The summer of love-chelsea in bloom

This week I popped along to Chelsea to see the floral displays around Sloane Square. I’m not really a horticulturist and have no idea what many of the flowers were-other than very pretty…(and the obvious like roses and peonies-of which there were many!)

The theme was ‘Summer of Love’ and this reflected in some of the displays, whilst some were arches of flora as you walked into the shop…as if Jimmy Choo needs to be made any more tempting.

And as I just about know my rose from my rhododendron, (I didn’t actually know what a rhododendron was until I googled it, but now I do thanks to the need to alliterate) I haven’t got a huge amount of commentary…other than it was a very pretty afternoon, pretending to be an extra from Made in Chelsea.

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Little Button


A few months ago I received a message on Instagram which sort of stopped me in my tracks-an offer to work with me to create something to help fundraise for Tommy’s in Gabriel’s memory.

I was taken aback. The kindness of someone who I had never met, someone who had read part of my story and had been touched by it to extend a hand of kindness to help keep the memory of my little boy was something which means so much to me.

Over the last few months, as Rebecca (over at Proper Post) and I have planned the design and creation of Gabriel’s Little Button and gift cards, she has become a friend. We talk nearly every day about one thing or another and have spent months making sure that Gabriel’s pin is perfect. I would never have been able to create our little pin by myself; Rebecca is full of knowledge about so many things and has been a support to me in so many ways. She is an amazing lady and her kindness is something which will always stay with me.

Not only does Rebecca have a heart of gold, she is soooo practical, she gets shit done! I admire her so much, she seems to always have a new project on the go and keeps all her plates spinning-whilst I just about am able to keep up with the dirty dishes in my sink. So when she offered to help me with #GabrielsGift and dedicate so much of her time to sorting all the logistics of turning my design into something tangible, I couldn’t thank her enough. (I think I probably punctuated most messages with ‘Thank you’-words just didn’t seem to say how much I appreciate everything she was doing.)

I knew almost straight away that the design for Gabriel’s pin would be something to do with a button. One of the first things I noticed about my little boy was his perfect little nose. It was as cute as a button, the true definition of a button nose.

A button also keeps things close and would be a reminder that my little boy is always close, he is always there, as well as a reminder that, like a button, I will be able to keep things together. I hoped that it could also offer the same sentiments to anyone else who might need it.

I started planning some designs and sent the design which I would like to use over to Rebecca. With the help of Nutmeg and Alro, the design was finalised and sent off to be made.

The first design

I then set about creating the backing card for the little pin, using doodles which I often use to fill many of the doodles I create over at Doodle Pop!

Doodle Pop! has been something which has brought me a lot of strength and comfort over the last few months. Having a creative outlet to focus on when things have been difficult has helped me. I have been able to fundraise for different charities and am slowly working towards getting Little Lockets off the ground. To know that every doodle I create helps to support someone else (whether that is a donation to a charity or something which helps to remember a special baby, time or occasions) and all in memory of Gabriel, is such a special thing for me.

When I set about creating the backing card, I wanted to use something which linked to all the doodles which I have created over the last few months.

The design for the backing card went through a few stages before I got it right-Rebecca was very patient with me and spent so long ensuring that it was just right.


And after a bit of tweaking and some Illustrator magic, the final backing card design was sent off to be made.

Early last month, everything came together, the pins arrived the backing cards were ready and Rebecca and her beautiful family pinned each button to it’s card, ready to send me some before it was almost time to launch them on Instagram.

The night before we launched, Rebecca and I were messaging, full of excitement and nerves-hoping that they would be a success and as much money for Tommy’s Baby Charity could be raised and the 100 pins we had made would make their way around the country, helping to keep the memory of my little boy alive.

I couldn’t have imagined the success!

All morning my phone was ‘dinging’ as more orders came in; amazing women on Instagram shared them on their stories and the number of sales just kept going up. By the end of the day, Rebecca and I had to change our listings to pre orders as we just didn’t have enough to fulfil the number of requests for Gabriel’s little pin. By the end of the day, and the realisation of just what had happened became quite overwhelming.

I received so many messages of support throughout the day, messages to say their pins would be worn proudly and my little Gabriel would be thought of. As I wrote the addresses on the envelopes it was incredible to think that they would be travelling all over the country and one overseas to Germany; my little boy’s memory was continuing to grow and whilst his story is never how I imagined or hoped it would be, he does have such an amazing story. One where he touches lives, is thought of by people all over the world and because of him amazing charities are able to offer support to others.

Since the launch of Gabriel’s Little Buttons on April 20th, we have gone on to have twice as many more pins made; it’s incredible to think that hundreds of his pins will be worn around the country and possibly from those pins conversations about my Button will be had. His name will be spoken and slowly the silence which still exists around pregnancy and baby loss will be broken.

I am so incredibly proud of my Gabriel, I am so proud to be the mummy to such a special little boy who is making things happen to help others. From his hundreds of pins, hundreds of pounds have been raised for Tommy’s. This fills my heart with so much pride.

To know that from the kindness of others for my little boy, his memory will live on is incredible and something I never imagined might happen when I first posted about Gabriel’s birth on Instagram.

I can’t wait to see more photos of his Little Button pins pop up as more pins are sent out over the next month-each one makes me smile and is a small part of Gabriel’s story, his gift to others.


Preorders of Gabriel’s Little Button can be made here.



Project home: Dining room

A few months ago I put an offer in on a house. It was the first house I’d viewed in a long time (my previous house viewing experiences haven’t been great; one involved just poking my head round the corner of one of the bedroom doors as there was someone asleep in the bed!)

Some may say it was a bit hasty to make an offer on the first property I viewed but over the years I have looked at many online and gone to visit a fair few. I had a checklist of things I wanted from a house and this one ticked them all, and some. I could have either spent another few months looking at more houses and not finding what I wanted, or make an offer on a house with everything I wanted…so I did. Eeeek!

The offer was accepted and now I’m at the stage of solicitors doing their searches. I’m not entirely sure what they are searching for but I hope they find it soon as I am desperate to get in there and start making it our home.

Every room needs something doing to it…it is a bit of a project-maybe more than a bit– but it’s nothing I can’t find inspiration from Pinterest for, and then my builder make happen. I’m also planning on doing some of the work myself but nothing which involves heavy machinery or could go disastrously wrong. I hope.

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it all #ads up

In the last few weeks there has been quite a bit circulating about ads on Instagram, from the extremes of the Mum’s Net lynch mob to post, blogs and live stories about how to make it work for you.

The way I see it, I wouldn’t browse the magazine aisle and pick up a fishing magazine. I have no interest in that. However, put a copy of Style at Home in front of me and I may well be tempted and as I flicked through it I would expect to see adverts for different products. Just because they are in there, doesn’t mean I would feel as though I needed to buy them; but if a lamp, rug, basket (love a basket) caught my eye and I wanted to buy it, then maybe I would. I see Instagram ads in pretty much the same way; I follow accounts I have an interest in, whether that’s because I love their stories, they help to reassure me that I am not the only one battling a threenager, or maybe they have amazing homes and they offer some inspiration. If they happen to post an ad for something maybe I will like it and buy it, maybe I’ll just scroll by.

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This week several things have happened which have prompted this post. Early this week, I received a message on Instagram- tragically a lady’s friend had lost her precious little babies in the second trimester. In her message she asked me how she could help her friend.

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live well with less

Today was the first time I cried in public, to a complete stranger. And what brought it on? Coffee!

Yesterday I was in Sainsbury’s and I walked passed the baby aisle and was overcome with sadness. My eyes welled up, my heart raced and I couldn’t get out of there quickly enough. So quick that I picked up the wrong coffee for the coffee machine and it wasn’t until I got home, opened the box and saw the pods that I realised what I had done.

Today I went to return them and exchange them for the correct ones and the man on the customer services desk said he couldn’t take them back because they were opened. Well, that was all it took.

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How to: Wooden Playgym


**I wrote this post on my Blogger account when I was pregnant with Gabriel; I was going to edit it but I like that it is a little part of my pregnancy with him so have left it as it was. This was such an easy thing to make-if I can make it (someone who once flooded the kitchen whilst trying to ‘fix’ the washing machine or put water based grout on a water damaged worktop hoping it might solve the problem by having tiles on it, don’t ask-I thought it was a good idea at the time) then anyone can do it. I still have Gabriel’s play gym , I’m not sure what I’ll use it for but it’s something I will keep and find a home for when we move into our new house in the near future. I thought I’d share it here so if any of you lovely lot wanted to make one, it’s here for you to read and it’s also part of my little one’s story so why not have it here too.**


A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the things which I needed to get to be prepared for the arrival of my little one. I really do not want to go crazy and buy lots of things which I know will be used for a fleeting moment, if at all, and then put in a cupboard.

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Insta-nt love!

I’ve been on Instagram for quite a few year, sharing little square of things which make me happy, crafty makes, corners of my home, the odd cocktail shot when I have a night out and of course my little ones (and every now and again a picture of my big son when he doesn’t know I’ve snapped it).

For a long time I just used it as a place to keep memories all together and every now and again I would scroll through my own profile and smile at different pictures which evoked memories of happy times. (I’m not sure if you are meant to admit to stalking your own Instagram profile, but I’ve put it out there!)

More recently, I have discovered another side of the little app-one which has totally overwhelmed me on occasions, and on many occasions has brought tears to my eyes and given me comfort and strength. And most of the time, from people who I have never met and maybe never will.

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Using the ‘D word’


As an adult, the connotations of death are real. You understand the enormity of it, not being able to see, hear, touch or talk to a loved one again.  Ahead of you is potentially a long time with a large hole in it. The grief is overwhelming, the questions are endless and there are so many ‘what ifs’.

Because I understand death as it is, I was so apprehensive of telling Poppy that Gabriel had died. Would she understand? Would she be upset? Would she be scared? How would she react? And how on earth do I even begin that conversation? There were so many questions and I wasn’t sure that I was prepared for the possible outcomes. I knew that at some point I would need to tell her that her brother had died, he couldn’t be in ‘the special place for babies whose hearts didn’t work’ forever and perhaps by using the term dead, this could help her understand that her baby wouldn’t be coming home. Although she wouldn’t really know what death was anyway-so would it really help? The questions were impossible and I found myself being very mindful of the language I used around Poppy when talking with other people. I didn’t want her to overhear something or just hear part of a conversation and try to make some sense of it by herself.

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Yesterday I mentioned on my Instagram stories about the fact that whenever I post a picture of Gabriel on my page, I know I will lose followers. This doesn’t bother me in the slightest, my account isn’t about the number of people who follow me, it never has been. It is a place to share parts of my life and have done since about 2011. I also enjoy taking pretty pictures, writing the odd funny (at least I think they are funny) hashtag or caption and it has now become a place where I have connected to a number of women who have been a massive support in a time when I welcome all the propping up.

Along with being supported by the love of many people who are women I have never met, I have also been contacted by a number of women who have tragically found themselves in the same situation-on a path of disbelief, loss, pain and grief. As I have mentioned before, when I was in hospital with Gabriel, I contacted Elle because I needed to know from someone who had walked this path already that I would one day smile again and I wouldn’t always feel as though the only feeling I would ever feel would be complete heartache. I’m not sure if Elle will ever really know how much her blog helped me at that time, and still does; how much comfort I found from the words of another person who could imagine my pain because she had, and does suffer it. But she also is so positive, so full of hope and compassion for others.

I could understand the need to share stories of loss, of the heartache and the journey back to accepting that the world does not stop and somehow you have to find a way to re-navigate onto a path where you can again find happiness and a new normality. Not only do I want to make sure that my little boy is always part of my life, that he is always spoken about, his pictures are always present on my Instagram, his little life is treasured and the impact that he has had is felt, I also feel so strongly that stories of pregnancy loss are not swept under the carpet and never spoken about just incase it might offend someone.

I have been contacted by so many women who have lost children years ago and had to suffer the loss by themselves; they never shared the photos of their precious babies because people found it offensive or something that should not be spoken about. I can’t imagine not sharing my son with others, I love him so much, I love his little button nose and every lock of his dark hair. Why on earth would I not share him? Why wouldn’t I want his name to be spoken about and for people to know that he was here, he was a person and he is loved.  I am proud of him, I am proud of my body for creating the most beautiful little boy-I am not ashamed, I am not going to hide him because there are still some people who find the topic of pregnancy loss and still birth uncomfortable. It happens and sadly it happens so much more than I ever knew.

There are so many women who have to face delivering a baby they know they will never be able to take home and every moment they get to spend with them will be the only and most precious. They then have to face a journey which is unimaginable and lonely. If I, in some way, can help to make that journey a little easier in some way, then why wouldn’t I. Whether it is message on Instagram where the mum just rambles because there really is no clear thought path-I too have done the same to others; if it is a message to seek some comfort as they sit in their hospital room, to know that they will one day be able to function in some way other than blurry eyed and feeling as though all is lost; if it is to vent about the injustice of it, or just to know that it is perfectly ok to speak about the loss of their little one, to feel and share the pain-if they decide to-because that is their story and sadly not every pregnancy story ends with a photo of the dad carrying the car seat out the hospital.

If it wasn’t for the women who I reached out to on social media, amazing women who I could find some comfort in during some of the darkest moments, I know I would have felt even more alone in my grief-that I was the only one and that it would never end.

But because there are stories out there to be read and shared, I wasn’t alone and I was able to offload some of my pain to someone who I could also look at as some time further down the line and see that they had found the strength to carry on, they didn’t look like the puffy eyed, greasy haired mess that I was. It helped me. It gave me strength. I needed to read them.

So if my story offends a thousand people and helps just one then I am so very glad that I have been able to offer something to that one person who needed it.

I know that the people who want to see my son’s face, hear his name and support his legacy by far outnumber anyone else, and I know how much love can be shared in those little squares, so I will continue to post photos of those I love the most.