09.10.14 Art: Rafael and Jimmy

So I’m just a little bit in love with Rafael and his dog Jimmy Choo.

Rafael and Jimmy

Apparently using his art as a hobby, Brazilian Rafael Mantesso, found himself taking more pictures of his dog after being left alone in an empty house after his divorce.

Rafael and Jimmy

Rafael and Jimmy

A very small part of me thinks about one day having a dog for the kids and also for security, if it could be perfectly trained and well behaved! I’m not sure how I’d feel about a Jimmy if he ate my Jimmy Choos?!

Do you have a dog and children? How do you find the balance?

Follow Jimmy and Rafael on Instagram here.

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25.09.14 Shop: Bicester for Kids

Most of you in the UK have heard of Bicester Shopping Village   which as they describe it, is ‘a chic shopping outlet’.  It’s a designer haven of delightful shops all at discount prices near Oxford.  During the Summer I went to check out what they had on offer specifically for the kids.

i i love gorgeous pop up shop

My favourite store was their centrally placed pop up shop area which is changed seasonally. Over the Summer it was home to the beautiful and eclectic ‘I love gorgeous‘  which made it their own with a huge selection of pieces from ditsy prints to sequin party dresses, all colour organised in rails. A true visual treat and even included their own small garden for children and events at the back.

i love gorgeous pop up shop

i love gorgeous pop up shop

i love gorgeous pop up shop

I love gorgeous, started in 2006 by two mums and has gone from strength to strength ever since. The concept of the store at Bicester was a perfect environment to provide inspiration to other mothers looking to dress their girls in whimsical partywear and everyday funky yet feminine pieces at a reduced price to that in the stores and online. The pop up shop therefore giving people the chance to try the brand before making additional purchases when they are hooked!

The Bonpoint store was another favourite space crammed full of heart achingly divine French fashion for the little ones. From embroidered cherry logo pins to linen and cotton mix blouses perfectly chic, displayed on your very own Delphine or Pierre.

Bonpoint store at Bicester

Stella McCartney‘s main store offered a beautifully curated collection of on trend designs for the smaller clientèle, including the popular cowboy boot and tiger print knitted rompers.

Stella McCartney Bicester

Stella McCartney Bicester

The village offers a wide selection of brands including Dior, Dolce and Gabbana and Gucci as well as more high street names you may be more familiar with, such as Clarks and Cath Kidston, where you can pick up the latest nappy bag or lunch box in that perfect retro print.

Cath Kidston Bicester

Hackett and Ralph Lauren also offering smaller sized pieces of their classic mens key looks. The Ralph Lauren kids shop being one of the largest and busiest stores I viewed, but with a lot of choice and a wide range of price points.

Bicester

It is never as fun to shop with the kids as it is without but there are facilities in place for the children, with good toilets and various eating spots including plenty of high chairs and playgrounds for when they really have had enough!

Bicester

Bicester playground

To get the most out of a trip here, I would definitely recommend the ‘Hands Free Shopping’ service which for a small fee, lets you make the most of browsing and purchasing without the need to carry everything you purchase around with you. This is especially helpful if you do have children with you as you can keep your hands free for making sure they don’t make a quick escape!

The village overall is perfectly laid out and just the right size to fully appreciate it in a whole day of shopping. Once parked, (valet parking is optional) everything is within a 5-10 minute stroll through the part cobbled and decorated centre. It is clean, well staffed and really quite pretty. I adored the very British red telephone boxes scattered about and feel they make a special effort to keep the grounds of the village attractive with flowers and being partly covered, it is still a great place to be hopping between the shops when the weather is not so great.

For a full list of stores available here go on to the Bicester Village website to view the map and brands available.

 

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24.09.14 Shopping someone else’s Wardrobe

jimmy choo carrera glasses

Do you do second hand, vintage or passed down? Or are you a strictly ‘brand spanking new’ only person?

I have to admit there is something about new and shiny things all wrapped up in beautiful packaging and then again, I also love something almost new, but at a fraction of the original cost.

Recently I purchased these uber cool Jimmy Choo ‘Carrera’ black and gold wayfarer style sunglasses on line from Charlotte’s wardrobe over at The Fashion Guitar. I know how much she loves her clothes and can assume therefore that she looks after them pretty well too. They arrived all the way from NYC in their case, nicely packaged and ready to wear. If I didn’t know better, I would have said they were brand new.

The popularity of the second hand designer shop is definitely on the rise where I live and really it makes sense. I buy great clothes for me and my kids, look after them and when I fall out of love, need a clothing  purge or the zip gets too tight, I take them in to one of the stores near me and someone else resells them. None of the time, effort or drama. Just a cheque at the end. It’s a great way to buy too and if you are local enough to visit these in person, you can try everything on before you buy. My most epic second hand purchase was a fitted black Givenchy jacket I paid £80 for.  It still is epic.

To buy from Charlotte’s wardrobe yourself check out her shop here. Or for inspiration, go on over and check out her style at The Fashion Guitar.

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02.09.14 Abercrombie Kids launches in the UK

So they took their time but finally the giant of teen Cool, (you know the store that is so dark it feels like a swanky bar and has staff that are basically models) and somewhat controversial, Abercrombie & Fitch, has launched their first UK Flagship store in Saville Row, London.

With a range of trend driven looks from ‘boho pretty’ to ‘girly grunge’ and classic Abercrombie & fitch  styles for boys in smaller sizes they are sure to attract some new smaller customers.

Situated in the beautiful historic No.3 Saville Row, across the street from the Abercrombie & Fitch flagship store, it showcases three levels of clothing and accessories for boys and girls, in addition to iconic memorabilia that pays homage to Apple Records and The Beatles after the Beatles performed their last concert there in 1969.

Abercrombie Kids

For pictures and updates follow @abercrombiekids on Twitter, and Instagram.

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02.08.14 Lola’s first ponytail

First ponytail, holiday greece

Sometimes the smallest things seem unimportant but actually it’s often these little moments that we remember over the big picture. I’m trying to work on being mindful in the moment and finding the easiest way to remember special little moments is to record them, instagram them, write them in the notes section on my phone.

This week we are on holiday and one of my favourite little moments of this week will definitely be Lola’s first ponytail. She has never before kept anything much in her hair but in the heat of the day, she came to me and asked with her pigeon speech,

‘Me ponytail?’

I think I love her little ponytail very much.

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13.05.14 My weekend: Blogtacular and a photo walk in London

black telephone box London

London. One of my favourite places to be in the World. Who knew London had such gorgeous telephone boxes? I had never even noticed them until I took Xanthe’s Blogtacular photo walk in London workshop. What a gorgeous excuse to connect with others and take photos around the City for no other reason than because I wanted too.

blogtacular

We took balloons and Rosie Wonders amazing tattoos with us for fun. The studded door I shot around Old Bond Street was insanely fabulous.

Rosie Wonders Bird Tattoo

The whole weekend at Blogtacular was a warm and fuzzy explosion of inspiration. Amongst the many talented creatives, editors and photographers speaking about their work, lives and both educating and inspiring us to be better bloggers was  Natalie Lue, founder of Bambino Goodies, The uber talented Anne Ditmeyer of Pret a Voyager and Design Sponge fame , The beautiful and crazy busy Courtney Adamo from Babyccino Kids and Joy Cho from Oh Joy, who blew me away with her passion and determination to achieve just about everything she puts her mind to! There was even a virtual interview with Will aka Mr. Bright Baazar! I also met a whole bunch of new friends, made plans for projects and trips and found my love of taking photos for the sake of it again. (Thanks Xanthe!) All in all it was a pretty epic weekend.

 

 

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12.05.14 Chloe’s Beauty Bar in Essex.

Sally Kettle DJ @ Chloes Beauty Bar

I was recently invited to the launch of Chloe’s Beauty Bar in Essex. Love TOWIE or hate it,  design lovers of white would have appreciated the cool clean look of this space.
This LA inspired beauty bar is definitely a place of beauty in itself.  The cool white surroundings are both hip yet calming relaxing and i couldn’t fail to be seduced by the injections of glitter gold used in the lighting scheme and main bar to the back.

Chloe's Beauty Bar #white #gold #glitter

Gold Glitter lights

To Read the full post please click on the link below

Continue Reading…

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07.05.14 Red Balloons for Ryan

I cannot find the right words. Sometimes there are no right words. Sometimes there is just a community of people all wishing, wanting and praying, sending love and light and peace to those desperately in need.

Every now and then something happens that makes me want to squeeze my babies so tight and never let them go. It grounds us, away from our activities, away from our media, our work and our distractions and remember that we need to make the most of this one and precious life. To shake the goodness out of every drop.

Yesterday i became aware that Jacqui from Baby Boy Bakery lost her son Ryan in a tragic accident.

In your busy day of working, shopping, kids and living today,  please stop for a moment to help his family by sending your love and prayers or by buying this tshirt designed by IndieNook.

Or share your messages for Baby Boy Bakery on twitter using #redballoonsforryan

Hope shines brightest in our darkest moments. Keep it rad little Ryan.

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06.05.14 Who dresses your kids? You or them? 5 tips for stubborn kids style

kitty's double sock combo

Sometimes you can tell, sometimes you just can’t. I’ve often heard that little boys don’t care what they wear as long as they are not dressing themselves. I’m sure that’s true for some of you and was certainly the case for my husband and his 3 brothers. It was all about the lazy option and how fast they could get outside to jump out of a tree or cover themselves in mud.

Seb however is definitely more choosy when it comes to outfits. He knows what’s comfy and he knows what you wear to a party. I have never sanctioned the use of general characters on T Shirts outside of pyjama wear but generally the odd vintage style Spiderman black Tee has passed through the net mainly because it’s cool and you have to give a bit, somewhere. Football tops are kept to a bare minimum and sometimes he just asks to be dressed to match his dad. Cute. I doubt that one will last much longer! He has learned his pickiness however not from his dad but his big sister.

Kitty from the age of 2 had definite ideas about what she did and did not want to wear. After dismissing about 90% of her wardrobe I decided that the only way to come out on top was as she grew out of her clothes, I would only replace them with things that could be universally worn with almost everything else and that everything I bought I loved. This then bred a wardrobe of grey, black, white and navy and denim with some colour highlights and print dresses. It was revolutionary.

From then she has developed her own style and consistently continues to make me smile with her choices. I’ve had to let go a little but its like our styles have merged and she has compromised too. She knows her colours and what works well and she loves to be a little different, to make up trends. Check out her double sock combo up top. #yousawitherefirst.

And hey, without even knowing it was Coachella season she finds this flower band from nowhere and decides it time to rock that vibe for a bit.

kitty style

I think if you are concerned about how they look you have to get ahead of the game. Start early. They can be picky very young!

My top tips for a style harmony with your kids

1. Eliminate bad choices

Ok, so Aunty Pam bought you that Skylander T-shirt in flourescent green. Yep, quickly make it a PJ top not a T-shirt. That way you will not have to endure him wearing it day in, day out…in the day at least! Either that or charity shop bad buys before they even realise they are gone. Yes some clothes do get lost in the wash you know…ahem.

2. Buy good basics

Don’t scrimp on badly made cheap basics. I love H & M and Gap for highstreet great basic styles which wash well. Stick to some neutral colours like black, grey, navy white and nudes for chic basics and add in some colours they suit which compliment such as pinks, purples  and greens or red. Kids need some colour.

3. Denim is your friend

Don’t just think jeans, but jackets, waistcoats and shorts can be super chic in denim and its hard wearing and easier to keep clean than most other fabrics. When you do buy jeans make sure you get a good cut. Skinny and straight fitting styles are more fashionable right now.

4. No more shoes from hell!

Tell the assistant after being measured not to bring any shoes out that light up/have diamonds/flowers/sparkles or free make up kits/whatever you don’t like! And guide their available options before they are even aware the full range of what’s available.

5. Let them live a little

I’m all about standing your ground when it comes to clothes but the go naked or wear what i want line cannot work every time. Look out for items you know they’ll love without being too tacky and give them a treat. Some batman T shirts can be cool. Have a little fun. Some fashions are never meant to last that long and the chances are they’ll grow out of it before you get a chance to despise it.

So do your kids dress themselves? And have you ever ‘accidentally lost’ something you didn’t like? Do you tell family and friends not to buy clothes or do they already know better?

I’d love to know!

T xo

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17.04.14 Mini Rodini Children’s bedding range

mini rodini home

mini rodini home

Thankfully we can trust Mini Rodini to bring us a new bedding range to offer us stylish parents a little more choice when it comes to picking anything more than plain white for the kids.
These organic and eco-friendly beddings and blankets will colour your home with a good conscience. I love the patchwork bunny/ski/bird prints. So adorable for a cool but eclectic interior for anyone wanting something that is as good for the environment and our children, as it is for their design kudos.

The collection is now available in Mini Rodini’s stores and on www.minirodini.com. Prices from €55.

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