Tag Archives: motherhood

Something important to remember, not just for this week

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It’s Mental Health Awareness this week (I’m sure many of you know) and this is something I have experienced since I was 20years old.

The above is so important, kind of obvious, but a struggle when you have children I think.  The guilt sets in, or just finding the time to do something for yourself is a challenge.  But in reality, why should you feel guilty if it means you have that little bit of breathing space to have all those feel good bugs from exercise (or whatever you choose) to keep you from snapping at your children or someone or feeling bad about yourself.

We should all remember this.

SIX STUDIO

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SIX is a new modern maternity British underwear brand launching this month.  Founder Kate has had many years experience in the fashion industry and like many of us found there was a HUGE gap in the market when it comes to good maternity underwear, so SIX was born.

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There are no labels in the garments, all care instructions are printed directly on to the fabric for comfort.  Everything is made in Portugal, All fabrics are Premium quality Italian Jersey and the Laces are all French Leavers Lace.

The range is minimal and clean in design, and prices range from £27-£72 reasonable for something you wear every day pre and post pregnancy.  I’ve always liked underwear, and the only other maternity I have liked is Storq which isn’t available in the UK.  Looking forward to buying something from this new brand when it’s released.

Six-Studio.

Storq Nursing Bra

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Nursing bras are notorious for being ugly things a breast feeding mother has to wear, day in day out.  Horrible design, clips, unattractive, chunky and old fashioned on the whole.  Admittedly ladies need that extra support when full of milk, and big boobed mama’s more so, but there should be more on offer that doesn’t cost a fortune.  It is true that it makes you feel more confident, comfortable and happy if you are wearing nice underwear.

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-20-03-29This Storq nursing bra is very simple, no fuss, even fairly boring but it isn’t chunky and unattractive.  It doesn’t have clips, just pull to the side access, made in super soft fabric and extra flexible when your cup size changes or boobs are super full.

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Maybe not ideal for those that need extra support for the bigger chest, but if you don’t we highly recommend these.

Storq

Results Day

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resultsSo today was GCSE results day for many including my first born.  It has been full of mixed emotions to say the least.  I didn’t really know what to expect when he opened his envelope, and I’m not sure if he did either.  O’s facial expressions are hard to read at the best of times, a typical ASD trait and he is pretty positive and optimistic about everything, even when things haven’t gone according to plan sometimes.

O isn’t academic and I didn’t want for A*’s.  What I did want was for him to do his best and get some results for his confidence and self esteem, and know he is as good as anybody else he stands next to. It can be hard to do when you have a diagnosed label and statement in education, where support is a constant fight and struggle when you appear to be ok and ‘making progress’.

O got some GCSE’s, something I didn’t know if it was possible 14yrs ago.  I spent a lot of today going to the loo to hide my tears that kept pouring out.  Some from relief, some from pride, a lot from flash backs of the last 16yrs.  God, motherhood is hard sometimes.  Emotionally exhausting, lonely, rewarding, full of love and the best thing I have ever done, warts and all (and there are a lot of those).

The rest of the day has been lunching out and treats.

He has what he needs to go to the college he chose for the next 3yrs.  I’m not sure what his best is or could have been, all I know is that he got what he needed and I’m proud and happy for him.  I hope he feels that way too.

High 5 and all the love for my O x

The Art of Motherhood – Mère. Soeur

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So the beautiful Carrie, founder of Mère. Soeur, lover of a bit of pink, launches her new project next week.  It’s an adult colouring book curated by Carrie, and drawn by some very talented female artists.  The theme is motherhood, sisterhood and girl power.  All proceeds go to families in need.

Carrie has answered a few questions about the book, new Mère. Soeur products and her lovely fam.

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Had you wanted to do something for charity for a while?  How did the idea come about?  Why this theme?

Absolutely, I hadn’t realised it had been almost a year since I held the #nepalquakeauction (we raised $1525 for a Circle of Health, a charity who get aid out to pregnant women and new mums and babies in areas of crisis) on my IG page and thought it was about time I did something else to give back. I wanted to do something different this time. A collection of all-female art inspired by motherhood and sisterhood seemed like the perfect way to do it. The illustrators have all been so generous with their time and talent. It really was a team effort. All profit will go to Home Start, a family support charity whose volunteers are all parents themselves (perfect, no?!). They help vulnerable families all over the UK through various problems and work together to create stable family environments in which to nurture children.

What has inspired you for it, you’re journey in motherhood?
Everything I do is inspired by my journey through motherhood but I’d say the idea for this definitely came from the riot grrrl zines I read as a teenager and always dreamed of recreating. I thought there was nothing cooler.
Feminist art, a DIY ethos and and the idea of parents helping parents were the driving force behind creating this book.

What new products do you have for the shop, where do you want to go with it?
I have a few new tees, a limited edition PINK Mama Gang tee, I’ll be releasing some patches as well as a the first Mère Soeur sweatshirt this summer too!

3 quickies about Carrie:

IMG_8876Where do you live and with whom?
I live in North Wales with Riv! His dad lives in Essex and has a barber shop in Hackney. We have family time once a fortnight.

What did you do before motherhood?  How has it changed you?  Has anything surprised you good or bad?
I worked for Lush and I loved it. I just couldn’t face leaving River once mat leave was over. I had the fear big time! Becoming a mama has done wonders for my work ethic and given me the motivation I needed to become self employed and really give this thing a go.

What is your favourite time of day, what is your favourite thing to with River?
Bathtime is my absolute favourite part of the day. It always has been. That stage that comes after excited and playful but just before tired and cuddly is the sweetest.
Our new favourite thing to do is run around the field next to my house (we’re in the valleys so there’s a LOT of space), at least twice a day Riv will bring his shoes and hat to me to let me know it’s time to go play. Watching the birds makes him so happy!

Book will be available from the 17th May from Mère Soeur

 

The boy that changed my world.

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16years (and 9months) this boy has been in my life.  It’s been said so often, but I remember it so clearly, like it was yesterday.  I can feel all the emotions, and smell the smells of the day I met him.  Maybe because he was my first, maybe because it didn’t go as I wanted and ended up being a bit of a trauma and comedy scene at the same time.  To contradict that though, so much has happened in these 16years.  Changes I would never have wanted or planned but it has made us, us.

I have so many worries and fears about the next year (GCSE’s) that it’s made me a bit ill, but I should maybe take a breath and put it in to perspective.  Yes, qualifications are important but if you don’t make the grades for reasons other than being lazy it doesn’t mean your future will be terrible.  Some people can’t perform in exams, maybe that day turns out to be a bad day for you.  You still matter, and have something to offer and can make something amazing for yourself.

Oscar is one of a kind,  parenthood is life changing.  Having a child that is classed as ‘different’ is challenging, frustrating, exhausting and rewarding.

He makes me laugh, he makes me cry, I think it’s been harder for him than he’s let on,  and I will always fight for him.

He is a pretty special bean, happy birthday O and thank you for being you x

*Birthday celebration code is running on the shop until Sunday midnight.  Enter code OSCAR16 at checkout to receive 25% off your order.

Cult Of Youth Part II

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Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 19.23.11If you’re a regular Lil’ Beans blog reader you’ll have read about Cult of Youth a couple of months ago.  Kelly is a silversmith and if you missed the previous post have a quick look because you’ll want to add one of these necklaces to your WANT list.  Kelly is now the proud MAMA to little Elvis ♡

Below is a lil’ Q&A with Kelly, a few from before Elvis arrived and a couple we’ve added to celebrate the little man’s arrival x

Where do you live?
I currently live in Essex, not too far from where I grew up. I’ve spent most of my adult life living in London after moving there 10 years ago but decided being close to my mum was really important when it came to laying down roots when I found out I was pregnant. I can’t say I won’t move back in the distant future but for now i’m happy living a little further out and making the trek a couple of times a week. Although I do miss my pals. And Richmond/Victoria Park.

You’re about to have a new addition in your life, have you enjoyed your pregnancy and body change? 
My pregnancy played out a little differently to how I thought it would. I hadn’t expected quite how stressfull and sometimes lonely in can be at times. I think what your mind goes through as a pregnant woman feels more dramatic that the physical changes, they seem to happen gradually, more softer. However it felt like my identity had changed overnight and I wasn’t sure who I was to become. I think I started to really enjoy the last couple of months. I have changed but (i think) for the better. I am more decisive and stronger in my convictions than before. I have less time for bullshit and endless time for positivity, creativity and love…. Maybe I have turned into the hippy barefoot and pregnant mama i always thought i’d be after all!!

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Your Mother necklaces have been a hit before their release, especially on Instagram. What/who inspires you in your work?
Every piece of jewellery i design usually stems from me having an idea of something i’d like to wear and then making it. I hardly made anything in the first few months of pregnancy as I felt so ill and unispired. Then one day I was thinking about how strong the word MOTHER was and       i made the first chain with the rose gold letters and silver chain and posted it on instagram with the caption something like “growing a baby makes me feel like i’ve got superpowers”. The response was great and i’ve since been working on launchinga fuller collection (whiched actually launched on Monday). It’s been going great. I think i was inspired by my baby firstly, wanting to wear his initials with mine. I also had to work on the designs to ensure i could make them efficiently and with ease as i still wanted to keep everthing done by hand but time frames were going to be dirrent post baby! Through mothers meetings I have met some incredible, awe inducing inspiring women that juggle motherhood and their passions through new businesses, their jobs or  hobbies. I have found these women some of the most inspirational people i’ve ever met and every order for the mama/ mother chains i get a rush of pride. There’s an incredible movement in the way mamas that want to be viewed differently. If you’re down you’re in. And it’s the coolest fucking gang out there!

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When did you finally have Elvis?  I don’t think you can ever really imagine what your first birth will be like, but did you keep it together?
I finally had Elvis 10 days late on the 1st of July. I was lucky enough to have a very straight forward pregnancy, a healthy baby and steady recovery but the birth itself was crazy. I was hoping for a calm, serene pool birth but ended up with blues and twos! I felt like I kept it together but I don’t know what I would’ve done without my mama, she was amazing and her and Elvis now have an incredible bond. When I think about the day itself it makes me cry….I hope I get to do it again. My advice to expectant mamas is to not have too much of a plan in mind, fingers crossed it works out the way you’d like but if things start to change it’s easier if you can roll with the punches. Also  check out Hollie and Susie from The Calm Birth School. I had a 10lb4 baby with very little pain relief, I’m a hypnobirthing convert!

Looking back on your beautiful and blurry first month, how has it been and are you getting in to the swing of your new days as a team?
The last six weeks have gone so quickly! The best advice I was given was to pull up the drawbridge and hole ourselves away for a bit while we get to know eachother. I love these days, all fuzzy in pjs drinking tea and watching old films. It’s not easy but it’s way more fun than I ever imagined. I love this little gang we have.

Follow Cult of Youth on instagram here x

This Boy Of Mine

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So, this boy (my eldest) has gone to Devon for a week.  All on his own.  It’s the first week of the holidays and O has gone on a week of food with Root CampRoot Camp is a hands on cookery course for 14-21yr olds.

The point of this post is mainly for me to note my pride for my first born.   He is a typical 15yr old boy that spends a lot of time in his (stinky) bedroom, playing games, listening to music and grunting at me occassionally, but……

I am SO proud of this boy.  As some may know, when O was 2yr (and a bit) he was placed on the Autistic Spectrum.  I was told he was a complex case, was unlikely to have friends or attend birthday parties and I should prepare myself to care for him forever.  The next advice was to go and read some books (the advice now, has improved I believe and has more support).  So I did.

O has just completed his two weeks work experience in the West End, interacting with strangers and traveling in rust hour on his own.  He did his placement in the kitchen’s of a restaurant as he is quite keen on cooking, which I’m hoping had a positive impact on him.  He is not an academic Autist.  He is now on a week away learning about food, with a group of strangers, in a place he is not familiar with – all his choice.

I cannot put in to words the concerns I have about the final year of G.C.S.E’s ahead.  How i feel about ‘the system’, as well as how I feel about myself and how I have dealt with this spectrum called Autism.  Though this is a whole other post.

For now, I admire him greatly, he and his ism’s frustrate me hugely.  But he’s been gone a few hours and I miss him but hope he has a great time (and behaves like any other 15yr old would (within reason 😁) )x

Meet Zoe aka Dress Like A Mum

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Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 18.37.46If you haven’t come across Zoe’s website yet or follow her on instagram, you can now and all the links to find her are in this post.

The Dress Like A Mum site is a place for style ideas, outfit inspiration as well as beauty tips.  We all know time is precious, especially to us mum’s so the lovely Zoe is doing the research for us.

We all have days (maybe most days) where we can’t be bothered and don’t have time to really think about what we’re wearing, but when you wear something you feel comfortable and good in it makes all the difference to your mood (it’s the little things sometimes, right?!).  Confidence is such an important thing, and you’ll find lots of great tips and quite often bargains on Zoe’s site.  Also, many outfits are suitable for breastfeeding too 🙂

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 18.37.09If you want to join in with Zoe’s campaign hashtag your pics on instagram  #dresslikeamum.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 18.35.47A little q&a with Zoe:
Where do you live and with whom?
I live with my husband and two children – my son who is 3 and my daughter who is 1 in Peckham, London.  We moved on my sons due date 3 years ago from Hackney (he was born 4 days later).

Dress Like A Mum campaign is such a good idea and so refreshing to see,
where do you want to go with it?  Do you have a plan?
Thank you, i have many many ideas i am not sure if they are plans yet but i am going to take it as far as i can and see where it takes me.  I am open to opportunities!  I started it for many reasons but mainly for fun and because i was fed up with people making comments such as ‘you don’t look/dress like a mum’ and to change this crazy misconception that mums can’t dress.
The other part of what i do (and what my background is in) is that i am a freelance Brand Strategist – i work with and advice brands on how they can position themselves to better appeal and communicate to the modern parent.  The two work together well. But i am loving doing DRESS LIKE A MUM so if i could make a business out of it that’d be amazing.

What is your favourite outfit at the moment?
I love my AG Alexa Chung off the shoulder dress – i bought it when i really couldn’t afford to but i am so glad i did i love it.  That and my Birkenstocks – although i wish i had them in rose gold to.

What is your favourite thing to do with your kids/place to go?
I LOVE building Brio train tracks with/ for my son! i like to challenge myself to either use all the bits or start with a certain piece and build a to different track each time i think I’m pretty good at building them, i always wonder if other mums like building them as much as i do or if its just me!  I also love picnics – hanging out in the park on a rug with some food (and not having to clean the kitchen AGAIN!)

What/if anything do you struggle with about being a mum?
Time & sleep – there is not enough!

Fave instagram account at the moment?
The best Instagram accounts are consistent and curated – so you kind of know what you are going to get or the ones where you can peep into people’s lives.  But I love LF Markey’s the fashion designer (https://instagram.com/lfmarkey/) – her feed is so beautifully curated and i am obsessed by her clothes.  I also like one called Art Like Alexa Chung (https://instagram.com/artlexachung/?hl=en) Its so random  – someone has got pictures of Alexa then found similar pictures in art its so funny.  I love that someone has committed to doing it!

Find Zoe here and follow her on instagram here x

One Day Young

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Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 21.27.56Last night I went to the preview of Jenny Lewis’ book One Day Young.  The book is aselection of images Jenny took for a personal project she began in Hackney 5years ago.  It captures women and their newborns in the first 24hours together.  The pictures are totally beautiful and full of love.  Those first hours of just staring in wonder at meeting this little person that you will be connected with and grow with from that day on, and changed your life.

A handful of images are up along the top floor of Boxpark in Shorditch, you can also get the book here.

There is also a book launch at the Ace Hotel next week, 11th March at 6.30pm, where you can meet the lady in person and grab one of these books.

We all know motherhood is a tough one and has it’s ups and downs.  But seeing this last night and flicking through the book on my way home reminded me how lucky I am to have experienced that feeling Jenny has captured in the eyes of the women she photographed and what a beautiful image they each have to treasure of that first precious day when nothing else really matters.


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