octochic

Nature Zoo was one of my favourite stands at Bubble London last week. They make the most beautiful (and stylish) crocheted toys and accessories, and chic, stylish baby gifts. I was immediately drawn to this gorgeous musical octopus, and the lovely ladies at Nature Zoo kindly offered to give one to a lucky Little Spree reader. All you need to do is answer this (ridiculously easy) question, and email your answer to me at the usual Little Spree email address (you can find it in ‘contact’ at the top of the website). How many legs does an octopus have?
I also loved the cot and pram/buggy mobiles (the figures are detachable, so you switch them over or add to them – love that – so clever). Anyway, check out the website for yourself – they have so many cute things. There’s just something about the look and feel of these crocheted pieces that babies just love. The little rattles are adorable too. And the great thing is, they are all super-stylish.
We’re off to Tuscany tomorrow on holiday, so Little Spree will also be taking a little (and much needed) break. Back in two weeks! Good luck with the competition! I will announce the winner when we’re back, so you have plenty of time (the closing date is 6th August).

ps: more from Bubble soon. I can’t wait to share my favourites with you…

mama spree: the day-to-night jumpsuit

1. Mango V-neck Jumpsuit, £34.99 (was £59.99)
2. Festiva Macramé Bag, £35.00
3. Kurt Geiger ‘Goodsport’ Sandals, £59.00 (were £110)

1. Mango V-neck Jumpsuit, £34.99 (was £59.99)
2. Isabel Marant Bead Tassel Earrings, £85.00 (were £170.00)
3. Scotch & Soda Batik Clutch Bag, £26.00 (was £51.95)
4. Isabel Marant Leather Sandals, £261.00 (were £435.00)

Who knew a black jumpsuit could be so wearable, flattering and not to mention, versatile? Not me. But now I own one (this exact one from Mango in fact) I am a complete convert. And it works just as well for day as for night. The one downside? There is no such thing as a quick trip to the loo! And whatever you do, do not wear one on a long haul flight (learn from my mistakes ladies!). I was seduced by it’s ‘chic and comfortable’ appeal, but in one trip managed to lose an arm (the jumpsuit’s, not mine) down a dubious-looking loo at JFK airport (nice), and frequent loo trips on the flight become pretty tedious when you have to strip down to your bra and knickers each time (with a queue of impatient fellow passengers waiting outside…). But don’t let any of that put you off, I also love this one from Scotch & Soda.

ps: this week I’m also loving this Topshop printed sarong, and this basket bag (note the addition of the shoulder strap) from Hedgehog for my (just around the corner) holiday…

pps: I’m obsessed with the Scotch & Soda batik clutch (above)!!

shirts, shorts & a flash of silver…

1. Miller Palm Shirt, £27.50 (was £55.00)
2. Gap Flat Front Denim Shorts, £14.99 (were £17.95)
3. Birkenstock Silver Rio Sandals, £36.00

I sometimes struggle with shirts for Marlow, as they have a tendency to look (and feel) a bit stiff and starchy. Not this one from one of my favourite brands, Miller. And I love it even more styled in this relaxed way with these cool khaki shorts and (girls) Birkies. Who says boys can’t wear silver sandals anyway?

checked chic

1. M&S 2 Piece Cotton Gingham Blouse & Shorts Outfit, £20.00
2. M&S Cotton Cable Knit Cardigan, £9.00
3. Zara Leather Metallic Sandals, £9.99 (were £17.99)

M&S are doing some great baby pieces (and all in lovely cottons) at the moment. I love this cute little gingham outfit and cable cardigan. So chic.

ps: saw lots of gorgeous things at the Bubble London exhibition today. Very inspiring. I will be writing a special post all about my favourite ‘ones to watch’ (some you may already know, and some you probably won’t). And guess what? I also found some non-hideous boys’ school shoes (yes complete with the obligitoary velcro!). I will definitely be sharing those, so don’t buy any new school shoes until you’ve read it.

little london

Planning a trip to London with little ones during the Summer holidays? Live in London, but need some inspiration of what to do with your little ones in the big smoke? Little London is full of fun and fascinating things to do with little adventurers in tow. Get out and inspire your kids’ imaginations! There are over two hundred things to do, year round, and best of all, most of them are free! One of my favourites is the National Gallery’s ‘Family Sundays’.

 

buy now, stash for later…

Kin By John Lewis Boys Parka (2-10 years)
£10.00 (was £15.00)  SHOP NOW
Thank you Jacqueline for this great ‘buy now, stash for later’ find. And an amazing price!! You can’t go wrong with a parka, and I’m definitely buying one for Marlow to ‘stash’ for the Autumn. And here’s another (slightly longer) one, also from John Lewis.

ps: here’s a super-cute girls Winter coat from Monsoon to buy now too (it’s just £40.00). So tempted…

pps: Tabitha is wearing her Next shorts dungarees and striped tee combo today (she did take a bit of convincing: “but it’s not pretty enough…”, but I managed to talk her round). It’s so sweet.

get crafty

With the Summer holidays upon us, I like to make sure my craft supplies are well stocked (after all, it’s not about big day trips to the zoo every day). I have recently discovered Baker Ross, a brilliant website for all things creative and fun for kids. They literally have everything you (and your creative little ones) could ever want! And the prices are amazing (forget W.H. Smith – and is it just me or have they got really expensive? And no, I don’t want an enormous bar of chocolate half price thanks). They have themed kits (everything from Princesses to Rainforests) and I love their ‘craft essentials bumper pack’. I’ve just put my order in for the holidays (everything from goggly eyes to collage feathers to glider making kits….). I also just bought this four drawer tower from The Holding Company to keep it all in (including all the ‘junk’ items that kids love so much – old loo rolls, boxes etc etc). Tabarlow can wheel it around, and get everything out themselves (I was inspired by a similar trolley that they had at their nursery). So put down those iPads, turn of CBeebies (it’s giving you a headache anyway) and get crafty.

mama spree: cargo cool

1. Gap Burnout Boyfriend Tee, £16.95
2. Joomi Lim Crystal Skull Earrings, £34.00 (were £68.00)
3. Zara Trousers With Paint Marks, £17.99 (were £39.99)
4. Boden Serrana Sandals, £23.60-£47.20 (were £59.00-£69.00)

This is what I refer to as a great, easy to wear ‘running around’ look – nursery/school-run, shopping, running errands, lunch with friends, casual supper… you get the picture. For those days when you just want to feel a bit ‘cooler’, but still comfortable (this is how I want to feel most days – whether I actually manage to achieve it is another matter…). I love these trousers (just remember to turn them up a bit to make them more cropped – it makes all the difference). J.Crew has also done a version, (which I saw when I was in New York at the weekend shooting for Red), which are a bit more pricey, but so fab. Just be prepared for strangers to ask you what you’ve spit on your trousers!! If the paint makes you a little tense, I really like these Anthropologie zip cargo pants too (reduced from £98.00 to just £28.00!). And it’s amazing how a dangly earring can elevate a casual tee, and I’ve had my eye on this Joomi Lim pair for a long time…

ps: Anthropologie has some great sale bargains at the moment, as I discovered as I was snooping around the website earlier – up to 70% off on lots of things. I liked this blouse (would look great with cargo pants actually); these pyjamas;  this dress; this jacket (which I spotted in the store in New York and loved); these dungarees;  this cutout tee; and these go-with-everything earrings (sorry not in the sale, but lovely and still a good price).

pps: I know it’s Mama Spree Friday, but just wanted to share a few Little Spree purchases that I’ve made recently… I literally bought this M&S pointelle cardigan yesterday. Love the yolk colour (will look great with denim). And when I was in New York I couldn’t leave J.Crew without a few ‘little’ sale bargains, so I bought this glow-in-the-dark pirate tee (Marlow loves it and keeps going into dark cupboards to look at it…) and this baseball tee. I know, I was pretty restrained really wasn’t I??

my favourite pregnancy book

Someone just asked me for a recommendation for a good pregnancy book/guide. I had a huge pile of books on my bedside table when I was pregnant (mostly unread). The only one that I remember as standing out (by the fact that I actually bothered to read it) was The Best Friend’s Guide To Pregnancy. It had been recommended to me by a friend, and it was brilliant. It tells you all the things that the other books don’t, and often made me laugh out loud when I was tucked up in bed (usually at 9.00pm!) reading. If you want the lowdown on all those little things that are too strange or embarrassing to ask, practical tips, and hilarious takes on everything pregnancy-related (I did), this is the book for you. Just don’t let your boyfriend/husband get his hands on it. You’ll know why.

 

 

cats & (ballet) flats

1. Next Chambray Playsuit & T-Shirt Set, £15.00-£21.00
2. H&M Straw Bag, £4.99
3. La Coqueta Napa Ballerina, £25.50 (were £34.00)

Could Next have made dressing any easier? The perfect striped Breton already layered under the cutest dungarees shorts. This a ‘mini me’ outit if ever there was one (ok, maybe not the cat bag, although I do love it…)

paris with kids

A friend (and fellow mum, Richmond resident and Little Spree reader), Sarah mentioned this book to me the other day, so I wanted to share it with you all too. The Little Bookroom Guide To Paris With Children is your go-to guide to all things stylish and child-friendly in the French capital. It cleverly looks at the city through a child’s eyes, but in a way that will appeal to us too. There is also one for New York too. Thanks Sarah!

lo-fi style

1. Petit Bateau Granddad T-Shirt, £13.50
2. Artful Kids ‘My First Smartphone’, £14.95
3. H&M Cotton Shorts, £5.99
4. New Papy Sandals, £48.00 (were £80.00)

Love this colour of this top with white (don’t worry – the price of the shorts reflects how laid back you can be about getting them dirty, but they do look cool though don’t they?). And you don’t get more ‘lo-fi’ than this super-cute wooden mobile phone (complete with chalk and earphone erasers)! Love it.

what to wear to a wedding when you’re (heavily) pregnant?

It’s a tricky one for sure. In the first few months you can still wing it a bit, with roomier dresses from your ‘old life’, but for those last few months you need to bring in the big guns. Here are some of my favourite ‘dressier’ maternity dresses. This Hatch silk slouch dress (great dressed up or down, so a good investment); Boden maxi dress; Isabella Oliver gathered maxi dress; Isabella Oliver rouched midi dress; Seraphine lace cocktail dress; or this beautiful Seraphine lace and silk dress (not dissimilar to the Temperley one I am wearing to my sister’s wedding).

mango jumpsuit

I bought this Mango jumpsuit last week on a whim (£34.99 reduced from £59.99 in the sale), without even trying it on (queues for the changing rooms during sale time are not my favourite place to hang out). But when I got it home and tried it on, it fitted perfectly and I loved it. Yesterday I had to find an outfit that would see me from Tabarlow’s end of year assembly at nursery, to a meeting with my Editor at Red, then straight out for cocktails with girlfriends in the evening. And the jumpsuit didn’t let me down. I felt comfortable, but ‘pulled together’ (literally!). I wore mine with my Miu Miu studded flat sandals, but I particularly love it with a high sandal for the evening. ps: for some reason, the link keeps diverting you to the Mango home page (so annoying). If it does, the details for my jumpsuit are: v-neck long jumpsuit, ref 23080273 ‘Marea’.

mama spree: looking ahead…

1. Isabel Marant Étoile Striped Cotton Shirt, £110.00
2. ASOS Multipack Gold Plated Sleeper Earrings, £12.00
3. Gap ‘Sexy Boyfriend’ Shorts, £29.95
4. Whistles Slip On Espadrilles, £50.00 (were £85.00)

1. Isabel Marant Étoile Striped Cotton Shirt, £110.00
2. ASOS Multipack Gold Plated Sleeper Earrings, £12.00
3. Adidas Stan Smith Trainers, £66.99
4. Topshop Cigarette Trousers, £22.00

Please forgive the slightly Wintery looking Mama Spree today (don’t worry – more holiday posts to come), but bear with me. Come the Autumn I guarantee you will want a boyish striped shirt (I have shot this Étoile one for a Pre-Fall shoot for Red – you can see the story in the new August issue), a pair of flat-front cropped trousers and a pair of Stan Smith trainers (you need to buy a pair now though, they are selling out fast!). This is where things are heading next season – pared-down, slightly boyish and totally effortless. And I’m all over it. To me this shirt is a real investment piece (and not unreasonably priced), so here are two different ways of wearing it – one for now, one for later. Recognise the Gap shorts – yes I’ve already posted them (it’s not an oversight), but see how versatile they are? And we definitely all need a pair of espadrilles in our lives this Summer.
Here are a few other pieces that I love that would would work with this look… Pure Collection boyfriend cashmere cardigan (it is so hard to find a good, slouchy cashmere everyday cardigan, and this is one of the best I’ve seen, and it’s currently on sale; these white boyfriend (Angie) jeans from Mango would look great with the Issy shirt; I also like these Mango (kimono belt) trousers. I just ordered this (embroidered detail) shirt from Mango too.

temperley

My sister had the second fitting for her wedding dress at Temperley yesterday, and while we were there I tried this gorgeous dress on. And sort of fell in love. It’s currently on sale if you have a special party/event coming up. It’s really beautiful. I think this may ‘the one’.