Oosh we’ve been busy ! Trip to Cartier exhibition in Paris followed by skin analysis and bespoke prescription in Paris from Ioma. Valentine craft morning at Harrods and tickets to see Strictly the Tour at the 02!
I’ve always loved Danish company Rice’s gorgeous bright melamine pieces but it was only when I was browsing the brilliant Sisters Guild website that I realised they did so much more. Stoneware, vases, raffia storage and even sequin masks. Rice is an ethically and socially responsible company who say their mission is to paint your life happy. It’s working for me.
I love these honeycomb jugs. Perfect for chilled lemonade or flowers. Large vase £37.50, sistersguild.co.uk
I have these non-breakable cups in plain colours and would love to mix and match them with these printed ones. Great for the table and picnics or even as bud vases. Set of 6 melamine cups, £23.99, sistersguild.co.uk
Ooh sequin animal masks! These would look great framed! rice.dk
This set would make a perfect Christening/naming day gift. Ceramic plate & cup set, £17.50, sistersguild.co.uk
Andrea Letterie Melamine dahlias chopping board, £10.99, sistersguild.co.uk
Super stylish toys that you won’t want to share…
This oriental style tea set illustrated by artist Nathalie Lete for French Toy company Vilac looks even better in real life. Definitely one for the high shelf - what do you mean you can’t break tin? Nathalie Lete for Vilac Tea Set, £35, amazon.com
Keep your felt tips away! Minimalists with or without kids will love the clean lines and reduced palette of this super stylish house. Wooden Dolls House, £125, The White Company
What a shame this didn’t fit on the shelf in the kids room - it will just have to sit in the living room for a while… WANT THIS! Small Miffy Lamp, £115, Alex & Alexa
This will go perfectly with the Ercol and the (faux) Eames rocker. Wooden Noah’s Ark, £50, The White Company
I’ve featured this before but just look at it… A work of art…Definitely one for the coffee table…Get your jammy fingers off! Tsumiki Dolls House, 97 Euros, KUKKIA, ninetoninekids.com
I’ve been getting a bit panicky about this collection! It’s already on sale on gap.com but there are only two pieces available on gap.co.uk. It’s Ok you haven’t missed it - the ultimate Paddington Bear homage will be hitting the UK on Jan 27th.
This is one of the sweetest limited edition collections that Baby Gap has ever done - there are only 5 or 6 pieces out of 147 that I wouldn’t buy. We love reading the Paddington books and I often show the girls clips of the old 70’s animation on youtube. Sadly my daughters won’t fit this range that is from newborn to 24months, although I might try to wedge one of the hats onto my 3 year old (they should be pretty roomy considering Paddington’s penchant for keeping his marmalade sandwiches under his) One of my best friends has a baby due any moment so I think a pair of bright yellow wellies and a poncho would make an excellent gift.
Fave Pieces from the collection:
Prices seem reasonable with onesies priced at £15, hats at £7 and the toggle poncho at £25
I have been doing the January Cure as prescribed by US website and interiors oracle Apartment Therapy. I friend of mine tactfully suggested I might like to take part as I suffer from INSANE MESS syndrome. I do have pockets of niceness but the rest of the place usually looks like that “You should see what they’ve done to your bathroom” advert for Yellow Pages. The cure involves AT sending you daily instructions via e-mail telling you to take stock, write lists, clear your floors, buy your home flowers to show how much you cherish it and then there were some more messages that I, um, haven’t had a look at yet. It has inspired me to do a few little jobs and i went to Ikea. I did really well at the flowers step…
You don’t need the flower budget of Elton John to make an impact. Bud vases and vintage bottles look great with Spring flowers.
A new tea-towel! This will make you feel very happy until it is not a new dish rag anymore and is therefore an old dish rag.
Home I do cherish thee with flowers…
New knobs! Two new knobs purchased from Zara Home - job done.
New enormous woven plastic bag purchased from Ikea £10 (not on website). WIll it be for recycling, toys or just a beach/shopping bag? Might need a few more…
January’s Shopping List
Last year I set myself the challenge of not buying any clothes for an entire year. it was like Popeye trying to give up spinach. I caved in March and went on a shopping rampage until round about now. My new resolution is to shop thoughtfully and to forage through the ironing mountain more.
Here are a few things tickling my fancy for January…
1) Wrap Belted Coat, £495, Whistles Like a lovely dressing gown that you can wear outside. Way out of price league so will have to make do with indoor dressing gown.
2) Lilac Pocket Jumper, £20, ASOS Lilac is a major trend this S/S but I think it has long term appeal and looks great teamed with tan accessories and geranium red lipstick. This jumper comes in loads of other great colours too. Will prob buy this.
3) Note Book, £11, Studio Sarah at ASOS Mmmmm nice stationery.
4) Limited Edition Ring stack, £8, ASOS, Love this pretty kitsch trio. Low in stock so ordering now!
5) Scallop Collar Silk Blouse, £49 (sale price) Jaeger Boutique Lavender shade that will look fab with a strong lip. Good sale price. Thinking about it…
6) Jewelled Perspex Belt, £20, River Island This is exactly like the Dior belt that Olivia Palermo wore recently. Would look great with a midi skirt and fine knit… Essential purchase
7) Kate Moss for Rimmel Matte Lipstick Collection, £5.49, Boots I have the wine (107) and the orange/red shade (110) and absolutely love the smell/texture/colour. Am thinking about getting one of the pinky shades too…
8) Grey Patent Heel, £29.99, Zara Hi really cheap shoe that looks like it costs so much more and will go with everything…
9) Sheer Stripe Ankle Socks, £4, ASOS Not sure if I’m too old to work an ankle sock with a heel but Laura Bailey is still doing it so I’m going to give it a go. These come in pale blue too.
Insatiable for January Shopping ideas? Me too. Check out this piece I’ve done for The Motherhood
This was Christmas 2013
Temporary suspension of real life achieved. Fantastic food, far too many Sour Seven cocktails, mum’s Christmas table, husband in a onesie, brown paper parcels all wrapped up in string and two very excited little girls.
As a purveyor of all that is tasteful and gorgeous, I asked the lovely Sophie Devonshire, founder of the Babes with Babies website what she hopes will be under the tree for her and her nearest and dearest this Christmas…
Well, this Christmas I’ve asked for ‘world peace’. Gift-wrapped, of course. But I’ve asked for it every year and apparently it’s difficult to get. (Assume that means it’s not on Amazon).
So, if not that, then I’d love a new set of Aromatherapy Associates Miniature Bath Oils. Not on a par with world peace but very good for peace in our time (in our house). These are a real sanity saver for me though and a fantastic gift. They smell utterly incredible and you choose one to suit what you need (e.g ‘destress’ or ‘revive - morning’ or ‘relax’. They’re a secret hangover weapon these too; perfect for Christmas tippling. I really want them to do a pregnancy safe set we can sell on our site but in the meantime these ones are available from Space NK and all the normal places.
I’m such a stationery slut. It’s definitely time for some new notebooks so a few choice ones from Liberty’s would be handy to find in my stocking this year. This ‘Bee Happy’ one would cheer me up and is so glaringly bright I wouldn’t lose it at the bottom of my bag. I’d also really love a very simple leather one like this for my lists and ideas for a book I’m currently writing with my BFF on ‘How to stay sane and stylish during pregnancy.’
I’ve asked for some new pyjamas this year as well. These silk pyjamas from Charlotte and Co are simple but gorgeous. I’m hoping the nice light colour will reflect on my tired face and make me look all glowy and young from boxing day onwards.
What else? A nice new hat would be good. I’m a bit bored of beanies so something like this fabulous fedora would be fun & make me feel all grown-up and gorgeous.
Lastly, as my New Year’s Resolutions will invariably include something related to being more organised with looking after my things, I’d love something to help. I’m finding my jewellery is a bit of a battle when travelling so I’m casting my eye around for an alternative and I’d love to find a travel jewellery case all-wrapped up under the tree. I’m an enormous Smythson lover so I’d be interested in this one but also quite happy with this neat travel case from Johnny-Lou-Lous instead. Or 36 hours in the day. I’m quite interested in a time extension for Christmas. Might get something actually ticked off my to do lists then….
For my daughters
For the girls I’m buying some 'I love gorgeous' dresses because I love I love gorgeous! But I’m very aware that’s for me rather than for them! Rosie will roll her eyes at being given clothes. So she’s getting roller skates. She’s going through an ‘anything but pink’ stage so I’ll get her some cooler looking ones. As we’ve listened nonstop to Matilda the Musical since she was taken earlier this year (the best lyrics ever), I thought she’d also like to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Sam Mendes is a God and I can’t wait to see this… so this is another not-so-selfless gift. My youngest, Georgina is easy-peasy. She’ll have a day out in Peppa Pig world and a new wheelie suitcase (she loves to wheel her own when we travel on planes or trains…and I love that she does that too). I’ll also get them a Kubb set – a brilliant Swedish game to play in the garden.
For my three closest friends (sssh, don’t tell them) I’ve got them each a Perfect Poncho as they’ve been so popular with our customers and with everyone in our team (I live in my grey and pink ones - they look brilliant with skinny jeans).
I’ll do a Happy Box London for my best male friend, anything I send from there always goes down well. I’m treating my husband to a weekend at Calcott Manor so I’ve also bought him a gorgeous new wash bag from Quintessentially gifts which will be well received as he travels a lot for work. And a lot of Christmas kisses under the Mistletoe. ‘Cos all he (and Maria Carey) want for Christmas is me….
Sophie Devonshire is the founder of Babes with Babies London and lives in West London with her husband and two daughters (8 and 5). She is a shopaholic, a chocoholic and a workaholic, all of which makes Christmas a very interesting time. Follow her and her team on Twitter.
I haven’t even written any Christmas cards yet…
Kids Christmas Gift Guide
Here’s one I prepared earlier for Hello Magazine. I love everything on the page but the wooden house by Japanese company Tsumiki from nintoninekids.com is a personal favourite. Quite pricey but an heirloom piece that is a joy to look at and play with.
Tsumiki by Kukkia Wooden Block House, £81, www.ninetoninekids.com
Leather Mary-Janes shoes, £64, ilovegorgeous.com
Scandi-chic Tiger Wall Mounted Animal Head £70, John Lewis, johnlewis.com
Sweet Zig Zag Stripes Furby, £59.99, Selfridges, Selfridges.com
Christmas Jacquard knit jumper, £38, Tootsa MacGinty, tootsamacginty.com
Hello Mr Fox Print, £24,Belle & Boo, belleandboo.com
Mini Kitchen, £50, John Lewis, johnlewis.com
String Of 10 Woodland Rabbit Party Lights £19.95, dotcomgiftshop.com
Applique Jersey dress, £20, Mini Boden, boden.co.uk
Rocking Zebra, £99, hunkydoryhome.co.uk
Milo Monkey Hand Crocheted Toy, £24.95 from Sew Heart Felt
Little Lady Mini Rucksack, £12.50, Pink Lining, pinklining,com
Honeybake Ice lolly set, £15, LE Toy Van, Great Little Trading Company, gltc.co.uk
linBaby Mouse Chunky Beanie, £10, Monsoon, monsoon.co.uk