Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Ursula Hitz - A Swiss Miss in London

I walk pass the Grapefruit Gallery on Fulham Road countless times a week while I'm running errands, going to the grocery store because I am once again out of milk, to queue in the never ending line at the post office, and all sorts of other mundane daily tasks.  I can't help but stop and stare at these amazing prints that are always on display.  Today there was a new print in the window that I just couldn't take my eyes off of and went in yet again to bug the staff.  However this time I did not leave empty handed!

These amazing typographic maps of London, New York, Paris, and Zurich are created by the up and coming Swiss artist Ursula Hitz who has been living in London for the past 10 years. What is so incredible about her prints is that the text is very dynamic and energetic while capturing the spirit of the city.  I just love how something so functional and everyday has been turned into art that is truly unique and fun.  The print that drew my attention today is Ursula's new Zurich map.  I love the crisp white Helvetica text printed against the lively royal blue making the map just so fresh and exciting.  With Father's Day coming up I just had to get it for my husband who is Swiss and from Zurich.  I knew that this would be the perfect gift as it has such a strong personal connection and will remind him of one of his favorite places. 

I just can't wait for the piece to go up on the wall and we will all really enjoy it for years to come.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

SMALLable Ete

I was insanely excited this week when I got an email from Smallable announcing that their summer catalogue was ready to view online.  I finally just got a chance to sit down and slowly drool over the beautiful shots!  Smallable is a French website that is one of the smartest and chicest online boutiques around.  They carry the most fabulous brands from all of the world and offer such a unique selection of clothing, toys, furniture, and other accessories.  Almost every single item on their website is more than drool worthy!  The fashion is simple and sophisticated while being just as sweet and fun.  I absolutely adore all of the home accessories as they are all just so damn cute.  They are also one of the few European retailers to carry one of my favorite American furniture brand Oeuf.  

Lucky for me that they ship to the UK and international shipping is available if you contact them directly.  Definitely some of the girlie accessories us mommy's can pull off too!

p.s. Don't forget to check out their super stylish blog.  It's written in French but the images are just gorgeous.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Jumping In Muddy Puddles

The weather has just been incredibly unpredictable lately and you just never know when it's going to start pouring in London.  I bit the bullet at got a pair of wellies for the little monster so he can happily run around in the mud.  My kid is obsessed with shoes and I'm not sure where he gets it from since I certainly don't have a shoe problem!  Okay maybe mine is more like an addiction.  He insists on wearing only one boot and has been running around the house like a crazy little monkey.

I ended up purchasing a pair of classic Aigle wellies in navy blue.  Call me boring but since he has a bright yellow rain coat I didn't want the boots to compete.  The Aigle boots are very light weight and hit the little monster about mid calf.  I have a pair of Hunters myself and the kids versions are just too adorable.  Hatley make wellies in fun and vibrant prints that is sure to brighten up any gloomy day.  The Sesame Street versions are too cute to resist.  Western Chief makes wellies in everyone's favorite characters and if I could I would squeeze my foot into those Hello Kitty boots!  Western Chief is also available through Nordstrom who has a team of incredible children's shoe fitters.

With the proper rain gear on my little monster and I are ready to jump up and down in muddy puddles a la Peppa Pig!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

My Royal Girl Crush

I have a total girl crush on India Hicks who is actually a member of the Royal Family and was one of Princess Diana's bridesmaids.  India is the goddaughter to Prince Charles and the daughter of Lady Pamela Mountbatten and the extraordinarily amazing interior designer David Hicks.  India is incredibly stunning and has accomplished so much as a model, interior designer, author, jewelry designer, mother of 4 and so much more.  She lives primarily in the Bahamas at her Hibiscus Hill residence and she just looks like the coolest and chicest mom around!

Her style is very relaxed and simple with a British colonial twist which makes her spaces very cozy and comfortable.  David Hicks is known for his use of vivid color and geometric patterns which clearly inspired India's jewelry line.  She also has a beautiful line of products Island Living with Crabtree & Evelyn.  She is probably most popular in the states as the host of Top Design and did quite of bit of TV hosting for the Royal Wedding.  

I love reading India's blog and getting little glimpses into her amazing and globe trotting lifestyle.  I'm usually not that interested in reading up on the royals but she is just too cool!  I think India is just so inspiring as a designer, business woman, and mom.


Sunday, 22 May 2011

Pop Art Cameleon

Living in the land full of Bugaboos I feel that I am always trying to differentiate my Cameleon from all of the others out there.  I have a fear of taking someone else's buggy and that would just be soooo embarrassing.  I have on occasion taken the wrong suitcase at the baggage carousel and once almost lost a suitcase full of my wedding accessories.  There are an overwhelming amount of accessories for these Bugaboos and some of them are a complete eyesore.  

I just came across a company called Poplico which makes super stylish reversible canopies for the Bugaboo Cameleon.  I absolutely love all of the color combinations and the printed fabric just makes the Cameleon that much for fun.  It's like you are getting 2 canopies as well since they are reversible.  With Poplico's chic canopies your Bugaboo is sure to stand out and definitely won't mistake yours for someone else's buggy!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Clickety Clac

I just love the look of stacking bracelets on top of each other and think the look is very chic.  I'm always looking for new pieces to add to my collection since I rotate what I wear every once in awhile.  One of my all time favorites is the Hermes Clic Clac enamel bracelet.  I think almost anything Hermes is instantly a classic and will never go out of style.  The Clic Clac is a great investment because you can wear it forever and looks great alone, stacked with other bracelets, or stacked with more Clic Clacs.  The bracelet is extraordinarily well made as with anything Hermes makes.  A great feature is that the bracelet is oval shaped and comes in 2 different sizes so you are sure to get the perfect fit.  The bracelets come either yellow gold or palladium plated and it's amazing how the same color in the different finishes completely change the whole look.  There are new colors issued every season so it's pretty hard to stop at just one!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Pretty Little Ballerinas

To continue with the subject of things I hoard, ballerina flats would be on the very top of this list.  I have an insatiable appetite for flats and there is just no way I can ever ever ever have too many pairs.  I keep all of my little babies in their own closet far away from my hubby's eye.  In this case I think that the less he knows the better for our marriage.  I feel as if I express my mood through my shoes and footwear is the one place where I'm not scared of color.

Repetto is the real deal for ballerina flats.  The French company is founded by dancers and they do make a professional line of ballet shoes.  Lucky for us they have a collection of beautiful street shoes so that we can all feel a little more graceful.  What is so fantastic about Repetto ballerinas is that not only are they so lovely to look at but they are practical and comfy too.  They come in almost every color of the rainbow so you will be sure to find something that goes with all your outfits and will suit your mood.  There are several styles available other than the traditional ballerina but the designs are all very subtle and never stray too far from the classic design.  

I've got my eye set on a pair of mary janes but simply cannot make up my mind on the color.  The suede flats are my favorite because they are so soft, comfy, and molds to my feet.  I can feel a little more elegant pushing a giant buggy around all day in these pretty ballerinas.

p.s. For a those with little girls I cannot even begin to tell you how jealous I am that they make little sizes too!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Eye Candy from Lonny Mag

I am totally a hoarder of magazines and I never throw any home mags away.  There have been countless arguments with the hubby about my not so small collection.  That's why I think the new trend of online magazines is just such a genius invention.  I love how issues are organized and there is actually a way to search for images without having to flip through my stash.  For some strange reason I find it hard to cut up magazines and just end up putting a post it note on images I like.  As you can imagine this is a pretty useless system.  But now I keep inspiration images on my computer and love that the files are so neat, compact and stored on my hard drive.

One of the first magazines to start this trend is Lonny Mag created by the brilliant minds behind my all time favorite Domino.  Lonny Mag features the most amazing spaces and designs around with a modern take.  The rooms that are featured are always so unique, interesting, and they always manage to find the most fabulous color palettes.  I am definitely not a minimalist and Lonny mag definitely features interiors with a warmer more eclectic modern feel.

I've flipped through all of their issues and here are my favorite kids spaces.  Of course none of the rooms in my house are this polished or pulled together but a girl can dream!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Stripes Galore

Ok so maybe I have a slight obsession with dressing my kid in stripes.  But how can I resist when he looks so freaking cute in stripes stripes stripes!  

Last summer the little monster's uniform were outfits from Splendid and I fully plan on stocking his wardrobe full of Splendid again this summer.  Splendid uses the softest and finest jersey on all of their clothing making their outfits super easy to move around in while staying cool.  And the best part about Splendid is that there is a huge selection of stripes in many sizes and colors.  I love buying the outfit sets from Splendid because the pieces are super versatile and can be mixed + matched very easily with almost anything.  And the little girls clothing, especially the darling little dresses, is just too cute!  Lucky for us they come in adult sizes as well.  I will admit that it is a splurge for me but the pieces really do last a long time and are so well made.  


Problem Solved

As you all may know I have been searching high and low for a play table and chairs set for my little monster.  My living room and playroom are in the same room and I really wanted something match with my furniture without being too childish.  My search was over when a very kind Twitter buddy @RoomtoBloom recommended the sweetest table and chairs from Vertbaudet.  I love that the chairs are like French bistro chairs and the colors are all just so much fun.

Vertbaudet is a French company that carries a collection of modern, colorful, and playful clothing/accessories, furniture/decorative items, maternity, and other useful children goods.  Lucky for me that they have a great catalogue and website that is based in the UK.  All of the items are very well priced and have a chic French feel to them.

I was about to order the white table with orange chairs and of course chickened out in the end.  I just wasn't sure if I would grow tired of the orange in the long run.  Instead I went for the taupe colored chairs with the white table and the set just works so well in my living room that has a color scheme of grays, white, and navy.  My little monster loves doing puzzles and eating on his very own nook.  The quality of the furniture is pretty good for the price and I do have to warn you that there is quite a bit of installation involved.  The table and chairs are definitely sturdy since I have caught the monster standing on them!

I know that I will get great use out of this set for years to come and love that they have an adult feel to them.

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

I am just so thrilled that I made it into the Circle of Moms Top 25 Kids' Style!  I just want to thank everyone for their support and for taking the time out for the past couple of weeks to vote for me.  I truly appreciate it and hopefully my interview will be up in the coming weeks.

And more big news is that I passed my driving theory test on Saturday so finally no more studying and more blogging!  I can't wait to start my driving classes and to take the road test....  Even though I have been driving for the past 13 years everything I know I have to throw out the window since my old habits are big no nos in the UK.  

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Easy Breezy Sausalito Style

Serena & Lily is one of my absolute favorite companies for home furnishings.  Their collection is made up of elegant pieces for adults, children, and babies in the most wonderful color palettes.  There is something just so easy, cool, and sophisticated about the Serena & Lily look that captures the essence of West Coast living.  In the back of my head I'm filling up a container of things I want shipped from the states and when this happens (in my fantasies of course) most of it will definitely be from Serena & Lily.  

What is so fantastic about the upholstered furniture pieces is that there is a level of customization involved from selecting the fabrics, nail heads, piping, etc. that makes the pieces feel that much more special.  All of the textiles are designed in house and the patterns and colors are just so appealing and well thought out.  The fabric is also available to purchase so you can customize your own pieces at home.

The bedding collection is what really sets Serena & Lily apart from the competition.  A really high quality cotton is used on all of its bedding making your bed a very luxurious place to rest.  Their nursery and children bedding is absolutely stunning and all of the prints and designs are just irresistable.  The designs are very timeless rather than trendy, definitely not something you will tire of.  I have the stylish Sausalito moses basket for the little monster and now use it to store extra toys around the house.  

Be sure to check out the Serena & Lily website for some great browsing and inspiration.  Their catalogs are all so beautifully printed and very useful to have around.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

THE Raincoat

I have been eyeing the gorgeous school bus yellow raincoat from Petit Bateau for months.  I finally caved and got it for the little monster today.  This fabulous rain coat is a must have for all the gray and rainy London days.  I love how cheery it is and of course the navy + white striped lining just gives it that extra French-y touch.

Here are my picks to go with the raincoat for those cool rainy days.  A gray cardigan is another one of my must haves in a little boy's wardrobe.  It's the perfect layering piece to add some warmth and make any outfit look more sophisticated.  I'm just crazy about blue + white striped tops and absolutely love the whimsical orange lobster printed onto the J. Crew tee.  The braces paired with a great pair of navy skinnies just make the outfit that much cooler! Add a pair of Euro sneakers with striped socks and the monster is ready to head out to the parks rain or shine.

Raincoat - http://www.petit-bateau.us/THE_Petit_Bateau_raincoat/pd/c/211/np/211/p/3249.html
Cardigan - http://www.caramel-shop.co.uk/index.php/boy/knitwear/eclair-cardigan.html?id=850&cid=122
Tee - http://www.jcrew.com/boys_category/teepolosfleece/graphictees/PRDOVR~41210/41210.jsp
Braces - http://www.zara.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product/uk/en/zara-S2011/61230/197478/ELASTIC%2BBRACES
Trousers - http://www.caramel-shop.co.uk/index.php/boy/trousers/turkish-delight-skinny.html?id=756&cid=74
Trainers - http://www.caramel-shop.co.uk/index.php/boy/shoes/lace-up-tennis-shoe.html?id=1152&cid=140
Socks - http://www.eliasandgrace.com/babies/petit-bateau/66102-socks-2062


Apologizes for the lack of posts this past week but I've had my hands full around here.  After 5 years of living in London, I have finally decided to get my UK driver's license.  No it's not as easy as it sounds since they make it pretty difficult to get one here.  First you have to apply for a provisional license where the DVLA hold your passport hostage for about a month.  Luckily I did this years ago and my provisional is still valid.  So I am currently studying for the exam next Saturday, if I make it without dying of boredom.  The main part of the exam is 50 multiple choice questions but the study guide is 400 pages filled with about a thousand plus questions that will possibly be on the exam.  Everything is pretty detailed and specific and you can bet as soon as the exam is over I won't remember a thing.  Then there is the hazard perception where they make you watch 14 one minute clips of simulated drives and you have to recognize all the potential dangers in each clip.  B-O-R-I-N-G!!!!

Then the fun really begins by having to take some driving classes in manual!  I definitely know how to drive stick but was self taught and I'm not skilled enough to pass a driving test.  Down-shifting is a total enigma to me and coasting is a huge no-no.  And finally a one hour in car examination doing maneuvers such as backing around a corner, having to check 10,000 things before entering a round about, and lots more fun!  I seriously cannot wait for all of this to be over.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Dutch Couture for Kids

One of the coolest brands from Amsterdam, Scotch & Soda, makes an amazing kids' collection.  The label is known for making preppy clothes with an edgy twist in high quality fabrics.  It's almost like J Crew meets Abercrombie and Fitch but so much better!  What is so great about the kids' clothing is the extra attention paid in the small details making each piece have a very unique feel.  The boys' line is cleverly called Scotch Shrunk while the girls' is named Scotch R'Belle.  I think that I would literally wear every piece from Scotch R'Belle!  The smart blazers, cute little rompers, and adorable tunics would be perfect for the summer!  Boys will surely be the coolest dude around in one of Scotch Shrunk's hoodies layered with preppy blazer or military jacket.  Sizes start ate age 4 so I've got awhile until I can start putting the little monster in Scotch Shrunk.  Available online or at Selfridges.