jumpers & shorts

A bag

1. Crewcuts Cotton-Cashmere Raglan Sweatshirt (2-16 years), £38.00
2. Gap Striped Denim Shorts (12 months-5 years), £7.99
3. Oliver Bonas Alphabet Shopper, £15.00

For Marlow it’s all about a short and a sweater combo at the moment. It’s still (just about) mild enough for a short (and what is it with little boys not feeling the cold??), but definitely too cold for a tee, so he’s living in long sleeved tees or jumpers. Making Summer last as long as possible basically! Here are some others that we’ve got our eye on at the moment.. This fisherman crew neck from Next; this one from Mini Boden (grey melange); and this one from Gap (in grey and navy).

kids at weddings…

wedding girl

1. M&S Autograph Floral Lace Bridesmaid Dress, £35.00-£37.00
2. Woodstock Flower Garland, £26.00
3. ilovegorgeous Satin Ballet Pumps, £15.00

wedding boy

1. Cos Striped Collarless Shirt, £19.00
2. Gap Frayed Denim Shorts, £7.99
3. Birkenstock Rio Sandals, £38.00

wedding baby

1. Tulip & Nettle Sailor Suit, £48.00
2. Robin Pre-Walkers, £27.99

As many of you probably know, my sister Caroline got married on Saturday. Lots of you have been asking me recently about what to dress your little ones in for weddings (your own or friends/relatives). As you also probably know, one of my absolute pet hates is babies and toddlers in any kind of ‘formal’ clothing. And don’t get me started on waistcoats, suits or ties. So how do we navigate this tricky path of wanting to dress them up without the tackiness of the ‘mini adult’ look? So I thought I would share the (pretty much) exact three outfits worn by Tabitha, Marlow and my two year old nephew, ‘Baby James’ on Saturday. Tabitha was an ‘unofficial flower girl’ (it’s a long story…), and I wanted something pretty and whimsical, rather than big and pouffy (no hooped underskirts please). I fell in love with the Woodstock flower garland months ago (I challenge anyone to find one prettier…), so this was my starting point. It is SO gorgeous, and the picture really doesn’t do it justice. I saw the dress in M&S a while ago, and ummed and ahhed for weeks, but once I’d actually bought it and tried it on Tabs, I was pretty smitten. Again, it’s hard to see how nice it is from the picture (one of the downsides to internet shopping I guess). Plus, to be completely honest, I really didn’t want to blow £100 plus on an ‘unofficial flower girl’ dress. This one was perfect, and just ‘pretty enough’. It also comes in pale pink (I didn’t even show Tabs that one, for obvious reasons, though it was pretty I have to admit). And the satin ballet pumps were a cute finishing touch (she changed into her regular ballet shoes with the trusty elastic later on). I wanted Marlow to look smart-ish, but still cool and comfortable (he’s not one for dressing up, and even shirts can be a struggle with him). I liked this soft, collarless one from Cos (he also had another striped one from Cos that he also wore, but it’s not on the website) because it didn’t feel too stiff and formal. The shorts are denim, but the gunmetal grey was just smart enough. And he LOVES his silver sandals! ‘Baby James’ looked adorable in his classic sailor top and matching cropped trousers. He then wore the white version of the top the following day with navy shorts (I like these ones from Next). So if the complete look is a step too far into Victoriana for you, then just replace the matching trousers with shorts or regular trousers. And I love the navy t-bars (James’ were from BbBell). So there you have it. Check out Instagram (littlespree) for some pictures of them. ps: if you’re interested in what I wore, I will give you the details on Friday in my Mama Spree post.

my favourite cardigan

boden trio

Mini Boden Baby Cardigan (0-3 years)
£18.00-£20.00  SHOP NOW
I love, love, love these gorgeous cardigans. I couldn’t decide which colour I liked best, so I edited it down to my three favourites. I love the hand knitted feel, the velvet ribbon trim, and the sweet little patch pockets (basically everything about them!). Tomorrow I’ll show you how I’m styling Tabitha’s (and which colour I went for in the end)…
Just bought a couple of great long sleeved (it’s that time…) slub tees for Marlow in Gap today (styling tip: they look really cool with the sleeves rolled up a couple of times). This one (in ‘cast iron’) and this one (in ‘raison’). Love them. I also spotted this coat in M&S, and ended up buying it for Marlow’s school coat (apologies that it wasn’t in last week’s coats edit, but I hadn’t seen it then). Trust me, it’s so much nicer in person; plus it’s grey not khaki as it states on the website. And it has a really warm, cosy lining. I was also tempted by this one that I spotted in Next yesterday. Not bad at all.

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back to school: it’s all about the (cute) little extras…

back to school G

1. Lily & Lime ‘When I Grow Up’ Notebook, £9.50
2. Gap Kitty Backpack, £19.95
3. Rosie Jo’s Initial Personalised Canvas Bag, £12.50
4. Happy Jackson ‘Yay Lunch’ Lunchbox, £6.00
5. Sarah Catherine Designs ‘First Day Of School’ Personalised Card, £2.95
6. My 1st Years Personalised Pencil Set, £12.00

 

back to school

1. Posh Totty Designs Interiors Retro Wooden Rulers, £6.00 each
2. Gap Nylon Backpack, £19.95
3. Sarah Catherine Designs ‘First Day Of School’ Personalised Card, £2.95
4. Rosie Jo’s Initial Personalised Canvas Bag, £12.50
5. From You To Me ‘Rant And Rave About My School Journal’, £10.00
6. Doodle By Stitch Doodle Pencil Case, £12.50

Here are a few cute things that we loved, to try and refresh your palette after all the un-inspiring dullness of regulation school shoes and coats of the previous posts. One for the girls, and one for the boys. We also liked this school reminder chalkboard; and this Gap owl backpack.

ps: tomorrow it’s all about us again! Phew. New term = new season’s clothes. Yay! We’ve got it covered with a cool, effortless ‘school-run look’ for September that will take seconds to throw together in the morning, featuring our new favourite high street jacket…

school coats (girls & boys)

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La Redoute Hooded Parka (3-8 years)
£27.00  SHOP NOW
Another pretty uninspiring subject is school coats. Sigh. We know they need them, so we know we need to buy them, but are we getting excited about them? Er, no. This La Redoute one is the current favourite (a great unisex option). In fact, most of the ones we found were unisex (well the ones we could stomach anyway), but then who really wants a pink belted puffa coat for school (well, apart from Tabitha given half the chance!) anyway? We just want a non-hideous (there seems to be a trend emerging this week for school wear…) one that will keep them warm and dry (ish) right? So here you go… This one from F&F; John Lewis; this one from Uniqlo (in navy); this one from Gap; this one from Zara; this one from M&S; this one from Zara; this one from Next; this one from M&S; this one from Gap; this one from Joules this one from M&S; this one from John Lewis; this one from John Lewis; this one from Polarn O. Pyret; this one from John Lewis; and this one from Trespass. Is it too early for a drink?

ps: tomorrow it’s all about those little extras…

girls school shoes: the whole story (and a few less warts)

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Papouelli Violetta Mary Janes (sizes 26-34)
£59.00  SHOP NOW
Here we go again, but this time it’s the girls’ turn. And I have to say, compared to the boys they haven’t got it so bad. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s slim-pickings out there, but there are definitely some more than ok options. Personally I prefer the more traditional style for girls – the classic Mary Jane is always  a favourite of mine (in or out of school), so I was pleased to see so many around for school. The ‘Violetta’ style from Papouelli (above) is the  girls’ front-runner (and almost certainly going to be Tabitha’s first pair of school shoes), and they come in navy and black (for some reason, most of my favourites only seem to come in navy, annoyingly). They look sweet, but are pretty sturdy too. I also like these options… These from Start-rite; these from Petasil (Blanche): these from Start-rite; these from Clarks (I actually saw these in the window of the Richmond store last week, and they are much nicer in real life); these from Start-rite; these from Geox; these from Lelli Kelly (I never thought I’d see the day when I would be featuring Lelli Kelly on Little Spree!!); these from Start-rite; these from these Menthe et Grenadine (thank you Lucy for the tip-off – they have some gorgeous shoes for girls and boys); and finally these from Next. Amen.

ps: tomorrow it’s onto school coats… Oh joy.

back to school…

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photo: pinterest

The whole of this week Little Spree will be dedicated entirely to ‘back to school’. Or in Tabarlow’s case, starting ‘big’ school. Including the least offensive regulation school shoes out there (as if this whole transition wasn’t challenging enough for us??), school bags, coats, and just various cute school bits and pieces. First up, it’s the boys’ shoes, coming later today…

bubble round-up: the ones to watch…

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photo: leeclowerphotography

The Bubble London exhibition back in July (where does the time go??) was really inspiring in so many ways. Me and my new partner in crime (and super-stylish mama), Nicky set off on a mission (both in flat shoes) in search of lovely new brands/labels, and believe me, she’s as picky as I am am! We saw a lot of things we liked, a lot of things we didn’t like (or simply just weren’t very ‘Little Spree’), and some things that we loved. I have narrowed down to who we really loved (it was tough, but my job is to edit after all), and who you may not necessary be on your radar just yet (there were also a lot of familiar brands that we already know and love there too, but you don’t need me to tell you about those), so here’s who to keep an eye on now, and particularly come Autumn (we were looking at their upcoming Autumn/Winter collections).
First up: Velveteen (above) was our absolute favourite. We loved everything about his label and their collection!! Think Bonpoint, but (much) more affordable, and with a cooler/hippie/artisan, handmade feel (but still lovely quality). Faded tiny florals/stripes/dot prints, tassels, to-die-for cute bikinis, baskets… You get the picture (and it’s not just for girls – the boys things are equally gorgeous). I would probably have bought the entire collection there and then if I could have! We also loved their philosophy of working with fair-trade organisations wherever possible. You will definitely be seeing more of Velveteen (even the name is adorable!!) on Little Spree. The Little Tailor was another fave. Beautiful hand knitted baby pieces in perfect colours/tones. Favourites included the square comforters (definitely the most stylist one I have seen to date); blankets, cashmere trousers and knitted rattles.
You will already have heard of  Nature Zoo because of the recent ‘Octochic’ competition. We loved everything about their stylish crocheted toys and nursery accessories. Everything they do would make the loveliest baby gifts too. Sticky Fudge - just gorgeous pieces for boys, girls and babies. A lovely muted colour palette. Ponytail (probably our second favourite) focuses on the coolest/most stylish toy storage bags, changing mats and nappy bags. We particularly loved the genius drawstring ‘Saco’ bag (in grey) which is a toy storage bag and play mat in one. I definitely would have bought one of these if they had been around when Tabarlow were babies. Another great (original and stylish) baby gift idea. Castell make the simple, stylish Spanish sandals that you have probably seen around quite a bit this Summer. Love love love! Collégien is a French label that make super-cool toddler slipper-socks with a moulded sole (they even do a pair in navy cashmere!!).  They also do a great selection of coloured socks and tights. Dadati is another Spanish label (there are such great kidswear designs coming out of Spain at the moment) that we loved. They specialise in beautiful, classic children’s clothes. Lots of pretty Liberty prints and lovely colours, a lot of which is unisex. Great prices too.

ps: remember this super-cute kitty bag (as featured on Little Spree back in July? I’ve seen so many all over Instagram recently (and not just for little girls either!), and the good news is, it’s still available here.

love tee

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Bob & Blossom ‘Love’ Silver Print Long Sleeve Tee (1-5 years)
£14.95  SHOP NOW
I have long been a fan of Bob & Blossom, and have bought countless number t-shirts for birthday presents (they are always well received by both parents, and little ones, and a great price at just £16.95). But at the recent Bubble exhibition in London, it was this adorable love tee that caught my eye. The ‘marshmallow’ pink is just right, and the silver text makes the perfect cool contrast. I also loved the ‘hello’ version in the perfect ‘cloud’ grey with neon text (in fact, it was tough to choose which one to use as the picture for this post). They are also both available in baby sizes too. I can’t get enough of them!

ps: the lucky winner of the gorgeous Nature Zoo musical octopus is Louise Knight. Congratulations Louise! Please email me with your address and I will post it straight to you. Thank you to everyone who entered, and worry not, there will be more competitions coming soon.

pps: next week is dedicated to the dreaded (for so many reasons!!) subject of ‘back to school’, or in Tabarlow’s case: starting school. I am traumatised, but mostly about the scary shoes. I will be sharing my woes with you all next week, so don’t buy anything until you’ve read my edit.

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?

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.

mellow yellow

1. Alice à Paris Boatneck T-Shirt, £8.00
2. Gap Retro Sunglasses, £5.00
3. Mango Five Pocket Trousers, £16.99
4. Bisgaard Velcro Sandals, £33.22

I’m having (so that means Marlow too) a bit of a Bonpoint-inspred yellow moment…

ps: these fab Pom D’Api sandals that I posted last week are now on sale for £43.40. Very tempting indeed.

pps: 20% off at M&S until midnight today!!

win a ‘mini (boden) spree’

1. Tea Dress
2. Pointelle Cardigan
3. Pretty Playsuit
4. 5 Pack Bodies
5. Pretty Bloomers


1. Hotchpotch Sweatshirt
2. Logo Jumper
3. Fun Roll-Up Trousers
4. 5 Pack Bodies
5. Baby Laundered Shirt

One of my favourite (and yours too I’ve noticed!) kids’ labels, Mini Boden are kindly giving away all ten of these gorgeous baby pieces (personally chosen by me) to two lucky Little Spree readers. Five pieces for baby girls, and five pieces for baby boys. Each item comes in ages 0-3 years (so not just for babies). To enter, all you need to do is to answer one simple question, and follow Little Spree on Twitter (little spree) and Instagram (littlespree @littlespree) if you don’t already. The question is: what is Tabitha and Marlow’s collective nickname? Please send your answer to: littlespreeblog@gmail.com, stating ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ to specify which of the two prizes you would like to win, and the age of your baby or size you which to be sent (you can choose to size up and ‘stash for later’ if you prefer – it’s totally up to you). Two winners will be selected at random, and I will announce them on Thursday 19th June (so you have plenty of time). Boden will then send the five items directly to the two winners. One of them might just be you! Good luck!

boys’ sandals

Pom D’Api Walk Sandal (sizes 21-28)
£62.00  SHOP NOW
I am obsessed with these sandals! I have only just discovered them, but they are hot on the heels (sorry – no pun actually intended) of my favourite Sun San sandals… They also come in brown. I love that they have a classic, traditional feel, but are also cool (much like the Sun Sans). I know they’re aren’t cheap, but I don’t think that’s a ridiculous price for a pair of really well made, cool sandals that will last until Autumn – and Pom D-Api as you know is one of my all-time favourite brands for boys’ shoes. I have been scouring the internet and the High Street for other sandals, but I have to say, it’s been slim pickings. This is my edit of the best ones out there…
Grey Zara; denim blue Petit Bateau; navy Zara (I just bought these for Marlow, as he loves Tabitha’s neon pink ones, and he can do the straps himself, which he loves); navy M&S; tan Pom D’Api (girls, but good for boys too); brown John Lewis; navy Bisgaard; navy F&F; and I love the colour of these olive Birkenstocks.

ps: don’t forget – tomorrow is the day when I will give you all the details of how to enter the ‘win a mini boden spree’ competition. Right here. You definitely don’t want to miss it!