Products…Mother to Mother; My Top Newborn Essentials

Mamma Creative…Project Pimp Dolly’s Ride

Despite my best efforts, there are days it seems my life is a series of less than stylish moments, stitched tenuously together by a couple of stylish (ahem…well edited) Instagram photos…that’s modern motherhood for you!

On one such a day this summer gone, my two year old daughter Annie, artfully accosted a thread bare, butterfly clad, marvel of a dolls pushchair outside a local charity shop. Offending article pictured below.

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In one seamless movement, and at lightening speed, she simultaneously spotted and grasped onto its bubblegum pink handles and marched on, defiant, stubborn and annoyingly triumphant, safe in the assumption that in spite of my pleading for her to ‘put it back please’, her cast iron will would inevitably outstrip my desire to avoid an epic toddler tantrum in the middle of the highstreet…sound familiar?

For the past six months, this eyesore has mocked me from the corner of my living room, effectively taunting me for my ineffective powers of toddler persuasion…grrr!

So during Annie’s nap time this Sunday, I took matters into my own hands,  and seized the opportunity to pimp dolly’s ride (pictured below).

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Ok, so it’s still as camp as Christmas, but let’s face it, there is no getting away from the fact that the frame of this bad boy is unmistakably pink. Instead, I embraced the bubblegum hue and added more (you guessed it) pink, combining multiple hues tempered by a pretty grey based floral, for a quirkier look. Thankfully, both Dolly and Annie were pretty chuffed with their new wheels…phew!

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For those interested in taking on a similar project, these were the basic steps I followed to reupholster the frame….

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  1. Remove the seat cover and unpick the seams to reveal the pattern pieces. Remember to take note of the seam allowance, notches and basic construction, as you will need to replicate this when reconstructing in your chosen fabric.
  2. Trace off the pattern pieces onto paper. For  symmetrical pattern pieces, I would recommend folding the drawn paper pattern in half, down the centre before cutting out, achieving a more accurate shape (see image below). This crease line will also serve as your grain line, and should be placed parallel to the selvedge (the finished edge of you fabric roll) when cutting out the pattern.
  3. Assemble your fabrics and trims, lay your fabric flat and trace around your pattern with fabric chalk or a pencil. Cut out your pattern pieces.
  4. Pin together your pattern pieces, one by one, and stitch together on your sewing machine. Remove the dressmaking pins as you go.
  5. Apply your desired trims (can’t beat a pompom!) et voila, one spectacularly pimped pram!

Happy crafting!

Bubba Style…Stylish Winter Layering

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Buzzing About….Bernie and the Beanpole. Stylish Knitted Accessories for Boys and Girls

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Having already purchased a large chunk of Annie’s Autumn/Winter Wardrobe (click here for previous post), I am feeling understandably chuffed with my organisational efforts!

It goes without saying however, that restraint is not my strongest attribute, and that I will simply not be able to resist updating my autumn edit as the season evolves, and new and exciting products and brands catch my eye.

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Bernie and the Beanpole (click for link)  is one such new brand. Built around a concise, knitted accessories product offer, in quirky colour block combinations, this fun, upbeat brand is sure to add a pop of fluro fun to muted winter outfits.

Founded by 3 Mums with design/buying backgrounds, who saw a gap in the market for stylish children’s accessories, Bernie and the Beanpole most certainly delivers on its mission statement.

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For Annie, I adore this mustard yellow, bright pink and muted grey bobble hat £18 (click for link)  and matching mitts £16 (click for link).  In particular I love that the grey tempers the brighter colours, making it surprisingly easy to pair these statement items back with neutral winter coats.

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But ultimately, my favourite thing about this quirky range, is that these products are not mass produced. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking the amazing institution that is the Great British highstreet (Annie’s wardrobe would be decidedly empty if highstreet buys didn’t constitute the majority of our purchasing)  but every now and again, it is important to invest in unique, striking design to elevate your mini’s everyday looks, and what better investment that a fabulous colour pop accessory from this gorgeous new brand!

Bubba Style…Get Your Spook On!

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 22.41.02Despite growing up in a staunchly anti Halloween household, the rebellious streak in me craves to embrace this fun and quirky festival for Annie. In recent years, Halloween has without doubt become a more fashionable affair, with many retailers focusing on Halloween themed daywear in addition to traditional fancy dress. So whether your mini is going to a party this Halloween, or you simply fancy adding a bit of ‘spook’ to their daytime attire, here’s my round up of the best items and outfits to get you through the 31st of October in style. Happy Halloween!

halloween

  1. Silver Stars Clips – Mango – £3.99
  2. Black Ruffle Dress – H&M – £14.99
  3. Striped Leggings – H&M – £3.99
  4. Red Glitter Lace-up Shoes – M&S – £14-£16
  5. Red Tulle Star Print Bow – H&M – £2.99
  6. Striped T – Zara – £6.99
  7. Foil Printed Tulle Skirt – Zara – £8.99
  8. Black Glitter Mary Janes – M&S – £14-£16
  9. Star Head Band – Rockahula – £7
  10. Boo Placement Print Dress – Zara – £12.99
  11. Multi Glitter Mary Janes – M&S – £14-£16

Creative Bubba…Baby Bake Off

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A combination of cold, drizzly housebound days, coupled with a big ‘Bake Off’ shaped hole in my mid week TV viewing schedule, has motivated me to dust off my aprons strings (aka remove my apron from its plastic sleeve packaging…I’m no baking pro!), to embrace the romanticised art of baking with baby. Indeed, despite never experiencing the itch to bake in my childless days, the moment I fell pregnant with my daughter Annie, I couldn’t help but imagine a home filled with the hot scent of sweet, buttery air, as my child and I licked cake  batter from the bowl, and the fruits of our labour bubbled away deliciously in the oven.

  
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Of course the reality played out a little less like an advert for Betty Crocker, and a little more like me, riddled with salmonella paranoia, preventing Annie from going anywhere near a raw egg, let alone lick the cake batter 😕. That said, our baking reality was still super fun, and more importantly, the end result, super scrummy!

We chose a super easy, all in one chocolate muffin recipe (as adapted from here) for our first endeavour, catering as much to Annie’s limited skills as Mummy’s unpractised hand. But don’t take our word for it, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so you’ll quite simple have to try this one for yourself. Happy baking!

 Method and ingredients as follows…

Ingredients (Makes 12 muffins):

  • 250g self raising flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175ml whole milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 100ml mild olive oil
  • 75g dark chocolate chips, plus 25g extra for scattering over the top
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 170ºC (375ºF, gas mark 5)
  • Weigh out your ingredients in advance, dividing them into separate bowls. This will allow you to focus your attention entirely on your child as they mix the ingredients together, preventing any major cake batter all over the kitchen floor/ cupboard/ceiling catastrophes.
  • Help your child to distribute 12 paper muffin cases within the muffin tray.
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder into a large bowl, stir in the sugar, followed by the remaining ingredients. Encourage your child to mix the ingredients together lightly with a wooden spoon.
  • Distribute the mixture into the paper cases. As Annie is only 2, I felt it best to spoon the mixture into the cases myself, occupying her with cracking her toy eggs into a bowl…a simple by effective distraction tactic!
  • Allow your child to help scatter the remainder of the chocolate chips over the top of the batter filled cases.
  • Bake for approximately 20 mins or until golden and springy to the touch. Cool for 10 mins; transfer to a wire rack and leave until cold.
  • If decorating, use simple cut out paper stars as a stencil. Place on top of the cakes, dust lightly with icing sugar, and then remove.

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Bubba Style…Jumping in Muddy Puddles

Here’s my pic of wellies for both boys and girls, all of which are available to buy on the highstreet now. We chose the yellow pair by danish brand pom pom, perfect for jumping in Autumn’s muddy puddles!

wellies

  1. Ditsy Floral Print Wellies – Joules – £25
  2. Cat Character Wellies – John Lewis – £12-£14
  3. Aeroplane Print Wellies – Clarks – £18
  4. Spaceship Wellies – Hatley – £20
  5. Bright Pink Wellies – Hunter – £32
  6. Bright Yellow Wellies – Pom Pom – £23
  7. Pillar Box Red Wellies – John Lewis – £12-£14
  8. Crocodile Prints Wellies – Joules – £24.95
  9. Cat Toe Wellies – Catimini – £30