Beyond the Looking Glass

Yesterday, I took the train to London to attend a photo shoot that is to accompany a forthcoming feature in SHE magazine. I am being featured along with @Baby_Genie, @mummytips and Emily from MyWardrobe.com in an article about the impact online social networking has on women’s lives today.

I responded to a request for women who deem themselves spending ‘too long’ online each day. This immediately struck a chord with me so I whizzed off an email and forgot all about it. To my surprise, I received a call from the journalist a few days later asking for an interview – eek!

The interview left me feeling a little like I was about to invite the women of the UK into my front room every night. By detailing how I spend my evenings networking with friends online, tweeting and reading blogs whilst at the same time eating my dinner, I felt I was divulging a dirty secret of some kind. It took some reflection before I acknowledged that the time I spend online is not only something I enjoy but an investment in my future. More than that, my family’s future. I conduct my business online and as such, time needs to be spent building relationships with suppliers, customers and perhaps most importantly, supporters of my vision.

So with the interview in the bag, I arrived at Liverpool Street to be met by my car (no tubing for me today!) which whisked me through the endless streets filled with Pret and Starbucks to Studio 33 behind Carnaby Street. Entering reception via the giant revolving door, it was immediately apparent this was poles apart from my ‘real’ job of a primary school teacher. Couriers were arriving armed with bags strewn with designers I’d only ever read about and the receptionist was multi-tasking like nobodies business.

Once I arrived on the set, I was introduced to the makeup artist, stylist, photographer and other such titles. I was sifting through rails and rails of beautiful clothes and a pile was thrust into my arms to try on.

I had warned the stylist that trousers/jeans and I are not the best of friends. Imagine my delight when I slipped into an incredible pair of Ted Baker white skinny jeans that instantly fit me? Not only did they fit but they felt amazing and made my legs seem extremely long which is always a good thing in my book. A beautiful silk kimono style blouse by Jaegar later and I was all set for hair and makeup.

Catherine (@Baby_Genie) and I in hair and makeup

Sian (@mummytips) and Catherine having the finishing touches carried out


Now, this is where I should explain… I have big issues with my hair, always have and always will. It’s curly you see, and well, it needs a LOT of taming. I was not overly happy with the end result they presented to me in the mirror but since the other three girls were done in the time it had taken to get me to this point, I figured I’d best go with it lest I be forever tweeted as a diva 😉

I felt like I was standing forever up there on the set but I felt great in my outfit and enjoyed every second of the limelight shhh! Being directed


The standing shot

The seated shot

I had great fun yesterday and particularly enjoyed meeting the other girls. You should check them all out on twitter as they’re all up to incredible things. If you’re keen to see how much of a nerd they make me out to be and what the edited shots look like the feature will be in the July issue of SHE magazine – eeeeek!
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May 18, 2010. clothes, Glam, Hair, makeup, SHE, Twitter. 6 comments.

Venetian Whirl

We have just returned from what we had expected to be a ‘break’ in the beautiful city of Venice. Now, as we all know Venice is famed for its canals and so getting around with a baby/toddler in tow was never a match made in heaven right? Oh, so wrong!

It would seem that the baby is Pariah in Italy and we were simply her entourage; the facilitators in escorting her on a tour of the city and greetings with fans.

Upon our arrival, the red carpet was rolled out and as soon as Ellen was spotted we were ushered to the front of the queues to get through the airport and on with her royal visit. Of course, since she is of such importance, it was only right that she was transported via a wheeled chariot. Thus came our first stumbling block. As stated before, Venice has canals. Lots of canals. Over the canals are bridges. The bridges have steps. LOTS of steps. Wheeled chariot was promptly ditched in favour of organic fabric carrying device and peace was once more restored among the dignity’s escorts.


Being carried over the Rialto Bridge

Ellen glided happily above the crowds waving at her onlookers, smiling as people took her photo (yes, really) and giving smug looks to other small beings whose entourages persisted with their attempts to wheel their precious cargo in their chariots. Our girl was high on celebrity status and revelling in it. It seemed that being carried was much more acceptable to her as well as us as it gave her direct access to the male member of her entourages sunglasses which she removed from his face at her will and placed upon her own. She found that with a simple wave of her hand she was off in her preferred direction and when travelling via vaporetto, she had a most acceptable vantage point. On the occasions when she had travelled in the wheeled chariot on the vaporetto, her fans were unable to spot her as she was beneath their eye level and this was entirely unsatisfactory.


Ellen donning the male hired helps shades to
amuse the passersby in St Mark’s Square.

On reflection, I feel I can confidently say as one part of the hired help we did a great job of accompanying the one year old (her birthday was on Tuesday) on her city break. For future visits, I would probably insist on the chariot being brought as it allowed a place for Ellen to sleep in the evening once her public appearances had worn her out. This allowed us as her assistants to eat, drink chianti and unwind. I would strongly advise anyone due to accompany a similar trip to invest in their own fabric carrying device as without it I have a funny feeling that our time in Venice would have been confined to very carefully chosen, non bridge based areas.

May 12, 2010. baby sling, Boba, Ellen, Venice. Leave a comment.

In the Spirit of Voting…

I classify as what they’re referring to as a ‘floating voter’.

I’m frantically googling tonight to try and find something, just one little frag of something that tells me which box to X tomorrow. So far… nothing.

As a primary educator, first time mum and businesswoman, I’m looking for quite a lot from our leaders. Is this wrong? I don’t think so. Why shouldn’t I have high expectations of the leaders of our country? Why shouldn’t I be expecting support where I need it and the ability to have choices ahead of me rather than enforced decisions made on my behalf? I want my daughter to grow up in a world where women make informed decisions and live fulfilling, yet balanced lives.

So if any of you out there in the ether know something I don’t, please enlighten me. I sat my way through leaders debate after leaders debate and swung from being firmly in one camp to be being in the middle of somewhere that looks like nowhere.

I think this calls for a spreadsheet…

A much easier decision (but still no simple choice!) needing your vote is the fantastic face of SnugBaby contest. It might be too late to enter but it’s not too late to vote for your favourite to go through to the final judging panel. Check out the gallery and click the heart of the pair you’d like to see as the new face of SnugBaby.

http://www.snugbaby.co.uk/newface/gallery/

SnugBaby is a UK made and BSEN tested Mei Tai sling. It comes in a
range of fantastic colourways and fabrics with the added bonus of being double sided (to keep the men in your life happy 😉 ). The straps are very comfortable and provide even weight distribution when carrying in the wide variety of positions it offers. The unique thing that SnugBaby offers over other Mei tai’s is the seat base that can be narrowed to fit the size of your baby. With limited editions and a brand new organic style just out (which also happens to be the UK’s first BSEN tested organic fabric Mei Tai), you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice.

Drop by Petit Poppet’s SnugBaby page to browse our styles or contact us to arrange a trial.

I imagine that both voting for the Face of SnugBaby or choosing your favourite design are easier tasks than the voting options for tomorrow leave us with.

May 5, 2010. Election, Face of SnugBaby, Petit Poppet, SnugBaby, Vote. 1 comment.

Blethering on

As you probably have the gist by now if you’re an avid Petit Poppet blog reader, I have a lot to say about slings. It seemed only sensible therefore that I find my own space on t’Interweb to blether on to my hearts desire. This week I have been mostly loving the new forum created by PP at www.slingtalk.co.uk

I am often contacted by customers who ask if I sell second hand slings. They want to be able to pass on their well loved, faithful slings and help fund new lovelies. I also get asked many similar questions so it seemed sensible to combine the two elements and create a forum where people can sell, review, ask for advice and generally chat about all things sling.

I’m a sucker for a good forum and this just gives me license to indulge my addictions in their entirety 🙂

Come join us, we’re nice.

May 4, 2010. advice, forum, slingtalk. 1 comment.

Boba Love

I actually can’t believe that I have fallen so hard. I am entirely, absolutely and without reserve, head over heels for the new Boba 2G toddler carrier.

Just released this week and with limited UK suppliers, Petit Poppet have almost entirely sold out of the first order of the Boba 2G. When presented with the selling points, it is easy to be sceptical about yet another soft structured carrier but the proof is in the pudding so to speak.

This afternoon, armed with an exhausted nearly 1 year old (next week eeek!), I pulled out the Boba I had been eyeing up and put Ellen in a front carry. I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only was it a great fit for both of us, but that it was really comfortable and supportive. Cleverly, the webbing at the shoulders is adjustable each side meaning that you simply pull in the direction that is easiest when in either a back or front carry. This is the first SSC I have seen that has adopted this simple but genius idea.

The finish is superb, it has piping around the bottom which gives it a great quality feel and the hood tucks away as a head/neck support when not in use with two little elastic loops. The organic fabric is lovely and soft and the shoulder straps are well padded. It barely registers on the shoulders in a front carry.


One of my agents was keen to get her hands on a Boba as soon as they touched our shores and here is what she had to say about it:

“Synopsis – It’s bloody brilliant!

The Boba is a fabulous, well made, well thought out toddler carrier. Every detail has been thought about and I really can’t fault it! Even the instruction booklet is brilliant, really easy, clear instructions to follow!

The waist is a padded, one piece waist although it has stitching to allow it to curve comfortably around the waist. The straps are super padded and cleverly curved which means they don’t impede arm movement at all or press on the wrong place on your shoulders. The really brilliant thing is that the shoulder straps are doubly adjustable, where the webbing meets the carrier and where the webbing meets the strap padding, This means you don’t have to pull it in awkward directions to tighten it either in a front or back carry which I find difficult in the Beco and Connecta. At the end of each strap is an elastic loop which allows you to roll the excess webbing up out of the way which looks a bit neater.

The detachable hood is fab and rolls up when not in use to form a neck support, it is fixed in place with little elastic loops which disappear when not in use.

The chest belt is fully adjustable and slides easily up and down the shoulder straps.

The body of the carrier has seat darts which means it’s shaped rather than flat and helps the child sit lower in the carrier and makes for a more comfortable ride. The foot straps work really well, and kept my three year old’s feet in the right place and meant her legs were fully supported and not dangling at all. I have the Willow design which has a gorgeous circular pattern all over the green panel which was a nice surprise as that doesn’t show up in the photo at all.”

So, in summary? We at PP HQ are in Boba Love!

Buy yours at Petit Poppet and 5% of your purchase price is donated to SANDS.

May 1, 2010. baby carrier, baby sling, Boba 2G, organic, Petit Poppet, Slings, toddler carrier. 3 comments.

A Word From Jo…


I had a very productive and exciting telephone call with Jo Cameron today.

Jo first burst onto our screens in The Apprentice in 2006. Since then, she has gone on to become a hugely successful businesswoman and runs the wonderful Women on their Way (www.womenontheirway.co.uk) which supports and encourages women to fulfil their potential. Jo is a patron of SANDS (Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Society UK). Sadly, she lost her first daughter Emmeline after she was born prematurely at 24 weeks. Since then, Jo has made it her mission to raise as much money and awareness for babyloss and the charities associated.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to talk to Jo on the telephone today. As I explained the journey that led me to Petit Poppet (www.petitpoppet.co.uk) she was thrilled to hear how the tiny idea of loaning one sling out for SANDS donations had turned into a full scale business/fundraising project in such a short amount of time. It was great telling her the story and hearing her ideas about how she can support me with it in the future.

So thank you Jo, you were a pleasure to talk to and it was lovely to share the excitement I have for what I’m doing with someone who understands what it means to me.

You can read what Jo had to say about Petit Poppet and her thoughts on babywearing at www.petitpoppet.co.uk/awordfromjo

I love reading your comments, so please tell me what your thoughts are too!

April 28, 2010. attachment parenting, babyloss, babywearing, Jo Cameron, Petit Poppet, SANDS. Leave a comment.

Cheeky Chops in Polka Dots


Cheeky Chops in Polka Dots
Originally uploaded by Pina Colada PAD

Not my proudest pic but all the same I adore the expression on my girls face here as she was enjoying foraging in the grass for ladybirds!

I wanted a shot of her in her gorgeous little clip from Poppy Sparkles. I ordered these a few weeks ago and they arrived so fast in gorgeous packaing and I was so pleased with them.

Best of all? They stay in her hair! I need them in every colour and style!

You can see the range of goodies and pretties for yourself at www.poppysparkles.co.uk I bet you can’t leave empty handed.

April 25, 2010. Baby, Ellen, Girl, Hair clip, polka dots, Poppy Sparkles. 1 comment.

Chain of Daisies

Have been cruising the Folksy shop for my lovely contact Caroline at Chain of Daisies for quite some time and just been entirely unable to choose one thing to start my collection. Finally last week I decided on a bracelet but spotted some groegously coloured purple iris bead on a different item. I emailed Caroline who promptly offered to make one for me and post pictures to which I agreed. Lo and behold, less than 3 hous later, here was my bracelet!


I love it so much and when the package arrived I was so excited to see it in real life. If anything it was even prettier than it looked in the pics! I have been wearing it all week and had so many lovely compliments on it.

You can get yourself into my predicament of not knowing how to choose by visting her Folksy shop here – Chain of Daisies

Be warned though, it’ll take you hours to choose!

April 24, 2010. bracelet, Carolinabena, Chain of Daisies, jewellery, pretties, swallow. Leave a comment.

£1002.40

That’s the amount raised for SANDS at this moment in time and I’m flippidy doo dah excited about it!

A big thank you needs to go to all Petit Poppet customers who have loaned or bought slings, people who have donated to the site and suppliers who have supported in all manner of ways to make this possible. THANK YOU.

So, you’re all here because you want to know who won the prize draw so I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. The winner of the fantastic array of prizes is:

Nicky McCue!

Congratulations Nicky! You have won all these generously donated prizes:

*A fabulous Snoozeshade – The UK’s first (and only!) buggy blackout blind!

*A babysigning book from http://www.babysigningmummy.com

*A set of handmade hairclips from Poppy Sparkles – http://folksy.com/shops/PoppySparkles

*A studio photoshoot and a 20″x16″ box framed photograph from Jo Belfield Photography in Cheshire – http://www.jobelfield.blogspot.com

*A personalised Nursing bracelet & necklace set from Booby & the Bead

*A Sleepytot baby comforter from http://www.babyduckshop.co.uk

What a fantastic haul!

So… watch this space for the next prize draw when we’ll be celebrating another big landmark moment at http://www.petitpoppet.co.uk

April 18, 2010. £1000, baby carrier, baby sling, Nicky McCue, Prize draw, SANDS, winner. 4 comments.

Hitting the Big Time

I can barely sit still I’m so excited and at the same time feeling all emotional. Petit Poppet has raised very nearly £1000 for SANDS (Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Society UK) in just the 7 months it has been up and running which I never dreamt would be the case so quickly. Not only is the amount of money staggering (to me) but the fact that so many people now know about SANDS who never did before.

To celebrate this amazing milestone, lots of fantastic business mum’s are donating prizes which will be given away to one lucky customer once the SANDS total hits the 4 digit big time!

Between now and the limit being passed, every customer who either tries or buys a sling will be entered into the draw. The draw will take place by random selection once the barrier has been broken and the winner announced here.

Prizes so far include:

*A fabulous Snoozeshade – The UK’s first (and only!) buggy blackout blind!

*A babysigning book from http://www.babysigningmummy.com

*A set of handmade hairclips from Poppy Sparkles – http://folksy.com/shops/PoppySparkles

*A studio photoshoot and a 20″x16″ box framed photograph from Jo Belfield Photography in Cheshire – http://www.jobelfield.blogspot.com

*A personalised Nursing bracelet & necklace set from Booby & the Bead

*A Sleepytot baby comforter from http://www.babyduckshop.co.uk

Thank you to all the lovely ladies for being so generous with their donations!

There are more donations to be made following todays transactions so this prize draw isn’t going to hang around for long! For your chance to be entered, head to http://www.petitpoppet.co.uk and arrange to try the sling of your choice or buy today!

I’ll leave you with a photo to brighten up my post. Went to the garden centre today and found this furry flower. feels like we have a new pet 🙂

April 11, 2010. £1000, baby carrier, baby sling, Petit Poppet, Prize draw, SANDS, Slings. 2 comments.

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