It’s not often I covet things that aren’t shoe/bag/necklace shaped, but since becoming a mum, I find myself getting rather over-excited about the strangest of things. Toys! Sleeping bags! Wall hangings! Change bags! My first experience of this was when my baby was only a few weeks old. I was at the start of a year-long affair with my local branch of Starbucks, rocking my pram like a crazy lady and fighting the exhaustion with a naughty latté (naughty for two reasons: 1. It was full fat, but then this was no time for faffing around with skinny drinks 2. It wasn’t a decaf. When you’re breastfeeding this is considered a no-no, but I was TIRED godammit.)
Sitting there, I spotted what I soon discovered was the Mamas & Papas Gingerbread blanket. It was so colourful, yet so stylish. Later, I saw another mum with it, and another. An irrational desire came over me – I needed that blanket. It was clearly the blanket of A/W 2011 and if I was to be accepted into my new world of mummydom, I had to have one casually draped over my pram. I looked it up online…. and stopped in my tracks. It was £35. For a blanket. And I had at least six other blankets at home from places like Gap and The Little White Company. I somehow talked myself round from buying it (part of me still gets a pang of regret when I see mums with it, in Starbucks) but there are many (many) things I have treated my child (OK myself) to, in the past 12 months. Here’s my pick of what’s out there…
Tiddly Pom door signs – these beautiful wooden handpainted door signs are personalised down to the smallest of details. No surprise that you get to choose the name, but you also choose the colour and pattern on each letter, meaning it truly is unique and personal to your child. The quality of the product is fantastic, and I love that you can see tiny brush strokes in the paint, reminding you that someone took the time to make it for you.
Aiden & Anais muslins – I bought plain white muslins from Mothercare (after all, they just get sicked on, right?) but I wish I’d bought some Super Star Swaddles from Aiden & Anais. Yes, they’re pricey at £38.95 for a pack of four, but they’re big enough to use as a swaddle blanket, to put on the floor as a portable play mat and use as a burp cloth. And they would have cheered me up no end in those early days.
Scroll Tree wall stickers – we decorated our nursery with two of these trees, and a year later, I still love them. Unlike some sets of wall stickers, they were very easy to apply and have stayed firmly on the wall (this may be a different story of course when Junior realises she can peel them off). Plus they’re a bargain at £35.74 from Becky & Lolo. You can’t really say no, can you? (Psst! Tiny Me do some gorgeous wall stickers too.)Tiny Me height chart – When I discovered Tiny Me a few weeks ago, I nearly exploded in anticipation of all the amazing things I would be ordering from them. Of course, I haven’t ordered a jot from them yet, but that’s partly because I want one of everything. Tiny Me describe themselves as “Geek + Cute = YAY” and their website explains, “Once upon a time 3 young dads (who happen to have 13 kids under 9) combined a whole bunch of geeky high tech machines, some generous dollops of cuteness, a slightly loopy team of people and mixed them together with the world wide webby thingy. The result was amazing…. a comprehensive range of affordable, premium quality, designer personalised products for kids. All custom made and shipped to you in a jiffy.” My pick of the bunch is this height chart, but I think the site is particularly good for mums of boys who always moan that there’s so much choice when it comes to buying girls’ things but hardly anything for boys. There are monkeys! There are crocs! There are robots! Everything a boy could want.
The Parchment Place invitations – this company is run by a lady called Sarah in Adelaide, Australia and I have to say she has struck gold. The Parchment Place have an Etsy shop where you can view various designs of cards, invitations, business cards and the sort. You then personalise your card and they email the Jpeg of your design to you, allowing you to print it off at home or take it to a print shop. The designs range very cute to stylish, and it’s a clever, cost-effective way of buying individual cards.
- If you’ve spotted something amazing on your travels, leave a comment below and share it with everyone.