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I often receive messages on Instagram asking for advice on skincare, whether it be one particular product or asking what I would recommend for someone starting from scratch with their skincare routine. I've been using skincare religiously for 8 years and over that time I've developed some firm favourites that I've gone back to time and time again and also learnt which products really work for me. With this in mind, I thought I'd put together my ultimate skincare guide so that if someone said they were starting from scratch I could provide them with this list and it will have everything they need for every concern.

Guide to Skincare

Guide to Skincare

I want to highlight that my skin is combination but more on the dry side. I often get dry patches on my cheeks, and I have congestion around my nose and chin. I don't tend to have any issues with oil so I can't advise on products that help with really oily skin.

Right, let's get into it:

Oils
My go to oil for years is Rosehip Oil, it's absolutely incredible for dry skin. Whenever I have an outbreak of dry skin patches, normally when the weather changes, I use this, morning and night and it clears within a few days. It's quite a heavy oil so I use it lightly in the day so that my make up doesn't slip all over the place and then before bed I lather a nice thick layer on. The one I've used for years is the Triology 100% Natural Certified Rosehip Oil. 

It's also great for scaring, pigmentation and anti-ageing. Generally just a great all rounder.

The other oil that I love is the Clarins Blue Orchid Oil. Just a gorgeous, gorgeous oil. Amazing for hydrating the skin and leaves you with a really radiant complexion. Over the years, I've probably been through about 2 or 3 bottles of the stuff.

Serums
If I could only use one serum it would be Hyaluronic Acid. I started using it pretty religiously around 8 years ago and noticed the biggest difference in my skin, it's like an instant hit of hydration. Your skin naturally produces hyaluronic acid but as we age we produce less and are able to hold onto less. It's also great at stimulating collagen, works as an antioxidant and prevents the loss of elasticity. The one I'm using at the moment is from The Organic Pharmacy and it's lovely,
Guide to Skincare
My next go to serum is La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +. I blogged about in in 2014 (!!!), you can read that here, and it's been in my skincare stash and in my rotation ever since. The reason I love it so much is because it's incredible at reducing spot redness and stopping spots from getting out of hand. It also helps prevent scaring.


Another must have serum for me is anything with Vitamin C in it. After pregnancy I have quite a bit of pigmentation on my face and Caroline Hirons told me years ago that the best thing for any kind of pigmentation is Vitamin C. I love the Superactive Vitamin C Capsules from Beauty Pie, I started using them religiously when Matilda was around 5 months old and a large pigmentation spot on the side of my face completely faded. I've also used the Clinique Freshly Pressed Daily Booster with Vitamin C before and really loved that too.


Moisturisers
As my skin is more on the dry side I tend to always opt for quite rich moisturisers that leave my skin feeling hydrated, but not too overwhelmed. I especially don't want anything too heavy for the day as I don't want my make-up to slip around everywhere. Over the years I've learnt which products work for me and these are my favourites:
Guide to Skincare
Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base - This is a really lovely thick and hydrating moisturiser but sits really well under make-up. I use it both AM and PM.

Beauty Pie Japanfusion Supreme Cream- I recently finished my first pot of this and really enjoyed it. It has an almost jelly like consistency, which I don't usually like but didn't mind it with this product. I found it to be really hydrating and great for days when my skin felt dry. I'd definitely repurchase, especially as it's a fraction of the price of other skincare brands.

Clarins Multi-Active Day Cream - I adore Clarins moisturisers, I've had countless pots over the years as they're such incredible quality. I love the Multi-Active day cream because it's rich, hydrating and sinks into the skin easily.

La Roche Posay Toleraine Ultra Fluid - La Roche Posay is my go to brand for so many products and I used their Toleraine Ultra Fluid moisturier religiously when I was pregnant as I knew it didn't contain anything that I couldn't use. If I'm having a little crazy moment with my skin this is my go to product as it's super gentle.


Masks

It's no secret that I love a mask, whether it's for a pamper night, an overnight boost or a quick 5 minutes. I think taking time for yourself and your skin is so important and over the years I've tried many, many masks and the below are my absolute favourite:

I have been using Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask for about 6 years, and if I could only have one mask it would be this. It's like a huge drink for you skin as it gives a huge injection of moisture. The best thing is that you can wear it to bed so you don't have to worry about finding time in the day, which I know is difficult for us mamas. It contains avocado and glacia water for a huge boost of hydration. I use this mask when I have dry patches of skin or generally just need a little pick me up and I always wake up with better skin.

I also love the Origins Clear Improvements Active Charcoal Mask, because it clears the pores but isn't too striping on the skin.

Guide to Skincare
The Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask is another favourite, it's great because it's moisturising whilst also tightening pores and clearing imperfections. As my skin is more on the dry side I often find harsh masks are too much to handle, so this mask is great because along with getting rid of the crap from my skin it also hydrates.

Cleansers
I love balm cleansers because they're hydrating, melt away make up really easily and feel amazing on the skin. My two favourite are below:

Clinique Take The Day Off Balm - a lovely balm cleanser that turns to oil on the skin and completely melts away all make-up even eye make up. It's fragrance free so perfect if you have super sensitive skin.

Beauty Pie Plantastic Apricot Butter Cleansing Balm is absolutely divine. It smells heavenly of apricots and because it's a thick balm it feels lovely and luxurious on the skin. Like the Clinique one it also completely melts away any make up and is perfect if you have slightly drier skin as it doesn't strip the skin.
Guide to Skincare
Toners
I only tend to use hydrating toners and the one I've repurchased a number of times is the Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Toner. As the name suggests it's lovely and hydrating but also refines pores and I really find that it prevents my pores from getting blocked. It also contains real rose petals in the bottle so smells so beautiful.

I alternate between the Fresh toner and also the Soothing Apricot Toner from Elemis, which is also super gentle.

Treatments
I love glycolic acid, salicylic acid and lactic acid, whether it be in a liquid form or on pre-soaked cotton pads. I use these to gently get rid of any dead skin cells as they gently resurface the skin. I don't use retinol as you can't use it whilst pregnant or breastfeeding and prior to that I didn't do enough research to know how to use it.

I love the REN Ready, Steady, Glow AHA Tonic as you just pop the liquid on a cotton pad on swipe it over your face. Contains lactic acid for gentle exfoliation.

I also love the Beauty Pie Plantastic Micropeeling Super Drops, which contain salicylic acid to gently exfoliate the face. These come in a bottle with a dropper and you only need a teeny amount to cover your face.

Lastly I love the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Pads, which are pre soaked cotton pads, which work to smooth the skin and leave a radiant complexion.
Guide to Skincare

And there we have it. My absolute ultimate guide to skincare all wrapped up in one blog post. 

I'd love to hear if you already use these products or if you have any recommendations.

Gemma xx




London, UK

My Ultimate Skincare Guide

I often receive messages on Instagram asking for advice on skincare, whether it be one particular product or asking what I would recommend for someone starting from scratch with their skincare routine. I've been using skincare religiously for 8 years and over that time I've developed some firm favourites that I've gone back to time and time again and also learnt which products really work for me. With this in mind, I thought I'd put together my ultimate skincare guide so that if someone said they were starting from scratch I could provide them with this list and it will have everything they need for every concern.

Guide to Skincare

Guide to Skincare

I want to highlight that my skin is combination but more on the dry side. I often get dry patches on my cheeks, and I have congestion around my nose and chin. I don't tend to have any issues with oil so I can't advise on products that help with really oily skin.

Right, let's get into it:

Oils
My go to oil for years is Rosehip Oil, it's absolutely incredible for dry skin. Whenever I have an outbreak of dry skin patches, normally when the weather changes, I use this, morning and night and it clears within a few days. It's quite a heavy oil so I use it lightly in the day so that my make up doesn't slip all over the place and then before bed I lather a nice thick layer on. The one I've used for years is the Triology 100% Natural Certified Rosehip Oil. 

It's also great for scaring, pigmentation and anti-ageing. Generally just a great all rounder.

The other oil that I love is the Clarins Blue Orchid Oil. Just a gorgeous, gorgeous oil. Amazing for hydrating the skin and leaves you with a really radiant complexion. Over the years, I've probably been through about 2 or 3 bottles of the stuff.

Serums
If I could only use one serum it would be Hyaluronic Acid. I started using it pretty religiously around 8 years ago and noticed the biggest difference in my skin, it's like an instant hit of hydration. Your skin naturally produces hyaluronic acid but as we age we produce less and are able to hold onto less. It's also great at stimulating collagen, works as an antioxidant and prevents the loss of elasticity. The one I'm using at the moment is from The Organic Pharmacy and it's lovely,
Guide to Skincare
My next go to serum is La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +. I blogged about in in 2014 (!!!), you can read that here, and it's been in my skincare stash and in my rotation ever since. The reason I love it so much is because it's incredible at reducing spot redness and stopping spots from getting out of hand. It also helps prevent scaring.


Another must have serum for me is anything with Vitamin C in it. After pregnancy I have quite a bit of pigmentation on my face and Caroline Hirons told me years ago that the best thing for any kind of pigmentation is Vitamin C. I love the Superactive Vitamin C Capsules from Beauty Pie, I started using them religiously when Matilda was around 5 months old and a large pigmentation spot on the side of my face completely faded. I've also used the Clinique Freshly Pressed Daily Booster with Vitamin C before and really loved that too.


Moisturisers
As my skin is more on the dry side I tend to always opt for quite rich moisturisers that leave my skin feeling hydrated, but not too overwhelmed. I especially don't want anything too heavy for the day as I don't want my make-up to slip around everywhere. Over the years I've learnt which products work for me and these are my favourites:
Guide to Skincare
Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base - This is a really lovely thick and hydrating moisturiser but sits really well under make-up. I use it both AM and PM.

Beauty Pie Japanfusion Supreme Cream- I recently finished my first pot of this and really enjoyed it. It has an almost jelly like consistency, which I don't usually like but didn't mind it with this product. I found it to be really hydrating and great for days when my skin felt dry. I'd definitely repurchase, especially as it's a fraction of the price of other skincare brands.

Clarins Multi-Active Day Cream - I adore Clarins moisturisers, I've had countless pots over the years as they're such incredible quality. I love the Multi-Active day cream because it's rich, hydrating and sinks into the skin easily.

La Roche Posay Toleraine Ultra Fluid - La Roche Posay is my go to brand for so many products and I used their Toleraine Ultra Fluid moisturier religiously when I was pregnant as I knew it didn't contain anything that I couldn't use. If I'm having a little crazy moment with my skin this is my go to product as it's super gentle.


Masks

It's no secret that I love a mask, whether it's for a pamper night, an overnight boost or a quick 5 minutes. I think taking time for yourself and your skin is so important and over the years I've tried many, many masks and the below are my absolute favourite:

I have been using Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask for about 6 years, and if I could only have one mask it would be this. It's like a huge drink for you skin as it gives a huge injection of moisture. The best thing is that you can wear it to bed so you don't have to worry about finding time in the day, which I know is difficult for us mamas. It contains avocado and glacia water for a huge boost of hydration. I use this mask when I have dry patches of skin or generally just need a little pick me up and I always wake up with better skin.

I also love the Origins Clear Improvements Active Charcoal Mask, because it clears the pores but isn't too striping on the skin.

Guide to Skincare
The Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask is another favourite, it's great because it's moisturising whilst also tightening pores and clearing imperfections. As my skin is more on the dry side I often find harsh masks are too much to handle, so this mask is great because along with getting rid of the crap from my skin it also hydrates.

Cleansers
I love balm cleansers because they're hydrating, melt away make up really easily and feel amazing on the skin. My two favourite are below:

Clinique Take The Day Off Balm - a lovely balm cleanser that turns to oil on the skin and completely melts away all make-up even eye make up. It's fragrance free so perfect if you have super sensitive skin.

Beauty Pie Plantastic Apricot Butter Cleansing Balm is absolutely divine. It smells heavenly of apricots and because it's a thick balm it feels lovely and luxurious on the skin. Like the Clinique one it also completely melts away any make up and is perfect if you have slightly drier skin as it doesn't strip the skin.
Guide to Skincare
Toners
I only tend to use hydrating toners and the one I've repurchased a number of times is the Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Toner. As the name suggests it's lovely and hydrating but also refines pores and I really find that it prevents my pores from getting blocked. It also contains real rose petals in the bottle so smells so beautiful.

I alternate between the Fresh toner and also the Soothing Apricot Toner from Elemis, which is also super gentle.

Treatments
I love glycolic acid, salicylic acid and lactic acid, whether it be in a liquid form or on pre-soaked cotton pads. I use these to gently get rid of any dead skin cells as they gently resurface the skin. I don't use retinol as you can't use it whilst pregnant or breastfeeding and prior to that I didn't do enough research to know how to use it.

I love the REN Ready, Steady, Glow AHA Tonic as you just pop the liquid on a cotton pad on swipe it over your face. Contains lactic acid for gentle exfoliation.

I also love the Beauty Pie Plantastic Micropeeling Super Drops, which contain salicylic acid to gently exfoliate the face. These come in a bottle with a dropper and you only need a teeny amount to cover your face.

Lastly I love the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Pads, which are pre soaked cotton pads, which work to smooth the skin and leave a radiant complexion.
Guide to Skincare

And there we have it. My absolute ultimate guide to skincare all wrapped up in one blog post. 

I'd love to hear if you already use these products or if you have any recommendations.

Gemma xx













I've spoken previously on Instagram about Matilda and I's feeding journey and mentioned that we have always had some level of combination feeding as that was what worked best for our family. Our daily routine has somewhat changed dramatically, like everyone else's has, but one thing that's remained the same is our feeding routine.

When Matilda turned 6 months old we moved onto the Aptamil Follow On Milk with Pronutra-ADVANCE.

The reason we chose Aptamil Follow On Milk is because we felt so reassured by the research and expertise that has gone into developing the formula. They have over 40 years of breastmilk research, which they have developed with a team of 500 scientists and experts and this has enabled them to develop a formulation that is specifically tailored to support babies nutritional needs from 6-12 months. Knowing this made the decision to choose Aptamil Follow On Milk really easy.

It was so important to me when starting to introduce Aptamil Follow On Milk that Matilda continued to receive the right level of nutrients to support her development. Knowing that it contained a formulation of Vitamin A, C and D and Iron made me feel so reassured as vitamin D is important for supporting the normal function of the immune system and iron supports normal cognitive development. 

As we're still currently combination feeding we tend to give Aptamil Follow On Milk before Matilda's afternoon nap and then before bedtime. It's so easy and quick to make and once I've made up the feed I then take Matilda into her nursery, place her in her sleeping bag and snuggle up to feed. I love the closeness of this moment because often she's starting to get sleepy and will be holding my hand that holds the bottle or stroking her hair. As soon as I bring the bottle to her mouth to feed she grabs it and pushes it in her mouth, and she always finishes the full feed.

I've always found the Aptamil Follow On Milk easy to make up, and I especially love their pre-made bottles which you can just throw into the changing bag. I tend to try and plan our daily walk around our feeding schedule but for times when we're out and Matilda needs a feed the pre-made bottles are so perfect. Something I'm very excited about is that Aptamil Follow On Milk have just launched pre measured sachets, which I think is so genius because often when we go out I have to measure out the powder into a little tupperware pot which is often quite bulky, so the fact that these are so small and light makes life so much easier!

As you can probably tell, we're big fans of Aptamil Follow On Milk in our house as Matilda took to the formulation really well and I always recommend the brand to my friends as I know that with all the years of research I can trust them.

*Disclaimer from Aptamil Follow On Milk: Important Notice: Breastfeeding
is best for babies. Follow On Milk should only be used as part of a mixed diet and not as a breastmilk substitute before 6 months. Use on the advice of your healthcare professional

*I have been compensated for my time in writing it but this is an honest Aptamil Follow On Milk review and all content and opinions are my own. 

London, UK

Ad: Our Feeding Journey with Aptamil Follow On Milk with Pronutra-ADVANCE










I've spoken previously on Instagram about Matilda and I's feeding journey and mentioned that we have always had some level of combination feeding as that was what worked best for our family. Our daily routine has somewhat changed dramatically, like everyone else's has, but one thing that's remained the same is our feeding routine.

When Matilda turned 6 months old we moved onto the Aptamil Follow On Milk with Pronutra-ADVANCE.

The reason we chose Aptamil Follow On Milk is because we felt so reassured by the research and expertise that has gone into developing the formula. They have over 40 years of breastmilk research, which they have developed with a team of 500 scientists and experts and this has enabled them to develop a formulation that is specifically tailored to support babies nutritional needs from 6-12 months. Knowing this made the decision to choose Aptamil Follow On Milk really easy.

It was so important to me when starting to introduce Aptamil Follow On Milk that Matilda continued to receive the right level of nutrients to support her development. Knowing that it contained a formulation of Vitamin A, C and D and Iron made me feel so reassured as vitamin D is important for supporting the normal function of the immune system and iron supports normal cognitive development. 

As we're still currently combination feeding we tend to give Aptamil Follow On Milk before Matilda's afternoon nap and then before bedtime. It's so easy and quick to make and once I've made up the feed I then take Matilda into her nursery, place her in her sleeping bag and snuggle up to feed. I love the closeness of this moment because often she's starting to get sleepy and will be holding my hand that holds the bottle or stroking her hair. As soon as I bring the bottle to her mouth to feed she grabs it and pushes it in her mouth, and she always finishes the full feed.

I've always found the Aptamil Follow On Milk easy to make up, and I especially love their pre-made bottles which you can just throw into the changing bag. I tend to try and plan our daily walk around our feeding schedule but for times when we're out and Matilda needs a feed the pre-made bottles are so perfect. Something I'm very excited about is that Aptamil Follow On Milk have just launched pre measured sachets, which I think is so genius because often when we go out I have to measure out the powder into a little tupperware pot which is often quite bulky, so the fact that these are so small and light makes life so much easier!

As you can probably tell, we're big fans of Aptamil Follow On Milk in our house as Matilda took to the formulation really well and I always recommend the brand to my friends as I know that with all the years of research I can trust them.

*Disclaimer from Aptamil Follow On Milk: Important Notice: Breastfeeding
is best for babies. Follow On Milk should only be used as part of a mixed diet and not as a breastmilk substitute before 6 months. Use on the advice of your healthcare professional

*I have been compensated for my time in writing it but this is an honest Aptamil Follow On Milk review and all content and opinions are my own. 

I've spoken on Instagram before about my breastfeeding journey and raved about how much of a huge part the Elvie Breast Pump played in this so I thought it was about time that I actually sat down and gave a full review of the pump.

The reason why I was drawn to the Elvie Breast pump when I was pregnant was because it looked so discrete and compact compared to all the other pumps on the market. I loved that there were no wires to make you feel like a cow being milked and that it was almost silent when on. In the early days when visitors came round to see Matilda, I sat pumping with the Elvie pump in my bra, under my top and people had no idea what I was doing. My sister in law was sat right next to me once whilst I pumped and said she had no clue I was sat there pumping.

The Elvie Pump Review

Just after Matilda was born the Elvie pump really saved my breastfeeding journey as she was born with jaundice which meant that from the very start she was often too sleepy to feed off me. I therefore started pumping using the Elvie pump as soon as my milk came in so that I was able to feed her from the bottle. I truly believe that this saved our breastfeeding journey as without being able to pump I wouldn't have been able to feed Matilda and it's likely that my milk would have dried up. Pumping also helped enormously with the day 3 engorgement which for me was absolute agony as Matilda was barely feeding off me. I remember ringing my mum in tears because I was in so much pain and she said I should have a hot shower and then try to pump. I did this and it immediately helped so much.

The Elvie Pump Review

I've since used the Elvie pump everywhere: in the hairdressers, in the car (as a passenger) and whilst I potter around the house or play on the floor with Matilda. I love that it's hands free so I literally can pump everywhere and anywhere.

Now that we've spoken about why I chose and love the Elvie breast pump lets talk about specifics. Along with being super compact it's also so easy to use. There's a simple 'On' button in the middle and a 'Start/Pause' button at the top, which I use if I'm in the middle of doing something or if I need to reposition it because I placed it on my boob at an odd angle. Either side of the 'Start/Pause' button are the 'L' and 'R' buttons which allow you to switch between boobs when you're pumping. The reason for these is if you move from one boob to another the pump then changes the rhythm of pumping to mimic how a baby sucks at the start of a feeding session. Then finally there is a button which allows you to change up the intensity of the pumping, which is great if you want to do a quick pump.

The Elvie Pump Review

When you order the Elvie Breast Pump you are sent two breast guards which hopefully means that the pump should fit perfectly to your breast. If the two sizes included in the box don't fit you then there is also a third size which is available on the Elvie website, which I didn't need but it's great there are multiple options to give you a custom fit. There are excellent instructions on how to check if the guard fits to you breast in the information booklet to help ensure that it's fitted correctly to your boob.

The Elvie Pump Review

Also included in the box are two reusable 150ml BPA free bottles, which come with lids so once you're done pumping you can pop the milk straight into the fridge.

In terms of battery life, I would say that it lasts for around 3 long pumping sessions before it needs recharging but it takes no time at all to charge, which is one of the features I love the most about it. Another feature I love is that it comes with an app which you can link up your pump to. This tells you how much milk is in the bottle during a pumping session, battery level and a bunch of other features.

I get asked online and in person all the time if I would recommend the Elvie pump and I whole heartedly say yes every single time. It's really saved me on a number of occasions like at the very start of my breast feeding journey and on the odd occasion when I'm away from Matilda for more than 3 hours and need to pump. It's small enough to fit into my handbag, which I just think is so incredible, and you really can use it without anyone knowing what you're doing.

I appreciate that the price tag is quite expensive but for something that has been so vital to my breastfeeding journey I think it's totally worth it. I had a friend who recently gave birth and had a standard pump with all the wires and loud suction noises and she found that it effected her mental health too much to use it and so stopped. I have never had that experience with the Elvie, if anything, every time I use it I just think about how easy it is.

Even 6 months into breastfeeding I still use the pump and imagine I will continue to use it until we stop feeding.

So there we have it, my honest and long overdue thoughts for my Elvie breast pump review. As you can tell it's been a big hit for me and my feeding journey. I've linked to the Elvie website here, which gives lots more information that I may have missed off and some really helpful videos.


London, UK

The Elvie Breast Pump Review / AD

I've spoken on Instagram before about my breastfeeding journey and raved about how much of a huge part the Elvie Breast Pump played in this so I thought it was about time that I actually sat down and gave a full review of the pump.

The reason why I was drawn to the Elvie Breast pump when I was pregnant was because it looked so discrete and compact compared to all the other pumps on the market. I loved that there were no wires to make you feel like a cow being milked and that it was almost silent when on. In the early days when visitors came round to see Matilda, I sat pumping with the Elvie pump in my bra, under my top and people had no idea what I was doing. My sister in law was sat right next to me once whilst I pumped and said she had no clue I was sat there pumping.

The Elvie Pump Review

Just after Matilda was born the Elvie pump really saved my breastfeeding journey as she was born with jaundice which meant that from the very start she was often too sleepy to feed off me. I therefore started pumping using the Elvie pump as soon as my milk came in so that I was able to feed her from the bottle. I truly believe that this saved our breastfeeding journey as without being able to pump I wouldn't have been able to feed Matilda and it's likely that my milk would have dried up. Pumping also helped enormously with the day 3 engorgement which for me was absolute agony as Matilda was barely feeding off me. I remember ringing my mum in tears because I was in so much pain and she said I should have a hot shower and then try to pump. I did this and it immediately helped so much.

The Elvie Pump Review

I've since used the Elvie pump everywhere: in the hairdressers, in the car (as a passenger) and whilst I potter around the house or play on the floor with Matilda. I love that it's hands free so I literally can pump everywhere and anywhere.

Now that we've spoken about why I chose and love the Elvie breast pump lets talk about specifics. Along with being super compact it's also so easy to use. There's a simple 'On' button in the middle and a 'Start/Pause' button at the top, which I use if I'm in the middle of doing something or if I need to reposition it because I placed it on my boob at an odd angle. Either side of the 'Start/Pause' button are the 'L' and 'R' buttons which allow you to switch between boobs when you're pumping. The reason for these is if you move from one boob to another the pump then changes the rhythm of pumping to mimic how a baby sucks at the start of a feeding session. Then finally there is a button which allows you to change up the intensity of the pumping, which is great if you want to do a quick pump.

The Elvie Pump Review

When you order the Elvie Breast Pump you are sent two breast guards which hopefully means that the pump should fit perfectly to your breast. If the two sizes included in the box don't fit you then there is also a third size which is available on the Elvie website, which I didn't need but it's great there are multiple options to give you a custom fit. There are excellent instructions on how to check if the guard fits to you breast in the information booklet to help ensure that it's fitted correctly to your boob.

The Elvie Pump Review

Also included in the box are two reusable 150ml BPA free bottles, which come with lids so once you're done pumping you can pop the milk straight into the fridge.

In terms of battery life, I would say that it lasts for around 3 long pumping sessions before it needs recharging but it takes no time at all to charge, which is one of the features I love the most about it. Another feature I love is that it comes with an app which you can link up your pump to. This tells you how much milk is in the bottle during a pumping session, battery level and a bunch of other features.

I get asked online and in person all the time if I would recommend the Elvie pump and I whole heartedly say yes every single time. It's really saved me on a number of occasions like at the very start of my breast feeding journey and on the odd occasion when I'm away from Matilda for more than 3 hours and need to pump. It's small enough to fit into my handbag, which I just think is so incredible, and you really can use it without anyone knowing what you're doing.

I appreciate that the price tag is quite expensive but for something that has been so vital to my breastfeeding journey I think it's totally worth it. I had a friend who recently gave birth and had a standard pump with all the wires and loud suction noises and she found that it effected her mental health too much to use it and so stopped. I have never had that experience with the Elvie, if anything, every time I use it I just think about how easy it is.

Even 6 months into breastfeeding I still use the pump and imagine I will continue to use it until we stop feeding.

So there we have it, my honest and long overdue thoughts for my Elvie breast pump review. As you can tell it's been a big hit for me and my feeding journey. I've linked to the Elvie website here, which gives lots more information that I may have missed off and some really helpful videos.


It's that time of year again where most retailers offer incredible discount as part of Black Friday and Cyber Week.

This year is already looking like the biggest one yet with some retailers offering huge discounts.

I've listed below every retailer I can find and the discount they're offering. I will keep updating this page as the week goes on so keep checking back in.




FASHION

&Other Stories - 20% off everything with the code NOIR20 here

Adidas - Up to 60% off here

Anthropologie - 20% off everything with the code POMPOM here

Arket - 20% off selected lines here - deals changing everyday.

ASOS - Up to 70% off here

Aspinal of London - 20% off everything and 30% off selected lines here

Baby Mori - Up to 60% off here

Boohoo - 25% off everything here

Boden - 30% off everything here

French Connection - 30% off full priced items with the code BLACKOUT here

Gap - 50% off EVERYTHING here

Heist - 25% off everything here

H&M - 20% off for members it's super easy to join here

In The Style - 50% off everything here

John Lewis - Black Friday event here

Liberty - up to 30% off and 15% off beauty here

Mango - 30% off everything with the code VIPBF here

Matalan - Up to 50% off selected lines here

Missguided - 20% off everything  and different deals listed daily here

Miss Pap - Up to 60% off everything here

Missoma - 25% off everything with early access code VIP25 here

Monica Vinader - 30% off everything and up to 50% off flash daily sales here

Nasty Gal - 50% off everything and 60% off Christmas gifts and party here

Net-A-Porter - COMING SOON

New Look - COMING SOON

Nike - 30% off selected lines here

Public Desire - 25% off everything with the code CYBER25 here

Selfridges - 20% off with the code SELFCCE here

Shein - Up to 60% off and 15% more with the code BLKWEEK here

Sweaty Betty - COMING SOON

The Outnet - Up to 85% off here

The White Company - 20% off everything here

Topshop - 25% off everything here

Whistles - 30% off everything here

BEAUTY

Bobbi Brown - COMING SOON

Charlotte Tilbury - 30% off selected items and gift sets here

Feel Unique - Up to 35% off over 350 brands here

La Roche Posay - 33% off everything here



Look Fantastic - Different codes listed every day here



HOME



Amazon - Multiple offers across the site here


La Redoute - up to 60% off everything here

Made - 20% off selected lines here


*Contains affiliate links

London, UK

Black Friday Deals 2019

It's that time of year again where most retailers offer incredible discount as part of Black Friday and Cyber Week.

This year is already looking like the biggest one yet with some retailers offering huge discounts.

I've listed below every retailer I can find and the discount they're offering. I will keep updating this page as the week goes on so keep checking back in.




FASHION

&Other Stories - 20% off everything with the code NOIR20 here

Adidas - Up to 60% off here

Anthropologie - 20% off everything with the code POMPOM here

Arket - 20% off selected lines here - deals changing everyday.

ASOS - Up to 70% off here

Aspinal of London - 20% off everything and 30% off selected lines here

Baby Mori - Up to 60% off here

Boohoo - 25% off everything here

Boden - 30% off everything here

French Connection - 30% off full priced items with the code BLACKOUT here

Gap - 50% off EVERYTHING here

Heist - 25% off everything here

H&M - 20% off for members it's super easy to join here

In The Style - 50% off everything here

John Lewis - Black Friday event here

Liberty - up to 30% off and 15% off beauty here

Mango - 30% off everything with the code VIPBF here

Matalan - Up to 50% off selected lines here

Missguided - 20% off everything  and different deals listed daily here

Miss Pap - Up to 60% off everything here

Missoma - 25% off everything with early access code VIP25 here

Monica Vinader - 30% off everything and up to 50% off flash daily sales here

Nasty Gal - 50% off everything and 60% off Christmas gifts and party here

Net-A-Porter - COMING SOON

New Look - COMING SOON

Nike - 30% off selected lines here

Public Desire - 25% off everything with the code CYBER25 here

Selfridges - 20% off with the code SELFCCE here

Shein - Up to 60% off and 15% more with the code BLKWEEK here

Sweaty Betty - COMING SOON

The Outnet - Up to 85% off here

The White Company - 20% off everything here

Topshop - 25% off everything here

Whistles - 30% off everything here

BEAUTY

Bobbi Brown - COMING SOON

Charlotte Tilbury - 30% off selected items and gift sets here

Feel Unique - Up to 35% off over 350 brands here

La Roche Posay - 33% off everything here



Look Fantastic - Different codes listed every day here



HOME



Amazon - Multiple offers across the site here


La Redoute - up to 60% off everything here

Made - 20% off selected lines here


*Contains affiliate links

I've been wanting to put together this post for a while as a few people have said they would be interested in seeing what big baby buys we decided to go with. I also found these kinds of posts super useful we we were deciding what to buy. The way we decided on the big baby purchases was a mixture of recommendations from friends, lots and lots of research and trying things out in shops and looking at the Which? recommended list. You need to subscribe to this but we just did the month free trial and then cancelled our membership once we had everything we needed. We also went for a VIP shopping experience with Mothercare, which was kindly offered to us by the PR but anyone can book it. They basically have pushchair, car seat etc experts that show you how everything works.


So I'll start with the biggest item, the pram. I can't tell you how much research we did into prams, looking at the in stores, looking up reviews and comparisons and talking to friends. It honestly feels like you're buying a car because of all the different features each one has and how they all fold up etc. In the end, we decided to go for the Bugaboo Fox, which was kindly gifted to us from Mothercare.

The reason we went for the Bugaboo Fox pushchair over others was how incredibly easy it is to push around and collapse. These were two of my main priorities for when I'm on my own with bubba and don't have time to faff around. I also love that you can basically customise every part of it and from everyone I know with the Bugaboo Fox they all love it. We're still in the market for a slightly lighter pushchair for if I need to go into central London but for now we felt that the Bugaboo Fox was the best option and it looks beautiful too!
The other product I did copious research on was the car seat. For this we used Which? as the site goes into so much detail on all the different safety aspects and rates each car seat again different factors like safety etc. In the end we went for the Cybex Atom M i Size with the Isofix base (gifted) as this came out as one of the best on the safety charts with 5 stars and also works with our Bugaboo Fox, we just need to buy the car seat adapters to go with it.

The Snuzpod (gifted) was one of the items we knew we wanted from the start as so many friends had recommended it and when we looked at it in John Lewis we absolutely loved it. The Snuzpod is perfect because the sides zip down so the cot fits super snugly next to your bed meaning that you don't have to move very much for night time feeds or midnight wake ups, which I imagine will be a life saver in the early days. The Snuzpod can attach to your bed to make it super secure. It also has a reflux tilt function if she gets reflux, and having had one of my best friends babies suffer really badly with this I know how hard it can be.

Another highly recommended product was the Sleepyhead Duluxe + Pod (gifted), which all my friends swear by. It's like a little cocoon for the baby which makes them feel safe and calm as I guess it makes them feel like they're still in the womb. The Sleepyhead is made from super soft fabric which is non-toxic and great for air permeability. It fits perfectly into the Snuzpod so is perfect for night time but also can be used generally around the house for day time naps, in the lounge and for travel. We have the Pristine White shade but they also come in a bunch of different colours, and we also have a spare cover in the Natural Buffalo when when undoubtably the white cover gets covered in poo or sick.
For her cot when she moves out of our room I wanted something that was girlie but not over the top. After searching everywhere I found this lovely one from Wayfair, which is great when they're tiny but also turns into a cot bed when she gets bigger.


For the mattress this is also an area that people do a crazy amount of research into, we again used Which? for this as they had a section on mattresses on their site. We went for the Ikea Krummelur mattress as it was the highest rated for our cot size of 60 cm x 120 cm.


For the nursery furniture we basically have everything from Ikea. We have the Ikea Hemnes Day Bed as I think these look lovely in nurseries when they're covered in pillows and it will be handy for night time feeds too. We also have the chest of draws from this range as I love how they look and I have the organising squares to go inside which helps to separate all the clothes up.


Moving onto feeding, I'm planning to breast feed but this may or may not work out for us so I've prepared for both breast feeding and bottle feeding. The breast pump we decided to go for was the Elvie breast pump (gifted), a few friends have this and absolutely love how easy, compact and discrete it is as it can just fit in your bra. The other one I looked at was the Madela Swing Pump, but a few friends had said that this made them feel a little bit like a cow so it kind of put me off. I'm also going to buy the Hakka manual breast pump as it's around £20 and so many people swear by it. It's a manual breast pump that you literally attach to the boob that you're not feeding the baby on and it sticks on with suction and then it sucks and collects milk whilst you feed.



In case breast feeding doesn't work out or if we want to introduce a bottle here and there, which I know a lot of people do we have the Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Perfect Prep Day & Night Machine (gifted). It's great because it does everything in one, sterilises, makes up the formula to the perfect temperature and is silent for night time feeds.
For our sling we went for the Baby Bjorn Carrier One Air (gifted), we tried on quite a few but found the buckles on the Baby Bjorn baby carrier the easiest. We went for the air version as our baby will be born in the summer so we thought it would be good to make sure she doesn't get too hot. I love the idea of a sling for days where we just pop out to the shops and don't need to take the pram or for the weekend possibly as we think my husband will use a sling to carry her around in.


We also opted for the Baby Bjorn bouncer as again this came highly recommended from friends. We have the Baby Bjorn Bouncer Bliss 3D Jersey in supersoft with the new Soft Toy Bar (gifted). I love these bouncers because they're super soft and gently rock as baby kicks their legs. The reason we wanted a bouncer was for when she's awake but we're around the house and need somewhere for her to sit, and this is perfect because it will support her back, neck & head. It's also great because it can fold down flat when we're done using it, which I loved because some baby bouncers are really bulky.

As well as the baby bouncer I also wanted something she could sleep in when we're in the lounge and love how pretty moses baskets looked so went for one of these. We have the Little Green Sheep Moses Basket (gifted), which has a stunning knitted liner, mattress included and creates a natural sleeping environment.

We still don't have a baby monitor at first as we plan on having her in our room in the Snuz Pod for the first few months so didn't think it was needed. However, we opted for the Owlet Smart Sock (gifted) which notifies you if your baby's heart rate and oxygen levels fall outside of the preset zones. I know some people may think this is over the top but I think it will really put our minds at rest to know that she's okay so that I won't have to check on her all the time (I'm sure I will anyway!).



We have a GroEgg (gifted) as we live in quite a hot flat I thought we needed something to give us a quite indication of the room temperature and this does this by turning a certain colour. This was also another highly recommended product from friends.

For bath time we have the Shnuggle Bath (gifted), which is perfect for when they're tiny as it's like a mini bath tub for them and means you don't have to lean over the main bath tub, which when they're tiny would be difficult. I then got this newborn bath sponge, which was recommended to me from a friend as it means the baby isn't slipping all over the place whilst you're trying to bathe them.

For toys, we haven't really started buying anything as newborns don't really need to be stimulated at the start. We have bought a few black and white fabric books though as newborns are meant to love these. I just picked some random ones from amazon. Then we've bought and been given some teddies, like the adorable bunnies from Jelly Cat.





For clothes the majority of stuff I have is for newborn and then 0-3 months and then I'll buy bigger sizes later on. My favourite places to buy baby clothes from so far are JoJo Maman Bebe for adorable super soft baby grows, Matalan for really affordable and adorable little baby grows and dresses, Next again for affordable lovely clothes, Mothercare for cute outfits and baby grows, Boden for soft and amazing quality clothes, TK Max is also great, Petite Bateau for special items and then John Lewis for some basics.

Finally for sleeping bags, swaddles and muslin cloths. For muslins we've been told that you need a million and you can never have enough so we have literally bought these from everywhere. Aden & Anais do such cool designs and we've got a couple of muslins and swaddles from here (gifted), I also got a bunch from Next, JoJo Maman, Primark, H&M, pretty much everywhere. For sleeping bags we've got some from the Gro Company, we have their Gro Bag and the GroSnug (gifted) which just have zips down the sides so are super easy to use and can be zipped from the bottom so that if you need to change baby then you don't have to completely take them out of the bag.

So far, that's everything we have although I'm sure when she arrives we will realise we've missed something!


London, UK

Pregnancy | Big Baby Buys

I've been wanting to put together this post for a while as a few people have said they would be interested in seeing what big baby buys we decided to go with. I also found these kinds of posts super useful we we were deciding what to buy. The way we decided on the big baby purchases was a mixture of recommendations from friends, lots and lots of research and trying things out in shops and looking at the Which? recommended list. You need to subscribe to this but we just did the month free trial and then cancelled our membership once we had everything we needed. We also went for a VIP shopping experience with Mothercare, which was kindly offered to us by the PR but anyone can book it. They basically have pushchair, car seat etc experts that show you how everything works.


So I'll start with the biggest item, the pram. I can't tell you how much research we did into prams, looking at the in stores, looking up reviews and comparisons and talking to friends. It honestly feels like you're buying a car because of all the different features each one has and how they all fold up etc. In the end, we decided to go for the Bugaboo Fox, which was kindly gifted to us from Mothercare.

The reason we went for the Bugaboo Fox pushchair over others was how incredibly easy it is to push around and collapse. These were two of my main priorities for when I'm on my own with bubba and don't have time to faff around. I also love that you can basically customise every part of it and from everyone I know with the Bugaboo Fox they all love it. We're still in the market for a slightly lighter pushchair for if I need to go into central London but for now we felt that the Bugaboo Fox was the best option and it looks beautiful too!
The other product I did copious research on was the car seat. For this we used Which? as the site goes into so much detail on all the different safety aspects and rates each car seat again different factors like safety etc. In the end we went for the Cybex Atom M i Size with the Isofix base (gifted) as this came out as one of the best on the safety charts with 5 stars and also works with our Bugaboo Fox, we just need to buy the car seat adapters to go with it.

The Snuzpod (gifted) was one of the items we knew we wanted from the start as so many friends had recommended it and when we looked at it in John Lewis we absolutely loved it. The Snuzpod is perfect because the sides zip down so the cot fits super snugly next to your bed meaning that you don't have to move very much for night time feeds or midnight wake ups, which I imagine will be a life saver in the early days. The Snuzpod can attach to your bed to make it super secure. It also has a reflux tilt function if she gets reflux, and having had one of my best friends babies suffer really badly with this I know how hard it can be.

Another highly recommended product was the Sleepyhead Duluxe + Pod (gifted), which all my friends swear by. It's like a little cocoon for the baby which makes them feel safe and calm as I guess it makes them feel like they're still in the womb. The Sleepyhead is made from super soft fabric which is non-toxic and great for air permeability. It fits perfectly into the Snuzpod so is perfect for night time but also can be used generally around the house for day time naps, in the lounge and for travel. We have the Pristine White shade but they also come in a bunch of different colours, and we also have a spare cover in the Natural Buffalo when when undoubtably the white cover gets covered in poo or sick.
For her cot when she moves out of our room I wanted something that was girlie but not over the top. After searching everywhere I found this lovely one from Wayfair, which is great when they're tiny but also turns into a cot bed when she gets bigger.


For the mattress this is also an area that people do a crazy amount of research into, we again used Which? for this as they had a section on mattresses on their site. We went for the Ikea Krummelur mattress as it was the highest rated for our cot size of 60 cm x 120 cm.


For the nursery furniture we basically have everything from Ikea. We have the Ikea Hemnes Day Bed as I think these look lovely in nurseries when they're covered in pillows and it will be handy for night time feeds too. We also have the chest of draws from this range as I love how they look and I have the organising squares to go inside which helps to separate all the clothes up.


Moving onto feeding, I'm planning to breast feed but this may or may not work out for us so I've prepared for both breast feeding and bottle feeding. The breast pump we decided to go for was the Elvie breast pump (gifted), a few friends have this and absolutely love how easy, compact and discrete it is as it can just fit in your bra. The other one I looked at was the Madela Swing Pump, but a few friends had said that this made them feel a little bit like a cow so it kind of put me off. I'm also going to buy the Hakka manual breast pump as it's around £20 and so many people swear by it. It's a manual breast pump that you literally attach to the boob that you're not feeding the baby on and it sticks on with suction and then it sucks and collects milk whilst you feed.



In case breast feeding doesn't work out or if we want to introduce a bottle here and there, which I know a lot of people do we have the Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Perfect Prep Day & Night Machine (gifted). It's great because it does everything in one, sterilises, makes up the formula to the perfect temperature and is silent for night time feeds.
For our sling we went for the Baby Bjorn Carrier One Air (gifted), we tried on quite a few but found the buckles on the Baby Bjorn baby carrier the easiest. We went for the air version as our baby will be born in the summer so we thought it would be good to make sure she doesn't get too hot. I love the idea of a sling for days where we just pop out to the shops and don't need to take the pram or for the weekend possibly as we think my husband will use a sling to carry her around in.


We also opted for the Baby Bjorn bouncer as again this came highly recommended from friends. We have the Baby Bjorn Bouncer Bliss 3D Jersey in supersoft with the new Soft Toy Bar (gifted). I love these bouncers because they're super soft and gently rock as baby kicks their legs. The reason we wanted a bouncer was for when she's awake but we're around the house and need somewhere for her to sit, and this is perfect because it will support her back, neck & head. It's also great because it can fold down flat when we're done using it, which I loved because some baby bouncers are really bulky.

As well as the baby bouncer I also wanted something she could sleep in when we're in the lounge and love how pretty moses baskets looked so went for one of these. We have the Little Green Sheep Moses Basket (gifted), which has a stunning knitted liner, mattress included and creates a natural sleeping environment.

We still don't have a baby monitor at first as we plan on having her in our room in the Snuz Pod for the first few months so didn't think it was needed. However, we opted for the Owlet Smart Sock (gifted) which notifies you if your baby's heart rate and oxygen levels fall outside of the preset zones. I know some people may think this is over the top but I think it will really put our minds at rest to know that she's okay so that I won't have to check on her all the time (I'm sure I will anyway!).



We have a GroEgg (gifted) as we live in quite a hot flat I thought we needed something to give us a quite indication of the room temperature and this does this by turning a certain colour. This was also another highly recommended product from friends.

For bath time we have the Shnuggle Bath (gifted), which is perfect for when they're tiny as it's like a mini bath tub for them and means you don't have to lean over the main bath tub, which when they're tiny would be difficult. I then got this newborn bath sponge, which was recommended to me from a friend as it means the baby isn't slipping all over the place whilst you're trying to bathe them.

For toys, we haven't really started buying anything as newborns don't really need to be stimulated at the start. We have bought a few black and white fabric books though as newborns are meant to love these. I just picked some random ones from amazon. Then we've bought and been given some teddies, like the adorable bunnies from Jelly Cat.





For clothes the majority of stuff I have is for newborn and then 0-3 months and then I'll buy bigger sizes later on. My favourite places to buy baby clothes from so far are JoJo Maman Bebe for adorable super soft baby grows, Matalan for really affordable and adorable little baby grows and dresses, Next again for affordable lovely clothes, Mothercare for cute outfits and baby grows, Boden for soft and amazing quality clothes, TK Max is also great, Petite Bateau for special items and then John Lewis for some basics.

Finally for sleeping bags, swaddles and muslin cloths. For muslins we've been told that you need a million and you can never have enough so we have literally bought these from everywhere. Aden & Anais do such cool designs and we've got a couple of muslins and swaddles from here (gifted), I also got a bunch from Next, JoJo Maman, Primark, H&M, pretty much everywhere. For sleeping bags we've got some from the Gro Company, we have their Gro Bag and the GroSnug (gifted) which just have zips down the sides so are super easy to use and can be zipped from the bottom so that if you need to change baby then you don't have to completely take them out of the bag.

So far, that's everything we have although I'm sure when she arrives we will realise we've missed something!