Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Like a black and red magpie...

Last year when I was in the UK I bought a divine Alexander McQueen scarf from the outlet at Bicester Village. It wasn't a cheap purchase (about 130 pounds minus the VAT refund, I seem to recall) but I loved it so much I couldn't resist, plus the price was very good for AMcQ. I'd been seeing it online for a while but missed out buying it in the NAP sale. It was the magpie scarf in red and black - identical to this one but in reverse (the red is around the edge rather than the black). I finally wore it for the first time yesterday and I find myself attempting to design outfits around the scarf now. It also, when draped the right way, distracts very well from the whale like proportions of my baby bump!

And now, like the magpie that I am, I have spotted this scarf on Net-a-Porter...

It's not on sale but it's totally totally me, however I'm not sure I can convince myself it's a good buy right now. But it is amazing. And I'm sure that despite the price it will be very economical on a CPW basis over a number of years...

I'm erring on the side of not buying it and being responsible but I'm willing to be convinced though!


Friday, June 24, 2011

A bag for the baby.

I have many handbags. I know - you are shocked. So am I, if I am being honest. But there is one thing I don't have and that's a bag that is suitable for toting baby stuff around the shop. Or shops, in my case.

I have been keeping my eye out for a suitable receptacle for baby things. But the actual problem is that I don't know how much I'll be carrying around with me. Is it a suitcase worth? A couple of nappies and a muslin? If you have any advice about size or function I'd very much appreciate it (keeping in mind my handbags are often the size of small suitcases).

In the interim, here are some I have found that might work.

This silver spectacle from Seed Child ($139): I thought it would work because of the neutral colour. In my opinion you just can't go wrong with silver. And I love Seed.

The Bryn Nappy Bag from Soon Maternity. It's on sale for $89.95 which makes it really attractive and it's nice and colourful. There are other colours on sale too!

The Skip Hop Duo Diaper Bag. Really cheap at $58, but it has to get shipped from the US which adds extra cost. Or alternatively available from Bambini Pronto for $99.95. The multitude of colours and the great reviews makes it a really attractive option. Plus it has clips that attach it to any stroller which means your hands are free for other things and the weight of all those baby things doesn't weigh you down.

If anyone has any advice about things that are important in a nappy/baby bag, I would very much appreciate it. I know it needs loads of pockets, for example, so that I can put things like bottles and toys and muslins in them. The rest is a bit of a mystery to me!

Kitty xx

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Baby's sure got style!

One of the good things about having a baby is the vast number of baby stores you now have the liberty of shopping at for your little one. My most recent discovery is Baby's Got Style, an uber chic store devoted to the very best of baby and children's clothes. Brands like Bebe, Purebaby, Coco & Ginger, Marquise - all in the one place.

Personally, I have a very soft spot for Bebe. Their designs are so chic and cute, particularly for baby girls. Although Little Miss Kitty has loads of pretty clothes already, I couldn't resist buying a few choice pieces. Just a few.

This cute pink ribbed cardigan:
This divine Milly pink ribbon dress:

This divine purple Polly romper:

And matching Polly Matinee jacket:

And a divine Daphne Liberty Print Frock:

I really really wanted the beautiful Tatum Liberty print frock (pictured below) and matching bloomers, but unfortunately they didn't have a size that would be suitable for this coming summer and I think, even for me, buying 18 months in advance is ridiculously organised (and OTT). Plus it's really quite spenny for baby clothes. I might have to wait and see if it comes on sale at any stage.

I also adore this gorgeous floral bow romper from Alex and Ant. It was definitely touch and go with this one, but I thought I would wait until my next order for this beauty. It's ridiculously cute!

So many beautiful things, so little time. And a very small budget in my case!

Kitty x

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Soon Maternity.

From Miu Miu, Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen and Valentino to...

Well, not the aforementioned designers. Or anything remotely approaching them, frankly. Maternity wear has, admittedly, come a very long way since the floral tents with gigantic collars sported by HRH Princess Diana when she was pregnant with future King William. But not that far.

Maternity wear remains, for the most part, unglamorous, anti-fashionable and badly constructed from poor quality materials. And expensive. I picked up a few things while I was in the US but given the seasonality, they are clothes to be layered. With cardigans. And - in Sydney weather of the moment - fleece lined tights.

But rest assured, my constant searching has pulled up a few gems among the dross and disappointment. Chief among them are the garments designed by Soon Maternity.

My chief requirement (other than comfort, of course) when buying clothing for my pregnancy is that they would be in the style I would wear when not pregnant. By that, I mean they are my style. Soon Maternity has me covered on that front. Their designs are on-trend, well made and frankly, clothes I would wear while not pregnant.

Case in point: the Sienna dress. I saw this on their website and slightly skeptical about the fit and quality, I sought out a retailer to see for myself what the clothes looked like. And I wasn't disappointed. It's made of thick jersey that is warm but breathable. The scooped neck is very flattering. The gathering on the sides is bump friendly. But most importantly, it's a dress I would have bought when I wasn't pregnant. And at $129.95, reasonably well priced given its versatility. I have had it two weeks and have already worn it five times.

Their other items look to be of similar quality and practicality. The Flora Fold pants look very comfy yet still chic and basics like the Soon Basic Long Sleeve Scoop Tee look very practical and economical. The Georgie Wrap Jacket is definitely on my must have list.

I know there are other labels out there who make good maternity garments (Pea in a Pod, for example). But for my money you have a long way to go to beat the combination of quality, great material and style that Soon provides. Soon Maternity make great clothes that are not only good basics but also separates and garments that are fantastic for work and, dressed up with the right accessories, perfect for a night out. I'll definitely be lining up for more of this!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Miss Kitty on Struggle Street...

I have a terrible cold. For a week now I have been laid up, snuffling. I hate complaining but after living through this cold without the help of codral, cold and flu tablets - even the soothing help of menthol - I hope never to complain about a cold again.

The strongest thing I have been able to take is a Lemsip. Lemsip! The insult to cold and flu remedies! I swear, even Kinder Surprises would have more of an impact on my cold than Lemsip!

Suffice to say I have been eating oranges, drinking juice, chugging down vitamin C like no-one's business. Still to no avail. Lucky no sinusitis this time around - thank goodness for small mercies.

In the interim I have been researching for the baby - mainly important and glam things like car seats. My main discovery over the past few weeks is that many people who work in baby shops know little about car seats. We have been told so many different things about which car seat is best - one sales assistant even told us a seat that has a one star rating was "the best in terms of safety on the market". WTF??

So we went off and did our own research. We have decided on the Meridian AHR Tilt and Adjust which tested very safely in both forward and rear facing mode. We found the best thing to do was check the CREP ratings for their unbiased testing results. It's an expensive option but worth the money in terms of safety and protection. Now, we'll go out and buy it!
In the spirit of "one for me, one for the baby", I made a small purchase last night at the Net-a-Porter sale. Continually on the hunt for the perfect black handbag, I came across this beauty. I had a shipping voucher so the total cost was a little more than $400. For a leather Burberry handbag. Bargain I say!

There are lots of very pretty things in the sale - it's definitely worth a look. Especially if you have lots of time in bed resting like I seem to have at the moment!

Kitty xx

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Leopardy goodness...

This is one spoiled baby. Not only does she have a gorgeous range of clothes purchased in the US, her Mummy is going crazy in the sales here.

Case in point: UrbanBaby are having a sale and I couldn't resist. Little Miss Kitty is now the proud owner of this Leopard Print Arrangement. It's so very cute and I have been eyeing it off ever since I fell pregnant. Once it was reduced, I snapped to it and bought it for her in a size that will fit next winter (6-9 months). I particularly like the shoe/sock and hat arrangement. Too cute.

They still have sets in stock in many different prints (cow, giraffe, bee and ladybird, amongst them) and at $30 (reduced from $49.95) plus $6.95 shipping I think they are a bit of a bargain.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Carnivals and horses...

I've been thinking about themes for the baby's room and I stumbled across the idea of Carnival and rocking horses which I think is eminently practical for a little girl.


I also stumbled across this beautiful bangle for moi... Not particularly practical but it is divine. Made by NZ designer Trelise Cooper, it's a bijoux delight. A cuff with such delicate whimsy it would be suitable for a girl of all ages.

Unfortunately the price makes it a little out of reach to be truly practical. $595 NZD (approximately $462 AUD) is a bit pricey for this girl who has just been indulging rather heavily in the retail arts in the US. Shipping isn't too bad - $21.75 from NZ, which considering the price of the bangle, is very reasonable.

I perhaps should focus my efforts on looking for things for the little Kitten...


Friday, June 3, 2011

The In-betweener.

Today I wore a maternity frock for the first time. The drama. It was awful. I felt huge. MASSIVE. It changed the way I walked (waddled) and stood and I found myself rubbing my not insubstantial bump more frequently - perhaps so people wouldn't just think I was fat. I was very self conscious. In fact, I hated it. I thought I'd love being in maternity clothes but I really didn't. It was a very strange feeling.

I now feel like I am really at that in-between stage of my pregnancy. I have officially today hit the halfway mark (20 weeks). My pre-pregnancy clothes are getting rather tight but my bump is not yet big enough for proper maternity clothes.

Case in point - with my not unattractive in and of itself maternity frock, I was going to wear a pair of maternity leggings I purchased in the US - correct combo no? Unfortunately the leggings are really too big for me, rolling down over my stomach and falling down my legs. They are the correct size on the label but uncomfortable and far too big, considering I have reasonable bumpage going on already. I struggled into a pair of pre-pregnancy opaques instead - better tight than losing your leggings in the middle of Chatswood Chase, in my opinion. So despite feeling massive, I'm not actually big enough to be in maternity wear. The irony.

This in-between phase will likely end very soon. I'll fit properly into maternity clothes before I know it. It's really not the end of the world and no doubt I'll look back on the time fondly when I still made it into my favourite pre-pregnancy duds, albeit tenuously and only the ones with a lot of stretch. And honestly, I do feel a bit ungrateful after all we went through to get pregnant, complaining about feeling and looking pregnant. Silly really, isn't it?

Life goes on. In other news, Little Miss Kitty is now the proud owner of this fabulous cardi and hat set from Seed:

Inordinately expensive for baby gear but it was just so darn cute I couldn't pass it up. She'll look fab I think and it's so soft. I bought 6-12 months so she'll be getting around in it next winter.

Kitty xx

Thursday, June 2, 2011

It's a baby girl kitten!

We had our 19 week morphology scan last week. It's so exciting to see the baby moving on the big screen. We got a wave from our little one and saw lots of rolling around. All the measurements seem to be in line with our dates and our obstetrician is happy with the progress thus far.

The baby's movements get more and more definite every day. They have migrated from small indistinct flutters to definite movements. There are active periods and periods of sleeping every day. It's so funny to think our little one is developing patterns and habits already.

The most exciting news is we decided to find out what we were having, and it looks like we'll be welcoming a little girl into our house in October. Very exciting news, although I was convinced we were having a boy, despite everyone else thinking I was having a girl. Shows Mummas don't always know best, and hence we only had a boys name agreed. We have started a list of girls names so if anyone has any brilliant suggestions please let me know. Our only requirements are that it needs to not have S sounds (our interesting and somewhat unpronounceable surname has two S sounds in it already) and the name needs to be reasonably common - but not too common - to offset the unusual nature of the surname she will be saddled with.

I am now fascinated with little girl clothes, hence the purchase of the above onesie from Seed when I was in town yesterday. I also spotted an ocelot cardigan which has Little Miss Kitty's name written all over it...

It's going to be an expensive few months methinks.