22nd November 2017

Currently Loving – November 2017

Another month – and another ‘Currently Loving’ collage! And I’ve really enjoyed putting this one together, because there’s lots of things I am really coveting for myself and my own little people. It really is the very best time of the year – and I’ve been in online retail heaven picking my selection! Happy shopping!

1. Fable Heart Crown. I’ve been coveting this sequin crown for my three kiddies since I saw it on my friend Coral’s Instagram feed. It’s so beautifully crafted – and would look amazing sat on a shelf until they were ready to play. £27 at Not on the Highstreet – shop here.

2. Boden Reindeer Booties. I bought these reindeer booties (or very similar ones) from Boden last year for baby Mabel (just three months old then – squeal) and they are bringing back all kinds of memories. I’m tempted to treat her to them again as slippers… Too cute. £18 at Boden. Shop here.

3. La Redoute Watermelon Rug. I’ve just bought this watermelon rug for Mabel’s new nursery (it’s only taken 14 months to get her into her own room, but we’ve had a few obstacles in our way!) It’s going to add a splash of colour, plus bring back memories of weaning her on chunks of fresh watermelon in Dubai. Happy memories. £20 at La Redoute. Shop here.

4. La Redoute Velour Dunagrees. And while we’re on the subject of La Redoute, which I’ve just rediscovered after about a 10-year hiatus, I have also fallen in love with these pink velour dungarees for Mabel. So chic. £21 at La Redoute. Shop here.

5. Oliver Bonas Storage Suitcases. How gorgeous are these storage suitcases by Boden, which have just hit stores? They come in a range of sizes, each with a pastel trim. I am definitely coveting a set for my new house when we move in a few weeks. From £45 at Oliver Bonas. Shop here.

6. Wolf & Badger Origami Necklace. A few people have asked me recently what is on my personal Christmas list – and this Swan Origami Necklace is top of the list. It’s got a long chain, with a choice of gold, rose gold, or silver finishes. You can choose from a range of different animals – from dinosaurs, to rabbits, to elephants – but I love the simplicity of the classic swan. £120 at Wolf & Badger. Shop here.

7. Joy The Store Salt & Pepper Shakers. These cactus salt and pepper shakers are also on my Christmas list and will look fab in the middle of the dining table. £9 at Joy the Store. Shop here.

8. Parrots Don’t Live in the City Book. My boys are loving reading this story every evening at the moment – and with the most beautiful rhyming prose and stunning illustrations, I’m really enjoying reading it to them. If you are looking to add a book or two to a stocking or Christmas present, I highly recommend it. £7.99 at Amazon. Shop here.

9. Aayami Grandparents Photo Book. I’ve ordered lots of photo books from this company in the past and always been so impressed with the quality and service. I can’t wait to see the Grandparents Books I’ve ordered as presents for this year. I love the fact you can send over photos and get the team to design the book to save time too. From £27 at Ayaami. Shop here.

10. TR-Q Multivitamins. Since I’ve been telling you about these vitamins, which will shortly be available in pharmacies across Dubai, I’ve been asked about whether they really do taste as good as Ive described… And they really do. In fact, it’s kind of hard to remember you are taking a vitamin.  They contain nine essential vitamins and minerals, all of which are 100% of the Recommended Daily Value. And they are allergen free too, free of wheat (gluten), milk, eggs, soy, peanuts, artificial flavors, animal derivatives and preservatives. For more information, click here.

 

Written in collaboration with TR-Q

Contains affiliate links



3rd August 2016

5 new investments for baby number three…

This is my third baby, so I’ve already got everything I need already right?

Well yes, I guess so. We certainly didn’t need to make any big investments. We could’ve re-used what we used with the boys and have stored away.

But now I’m onto my third baby, I have got to the point where I know how I like to parent and what makes life easier at home, so there are certain things I have coveted for our third baby that we have decided to invest in.

So without further ado, here are the five new things I have purchased this time round – and if you’re expecting too, it might come in handy…

Untitled

1. Stokke XPlory Stroller

This is the biggy – and to be honest, I have wanted this stroller since my first pregnancy with Stanley, but never felt I could justify investing in it. But as this is almost certainly my last baby (last chance saloon!), coupled with the fact the boys will be at school and nursery most mornings, so I will be spending a fair bit of time with my little lady alone – I decided I wanted a new single for the days it is just the two of us.

When Wilfred was a newborn, I had a much smaller gap (21 months) and used our colossal (but brilliant) double buggy every day. We still have it and will definitely be using it when we have all three children together (Wilfred still loves a buggy ride at 2.5 years old), but this lighter, slimmer stroller will be perfect for the days when I have her alone – especially because the double buggy doesn’t fit through the doors to our carpark without a hefty push, which makes it a little trickier when I don’t have my husband around!

What I have always loved specifically about this stroller is that she is high up so I can keep an eye on her at all times. It’s also the most beautiful buggy I have set eyes on… I went for the beige colour purely for my husband’s benefit – I was coveting the purple, but I’m not sure he would have agreed…

UAE Stockist: Just Kidding UAE

2. Water Wipes

When we had Stanley, I did the newborn nappy changing ‘by the book’ with cotton wool and water. Until we got that first meconium poo and realised cotton wool wasn’t going to cut it, so reverted to sensitive wipes. It worked perfectly and his bottom was fine – so we did the same with Wilfred in hospital. This time round, however, my beautiful newborn ended up with a severe, weeping nappy rash that lasted for weeks – so I knew I couldn’t risk using regular wipes on another baby of mine.

Step forward Water Wipes. Essentially, they are thick, pillowy wipes that are 99.9% water (and the rest just fruit extracts). Simply put, they are the next best thing to cotton wool and water (but a lot, lot easier on those yucky newborn poos!)

I had to bring these over in my suitcase from the UK (possibly not one for your Shop + Ship account if you live in Dubai, as they are the heaviest wipes in the world!) but I knew I needed them this time round, so it was worth blowing the luggage allowance!

Stockist: Buy online at Amazon.co.uk or in Boots in the UK

3. Snuzpod

I love co-sleeping with my babies. I like to feel them close to me, to hear them breathing, and to have the convenience of rolling over and feeding them. However, I have always worried about the safety implications, which is why I decided we needed a bedside crib this time around. I was coveting the Chicco Next2Me Cot – until I spotted the Snuzpod, that is… It’s just so beautiful and so convenient – and I love the fact you can take the top part off, so baby can snooze wherever you are in the house.

The way it works is that the side comes down and you physically attach it to your bed, so it’s an extension of where you are sleeping (whilst being a lot safer as you couldn’t roll inside). People have told me that their babies slept in them until they were 6 months, which sounds perfect to me, as then she can move into her cot in her own bedroom (well, the spare room actually, poor third baby!)

UAE Stockist: Mumzworld

4. Sleepyhead

This is the one I wasn’t sure about, but after hearing so many amazing reviews of babies sleeping so well in their Sleepyheads, I’ve decided to go ahead with it. Essentially a  nest for your baby, you place them inside it to sleep – and they apparently feel safe, snug and secure instantly, making them far more likely to sleep well inside it (or so the theory goes). I’ll put my Sleepyhead inside the Snuzpod (above) for her to sleep at home – but when we travel, I’ll use it in travel cots, or move it into the lounge, or if I am in bed alone, I can place it right next to me (as long as the bed is firm) and sleep safely next to her. I can’t wait to see if it’s as good as the reviews suggest!

UAE Stockist: Sleepyhead GCC

5. Rainforest Jumperoo

I am jumping (boom, boom) forward a little bit with this one, as she wont be able to use it until she’s a little older (I’m guessing early next year) – but it is definitely something I’ve mulled over with each new baby before deciding we a) didn’t need it and b) didn’t really have enough space. Well this time round, we do have the space – and with two older brothers to entertain at home, anything I can get my hands on that she might enjoy for a few minutes while I cook dinner / spend some time with her brothers will be worth its weight in gold. So this time, I am finally investing in it – what a lucky girl she is!

UAE Stockist:  Mumzworld

 

 



12th May 2016

Decorating my home with my Instagram photos…

I’m no interiors stylist, but I have enjoyed decorating my home since we moved back in February. It’s a much bigger apartment and the pictures we already have just didn’t fill the walls and it felt a bit bare and echoey. I searched online for prints and scoured local stores, but I couldn’t find anything I really loved – so I decided instead, why not print some of the photos I have taken on Instagram onto canvases?

I didn’t want to go overboard, so I decided on five images I loved – and I scattered them around the apartment. I’ve used the Dubai-based company CanvasJet.com before and been impressed by both the quality and the service – so that’s who I ordered through again. I could connect the website to my Instagram account and scroll through until I found the images I liked, which made it mega quick and easy.

Here’s then canvases that arrived a week or so later and where we’ve put them in the apartment…

13090526_10156943019820607_1979148004_n

13219890_10156943019870607_957108746_n

13233310_10156943019845607_930259946_n13219883_10156943019895607_477070882_nThat last one is in the boy’s bathroom – and I know that’s not a natural place to hang a canvas, but that’s what I love about it the most. I love watching the sun set over the ocean from the window as the boys splash about in the bath – and this photo of one of our happy trips on the beach seemed to work perfectly.

Once again, I’m really happy with the quality and the service was brilliant – so if you live in the UAE and love Instagram, I recommend getting creative with your shots!

You can order online at CanvasJet.com 



27th October 2015

Guest Post: Why my daughter sometimes wears pink (and I’m not very pleased about it)

h and pHelen Farmer from The Mothership tells us why she’s fighting a losing battle against all things girly…

Ready for some history? In the 1940s clothing manufacturers ‘assigned’ the gender-specific colours for boys and girls we know today; before then babies would wear white – easy for bleaching when nappies exploded. Over the decades that followed, pink and powder blue were widespread until the 1970s, when the popularity of feminism soared, and almost all children wore bright primary colours. Think awesome dungarees with unisex T-shirts that were passed down through the family.

Then came the 1980s, and pre-natal testing changed all that. Parents could find out the sex of their unborn child, and go shopping for ‘girl’ or ‘boy’ products, with retailers targeting their burgeoning desire to buy items specifically for the new arrival.

Jo B. Paoletti, author of Pink and Blue: Telling the Girls From the Boys in America says “The more you individualize clothing, the more you can sell,” and, sure enough, pink and blue nappies, bedding and toys were in every baby shop – then when the next sprog came along and was a different gender to the first, parents would buy again, and nurseries were redecorated.

Fast forward to today, and we have a greater choice. Many parents choose not find out the sex of their unborn child so instead buy tiny white, cream and grey clothes with the odd yellow or green splash, and paint nurseries in neutrals.

For a lot of mums, dressing their little girls in pink seems a bit out-dated and not very ‘of the moment’. And I was like that – for a while.

As we started to accumulate clothing for our daughter while I was pregnant, many friends and family bought us candyfloss-hued dresses, bubble-gum babygrows and outfits stitched with pink embroidery. When it came to sheer numbers, I was fighting a losing battle.

I’m also realising that geography plays a part. It’s traditional in this part of the world for baby girls to have their ears pierced at an early age – it’s even part of birth packages at some UAE hospitals – so by not having Phoebe’s lobes adorned we started to confuse people. Add in my penchant for Breton and grey (for both of us), and soon every stranger we met thought she was a boy. This now happens a lot.

At brunch a few months ago she was dressed in head to toe florals and the valet still said, “He’s so cute”. I’m more used to it than my husband, who sternly said “SHE”. To my mind, if there’s any confusion over the gender of a baby (and let’s be honest, they all look pretty much the same for the first year) it’s time to break out the stock phrase:

“So cute! What’s your name, little one?” – and cross your fingers it’s not an unfamiliar name, or one that works for both boys and girls.

Aesthetically I’m more a fan of the 1970s brights, with lots of stripes thrown in for good measure, but given our previous form for supermarket cashiers/valets/waitresses/randoms in the mall telling me how cute my baby boy is, I confess that if I know we’re going to a busy place I often dress Phoebe in pink. Truthfully, I don’t like embarrassing people when I correct them, so if I have to put my preferences aside for social graces, then I’ll suck it up.

After speaking to friends who tried their best to go neutral, it seems that after a certain age (around two years old), children go their own way regardless, from boys wanting to wear Elsa dresses to girls who had previously worn their brothers’ hand-me-downs throwing themselves face first into all things purple and sparkly. You can’t fight it. And it’s all good.

Whether Phoebe grows up to wear denim and scruffy tees, or prim and proper dresses, I obviously have no idea – she may well do both, as I do. But while I’m in charge of her wardrobe, we’re keeping the pink to a minimum. Unless we’re doing the weekly shop.

My top shops for non-girly baby clothes:

GAP

I buy boy’s shorts and joggers for Phoebe, and the onesies are super-soft. If you’re in Dubai, check out the Outlet Mall for bargains.

M&S

The multi-packs of short-sleeves tops work across both genders. I’ve fallen for the fruit-adorned tees (and intend to stock up in bigger sizes).

Boden

You’ll find high quality cotton, and outfits guaranteed make you nostalgic, with corduroy and Peter Pan collars.

Mothercare

Jools Oliver’s Little Bird range is 1970s-tastic, with rainbow colours, classics and plenty of whimsy.

Toby Tiger

Available through Not On The High Street, this line combines great colours and stripes with my love of dogs, resulting in must-order dresses, leggings and sleepsuits. I’ve spent way too much money with this company already.



23rd September 2015

Competition: Win £50 store credit at Cloggs.co.uk

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 14.10.12I find it hard to find comfortable, practical shoes for the boys that are still stylish (is it just me, or do boys shoes seem a bit of an afterthought by some brands?) So hearing about stores that sell a good selection for little boys – right from leather sandals for the early days, to velcro trainers, to flip-flops, to school shoes, to wellington boots – is very welcome indeed.

I was very happy, therefore, to find out about Cloggs.co.uk – a British online store that ships internationally (hurrah for my Dubai readers too!) After browing the site, I couldn’t resist a little shopping spree – and it wasn’t just for the kids, as there’s a great selection of adult footwear too.

There are so many shoes on the website that caught my eye, including the best selection of TOMS I have seen online, Haviana flip-flops, Converse pumps, Ralph Lauren trainers, Crocs slip-ons, and Hunter wellington boots (and so many more brands too).

If you are shopping for footwear for the whole family, check out Cloggs.co.uk

I’m excited to team up with Cloggs.co.uk to give away a £50 voucher to one reader; a competition open to both UK and Dubai readers as the brand ships internationally.

To enter, head over to my Facebook Page and complete the following steps:

  1. Like and Share the competition post
  2. Like Cloggs.co.uk
  3. Like Mum of Boys (if you haven’t already).

The competition will be open for one week, closing on Wednesday 30th September and the winner announced shortly afterwards. Good luck!



16th September 2015

Wish list for the boys!

Collage

1. Tracksuit bottoms, H&M (UK £5.99, UAE 79 AED) Shop here

2. Ice cream night light, Peanut & Pip (UK £10.99, International delivery available) Shop here

3. Fox Sneakers, Zara (UK £17.99, UAE 125 AED) Shop here

4. Dinosaur Toothbrush Holder, Oliver Bonas (UK £9.50, International delivery available) Shop here

5. Boy T-Shirt, £18, Selfish Mother (UK £18, International delivery available). Shop here

6. Mickey Mouse Sweatshirt, Next (UK from £13, UAE from 65 AED) Shop here for UK. Shop here for UAE.

7. Print, Miniwalla (UK £24.50 at Skandivis, UAE 160 AED at Marmarland) Shop here for UK, Shop here for UAE.

8. Aqua TOMS, Cloggs (UK £19, International delivery available). Shop here

9. Monochrome Rug, IKEA (UK £60, UAE 375 AED) Shop here for UK, Shop here for UAE

10. Padded Jacket, JoJo Maman Bebe (UK £29, International delivery available) Shop here

11. Shark Lunch Box, Beatrix NY (UK £29 at Skin and Bliss, UAE 135 AED at Baby Souk) Shop here for UK, Shop here for UAE

12. Camelbak Dinosaur Water Bottle, Amazon.co.uk (UK £14.55). Shop here



26th May 2015

10 of the coolest T-Shirts for boys

I haven’t shared a style post for a while – mainly because my readers are spread across the UK and the UAE, so I’ve found it tricky knowing whether to list items in one or both countries. Problem over, as I’ve decided to list both in all future shopping posts. You’ll find the UK prices and stockists listed first  – and the UAE stockists listed in grey below them (where possible).

So here goes with my pick of the coolest T-Shirts for little boys for summer…

T-SHIRTS COLLAGE

1. Batman T-Shirt, £5.99, H&M, click here  
UAE – Dhs59, available in store at H&M

2. Number T-Shirt, £20, Nor-Folk at Scandi Mini, click here
UAE – company ships internationally

3. Wild One T-Shirt, from £4, Next, click here
UAE – from Dhs20, buy online here

4. Star T-Shirt, £7.99, Zara, click here
UAE – Dhs55, available in store

5. Glow in the Dark Jar T-Shirt, £9.95, GAP, click here
UAE – available in store at GAP

6. Palm Tree T-Shirt, £3, Mothercare, click here 
UAE – Dhs55, available in larger Mothercare stores

7. Neon Bolt T-Shirt, £21, Gardner & The Gang at Scandi Mini, click here 
UAE – company ships internationally

8. High Five Me T-Shirt, from £10 (included in pack of two), Next, click here
UAE – from Dhs50, available to buy online here

9. Super Hero T-Shirt, £27, Beau Loves, click here
UAE – company ships internationally

10. Yeah Yeah Yeah T-Shirt, £19.50, Young One Apparel at Cissy Wears, click here 
UAE – company ships internationally



27th March 2015

My Etsy Shopping List

I love browsing the website Etsy for cool buys for my boys. But as the site is filled with thousands of individual stores, run by thousands of individual sellers, sometimes I have to search for a while to find the best buys. So I thought I’d do the hard work for you and list the Etsy items (and stores) on my current wish list. Happy shopping…

Work from anywhere with a Cloud based PC and SharePoint Dedicated Solution
 

ETSY collage

1 – Canvas Storage Boxes
Store Name: la creature and you
Store Location: Dublin. Ireland
What they sell: A range of stylish canvas storage boxes, in a choice of three different sizes. If you don’t like the gold stars, you can pick from a range of different colours, including pink and blue. I am coveting a set of these to hide the toys and tat on our bookshelf.
Price: from £6.75 each
Ships: Worldwide
Shop: Click here

2 – Printed T-Shirts
Store Name: Feeling Printy
Store Location: USA
What they sell: Lots of different hand printed T-shirts, with slogans including WILD CHILD, Little Bro, and handwritten numbers for celebrating birthdays. The T-Shirts are really nice quality (I have quite a few of them), wash well, and are very affordable too.
Price: from £7.61 each
Ships: Worldwide
Shop: Click here

3 – Tractor Cushions
Store Name: Button Owl Boutique
Store Location: London, UK
What they sell: Beautiful handmade felt cushions in fun shapes, including bumble bees, tractors, rockets, boats, elephants, and lots more. I have fallen in love with these cushions and I’m dreaming of throwing a selection onto the chair in Stanley’s bedroom.
Price: from £20 each
Ships: Worldwide
Shop: Click here

4 – Animal Map of the World
Store Name: Art Pause
Store Location: Coventry, UK
What they sell: A collection of stunning maps and cityscapes with different themes and colours, printed on high-quality coated paper. I love this animal-themed map, which is fun, stylish, and educational. It’s the kind of thing I would have stared at for hours as a child and memorised the animals and countries.
Price: £11.99
Ships: Various countries worldwide, including United Arab Emirates
Shop: Click here

5 – Table Cover Play Den
Store Name: cwtchecoo
Store Location: Swansea, Wales
What they sell: A very cool range of hand-stitched table covers that instantly transform your kitchen table into a den! Personally, I think this is ingenious!
Price: £85
Ships: Worldwide
Shop: Click here

6 – Ice Cream Print
Store Name: Paper Rainbow Prints
Store Location: Sevenoaks, UK
What they sell: Handmade screen prints in various colours and designs. Lots are perfect for a child’s bedroom, including this cool ice cream print.
Price: £20
Ships: Worldwide
Shop: Click here

7 – Cloud Wall Shelf
Store Name: Shop Littles
Store Location: United States
What they sell: Beautiful wooden decor for bedrooms and nurseries. For me, the highlight are the shelving units, with clouds and rainbows to pick from.
Price: £33.59
Ships: Worldwide
Shop: Click here

8 – Printed Leggings
Store Name: Fred & Noah
Store Location: Canewelon, United Kingdom
What they sell: A stylish and very unique collection of printed leggings for boys and girls. I am a big fan of the brand, as is my little chunk Wilfred!
Price: £12 each
Ships: Worldwide
Shop: Click here

9 – Teepee Play Tent
Store Name: Little Me Teepee
Store Location: Cardiff, United Kingdom
What they sell: Beautiful, beautiful play teepees for little people! These are the kind of play tents that add to, rather than distract from, your interior decoration. I really want one of these for my boys!
Price: £79
Ships: Worldwide
Shop: Click here



12th February 2015

My favourite places to shop for my boys

One thing I’ve heard repeated frequently from pregnant mummy friends is that it’s not as much fun to dress little boys. A lot of shops admittedly seem to give up on boys’ clothes, filling the rails of the girls’ aisles with pretty prints and classic shapes, so that you don’t have to spend a lot to dress  girls classically and beautifully. For the boys, however, there might be a few pairs of tracksuit bottoms, with a tacky embroidered logo on the pocket for good measure, and a couple of different choices of T-Shirts with neon cartoon characters emblazoned across them. So no; it isn’t always easy to shop for boys, but if you shop in the right places, it really can be just as much fun to dress them.

Here are my favourite places to shop for my boys. All 6 are available in the UK and 4 are available in the UAE (I highly recommend getting yourself a Shop & Ship account if you don’t already have one so you can ship the other 2 too).

TOP BOYS SHOPS

 

1 – ETSY. This online marketplace has a bit of a reputation for crafty, homemade buys – but you can pop anything into the search engine and discover some very cool buys for boys. The above three buys are all by UK sellers (Top, Leggings, and Downloadable Print) and cost very little. I’ve just ordered Wilfred this pair of leggings and another covered in monsters, oops. Shop here.

2 – H&M. You need to hunt through the rails of H&M to find the best bits, but I have dressed my boys from this store since they were a couple of months old. I usually go for the simple basics. Don’t expect them to last too long, as you get what you pay for in terms of quality. Shop the UK online store here. View the UAE collection here.

3 – NEXT. I’m a sucker for Next. I like the simplicity of a lot of their clothes and I love the fact that things are always comfortable. I don’t know about you, but I just can’t bear to put the boys in scratchy clothes that I would never dream of wearing against my own skin. The prices are very good too. Shop the UK online store here. Shop the UAE online store here.

4 – OFFICE. I get all Stanley’s shoes from Office. He lives in TOMS and Converse, which look cool but also support his feet. The TOMS are especially good, as he’s very independent, meaning he can put them on and take them off himself. If we lived in the UK, he would also be wearing Timberlands. Shop the UK online store here.

5 – GAP KIDS. Oh I love GAP Kids. Such simple, stylish pieces for boys. I just wish it was a bit cheaper, especially in Dubai where everything is inflated by another 30% – I just can’t bring myself to spend the equivalent of £30 on a pair of shorts. When the stuff goes on sale, however, I’m the first through the door. The 2-for-1 T-Shirt deals are also brilliant. Shop the UK online store here. Head into store if you are in the UAE.

6 – ZARA KIDS. Also a bit pricey, but really lovely for the odd piece for your boys’ wardrobes. There’s a real mixture of classic and quirky. The store is especially lovely when boys are teeny – and make sure you pop into Zara Home too, for the irresistible choice of baby blankets. Shop the UK online store here. Head into store if you are in the UAE.



3rd November 2014

The Best Christmas Jumpers for Boys

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Right, now that’s out the way, let’s get the ball rolling on Christmas – and a good festive jumper has to be a good place to start. Here’s are my favourite jumpers my boys – and I definitely have my eyes on number 9 for Stanley…

christmas jumpers

1 – Green Reindeer Jumper, from £15, Next (click here to buy)

2 – Blue Reindeer Fairisle Pattern Jumper, from £12, Next (click here to buy)

3 – Moose Jumper, £6.50, Mothercare (click here to buy)

4 – Fairisle Christmas Santa Jumper, £8, George at Asda (click here to buy)

5 – Personalised Christmas Jumper, £27, Not on the Highstreet (click here to buy)

6 – Reindeer Fairisle Jumper, from £16, John Lewis (click here to buy)

7 – Christmas Jumper, from £9, Matalan (click here to buy)

8 – Red Musical Reindeer Jumper, from £9, Matalan (click here to buy)

9 – Santa Christmas Jumper, from £14, Mothercare (click here to buy)