Hot Under the Collar – floral smocked dress

AB Dress

It is no secret that when it comes to children’s clothing I love a collar on a child.  Up until now my ultimate fave has been a crisp Peter Pan collar but wait a minute there is a new contender in our midst; the scalloped collar.  Yes Amelia Brennan may just have created the perfect dress – handsmocked, a floral print, machine washable and with a white scalloped collar and cuffs.  It looks even better in the flesh and I cannot wait for Little B to wear it.

If you are caught at that tricksome crawling stage when dresses can be a disaster then take a peek at her Floral Frilly Bloomers or Floral Dungarees.


Not to forget the boys, the gorgeous Soldier Dungarees are currently in the sale so snap them up.

All in the detail:

Floral Hand Smocked Dress, £40
All by Amelia Brennan
Available in sizes 6m-5yrs
100% soft cotton
Machine washable
Wide stitched hem so it can be easily lengthened
Floral Frilly Bloomers, £12.50
Sizes S,M,L
Floral Dungarees, £38.50
Sizes 1-5yrs

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Book Club – A Tower of Giraffes

Once in a while a children’s book comes along that is as much of a joy to read for them as it is for yourself.  Anna Wright’s hardback ‘A Tower of Giraffes, Animal Bunches’ is just that.  I have long been a fan of her artwork which combines pen, ink and watercolour with fabric collage to make totally unique, yet very recognisable, humorous studies of animals.  I have previously given my goddaughter a gorgeous print for her Christening gift as I find her artwork appeals to adults just as much as children.

Anna’s new book depicts the names given to animal groups and includes little paragraphs of facts which Little A loves.  Who knew that in a gaggle of geese the ones at the back of the group honk to encourage those in the front to keep moving quickly!  A Tower of Giraffes would make an ideal birthday gift or great to have a couple of copies in the pressie drawer.


All in the detail:

A Tower of Giraffes – Animal Bunches, by Anna Wright
£11.99 in hardback
Click here to view and buy

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My Wonderwalls – gorgeous children’s wallpaper

rocking horseWhen I make discoveries like Cowparsley At Home it makes me instantly want to refurbish the kids’ bedrooms.   Inspired by country childhood memories and soft, faded florals, their wallpapers and fabrics are quite simply gorgeous.  I want to paper Little B’s room in their stunning ‘Rocking Horse and Stars’ print although that said their super sweet ‘Rabbits and Daisies’ wallpaper also tugs at my heart strings.  Their ‘Happy Bees’ fabric in grey would be gorgeous on a nursery chair or cushions too.  For now I have to be content filing my samples away in my ‘dream house’ folder but if you are looking for some nursery inspiration then look no further.


All in the detail:

Rocking Horse and Stars wallpaper, £60.00
Rabbits and Daisies wallpaper, £60.00
Happy Bees fabric, £48
Cowparsley at Home is a family run business and best of all designed and made in Britain
Click here to view more


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Sleeping Beauties – the perfect PJ


Ok I will admit it.  I am a sloth.  If I could snatch a few minutes in the day I would be most happy curling up, catlike in bed and resting my eyes. However, with 2 under 5 those times are rare, infrequent and if they do occur then very precious.  I do however spend a lot of time in PJs and at the weekend like nothing more than padding round the kitchen making our weekend pancakes, reading the papers, and having pyjama snuggles with the littlies.  Now Little B is nearing 2 I have decided that baby weight/sleepless nights are no longer an excuse for sloppy dressing and so my wardrobe and in particular my PJ drawer is having somewhat of an overhaul.  Where better to start than with fab new label Desmond and Dempsey.  I am IN LOVE with their Bocas print and now have a spring in my step whenever I wear them. Super soft and comfy they are the perfect summer PJ and cannot wait to take away on holiday with me too.


For all you mums-to-be and the breastfeeding beauties out there take a look at their Signature sets which feature a mother of pearl button front.  Designed to imitate that ‘girl wearing boy’s shirt look’ but in a more feminine and tailored way, they come in a range of designs or you could opt for the classic plain colours.  A nice way to feel just a teensy bit more glam post-birth and given the amount of visitors likely to see you in your nightwear they are worth every penny.  Beautifully packaged they would make a pretty cool ‘leaving the office to have a baby’ pressie too.


All in the detail:

All nightwear by Desmond & Dempsey
Cami sets, £65
Signature sets, £95
Monogramming available from £11 per letter
All made from 100% cotton voile 
Machine washable

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Father’s Day – 21st June


I am sure the best thing my hubby could wish for this Father’s Day would be a nice, leisurely lie-in.  However, this year might have to be an IOU as I head out of town on a hen weekend and so I guess he will be spending the day exactly how he should be – being clambered on, snuggled on and laughing with the two Little Ones.  If you are struggling for a thoughtful gift this year then take a look at these cufflinks.  Rather like a men’s version of a locket they can be personalised with a secret message.  I am all about sentimental mushiness and even better when it is not overtly on show.  You can get the message typed up or simply get them sent to you empty to add your own.  For other ideas click here for last year’s post.

All in the detail:

Deluxe Secret Message Cufflinks, from £42.99
Order now and select Express delivery to make it in time
You can have them delivered empty/with 1 message/with 2 message
Message wording 25 characters each
Made from stainless steel and even better made in England

Click here to view

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I Spy… an iPad – Universal Tablet Mount holder

ipad mountSummer is round the corner and that for us means a few long, hot car journeys with two Little Ones.  Aside from good old ‘I Spy’ and ‘who can be the first to see a Red Lorry’, thankfully our generation’s kids can enjoy a cinema experience in the back of the car with a little help from the iPad.  Yes, shamelessly we often load up the iPad with the latest Disney/Pixar fare and plug in these headphones and voila peace for an hour.

I have previously recommended an iPad mount that fits directly behind your headrest and this had worked perfectly well until Little B arrived on the scene.  Now she is old enough to enjoy the wonders of Peppa Pig and co. I realised she was also at risk of developing a severe case of ‘iPad Neck’ as she had to crane over to see whatever Little A was watching on the other side of the car.  So with this in mind and to keep World Peace we have upgraded to this great bit of kit which restores harmony to the back seat and makes sure everyone has a good view. Easy to install and compatible with any 7-11″ tablet (with or without its case) it is sure to earn its keep this summer.

All in the detail:
Universal Tablet Mount, £19.99 by Qwerkity
Super quick to install you can pop it in when you need it for those long journeys.  I always remove mine when back home for fear of square eyed children!
Allows for portrait or landscape viewing.
If you haven’t heard of Qwerkity before it is well worth getting their Gift Guide.
Great for the woman/man who has everything and a fab section for kids too.

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Tidy Talons – nice nails for new mums


If you are in the sleep deprived, early days of life with a newborn and in desperate need of a pick-me-up, or simply low on the childcare front but would love to get out for a mani pedi then there is a little App you need to download now.  At the click of a button you can order your manicure and pedicure on the go and instead of traipsing to and from a salon, an expert technician will magically appear at your door.  You can continue to watch your kids or keep working, all in the comfort of your own home, whilst your hands and feet get some much needed TLC.  You pay via the app too so perfect if you have been too busy to get out the cash.  Most of LeSalon’s expert technicians are mums too so LeSalon works well for women ‘on both sides of the polish pot’ as they say.
With a couple of clicks on your mobile and your chipped, tired, hands and toesies can be given a new lease of life. Get downloading.

All in the detail:
They use ESSIE nail varnish
Express mani & pedi – £40 (20mins)
Classic mani – £25
Classic pedi – £35
Classic mani & pedi – £50 
They also offer Shellac too
CND Shellac mani – £35
CND Shellac pedi – £45
CND Shellac mani & pedi – £70 
Find LeSalon at the AppStore 
Currently covering Zone 1&2 in London



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Now you see it, now you don’t – foldable garden slide


Having got our own patch of London soil last year, we are now looking forward to having a garden for a summer of BBQ’s, races through the sprinkler and general sun worshipping (when it appears).  However, there has been a slight discrepancy as to how the hubby and I are seeing fit to use the space: him – a BBQ haven and mini football/rugby pitch and me – a place for picnic teas, sunbathing during the lunchtime nap and outdoor toys for the Little Ones to play on.

I mentioned the possibility of getting a slide the other day and received a visible shudder from the hubby who was quick to envisage our pretty patch turning into a section of the ELC.  He did have a point though and simply wanted to enjoy a toyfree zone when enjoying a post-work drink ‘al fresco’ but how to please all of us? Hello the foldable slide.  Yep it does what it says on the box.  Large and brightly coloured to please the Littlies, I simply fold it in two at the end of the day and bung it in our garden shed.  Would work equally well tucked against a wall and it seems very robust. Made by trusty brand Little Tikes (makers of the famous red and yellow car from my youth) and available in a variety of sizes.  I would possibly advise waiting for another pair of adult hands to build it when it arrives, but it is hard to resist a super large box waiting on your doorstep so I just about managed it with Little A doing his best to assist.

We plumped for the large one and it has been a big hit so far.  Perfect size for Little B (22mths) and Little A (4yrs) still finds it fun.  For older children maybe consider the ‘Giant’ version and should a heatwave hit we are looking forward to pitching it into a paddling pool.



I have to say that the hubby was right and once the littlies have tootled to bed it is nice to enjoy our pretty garden in all its original charm. Now I am just trying to work out how we can ‘hide’ a trampoline.
All in the detail:
Large Foldable slide by Little Tikes
Click here to view, £74.99
Other colourways and sizes available
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Deliciously cute…


Me: Watermelon espadrilles by Soludos from Katie and Jo
Click here to view, £54
Little B: Watermelon dress by H&M
Click here to view, £2.99

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Getting out of a tight spot – chic tights for kids


Looking for tights that are not navy, white, grey or candy floss pink is harder than you might think.  I once found a great double pack from Zara when Little B was a teeny tot that were Camel and Beige but since then I have had to make do with the aforementioned colour palette.

However, I have finally tracked down some fabulous pairs of tights in any colour you could wish for.  Country Kids stock a huge collection of luxury cotton tights in a whole host of colours.  Just take a look at the colour chart below and I am sure you will find a colour to complete your Little Ones’ outfits.  I have just stocked up on the Antique Rose (soft muted pink), Camel, Ivory and the Dusky Plum is a lovely soft purple.  Perfect for boys on page boy duty too or simply to keep newbies warm.

colour chart

All in the detail:

Luxury Cotton Tights by Country Kids
£8.50 a pair
Sizes range from: newborn to 15yrs
Little B is 22mths but fits 12-24 as they are generous in fit

Over 50 lovely colours – it is hard to choose!
Click here to view
They also do fun socks for boys, Little A has these dino ones

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