mama spree: plane chic

Travel outfit

1. Scotch & Soda Broderie Anglaise Top, £87.95
2. Gap Zip Pocket Track Pants, £34.95
3. Mango Striped Canvas Bag, £19.99 (was £34.99)
4. Birkenstock ‘Arizona’ Sandals, £49.95

Having just got back from a wonderful two weeks in Tuscany, ‘plane dressing’ is definitely still fresh in my mind. I flew to Parma with the twins, and Tom drove (how I got talked into that one I will never know…), so I was running a very ‘tight ship’ in terms of what to wear and what to carry. Pulling together any kind of ‘look’ for the plane with kids in tow is no mean feat (plus who really cares that much anyway?), but I do still like to feel ‘put together’, but still comfortable. There are just a few factors to consider. Flats are a must (why anyone would travel in heels, regardless of mini travel companions is a mystery to me?). And flats that are easy to get on and off at security are a non-negotiable with little ones. I’m still slightly on the fence with the whole Birkies trend, but I do love them on other people, and I love the white (and you will live on them on holiday). I just spied these track pants on the Gap website yesterday, and will definitely be buying myself a pair (I do prefer the charcoal though I have to say). Then if you add a more feminine top (I’m loving that this one is chambray, rather than the usual white), this will balance the trackies nicely and keep them chic, not sloppy. And I’ve been eying this striped Mango tote all Summer, and a roomy bag that you can sling over your shoulder is another nonnegotiable when travelling with little ones. Then this can also double up as a chic holiday/beach bag (cutting down on your packing – the only others bags I took where my trusty basket bags).

This week I’m also loving this Scotch & Soda cotton shopper; these Topshop shorts (perfect for holidays);  this H&M Breton jumper (I just bought it, it’s great – quite a heavy knit, not ‘fine’ as described on the website, so more like a traditional Breton); this Gap shirt (great with khaki trousers); these Kurt Geiger wedges (very Stella-esque, and they really remind me of an old pair of A.P.C ones that I have had for years); this Boden (Marni-esque) retro print sweater (the brown – love it with denim); these Topshop ankle boots (if you can’t/don’t want to stretch to the Issy ones); and this Mango unstructured blazer (this is a bit of a ‘buy now, stash for later’ purchase).

love tee

Bob&Blossom_Pink-Silver_Love

Bob & Blossom ‘Love’ Silver Print Long Sleeve Tee (1-5 years)
£14.95  SHOP NOW
I have long been a fan of Bob & Blossom, and have bought countless number t-shirts for birthday presents (they are always well received by both parents, and little ones, and a great price at just £16.95). But at the recent Bubble exhibition in London, it was this adorable love tee that caught my eye. The ‘marshmallow’ pink is just right, and the silver text makes the perfect cool contrast. I also loved the ‘hello’ version in the perfect ‘cloud’ grey with neon text (in fact, it was tough to choose which one to use as the picture for this post). They are also both available in baby sizes too. I can’t get enough of them!

ps: the lucky winner of the gorgeous Nature Zoo musical octopus is Louise Knight. Congratulations Louise! Please email me with your address and I will post it straight to you. Thank you to everyone who entered, and worry not, there will be more competitions coming soon.

pps: next week is dedicated to the dreaded (for so many reasons!!) subject of ‘back to school’, or in Tabarlow’s case: starting school. I am traumatised, but mostly about the scary shoes. I will be sharing my woes with you all next week, so don’t buy anything until you’ve read my edit.

octochic

Nature Zoo was one of my favourite stands at Bubble London last week. They make the most beautiful (and stylish) crocheted toys and accessories, and chic, stylish baby gifts. I was immediately drawn to this gorgeous musical octopus, and the lovely ladies at Nature Zoo kindly offered to give one to a lucky Little Spree reader. All you need to do is answer this (ridiculously easy) question, and email your answer to me at the usual Little Spree email address (you can find it in ‘contact’ at the top of the website). How many legs does an octopus have?
I also loved the cot and pram/buggy mobiles (the figures are detachable, so you switch them over or add to them – love that – so clever). Anyway, check out the website for yourself – they have so many cute things. There’s just something about the look and feel of these crocheted pieces that babies just love. The little rattles are adorable too. And the great thing is, they are all super-stylish.
We’re off to Tuscany tomorrow on holiday (follow me on Instagram: littlespree), so Little Spree will also be taking a little (and much needed) break. Back in two weeks! Good luck with the competition! I will announce the winner when we’re back, so you have plenty of time (the closing date is 6th August).

ps: more from Bubble soon. I can’t wait to share my favourites with you…

mama spree: the day-to-night jumpsuit

1. Mango V-neck Jumpsuit, £34.99 (was £59.99)
2. Festiva Macramé Bag, £35.00
3. Kurt Geiger ‘Goodsport’ Sandals, £59.00 (were £110)

1. Mango V-neck Jumpsuit, £34.99 (was £59.99)
2. Isabel Marant Bead Tassel Earrings, £85.00 (were £170.00)
3. Scotch & Soda Batik Clutch Bag, £26.00 (was £51.95)
4. Isabel Marant Leather Sandals, £261.00 (were £435.00)

Who knew a black jumpsuit could be so wearable, flattering and not to mention, versatile? Not me. But now I own one (this exact one from Mango in fact) I am a complete convert. And it works just as well for day as for night. The one downside? There is no such thing as a quick trip to the loo! And whatever you do, do not wear one on a long haul flight (learn from my mistakes ladies!). I was seduced by it’s ‘chic and comfortable’ appeal, but in one trip managed to lose an arm (the jumpsuit’s, not mine) down a dubious-looking loo at JFK airport (nice), and frequent loo trips on the flight become pretty tedious when you have to strip down to your bra and knickers each time (with a queue of impatient fellow passengers waiting outside…). But don’t let any of that put you off, I also love this one from Scotch & Soda.

ps: this week I’m also loving this Topshop printed sarong, and this basket bag (note the addition of the shoulder strap) from Hedgehog for my (just around the corner) holiday…

pps: I’m obsessed with the Scotch & Soda batik clutch (above)!!

shirts, shorts & a flash of silver…

1. Miller Palm Shirt, £27.50 (was £55.00)
2. Gap Flat Front Denim Shorts, £14.99 (were £17.95)
3. Birkenstock Silver Rio Sandals, £36.00

I sometimes struggle with shirts for Marlow, as they have a tendency to look (and feel) a bit stiff and starchy. Not this one from one of my favourite brands, Miller. And I love it even more styled in this relaxed way with these cool khaki shorts and (girls) Birkies. Who says boys can’t wear silver sandals anyway?

checked chic

1. M&S 2 Piece Cotton Gingham Blouse & Shorts Outfit, £20.00
2. M&S Cotton Cable Knit Cardigan, £9.00
3. Zara Leather Metallic Sandals, £9.99 (were £17.99)

M&S are doing some great baby pieces (and all in lovely cottons) at the moment. I love this cute little gingham outfit and cable cardigan. So chic.

ps: saw lots of gorgeous things at the Bubble London exhibition today. Very inspiring. I will be writing a special post all about my favourite ‘ones to watch’ (some you may already know, and some you probably won’t). And guess what? I also found some non-hideous boys’ school shoes (yes complete with the obligitoary velcro!). I will definitely be sharing those, so don’t buy any new school shoes until you’ve read it.

buy now, stash for later…

Kin By John Lewis Boys Parka (2-10 years)
£10.00 (was £15.00)  SHOP NOW
Thank you Jacqueline for this great ‘buy now, stash for later’ find. And an amazing price!! You can’t go wrong with a parka, and I’m definitely buying one for Marlow to ‘stash’ for the Autumn. And here’s another (slightly longer) one, also from John Lewis.

ps: here’s a super-cute girls Winter coat from Monsoon to buy now too (it’s just £40.00). So tempted…

pps: Tabitha is wearing her Next shorts dungarees and striped tee combo today (she did take a bit of convincing: “but it’s not pretty enough…”, but I managed to talk her round). It’s so sweet.

mama spree: cargo cool

1. Gap Burnout Boyfriend Tee, £16.95
2. Joomi Lim Crystal Skull Earrings, £34.00 (were £68.00)
3. Zara Trousers With Paint Marks, £17.99 (were £39.99)
4. Boden Serrana Sandals, £23.60-£47.20 (were £59.00-£69.00)

This is what I refer to as a great, easy to wear ‘running around’ look – nursery/school-run, shopping, running errands, lunch with friends, casual supper… you get the picture. For those days when you just want to feel a bit ‘cooler’, but still comfortable (this is how I want to feel most days – whether I actually manage to achieve it is another matter…). I love these trousers (just remember to turn them up a bit to make them more cropped – it makes all the difference). J.Crew has also done a version, (which I saw when I was in New York at the weekend shooting for Red), which are a bit more pricey, but so fab. Just be prepared for strangers to ask you what you’ve spit on your trousers!! If the paint makes you a little tense, I really like these Anthropologie zip cargo pants too (reduced from £98.00 to just £28.00!). And it’s amazing how a dangly earring can elevate a casual tee, and I’ve had my eye on this Joomi Lim pair for a long time…

ps: Anthropologie has some great sale bargains at the moment, as I discovered as I was snooping around the website earlier – up to 70% off on lots of things. I liked this blouse (would look great with cargo pants actually); these pyjamas;  this dress; this jacket (which I spotted in the store in New York and loved); these dungarees;  this cutout tee; and these go-with-everything earrings (sorry not in the sale, but lovely and still a good price).

pps: I know it’s Mama Spree Friday, but just wanted to share a few Little Spree purchases that I’ve made recently… I literally bought this M&S pointelle cardigan yesterday. Love the yolk colour (will look great with denim). And when I was in New York I couldn’t leave J.Crew without a few ‘little’ sale bargains, so I bought this glow-in-the-dark pirate tee (Marlow loves it and keeps going into dark cupboards to look at it…) and this baseball tee. I know, I was pretty restrained really wasn’t I??

cats & (ballet) flats

1. Next Chambray Playsuit & T-Shirt Set, £15.00-£21.00
2. H&M Straw Bag, £4.99
3. La Coqueta Napa Ballerina, £25.50 (were £34.00)

Could Next have made dressing any easier? The perfect striped Breton already layered under the cutest dungarees shorts. This a ‘mini me’ outit if ever there was one (ok, maybe not the cat bag, although I do love it…)

lo-fi style

1. Petit Bateau Granddad T-Shirt, £13.50
2. Artful Kids ‘My First Smartphone’, £14.95
3. H&M Cotton Shorts, £5.99
4. New Papy Sandals, £48.00 (were £80.00)

Love this colour of this top with white (don’t worry – the price of the shorts reflects how laid back you can be about getting them dirty, but they do look cool though don’t they?). And you don’t get more ‘lo-fi’ than this super-cute wooden mobile phone (complete with chalk and earphone erasers)! Love it.

mama spree: looking ahead…

1. Isabel Marant Étoile Striped Cotton Shirt, £110.00
2. ASOS Multipack Gold Plated Sleeper Earrings, £12.00
3. Gap ‘Sexy Boyfriend’ Shorts, £29.95
4. Whistles Slip On Espadrilles, £50.00 (were £85.00)

1. Isabel Marant Étoile Striped Cotton Shirt, £110.00
2. ASOS Multipack Gold Plated Sleeper Earrings, £12.00
3. Adidas Stan Smith Trainers, £66.99
4. Topshop Cigarette Trousers, £22.00

Please forgive the slightly Wintery looking Mama Spree today (don’t worry – more holiday posts to come), but bear with me. Come the Autumn I guarantee you will want a boyish striped shirt (I have shot this Étoile one for a Pre-Fall shoot for Red – you can see the story in the new August issue), a pair of flat-front cropped trousers and a pair of Stan Smith trainers (you need to buy a pair now though, they are selling out fast!). This is where things are heading next season – pared-down, slightly boyish and totally effortless. And I’m all over it. To me this shirt is a real investment piece (and not unreasonably priced), so here are two different ways of wearing it – one for now, one for later. Recognise the Gap shorts – yes I’ve already posted them (it’s not an oversight), but see how versatile they are? And we definitely all need a pair of espadrilles in our lives this Summer.
Here are a few other pieces that I love that would would work with this look… Pure Collection boyfriend cashmere cardigan (it is so hard to find a good, slouchy cashmere everyday cardigan, and this is one of the best I’ve seen, and it’s currently on sale; these white boyfriend (Angie) jeans from Mango would look great with the Issy shirt; I also like these Mango (kimono belt) trousers. I just ordered this (embroidered detail) shirt from Mango too.

there’s nothing cuter…

1. Mothercare Floral Playsuit, £12.00
2. Caramel ‘Kiwi’ Romper, £65.00
3. Gap Striped Romper, £11.99 (was £16.95)
4. Cyrillus Liberty Print Romper, £35.00

Rompers, playsuits, all-in-ones, bubbles (yes really)… Call them what you will. Here is a selection of my favourites out there, to fit little ones from three months to five years.. As you know Tabitha has the striped one from Gap, and I love it on her so much (and you can now pick one up in the sale). I’m rather tempted to buy another one for her for next Summer. A romper just looks so cute, no matter what. And no annoying gaps between tops and bottom halves (the baby equivalent of the muffin top!).