Meet Lucy from Acorn and Pip…

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Today I have an exciting guest on my blog, lovely Lucy, the founder of Acorn & Pip, an online kids’ concept store based in the UK.  She is a  busy mum, business owner and absolutely everything in between, as we all are. I first came across Acorn and Pip when I visited Altrincham Market last year and then quickly followed them on Instagram as I was so impressed with their beautiful range of products. I asked Lucy if she would answer a few questions for me so we could get to know more about her and her business.

  1. When and how did you 1st come up with the idea of Acorn and Pip?

I started Acorn & Pip when I had Eden, my 20 months old daughter. I had the desire to have a personal project that I could grow and manage as my life evolved. I have always had a love for design and retail. Inspired by motherhood, I launched Acorn & Pip –  a carefully curated world of unique and stylish wares for the little ones in your life. I am dedicated to offering sustainable, organic and design-led products such as toys, clothing, nursery decor and gifts for mums. My main focus is to choose from the best and most beautiful organic and sustainable brands around the world for babies and children aged 0-4 years, but as the business grows we are incorporating more sizes.

2.What were you doing before Acorn and Pip?

Before Acorn & Pip, I was a languages teacher in an all girls High School. I loved my job and absolutely loved teaching young girls. However, I found the job to be all consuming and it was on maternity leave that I was able to really sit and think about what I wanted to do. I left university and BAM the recession hit so I just had to get a job and I had never really given much thought to what I could do. It was more a case of QUICK, PANIC, GET A JOB. So when I was on mat leave, I found that for the first time in my life I could really re-group my thoughts.

  1. How do you juggle family life with working at Acorn and Pip? Any tips for my readers.

Gosh, how does anyone make it work? I look back on the last 12 months and I cannot think where the energy has come from, mainly because I see the past year as a haze of sleep deprivation, missed showers, late nights and early mornings. Maybe my local coffee retailer can take all the thanks for getting my butt in gear! I think for most parents, the hardest part of parenthood is the sleep deprivation. Eden was a terrible sleeper and some days were pretty hard, but at 12 months old she slowly snapped out of it and I was managing to get 5, 6, 7, 8 hours sleep again. Praise to the sleep Gods.Nowadays, I have my routine down to fine point. I work all day when Eden is in childcare, when she naps or when she goes to sleep. All other time I try to be focused on her, so I have to be away from my phone otherwise I get side tracked. Monday is our only family day off so we always try to do something fun and have a roast dinner!

  1. What’s the best bit of running your own business?

The best thing about running your own business is without a doubt the freedom to dictate your day, have the radio on, lunch when you want it, work in your PJs if you must. Starting Acorn & Pip has shown me what I’m capable of and really opened up a lot of other interests and skills that I would have never found out about!

  1. And the worst?

The worst part is definitely the financial side as it’s always a risk depending on yourself to pay the bills. Also, at times it can be quite lonely working from home and then staying at home at night to tend to the children and the home, cabin fever rears it ugly head now and then!

  1. What advice do you have for people wanting to launch their own business?

The best advice that I got was through my hypnobirthing instructor and that was to trust your body. Your body knows best. The most incredible part of being a mother is childbirth. It’s an experience so intense and so powerful that there is nothing you can do except trust your body. I feel like this affirmation has crept in to my brain since then, on days where I have been running on 3 hours sleep or I have felt like crying for no reason. Trust your body, go with it and you’ll come out the other side just fine. Also, i’ve used this affirmation when I’ve faced hurdles with my business; trust my body, trust my decisions and if in major doubt still: GOOGLE IT! Also, there are so many fabulous network groups in Manchester that can really inspire you take the plunge or just have a natter about your ideas. Talking things through with completely impartial people is invaluable!

  1. What are your 5 favourite things on your site that you would love to recieve for Mothers Day?

I love Mother’s day because it means I get to spoil my mum and then get a gift from my little one too! Mother’s day for me has always been about letting my mum know that she is awesome and that I’m terribly sorry for being a brat when I was growing up. My top picks would be our brand new HYP candles,

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made right here in the UK by a local lass and absolute gem. The Buddy + Bear YAY tray is so cute and is the perfect tray on which to serve cakes, nibbles or prosecco.

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I would definitely recommend our new range of wicker baskets. They make the ideal storage solution with hints of colour as a nod to the warmer days coming!

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For a new mum, our monochrome milestone cards are super popular and the perfect way to document the craziness of the first year!

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And finally what could be better than giving a gift that keeps giving… our teething jewellry range is stylish and practical. These are always amongst our best sellers!

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I think my favourite pieces have to be the beautuful luggy baskets. Seriously gorgeous. I know a little lady (actually who am I kidding Bob would love these) who will definitely want one.

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I also love these pom pom baskets. Fabulous for toy storage around the home.

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As well as the on-line store Lucy does weekly pop-ups at Altrincham Market on Saturdays and Sundays. You really much go and visit her.

Lucy has agreed to give Shelley Loves’ readers 15% off with the code shelleyloves till Monday 13th March.

Shelley x

P.S; We are running a little competition over on Instagram, so pop on over for full details.

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Shelley Loves

Marks and Spencer’s bonanza…

Marks and Spencer’s have their fabulous 20% off event on again (code OCT16A16) and so I feel it is my duty to point you in the direction of some of their loveliness. Above and below are some of my favourites. The shoes this season are on form as are the coats. Go forth and shop.

Shelley x

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The boots edit

Some jumpers I’m loving

Oversized jumpsuit…

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Jumpsuit now £22

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1. Warehouse Off The Shoulder Top £45

2. ASOS Earrings now £3.50

3. ASOS Jumpsuit now £22

4. Boden Flat Point now from £34.95

I have just bought this jumpsuit and I love it!

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I wore it at the weekend with an off the shoulder top like the one above and I wore it for work on Monday with a white shirt. On both occasions I received lots of compliments. It is seriously comfy and the kind of outfit that looks like you have made an effort when really you have just thrown something on. The earrings I have just put in my basket, I have a very similar old pair from Next that I have worn to death so these can be my replacement, the colour just goes with every outfit. An alternative to the shoes above are these bargain ballet flats that I have on in the above picture. They are my go to shoes as they are the comfiest ever.

Shelley x

You may also like:-

A trophy jacket

Pom pom sandals

Grown up playsuit 

Jeans for day and night…

Day jeans

1.Topshop MOTO Black Ripped Leigh Jeans

2. Topshop Grungy Lofty Ribbed sweater

3. Topshop Ultimate Faux Leather Biker Jacket

4. Topshop Air Snake Effect Ankle Boots

5. River Island Gold Tone Gem Encrusted Ear Cuff

I think these jeans are just so versatile and therefore wanted to show you how I would style them in the day and for a night out.

Jeans night.

1.Topshop Moto Black ripped Leigh Jeans 

2. ASOS Weekday Off Shoulder Top 

3. Mango Star Clutch

4. Next Black Lace-Up shoes

The Next shoes are beautiful and are a copy of these magnificent shoes. Just a LOT cheaper.

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Shelley x

Necklaces for mummies of teething babies…

Teething Babies

1. Elephant Teether

2.Missy Necklace

3. Pheobe Necklace

4. Penny Necklace

5. Tetra Necklace

These are such a fabulous idea. I gave up wearing a necklace when my kids were little as they just constantly pulled on them and put them in their mouths, often breaking them. The above have been specially made for teething babies, but how cool are they? These would look fab stacked together or on their own.

Made from silicone these are fantastic for use as a breastfeeding/teething necklace.The different textures make them ideal for sensory stimulation as well as being soothing on the gums.

I’ve added the elephants as I think they are so chic! They also come in giraffes.

You have to check out this website… http://chapteronestore.bigcartel.com

Shelley x

PS; If you’ve not yet liked my Facebook page, please do, then you will get regular updates as to what’s on the blog.

Valentine’s Day…

my Valentines pics

 Bloom and wild Flowers

 Accessorize Cut Out Heart Ring

 Asos Heart Clutch Bag

 The White Company Seychelles Candle

Laura Gravestock Love Ring

 H. Samuel Love Necklace

 Carat London Heart Bracelet

I Love Valentine’s Day. I love that it is a day to be spoilt by the person who loves you and a day for you to spoil them. I’ve been having a think about presents and this is my gift guide if you need any inspiration.

The Bloom and Wild flowers are such a fabulous idea, you order on-line and they arrive through your letterbox. The flowers are beautiful, such perfect selections and they have put together some bouquets for Valentine’s Day, which are available from the 9th February. I am especially loving ‘The Juliet’ and ‘The Rosalind’. They are getting amazing feedback so go check them out. I think jewellery as a gift is always fantastic and so have chosen a selection I love at all different price points. I have the Laura Gravestock ‘Love’ ring and always get lots of compliments when I am wearing it. Here it is in action…

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You can never have enough candles and the one above from The White Company smells divine and I would be very grateful to receive this. Finally how gorgeous is the ASOS clutch. This would go with so many outfits. I’m hoping my Valentine is reading this!

his Valentines

 Love Is All You Need print 

 Plenty More: Yotam Ottolenghi

 The People’s Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records

 Chanel Platinum Egoiste

 The Smiths Print 

Anything musical is always appreciated at our house so I have chosen a few pieces with this in mind. I will be putting The Smiths print in this frame from Ikea.

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The aftershave smells fantastic, very masculine and clean, which is a smell I always love. The cookbook benefits not only him but me (clever) and this is full of fantastic, healthy and delicious recipes…

Hope you like my choices

Shelley x

PS; Don’t forget to like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/shelleyloves

PPS; I believe the ‘Love is All You Need’ print is out of stock so this is the one I have at home. 

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For this post I have collaborated with the lovely Mim and Eve:

Mim is a 30something mother and writes for http://www.mamamim.com. She lives between the UK and Australia with her husband and toddler and is expecting her second baby in April 2015. Check out http://www.mamamim.com for weekly pregnancy updates and parenting tips. Read Mim’s Valentine’s gift guide here.

Evie is an English mother of one who lives in the Peak District with her husband and son.  She writes parenting blog, Muddle Through Mama, about how she’s muddling her way along the weird and wonderful journey they call motherhood. Read Eve’s Valentine’s gift guide here.