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Friday, 19 December 2014

COOL BUBBAS | Velvet Living London

If you're stumped with what to get a chum for Christmas, who is pregnant - here's a good idea.

We we're sent a sample of Velvet Living London's baby bear box, and it really is beautiful, however, I'm not sure the recipient would appreciate actually how much the box is worth.

Velvet Living was originally a quintessentially British homeware blog by Heather Slade, who found an overwhelming amount of friends and family getting married, pregnant, engaged - she was forever rushing into John Lewis to stock up. Which then led her to the idea of creating a well presented gift in one place, at the right price, without compromising on quality.
 Here Velvet Living was started and the blog blossomed into a veritable treasure trove of boxes - perfect for every occasion.

We kindly received the baby bear box - inside there's an exclusive and absolutely adorable Coco &Wolf (exclusive to Velvet Living) bear print body suit, Cowshed Baby Cow Milky Body Lotion (200ml) and Histoire D'Ours Soft Grey Bear.

Now, the box retails for £50.00. I think for a gift for family and first time you'd be looking to spend £30-50, fair?

The Cowshed body lotion is around £10.50 - everyone loves Cowshed. If you don't know it, the paraben-free baby items are just divine.

The teddy is absolutely delightful, as delicate as a real bunny rabbit, butter-soft with a scruffy finish, beautiful quality and on inspection on google, a real collectors item and quite hard to find.

A small one will set you back around £25-32 (not as nice as this one) as it is only 25cm, I don't think the recipient will appreciate the worth. If you're in the know - you will.
It's of fantastic quality, and my little man LOVES it,  I feel sad, that if I gifted this box, the recipient would not be aware of the actual RRP of the cherry-picked items. I'm not saying friends are not grateful, but you get me?

Then there's a Coco & Wolf body suit. The exclusive body suit is stunning, and is exclusive to Velvet Living, you can find other examples of their exquisite designs here :

Coco and Wolf

For £50, you get fastidiously chosen items in a beautifully packaged box, the thought that has gone into it (I have to point this out as some people may say why aren't I making a saving?) It's not about that. You don't walk into John Lewis, and say if I pick these three items - can you do me a deal?

Think of it like this; it's the ultimate personal shopping box. Someone has done for you exactly what you set out to do, without the stress, and given you the inspiration you were after.
It may be the first time you are introduced to the adorable brands, and savings aren't the aim of the box at all - it's all about the full package (excuse the pun).

Thursday, 18 December 2014

SAVVY MUMMAS | Smelly Stocking Filler

I got a text message from my friend asking me if I like Chanel Mademoiselle perfume; to which I replied, I don't like it, I LOVE it! If I could afford it I would wear it every day and every night, even if I was just at home. I wondered why my friend was asking, maybe she had a voucher or discount code for a bottle? Unlikely, as Chanel rarely do money off.

To my surprise, my friend gave me a gift and told me it was the next best thing to my favourite perfume — a very similar scent, 'Suddenly Madame Glamour' by none other than up-and-coming supermarket, Lidl! This has apparently been on our shelves for a few months now, but it's news to me. I wouldn't say it has exactly the same smell, but it is very, very similar, and priced at an incredible £3.99 for 50ml, you can indeed wear it day and night! 

Lidl describe it as: "incorporating Bergamot and Jasmine, fresh citrus and floral notes merging to an alluring, exotic oriental accord – a timeless, affordable, and classic fragrance ".

It has apparently been so popular with customers that many stores have already sold out, but if you can get your hands on some it's the perfect stocking filler, or a lovely little treat for yourself!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

HOT MUMMAS | Mat Leave

Employers certainly don't make it easy to return to a role, do they?
If we met in the middle at three days, there would probably be a lot more working mums. Two days, long weekend with baby and a nice 12 days pay packet - perfect.
However, many companies say this 'doesn't meet the needs of the business', so what happens then?

Quite truthfully, all four of us here can document our negative treatment whilst on maternity, and all can categorically say we felt anxious, nervous and angry at times.
While idiosyncratic people made life difficult through jealousy, general stubbornness, and quite frankly a lack of professionalism. 
We've all been left in very tricky situations.

One of us was offered 5 days and a new role, one was given a horrendous appraisal having not even worked a day in 2014. Which was swiftly rectified as very obviously personal.
One was told to return to a lesser role, another offered a very mummy-friendly 4 1/2 days (not), went to appeal and got...4.

One saw an email from her bosses' wife saying 'get rid of her', which swiftly disappeared and she found...this has worked to her advantage as she works 2-3 from her new abode. 

The last went back 4 days, is pregnant again and feels she's already feeling the backlash. Why should we be made to feel bad just for being mums? 

Why do other women and men make it so difficult, and really disappointingly a lot of them are parents themselves? It leaves you with no other alternative but to leave, right? 
In hindsight, neither option is the easy option.

Society needs to change and adapt to the modern way of the world. We want to have a career and bring up our own kids, we don't want a generation of children being brought up mainly by nurseries/nannies/grandparents. The government is trying to help with new laws and guidelines but it's time now for companies to take action and take our flexible working requests seriously. 

All I can say, is if it wasn't for blogging and the general pbloggers network and support, we wouldn't be brave enough to follow our hearts. It's lovely to see our fellow bloggers taking the plunge, or fighting their corner and empowering others. After all, we've given birth... Nothing compares!

Why should we let the bullies win? To miss those wonderful, magical and special moments that money can NEVER buy, and you certainly can't get back.

What have you experienced? Please let us know.

Bubs Team 

Saturday, 6 December 2014

HOT MUMMAS | Dove Winter

I love writing about winter beauty. Especially for a mum to be, or a new mum... Because it's all about pampering and rich, nourishing products to keep dry, itchy skin at bay.

Dove have launched this new limited edition Winter Care Collection. We were lucky enough to trial.
It includes a DeepCare complex which is full of rich essential oils. 

A tip I learnt from specialists as a Beauty Ed was to slather your hands or feet in your favourite product then sleep with gloves or socks on to help the product penetrate overnight. And trust me it worked!
A lovely suggestion to all you tired and weary mummies and so easy to do (enlist a friend/partner if bump is too big!)

Luxurious rich nourishment cream, our fave

Dr Shefali Rajpopat, Dove Skincare Expert gives some top tips for Winter mummies...

Avoid long, hot, baths. Hot water strips the skin of natural oils, so reduce bathing time to 10-15 (darn)

Wrap up warm by layering, but use soft breathable fabrics, like cotton, instead of wool or polyester that may irritate the skin.

Use a sunscreen all year round. Winter sun can still harm the skin.

Winter care nourishing body lotion RRP £4.19, rich nourishment cream RRP £3.99, hand cream RRP £3.79
The whole range is available at Tesco nationwide