Birth Stories

As some of you might know, I'm part of Channel Mum, which means, we're kind of like Mum TV. And I love that. I don't have lots of women to hand as a working mum, and it's like getting advice or understanding other people's experiences, all through my phone.

When I was expecting Bill, I was so excited. All I wanted to know was what it would be like? How I'd feel? Would it be okay? What a newborn would feel like in my arms? I remember taking to YouTube, when stories like this were few and far between, and finding Louise's birth story, and Leanne's birth story with her fifth child. And I used to watch their videos and updates like the loyal follower I am.

The lovely thing about technology these days is that, really, you don't need to wonder or worry anymore. You can find women like you, or even not like you, and see that, whatever your story might be, it's okay to be happy, to struggle, to be confused, or to wonder how to cope with a toddler tantrum.

And I love that about Channel Mum - because I like the idea of being able to make other parents feel like they are doing okay.

Today, tons of us mamas are sharing our birth stories. Including me.

This is Bill's story. Or a short and sweet version of it, as it's only three and-a-half minutes long! You can read his full birth story too if you'd like.

If you want to relive yours, I'd love to hear it too.
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The Weekend Post #27

This weekend was, again, a quiet one for us. It's all I want at the moment though, so that's fine by me! 

Mark's still working away on our bedroom. I swear that wallpaper is stuck on with superglue and I am now 100% a wallpaper-hater. It will never touch the walls in this house. Ever. Again.

He should be done next weekend, and then it will be time to prep and paint. Which I'm so excited about. Our bedroom is hideous and I can't wait to have a calm place to relax in. I keep having visions of our little family tucked up in bed in the future, with a little newborn, eating toast and watching the iPad. It'll be a long while until that happens but it will be a nice thing to look forward to. 

Now I am brave enough to drive the car I have been driving to Sainsbury's every weekend, which is basically the only place I can drive to, but who cares right?

I like doing it though. It's nice to feel free in a way. And it's nice to have some one-on-one time with Bill too. He's so cute as we go around the top and we usually sing song and debate about what cakes to buy. 

He gets exasperated towards the end though:

Bill: "Are we finished now, Mama?"
Me: "No, not yet!"
Bill: "Ohhhh Mama! You can't possibly buy anymore!" 

It does make me laugh.

Once we got home, Mark kept going and we made lunch - huge tiger bread sandwiches - and cuddle inside for a little bit.

My little boy is really growing up. Look at him. Look at that grown face. He's so different now. But still the same. He can talk and talk and the conversations we have are so precious to me. 

When we tucked him to bed on Saturday night, he looked up at me, cupped my face with tiny hands and said: "We had a lovely day today, didn't we Mama?

And we did.

We took advantage of the small slice of sunshine, in a week full of rain. It doesn't feel much like Summer at the moment. So this was so welcome. I got two loads of washing on the line and the boys just ran around like the plonkers that they are. I can't stop watching them sometimes. Minutes pass and I come to and realise I have just been stood watching, with a damp t-shirt in my hands, still waiting to be hung to dry.

The week we went to Venice, was the week that my garden grew out of control, and my potted plants died a death. 

I've managed to tame the lawns, but I've had some plant carcasses at the front of my house for weeks now. So I bought some new ones to spruce everything up a little bit. 

I like potting plants. Or just planting in general. Seeing the colour in my garden grow is lovely. And it's a peaceful job that I can do in the company of two cats and my own thoughts. I don't get to do it enough. I almost feel like I'd be the happiest person alive if I had an extra day in the week to fill at home. But it's just not on the cards for me, sadly.

After I'd done that, I walked out to the back of the garden, past our gate, and into the place Where The Wild Things Are (at least, that's how I like to think of it). The plants are overgrown. A wild land of blooms and scurrying things, with trickling water. 

Romeo and Elsa love it down there. And I do too. They look so wild, apart from the tell-tale sign of domesticity in the form of their jingle-jangling collars. 

I was cutting my hydrangeas, just enough to fill two mason jars inside. And both cats came to join me. Elsa's in the photo above too. Just see if you can spot part of her.

I love hydrangeas. I always think that they look like a cluster of pastel butterflies resting together. Maybe that is just me. But they do make me smile. And I'm lucky that my plant gives me blue, lilac and pink shades - which look so pretty together.

Sunday morning and Mark and I continued to be Yin and Yang. He went for a run, after letting me have the most lovely lie-in (the type where you stretch yourself awake with a yawn), and I headed straight for bacon, egg and an English muffin. 

I did try and have a coffee and an orange juice too. The coffee went cold. And the orange juice, along with half of my breakfast was 'shared'. 

"Mama...I think you should share your breakfast."

I think I was robbed, personally.

We declared Sunday a PJ Day. So I write this in fresh PJs that dried on the line yesterday. They smell so good and I feel so cosy.

We haven't done much. Aside from play. Lounge around. And eat.

Which are, quite frankly, some of the best things in life I think.

I made a hot pot. Which cooked for hours and was so good. I made a side of cauliflower and broccoli cheese to go with it, and I've whizzed both into soups for mine and Mark's lunches tomorrow. I'm looking forward that, especially given we've a week of rain ahead.

Bill also played shopkeeper with us today. And I don't think we've laughed so much in quite a while. He was quite the salesman, and I'd attempt to explain it, but I wouldn't do it justice. But then I guess that's why I make our family videos. So I can re-live it over and over again.

And I would just like to end on Romeo's face when Bill woke him up earlier. 


Watch the home video:

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Growing This Family

Mark and I drove back from the station last night and, as we pulled into the driveway, we were discussing the future. We ended up sitting in the car, side-by-side, chatting, as Elsa stood and looked at us like we were bonkers. I laughed at how we could see her pink mouth open, all your can see amidst her shiny black fur, and yet we could hear no miaow from behind car doors. 

We were talking about our family and how it might change and how we'd adapt.

And it occurred to me that, while growing our family is something I want so badly (you just need to search for 'broody' on this blog to know that), I'm actually really, really nervous about it. 

Having a child is an adaption in itself. Like - where the hell did all of my sleep go? Or I can't go out anymore, can I? Or that really bizarre feeling when you nip out on your own for once and you feel really weird without pushing a pram - almost like everyone is staring at you? That last one might just be me. But it's a huge change.

But when you have a 'modern family' or a 'blended family' or whatever it is that people who aren't actually experiencing it want to call it, it's really quite different. 

I know I want another baby. And I know hand-on-heart that I want that baby with Mark. I know I will love this baby with every bit of me. And then some. 

But I already have a baby. He's a three year-old baby. And my absolute world. And I really need him to be okay throughout all of this.

I really do.

I need to know that he'll be okay having a different surname. I need to know that he won't mind leaving this part of his family behind and enjoy time with his dad. I need to know that he won't be treated differently by anyone. I need to know that he'll be happy. 

I need to know so much.

We have spoken to him about it and he has so far been quite pleased with the idea. Having only two ground rules:

Mark: "Bill, how would you feel about having a baby brother or sister."
Bill: "Mark, no, not a sister. I want a brudder. But he can't play with my animals."
Mark: (laughs) "Okay. Well, you could play with the animals together, and maybe he would have his own animals too?" 
Bill: (pauses to think) "Okay, shall we play with baby brudder now?" 
Mark: (laughs again) "Not just yet. The baby will have to grow in Mama's tummy first."
Bill: "Oh..." (looks at me suspiciously).

And he’s a good kid, you know? He’s a really good kid. And he loves to play with people. And he knows how loved he is. 

He has great family around him. Mark’s family are so good to him. His mum goes away and picks up a little treat for Bill now and again. Everyone bought him something for his birthday. And when he met Mark’s sister’s new dog Maverick, he was over the moon. And I’m really lucky to have them and I’m really excited to keep getting to know them over the years too.

Things with Bill’s dad are more than civil these days, or at least from how I feel about the situation. There’s less bickering. None at all really. And there’s a considered understand that puts Bill first. I’d like to think that they would be really supportive about getting Bill excited about his future sibling, however that may be. 

My family – it goes without saying – are beyond supportive and always will be. And my mum continues to offer to be on hand, with childcare, just like my grandma did for my parents. And I’m so incredibly lucky for that. 

Mark, I have no doubts, will love Bill and his own biological child, exactly the same. Bill taught Mark how to be a father, made him a father, even if he can’t wear that title yet. And I know that we’ll both be proud of our kids no matter what.

But I’m still nervous. I hope we manage to conceive. I hope we won’t be judged. Because people still do judge. 

Putting ‘step’ in front of something makes you sound like much less. It makes you sound like an understudy, filling in the show when the main character has time off, or doesn’t turn up. And I don’t want Bill or Mark feeling like that. Ever. 

Mark’s also wondering how he’s supposed to introduce his family. We’re not getting married. And there’s the surnames. We’re both Taylors. Bill is not. Can we play the roles of mum, dad and kids, or do we have to explain the situation every time? Because so far, I’ve been quizzed when buying home insurance – “So you’re not married but have the same surname…?” And told that we can’t call Bill ‘ours’. 

And how will I feel? My belly will have grown two babies from two different men. Will I be sick with one child more than the other? Will one birth be easier? Is that down to time, circumstance, genetics? I don’t know. It’s a whole different ball game. Will we be compatible? What if we can’t have a baby? 

I also wonder what people will think of me. I wonder if, sometimes, people will learn of my circumstances and wonder what I must have done to end up where I have. What mistakes might I have made? Am I promiscuous? Not that it’s anyone’s business, but I’m one of the least promiscuous people you could meet. 

Was I left? Was someone unfaithful? I wasn’t prepared for the questions I’ve been asked so far.

And sometimes I wish I didn’t have to say. So that, day-to-day, for all intents and purposes, we were just a ‘normal’ family. If that even exists.

But in doing that I am covering up part of my son’s identity. Who he is. Where he came from. 

Who knew that baby number two could be so complex? 

And I haven’t even touched on how we’ll cope with two. Our finances. How nervous I feel about taking maternity leave and seeing someone else fill my shoes.  

I guess we’ll just have to go for it. 

I’ve figured everything else out along the way. 

And I know that my worries will fade eventually.

They always do.

I’d also like to thank Stacey for this brilliant video that calmed my nerves. And if you have any advice for me, from whatever perspective, I’d appreciate that too.

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No Problemo Mojito Recipe - #LetsCocktail

If you have seen some of my posts before, you'll know I enjoy a good cocktail. The first proper cocktail I ever had - that wasn't a WooWoo that is - was in a place called the Cocktail Factory in Preston.

I have no idea if it still exists, but the cocktails were incredible, and my taste for them has stuck with me ever since. 

One of my favourites, and it would appear to be one of the nation's favourites too, is a good old Mojito. 

I had a family BBQ a couple of weekends ago, and we rustled up a jug of The Bar's No Problemo Mojito. The Bar, along with me, reckons that we should be treating ourselves to a cocktail at home a little bit more. Especially over the Summer. I like to make up jugs of Sangria, or Aperol Spritz (from my trip to Venice) but a Mojito is always a winner.

Crisp mint, sharp limes, bubbly soda and a big kick of rum. In this instance, the No Problemo Mojito uses Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum, which adds a vanilla-spiced kick that makes this drink even more moreish.

Here's what you'll need for one No Problemo Mojito:

50ml Captain Morgan Original Spiced Gold
15ml Lime Juice
2tsp White Caster Sugar
7 Mint Leaves
100ml Soda Water
1 Mint Sprig (to serve)


MIX IT - Add rum, lime juice, sugar and mint to glass or jug (just up the measurements) and mix until sugar is dissolved.
ICE IT - Add ice and soda then stir.
SERVE IT - Top with a big sprig of mint. 

AND, if you want to watch a video, The Bar have one on how to mix a Mojito on their YouTube channel. 

It's so easy and it beats a glass of wine. Plus, the soda mixer means it's lower on calories than a glass of wine too, and the mint and limes surely count some way to your five a day. Ish. 

What's your favourite cocktail?

You can share your creations on Twitter using the hashtag #LetsCocktail if you'd like!

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How To Make a Baby Bouquet

This isn't just a little tutorial that the lovely team at M&S told me about. See that little outfit set up there? Well, that's the first little set of clothes I have for our next baby. Which, in hindsight, might seem a little strange, but we're going to save it up and pop it somewhere safe, and it's actually lovely to know that I'll be reminded of doing this when I do.

It's one of M&S newborn starter sets, if you were wondering, and it's absolutely gorgeous. A lovely mix of navy, white, grey and a pop of red and it would look gorgeous regardless of what gender your baby might be. Which is even more perfect if you plan to make a baby bouquet as a gift for a friend who is Team Yellow.

So, as you can see from the photo above, to make a Baby Bouquet you'll need the following:
  • Some newborn clothing. A set like this is perfect and makes it much easier. 
  • Some flowers - fake or real (just be sure mum pops the clothes in the wash first, before popping them on baby - though this is what you should do anyway!). I chose Sweet Williams because of my sweet William of course.
  • Some twine. Or ribbon.
  • Some sticks or even skewers to act as the stem.
  • Something to finish off the bouquet - whether that's lace like I've used or some tissue paper, or a nice vase for the mum-to-be to keep. 

All you need to do is simply take an item of clothing and a stick, and wrap the clothing very carefully around it to form a rose shape. Then you tie with twine and repeat until you're done!

Then just gather everything together and secure and decorate however you like. 

You can view M&S Baby Bouquet tutorial, as well as their gorgeous newborn starter sets for more inspiration. It certainly makes a change to a traditional new baby gift don't you think?

I wonder if you'll spot the outfit in the future!

*PR Collaboration.

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Graco Metro Stroller - Full Review

We have actually had the Graco Metro Stroller for a couple of months now. And I really wanted to put it to the test, because there's just no sense to me doing a review otherwise.

Now, before I begin, when I first became pregnant, I simply could not afford to buy Bill everything brand new. Which was absolutely fine, because secondhand items are brilliant and save you lots of money. But that meant I didn't have any experience of testing items out or picking the one that was best for me.

The travel system I had did the job, but it was quite old and systems have been made much more compact since then. So my main issues were that it was heavy, very big and a struggle to fit in the car, and didn't have much space for things like changing bags or shopping.

As such we moved on to a second-hand stroller as soon as Bill was big enough, so I could get about a bit more easily. 

I have owned other strollers since, but I have absolutely fallen in love with the Graco Metro Stroller and it's something I'm planning to keep for baby number two. Especially as it is suitable to use from birth, and can be made into a travel system, when using a compatible car seat.

But this is why we loved it so much...

First up, it's beautiful. The black chassis and the monochrome print on the hood and other details make it stunning to look at. I love that it stands out from the crowd and Graco earns points for recognising that monochrome is definitely having a moment. 

When it arrived and I assembled it (more on that later) Bill was so excited. It looks striking and he seems to be quite the stroller addict as he would rather go for a stroll in this than take the car or walk. 

I also like that the fabric is easy-to-clean - which was really useful when we took the stroller to Wales with us, where Bill had several ice creams. 

So, in terms of assembly, it came in two parts - the chassis and the seat, along with a hood and a rain-cover. And it was so simple to slot together. I made the mistake of doing it upstairs in our bedroom. I don't quite know why, and I panicked thinking that I would struggle to get it down the stairs, but it was so easy to dismantle, with one hand, using the clip on the handle, which you can see in the very first photograph above. 

I carried it down with one hand, easily. The Graco Metro is incredibly light and I love that I can quickly fling it in the boot, where it doesn't take up too much space and collapses into a compact shape, rather than having bits sticking out all over the place. 

It's lightness, which, by no means compromises how robust it is, means that a certain little boy can easily push it around. Even when it is laden down with bags, with Teddy in the front seat. The ease that you can push it with means that you don't need to put too much effort in - and the wheels, which can be locked or flexible, handle the ground really well.

This buggy has handled, pavements, pathways, fields, hills and sand and did it easily. We didn't have too much struggle and the plastic wheels mean you're not ever going to encounter a puncture as you might with the inflated kind.

As you can see in the photograph above - just look at the size of that basket! In there, we have a changing bag and a full picnic, and some towels for the beach. It's incredibly well-made too, so shows no weak spots or areas where the basket might rip or tear over time. This is a bonus for me as I can tuck my shopping out of the way and not having it banging my knees as it dangles precariously on the handles instead.

Another thing I wanted to get on to is the general size and how practical it is. I have a three year-old who is taller than average, yet quite slender, and he fits in the stroller beautifully. But at no point do you think that it's too bulky to move around in busy environments. Like a decent car, it's very deceptive with its space and none of it is wasted. The seat is wide enough to be comfortable, without being hard to navigate through narrow spaces, and this is namely due to the great design. 

The seat also reclines, which is perfect for your newborn if you have one (I can't wait to have a tiny newborn again), or if your toddler wants a nap. But it also seats upright, with a protective bar (great to attach toys to), as well as an adjustable harness strap and calf rest too.

An extra point worth adding is that Mark was really happy to push it around. He finds some buggies or strollers a little bit too feminine. And while it would never stop him pushing something pink around, he just really liked the design. While the handle bar is not adjustable - one future consideration maybe - it is well-positioned for both of us to use without any problems.

The foot break works really well and isn't too hard to action or release, and actually does a good job of keeping the stroller stationary. The hood is also fantastic and handles wind and rain very well, with the addition of a well-made rain-cover, as well as looking very attractive - I've had a fair few comments on how lovely it is. 

Now, that was our experience with a three year-old, and we have already decided that we will definitely be using this with our second, when we decide to have another, because we just love the way it moves and works. 

But here are the general stats, to help you decide whether it is right for you:
  • Suitable from birth to a maximum weight of 15kg
  • Can be used as a travel system by adding the compatible Graco Snugfix car seat (sold separately)
  • Lightweight, aluminium chassis
  • Compact, easy to operate one hand hold
  • Spacious seat with padded removable seat pad
  • Multi position seat recline
  • Adjustable calf support
  • Puncture free tyres
  • Lockable swivel front wheels
  • Includes raincover
  • Underseat shopping basket
  • Unfolded Dimensions: D88cm x W58cm x H102cm
  • Folded Dimensions: H33cm x W61cm x D104cm
  • Pushchair weight : 7.5kg

Overall, we absolutely love the Graco Metro Stroller and we'd recommend it hands-down, especially if you need a second stroller for grandparents or your budget doesn't stretch to one of the more expensive travel systems or buggies that cost a lot more. You won't be compromising in value and it gets my seal of approval anyway.

You can buy this special addition version of the Graco Metro Stroller at Mothercare for £229.99, where other reviews are just as positive as this one!

Big thank you to Graco for giving us such a brilliant stroller to use! 
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Summertime Sadness

While I love the Summer. I find this time of year really tough.

Bill finishes nursery for Summer on Friday. And it is, truthfully, just another reminder of the time I’m missing with him.

I have, slowly but surely, become immune to the updates in my social media feeds day-to-day. Preferring to be happy for my friends, rather than jealous. So I will like your paddling pool picture. Or the snap of your well-deserved glass of wine in the garden. Or whatever that might be.

But when Summer hits, it feels a bit harder. I’m still really happy for all of my friends. And that’s the honest truth. But it’s sometimes just harder to see.

My son has a tan line on his neck now, and his forearms. From the sun he caught when he wasn’t with me. He’s got one morning in nursery left and then he’s got Gruffalo hunts to go to, miniature train rides, days in the garden, or days just watching telly. He might make pizza with Granny in her kitchen. Or hunt down animal tracks with the magnifying glass that I bought him, saying in a whisper: “Shh, Granny! Animal tracks.”

And, well, I have to go to work.

And it’s fine. I work in a good place, doing good work, and I’m spending my time doing things that make me feel proud. And my bosses aren’t pricks. And I’m happy about that.

And work is what we need to do to survive.

But, as I was saying to Mark the other day, as we got to the train station:

Look at all these people, who are most likely going back to where they want to be. People looking tired. Sat on their suitcases. People running for the train home. The same faces I see every day as we wait on platform 4 for the familiar train back.

And isn’t it strange that, when you consider how fast time runs away with itself, that our we spend so much of our time trying to afford our lives?

I still consider myself to be a new mum really. In that every new year is a new element of motherhood for me. But Bill is three. He starts school next year and, in September, I’ll be applying for him to start the next chapter of his life.

One day my son is going to wear a shiny new school uniform. And he’ll do a cheesy grin in front of our front door. And I’ll probably cry.

But for now, it’s Summer. And I’m on the countdown to the one week of the year where I get to spend the most collective time with my son. Our family holiday. A whole week of us three. He isn’t taken away from me. He isn’t anywhere else but by my side.

I live for that week. I don’t get that at Christmas, now he’s the son of separated parents. And I live for that week because it was all I have ever dreamed of since the second I realised he was in my stomach. A tiny spot that was part of me, that eventually took over me and claimed my heart.

I feel like time with our children must be the greatest thing in the world.

But then I wonder if I’m actually allowed to say that? The most time I ever had with Bill, in my whole life, was eight weeks and five days.

And so I have started to think – do I long for it because I have no idea what it’s like? Do I understand what I'm talking about? And would I love it just the same if it was my every day?

But that’s like saying I’m not ‘mum enough’. That I’m not a proper mother now. And it brings so many questions to the table. Because what is a mother? Really? What is she?

Other people have feelings different to mine. Is the grass greener? Or is there a perfect balance that only some of us have found?

I must stop comparing myself to other mums. I must stop doing this to myself. But it's hard when I feel like I'm failing at the simplest task - of just being there. Being his mother.

If it were not for money, I would be there. Because, when you break it down, and you consider why we are actually here, I really do believe it's so we can make the most of it. This life will not last. One day it will be over and I don’t want to be full of regret for not spending my days with the people I love. Motherhood is constantly reminding me of how fragile everything is. It's almost like I became a mother and I was asked to look at the world again, for a second time.

I love him. And he’s growing up. And I’m just not there.

And no one has invented a way to change that.

Bernard and his watch remain in my childhood. A time that is even further away.

And one day this post will remain in Bill's childhood.

I hope I can either accept it. Or change it.

Or maybe one day it just won't hurt as much anymore.

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Hot Bacon & Tomato Salad

At this time of year, it's supposed to be sunny, and when it is, the last thing I want it stodgy stuff. Which is an added benefit as then I'm technically more likely to lose a few pounds too. And yes, yes, I know that a bikini body is a body in a bikini, but I would like this body to be a bit less wobbly please.

While this salad is not OMG-healthy, it's still lovely and fresh and you can add or takeaway ingredients - like the croutons - as you please. 

I made this quickly after work one day, with leftovers and we all enjoyed it. Enough to post on here.

So. Enough of me rambling.


Bacon - streaky is best, smoked or unsmoked on preference. Two to three slices per person.
A handful of rocket per person.
A big handful of ripe tomatoes per person. I had a selection of yellow and red ones - good quality toms make this dish a winner.
A few stems of asparagus per person.
Four new potatoes, per person, chopped and boiled.
Stale bread, cut into chunks.
Apple cider vinegar. 
Salt and pepper.


Pop your bacon on to cook in a pan. Yes a pan. You'll need it trust me. 

Pop your spuds into boiling salted water (use a kettle - it helps speed everything up) and leave to cook away.

Chop your tomatoes.  

When your bacon is done, set aside on some kitchen roll, and add your chunks of bread to the leftover fat with some seasoning. Let them catch and then pop on a plate to one side. 

Add your asparagus to the pan with your spuds, when the spuds are nearly done, just to blanche through. 

When everything is ready, drain your spuds and asparagus. And add a splash of vinegar to the pan that you cooked your bacon and croutons in, just to pick up the flavour and cut through the bacon. 

Start to build up the salad. 

Add your rocket to a wide dish and tumble the toms on top. Along with spuds, and a few croutons. Then the asparagus, then bacon, followed by a drizzle of the vinegar mixture.

And that's it!

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Brands & Stores I'm Loving

I don't know what has happened to me recently, but I seem to be drawn to items for...babies!

Which is terrible. As, um, we don't have one.

It all started with Modern Burlap. Now, Aden and Anais are still firmly on my list to check out when we are expecting a future Taylor baby. However, I think that Modern Burlap might just have taken over for me.

They do some amazing muslins, with some really unique monochrome designs. I love the simplicity of black and white, and I always have done. So when I stumbled across their collection, I had to try and control myself.

I obviously didn't try hard enough because I ended up buying a muslin for an imaginary baby. I know, I know. I've got problems. But I just couldn't resist.

I ended up getting the beautiful Swiss Cross design below.

But I would also love to get the Amazing Grace print and the World Map one. Along with the gorgeous Large Reversible Cross Blanket.

And I realise I might come across as a little unhinged, but I really am excited to start buying little baby bits again. I am hoping you identify, rather than leave looking awkward.

On another, more sane note, I've also been planning ahead for Bill's bedroom. Which is an amazing feeling - as he really deserves a lovely space of his own. A bit of the building work that we are having done will affect his room, so we've had to wait up until now.

I have a Pinterest board devoted to his room. And I'd like plain white walls and a neutral carpet, but jazzed up with lots of fun and colour. Then I can see the room lasting him. And I plan to use decals to create magic on the walls without damaging them.

One thing I have bought, and is on its way to me, is this Riku the Gentlebear door sticker from Made of Sundays. I absolutely love this store so much! I am always browsing it and I love the idea of the door stickers, just because it makes his room so much more inviting. Especially when it's time for bed. I can close the door and not worry about him feeling shut-off, because Riku will be right there!

I'm also going to get these triangle vinyl wall stickers nearer the time, when I've decided on a colour theme. That will be one of his walls decorated as a feature, with less faff too!

And finally, one store I wanted to mention was The Kid Who. Now, I get a lot of requests to work with brands, which is amazing (and very lucky), but I can't always say yes because I work full-time and I haven't always got the time I want to give towards a project. But, when The Kid Who got in touch, a site I'd admired before, and asked me if I'd like to be an ambassador with Bill, it felt right.

I'll be sharing some pieces over the next six months, so you can get a feel for them and what they sell. I've already got my eye on this Ferm Living tent when it's back in stock. What I really like about their stock is that it's all so different. There's toys, homeware, books, cutlery, prints, you name it. And I have already made my first order and I can't wait for it to arrive. In fact, bizarrely, I've just had confirmation of despatch!

What brands and stores do you love?

*P.S. I'd like to say that this is genuine love - I wasn't paid for this post. I just think you need to know about them!

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