It’s Bubble London time again (well it was a few weeks ago anyway), and this year Little Spree were excited (and not to mention, very flattered) to be invited to go behind the scenes as part of the judging panel for the ‘Rising Star Award‘. You can find a list of the finalists that we were asked to judge here. And and the winner was… well that’s actually what we would like you to tell us! Our friends (and exhibitor at Bubble) Nature Zoo very kindly offered to give away two of their lovely crocheted toys (remember the Octopus back in July?). All you have to do is send us an email with the answer to the above question, along with your preferred toy (a tough choice – they are both so cute – go to our Instagram feed to see them). As always we will select two winners at random, and will announce them here next Thursday (5th March).
I can tell you that the two runners up for the Award were JAM and Panda and the Sparrow. Both brands were new to Bubble this year and were deserving recipients. The judges were particularly impressed with the thoughtful design of the JAM collection – every garment being made with children in mind (so no hash seams etc.), and clever details to try to extend the life of the garment. For Panda and the Sparrow it was the quality of the material and make of their collection that caught the judges’ attention. Their garments are made from the softest bamboo material which is also hypoallergenic, UV resistant, antibacterial, thermo regulating, and not to mention eco friendly, and most items were less than £20.
Thank you Bubble London for a really interesting day and congratulations to all the winners, we wish you all the very best of luck.
While Nicky was busy on judging duty, I made my way around the many stands (in a flat boot – more of that tomorrow on Mama Spree) looking for inspiration to share with you all on Little Spree. I found a mix of familiar and new brands. These were some of our favourites:
Little Llama: super-sweet knits all made from alpaca wool. Gorgeous colours. Moccis: a sock/slipper hybrid in plain colours, as well as cool prints such as leopard. Tabarlow had a version of these when they were crawling and they were the best thing ever. Kusi Kusi: I really loved this collection of beautiful homespun knits made in Peru by local women. Love My Smalls: already a firm favourite of mine. I was also excited to see that the girls have added grey to the simple colour palette. And they had one of the chic-est stands at the exhibition – compact and bijoux! Angulus: again, another Little Spree favourite, and their Autumn/Winter collection didn’t disappoint. The metallic lace-up booties were beyond cute. Old Soles: one of my favourite new finds. I loved their shoes, particularly for boys. Nicky and I were obsessed with their fur-lined suede hi-tops, amongst others. Tic Tac Toe: the sweetest, most charming little collection of cotton baby rompers/bubbles (in the prettiest prints) and matching accessories from Cape Town. Bob & Blossom: another old favourite, but definitely worth a mention for the ‘Hey’ and ‘Bonjour’ tees alone. Melton: more gorgeous shoes! They had the sweetest mini leopard print ballet flats with a criss-cross elastic over the foot. To die for.
Of course, there were were so many more gorgeous brands, but we just don’t have the time to mention them all here. Do check our Instagram feed lots of pics from the day though.
1. Gap Embroidered Dress, £19.95
2. La Coqueta Baby Cardigan, £23.40 (was £39.00)
3. Martin Pederson Girls Baby Tights, £16.00
4. Pom D’Api Brogue Desert Boots, £95.00
This is the perfect girls outfit as far as we’re concerned. We love everything about it. But the star of the show is this adorable folky dress from Gap (I’m obsessed with it – SC!). Love!!
Sarah & Nicky x
ps: we were so excited to do a high street guest post for the fabulous blog, The Frugality. Alex (fellow Red Contributing Editor) asked us for our Spring edit of Little Spree finds. Some may be familiar, some won’t… Check it out here.
pps: we will be announcing the winner of our Blue Monday Boden competition this evening. So if you haven’t already entered, you still have a few hours!!
H&M Home Wooden Storage Box, £14.99
I’m a little obsessed with toy storage, particularly the stylish kind… And this wooden box makes a refreshing change from one of my many baskets. Here are a few other cute storage ideas, also from H&M (I do love a bit of H&M Home): this bunny ears basket; this fabric basket; this monster storage basket; and this wall storage hanger.
photo: Isabel Marant (from the Spring collection, in stores now)
Having spent more than a decade as an Army lawyer (think more ‘A Few Good Men” rather than ‘Private Benjamin’) wearing green, green and more green, you might think that anything vaguely resembling that colour would be off limits. The truth is I’m hooked, although these days I prefer my military style a little more Marant than MoD. It’s fair to say that we’re obsessed with khaki cool at Little Spree (how many army style jackets do you have Sarah??). And we’re not alone, utility wear was a big trend in the Spring/Summer 2015 shows (isn’t is always?) with designers treating it as a neutral like grey or navy might be used, or layering different tones of khaki like Isabel Marant did for her Spring collection (above). At Little Spree we love to ‘tone down’ anything dressy and ‘cool up’ our casual outfits with a little khaki and so we thought we’d share some of our favourite pieces so that you can be combat cool too…
Jigsaw long military coat; Isabel Marant belted jacket; Topshop trousers; Mango shorts jumpsuit; Zara pleated dress; French Connection textured coat; Topshop plaid shirt; Topshop parka; ASOS coat; Topshop sweatshirt dress; ASOS coat; J.Crew cable knit jumper; Vanessa Bruno coat; Elizabeth and James jacket; ASOS cashmere roll-neck; Current Elliot trousers; Pull & Bear shirt; Hush parka (the fur collar is removable); and don’t forget the Issy boots that I’ve got in my Matches ‘wish list’…
ps: I wanted to mention an event called Hub Dot that I recently attended. You can read about them here but in short they run events at which women can come together to exchange ideas, talent and support. I’ll be honest that I had reservations about going but after the first speaker I was sold and would recommend keeping an eye our for future events, I certainly will be.
Essent’ial Toys Storage Bags, From £12.15
We just love these super-cool storage bags. Perfect for separating the animals from the train tracks; and the Barbies from the lego…
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…
The Disney Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo Boutique
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).
Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful Daddys out there! It’s all about you today! And I hope all you stylish Mamas are having a fabulous day too. And I really hope your Daddy Spree card/gift ideas were as happily received as ours…
Sarah, Tabitha & Marlow xx
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.
1. Gap Floppy Straw Hat, £9.95
2. The Little White Company Hooded Towel, £20.00
3. Ilovegorgeous Floral Print Bikini, £45.00
4. Mango Glitter Strap Sandals, £24.99
ps: look out for the Little Spree/Mini Boden competition next week. So many gorgeous things to win!
1. Gap Striped Fedora, £16.95
2. The Little White Company Hooded Towel, £20.00
3. Mango Striped Swimshorts, £16.99
4. Gap Perforated Slip-Ons, £12.95
1. John Lewis Stripe Star Jumper, £14.00-£15.00
2. Gap Frayed Denim Shorts, £14.95
3. Hunter Silver Wellies, £30.00
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).
H&M Home Child’s Apron
£6.99 SHOP NOW
If you’re going to wear an apron, better make sure it’s a cute one… And this is definitely that. And here’s one for the boys from La Cerise Sur Le Gateau (don’t you just love that name?).