Category Archives: Uncategorised

Wedding flowers trends 2016 from Bloomologie

Did you know that a third of all proposals and engagements happen at Christmas? And given that next month is a leap year (get ready girls!), I thought a post about this year’s hottest wedding flower trends, might be handy…

 

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IN – Relaxed, wild, garden-gathered bouquets

Over the past few years there has been a shift away from the very stiff, formal bouquet of all one or two types of flower, towards something freer and more loose. The roundy-moundy dome bouquet of roses is dead. Instead it’s about a wilder look, that feels more romantic and mixes up foliage, wild flowers, even foraged branches, with heritage tea roses and old fashioned blowsy blooms, such as dahlias, zinnia, chrysanthemums (the proper, old fashioned ones), and vintage dianthus. these are the kind of flowers that you can’t buy in Sainsbury’s – they’re truly special and deserving of a place in a one-of-a-kind bouquet.

OUT – structured, dome-y bouquets of all one flower.

assymetric bouquet bloomologie BFA

IN – wide and asymmetric hand-tied bouquets

I’m not talking about the traditional wired shower bouquet or tear-drop here, but about something that is much more idiosyncratic. The look is unstructured and wild, but each bloom has been very carefully placed to create a horizontal bouquet rather than a round one. Some flowers “break out” from the bulk of bouquet for a very natural look. Ferns, trailing stems and twisted branches add to the asymmetric style, which at first glance looks like it has been scooped together, but that has actually taken a great deal of styling (much like the “no make-up, make-up look that takes longer to do than ordinary make-up).

OUT – wired shower bouquets and round hand-ties.

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IN – trailing ribbons v garden twine

In keeping with the loose, relaxed bouquet style that is so on-trend, long, romantic trailing ribbons, often more than one type, even sequins, are very popular. Alternatively, stems wrapped in natural garden twine or subtle ribbon that is short, exposing the natural stem ends are also replacing the traditional satin ribbon ‘handle’ style that covered the stems completely.

OUT – satin ribbon covering the stems completely and fixed with diamante or pearl pins.

IN – blush, peaches and cream

White and ivory is on the wain, as warmer blush, peach, apricot and cream shades are on the rise. These antique colours combine really well with dark burgundy or bright oranges to create a painterly palette of shades and tones with more depth and texture than white. I expect to see more coffee shades, from latte to mocha, coming through this year, too.

OUT – white and ivory

shower bouquet bloomologie 5

IN – Violet and purple

Brides who do choose colour are REALLY going for colour, looking for sumptuous jewel tones that can hold their own against metallic or beaded gowns – especially for bridesmaids where darker dresses are increasingly popular. Dark, almost black tulips, peonies, dahlias, hellebores and scabious are on the rise, as well as white or ivory hellebores and anenomes with deep-purple to black centres. This can give a classic bouquet a cool, modern edge.

Out – sugar-y sweet pastels.

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IN – The clash

Riotous shades of orange, yellow, pink, blue and purple – all in one vase, crate or urn – collide to create a look that’s eclectic and vibrant, but as colourful as the garden at Great Dixter. Not one for the fearless, this look is fun, bold and playful, which more brides are going for.

OUT – “theme” colours for a wedding.

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IN – Food

Yup, mini pineapples, grapes, cabbages (as shown above), globe artichokes, pumpkins – increasingly floral arrangements are becoming more like an artist’s still life that mixes up fruit, vegetables and flowers.

 

IN – garlands, groups, and mix-and-match arrangements

The classic “centrepiece” is out, and increasingly it’s more about a collection of mini vases and tea lights, a long garland with candles and some satellite arrangements dotted through it, or a mix of long, low arrangements and taller, bold statements. Why? Well, for a start the types of tables are changing with more long tables becoming a trend, but also it feels less formal and more modern to have clusters of flowers rather than one focal point, repeated.

OUT – the traditional table centre.

 

IN – Foliage and trees

Flower walls undoubtedly look ‘wow’ but unless you have the budget of the Kardashians, they’re not for everyone. And, dare I say it, it feels too “done” for me, too tight and twee. Instead, I’m seeing lots more trees to make dramatic statements (and you can hire them for the day), especially inside churches, as well as flower curtains (strings of hanging flowers), and foliage walls and arches, that have impact and interest – adding texture as well as colour.

OUT – flower walls

 

IN – Metallics

Gold and silver sequinned tablecloths, copper and brass vases and urns, metal lanterns and mercury class tea light holders. Metallics are a huge interiors trend that are filtering through to weddings, both as a glam look and also for a more eclectic take on vintage.

OUT – jam jars and Mason Ball – yes I really said that!

I’d love to know your thoughts – what am I missing? What would you add or change? I’m all ears…

Find our more at www.bloomologie.co.uk

Hello Autumn

Gosh, where did the summer go?! Caught up in a whirlwind of seaside visits, festivals and camping weekends, I have neglected the blog for the past few weeks.

But now, both of my little ones are in school and nursery school (so grown-up!), it’s time to get back to the coal-face and start posting more regularly over autumn – my favourite season.

I hope you can join me…

 

Is this the future of housing?

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When Toyota launched its eco-friendly Prius car, Hollywood A-listers including Cameron Diaz and Leonardo DiCaprio clamoured to be seen driving the green machine.

Now developer FABRICA is hoping to set a similar pioneering trend in the homes market as they launch Elmsbrook this month, the first true large-scale zero-carbon residential development in the UK, on the outskirts of Bicester in Oxfordshire.

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Architects Farrells has a reputation for blazing a sustainability trail and their work on Elmsbrook has won it a global award for eco efficiency and sustainable living.

“With Elmsbrook, we are anticipating the future of house building. The technology that we are implementing might appear cutting edge today, but eventually this will become the norm and we anticipate that everyone will be living eco consciously,” explains Sir Terry Farrell, partner at Farrells.

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So while it may please you to learn that the 393 homes will be built with zero waste to landfill, developed with 30 per cent less carbon than a typical building and with sustainable materials, or that rainwater harvesting will reduce your water use, while solar roof panels and triple-glazing will make them super-energy efficient, the burning question is still: will you want to live there?

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What will probably sell the homes to most people – aside from the smaller bills and smug conscience – will be the idyllic countryside, on the edge of the Cotswolds, where Soho House is about to open a new outpost this month, and the Cornbury music festival will be on your doorstep.

The homes themselves will be sleek, modern and feature hotel style bathrooms, Siemens kitchens, ridiculously fast broadband (100mb per second), and an energy-tracking tablet in each home, that will tell you everything from how much energy you are using to when the next bus is due. Your garage will come with a green meadow roof.

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It doesn’t end with the houses – a new primary school, nursery, community hall, shops, cafes, business centre and even an eco-pub are all part of the plans.

As Rosie Nesbitt, group director sales and marketing at FABRICA comments: “While the eco-credentials inherent to Elmsbrook will appeal to eco-conscious purchasers – indeed, the electric car charging points will power a Prius – the houses have been designed to offer hassle-free, environmentally friendly homes for those who are simply looking for an attractive setting in which to purchase their first property, bring up a family or enjoy their retirement.”

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Perhaps the best part of the plan is what the developer isn’t doing: 40 per cent of the land will be left as green space – think communal orchard, allotments, and children’s play areas – with “wildlife” corridors running through the development.

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A neighbourhood with herb boxes on every street and an electric car club? We could certainly live with that.

Prices from £295,000, www.Elmsbrook.co.uk

Sweet peas – the scent of summer

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I LOVE sweet peas – they’re so fragrant and fragile and the abundant with blooms. They make a fabulous cut flower and add height to and colour to any garden. And, best of all, they are dead easy to grow!

I received this email today from Sarah Raven, who stocks some of the most lovely heritage sweet peas that look and smell like the summers of my childhood, and I wanted to share it as it’s a goof-proof guide to growing sweet peas.

Until Sunday, she is also offering 15% off sweet pea seedlings and growing kit, so grab some now, and you’ll be enjoying fragrant, garden-grown cut flowers by August!

 

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Bathe away

I love this shot from the latest H & M campaign – it taps into so many key trends right now, from the rough luxe walls to the rustic hewn wooden stool and the industrial style shelves.

And if that wasn’t enough it’s even got the dreamy beach-chic shower curtain (with a hazy photo filter) and vintage-inspired laundry basket. Get me to the high street now!

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Spring into summer

Isn’t the sunny weather uplifting? Time to do the same for your home with some spring blooms, grassy tones and fresh shades…

LSA chiffon vase in pistachio, Occa Home
LSA chiffon vase in pistachio, Occa Home
Hello Sunshine cushion, Tesco
Hello Sunshine cushion, Tesco
Zig-zag ochre throw, Next
Zig-zag ochre throw, Next
Birdhouse tea light holder in meadow green , George Home
Birdhouse tea light holder in meadow green , George Home
Better Life wood print, Next
Better Life wood print, Next
Meadow digital print daisy cushion, George Home
Meadow digital print daisy cushion, George Home
M and S Elegant pastel notebooks
Elegant pastel notebooks, Marks and Spencer
Newgate cookhouse clock in kettle green, Occa Home
Newgate cookhouse clock in kettle green, Occa Home
Wild flowers embroidered cushion, Sainsburys
Wild flowers embroidered cushion, Sainsburys
Miami occasional table in suplhur yellow, Tesco
Miami occasional table in sulphur yellow, Tesco

 

 

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Smallable interiors

I’ve just discovered the online children’s department store, Smallable, that scours the globe for gorgeous kids’ clothes, decor, furniture and toys – all with a design twist.

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Pictured here, from the new Spring/Summer 2015 collection, is the Moth hanging lamp (£68) and Klimoppe lamp (£133) from Studio Snowpuppe, Pineapple lamps (£64) from Goodnight Lamp, Watermelon stickers (£31) and Flamingo stickers (£31) by Love Mae.

en.smallable.com

Baby specialists from birth to the 1st birthday

You’ve read the books, done the antenatal classes and booked your birthing pool – but what about after the big day? Our essential guide to all postnatal specialists and experts will help you with everything from tackling tongue-tie to weaning with ease.

Parenting classes

It’s probably the toughest (and the most rewarding) job you’ll ever do, yet no one actually trains you to be a parent. Luckily there are classes and workshops out there to help prepare you, inspire you and fill you with confidence about the wonderful, exhausting and exhilarating adventure ahead.

Founded by Sarah Ockwell-Smith with the idea of creating calmer babies and happier parents, Baby Calm offers classes and workshops for new parents (including Michelle Heaton, Strictly’s Brendan Cole, and Ray Quinn). The Mother and Baby Class is a four-week course for new mums that covers colic, baby massage, feeding, fussiness and crying, sleep and parental confidence. Other short workshops include sleep, calming and weaning. Classes across the UK. www.Babycalm.co.uk

In London, Surrey and Sussex, The Parent Practice offers confidence-boosting classes on positive parenting, fostering independence in your children, how to be in charge without being over-controlling, and how to keep calm. www.Theparentpractice.com

After realising how many courses focus on preparing the birth but not beyond, BabyNatal started up the Practical Care workshop covering all the basics of baby care, safety, what to buy from buggies to reusable nappies, and how to calm your little one, that can be taken after or before birth. They also run dedicated classes for dealing with twins. And for those that didn’t take antenatal classes, the New Parents Group is a four-week course exploring sleeping, feeding, calming and anything else you need to know. Classes nationwide: 01780 479183, www.babynatal.co.uk.

The NCT Postnatal Early Days courses give you the chance to explore different approaches to parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other local mums and dads. You’ll gain parenting skills, feel confident about the decisions you make for your baby, and gain support and encouragement from others. 0300 330 0700, www.nct.org.uk

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Lactation consultants

Sore, cracked nipples, mastitis, thrush and trouble latching on – breastfeeding isn’t always as ‘natural’ or straightforward as you might like. Not all babies are born ‘naturals’ at feeding and mums have to learn how to feed too.

Seek out help and support – it will help you get feeding established and dispense any worries you might have about, how much, how often, and how long you should be feeding.

Your first port of call should be your midwife and your local health centre and health visitor – they will run weekly baby clinics where you can weigh your baby but also ask any feeding questions.

For something more social that also offers expert advice, try a Baby Café. There are Baby Café drop-in centres in most regions of the UK that are open to all pregnant and breastfeeding mums, and you can take your partner or mum along with you if you want, too. Run by midwives, health visitors and lactation consultants, most are open once a week and offer coffee tables, comfy sofas and play areas for accompanying toddlers and inquisitive crawlers. Locations range from children’s centres to church halls and community centres and they are great places to pick up tips and advice from experts and support and reassurance from other new mums. www.thebabycafe.org 

The Association of Breastfeeding Mothers (www.abm.me.uk, 0300 330 5453) also has a list of local breastfeeding support groups across the country.

If you’d rather look online, the La Leche League has stacks of free info and advice (www.laleche.org.uk), as does the National Childbirth Trust (www.nct.org.uk). Lastly, the website www.breastfeeding.co.uk also has a breastfeeding helpline 0300 100 0212.

If you’d like a private consultation with a lactation consultant – after all, not every new mum wants to practice breastfeeding at a semi-public Baby Café or in the rushed environs of an NHS baby clinic – then you can find one through the Lactation Consultants of Great Britain (www.lcgb.org), where NHS, private and voluntary consultants across the country are listed. Most will come to your own home to provide support and advice to help get feeding established.

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Cranial osteopaths

Often referred to as baby whisperers, cranial osteopaths are trained to feel very subtle, rhythmical shape changes in body tissues and to release stress and tension throughout the body and head in an extremely gentle way.

And while you might not think a baby could be stressed, the process of birth can both physically and mentally take its toll on babies’ bodies.

Sometimes the way that a baby is born might make it harder for that baby to turn its neck and feed well; their heads can get squished into odd shapes, especially if forceps or a ventouse are used; other babies may be traumatised by a very quick birth that causes them to be extra sensitive. Even problems like colic, trapped wind and sleeping difficulties can be soothed by the healing hands of these experts.

Visit www.cranial.co.uk to find out more about how cranial osteopaths can help babies and young children and to find a list of local cranial osteopaths.

The British Osteopathic Association (www.osteopathy.org) also has a directory of osteopaths – look for ones that specialise in infants and babies.

 

Best Tongue-tie treatments

At least one in ten babies are born with a tongue-tie, where the piece of skin that connects the underneath of the tongue to the base of the mouth is too tight, causing some babies problems with breastfeeding or to take in too much air when bottle feeding.

The sooner it is diagnosed the less discomfort you, and your baby, will suffer. Getting the tight skin un-tied is a quick, simple procedure, called a frenectomy. Most hospitals will want you to be referred by a midwife, health visitor or GP, which can take a week or two and some will only treat breastfed babies, while private clinics can see your baby and treat them instantly for between £100 and £200.

The Association of Tongue-tie Practitioners was set up last year to increase awareness about the condition and to support parents of babies with tongue-tie. Their website, www.Tongue-tie.org.uk, has a directory of private and NHS clinics that offer tongue-tie division.

Dr Peter Reynolds is a Neonatal Consultant at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals in Surrey who specialises in tongue-tie (01932 722678). Babies can be referred by a health professional, or you can also see him privately by contacting his PA on 01932 723499. His own website www.tonguetie.co.uk is a mine of information on the subject and can help you to decide whether your baby has the symptoms associated with tongue-tie.

Marion Copeland and Kate Battersby are Infant Feeding Specialist Midwives and lactation consultants at Southmead Hospital in Bristol (0117 323 3527), who accept NHS referrals for breastfeeding babies up to 12 weeks old. They will also see clients privately.

Mr Shailesh Patel, a Consultant Paediatric Surgeon at Kings College Hospital, Camberwell, London (020 3299 3350) now runs three clinics a week due to demand, referral is for breastfed babies only, through your health visitor, GP or midwife. Meanwhile St Georges Hospital in Tooting, London, has a rapid-access tongue-tie clinic every Monday – contact Catherine Milroy, Consultant Plastic Surgeon (020 8725 0007).

In Manchester, Mr Patrick Sheehan, Consultant Paediatric ENT Surgeon sees breastfed and bottle-fed babies with no age limit at the New Royal Manchester General Hospital and Manchester General Hospital Children’s Unit (0161 701 5039). Parents can go through their local healthcare provider or they also ask for a private patient appointment.

You can learn more about the condition and find a full list NHS tongue-tie division providers at www.nhs.uk/conditions/tongue-tie

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Baby massage and yoga

Helping with bonding, relaxation and better sleep, improving digestion and colic, and relieving pain from teething, baby massage is good for babies and for mums, while baby yoga moves can also calm and reduce colic.

In London and Wiltshire, the girls behind the Calm Birth Calm Baby collective offer a range of baby massage courses from mums who are registered with the Association of Infant Massage. 07949 764105, www.calmbirthcalmbaby.com.

You can also find baby massage classes in your local area on the International Association of Infant Massage’s own website: iaimbabymassage.co.uk (020 8989 9597).

Hands On Babies are baby massage and baby yoga courses accredited by the Royal College of Midwives – find a class in your area on their website. 0845 017 6029, www.handsonbabies.co.uk.

YogaBellies offers baby yoga and baby massage courses in Glasgow, Northern Ireland and London. www.yogabaellies.co.uk

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Baby sleep experts

Oh, what you’d do for a full night’s sleep right now? But should you try controlled crying, the pick up/put down method, gradual retreat, patting and shushing, the 90-minute rule or the no cry sleep solution?

The options are baffling and many tired parents give in to try and get at least a few hours of rest. If you’re at the end of your tether, there are experts out there who can help you to start a routine and get your baby through the night, while you get some well-earned kip.

The Sleep Nanny, based in Bath (though she will travel up to 100 miles or more to see clients), has helped everyone from celebrities to GPs and can offer phone or home consultations to help advise you on how to get your little ones through the night from £60. For closer to £1300 she will come and stay with you for two nights to establish a routine and advise you at home. It may be the price of a holiday, but she promises lasting results within a week – priceless. 0844 357 9913, www.sleepnannies.co.uk.

In London, Chris the Nanny, Chris Wandrag and Vanessa Crane, offer similar sleep training for babies and twins. A consultation and two nights assisting parents in sleep training their child costs £500 (twins £600), while night nannying – where you get to sleep through or go out for the night and leave all the baby stuff to them – costs £140 a night from 9pm to 7am. 020 8444 6316, www.christhenanny.com.

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In the Manchester and Cheshire area, qualified paediatric nurse, health visitor and baby sleep expert with 20 years experience, Dawn Kelly has helped babies from four months old to children of 12 to get through their sleeping problems. Her consultations start from £180 and are tailored to your family’s needs and lifestyle – which means there’ll be no controlled crying if that’s not what you believe in. 07957 357324, www.sleepthroughdawn.co.uk.

For a tailored consultation and sleep programme to help train your baby or toddler (or older child) to sleep through the night, Millpond can help. They have seen everything from children that still wake to feed at night or that need rocking to sleep to those who will only sleep with a parent in bed or who struggle to go to bed on their own. Packages start from £75 and include free email support for the duration of the programme. 020 8444 0040, www.mill-pond.co.uk.

Lastly, if you have the budget, you could consider a night nanny to come and stay with you to deal with night waking and night feeds for as long as it takes. Night Nannies is the UK’s leading overnight maternity nanny service, ensuring you get a good night’s rest and your baby gets expert care and is gently trained to sleep better. 020 7731 6168, www.nightnannies.com.

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Weaning

When, how often and how much… starting solids can be a daunting prospect. But there are experts out there to make it easier.

The NCT Introducing Solids course covers when to start weaning, purees and baby-led weaning, allergies and foods to avoid, as well as what to do about milk feeds. 0300 330 0700, www.nct.org.uk 

Combining cookery classes and weaning advice, Yummy Baby Group offers three different classes, in which you’ll prepare and cook meals for your little one, get all the advice you need, and come away with recipes and menu plans. Courses cover Stage 1 Weaning, Stage 2 Weaning, and Baby-led Weaning. In Berkshire, Surrey, London and the South East: 07872 030206, www.yummybabygroup.co.uk

Want to know more about baby-led weaning? The Baby Calm Baby-led Weaning workshop will give you the lowdown on the science behind it, ideas and options for foods when you’re at home and out and about, and how to make weaning as easy as possible. Across the UK: www.babycalm.co.uk

For a crash course in all things food-related, from equipment needed to vegetarian weaning, Parentskool in Brighton, Lewes and Haywards Heath, this one-day course comes with free online help for a month afterwards. 01273 620401, www.parentskool.co.uk.

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The Baby Blues and PND

One in ten mums suffer from PND. While a degree of the baby blues and feeling tearful after birth is normal, a prolonged sense (more than two weeks) of feeling low, not wanting to go out, having a lack of interest or enjoyment in your baby, or feeling unable to cope and without motivation to do anything, could be signs of postnatal depression.

Talk to your GP or health visitor, they can help. Treatment can range from counselling, to anti-depressants, to Cognitive behavioural Therapy, but for many mums, just being able to tell someone can help to ease the burden.

The Association for Post Natal Illness is another good place to start if you want more information: 020 7386 0868, www.apni.org.

The National Childbirth Trust also has a postnatal helpline: 0300 330 0773.

To read about other real mum’s stories and share and seek support from other mums who have been through it, www.pni.org.uk is a must-visit site, set up by women who are current and past sufferers of PND. They are also on Facebook and Twitter.

ALISON TYLER

 This article appeared in Gurgle magazine.