welly time

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John Lewis Wellington Boots (sizes 6 Jnr-5), £12.00-£14.00
It’s the time of year again. Many of you have been asking us about good (plain, simple, stylish, and inexpensive of course) wellies. So here you go. These are great options too… M&S;  MothercareM&S; Bundgaard and Next (love all three colours). And although, not plain, these are really sweet.

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.

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.

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…

cable knits & mary janes

Girl cable jumper

1. Mini Boden Cosy Cable Throw-On, £31.00-£36.00 (was £35.00-£40.00, SHOP NOW
2. M&S Cotton Embroidered Skater Skirt, £16.00-£20.00, SHOP NOW
3. Zara Ribbed Tights, £5.99, SHOP NOW
4. Start-Rite Gold Leather Mary Janes, £48.00 (were £60.00), SHOP NOW

We love this chunky cable knit sweater (it has the cutest pom pom on the hood, which you can’t see in this pic). And I bought this gorgeous skater skirt for Tabitha back in the Summer. Perfect with or without tights. It really reminds me of the Miller ones that I bought her last year in that amazing Elias & Grace sale.

mangotastic

Mango girl

1. Elastic Edge Dress, £22.99
2. Faux Fur Gilet, £24.99
3. Suede Ankle Boots, £54.99

Mango boy

1. Mid-Wash Denim Shirt, £19.99
2. College Sweatshirt, £14.99
3. Slim-Fit Corduroy Trousers, £19.99
4. Stitched High Top Sneakers, £29.99

If you’re looking for a little inspiration before getting that hefty 30% off at Mango (it ends at midnight tonight – just enter this code at checkout: 5WEEKEND), here’s one for the girls and one for the boys…
And for us? We’re loving this jacket; this cardigan (perfect for those chilly morning school runs that we know are coming – just chuck it on and run out the door); these scarves; and we’re still loving this jacket and these boots.

ps: love this girls dress too (I always love a white dress in the Winter with tights and boots).

coat edit part lll: girls

Girls coats 2

1. Next Grey Faux Fur Front Coat (3-16 years), £38.00-£44.00
2. Zara Double Breasted Mohair Coat (3-14 years), £49.99
3. Jigsaw Junior Faux Fur Trim Tweed Coat (4-13 years), £74.00-£79.00
4. Gap Wool Zip Coat (12 months-5 years), £34.95
5. Monsoon ‘Ana’ Coat (3-13 years), £45.00

Here are our our favourite Winter coats for girls. Fancy winning number 5? Monsoon is kindly going to give one away to a lucky Little Spree reader, as well as the two baby girl coats featured in our edit on Monday (numbers 1 and 4). All you need to do is tell us which Winter coat I bought for myself (as mentioned in a recent Mama Spree post); subscribe (just go to the right hand side of the website and enter your email address) to the daily Little Spree email update (if you don’t already), then send your answer to the usual email address (find it here). Don’t forget to state which coat you would like, and in which size. You have until Friday 26th September to enter, and we will announce the winner the following week. Good luck!

little coats for little ladies

Baby coats

1. Monsoon Baby Bear Coat (3 months-3 years), £40.00
2. John Lewis Tweedy Hooded Coat (3 months-3 years), £30.00-£32.00
3. Zara Coat With Shearling Lined Collar (9 months-3 years), £32.99
4. Monsoon ‘Sophie’ Coat (3 months-3 years), £38.00
5. La Redoute Double Breasted Coat (1 month-3 years), £35.00

It’s all about coats this week on Little Spree. We’re starting with our edit for baby girls (although all of them go up to three years, so not strictly just for babies). Could they be any cuter? I almost cried when I saw this pistachio green one in Zara and realised that Tabitha was too big for it (I’m not even joking). I have since consoled myself with another Zara one, which is coming up in our girls coats post later in the week. See you tomorrow for the baby boys…

oh how I love my smalls…

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Smalls Tanks & Long Sleeved Tops (2-12 years)
From £27.00  SHOP NOW
I am now a complete convert to these gorgeous merino wool pieces. Marlow and Tabitha now have a tank and a long sleeve top each (Marlow’s in navy, Tabitha’s in the (perfect) ‘misty rose’ shade of pink (I can’t wait to layer it under her dungarees). I was lucky enough to be sent one each for them to try, but I was instantly smitten, and have since ordered one more each. When I first dressed Marlow in his, he actually commented on “how lovely and smooth” it felt as it went on (that’s my boy!), and he is very picky about fabrics and the feel of things he wears. Actually he’s pretty picky about everything he wears, but that’s another story. These tops are the perfect combination of comfort and cool (trust me, they look as great as they feel, and I’m a lot pickier than Marlow), but don’t take my word for it, here’s why…
They are machine washable (in fact they get better with every wash); breathable like a second skin (cleverly drawing moisture away from the body); warm in Winter and cool in Summer; you honestly won’t believe it’s wool – super-soft. made from superfine wool trimmed from happy sheep that roam the mountains of New Zealand and Australia (love that!); naturally stretchy for maximum movement; longer in the body to keep out pesky draughts (nothing worse than a ‘too short’ top); cool curved hem to keep little bottoms warm and won’t ride up when your little one climbs a tree or runs around the playground; contrast coloured stitching for a cool pop of colour, so stylish enough to wear on their own or layer under things in the same way as a regular vest; and no need for lots of bulky excess layers thanks to the amazing weight-to-warmth ratio of merino (not sure exactly what that means, but it sounds impressive). Oh and last but not least, no need to fill a (much needed) drawer with a different vest for every day (as I used to) that invariably shrink and have to be chucked anyway. No they aren’t exactly ‘cheap’ but the you only need one or two. So once you’ve bought them, you’re done for quite a while. Amen.

ps: while we’re on the subject of the wonders of Merino, I was a huge fan of the Merino Bambino sleeping bags when Tabarlow were babies. They were the best thing ever. No more buying loads of different ones for the various seasons in varying tog sizes (so confusing and not to mention bulky to store) – just one each for the whole year round. For any mamas of little ones under the age of two, I cannot recommend these enough. And after a quick look on the website, it seems that they are also now available for toddlers too. Genius.

kitty flats

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Next Cat Pumps (sizes 26.5-41)
£14.00-£17.00  SHOP NOW
If you can’t stretch to the kitty flats, you can console yourself (and your daughter) with these ones…

ps: Gap has done it again! But this time it’s 50% off!!! So if you haven’t already bought everything you want/need, it’s 50% off select Gap baby and kids styles right now!

pps: my favourite Aigle wellies are now available on the John Lewis website (thank to my eagle-eyed sister for spotting them). The navy are my favourite. Obviously.

wear now, still wear later…

M&S dress  ballet

1. M&S Cotton Corduroy Dress (1-7 years), £20.00-£22.00 (plus 20% off at the moment)
2. Verity Jones Extra Large Antique Mauve Hair Clip, £7.00
3. Gap Metallic Ballet Flats (sizes US 5-11), £14.95

M&S dress

1. M&S Cotton Corduroy Dress & Tights Outfit (1-7 years), £20.00-£22.00 
2. Gap Cable Knit Pom Pom Beannie (sizes xs-l), £9.95
3. Gap Biker Boots (sizes US 5-11), £22.95

I snapped this gorgeous dress up in M&S a few weeks ago when I was doing a sweep of grey school trousers, skirts and pinafore dresses. What a relief to find something so pretty! And it is so much prettier in real life – needle cord, gorgeous smocking at the neckline, and a cool smocky shape. A real Holly Hobbie style dress. And for the first time ever, I actually like the tights that come with it! They are a great colour. So at the moment Tabs is wearing hers like the first picture (we are loving those Gap Lanvin-esque pumps, and she has also worn it with these gold Mary Janes), then as Winter sets in, she will be busting out the tights, biker boots and beanie. I absolutely love this dress! And while we’re talking dresses, here are some others that I like… This one from The Little White Company; this one from Gap (they have done so much cute ones, and if you’re quick you can still get the 30% off until Monday); this one from Zara (bought for Tabs); this one from John Lewis (just add a cardi); and this one from Zara (also bought for Tabs).

ps: bought these super-cool leopard print ‘Birks’ for Tabitha yesterday. Now Marlow wants a pair, so have ordered him some too. Admittedly a bit late for a Summer sandal, but I couldn’t resist. Plus they look so cute with chunky grey socks (as modelled by Marlow yesterday when he tried Tabitha’s on)… Oh, and if you’re interested ladies, they go up to a size 40!!

mind the gap (it’s dangerous!!)

baby gap

1. Floral Cord Bubble One-Piece (0-24 months), £14.95
2. Bear Sweater Hoodie (0-24 months), £16.95
3. Mary Jane Bow Flats (0-24 months), £8.95
4. Long Sleeve Bodysuit, Pack Of Three (0-24 months), £14.95

Untitled

1. Thermal Slub Tee (12 months-5 years), £8.95
2. Skinny Jeans (12 months-5 years), £19.95
3. Cat Baseball Hat (sizes xs-l), £6.00
4. Warmest Puffa Vest (12 months-5 years), £24.95
5. Desert Sneakers (sizes 5-11), £19.95

Gap Headband

1. Starry Top (12 months-5 years), £14.95
2. Knot Bow Headband, £6.00
3. Skinny Jeans (12 months-5 years), £17.95
4. Ankle Strap Ballet Flats (sizes 5-11), £14.95

Gap MS

1. Merino Sweater, £39.95
2. Mens Parka Jacket, £64.95
3. 1969 Legging Jeans, £39.95
4. Chelsea Booties, £69.95

Gap has a whopping 30% off until Monday (8th September), so we have dedicated an entire post just to them, seeing as they are doing such great things at the moment (for us mamas as well as our little ones). So today, we’ve done not one, but FOUR Little Spree looks, and every single item is from Gap. It’s a one-stop shop! Between us Nicky and I have pretty much bought everything (don’t bother going to the Richmond or Kingston stores ladies!!). Many of these things aren’t available in the stores yet, so enjoy a little preview. We also bought this tee; these pyjamas; these pants; these socks (in grey and navy); this blouse; these jeans; this blouse for the kids. And we also want this dress; these boots; and these track pants. And if you feel a little guilty, you could always treat your husband/boyfriend to this or this.  As far as we’re concerned, Gap just keeps getting better and better (Tabs is wearing the entire girl’s outfit right now). And we can’t stop shopping…

ps: Mama Spree as usual tomorrow (if your bank account hasn’t already been cleaned out!).

september sparkle

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M&S Glitter Effect Mary Janes (sizes 5-13 small)
£12.00-£14.00  SHOP NOW
When I used to be dragged to Clarks, kicking and screaming, just before term started to buy my new school shoes (between the ages of around 4 to 10), my mother and I always struck a deal. If I got my regulation (ugly) t-bar clompy flat sandals (which of course, I loathed), I was allowed to choose a pair of ridiculous ‘party shoes’ at the same time (presumably this was the only way my mother could survive the experience without prescription medication?). Every time I went for for an almost identical pair (except for one time when I went totally off-piste and plumped for a pair of blue knee high wellingtons with a cream high, block heel, but that’s another story…) of glittery Mary Janes (in either silver or gold) with a little, block heel. Not dissimilar from these in fact (although admittedly in hindsight, far less stylish). Unlike me though, Tabs will be wearing hers with her skinny jeans and blouses/jumpers. Hopefully.

get them while you still can!

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Mini Boden Short Leather Boots (sizes 22-39)
£40.00-£55.00  SHOP NOW
Some of you may remember the big ‘Boden boots panic’ last Winter? They had a very similar boot to this one that came in navy and grey, but they sold out in weeks, and you couldn’t get your hands on a pair for love nor money. So this year ladies, let us learn from our mistakes, and get in there early. Tabitha’s have been duly ordered (yesterday) and are en route. I would suggest you do the same. Ok, they may not be navy, or even grey for that matter, but they are a very respectable shade of ‘mouse’, and I think Tabs will be wearing hers a lot this Winter… Get them before they’re gone!

ps: a few of you have emailed me to ask which school coat I got for Tabitha in the end. I went for this one from Gap. She hates it (obviously), but for me it ticks most of the boxes. Ok it might not win any style awards, but it’s pretty plain and simple, and does look really warm and cosy (she’ll thank me come November!). Um, and I’ve also ordered this Zara one… I also just ordered these gorgeous macs (as let’s face it, it’s all about a mac at the moment right?) from Zara for both Tabs and Marlow. Thought it was time for a change from their trusty M&S yellow macs…

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.