I have some REALLY exciting news to share with you all…. I’m delighted to announce that I am one of the judges at next weeks Punchestown Festival judging the Bollinger Best Dressed Lady.
I am judging on Wednesday 26th April (Which is Gold Cup Day) and my fellow judges on that day are Aisling O’Loughlin, former Xposé Presenter and owner of exquisite.ie, Hannah Power wife of Gold Cup winning jockey Robert ‘Puppy’ Power and Linda Stinson, owner of Bellamianta Tan. I really cannot wait! And what a fabulous bunch of ladies to be judging along side.
The Punchestown Festival takes place from Tuesday 25th to Saturday 29th April 2017. Other judges during the week include Glenda Gilson (Tuesday), Bláthnaid Treacy (Thursday) and Vogue Williams (Friday).
The prize for the Bollinger Best Dressed Lady is simply AMAZING, the overall winner (which is announced on Friday) gets;
VIP trip for two to the private Bollinger estate and its new Champagne libraries, France.
Overnight stay in the beautiful historic town of Reims – the capital of the Champagne region
Michelin dining and luxury overnight stay in Paris, the City of Light
Private chauffeur and Champagne lunch experience
Each day (Tuesday – Thursday) there will be 5 finalists picked with one overall winner from each day.
Each of these 5 finalists will receive a €100 Topflight voucher, a bottle of Bollinger Champagne and other exclusive goodies, while the overall winner each day will also receive a custom-made Montgomery Millinery hat worth €250 and a €200 Topflight voucher. The winners from Tuesday to Thursday are invited back as automatic finalists in Friday’s main competition where they can wear the same thing or something else, it’s their choice. The overall winner of the Bollinger Best Dressed Lady will be announced on Friday.
My Top Tips
Hope I get to meet some of you ladies on the day, if you are coming on Wednesday, make sure to come over and say hi, I would absolutely LOVE to meet you.
Here are some of my top tips for a winning look:
Timeless Elegance. For me a winning look should be timeless and classic, it is nice to see the incorporation of some ‘trends’ but for me a classic and elegant look with a demure, sophisticated and timeless feel is always a winner.
Style & Flair. The winner to me should show their personal style and individual flair, catch the eye of the judge or scout but yet not be totally over the top either. A winner or a finalist can usually be spotted a mile away but not because she is loud or showy, rather because she exudes style.
Be you. Stay true to you and your own personal style, don’t try to recreate a formulaic race day look because you feel you have to, instead, embrace your own style and wear what suits you.
Be comfortable and confident. You need to feel comfortable in your look which in turn will give you the confidence to rock it. Keep in mind that you want to be ‘race’ appropriate too.
Expensive or deisgner does not equal a winner . For me personally, it does not matter whether you are wearing Prada or Penneys, instead it is HOW you put together your look, not whether it was expensive or if its designer. I like to see how people pull together their outfit from head to toe, that might mean, a little vintage here, a little high street there and a splash of designer, and a borrowed hat but – It’s the finished product I am looking for. The detail, the thought, the way it fits and suits your shape.
I am so excited to show you all my outfit, although I am not even close to organised yet – It’s all the final bits that can take so long, but I am getting there! I am extremely honoured to say I am being dressed by the amazing Irish designer Niamh O’Neill and I actually cannot wait to show you the outfit by her. I have never worn anything like this before! I’m also beyond excited that the amazingly talented Irish Milliner Jennifer Wrynne is designing me a bespoke headpiece…. Eeeeecccck, I’m bursting with excitement to see that. To keep up to date on my outfit and more importantly to follow all the style on the day itself make sure you follow me on Snapchat (username: thestylefairy)
I’m delighted to be once again collaborating with my good friends at Vaughan Shoes to showcase their amazing Spring/ Summer 2017 collection.
And I am thrilled to announce there is a very special 15% DISCOUNT CODE for Style Fairy readers across their entire collections using the code ‘TSF15’ at the checkout, this discount starts today (Tuesday 18th April 2017 and ends on Tuesday 25th April 2017).
Plus, if you scroll to the bottom of this post there is A GIVEAWAY 🙂
I am a huge fan of Vaughan Shoes; they stock an amazing array of fantastic brands including the likes of Amy Huberman, Clarks, Dubarry, Pedro Anton, Kate Appleby and Jose Saenz to name just a few.
I originally came across Vaughan Shoes when I was hunting down a pair of wedges a few summers ago and my love affair with THE comfiest wedges around began… Pedro Anton (see that range here). Plus, this seasons Amy Huberman collection is my favourite of hers yet, wait til you see it, trust me, you will want them all!! See here.
Vaughan Shoes is a 100% Irish owned company offers free delivery nationwide, a very easy returns service plus a very quick and easy click & collect service across their 3 stores in Castlebar, Ballinrobe and Claremorris. And wow I have to say I am seriously impressed by their Spring/ Summer collection. To showcase their latest and greatest I have decided to do “The Style Fairy’s Top 10 Buys” across their website.
COMPETITION TO WIN AMY HUBERMAN SHOES (OR ANY SHOES YOU LIKE FROM VAUGHAN SHOES)
Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this blog post to see how TWO of you lucky readers can WIN a pair of shoes from the stunning Amy Huberman collection or if you prefer, the two winners can simply pick from ANY shoes they wish across the website.
THE STYLE FAIRY’S TOP 10 BUYS
In no particular order here are some of my best buys. It was close to impossible to narrow this list down to 10, I could have easily included 20! Always a great sign of a good collection. What you get when you buy from Vaughans is REALLY good quality, and shoes or boots that will last for seasons to come. I have trainers from a brand they stock called ARA, that are now seasons old, yet still one of the comfiest trainers I own!!
TWO lucky readers get to choose ANY pair of shoes they wish across the entire collection – Amy Huberman, Pedro Anton, Jose Saenz, anything YOU like. I recently got the grey Amy Huberman boors myself and just love them!
TAG AT LEAST 2 FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK WHO WOULD LOVE TO WIN
LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW SAYING YOU HAVE ENTERED (it is vital you enter here on the blog too as we need your email address to contact you)
The lucky winners will be announced on Wednesday 26th April. I will draw two winners names at random and will announce this on Facebook – You will also get an email from me. Then you will get to choose any shoes you want and they will be immediately posted out to you 🙂
Don’t forget from today (18th April) until next Tuesday (25th April ’17) there is 15% across everything on Vaughan Shoes. Simply use the code ‘TSF15’ at the checkout. This applies to all brands, plus all mens shoes, so you might just pick up something for the hubby too (They stock great mens brands too like Tommy Bowe, Dubarry and lots more!)
*Please note the discount does not apply to Jose Saenz as they are currently running 20% off across this entire range.
Very best of luck to everyone
¨¨This is a sponsored blog post in collaboration with Vaughan Shoes**
The Style Fairy tests JOHNSON’S® TOP-TO-TOE® Baby Bath #ad
So recently I was asked by Johnson & Johnson to take part in a really fun and interesting campaign they are running with their Johnson’s Top to Toe Baby Bath. You can check out the full video I did here:
I was asked to run a small experiment comparing Johnson’s Top to Toe Baby Bath with regular baby soap and the results were really interesting. I placed a fresh rose in each of the jars; one jar containing the Johnson’s Baby Bath (mixed with demineralised water) and one containing the baby soap (also with demineralised water) .
After 24 hours I took the roses out from the jars and the difference in how the two roses faired out was crazy. The rose that was in the Johnson’s Top To Toe Baby Bath was still perfectly intact, still bright, petals looked and felt fine and in general just looked normal. Where as the rose that has been soaking in the baby soap was not nearly in as good condition; it had wilted significantly, it was faded and white in patches and it looked like it was rotting in the centre; check out my video to see exactly what I mean.
It certainly really made me think of the importance of what I use on Anabelle Ivy’s skin. I have always, from day one, been very careful about what I use on her skin, both in the bath and any creams or lotions used post bath. Baby’s skin is so delicate and soft and I’m so conscious of what I use on her skin. In fact, baby’s skin is up to 30% thinner than adult skin which is why it leaves it so much more vulnerable.
Bath time is a huge part of our routine, although now she is getting so much bigger it is getting a lot more messy… and fun!! I’m almost always soaked after all her splashing an jumping around. She loves it though and I always find she sleeps so much better after a bath. Toys are a must have in our house, otherwise she gets bored after 10 seconds and starts trying to leap out!
After the bath we keep the routine the same, into her jammies, then its story time with her favourite bed time book (Goodnight Moon) and her last bottle of the day in her nursery. I always keep the lights dimmed low and talk nicely and calmly to her, she is so hyper during the day that I think this routine helps cal her after a hectic day. Last but certainly not least her Sleepytot Comforter, she just gets this at nap time and bed time and associates this magic bunny with sleep – definitely one of my best buys.
Hope you enjoyed the post
‘Til next time
COMPETITION TERMS AND CONDITIONS – SEE MY FACEBOOK PAGE FOR DETAILS OF THE COMPETITION
1 The Prize Draw is open to residents of the Republic of Ireland only who have a Facebook account and are aged 18 years or over, except employees (and their families of Johnson & Johnson (Ireland) Limited) and its affiliated companies, their agencies and anyone professionally connected with this Prize Draw.
2 No purchase necessary for entry into the Prize Draw. Entries received after the Closing Date of 30th April 2017 will not be accepted.
3 Entrants will need to like and share post, and comment on the Facebook post tagging a ‘friend’. 3 lucky winners will each win a JOHNSON’S® hamper containing a selection of JOHNSON’S® products to the value of €23.44 RRP. The separate information provided by the Promoter as to how to enter the Prize Draw is an integral part to these terms and conditions.
4 The winners will be drawn within 7 days of the Closing Date, from all valid entries received.
5 All winners will be drawn using randomised software or under independent supervision from valid entries and notified by Direct Message on Facebook within 7 days of the relevant draw. If a winner cannot be contacted within 21 days of the draw, the Promoter reserves the right at its absolute discretion to withdraw prize entitlement and award the prize to a substitute winner drawn at the same time as the original.
6 The Promoter’s decision is final on all matters regarding this Competition. No correspondence will be entered into.
7 The Promoter retains sole discretion to withhold prizes without liability if in its view a winner is ineligible, the entry is invalid or a winner does not meet the necessary requirements as set out in these terms and conditions. The Promoter reserves the right to withdraw or amend the Prize Draw in the event of unforeseen circumstances or circumstances outside of its control.
8 To the extent permitted by law, the Promoter excludes all liability whatsoever in connection with Prize Draw and the Prizes and in particular does not accept responsibility for entries invalidated by technical problems beyond the control of the Promoter or problems with accessing the website.
9 All internet connection charges and any other expenses which may be incurred due to entering or wining the Prize Draw are sole responsibility of the participant.
10 Details of participants and winners shall be retained by the Promoter for the purpose of administering the Prize Draw. Participants may withdraw their consent to the retention of such data at any time by providing notice of such withdrawal to the Promoter. However, the Participants who withdraw their consent in this manner will be excluded from the Prize Draw. The Promoter will be sharing the details of the winners with the Johnson’s team purely for the purpose of fulfilling the prizes.
11 Facebook is trademark of its respective owner. The Promoter does not claim any rights in such trademarks and the Prize Draw is not associated with or enforced or supported by any of such trademark owners.
12 By participating in the Prize Draw, participants are deemed to have accepted these terms and conditions.
13 The Promoter is The Style Fairy.
** This is sponsored blog post in association with Johnson’s Top to Toe Baby Bath **
So, we went on out first family holiday abroad with Anabelle Ivy at the end of December, I have had so many requests for a blog post on how we got on, any tips or tricks I learnt along the way so here you go 🙂 If you want to have a read about where we stayed etc, you can check out my other holiday blog post here.
I’ll start by saying, I was SO nervous about travelling with her, I had no idea what to expect. Anabelle is now 15 months and at the time she hadn’t started walking (although she took her first steps on our last night of holidays). But she is a VERY active, busy little girl, she doesn’t stop for a second. I guess like any normal 15 month old, but she doesn’t tend to sit on my lap for longer than a few seconds, so I was particularly scared about how the flight would go (it’s about a 4 and a half hour flight). Secondly, I guess my other main concern was trying to keep her in somewhat of a ‘routine’ but whilst also allowing to us to stay out longer in the evenings, go for meals etc.
I got lots of tips from my Snapchat followers before I left, all of which were brilliant help. Thank you ladies 🙂
So, first up, one of my big fears (and I know silly) was being seated next to a person who wouldn’t be tolerant of Anabelle and would be ‘tutting’ at us, I know, I know, I shouldnt have been worrying about that but I was. That’s just me. Anyway, the gentleman beside us, as soon as we were seated asked the air hostess if there was any free seats on the plane and if he could be moved to one, and he was. He was happy, as were we!! We had the whole 3 seats to ourselves – it was perfect. So I really advise just asking the air hostess when you are boarding, and I’m sure the person next to you would be more than happy with that arrangement too.
Snacks, snacks and more snacks! Genuinely, bring so many snacks, honestly this is the best tip we got and it worked. It preoccupied her and kept her happy – we brought lots of carrot sticks from Ella’s Kitchen (they are like crisps but healthy and she loves munching on them). In fact we brought mostly snacks from Ella’s Kitchen, as they are so handy. The other little snacks she loves are like mini flapjacks and they take a while to chew so they kept her going oh and raisins! Raisins are brilliant, she loves picking them out of the little box plus they take a while to chew. It’s the novelty of them I think!
Both mammy and daddy bring a bag on board – I had the changing bag, with plenty of nappies, wipes, a change of clothes, plus a mini hand sanitiser, your mini changing mat and mini anti bacterial wipes (got in Boots), nappy bags – You know yourself, general changing bag stuff.
Cormac (aka Daddy) had a bag with snacks, food, formula and bottles and toys. So what we did was, I bought her a few small, cheap toys that she didn’t see until the plane, we only gave her one a a time and there is always great novelty with something new, so we had a little book, a small bear that played music and a few small trinket toys. I mainly got them in Smyths Toystore and I also picked up some interesting stacking toys in Early Learning Centre. We also brought a sticker book and wow she loved that – we got great value from it, and must have killed at least a half hour – Even if Daddy’s face was covered in stickers by the end!
She slept for over an hour on the way out and back so that was great, she doesn’t normally take a bottle anymore during the day but giving her the bottle helped calm and comfort her and nod off to sleep.
I was really worried about her little ears popping. Tales of burst ear drums and screaming babies had me terrified!! So I made sure she was sucking her dody on the way up and down, she has a special little bunny (with a soother attached) that we only give her at nap time and bed time so when we brought that out as the fight was taking off she was only delighted! I also had Calgel (which I find BRILLIANT for teething) so I put a tiny amount on the soother to ensure she sucked on it, as I know she loves the taste so much. It worked a treat.
Clothes for Holidays
I mainly got her summer clothes from Next, Heatons, Sports Direct, Gymboree, Jojo Maman Bebe and Dunnes. I got sunhats and little pool shoes (which were a life saver) in Jojo Maman Bebe (online). The little all in one swimsuits I bought (which were brilliant) I got from Zoggs.ie – It’s a brand you can get in lots of places but their sun protection suits are great. I bought some things which she didn’t wear – for example, I wasn’t comfortable with her in criss cross or low back stuff as I was so terrified of her getting too much sun, it was a rookie mistake on my behalf, but I’ll know for next time that I am happier with sun clothes with a small cap sleeve…
I brought 3 little cardigans with me for her and they were great as they went with everything and kept her warm in the evenings – one from Hetaons and the others from H&M.
Sun cream we got a kids Ambre Solaire one which was I think Factor 50 and it was a spray so that worked well, even if she hated when we were applying it!
The float we got for the pool was one we bought over there and it was brilliant, she could stand right into it and walk around the baby pool – She was thrilled with herself!!
Supplies for Holidays
I did bring a supply of nappies, but just enough to get us through the first few days, so don’t over pack as they take up so much room. I also brought some swimming nappies, but again don’t over do it as you can buy all out there. I also packed formula, just a few bottles and I picked up these sterilising bags on Boots (got them online) and they were really handy. I know, most wouldn’t normally be sterilising bottles at her age, but I still like to, that’s just me! Moral of the story, do bring enough to last you at least maybe 3 days and everything else you can get out there. I have to say I did bring a few Ella’s Kitchen dinners (perfect when we went out and there was nothing suitable on the menu). And I also brought LOADS of snacks and I am so glad I as we could find nothing similar in the shops over there.
The stroller I have is the Babyzen YOYO, I got it from Bella Baby (you can see it here). I absolutely love it, it’s incredibly lightweight and folds up so neat, and even has a strap for carrying across your shoulder.
Trying to keep your routine
Anabelle Ivy is a fairly structured routine now (at long last!!) and sleeps very well. God I never actually thought the day would come when I would be writing that, but there you go. She takes a two hour nap during the day. I wanted to maintain some level of routine but also for us to stay out later in the evenings. Saying that we were still in bed/ up in the room every night by 9.30pm. My little lady DOES NOT sleep in the buggy, no way, she just won’t do it. If your little one does, the great, you can let them sleep in the evenings in the buggy but it just isn’t a runner for us. So I knew before I left I wasn’t going to stress myself out by trying to get her to do so over there. We had interconnecting rooms, which was ideal, so her room had the cot and it meant we could go into our room and watch TV and not be afraid of waking her. Plus we had the balcony off our room so we were able to sit out on balcony, have a few drinkies and chill out.
So, what we did was just each day we tried to extend her nap as late as we could. At home she goes for her nap from 1pm – 3pm, where as over there and because there was so much happening we were able to keep her up til 2pm or 2.30pm and that then gave us the chance to keep her up later in the evening. She also slept on later in the mornings over there which was great, so we let her at it, and mostly she woke around 9.30am/ 10am! Bliss!!!
So many people say they do grow up so much on holidays and I really agree. Every day she amazed me, she became more vocal, smiling and waving at strangers. It was a different holiday in so many ways, but I have to say it was far and above the best holiday we have had. She just made every day so much more fun! The flight home was a little tricky, she was overtired to begin with and by time we got on the flight she was so cranky, but we survived and I lived to tell the tale, so I won’t be as scared on our next flight!
So from now on, Heather and I will be bringing lots of gift ideas and inspiration on what to buy your loved ones this Christmas. I’ve a list as long as my arm of gifts to buy myself so if you’re anything like me, then it’s time to get started! I refuse to be last minute AGAIN this year.
This first gift guide is “For Her: Under €35” so it could be your sister, your mum, your daughter, your best friend, your KK, anyone special in your life, that loves all things glam!
Oh do we have a great competition for you…..To celebrate The Style Fairy reaching 50k on Facebook AND to celebrate the launch of our brand new website we have teamed up with the fabulous folks over at iClothing to offer one very lucky reader the chance to win a whopping €300 voucher to spend on whatever you like from the amazing collections at iClothing. Details on how to enter this fab competition are below.
With two really momentous milestones for me, firstly reaching 50k likes on Facebook and then also launching our new, shiny website, I really wanted to give something back, to say a big fat THANK YOU for all your continued support, so I was thrilled with iClothing said they would love to partner with me on this amazing giveaway.
I have always been a big fan of iClothing so trust me when I say the winner will have no problem spending this amazing €300 prize and wow just imagine what you could get – A complete winter wardrobe update with some sparkly numbers for Christmas thrown in there too!
Here are just some of my top buys from iClothing at the moment and REMEMBER there is 15% off everything for all Style Fairy readers with the code TSFNOV (month of November, one use per customer)
HOW TO ENTER
To be in with a chance to win a €300 voucher from iClothing simple:
Every time I show anything to do with weaning or when I share what I am feeding Anabelle Ivy on Snapchat I seem to get a crazy amount of screenshots and so many questions, so for ages now I have been meaning to get around to writing a quick blog post on our weaning journey. (My Snapchat username is: thestylefairy if you fancy following me)
Now, let me start by saying Anabelle Ivy has/ had severe silent reflux (she is doing really well at the moment thank god) so weaning was not easy for us, to put it mildly!! So this blog post in ways is aimed at mums who may have babies with reflux and are unsure where to start or are looking for ideas or even just to hear from someone else who has gone through it too.
Although in saying that there are some generic tips too which hopefully other mammies will find useful. I didn’t opt for baby led weaning – we do a little here and there now that her reflux is under control, but off course so many choose to do full BLW and that’s a brilliant option too, just whatever suits you.
Also, just want to say – this is just our personal journey – this is not by any means medical/ professional advice of any kind, this is just how I did things and what worked for us, so please, please don’t take this as gospel. It’s just one first time mamma’s journey!
A brief word on our journey
Anabelle Ivy had really, really bad silent reflux – we tried everything to help her; from chiropractors to osteopaths, religious cures, you name it, we did it, in the end it was medication and time that healed things for us. I think this is a blog post for another day though… Anyway, long story short, we were advised to wean early as many reflux babies thrive on solids.
Please note: the recommended guidelines to begin weaning is 6 months. We were advised however to start sooner, so at 19 weeks I started and it DID NOT go well… at all. I was really stressing out over it, some foods caused her reflux (which had been reasonably controlled) to flare up.. badly!! And I felt like we were back to square one with her.
Foods that were a major no no for us included; baby rice, carrot, apples, pears, (basically all fruit as it was too acidic for her system). So I stopped solids totally, I was so nervous about stopping, but in fact it was the best thing I could have ever done for her. I gave it a break of about 4 weeks or so before trying again. The break gave her time to let the reflux settle and get her system back to base.
The best advice I got through to the whole process was ‘there is no rush’ (from a fellow reflux mammy – Thanks Annie). I think I had myself so obsessed about weaning and doing it ‘by the book’ that I lost sight of everything and that, as we are always told… every baby is different. The reality is, well in my humble opinion, there is NO rush, you won’t create bad habits in those early days and lastly, I learned the importance of following my babies lead.
When you start to wean is up to you – Follow your babies lead, and keep in mind, there is no major rush, all in good time 🙂 Pouches/ ready made baby food are really handy, especially if you are on holidays or away from home, I just prefer to make up everything fresh and freeze it for her. Another main reason for not using jars/ pouches was they all seemed to contain foods she couldn’t eat, which was very frustrating at the time. For babies with Reflux and/or CMPI it can be tricky so your nearly as well just making you own. (now she is doing better we have more flexibility to use pouches etc when we need to)
I like to set aside some time, usually on a Sunday evening and do up big batches of food, when you are in the groove just go with it and make up loads so you can then freeze them. I make up several portions of each food at a time. That I then just mix and match with each other. As we progress more, I’ll start making up more “dinners”. This week so far we’ve done savoury mince (which was a big hit). But by doing up big batches like this I feel it takes out all the hassle and work then for the week(s) ahead.
This kinda comes under this section too and because I get asked so often which highchair we went for, I thought it best to include again. We went for the Stoke Tripp Trapp in wheat yellow with the sweet butterflies cushion. I have to say I love it, it is certainly a pricey option but I love that it will last for years, and extends as baby grows. It’s also just so neat for small spaces which is great.
Beaba Baby Cook
This has been an absolute god send – Definitely one of my best buys. It is so neat and small, it’s easy to clean, doesn’t have loads of parts (thank god) and the best bit – It steams the food (steaming is best way to cook babies food as it keeps in all the nutrients as opposed to boiling) and it then blends/ pureés the food. Amazing machine!!
I know I said before I was a bit too fixated with manuals and books, and I was… So I’ve ditched the “how to” type stuff i.e. you must do this on day 1, and on day 3 give this and bla bla bla; all too regimented for us (particularly with reflux) and didn’t suit my baba. BUT in saying that I do love my book for recipie ideas and general advice/ tips. So, I have the Anabelle Karmal Meal Planner and it is brilliant for giving you some inspo and ideas. I always have it handy so I can have a peak through.
For those who like a more regimented approach that my “makey uppy’ shenanigans then you should have a look at the Gina Forde weaning book – it is very structured much like her other books, but it certainly has some great advice and tips too.
I have showed these so much on Snapchat and honestly I think I get asked nearly every day where I got them. Lol… And actually it was a lovely reader who told me about these to begin with. First off, it is best to use ice cube trays to freeze your food as it’s a good guide as to how much to give your baby, so start one one cube and build it up.
I like these ones because they are a good size plus I like that you can cover them over with a lid in the freezer plus they stack great on top of each other. There are loads of places that stock great ice cube trays such as Heatons, Dunnes Home, Tesco etc. I just like these particular ones..
So, I steam my food, let’s say cauliflower (Tip use the cooking juice to make more moist when you want to blend) then I put them in the oxo trays (above), let it cool, then into the freezer, the next day then I remove from the trays and put in labelled (food name and date) freezer bags. I know to lots of mums this sounds like the most obvious thing in the world, but I was so clueless when I started that I would have loved to read something like this…
Clevamama Freezer/ Storage Pots
These are handy for powder formula when out and about and also I used at the beginning for defrosting one/two cubes (she is now obviously on way more). They are also handy for making up complete dinners – then you can just pop them straight into the microwave to defrost.
Bowls & spoons
I am not overly fussy with bowls – I have a few sets from Tommee Tippee and they are perfect – All the big shops have good selections. Spoons I tend to be a bit more picky, I hate those really lightweight ones or plasticky ones or ones that are too flat. I use the Tomme Tippee heat sensitive ones (they turn yellow if food is too hot). I also have these Dreambaby heat sensing spoons and like them.
Sippy cup – Ah dear lord the sip cup, to say she is FASCINATED with her cup is an understatement, she loves it. Again, not fussy here and opted for a simple Tomme Tippee one.
As all us mums know, weaning is a messy business. I find wipeable bibs the best – I have a few from Nuby. The likes of this one is ideal.
FOODS TO START WITH
The mainstream foods to begin with would be apple, pear, carrot, and/or baby rice, but unfortunately they were all the things that caused us serious problems with reflux so it was a case of trial and error for us.
To begin with potatoes ended up being our champion and after that avocado. I didn’t rush things at all, and just gave her a small bit in the mornings and really slowly built it up. If you have a baby with reflux or silent reflux – try opting for root veggies and more bland tasting options, these worked for us;
baby porridge (ready break though worked well for us)
For non reflux babies then you are able to be much more adventurous with various fruits, rice etc etc. Always give a new food in the morning so you can watch for any potential adverse reactions through the day. Give one food for a 3 day period at least before moving on to a new food.
I took things even more slowly than this, after the first weaning experience was so bad and caused her such a reflux flare up (and such pain), I dint want to rush her.
For other reflux mammies, I found this traffic light food guide really helpful. But use with caution and your own instinct, e.g. pear maybe in the green zone but it was a total no no for us, avocado was in the amber yet it was a key safe food for us for a long time.
As I’ve said I took things very slowly and didn’t even begin mixing foods until I had a substantial list of “safe” foods. So after the above list, I introduced things like pumpkin, parsnip, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, peas, leek, courgette, and then moved on to things like eggs, bread, cous cos, pasta, lentils, chicken, fish (cod), and mince. We still have to be very careful when it comes to fruit and it is only in the last couple of weeks she has been able to tolerate any fruit (she is now happily and without pain able to take peaches, pears and bananas… hooray)
After a food had been tolerated, pain free for a few days, I then would give that food in the evening. So I started with one spoon feed a day early in the morning, then a second spoon feed (after maybe 3 weeks) in the evenings and then eventually introduced a third “lunch” feed in the early afternoon. Now her feeding times for solids are circa 8am brekkie/ 12pm lunch/ 5pm dinner.
It is only recently we began getting a little more adventurous. But to begin with, with my expanding list of safe foods, I began mixing flavours. Once I have everything frozen, it’s so easy to just defrost a few cubes & mix and match the flavours. So popular combinations here were;
Butternut squash & sweet potatoe (also nice with peas)
Leek & Potatoe
Broccoli & Cauliflower
Sweet potatoe and spinach (with peas too)
Potatoe & pretty much anything
Banana & Avocado
More recently we are having lots more fun and experimenting with new tastes and combinations. Popular dishes at the moment are;
Pasta with cauliflower and cheese
Chicken, peas, potatoes & carrot with gravy (made from baby stock cubes I bought in Boots)
Savoury mince (Round steak minced, celery, carrots, peas, leek, beek stock, tomato puree and dash of Worcestershire sauce and allow stew for hour – so yummy). Serve with mashed potatoes
Where she states to use her own pasta (in the recipes above) I just use wither baby pasta (bought on Boots online) OR spagettit cut up into little piece or those tiny small shells.
For loads more recipes check out Anabelle Karmal’s website here, it’s very handy as you can filter it by the age of your baby and it brings up so many recipe ideas.
A sample day with us at the moment would be;
Breakfast: 1/2 a Weetabix (mixed with banana or another fruit purée), Readybreak (I add cinnamon) and I mix in various fruit purées (well for us we are still only getting used to fruits because of her reflux)
Lunch: cheese omelette or scrambled egg & soldiers or any of the above mentioned combinations. Today we had cod with butternut squash, peas and sweet potato.
Dinner: Again, a variation on any of the above mentioned ones, but toady will be savoury mince with mashed potatoes and carrot purée
Hope you found this useful 🙂
And if you are on the horrible reflux journey – Stay strong, chin up, this too will pass. Although I know, having gone through it, when you hear that you just keep asking, when, when will this pass? But it will and it does. We have good days, some great days and some down right awful days. But we’ll get there.
If you’ve been following me for a little while now, you’ll know every so often I do a post in the ‘Mammy Diaries” section talking about all the things I come across that make life a little bit easier, or things I am loving as a mum. So in previous posts I’ve talked about our Stoke Tripp Trapp highchair, Ewan the Sheep (saving mammies around the country), the Beaba Babycook (my life saver when it comes to weaning), the Sleepyhead pillow and loads more. Check out my previous posts here , here and here.
The posts are always a reflection of where Anabelle Ivy is, so at almost 9 months, these are some of the items I have and love at the moment (as well as the ones mentioned in previous posts) 🙂
Maxi Cosi Two Way Pearl Car Seat
The first car seat we had was the Maxi Cosi Pebble Plus, a perfect new born carseat, Anabelle Ivy is so so tall though it wasn’t long until she grew out of it. So we decided to go for the Two Way Pearl next, which uses the same base as we had bought initially (the Maxi Cosi Two Way Fix Base, see here) We went for the ‘Robin Blue’ purely as it is a nice neutral colour. The Maxi Cosi Pebble Plus has worked out great for us, it is a rearward facing car seat, but can also be forward facing too.
2. Sleepytot Baby Comforter
This next item has been an absolute godsend and Anabelle Ivy absolutely LOVES it. I can’t recommend this enough for any other babies who love their soothers. I’ve been chatting loads about this already on my Snapchat (username: thestylefairy). Basically this clever little bear has 4 velcro paws so you can attach a dody to him (or all 4 paws as one readers has told me) I only give Anabelle the bear at nap times and bed times and she loves it. Also overnight if her soother falls out it is easier for her to find the bear and put the dody back in herself (instead of Cormac or I jumping out of bed!!!)
3. Sleep Shade for Buggy
This was a total ‘must have’ during that one week of summer we had! And hopefully before the summer is over we will have more sunshine so will come in handy again (fingers crossed). It’s perfect for anyone heading away on holidays too. It’s a universal sleep shade, meaning it fits almost all buggies. It has UPF 50 fabric to protect baby from harmful rays and also features lots of mesh panels for excellent ventilation.
4. iPad holder for car
Unfortunately Anabelle isn’t the best traveller, although things are improving now, ever since her reflux is more under control she is travelling much better too. We bought this in a fit of desperation, but I am really glad we have it now, if she is a bit cranky or upset riding a long journey we just stick on some cartoons and it distracts her until we get home. I know this will most likely come in vital as she gets older too and when we want to do longer trips!
4. Baby Milestone Cards
These don’t need an explanation – Perfect for all those special moments that become memories for life. i was late to the party to get these so a good reminder for mammies-to-be OR they make an excellent gift for someone who has just had a baby.
5. Joolz Parasol
I have the Joolz Day Travel System (which I LOVE by the way and if you interested on reading how I made my decision to get that buggy you can see here and here – Might be helpful if you are pregnant and unsure which travel system you want)
Recently I picked up the matching parasol and it has been such a brilliant buy. It is perfect for when she is awake but in the buggy and needs the sun out of her eyes (which really annoys her). The sleep shade I mention above is only good when she is asleep, but if we are sitting outside while she is awake (like at a recency family BBQ) or if we are out walking during her awake time, I always have it with me. The arm is movable sod you can adjust where you want it to sit, for any other Joolz mammies, I recommend getting this!
6. Baby Banana Teething Toothbrush
The ladies in my baby Facebook group recommend this, and I always take their advice. I only got it this week so it’s early days but Anabelle Ivy is teething like crazy so anything to help and so far it’s proving a big hit. Plus you gotta admit, it looks pretty hilarious too!
My little angel will be 9 months old at the end of June. I know EVERYONE says it but wow, seriously, where is time going? I just want time to slow down, it’s passing by way too fast. I am delighted to be able to be at home full time with Anabelle Ivy; you may have noticed I haven’t been as active on the blog (which I find difficult and I miss it), but I know I will never get this time back so I am lapping up every moment while I can.
Like probably most mammies, I take like a 100 pictures a day of her, the storage on my phone is literally bursting!!! But for quite a while I’ve been dying to get some professional photos done of her, so when she was 8 months old, the amazingly talented (and super lovely) photographer Edel O Malley came to our home to capture some precious moments with my little angel.
When Anabelle Ivy was 8 days old Edel was also the photographer who did our newborn shoot in our own home (If you want to see all those pictures have a look HERE) I remember the day of that shoot, we weren’t long out of hospital and I was in a haze of exhaustion and emotion and was so unsure about the idea of getting my photo taken, but now when I look back, I am SO GRATEFUL we did it when we did, we will have those memories now for the rest of our lives, she was so teeny tiny.
If you are pregnant and considering getting a newborn shoot done, I just can’t recommend Edel highly enough, she put me at ease the moment she walked through the door, nothing is rushed, she takes her time, if baby needs to be fed there’s no panic, it’s all very relaxed.
At the moment Anabelle Ivy is at that stage of making strange with almost everyone so I was worried she would just start balling when Edel tried to take her picture, but Edel was just simply brilliant with her.
I’ve included more details on how to book Edel and the package she offers below. In the meantime, if you want, you can see her website here. Plus right now Edel is offering 10% DISCOUNT across ALL her newborn packages if you quote “The Style Fairy” when booking.
Now, fast forward to a few weeks ago, my little monkey is bigger, bolder, full of mischief and bursting with smiles…It was the perfect time to capture some memories.
Although to me she seems so big now, I know I’ll look back at these pictures in time and think wow, look how small she was! One of the packages Edel offers is called “Watch me Grow” so this package includes your newborn photography session and then a follow up session at about 8 or 9 months, so similar to what I have had done for Anabelle Ivy.
Anabelle was just was such a good girl for the shoot too, well with a couple of shakey moments here and there, as you would only expect. I had no idea what way she would react, but while I was singing and dancing and making all sorts of crazy faces in the background trying to distract her and make her smile Edel just kept snapping. Anabelle Ivy is the happiest little girl these days and smiles non stop, her face is so full of character, and yet she can be so serious looking too, especially when she is sussing out new people, I just adore all her little characteristics starting to come through.
Like the last time I shot with Edel, she makes you feel like you have all the time in the world, Anabelle like the diva she is (kidding) needed a few breaks, but Edel just knows when to say, ok let’s take a time out and then get back to it. You don’t feel under pressure.
We captured some brilliant smiles and some hilarious moments, this has to be ones of the funniest…..
To relax Anabelle at the beginning I sat in with her for a few and then slowly edged my way out, but I love having these ones of us together too.
I intend to get some of these blown up for our home, I have a large canvas of her newborn shoot in her nursery (which I love). I also had canvases made up for all the Grandparents too as their Christmas presents.
After shooting some pics inside the house, it was such a gorgeous sunny day so we decided to go outside and get some natural shots too.
A little more about Edel O Malley Photography
Edel offers a wide range of newborn packages to suit all budgets, you can choose one of her packages or you can customise a package to suit your needs. And remember from now until the end of year, Edel is kindly offering 10% discount across all her newborn packages when you quote “The Style Fairy”. It is advisable to make a provisional booking with Edel (she gets booked up VERY quickly), so anytime after 20 weeks you can make a provisionally booking and then confirm a date once baba arrives (she suggests between 8 – 10 days old is the best time for the newborn shoot)
Edel is based in Ratoath (very close to Dublin) so you can choose to go to her studio OR if you prefer Edel can come to your home to do the shoot, which is lovely if you’ve just had a baby and don’t feel like travelling (small additional fee for this will apply). We had the shoot in the house and it felt really special. Edel is also fully trained in newborn safety.
Edel is now also offering lifestyle location sessions if you would prefer something a little different than the studio this is ideal; these don’t always have to be outside, they can even be in your own home or any other cool location that you may have in mind. These shoots are perfect for families looking for something a bit different and little bit more relaxed than let’s say a typical studio session. To make an enquiry or book Edel you can check out her website here or her Facebook page here.
One of the questions I get asked ALL the time is what changing bag do I have OR what changing bag do I suggest? So I have been meaning to get around to this blog post for AGES now… But being a full time stay at home mum AND trying to run the blog is so hard, so it takes me a while to get finishing blog posts at the mo! 🙂
If you follow me on Snapchat (username: thestylefairy) you will have seen I got sent THE most amazing changing bag from Bella Baby last week and it’s the one I have wanted from the beginning – It’s so so fab! Honestly, I just love it, looks so like a handbag I’d wear/ use anyway so it’s just perfect.
The first changing bag I had was the Joolz bag (see here) which matched my buggy and came as part of the package when I bought my whole travel system, I liked it, but I started to bore of it, I basically don’t use a handbag anymore (as any mammy knows) and for a girl who lOVES her handbags, this just wasn’t doing it for me, I wanted something a little more stylish…
When it comes to changing bags it’s such a personal decision – some want a really neutral one that dad can use too (my hubby deffo didn’t want anything too girly) others want something purely practical and spacious, others want style and practicality (this is probably most of us).
When it comes to how much? Well it’s like any bag – how much do you want to spend? You can get some GORGEOUS bags for €50 – €100, and equally gorgeous ones from €200 – €300, and then off course if you wanna go designer, like loads choose do the prices really start to sky rocket (like this Roberto Cavalli one here) . Most of the big designers have changing bag in their collection so the likes of Gucci, Prada, Marc Jacobs, Armani, Chloe and so on all have very pricey but some very nice bags, if that’s your thing 😉 Deffo have a look.
Here’s my round up of all my FAVOURITE changing bags across all prices ranges and hopefully covering all tastes 😉