spotted a few of them being shown off anyway!
So that’s all from us folks….going to a Baby Show doesn’t half make you broody!
At bumpPR one of our ‘jobs’ (hehe) is to keep an eye on which celebrities are pregnant, have children and generally what they are tweeting about. Like or lump it, it’s pretty great exposure for any product to be seen on the arm of someone famous. You can imagine our delight then when two celeb-mummies tweeted about our products!
A breastpump can’t really be described as glamorous, but it really is an essential item for any busy mum who plans to breastfeed. It’s also pretty important for mums of multiples, so we were delighted when we saw Jenny Frost tweeting about her Medela Freestyle pump! With two little girls to feed, we are sure her pump is going to come in very handy. It doesn’t come as much surprise that Jenny chose Medela as thanks to their revolutionary 2 phase technology their breastpumps really are extremely efficient. Using a double electric pump, Jenny really will get more milk in less time.
Secondly, mum-to-be Joanna Page has been tweeting about her gorgeous new Sugarjack bag! Just a few weeks ago she handpicked the Hannah tan leather shoulder bag and proudly tweeted a picture of it on 3rd February to her 90,000 followers. She then said:
‘Absolutely lovin my new @sugarjackUK changing bag!! It’s flipping gorgeous! Would highly recommend to other mums!’
Actress friend Shona Lindsay tweeted back ‘are you serious!!!How did you manage that: managing to combine your handbag fetish with baby essentials. No mean feat.’
To which the smitten Joanna replied: ‘I know! It’s beautiful leather with loads of storage! Practical yet I’m in love with it!Xx’
It’s no wonder Joanna is in love, the Hannah looks just like any other beautiful handbag, but inside it’s got Sugarjack’s signature secret ingredient; a detachable baby organiser. Joanna will be able to pop all her baby essentials inside but still look as stylish as ever. Even husband James Thornton is a fan tweeting ‘Even having a baby doesn’t stop you having a nice bag!’
Here at bumpPR we can only dream our future husbands will be as understanding when it comes to buying our baby changing bags! (Not for a good few years though don’t worry!)
Happy Valentine’s Day!!!
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
I don’t mean to dampen the spirits of all the love birds out there, but I have to be honest, personally I am not a huge fan! My boss Lisa recently scored 5 stars on the cheese scale when she said “I hate Valentine’s Day, I’d rather celebrate love everyday”. Corny I know, but I have to agree! Even George Clooney said that there shouldn’t just be one day where we celebrate love. However, I must say, I am very excited about tucking in to my dine in for two m&s Valentines special tonight – a starter, main, two sides, pudding, cava and a box for chocolates for £20, what a bargain!
All this said, I do appreciate that Valentine’s Day is all about showing the ones you love just how much you appreciate them. New parents will be just as keen to shower their little one in love and kisses, so we’ve put together a few choice items to help you celebrate Valentine’s as a family.
There’s certainly no better way to bond with loved ones than over a jigsaw puzzle, and this colourful creation from Schmidt is sure to engage the whole family. Piece together the 1,000 pieces as a team and delight in your fancy heart picture once you’re finished! £15 from Amazon
If your little ones don’t go in for sloppy cards, why not encourage them to get creative by weaving their very own friendship bracelets. Seedling’s clever kit provides you with everything you need from thread to beads to create a lovely gift to give to a loved one this Valentine’s Day. It will certainly keep the kids busy and best of all they’ll have something special to show for their efforts! £6 from www.huggle.co.uk
If you fancy dressing up your tot for Valentine’s Day make sure you check out this cute heart design from Skibz! The colourful dribble bib is part of their Made in Britain range so you’ll be supporting local crafts as well as getting into the loving spirit! Even better they come packaged in a gorgeous keepsake tube. £15 from www.skibz.co.uk
Cloth mummies will adore this ‘Fluffbug’ t-shirt from TotsBots. Let everyone know just how much you love your baby (and the environment!) by dressing them in this cute t-shirt with a heart on it that says ‘Spread a little nappiness’. Cloth nappies are always hidden, but now mums and babies can show off their cloth love by proudly donning these tees. £9.99 from www.totsbots.com
There’s nothing sweeter than this ‘Sweet Potato’ Sonny Angel! A lovely little gift for Valentine’s Day Sonny Angels brings luck and happiness to their owner. Packaged in a blind box, you never know which kind of Angel you’ll choose. Give one to your little one this Valentine’s and they’ll have a lucky charm for life! £5.99 from www.kindtoys.co.uk
National Storytelling Week
Today marks the start of National Story Telling Week, a week that celebrates all cultures’ stories, parables, fables and legends that give a twinkle to the eye, raise a question in the mind, and have survived the brightness and the shadow of man’s imagination.
Personally, I don’t think you can beat a good story! I love nothing more than getting into bed after a long day and indulging in a good book. I have always loved reading since being a little girl. My mum tells me that I was a big fan of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ and insisted it be read to me before I went to sleep. Other stories that stick out in my mind from my childhood are The Jolly Postman, The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson and The Witches by Roald Dahl (although this used to frighten me to the point of having to sleep on my parent’s floor!)
I think as the years go by, storytelling becomes more and more important. Although we now have cameras, facebook, Twitter and television, nothing captures raw ‘feeling’ like a story! Stories allow the imagination to wonder, ideas to ignite and memories to form! So ensuring the little ones enjoy storytelling whilst they’re young is a must in my book (excuse the pun)!
At bump, we represent two clients who know just how to get the little ones loving storytelling!
To celebrate National Storytelling Week, My Wonder is taking the opportunity to show parents the Goldilocks filler for the original Wondercube. The classic tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears is brought to life with the gorgeous 12 piece set of material squares. It is also accompanied with the printed story so parents can read while their children follow along with the sequenced Wonder squares. The simplicity of the Wondercube is what makes it so great – a cube packed with textile squares that children can pull out one by one – just like they do with the box of tissues or baby wipes! Each square has a different feel and sound to investigate and the pieces can be pulled apart, stuck back together and rearranged in any order – making storytelling that little bit more engaging!
Rory Story Cubes is the pocket dice game that is guaranteed to boost anyone’s storytelling skills! With 54 different images, close to ten million combinations and endless stories to tell, it is no surprise that Rory Story Cubes will keep the creative juices flowing for hours. The game is a unique set of dice, each face illustrated with a different picture. The player simply rolls the dice, and tells a story with the pictures in front of them.
So go on, get into some Storytelling with the little ones this week!
So before I came to work at bumpPR babywearing pretty much meant nothing to me – but now I am totally convinced by it! We’ve recently started working for the wonderful BabaSlings Ltd. and I have been introduced to the world of slings….
As soon as a sample arrived in the office I tried it out with Oobicoo. I have to admit it was much easier than I initially thought. Ok I know he’s not a real baby, but he just felt so secure in there!
I’d seen other baby carriers before of course, but none of them look as appealing as theBabaSling. I think it’s because there really are so many colours to choose from. I was slightly obsessed with the Coral at first, but now they’ve got five new colours for 2013 I think I’ve drifted over to camp Teal Green! Just look at that…
I’ve heard Emerald Green is the Pantone colour of the year, so…although not technically Emerald I think this is probably up there as one of the most stylish ways to carry your baby in 2013.
So out of interest I looked up what Pantone had to say about Emerald…and they said:
“Lively. Radiant. Lush… A colour of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.”
Wow…well that sounds like the kind of colour we’d all like to be seen with. Apparently it also promotes growth, renewal and prosperity and for centuries, many countries have chosen green to represent healing and unity. That all seems to fit nicely with babywearing, as held babies are often happier ones!
I think as a new mum I’d be glad to have something in a bright colour…what do you think?
You can see all the colours in the range here: http://www.thebabasling.com/products/
So it’s the Friday before Christmas and what a festive month we’ve had…thank goodness for Smooth Christmas – a radio station completely dedicated to Christmas tunes. So we just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy 2013! See you next year, and here are some photos to spread a little cheer!
Being Part of the Slow Toy Awards
Last month I was very lucky to be able to assist Lisa with an extremely exciting project … launching the first ever Slow Toy Awards at Selfridges Toy department.
The aim of the Slow Toy Awards was to highlight the ‘real toys’ out there that provide children far more than noise and flashing lights as a form of entertainment. This concept is something that I agree with entirely. As time goes by, it feels as though childhood is becoming a much shorter span of time and as soon as children hit high school, it is about becoming an adult. It is also a worry that the toys of today don’t encourage children to be creative, use their imagination or interact with others as I think these abilities are essential for discovery in childhood. From watching younger siblings and cousins grow up, it seems like computer games and toys that give premade ideas are the height of their entertainment.
When I was a child, I used to play with Barbie dolls, Polly Pockets and cookery sets. OK, so these aren’t exactly traditional toys, but they all involve imaginative play and I would spend hours using my imagination or being creative (or trying to be) in the kitchen! My younger brother, who is five years my junior, although he was an incredibly imaginative child, I do remember him being addicted to Tomb Raider on the Play Station from the age of about eleven. It appears things aren’t getting better as my cousin, who is ten years my junior is completely glued to computer games, flashing guns and toys which offer no inspiration.
I loved all the toys that were crowned winners at the awards, but I would probably say that my favourite was Rory Story Cubes. Rory Story Cubes is a set of nine dice and each dice has a different image on every face, so with 54 images, you can imagine there is endless stories to be told! I think that this is such a great idea for families to interact with each other and for getting children to be imaginative and think on their feet!
When the Slow Toy Awards had coverage in publications such as the Metro, the Independent and the i paper, it was so exciting. Getting on the tube in the morning and seeing the double page spread in the ‘in focus’ feature of the Metro was absolutely wonderful, I felt like telling everyone that this was one of our clients!
My highlight of being part of the Slow Toy Awards was probably seeing a couple of people come into Selfridges just after the event, with the Metro in their hands looking for the toys to buy their children and grandkids for Christmas. This just shows how the Slow Toy Awards had captured people’s attention (and also the power of PR!)
I have really enjoyed being part of the Slow Toy Awards and I really hope that they return next year so we can seek out more fantastic toys that inspire children and encourage creativity!
Working at bump is pretty much always exciting, but sometimes we get an EXTRA fun project to work on. This month I’ve been working on Medela’s latest campaign ‘Make a Pledge’. We’re asking people to visit www.makeapledge.co.uk and make a special promise to an important child in their life.
I think it’s a very sweet idea, because although I am not a parent myself I can imagine there will be so many things I want to do with my children when I have them. I know, from working in the industry and reading plenty of parenting blogs that having small children can make for a pretty hectic time, so I just think it’s really nice to have a moment to promise one thing that you’ll be able to do together, or for your child that you might not think about on a day to day basis.
When I was 18 my Dad gave me the best birthday present ever. Every year since I was born he wrote me a letter on my birthday, and then he gave them all to me on my 18th. I really was so surprised! This was obviously before the time of blogs; nowadays parents can record pretty much every day with their child if they want to. Anyway since then I always thought I’d like to do that for my children one day. I like the fact they are handwritten, and I can keep them all in a little box and just take them out and read them when I want to. So I guess my pledge to my ‘future children’ is to write them a letter on every birthday. I know people do this all the time now, but to me this will always be special because my Dad started the tradition for me.
I’m hoping a lot of people get involved with Make a Pledge, and that families take a moment to really start thinking about something special they can promise their children, nieces and nephews, grandchildren or any child they know and love. So go on….Make a Pledge!
Eat, work, eat
If you follow us on Twitter, you may know we are slightly obsessed with food…so here are a few of the conversations we’ve had this week.
Poppy: I need a snack
Chloe: Well we have got those Middle Eastern Pastries…
P: Hmmm, what do you reckon they’re like?
C: Well, I have been to Turkey a few times and I feel like they’re nice
P: Ok crack ‘em open
Poppy: Is it appropriate to eat my lunch?
Chloe: What shall we have for lunch?
Poppy: I just don’t know there are so many options!
C: I think we should try and be healthy
C: How unhealthy is a burrito?
P: Well, I think Salsa and Guacamole might count as part of your five a day?
C: Yes, and you can even get carrots and spinach in them at that place.
P: OOOohh yes, so basically burritos are healthy.
Lisa: Is anybody doing any work here or are you just talking about food?!
Poppy & Chloe: Shhh! Eat your cupcake Lisa.
Bumps, Babies, Bibs and Me
Don’t get me wrong, I love babies, I think they’re adorable in fact. The slight mention of babies makes me feel all excited inside. However, if someone told me a year ago that I would not only be working but also engrossed in the baby industry, I wouldn’t have believed them. But here I am, completely absorbed, engaged and thrilled to be amongst all things baby.
Since working at bumpPR, I have not only become incredibly excited about when it’s time for me to have a baby (in about ten years), but also surprised about how huge the baby industry is. There is so much out there and it’s unbelievable how many different brands there are competing for the ultimate ‘best baby product for …’ stand. So to be working for some of the truly best baby brands in the business, makes this job so fun for me as I can shout out about all of them all day long!
One word that has become rather prevalent in my life since joining the bump team in March is ‘Mumpreneur’. Before I became part of the baby industry, I only really associated this word with the likes of Jordon … Now, I am doing the PR for some of the most inspiring, down to earth, mum geniuses’ around. Whether it’s a sheep that makes babies sleep, super cool bibs, funky reusable nappies or blackout blinds so babies can sleep anywhere, these products are beyond doubt parental lifesavers, I am already sold and there’s no baby in sight for me yet!
Overall I can say that I am thrilled to be working with such wonderful products that have been so thoughtfully produced to make parenting life that little bit easier. I am looking forward to my journey and learning more and more about this industry and I hope by the end of it I’ll be a true baby expert (I’m already advising my pregnant cousin on all the ‘must-have’ products). One thing I do know is I have a lot of things on my baby wish list already!
16 Golds and counting!
So we’re truly into the Olympics now. I have to admit that I was a bit sceptical about London 2012. I didn’t really want my city to be crammed full of people all going to events I couldn’t get tickets for! I didn’t want to push and shove to get onto the central line and I didn’t want to spend two weeks constantly queuing. But actually….it’s been pretty quiet in central London. The bump office is in Soho so I was expecting to see the worst of it, but it’s quite peaceful.
Lisa has let us watch a sneaky bit of Olympics each afternoon, so far we’ve enjoyed the synchronised diving and women’s gymnastics. By no stretch of the imagination am I a sporty person, but I just get so excited every time I see an event! Can’t quite imagine how people can do all those twists, spins and fancy things in the air….
Olympic spirit is just infectious- last week I set up a medal competition on one of the Facebook pages I manage, and I’m getting all excited about Olympic arts and crafts. So as much as I had convinced myself I was going to hate London 2012, I’ve done a U turn and now can’t get enough of it!
How amazing was Saturday’s athletics! So I’m definitely going to hit the gym this week…..well hopefully!
Life really is a beach
Life really is a beach (until you misplace a nephew in the giraffe enclosure!)
It will come as no surprise given my role as a PR girl that I am a huge fan of blogs and in my bump world it is the mummy bloggers that I love! Reading them is fun and always helpful… but what about writing one.
Is there an opening for the rise of an Aunty Blogger per chance?!
It is understandable that people expect me to have a baby – I mean I run bumpPR and have wealth of knowledge that often surprises people! I recently advised two confused women about which breastpumps to choose and have also been known to chat to women on the tube about what product to get for teething (their little ones of course!) I am also rather passionate about breastfeeding and on my 4th date (with my now boyfriend) I brought up a conversation about it – I can however confirm this was, and never will be, suitable pillow talk!
Despite all the above and my ever growing knowledge on babies I am not a mum yet, bumpPR is enough for now! But when I am a mum I not only hope to be super mum, I plan on calling in a sample or two!
Panic not, this is not going to be a boring blog about life as an aunty, although I may share one of two secrets about my amusing aunty failings, like the time I took Emma and Daniel (pre Antoine) to Marwell Zoo on what was meant to be a bonding day! I was admiring the new baby giraffe just like Emma and Daniel, or so I thought! I looked around in horror to find Daniel en route to join the giraffes at feeding time and Emma encouraging him. #hopelessaunty!
One thing I do love about blogs is that they provide honest advice on products. I am often asked what the best products are and not just by my mummy friends. Us aunties and uncles, godparents and grandparents need some help too? What are the good christening gifts of the best baby gifts? I actually have one friend that, like clockwork, asks me every year what to buy for a 1 year old, 2 year old and now her godson is turning 3 she wants to know what to buy a 3 year old! So as an Aunty blogger – I won’t talk about pumps or nappies I’ll just talk about gifts!
All in all ‘Life’s a Beach’ will be an allsorts blog (truly professional term!) which will always include new info from our fab clients, share news from the industry, maybe the odd moan about London commuting and hopefully a review or two – I personally am keen to review the new Mulberry handbag! But, there is one thing for sure; we will certainly include regular tips on treats, delicious foody treats to be precise. I am hoping for a taste session at Gails so I can share with you all (and my tummy) the tasty goodness of their blueberry muffins, Chelsea buns…yum!
The whole team will be here and maybe even the odd guest blogger – my boyfriend for one is nagging for a position – I think he is eager to share his woeful tales of being the boyfriend of a baby PR girl!
One final thought – I love the way blogging provides a platform to raise concerns and for mummy bloggers to share advice with their readers. In my new role as an aunty blogger (for the day!) I have a problem I would like to share…. What happens when your adoring, gorgeous and loveable niece stops calling you Aunty Lisa… Emma now simply calls me Lisa or Aunty…never Aunty Lisa. Any tips?
Till next time x