Sun Seekers – Kids swimwear for winter heat

HK KIDS

Yes the leaves may be crunching underfoot and whilst it’s nearly time to switch on the heating my mind is already travelling to far flung destinations for some winter sun. Luckily for us this half term will see us swapping the crisp London days for some African heat and the first thing to be packed will be Little B’s new cossie.  Having been a longtime fan of Heidi Klein for my bathers I am delighted to discover they do an incred kids’ range.  Hand on heart Little B’s new Phoebe one-piece is the most beautiful costume I have ever seen.

Phoebe Costume

The delectable strawberry print is teamed with a sweet red gingham and frill detailing adorns the shoulders.  If you have boys then definitely check out the gorgeous range of fun rash vest and trunk co-ords.

Mix and Match

For mummies I swear by Heidi’s one-pieces- I have been donning the Nantucket this summer.  Generous support and flattering silhouettes ensure you feel confident poolside and although they are investment pieces they certainly perform better than their high-street counterparts.

I was keen to ask the Queen of chic resortwear a few questions…

Princess asked Heidi…

What are your 3 favourite things in life?

–          My beautiful family

–          My career

–          My gorgeous dog Otto

London’s best kept secret for kids?

–          Kite flying on Parliament Hill, tons of fun for the family. http://blog.muddypuddles.com/kite-flying-on-parliament-hill-london/

Best holiday memory?

–          In Lake Joseph (Ontario, Canada) this summer.  We spent 3 weeks there.   My little boys faces when the caught their first fish!

All in the detail:

Kids swimwear by Heidi Klein
Prices from £30 (sale pieces available)
Click here to view

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Get ARTee – cool kids’ t-shirts

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What’s not to love about a Flamingo wearing high-tops.  Yes I have blogged about her before, but I am pleased to announce that Millie McCallum‘s fabulous linocuts of various animals rocking quirky accessories, no longer have to be restricted to your walls as she has ventured into kidswear. You can now pick up her wonderful ‘Superpenguin’ and ‘Funky Flamingo’ on cute white T-shirts.  Little A and Little B are addicted to theirs and for once I can agree with their sartorial choices. They are also the perfect pressies to buy when holidaying with friends as they will appeal to the kids as much as their parents.

All in the detail:

Kids t-shirts by Millie McCallum 
£15 each
Sizes 1 up to 8yrs old
100% cotton
Click here to view
Also need to note you can buy them in adult sizes too – matchy matchy!

 

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Taking flight – shwings for your shoes

shwings

So I thought I had seen everything until I was watching one of my bessies wrap her daughter’s birthday presents and she pulled out these.  Which Little One wouldn’t like a pair of silver wings to make them go faster?  She combined them with a fresh pair of white converse (from Schuh Kids) and voila a pretty cool new pair of kicks.  Perfect to upgrade any trainer, Shwings are available in five colours and attach easily to any lace-up shoe.  I am just wondering if mums and dads can get away with wearing them too…

All in the detail:
Shwings attach easily to any lace-up shoe
Five colours to choose from – we love the silver
Great pressie for any Christmas stockings
£7.99 – available here

 

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All dressed up – hot new label Octavia Hix

O HIXIn my twenties when it came to holiday prep I would spend my money on an array of spenny bikinis, fast forward to the post-baby years and I am more inclined not to spend my money on small triangles of fabric but on larger swathes to cover up in instead!

If the summer holiday season is filling you with dread and the thought of wearing basically your underwear amongst friends and family makes you want to hide under a rock, then help is at hand with the discovery of hot new British label Octavia Hix.  Their beautiful 100% silk dresses are the perfect staple to pack in your suitcase and their incredible versatility will take you from the pool to the bar and from city lunch to beachside caper.

SHORT GLACIER AND SUPERNOVA
The collection focuses on a key shift-dress shape that flatters all and you get to choose from 8 fresh prints in a short or midi length.  I love the marble Glacier print and the Supernova especially. Wear with metallic sandals during the day and dress up with heels and gold jewellery for night.
Even better and for those that know I have a small penchant for good old matchy matchy you and your Little One can don your glad rags together as four prints are available in a Mini version.  See the super cute pics below – Little B has the Supernova.
All in the detail:
Click here to view
8 prints in 2 styles of shift dress
4 prints available in the Octavia Hix Mini range
The whole collection is available online
Also stocked in Barr & Bass
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A Good Nightie indeed – girls’ nightwear

W&BI blame Peter Pan’s Wendy for my love of girls’ nighties.  Watching her float out the window in her long nightdress is an image that has stayed with me, and now I can think of nothing nicer than Little B appearing post-bath in a crisp white nightie.  Super pleased to discover the wonderful Willa and the Bear to help realise this vision.

They sell a heavenly white smocked nightie, available in a flutter sleeve for the summer months or long sleeves for chillier nights.  Bright pink handsmocked rosebuds adorn the neckline and each piece is lovingly handmade.  Willa and the Bear’s founder Hattie Goodley (check out her super cute daughter modelling the nighties) has a long standing love-affair with Nepal where she has her nightwear made by an artisan women’s cooperative.  It certainly feels good to know that each piece has enriched the lives of those making as well as those wearing.

All in the detail:

All by Willa and the Bear
Nighties, £40
12mths-3yrs
Check out their lovely bedding and PJs too
Click here to view

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Top Travel Togs – Wiggy Kit

WK1

Even though you wouldn’t really know it, high summer is fast approaching.  Whilst its not exactly beach and bikini weather yet in London, if you have a holiday to hotter climes on the horizon then I have a fashion label that needs to be on your radar.

My new favourite holiday outfitter is Wiggy Kit.  Her collection of easy breezy summer frocks, tops and kaftans are perfect for effortless chic on holiday.  I love her trapeze dresses and the St Germain maxi dress is in my arsenal for the perfect day to night frock. I wear mine with flats during the day and dress it up with heels and gold jewellery at night.  The Tux Trapeze dresses and Alamod are form skimming so great for any post-baby tums that need a flattering silhouette.  They certainly are investment pieces but rather than investing in a constant flow of fast fashion, its sometimes worth spending more and buying less.

WG2

All in the detail:

All by Wiggy Kit
Prices from £155
Click here for more
I find her sizes quite generous and tend to fit the Small

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Through the Keyhole – The Magic Garden, Hampton Court

MGSometimes it so easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day of normal life and forget what veritable treats are right on your doorstep.  Raising children in London isn’t without its stresses but we are also so lucky to have some amazing adventures just a short hop away.

Last weekend the Mr N and I decided to embrace this and we loaded up the troops and headed off to Hampton Court to see their new Magic Garden.  What a treat it was.  Set just past the most amazing Veggie Patch (Mr McGregor eat your heart out) lies a wonderful garden designed solely to please the hearts of children.  Inspired by the history and stories of Hampton Court, you will find Tiltyard Towers, aerial walkways, slides, magical beast’s lairs, sand and water play, a huge bejewelled crown and did I mention the dragon?  Basically there is loads going on and as with any new attraction it did get pretty busy.  We arrived bang on 10 o clock and had a blissful forty minutes or so before it started to fill up.

Little A exploring

Top tip: you can buy tickets at the Magic Garden so don’t feel you need to queue up at the main ticket hall if you don’t want to go into the Palace itself

We bought tickets that covered The Magic Garden and the Maze and that easily kept us entertained for 2.5 hours.  There is a coffee shop for your caffeine fix at the Magic Garden and when it gets too busy head over to The Maze for some old-school fun rambling around it.  Little A took great pleasure navigating our way to the centre albeit after a few false starts.

All in all a great addition to the London Kids Scene and perfect for anyone 2-13 yrs old.

All in the detail:

The Magic Garden is at Hampton Court Palace
Open 7 days a week, 10am-6pm
There is good car parking on site but we went early to avoid the crowds
You can buy tickets at the Magic Garden so don’t bother queuing up in the central ticket hall in the palace
Coffee Shop and facilities within the Garden
We bought tickets that included the Magic Garden & the Maze
Adults: £7.70 and children £5.50 each
Kids under 5 are free
Click here for more info and to buy tickets

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Party Perfect – Kids Stationery

F and PI don’t know what it is but I like Stationery.  I can spend a happy half hour perusing the aisles in Paperchase or ordering online at Scribbler – check out their Bestseller list over nap time  – and yes I do have a ‘card drawer’.

Another favourite of mine are Brit stationers Fraser & Parsley.  If Elephants and Pigs wearing party hats appeals to you as much as it does to me, then have a look at their great new Children’s party range.  They do invitations, gift tags and sweet folded notes which make great Thank You cards.  Lots of choice for boys and girls from Knights and Dinosaurs to Cupcakes and Tiaras.  And if that isn’t enough did I fail to mention they do Unicorns too.

F and Parsley

All in the detail:

All by Fraser & Parsley
You can choose highlight colours and a choice of lovely fonts
Gift Tags from £10
Invites and Folded Notes from £20
Click here to view

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Say It Loud – The Mother Sweatshirt

mother jumper

I threw a Baby Shower for Little A’s Godmother last weekend and alongside the Elderflower Fizz, fruit skewers and bunny cupcakes we decided to get her one of these jumpers to celebrate her upcoming status.

smAvailable from Selfish Mother – if you haven’t seen the Blogzine then def check it out – the profits from each sweater/t-shirt sold go to Women for Women International.  This brilliant charity helps women from 8 war-torn regions rebuild their lives through training programmes.  Even better each tee and sweatshirt is made at a Fair Wear Foundation certified factory in Bangladesh which means its vetted for good working conditions and fair wages.  A plight hugely relevant given the fact I have just seen the documentary The True Cost (available on Netflix now) which certainly makes you rethink all those fast fashion purchases you have been making from the high street.

One of my favourites is the ‘Winging It’ sweatshirt as every day with the Littlies often feels this way!

The Dads and Little Ones needn’t miss out, they have ranges for them too – see below.

All in the Detail:

Sweatshirts and Tees available at Selfish Mother
Sizes XS-XL
Tees – £30
Sweatshirts – £45
Click here to shop
Click here for blogzine

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The Entertainer – Eating out with Kids

Travel gamesApologies for the radio silence but life seems super busy at the moment.  Now the sunshine has finally appeared and we can now spend more time out than in, that’s exactly what we have been doing.

With the long summer holidays on the horizon and with no doubt holidays being booked I thought I would do a post on how to entertain the Little Ones without the help of the iPad or iPhone when travelling/eating out.

We had a fab trip to Malaysia at Easter and every night was spent dining out with the kids and I was determined not to have to resort to the bright lights of Apps to keep them busy. First up an obvious one but pens and paper do go a long way.  I took 2 pads and a pencil case out with me every evening and simple things like drawing around your fork and spoon staved off a bit of the boredom whilst we ordered food.  Next mention goes to Stickers.  Most children 1.5 – 8 like them and you would be amazed at how simply sticking them onto plain paper keeps them occupied.  I bought some cheap packs from Amazon of Minions, Frozen characters etc. and they were super handy and so easy to stick in your bag.

If you have a long haul flight lined up then these Melissa & Doug Mess Free Glitter Scenes were brilliant.  Quite fiddly for a 2.5 yr old so they need help, but Little A at 5 loved these.  You simply rub the glitter sheets over the sticky bits and voila a masterpiece.  Perfect to bring to dinner or take onboard your flight.

If arts and crafts are a hit these Sticky Mosaic sets were also a success.  You can get easier ones for the 2-3yrs old which are great for learning about shapes and colours and more complex ones for older ones.  Fairly addictive once you get going and you end up with little works of they can keep.

Osborne’s pack of cards entitled 100 Things for Little Children to do on a Journey does exactly that.  They are wipe-clean activity cards packed with puzzles, games and pictures.  Comes with a pen to use that wipes clean (remember to buy a spare if you are travelling with more than one child to avoid WWIII!) and they were great to pack in my handbag for restaurant outings.  If you have older children then look for the equally brilliant 50 Things to Do on a Plane which follows the same formula but includes word searches and more complex puzzles/quizzes.

That’s about it.  All the above were tried and tested by us and I definitely found dining out to be more relaxing than normal, that said maybe it was because I wasn’t doing the cooking!

All in the detail:

Click all the links above to direct you to where you can buy them. 
Prices all around the £5-£10 mark.

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