two in one

Zara Parka With Detachable Waistcoat (3-14 years)
£39.99  SHOP NOW
I have always loved a bargain (my father’s daughter), and I always love the idea of getting something extra. Now this girl’s navy parka ticks both those boxes, but also looks great. Such a cool idea to have the detachable waistcoat (ok, so we’ve seen detachable linings before, but personally I have not seen any that also double up as waistcoats), and such a pretty one too! This is the ideal coat for ‘right now’, and I will definitely be snapping one up for Tabitha (the floral lining/waistcoat should hopefully balance out the lack of pink for her…). Pretty cool.

girls & boys

Uniqlo Striped T-Shirt (3-11 years)
£7.90  SHOP NOW
As you know, I’m often bypassing ‘boys’ clothes when it comes to dressing Marlow. I suppose it comes from having kids of each sex at the same time. I am always simultaneously looking for girls and boys clothes. So overlaps are inevitable. I often prefer the less ‘boyish’ shapes and cuts of girls’ clothes for boys. I saw this t-shirt and instantly earmarked it for Marlow, not Tabs, despite the fact that officially it’s a girls’ t-shirt. And it will look great with his (erm, girls’) Gap cargo pants (which are now just £11.99). Needless to say, I don’t actually tell Marlow any of this…

ps: I know it’s not Friday, but I thought I’d just share a couple of Mango purchases that I made on Saturday. Is it is just me, or have Mango really upped their game recently? And I’m not just talking about the kidswear (which I am obsessed with at the moment). At first I merely put it down to the ‘Daria factor’ (who, frankly could get me into ANY store if she’s wearing the clothes in the campaign), but it’s definitely more than that. This season they have definitely tapped into the whole Isabel Marant/Vaness Bruno vibe, which as you all know, I can’t get enough of. I bought this really simple, but super-cool tee (the sleeves aren’t as exaggerated looking in person), and this hippie Summer dress, which I know I will live in with a chic flat sandal (I already have my eye on an a fab Kurt Geiger pair, which I will be sharing on Mama Spree) come the warm weather. You need to trust me with the dress – it does not look good at all on the website. In fact, I didn’t look that great on the hanger in the store. But I saw potential there, and once I tried it on, instantly loved it. Size down though to avoid it looking too maternity (I bought a small). I also loved this gorgeous ruffled dress (way too short for London, but super-cute on holiday), but only spotted it on my way out, and I was in a rush to meet some friends, so I’m going back next week. The obsession continues…

itsy bitsy teeny weeny

Cyrillus Liberty Print Bikini (4-16 years)
£35.00  SHOP NOW
I know a lot of you are going away at Easter with your little ones, so this has got me thinking about holidays, and what we need to start buying. I think a bikini is always a good place to start, and there is nothing cuter than little girls running around the beach in their mini bikinis (Tabs will usually just wear the bottoms). Here are some of the prettiest I have seen…
This gingham tankini from Next; these adorable bikini bottoms from Alice à Paris (they come in various colours/prints, but I love the plum colourway the best); this striped bikini from Mango; these leopard print bikini bottoms from Bonton; and this totally gorgeous floral printed one (complete with matching bag) from ilovegorgeous.

ps: boys swimming shorts coming this week…

pps: alexandalexa asked me to write a diary of an average working day (not easy for me, as no two days are really the same…) for their ‘Day To Day’ feature on their blog. Check it out here.

mama spree: the perfect (wear with everything) grey sweatshirt

J.Crew Weekend Sweatshirt (xxs-xl)
£59.50  SHOP NOW
A grey sweatshirt is an essential item in every cool mama’s wardrobe, and as far as I’m concerned you can never have too many. I live in them, and they are perfect for this time of year when our trusty cashmere jumpers are often a bit too toasty. Grey marl is my sweatshirt of choice (although I really like the cream version of this J.Crew one, particularly for the evening), and I love how versatile they can be. I will wear one for running around in during the day (with a boyfriend jean and my super-comfy Isabel Marant Beslay boots), but I will also think nothing of wearing one to dinner with a floor-skimming bias-cut skirt, high heeled sandals and a chandelier earring (and in fact, did on my birthday back in January). I generally like quite a fitted shape, but I also sometimes buy mens’ ones for a looser, slouchier fit (for those looser, slouchier days…). Here are a few more that I am eying up at the moment… This American Vintage one; this Topshop one; this Splendid one; this lace trimmed Izzue one; this anchor one from Chocolate; this one from Izzue; and this men’s one from Forever 21.

ps: don’t forget the Mama Spree Mothers’ Day ‘hint list’ for all the dads out there…

no bows, just arrows

Lötiekids Arrows Sweatshirt (12 months-3 years)
£25.00  SHOP NOW
As you know I love a grey sweatshirt, and this one has a cool arrow print which just make me like it all the more. If you don’t know Lötiekids you should definitely check them out. They do great unisex basics in the great muted colours that we all love; some with really sweet, unique prints. Marlow had a pair of grey leggings with a bicycle print on when he was a baby, which I loved. And Tabitha had this A-line t-shirt dress in dusky pink, which (as you can see) they still do.

ps: these plain grey canvas shoes from Mothercare are the perfect every day ‘running around in’ shoe.

the right stripes

Kin by John Lewis Linen Stripe Dress (0-18 months)
£16.00  SHOP NOW
I just love the colour combination of these pretty faded stripes on this vintage-inspired dress. And there is this version for older girls too.

ps: I just bought My Wonderful World of Fashion colouring book for Tabitha, and she absolutely loves it. It’s a super-cool, gorgeus interactive colouring book, jam-packed (it’s as thick as a September issue of American Vogue!) with beautiful illustrations, such a the Marc Jacobs mouse shoes, and pages and pages of bows… Tabs has barely put it down since I bought it. It would make a fantastic present for any budding mini Fashion Editors out there…

cute doesn’t always = girly

The Little White Company Flutter Sleeve Top & Bloomers (0-24 months)
£22.00  SHOP NOW
How gorgeous is this little baby set? So pretty. And one of the things I love most about it is that it’s chambray blue, not pink. I’ve also found these equally adorable (non-girly) pieces for baby girls this week…
These (very French) grey baby cords (just as cute for girls as for boys), also from The Little White Company; this pocket blouse from H&M; this Mini Boden pointelle cardigan (in yellow) as worn by super-stylish Harper Beckham; this Gap romper; this Paz Rodriguez baby cardigan; and this Zara striped sweater. Make the most of the non-pink, non-non-girly times while you can…

getting messy never looked so chic…

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!

skate chic

Monsoon Glitter Skate Shoes (sizes 10-4)
£17.00  SHOP NOW
Tabitha has these, and she absolutely adores them! She loves that they are ‘like Mummy’s shoes’ (although admittedly I don’t have a glittery pair, I do have at least six other pairs of skate shoes that I have acquired since the twins were born – I have long been a convert to their ‘cool comfort’). And the great thing about this particular pair is that they are a cool girls’ shoe, but one that appeals to ‘girly girls’ who are fully immersed in all things princess-y (like Tabs) because of the glitter. It’s all about the glitter. I would quite like a pair myself now…
Tabitha also has this pair from Zara, which have a small amount of pink on them, so she loves them too. I have also seen (and liked) these denim, spotted ones from Gap; and these navy Vans (I still love the classic Vans ones). I like them best worn with jeans and a pretty blouse, or with cute dresses in the Summer, so not too tomboy.

mama spree: mothers’ day ‘hint list’ for all the dads out there…


Anya Hindmarch Bespoke Loose Pocket
£135.00  SHOP NOW
Mothers’ Day is only two weeks away, so it’s time to start throwing out some serious hints. I have compiled a little selection of things that I definitely would be more than happy to unwrap on 30th March, and hopefully you will too. I have tried to choose things that we wouldn’t necessarily buy for ourselves (when was the last time you actually bought yourself a pair of cashmere socks??), so they feel that bit more special and luxurious. I’ve also tried to cater for all wallet sizes… I would politely call this a ‘hint list’, so email this post to your husband/boyfriend/partner right now, then keep your fingers firmly crossed…
I’m going to start with this fabulous Anya Hindmarch personalised ‘loose pocket’. I have been a fan of these for many years, but I actually don’t have one (Tabitha and Marlow do though – Anya Hindmarch very kindly sent them both one after they were born – you may have seen Tabs’ on the Little Spree Instagram feed – it’s gold and super-cute). I like this  red ‘I love you’ version too. They are impossibly chic (personally, I love the red and the navy the best, but they come in a whole host of colours), and so useful. You can use them to keep pretty much anything in. And I love the fact that you can have them personalised in handwriting (like the one above) or embossed (there are lots of options available, or you can choose your own words) to make it a totally personal/bespoke gift (so all the more thoughtful). I would go for something that includes your name, but I also love the idea of a Mothers’ Day gift having ‘mummy’ in there somewhere – ‘mummy’s stuff’ etc etc. You’ll need to hurry though if you want to personalise (in your own writing if you want), as the deadline for this is Monday 17th. So make sure you waft this under your significant other’s nose asap! There is an additional charge of £40.00 for this service. Instead of cut flowers, how about this M&S lavender tree (I was sent two from my cousins for my birthday recently, and they are so lovely, and they are delivered to your door – mine are currently residing in our little courtyard); or this vintage lavender trough from Not On The High Street? This Valentino Rockstud leather headband (a lot cheaper than the shoes, and probably a lot more comfortable to wear…); these White Company cashmere socks (currently 20% off); you can’t ever go wrong with a  Diptyque scented candle - they are without doubt the best scented candles, and they smell amazing just sitting on the mantelpiece without even being lit – my favourites are Baies, Figuier, Roses and Tuberose; this (ridiculously tactile) Marc by Marc Jacobs heart paperweight;  I already have (and love) these cute Stella McCartney days of the week knickers (size up though – they come up tiny!); I have been dreaming of this super-cool Hillier gold bunny necklace for some time now; anything from Smythson always makes a stylish gift, and this ‘I love my mum’ notebook is so sweet (and we can never have too many notebooks!); an indulgent Cowshed (one of my favourite places) treatment gift card (anything from a manicure to a full body massage will make all us mamas out there feel truly pampered and appreciated; this Nuxe multi-purpose oil comes highly recommend by a very discerning friend. Apparently it’s amazing (and smells incredible); this fun personalised tote bag from Not On The High Street would be a cute, inexpensive pressie that I would probably use every day. And like the Anya loose pockets, you could either have your name, or ‘mummy’ or ‘mama’ – whatever is personal to you really. And no wish list would be complete without some Isabel Marant (show me a mama who doesn’t want to receive a little something from Issy?), so I am adding these gorgeous multi-drop earrings as a final wish. I hope I have provided all the men out there with enough inspiration. I think this should be enough to be getting on with. And dads, any questions, please feel free to email at the address at the top of the page…

stripetastic

Petit Bateau Boys’ Striped Canvas Chinos (3-12 years)
£44.00  SHOP NOW
We all love a stripe right? Perosnally I can’t get enough of them for Marlow. Here are the stripes I’m loving this week…
This Uniqlo girls’ striped long sleeved top (but who says boys can’t wear it too?) This M&S straw trilby (with striped band); this Monsoon striped sweatshirt; Cos striped socks (Marlow has these); he also has this long sleeved tee from Gap; and I’ve got my eye on this sweatshirt from Mango. Just make sure you don’t bust them out all the same time. Obviously.

ps: don’t miss tomorrow’s Mama Spree. It’s the ultimate Mothers’ Day ‘hint list’ for the Daddys…

hippie chic

MangoTassel Bead Blouse (3-12 years)
£16.99  SHOP NOW
I love this top! I want this top!! For me!! But in the meantime, one will be winging it’s way to Tabitha wardrobe… 100% striped cotton, beads, tassels (bells, whistles?)… All you need to add is a great pair of skinny, mid-wash jeans (with little ankle boots for now, and sandals for Summer, and it would be totally adorable with denim cut-offs too). Ok, it’s not strictly a pink princess dress, but I am going to try my hardest to convince Tabs that it’s way cooler than any princess look (wish me luck!)… Here are some more cute hippie/folky style tops (and a dress for good measure!) that I found that I think you might like… This other Mango top; this Mini Boden one; this Gap dress; this La Redoute lace blouse; I love the print on this Alice à Paris one; this ilovegorgeous one; and this Crew Cuts one (I like the pink).

ps: these are Marlow’s Gap jeans that I was talking about on Sunday. They are so cool, and he’s barely taken them off since I bought them. Just give them a little turn-up and you’re good to go.

sophie’s (& sarah’s) choice

Sophie La Girafe Hair & Body Wash (200ml)
£19.95  SHOP NOW
Sophie La Girafe (yes my spell check is working, this girafe is French) was a bit of an icon when the twins were babies (it was only teething accessory so be seen with, and all babies and parents were obsessed with her…). When I was walking around our old neighbourhood in Maida Vale with Tabarlow in their buggy I used to see at least one dropped Sophie per day on the pavement. Needless to say we got through a fair number of Sophie’s ourselves getting through those testing teething months.. Back then she was just a rubber giraffe, but nowadays she’s also morphed into a fully-fledged teething ring. Anyway, now it seems that she has branched out into a whole organic bath and body range. Now as you all know I have been loyal to Burt’s Bees Baby since the twins were tiny (I’m just addicted to the smell!!), but having just tried the Sophie hair and body wash, things might be changing around here… Firstly, the smell is amazing (even Tabitha and Marlow commented on how lovely it was!!). Then there is the fact that Tabitha’s hair (which is getting quite long and prone to knots and tangles) didn’t even need conditioner afterwards. And that’s just for starters. Specially formulated for baby sensitive skin, this mild and gentle hair and body wash is made with all natural ingredients, and is dermatologically tested and Ecocert approved (whatever that means, but it sounds reasuring).  As well as the body wash the range also includes body lotion, protection cream, bubble bath and baby oil (all equally gorgeous smelling). Yes please! And call me superficial (well I do work in fashion..), but it also looks super-chic in the bathroom. I really like this starter set (the perfect gift for a ‘mama-to-be’).

ps: and while we’re on the subject of organic products for babies, how cute are these handmade organic knitted booties?

pps: this adorable Liberty print Chloe baby sun hat has been reduced to just £20.00. Buy now, stash for later…

boys boys boys

 

Mini Boden Boys Cardigan (2-12 years)
£20.00-£24.00 (was £25.00-£30.00)  SHOP NOW
It’s all about the boys today. Starting with this super-cool, simple cardigan made from cotton and cashmere. Great for those ‘in-between days’ when you’re need an extra layer, but not necessarily a really thick, warm one. I love the elbow patches and the subtle neon trim details. Here are a few more pieces that I have spied for the boys this week that will also work for those ‘is it Spring yet?’ layering kind of days…
I bought these Zara girls’ cotton striped trousers for Marlow a couple of weeks ago – they are lightweight, and a slim fit. Perfect for Summer (and there’s no way I could get Tabitha anywhere near a navy striped trouser these days…); this cool star print scarf from Cyrillus; these M&S navy suede chukka boots (I always loved a chukka style boot – Tabarlow’s daddy is a big fan of the Common Projects ones); these John Lewis colour block Wayfarer sunglasses; this The Little White Company mixed stripe long sleeved tee; this cool tee from The Fableists (this new little brand that I just discovered – definitely worth checking out); and this H&M cargo shirt. I also mentioned a great pair of jeans that I picked up for Marlow in Gap on Saturday. They were my favourite skinny fit that I always buy him, but they were a new wash – slightly distressed and with a little turn-up. I am going to double-check with the press office, but I think these are them. He was wearing them today with a Miller striped tee (from my Miller sale swoop a few months ago) if you want to take a look on Instagram. I also noticed that they already have their denim cut-offs in for Summer. I bought the Gap ones last year (for me and for Marlow actually, but more about mine in Mama Spree) and he literally lived in them. So I am going to ‘buy now, stash for later’ (I like these H&M ones too).

dresses, dresses and more dresses…

Billieblush Embroidered Dress (3-8 years)
£37.00  SHOP NOW
The High Street is awash with gorgeous girls’ dresses. It was so hard to narrow them down, but these are some of the best ones I’ve seen (a couple of which I’ve already bought). I popped into Gap today and bought a few bits and pieces (including a fab pair of jeans for Marlow that, amazingly, I haven’t bought him before – details in tomorrow’s post), and this got me thinking about more dresses. There are just so many great ones around, and this is just a small edit… I love the colour of this pretty Billieblush one (above), and it also comes in two other equally gorgeous shades. This simple Gap colour block striped t-shirt dress (bought for Tabs – perfect for nursery); Gap Breton stripe chambray dress (and this one): Zara lace detail dress: Il Gufo striped shirtdress; M&S pique dress; M&S leopard print dress; The Little White Company chambray sundress (just layer a long sleeved tee under for now); Antik Batik printed dress (love this!); Kin striped dress; Emma Levine embroidered dress; Cyrillus mosaic print dress (such a cute print); and this La Redoute sweatshirt dress with lace trim.

we are family…

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).

mama spree: my 20 minute topshop trolley dash

Topshop Moto Denim Dress (sizes 4-16)
£38.00  SHOP NOW
When I was a full-time Fashion Editor at Glamour (pre-twins) I used to make almost daily trips to Topshop (the Oxford Street store, which was a mere hop and a skip from our Bond Street offices, even in heels) for my ‘Toppers fix’ (it was a hard habit to break…). These days, my Topshop visits may have been scaled back, but I still love nothing more than the high I get from racing around that store with an armful of goodies, and I never fail to leave without some great finds. I popped into the Knightsbridge store (I love this one as it’s normally quiet, so I can shop without feeling a hundred…) yesterday after a meeting. My intention (as always) was to do a quick circuit of the store to check what was new, then leave. Who was I kidding? Before I knew it I was in a changing room with a pile of clothes, then approximately 20 minutes later I was exiting the store with a huge bag of goodies. So I thought I would share those goodies (plus some other gems I have hunted down since) with you today…
Firstly this dress. Now I didn’t actually buy this (only because it wasn’t there!), but my good friend (and super-stylish mama) tipped me off about it this morning, so I definitely will (sorry Nicky). We often turn up for nursery pick-up wearing a variation of the same outfit, and our sons are dressed identically at least three times a week!). Such a simple, cool, easy to wear, every day dress. I’ll wear it with black opaques and either a flat chelsea boot (the trusty Churches’) or ballet flats now, then just add simple flat sandals/skate shoes come Summer. I live in dresses like this. I bought this linen striped long sleeved tee (which I put on after I’d paid for it, and left the store in it – I was having a hot flush in my cashmere jumper!), and am wearing today (I also bought the grey & white version); this gingham dress (for all the same reasons as the denim dress); these Boutique navy striped mens’ style baggy trousers (I will wear them with high heeled sandals for the evening) – they are very ‘un-me’, but I loved them on; this marl grey long tunic-style top (great for anyone still feeling those stubborn extra post-baby pounds); another striped tee (looks expensive, and the shape is really flattering and easy to wear, plus it’s currently half price); this denim utility style jacket (a great alternative to the trusty army jacket – great over little dresses); this check sleeve sweatshirt (it’s not just the boys that get to wear the cool sweatshirts); these vintage-style loose fit cropped jeans; this satin striped A-line dress is super-chic and a great ‘going out’ dress if you’re bored of the LBD (I know I am); these white pool slides to wear with dresses and cropped slim-leg trousers in the Summer; these washed black ‘Baxter’ jeans (I love a Baxter jean and so apparently so does French Vogue Editor, Emmanuelle Alt); and finally this patchwork denim hold-all (the first thing I spotted on entering the store – just make sure you don’t wear it with the denim dress and utility jacket!!). That should keep me (and you) going for a while…

ps: a last-minute addition! I’ve just had a tip-off about this super-cool jumpsuit. This definitely wasn’t in the store when I was there, but it is online, and I love it!!! And a lot cheaper than the Isabel Marant one…

it’s all about a sweatshirt…

Barbour McQueen Sweatshirt (xxs-xxl)
£40.00  SHOP NOW
I love a sweatshirt (preferably grey marl Alexander Wang). Marlow loves a sweatshirt (preferably grey marl, but as yet, not too fussy about the label). And long may it last. The humble sweatshirt is effortlessly cool, and I can’t seem to stop finding great ones wherever I look. These are some of my favourites around at the moment, starting with this super-cool, faded print Steve McQueen one from Barbour. I’m also loving this Peanuts one from Uniqlo; this ‘boom’ one from Stella McCartney; this H&M plain charcoal one (always a classic along with a grey marl); this contrast one from Zara; this cool quilted one from Next; this striped one from Next; and finally this Mini Boden waffle one (in grey);

ps: these Mango plain cashmere crew necks are still available in the sale. I ordered two navy ones for Marlow (one for now, one for next year) that just arrived yesterday (along with his Monsoon robot sunglasses), and he’s weaing one today. I really like that they are a really fine-knit, so ideal for this unpredictable weather (and they look really expensive).

pps: don’t forget, it’s Mama Spree tomorrow!