Introducing, Porter & Bramble

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To celebrate the fourth Scottish Mothers Collective event, talking all Health, Wellness and Fitness on the 24th of August at Ocho in Glasgow, i've interviewed one of their panelists.  The Insta-famous Megan from Bramble Bites is now, not only a great friend of mine, but a wonderful mentor and guide for Mamas working through the tricky and controversial world of weaning, feeding and cooking for their child.  Now, as well as being a bad ass in the kitchen and providing us all with recipes, ideas and advice on ways to keep your toddlers well fed and healthy, she also has a job.  Megan is a super talented illustrator and calligrapher, she makes beautiful one off pieces for the home and any special event you might have coming up through her own business, Porter and Bramble

So, lets get to know Megan better with a few words from the babe herself...


25 year old mother of 1 from Scotland who loves to doodle. It's still early days for my little empire but I am loving it and am so proud of myself for taking that massive step into self employment. As well as running my business single handed I take care of our 2 year old son Abel everyday, have my own food blog (Bramble Bites) and enjoy wine/date nights/talking about babies/cake!


Full name- Megan Porter
Business name- Porter & Bramble
Type of business- Illustrator and Calligrapher
Location- Central Scotland

Q1. Have you always wanted to be an illustrator?

It has always been my dream job to draw for a living but I had no idea how to do that. I left school at 15 and got a job as soon as I turned 16 in an office (I just wanted money for myself) and have worked in offices til I went on maternity! Since I didn't go back to work it was my perfect opportunity.

Q2. What inspired you to start up 'porter and bramble?'

With my other half working away for weeks, even months at a time it was never going to be easy for me to return to work so we had always said I wouldn't go back which I was MORE than happy about. I had so many creative ideas of what I wanted to do but actually putting it into action was impossible for me when Abel was still a baby. When he was turning 2 and I was getting some time back I thought "fuck it!". Seeing so many other mums on instagram doing it really helped.

Q3. Where do you get the ideas for the name??

Porter is my middle name but I use it for business and to stop facebook creeps (LOL!) and Bramble is what we called Abel when he was in my tum, we actually really liked it for a boys name (we didn't know what we were having weirdly enough) but as you can imagine not many other people liked it...

Q4. How do you find being a mum and a mum boss?

TOUGH! Some days the thought of just packing it in does cross my mind but that is usually a sign I need a break. I get major mum guilt if there are days I have stuff I need to do ASAP and I need to whack the TV on for him or we don't leave the house all day but I know from talking with other mums it is so normal and he is happy it's just me worrying like mums do. It's a lot of late nights, we don't have any other childcare and can you imagine trying to draw with a toddler running around PAHA. I usually do emails/accounts/drafts if I need to through the day and work on orders/ideas most nights.

Q5. What's the best thing about it?

Being able to care for Abel everyday without a doubt. Also doing what I love, it doesn't really feel like work!

Q6. What's the toughest thing about it?

I feel like I never stop. Yes I love that I get to care for Abel but most of us know how EXHAUSTING running around after a toddler all day can be along with housework, errands ect so then working at night can be really draining. I try to take weekends off which definitely helps. Also accounts, it took me a good while to sort out my oh so precious spreadsheet and filing system (saddo that I am!).

Q7. What advice would you give to other mums wanting to start their own business?

Go for it. Believe in you and what you want to do. Don't rush into it. Take advantage of free help out there (business gateway classes for example). Do your accounts as you go. DO NOT COMPARE TO OTHERS. That last one has been my biggest issue, especially with instagram. Don't be scared to message other mums for help or advice.

Q8. What's the most rewarding thing about your job?

Seeing my work on display. More recently I have had a lot of orders for weddings and I feel so proud and honored. 

Q9. What is your favourite piece in your illustration collection and why?

I love the prints in my shop, it's the first piece I have had made into prints and they have sold so well! It was originally a custom order which I hand painted but I got so many people asking if they could get a set.

Q10. If you weren't creating beautiful illustrations, what would you be doing?

Hmm probably still looking after Abel but with a lot (...maybe not a lot actually) more time on my hands!



So if that hasn't left you feeling super inspired to start your own business from home and if you haven't totally fallen in love with Meg and the gorgeous Abel, there's something wrong with you... so read it again ;) Haha, i jest (kinda) Both Megan and i hope that this has shown that being a stay at home Mama doesn't mean you can't do what you love and be good at it.  Becoming a Mum isn't the end, it's just the beginning! 

Images courtesy of the lovely Nadine @ Tamara Studios 

Sarah x 
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Mum Style - My Answer to the Postpartum Mum Bod - STALF Studios

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So, from around the second trimester you start to feel your clothes get tight, perhaps your jeans wont fasten, your tops don't sit right on your rapidly expanding boobs and you begin to gather bits of maternity clothing that will be your 'capsule wardrobe' for the foreseeable future. The thing is though, i totally underestimated how much time it would be before i got back into my pre-pregnancy wardrobe and some days i still rock the maternity tops i panic bought from ASOS when i could no longer button up my shirts.  

I am here today, 11 weeks postpartum with the most beautiful little girl and a wonderfully soft tummy that i need to re-learn to dress. I have struggled to accept it and some days i still feel like theres still a baby in there, but i am becoming more at ease with what my body looks like now, it made a human, it fucking rocks!! 



I've always loved minimalist styles, clean lines and interesting shapes (mostly oversized) and i found this really difficult to maintain throughout my pregnancy and afterwards.  I identify with my style, its who i am and how i express myself, it might not be particulary 'expressive' (i wear a lot of black) but it's me and whilst you are changing and growing and becoming a kick ass Mama, it's important not to lose sight of that. However, i can fear no more, i have found a comfortable, beautiful range of clothes that will do any Mama with a love of the 'Cos' look, through their pregnancy and beyond.  STALF have unintentionally catered to all of my needs; the 'easywear' brand provide gorgeous, organic fabric, styled right here in Britain into the lovliest gear! I've gotten myself two pairs of the Organic Sweatpants and they've hardly left my body since. Although only available in one size, it's a one size fits all mama game. 
Paris, i hear by thank you, on behalf of every STALF wearing mama out there... you're our hero! 
If you haven't checked out her site, do so now!! And head over to my Instagram for a 20% off discount code so you can get a sweet reduction to your shopping cart bill. 

Enjoy Mamas 

Sarah x 

Make sure to head over to the STALF Instagram and stay tuned for the AW16 fabric range being released in the next few weeks! 




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Introducing, The Little Magpies

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Full name- Natalie Ormond 
Hey Guys, Welcome back, and welcome to my 'Meet the Maker' Feature! My idea here is to showcase some Mama's working to support their families through their own businesses.  We all know that it's tough enough raising your brood, and you might be thinking 'how am i going to manage' if or when you eventually go back to work! Well... hopefully, this will supply you with a bit of inspiration. 

First up, is Nat of My Little Magpies, Teething and Breast Feeding Jewellery.  Check out her interview below, and jump over to Instagram to enter our Competition to win some Jewellery of your own! Follow her - Instagram and check out her Etsy Shop.




Business name- Little Magpies
Type of business- Teething & Nursing Jewellery and Accessories
Length of time in business- 2 years 

Q1. Have you always had your own business?

I've been making and restoring jewellery for years and set up an Etsy shop in 2012 selling handmade and vintage jewellery. The business has always been alongside my day job as a Social Worker. 

Q2. What inspired you to start up Little magpies?

I've always loved jewellery, especially statement necklaces. In 2013 I had my first baby and quickly realised that babies love jewellery too! From a young age his little hands were everywhere especially while he was feeding. I lost a couple of beaded necklaces to his super strong grip so the jewellery was put away but I missed wearing it. At the time I was in that awkward stage in between clothes when the maternity clothes aren't needed but the pre baby clothes don't fit. I really needed something to jazz up the limited wardrobe I had. My sister in law sent me a silicone necklace from California. I loved it and baby loved it too. The only problem - It was grey and a bit too chunky to wear all the time. I wanted something colourful to brighten up my monochrome clothes but I didn't want it to look like a teething toy. At that time there wasn't much on offer in the UK, not that I liked anyway. So I set up Little Magpies. Initially I sold the necklaces through my existing business, later adding to my range and creating a separate business. 

Q3. Where do you get the ideas for your designs/colours etc.?

'Jesse' necklaces are the first ones I made and the original design. They have five geometric beads and the design was inspired by a painted wooden necklace I had which my son Jesse broke (and almost strangled me in the process!). 
All of the jewellery I make is based on jewellery I own or on high street trends. I think it's important that they are attractive as a necklace in their own right as well as being functional for mums.

Q4. How do you find running a business and being a momma?

It's hard work! I have a day job three days a week but I'm currently on maternity leave. Balancing a job and a family with running a business is tricky. The day to day running of the business is fun. I love making the jewellery and packaging orders to send out to mums. However, finding the time and motivation to develop the business further and keep on top of paperwork are elements I haven't mastered yet.



Q5. What's the best thing about being a mum boss?

The best thing for me is the flexibility it offers. I'm able to keep my profession but work part time so I get more time with my family as Little Magpies work can be done in the evenings when the boys are in bed. I love making things for mums and aim to make every parcel look like a treat. The days can be long when you're at home with a baby and having a pretty package containing a mum treat land on the door step can brighten an otherwise monotonous day. 

Q6. What's the toughest thing about being a mum boss?

Work/life balance is always a struggle. I have missed out on opportunities to expand the business because there simply are not enough hours in the day to do everything. Plus I can't be away from my boys right now because my youngest is only three months. It has been hard watching other brands pop up since I began, sometimes with similar designs, taking opportunities which were open to me but I couldn't pursue.
However, I'm happy that at the moment I'm doing as much as I can and I have lots of ideas for the future. Ultimately my family comes first and I need to be around as much as possible for my boys while they are little. Recently I've made a promise to myself that when I'm with the kids my phone will only come out to take photos. It's hard to stick to when I hear Etsy messages coming through and of course there lure of Instagram is always tempting but I'm trying to resist! 

Q7. How has being a mum changed you?

It's hard to remember life before children! Sometimes I wonder what on earth I did with my time before the boys came along.Before we had children my husband and I were keen travellers and spent long periods abroad, usually backpacking. At first travelling with children seemed impossible but we've done a few trips and it's much fun than we could have imagined.
Although life is busy I feel like I've slowed down in some ways. I appreciate the small things more than ever before. I've learnt to enjoy small scale fun because my almost three year old can find the most ordinary thing fascinating! I have a greater respect for my parents too. My mum went back to work full time when I was six weeks old and I've no idea how she coped. 


Q8. What's the most rewarding thing about your job? 

My day job is incredibly challenging especially since having children of my own. Therefore, I really appreciate how lucky I am to also have a business which allows me to be creative, do something I really enjoy and meet other mums and small business owners. I never tire of the work that goes into Little Magpies I could sit for hours in my little study if I had the time! I love getting feedback from customers and seeing photos of mums and babies enjoying my products. 


Q9. What is your favourite thing to wear for your babies from little magpies? 

Of the necklaces the Jesse style is my favourite. It was the first design I made and of course it's named after my boy! I love the bangles and wear them all the time even when I'm not with the kids. When I'm at my day job I wear them because they are wipe clean and flexible so are comfy while typing on a laptop. I don't put much imagination into my work clothes so it's great to add a pop of colour with some jewellery. 


Q10. If you weren't creating little magpies jewellery what would you be doing? 

Well I guess I would be a full time Social Worker but that's not appealing at all! I'm sure I would be doing something else creative. I'm not artistic and I can't draw to save my life but I enjoy crafts and I recently started to teach myself to crochet. I'd love to be a better photographer too especially since having children because like all
Mums I can't resist taking endless photos of my kids. It's one of the many things on a bucket list of things I want to do!



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Introducing, Boo.B.Smoothies

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If you've been following my accounts for a while, you'll know that i am a big supporter of breast feeding, and all the goodness it provides for your baby.  When i got pregnant i started to research ways to ensure i would have enough milk to feed my baby, you may have caught my post i did with a recipe for Lactation Cookies?  Well that's just one of the fun ways you can make sure you're producing enough to feed the growing person you've given birth to.  Another tasty, and fun way i've found to promote milk supply is Boo.B.smoothies containing all the lovely breast milk promoting ingredients you need. Through the wonders of Instagram I contacted Siaba, Mama Boss and Owner of Boo.B.Smoothie to get an insight into how she came about producing such an amazing product. 

Back in 2015 Siaba Tumoe became a mum, and like a lot of us, decided she wanted to breast feed her baby.  However, as it is with breast feeding, things don't just happen, it's not always so easy and it can cause some major Stress.  Siaba is lucky enough to have a mother who researched different foods that would help her produce more milk and she began to make sure they were incorporated into her cooking at home.  With a new found interest in to the 'Lactogenic' foods her mum had discovered, Siaba began to make smoothies with the ingredients, a quick and convenient way to get them into your system, great for busy mums.  After sharing her smoothies with friends, and receiving great feed back, Siaba began her Boo.B.Smoothie journey.... 

The sachets come in three different flavours, Chocolate, Strawberry and Peanut Butter and Banana all of which are delicious! The only thing you need to add is half a banana and a cup of milk, almond milk, rice milk, whatever you fancy.  If you're feeling adventurous the Strawberry sachet is great in a fruit smoothie, adding in some more fruit, (some frozen) you'll make a great healthy drink that tastes amazing and promotes a great and steady supply of mum milk! Siaba has created something great, not only an awesome product, but a great support system for mums and their boobs! Thanks Siaba, we owe you one!! 

Sarah x  




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BBHugme Review - Pt II

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Welcome to part two of my BBHugme Pregnancy Pillow review.  Firstly 'Pregnancy Pillow' doesn't really do this justice... it should be called 'Pillow no one can do without. ever' I have praised this long squidgy pillow countless times across my social media accounts for it's ability to provide the best nights sleep. ever.  I used my BBHugme pillow through my third trimester after hastily declaring 'oh i don't need a pillow...' 'i'll just use the ones on the bed...' well, needless to say i ate my words pretty swiftly after trying this out.  The soft bamboo sleeve and teeny tiny beans within the pillow provide the softest and most helpful pregnancy companion.  

We were really looking forward to using the pillow after Wren arrived, and she loves it as much as we do.  I did however, buy us a more 'baby friendly' sleeve as the lilac wasn't really cutting it after a lengthy feed! We've been able to use the pillow as a rest stop for Wren to nap on whilst i've got my hands busy, a feeding pillow, which helps my tired arms when she's feeding round the clock, and a back support for her and for me... we really couldn't use it more even if we tried.  Ultimately the most important use that the pillow has been used for is to aid with feeding.  We struggled with one side, positioning, height, angle etc; and since using the pillow to pop Wren in the right position, she's able to get a full belly, an invaluable help, keeping her happy and me stress free! 

Needless to say, i'm really excited to offer the readers of my blog, an exclusive discount for BBHugme, a wee treat for you to save a bit of cash on your own pillow! It really is super worth while, everyone (as you can see) in the family approves, and you'll get so much use out of it.  Please check out Part I of my review here, and click BBHugme to be taken straight to their website. 

USE DISCOUNT CODE- SARAH15 when checking out....

VALID UNTIL END OF DAY MONDAY 20th JUNE. 

Have a great Sunday. 
Sarah x 





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Introducing, Wren...

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After i had my Wren, a good friend of mine made me aware of something rather special she had discovered on Facebook.  A clothing brand, selling liberty print dresses, rompers and trousers for babies and toddlers, and the best bit?  It's was called 'Wren'.  Calum and i both cooed over the clothing and in our sleep deprived state, both, unknowingly sent messages to Hannah asking for a catalogue.  Hannah, replied to us both and sent us her beautiful mail order brochure featuring all the clothing items and prints to choose from, a near impossible task when everything is so darling.  Hannah and I  both got to chatting over a few emails and decided that seeing as we both have gorgeous daughters sharing the name, we should do some work together, starting with this post... 

You can check out Hannah's boutique on Facebook, Wren Baby & Child and her website will be up and running shortly.  However, in the mean time check out the interview we did below and get to know Hannah a bit better.  And, be sure to head over to Instagram and show her some love, you'll find her at @wren_babyandchild.   And please, take 5 minutes to appreciate the cuteness that is my Daughter in her Liberty print Romper made specially for her, by Hannah! (all the heart eyed emojis) 


Full name - Hannah Jane Dulcie Bates
Business name - Wren Baby & Child
Type of business - Baby & Toddler Clothing
Location- Cowbridge

Q1. Have you always wanted to make and sell children's clothing?

I'd be lying if I said yes. My passion was always lingerie. I used to make and sell lingerie in Liberty fabrics in my spare time. I sold to boutiques and on my website, which attracted an investor. The investment enabled me to open a lingerie boutique in Bath, selling designer lingerie and my own brand of lingerie, Hannah Dulcie. 

Q2. What inspired you to start up 'Wren clothing'

During my first pregnancy I closed our shop and moved to Wales to join my husband. With a desire to continue designing and sewing, I began experimenting with patterns for baby clothes. I didn't know the sex of my baby but I made floral dresses and playsuits in Liberty fabrics. I found myself working into the early hours, and getting up at six in the morning to continue. I was enjoying it so much, I couldn't stop. I took a selection of samples to local children's clothing shops and a couple of London based boutiques - all of which placed orders. It was very exciting. 

Q3. Where do you get the ideas for your designs?

It varies, some of the designs are inspired by the clothes I love to wear now or wore as a child. Others come out of experimentation with my patterns. Often, an existing pattern will inspire a new pattern. Such as the bow smock top, became a bow dress.
I have always loved traditional shapes such as the smock and details such as pleats, ruching and ruffles. I love clothes that you can throw on all year round and layer up when its cold. I was in a quandary whether to line the clothes as Liberty fabric is very fine. I lined a few pieces as an experiment and felt they lost their simple charm. My daughter wears the collection all year round. Even the playsuits - I layer these over tights and a long sleeved vest, maybe add a cardigan if its chilly.

Q4. Would you ever look to expand 'Wren' ? Perhaps into boys clothes or older age groups?

Definitely. Currently I have two young children at home with me so its hard for me to increase my offering. My son starts full time nursery in September and my daughter, part time, so I will have more time then. Even the admin takes so much time. I don't like to work while my children need my attention so I work when they are asleep. I have a small team of seamstresses to help with the making. I hope to introduce boys clothing officially next spring.

Q5. What's the best thing about making baby girl clothes?

I work predominantly in Liberty tana lawn, which lends itself to girls clothing. I have loved Liberty lawn for as long as I can remember, its so pretty and delicate. Girls clothing has endless opportunity for new shapes and detail. Boys clothing less so but I hope to embrace the simplicity. For boyswear, I'll work in fabrics and prints that lend themselves to simple styles, such as 100% Linen, pinstripes and needlecord. There are also a few Liberty prints that feature cars, boats and airplanes rather than flowers.

Q6. What's the toughest thing about making baby girl clothes and also being a mum of two?

The hardest thing is the guilt. If my day is interrupted with trips to the post office or business calls, I feel dreadfully guilty. I want to give my children as much of my time and energy as I can offer. I believe every day should be a mini adventure. However, sometimes its impossible to keep work entirely separate from my day-to-day routines at home. 

Q7. How do you decide on what prints to use?

This I find very difficult because others might not like a print that I am completely crazy about. I find that certain prints are more popular, and those I will keep in the collection. The prints that don't sell so well I will probably drop and add new choices before Christmas. It is also determined by Liberty. Quite often a print will be discontinued. I have just learned that Rosa has been discontinued and this is in my current selection.

Q8. What's the most rewarding thing about your job?

Probably the creativity. I get a huge amount of pleasure out of being creative. Its very satifying seeing my daughter and other children wearing items I have made myself.

Q9. What if your favourite piece in the collection and why?

My favourite piece is the embroidered ruffle playsuit. Its a tricky piece to make and I think I almost shed tears of frustration making the first one. Now the pattern is resolved and I think they look so cute on, especially on little babies. Originally they were only to be available in white linen but I made one in a Liberty print and instantly decided to offer the style in the prints.


Q10. If you weren't creating beautiful baby clothes, what would you be doing? 



I would probably be going back to what I always used to do, which was business development. I was a Business Development Manager before I found investment to open a shop.




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Cookies with a Difference

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So in a bid to make sure i was full-y equipped to feed my baby, i started to research different ways Mums can help with the milk production.  I'd always been really, really keen to breast feed and give myself and my baby the best chance at it as possible.  I'd come across loads of different ways to help ensure you have a good supply, so i decided to try some of them out.  First up, is a yummy baked good, 'cos lets face it, everyone loves a cookie right?   Even my husband liked these, and polished off quite a few himself.  The recipe might look a bit confusing, but really it's not.  Just follow nice and slowly and take your time, you'll be sure to produce some yummy magic milk making biscuits. 

You will need
255g of rolled oats
130g all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons brewers yeast 
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
180g unsalted butter
4 tablespoons organic coconut oil
130g soft brown sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
130g 85% Dark Cocoa (I used Lindt)

Method: 
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your oats, flour, yeast, flaxseed, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt until well blended. 

With an electric mixer in a separate bowl, beat the butter and coconut oil on medium speed until creamy. Add in the sugar and beat until nice and fluffy.  Add in the egg and egg yolk, beating until combined.  Add in the vanilla extract and beat until combined again. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips with a spatula until they are evenly dispersed.
Scoop the dough into 1-inch rounds, using a tablespoon or a soup spoon, and place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart as they will spread with the heat. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the bottoms are just golden. Let cool completely before munching to your hearts content.  Store in a air tight container and keep for around 1 week. 
Enjoy Mamas! 
Sarah x 

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