Parenting: Top tips for looking after twin babies

When people find out we did IVF many of them asked if there was a high chance of us having twins. There wasn’t due to the type of Natural IVF we pursued. So we always knew that if our IVF was successful, there would be one bubba. Quite a few of our friends have twin babies or they might be expecting twins. So I thought I’d round up a few tips from some of the mama bloggers out there with first hand experience. By coincidence, this week Beyoncé and Jay-Z announced their twins news. Thanks to Katie, Hayley and Shannon who shared their top tips on looking after twin babies (and yourselves as parents). Continue reading

Top tips on kids’ routines from children’s behaviour expert Livvy Gormally, Lets Ask Livvy

As a parent, I know I will forever have questions about whether I’m doing the right thing when looking after, nurturing and teaching my two girls about everyday life. It was fab seeing Livvy Gormally from Let’s Ask Livvy talk about all things parenting at the Mothers Meeting at Shoreditch House in London. From sleep routines, weaning and navigating tantrums, we all hit some critical parenting topics. We also talked a lot about how to encourage our babies and children to follow routines or adapt to changes in everyday plans. The Mothers Meeting crowd in the house also had the chance to ask Livvy lots of questions.img_8779 Continue reading

Things we love about Mothercare Spring/Summer 2017 range and introducing my #Blogfest16 sponsor

I love that Mothercare is a one stop shop whether you’re getting ready for baby’s arrival or kitting out for your ever-growing kid. Yesterday I went along to Mothercare’s Spring/Summer 2017 press day revealing some of its new lines coming out early next year. Their new motto and hashtag is super-inclusive #Welcometotheclub. It’s exciting that Mothercare is also my #Blogfest16 sponsor (they’re a fab team)._mg_8078

Here’s seven things I loved about Mothercare’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection… Continue reading

Why you will always be our Baby Munch – from baby to toddler

What can I say the past 18 months have flown by. About a month ago, Baby Munch started walking. I loved it that she learned to dance before walking. That’s my girl! When you aren’t planning to have any more children (or aren’t able to) having your last baby generates lots of interesting feelings.

So good news for Baby Munch, I mean Toddler Munch, as she’s loving this promotion and next phase of her life. I interviewed her recently over a bowl of rice cakes on why she’s loving life as a toddler:img_6880

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Review: Juggling the children’s bath time with Weleda Baby

I first came across Weleda products a few years ago. It’s been around since the 1920s so there’s a lovely organic story behind it. For me, it’s one of the iconic organic brands that existed before “organic” became more mainstream. When Big Munch was born I wanted to use gentle products for her bath time and get ready routine. My friend also recommended the Weleda Baby range. I had been using their hand and face creams for years so it was lovely knowing they made products just for babies and children.

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Lucky Things Kids: A brunch date with Little Tikes and play expert Emma Kenny

It was fun catching up with the Little Tikes and Azaria PR team to check out the new Little Tikes Baby range. On my way into London town on Wednesday, I gave up my seat for a lady as she was expecting. I started chatting to the couple who were going to become parents for the first time. They were so inspiring. They had a really fresh outlook as parents-to-be. We talked about the pressure to read lots of parenting -baby books. We agreed it was just about finding your own groove and getting to know your baby. I’m so excited about their new journey. They have lots to look forward to, especially when it comes to watching their little ones grow and develop through everyday play time.

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Our Mothers Meetings afternoon with Myleene Klass and her new My K by Myleene range for Mothercare

Mummy and daughter one-to-one dates are so important. I was Baby Munch’s plus one at the launch party for Myleene Klass’ My K kids range organised by Mothers Meetings and Mothercare. We actually arrived on time at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green – an achievement for any mama and babba. Cherry Healey was leading the talk with Myleene so I knew they’d be guaranteed giggles.

Jenny at Mothers Meetings along with her organised crew arranged a great afternoon. Older kids hung out at the craft table, mamas had fun browsing the new My K range and toddlers mooched around the party floor trying to reach the biggest balloons they’d ever seen.

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Lucky Things Baby: Updating baby’s bedroom with Bambella Designs UK

Baby Munch is now over  a year old and I refuse to call her anything but a baby. Since she turned one, I’ve been meaning to redecorate or restyle her nursery (I guess I should be calling it her bedroom now). When we visited Australia last Christmas, I discovered lots of amazing baby brands over there.

Bambella Designs UK also originates from Australia. The founder, Jasmine Vanstone, was a social worker looking out for children before she decided to focus on designing and selling contemporary accessories for babies and small children. In Australia, Bambella Designs is known as one of the most fashionable brands for stroller accessories.

Baby Munch and I were recently sent some beautiful baby accessories from Bambella Designs UK to review. So this was a nice opportunity to update Baby Munch’s bedroom with a few touches. Continue reading

Niddle Noddle,a very cute toy shop in Crouch End

IMG_2295_6_7We love mooching about Crouch End, one of our favourite corners of London. One of Big Munch’s beloved bathtime toys (a watering can!) was found in the Niddle Noddle store. Possibly the best Christmas gift I could have bought her, apart from her broom of course. The Niddle Noddle online shop was launched 4 years ago by Eilidh Fraser and Katrine Camillo. They then opened their actual bricks and mortar shop in September 2013. Eilidh spoke to Lucky Things blog about the world of Niddle Noddle…
How did Niddle Noddle come about? Katrine is originally from Denmark and has worked in various careers including photography and I worked as a professional actress for 20 years. We met in a local park by chance when our daughters were young. My husband is Danish and Katrine overheard him speaking to my daughter in Danish and we soon got chatting. We were both looking for a more stable career, something that could easily combine work and motherhood.
What do you love about running the Niddle Noddle store?
We’re both interested in kids design and quite soon after meeting we started discussing the possibility of setting up an online kids boutique.  We also started selling at fairs and markets and began to build up a loyal following.
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What’s your advice for other peeps who want to set up their own business? Any challenges you managed to juggle ok?
I think that because there were 2 of us, it was easier.  We were able to support and encourage each other. We also did some pop up shops to test the market before taking the plunge and opening a permanent shop. It’s a huge commitment and a gamble, so you have to be pretty confident you can offer your customers something they want.We go to trade shows all over Europe to source exciting fresh talent and tend to go for smaller labels which are harder to find in the UK (sometimes only in our shop) and not too expensive.
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What do you think people love about coming to the Niddle Noddle store?
Lots of our customers comment on the feeling of nostalgia they get when they come into our shop, seeing lots of things from their childhood, that’s really nice. We try to keep the stock fresh and are always bringing in new finds! The shop has a easy feel and we try to keep it relaxed so that our customers come back! Children are encouraged to pick up toys and have a go. And of course there is the slide! So the kids can have fun on the slide while the adults shop! We also stock lots of one off pieces (from all over the world), hand made toys and knitwear. We do stock some of the bigger toy brands such as Djeco, Janod and Vilac because we like them but most of the things we stock  are unique to our shop.We have a big range of pocket money toys which have a traditional/retro feel as well as some actual vintage toys.
What are your top tips for juggling a busy family life and a business?
It’s always tricky finding the right balance between family and work!  In the beginning, it was just the two of us and we pretty much both had to be at the shop all time. That was really tough on us and our families but we now have some lovely staff working for us which means we’re not having to be in the shop every day. We’ve taken our kids with us to Europe to see where we source some of our stock and they were very excited to be involved. Sometimes they spend time in the shop (their choice), I think it’s fun for them and they like helping out. And of course the slide is a huge draw.We try as much as possible to be able to collect our kids from school most days. It was one of the reasons we set up the business together, to enable us to be able to combine work and family life to suit us. Of course, it does help that there are two of us to share the load.
What’s your top tip for parents and carers?
I don’t really have a top tip as far as parenting goes, it’s important to have fun but also to say ‘no’ sometimes.
What are some of your own favourite songs you enjoy playing to your children?
As far as what my daughter is listening to at the moment, quite a wide range of music, contemporary and classic – a healthy mix I think.
She does keep asking to listen to Nightcall by Kavinsky over and over whenever we are in the car!
What are 3 of your lucky things?
We’d probably say that our families and friends make us feel happy and lucky. And because we have such lovely customers, it’s a pleasure coming to work so that makes us pretty lucky!
The shop is located in Crouch End:
5 Topsfield Parade
Middle Lane
Crouch End
N8 7EP
Photos by Stuart Edmondstone and published with permission from Niddle Noddle.

Book love series – In time for Christmas, special stories to share with the little people

However old we are, books can be some of the most treasured and well-thought out gifts. Coffee table books don’t always have to be ones for grown-ups. So in the run-up to Christmas I wanted to share some our beloved children’s books with beautiful images. The little people don’t have to be a certain age or reach ‘toddlerdom’ to appreciate these books. They are lovely to look at with their bright modern graphics and touching story lines. Even better for us grown-ups if we also love reading and looking at them (over and over and over again as you can imagine…)

Emma Dodd’s Forever, Everything and When..


I bought Forever for our first baby. It was Big Munch’s first ever book. I quickly read it at one of The White Company stores and it was too touching to put back on the shelf! Looking back, I don’t think it was just the pregnancy hormones that brought a tear as I read the heartfelt lyrics about a polar bear daddy hanging out with his cub. Reassuring words so the little ones know we will always be there for them.

Having caught the Emma Dodd bug, we then bought Everything. A cute story about a Koala mummy as she tells us what she adores about the little one. Nice shimmery golden graphics make the pages feel special and glow during bedtime.

The latest one to add to the collection is When…all about a little cub dreaming about the future and how they want to be in life. Like all of Emma Dodd’s books in this collection, the words have a soothing rhythm to them. For me, this makes them extra special books for bedtime even when your baby is just a few weeks old. Some of these books also come in smaller versions with hardback pages so they’re handy for travelling or being out and about.

Not a surprise really that Emma Dodd studied Graphic Design and Illustration at Central Saint Martin’s School of Art. Her books can be found on here on Amazon or at emmadodd.co.uk.


Oliver Jeffers’ How to Catch a Star and Lost and Found


Oliver Jeffers is from Belfast and now lives in Brooklyn. We’re big fans of this amazing author, illustrator and artist in our house. Both books talk about friendship and there’s also a hint of touching determination in the story lines. How to Catch a Star tells us about a boy who knew what he wanted and his adventure to find his new friend. Lost and Found is about a boy who will do anything to help a penguin who arrives on his doorstop.

Oliver Jeffers’ books can be found here on Amazon. It’s also worth checking out his website to keep up to date with his freshest story books (and enjoy some of the cute video trailers). I really hope one day he will make films out of his stories.


 

When I Was Born  by Isabel Minhos Martin and illustrated by Madelena Mataso


We came across this book at the Tate Modern book shop in London when I was pregnant with our second baby. I loved the cover so much, maybe it’s because of my growing love of all things monochrome. So this turned out to be Lil’ Munch’s first book. The black and white images in this book are perfect for babies, toddlers and older children. Perfect words for toddlers who just want to explore stuff and create their own mini adventures. A longer story about a little boy’s discoveries ever since he was born and left his mummy’s tummy. The pages reveal how he explores and finds out about new things using his different senses. It also highlights the simple things our little people really enjoy in life. A book reminding us learning is never-ending.

When I Was Born can be found at the online Tate Shop or on Amazon.


I Had a Favourite Dress by Boni Ashburn and illustrated by Julia Denos


Since Big Munch has been part of our crew, I’ve always bought a book for her whenever we visit different countries together. They’re cute souvenirs which remind me (if anything) of our good times on holidays. I first came across I Had a Favourite Dress in the Anthropologie store in Miami. Big Munch was only 6 months at the time but I was excited to find a book we could also read and talk about when she was a bit older (and starting to put together her own outfits). Before I knew it, she’s now two and a half and creatively decides what to wear. Note no maximum number of patterns in one outfit. Like the little girl in this book, she clearly has some favourite items of clothing of her own. As someone who loves associating my clothes with different memories, celebrations and places this was also the book for me. A cool story about a little girl who is sentimental about how one dress is transformed and helps to build memories. It’s also a cool way of talking about the days of the weeks, seasons and for us budding seamstresses and designers customising the beloved items that will always be a part of our wardrobe!

I Had a Favourite Dress can be found here on Amazon.

So what are some of your favourite stories to read to the little people? Any books where the illustrations make you smile? Go on, quickly leave a comment and share the book love…x