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Britain’s Best Baby Bag?: Designing the Perfect Mum Accessory with Cooper & Hill

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For fashion conscious women, there is nothing quite so frustrating as the baby bag dilemma.

It’s a pretty stark choice – buy a practical changing bag, which stores everything you need, but is designed to coordinate only with canvas prams and baby toys instead of the Jimmy Choos (dream world, moi?) or forego practicality with coordinated fashion totes but destroy the yummy mummy illusion every time you throw a dirty nappy over your shoulder while you hunt frantically for your phone and purse!

UK bag manufacturer, Cooper & Hill, want to do something different, making stylish bags designed with function in mind. I’m currently working with them on an exciting project to “crowd design” a brand new baby organiser based on your feedback. These organisers will simply pop into a fashion tote bag and transfer from bag to bag easily so you never forget your essentials or have to wave a nappy around in public again.

Over the next couple of days, I will be collecting feedback to send back to Cooper & Hill which they will use to adjust and improve their designs – even the colour range will be decided through your feedback!

Here are the initial designs – please vote on your favourites below (clicking on the images will let you look a little closer) and let us know what you like and what you don’t in the comments – the more detailed the better!! Let’s make this the best baby bag ever!

OPTION 1:

Cooper & Hill Baby Bag 1-1 Cooper & Hill Baby Bag 1-2Cooper & Hill Baby Bag 1-3

OPTION 2:

Cooper & Hill Baby Bag 1-4 Cooper & Hill Baby Bag 1-5 Cooper & Hill Baby Bag 1-6

OPTION 3:

Cooper & Hill Baby Bag 1-7 Cooper & Hill Baby Bag 1-8 Cooper & Hill Baby Bag 1-9

Please vote below and share wherever you can!

Which design do you prefer?

Sophisticated Mum 1
Sophisticated Mum 2
Sophisticated Mum 3
What colour would you like?

 

Please pick a maximum of 2 colours

Black

Grey
Brown
Beige / Neutral
Red
Blue
Pink
Purple
Green
Turquoise
Yellow
Other
Please Specify:

 

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Black Friday Deals

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It seems that Black Friday has really arrived in the UK this year, with just about everybody sending out special offers to tempt us to buy. Here’s my lowdown on some of the best deals.

Everything!
Amazon started the Black Friday trend in the UK and they’re still leading the way with new offers going live every 10 minutes. Check out their deals page and set your alarm to grab a bargain before they run out! To give you a taster, here are my favourites from their upcoming deals:

Clothing

Up to 30% off at M&S until 1st December 2014

25% off everything at Warehouse until 1st December 2014 with code “CYBER25

Up to 50% off at Urban Outfitters until 1st December 2014

20% off selected John Lewis Winter Fashion. Some good deals on kids snowsuits and adult accessories.

John Lewis White Padded Snowsuit
John Lewis White Padded Snowsuit

Up to 40% off brands at House of Fraser

Homewares & Gifts

Up to 40% off brands at House of Fraser

20% off all full price and sale items at Anthropologie

Knitted Reindeer Puppet
Engraved rolling pin

20% off plus free delivery over £50 at the White Company with code “AE602

White Company Toys
White Company Glassware

20% off at Paperchase with code “PAPERTREAT20”. Ends 1st December 2014.

Toys

Black Friday weekend at the Entertainer – huge discounts with more Daily Deals to follow up to the 13th December 2014. Top deals are:

Scan2Go: Was £20 Now £5

Scan2Go Car
Dinosaur Train – InterAction Roar ‘n’ React Boris Tyrannosaurus: Was £29.99 Now £14.99

Tyrannosaurus Roar n React
Polly Pocket Wall Party: Was £39.99 Now £9.99

Polly Pocket Wall Party
Twister Dance Rave: Was £29.99 Now £9.99

Twister Dance Rave

Christmas

Up to 30% off selected Christmas Trees at John Lewis

John Lewis Argyle Fir Christmas Tree
Up to 60% off decorations, lights and trees at Argos

Berry Christmas Lights

Most of the offers are only last a few days (or even hours!). Check out our full list of retailer offers and voucher codes.

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Nursing in Public: The Financial Edition

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After all the debate last year about women of note featuring (or not featuring) on the UK’s banknotes, I loved finding these images of rather less famous types on international currency.

HUF 1000 1983 reverse

2000 lei 1941 avers

100 zloty 1985

It is especially lovely in our celebrity obsessed culture to celebrate normal people doing normal things. If you’ve seen any other “official” recognition of breastfeeding while you’ve been travelling, please share in the comments!

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Vintage Style Nursing Dresses

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If you like to rock a vintage vibe, don’t let a little thing like breastfeeding get in the way of your style. Leave frumpy nursing dresses behind and check out these retro designs which should work just as well as specialist nursing clothes.

This gorgeous fifties style comes in 3 shades and while the wrap front is “mock”, the fabric is stretchy so you should have room to manoeuvre. Go for a size up from your usual and wear with a net petticoat for added va-va-voom!

These lovely dresses also have that fifties feel. With a button front or stretch down neckline, breastfeeding access is simple – just layer over a nursing vest or add a cardigan worn cape style if you prefer to stay covered:

You don’t have to be a fifties fan to work a vintage look. Here are a few more of our breastfeeding friendly favourites:

Collectif Dana Navy Fitted Linen Vintage 50s Nautical Sailor Pencil Wiggle Dress

Sailor Style Blue Wiggle Dress
£38.99

Find lots more vintage inspired nursing clothes on the shop pages.

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Ador(k)able anoraks

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Great news ladies – the anorak is cool at last!

Worn with everything from jeans to chic dresses, anoraks and pac-a-macs are having something of a fashion moment. Thanks to Miu Miu, the AW14 Paris catwalks were filled with practical looking waterproofs in all shapes and styles.

From cover all ponchos (did I mention fabulous breastfeeding access for rainy days?) to curve friendly Pac a Parkas, these lightweight lovelies are suddenly a fashion essential.

Despite the labels, this look is definitely more hiking than haute couture and I can’t promise that the elevation to high fashion is going to increase your elegance quotient as you run for shelter in this autumn’s downpours but, as life with young children means that you will spend more time in waterproof clothing than you ever thought possible and the high street has a fabulous selection (check out the range at ASOS!), why not find something you actually like before the fashion pack move on?

Here are a few of my favourites from across the web:

Love Label Floral Mac

Love Label Floral Mac, Was £18 Now £11

Breastfeeding Tips: Many of my early breastfeeding in public experiences were at the side of a rugby pitch full of teenage boys and in my experience, if you’re likely to need to actually feed outside in the rain, ponchos offer the best rain protection versus nursing access – you can wear pretty much anything you like underneath. They are however difficult to get fully on or off one-handed so a mac you can keep fastened cape-style at the neck (double ended zip or neck poppers) is a good compromise.

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