Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Baby Shower used to be a predominantly US thing, but now it is an expected right of passage during women’s pregnancies here in the UK too - a recent survey by Carte Blanche recently revealed that two-thirds of mums-to-be have plans for a baby shower during their nine months. This month it was my turn to help arrange a ‘do’ for my dear friend Jo ( and partner Paul), so I thought I’d share some of my discoveries and successes with the Stylebible members....
Where? We decided we wanted the day to be a complete surprise - making the most of the pregnancy hormones and those easily opened tear ducts. So with the help of her husband we constructed a genius rouse which would eventually lead her to the venue which we filled with all manner of cutsie baby paraphernalia.... and cake. We had chosen a room within the venue they’d got married two years previously, which brought some gorgeously mushy memories back for everyone.
Many celebs including Mariah Carey opt for hotels- she held hers at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California and Eva Longoria hired out the Butterfly Bar at West Hollywood’s Petit L’Ermitage hotel for Victoria Beckham’s shower. That said, a shower at home can be just as nice and save the pennies. Bonus!
Games- A Sweepstake is traditional and simple game where guests can guess on the babies date of arrival and weight.. this can be spiced up with a cheeky wager. If you seek more competitive fun for your baby shower, http://www.bestbabyshower.co.uk/ have a great selection of games alongside a very extensive collection of lovely baby shower gifts and objects (the nappy cakes are among my faves). If your shower is a bit of a last minute affair they will have various games available for download for a mere 50p. We opted for Trivial Pursuit and Family Fortunes (baby themed of course) and very much enjoyed embodying Les Dennis for half an hour, with the bonus of learning invaluable knowledge on all things parenting.
(We also did a tasting session with baby food which was funny but not entirely pleasurable)
makemebabies.com/ - MakeMeBabies uses advanced face detection technology to predict what your baby may look like. You simple upload your photo, your partner's photo and make a baby, you can also have fun seeing what you and your fave celebs offspring may look like..... this caused much hilarity particularly Jo’s imagined baby with Barack Obama....
‘Kick to Pick’ Iphone App - Allows you to let your bump make suggestions as to what its name should be! Just lie back, place your iPhone on your tummy and wait for baby to kick. You can give it a selection of your favourites, or simply let it choose from a very extensive list which can be narrowed down by gender.
Get Crafty- Jessica Alba and her guests spent an afternoon creating homemade decorations including butterfly paper lanterns, flower baskets and dragonflies. She says it was a ‘more personal and fun’ shower, as lovely as this sounds this would not have appealed to my group of friends... but each to their own!
Gifts for Mummy and Baby
Tiddley Pom Natural Baby Spa
We are all aware of how beneficial and enjoyable spa treatments can be for us, so it is unsurprising the that ‘Baby’s First Spa Experience’ has proven to be so popular amongst new mums and their much loved new additions. This product is all about multi sensory stimulation, something which Emma Nash (founder of Tiddley Pom) has witnessed doing wonderful things for those suffering with multiple or profound disabilities at The Childerns Trust rehabilitation centre where she previously worked. Accompanying the Soothing Baby Wash, the Organic Massage Oil, Organic Soothing Lotion and Organic Nappy Balm is a CD featuring beautiful guitar music by Fredrik Karlsson, the rhythms mimicking the babies heartbeat. Babies thrive off music, and it is often said that it can profoundly enhance their growth. Unlike touch, hearing and sight, the baby develops a sense of smell in the womb. Babies use this early development in detecting aromas to stay close to their mother. The scents given out by the Tiddley Pom products, including the massage oil with its bespoke natural blend, will leave the mother and baby relaxed and soothed. So apart from easing stress, and encouraging positive developments what are the other possible benefits of regular use of this experience? A big fear for first time mums is that they may not take to parenting naturally or bond with the baby as they’d hoped, the massage routine of this product enhances this connection and let’s the baby know the mother is affectionate and caring. All in all a great package that allows mum to and baby to share a stress-free experience together.
£32.99 Harrods, Blossom Mother and Child, Wholefoods, Planet Organic, Nutricentre
Boppy Feeding and Support Pillow
A baby shower should feature gifts that cover the practical and useful as well as the indulgent, fun or frivolous. For my friend and many first time mums the prospect of breast feeding can be a scary one (years of horror stories have been ingrained)... So, anything that looks to make it a more comfortable activity it is sure to be well received. When I discovered Bobbys award-winning feeding and support pillow, voted the number one baby product in the US for the last seven years, I knew this would be a wise purchase. The Boppy creates an ergonomic ‘nest’ shape, providing support to mum, embracing the baby making them feel safe and protected when feeding, making the process a calm one, uniting mother and child. This year the Boppy has released a vast range of new colours and designs meaning you should be able to find one in keeping with your nursery colour scheme.
Treatments for Mum
Maison d'Anu Pregnancy Products
Rescue Ginger - Anti Nausea Pulse Point Roll On
You never know how pregnancy is going to affect you. Some mother glow and flourish, feeling sexier than ever, others suffer terribly from the number of complaints affecting pregnant women - swollen ankles, achy back, terrible mood swings... and perhaps the most trying... relentless nausea.
Maison d'Anu, Rescue - Ginger & Nausea Pulse Point Roll On does not pretend to cure you from this inconvenient side affect but it can help to counteract the horrible feeling and distract the senses somewhat. Its compact size also allows it to become a constant companion over the 9 months, fitting comfortably in your pocket or handbag.
Prevent - Stretch Mark Lotion
One of the most common affects of pregnancy is stretch marks, and it can be particular be upsetting for many, affecting how they feel about their post birth body. an anxiety worsened during the already stressful bikini season. As is the case with most problems, prevention is better than cure (especially when their is not found miracle cure for stretch marks as yet) and there is not much better that the Prevent Stretch Mark Lotion ‘Prepare to Bare.’This Prevent Stretch Mark lotion, is easily absorbed into your skin and contains Siegesbeckia Orientalis, known for its superior emollient and healing qualities. It also contains Gotu Kola, which encourages good circulation. It is advised that one should use this product from the beginning of the pregnancy, applying a thin layer on the tummy, breast, thighs and bums twice a day. It has a lovely consistency and smell and the bottle is extremely chic and modern in it’s design ( as are all the Maison d’Anu products).
Supple Perineum Massage Oil
With the images of glowing and chic mums shoved in our faces daily via magazines and newspapers you would be forgiven for thinking it was an entirely glamourous affair...Sadly with writing about this particular product I am reminding of the less than pleasant aspects of birth. The Perinuem Massage Oil is designed specifically to help prevent tearing at childbirth or the need for an episiotomy. Containing sunflower oil and sweet almond oil the rich hydrating oil improves elasticity of the area and is recommended for use after 33-34 weeks of your pregnancy.
Fushi Luscious Locks Kit
We should always treat our body like a temple, but let’s face it a large chunk of us don’t do as well as we should, for various reasons... laziness, temptation, peer pressure, the strains of every day life etc etc. That said, when a body is gifted with the responsibility of housing and growing a new human, one should be more careful about the food consumed and products used. New mums feeding are often keen to keep chemicals out of their body for instance. Fushis special hair care kit contains extra nourishing Total Repair Shampoo along with the herb rich Repair and Soothe conditioner that softens and nourishes the hair via its delicious combination of Orange, Calendula, Avocado, Neroli and Sandalwood. The pot of Dry Hair balm packed with nutritious oils and butters will also keep your ends soft and shiny.The baby mama I had in mind when putting this feature together has always taken pride in her hair. Her mahogany mane has always been admired and commented on for its shine and condition and I was sure this would be one area of beauty she would particularly like to maintain despite her new chaotic lifestyle as a mother.
Contains Gift Box, Total Repair Herbal Shampoo ,Repair and Soothe Herbal Conditioner ,Total Repair Dry Hair Balm
Please check out their lovely chemical free hair gift - Luscious Locks.
Boo Boo Bosum Buddy - For a Perkier Pair
Another part(s) of the body that goes through the mill during pregnancy are the breasts, chesticles, boobs, puppies (whatever the preferred term is these days). Many expectant mothers (and their partners) enjoy the novelty of their fuller bust for the 9 months but despair at their deflated or stretched appearance post breast feeding. Boo Boo’s adorably packaged product has already been showcased by many of our top weeklies as a favourite in tackling the issue and those just wanting some firming action. With ingredients famed for their lifting capabilities, Centella and Gingko Biloba, the 100% natural scent of lemon, ginger, mandarin and peppermint the lotion also acts as a wonderfully zingy pick me up .
P.S Boo Boo’s selection of spa/pamper kits are some of the loveliest I’ve found during this process, their gorgeous Congratulations Mummy Kit is £39.99.
For the Baby
Hevea Baby Pacifier
We all saw the fuss caused when Victoria revealed her latest pregnancy... and the influx of gifts sent her way for the impending birth of her first daughter (like she needs the freebies!) But the sight of a celebrity with a product doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the responsible or best choice.
Dishy Daddy Orlando Bloom was recently seen sucking on a particular dummy on a day out with his new son. The dummy in question was a Hevea Soother Dummy, made from 100% sustainably produced natural rubber that is durable yet soft and pliable for extra comfort. There are two option for nipple shape - a traditional round or an orthodontic. It’s ingenious one piece design deems it safer with no gaps or perforations that can allow bacteria to accumulate. As well as resting perfectly into the babies mouth it is free from BPA, phthalates and PVX. Although I am not sure that they will be aware of such aesthetics at their tender age they also come in various designs appealing to boys and girls. You can trust that Miranda and Orlando made a conscious decision with this purchase - they are known to be aware of the products they use with Ms Kerr even running her own organic skin brand... in this case you can follow suit with confidence.
£4.99 www.greenbaby.co.uk, www.naturebotts.co.uk
Made With Love Giftset
You want your baby shower to feature a fair amount of ‘awws’ and ‘coos’ inspired by cute gifts given on the day, and nothing does this more effectively than miniature clothes and accessories. If the couple in question have chosen to build suspense by not knowing the sex of the baby you have to ensure you choose presents equally adorable and appropriate whether the bundle of joy ends up being a boy or girl . I plumped for the Made With Love Giftset which features a 100% cotton footless babygro and Union Jack designed shoes. I thought this might be suitable apparel for babies born in time to ‘watch’ and support the Best of British in the Olympics. There is a plethora of equally cutsie designs available thought... just one look at the websites selection will turn you into a gooey broody mess! They’ve not just thought about style though, safety has also figured heavily into the design process....Baby’s feet are soft and plump with barely any bone, these soft natural leather shoes are designed to give total comfort to growing feet, allowing them to breath with elasticated ankles for support and fit and non slip soles to avoid accidents. They have also not only passed but exceeded all European Safety standards and have even been given a bit thumbs up by Chiropodists and Reflexologist.
Pandora/Thomas Sabo Charm Bracelets
In the same way that people often like to give keepsakes for Christenings and similar occasions, it is a nice idea to buy the baby something they can use or treasure for years to come. Both Thomas Sabo and Pandora have special charms with a pregnancy/child theme such as bootees, disney and fairy-tale characters and little boys & girls and birthstones. Charms can continue to be added as the baby grows up - there is a smiling silver tooth, a nice replacement for the coins that are usually swapped for a newly relinquished tooth placed under a pillow, good luck charms for when the child is tackling exams, and romantic themed options, the perfect gifts from their future romantic partners on anniversaries and valentines days.
P.S Don’t Forget Daddy!
We made sure to invite Jo’s husband/ soon to be father along too. It sounds simple but including him and giving him a card with personal messages will show that you are all there to support the family as a whole unit.
I don’t wish to generalize but I know for many Dads, Paul included, the idea that their offspring might grow up to be fans of The Bieber, 1 Direction, The Wanted et al is utterly terror inducing. So aside from blaring good music while the baby is still in the womb, what else can be done to try and influence the babes future musical persuasion....Well, the award winning Rockabye Baby CD’s may be the most effective technique. They have a selection of rifftastic classics by the likes of Oasis, Led Zeppelin, Metallica and Nirvana (and also Coldplay/Beatles for those that favour the more melodic) all played like you’ve never heard them before, using the soothing sounds of harps, glockenspiels and other baby friendly instruments. It might make the babies incessant need for soothing music a bit more bearable....
For Mummy and Daddy
The prospect of becoming parents can be daunting.. well that’s putting it kindly... in fact it can be damn right terrifying. The overwhelming amount of things that need to be considered, adapted or amended during pregnancy can put unneeded stress upon a body and relationship that are already taking on more strain than usual. With women's’ hormones playing havoc ( more than usual) this service is particularly appealing to Dads.
In the same manner that Wedding planners take away the stress of the romantic occasion, this bespoke, consultant-led shopping experience for expectant parents. can ensure you’ve got everything covered with as little strife as possible. Private consultations are held at the West London showroom, where a fully trained baby product specialist will discuss parents needs and create a tailored baby shopping list exclusively for you. The Parents are offered advice, specifically catering to their lifestyle and needs, advising them on what should be bought for their nursery. If there are any specific items that the parents are struggling to track down or don’t the time to do so, Baby Concierge are experts in finding them. All of the well chosen items can be delivered in one go too, so the house can go from completely unprepared to baby-ready in one clean sweep.
The Food Stork
Extreme tiredness and complete devotion to the needs of your new born can lead to neglecting even the most normal and essential of activities like eating. The Food Stork has found a solution to this problem, offering dishes that have been developed to provide new mums (and their families) with plenty of nutrients to help replenish and nurture their well-being after childbirth .The Beautifully packaged and clearly labeled dishes are made for two people sharing and can be stored in your fridge or freezer. Each Food Box is freshly prepared to order and delivered direct to your kitchen. This will ease stress for both parents, knowing that their dietary needs are being looked after. After-all a weak or poorly parent is the last thing you need with a new babe.
So guys, they are the options.... what should I do for this Saturday!! xx
Saturday, 13 August 2011
I could opt for this old high street number that has served me very well over the years...(plus polka dots are very in right now).... I have added a punch of colour with a hot pink carboot sale clutch bag and a vintage silver snakeskin belt.
So it's that time again... yet another wedding. Sadly I do not have the budget to fork out a new outfit for each one so I am asking you guys to offer your style advice on which of these existing looks I should go for next weekend...
Option 1 of 4..... Vintage look... think Kate Moss' recent Nuptials...
The outfit consists of an altered vintage dress bought 2 years ago in LA... accessoried with corsages and a vintage silver clutch bag.
Friday, 12 August 2011
Thursday, 11 August 2011
Watch his beautiful rendition of 'The A Team'... which was even retweeted by Ed Shearan....
Thursday, 4 August 2011
Award-winning Californian wine brand, Barefoot Wine, has teamed up with Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) to help keep Britain’s beaches ‘barefoot friendly’. The 2011 Barefoot Friendly Beach Rescue tour will visit 14 beaches around the UK between May and September, collecting litter and returning the beaches to their natural state.To celebrate the fourth annual ‘barefoot friendly’ Beach Rescue Project from Barefoot Wine and SAS, hotly tipped rising star Ben Howard will be performing an exclusive invitation-only acoustic set at three of the beach clean ups, only for volunteers. Sophie Eggleton caught up with the Devonshire talent to find out why this initiative is particularly close to his heart and to see how he's feeling as the release of his debut album draws closer.
You grew up in Devon, had you noticed a decline in the cleanliness of the beaches?
On the whole not really. The last few weeks has been pretty bad as it’s summer and there’s always a small minority that time of year that don’t care what they leave behind.
Some of the places nearby have definitely improved the last few years.
If so, has it put you off surfing in the UK?
No, not at all. It frustrates me to see people neglecting some really beautiful areas, I still surf and more often than not I tell people to pick up their rubbish.
How does the decline affect the surrounding community?
Most of the coastal places around my area are really small communities that rely pretty heavily on the sea so any deterioration is felt hard for sure. It's getting better though not worse! The initiatives of Surfers Against Sewage, and now with Barefoot Wine's involvement, are really making sure the sea stays clean. The guys are pretty clear, there's no excuse in this day and age to keep polluting the sea.
Will you be mucking in with the volunteers?
That’s the plan. The recent Porthtowan show for beach clean volunteers was great to see so many people involved. Soundcheck ran through the beach clean that time so I couldn’t get stuck in, hopefully the timings are better at the other beach cleans so we can do our bit.
What would you say to those as yet undecided about getting involved in the clean up?
Get involved, it’s amazing what just a short amount of time from everyone can accomplish. It’s always a good laugh and a good excuse to get outdoors.
The Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project began 4 years ago what results or improvements have there been already?
I think the biggest improvement is just public awareness. It’s a great thing to see, a company bringing the issues Surfers Against Sewage have been trying to tackle for years into the public sphere a little more. It’s easy for people to make a physical change to their environment and Barefoot Wine are proving that.
The music we play usually varies from melancholy to four to the floor but I think we’ll try and keep these shows upbeat. I guess people can expect guitars, cello, bass, drums and singing, variations around that really!
Are environmental projects always going to be something you try to get involved with, are they particularly close to your heart?
It’s nice to have an interest outside of the music world and I guess the natural environment is something I’m more familiar with. It feels good to play your part even on the smallest level.
You have been tipped by the likes of Zane Lowe and Dermot O Leary, although flattering do you feel a sense of added pressure?
Yeah there’s always been pressure. The word potential has been lumped on me all of my life. It’s great to get to a point where people you look up to are acknowledging you; It’s very flattering for sure. You never know where you are when it comes to what you’re playing and whether people get it so it’s really encouraging more than anything to have the like of Zane Lowe playing your tunes.
Your debut album is released in September, are you nervous?
Definitely nervous. Very excited as well though.
Will you read the reviews...and how will you react to any criticism?
I’m not sure, I guess it depends what gets criticized. We’ve lived with this record for a year and a half and spent so much time and effort on it. I like to think there’s enough love in that record to get it past any negative commentary.
Does the prospect of success and the fact that fame comes along with it daunt you at all?
Yes to a certain extent, the fame side of it is a little weird. It is what it is though.
What is on your ipod right now?
I lost it! I’ve got a bit of all sorts on the old mac though.. Daughter, Lykke Li, John Prine, Willie Mason, Emika, and Arthur Russell are probably the top spinners at the moment.
What can’t you travel without?
Ones in foreign countries with sea views.
Any bar with a well stocked whiskey section.
Rumour wine bar.
Your most extravagant purchase?
A 99 flake the other day for £2.80!
What products can't you live without?
Where is next on my places to visit?
Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Do as you would be done by.
What is on your shopping list right now?
It’s actually toothpaste. No Joke.
Do you social network?
Yes, I go to the pub with my friends.
Plans for the rest of 2011?
Play music, play music, drink, play music.
Ben will be performing exclusively on 26th June (Cornwall), 9th July (Fife, Scotland) and 6th August (North Tyneside).To register for any of the clean ups (from 28th May in Greenwich to 10th September in Northern Ireland) please follow the link sas.org.uk or facebook.com/SAS
The full list of beach cleans is: South East 28th May, Greenwich, London 29th May, Broadstairs, Kent 30th May, East Witterings, Sussex Cornwall 25th June, Widemouth, Cornwall 26th June, Porthtowan, Cornwall Scotland 9th July, Kingsbarn Beach, Edinburgh, Scotland 10th July, Bellhaven Beach, Edinburgh, Scotland North East 26th August, Whitley Nay, North Tyneside 27th August, Saltburn By Sea, Cleveland 28th August, Scarborough, South Bay, Yorkshire 29th August, Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire Wales & Northern Ireland 3rd September, Newgale Beach, Pembrokeshire 4th September, Llangland Beach, W. Glamorgan 10th September Portrush, East Strand (Northern Ireland)
The full list of beach cleans is:
28th May, Greenwich, London
29th May, Broadstairs, Kent
30th May, East Witterings, Sussex
25th June, Widemouth, Cornwall
26th June, Porthtowan, Cornwall
9th July, Kingsbarn Beach, Edinburgh, Scotland
10th July, Bellhaven Beach, Edinburgh, Scotland
26th August, Whitley Nay, North Tyneside
27th August, Saltburn By Sea, Cleveland
28th August, Scarborough, South Bay, Yorkshire
29th August, Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire
Wales & Northern Ireland
3rd September, Newgale Beach, Pembrokeshire
4th September, Llangland Beach, W. Glamorgan
10th September Portrush, East Strand (Northern Ireland)