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Sunday, 30 April 2017
mamas and papas new store the fort glasgow

Becoming a parent is such an exciting, momentous time. There's so much to plan and look forward to. In as much as it is a joyous time it can also be so stressful too. Hormones are flooding in and it seems there are a million things on your never ending to-do list. Couple this with the saturated market  of baby products and you've got a mind field for new parents to rally through before the arrival of their little one. It's almost like an expectation that because you made a child you're supposed to know exactly what you need to buy and how you are supposed to use it. That couldn't be further from the truth. It was a revelation to see that the market leaders Mamas & Papas just 'get it' from the launch of their new store in the Glasgow Fort shopping centre.

I was invited along to the launch of what can only be described as an innovation in the consumer buying experience. The new store has mapped out each area of a new parent's 'to-do' list into easily digestible store segments removing that overwhelming feeling of being faced by a mass array of baby gadgets and not having a clue what you're looking for, something that is often experienced in that of their competitors.

At the impressive, modern entrance I was greeting by a friendly member of staff, a pertinent moment of the day I feel as I was welcomed inside and given the offer of help, should I need it at any point. In true Mamas and Papas style there was no expense spared and I was given a goodie bag, just like those who entered the store at the same time. It contained a couple of Bloom & Blossom samples (my fav!) as well as a vest, bib, information leaflets and a cute bunny rattle which Charlie just adores!
channel mum blogger glasgow

At the forefront of the store there's an extensive selection of the most beautiful and tasteful baby clothes split into gender sections as well as a central pod of neutrals. Mamas & Papas always get it right when it comes to their clothing. As most of you will well know if you follow my instagram (here) I dress both Ella and Charlie in a lot of their range. The colour hues are always perfect and the styles are so well crafted, I feel like I'm always getting quality value for money. One of my favourite things about shopping with Mamas & Papas is their transparency, I never feel like I'm being tricked into spending too much on something because even if you buy something, wear it and it goes into sale a week later you can just ask for the difference back in cash or on your card & they refund it without a quibble! What other stores do you know that would do that?! AMAZING. And as a result they get my custom time & time again.

Beyond the clothing section the store splits by a walkway into two parts. One side is Nursery/Home decor filled with bedding, nursery furniture, pillows, decorative pieces, wallpaper and everything else you would need to decorate a baby room. I loved their little cloud floating shelves for Charlie's nursery as I have a bit of a cloud theme so far so I'll be making a trip back to get those before I film the much requested Nursery Tour on my YouTube Channel. There's also really handy themes to stick to if you're unsure on how to style pieces together. You'll be able to find furniture, bedding & accessories such as lamp shades and curtains all in your chosen theme making it easy for even the most novice of interior designers! The natural colour schemes are cleverly selected to ensure you're going to obtain a timeless design in your baby's room, each of the themes also come with a co-ordinating sleep bag that you can buy too.

An 'easy to compare' electronics and gadgets section is in this area too, showcasing the newest products to the market making sure you're up to date with changes in technology. This is next to the bath time area where there are a few bath aids to chose from as well as some gentle products and essentials such as towels etc.

Moving on theres a feeding station showcasing the most beautiful highchair range available in store. This is a spacious are where parents to be can manoeuvre the products around and play around with how to assemble parts together. This ultimately helps new parents make an informed decision because I know myself that time & time again I have found I've bought items without a run through and it's not until I've got home and tried them out that I realise they're not fit for my needs.

One of the features of the store that I love are how many rest areas they have. This was ideal for me as I needed to feed Charlie often and need a seat initially to do so but I'm sure these were designed for the tired out husbands in mind when their pregnant better half can't make a decision on which colour scheme to go for!!

Located at the rear of the shop was what can only be described as a car show room of travel systems. Cleverly coordinated in muted tones sat an assembly of unified branded strollers all shapes, sizes and levels of affordability. I really love that Mamas and Papas have recognised the importance of presenting their strollers as a blank canvas and rather than having crazy tester colours in their pushchairs, most were grey, black, navy or sage, allowing the customer to see past the colour and look at the functionality of their potential pram. There was a spacious area of floor room where customers can take their prams for a test drive if you will so they can get the feeling for the product which I know is the case in most stores but where Mamas and Papas stands out is that they have a Mini Cooper car in the back of the store so you can have a demonstration of how to assemble your pushchair and how to put it back down again and into your car boot. This is such an important part of the shopping experience for new parents as I feel it eliminates the stress of just buying it and having to work it all out at home yourselves. Not only that but the car is also used as a demonstration for how to fit an isofix base and how to correctly strap in a carseat if you've opted out of an isofix. This is such a sensible move from the store as it helps minimise the chance of an accident.

And like all stores of this nature should do, there's also something to entertain the kids. Standing on a platform starts the screen moving and a whole load of woodland creatures appear. If they stand for long enough it reveals your childs height and weight making it functional for selecting a car seat or pushchair for the height and weight restrictions but also a fun distraction for the kids to enjoy while you're on your shopping journey.

If all of these combined factors don't make for a calm in-store experience then you can always opt for a personal shopper. There's a separate area for this too where you can have a consultation and discuss price budgets and preferences.

Next to a spacious cash desk is a host of fun 'playtime' mats and toys for babies of all stages, along with cards and other special gift choices. The gift wrapping service is also available giving that unique touch to a carefully chosen present.

Overall I came away feeling like I'd just been in a Flagship store for the brand. They really didn't leave any stone unturned. I was so utterly impressed that I returned for another visit the very next day with my mum to help her buy a baby gift and to buy all of the things for Ella & Charlie that I couldn't stop thinking about when I got home from the launch day. Expect a haul on my YouTube channel soon with all of the lovely bits I picked up, they had 25% off so how could I resist?!


Tuesday, 18 April 2017



Monday, 17 April 2017



Do you ever get a product and think this won't be that great and then when you actually use it you wonder what you ever did without it? That's the way I feel about the Mee Light.

Being a blogger I'm offered the opportunity to review products all of the time. Some that I don't even mention on my blog because they're just not even worth the time of a blog post to say how terrible they are. Plus I'm of the opinion that everyone is different & I would never cause a company repetitional damage just because I had a poor experience with something. I will be honest, I thought this would fall into that category, gifted away because it's no use. I know how much you value my opinion on things and as much as I would be completely transparent about the pros and cons about something, if I can't find anything nice to say then I won't say anything at all. It's a concept I've been brought up by. I love being able to try out products and tell you what I think and bring you solutions to common mummy issues. 

The Mee Light is the simplest and effective baby product I've used. Charlie, as you will know, is still breastfeeding. This means that he is still up every night to feed. Although we are now in Spring, the 'wee' hours in Scotland are still pitch black and therefore I need to turn on the light to feed Charlie. Fraser works shifts and I hate the thought of disturbing him during the night, the way I see it is at least one of us is entitled to a full night's rest, especially when he works crazy hours. 

We have wall lights and beside lamps. The beside lamps are too bright to turn on but our wall lights above our headboard are on a dimable switch so we can have them down low for night feeds. This is all very well but often the sound of the switch being turned on can unsettle Ella and wake her during the night, especially when she's at her light stage of sleep around 5/6am. I used to use my phone light to see charlie but it was too bright and even with the brightness level down it would time out and mean that I was doing everything singlehandedly too. 

The MeeLight attaches to your clothes offering a handsfree experience which is essential I'd say, especially since I already feel like I need another arm anyway when I've got a baby! It projects soft light on to the area you need to see and has 3 different levels of light setting. Not only this but if you're like me and tend to fall asleep when you're feeding then it has a 15 minute automatic timer that switches off to save battery life. The charging unit is neat and minimalist, as it the design of the light. Because it can stand alone too I often switch it on to go to the loo during the night too so I don't wake up the whole house with a bright light.

As I said before, it's a product I thought I'd never use but now, I wouldn't be without it! Worth it's weight in gold.


Wednesday, 12 April 2017
Belly Bandit before and after
It's no surprise that having 2 babies in the space of 2 years wreaks havoc on your figure. After having Ella I found myself looking back at photos of myself from years past and thinking 'I wish I was as fat as I thought I was then' when I was probably 2 dress sizes smaller, had a flatter tummy with flawless skin - not a single stretch mark in sight yet still miserable about my appearance. It's crazy.

I have really felt the pressure both times bounce back in my early post partum days. Is it because of the celebrity culture that we are consumed by on a daily basis? For most, it probably is but for me I just wanted to feel like the old Ash. If you don't already know, I suffered with HG in both of my pregnancies which is severe vomitting all day every day and albeit I lost weight being pregnant due to the sickness, I felt I lost myself a little. I didn't feel like me and I didn't recognise myself in the mirror. My body was changing, my life was changing & I felt awful 99% of the time. The only thing that kept me going was knowing there was a positive outcome at the end and that there was an end to this in the first place. But anyway I'm rambling on about HG which is a whole blog post in itself which I will get round to writing eventually but for now it's all still too raw and I'm not in the right headspace to really open up about it.

I made a promise to myself that after having Charlie I would do my best to try and get back into shape especially since this is probably going to be our last baby and we also have our wedding next year - eek. After doing a lot of research I realised that those changes need to start as soon as you give birth and the best way to train your body back into place is by using a Belly Bandit training band.

The belly bandit is a huge stretchy piece of fabric that secures round your tummy with velcro. It helps to guide your split stomach muscles back to their pre-pregnancy position and flatten your stomach at the same time. I've heard horror stories of new mums saying their stomach muscles went back but trained outwards meaning they always feel about 3 months pregnant. Although you can fix this, it's just extra work that you don't need when you're trying to get into shape after having a baby.

I've taken some before and after pictures which to be honest I'm beyond nervous to share with you. I'm embarrassed at the before picture and although I'm pleased with the results of the Belly Bandit I feel I'm putting myself out there to be scrutinised and judged for my post baby body. I feel vulnerable but happy to share how much of a difference the belly bandit has made for me.

Belly Bandit before and after

I must admit I do accredit the majority of my weightloss to breastfeeding as I have been living on a diet of tea & cake for the past 2 months which will soon change now I am allowed to go back to the gym and kickstart my healthy eating for summer. But with this being said I haven't put on any weight, I've actually lost over a stone since having Charlie which I am pleased about but I have a whole long way to go before I'm finally happy with my figure. Although in saying that, will we ever be happy with what we've got? Probably not! It's not all about what's on the scales though, for me it's how I feel in my clothes. I want to be comfortable and happy to wear a t-shirt and jeans and not worry about my muffin top spilling over as I lift up the kids. I also want to be healthy enough to run about with them at the park and look after myself because I feel I owe it to them as their mummy to make sure I'm fit & well. Obviously I'd love a toned flat stomach and I'm sure if I work hard I could get there. There's got to be an element of life balance though and I'm afraid I just love dunking biscuits in my tea more than running on the treadmill...

BellyBandit Original :

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