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My top picks – Jools Oliver’s ‘Little Bird’ collection for Mothercare

27 Aug

Way back in June I gave you a sneak peak of Jools Oliver’s upcoming ‘Little Bird’ collection for Mothercare. It promised to be a really lovely collection of affordable newborn, girls and boys clothes as well as nursery and gift items.

The collection landed in stores on 17th August when I was pretty busy with the recent arrival of Little Pea but, having had 5 minutes to investigate I’m pleased to report it’s as fab as I thought it would be.

Here are my top picks:

Little Bird by Jools Jersey Rainbow Pyjama – £12

Little Bird by Jools Blue Bird All In One With Bag And Hat – £15

Little Bird by Jools Toadstool Jersey Top – £12-13

Little Bird by Jools Socks- 5 Pack – £6-7

Little Bird by Jools Floral Tunic Dress – £15-16

Little Bird by Jools Blue and White Stripe Knitted Jumper – £14-15

Little Bird by Jools Toadstool Doorstop – £16

Little Bird by Jools Fabric Storage Basket – £24.99

You can buy the collection online now.

Be quick before I buy it all!

Little Pea Green

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Perfect new baby gift – Milestone baby cards

24 Aug

I’ve spent far more time than is necessary finding new nursery interiors blogs over the last few months and recently came across the fabulous Bloesem Kids, a veritable feast of interior ideas, toys and books for little people.

I’ve already spotted a new book, Be Creative with Famille Summerbelle, a collaboration with Paumes, the publisher of the beautiful children’s interiors books I’ve blogged about previously but, I’m also taken with these milestone baby cards.

MilestoneBabyCards

The idea comes from new Mum Gemma who used handwritten notes to document her little one’s ‘first’s’. She’s now created some beautifully illustrated cards which can be used when your own Little Pea sleeps through the night, has their first solid food,crawls for the first time or 25 other key milestones in their first 18 months.

Milestone Baby Cards

At £15 a set they’d make a unique baby shower or new baby present. You can check international stockists on the milestone website or buy them online.

All images courtesy of Milestone Baby Cards.

Little Pea Green

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Introducing Little Pea Green

17 Aug

Well, after 41 weeks and 1 day I’m very proud to announce that Little Pea Green has made her appearance.

Arriving last Saturday 11th August at 8.44pm and weighing 7lbs 14 oz we now have a wonderful new addition to the Green family – Emmeline Beatrice.


We’re 6 days in and slowly getting the hang of it.

Will normal service ever be resumed?! No, probably not but, we couldn’t be happier.

Little Pea Green

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Pregnancy power bar recipe

8 Aug

As you may have seen from my recent post on keeping boredom at bay on maternity leave I’ve been stocking the freezer for when we’re a little short of time or energy for shopping and cooking. Anyone that knows me will appreciate that this particular task would always include baking and we’ve been enjoying banana loaves, chocolate brownies and a few lemon drizzle cakes.

More recently we’ve also been making double batches of breakfast bars, great for a mid-morning lull and they keep for an age in an airtight tin. It’s so easy to make (so much so that I’m inclined to keep it to myself to make me look cleverer!) and the builders and anyone else that comes to visit seem to love them.

Here’s the recipe, enjoy…

Snack for pregnancy

Ingredients:

1 x 397g can condensed milk

250g rolled oats (not instant)

75g shredded coconut

100g dried cranberries

125g mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame)

125g natural unsalted peanuts

To make:

1. Preheat oven to 130C and oil a 23x33x4cm baking tin

2.Warm condensed milk in a pan

3. Mix together all other ingredients, add warm condensed milk and fold

4. Spread into tin

5. Bake for 1 hour, remove from oven and after 15 minutes, cut into four across, four down to make 16 chunky bars

6. Let cool completely before removing from tin.

Recipe courtesy of Nigella Lawson – Nigella Express.

Happy baking.

Little Pea Green

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10 ideas for keeping boredom at bay on maternity leave

3 Aug

Despite looking forward to the start of my maternity leave I’m now three weeks in and starting to get slightly bored. Mr G is a little terrified of me going anywhere by myself in case I’m stranded in the early stages of labour and I can’t rush around doing as much as I usually would so, how have I been keeping myself busy?

Here are 10 ideas for keeping the boredom at bay before your little one arrives:

  1. Pack your hospital bag

    Something I didn’t even think about until I started my maternity leave but considering I was already 37 weeks when I finished work I could have been cutting it a little fine if Little Pea had arrived early! There are tons of resources online but I found the hospital bag checklist at Baby Centre the most comprehensive.

  2. Write your birth plan

    A pretty essential document to accompany your birth notes on the big day. Yes, theoretically everything you’ve written could go out of the window but, it’s a great starting point for discussions with your birth partner and to guide the midwives/birth professionals who are helping you. Again, tons of resources of line but I’d recommend the NHS birth plan template (which you can fill in online or print a PDF).

  3. Purchase all the essentials (and the not-so-essentials)

    I tend to be the one who keeps stock of all the essentials like washing powder, hand soap, toilet rolls etc at home so, when they’ve been on special offer in the last few months I’ve been stocking up on supplies. Admittedly our cellar now looks like I’m stockpiling for the start of World War 3 but I’m sure we’ll be thankful for my amazing organisational skills. I’ve also bought moisturisers, shampoo, face wash etc for the same reasons.

  4. Treat yourself

    If you’re anything like me treating yourself doesn’t come easily (I always feel bad for spending money on myself) but, now is the time to do it and make the most of it. Facials, massages and pedicures are the way forward and will help you feel a little more human on the big day. I’ve also taken to fake tanning (check the labels of the product first to make sure they’re suitable for you to use) to help me look less like the waking dead when I’ve managed an average of 3 hours sleep at night.

  5. Meet your family and friends for coffee/lunch/cinema trips

    My favourite ‘to-do’ but one I imagine I might not feel as confident, mobile or flush with cash to do in the first couple of months. Of course, friends and family will also be an overwhelming source of support shortly so treating them is a brilliant pre-emptive move!

  6. Wash all the baby clothes, bath towels and sheets

    Make sure you use non-bio washing powder (my favourite is Fairy – smells delicious) and there is nothing as cute as seeing all the little clothes drying in the fresh air on the line. But, don’t go overboard. You’re going to get so many presents after the baby is born you might need to take some things back and, if you’ve already taken the labels off and washed everything it’s going to be a little hard to do so!

  7. Stock the freezer

    Similar to the rationale in number 3 but ‘spare’ time is going to be sparse so, making sure you’ve got enough sustenance to keep you going for a few weeks won’t go amiss. This is especially important if you’re breastfeeding and need to keep up the good calorie consumption.

  8. Catch up on books and films

    If you’re anything like me you’ll have a stack of baby (and non-baby related) books and films you’ve been meaning to read and watch for months. If so, now is your final chance to make the most of the peace and quiet. My current reading list includes Shelter by Harlan Coben and tons of back issues of Livingetc well as watching all my Sky+ programmes and films.

  9. Buy cards and presents for upcoming birthday’s

    Now this one might seem a little too organised but the lack of free time in the next few months shouldn’t be an excuse for missing important birthdays and celebrations. I’ve stocked my birthday card folder and the present box so I can dip in at a minutes notice.

  10. And, if you’re a blogger, line up those draft blog posts

    I’ve had tons of ideas for new blog posts in the last few weeks and so have put my additional spare time to good use drafting all sorts. I imagine they’re going to come in useful when my brain has turned to post-baby mush but still want to keep in touch with everyone and everything via Little Pea Green.

Would love to hear what you did to keep yourself amused on maternity leave.

Share away in the comments below.

Little Pea Green

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Nursery interiors ideas – Books by Editions Paumes

1 Aug

As our loft conversion nears completion I’m turning my attentions to interiors ideas for the nursery. I’ve been saving tons of images on my pinterest board (and will share my moodboard in an upcoming post) but I’ve come across some great interior books from one of my favourite online stores, Bodie and Fou.

The books come from the small family run Japanese publishing house, Editions Paumes which has compiled real-life examples of children’s room interiors from Paris, Stockholm, Sweden, London and Copenhagen.

Bodie and Fou_Edition Paumes_ChildrensRoomsLondon

I’ve recently purchased the London edition and, although my Japanese isn’t amazing (!), you don’t really need to understand the text – the imagery says it all. Admittedly, at £21.00 each they’re not cheap but I’ve already zeroed in on a few ideas for Little Pea’s room and they’re a wonderful reference text for future projects.

Bodie and Fou_PaumeschildrenroomLondon

The only problem is, I now want to buy them all!

Little Pea Green

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All images courtesy of Bodie and Fou.

My week on Instagram – one week and counting!

30 Jul

I quite enjoyed documenting my first week of maternity leave on Instagram so, I thought I’d try to keep it up until Little Pea’s arrival. Admittedly it might get less interesting – the nearer I get to the big day I’m slightly worried my waters are going to break in some terribly public place so becoming increasingly on lock-down, dammit.

But, I was let out last weekend to enjoy a belated shopping trip with best bud Rachel T – wangled a complimentary hand and arm massage at the beautiful Jo Malone store in the Victoria Quarter, stocked up on loads of ‘essentials’ from Liz Earle, Boots and the White Company as well as the obligatory coffee stop at La Bottega Milanese and lunch at Anthony’s Patisserie.

I’ve also been ‘forced’ to relax with lots of baths filled to the brim with Kiehls lavender, sea salts and aloe bath foam as well as beautiful meals at Mum and Dad’s and a few cheeky (but non-alcoholic fuelled) trips to our beautiful local pub, The Old Bridge Inn in Ripponden.

Little Pea Green_week on Instagram

I’ve also been using our spare time for final Pea preparations including midwife appointments, birth plan writing, crib making and ticking off all the final purchases and washing.

Little Pea Green_week on Instagram

Even the loft is moving on apace. The builders arrive every morning with a look of terror on their faces that I’m going to pop before they finish construction but, they’re doing an amazing job. Roof steels, joists, insulation and windows in and the building inspector is happy so, they’re moving on apace with the staircase and plastering now.

Little Pea Green_week on Instagram

Turning my attentions to this week’s plan of action – how to keep boredom at bay in the final week or two (or three!) and finalising plans for the nursery – blog posts for both coming soon!

Little Pea Green

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Top 5 money saving tips for pregnancy and birth

27 Jul

Now I’m ramping up the purchases for Little Pea’s imminent arrival the costs are starting to spiral too. But, the good news is there are tons of baby clubs, competitions and special offers out there to help keep costs down as much as possible.

Being the kind soul I am I thought I’d share my top 5 money-saving tips:

  1. Bounty Parenting Club
    Anyone that has been to an ante-natal ward or for a maternity appointment can’t fail to notice the Bounty pack in every expectant mum’s arms. Bounty has been around for decades and gives money off vouchers, samples and advice through packs (five in total) from birth to bump and beyond. I’ve had the first few packs already which have included samples of washing powder, Sudocreme and nappies so well worth getting involved. Usually your midwife will give you all the details but if not, you can sign up on the Bounty site.
  2. Supermarkets
    Most of us have Nectar and Clubcard’s so, Sainsbury’s Little Ones Baby & Toddler Club and Tesco’s Baby & Toddler Club are definitely worth signing up for. I’ve just got a free Huggies Mum & Baby Bundle (worth £9.99) from Sainsbury’s which will be really useful for my hospital bag and Tesco are in the process of sending me £150 in discount vouchers as well as regular Baby & Toddler magazines until Little Pea is three.
  3. High street mother and baby stores
     I’ve also done quite well out of the Mothercare Baby and Me Club (which gives you £100 worth of money off vouchers for toiletries and clothes as well as larger goods such as cots, moses baskets and prams) as well as Mamas and Papas who give you a £5 gift card and other money-off vouchers when you register for their latest catalogue. And, one store I’ve not yet signed up for but which might also be worth exploring is Boots Parenting Club. They don’t seem to provide discount vouchers as the other stores but, you do get Advantage Card points on all your purchases and the ‘chance to get free gifts the more you spend in-store’.
  4. High street discount vouchers
    If you’re a regular reader of the blog you’ll know I’ve blogged a few times about the beautiful baby and maternity clothes in GAP. If you sign up to their newsletter you’re entitled to 15% off your first purchase and they’re always sending additional discount codes which do make a big difference to your final spend, even when you’re just buying a babygrow or two. Of course, it’s always worth signing up to other voucher and discount code sites including My Voucher Codes, Money Saving Expert and Voucher Codes.
  5. Baby suppliers
    Don’t forget to also sign up with the likes of Pampers, HiPP, Huggies and Cow & Gate amongst others. Yes, of course, they’re trying to pitch the benefits of their own products but it’s a great opportunity to stock pile some samples for your hospital bag and try out which products suit your little one without buying full-size. At the moment, the Pampers Village club gives you a free ‘Baby Welcome Pack’ and coupons (before you’re 32 weeks), the Huggies Club sends you a free personalised story book, the HiPP Baby Club sends you a free calendar, samples, discount vouchers and 1st year record book and the Cow & Gate Mum and Baby Club will send you a free cuddly cow, pregnancy diary and money off vouchers when you join up.

And, the good news is, there’s no need to stop there. Google ‘baby freebies’ and you’ll find a wealth of other free products and services including:

This is only a starter for 10 – there are so many more opportunities out there for saving your hard-earned pennies. Have you got any money-saving tips you’ve found invaluable? If so I’d love to hear them. Share them in the comments below.

Little Pea Green

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A surprise baby shower

25 Jul

We’ve all heard about the big baby showers popular in the US and although they’ve been slowly gaining in popularity in the UK in recent years my friends and I have never been massive fans. I don’t know what it is about them – perhaps a little too contrived, a little too organised and we thought a little greedy, especially when the guests at a shower seem to buy you a present for the party as well as one for after the baby is born.  But, my mind was turned a few months ago when my friends organised a little surprise tea party to help me get excited about Little Pea’s arrival.

I guess the difference with my baby shower was that they didn’t go overboard with fancy invites, favours and masses of ornate decorations but it was just an excuse to get together and have a good natter with an immense amount of cake.

Mr G was under strict instructions to keep me occupied away from the house for a few hours while the girls delivered their cakes and gifts and, under Dad’s strict instructions not to make me jump (!) only shouted ‘surprise’ quietly when I arrived back home.

The girls had surpassed themselves with the home baking – carrot cake, lemon drizzle cake, and some fabulous cupcakes as well as ham and mustard, egg mayonnaise and salmon finger sandwiches. Accompanied by big pots of tea and eaten off a beautiful china tea service we also dabbled in a few games including Guess Little Pea’s ancestors (some brilliant old photos of Great-Grandparents, Grandparents and Mr G and I) and A-Z baby name game (some great suggestions for Little Pea’s new name).

I had a wonderful afternoon so thank you ladies – it’s not often you manage to catch me out!

Little Pea Green

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My week on Instagram – and what a week!

19 Jul

I’m always looking for new ideas for blog posts and last week I was inspired by Amanda aka The Online Stylist who regularly documents her week via Instagram.

I’ve been slightly sceptical doing a trial as my life is no-where near as glamorous as Amanda’s seems (afternoon teas, champagne, fashion launches, shopping sprees etc etc). But, it was a pretty momentous week for me and I thought it might be nice to look back when Little Pea is a little older and show her what I was up to a few weeks before she arrived!

Sunday saw a surprise lunch trip organised by Mr G with Mum and Dad, my little sis and friends Rick and Rachel. I had a sneaky glass of wine with our three course lunch which included an Eton Mess that was to die for. Hop, skip and jump to my last week at work before maternity leave and, my birthday! Again, food was a key feature with my homemade rice crispie crunch for everyone at work, a trip to Pizza Express at lunch where my friend Jacquie presented me with the most amazing nappy cake you’ve ever seen (you can read more on my how-to blog post) and, a fabulous birthday dinner with the family.

Little Pea Green_week on Instagram_1

Monday also saw the start of our much anticipated loft conversion. And yes, we know we’re cutting it a little fine. It’s a competition to see who is most efficient in project planning – me with Pea’s arrival or the builder and his completion date! Thankfully I still had a whole week at work to escape the construction noise and the lovely team pulled together an amazing surprise party with a ridiculous amount of cake, balloons and presents to send me off in style on Friday.

Little Pea Green_week on Instagram_2

And, now I’ve officially started my maternity leave it’s onto the serious stuff. We ventured into the unknown world of the NHS ante-natal class on Saturday but Sue, the amazing midwife who delivered the 3 hours course, made everything much more fun than it actually is (bless her) whilst still retaining that damn reality check – “I’m not going to lie, it’s going to hurt and anyone that tells you otherwise is deluded”. Thankfully she’s spurred me on to start packing my hospital bag, finish buying bits and pieces for the nursery and washing Little Pea’s extraordinary amount of clothes (I think we’ve all got a little carried away!).

Little Pea Green_week on Instagram_3

As you can see, the bump is pretty impressive now. Scary, and exciting, that after all this time we’re only 2.5 weeks away from the most extraordinary experience of our lives!

Little Pea Green

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