I love this bag.
That is all.
I’ve rejoined Pinterest lately and have bucket loads of pinspiration so I’ll mainly be shopping my closet this summer (hopefully). Being a SAHM at the moment I’m looking for a casual mix-and-match capsule wardrobe.
In a word “boyfriend”. Slim or loose fitting but always, always rolled up. I find the jean brand South fit me really well. Littlewoods/Very catalogues stock the brand but no longer sell the style that I have. You may be able to pick some ‘Katie’ boyfriend jeans up on eBay. I have them in two sizes, in different washes and with distressed or destroyed detailing:
Saying that, I’m often seen pulling on a pair of bootcut jeans with boots durrr (if it’s raining) or chunky wedge heels. Slim fitting to the knees and a super long leg length give more of a summer of love vibe instead of a frumptastic one. Again I prefer the South brand ‘Mason’ bootcut or ‘Kitty’ kickflare – the bonus being you can pick them up really cheaply in the sales so I have quite a stash of different washes.
Or dressed down:
You can’t go wrong with a stripe tshirt can you?
The textured top
I appreciated that I’m way behind the trendsetters with this one. I’ve already been rocking the fine knit sweater over shirt combo that is all over the place and fancy trying a shirt under this lighter crepe top I picked up on eBay:
It’s a bit too tunic length on me though and doesn’t sit right unless it’s tucked in. Perhaps I should cut the bottom off and re-hem (well wonderweb would be ideal for this project wouldn’t it)? That would nudge me towards the current trend for cropped tops but as I can choose the length I can decide how age-appropriate it will look!
The basic tshirt
Slightly loose fitting, fine knit jersey (but not so fine that you have major visible bra issues). I struck it lucky with this from H&M and so cheap at £6.99 that I’m considering another colourway:
Over the past few years I’ve managed to pick up some simple cotton knee length 1950’s style sun dresses from Primark. They wash and iron really well plus the bodice is fitted enough for me to go without a bra. Being a fairly classic style they can be stored out of season and brought out again each year for the too short British summer.
Throw on a skinny fitting twin-set style cardigan or more formal blazer for those chillier days.
The midi skirt
Hmmm, printed or plain, full or pencil style. I’ve seen hundreds that would fit the bill but know there will be only a set number of summer days in which to wear them…
I guess the sundresses fulfills the brief for a fuller skirt, and the floral, so maybe I should be looking for a pencil or tube (I think the difference is just that the latter is stretchy) style. Geometric or possibly animal print and fairly neutral.
Topshop (not technically floral)
Bang On Trend (nope, I’ve never heard of them either but bargain prices)
Although… hubba hubba…
River Island but strikes me as being really sweaty if it is warm ditto neoprene.
There seems so much choice every year and nothing really seems to go out of fashion at the moment does it? I mean we’re still seeing gladiator sandals on the high street and even trainers are having a resurgence on fashion blogs and I wore those the first time around at college!
I adore the look of boyfriend jeans with stiletto court shoes but could I do a brisk 20 minute walk on the school run in them – err no, even using the pushchair as a zimmer frame. I’ll be sticking with my normal wedges and flats. My tan ones seem to go with everything but I would like something to change it up a bit:
They are reminiscent of a pair of beloved silver sandals I wore as a bridesmaid when I was a child. Thankfully the hideous white polyester floral bonnet I also wore has yet to come back in fashion…
The Golem and The Djinn (or Djinni as I’ve seen both)
I thought that the subject matter was interesting… A Golem is a creature made from clay and bound to a master but what happens when that master dies? A Djinn is what I’d call a genie and this one did indeed live in a lamp. The book started off following each main character and it was obvious that they would meet up at some point but would they be friends or enemies? I found the book fairly slow going in parts and the ending was a bit rushed. Not my normal genre but I did enjoy it although not as much as I’d hoped.
Now, I’m not usually a fan of modern fiction but I’ve put a few titles on my ‘to-read’ list this year and this was one of them. I really, really enjoyed it! I can see that if it was dissected in a school environment it wouldn’t be nearly so enjoyable though. It has inspired me to read more modern fiction certainly.
A creepy Scandi fable if the reviews are to be believed. Something about the title drew me in but now I’m really not sure. Just started it last night.
These are the non-essential baby bits. Great to put on your list when 101 people ask what they should buy so you don’t end up with 101 sleepsuits (as useful as they are)!
Baby Sleeping Bags
There are hundreds of brands of sleeping bags for babies and we’ve tried quite a few. Tesco, Mothercare, Mamas and Papas, Jo Jo Maman Bebe, Next and Slumbersac are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. There isn’t that much difference between them but sometimes the way they fasten is easier for one baby or parent than another. They stop baby from kicking off the covers or wriggling too far under them but admittedly aren’t as cheap as a few cellular blankets.
We’re currently using one layer of this 3-in-1 sleeping bag from Jo Jo Maman Bebe as it has been very warm at night:
Leather crib shoes
Most crib shoes are pretty pointless and come off before you’ve even made it out of the door. These leather crib shoes (Star Child, Dotty Fish, Inch Blue etc.) have enclosed elastic on the heel to grip on baby’s feet better and I’ve found the leather soles to have naturally less slip than socks when they start pulling themselves up and cruising around.
Oh, they are cute too. Our son is currently sporting these by Dotty Fish:
Amazon around £6.99
We have some pewter ‘sandal’ style ones in the next size up that my daughter used as a baby too. I have run those through the washing machine and whilst it’s probably not recommended they came out okay. Better than having poo on them anyway.
I’m not a 100% cloth user but we’re not far off at the minute. A friend passed on some Tots Bots V3 and the are currently our favourites for fit and absorbency. Okay, they have pretty great patterns as well.
Around £16.99 but 3 for 2 in Boots currently. Tots Bots have just launched a newer version and Real Nappy Week offers have I think wiped out the stocks of these in most other places. Jack and the beanstalk always puts a smile on my face.
There is a wealth of information here if you are thinking about giving reusuable nappies a whirl http://realnappyweek.org/ apparently just using one reusable saves 900 disposables from being sent to landfill.
I mainly used a Wallaboo Nore in the car seat:
And a Wallaboo Arctic footmuff in the carrycot and pushchair:
Both do away with the need for coats and blankets and can easily be opened up when you bring baby back inside and you don’t want them to overheat or wake them up.
Most of our list for baby basics are actually just going to be reused from last time around as they’re still in great shape. You can spend a fortune on ‘essentials’ but there often is no correlation between the amount you spend and how it functions.
Somewhere safe to sleep
As our daughter was born prematurely, she was tiny for quite a while and we made good use of a Moses basket from Mamas and Papas (bought in the sale) – for many regular sized babies they only get used for a couple of weeks and aren’t essential although are very portable. If you have a pram/carrycot you could easily get away with not purchasing a Moses basket.
For night-time sleeps we chose a cheap but sturdy painted cot from John Lewis and spent a little more on a quality mattress. Unfortunately our daughter developed really bad sleeping issues around the 7 month mark (although she was never great before that anyway!) and by the time her first birthday came along we made the decision to remove the cot completely as she had taken such an extreme dislike to it!
Our son has been such a great sleeper from the start and spent a couple of months in the same Moses basket next to our bed. He was full term but still a tiny tot so fit in for quite a while before we made the transition to the cot in his own room. I know it is recommended that baby stays in with parents for much longer but we were disturbing each other and have an Anglecare monitor so felt reassured enough.
He’s a wriggler in the cot… not sure how long before he’s trying to climb out…
Somewhere safe to change
The safest place to change a baby is on the floor but that’s not really practical for most people is it? Again, our changing unit was a cheapy from John Lewis. I like one with anti-roll bars and we also used a steep sided changing mat to make sure there are no falling babies. As it happens we had a first baby who hated to roll but you’ve really got to watch them every minute they are on those things. We loved that the storage underneath is open so you can reach in for whatever you need with just one hand.
It has been equally as well used for the second baby too but the high sided changing mat has not proved to be of any deterrent when he wants to flip himself over. I’m only half joking saying I’m thinking about attaching bungee cords!
Somewhere safe for travelling
Now, your travel needs and mine might vary greatly but generally I’ll try and talk people out of buying a really hefty travel system. I’m small and wimpy so needed a lightweight pushchair. The first we bought was a Mamas and Papas Ziko which was excellent, could be used a lie-flat from birth, and had a snug footmuff. I loved it but unfortunately after daily use it failed just outside of it’s warranty. My husband went and bought a replacement, again from Mamas and Papas but this time a Luna. It suited our then one year old and I picked up a second hand carrycot for baby number two which worked very well on the school runs for a few months until he learned to roll over in it.
On the subject of school runs I felt one of those frames you just clip the car seat into would be very useful this time around so I hunted down a cheap Quinny Zapp as it is compatible with our Maxi Cosi Cabriofix. I couldn’t be more pleased with it as a small car pushchair. I wouldn’t want to use this one as a full time pushchair personally as it’s a bit rickety and the wheels get crapped up easily. Twigs and all sorts get wedged around the small wheels.
I’m perfectly happy with the Maxi Cosi as a baby car seat but the regulations are currently changing and baby will need to be rear facing for much longer that it was designed for so I can no longer recommend it. As our baby is small he’ll be rear facing until well past 9 months so we probably won’t need to upgrade.
Somewhere safe to eat
My husband saw a Svan highchair advertised and set his heart on it. He argued that it could suit up to teenage years and looked more like furniture than a regular highchair. It has lived up to the hype I must say. We used it with the tray, without the tray and as a chair. They aren’t the cheapest and if you want the accessories you’ve got to purchase those as extras (harness, seat pad, plastic tray) but they do last a while. I just wish I could remember where I put the Allen keys when I need to adjust it!