mama spree: leather leggings for every day

MS leather pant

1. H&M Roll-Neck Jumper, £39.99
2. ASOS Beanie With Detachable Veil, £9.00 (reduced from £12.00)
3. Karen Millen Faux Leather Jersey Leathers, £92.00 (reduced from £115.00)
4. Kara Cross Body Bag, £295.00
5. Vans Snake Print Classic Slip-On, £49.99

I have a pair of (yes, faux) leather leggings that I bought from H&M in New York almost a year ago to the day, which I absolutely love. I love that they are stretchy; I love that they have a higher waist than I was used to with my jeans; and I love how comfortable they are. I like to wear mine with something a little longer (no one needs to see what’s going on between the top of your thighs and your waistband when leggings are involved, regardless of your shape or size), and more slouchy on the top half – a slub linen tee in the milder weather, then a chunky roll-neck for the chillier months (we are loving this H&M one). The sweaters featured in last week’s Mama Spree will also all work with these leggings. I almost always wear mine with one of my various pairs of slip-on skate shoes (Gap, Kurt Geiger, Vans…) because that just feels right to me. These snakeskin Vans have just come out and are going to be my next purchase (well if you can’t stretch to the Celine, these are the next best thing). And so easy to wear. My sister has been raving about the M&S leather (yes real leather, no ‘faux’ for her…) leggings, but annoyingly they keep coming in and out of stock. We will let you know when/if they come back online anytime soon. In the meantime try this ASOS petite leather look pair; this ASOS Curve pair; or If you feel like a (big!!) splurge then these Joseph one are ‘the ultimate’ apparently.

L is for…

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M&S Alphabet Cushion, £8.00 (reduced from £10.00)

I spotted these fab cushions when I was in the Westfield store today, looking at the gorgeous new M&S Baby collection (more of that next week…). They look really expensive!! And as you can see, they are anything but! You can order any letter (or how about having all the letters to make the whole name?), and they even come with the padding in (how irritating is it when you go to pay for a cushion/s and you then have to pay for the padding on top? Or is it just me?). They would make such a great gift for a newborn’s nursery. Who needs Jonathan Adler anyway?

pom pom

woodstock_pompom_grape

Woodstock Pom Pom Headband, £24.00

I can’t get enough of Woodstock and their gorgeous hair accessories, and I just love the colour of this pom pom headband (great with khaki and olive…). Here are a few other cute things that I’ve got my eye on for Tabs… this Zara headband; these Mothercare slides; this Woodstock headband; these Cos clips; this Hucklebones hairband; and these clips from H&M.

ps: please share any gorgeous pictures of your little ones  (and indeed yourselves, in your Mama Spree purchases) on Instagram wearing their Little Spree buys by including the hashtag: #asseenonlittlespree

bibbity bobbety boo

kcon_wand

Tabitha and Marlow were lucky enough to be invited to the Disney Bibbidi Bobbidi (yes that is the correct spelling) Boutique in Harrods a few months ago. Marlow was a little unsure. Tabitha was in heaven. I tried to think of a comparison for me? Maybe discovering an Isabel Marant outlet store in central London that no one else knew about, where you are magically transformed into Daria before stepping out with a complete new outfit? Something like that anyway. So you don’t need me to tell you how excited Tabs was. She was asked in advance which princess (yes, you get to choose) she wanted to be (more of that later), and she immediately decided on Snow White. Apparently she was the first girl ever to choose her. Like her style! When the day came, the excitement mounted, and when we arrived at the boutique/castle, situated conveniently (or not, depending on which way you look at it?) in the Disney department, they were given a special ‘fairy godmother’ pager, which would alert them when it was time for their appointment. Actually, I was as excited at they were by this time! Two ‘fairy godmothers’ were at the entrance to greet us, and I have to say, they were so brilliant. They were ‘in character’ (don’t be tense, remember, it’s not for us…) the whole time, and really made the whole experience so special and magical. Once inside, Tabitha (and by then, a moody and reluctant Marlow) were shown to a special ‘changing room’ where their costumes were already hanging up inside, waiting for them. Boys get a very respectable Knight costume. Marlow refused to put it on. Tabs was beyond excited! Anyway, to cut a long fairytale a little bit shorter, she was then able to chose from a selection of make-up/face painting and hair styles (but all very child appropriate – no Miley Cryrus inspired looks here); then sat in a special chair where she was fussed over, and transformed into a ‘bespoke’ Snow White. Marlow sulked. I have to say, I was really impressed by the whole experience (and I was a little sceptical I have to admit). And mums, we need to remember, it’s not for us, so don’t be expecting dusky pinks, cashmere hand knit cardigans and desert boots – you need to let that all go for an hour, and just embrace (or pretend to anyway) the Princess makeover experience (and remember my Issy reference). They can choose from five (which includes the Knight one) personalised experiences (for children aged between 3-12 years), and they each include a magical transformation with hairstyling and face painting, as well as exclusive Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique merchandise. And now they have added the Frozen experience. Amazing!! I will warn you, it’s not exactly cheap. But honestly, I have to say, the experience was such a special one for Tabitha (ok, Marlow less so, but he did warm up a bit eventually and was given a very stylish sword, which he loved, and anyway, let’s be honest, it’s not really aimed at the boys is it?); and one that she will hopefully always remember. And it’s a one-off experience, so for a special birthday treat it can be justified. And just going to the Harrods toy department is a treat in itself (it’s just trying to get them out again that’s the problem) – it really is amazing. I remember going there every year with my brother and sister as a child, and always remember it so fondly (we were each allowed to choose one toy). And if you really feel you need a Disney detox immediately afterwards, there is a fabulous Bonpoint concession just downstairs…

The Disney Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo Boutique

mama spree: the coolest mama – kate

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Kate Mama S

1. Boden Cashmere Off Duty Jumper, £169.15 (was £199.00)
2. Celine Traveller Dark Havana Frame Sunglasses £130.00 (were £210.00)
3. Jigsaw Mini Bowling Bag, £129.00
4. Gap Desconstructed ‘Always Skinny’ Skimmer Jeans, £19.99 (were £44.95)
5. Alaia Suede Ankle Boots, £810.00

Everything about this outfit is working for us. We want it all!! Kate is the ultimate ‘cool mama’, and this is one effortlessly cool look. The slouchy oversized roll-neck (we’re guessing Celine?); the perfect skinny, but not too skinny mid-blue wash jeans; the ultimate Louis Vuitton SC Sofia bag (I have a long-standing obsession with this bag – after all my initials are SC!!); the sexy, but oh so cool Alaia boots… Sigh. Ok, so we need to do a bit of saving/serious hint-dropping/lottery winning (or possibly all three?) before we can have this exact look, but in the meantime here’s our slightly more wallet-friendly version… I have this Boden jumper from last Winter, and I love it. The perfect ‘chuck on and go’ piece that’s really warm and cosy (no need for a coat for the school run) and covers your bum (always a plus in my book, particularly in Winter). Ok, so I might have been dreaming of the Sofia bag for what feels like forever, but I have to say, this Jigsaw bowling bag is really, really great. So great in fact, that Nicky and I both stopped outside the Chiswick store on Monday when we spotted it, and rushed straight in to give it the once-over. It’s now firmly at the top of my latest wish-list. And I am a very picky about bags. It does come in a slightly bigger style in leather which we also really liked, but personally I love the little suede one. If you’re looking for a less expensive roll-neck, but still want that loose, oversized shape Boden also does a very similar one in merino wool (charcoal is our favourite colour). Gap also has a good one; as does Malene Birger. Ok, so the boots are still Alaia, but at least you can still do the school-run in them… (but here’s a cheaper alternative from ASOS).

ps: This Topshop jumper (thank you Louise for the tip-off) is another one we’re coveting. If Topshop has sold out of your size (as is the case for me), it’s also available at Net a Porter. I will be wearing mine with a little lace trimmed skirt, tights and boots.

forever in (cobalt) blue jeans

boys pb

1. Petit Bateau Wool & Cotton Sailor Sweater, £50.00
2. Petit Bateau Long Sleeved Wool & Cotton T-Shirt, £19.50
3. Mango Five Pocket Trousers, £14.99
4. Petit Bateau Striped Jersey Socks, £8.00
5. 10 IS Silver Hi Top Trainers, £48.50

Cool and cosy layering, with a pop of colour…

ps: 30% off the most expensive item in Petit Bateau when you buy three things at the moment…

sweatshirt girl

girl sweater dress

1. Uniqlo Urban Sweats Sweatshirt Dress, £14.90
2. Zara Bag With Tassels, £15.99
3. Mango Snow Boots, £39.99

Such a cool girl’s outfit. And we love that if you want to pull a ‘mini me’ with your daughter, you can buy yourself a version of the dress, and the Issy boots (Nicky has these from last Winter).

ps: Mango has also done a similar sweatshirt dress that we love.

mama spree: working mama & mama’s going out…

TS Work

1. Boutique Seamless Cashmere Tee, £25.00
2. Olivia Burton Midi Dial Watch, £65.00
3. Long Trench By Goldie, £79.00
4. Textured Scuba Cigarette Pants, £42.00
5. Gemini Suede Court Shoes, £46.00

TS Night

1. Double Ball Stud Earrings, £6.50
2. Heavy Cotton Shacket, £48.00
3. Sequinned Panel Pleat Dress, £65.00
4. Access All Areas by CJG Ankle Boots, £130.00

For all you working mamas out there (well ones who have ‘proper’ jobs anyway, unlike mine, where an Isabel Marant jumpsuit and Birkenstocks are a perfectly acceptable outfit – and in fact what I wore to work yesterday), here is a chic, pared down work look, inspired by the French Vogue Editor, Emmanuelle Alt. Nicky has bought this cashmere tee and hasn’t stopped raving about it. And we’re loving this cool slouchy, trench. And here’s an evening look that we absolutely love. We both regularly throw a military style jacket over a black dress for a dressed up, but laid back (our favourite combo) look. We both have this ‘shacket’ (to be worn open) and it’s proving invaluable in this ‘is it Summer or Winter?’ weather we’re experiencing at the moment.

Created in collaboration with Topshop

extra spooky

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Little Baby Company Halloween Trick Or Treat Card, £3.95

You still have a couple of weeks, but we like to get organised early. So we’ve ordered our cute Halloween costumes and they are on their way. So now that just leaves the sweet little extras that make it all the more fun… We’re loving these personalised trick or treating bags; this pumpkin window sticker; this pumpkin piñata; this door sign; these window stickers; these balloons; this bat card; and this light-up pumpkin (ok, so it’s not the real deal, but I bought one last year, and it looked pretty great – I’ve also bought the mini ones this year).

spooky baby

Haloween baby boy

1. Gap Devil Knitted Hat, £4.99
2. Boden Baby Cardigan, £16.20-£18.00
3. John Lewis Halloween Skeleton Sleepsuit, £14.00
4. M&S Halloween Pull & Go Bat, £6.00

Who says babies can’t get in on the Halloween action? Just make sure they’re bundled up and cosy, and off you go! We also like this cute bib; and as baby Halloween costumes go, this bat print onesie is a pretty cute one.

a spooky little boy like you…

Halloween boys

1. John Lewis Glow-In-The-Dark Pyjamas, £15.00-£17.00
2. Gap Oversized Pom Pom Hat, £9.95
3. Urban Sweat Long Sleeve Hoodie, £19.90
4. Little Baby Company Halloween Pack Of Eight Trick Or Treat Bags, £10.95

Today it’s the boys’ turn, and we’re sticking with our stylish pyjama based Halloween costumes. You may already have a pair of glow-in-the-dark pjs (Marlow and Bailey do), in which case you only need to add the accessories for a trick or treat outfit. We also love this bat tee; these glow-in-the-dark pyjamas; these glow-in-the-dark leggings (these would look so cool worn with a jumper like this); and this wizard costume (ok, so it’s 100% polyester, but for £6.00 for one night…).

pretty spooky

Halloween girls

1. Gap Glow-In-The-Dark Sleep Set, £14.95, Shop Now
2. Numero 74 Super Hero Outfit, £39.69, Shop Now
3. Hunter Sillver Wellies, £30.00, Shop Now

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about little Halloween costumes. After trawling through (what felt like) hundreds of ‘scary’ polyester outfits; various Halloween themed items of clothing (most of which were pretty dodgy it has to be said); and far too much black and orange for our liking, we came to the following conclusion… Buy a pair of ‘spooky-ish’ pyjamas, pimp them up a bit with a few carefully chosen accessories, et voila! You have a stylish, comfy, inexpensive ‘trick or treat worthy’ outfit that means you can just pop your little ones straight into bed after trawling the streets because they’re already wearing their pjs! Perfect. We always love a Gap set of glow-in-the-dark pyjamas (Marlow and Bailey already both have a pair), and these girls ones are so sweet. Just add the (super-stylish) cape,  mask and wellies and you’re all set. Who said Halloween has to be scary anyway? Let’s leave that to the older kids. Also, there’s nothing stopping you from adding a pretty cape or tutu to the pyjamas… I’m also going to be buying Tabitha this Hello Kitty Halloween DVD to get her in the spooky mood (and let’s be honest, how scary can Hello Kitty actually be??). Tomorrow it’s the boys’ turn…

ps: we have had a few requests for some more purse-friendly leather pencil skirts following Friday’s Mama Spree. Here are a few we found on the high street… This ASOS one; this River Island one (we like the pockets); this French Connection wrap one; and this petite one from M&S.

mama spree: slouchy sexy cool

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1. Topshop Boutique Slouchy Jumper, £60.00, SHOP NOW
2. ASOS Plaited Chain Necklace, £8.00, SHOP NOW
3. Baukjen Leather Skirt, £309.00, SHOP NOW
4. Sam Edelman Zavier Suede High Heel Shoes, £149.00, SHOP NOW

I got a little obsessed when I saw this picture of Alexa. I have been thinking about investing in a leather pencil skirt for a while now, but just wasn’t sure it was very ‘me’. I like the idea of one, but thought it was maybe too sexy/vampy for my style. Then I saw this pic, and thought: that’s exactly how I would want to wear a leather skirt. For me, anything sexy has to be diffused with something a bit slouchy/tomboy-ish/masculine. Nicky and I both already have this Topshop camel sweater and it’s really great (and I also have the charcoal one). Size down though, as it comes up large, even for a slouchy fit. And I have it on very good authority that Alexa rates this particular leather pencil skirt (she is wearing the Baukjen one in the picture) as her favourite. I know what you’re thinking – that’s all well and good if you as tiny as Alexa Chung. Well, I happen to know someone who assures me that it is also super-flattering in a size 14 (they are a size 14, and have one too). I’m sold! By the way, these shoes are such an amazing find, we were a little hesitant about sharing them before actually buying them, but we’re nice like that… And we simply couldn’t not share them!

ps: a lovely reader (Chloë) asked me just yesterday for ‘Isssy style cool’ outfit suggestions for her upcoming 30th birthday celebrations. My immediate thought (after mentally trying to actually remember what I wore to my own 30th??) was a cool, slouchy jumpsuit/boiler-suit. Add heels, and a chandelier earring, and this has now become my go-to evening look. So easy, effortless and with a ‘not trying too hard’ feel that I always love and try to achieve. I have been living in my black Isabel boiler-suit from the Summer (I hunted one down in the sales – I was a woman on a mission), and Nicky has just bought this one. I’m now coveting this more affordable one from Zara; and these, also from Zara (I’m now so taken with my denim dungarees that I want a pair for evening now!).

bat hat

boys silver hi tops

1. Mango Navy Pocket Wool Blend Sweater, £16.99, Shop Now
2. Oeuf NYC Bat Beannie, £53.00, Shop Now
3. Zara Slim Fit Trousers, £12.99, Shop Now
4. Petit Bateau Unisex High Tops, £59.00, Shop Now

This low-key boys look, is just cool enough…

ps: for anyone who has tried to buy the Geox ‘William’ school shoes from yesterday’s post and were unable to use the discount code, our friends at Alex and Alexa apologise, and assure us that the problem will be resolved by tomorrow (Thursday) morning, and the code will definitely work then.

shoe shoes shoes

A&A Girl

1. Pom D-Api Rose Pink Leather Boots (sizes 19-30), £54.00 (were £68.00)
SHOP NOW
2. Start-Rite Gold Leather Mary-Janes (sizes 20-26), £48.00 (were £60.00)
SHOP NOW

Boys A&A

1. 10 IS High Top Trainers (sizes 24-38), £56.50 (were £71.00)
SHOP NOW
2. 10 IS Girls Leather Trainer (sizes 24-34), £56.00 (were £70.00)
SHOP NOW

Alex and Alexa currently has 20% off online, then you get an extra 15% on top with the code: SHOE15 until midnight on Thursday. Woohoo! These are our four favourites styles, and we also love these Pom D’Api feather fur girls boots (Nicky saw them in person last week and said they were adorable); these Start-Rite lilac Mary Janes; these Minetonka fringed ankle boots; these Start-Rite white T-bars; these Hunter unisex silver wellies; these Hunter navy ‘first’ wellies; and our favourite boys’ school shoes the Geox ‘William’ (a great time to buy the next size up). They also have a great selection of Pom D’Api girls sandals. Buy now. stash for next Summer…