Wednesday 1 December 2021

Little Butterfly London review (for pregnancy and baby!)

Little Butterfly London beauty vegan cruelty free review littlepackofvegans
*This post contains PR samples
When I was pregnant I tested multiple different belly balms, creams and oils for my stretch marks and this is how I discovered Little Butterfly London. I've been testing more products from their range since just before I had Summer, and I have to say I'm completely enamoured.

All of the Little Butterfly London products are cruelty free, and they are planning to change all of their products to vegan by the end of the year. In terms of packaging, the Little Butterfly London range is certified by Ecocert, so all of the packaging is fully recyclable. The cardboard is made from sustainable sources and the bottle caps are made from wood to reduce plastic waste.  The only thing that is plastic is the small waterproof disc which is in the cap to prevent leakage. This is important to me when choosing cosmetics as choosing good quality, ethical products is important to me but I don't want the planet to pay a high price for these.

Little Butterfly London beauty vegan cruelty free review littlepackofvegans
During my pregnancy, I used the "Fall Into Dreams" Mother and Baby Massage Oil at least once daily. The texture of this oil is beautiful and it spreads easily (I found some oils I tried didn't rub in well and it felt like I had to use so much product per application - this went a lot further, which I appreciated because it's gorgeous.) It smells absolutely delicious, like oranges, and kept my skin feeling really smooth and supple - this was no mean feat considering I carried VERY big this pregnancy and had a 9lb 9oz baby. During my pregnancy I also used this oil with Eden for some bonding time - in the evenings I'd use it on her after her bath and do a little bit of massage while we spoke about things including about what would happen when the baby was being born. This really helped prepare her for our separation during my labour in such a calming and soothing way, which in turn helped to reduce my own stress around the subject.

Due to Summer's skin sensitivities, very soon after she was born I realised I had to really strip back on any products that I used on myself, laundry, and of course on her, and introduce anything new really cautiously. This was tricky as not only was she a rashy baby, she was also a baby with very dry, almost scaly skin, which meant that I instinctively wanted to use oils on her. Particularly as she's grown and developed a little bit of cradle cap (super normal!) I've wanted to oil her scalp, and I've found she doesn't react with this oil which I'm SO thrilled about because I absolutely adore the scent and it gives me such a visceral memory of my pregnancy.

Little Butterfly London beauty vegan cruelty free review littlepackofvegans
The Little Butterfly London "Cocoon of Bliss" Stretch Mark Butter won first prize in the Green Parent Natural Beauty Awards which made me want to give it a try. This cream contains bio-actives, essential fatty acids and skin-replenishing vitamins, and is certified organic. I found this butter really nourishing and soothing on my itchy bump. I am aware that stretch marks cannot be avoided solely by using topical treatments like oils or creams - there are many other factors that will determine the likelihood of getting them, including genetics, staying hydrated, etc. However I do think that keeping the skin as moisturised as possible reduces itching and stress on the skin from it stretching so quickly. This surely reduces the chance of getting any extra, avoidable stretch marks - how the skin copes at the deeper layers is out of our control however. I actually didn't get any stretch marks on my tummy again during this pregnancy and I do believe that keeping my skin well hydrated was a contributing factor to this. I used this cream towards the end of my pregnancy, by which time I really was carrying enormously, and while it felt lovely on it's own I really liked to apply this after the oil - it felt like it really locked moisture into the skin this way and kept my bump feeling smooth and beautiful. The cream is thick and the smell is unusual - honestly, at first I wasn't even sure whether I liked it - but it was worth it to really provide nourishment to my bump, my skin really deserved a cream of that richness as it was stretching so far to accommodate our baby.

Little Butterfly London beauty vegan cruelty free review littlepackofvegans
The Dewdrops at Dawn Body Lotion is another product with a soft, gentle scent - it is, like all of the Little Butterfly London products, innately calming. It's a rich lotion which I've used not only on Eden, for after bath massage, but on myself to try and soothe redness on my arms from keratosis pilaris. It feels thick and luxurious on the skin, but rubs in easily. This won a gold award in the Green Parent Natural Beauty Awards and it's not hard to see why - this contains cucumber seed oil, nourishing cocoa butter and calming aloe vera, plus papaya, peach and apricot oils, to add antioxidants, moisture, soothe, and relieve redness. This is truly lovely and is both relaxing and nourishing, Eden now often runs to me after her bath with this tube and asks me for her "massage" which has been a lovely thing to incorporate into her routine.

Little Butterfly London beauty vegan cruelty free review littlepackofvegans
Perhaps the last thing I found our groove with was the Little Butterfly London Wrapped In Love Calming Anti-Pollution Baby Face Cream. This has been formulated to protect little people's skin and act as a barrier against environmental pollutants. It's made from completely natural, organic ingredients, and is great for calming and soothing irritated skin. It can help calm specific skin complaints including eczema, dribble rashes and dry skin. I was even told that some adults choose to use this cream on their own skin flare ups. Although I'm careful with what we use on our toddler's skin she's never been overly sensitive, so having a new little one so prone to flare ups has been a real learning curve. I now tend to get nervous to try any products to calm her young skin in case it has the opposite effect and makes the problem worse, but actually I've found this cream is fine for her and does help to alleviate any dryness or redness if she's had a reaction to something. I've also been using this around Eden's mouth as she's had some redness and soreness from cold weather, and it's healed it really quickly.

Overall I'm so thrilled with these products - they really are such luxury, beautiful items and they've made pregnancy and postpartum bodycare a really dreamy, enjoyable experience with their rich textures and gentle but blissful scents.

Have you tried Little Butterfly London products? Which of these appeals most to you?

Wednesday 20 October 2021

Welcome Summer

Littlepackofvegans baby girl

In mid-August we welcomed our second daughter, Summer Daisy, into the world. It was a long labour but I used hypnobirthing to stay calm and focused throughout which was invaluable, and I got my VBAC which I'm so thrilled about as it meant my recovery was so much smoother and made our transition to a family of four that much easier. I have been trying to jot down my birth story when I can as I'd love to have it written down so I can remember it forever - I'll be posting it here whenever I get the chance! As for blogging, I've definitely been taking a longer maternity leave than intended, largely because I have my hands very full with two littles, but I have lots of posts in the works - again for whenever I get the chance!

Most of all I feel very lucky and blessed to have two such wonderful girls in my life, and such an incredible and supportive fiance. In fact, now baby's here maybe we can start planning a wedding too! I'm sure we'll have plenty of time for that now, right?!

See you soon! x


Sunday 25 July 2021

Sleepgoddess Shower Mists + Luxury Scrunchies LPOV sleep goddess vegan shower mist aroma new mum littlepackofvegans
*This post contains PR samples.

I'll be honest - at 37 weeks pregnant, sleep is a sensitive subject for me right now. I'm uncomfortable with all the extra weight of pregnancy and sleeping in certain positions, I'm still regularly co-sleeping with our toddler (don't ask how it's going to work when baby arrives), and our household has just been struck down with colds (yes, in July.) I need all the help I can get when it comes to sleep because I'm exhausted now, and with an imminent newborn arrival I'm not sure it's going to get better anytime soon!

Enter Sleepgoddess: their products are vegan, cruelty-free and British-made, making them a go-to for ethical beauty sleep purchases. I was immediately intrigued by their faux-silk pillow case covers (SUCH a smart design, not to mention that it's so hard to find hair-friendly pillowcases that are vegan!) from a beauty perspective but they have so much else to offer...


Wednesday 21 July 2021

IDentity Lingerie

IDentity lingerie ethical handmade underwear robe littlepackofvegans
Paid partnership with IDentity Lingerie

IDentity Lingerie is a small, family run, handmade lingerie UK based brand. Specialising in nightwear as well as lingerie, they also recently branched out into face masks due to the pandemic from their base in Lincolnshire.

IDentity have some core brand values which I applaud, including promotion healthy and diverse body image across their platforms. Their items are high quality and handmade, often to order, meaning they aren't contributing to the environmental impact of mass produced items like other larger brands. Items that aren't sold are refurbished into different products so as to avoid the cycle of waste from having too much excess stock. They aim to make products that will remain relevant and therefore serve people for years to come, rather than being trend led which is a brilliant way to avoid the waste issues caused by fast fashion and fast-changing trends.


Tuesday 13 July 2021

Lyonsleaf Giveaway + Discount Code!

lyonsleaf mum and baby skincare survival kit littlepackofvegans
*This post contains PR samples/affiliate links

It's Plastic Free July, so what better way to celebrate than hosting a giveaway with one of my favourite low-waste brands, the wonderful Lyonsleaf?

The lovely folk over at Lyonsleaf and I are giving away a Mum & Baby Skincare Survival kit, perfectly timed as my little one is due a month today! The kit contains Beauty Balm, and two types of natural nappy cream (I've reviewed both of these on my blog previously, see links.) It also contains a cleansing cloth which Mama can use with the Beauty Balm (this product contains essential oils to give it its delicious fragrance, so not one to share with baby.) But none of these products are a one-trick pony: the Calendula and Marshmallow Balm has received many accolades when used as a nipple cream which I wish I'd known about last time, whilst the Beauty Balm can double up as cleanser, moisturiser and even primer. Knowing that I can trust these products for their versatility and reliability, this kit has gone straight into my birth bag. If that all sounds good and you'd like to win a set yourself, details on how to enter the giveaway are at the bottom of this post!

Wednesday 7 July 2021

A low waste baby wishlist littlepackofvegans maternity shoot pregnancy vegan holistic natural mama

Contrary to what marketing would have us believe, the truth is, babies don't need that much *stuff*. Now that I'm having my second baby I've realised how much equipment we had last time that didn't really get used. Carrycot? Nope, she hated it so we used a sling. Baby toys? Nah, not really interested. Cute outfits? Thanks, but she mostly lived in sleepsuits due to those double digit nappy changes. In our loft there's a box full of almost untouched rattles and toys that we'll probably get out again and put away almost unused. We already were trying to live low waste when I had Eden, but this time my baby wishlist has changed even more. Having done it all before, I thought I'd share some idea for baby gifts of dreams without the waste!


Saturday 26 June 2021

TTC // Working with a nutritionist

littlepackofvegans peony

I've honestly been meaning to write this post for MONTHS considering I'm now 33 weeks pregnant, but better late than never! Trying to conceive is a significantly more emotional process than I ever realised. Eden was a surprise pregnancy (the best surprise ever, as it turns out) so the complexities of actually trying to have another baby were unexpected to me. As women, for much of our lives we often focus on trying not to conceive as the matter of contraception tends to fall to us. So one could be forgiven for thinking that as soon as you started trying to have a baby, surely you'd get pregnant straight away. And that does happen! - for a lucky few. For the rest of us it takes a little more time, patience, and for me, getting in tune with my body.


Our breastfeeding journey

LPOV breastfeeding extended toddler

Around a month ago, more or less on her second birthday, Eden "officially" stopped breastfeeding. This was entirely led by her - I'd fully expected to be tandem feeding come August!

Friday 30 April 2021

Zero Zen Greener Lifestyle eco store zero zen greener lifestyle eco living blog blogger kitchen swaps coconut scourer compostable cloths
[Paid partnership with Zero Zen - all opinions my own]

Recently, Zero Zen put together an eco care package for me from their greener lifestyle store, so for the past couple of weeks I've been diligently testing out the products. Whilst I'm a big believer in plastic free, eco-friendly swaps, I'm also conscious that when it comes to eco living it's ALWAYS better for the environment to use what you already have than to buy new items (even when they're eco!) So I am quite thorough when testing products to see whether they are truly worth purchasing. I'm happy to say I'm very impressed with the items I've trialled from Zero Zen, so here's what I've been checking out to share here..


Monday 19 April 2021

Bonding with baby as a second-time mama

Littlepackofvegans Bonding with baby Bola necklace hypnobirthing vegan mum parent mama meditation pregnancy
The most notable difference with a second pregnancy for me has been the lack of time you have to think about things the second time around! Unlike last time, when baby is ALL I thought about, my energy goes into looking after my beautiful toddler girl and sometimes I kinda forget I'm pregnant until my big bump gets in the way or Sprout gives me a little kick or nudge as if to say "hey, I'm here too!" Luckily, I've found a few ways to bond with our little baby when I get a moment...

Thursday 1 April 2021

Seaspiracy & why we need to STOP fishing

Seaspiracy ocean eco vegan littlepackofvegans

I am dedicated to making eco swaps and trying to switch from single use plastics to reusable alternatives wherever we can. But the biggest cause of plastic pollution in our ocean by FAR is caused by the fishing industry. This week we watched Seaspiracy and I was shocked and appalled at the ethical and environmental impact of the fishing industry. Here are some reasons why...


Tuesday 30 March 2021

Petit Lulu prefold cloth nappies

Petit Lulu prefold nappy littlepackofvegans vegan Little Goat Gruff
*This post features PR samples.
Today's post is a spotlight on Petit Lulu nappies, which are a wonderful brand but often seem to be overlooked for some reason! These are genuinely one of my favourite nappy solutions we've had so I want to chat about a few new additions to our nappy rotation and share some love for their designs.

Friday 12 March 2021

How to have a confident plant-based pregnancy littlepackofvegans smoothie vegan pregnancy nutrition

I'm lucky that I've always been met with positivity when it comes to having a healthy vegan pregnancy, but I know for many this can be a worry. I want to share some of the things I've done throughout both of my vegan pregnancies which reassure me that baby is thriving when it comes to fuelling my body!


Tuesday 9 March 2021

Lyonsleaf Unscented Marshmallow Facial Oil review + discount code!

Lyonsleaf Unscented Marshmallow Facial Oil littlepackofvegans cruelty free vegan beauty
[Features press samples and affliate links - see disclaimer]

Over the past few months I've really started to take better care of my skin and be more conscious of what products I use and when. Incorporating a facial oil or serum is a step widely known to be an important step in a skincare routine, but until recently I've largely stuck to creams and moisturisers. I've mentioned many times here how much a fan I am of Lyonsleaf products so when I decided to up my skincare game I knew I wanted to try the Lyonsleaf Unscented Marshmallow Facial Oil, which has already made a huge difference to my skin.

The Marshmallow Facial Oil is unscented, hypoallergenic, and 100% natural. It is also cruelty free and vegan. It contains rosehip oil, which is meant to be amazing for skintone and scarring, but the star ingredient is Marshmallow extract (the oil makes up 50% of the product!) which is known for it's anti-aging and rejuvenating properties. It helps to plump the skin and reduce fine lines, while also being incredibly restorative for tired or damaged skin (I know this as I love the Lyonsleaf Calendula & Marshmallow Balm for my incredibly dry hands!) As always, the formula is completely water-free leaving room for 100% active ingredients.

As always, Lyonsleaf products always look fantastic on paper, but how does it actually perform? Well - unsurprisingly, I think this is brilliant. It feels very gentle and not too heavy - though incredibly moisturising, this doesn't feel uncomfortably slick on the skin once massaged in. Just one pump is necessary as a little goes a long way, as with all facial oils and Lyonsleaf products. The formula is designed to be used at night so I use this after toning, either on it's own or layered underneath a moisturiser. It's rich enough that I feel I can use it on its own at night although I do really like to lock this in underneath a night mask too for super plumped, hydrated skin. Using this regularly really has made a difference at helping reduce marks, keep my skin plump and moisturised, and heal the hormonal pregnancy breakouts I've been experiencing much faster. This time of year the chill in the air can really dry out my skin, but since using this I've had no problems with dry or tight areas.

Fragrance wise, the scent of this oil reminds me of seeds (think pumpkin, sunflower) - not in an unpleasant way, but given that I adore the fragrance of the Lyonsleaf Beauty Balm I think next time I'll try the scented version of the facial oil. I'd tried unscented to err on the safe side in case my skin had trouble getting on with a facial oil in the first place, but I needn't have worried as introducing an oil has only done good things for my skin. The scented version would be particular lovely when used with my facial roller or rose quartz gua sha stone, for a truly relaxing and sensory experience.

From an eco perspective, I really appreciate Lyonsleaf's ethos when it comes to packaging. As the products are water-free, this means products are concentrated meaning smaller pots and therefore less packaging. Bottles and jars are all 100% recyclable and their postal packaging is also biodegradable. I really appreciate that Lyonsleaf are conscious of their environmental impact and are open about their aims as a small business to reduce carbon emissions. Plus, I love that Lyonsleaf herbs are grown organically on their farm in Somerset.

So that summarises the experience I've had so far with this facial oil - I think it's safe to say I'm a convert! So, with Mother's Day approaching, Lyonsleaf have kindly given me a code for you to get 20% off your own purchase! If you fancy treating yourself or a loved one to some beautiful skincare, just pop in my code VEGANMAMA at checkout to get your 20% off. Are you a fan of facial oils - will you be trying this one?

Lyonsleaf Unscented Marshmallow Facial Oil littlepackofvegans cruelty free vegan beauty


Monday 8 February 2021

Jolie Beauty Second Skin Powder Highlighter review + swatches

Jolie Beauty Saintly Dreaming Second Skin Highlighter on pale skin littlepackofvegans
[Features press samples - see disclaimer]

The secret is out about my pregnancy, but I'm yet to find that idealised "pregnancy glow"... I've really struggled with exhaustion and nausea this first trimester, and as a result my skin has taken a toll. It's been more dull, more tired, more dry and there's been some inevitable hormonal breakouts too. Between this, and spending the first trimester in lockdown and therefore not getting myself ready as usual as there's nowhere to go and no one to see, I've been feeling a bit down about my appearance. For me I think there's some truth behind "look good, feel better" (looking good of course being totally subjective) and I wanted to get comfortable in my own skin again. So I bought the Caroline Hirons Skincare book, started paying more attention to what I use on my skin, and refreshed some of my cosmetics collection too... including what I use to fake a pregnancy "glow!"


Thursday 4 February 2021

Welcome, Shroom 2.0*

Second pregnancy sibling baby announcement littlepackofvegans

I'm beyond excited to share that we are expecting another little one to join our pack in August!

We loved the idea of Eden having a sibling so this is beyond exciting. Recently I've loved looking back on my previous pregnancy posts and reminiscing about my experiences, so I'll be sharing a bit about my experience of this first trimester. Feel free to read on if, like me, you enjoy hearing about how the pregnancy experience differs for all of us, even from child to child.


Friday 22 January 2021

Veganuary: Five Cruelty Free, Vegan Beauty Favourites

Vegan cruelty free beauty skincare favourites veganuary
[Features press sample - see disclaimer]
Somehow, we're halfway through January - usually I find this month drags its heels, but somewhat mercifully it's passing quite quickly! However, before the month is through I want to chat more about Veganuary - but NOT about food. There's more to veganism than what we consume in our diet, it's about our consumer and lifestyle choices as a whole, and something I learned early on in my vegan journey was the importance of cruelty free beauty. Even a few years ago, finding products that were both cruelty free and vegan could be quite difficult as labelling wasn't always clear. Fortunately for us this market has expanded widely and now boasts some INCREDIBLE products which make you question why you'd ever choose something that uses animal testing when you can instead opt for beautiful, conscientious, plant based products. And today I'll be sharing five of my favourites (new and old!) to inspire you this Veganuary. Sound good? Let's get started...

Wednesday 20 January 2021

Veganuary: How to be Vegan in a non-plant based household

Vegan pesto pasta littlepackofvegans

Firstly - I feel you! I grew up as a vegetarian in a non-veggie home, and for a long time J ate meat - I never thought I'd see the day when he went vegan! Whether your household is likely to transition or not, here are a couple of tips for how to live harmoniously. 💚


Wednesday 6 January 2021

2020: The Year I Became A #PlantParent  #PlantParenting succulents

Happy New Year! I hope everybody is keeping well and coping with the new UK lockdown announcement. To say 2020 was a ride of a year would be an understatement, and sadly 2021 still continues to carry many of the same burdens, albeit with more progress (and therefore hope) behind us.

2020 was the year that more of us spent more time indoors, in our homes, than ever before. Aside from baking sourdough and banana bread, lots of us looked to self or home improvements to keep us busy, whether that's learning a new skill or redecorating a room. Of course, my lockdown was spent with a toddler, the kind who likes to be with her mama at all times, so whilst it wasn't the MOST productive way to spend a year we probably did a lot more than I give myself credit for! One thing I did repeatedly was to try and tidy and improve the appearance of our house and garden (this is always very much a two-steps-forward, one-step-back situation if you live with a toddler) and I noticed I really missed being able to pop to the shops and garden centres easily to pick things up to brighten up our home. Even when we weren't locked down, it still felt like more of a mission and more of a risk to venture out to the shops - and almost everywhere else. (Have you remembered your mask? Hand sanitiser? What are the rules on meeting people in any given moment? Are you standing 2 metres away? How on earth do you keep a toddler 2 metres away and stop them touching everything?!)
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