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Dear Zoo Baby Clothes

I love getting surprise items through the post; there’s something so simple about a envelope or box with your name and address on and not having a clue what might be inside. Yesterday was one of those rare days when this happened.

I was having a bit of a moody day (hormones) so I almost walked straight past this little gem, but even in “baby rage” I recognised Val’s handwriting, so of corse I had to see who she’d written to. Initially when I saw my name I was worried that I had left a pair of dirty knickers at their home the last time I visited, and she was posting them back with a card retelling how a friend had found them under the pillow. (Is it just me that plays out these sort of scenarios in my head?) Thankfully that wasn’t the case, what was actually in the envelope was two TEENIE TINY baby vests!

 

They are 100% cotton & have 3 poppers in the crotch area to make it easier for changing nappies. They’re gender-neutral which is absolutely perfect as we chose not to find out the gender until birth, but my favourite part is that they are “dear zoo” print. I used to have Dear Zoo read to me when I was a baby & although I can’t remember the gist of the story I can absolutely recognise the print for what it is.

The vests were a set of two from Sainsbury’s Tu collection, I haven’t personally seen any in our local supermarket & I can’t find them online, but I do know that they were initially released to mark the 30th anniversary of Rod Campbell’s book. I cannot wait to see little-one wearing these & I cannot express how thankful I am to Val & Grey for sending us them. I also received a similar package from them a few weeks back with the matching baby grow & hat which is equally as precious & is finished to the same high standard as the vests.

I am absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude for the amount of love and support we have received from family and friends & I feel very privileged to be surrounded by so many amazing people. I will continue to post blogs surrounding items that we buy & receive, and will always give my honest opinion on the quality of the items. I’m sorry I couldn’t find an online link to these – I think they would be absolutely perfect for any new born & would make ideal gifts to give at a baby shower. Hopefully if you like them you will have luck in finding them when out shopping. 

Maternity Jeans

So, I caved: I bought a pair of maternity jeans. I knew I would have to give in eventually and invest in something stretchy, but I still still felt so guilty while paying for them that I nearly ran out of the shop. We haven’t finished (well, started really) shopping for little one, and we still need to get some essentials (fridge/freezer, washer/dryer etc) for the house, so in comparison my leg comfort seemed pretty low on the priority list. But barely anything fits anymore, so I had to pull on my belly friendly dress & tights and ‘haul-ass’ to the mall.

The jeans that I bought are the MAMA jeans from H&M (http://tinyurl.com/bghblmh). They are a stretch denim in a “low cut” style with a jersey ribbing that sits over the bump & will stretch with you. Because of the low cut style they’re very flattering and you never have to worry about your knickers hanging over the waist line because you’ve got the jersey material coming up a lot higher which I almost wish was a feature in all jeans (no more builders bums EVER.) I paid £29.99 and although that’s super cheap in the world of jeans I still wasn’t sure if I should be buying them. But OH MY GOSH am I glad I did. Wearing them is like being hugged ALL the time, in the best way possible. 

I’m still super glad that I didn’t cave and buy any maternity wear until now, but all traces of buyers guilt have completely disappeared. I don’t think I need more than one pair at the moment but I am likely to be living in these until I pop & if I do feel that another pair would make my life easier I would happily part with my cash for a second pair & I would recommend them to anyone. 

Upcycling jumpers into cushion covers (DIY)

At least once a year I will go through my clothes and put the items that I don’t wear any more in a bin bag & store them in the loft. I’ll then get my bag from the previous clear out and go through the items in there. The items will then go into three piles: clothes that I want to wear again; Clothes for the charity shop; and clothes for upcycling. This time around I found a lot of clothes that I wanted to upcycle & so I thought it might be fun to do a little DIY blog.

One of the jumpers that I found was a Primark purchase from a while back that I don’t believe I ever wore because firstly: it’s not really my style; and secondly it’s most certainly not my size (I’m a UK 10-12, it was a UK 6)- I think I must have been having a bad shopping day. Ordinarily I would probably give away an unworn item to a friend or a charity shop, but because baby is on the way I thought it would be nice to make something for the nursery. It would be really easy to cut along the seam and make a simple but cute blanket, but I already have my baby blanket that my nan knitted me, and so I decided to make a cushion cover. As always: if you do decide to make this please let me know how you got on & feel free to ask me any questions if you need anything clarifying. Good luck!! 😀

What you’ll need:

  • One old jumper (for this bow design I used a roll neck knitted jumper)
  • A needle & thread in a similar colour to your jumper (a sewing machine may make some parts easier, but you will need to hand stitch certain parts – I chose to hand stitch throughout)
  • A square cushion pad, roughly the same size as the body of your jumper.
  • Pins
  • Fabric scissors
  • Buttons or a Zip (optional)

Step by step:

  1. Lay your jumper flat on the bed & turn inside-out.
  2. Take your fabric scissors & cut along the neck seam to separate the roll neck from the rest of the jumper.
  3. Pin a straight line from shoulder to shoulder & stitch just bellow this line & turn jumper right side out.
  4. Cut along the seam of your roll neck to open it into a rectangular shape of cloth.
  5. Pin down the three edges that you have cut & securely stitch a hem (the top of the roll neck will already be hemmed.)
  6. Pin a straight line down the centre of your jumper to establish a middle point.
  7. Bring the right sleeve to the centre point (it should cross the body of your jumper diagonally) and stitch to the front of the jumper (be careful not to sew through both sides) cut off any excess material & discard.
  8. Bring the left sleeve to the same centre point and pin a straight line (parallel to the top) across the sleeve – your left sleeve should be pinned in line with the bottom of your right sleeve & the excess sleeve should be hanging straight down, there should be enough excess sleeve to allow you to fold upwards & create the centre of the bow shape.
  9. When you are happy with the placement stitch just bellow where you pinned.
  10. Fold your strip of material made from the roll neck in half along the shorter edges & roughly pin so that you have a thinner rectangle shape (make sure that you fold the material so that the edges you previously hemmed are on the inside & hidden.)
  11. Find the middle of the material then – only at this center point – sew the two edges together. Now when you unpin the long edge you should be able to see the shape of a bow forming. 
  12. Place the material on top of both sleeves, ensuring that the center point that you sewed together earlier is exactly on your pinned center line & just above the sewed line of your left sleeve.
  13. Pin the four corners down into place (make sure all of your seams are touching the body of the jumper, so that they remain hidden). When you’re happy with the placement: sew the four corners down. 
  14. Create pleats in the bow by making an “m” shape with the center material. An easy way to achieve this is to place one hand under the bow and the other on top & press down. When you have the desired pleat: secure by sewing the middle point down.
  15. Bring the left sleeve over the top of your bow to create the centre, pin & sew down – the neatest way is to ensure that you pull the sleeve under & around the bow.
  16. To ensure that you get a bow shape that stays looking like a bow: pin & stitch any area that you feel needs to be secured, but don’t sew around the entire bow as this will stop the material from stretching correctly.
  17. Remove all pins & finish by adding either a zip or buttons to the bottom of the jumper. Or if you would prefer a simpler solution: stuff with your chosen pad & stitch closed. Fluff up & enjoy.

 

Get ready with me – New Years Eve

It’s nearly 2013!!! It’s going to be a massive year for our family so I’m really excited to start it.

I love getting ready for New Years eve & I tend to make a bit more effort than usual, mostly because there tend to be a fair amount of cameras around. I wanted some sparkle in my makeup (of corse) but I didn’t want to go over the top so I decided on a subtle gold smokey eye & gold nails. Gold pigments look really lovely on blue eyes & I think this look could be great for any night out, not just New Years so I wanted to take some photos & make a Step-By-Step guide to the look, to help you recreate it if you fancy. What ever you’re doing tonight I hope you have fun seeing in 2013! Happy New Year!!! 

Products I used:

 

Eyes: Urban Decay Primer Potion http://tinyurl.com/ckwz9lj

Barry M Dazzle Dust (100 & 101) http://tinyurl.com/bcvsjff

Bobbi Brown Gel Liner (Black Ink) http://tinyurl.com/2w36fn3

L’oreal Volume Million Lashes (Extra-Black) http://tinyurl.com/44bm25h

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers http://tinyurl.com/7t2qlw5

Face: Mac Face & Body Foundation (C1) http://tinyurl.com/cb4rbwl

Vichy Dermablend Foundation (15 Opal) http://tinyurl.com/cknowos

YSL Touche Eclat (2 Luminous Ivory) http://tinyurl.com/d7b7yn5

Arbonne Blusher (Dusty Rose & Merlot) http://tinyurl.com/bnznv9g

Nails: Barry M Nail Varnish (Gold Glitter) http://tinyurl.com/c262e7o

If I had to start over (my perfect makeup starter kit)

I’ve been making lists of things that we will need to buy for the new house and for the baby, and it got me wondering what would be on my makeup list if I was writing one.

Both the house and baby lists are split by what’s totally needed and what would be nice, but considering makeup isn’t EXACTLY an essential I thought I would just make a post of what I would go out and buy if I had to start from scratch. I hope you find it helpful if you’re thinking of starting your own collection. I would have loved to have had a more sensible starting point to my makeup collection, I could have saved so much money. I wouldn’t ever suggest to anyone that they go out and buy their entire makeup collection at once, but if you want a good starting point: these are my absolute favourite beauty essentials.

Base: Mac Face & Body (C1)  http://tinyurl.com/cb4rbwl

Vichy Dermablend – I use this as concealer (15 opal) http://tinyurl.com/cknowos

Rimmel Stay Matte powder (transparent) http://tinyurl.com/bmc47rj

YSL Touche Eclat (2 Luminous Ivory) http://tinyurl.com/d7b7yn5

Cheeks: Arbonne Blush (Taffeta) http://tinyurl.com/bnznv9g

Nars Bronzer (Laguna) http://tinyurl.com/d7fu2xx

Eyes: Urban Decay Naked 2 http://tinyurl.com/c2xpeht

Urban Decay primer potion http://tinyurl.com/ckwz9lj

Maybelline Gel Eyeliner (black & brown) http://tinyurl.com/d6znel4 http://tinyurl.com/cx52bjz

L’oreal Volume Million Lashes (black) http://tinyurl.com/44bm25h

Eyebrows: Mac Pro Pallet (2) http://tinyurl.com/bmg78le

Eyeshadow pan (brun & omega) http://tinyurl.com/blf9dx9

Brushes & Tools: Arbonne Brush Set http://tinyurl.com/bnznv9g

Real Techniques Core Collection Brush Set http://tinyurl.com/crgdg3n

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers http://tinyurl.com/7t2qlw5

Lips: Mac Lipsticks (Teddy & Ruby Woo) http://tinyurl.com/6lpk63l

Winterlicious TAG

Although this tag is traditionally a YouTube tag I figured I could use it on this blog. I spend a good amount of time browsing YouTube so I thought it would be rude not to… (links to all the products mentioned are at the end)

Favourite winter nail polish? This is such a difficult question, becauseeeeee I trapped my thumb in my Aunt Vals car door a few months back and I only have a half nail there now, after the other one fell off, and because of that I’ve been avoiding nail polish all together. But I know what I would be wearing and it would be RockStar nails (full on glitter) or I would be wearing a deep plum colour like Jessica: Cinderella Red.

Favourite winter lip product? Honestly, just  a good lip balm. I love The Body Shop’s: Hemp Lip Protector. Yum.

Favourite winter scent? As far as perfume goes, I’m in love with Marc Jacobs: Dot. but I don’t own that YET, so I’m going to go a completely different route and say the smell of Gingerbread, real, not candle scent. Though I love a good scented candle.

Favourite winter beverage? Julmust. It’s a Swedish non-alcohoic root-beer drink. Not many British people like the flavour, but it’s a firm favourite in our household.

All time favourite Holiday movie? Maybe Love Actually, but truth be told, I’m not a massive fan of films made just watching at one time of the year.

Favourite Christmas song? So this is Christmas.

Favourite Holiday food/treat? Favourite food in General would be Gravad Lax (salt, pepper, sugar and dill cured Salmon) on Christmas Bread, and Favourite treat would be homemade Gingerbread.

Favourite Christmas decoration this year? A Georg Jensen Christmas Ornament that my mum received from her parents. It’s stunning.

What’s at the top of your Christmas list? I actually know everything I’m getting this year, I prefer giving gifts to receiving, and I know I’m super difficult to buy for, so I tend to end up giving everyone a list. My most wanted item is Marc Jacobs: Dot perfume though, and I think I might be buying that one myself… funny how things work out.

What are your plans for the Holiday? Christmas drinks (non-alcoholic for me) on the 23rd, Swedish Christmas on Christmas Eve, I’m roasting Duck for my family Christmas Lunch, and George and I are joining his family for Christmas Dinner in the evening. SO MUCH FOOD!

Most worn winter accessory? My Celtic Sheepskin: Toscana Headband.

Most worn winter piece? Now here’s the sad truth: I’ve probably worn my Christmas Onsie more than any other item I own. 

 

Jessica nail Polish: http://tinyurl.com/crp93f8

Hemp Lip Protector: http://tinyurl.com/c7fangg

Marc Jacobs Dot: http://tinyurl.com/cxu4ldj

Julmust (must be Apotekarnes – don’t settle for Ikea’s own) http://tinyurl.com/ce7fz8p

Georg Jensen Mobile: http://tinyurl.com/ckgjhrk

Toscana Headband: http://tinyurl.com/c5tstuu

End of the world OOTD

So last nights meal was a curry, and I know that I had a fish & chips Wednesday evening, but George’s boss kindly offered to take us out as a very spontaneous (he asked at 6pm, we ate at 9pm) Christmas meal and I’m not one to turn my nose up at free food. Aside from knowing I would be starving by the time our meal was ready, I was also stressing ALOT about what to wear. I also hadn’t any time to do much with my hair or makeup so I wanted something comfortable but cute, so I wouldn’t give myself any more reason to worry about my appearance. 

As I mentioned in my first blog post: I own zero maternity clothes. That usually doesn’t matter because my more stretchy clothes (ie leggings and an oversized jumper) are just fine for around the house, or shopping, or a trip to the cinema etc. However, I don’t fit into the clothes that I would usually reserve for a meal, so I felt rather stuck. After rummaging through my pile of clothes I found a pair of low slung jeans, a long pink vest and a cute lace top that if truth be told I’m not sure I’ve ever worn. The outfit itself wasn’t really one that I would usually wear, it’s a little bit on the girly side, but I was so excited to find something that fit over my bump that I didn’t mind. 

 My point (yes I have one) is that although searching for an outfit in such short notice was a real nightmare, I’m still glad that I have spent my money on Christmas presents and not on clothes that I can only wear for a short period of time. I’m sure that in the next 3 months I will HAVE to give in and go shopping, but I feel really pleased that I’ve made do so far and would recommend anyone going through pregnancy to do the same. With the exception of a good bra… you will HAVE to get a few of those.

Jeans: (hidden – sorry) Levi

Vest: H & M. http://tinyurl.com/d5fyygg

Lace Top: Vintage

Cardigan: Tophshop. http://tinyurl.com/ctoerst

Scarf: unbranded pashmina

Foundation: MAC face & body in C1. http://tinyurl.com/cb4rbwl

Mascara: L’oreal Volume Million Lashes. http://tinyurl.com/7p5bvef

Perfume: Dior, Pure Poison. http://tinyurl.com/csadxkg