Tabitha and Marlow were lucky enough to be invited to the Disney Bibbidi Bobbidi (yes that is the correct spelling) Boutique in Harrods a few months ago. Marlow was a little unsure. Tabitha was in heaven. I tried to think of a comparison for me? Maybe discovering an Isabel Marant outlet store in central London that no one else knew about, where you are magically transformed into Daria before stepping out with a complete new outfit? Something like that anyway. So you don’t need me to tell you how excited Tabs was. She was asked in advance which princess (yes, you get to choose) she wanted to be (more of that later), and she immediately decided on Snow White. Apparently she was the first girl ever to choose her. Like her style! When the day came, the excitement mounted, and when we arrived at the boutique/castle, situated conveniently (or not, depending on which way you look at it?) in the Disney department, they were given a special ‘fairy godmother’ pager, which would alert them when it was time for their appointment. Actually, I was as excited at they were by this time! Two ‘fairy godmothers’ were at the entrance to greet us, and I have to say, they were so brilliant. They were ‘in character’ (don’t be tense, remember, it’s not for us…) the whole time, and really made the whole experience so special and magical. Once inside, Tabitha (and by then, a moody and reluctant Marlow) were shown to a special ‘changing room’ where their costumes were already hanging up inside, waiting for them. Boys get a very respectable Knight costume. Marlow refused to put it on. Tabs was beyond excited! Anyway, to cut a long fairytale a little bit shorter, she was then able to chose from a selection of make-up/face painting and hair styles (but all very child appropriate – no Miley Cryrus inspired looks here); then sat in a special chair where she was fussed over, and transformed into a ‘bespoke’ Snow White. Marlow sulked. I have to say, I was really impressed by the whole experience (and I was a little sceptical I have to admit). And mums, we need to remember, it’s not for us, so don’t be expecting dusky pinks, cashmere hand knit cardigans and desert boots – you need to let that all go for an hour, and just embrace (or pretend to anyway) the Princess makeover experience (and remember my Issy reference). They can choose from five (which includes the Knight one) personalised experiences (for children aged between 3-12 years), and they each include a magical transformation with hairstyling and face painting, as well as exclusive Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique merchandise. And now they have added the Frozen experience. Amazing!! I will warn you, it’s not exactly cheap. But honestly, I have to say, the experience was such a special one for Tabitha (ok, Marlow less so, but he did warm up a bit eventually and was given a very stylish sword, which he loved, and anyway, let’s be honest, it’s not really aimed at the boys is it?); and one that she will hopefully always remember. And it’s a one-off experience, so for a special birthday treat it can be justified. And just going to the Harrods toy department is a treat in itself (it’s just trying to get them out again that’s the problem) – it really is amazing. I remember going there every year with my brother and sister as a child, and always remember it so fondly (we were each allowed to choose one toy). And if you really feel you need a Disney detox immediately afterwards, there is a fabulous Bonpoint concession just downstairs…
Little Baby Company Halloween Trick Or Treat Card, £3.95
You still have a couple of weeks, but we like to get organised early. So we’ve ordered our cute Halloween costumes and they are on their way. So now that just leaves the sweet little extras that make it all the more fun… We’re loving these personalised trick or treating bags; this pumpkin window sticker; this pumpkin piñata; this door sign; these window stickers; these balloons; this bat card; and this light-up pumpkin (ok, so it’s not the real deal, but I bought one last year, and it looked pretty great – I’ve also bought the mini ones this year).
Stella McCartney Kids Skittle Umbrella
£33.21 SHOP NOW
If your little ones are going to get rained on, they might as well look cute at the same time…
Belle & Boo Star Chart
£9.99 SHOP NOW
I have been looking for a sweet reward/star chart for the twins for a while now, and someone recommended this one from Belle & Boo. It’s such a lovely, stylish one. Another option is the trusty marble jar system (which we also use). These personalised ones from notonthehighstreet are great (Tabs and Marlow have them).
Hedgehog Hazel Twigwam
£175.00 SHOP NOW
I can’t stop thinking about cool playhouses for the twins. This cool twigwam (above) can stay outside all year long! Here are some other favourites…
This Indian teepee from Hedgehog; this rustic playhouse from Cox & Cox; and I still love this Win Green striped wigwam (bought for Tabitha and Marlow the year before last, and about to come down from the attic for the Summer – you can also buy the matching floor quilt). Just add some mismatched quilts, blankets and cushions and you’ve got yourself (erm, I mean your little ones…) one stylish little garden retreat.
I literally never know what to dress the twins in from one day to the next at the moment…One day it’s jumpers, the next it’s t-shirts. So for those jumper days, here’s a practical (but still cute) outfit (if you’re going to jump in muddy puddles, you might as well do it in style…). And I am loving these silver wellies!!
ps: here’s another great jumper (and it’s currently 60% off!).
pps: I recently ordered some new name labels for Tabarlow from Tiny Me. I love the ‘mini labels’ in ‘garden party’. They have gorgeous colours (I went for ‘classic’) and the quality is great. I will definitely be re-ordering.
Homebase Bunny Playhouse
£299.00 SHOP NOW
Love it. Want it. Buying it!
ps: how cool is this play castle too??
pps: if you happen to be in Shoreditch any time soon, you must check out the Little Hanbury pop-up shop in Luna & Curious on Calvert Avenue (E2 7JP). They have some really great pieces for little boys, and currently have many things in the sale for just £10.00. I happened to be shooting outside the store on Friday, so popped in and a did a quick ‘smash and grab’ for Marlow, leaving with a bag full of goodies! If you don’t make it to the shop, check out their website.
Happy Jackson Lunchbox
£6.00 SHOP NOW
I bought one of these each for Tabitha and Marlow when they started staying at nursery for their lunch on a Thursday for French Club (which they think is the most exciting thing ever!). I like that it is both cool and practical. Love the monochrome striped ribbon band (ensuring the lid never comes off), and it’s great for boys and girls.
Cocoon Cotton Fleece Baby Travel Bag
£29.00 SHOP NOW
Super-cute, super-chic, super-cosy. And not to mention super-clever as it adapts easily to fit in a car seat. So baby really can travel in style and comfort.
Cyrillus Boy’s Embroidered Apron (4-10 years)
£17.00 SHOP NOW
Only the French could (and would) design something this stylish to protect the clothes underneath! I’m sure I’m not the only mum out there who gets the tiniest bit tense when the words ‘messy play’ are mentioned? But obviously, I know how important this kind of play is for children’s development (and even I wouldn’t prioritise style over developmental progress), so I just take a deep breath, and pray whatever it is will come out in the wash (and to be honest, it usually does). At nursery Tabitha and Marlow do wear (not entirely un-stylish actually) gingham, smocks, but they often forget to put them on, or simply don’t want to. But I can live with that. But for when things get messy at home? What could be chic-er than this ‘apron’ (as the French call it)?
ps: just spied this fab boys’ khaki oilskin jacket at River Island. And it’s currently half price!
Bodie And Fou Exclusive Family Hearts Print
£35.00 SHOP NOW
Mothers Day is just around the corner, and I’m in the process of compiling a ‘hint list’ for our husbands/boyfriends/partners (just forward to him or print it out and pin it to the fridge) for next week’s Mama Spree. In the meantime, I saw this sweet ‘la famille…c’est important’ print, and had to share it. It would make such a sweet present (any day, not just for Mothers Day). You do need to buy the frame, but I would recommend the (super-cheap) Nyttja style from Ikea (I prefer them to the chunkier ‘Ribba’ frames).
Baby Bow Tie Metallic Bow Tie
I’m getting quite into the idea of boys in bow ties. They can look rather cool! This cute gold one would look great worn with a denim shirt. I also like this bunny printed one from Paul Smith if you’re not entirley convinced about the gold…
ps: I mentioned this book in a post quite a while ago now, but people are always emailing me asking for the details again. So here you go. Lostmy.name. It’s a gorgeous, personalised book that tells the story of a child who has lost their name, and sets off on a mini adventure to find the missing letters. I’ve just read Tabitha’s book to the twins. They absolutely love theirs! One of the most original, personalised (and not to mention, fun and educational) gifts you can buy. Such a lovely (and, at under £20.00, very inexpensive) present for any child from a newborn to six years. Sadly they are no longer able to guarantee delivery in time for Christmas, but they are currently offering a 15% discount. And they are wonderful all year round anyway…
Little Cloud Betsy Ann Liberty Moon & Stars Baby Mobile
£35.00 SHOP NOW
This is undoubtedly one of the (if not, the) loveliest mobiles I have seen to date. So, so sweet. This cloud version is equally adorable; as is this one and I also like this one for a toddler’s room.
ps: I bought this coat for Marlow from Zara yesterday, and I’m so pleased with it. It’s fantastic. You can remove the fur trim (I did – much better without, I don’t like the fur), and it has a cool, slightly waxy finish and a sheepskin lining, so really warm and cosy. And I love the colour. It looks super-expensive, but isn’t! Result.
Carousel Gold Star Wand
Just so sweet. Not the cheapest, but definitely the most stylish.
Autograph Cotton Floral Shirt With Bow Tie (12 months-10 years)
I can’t help getting preoccupied with girls’ clothes in the run-up to Christmas. So many gorgeous things to choose from (watch this space for my favourite party dresses and tutus – both coming up this week), and frankly, not enough parities/festivities to showcase them. Boys (particularly toddlers) on the other hand… Not so much. However, I have had my eye on this stylish little shirt and bow tie combo for a while now. I love the tiny floral print, and the contrast of the black trim and velvet bow tie. And you can’t really go wrong at £14.00 can you? My only problem now is persuading Marlow to wear it! He HATES dressing up of any kind. Oh well – I suppose a grey sweatshirt works for any occasion…
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!