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MIMI ROSE AND ME

Living Life Inspired

FOR AMELIA ON YOUR THIRD BIRTHDAY

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To my beautiful little lady,
 
I’ve been putting off writing this letter to you, refusing to believe that my baby girl is no longer a baby at all and in the blink of an eye, you are three. You are now my little girl! I’m not sure how it’s already been three years since you made your entrance into this world. Three years of morning snuggles. Three years of staying home with you. Three years of lots of books and kisses goodnight. Three years talking with your dad about how much of a light you are in our lives. Three years have passed by so quickly and they’ve been the best three years of my life.

 
 
Becoming a mother was something that I never thought was possible, but we were blessed with you beautiful baby girl. The minute you were born I felt a love like no other, you brought some much joy and love into my heart and I didn't think it possible that my heart could be more full. But, I was wrong and as time passes as I watch you continue to grow, so does my heart. The night you were born, in some ways I feel as if I born, being your mother was something that I was just meant to be. You give me a meaning to my life. I'm not sure why, but I am finding myself in your room, watching you, watching you sleep and listening to those little noises you make when  you're sleeping. It makes me smile every time. I cannot actually remember the last time I did this, it just feels so perfect watching you sleep. But as I watch you sleep, it takes me back to our first night together. You made your entrance into the world and we were moved to the maternity ward, we thought your first night would be at home as a family of three, but it was not. I had to watch your dad walk away from me, from you all on his own. It was absolutely heart breaking. But it was just us, all alone behind that curtain in the cubicle. I was so scared but you were so perfect. I just stared at you like I am right now and thought about all the memories we were yet to create. But neither of us were quite sure of what we were doing, but both so filled with love that nothing else would ever matter again.

 
The first night was so surreal. You were finally in my arms and I remember feeling so overwhelmed but I was so grateful that I was finally holding you baby girl. I knew that I would try my hardest to be the best mother I could be, but that first night I struggled. I was feeling so scared. I felt as if I couldn't do it without your Dad. But I just stared at you and it was then that I knew that everything was going to be alright, we had each other. I will forever be grateful that we were blessed with such a beautiful baby girl, you were so wonderful and I was completely in love with you. I know that this will grow as you continue to amaze me.
 
 
After our first night together I just wanted to focus on getting you home so we could be a family of three. We settled you into your car seat, ready to take you out to see the world. I walked out that hospital with your Daddy bursting with pride and so in love. It was quite overwhelming at times, as we were yet to discover what was in store for us as we ventured into the unknown that is parenthood. But I remembering thinking on our journey home that I was one of the lucky ones, I was a mother now and I am now responsible for you, even that moment I was so aware that it was my job to protect you. Our journey home was less than five minutes but it took use nearly 20 minutes driving 10mph constantly checking if you were breathing. Something I still do now and you're three!

 
The past three years have not been the easiest, it's been a rollercoaster. We've had great moments, bad moments and awful moments. There were times where I didn't think I would be able to see  a positive light, but you my beautiful girl, would smile and it was that smile that I knew that everything would be alright. As a mother I have learned to survive bad moments because of you, which has actually made me appreciate all those great moments and make them amazing. You fill me with the same feelings of pride that I felt that first night in the hospital and every single moment with you will be amazing...

 
It's only just now as I sit and write this that it's hit me how independent you have become. You don't need me for everything anymore, and that's so hard. I thought that parenting would get easier, I guess in some ways it has, but sometimes I miss those days when you couldn't do anything without me. This is all going to get harder, as you'll be going to pre-school in September and as exciting as it will be for you, I feel as if it's an end to something. I know I will cry like a baby when I leave you for the first time, but I know you will be fine. Seeing you grow into a well-mannered, kind-hearted person, being a social butterfly all on your own, developing your own identity, your own laugh, annoying fake laugh, a great imagination and ambition to try to do everything yourself. I love the little girl you have become, but could you slow down a little?

 
I never knew how much being a mother would change me. It's pretty amazing how one little person and the love I have for her has brought a new meaning to every moment. What once seems so important, now feels insignificant. It's like I get to see the world for the first time again, but through someone else's eyes. It's a beautiful and an amazing thing to experience.  My beautiful little girl, you have already made me the happiest and most fulfilled mother in the world. The night you were born, I was born too, I became the person that I was always supposed to be. You gave my life meaning and purpose in a way I didn’t know was possible. I love you so much sweetheart...

 
Happy birthday my little lady xxx

THE BABY FEEDING SERIES WITH BETTER HOME TOGETHER

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Hello and welcome back to another instalment of The Baby Feeding Series, that features real stories from real parents who have experienced how hard and baffling feeding your baby can be. I want this series to be a place where parents can share their own experiences in the hopes that other parents who are struggling can feel less alone. Being a parent is the hardest job in the world but it's one of the most rewarding jobs too and so I want to share their stories.
 
I am very delighted to tell you that for The Baby Feeding Series this week we have the lovely Alex from Better Together Home. It's not the first time that Alex has been a feature on Mimi Rose and Me, she has also been a feature for our #MotherhoodMondays blog series so don't forget to try and read her post too. For The Baby Feeding Series the lovely Alex has kindly offered to share her feeding experience with her little one and so without further ado I'd like to hand you over to Alex.
 
My Feeding Experience

A lot of the new-born days are a bit hazy for me now; it still feels a little surreal to have a seven year old daughter to be honest, but one experience in those first few weeks is still very clear in my mind.

Breastfeeding is something that I just assumed I would do. I had bought special nursing bras and tops and a ‘privacy’ cover because I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about feeding in public. My husband was keen to be involved in the feeding process too so we decided that I would express and we would split the feeds evenly when he was home from work – and so of course we bought a fancy electric breast pump, and a steriliser and bottles and a special bottle holder that could hook onto the handle of our insanely expensive pram.

When Lily was born at home, after an extensive natural labour, the midwife placed her on my chest and she nuzzled instinctively at me for a feed. The first couple of times seemed fine – she latched on, the midwife was pleased with my positioning and then left: leaving me with a tiny baby and some advice to purchase cabbage leaves.

It was three days later when they returned, expecting to find us settled and happy but instead I answered the door, Lily attached to my chest sucking furiously only to stop and make a heart wrenching scream every few minutes. I was exhausted and so was my baby – falling into a fitful sleep as the midwife weighed her and checked her over.

“It’s perfectly normal for a baby to lose weight in the first week or so, just keep trying”.

I nodded, all the while wondering in my head how this could possibly be considered normal – I couldn’t understand why I was struggling so much with something that was the most basic part of motherhood.

“Remember it takes a while for your milk to come in,” advised well-meaning friends.

“You’re probably not drinking enough water,” said my cousin.

“Try expressing instead, perhaps she’s not latching well” said a random stranger in Asda after I broke down in tears in the cleaning aisle.

And so that week I stocked up and ate foods that were supposed to increase breastmilk; oatmeal, spinach, eggs, and I drank a horrendous tasting tea that a sallow faced man in Holland & Barratt recommended. And then I tried expressing: whilst my husband went off to do a night shift I sat with the breast pump attached to me – Lily was crying, I was crying and I suffered through six hours of BBC Three TV. When I couldn’t face another minute of Family Guy I looked down at the bottle – it was empty. I sat there, shell-shocked – this couldn’t possibly be right. In tears I called my husband at work, desperately trying to soothe Lily for long enough to have a full conversation with him.

The next morning I called my midwife who asked me to pop down to the hospital, and so we went down and they hooked me up to an industrial style breast pump that made me cry in pain and left my breasts bruised whilst they weighed Lily and exchanged worried looks at the amount of weight she had lost.

Eventually a consultant came by and after looking at my notes, at Lily and at me he sat down next to me, took my hand and said “You have primary lactation failure – your body isn’t producing any milk.” And suddenly it all made sense.

He said some other things I’m sure, but all I remember is realising that I had been starving my baby for nearly two weeks. That I had been through hell and put my tiny newborn through hell just because I hadn’t considered any other option than breastfeeding.

It turns out that my Polycystic Ovary Syndrome was giving me hormonal complications which meant that my body had decided it didn’t need to produce milk. I cried again *I did an awful lot of crying in those days* - this time partly out of disappointment that my body had let me down, but also in relief that I finally knew what was wrong.

A nurse arrived and handed me a bottle filled with formula milk and my crying baby drank the entire thing in almost a gulp. She stopped crying and fell asleep in my arms, a deep sleep that only a satisfied and full belly can give.

That night I lay in bed and watched my husband feeding her with a Tommee Tippee bottle that looked bigger than her little head and I breathed a sigh of relief. We were going to be OK.

It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that I wasn’t able to breastfeed, but I now look back with pride at how I handled that situation.

Because, at the end of the day, regardless of whatever posters get blue-tacked up in maternity units and what people want to declare on social media “Fed Is Best” – and I fed my baby, and we bonded and I gave her nourishment and love in the way that I could. And now she is a thriving, healthy, happy seven year old with a healthy appetite, who hardly ever gets sick, and still curls up next to me to rest her head on my chest (because whilst they were a bit useless for feeding, my ample chest is a living testament to the Brimful of Asha lyrics ‘everybody needs a bosom for a pillow’)
 
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About Alex
 
Alex is a mum, a wife, a sister, an aunty, a daughter, a granddaughter, a friend… Alex is a lover of life; of travel, of food, of red lipstick, of laughter, of interior design, of craft beer, of books, of gin, of music, of exploring and meeting new people, of craftiness, of the seaside, of people, of talking, of writing and of so many other things… Alex lives in South East London with my little family (one patient husband and one crazy 6 year old daughter) but I’ve left my heart in Scotland *one day I’ll live there*
 
 
You can find Alex over at Better Home Together
 
Don't forget to go and give her social media platforms a little like or follow

SOFT PINK BLUSH BEDROOM INSPIRATION

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Seeing as we are finally in the summer months, it's time for some change. As you know my daughter will be turning three and I cannot believe that in those three years she seems to have accumulated more belongings than both my husband and I, and so it makes complete sense to upgrade the size of her bedroom. But as she goes into the bigger bedroom it does mean that the smaller room will be vacant, no we are not having a man cave, we are have decided to create a home office, which is an exciting project. However our big summer project is to try and create the perfect space for my daughter and her many belongings that I am sure that family and friends will add to when she her birthday comes along. I have always dreamed of a soft and pretty scheme for her bedroom and so I have been putting together some mood boards to give me some inspiration to set my husband to task.



My daughter's new bedroom is a good size with wide windows and plain cream walls. I have always wanted to have a bright light colour scheme for my daughter's bedroom with a rabbit theme throughout. As my daughter adores pink we have decided to use blush pink the colour scheme is predominantly white, with accents of pink and copper. I feel as if the copper gives the pink a bit of edge and the pink brings out the warm rose tone in the copper. However when the two colours are paired with a white or a marble effect it really looks so beautiful so let me show you what I have in mind.

FURNITURE

With the help from Dandelion Interiors I have all the bedroom furniture I could wish for. The theme is soft blush pink that is predominantly white with accents of pink and copper, so with some help I have found the perfect bedroom furniture. The beautiful Boudoir Provence range in Antique White, is perfect for completing and complimenting all the pretty pink d├ęcor. I have decided to get her the bedside cabinet, wardrobe with a two mirrored door and dressing table with a mirror. I absolutely adore this collection and it's perfect to create a bedroom for my daughter that will sure to last the test of time with a few changes here and there of course.

Boudoir Provence Wardrobe with Two Mirrored Door £325 | Boudoir Provence Two Drawer Bedside Cabinet, £160 | Boudoir Provence Dressing Table with Mirror, £235
 
FLOORING

So if you didn't know already I am head over heels with the colour palette of coppers, pinks, and whites that would work  beautifully. As a base I would paint all the walls a pale pink and have beautiful white wooden flooring to help set off the room. White wooden flooring is such a stylish and an attractive option for any interior design, it's a colour that really goes with a whole mixture of furnishings and would be great for the copper and pale pink theme I have in mind.

 Ahh The Things Pretty | Eijerkamp via Pinterest  | Floor Monster
WINDOWS

We have a large window space and we currently have nets and some black out curtains, and we are looking to upgrade our windows and we know that the company VELUX offer a wide range of options. So we can finally get rid of those nets and have beautiful windows and some blackout roller blinds from VELUX Blinds Direct, my favourites are the pale pink and light grey. 

VELUX Blinds

LIGHTING

Through the lighting, your home can get an entirely new look and can change the appearance of your house. Good lighting can create a welcoming atmosphere in the home, which is why I have chose to use lamps and of course no bedroom is complete without fairy lights.  By finding the adequate lighting to brighten up my daughter's bedroom is a must and will help create the ambience and set the mood in room. I have been scrolling through the internet for the perfect copper lighting that will help bring out the pale pinks and white flooring to give them a certain edge. I adore this beautiful range of copper lamps, ceiling lighting and wall lights. They are so unique and will certainly be eye catching. 


3 Branch Silver Sparkle Globe Ceiling Light, £63 | Fin Wall Light, £235 | Drop One Small Pendant light, £149| Pink Blush & Copper Table Lamp, £47 | Rose Gold String Lights, £8 | Copper School Wall Light, £429  

DECOR

As the colour scheme is soft blush pink I have selected a few pieces that would be sure to add those finishing touches to my daughter's new bedroom. My daughter loves rabbits and Peter Rabbit is kind of a big thing in our house and I have managed to find the most adorable prints and bedding to go along with the soft blush bedroom.


LEFT TO RIGHT: Bourdoir Two Drawer Bedside Unit, £160 | Sequin Star Pillow, £12 | Star Cushions, £28 | Peter Rabbit Floral Prints, £15 | Peter Rabbit Pink Bedding, £32 | Boudoir Wardrobe with Two Mirrored Door, £325 | Bourdoir Dressing Table, £235 | Wooden Bunny Night Light, £12 | Paloma Wool Rug, £245
So what do you think of the soft blush pink colour scheme for my daughter's bedroom?

Disclaimer – please be aware that this is a collaborative post but as always all words are my own

7 Best Teacher Gifts That They Will Actually Want...

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As we are gearing up to the end of term I thought that I would share some gift ideas that are perfect for your child's teacher. I think that a little thank you goes a long way, so are you prepared to say THANK YOU to that special teacher that has helped encouraged your child throughout the year? Or perhaps sending a little thank you gift hasn't even crossed your mind and now you have so many teachers thank. Don't worry that's why I have chosen to focus on a few teacher gifts on the blog this morning. First, to share the friendly reminder. And second, I’d love to ease the burden you might be feeling … just a bit.

 

GIFT IDEA #1: Handmade Cards

What says thank you better than a handmade card. It's a one size that fits all, so you cannot really go wrong with this option. So why not spend an afternoon with your children to get creative and make their teacher feel special. There are so many ways that you could try and be creative with your card, Pinterest will be your new friend as it's great for inspiration. However if you have left it too late there are always some great crafters out there that are only too happy to help.



Apple Teacher Card, Etsy, £4.50

GIFT IDEA #2: Teacher Tea Gift Set

As a tea lover this would be a great gift to receive. Being a teacher I am more than sure that a few tea breaks are needed so why not surprise your child's teacher with these personalised assorted teabags. Each are packaged individually in a paper envelope. Handmade & designed specifically with quotes for a special teacher. These are the perfect gift for the end of term. The designs include cute, witty and encouraging quotes to brighten up a special teachers day! The teas are sourced from well known British tea companies and the set includes a selection of flavours:  English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Camomile, Rooibos, Indian Spice Chai, Mint (spearmint), Jasmine Green Tea and Honeybush.



Teacher Tea Gift Set, Victoria Mae Designs, £7.50

GIFT IDEA #3: Personalised Hanging Hearts and Apples

These sweet personalised hanging hearts or apples will make a thoughtful and special extra little gift for your teacher you want to thank. A pretty accessory for them to hang proudly in their home. The Heart & Apple wall hangings are approx. 20cm by 20cm at their widest points and are provided as seen in the pictures with garden string and a button to suit the colour scheme. You can choose any wording you like up to 15 words and choose from an array of different colours and fabrics.


Personalised Hanging Hearts & Apples, Baked Bean Baby, £12.50

GIFT IDEA #4: Teacher Prints

Nothing say you're fab than a personalised teacher print. I adore these beautiful print by Made in Snetty. Each one of these prints are A4 size, printed onto luxury cardstock and even present in a cellophane envelope. If I am honest I also think that these teacher prints would also be the perfect addition to any room in your home, this would look perfect in our little girl's room.


Teacher Print, Made in Snetty

GIFT IDEA #5: Stationary Supplies

As a geek who loves stationary, this would be the perfect gift for me. I love handwritten notes and therefore I enjoy giving the gift of cute note cards to encourage handwritten sentiments. Throw in some cute office supplies that you know would be practical and visually so fun, punch a hole in the corner of one of the cards, tie some twine, string, or ribbon around the collection, and you’re done!

GIFT IDEA #6: Unique Personalised Gift

I have become a little obsessed with Love Unique Personal, there are so many wonderful gifts that would be perfect for your child's teacher. You can choose gifts from: pencils, plaques notebooks to wooden spoons, key rings and even coasters. For me I have to say that this adorable apple key ring was by far our favourite so why not reward that hard working teacher who has helped your little one over the last year at school or nursery. A Perfect gift to be kept as a keepsake.


Apple Key Ring, Love Unique Personal, £8.99.
GIFT IDEA #7: Cookies

I do not know many people who don't love cookies, so why not surprise your child's teacher with a bunch of super delicious cookies. A selection of sweet vanilla hand iced school themed cookies that can also be personalised with their name to make them feel extra special.

Schools Out Teacher Cookies, The Cookie Collaboration, £25.99
Have you thought about sending a little thank you gift with you child on their last day?

FATHER'S DAY WITH WATERWIPES

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Wow what a weekend we have had, we managed to cram in quite a few adventures, I can't wait to share them with you. But for now I'd like to share our Friday with you. My daughter and I were taking full advantage of the beautiful sunshine with lots of garden fun, sun bathing, a picnic party and opening packages that the poor postman struggled with. A beautiful hamper arrived for us and we could wait to open to see what was inside.
 
 
I don't know what you're like but when it comes to certain celebrations I always think about them last minute, I always have the best intentions but times flies by. So when this beautiful hamper arrived from WaterWipes I was only too happy to open it. This hamper included an array of stickers, feathers, paints, glitter pens, colourful paper and oh so much ribbon, we couldn't wait to get started and unleash some creativity. Whenever my daughter asks to get 'the painting' out, I wince, the clean up is just too much some days, but with the help with WaterWipes I was only too happy to let her loose and be creative to make her Daddy a Father's Day Card.
 
 
About WaterWipes
 
A baby’s skin is much more delicate than your own. So it should be cleaned with only the gentlest and purest elements possible. WaterWipes are the only wipes made with just two ingredients water, specially purified and softened, and a tiny drop of grapefruit seed extract. There are  a great alternative to cotton wool and water. WaterWipes have been carefully designed to be gentle on babies’ sensitive skin. They are the only wipes that contain absolutely no chemicals, just 99.9% water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract – a natural skin conditioner. They don’t irritate the skin; instead, they may help avoid nappy rash and other skin conditions.
 
The first thing that I noticed about these wipes was the fact that they feel completely different to standard baby wipes, they seem almost purer. The wipes were much thicker not like other wipes that seem to be see through, I definitely won't be caught out whilst wiping the little lady's bottom again, that's for sure. WaterWipes are both effective and durable without containing harmful chemicals that may cause your baby to get rashes. In a nutshell, WaterWipes are amazing. They are an excellent alternative for people who want to use water and cotton wool method, which would have been perfect when my little one was a new born, as she has sensitive skin. These WaterWipes are perfect for parents who are looking for natural, chemical free wipes but still need the convenience of a packet of baby wipes.
 


Along with the help of WaterWipes I decided to encourage my daughter to unleash some creativity. We made a mess, we created a masterpiece or two and we had the most fun. The first thing that we decided to do was play with the glitter glue, something that we've only really dabbled in once before, as the first time we used it she thought it was a good idea to try and eat the glitter glue. But this time she did really well and didn't eat the glitter glue - winning. Next we both played around with the big round paint pads, let's just say we got purple everywhere. But after a couple of wipes we were good to go for the green.
 

 
It was during our messy play that I realised that there weren't going to be many more of moments like this with her, she's three next weekend and is off to nursery in September. So I have to cherish and be grateful for all the ones we do have and look forward to her stories from nursery. On to some more sticking, glitter and feathers...What do you think of her creation? I do have to say this is one card, that I have let her loose one. I am learning not to be such a helicopter mum. I personally think it's probably the best one she's made, clever girly.
 
 
 

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