Gap Python Leather Tote
I’ll admit, I have been in a bit of ‘Gap bubble’ this last week, and have been in the flagship store a number of times. In fact, I now feel like I know the collection (womens, kids, babies, and some of the mens – they have done some amazing jumpers) so well, I could probably get a job there for the run-up to Christmas. But this tote was the first thing that caught my eye when I entered the store last Wednesday. It’s amazing. Firstly, it’s super-chic, but then on closer inspection, it’s also really roomy; light as a feather (love that!); and can be worn on the shoulder or as a tote. So I have now decided it’s the perfect ‘mummy bag’, for all us mums who would rather be seen dead than be seen with a frumpy, practical, mumsy ‘mummy bag’. I’m not going to lie, it wouldn’t necessarily make the ideal ‘baby bag’ (you definitely need pockets for all those bottles and numerous bits and pieces), but for anyone with toddlers up, it’s perfect. Even though Tabs and Marlow are now almost four (how did that happen??), I still always need to carry certain ‘stuff’ (water, snacks, assortment of favourite toys, ranging from fire engines to enormous Jelly Cats bunnies…), wipes (I don’t think I will ever be able to give up the wipes – I even carry them in my bag when I don’t have the kids with me) around with me when I have them in tow. This is at the top of my shopping list. She’s quite pricey, but definitely worth every penny in my opinion. Oh, and as a seasoned traveller (I am literally like a robot at the airport, I have my ‘routine’ down to a fine art), I know it would also make the perfect ‘carry-on’ bag. It’s so light that you’ll be able to just chuck all your magazines (I buy every magazine), Duty Free, bottle of water etc in it, along with your travel wallet, then you don’t need to carry all those nasty plastic carrier bags (that give you welts on your fingers). I’m going away on a work trip on Wednesday (I’m not going to tell you where, you’ll hate me), so I will definitely have mine by then… Oh, I almost forgot! The winner of the babyGap £150 shopping spree is… Marie Hale. Congratulations! I will be emailing you soon to arrange the date.
£79.99 (was £99.95) gap.co.uk
ps: check out all the gorgeous baby pictures I styled on Friday here. And don’t forget to vote for your favourite!
Anya Hindmarch Baby Emergency Kit
Now before you shoot my down in flames (I’m talking about the price tag), hear me out. I was lucky enough to be given one of these when Tabarlow were babies, and it was one of the few things that I literally couldn’t live without. Ok, it’s definitely not cheap. But, in the same way that you use your baby/nappy bag every day, you will use this numerous times, every day, day in, day out (sometimes when you’re not using your nappy bag) for a minimum of two years. Wherever the baby (or babies in my case) go, this goes with you. It’s compact (I would just chuck it into whichever bag I was using that day); I could get everything I needed in it for two babies (including four spare nappies); it looks super-chic (no embarrassment in whipping it out to do a quick (stylish) nappy change. But the best part about it is the way it’s organised to make the whole process as seamless and stress-free as possible. It comes with a wipe-clean, black changing mat (no need for a bulky, padded one) that folds up into a tiny size (with attached elastic to keep it in place), and various labelled compartments and pockets so that everything you need has a place. So when you’re in the process of changing a nappy you literally have everything at your fingertips (no faffing around looking for the wipes whilst balancing two babies…). Anyway, I could go on and on, but I won’t because I haven’t had dinner yet… This was one piece of baby kit that I loved, and it made my life just that little bit easier (and particularly with twins, those things can make such a difference, however silly that may sound…). And of course, there’s no getting away from the fact that it looks super-chic and stylish, and is beautifully finished. But with Anya that’s simply stating the obvious. It’s the clever, carefully thought out design, and attention to detail that made in invaluable to me. Mine is currently on loan to my lovely friend, Des, and she loves it as much as I did. And it still looks as pristine as when it was first given to me. This is the kind of thing that would make an amazing present for a few people to club together and buy for someone as a baby gift. After all, as lovely as it is to have drawers groaning with beautiful cashmere separates in neutral tones, it’s the practical (and still chic, obviously) things that you actually end up loving the most… The end.
John Lewis Leopard Print Tote Bag
I was in John Lewis this morning (buying a letterbox if you’re interested) and stopped in my tracks when I clocked this beauty on the ground floor. I am slightly obsessed with leopard print, but only in small doses, and it has to be the right kind of leopard print. I have mentioned my bag before (I have a great leopard print bag from Antik Batik that always gets a lot of attention whenever I use it), but have never come across another one that even comes close. Until today. This is a great size to just throw on your shoulder. It’s lightweight, and the design is really simple. I love that it looks slouchy (well it will once you’ve filled it anyway) The leopard print is spot-on (sorry, but it is!) and it is just a really cool bag. I think it would make a great baby/kids bag to chuck all that stuff in that we all lug around the whole time. I love it! I was so tempted, but I managed to resist. This time. Oh and by the way, it looks much nicer in the flesh (you have to trust me on this). Would look super-cool worn with jeans or anything low-key and casual (so perfect for us mums). I can’t stop thinking about it…
Zara Home Kids Maternity Bag
Now this really is a first for me. A ‘maternity bag’ (‘hospital bag’ to you and me)! How gorgeous is this? I have seen the baby bags that Zara Home do, and love them, but have yet to see their slightly smaller ‘sister’ bag until now. And the thing is, this would make a great baby bag afterwards anyway. Plus you can buy a matching changing mat and little zip-up sponge bag (I have loads of these for all Tabarlow’s varoius bits & bobs – they are so handy). It’s just so pretty. But I also love that it is slouchy so it has that whole ‘pretty cool’ thing going on. Would look great with jeans or khaki cargo pants. And I love the option of the long and short handles. And you don’t need me to tell you how adorable this Liberty print is. Plus I like that it’s cotton, not nylon. Just chuck it in the machine if it starts to look grubby. Obviously it would help to know that you were expecting a girl, but if you do, this is the bag for you. Treat yourself! It would also make a lovely present from say, work collegues (and if they’re feeling extra generous with the whip-round, they could even throw in the changing mat and sponge bag!) for someone about to head off on maternity leave. Love.
Oliver Bonas Alphabet Bag
I don’t know about you, but I always seem to have things that can only be classed as ‘bits & bobs’ (well there are other, even less technical terms, but I won’t be sharing those with you now!) that I carry around when I am with Tabarlow. These can range from a bottle of Calpol, to little snacks, to tissues, to well anything… But I don’t like to just chuck them into my bag because then I can never find them quickly when I need them. So I always have a little bag like this one onboard at all times. Ok, it’s technically a make-up bag, but the size is always perfect – not too big, not too small, and has a zip to stop everything falling out. I also really like the Liberty print ones that Zara Home always do – I have a few of those. They always go in the sale, so look out for them if you are in there over the next few weeks. Anyway, I love this one because you can choose your letter (like the tote bag I have already posted), so you can have your child’s initial, which I always think it really sweet. Obviously you could just have your own of course. As I’ve said before, I just love anything monogrammed – it always looks so chic. And this is going in your bag, so you don’t want it to look ‘baby-ish’. I love the grey with the yellow contrast zip. And a great price too!
Oliver Bonas Alphabet Tote Bag
In addition to the various ‘non-baby baby bags’ that I have, I also have a supply of simple, cotton tote bags (just to confuse my nanny and Tabarlow’s dad!) that I also use for ferrying all their stuff around in. In fact, now that Tabarlow are two and a half, I don’t really need the full-on baby bag at all, and often just use a tote to chuck everything in. They are just so easy. I spotted this one in Oliver Bonus in Chiswick the other week, and loved it. I am also obsessed with anything monogrammed. You can get the initial of your child (with twins – not so straightforward – will probably have to get an M and a T and alternate?), and there you have it – a personalised ‘non-baby’ baby bag. Obviously I love that it is grey too. Oh and it has a zip, which is always a bonus (no pun intended). Would make a great, inexpensive gift (anything monogrammed always goes down a treat I always find – just feels a little more thoughtful…).
ps: I am off to Paris tomorrow morning to shoot a story for the October issue of Red magazine. I can’t wait to hit my favourite high street haunts for kids. DPAM (Du Pareil au Meme) is always the first place I go! Can’t wait. I will be posting from my hotel room tomorrow evening (hope they have wifi!).
Marc By Marc Jacobs Eliz-a-Baby Tote
Don’t get me started on the subject of baby/nappy bags! I could literally dedicate an entire blog to the subject. Why is it that people assume that just because you have a baby, you will automatically want to start running around town with a naff, brightly coloured bag (that may or may not match your pram/buggy)? Just because you now have a small person in tow, why would you suddenly want to start accessorising like Mr Tumble? I wouldn’t be seen dead with one of said bags (and you know the ones I’m talking about!), and neither should you. Now I know this one is not cheap (please don’t hate me!), but you need to factor in how much you will be using it (every day for a minimum of two and a half years, which ‘cost-per-wear’ works out at 26p a day). This is one of the best I have seen (and I only wish it had been around when I was pregnant). I love that it’s navy (one of my favourite colours as you know, and much chic-er than boring old black), and comes with all the important trimmings that you would expect/need from a practical (not my favourite word, but one I can’t ignore as a mother of twins) baby bag – handy pockets, foldaway changing mat etc. But the best thing of all? The simple fact that it doesn’t look like a baby bag – it’s just a great bag.