A Whole New World – classic handmade globes

globe

It was my littlest Godson’s Christening a couple of weekends ago and I really wanted to track down a gift that he could enjoy in later life as much as in his childhood.  I was intent on sourcing a Globe to provide a snapshot of world history the year he was born, but finding one that was substantial enough and not decked out in garish colours proved rather tricksome.  Some time spent on good old Google and finally I found what I was looking for.  Artisan globemakers, Lander & May, came to my rescue and had exactly the globe I had in mind.  Their modern day globe is 13 inches and has a polished stainless steel meridian arm and sits charmingly on a spun wooden base finished in a dark F&B blue.  They are even able to personalise their globes with names, dates or routes which adds a seriously personal touch and makes your gift extra special.

All their globes are handmade using traditional and time honoured techniques and I was delighted with it when it arrived.  Great company to know about for not just Christening presents but great for landmark birthday gifts and anniversaries too.
All in the detail:
Globes by Lander & May
13inch Modern Day Globe, £295
Price includes delivery to mainland UK
All globes handmade in UK using British components
Click here to view
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Summer Time – the big unpack

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 18.06.29

Tis the Holiday season and boy what a time we have had.  This year’s trips have seen us take in the mountains of North Carolina and enjoy the rock pools of Constantine Bay in Cornwall. Here’s a snapshot of what we packed:

1. Pink Lining kids Wheelie Case. Little A’s Christmas pressie from last year has been put to good use.  He LOVED using his trolley bag at the airport and it was great to stick all the paraphernalia in that was needed for long haul flights. £30, click here to view
2. JVC kids headphones. Little A and Little B’s headphones – blogged about them before but a total winner to keep your sanity and your fellow passengers when travelling. Includes a volume limiter and you can buy a headphone splitter if sharing an iPad. £14.99, click here to view
3. Native shoes. Little B’s new kicks are from US brand Native. Like anything from the States you can be guaranteed you will see all Little Ones decked out in them next summer.  A refreshing twist on the ubiiquitous Croc.
4. Lilliput & Felix Amaranthus swimsuit. In an effort to hide the mummy tum (or perhaps its just too much rose) I decided a one-piece was the way to go.  The clever people at Liiliput & Felix make amazingly non-mumsy one pieces with subtle X panelling on the stomach for added support.  Love their retro styling and pieces now in the sale so definitely worth a look. See main pic. £159, click here to view
5. The Bubbleum booster car seat. Even though Little A no longer needs a kiddie car seat, in some countries children are required to have a booster seat. Rather than hire one every time we invested in one of these. They are portable, foldable and inflatable and roll up nicely in your hand luggage. £29.99, click here to view
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Swaddle me up – the ultimate muslin

swaddle

Sometimes as a Mummy, a teeny part of you can wish your lifestyle retained some small semblance of your old more sophisticated one. You think fondly of the days when high heels were an everyday option, when your handbag could be clutch-sized and when you could consider wearing a silk blouse without the fear of milk or spag bol splatter ruination. However, there are means to cling on to old, stylish, long-forgotten ways and when a Marloe London swaddle arrived on my desk, my thoughts were that the girls behind the brand had hit the nail on the head.  Not everything a new mother wants to wear, adorn or hold needs to be alphabet patterned or festooned with characters and  the chic muslins by Marloe London will have even non-mummys clamouring to have one too.

For little ones, their generously sized muslins are perfect for swaddling, using as a breastfeeding cover, draping over the pram to provide shade and throwing down in the park to use as a play mat.  For when those baby days are over they are perfect wrapped around your neck as a chic scarf or even hitting the beach as a sarong.  They do a grown-up colour palette ranging from ombre dip-dyes to suble block colours and they can also be personalised with a your initials, name or a special date.  We have the gorgeous Aqua Green and Blue Dip Dye one.

Marloe

A piece of kit that works for both mummy and babe and complimented with beautiful packaging, a Marloe swaddle would make an awesome new baby pressie.  10 out of 10.

MArloe

All in the detail:

Muslin swaddles by Marloe London
Single colour ones are £49
Dip-dyed ones are £75
They arrive beautifully gift wrapped in smart boxes
Made in the UK
Click here to view

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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

A TOWER OF
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.

books

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

D&D

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

Daddy

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

lesalon

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.
nail
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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