Marie Louise Maternity

Marie Louise Maternity

Recently whilst attending a Kit & Kin event I met Marie who was impossible to miss because she’s absolutely teeny and gorgeous! She also happens to be the sweetest human ever and senior midwife in Cornwall.

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After delivering a whole lot of beautiful babies she came to discover that many expectant parents arrive at hospital in labour with a lot of unnecessary and harmful products for their newborns, such as plastic chemical ridden nappies, fragranced baby wipes that strip delicate skin barriers, bleached maternity pads, harmful washes and lotion. The dad would then have to run out and leave his partner and their newborn to frantically try and shop for the right items whilst Marie (like other midwifes) would try to re-build mum’s confidence in that she hasn’t ‘got it wrong’ or ‘picked the wrong bits’.

According to Penelope Jagessar Chaffer, babies now have 30,000-50,000 chemicals in their bodies that our grandparents did not have! So after deciding that she couldn’t go on for another 40 years in this career still witnessing this problem she came up with a solution.

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Marie got to work designing and manufacturing a pre-packed changing bag with everything a pregnant woman needs for labour, birth and beyond. Thereafter it’s to be used as a changing bag and comes with a removable, washable organic liner, organic changing mat and stroller straps. Her whole life experience as a senior midwife has gone into making and packing this bag. The product is made truly with love, care and consideration.

Expectant parents no longer need to research for hours, shop for days or worry about what could have been forgotten. Instead they have a premium quality grab-and-go bag packed with premium quality products. All bags are made from environmentally friendly materials such as recycled leather and fluorocarbon free, organic cotton canvas. In fact MLM provide the worlds first ever fluorocarbon free baby changing bag. For parents MLM is “confidence you can carry”.

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Click here to order yours today: https://www.mlmaternity.com/mlm-shop/

 

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Young parent financial struggle- ACTION FOR CHILDREN

Young parent financial struggle- ACTION FOR CHILDREN

When Emma from ACTION FOR CHILDREN charity popped up in my emails asking to write a blog post for them it couldn’t of come at a better fitting time. Last week our financial status hit a bit of a nose dive and we had to pull the reigns on spending and be a little more thrifty.

Financially we aren’t the poorest parents out there, I know that. Pat works INCREDIBLY hard at 3 jobs for us then I work my (ginormous) arse off at home baking/blogging/brand repping. However we are entitled to certain tax credits which help us tie lose ends together. Last week because of a computer error on HMRC part all our tax credits etc were stopped. It meant we had to stop putting money in our saving pot, tighten our belts and sadly ask for help.

Being a young parent is that little bit harder when your are counting your change out to buy nappies and wipes when your other friends still live at home and only thing they need to pay for is their phone bill. They have the luxury of dipping into student finance or their salary which doesn’t have to go on bills or formula.

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ACTION FOR CHILDREN is warning us that 117,000 young parents in Britain are unable to financially cope putting more risk of children in poverty. Over the course of 12 months, a young parent will earn £1,300 less than young people who do not have children. This is worrying given the negative impact of financial hardship on children’s physical and mental health. The report found that young parents earn significantly less than their non-parent peers, despite having the additional costs of raising children which is on average, £8,400 per year. It further shows that young parents have an average income of £14,820 compared to a UK national average of £26,300. Single parents who are 25 and under survive on as little as £14,300.

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One of the main struggles for me was how had it was to budget and factor in every cost. Last year when trying to factor in all the little costs of raising Delilah and she go struck by chicken pox. The cream and medicine cost me £18 which I had to take from our food shopping money. We stripped right down, had to eat smaller meals and be very careful how much of everything we used. It made me so anxious and really contributed to my PND.

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This wonderful charity helps disadvantaged children across the UK through fostering or adoption, by intervening early to stop neglect and abuse, by influencing policy, and by making life better for disabled children. With over 600 services the charity improves the lives of 370,000 children, teenagers, parents and carers every year.

To make a donation or seek help you can find them at http://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/

Packing for a two week holiday with 2 under 2 

Packing for a two week holiday with 2 under 2 

I’m not a cheap skate but if I had the option to put our baggage through hold or pack savvier have an extra £100 for my holiday I’d rather the latter. So I set out with a whole lot of nerves and got organised with my packing. 
Luckily I’m staying somewhere where there’s a washing machine however most holiday locations you can find a laundrette/dry cleaners, so that helps with sliming your packing down. 


For each child for a fortnight I have packed: 

* 5 day time outfits 

* A set of plane outfits

* 3 evening outfits 

* 5 swimming costumes 

* A hat 

* Jacket 

* Trainers (for the flight) 

* Sandals 

* Evening shoes for Delilah 

* Tooth brush each, one toothpaste, three travel bottles of sun cream, 1 mini bottle of baby lotion, 1 balm for bites/bruises 

This all fit into 1 trunki and only weighed 5kgs. The trunki was kindly loaned to us by Samy (big up Samy) and was a god send. Delilah sat on it and we whizzed her about the airport. 


The good thing about kids clothes is that they are teeny and can be folded into nothing. I knew before we came out that we would be going out for dinner 3/4 times so didn’t need to go all out on outfits. And I’m also solo parenting out here so I wanted to make sure that all outfits were ready to go and put on to not waste a single minutes of fun on pairing socks or trying to see what shorts go with what. I grab a “Delilah- day outfit” and an “Indiana- day outfit” and I’m ready to go. 


I planned out before 5 outfits with socks (no vests needed!) and I even set out bows for Delilah! I bagged them up, labelled them and then with a rolling pin I flattened the bags pushing all the air out of them before zipping them up so they were thinner than paper! I packed lightweight comfy rompers, tops and shorts for Indiana and comfy cotton dresses for Delilah. 
I tucked their shoes in the side pushed the towels on top (quickly shutting it) and we was done! All the toiletries were bagged in a clear bag which I put into Indianas changing bag. To get them out easily when they was checked. 
With our plane tickets (1 adult, 1 child, 1 infant) our luggage allowance was:

* 2 10kg hand luggage (1 for me, 1 for Delilah) 

* 1 nappy changing bag (for Indiana) 

* 1 handbag (for me which I didn’t use) 

* 1 rucksack (for Delilah) 

* 4 baby equipment items (2 per child under 5, we took a buggy each per child, Indianas travel cot and his car seat) 

Which is a lot before adding any hold luggage. 
Delilah sleeps in my bed whenever we go away and we had a car seat ready for her at the villa. Delilahs trunki had all the kids clothes in and mine (a mini suitcase) had mine in. Cosmetics and toiletries went in the nappy bag along with my medication, Indianas prescription milk, purse, tickets, passports and phone. Delilahs rucksack was her toy bag with snacks, iPad with Moana downloaded and 200 stickers, all of which was absolutely useless because she fell asleep before we even took off and woke up as we was beginning to land. 


I’m going to add here that Indiana had lived in just a nappy or his swimsuit because he gets so very hot and sweaty. They don’t wear pjs because it’s soooo hot also so it doesn’t take up much room at all. 
Enjoy going back to school!

Love Sophie, Delilah and Indiana x
I’ve based my packing on a fortnight in a sunny location with self catering private accommodation. 

Flying with emotional baggage 

Flying with emotional baggage 

So something I talk about regularly is my mental health. I’ve had anxiety since childhood and I’ve suffered with PND for a while now but something I don’t talk often about is my fear of flying! Following a bad experience 7 years ago I haven’t flown since. At the time I didn’t really think about flying until I grew up and started thinking about things like my honeymoon (I don’t think Pat would be too impressed with old Bognor!) or the kids first holiday! I can’t let that fear be shared onto them and I certainly can’t stop them from seeing the world. Pat and I pride ourselves on being knowledgable and accepting of different cultures but what good was it to the kids if they were stuck on Butlin’s holiday parks forever? 
I was very lucky as a child and my parents took me on some crazy travelling adventures and I want that for the kids. So a few months ago we booked tickets for us to go with my friends to Spain. It’s hardly anywhere trendy like Budapest or something but it’s a short flight and I shall be solo parenting so for me it’s brave! 
I’m not as nervous as I thought I would be. I’ve been side tracked with packing and organising things because I’ve never flown without my parents so I’m rather distracted! But I’m putting on a brave face for the kids because 2 hours of mad anxiety is worth it for a two week well needed get away. 
I shall drive everyone crazy with pictures but I don’t care ✌🏽

Love Sophie, Delilah and Indiana x

Mum night off #SAVVYSOCIAL

Mum night off #SAVVYSOCIAL

After tons of trips to the park, countless coffee mornings and god knows how many tantrums Shanice and I finally ditched the kids (thank god for Samy for babysitting at the last minute!) and headed for the big smoke in search of cocktails and good music.

We had been talking to Hanna (@the_savvy_mum) for a while and when we saw her advertise her #savvysocial we quickly booked!

We made our way up and out for a dinner which was lovely to eat without interruption from our whiny (but lovely) bubbas who demand juice/a poo/crisps and actually had a conversation that finished with complete sentences.. a sheer miracle! After much searching for some trendy London food we agreed what we really wanted was trusty Zizzis for Italian food and fizz.

We then headed over to the event in Southwark. We mingled, drank cocktails, boogied and chatted to other like minded mummas who also had braved leaving their babies at home to head out for a few hours of fun.

Along with all the exciting things at the event Hanna had got Charlotte Tomkins MUA (@makeupbyct) to glitter is up in full festival style!

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Fab food, fab company and fab host (plus a brilliant goodie bag). Well done babe, look forward to the next #savvysocial x

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Talking to Teen Mom UK’s Amber Butler

Talking to Teen Mom UK’s Amber Butler

Hey Everyone!

So today I had the pleasure of interviewing MTV Teen Mom UK’s Amber Butler from Blackpool on being a contributor to Teen Mom UK and a mum to toddler Brooklyn. I was excited to find out what she has been up to since we last saw her on our screens!

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ME: Hi Amber, so how old were you when you fell pregnant with Brooklyn? How did you find it and how did you feel?

AMBER:  I was 16, I found out I was pregnant the day before my 17th birthday which is the 7th June, it was really shocking and surprising because I had so much going on at the time with work, attending college, living with my mum etc I didn’t know what to do. Then me and Ste (Brooklyn’s father) sat down and had a chat about everything and we decided to go through with the pregnancy as we thought we was ready, I’ve always been against abortions. I was then super excited with our choice!

ME: As a fellow teen mum it was scary finding out I was 18 and pregnant but more so that I had to tell my mum and dad. How did you tell your parents?

AMBER:  Well, telling my parents and other family members was the worst part. They thought I wasn’t ready so hearing that was hard but I told them I was. They were all very supportive in the end, they have helped me out so much when I was struggling financially and everything!

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ME: Brooklyn is such a lovely and unique name! What was your inspiration? Did you have any girls names you liked?

AMBER: I kinda liked the name Brooklyn because of the Beckhams! I’m proper into unshakable names. If I was to ever have a little girl she would be names Tiara-Rose as I thinks it’s such a cute sweet name!

ME: What attracted you to apply to be on Teen Mum UK 🇬🇧?

AMBER: To be honest I really just wanted to show motherhood and my parenting skills off to the world. I wanted to see how other people would judge my parenting as I thought I was useless and not doing it right but ever since everyone says that I’m doing brilliantly and I try my best being a single mum etc, which is super nice!

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ME: In the first season we saw the ups and downs of co-parenting. What advice would you give to other co-parents?

AMBER: The advice I would give to other parents who co-parent would be to just try your best, not everyone’s perfect but it takes time, you need to put your differences aside and look after your child as you want the best for them. There’s nothing more than just trying your best!

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ME: I hated going to baby groups after a few nasty experiences with bitchy judgmental older mum. Did you have any similar problems or any other judgement?

AMBER:  It’s horrible that, yes I have it when you see other mums looking at you weirdly and judging you but I ignore it. He’s my child at the end of the day and I’ll look after him the way I want, if he’s being naughty then yes he needs to know that he’s being naughty, if he’s being good then yes I’ll give him a cuddle, kiss, high five, teach him from right from wrong.

ME: What brands do you like to dress Brooklyn in? Where do you shop for his clothes etc.

AMBER:  I always try to make him look trendy, I know he’s not an accessory or a doll but I like to keep him looking nice. I usually shop in River Island kids, JD Sport, Instagram shops or Mamas and Papas!

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ME: What’s your favourite part of motherhood?

AMBER: My favourite part of motherhood is all of it! These past 2 years have been a roller coaster of enjoyment, stress, happiness  but I wouldn’t change it for the world! I have so much many things to look forward to such as teachings Brooklyn to ride a bike, potty training, progressing on his speech, swimming and so much more!

ME: And lastly what should we expect to see in the new season of Teen Mum UK? 🇬🇧

AMBER: In the new season of Teen Mom UK you will expect to see just ME. I’m as real as it gets! You will see mine and Stes relationship being so much more relaxed and calm which is nice! I also go on a few dates with a boy who I liked. And just being a mother to my beautiful son really!

 

You can see Amber, Ste and Brooklyn in Teen Mom UK on MTV starting season 2 on the 26th of July 8pm YAY!

Second baby changes everything (again?)

Second baby changes everything (again?)

Picture pre-Indiana Sophie and Paddy (well slept and calmer)

We said despite him being the second we would treat him equally, no second hand toys, no hand me down clothes, same rules apply…

Fast forward to 11 months old and i’m sat with my friend at baby group (Hi Samy!) whose son Theo is a week younger than Indie and happens to be her second also. I asked with their birthdays approaching what she was getting him for his birthday. It made me realise that I hadn’t so much had got an idea of his birthday presents let alone even purchased any. (FUCKKKKKKK!)

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This is Theo for reference

As prime example for Delilahs 1st Christmas we said “we won’t go crazy” and then proceeded to spent up there in the region of £300+ all which was not appreciated or possibly even open due to her having a chest infection and spending boxing day in hospital. Indie got the same treatment right?.. I think we possibly got him a cuddly toy if that.

So we’ve now selected a few bits for him but mainly will be putting our pennies towards our family holiday and his passport. We’ve asked friends and family for pocket money for him to get him an ice lolly or two.

I think when you have a second child it puts things in to perspective.

Do I regret buying designer clothes and fancy things for Delilah? absolutely not. But do I think there is better places for our money to be spent? yes. Being frugal is for the win. With age I have very much learnt the value of money and I know where to spend it a bit wiser. Especially when there are so many baby products you don’t actually need which I wish I knew when I had Delilah. I realllllly did not need to buy that many hand mits or spend £50 on getting a cake made for her 1st birthday party.

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So Indiana Michael Joshua Verrill?

This past 12 months has been the best and you’ve changed things for the better.

You drive us crazy with all your climbing.

Your smile makes our hearts melt.

Happy 1st birthday sunshine.

Love your tight arse parents.