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Lovely Trumpette

April 4, 2012

One of the best things about babies is there squishy little legs. FACT. So imagine my excitement and levels of gushiness when I came across the cutest accessories for the footsies of little ones…Trumpette.

Now Mrlovelybyhanna and I don’t know what flavour our little one is yet and we’re not planning on finding out until the day he/she decides to make an appearance but the one reason I would pray for a girl is so I can dress her in these little socks and tights…with bows! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind what we have but if we do get a pink variety, I am straight on the Trumpette website to order plenty of these. I’ll also get some if we have a boy so Trumpette will benefit either way and so will our lovely offspring when their feet are the talk of the town.

It’s hard to pick a favourite but if you were to force me, I would have to say the Lucia’s and the Toddler Lucy’s for the girls and the Classic Johnny’s and Cowboy socks for the boys. Adorable. They appear to come beautifully packaged too, which if you know me, you’ll know I’m a sucker for a nice gift box. Come on mini lovelybyhanna, as soon as you come, we’ll buy you some of these!

Check out the website now (or check out Amazon if buying in the UK)!

Love, lovelybyhanna xxx

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Lovely Joolz

March 27, 2012

Ahhhh buggies. Or pushchairs. Or is it prams? To be honest, I’m not really sure what the correct term is but Mr lovelybyhanna and I were recently at that difficult stage of choosing one of these baby transporters and to be perfectly frank, it was all a bit stressful. I mean – where do you begin?

There are your Bugaboos, your Quinnys, your Mamas and Papas and Maclarens to name but a few and deciding between them based on appearance alone can be pretty tough. Unfortunately for us, we discounted Bugaboo pretty early on – we had to – the price for the basic model was akin to the cost of a small family car and as much as I tried to convince my Husband we could all fit in one, he wasn’t having any of it. He also said that for the cost, they felt a bit flimsy although I think he was just trying to make me feel better on that one. So there we were in buggy hell – traipsing from shop to shop testing out the various wheels on offer when one weekend, we were visiting friends in Kingston and just happened to find ourselves in the baby department at Bentalls (it’s funny – this keeps on happening!). Suddenly, our attention was grabbed by a pretty cute looking offering from Dutch company, Joolz. We were intrigued and so went over for a closer look where the sales assistant pushed all sorts of buttons and bent the pram into all sorts of shapes before our very eyes. We were impressed but rather than inflict any more baby related paraphernalia on our friends that day, we took a brochure and promised to geek up when we got home to our house the following day (that didn’t happen – we were both on our phones pretending to check text messages as soon as we got back to our friends house).

A couple of weeks later, we decided to take a trip to Baby 2000 in Portsmouth to have a more thorough look at the Joolz Day and see if anything else caught our eye. They had a brilliant amount on offer but we were still mostly impressed by the Joolz pram – we loved the simple design of the cot attachment (and this came included in the price rather than having to add it on at an additional cost) and the fact that the pram is designed not only for the baby but also for the parents. There’s quite a bit of emphasis on the taller parent (although it is suitable for normal height people too!) and as Mr lovelybyhanna and myself are taller than average, this really appealed. The handle is fully adjustable and the seat also has an adjustable footrest for the baby so if you have tall offspring, they too are accommodated.

We loved it and so decided this was the one for us but now what colour? To be honest, this wasn’t a huge decision – I had my heart set on the Sand colour and although my husband preferred the Silver, we reached a compromise with him getting his black chassis and wheels and me getting the Sand. Success! So the order was placed and the lovely people at Baby 2000 (Hannah and Karen specifically) even threw in the cup holder as they’d overheard me banging on about how much I needed it (I will be living off coffee from what people have told me). Now just to wait for it to arrive – we cannot wait and would recommend you all check out the Joolz website if you’re expecting (or are just planning for the future)!

Love, lovelybyhanna xxx

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Lovely Mums

March 12, 2012

It’s coming up to that day most Mothers love where they are besieged with love, attention and usually presents galore – yes, this Sunday is Mothering Sunday.

I always struggle with what to get despite every shop cramming in as much Mum related paraphernalia as possible so it’s always quite a stressful time of the year (along with Birthday’s and Christmas – so the whole year then!). I love getting all the lovely catalogues through my door from companies such as Cox and Cox or Notonthehighstreet.com and flicking through, mentally picking out what I could buy for my Mum but typically, I leave it until the last minute and end up rushing to buy some Chanel No. 5 product and a bunch of flowers, which I know she still loves. Flowers are a popular gift for occasions such as these – who doesn’t love having a beautifully colourful and fragrant masterpiece on proud display? But recently, I came across a fabulous place in Romsey, Hampshire which sells the most beautiful garden roses which make the most wonderful of gifts.

There are some cracking roses for Mother’s Day too with names, such as “Mum’s blessing“, “Mama Mia” and “Lovely Lady“. If you’re really lucky, you may find a rose with the same name as your Mum – just type in a name and see what comes up! They make fabulous gifts (I know as we presented the Mum’s with a “Mum’s blessing” rose at our wedding last year rather than a bunch of flowers that would sadly end up in the bin after a week or so) and will last for as long as your Mum looks after it, which with most roses, is quite an easy task providing they’re planted up properly.

Mum's Blessing Rose

If you’re looking for gifts for other occasions, such as birthday’s, new babies and even retirements, Pockocks Roses of Hampshire is the place for you. They’re a bargain too at around £10.

If you’re struggling – I really recommend buying your mum or that special person a rose this Mothering Sunday – she’ll love you for it and so will your Bank Manager!

Love, lovelybyhanna xxx

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Lovely Websites!

February 25, 2012

As I think I’ve mentioned before, I love the web. As well as being a font of all knowledge, it’s also a place where you can find unique, gorgeous and fabulous things and ideas. I love it and I love finding a new website to add to my favourites. A bit sad yes but if you’re reading this, the chances are you love the internet too.

Today I came across another gorgeous website whilst reading the April edition of Ideal Home magazine. What caught my eye was some lovely stickers. Now I’m a big fan of stickers having made my own (well Mr lovelybyhanna actually executed the designs) for my wedding last year so these really stood out. The idea behind them is to get organised in the kitchen – something I’m always saying I should do – and they’re so pretty, I can imagine having dozens of gorgeous jars adorned with these labels.

Pantry Labels courtesy of Quick Brown Fox of Dulwich
The website for these stickers is definitely worth a look and it turns out Quick Brown Fox of Dulwich also do loads of lovely baby stuff – something else I’m obviously very interested in seeing as though Mini lovelybyhanna is due in 20 weeks! There is some gorgeous bedding for little ones and more wall stickers which are a fab way of decorating a nursery – difficult however when you don’t know what flavour your little bundle of joy is yet. As soon as we know however, we’ll no doubt be back to order some…
I’ll no doubt be blogging about decorating the nursery soon so watch this space…
Love, lovelybyhanna xxx
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Lovely Ragdale

February 22, 2012

It hasn’t even been a full working week and already I’m pining for Ragdale again.

For those of you who aren’t aware, Ragdale Hall is a glorious health spa located in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. Believe me when I tell you it’s heavenly. I didn’t think I’d fall for it – my Mum has been going for the last 8 years or so and after every trip she’d be waxing lyrical about how amazing it was and how I should give it a go. I stubbornly said I wouldn’t enjoy it and I also couldn’t justify spending the money on just 2 days away. So for Christmas 2010, my Mum splashed out in true style and surprised my then pregnant sister-in-law and me with a 2 night stay to prepare me for my wedding day the following May!

Finally, in April 2011, off we all trekked to Ragdale (or Raggers as it is now officially known in our household), with the obligatory stop at Bicester Shopping Village to grab a bite to eat and lust over the still too expensive Mulberry handbags. When we finally arrived, we were greeted by some lovely Gentlemen who parked our car and whisked our luggage away to our rooms whilst we checked in and filled out our forms over a Latte (not skinny – we may have been at a spa but it’s not all about lettuce leaves and decaf-soya-green-tea frappamacchiatos)! As soon as we had slipped our swimming cossies and dressing gowns on, we headed straight down to the pool(s) and were blown away by all the choices – there was the main pool, a jacuzzi, a candle pool, an outdoor pool and various steam rooms to choose from. It was amazing. Coupled with incredible treatments (I had a manicure, pedicure and an inclusive fat blasting body wrap – I was on a crazy pre-wedding fat blitz after all) and amazing food, we left 2 days later feeling incredibly relaxed and chilled out. Wedding stress? What wedding stress?

The Candle Pool

So it was with huge excitement that last Thursday, my sister-in-law and 2 of our friends set out on another trip to Raggers. We had the sat nav, the tunes, the car snacks and our purses ready for a Bicester bashing (I ended up buying a sandwich!) and were looking forward to being pampered. We weren’t disappointed. We ate, swam, gossiped and were rubbed, scrubbed and polished beyond our wildest dreams and all came away just that little bit more in love with Ragdale.

The best bit is I’ll be back there in May this year (my Mum treated us again because she’s pretty awesome) and I’m already counting down the days. Oh and I forgot to mention you can eat your dinner in your dressing gown. Amazing.

Raggers – we love you!

Love, lovelybyhanna xxx

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A Lovely Message in a Bottle

February 12, 2012

It’s that time of year again when love is in the air and those in love are desperately seeking that last minute gift to give their other half (or potential other half) on Valentine’s Day!

I started off with good intentions when my husband and I first got together 10 years ago and was so thrilled I could finally be a part of this love filled day which before I could only watch on and dream of one day being involved in. I’ve crafted scrapbooks, cooked 3 course meals, baked heart shaped cookies and trawled the shops for heart emblazoned gifts in my time but this year, I had left it to the last minute and was in a panic as to what to do.

Then I heard the song “Message in a Bottle” by The Police on the radio and I was suddenly inspired! This was only because just days earlier I’d been killing time on my lunch break in The Hambledon in Winchester and I’d seen some mini milk bottles which went with the mini milk crate I already had and I made a mental note to remember this in case I ever needed any replacements (I can be quite clumsy). So off I traipsed into The Hambledon yesterday afternoon to purchase one of these beauties for just £1.50! A bargain. Once home, I raided my craft box for tracing paper, ribbon and anything with hearts (luckily I had a stash of heart sprinkles!) and set about writing a slushy note to pop in the bottle.

My Own Message in a Bottle

The end result is simple and understated but I know Mr lovelybyhanna will be very touched.

Love, lovelybyhanna xxx

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Lovely Bridesmaids

January 24, 2012

Oh I do love a good wedding and it looks like 2012 is going to be another bumper year! We’ve already received 2 Save the Dates and 1 invitation and it gets me all giddy with excitement (and fear – what will I wear with a growing bump?) and yes, I will admit it, a tiny bit of jealousy too.

I got married in May last year and I know it’s a cliché and horribly coated in fromage, but it really was the best day of my life. Everything was perfect from the venue to the weather (and of course my wonderful Husband who I all but ran down the aisle to). Don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss some of the planning – the family politics, finalising guest lists, getting hold of suppliers (don’t they realise it’s the most important day of your life even if you’re just another bridezilla to them?!) and then there’s the cost. Oh the cost.

What I do miss though are the regular gatherings with your Bridesmaids to plan all the pretty details. I’m sure every Bride thinks this, but I really did have the best bunch of Bridesmaids a girl could ask for. From surprise trips to Browns Bride in London (I couldn’t afford the dresses but what a fabulous experience and I did find “the one” which I got copied at a fraction of the price) to a pair of Louboutin heels for the big day (they organised a mass contribution for my birthday), I couldn’t have asked for more. Which is why I wanted them to look and feel beautiful on the Wedding day. Cue twobirds bridesmaids. What a fantastic concept – one dress, in a huge variety of colours that wrapped in a million different ways (OK, maybe 15 ways but still!) and as I had a pregnant bridesmaid (my sister-in-law who was 7 months pregnant at the wedding), it seemed like the perfect choice.

So off we went to their shop in Notting Hill where we were helped by the wonderful Alexia – possibly one of the nicest ladies I have ever met. She patiently dressed all three of my bridesmaids and twisted and rouched until we all fell in love with the designs. With two tall bridesmaids and one about to grow a big lovely tummy, the dresses were perfect in their long lengths and forgiving fabric. I cannot recommend them enough and Alexia too. The order was made and come the day, they looked absolutely beautiful. See for yourselves.

My lovely Bridesmaids

Yes they were fairly pricey but probably not much more than your standard bridesmaid dress and they get to keep a classic black dress that they can hopefully wear again one day.

My dress dilemma might well be solved – I will no doubt borrow this little beauty and wear it in a different way for each wedding! Nobody will know and my bump will be the most glamorously adorned there. Oh and how can I forget the Louboutin heels? They will undoubtedly feature too!

Love, lovelybyhanna xxx