stamptastic

I have Jo Elvin (Editor of Glamour and my old Editor/boss) to thank for this top tip. She tweeted about it a few weeks ago, and I made a note of the name (which I love!). Stamptastic is a genius hassle-free way of labelling your child’s uniform/belongings for school if you don’t fancy the time-consuming sewing or those fiddly iron-on labels. You just order the stamp with your child’s name; they post it to you with the ink block, and that’s it – you’re ready to go. No muss, no fuss.

www.stamptastic.co.uk

CakeyCoo cakes

These cakes have to been seen to be believed. They are like works of art. CakeyCoo creates beautifully designed bespoke cakes (and cookies) for any occasion. Based in Hertfordshire, lovely Linsdey (who I have worked with on and off for over ten years) combines her love of baking (she certainly kept that talent on the down-low that’s for sure!) with her background in art direction and graphic design to create these unbelievable cakes. So if you’re looking for a beautiful, original birthday cake for your little one’s birthday (or indeed, any occassion), this should be your first port of call (for me it used to be Konditor & Cook – not anymore). I have honestly never seen any cakes as beautiful. And the best part is, they taste as incredible as they look (yes that is possible).

www.cakeycoo.co.uk

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.

end of term…

The end of term is almost upon us (Tabarlow have just three more days left at their wonderful nursery, then it’s off to ‘big school’ in September), which means time to think about presents for the teachers. John Lewis gift vouchers always go down well (and are easy to get if the class wants to get together and give a collective gift). Here are a few other sweet, personalised ideas if you’re looking for some etxra inspiration… These denim tote bagsnotepad; purse (perfect for keeping all those annoying bits and pieces in – I have so many of these); chocolatespencil case; and card. And a beautiful bunch of peonies is always going to be happily received.

grey coats

Gap Sherpa Lined Peacoat (12 months-5 years)
During my endless search for navy pea coats, I constantly found myself unearthing various great grey coats, so felt they were worthy of a post in their own right. In the absence of navy, grey is always the next best thing for a Winter coat as far as I’m concerned. This Gap one really caught my eye – I love that is a slightly different spin on the traditional reefer/pea style. The sheerpa trim/lining looks (and I’m sure feels) so cosy. Here are a few others that I found… I really like this cosy parka-style from Next; this one from Kihawo; this Cyrillus one; this Cocoon one; this reefer-style from Vertaudet; and finally, this ‘baby pea’ also from Gap.
£27.95   SHOP NOW

parka chic

Bluezoo Girl’s Navy Fur Trimmed Parka (4-14 years)
I have not looked at Debenhams kids’ clothes for quite a while now, but a Little Spree reader tipped me off that they were doing some good things at the moment. She recommended this parka, which I like, but I prefer the one above, as it feels a bit more like one I’d recently seen and liked in a certain well known high-end French childrenswear shop (that I only frequent during sale time). It is SO hard to find a half decent warm, waterproof coat for girls, but there a few pretty good options out there if you look hard enough. Loving this Zara (how do they always get it so right?) navy one too. And the fur collar is detachable, which I always like in a coat. And I love this one even more (it’s very similar to one my friend’s super-stylish son, Bailey was wearing the other day that I was coveting, which was definitely not a high street purchase)! This M&S one is pretty cute too. So now, which one to choose..?
£32.00-£41.00   SHOP NOW

ps: this one also comes in khaki, which is really cool too.

pps: another day, another tip off about another sale! I Dream Elephants have 25% off everything today. They have some gorgeous things for boys, girls and babies.

pear shaped

Best Years Crochet Pear Rattle
How sweet is this knitted pear rattle? Super-stylish, and babies love the feel of crocheted toys (the twins loved theirs…). A great, inexpensive baby gift (from Liberty no less) for babies (and their mamas) to love…
£6.00   SHOP NOW

ps: these adorable bunny slippers arrived in the post for Tabitha today. They are SO cute. And I couldn’t leave Marlow out of course, so he got these knitted slipper-boots (in grey of course). Love them both.

pps: another day, another navy pea

cute, cosy cardigans

Mini Boden Cable Cardigan (1.5-12 years)
I have had my eye on this lovely cable knit cardi for a while now (my favourite cardigan of Tabitha’s last year (that’s still going strong, and currently being worn most days) is a dusky-pink one from Mini Boden, so I thought this could be a great replacement. It also comes in navy, and a lovely yellow. I have been asked a lot about cute, cosy girls’ cardigans recently, so I have rounded up some of my favourites for you… Love this cute graphic spot one from Zara; this star printed one from Mango; this dusky-pink (such a pretty colour) one from Autograph; this heart print one form The Little White Company; this double-breasted one from Cyrllius (more of a ‘coatigan’, so really practical); this super-cute multi-striped one with a hand-knitted feel from H&M; and last, but not least, this gorgeous cashmere one from Cos (Marlow has an almost identical boys’ version from last Winter that he still wears, and still looks as good as new). So there you have it.
£24.00-£28.00   BUY NOW

the perfect grandad

Alice a Paris Tunisian T-Shirt (2-10 years)
I just love these simple ‘Grandad’ style t-shirts for boys, and this one is one of the best I’ve seen. It’s a great fit, and also comes in white, (and not one, but two shades of grey!), and for £11.00, I’ll definitely be buying more than one for Marlow. I would recommend sizing up and just rolling the sleeves up (as shown here) to last the Winter and beyond… And perfect for this ‘not quite cold enough for a full-on jumper yet’ weather.
£11.00  aliceaparis.com

a scrunchy bucket?

Trotters Scrunch Bucket
We are off to Cape Cod tomorrow for our Summer holiday, so my mind is focused on buckets and spades, mini bikinis and towling beach cover-ups (and not to mention, crab cakes, lobster rolls and Crew Cuts…). I won’t be packing buckets in our cases, but if I were to buy one (or two) today, it would be this super-cool, flexible (packable) one. A bucket, but not as you know it (more of a handbag in fact – ‘bagbuck’ anyone?)
£8.99  trotters.co.uk

ps: I am going to have a little break (my fingers need a rest) from Little Spree, so I won’t be posting from my holiday. But fear not, I’ll be back at the end of the month, and I will be very much focused on what we should/will be buying our little ones for the Autumn. Enjoy the rest of the Summer. And if you miss me too much, there’s always Instagram (little spree)… X

pps: not sure if this is a good or a bad thing, but I think I have just packed most of the things I have posted in the last month!

cool velcro

Pom D’Api Velcro Pumps (sizes 24-32)
As you already know, Pom D’Api are my favourite shoes for (toddler) boys. Just spotted these, and will be definitely buying a pair for Marlow. Loving the double velcro (a mum’s best friend) for added speed/ease in getting out of the house. And I probably don’t need to point out the fact that I love the colour do I?
£39.99  panachekids.co.uk

bonjour monsieur

Simple Kids Monsieur T-Shirt (2-10 years)
I’ve just finished series four of Spiral (I still can’t decide whether I actually like it or not?), so that might explain why I was drawn to this particular t-shirt. But a more likely explanation might simply be that it’s just a really cool t-shirt. I love the ‘relaxed fit’ too. I know it’s not exactly t-shirt weather (although amazingly, I did manage a trip to the supermarket without a coat today), but this is definitely a ‘buy now, wear later’ find that is likely to sell out soon (particularly now the sun has actually put in an appearance this year). And at a pinch, you could always layer with a cashmere cardigan or a navy hoodie if you really can’t wait to bust it out…
£37.00  eliasandgrace.com

ps: I have just discovered a company called lostmy.name, who create beautifully illustrated bespoke books for children based on the letters of their name. It’s such a clever idea. You just go to their website, where you’re guided through the process (it couldn’t be easier, and literally takes minutes), and at the end you have an individual, personalised child’s magical, adventure story book. I have just ordered one each for Marlow and Tabitha. They are so cute, and just £16.99 (they ship worldwide, but postage is free to the UK). I think they might be my latest ‘go-to’ gift idea (perfect for newborns, christenings, birthdays…). Definitely worth checking out. Totally adorable.

floral pjs

Mini Club Girls Floral Pyjamas (9 months-5 years)
These were a tip-off from my lovely friend (and sadly, ex-neighbour), Kath. She spotted them a while ago, but they were so popular, they sold out before I had a chance to post them. Now they’re back, so don’t hang around if you want to get your hands on a pair. Boots do some really fab things for kids (they’re just not always that easy to find…). In fact, I’ve got some real gems in there in the past (and you would never guess where they were from). So if you’ve never thought of looking (and frankly, why would you?), take a peek – you may well be surprised. I love that these are really classic, old-fashioned pyjamas (they have a bit of a Little House On The Prairie vibe about them). They are 100% cotton, which for the price (you can even use your Boots points to pay if you like – love that!), is pretty great. They feel very Christmas-y to me (just not in the obvious way). So sweet.
£14.00  boots.com