just add a splash of ochre…

Girls Wellies

1. Next Stripe Linen Dungarees, £18.00-£24.00
2. Louis Louise Blouse, £52.00
3. Aigle Wellinton Boots, £29.00
4. Emile Et Ida Lapin Wallet, £18.00

Boys Rain Coat

1. Carrement Beau Melange T-Shirt, £22.00
2. Next Rain Mac, £22.00-£24.00
3. Gap Cut-Off Denim Shorts, £6.99
4. Aigle Wellington Boots, £29.00

There’s no getting away from it, it looks like Summer has come to an abrupt end. In August. I daren’t leave the house without the the kids’ rainmacs and an umbrella for fear of  literally being washed away… But, it’s not cold, so jumpers and coats are still off the agenda. This is always a tricky one to get right clothes-wise. Tabitha and Marlow have literally been living in their wellies (these exact ones) pretty much since we got back from our holiday (so long sandals…).  So we might as well work them into cute outfits right? A splash of ochre feels Autumn-ready in an Indian Summer of way…

Sarah xx

back to school part llll: bags

bags for school

1. Mango Printed Backpack, £24.99
2. Mango Printed Backpack, £24.99

It’s our final instalment of our ‘back to school’ week, and for our last post we’re talking school bags. Again, like school coats, many schools have their own regulation school bags, but lots don’t (or, like Tabitha and Marlow’s school, it’s optional – I towed the line last year, this year I’m thinking of ‘breaking out’). We like these simple, but cute star print ones from Mango – not too big (so many backpacks are just HUGE!) and not too small (there are a lot of teeny-tiny ones out there too that are barely bigger than a lunchbox), and they are a great price (oh my GOD – have you seen the price of some??). And the print is understated and stylish, but still recognisable in a crowd… I’ll take one of each please!

Sarah & Nicky xx

back to school part lll: coats

boys  school coats

1. Petit Bateau Navy Raincoat, £58.00
2. RJR John Rocha Boys Neoprene Parker, £30.40
3. Navy Mac, £30.00-£36.00
4. John Lewis Hooded 3-in-1 Jacket, £38.00-£43.00

girls school coats

1. John Lewis School Shetland Coat, £80.00-£90.00
2. John Lewis Unisex School Duffle Coat, £75.00-£95.00
3. Debenhams Navy School Mac, £8.00-£15.20
4. Next Wool Coat, £30.00-£36.00

You think it would be simple to find a plain black or navy school coat wouldn’t you? Not so. Well, not a half decent one anyway. We know a lot of schools have their own coat as part of their uniform (like Bailey’s), but a lot don’t (Tabitha and Marlow’s – well they do, but they have the choice as to whether they wear it, and the school one is really not that warm). These are the best ones we found. We have split them into boys and girls, but to be honest, most are unisex.  And this John Lewis duffle is a snip at just £27.00

Sarah & Nicky xx

back to school part l: boys shoes

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Geox William School Shoes, £42.00

Boys school shoe

1. Start Rite Will Shoes, £40.00
2. M&S Scuff Resistant Toe Bumper Trainers, £18.00-£22.00
3. Next Black Leather Lace-Ups, £20.00-£26.00
4. Start Rite Rotate Shoes, £40.00-£42.00

Sorry ladies, admittedly not the most inspiring comeback post… But we couldn’t leave you high and dry, and alone in the wilderness that is ‘the back to school shoe nightmare’. Urgh. We have heard your pleas – which ugly black shoe should I go for this time? And we hear your pain (Marlow and Bailey will both be starting Year One in a couple of weeks, and if they have to wear ugly black shoes, we’re making damn sure they will be the best of the (bad) bunch. So we’re kicking off our return with our favourite (we use the word ‘favourite’ loosely here) boys’ school shoes. The Geox William is coming out on top for the second year running. We feel that have a better handle on things a year on – we know exactly what we want/need from our kids’ school shoes, and looks aren’t everything. The William is the best looking, comfortable, hard wearing, a good price, and has been worn almost exclusively by Marlow and Bailey for the entire Reception year. And the other four are the runners up (we actually really like this Next pair (above), but also know that most schools don’t allow laces for younger boys). These Vans and these Dr Martens might not have made our top five, but have both made it into our post by the skin their teeth, and are definitely worth a look.
See you tomorrow for the girls’ turn…

Sarah & Nicky xx

ps: we promise, once this week’s out the way, we’ll get down to the serious business of inspiring yours and your little ones’ Winter wardrobes (might as well get started now – have you seen the weather??).

who says boys can’t wear pink?

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Smalls 100% Superfine Merino Wool Top, £39.95

Smalls Merino Top Boy

1. Smalls Long Sleeved Top, £39.95
2. Dandy Star Cotton Rucksack, £21.55
3. Greenery Kids Harem Pants (sold as part of set with moustache tee), £17.00
4. Next Sandals, £13.00-£15.00

We love pink for our boys (always the right shade of pink though of course), and we love this outfit (Bailey already has it!). And if you’re not already familiar with the label Smalls, you need to be. They are just brilliant – we are big fans at Little Spree, and our kids wear them all the time. We find them particularly useful for those tricky ‘in-between’ weather days – is it cold or is it warm?? Much like today in fact! When the kids wear theirs, they never complain about being “too hot” or “uncomfy” – in fact, they never make any comments at all – they are just comfortable, happy and busy playing (and anyone who knows Marlow knows how picky he can be about the way things look and feel: “but it’s not cashmere Mummy!”… I know, I know!!). And here’s why (read it – it’s actually really interesting)…

– Merino’s breathable fibre core has a waxy-coated exterior so there is no surface for germs to grow on. This makes merino naturally antibacterial so it can be worn for days without stinking. (Phew).
– Merino wool stores warmth in millions of little air pockets that trap your own body heat. This means you stay warmer without having to wear lots of layers. Stay outside playing for longer – always good news for kids!
– Your Smalls don’t need special treatment like most of your woollies (thank God – high maintenance kids clothes? No thanks). Wear them lots, wash them whenever, – and never worry about them fading or shrinking like other fabrics. No washing machine dramas.
– Smalls merino is naturally resistant to staining, odors, and pilling. A little airing is enough to revive your Smalls. (Though you might want to wash them at some point!).
– Merino wool also dries fast, perfect for busy families and it’s anti-static so won’t cling.
– Smalls merino is also naturally elastic (unlike us sadly). It springs back to its original shape every time.
– Also, super smooth fibres mean bad news for dust mites. It’s anti static so it naturally repels dust, which can cause allergies and asthma in sufferers. Because of its breathability, it keeps skin dry and less prone to eczema.
– It is also an excellent barrier for harmful UV rays, so you can wear it on the beach Or even onthe ski slopes!
– In the summer, it keeps you cool, dry and just.….happy.

And our friends at Smalls are giving one of their super-stylish long sleeved tops (‘longs’) away (they will even personalise it with your child’s name – how sweet), so you can see how great they are first hand. All you need to do is:

1. Sign up to the the Smalls newsletter on their gorgeous website.
2. Email us at Little Spree (info@littlespree.com) with the colour and size (2-12 years) of top you would like to win. If you’re not sure, take a look at Tabitha, Marlow and Bailey wearing theirs on Instagram today for some style inspiration…
3. Keep your fingers crossed!

You have until midnight on Monday 27th to enter, and we will announce the winner on Tuesday 28th. Good luck!

Sarah & Nicky xx

the tail end of the sales…

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Photo: Caramel Baby & Child

It’s not too late to scoop up a few last-minute sale bargains (and there are definitely some great things still out there if you’re quick!). There is a common myth that if you shop the tail end of the sales, it’s only the dregs left that no one else wants. Not necessarily. You just need to be a bit more sale savvy that at the beginning of the sales. We’ve done the savvy bit for you…
Take a look at this Kickle rain mac, this Mango sweatshirt; these Mango shorts; this Miller sweatshirt; this Mango belt; these The Little White Company short pyjamas; this Miller sweatshirt; Marlow’s favourite boots from Boden (tempted to buy him another pair for the Autumn…); Marlow’s Boden jumper (as featured on the Boden blog); these Boden baby dungarees; this Mango baby long sleeved tee; these Louis Louise baby trousers; these Caramel baby trousers; this Mango baby sweater; Bonton baby cardigan; and this Mango baby sweater (a great ‘buy now stash for later’). Phew!

Sarah & Nicky xx

beach chic

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1. ilovegorgeous Beach Cover-Up, (was £45.00) £31.50
2. Mitty James Towling Beach Robe, £23.99

We are slowly winding down for our Summer break on Little Spree (your credit cards can take a break too!). So this week we are bringing you a mix of last-minute holiday buys, and tail-end-of-the-sales bargains (yes, there are still some great things out there…). Then we will bid you farewell for a few weeks while we take a much-needed ‘Little Spree holiday’. So today we’re bringing you our favourite beach cover-ups for girls and boys. Some cute, some cosy, and all super-stylish…
We also like these ones from: Jo Jo Maman Bebe (navy); John Lewis; Accesorize; ilovegorgeousAccessorize; ilovegorgeous; and we love this breton bath cape (perfect for the beach) from Petit Bateau.

See you tomorrow!

Sarah & Nicky xx

travelling in style…

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Eva & Oli Rucksack, £31.59

Boys Travel Outfit

1. Milibe T-shirt, £20.00
2. Eva & Oli Rucksack, £31.59
3. Mango Joggers, £9.99
4. Birkenstock Roma Sandals, £38.00

Now that the Sun is shining and school’s almost out, our thoughts are turning to all things holiday. We’re pretty seasoned travellers, not phased by minimalist packing or capsule wardrobes, but there is one item on the holiday ‘to do’ list that still makes us sigh: travel outfits. Whether it’s for us or the children it’s the same conundrum: how to combine comfort, practicality and style. By the end of the week you’ll be able to tick off that tedious travel task from your list as we are bringing you our outfit solutions for all, starting with this one for the boys.

Nicky & Sarah xx

here comes the sun…

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baby girl sun hat

1. M&S Cat Bow Trilby Hat (6 months-6 years), £9.00
2. Mothercare Broderie Anglaise Sunhat, £5.00
3. Gap Chambray Floppy Hat (-24 months), £5.99 (was £9.95)
4. M&S Cotton Hat (3 months-6 years), £8.00 (sold in a set of two)

boys sun hats

1. Sunchild Cotton Hat (small-medium), £35.64
2. M&S Straw Trilby (3-14 years), £9.00-£10.00
3. Bonton Baby Hat (6-12 months), £19.60 (was £28.00)
4. Frugi Striped Legionnaires Hat (0-3 years), £12.00

Arguably not the most exciting Summer purchase, but definitely one of the most important – the humble sun sat. Don’t leave home without one (and preferably one spare!).
Here are some more we found, liked, and felt compelled to share…
Chloe floral printed; Gap scalloped; John Lewis chambray; Louis Louise floral printed (beyond!); Petit Bateau navy; John Lewis striped reversible; M&S pack of two (I bought these for Marlow for school – he only seems to lose the more expensive ones…); Next two pack; Mothercare striped; Frugi star print; and Next denim.

Sarah & Nicky xx

come shopping with us!

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We are really excited to (finally) launch our very own Little Spree shop! As well as our usual daily posts, you can now shop our edit at our online ‘shop’. It’s dedicated to the things we consider to be our ‘monthly must haves’ (Mama Shop for you and Little Shop for your little ones) – some familiar, some not so much, and a few of our personal (tried and tested) favourites in there too… Each month we will update our edit to bring you our ‘newest’ favourites. These are the pieces we really think are worth knowing about. If you already like our posts, we think you’re going to love our shop! Let us know what you think…
Happy Friday!

Sarah & Nicky xx

more stripes (only smaller)

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kids stripe trousers

1. Mini Boden Slim Fit Striped Jeans, £17.60-£20.80 (were £22.00-£26.00)
2. Mango Striped Baggy Trousers, £19.99
3. Petit Bateau Striped Chinos, £40.00

Whilst writing this Mama Spree post last week about our love of of striped trousers, it occurred to us that we may have bought one or two pairs (or a lot more!!) of striped trousers for the kids too. Thin stripes, thick stripes, faded – we love them all, and the best thing is that they work just as well for girls and boys, so you can pass them on, pass them down, or even share (Bailey, Tabitha and Marlow all have the the Boden striped jeans and wear them all the time). And these ones are from Next; Tootsa MacGinty (on sale); and Miller (currently 70% off!) are all on our stripe radar too.

Nicky & Sarah x

mini espadrilles

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Everywhere we look we keep seeing scaled-down espadrilles for kids. Here are the ones we’re coveting (ok they may not be Chanel, but we still love/want them…): these Mothercare boots (how cool are they??); this classic navy Soludos pair; this Gap star print pair; this 1789 Cala denim pair; this Soludos striped pair; these Gap slip-on espadrille sneakers; and last but by no means least, our favourite Tootsa MacGinty Breton striped ones (as seen and loved at Dot To Dot this time last week).

Sarah & Nicky xx

a mango surprise

Mango Girl

1. Elastic Edge Dress, £15.99 (was £22.99)
2. Hooded Parka, £22.99 (was £34.99)
3. Cork Neon Sandals, £6.99 (were £29.99)

Boys Mango

1. Checked Shirt, £8.99 (was £12.99)
2. Hooded Parka, £22.99 (was £34.99)
3. Denim Bermuda Shorts, £8.99 (were £14.99)

Have you heard of the ‘Mango Outlet’? Until recently neither had we! Not to be confused with the ‘sale’ section of Mango, this is an entirely different website dedicated to their previous collections, with everything at hugely discounted prices! Imagine our excitement to find some of the items we wish we’d bought (you snooze, and maybe you don’t lose after all…) now available with up to 70% off!  Not ones to keep such a find to ourselves, we’ve scoured the site for our favourite items to share with you. Here are some other faves for the girls: this dress; this sweater; this cardigan; this sweater; this blouse; these moccasin boots; and this pom pom necklace.And for the boys: these sweaters; these hi-tops; this Henley sweater; this jacket;  this sweater; and this parka with detachable lining.
Now let’s keep this as our little secret, ok?

Nicky & Sarah xx

ps: And of course we haven’t forgotten about you! More Mango Outlet (crazy) bargains on Mama Spree tomorrow…

the cat’s pyjamas

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 The Bright Company Slim Jym Pyjamas, £17.00 (were £24.00)

Looking for cute, cool, unisex, mix and match pyjamas that are colourful, but in all the right ways? Welcome to The Bright Company, a British sleepwear and bedding brand for children aged 0-9 years. We love that they are passionate about British design and production. All their collections are designed and produced in Britain, and they work with suppliers that they take time to get to know and trust, and who pride themselves on high quality and production. Their designs are carefully considered too, playing close attention to the distinct physical needs of babies and toddlers. Their ‘slim pyjamas’ (like these ones that we love here) are snug fitting so they don’t ride up in the night leaving drafty gaps while your little ones sleep (don’t you just hate that?). Anything practical and stylish is a total win-win as far as we’re concerned!

Sarah & Nicky xx

ps: look out for our exciting give-away with them on Instagram this week…

sale style for boys

Boys Clothes Sale

1. Numero 74 Guitar Cushion, £19.44 (was £24.30)
2. Gap Chambray Field Jacket, £13.99 (was £32.95)
3. Bellerose Pocket Tee, £15.66 (was £19.58)
4. Bellerose Walton’s Sweatshirt, £22.27 (was £37.12)
5. Birkenstock Silver Rio Sandals, £26.60 (were £38.00)
6. Louis Louise Crepe Sarouel Trousers, £19.85 (were £33.08)

This is a very dangerous time of year for our credit cards as two instincts kick in: buy now and stash for later and just BUY NOW! In addition to the jacket and sweatshirt above, our ‘buy now and stash it’ list includes this Penfield navy parka; Scotch & Soda stripe sweatshirt and these Mayoral leather trainers. For now, we’re adding a few summer basics to the list, like these Gap swimming shorts and navy cut-offs; a pair of our favourite Pom-D’Api sandals; this Nico Nico tee; and this cool shirt from our current go-to brand Louis Louise. Just remember, when the credit card bill arrives, think how much you saved rather than how much you spent!

Nicky & Sarah x

ps: don’t forget it’s Father’s Day on Sunday (how did that suddenly come around – even we thought it was next weekend!!). Check out our Daddy Spree post for all the (stylish, obviously) gift inspiration you need…

beach boy

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Mango Striped Swimming Shorts, £16.99

Beach Outfit Boys

1. H&M Sunglasses, £2.99
2. Numero 74 Bath Cape, £29.16
3. Mango Striped Swimming Trunks, £16.99
4. Next Navy Sandals, £13.00-£15.00

Yippee, our favourite Mango striped boys shorts are back! Bailey and Marlow both have them from last Summer. We’ve looked (a lot!) for a pair we like better, but came to the conclusion “if it ain’t broke…..”. Close runners-up however are these Boden swim shorts; these F&F swimming trunks; these Petit Bateau trunks; these F&F swimming shorts; these M&S trunks; these John Lewis trunks; and these swimming shorts from Bakker Made With Love.
We’ll be teaming our stripes with cute leopard print sunglasses (leopard print: not just for girls!), navy sandals and our favourite Numero 74 towel.  Alternatively how cute is this towling poncho from Boden. Now all we need is a beach….

Nicky & Sarah x

we’re loving a harem pant right now…

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CharlieAndGus Harem Pants, £16.75

Grey Harem Pant

1. Mango Mao Collar Shirt (3-14 years), £14.99
2. Mango Cardigan (3-14 years), £14.99
3. CharlieAndGus Harem Pants (0-4 years), £16.75
4. Sun San ‘Surfer’ Sandals (sizes 22-36), £38.00

Question: what’s warmer than denim cut-offs, but cooler than jeans?
Answer: a harem pant!

These grey ones are very similar to a pair I bought Bailey last year. I love the fact that they can be worn all year round (in Winter Bailey wore his with hi-tops, a sweatshirt and beanie hat, and this is how he’s wearing them now). Not only that but they are soft and comfortable (so no complaining) and they have survived tree climbing, football, long haul flights, camping, and all the ‘playing’ that’s been thrown at them. I think I’ve just talked myself into buying another pair…

Nicky x

key pieces

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Petit Bateau Sailor Jumper, £40.00

Boys Denim Shorts

1. Petit Bateau Sailor Sweater, £40.00
2. Gap Denim Shorts, £8.97 (were £14.95)
3. Bonton Sun Hat, £28.00
4. Pom D’Api Velcro Sandals, £65.00

There are some items in Bailey’s wardrobe that I buy year after year, and in Summer these include denim shorts, a navy jumper and tan sandals. They create a sort of capsule wardrobe as they work with each other and almost everything else. On a hot day swap  the jumper for a t shirt, add a hat and sunglasses (I’ve just bought Bailey these cute round tortoiseshell ones) and on cooler days wear the jumper and sandals with lightweight jeans such as these. Bailey wore both versions in one day last week!

Nicky x

ps: Alex and Alexa asked me all about what it means to be a mother in ‘Motherhood Explained’ for their blog. Read the feature here.

grey tees

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Boys grey t shirt

1. Finger In The Nose Skate T-Shirt from Elias & Grace (2-12 years), £32.00
2. Boden Washed T-Shirt (1-12 years), £8.00-£10.00
3. Bellerose Pocket Mottled T-Shirt (2-16 years), £19.58
4. Bellerose Pocket Mottled T-Shirt (2-16 years), £19.58
5. Emile Et Ida Rain T-Shirt from Elias & Grace (2-8 years), £24.00
6. Gap Crewneck Tee, £3.99 (was £7.95)

Where would we be without a grey tee? Here are some of our favourites, including this Boden one that Marlow and Bailey both already have (and wear all the time)…

Sarah & Nicky xx

ps: don’t forget: the Elias & Grace 20% off ‘Treat Week’ continues until Monday 19th!

bows & arrows

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Boys stripe top

1. Miller Quiver T-Shirt (2-14 years), £30.00
2. Next Distressed Shorts (3-16 years), £10.00-£15.00
3. Hedgehog Bow & Arrow Set, £10.00
4. Bensimon Tennis Plimsoles (sizes 27-35), £28.00

With the exception of the bow (which we suspect Bailey and Marlow would enjoy much more than we would) this outfit encompasses all our summer favourites: stripes (this may well be our favourite Breton tee for the Summer), denim shorts and cool canvas shoes. In fact we predict that all the outfits our boys will be wearing this summer will be some version of this one!

Nicky & Sarah xx