Bubba Creative…Nostalgic Potato Stamps

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Given my design background, it is important to me to encourage and nurture Annie’s natural creativity. What’s more, I love joining her in activities that stir nostalgic memories of my own childhood, replicating the activities and crafts I happily shared with my Art Teacher Mother.

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Potato printing is one such activity, and in spite of my highly-hectic-working-commuter-mum lifestyle (and breathe), prepping this quick and simple but effective activity never feels like an insurmountable task, taking just the right amount of effort to satisfy my ‘I don’t do enough with her’ mummy guilt, without tipping me over the edge into ‘why did I bother’ territory.

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Potato printing onto paper is the best place to start out with your child, but when mastered, this basic craft can also pave the way for some pretty stylish results, allowing you to create functional products to be proud of. Case in point, these fab handmade Christmas cards using PVA glue and glitter (equally effective as birthday cards) that Annie and I knocked up for friends and family…needless to say our nearest and dearest were thrilled with our lovingly crafted offerings.

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Tempted to try for yourself? To make your own potato stamps you will need…

  1. A potato
  2. Novelty cookie cutters (appropriately sized)
  3. Non toxic, child friendly paint (suitable for the surface you are printing on e.g paper fabric etc.
  4. Your chosen material to print on e.g paper, greetings card, tea towel etc.

Method

  1. Cut your potato in half lengthways.
  2. Press your cutter firmly into the centre of the potato, pushing carefully until the cutter is just over 1cm deep.
  3. Leaving the cutter embedded into the potato, take a pairing knife and carefully cut around the circumference of the potato, approximately 1cm down from the original cut edge.
  4. Remove the excess potato and the cookie cutter to reveal your stamp.
  5. Use a brush to paint apply paint to the stamp and away you and your mini go!

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Happy crafting!

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Bubba Style…Forever Style Staples

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After an extended (but well deserved!!!!) Christmas break, BATB is back, and my New Year’s mindset is craving an all-encompassing mega cleanse of my body (pilates here I come), my home (disorganised cupboards and toppling piles of unopened mail be gone), and most importantly my wardrobe (bye-bye fair isle knits and Christmas glam, hello beautiful basics!)

This yearly ‘spring cleaning’ ritual forces me to edit, reassess and restock my wardrobe, purging its weary hangers of flash in the pan, one season style wonders, in favour of forever style staples that will anchor my wardrobe all year round, to include key items such as the perfect boyfriend jean and a great Breton stripe top.

This ethos is equally applicable to my mini, and given that now she is a little bit older, her hero items don’t differ too drastically from mine. With that in mind, here’s my pick of the best toddler girl wardrobe essentials, navigating her through this tricky transitional season and beyond in style. Happy new year!

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  1. White Converse Trainers – Office (Click for link)  – £24.99
  2. Washed Denim Shirt – Next (Click for link) – £10-£11
  3. Khaki Parker – Zara (Click for link) – £27.99
  4. Breton Stripe T – Next (Click for link) – £4.50-£5.50
  5. Denim Dungarees – Gap (Click for link) – £22.95
  6. Trench Coat – Gap (Click for link) – £34.95
  7. Grosgrain Bow –Verity Jones London (Click for link) – £3.00
  8. Foil Printed Sweatshirt – Zara (Click for link) – £6.99
  9. Denim Dress – Next (Click for link) – £10-£11
  10. Smile Stripe T – Zara (Click for link) – £8.99
  11. Silver Pumps – Gap (Click for link) – £14.95

Bubba Style…Mini Fashions for Festive Frolicking

Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 15.03.44In backlash to the Christmas jumper epidemic that has held our festive wardrobes to ransom for far too long, AW15 is shaping up to be a far more glamorous season.

Indeed, dressing up for Christmas Day has long been an institution in my family home, upheld and lovingly maintained by my gorgeous Grandmother who would spoil me with a new M&S party dress each year. This ritual of donning your glad rags to spend time at home with your family and friends, outwardly demonstrates an appropriate respect for this special day, as well as the people you choose to spend it with. It goes without saying therefore, that upholding this tradition with Annie, is high on my festive agenda.

With that in mind, I have trawled the highstreet to pull together my favourite Christmas outfits (not a Christmas sweater in sight), to ensure your mini will look super special this holiday season. From traditional tartan, through to on-trend velvet, as well as intricate  opulent folk embroidery, each look delicately sprinkled with some essential icing on the Christmas cake sparkle. Brace yourselves ladies, her outfit may well be better than yours!  😉

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Outfit 1 – Tartan with a twist 

Glitter Velvet Headband – Rockahula – £5.00, Cashmere Cardigan – Zara – £29.99, Peter Pan Collar Tartan Dress – Next – £17-19, Rose Gold Oxfords – Gap – £16.95

Outfit 2 – Luxe Velvet 

Floral Glitter Clips – Monsoon – £5, Navy Blue Velvet Dress – Gap – £14.95, Red Glitter Brogues – M&S – £14-16

Outfit 3 – Christmas Folk 

Embellished Alice Band – Monsoon – £7, Embroidered Folk Dress – Monsoon- £36 , Red Velvet Mary-Janes – Next – £11-£12

Bubba Style…Stylish Toddler Boy Christmas Gifts

Yes, I know Santa’s clock is ticking, and that for most of you, Christmas shopping is a distant November memory, but for those of you equally as disorganised/ unsmug/ panic-stricken as me, I couldn’t let Christmas slip by without featuring a Christmas gift guide for the little men in your life. So here’s one for the boys, guest edited by my gorgeous and fabulously stylish friend Lucie (click here for Lucie’s previous guest post). Happy last-minute shopping!

KIDS GIFT GUIDE

  1. Djeco Arty Toys Ze Pirate Boat – £49.99 – Djeco make some of the best wooden toys around. I love their take on the pirate ship. The characters have real personalities and you can add more to the collection as you go.
  2. The Little White Company Castle Light – £75 – This stylish bedside lamp not only creates a lovely warm glow in any bedroom, but also doubles as a prop for playtime.
  3. Mouche Mobile Big Silver Cushion – £43 – A great statement cushion for an outer space themed bedroom.
  4. Kids Feather Headdress – $79.95 – Ok, I’m sorry this is from Australia, but Kido do ship to the UK. This is the most fantastic present for the boy who loves playing cowboys and indians, it’s the best headdress I’ve seen.
  5. Zara Leather Basketball Boots with Fox Design – £17.99 – I can’t get enough of fox themed kidswear and these trainers really feed my love of this trend, they are amazing!
  6. Blue Pegboard by Block – £25 – £65 (depending on size) – These pegboards are so cool, I love the colours! Block also offer alternative designs such as boards featuring maps and personalised versions.
  7. Labour and Wait Toy Log Cabin Kit – £15 – These kits are made of natural pine that’s been hand cut and painted with non toxic dyes. This product was originally produced in Maine in the 1930’s and still comes packaged in the original box design…this is the real deal! Plus this great brand offers perfect presents for the bigger men in your life too.
  8. Noodoll Wall Hook – £10 each – Really fun little stocking fillers and great for jazzing up a bedroom or playroom.
  9. Next Multi Colour Block Gilet – £14-15 – Love how cool and retro this is, and such a good highstreet bargain too!
  10. Brora Cashmere Star Hat – £59 – You just can’t go wrong with Brora cashmere, their hats are worth every penny! No matter what Leo puts his through, it still looks brand new. Also, it’s so soft I never struggle to keep it on his head. I Love their new design with knitted in stars, plus it has a yummy red bobble on top. What’s not to love?
  11. Maa Shoes Perlite Star Sneakers – £92.50 – I didn’t want to have two pairs of high tops on my list, but I just couldn’t help myself, these all singing all dancing boots are just too good to be true!
  12. Stella McCartney Red Billy Holiday Sweatshirt – £51 – Definitely the coolest Christmas jumper I’ve seen, hands down!
  13. Red Ride On Classic Car by Vilac – £94.99 – I’m not sure if I want this for my son or me. Love the old classics!
  14. Seedling Design Super Hero Cape – £19.99 – I’m so excited by these make your own super hero capes. Watch out nephews, this is what you’re getting this Christmas!
  15. Zara Bear Backpack – £17.99 – This is just too cute! Me and my mum jumped at this when we saw it, suffice to say, Leo is getting this for Christmas.
  16. Dinosaur Splash Suit by Splashsuits – £19.10 – A waterproof onesie that doubles as fancy dress fun, you’ll never have to fight to keep your kids clean and warm again. Puddles, snow, rain, mammoth craft session, do your worst!

Bubba Style…Stylish Toddler Girl Christmas Gifts

Despite my best efforts, my daughter’s enthusiasm for princesses and Peppa Pig (or better still, Peppa Pig dressed as a princess…the dream!) is unquashable, and if I’m really honest, it is far from my desire to prevent her from embracing the things that appeal to her naturally girlish nature. It goes without saying therefore, that Annie’s Christmas stocking will be crammed full of Peppa Pig play doh and static synthetic princess dresses…no need to call child-line on the cruel princess denouncing mum just yet!

That said, I’m pretty sure I can still make room for the odd non-plastic gift or 2! Here’s my round-up of the stylish toddler pressies that have caught my eye this winter season…

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  1. Anthropologie Forest Soiree Christmas Tree Ornament – £18 – Every year since she was born, I have bought Annie a Christmas decoration. My intention being to pass this collection onto her when she leaves home, ensuring her first tree is chocca bloc with nostalgic memories of her childhood Christmases. This year I am besotted with these gorgeous fabric character ornaments from Anthropologie. Too cute!
  2. Zara Home Crown Printed Cotton Pyjamas – £19.99 – I love the pretty French aesthetic of these chic printed cotton PJs.
  3. Alphabet Printed Glitter Hessian Sack – £12.50 – Personalised and glitter…two of my favourite things!
  4. Wilkinson’ Baking Biscuits Play Set – £5 – Ok, I admit it, I love a bargain, and Wilkinson’s stylish selection of wooden kitchen toys certainly fits the bill. Annie will love this make-believe wood and felt baking set!
  5. Woodstock London Cat Ear Alice Band – £30 – I love this London brand’s quirky headwear, a great stocking filler!
  6. Paper Zoo Collage Book – £14.95 –  I found this beautifully designed collage book while browsing for gifts in Anthropologie…although I’m not sure I can trust my two-year old with its delicate cut out pages…maybe one to save until she’s three!
  7. Alphabet Bear Print by Corby Tindersticks – £16.95 – A stylish way to help teach the alphabet.
  8. Verity Jones Large Bow – £5 – Verity Jones’ collection of oversized grosgrain bows is both super cute and super chic. The perfect hair accessory for Christmas Day!
  9. Hoover Wooden Pram – £54.95 – This cute pram has a stylish Scandinavian aesthetic, the perfect wheels for Annie’s Disney princess dollies (sarcastic undertone intended!)
  10. Nobodinoz Diamond Printed Teepee – £129.00 –  These stylish printed teepees by Nobodinoz make both an excellent indoor den in winter, and an excellent outdoor daytime camp in summer.
  11. Bonpoint Perfume – Annie is obsessed with wanting to apply my perfume! This divinely scented alcohol free perfume designed for kids is one that we can share.
  12. Boden Velvet Bunny Slippers – £10.50 – £12 – The perfect mix of quirk (to please Annie) and luxe (to please mummy). Cute!
  13. Gap Rose Gold Oxfords – £11.02 –  Christmas day shoes that won’t look out-of-place in spring…love!
  14. Zara Cashmere Cardi –£29.99 – From my experience Annie’s cardis seem to outlive all the other garments in her wardrobe, therefore this gorgeous but well priced cardi is definitely worth the investment!
  15. H&M Apron and Chef’s Hat – £7.99 – Another bargain to add to the list! H&M home is a treasure trove of well priced stylish goodies! I can’t wait to ‘bake off’ with Annie in this retro penny!
  16. Star Printed Cosy Gown – £10 – A stylish print and colour palette on a cosy fleece gown…a rarity indeed! Snap it up now!

Mamma Style…Mamma Gifts to Indulge Your Sense of Self

Since becoming a Mum, time to relax, unwind and indulge is both scarce, and entirely precious. A solitary Moroccan rose oil bath followed by swathes of cashmere loungewear and a generous glass of vino is now equally, if not more lust worthy than a night out.

It follows therefore, that when my husband asked me what “Annie” (ahem, “Daddy”) could buy me for Christmas, my list is made up almost entirely of indulgent frivolities designed to appeal to and nurture the senses. From pampering cosmetics to divinely scented candles and beautifully enticing jewellery, here’s my round-up of my favourite Christmas gifts designed to indulgently restore your sense of self. Enjoy!

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  1. Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Cologne – £85 – This Jo Malone scent is so heavenly, it’s the perfect special occasion perfume. A mere spritz will make you feel 10 feet tall…promise!
  2. M&S Cashmere Mix Cocoon Wrap – £40 – This M&S loungewear range with cashmere, is indulgently soft and effortlessly luxurious, plus the price tag is a wallet friendly alternative to 100% cashmere.
  3. How to be Parisian Book – £16.99 – Yes, I’m obsessed with Parisian style, and yes this is a coffee table classic! To be consumed simultaneously with a fat glass of red!
  4. A Rose by Any Other Name Aesop Body Cleanser – £17 – This Aesop body wash combines the traditional scent of rose back with black pepper and cardamom for a uniquely gorgeous  twist on a classic.
  5. Anthropologie Alphabet Mug – £8 – A personalised mug tipped with gold foil…what’s not to love! The perfect mug for kicking back on the sofa in style.
  6. Diptyque Baises Scented Candle – £40 – My husband and I burnt this divinely perfumed Diptyque candle during our wedding ceremony, this distinct scent evokes amazing memories
  7. Monica Vinader Personalised Pendants – From £50 – I have a vintage A for Annie pendant, which was a gift from a friend when Annie was born. I wear it everyday and love the idea of passing it down to her when she turns 18. If you love this sentiment, these timeless Monica Vinader necklaces are a great investment for you and your mini.
  8. M&S Alphabet Scented Candle – £6 – I love all things personalised as they can’t fail but make you feel special. This gorgeously scented candle by M&S is a winner!
  9. Loaf Hammam Towels – £25 – These stylish lightweight Turkish towels evoke a feeling of an exotic spa escape…one can but dream!
  10. Glamglow Youthmud Mask – £49.50 – In the search for products that conceal a string of sleepless nights, and help to miraculously restore that long lost glow, Glamglow Youthmud is a definite winner! This is a professional facial in a tub!
  11. Alphabet Cosmetic Bag by JoJo Accessories – £18 – I’m a big fan these personalised cosmetic purses by JoJo accessories, the delicious combination of grown up ticking stripe paired back with girlish glitter appeal to my inner magpie! Perfect for housing luxury cosmetics!
  12. Pixie Glow Tonic – £18 – I’m yet to try this cult glow enhancing beauty tonic by Pixi, but frankly if its good enough to cause a buzz among top beauty bloggers, then it’s good enough for me!
  13. M&S Colour Pop Pompom Ballet Slippers – £9.50 – A Christmas gift list would not be complete without a touch of tongue in cheek ‘fun’ to make you smile. I ‘LOVE’ these quirky Pompom slipper socks for their unusual colour combo of turquoise and tomato red…plus I know a little lady last who will find them equally as cool.
  14. Z for Accessorize Constellation Pendant – £19 – If you’re in the mood for sophisticated sparkle, Z for accessories provides a gorgeously stylish  range of gold-plated, purse friendly jewellery.
  15. Ren Moroccan Rose Dry Body Oil – £26 – I love anything and everything from the Ren Moroccan Rose family. I’m excited to try this dry oil which promises to absorb easily without leaving you feeling greasy.
  16. M&S Cashmere Mix Jogger – £35 – As above.

Interiors…Little Leo’s Lovingly Curated Nursery

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One of the many, many bonuses of having fantastically creative friends, is being invited to explore and enjoy their ‘fantastically creative’ and uniquely beautiful homes.

For me, the most successful interior spaces are about so much more than Farrow and Ball paint and well-appointed furniture. Instead my favourite spaces are stitched together almost seamlessly, with love, thought, care and attention, revealing something of the personalities that created them.

With this in mind, the decorating and curating of a baby’s nursery, is often the ultimate expression of love from a parent to a newborn child, and for that reason I adore to see how my friends have chosen to carve this personal and private corner of their home.

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You can imagine my excitement therefore, when my close friend Lucie (Womenswear Designer) and her husband Luke (Restaurateur behind London restaurants 10 Greek St and 8 Hoxton Square), opened up the doors of their west London home and agreed to photograph their son Leo’s inspiring and beautifully designed nursery.

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I could think of no better way to share the glorious heart, soul and sentiment behind this inspiring space than through Lucie’s own photographs and words. Thank you lovely Lucie! Enjoy!

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The first piece I bought for Leo’s nursery was this vintage Ercol chair. I upholstered it myself (which I’m pretty proud of) while I was still pregnant, using a Mark Herald designed fabric from St Jude’s Fabrics. I love St Jude’s as they stock a great range of unique, artist designed prints in beautiful colours. Because this chair was the first item I bought for the nursery, the design for rest of the room was built around it, to include the soft greyish green of the walls, which worked really well will the golden wheat hue of the fabric. I found it easier to have a starting point to build from, especially as we didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl. I love that I can point out all of the animals in the design to him.

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I love the colourful printed cot sheet we chose for Leo’s crib from children’s lifestyle brand Olli Ella. Although this brand is British, I actually I discovered them in an amazing kid’s shop in Sydney called Kido, I go crazy whenever I’m in there!

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The blanket was a personalised gift to Leo when he was born. It’s such a lovely thing, I love to think he will keep it forever.

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The Boat Mobile was given to Leo by a family friend, who was overjoyed when she discovered it at an antiques fair, she remembered having the exact same mobile as a little girl. So nice to think that buying his gift conjured up memories of her own childhood.

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It was important to me to include sentimental pieces into the design of the room. The suitcase pictured above  belonged to me when I was a little girl. It has all my old baby clothes in, and now special clothes Leo has grown out of that I want to keep.

The Anglepoise lamp and the chest of draws were inherited from my parents, both mean a lot as I remember them from my childhood. As a little girl I would  never have imagined this chest would one day house the little sleep suits of my future baby. Simply amazing! xx

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