Review: Love Keep Create

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Caution: I’m about to get all gushy gushy about a product I just LOVE.

Some months ago, a little company called Love Keep Create was recommended to me by one of my lovely mommy friends. Basically the premise is they take your baby clothes and turn them into an item you can keep using long after tiddler has outgrown them. You can opt from all sorts of cuddly critters but they also do blankets and quilts. Being a sentimental person, I was sold on the idea straight away. It’s so important to me that we don’t just throw away the things Alexandra wore in her first few days and weeks in the world.

We decided to go for a single-bed size blanket and duly sent off a selection of babygrows (warning, as our stuff was SO small as it was all her newborn clothes, we did need to send some extras so bear in mind the size of the stuff you’re sending as you prepare your parcel for them). It’s not a supersonic speed turnaround, so don’t be sending off something for so-and-so’s birthday and expecting it to arrive on next day delivery. But it’s as you would expect really. They need to spend their time crafting the product for you and when it arrives you can really see the hours that have gone into it.

I had a little cry when ours arrived (told you I was sentimental) as it was just so beautiful. Looking at it brings back so many memories of the times she wore the garments featured, and some of them I didn’t even get to see her in so that’s equally as special to me. The blanket has her full name stitched into one of the squares and they’ve also really taken the time to pick out the details of each outfit – like the poppers on some of them and a beautiful little hedgehog on one of my favourite newborn bits of hers.

I honestly can’t think of a better use of her old clothes and I feel like we’ll have tonnes of fun in the future talking to her about her special blanket and all the items on it.

You can find Love Keep Create on Facebook. I highly recommend taking a look!

Harriet and Alexandra x

The Week That Was: Week 32

We hit this milestone yesterday!

We hit this milestone yesterday!

Another week down and just seven to go until baby’s due date! We’re now under 50 days until September 13 but of course she could be two weeks late so it’s not a guarantee!

This week we’ve been buying/given a lot of things. Her nursery is starting to look really complete now! The furniture (minus the cot which will be painted soon) has been assembled and in place for quite a while but it’s the lovely little additions like the bunting we got this week which are making it look ready for our little girl. I will definitely be posting about the nursery nearer the time but want to wait til the cot goes in to make it really look finished before I do.

We also picked up our travel system on Friday – one of our very lovely friends sold us theirs which looks brand new and parts of it have hardly been used so we were really pleased to have the chance to get something so lovely at such a good price. I’m looking forward to finding out how to use it all and fit the car seat etc. Our friend had also been collecting loads of tiny clothes for us so it was like Christmas when we got home having a look through them all. The stuff is all absolutely gorgeous! She’s definitely a lucky girl and I can’t wait to have her try on the outfits when she’s here.

The last thing we gained this week were a pair of handmade little shoes for her! They were made by a colleague of Dylan’s and given to him on his last day at his old job – they are absolutely beautiful, so much so I might frame them when she’s too big for them.

Pregnancy wise things are pretty much as normal this week – I say normal, I mean normal for when you’re carrying round another human inside you! Lots of kicks, rolls and punches, she’s definitely got a bit bigger as her legs now stretch right up my torso although thankfully she’s still leaving my ribs fairly unkicked. I’ve been sick a couple of times this week which hasn’t been great but not a surprise as I’ve been feeling so nauseous on and off for the past few weeks.

Join me next week for a 33 week review!

Harriet and bump x

Hospital Bag Part 1

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There’s a bit of conflicting advice about when to pack your hospital bag – some women seem to do it the second they’ve conceived and some seem to wait until pretty much their due date. From reading my previous posts, you’ll probably know I do like to be organised, so this week at 30 weeks pregnant I began packing the hospital bag. Began is the key word there as that explains why this is a ‘part 1’ post – so far we’ve only selected baby’s items to go into the bag so I’ll update with a part 2 once my stuff’s in there too.

Before I show you what bump’s luggage contains – let me first just share a small shake of the head at the fact the stuff you take into hospital to have a baby is almost universally known as your ‘hospital bag’ – I’d like to know who has a bag big enough to fit in everything they advise you to take. Seriously, it’s like advising you pack the entire contents of your kitchen cupboards into a sandwich bag. Not. Gonna. Happen. I’m taking a suitcase and praying everything fits in there (apart from the car seat, that’d just be Mary Poppins magic).

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First up – toiletries! It’s pretty obvious you’re gonna need nappies for a child. We’ve packed ten size one Mamia nappies (sealed into nappy bags so they don’t end up scattered around in the case) – on the list I was given it says to take a whole pack but we figured if we were running out Dylan can run to the shops or back to our house which is about ten minutes’ drive from the hospital. We’ve also got a pack of Mamia wipes (from Aldi, I’ve heard only good things about Aldi nappies and wipes hence us opting for them) – I tend to use baby wipes myself on my face so these could come in handy for me!, nappy bags (I LOVE the smell of these things (when empty!) – anyone else?), cotton wool buds – again in a nappy bag so they don’t go everywhere and a couple of miniature nappy creams we got in those lovely sample bags everyone sends you during your pregnancy. I didn’t know if we’d need them and definitely didn’t want to take full-size stuff so this was a good compromise.

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Blankets and muslin squares – we’ve packed four muslin squares, two from Primark and two from Home Bargains I think! Plus the cellular blanket on the right of the picture which was from Aldi. The blanket on the left I’m going to leave in the car seat to tuck her into if it’s chilly when we leave the hospital – it was again from Aldi I think!

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Tiny clothes! We’ve gone for four vests, babygrows and hats, again figuring Dylan can nip home for more if we need them. All of these are either newborn or 0-3. We’re not sure if we’ll bring her home in one of these sets yet or whether we might see something nearer the time which we want her to make her debut in!

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Mitts, bib and cardigan. The list I was going off didn’t include a bib but I figured it couldn’t do any harm! The two sets of star mitts match with the sets included in the previous pics (cause I heard they deduct parenting points if the baby’s not matching head to toe!) with a couple of plain pairs for the outfits which didn’t come with them. Cardigan obviously for her coming home if it’s a bit nippy out, although considering September’s usually a warm month we might be roasting the poor girl with all these hats and woollens!

And that’s about it for baby’s bits. It’s really hard to know whether you’re going overboard or whether you’ve really not packed enough. But if we’re in there for longer than expected that’s when living so close to the hospital will really come in handy. Will be back soon with my hospital stuff, which I can assure you will be much less cute and not very glamorous!

Harriet and bump x

Too Prepared?

A selfie in the nursery!

A selfie in the nursery!

I’ve had a few comments to the effect that I’m almost over-prepared for this baby to arrive. I know people operate in different ways but for me, I like to be organised and get stuff done as early as possible if I can (we had flowers, a DJ, photographer, flower girl dress, theme etc within a week of booking our wedding) and to me, having a baby is no different. Yes I have three months left until her birth but all that means is I can focus on all the other zillion things which need to be done, ideally before I’m up all night with a newborn and probably frazzled out my mind trying to get into some sort of routine.

We bought a couple of bits and bobs before our first scan, a fair amount in between the two scans and then lots of gender-specific stuff after 20 weeks. This means her wardrobe is pretty full and if people ask we’ll probably be steering them towards six months and upwards for any clothes they want to buy. We’ve been buying wipes, nappies and toiletries when we’ve seen good deals and the nursery was overhauled about two months ago (by Dylan, although I was very good at helping put up the wardrobe and actually put the bookcase up myself – girl power win!) so all that’s left to do in there is paint the cot (which we already had from Dylan’s youngest daughter) and choose a chair and some little decorations.

The moses basket is ready for action with sheets ready to put on the mattress, we have a monitor, a sterilising kit, a sling, a travel system etc. Two weeks ago I bought two nighties for my hospital bag. So yes, I am very prepared – but equally there’s still bits and bobs to get and I’m also very conscious that baby will arrive when she wants to – not bang on 40 weeks. We could be looking at the end of September if she’s overdue but also lots of babies are born well before their due date, even months before. Obviously a prem baby would require extra preparation in itself and probably some dashing out to get even tinier outfits etc. But at least we’d know we’d got the basics covered and we had some clothes for her to grow into!

However, and this could be weird to admit, there’s also a slightly less practical reason why I wanted to get stuff so early – I just love going into her nursery and looking at all the tiny cute stuff in there! It makes me even more excited for her to arrive!

Harriet and bump x

Second Hand Snobbery

Baby's wardrobe

Baby’s wardrobe

I’m Harriet and a I have a ‘buying baby bundles off eBay’ addiction. There, I said it.

Today I wanted to have a quick natter about the (sometimes) snobbery around people buying second hand stuff for their little ones. I’ve seen people completely turn their noses up at the idea, which I absolutely don’t get. Others have said with their first they’d like to buy all new, which I understand a lot more. We’re very lucky not to be on the breadline but with a drop to one wage in the household, a wedding and various other expenses this year it just seemed completely sensible to see what we could get for the best possible price.

We were very lucky in that a friend whose baby was born last year gave us absolutely loads of stuff and also sold us his travel system for an extremely reasonable price. Not everyone’s in that position so we definitely appreciate it. We knew before we saw the stuff it would be really well looked after and clean so it was a huge bonus to us.

We have bought some new stuff ourselves for baby, mostly before we knew she was a girl so a lot of neutral sleepsuits, bibs etc. But once we knew the gender I felt like I wanted to really start filling up her wardrobe and, as much as I could quite easily have run round the shops grabbing items left, right and centre and spending hundreds, I knew we could get lots more for our money if we shopped around. Thus I turned to eBay and managed to get some amazing bundles of clothes – for example 40 items of three to six month clothing for less than £20. There’s no way you’d get that in any shop no matter how reasonable. And it was obvious from the quality of them they’ve only been worn once or twice, some not at all. They came to us smelling and looking beautiful and of course I washed them again before putting them in baby’s wardrobe, as I would with anything new.

So I really can’t understand some people’s reluctance to turn to second hand. I know I’ve saved myself a good couple of hundred pounds – and that’s with us being (fairly) restrained knowing people will probably buy outfits for her once she’s here. We have pretty much everything we could want for her first six months of life and we’re now able to be super prepared and, where we see new stuff we like, get it in six to nine or nine to 12 months.

What’s your opinion? Did you/would you buy second hand for your little one?

Harriet and bump x

Newborn Neutrals

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Before finding out bump was a little girl, we’d gone out and bought a few bits and bobs in neutral colours – I’m not one of those people who could have waited til 20 weeks before making any purchases and I think some of the white/cream stuff looks really cute, you can always add some colour somewhere else in their outfit anyway! So today I wanted to share some of the stuff we bought, perhaps for people looking to buy neutral themselves or just for people who like to aww at tiny clothes for tiny people. Everything shown here is 0-3 months with the exception I think of the first picture which is newborn – we’ve tended to go for the bigger stuff and then will buy anything smaller nearer the time if we think baby’s going to be very tiny.

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LEFT: This little set featuring sleepsuit, vest, mitts, hat and bib was from a shop in Shropshire for a really good price – unfortunately I can’t find it online.

BELOW: Hat and mittens (I’m a sucker for anything with ears on it) from The Little White Company (buy online here).

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LEFT: We bought a pack of three sleeveless vests and a pack of three long sleeved vests from Primark – always going to come in handy!

BELOW: I believe this set was from TK Maxx, I’m not a huge fan of their adult-size clothing but the baby stuff is well worth a look, especially for sets like this.

 

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IMG_4285ABOVE: I love the triangular dribble bibs – this set of three was from Sainsbury’s and very kindly bought by my mom alongside a set of three sleepsuits including one which has the cute elephant and zebra design. Unfortunately they’re not online!

RIGHT: A stripy hat and bear booties from H&M – so cute! Again not online although they do have some lovely hats on the website.

 

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LEFT: Little Bear stripy sleepsuit and hat from Primark. I love all their bear related stuff!

BELOW: Matalan bear snow suit – again with the ears and bear related stuff! This was picked up in the sale before all the summer stuff came in so again isn’t on their website anymore.

 

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LEFT: 0-6 month sleeping bag with teddy bear and rabbit design (again with the bears!) We think we’re going to stick with sleeping bags until little one is big enough for a duvet.

BELOW: Set of seven cream bibs from Primark and a set of two plain scratch mitts, also Primark.

 

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ABOVE: Possibly my favourite thing ever! A ‘bear-st of friends’ t-shirt which came in a two pack with a grey and white stripy one (just visible underneath). We spent ages in the shop debating if a girl could wear the grey one, resulting in me pairing it up with every single pink/mint green pair of leggings in the shop before we decided that yes, it would be okay!

lf you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment below as I’d like to show you some more non-clothing bits and bobs that we’ve got plus some more girly clothing. But I don’t want to force it on you!

Harriet and bump x

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