Little Crumbs

Little Seeds

A few weeks ago my good friend Jo was telling me about her daughters outfit for our lil mans superhero birthday party.

“Ooh” she says “we got these cool tights from this new shop in Hitchin” “You'd really like it”

… she goes on to describe said tights “little titans?” I ask, “yep”

“Take me there”. Any shop that stocks Little Titans is a shop I need to frequent.

And so a few days later off I went, after a coffee in Halsey's, a quick spend up in What Sarah Did, we wondered round the corner to Hermitage Road, Hitchin and there was Little Seeds.

A large spacious shop, minimal decor with beautifully merchandised stock ranging from cute Mini Melissa Shoes, to the instantly recognisable prints of Mini Rodini, Fine Little Day and with Luckyboysunday to boot! I was so excited I could barely string a sentence together!

I made a few purchases and had a quick chat with Coral, the brainchild behind Little Seeds. She kindly agreed to feature on here to talk about this new shop that she's recently opened in Hitchin.

 

So, Coral it's been a manic couple of months for you with twins in tow too! I'm sure getting Little Seeds to fruition has been hard work, is it a venture that grew organically for you or has this always been a dream of yours?

 

It's always been a dream of mine to either be in the kids fashion industry or just have a shop and sell what I'm passionate about. I did my gcse's and a levels early and my biggest regret in life was turning down my Westminster fashion place, but at the same time I was only 16 and now at 23 I've achieved what I wanted to do!

It was also the help of being on complete bedrest when I was pregnant with the twins, i used this time to do all my research, saving, write business plans and attend trade shows such as playtime Paris, top drawer, bubble and design junction.

Design runs in our family with my husband having his business and my dad and brothers jobs and my mum being a top make up artist so I know a lot of background information on how to merchandise things, design and plan things in a way that is attractive and unique. But also having the twins and being a young mum living 2 hours away from my parents made me try and test things for myself and figure out what the girls needed on my own, and so the shop was formed.

 

… And what shopping experience can Little Seeds customers look forward to?

 

I just want it to have a nice friendly atmosphere, I like kids coming in touching everything and playing on the bikes and just having a family friendly feel to it. I hate going into stores myself and having to watch the girls like hawks incase they drop something or move a toy. I didn't want people to feel like that in my shop I want it to be a pleasant and stress free experience.

 

I'm a big fan of the brands you stock, many of which I was introduced to through Instagram Scandinavian inspired design especially, but have ordered online, …. living up in these here 'shire' parts you don't see many shops like yours stocking concept childrenswear… It's exciting to have somewhere local flying the flag for stylish toddlers!

Do you think social media has changed the way parents are buying for their little ones?

 

Definitely! If someone posts something on Instagram or Twitter quirky and different which isn't from Next, H&M or Mothercare then everyone wants it! And I think everything is made so much better! It's kids clothing that makes children look like children and not mini adults. Plus I think now parents like to spend money on their children's style over pampering themselves.

 

You have a lovely mix of vintage inspired toys namely the fisher price record player I have my beady eye on … Evokes childhood memories … to the sleek and innovative Spherovelo ride on, What are your top toy picks for Christmas this year?

 

Definitely the ride on toys and the fisher price records! They just sell out so quickly and I think they're at good prices too.

I just wish I could keep on top of demands quicker, but that will come it's all a learning curve and figuring out what your customers want. Hopefully I'm at that stage now.

 

Not to wish the year away just yet but …What brands are you tipping as 'the next big thing' for kiddies in 2014?

 

Well I'm keeping quite a few under my belt but in January once the other rooms are finished they'll be lots more mini rodini and mini Melissa, nununu, popup shop, indikidual, ferm living, kids on roof, villa carton, bugaboo and I'm lucky enough to be one of the stores to stock the limited edition hoods, cloth nappies (tots bots), Joolz, phil and teds, talking threads, Zuzii. Lots more I can't wait! Basically loads of clothes, shoes, quirky toys, bits for older children and practical things too. I'd love to be a one stop shop like mothercare but a whole lot better and different.

 

Sounds amazing!! I can't wait, Thankyou so much Coral for taking the time to share an insight into Little Seeds, wishing you every success with your new venture. I'm excited to see what you have planned for your shop.

 

It's so lovely to have Little Seeds local, sometimes you want to be able to see clothes and products up close, to appreciate the quality and work that goes into them. Or go somewhere for inspiration.

 

I've selected a few of my Little Seeds favourites that could be making it under our Christmas tree this year.

 

1. Spherovelo Ride On £69.00 … Grows with your little one, it's super cool!

2. Vilac Metal Ride On Car £89.99 …the roadster is amazing for any budding petrol heads!

3. Crazy Stuff Toucan Helmet £28.00 … A must have for any new bikes and scooters..the range is all kinds of awesome!

4. Amazing Build A Bot £5.99 …a perfect gift or stocking filler

5. Fisher Price Camera £19.99

6. Fisher Price Record Player £29.99 … This Fisher Price range will be under everyone's tree if Instagram is anything to go by, grab yours quick!

7. Anorak Games Magazine £6.00 … We love Anorak Magazines in this house, one will definitely be in little mans stocking, something to sit down with for some quiet time.

8. I love giving Books as gifts, Christmas and birthdays. Little Seeds have a fab range if you're looking for something beautifully illustrated, on a book shelf in the play room they're dual purpose, looking great as well as the children enjoying them.

  • Our Planet £9.99
  • The Day the Crayons Quit £12.99
  • The New Jumper £6.99

9. Fine Little Day Tomato Print was £32.00 NOW £20.00 …there's currently a promotion on all Fine Little Day prints, a great addition to any nursery, bedroom or playroom.

 

Follow Coral on Twitter and Instagram @littleseeds25 for updates,

 

Check out the website, postage is very reasonable, or if you're in the Hitchin Area do pop in!

 

Happy Shopping you lovely lot!

 

 

Standard
Interiors

A Statement Chair … Every Home Needs One

When I saw this chair online I had to have it. In that ochre mustard that makes my heart sing and it's Art Deco inspired shape I literally jumped and squealed when it arrived, and I'm still in love with it now.

 

Positioned to look out onto the garden with a low light lamp it gets the best of the summer evenings and the autumn Sunday mornings.

 

We bought it from Made.com buying furniture from an online source is always a gamble as you make your decision based solely on the pictures in front of you. The quality of the images were to such a high standard we felt we could buy with confidence. And sure enough we were not disappointed.

 

 

 

 
We have a relatively child friendly home, this chair however is out of bounds if you're under 21, eating a flake… Or both!
 

My go to seat for releasing my inner granny and knitting, my tapping away blogging, chair, my lose yourself with a glass of red and the Sunday papers chair.

And we all need one of those right?

 

Standard
Interiors

A Statement Chair … Every Home Needs One

When I saw this chair online I had to have it. In that ochre mustard that makes my heart sing and it's Art Deco inspired shape I literally jumped and squealed when it arrived, and I'm still in love with it now.

 

Positioned to look out onto the garden with a low light lamp it gets the best of the summer evenings and the autumn Sunday mornings.

 

We bought it from Made.com buying furniture from an online source is always a gamble as you make your decision based solely on the pictures in front of you. The quality of the images were to such a high standard we felt we could buy with confidence. And sure enough we were not disappointed.

 

 

 

 

My knitting chair, my blogging, chair, my lose yourself with a glass of red and the Sunday papers chair.

And we all need one of those right?

 

Standard
Little Crumbs

These Boots Are Made For Walking…Part 2

As you may recall I saw these beauts of a boot on Twitter and they've tormented me in my sleep ever since.

 

What with little dudes birthday, and Christmas looming with the kiddies pointing at everything that's advertised on Nick Jr *mental note cbeebies or DVDs only from here on in* and with both winter wardrobes to kit out I couldn't justify spending that on little lady right now, at 18 months her feet are growing so fast.

 

So imagine my squeal of excitement when looking for Halloween outfits in Matalan these caught my eye.

 

 

At just £14 in toddler and girls sizes I snapped some up, little ladies a bit fan of clomping around in them, they're nicely made and have had a few compliments today.

 

Nice one Matalan!

 

Standard
Little Crumbs, Ramblings ...

Not For This One Thanks…

After receiving a few comments on Twitter and alike, I thought I'd share our little ones dairy free journey with you…. Top up that coffee it's a rambly one…

 

It should be noted there is a big difference in a dairy 'intolerance' and an 'allergy' Little lady's reaction was a very physical one, and an allergy I'm led to understand the child can grow out of over time. It's a long process of introducing it to her system slowly and in a controlled manner. An intolerance has to be managed quite differently.

 

I am at no point giving any form if medical advice here, I'm simply not qualified to. I'm merely sharing our experience and places I found useful. Should you suspect your child has an allergy or intolerance you should contact your GP.

 

 

 

So, 1 year ago I had a close friends hen do to attend, giggles a plenty and a police woman's hat to wear, I was looking forward to it. Little lady was almost 5 1/2 month's old, I'd exclusively breastfed until this point and a bottle would be a good plan so I could drink gin she'd be settled without needing me.

 

Unable to express for love nor louboutins we opted to stock up on SMA. It's what little dude had, and got on just fine. A basket of cartons of the stuff later and could she keep down just 50ml, could she heck. Could she projectile aforementioned 50ml to clear 3 metres, abso.blimmin.lutely.

 

A few attempts with the same result later we were Worried, Frustrated, Confused, and fed up of cleaning the walls so off to the GP we went…. And came home again feeling like a neurotic mother that had wasted a 10 minute slot of the surgery's time.

 

But, something wasn't right, it wasn't wind, she wasn't gorging herself, she'd keep down my milk. I tried Aptamil, perhaps SMA was too rich for her. Same again. She'd cry, a painful cry, looking for guidance I visited our village baby clinic to speak with our health visitor *cue that tilt of the head*

 

“Well, these things can and will happen if you stop breastfeeding and wean too early”

 

Ok. So. 1. I had breastfed her, exclusively 24 hrs a day, until the point I was so sleep deprived it made me throw up. I wanted to do what YOU told me was the best thing for her. And here we are anyway.

 

2. Even if I hadn't breastfed her, a worried mother comes to you concerned looking for support and you make her feel like she's doing a sh*t job. Well that's just fab.

 

I wasn't going to get anywhere fast, all I got was a load of leaflets and told to simply drop the idea of formula altogether….she was almost 6 months… I'll breastfeed her forever then shall I? With that I thought I'd stick with the GP.

 

Off I went again. The GP was more open to the possibility there was a problem, but encouraged me to try just one other brand. After some reading online, I went for Hipp Organic. I made up a small amount, she drank it, so far so good. Within 10 minutes her face ballooned, red blotches everywhere down to her chest she was smacking her lips and sticking out her tongue, she wasn't distressed, I on the other hand was on the phone to NHS direct, with her stripped down and across my lap. A tiny amount of piriton I happened to have in the bathroom cabinet and 15 minutes later she was as if nothing had happened.

 

For whatever reason, wrongly or rightly I'd thought at that time with the iPad to hand on the phone to take a picture of the reaction she was having and after. (Not a picture I'd like to share on here, I'm sure you understand why).

The lovely NHS Direct lady, referred us for an emergency appointment with the GP, baby under 1 arm, iPad in the other, she looked at the pictures and put the wheels in motion for a prescription formula specifically for babies with dietary requirements. Aptamil Milupa Pepti 1. She had to liaise with my Health Visitor to back up my claim that I'd been to her for advice, as apparently some mothers have been known to make up such symptoms in an effort to get free formula on prescription. I know. really. Wow.

 

With appointments soon after scheduled with a peadeatric dietician at the local hospital so began our dairy free journey. Perhaps I was being over sensitive at the start but I did feel it was a little battle prior to her physical reaction to push for a referral for investigation, had that not have happened when it did I could have been typing this from a Sit In Protest in the doctors surgery, we've had great advice and support from the NHS to get us to where we are today, so please don't feel I'm being anti NHS.

 

Due to appointment times as the NHS waiting time was almost 6months we took her to a private consultant Dr. Cremonesini, an expert in this field for a skin prick test just after her 1st birthday to determine if there were any other allergies she may have. Now at 18 months she can handle a few smarties, a bit of cheese, egg, full fat milk if it's in a cooked form and a little butter. I didn't think we'd get to this point so soon.

 

For a time, where her diet had to be very controlled, close friends knew she couldn't have certain things but kids parties were like a minefield of cakes, wotsits and bread sticks.

 

“Birthday cake?, not for this one thank you” Yep. I was that fun police mum. I got called mean for not letting her have a fist full of cheesey savouries when she was 9 months old. But letting her have just a little something could put back 2 weeks of progress, and tummy ache isn't nice, especially if you're a 9 month old that doesn't understand what's happening. It's just not worth it. I'd rather be that mean fun police mum.

 

We're very fortunate that today we have such a huge range of dairy alternative products, the textures, and versatility of dairy products but without the dairy. Packaging is clearly labelled and 'free from' ranges becoming a thing of the norm.

 

A year down the line, it's easy for me to say but try to take a little time and pre plan meals and freeze them if need be, your child can still have a varied interesting diet without dairy.

A few points that might be helpful….

 

  • Pure Spread, great for cooking with, for toast, sandwiches dairy free butter,
  • Look up Paelo recipes for dairy free inspiration finger foods, side dishes and snacks,
  • Going out or travelling? For convenience Plum offer the widest range (that I found) of dairy free pouches for 6months +,
  • Some fruits we were advised to avoid until she was 1+ as some berries can be allergy triggers i.e Strawberries etc,
  • Olives (halved or quartered if large) are a great way to introduce flavour and make a good fruit snack alternative,
  • Use formula milk or soya milk for cooking white sauces, rice pudding etc,
  • Blend a mixture of fruits together using bananas as a thickening agent to make thick 'smoothies' to spoon feed as a yoghurt alternative,
  • Allergy UK have a help line you can call mid weekly shop tell them the item you're unsure of and they can instantly give you a yes or no answer as to if it's suitable call 01322 619898,
  • Visit Allergy UK for advice, wristbands and printable language translation cards of phrases to use whilst on holiday etc . Phrases such as “my child is allergic to dairy, please advise if this is suitable”, “my child is having an allergic reaction” “I need anti histamine” etc.

I took these to France, I didn't often need to use them, but not being fluent it was reassuring to know I could be clear if I needed help. Obviously you could use apps for just this, but having them printed in my bag made me feel more relaxed.

 

At whichever point of your or your child's allergy / intolerance journey you are, I hope you're receiving the advice and support you need. Any recipes or tips you'd like to share? Get in touch or comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standard
Mummy Fashion

ME + EM

I may be a little late of the mark with this one, and for those of you with ME + EM spilling out of their wardrobe already, I apologise, for those who, like me until this brochure dropped through my door this week had been missing out.

 

Allow me to make the introductions.

 

 

All hail Clare Hornby, Founder and Creative Director of the deliciousness that's about to follow.

 

 

With a beautiful knitwear collection of high quality wool and cashmere some pieces understandable command a high price. Toddler flicking porridge on your £148.00 100% Cashmere jumper not ideal…. Wear an apron. These are too lovely to not be hidden in your wardrobe under a cover.

 

I've been on a corner turning frenzy…. Santa's on Twitter right?

 

It's not just the knitwear and the range of essentials that's got me swooning, the dresses look very flattering.

The Pencil Dress would be a great work wardrobe addition and the tailored body con dress screams classic lines. A versatile LBD that would have serious lengievity.

Opt for it in Aubergine and wear it with leopard print heels or nude courts, with an oversized clutch would be a different take on a LBD.

 

It's this ruched t shirt maxi dress that ticks all the boxes for me. Described as 'body sculpting genius' I'm sold!! The ruching can be adjusted to suit your body length.

 

Layer it up with a chunky knit snood and a biker jacket teamed with some Ash Jalouse boots or high tops for Autumn. Easily seeing you through to next spring and even the chillier summer evenings with some gladiator sandals, or statement jewellry and delicate heels you could easily wear it in the evening. I'm tempted to go for it in the Forest green, a jack of all trades this little number. *firmly folds corner and moves on*

 

With free returns and the contact number with customer email clearly displayed on each page you scroll to , you get that reassuring feeling when spending money on investment pieces that this is a brand that want you to be happy. They want to help you with little tips of how to wear each piece in the description and the models size and height detailed to help you visualise how it would work on your proportions. These little touches are what sets brands such as ME + EM apart.

 

 

 

Before you head to the checkout, take a moment to read through the Blog. With pictures of the brands founder Clare wearing the range, notes on how she wears it, ideas on what to wear it with and the thought processes behind the range give you a delightful insight into the brand.

 

Plus it might make you take a second look at pieces you'd looked past previously, seeing them on a 'real woman' helps you to envisage wearing them every day.

 

Next day delivery for orders placed before 12pm.

 

Happy Shopping you lovely lot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please note this is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own, images taken from the ME+EM October 2013 brochure. Stills of website taken from the ME+EM website. MEANDEM.COM

 

Standard