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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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

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.

A day out to the Riverhall Himalayan Gardens, Sevenoaks

A day out to the Riverhall Himalayan Gardens, Sevenoaks

When you have two children under two you’d think that finding different places to spend the day would be easy (oh how I was wrong) but without venturing up to the big smoke things can be really tricky. Also for my own sanity if I have to keep visiting the local park anymore than twice a week I think I’ll end up having some kind of mental breakdown. There are only so many times you can make small chat with fellow mums and take boomerang videos (you know the ones plastered all over everyone’s Instagram of your toddler going down the slide. We all do it, you know it, I know it. I’m guilty).

As a rule I’m not a very tolerable person. If employees are rude i’m not likely to rush back to spend my pennies (mamas on a budget of course!). I live in Kent (broken applause) and sometimes I forget what a beautiful area it is. So with the kids Nan and I took them to visit the Riverhall Himalayan Gardens which is located in Sevonoaks. I usually reserve judgement of new places but blow me down I actually had a laugh. And we only had 1 tantrum from Delilah (small victories count when you have a drama lama for a daughter).

We ventured around the den building area where Delilah explored and created her own little space whilst Nan and I enjoyed a nice walk pushing Indie in the buggy, up by the bluebells it was very hilly and bumpy so make sure you have your mountain style buggies with you. (I admit I forgot my bungee cords and campfire building set but luckily all it took was some sturdy pairs of wheels.) It was so lovely to get Indie out and let him enjoy the fresh air and it allowed Delilah to burn off that forever lasting energy (where the hell does it come from?!). Also if you keep your eyes peeled in the summer holidays and weekends (around 2-4pm) you might even spot the Yeti! Let’s all be honest though, that poor bloke or woman cavorting around in that costume just after midday is definitely not being paid enough. We salute you Yeti-thing.

The adventure playground was in another league in comparison to the local swings and to see Delilah’s little face light up in excitement was unreal. Even I got a little bit excited seeing some of it, and I’m not ashamed to admit how many kids I ran past aiming for the HUGE slide myself. We felt safe for Delilah to run free in the play area and just go crazy! There was also plenty of benches for you to have a pit stop and scroll through Instagram and pretend that you aren’t completely counting down the very last minutes until bed time so you can catch up on Hollyoaks. JUDGE ME SEE IF I GIVE A FFFFF.

We took a stop around the Himalayan hedge maze (mainly for me and my obsession of mazes). I was hoping to “accidentally” lose the kids in the maze just for like, a minute, to get a break. No chance. Delilah was this crazy ninja blur, only occasionally stopping to scream “MUM” in my face before tearing off down some other twists and turns. One can dream. (disclaimer I love my children, i’m just honest).

Entry was really affordable at £8.25 for an adult ticket and under fours free (loud applause) it was a bargain! They also offer season tickets which I recommend if you loved it as much as we did. Dogs are welcome also and I recommend wearing sensible shoes but if you forget they have a delightful selection of wellies that other people have worn you can borrow for free. I’m now lost in my own mind imagining an entire family inside the ticket area going “OH NO. OUR SHOES! WE HAVE FORGOTTEN THEM!”, laughing at each other’s socks. That’s when the wellies are produced and we all get the same sinking feeling whenever we visited a bowling alley as youngsters. Errrrrm….no thanks. I’ll go barefoot. Be one with nature and all that.

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At the moment they are running a bluebell walk which is absolutely stunning. Bluebells are really special to me because I used to go for walks with my granddad behind their house and pick bunches of them and bring them home for my Nan. Since he died I’ve always felt a special connection to them and it reminds me of a happy memory. We met up with photographer and good pal Emily Brown took who some snaps of me and the kids. It created a beautiful backdrop for the pictures which went STRAIGHT on my Instagram (thank you!). Emily took my lovely maternity shot and was and still is fabulous to work with. She is so good at getting the children to engage with her and enjoy it as well, nothings a chore for her not even a stroppy Delilah! I truly recommend her for nice natural photos especially if you are like me and dislike the whole cringe matching denim tops posed family portraits. She actually takes a decent picture of you and your little monsters looking, well, not like monsters.

By the end of shoot the kids had had enough and weren’t playing ball because lunch time was approaching. Delilah was rubbing her belly yelling “I HUNGRY MUMMA!”. She is indeed her mother’s daughter. We took a break in the Riverhall Cafe where mine and Nan’s eyes lit up once we saw the selection of home made cakes and scones. My diet briefly went out the door at this point and we snacked on cake and coffee whilst the kids munched down. Silence lasted an entire ten minutes and it was GOLDEN. But if you want to bring your own picnic spread there are tons of picnic benches and good spots to bring a blanket with you.

They also provided free water for everyone (including dogs!) and next to the cafe they had a wendy house with activities and toys for kids which was so ideal. They had a little shop as well of really cool little things where I had to physically restrain myself from grabbing armloads of cutesy shop-junk and haul it over to the till.

Overall, 10/10 day. Spot on. What matters really is my kids had fun, and I had fun. Sometimes you forget as a parent what it means to “have fun”. You have to sit back, take the piss a bit and enjoy the little things. Like stank wellies, and beautiful bluebells.

Love Sophie, Delilah and Indiana x

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Edited by Ellie Jones- contact us for any editing needs. 

This post is for Riverhall Himalayan Gardens and Emily Brown photography and the opinions in the post are all of my own.

A day out at Kent Life

A day out at Kent Life

Hello everyone!
So I’m terrible at starting posts, how do I start?! “Hello”?!
“Soooo…”?!
“Hey it’s Nicole” (if you’ve seen these videos you’ll know)

Anyway, I actually wrote out a whole post about things I was stressed about. Then when I went to check it over and get it edited I realised how horrendously boring it was to read about me bitching and whining. When really we have each other’s backs as friends, mothers, sisters… in hind sight aren’t THAT bad.

So to cheer us up and after missing my Nan soooo much when she was away we spent the day out at Kent Life in Maidstone!

When we got there we had some lunch at Dotties cafe which can only be described as the cutest tea room ever! They did gluten free bread so Indie was sorted.

We petted and fed the animals…

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We went on a tractor ride!

We ate ice cream!

We played in the outdoor play area, climbed, ran, jumped and had a great adventure.

For one day I didn’t think of anything stressful, I didn’t feel depressed… I just enjoyed my children. Got to take pictures of them, play with them, feed the animals. I had a good day.

It was such a good day that the fact Delilah threw so many tantrums it was unreal! And she also found a dummy and I couldn’t prize the fucking thing off of her for love nor money so upside smiley emojis all the way.

If you can take one good day then the rest don’t really matter. We are in this together mummas. Stay strong.

Love Sophie, Delilah and Indiana x

Delilahs outfit is from Gap America (last years) and her socks & ribbon were purchased at Dagenham Market.

Indianas outfit is for Little Bird and Mothercare (this seasons).

The buggy is my spare car buggy and it’s a Mothercare Nanu. Which I have to say is a great stroller and good value for money.

Editing Ellie Jones- contact us for any AWESOME, WELL-PUNCTUATED, HARD GRAMMATICALLY-CORRECTED EDITS👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻💯💯💯💯

WHAT’S IN MY BAG

WHAT’S IN MY BAG

Being a mum of two under two involves a hell of a lot of lugging around. Who knew such tiny humans needed such a lot of well…STUFF. So I have delved into my nappy bag to show you what I carry!

I scrolled through tonnes of shops online and couldn’t find one I really loved at an affordable price but I did find this gym bag in Primark which I doubled up as a nappy bag. It also matches my black and soft pink Bugaboo Donkey perfectly! Plus it was only £12 (!!!)

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  1. Water wipes- Pre Delilah I would wear lovely sparkly stuff and not have a care in the world what was in my products until whilst pregnant I got a cosmetic allergy and now can only use hypoallergenic products (as only can Delilah). I never knew how much crap was in baby and make up wipes so I was lucky to discover Water Wipes. They are genius! Always carried for bums, messy faces and sticky fingers!
  2. Nappies- in each size, pretty self explanatory there.bag3
  3. Water bottle- I am currently dieting (and trying very hard to do so as well) so I need to drink 3 liters per day. It’s also exhausting and thirsty work trying to tame little ones and as I’m prone to fainting (swooning if Tom Hardy is reading the bedtime story) and have been anaemic is pretty important for me to stay hydrated.
  4. Juice cup- or “JUICEEE!” as Delilah more commonly yells. She only drinks water and on the odd occasion drinks a fruit juice if we are out but they can be pricey if you’re buying one every time you go out so I always carry one for her. She uses a no spill cup from MAM.
  5. Note pads- Trying to remember absolutely everything is impossible! I jot down blog post inspo, things we need (normally milk) and all them bits and bobs that I can’t remember because sleepless nights are killing my brain. I also adore stationary so there is always a notepad in my shopping basket. I like to pretend I’m organised!
  6. Toys and books- aka distraction and occupiers whilst I do things, shop etc,.
  7. Blanket- for nap time snuggles, Indie’s fave is a lovely woollen GAP blanket.
  8. iPad- for when Delilah has a FULL SCALE meltdown that will only be calmed down by Ben elf, Holly and that fucking rude little lady bird (if you know, you know). I used to look down my nose at parents that shoved electronics in front of their kids whilst they did things. I have come to learn that it isn’t selfish or mind numbing for children, sometimes a little down time is needed and it is perfectly acceptable for parents to want some bloody peace every now and again.bag2
  9. The ‘me pouch’- the little bag of essentials to keep me tip top during the day (deodrant, spray, hair bands, lippy, medication, tampons) I keep mine in a mere soeur bag, you can grab your’s on this link> https://meresoeur.com/products/girl-gang-pouch
  10. EMERGENCY CRY STOPPERS- Delilah doesn’t have a dummy during the day anymore and Indie vary rarely has one either but I take one JUST IN CASE.
  11. Purse- to pay for shit obvs. I used to carry a big mulberry that took up so much room. I have reluctantly opted for a coin purse to wedge my cash, card and boots card in.
  12. Snacks- Always carry some nibbles for if they are flagging a little. I prepare fresh snacks at home but when I’m on the go we go for Kiddylicious or Goodies!
  13. Sunglasses- because the sun glare coming off my phone when we are at the park is near on blinding.

What nappy bag do you have and what do you take out with you? Let me know so we can cry over never having any room for anything anymore and carrying a bag the size of a small house around. (At least our upper arm muscles are ripped)

 

Love Sophie, Delilah and Indiana x

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Editor- Eleanor Jones. Contact us if you require edits on any writing