Every single time Laura and I open our DM’S over the past few weeks, 9 out of 10 times it’s… “please help me with occasion wear ideas for” … communion/ confirmation/ christening/ wedding etc etc
Your appetite for Occasion Wear Inspo is insatiable ladies 😉 With that mind, I’ve thrawled the net and done all the hard work for you by selecting some of my all time FAVOURITE occasion wear looks online right now, from ASOS and Karen Millen to H&M, Chicwish and River island; this edit is jam packed with ideas! And I promise to keep updating it too as new stock arrives in stores.
Hope you find something you love
‘Til next time
*** To shop or view an item in more detail just click on the image
I have been meaning to sit down and share photos from Luna May’s newborn shoot for so long, but life as a mom of two is non stop, life feels so busy!
And to think I thought I was busy before now!!! 🙂 I was feeling very overwhelmed in the early weeks, to be honest I thought I wasn’t going to be able to cope, but day by day, week by week, we found our way and slowly started getting our own little routine going. Almost 5 months in now and we are flying. Luna May has slotted into our little family like she was always meant to be. And she is the most magical, endearing, happy, content, pleasant and beautiful baby girl you can imagine. Her sweet, happy personality is already starting to show.
To say her big sis is in love is an understatement, she ADORES Luna May, and is so gentle and kind with her, I’ll be honest, she has surprised me! I expected Anabelle to be more “challenging’ lets call it, but never once has she acted out or shown any anger or jealousy towards Luna, to me yes, she gets frustrated with me at times (and struggled especially in early weeks with how I now had to divide my time)
All in all, its been a busy few months (we also moved into our new house just 5 weeks before Luna May arrived (and she was 4 weeks early), it’s been chaotic, but life is starting to come back to normal, or should I say our ‘new’ normal now, and we are as happy as can be.
New Born Photography
When our beautiful baby Luna May was 17 days old, Edel O’Malley came to our home to do a newborn photoshoot with her and to get some family shots of us as a new family of 4! I am forever grateful to Edel for these photos; memories to last a lifetime. I can’t believe how much little Luna May has changed even already!
I’ve known Edel now for years now; I first met her when I was pregnant with Anabelle Ivy; she did a pregnancy shoot with me then for a fashion brand I was working with at the time, since then she did a newborn shoot with Anabelle and a few more of Anabelle over the years (you can see more here , here and here). She is absolutely brilliant at what she does and has such an incredible, calming and natural way with babies and young kids. (and nervous adults too!!)
The thoughts of doing a photoshoot so soon after giving birth might give you the shivers but TRUST ME you will not regret it. They are treasured memories that last a lifetime, and as you mammies know, that newborn bubble doesn’t last long so it’s so special to have photos to look back on of when they were so so little. Plus I promise you, the moment you meet Edel, you will feel at ease.
She is great at what she dose; not only is she trained to the highest standard of newborn safety (which really calmed me down), but she really knows how to capture a moment and has great empathy with how new mammies and indeed new daddies are feeling.
How and When to Book
The best way to arrange a newborn shoot is to get in touch with Edel while you are pregnant so she can put you in her diary for when you are due, off course, details like this are subject to change (for example, both my girls arrived at only 36 weeks) but you need to get your name and due date into her diary, this lady books up fast and it’s no surprise.
How early you have your new born shoot done?
Edel advises babies to be photographed anytime between 5 and 14 days but anytime up to 21 days is perfect too. Anabelle was only 8 days old when we had her photoshoot done, Luna’s was a little later because she unfortunately spent some time in ICU so we didn’t get her home until she was nearly 10 days old.
** EDEL IS CURRENTLY OFFERING 10% DISCOUNT ON ALL NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY PACKAGES IF YOU MENTION ‘THE STYLE FAIRY’
You can check out Edel’s website here . She also does lifestyle photography, family shoots and weddings.
Trust me when I say, if you do end up booking Edel, you won’t regret it!
First blog post since becoming a mammy to two… and wow how life has changed! It’s hectic and absolutely exhausting but also SO incredible and I wonder what life even was like before our gorgeous Luna May arrived.
Luna May had a really tough start in this world and sadly spent some time in NICU which was heart breaking, truly heart breaking; something which will take us a while to deal with emotionally as it was such a stressful and worrying time. Thankfully she is home now and doing well. And this little lady got to come home to one of the most beautiful nurseries I have ever seen.
I am SO EXCITED to finally be able to reveal Luna May’s beautiful nursery, this is a project I have been working on over the past few months with Baby Ventura.
As lots of you may know if you follow me on social media; I teamed up with Baby Ventura for the design of Luna May’s nursery.
Baby Ventura is a brand new division of the renowned Ventura Interior Design . I have been a long time fan of the work of Ventura Interior Design and the owner Arlene McIntyre, so when the opportunity presented itself to work with them on a collaboration for The Style Fairy I jumped at it.
You can watch the full video transformation here, from start to finish how the whole process worked, and the complete revamp of her room from start to finish..
It was early January when we first spoke, I was about 4 months pregnant and was due in June, my husband Cormac and I were in the middle of working on our new home (a complete renovation of an old house) and the pressure was on to complete the house before the baby would arrive. Step in Baby Ventura, what perfect timing. We discussed plans on how it could all work as a collaborative project and decided together to film the process of the complete transformation of what would become the nursery.
The whole process was such an emotional journey, as each day we filmed my bump was getting bigger, I feel quite emotional writing this now as Luna May lies sleeping beside me in her cot, what a journey it has been. I am excited that some day she can look back on this video.
How the process worked
Doing our home while pregnant was one of the most stressful things we have ever done, particularly because we were working to a deadline, and all along I knew there was a big chance Luna May would have to be delivered early due to health concerns (she ended up arriving at 36 weeks).
But from start to finish having Arlene and the team of Baby Ventura design and transform our nursery was seamless; so so easy and totally stress free. It was a dream to have all the worry of doing that room taken out of my hands, I didn’t have to think about it. And I knew the end product would be the nursery of my dreams. And it is, and more.
When you meet with Baby Ventura to discuss your plans, they take a look at the room they have to work with, they discuss your vision; what you like, what you don’t like, what colours you want, do you want it gender neutral etc, your lifestyle, your demands and your needs for the room. They then take all this information away and come back to you with plans and ideas.
For Luna May’s nursery the truth was I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted, my mind was full and busy with doing the rest of the house so my brief to Baby Ventura was to surprise me, we had really good chat and Arlene got a feel for me, my vision, my personality and my style and then she worked her magic.
We met again then to review her ideas, the moment I saw what she and the team had planned I LOVED IT. I was blown away, working with an interior design team like this gives you the confidence to do things you might not necessarily do on your own.
I speak about this in the video, for example, I adore the wallpaper in Luna’s nursery, I mean totally ADORE IT, but I know for sure I would never have been brave enough to pick it myself, nor would I have had the confidence to do the entire room with it (even the window seat), that takes vision, the kind of vision I don’t have. I put my trust in their professional advice and I love the outcome.
The Finer Details
They present you ideas and talk you through how the room will come together, it was so exciting seeing the plans. The Baby Ventura team knew I was expecting a girl and took this into account, I wanted it ‘pretty’ but at the same time not over top girly. Arlene describes the end result of Luna May’s nursery as ‘whimsical’ and that sums it up perfectly in my opinion.
At this second meeting when I saw the plans all decisions were made, from the carpet and it’s colour, the blinds, the window seat, the radiator cover, to the specific colour of the cot and changing unit. You can choose any colour you want, I took the advise of the interior design team on this.
We also discussed the rocking chair, what colours would work on it etc. Baby Ventura have a range of furniture to choose from but I felt the rocking chair best suited us and our needs, it’s the perfect feeding chair, so comfortable, I love lying back on it to feed Luna. View the rocking chair here (It can be made in any colour of your choice)
All the featured products in the nursery can be viewed on the Baby Ventura website here.
The room we chose for the nursery is a small room; but with some very clever space planning and the use of a really large mirror, the design team made the absolute best use of the space. No detail was left to chance and for me it is the finishing touches, the styling and the accessories that make this nursery as beautiful as it is; from the beautiful pom pom trim detail on the roman blinds, to the animal heads on the wall, to the luxurious patterned cushions and the stunning window seat, I am so thrilled with the outcome.
Once the decisions were made on the nursery, the actual transformation part was incredibly fast, the team from Ventura came to our house and completed all the work within a few hours, assembling all the furniture and finalising all the styling details.
Keeping The Secret
It’s been so hard to keep this special room as a secret from you all this time, I am so delighted to finally share it and to now get to enjoy it with my precious little girl Luna May, it’s been such an emotional journey,
For more information
To make an enquiry or to book a consultation with Baby Ventura or for more information on any of the products featured you can check out the Baby Ventura website HERE, email them HERE or visit their Instagram or Facebook.
This is a collaboration with Baby Ventura; the interior design service and transformation of this nursery was done by Ventura Interior Design in collaboration with The Style Fairy.
Please note: Luna May currently still sleeps over night in our room and will until at least 6 months but we use the nursery for the rocking chair (she loves it) and also the upstairs changing table, and I also have all her clothes, nappies etc in here.
Ok straight down to business, this is one we all need, even if you’ve packed your bag already, even if you’ve done it all before, it is nice to have a checklist to work off. With Anabelle Ivy would you believe I wrote and published a blog post on packing your bag THE DAY BEFORE she was born but in reality I had never actually finished my own bag!!! I was 36 weeks, let that be a lesson. I am more prepared this time, as I have mentioned a gazillion times before, due to health issues baby could come any time from now (I am 35 weeks now) but the hope and dream goal for me is to get to 37.5 weeks if possible.
I will be having a c-section birth because of health complications and as a result it is likely I will be in hospital 4/5 nights so keep that in mind with my hospital bag, you may think I have a lot of stuff (which I do) but from the last time, and being kept in so long, I did need a fair bit. Actually I still could do with more baby gros – can never have enough baby gros!! Some of you may only be in 2/3 nights, all depends. I like to be prepared though.
I have two separate bags – This is important I think, it’s easier to segregate your bits and baby’s bits. They don’t have to be big bags, but spread across two makes life easier. For my bag, I am using a large weekend/ holdall type bag, it is a cloth bag (I can fit more in that way) I bought mine in Mothercare when I was pregnant with Anabelle Ivy and it’s ideal.
You will pick up a good size weekend bag in Dunnes, Penneys, Heatons, ASOS or lots of the high street shops like River Island have gorgeous luggage collections now. Cath Kidson also have some cute options like this one above.
What I’ve Packed in My Bag
Nightdresses/ Pyjamas – I have quite a few in, most likely will only wear night dress and not jammies (i.e. pj bottoms) with c-section it is hard, to bend so I think over the head nightie, from memory, was best, I nice to to feel fresh and have nice new jammies plus I won’t be dressing so it’s my nod to trying to feel like ‘me’. I have two sets from Me Mamma Be (nightdress with matching robe – see those here) . Then I have a lovely night dress from Elora Maternity – which I can wear with one of the robes from the above sets. See the selection Elora Maternity have here. Other good places for maternity nightwear is ASOS, New Look, Penneys and Topshop.
Dressing gown/ robe (see above point, have two packed to match nighties I got from Me Mamma Be)
Slippers. I picked up those fluffy slipper socks from Penneys. Any slippers will do – Penneys/ Dunnes have great options
Warm/ fluffy socks (Got in Dunnes – but prob won’t use as I have those slipper socks now)
Underwear/ briefs x 5 (think giant granny pants – I mean huge…trust me. I got some from H&M and New Look, post-section you need ones that go really high up over the wound. Look out for really soft cotton, proper full size briefs)
Nursing bras (I got from H&M – New Look, ASOS also do them)
Toothbrush & toothpaste
Mini bottles of shampoo/ conditioner/ body wash
Face wipes & mini cleanser, toner & moisturiser ( I have a spritz toner packed which is really refreshing)
Deodorant (opt for non fragranced roll on preferably)
Maternity pads – Don’t question them, yes they are huge, just TRUST ME you need them and loads of them. I bought the Boots brand ones.
Breast pads and nipple shields (breast feeding mothers)
Some make up (tinted moisturiser, bronzer, blusher and mascara and clear lip gloss- if I feel up to it)
Dry shampoo (I use Batiste Brunette)
Hairbrush, hair clasp to tie it up totally & hair bobbles
Bath/ shower towel (dark colours)
Flip flops (I wished I had these last time. Bought a pair this time in Penneys)
Snacks – for labour. (For me, for my type one diabetes)
Lucozade and sugary sweets – this is for my type one diabetes treatment mainly, in case of hypoglycaemia BUT no harm having a sugar kick on stand by even for non diabetics!!)
My medical chart – I am with Holles street and they have recently moved to an online patient record system but as this is my second baby and I have a history/ chart with them (And a long term medical condition) I have been asked to bring along to the birth (asK your midwife if you are a patient in Holles street)
Birth plan if you have one
Any medication – For example I have to bring all my own diabetes supplies etc
Separately in a very small bag, which will be left in hubby’s car I have an outfit to wear home – ( I packed a huge hoody, leggings, a maternity t-shirt ad converse. COMFORT IS KEY)
Present for Anabelle from new baby (can live in the car until you know the day your elder child (children) are coming in to see you)
Car seat and car seat base fitted in the car you ill be going home in
What I’ve Packed for Baby
Baby’s bag can be much smaller. Their wee bits take up such little space. I found it hard to know this time what size to buy in terms of baby gros – Our baby may be early so he/she may be very small, I ended up getting a mix of ‘up to one month size’ and some ‘0-3 months’ size. Truth is, your hubby/ partner/ mother/ friend can easily nip to the shops and buy you more once baba has arrived so don’t worry too much. You may know the gender and want to buy specific to the gender or you may just want neutral ones.
Babygros x 5 (I bought some from Marks & Spencer and some from Jojo Maman Bebe and a pack from Penneys)
Vests x 5 (short sleeved) I got from Next and Penneys
Cardigan/ Jacket (I got from Next)
Mittens (I got a 3 pack in Marks and Spencer, but actually most babygros have little fold down mittens on them now)
Hats x 2
Socks (I just packed two pairs, not necessarily needed if babygros have feet in)
Cellular blankets x 2 (Can never have enough of these, small size are good for newborn)
Fluffy/ soft blanket x 1
Organic cotton balls (and water wipes, but usually they advise you to use water and a cotton ball in those early few days)
First size nappies (I got pampers)
Muslin clothes x 2 (again, can never have enough of these)
Teddy (I have bought a tiny one for baba)
‘Going home’ outfit. Some people are big into this. Me, not so much, babygro and a cardigan is perfect. But if you want to get a ‘special outfit’ for leaving day then thats a nice idea too.
It is a great idea to pack baby’S 1st outfit into little freezer bag or a zip lock bag – and mark it “Day 1′ (or delivery outfit) – I was rushed in with Anabelle and was in recovery for hours and hours alone afterwards without Anabelle, so poor Cormac was left to fend for himself with her and off course, he just put on the first babygro he could find on her, I have one earmarked for new baba so I have put that aside in a bag and marked for Cormac’s attention 🙂
I think that’s it, I know I have most likely left something of this list so I will keep updating it as I think of things. Feel free to leave comments below on what you have packed and found invaluable – let’s help each other out 🙂
I hope you have found this useful. If you are due soon, like me, all my love and best wishes. YOU WILL BE GREAT.
Oh my god WHERE is time going?? Seriously, I don’t know how I am already more than 7 months pregnant! This pregnancy has been so so different to Aanbelle, last time I would say by now I had everything and was pretty much totally organised, where as this time life is just SO busy. This blog post is more a ‘dear diary’ type thing of just everything that’s going on right now. If you follow me on Instagram Stories or Snapchat you may know already things are just a wee bit chaotic!
How far along am I….
I am 29 week this week. Anabelle Ivy was born at 36 weeks and I have made no secret of the fact that baba no 2 is expected to arrive in or around the same timing again, the longer he/she can stay inside the better, so I pray for longer but I need to be ready and prepared early. Including having my hospital bag ready, i have started buying the bits, I just haven’t physically packed it yet, but I will… soon… I swear! The midwife even told me to do it this morning when I was in Holles Street for a check up!
How do I feel…..
I feel pretty good, insanely tired, now like very tired, I hit a wall most days during the day and REALLY struggle to keep my eyes open but then at night I just can’t sleep. I can’t get comfy but also thoughts of the house just run through my mind at night and lists of what needs to be done occupy my brain! I use the ‘Dreamgenii’ pillow to sleep and it’s brilliant – highly recommend. See it here.
Health/ Type one Diabetes
I am getting lots of movements and very strong kicks so that is great and always a great comfort. My blood pressure has been stable so far (another problem I have in pregnancy) but unfortunately my diabetes is getting more and more challenging the further into pregnancy I go. I am now getting ‘insulin resistant’ which means my medicine (insulin) which I need to process food and break down sugar is not being absorbed sufficiently resulting in high blood sugars, which is not goof for me and not good for baby. I am now on a huge doses on insulin to try counteract the problem but it’s a daily battle. 29 weeks onwards this is a common issue, and happened me in my last pregnancy too.
What have I got for baba….
So in my last post I shared all the things I have from Anabelle that I will getting or reusing. You can read that full blog post HERE.I have most of these bits now ordered like the new car seat base (I have found AB’s old car seat and the newborn inset, both are perfect), I have ordered a new Ewan the Sheep, I have the Sleepyhead out and washed, I have the Moses Basket (well it’s in the attic), I have ordered a new mattress for moses basket, I ordered new mattress for Chicco Next To Me, I ordered a cot bed mattress for nursery (even though baba won’t be in there for a while, you know I am OCD and like to be organised), I also bought a new carrier (I’ll show you when I use it). These are all things I have ordered and bought.
Stokke are also then very kindly gifting me with some incredible new pieces for the baby, and I feel so lucky to be getting these pieces so off course I’ll share when I get and use them; first thing is a Stokke Tripp Trapp with the newborn set. You know I have a Tripp Trapp for Anabelle and I LOVE IT. I love how it adapts to the childs age and grows with them, I never had the newborn set for Anabelle so I am really excited to have it for new baba. Two Tripp Trapps around our new dining table… How cute!
The Tripp Trapp seat itself comes in lots of colours and then you can choose from a variety of fabric sets for the newborn part or then there is a toddler part you can choose your fabric. I am getting the white seat. I was torn between white and grey – both fab! I have the wheat yellow for Annabelle. View all the Stokke Tripp Trapp options HERE.
I have also FINALLY decided on what buggy I want – If you follow me on Insta Stories you will know my indecisiveness and I panicked a couple of weeks ago that maybe I needed a double buggy. I have gone full circle again and come back to no, I do not want or feel we need a double buggy, I am getting a buggy with a buggy board for Anabelle. The response when I asked peoples opinions and advise on buggies, double buggies and buggy boards was MASSIVE. I got 100’s and 100’s of messages, and it continued for days, wow, I truly never expected that response, so thank you for your help.
So, what were the findings? Well, every single women almost told me a different thing, some were totally adamant that a double buggy is a total necessity, other women were extremely certain that NO WAY should I get a double buggy, theirs was a waste. What does this tell me, or what did I learn? We are all SO DIFFERENT. We all have individual preferences, it largely comes down to your child (the older one), their age, your lifestyle (how much walking do you do), if the toddler sleeps in buggy now, if you will be alone a lot with both children, loads of factors come into it.
My advice is think about your own personal situation, don’t be influenced by what Mary down the road did, that worked for her, great, but your life and child might be totally different so do what suits you. Many people suggest using a carrier for baba and using your regular stroller for toddler, if you are out and about. The options are endless.
For me, Anabelle will be almost 3 when you baby arrives, (if your toddler is a lot younger you might want a double), Anabelle does not go in her stroller now much at all and she certainly never ever ever sleeps in the buggy. I plan to use carrier if I want or feel Anabelle needs to be in her stroller (hers is a Babyzen YOYO stroller).
What did I go for?
I have decided to go for my original preference; the Stokke Trailz and it is now on order. Stokke (available in Bella Baby) are very kindly gifting me with this buggy. It was my 100% personal choice to go for this brand and model. I LOVE IT. I mean really love it, and that’s important too, yes functionality and suitable to your lifestyle is number 1, but it does help if you love the look of it too 😉
Stokke buggies are very high, meaning baby is closer to you (which I LOVE) and so in ways it is suited to taller people. The Stokke Trailz is bigger than some styles and other brands and more suited, in my opinion, to country life (where we are moving to!!! We are leaving Dublin). We will be getting a Lascal Universal Buggy Board to go on the buggy for short trips to local playground etc. My Maxi Cosy car seat will also attach to this, with adapters.
If you are in the process of making a decision on your buggy or travel system, I know, it’s a total minefield, truth is, all the systems and brands are great, equally, some have certain pros, and some have cons, it’s just picking the one that most appeals to you and your lifestyle. I have the heads wrecked of the staff in Bella Baby in Dundrum, but ask as many questions as you can, that’s what they are they for, get them to fold it up for you, take on and off bassinet etc etc and take your time with your decision. Just keep in mind there is usually ahead in time of a few weeks for them to arrive.
Clothes for baby…
I don’t believe personally in getting too much before baby arrives, that’s just me. I have gotten a selection of babygros in the newborn size and a packet in the 0-3 month size. I also bought plain vests, some hats, some mittens, some socks, and a wee plain cardigan (handy to go over everything). I have lots of blankets and cellular blankets already. As the weeks move on I will wash all these wee bits and have them ready. And pack in the hospital bag, a great tip someone told me the last time was to put the wee outfit you want baby to first wear in a separate little bag within your bag so your partner knows, just in case. I know with Anabelle I was in recovery for quite a long time and sadly didn’t get to hold her for hours and hours so Cormac had to just grab first thing he saw in the hospital bag for her.
Clothes for me…
I’ve have tried to share all my outfits throughout, both on Facebook and Instagram as I go..
Brands I am wearing and loving include;
And non maternity stuff like; River island, Zara, etc I just size up one or often two sizes.
We are moving house as I said and hope yo get into the house ASAP, mainly the rush is; I want to get Annabelle settled into her new home and new room BEFORE baby comes along, there is so much change going on for her that I want to get her a wee bit settled in our new home before her world is rocked upside down by a little brother or sister! So with that in mind, panic is ON. It’s been, brilliant, overwhelming, stressful, exciting all in one!
One of the hardest things is the fact that there are SO MANY DECISIONS to make all the time, and there are always unforeseen problems and delays. Some days I thought I would go into early labour with the stress, I am by nature a stressed person and have terribly anxiety so I’ve found it hard. I think as well because I am in “nesting” mode for new baby and no house ready I am finding that hard. Work and brand collaborations have been put on hold, and I have been forced to turn down some work as I just haven’t felt able or had the time and now I am nearing 30 weeks I won’t be taking on any more brand work or collabs for a while. That’s hard when you work for yourself, your instinct is to say yes yes yes to everything as you never know what work if any is around the corner, particularly in the world I am in of blogging!! But I have had to just prioritise me, family, my health and the house, for now! I do intend taking time off when baby arrives too.
Phew, ok I think that is my update for now, I told ye it would be a long ‘dear diary’ session. Make sure to follow our journey on Instagram and Insta Stories…
‘Til next time
**Gifting ** This is not a paid for blog post. But as I have mentioned above Stokke are gifting me with a selection of products (listed above), these are from their stockist Bella Baby. I am always very clear on gifted items, if content is paid for, or sponsored then you will see it clearly stated and you will see #ad clearly noted. I always disclose when I am in a paid for, contracted partnership with a brand, this is not such an occasion.
This is an area of my life I don’t always talk about, mainly because it is not a defining feature of me, of ‘Naomi Clarke”, it just happens to be something I live with, it is not who I am.
I do mention my Type One Diabetes from time to time on my social media, and often mention that I wear an Insulin pump. But I have realised the number of people now following me who also live with type one or are parents of children with type 1 is growing substantially so I thought it was about time I used my platform of The Style Fairy; and had a stand alone ‘T1D’ section and try to blog out it more and share more of my Type One Diabetes story. This is my first post. And mainly it just a synopsis of my journey.
I was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes when I was 15 years old. I had been an otherwise totally healthy child and teenager. That summer I spent time in Madrid staying with a family and while there I lost a lot of weight in a very short space of time, and I also was incredibly thirsty – it is a thirst only someone with T1D can ever understand, it is unquenchable and….one of the main indicators of dangerously high blood sugars. I was diagnosed within a couple of weeks. On diagnosis I spent over a week in hospital as my blood sugars had reached a critical high and I was very sick as a result.
I vividly remember the day I was told I had type one diabetes, I was sitting there with my mum, they told us I would have to now inject myself several times a day, and that this would be forever The shock was immense. I remember adamantly saying to the nurses that there was NO WAY I was injecting myself, nope, no way, no how, I am not doing it.I was 15, I was terrified. And at that age you desperately don’t want to feel different to anyone else. But now I was…
I remember feeling scared and confused. I didn’t understand what T1D was, I didn’t know what it meant for me. When I look back now it must have been such a major shock for my mother too, if it happened to Annabelle I would be distraught. The truth is though, life goes on and life very much did go on. Day by day, injection by injection, we got there, I figured out how to live with type one diabetes.
I have spoken to countless mothers who are dealing with the diagnosis of their child and I can feel their worry and upset, they are worried it will limit their child, they are worried their child won’t be ‘normal’ that their child won’t do all the things other children do, but they will, trust me, they will, and more. Type One Diabetes should not and will not limit you from chasing your dreams, whether like me that was fashion or whatever it may be, it will not stand in your way.
What People Don’t Know
Type One Diabetes in very vey basic terms is an autoimmune condition whereby your pancreas no longer works – it no longer produces insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy. We cannot live/ function without insulin so people with Type One Diabetes require insulin therapy (an insulin pump or multiple daily insulin injections).
Type One Diabetes IS NOT THE SAME as Type Two Diabetes. They are totally different, separate conditions. As someone who lives with Type 1 IT is infuriating how often they are confused. I often wish T1D was called something else.
You CAN NOT get Type One Diabetes from “eating too many sweets” (Don’t even get me started on the ignorance of comments like this)
Type One Diabetes CAN NOT be reversed
Type One Diabetes is an extremely serious condition, and CAN be life threatening if not correctly managed. So many can be dismissive of the condition, when in fact they just do not understand it.
You DO NOT develop Type One Diabetes from being over weight (this can sometimes be factor for people who develop type 2 diabetes ) You’d be surprised how many say to me when I tell them about my condition “Oh but you’re not fat” !!
Type One Diabetes is an extremely complex condition, it is not as simple as just giving yourself insulin and that’s that. Multiple factors are at play and it requires a huge mount of monitoring.
Learning to Inject
I have lived with Type One Diabetes now for over 19 years, I have lived longer with the condition that I did without it. For the first 15 and a half years I used insulin injections, on average I would need to inject 4 times per day, often 5 times. (When you calculate it, which I had never done before now that is 22,630 injections – wow!) Injecting yourself sounds worse than it actually is in reality and something you get so used to doing, it becomes second nature, soon you don’t even think about it, in fact I would often get detracted if i was talking to friends or my hubby and would forget if i had injected or not!!! I never did it in front of strangers really, only people I knew and trusted. I would inject in restaurants on occasion, it can take strangers of guard if they see you taking out a needle and injecting straight into your tummy or leg but it is completely normal part of our every day life so why not, I always just felt a wee bit self conscious. For women it can be tricky as depending on what you are wearing you may need the privacy to avoid flashing people. But whatever you are comfortable with!
Finger Pricks & Calculating Insulin
As well as injections, us type one diabetics, take multiple blood tests throughout the course of the day – we prick ourselves on the finger to get a small bit of blood to put into our blood glucose monitoring devices. This device then tells us what our blood sugar reading is (normal reading is 5 – 7). Before each meal it is common practice to check your blood sugar levels as you will require insulin for each meal or snack. We also check blood sugars readings post meal. Most people probably check their blood sugar readings anything from 5 – 8 times a day, in pregnancy I have to check often 12 or 15 times a day. Before some type one’s say it – yes there is now a device to avoid doing finger pricks, (Free Style Libre) I don’t have one, yet, so I won’t go into the detail there.
The Insulin Pump
I am wearing an insulin pump for the past 3 and a half years. This means I no longer have to give myself injections. The insulin pump is a device that is attached to me 24/7 via a canula and a wire into my stomach. Once programmed to the correct dosage for the patient it releases insulin in a steady stream throughout the course of the day, much like a real pancreas would. Before each meal, I now calculate my insulin dosage based on what I am about to eat (that’s the complex part I won’t go into) and then programme it into my pump and the insulin is released into my system. I have to change my pump ‘site’ every 2 or 3 days to avoid infection . If I ever get confident enough I would like to record a little video of just how I insert the wire into my tummy and attach myself to the pump – think it could be beneficial to kids or newly diagnosed type one diabetics.You live attached to the pump 24 hours a day, you can remove it fro short periods of time, like to shower or to get into a swimming pool.
Living with a Pump
All my teenage years I was terrified about getting a pump; all my fears and worries were mainly superficial ones – I hated the idea that my now ‘invisible’ illness would somehow now be ‘visible’ and I would now be attached to this ugly device, forever. There is something very personal and discreet about insulin injections, you carry them in your bag, no one needs to know (unless you want them too) about your condition. As a teenager and in my early 20’s, I refused to even entertain the idea of the pump, but after getting married, and when the idea of getting pregnant came into a play I know things would change. I always said to my husband, I will get a pump to get pregnant if I need to, turns out when I started pre pregnancy clinic, a pump looked to be the best way forward for me. I got my insulin pump, 4 years ago this summer and shortly after I got it, (maybe approx 6 mon th later) I got pregnant with my angel Annabelle Ivy. I would now never ever go back to injections.
One of the biggest questions I get asked about my pump is… “Where do you hide it”.
I did a talk a few months ago for teenagers of Temple Street Hospital who live with Type One Diabetes and it was a hot topic with all the teenage girls – how do i hide it in all my outfits?
So with that in mind I plan to do a full blog post ALL about my pump, what it looks like, and where I wear it.
Don’t ever think for one second, that any of this comes easy to me or that I don’t mind it, that it is easy for me to wear a pump – It’s not. Off course I mind, off course I struggle, I am human, at times I HATE my pump, I HATE that I have diabetes, some days are really really really hard and really frustrating. I cry, I get frustrated, I get angry, it feels unfair – ALL the things you feel and it can often feel like no one understands. But look, the truth is, we all have our own cross to bear in this life, some have it much harder but no one has it all, trust me.
The next blog posts I have planned are;
Wearing an insulin pump and how I hide it
Pregnancy and Type One Diabetes
If there is anything else you want me to cover or talk about, just leave a comment below or you can private mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Maternity jeans….. Where do I begin? It’s a minefield. And one that sparks massive debate among pregnant women!
Its funny, in my first pregnancy, I couldn’t wait to get into a pair of maternity jeans, this time, I stayed in my regular jeans as long as I physically could!!!
What maternity jeans do I wear & recommend is the number 1 asked question since the moment I shared the news of my pregnancy. And it’s a hot debate too, you ain’t felt scorn til you get the rath of an angry pregnant woman who DOES NOT LIKE over the bump jeans…. Lol!
Let me start this jeans debate with something I’ve learnt over the years from styling, personal shopping and just personal experience. Our body shapes vary massively, and same goes in pregnancy, our bumps vary, so our preference in jeans will vary so so much. What one woman loves and finds doesn’t slip and super comfy, another woman may totally disagree and find them uncomfortable and baggy. It just comes down to body shape. I am gonna go through all the various brands I have tried, share my recommendations, and general thoughts on them. This is just my personal preferences and what I find suits me and i will continue to update it as my pregnancy progresses.
The good new is, maternity fashion is is evolving and improving all the time and more and more we are seeing high street brands releasing bigger and better maternity collections; when I asked readers to tell me your favourite brands, the list was massive, so here are just some brands to keep an eye out for….
Over the bump Vs Under The Bump
Which is better? The true answer – NEITHER. It depends on you, all of us have our preference. Last pregnancy, I loved over the bump, even from early days, this pregnancy, I am loving under the bump too. Some woman will say ‘over the bump are disgusting and sweaty’ while others tell ‘they won’t go near under bump styles’, My advice? Try styles on, pick your side and make up your mind for yourself. I have a mix of both styles and like both, often depends what I am wearing on top. I find under the bump good in early pregnancy where as weeks go on I know over the bump will be my preference.
The dreaded ‘Slip Down’
In preparing for this blog, I have tried so many styles of jeans and talked to so many women about maternity jeans and we all have the same complaint – why do they slip? Vast majority do, some more than others. Some styles will slid on some women and some won’t, comes down to our body shapes again, but it really is annoying, the slip becomes less annoying as bump gets bigger and you fill out the jeans more, or so I think I remember the last time around…
Brands I’ve tried
Hearing Penneys have a maternity collection is music to the ears of the vast majority of pregnant women, when you’re pregnant, yes, you want to look good, your self esteem may be low, you may feel fat or swollen, you may feel ugly and can be desperately hormonal, you want and need new clothes but yet you don’t want to spend a fortune – Step in Penneys! Penneys have over the bump styles and under the bump.
Their under the bump jeans for me are not working; gutted because I love the stretchy fabric, they are the perfect perfect length, the top of them looks great but they just sit waaaay too low on me and literally give me a builders bum! Now in saying that, I am a classic pear shape and have a verrrrry long torso (and short legs) but because of my long body, low rise jeans are terrible on me and for whatever reason the Penneys under the bump don’t really suit me. Even though they have some major positives! I am going to try wearing them again, hoping they stretch and get more comfy?! But they are not getting a thumbs up from me…
I really like the Penneys over the bump jeans, I am wearing them lots. I think as bump gets bigger I will wear them even more. The downside of them?? I find the over the bump fabric a little baggy and they are a tad loose on the waist band, it’s like there is too much fabric, and also the actual material that goes over the bump is quite thick (think they might be roasting in summer) BUT having said that I find them very comfy. And I find myself reaching for them lots. Maternity jeans by their nature slip down, all brands, slip a little. So I find, wearing a tight vest and pull it down over the bump helps keep the jeans in place, especially the over the bump ones. The biggest pro for Penenys jeans? The price tag!
Sizing: True to size
I have the black mama-to-be jeans from POCO (see here) They don’t come cheap and I totally understand that many will feel they can’t justify the spend on maternity jeans. Having said that, I can see myself wearing them for quite a while after the baby is born too, they are under the bump style with a really nice stretchy waistband. The instant you try them on, you know you are dealing with a really high quality fabric. They have straight away become my ‘good jeans‘, I only wish they were available in blue (The ‘Off Duty’ style is available in blue but I am not as keen on that style) Although they are under the bump, they are not really low waisted, so that style suits me, they do tend to slip a bit, but not as bad as some other styles do. The only other drawback is, I got the regular leg length (and I am 5 foot 7) and they are too long, they gather at the ends, so I have to turn them up, I would have been far better with the short leg, again personal preference but I do prefer my jeans the wee bit shorter.
Sizing: True to size (except in length)
Here is were opinions divide…..drastically. H&M seems to be the number 1 rated among majority of you ladies, I got these (see here); the MAMA Skinny jeans and to be honest, I hate them! Lol… They are the most uncomfortable off all the maternity jeans I’ve worn, they just don’t suit my body shape, they are small fitting, and very hard to get over my hips, I do have big hips but in saying that if they are uncomfortable to get on now, how will I manage when I am bigger? They are also too long, so I need to roll them up, I like the style/ colour but I actually had to go and change the last time I wore them and I found them that uncomfortable. I think a large part of it is the fabric, no stretch or give at all.
Sizing: Go up a size (also very long)
The New Look over the bump jeggings were my no1 fav last pregnancy and they are right up there again this time. great price, nice fit, right length, comfy. See them HERE. In fact, overall I rate New Look very highly for all maternity wear, online always has the best selection. The only drawback is I find them a little baggy in the over the bump section, I think i could have gone a size down perhaps. Otherwise, really like them
Sizing: Go down a size if between sizes, slightly on the big side.
When it comes to choice; you simply cannot beat ASOS. Go to their maternity section, filter to jeans and you get 80 different options; petite styles, high waisted, over the bump, under the bump, jeggings- you name it! My personal favourites are these (see HERE). Reasonable price, good quality, great fabric and very comfy! If I was to invest in more jeans, it will be ASOS brand I go for!
Size: Bang on right size.
Not technically jeans but I feel they warrant a mention in there.. The leather look trousers from iClothing are super super comfy and have a lovely stretch to them. Also, to be able to comfortably wear leather look trousers in pregnancy? I’m delighted!!! Use code TSF10 to get 10% off these beauties. See them here .
Sizing: Standard sizing, I was size 10 pre pregnancy and I am wearing the size 30. Keep in mind though they are a tad long I wear mine with one roll up.
Topshop ‘Jamie’ jeans are as much a cult to so many women as ‘Molly’ River Island jeans are to me! Personally I never got the hype (I am too loyal to my Molly’s) but the great news is Jamies from Topshop are available in a vast array of maternity styles. See the full range here. In my last pregnancy I invested in the white Jamie jeans from Topshop (I was pregnant in the summer last time) and they were FAB! Really high quality, none or very little slip, lovely fabric. I have enough styles to keep me going for now, but these are 100% on my to be list… see here. They come in two leg lengths to which is great. Topshop in general have a fab maternity selection, your best choice is online, it tends to be a little pricier but in return you get very good quality. I am particularly loving their pyjama range – Would be lovely as your hospital set.
Sizing: Stick to your own pre pregnancy size. Topshop can on occasion be a little on the small size.
Keep Checking In…
That’s my round up for now, but what I plan to do is edit and update this as the months / weeks go on, and as I try other brands and as bump changes and grows. I know for lots of women maternity jeans are the no 1 buy in pregnancy (and rightly so!)
As most of you may know from listening to my Snapchat, we are moving!!!! We bought a house that had to be gutted & renovated from top to toe, we are basically working with a shell! I plan to bring you on this interiors journey with me as things start to move forward.
But to kick start things I thought I would begin by bringing you some kitchen design ideas and inspiration. Our kitchen went in just over a week ago – the counter top hasn’t been put on yet and a few bits so I will hold off on showing you pictures ’til it is further on. We went for a white kitchen (the exact colour is Farrow & Ball ‘Strong White’) and we picked grey for our island (the grey is Farrow & Ball ‘Manour House Grey’), our work top when it does go on is Carrara Quartz.
For me, the kitchen is the heart of the house, it is where we will spend the most time, so in that regard it is the most important space for me and most likely where you will spend the most money too!! like everything when it comes to interiors and design there is SO. MUCH. CHOICE. I think it is really important to do some research and try to get a feel for what it is you really want and what you love, it can be overwhelming when you first walk into a kitchen showroom. Thankfully we knew exactly what we wanted to that made life a small bit easier.
Here is some inso on various kitchen styles to give you some inspiration and you are start saving to that house file you have on your phone (I think its a great idea to save down all images you see that you love, even if you are not sure why you love it, it’s that bank of imagery that will help form the basis of the vision for your home)
When it comes to your kitchen there are so many decisions to make not only about style (modern, farmhouse, traditional etc etc) but also colours, splash backs, floors, islands, chairs and stools, worktops, knobs and handles, sinks and lighting….. Hopefully this will give you some ideas!
So I have officially hit the half way mark, well this week sees me reaching 21 weeks. I feel should be zooming about the place with lots of energy this trimester but I have to admit the past week or so I have been struggling; I feel really really exhausted, all the time. I have a lot of aches and pains too, my back in particular is always aching. I wake up fine but by lunch time my back is very sore.
Let’s talk health
Last week I had less movement than normal and as I said I just didn’t feel ‘right’, after a few days of worry I rang Holles Street and they told me to come in immediately, I spent about 4 or 5 hours in the triage area but they listened to baby’s heart beat and scanned me and all was well, it was great peace of mind. My advise to anyone is trust your instinct, if you feel off or movement seems different GO IN. I felt ‘silly’ and like a was wasting their valuable time but you know what, in hindsight, I should have called them sooner.
This week feels totally different, so much movement, all the time. I LOVE the feeling of my little baba moving. We had our big 20 week scan this week and it went so well, it’s such a great milestone and we are so so happy and relieved all seems to be well with baby. As for my type one diabetes, I am not having a good week, or maybe two weeks, my blood sugars levels are constantly changing, and so my dosage has to be changed all the time. The nurses in Holles Street are such a great help but it hasn’t been a great couple of weeks from that perspective. That’s just type one diabetes and pregnancy unfortunately, different growth levels with baba, different hormones levels and so on, all will interact with my insulin absorption and blood sugar levels.
This is the face of our joy when we got out from the scan being told everything looks healthy and well….
Let’s talk work
Everyone tells me I should be resting more, but as you mammies know, that is close to impossible with a toddler! I am a stay at home mum half of my time and the other half I run The Style Fairy, and I suppose a hell of a lot more goes on behind the scenes with The Style Fairy than you might imagine; even small things such as getting back to peoples messages, emails and comments can take so so SO long each day – Often hours! In the background I am also working on brand collaborations, pitches and proposals for potential brands, agent meetings, brand meetings, general admin and then off course the actual content creation for the blog and all the social media pages, it’s never ending! And truthfully?….Most of the time I feel I am not succeeding at either…..The Style Fairy or being a mammy!! But I think that’s the age old battle all working mammies feel, and I am lucky I get to spend as much time as I do with Annabelle Ivy.
As most of you will know we are also moving house and in the process of COMPLETELY doing up the house we are moving in to, we hope to be in by April… seems impossible but we have some really great people helping us. We didn’t at the beginning and it slowed things down and brought major stress on the whole project but anyway, I’ll come back to that.
Anabelle Ivy was born at 36 weeks and it is likely I will have a similar situation with this baba so hence the rush to get in and get somewhat settled, especially for Anabelle, I would love for her to have some time in her new home before the new arrival turns her whole world upside down!!
Building a house or totally renovating a house takes so much time – It totally sucks you in. To give you an idea, the house we are moving into was gutted – I mean totally totally gutted, we were essentially left with the shell, so we have all the external building work done, the windows in, re wired, re plumbed etc and now we are starting on interiors! Oh the kitchen is in, so thats a big step. I will be doing blog on this journey in the brand spanking new INTERIORS section of The Style Fairy so keep your eyes peeled for that if interiors is your thing!
Let’s talk Faaaasssssshion
Enough moaning Naomi, get to the good stuff I hear you say 😉 Maternity fashion, so what have I bought, what am I looking at and where is the best place for maternity style?
First things first, I know, everyone wants to talk about jeans, jeans, jeans…. In fact, it’s such a hot topic I am doing a separate blog post all about maternity jeans, at the moment I am wearing a few brands so I can give my take on them all; POCOS, Penneys, ASOS, New Look, and a pair from iClothing just arrived in while I am working on this blog post. I will deffo try get around to that blog post this week.
The best place to see all latest fashion buys or bits and pieces I may get sent from brands is my Snapchat, my username is: thestylefairy. I am not on it constantly, I am not one of those people who feels the need to document EVERY element of my day (yawn), but I share bits and pieces of everything from my outfits, shopping, hauls, home, interiors, Anabelle Ivy, pregnancy, beauty products, that kind of thing!
I have bought a mix of maternity clothes and non maternity, when it comes to non maternity, I just keep an eye out for styles I know will work with a growing bump and go up a size (or two or three).
Here are a few pieces I have bought recently or that I am loving….
H&M have a really great maternity range, at good prices. I’ll reserve comment on the jeans for now, but they are great for jumpers, basics (t-shirts, tops and vests) and also some lovey dresses, jackets and knitwear. See the full range here
Penneys have also now launched a maternity collection, I have the jeans (again I’ll chat about those again in the jeans blog). From their maternity range I also picked up a long sleeved striped top, perfect for under blazers. I also bought a long line mustard blazer (from their normal range) to go with this. I’ll share a picture when I wear that outfit.
In general Penneys is great for picking up bits and pieces throughout pregnancy without spending a fortune. In particular keep an eye out for oversized knit wear and cardigans, jackets and blazers, shirts and blouses (just buy a few sizes up); shirts are great, I especially loved them in the later stages of pregnancy the last time, worn with a vest or t shirt and leggings. You know yourself, but it’s handy to pick up basics there too like vests etc, although as bump starts to get bigger I prefer maternity vests as they are longer and cover bump properly.
RI don’t do maternity, but I have picked up some bits recently that I wanted to share. Blazers are a great way to dress up a simple jeans and t-shirt look and you know blazers are a big wardrobe staple for me, they are ideal in pregnancy too, just buy a size up, and wear with your maternity jeans. I got this first one, (I got the size 12) but River Island have a really great selection of blazers in at the moment:
I LOVE love love ASOS, pregnant or not pregnant. But as it happens they have one of the absolute best maternity wear collections. I often recommend ASOS for maternity occasion wear, some really fab, on trend pieces. They also stock a range of maternity brands so it makes life easier when it is all on the one website.
Don’t get me wrong, I am also a big fan of wearing ‘normal’ clothes where possible, I don’t believe you always have to choose from the maternity ranges. Keep an eye for dresses that are stretchy or have the right cut and shape that will accommodate the bump – Wrap dresses for example are great!
For example just bought this dress, it’s not maternity so I went up a size and it sits lovely on bump
I also bought this, again, not maternity but plenty of room for bump. Love this dress. Also blazer style dresses are great as by their nature they are smock style so work great for maternity wear.
Lastly, I also bought this oversized tunic top, it’s so comfy and perfect over bump, add a belt above bump if yo want t define your curves a little! And it’s on sale!!!! I can’t wait to style this up!
Another tunic style top, also on sale
Topshop also do a great maternity range, on the pricier she but some fab pieces. Great for knitwear, pyjamas, and day dresses. Spotted this dress this week and it’s really nice.
iClothing have a maternity range, although it is a little small at the moment, hopefully they expand….pardon the pun 😉 See their full maternity range here.
I have these leather look trousers, lovely stretchy fabric, I haven’t worn them yet but can’t wait, I would style with them a chunky polo neck jumper or wear with one of those tunics from ASOS I showed above.
iClothing also have some fab wrap dresses, non maternity but would still work very well over bump.
Elora Maternity is an Irish owned online maternity boutique. I wore lots from them in my last pregnancy and plan to again this time. Visit their site here. They stock beautiful maternity jammies , as well as some gorgeous occasion wear dresses, plus some nice day to day tops. Here are some pieces that caught my eye, although the owner of Elora Maternity has been in touch with me and said they are expecting a lot of new stock over the coming weeks.
Zara obviously doesn’t do maternity wear but I love them for blouses, tunics, blazers and basic vests.
This is one of my favourite maternity brands but be warned it doesn’t come cheap. But the quality is second to known. I invested in a white shirt from them in my last pregnancy and it is still perfect:
It also comes in a red stripe and a blue stripe – so fab! If you do invest it will be worthwhile
If you have an office job there are some really stunning work wear pieces,all very high quality. Plus they do some stunning dresses too.
Ok I think that’s more than enough fashion for this time.