With Mothering Sunday almost upon us, here’s my pick of the brands that celebrate mama life…
Sweatshirt (grey), £28, Do It Like A Mother pic (c) Photography by Petra
Girl gang/boy gang T-shirts, £15, Essex Mama
Penguin leggings (child), from £13.50; Penguin leggings, (adult) from £30, Fred & Noah
1 DO IT LIKE A MOTHER branded fashion is a by-product of Southend and Upminster-based hypnobirthing business of the same name.
Sweatshirt (grey), £28; Oversized T-shirt, £16: www.doitlikeamother.co.uk
2 ESSEX MAMA, was originally based in Harlow but is now established in Southend. Started by a full-time mummy Liz Cadman who was desperate to put her twitchy creative hands to use.
Girl gang/boy gang T-shirts, £15: www.essexmama.co.uk
3 FRED & NOAH is a hugely successful baby legging company based in Rochford (created by Natalie and Dan Reynolds – parents to two little boys) which makes mama leggings of select styles to twin with their tot creations.
Penguin leggings (child), from £13.50; Penguin leggings, (adult) from £30: www.fredandnoah.com Continue reading
Little fan: Sonny Jim seems to approve of my new Cambridge Satchel Company number
Sonny Jim is only a few months away from turning two – and my changing bag is even closer to reaching that milestone.
I bought it when my due date was looming and I had no idea of what I would actually need in a changing bag, but I liked the fact it didn’t look too mumsy, was leather and it had decent straps.
And in fairness, my Mothercare number has more than delivered. It’s seen me through the newborn days, epic walks with a tiny tot who would only sleep in the buggy. Trips to the beach. Picnics. Our first family holiday. Leaking bottles. Forgotten bananas. Poonami nappies.
It’s only now that the inside sections have ripped that I’m kind of over it. And I didn’t really want to go buying another “changing” bag, when the amount of gear I need to cart around for Sonny Jim isn’t really in the newborn baby league anymore. Especially now he’s got his own (super cute bumblebee!) rucksack/reins for his snacks.
So, I needed a new bag. A less mummy, more me bag. But that would still be able to fit a few nappies, a beaker, an emergency toddler vest/trousers in. It needed to be practical. But stylish. And good quality. Something classic. But not boring. And a decent size.
And, this was when I discovered the Cambridge Satchel Company (www.cambridgesatchel.com)
Nee-naws: My Sonny Jim in one of his terrific me&i T-shirts
When I was about 18, Ann Summers parties were a big thing. Cocktails and smutty chatter were the main thrust of the night. I actually know a girl who bought THREE rampant rabbits.
Fast-forward a decade, a few of us had our own mortgaged places, a few were married, a few even had a baby or two, and Jamie Oliver bashes were the way to spend an evening, a glass of wine in hand. I once spent an RIDIKULOUS amount of money on a squirrel-shaped nutcracker – that broke the first time I attempted to crack a nut with it.
Now a mama to the most darling of little lads, I think I truly realised that I’d entered another era when I threw my own me&i party. It was a lunchtime affair. With tea and coffee and cakes. And babies crawling around our feet. And the most LOVELY clothes for little ones (and, er, mums.) Continue reading
Pumpkin picking: Sonny Jim in his monster leggings
Admittedly, as the daughter of a priest I probably shouldn’t get so excited about Halloween.
But I love any excuse to dress my little man up in a cute costume. And for those of you who are a bit like me in that respect, here are some of my favourite outfits for little ones this All Hallow’s Eve…
PS Here’s Sonny Jim totally rocking his monster trousers by Look What Panda Made when we went pumpkin picking in Battlesbridge, Essex, yesterday. And despite the many attempts made by him to pick up all the biggest ones, we managed to make it home with mud-free knees. So they’re totally going in the wash right now so as they’ll be dry again before all the spooky fun is over for another year… Continue reading
Fred & Noah fan: Fearne Cotton
YOU kind of know you’ve made it in the fashion stakes when Fearne Cotton posts a picture of herself on Instagram on Christmas Eve in one of your creations.
And then shortly after that posts another of her little girl Honey in one of your designs too.
Such is the rise of baby legging brand Fred & Noah – an empire run from a shed in a mum-of-two’s garden in Rochford.
Natalie Reynolds, 34, started making trousers for 0-4-year-olds while on maternity leave with her second son, Freddie.
Natalie was a lecturer in fashion design at South Essex College, running the fashion course, and initially making the leggings was just about her getting back into her hobbies.
But it very quickly turned itself into a serious income.
Natalie, who is an ex Thorpe Bay High School pupil, recalls: “It was exactly a year after starting the business that I was handing in my notice to the college and taking the leap to work full time on Fred & Noah at home with my husband. Continue reading
Super sweet: Sonny Jim’s slippers
Sometimes you discover something so sweet that you have to swallow a squeal every time you look at it.
Sew Heart Felt’s children’s slippers fall ever so easily into this category – especially when they are on Sonny Jim’s little feet.
These Darci Donkey delights, £24.95, are just one of 26 different styles designed here in England by Sonia Spencer and skilfully hand-made by women across the world, using local traditional crafts handed down over many generations.
From Pete the Penguin and Sally the Seal to Billie Badger and Finlay Fox, the collection is made using organic fibres and eco-friendly pigments (wherever possible). Continue reading
In store soon: Laura Ashley’s SS17 collection
I think all mummies have in their head an idea of the kind of mother they’ll be.
And the spring/summer 17 Laura Ashley collection (in stores nationwide on January 31st) basically brings to picture perfect life the look I’d love to live.
Seventies-inspired, its nostagic touches bring to mind a more innocent time.
A dash of hippy, and more than a bit milkmaid-esque, it’s Laura Ashley back to its mummy-at-kitchen-table-designed best.
Click here to take a look through the Laura Ashley archive
Previous seasons have drawn inspiration from the Fifties and Sixties, but this year, designers are positively revelling in the Seventies, and I honestly adore it. Continue reading