Southwood Stores is an online concept store by Hayley Southwood, where you will find handpicked, quirky, Scandinavian influenced gifts and homewares. Hayley believes passionately about empowering women and has recently launched her own in-house label GRAY, celebrating strong women.
I first came across Hayley and her online shop back in 2013. (I can’t believe it was 3 years ago?! Time sure does fly with a toddler in tow!) At that time, Hayley was the only UK stockist of Hello Apparel; and I went straight ahead and ordered a HELLO Jumper from her, along with one of our most loved prints that sat in Eli’s bedroom, The Mountain Print by Clare Nicholson. I always loved parcels from Hayley, with the attention to detail of packaging and customer care; with some treats even winging their way over to Berlin!
Watching Hayley, via Instagram, over the past few years has been wonderful. Seeing how her little shop has grown and expanded with wicked new products and new brands, through to the launch of her very own clothing label: GRAY By Southwood Stores. The ethos of Hayley and her shop is to be brave and follow your dreams. And she’s definitely succeeding there – having now opened her very own Southwood Stores showroom – where you can not only have a cuppa with the lady herself, but from here she also offers Social Media / Branding services with sessions operating on-site.
Details of showroom opening times are as follows:
First Saturday of the month 11am-2pm
I could buy everything that Southwood Stores have in stock, but here are some of my current favourites hitting the top of my #MoMWishlist:
Back to GRAY By Southwood Stores. Hayley worked really hard to find the right garments for her label – high quality and responsibly made. The slogan graphic prints are also locally screen-printed by a “woman owned business”. I think it’s fantastic that Hayley has stuck to her local roots here too – there’s nothing better than championing your local business community and spreading the love even further afield.
The sweatshirts are super soft, wash well and have a really flattering fit. I went for the WARRIOR sweatshirt. Because, well, we’re all WARRIORS. “The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us, but those who win battles we know nothing about”. This is something that resonated deeply with me – and I do feel like a proper WARRIOR when I’m wearing my sweatshirt. It’s more than just words, isn’t it? It’s about how these things make you FEEL.
On top of alllllll this, Hayley is also hosting a series of Conversational Meet-Up’s, of like-minded Women. The recent one looked brilliant so look forward to the next Event’s being scheduled. You can find the latest details and tickets, here.
Hayley is a true inspiration and I look forward to seeing how Southwood Stores continues to grow and evolve! (Oh, and I can’t wait to have a cuppa with her in person at the new showroom soon!). Keep doing what you’re doing Hayley, everything about your being is amazing. Just remember to BREATHE (and get the kettle on!).
*NB: This is in no way a sponsored post. I just wanted to big up a Mama who I think is frikkin amazing*.
I first saw this jumper around 2 years ago. It was being adorned by the likes of Kate and Alexa; and like my favourite fashion-people I’d also lusted after the monochrome version of the now infamous 1970 slogan jumper. Much to my family and mates’
disgust confusion dislike, we’re big fans of the 1970’s. Fans of the fashion, music and most predominantly, the design and (Mid Century) interiors of the era. So this jumper struck more than *just* sartorial chord with me. But then I saw a Telegraph article on (aptly named) jewellery designer Sheherazade Goldsmith, and she was wearing a red version of my favourite woollen piece. Be still my beating heart…
So from then, I lusted for the red colourway. The super-soft Merino Wool. The cut and design. The design itself takes its signature motif from a book clipping that Freud used to wear pinned onto a plain jumper.
I do have splashes of colour in my mostly-black wardrobe and I would tend to go for red or green, unless its a vintage or leopard print (or red or green variations of leopard print!) of course.
So the red 1970 Jumper by the lovely Bella Freud is firmly on my NEED list. More or less at the top.
If you so desire, you can own this seemingly cult classic by clicking the link here: Bella Freud at Selfridges.com
Which colourway would you go for?
About Bella Freud:
Freud was born in London, England. She is the daughter of Bernardine Coverley and artist Lucian Freud and great granddaughter of the inventor of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud.
She is renowned for her signature jumpers Je t’aime Jane, Ginsberg is God and 1970. Fans of Bella Freud include Alexa Chung, Laura Bailey, Kate Moss and Alison Mosshart.
Bella launched her eponymous label in 1990. Her first collection featured sexy knitted dresses in bookish colours, mini tailored suits and a small selection of shoes and bags. Bella went on to win Most Innovative Designer at the London Fashion Awards in 1991 and produced a Super 8 short film ‘Day at the Races’ as an alternative to a fashion show. Bella’s second film ‘More Clothes’ directed by Kate Garner was shot on 35mm film and showcased the SS 1992 collection.
Seasonal catwalk shows followed, then in 1999 Bella began her fashion film collaboration with John Malkovich, co writing and producing three short films: Strap Hanging, Lady Behave, and Hideous Man. In 2001 Bella also collaborated with rock icon Anita Pallenberg on Memo, a limited edition magazine featuring the AW2000 collection, inspired by the film Performance.
From March 2000 to 2003 Bella consulted for British heritage brand Jaeger, rejuvenating their image and bringing British dressing to a younger audience.
Bella’s love of film continued and in 2013 she art directed the short film Je T’Ecoute, produced by Laura Bailey starring Lara Stone, which screened at White Cube Bermondsey. Bella’s directorial debut ‘Girl Boils Egg’ is a two minute film featuring Punk, commissioned by Nick Knight for SHOWstudio.com.
2013 also saw the development of the RTW collections and expansion into the beauty market. The Bella Freud Eau de Parfum collection was launched in 2014 and has gained a cult following.
A few years ago we lived and worked in East London. We saw a lot of trends, styles, brands, come and go. But it was practically overnight that I spotted guys wearing NEW BALANCE trainers; and I’m not gonna lie, I was like “how are they even making a come back?!”. As a kid, New Balance were always a trainer that I saw as being fit for purpose, like for playing Tennis in or something else sporty!
A few more weeks went by, seeing more and more colours of sneaks popping up; and then I saw a pair of Bordeaux Red (my favourite wine no less) New Balance 574’s in the window of Albam, Spitalfields. I fell in love. I wanted them for myself, even though they were Men’s. I knew right then that my opinion on New Balance had been overturned, forever. And rightly so.
Fast forward 5 years and my almost 4 year old is loving life in his very own pair of All-Black 574’s.
For those who don’t perhaps know, Eli was born with several medical conditions – Talipes, Torticollis and Hypermobility. From before he was even born, Eli endured some pretty intense tests, scans, physio and corrective treatments (Ponseti method). He came out the other side meeting the milestones that all his pals met, at the same age (and some he hit even sooner than anticipated!). While, on the outset Eli looks ‘fixed’, you can’t help but notice just how clumsy he can be, how off-balance he can be and how crazily flexible he can be! He’s super-active and he never did learn to *just* walk – he quite literally got up one day and RAN. Eli also doesn’t sleep well – never has – since being a newborn. We sometimes excuse his lack of sleep with, “he just doesn’t want to miss out”, “he’s being a typical toddler”. But the older he’s getting, the more convinced we are that it could well be his conditions waking him and giving him jip. He’s commented recently on his feet and knee’s being sore. We were told that it’s likely he could grow up with Migraines and will get early onset Arthritis due to the flexibility of his joints. (We have his next check-up with his consultant in June).
When Eli did start
running walking we struggled to find suitable footwear that supported him fully, that would aid against relapse and would keep him upright. With this all in mind, I wanted to highlight how good these trainers are for his feet; and his balance (no pun intended). They’re a great fit for him, just narrow enough. They tie quite tightly, with no rubbing at any points. They keep him more sturdy than any other footwear he has, yet they’re really lightweight. They’ve worn exceptionally well and actually still look brand new. Eli has commented that they’re “my comfy adventure shoes”. And I think that says it all! He’s really happy with them – he runs like the wind in them – and looks pretty cool too.
I ordered Eli’s 574’s from OFFICE and had them delivered within the week to Berlin. They have a massive range of Kids’ New Balance styles, in loads of wicked colours. There are also velcro versions for smaller feet… or for feet that love untying those shoe laces! You can shop the full range online here.
What Eli Wore: Dinosaur Costume
Brand: H & M
Price: £17.99 / 24.99€
Sizes available: 2 years – 10 years.
It’s no secret, Mr Eli quite literally lives and breathes Dinosaurs. Some of that love is potentially down to us as his parents – we did
force the SCIENCE upon him encourage it from before he was even born; you know, the dinosaur prints here and there, the odd toy figure, a couple of books, DVD’s… (and had even meticulously planned that first trip to the Natural History Museum for when he was JUST the right age, of course. And, incidentally, it was the “BEST DAY EVER!” when we took him for his 3rd birthday). He was destined to be our little Science Boy. THANKFULLY, Eli is fully appreciative of our efforts and is 110% fully immersed and committed. If he’s not acting his role as Chief Explorer then he’s THE dinosaur that’s being searched for. (It’s sometimes difficult to distinguish between the two roles… and sometimes, just for laughs, he merges them into one, to keep me on my toes!).
Eli did have a dinosaur onesie from his Auntie, but he outgrew it a little while ago and I’ve looked for something similar since. I couldn’t believe my luck when I stumbled across this gem in H&M at Alexanderplatz before Christmas. It was under the tree waiting for him on the big day… but looked massive. The sizing is quite broad, I’d bought a size 2-4 years. So, I whacked it in his wardrobe shortly after Christmas and expected we’d get it out again during Summer at some point. Yesterday he’d retrieved it himself and brought it over to me, whispering “Mummy, I think this is a real dinosaur!”. We tried it on, et voilà, it looked wicked! Eli was indeed instantly transformed to REAL DINOSAUR status – complete with sound effects and some pretty scary actions!
PRO’s: So, its a great price for a play-costume. The detailing is brilliant – especially the detachable padded tail and golden spiked spine. The print is spot on and kind of shimmers. It’s flowing and comfy – slight elasticated hems and a zip cover at neckline. Machine washable at 30c.
CON’s: It makes Eli sweat – its that sort of sweaty polyester material; could have done with being lined.
We’re properly chuffed with this outfit and know we’ll get LOADS of
daily wear out of it. And I think he makes a pretty cool REAL DINOSAUR!
Following the amazingly successful sweater collaboration last year, Meadham Kirchhoff and online retailer, Amazon, have joined forces again for this incredible 4-piece silk scarf collection.
London Fashion Week design duo Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff are famed for their rebellious take on fashion. This second collaboration with Amazon Fashion is an exclusive collection of four distinctive scarves, in the spirit of the designers’ main catwalk collections.
I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to get involved with this collaboration as I’d very much enjoyed their initial offering with Amazon – and we all know how Meadham Kirchhoff flies out of Topshop!
My absolute favourite scarf from this collection is ‘PEARLS’. The print is so pretty, and of course, I love all things gold. I really like how it’s been styled on the model too (take a look at all the below photos for some unique scarf styling!).
Each silk scarf is pretty massive and measures 120cm x 120cm! So LOTS of value for the £75.00 price tag. These scarves are all limited edition and can only be purchased from Amazon Fashion, here: MEADHAM KIRCHHOFF FOR AMAZON FASHION. PLUS, if you’re UK based you already qualify for FREE delivery – BOOM!
“Pearl scarf is an ornate design of baroque gold detailing and drop pearls that we featured in our S/S 13 collection”.
Click here to purchase the PEARL scarf.
“The Drawings scarf is a visual archive of Edward’s sketches from the ‘Cosmology of Women’ Autumn’11 show”.
Click here to purchase the DRAWINGS scarf.
“The Curtains scarf features signature imagery from our Spring/Summer ’13 collection, in this case opulent swaggered curtains with ornate gold fringes”.
Click here to purchase the CURTAINS scarf.
“The Ballerina scarf features the tiny ballerina motif from our Autumn/Winter ’13 collection in a fresh new colourway. The artwork originates from a vintage silk scarf”.
Click here to purchase the BALLERINA scarf.
Which is your favourite scarf? And are there any different ways you’d style any of these scarves?
NB: I was sent the Meadham Kirchhoff x Amazon ‘PEARL’ scarf, for free, for the purposes of this review. All opinions in this review are my own and are 100% honest.
I LOVE finding new Childrenswear brands. Hello Apparel has been on my radar for a little while – I just haven’t gotten round to writing up my Brand In Focus for them!
Hello Merch is an independent company started in 2008 by Sam Means as an outlet for artists to manufacture and sell merchandise online and on tour, without giving up their rights by signing major label-style merch contracts. Hello Apparel is available for Adults as well as kids; although, I think the kids range is much cooler! ;o
Unfortunately, Hello Merch is just available for import at the minute. But the ever so lucky Southwood Stores will be the ONLY UK stockist very, very soon! So keep your eyes peeled! I actually cannot wait!
Here are my favourite pieces, that I’d love to dress Mr Eli in!
Hello Individual Onesies,$18.00.
Wonderful, Yorkshire-based company Little Bird Told Me got in touch recently and asked if
Mr Eli I’d like to review a toy. I was more than happy to oblige – I’m a huge fan of independent retailers, especially those based in the UK. After looking on their website I found that their toy’s are all designed to develop the imagination and skills of children. Perfect!
Mr Eli has recently enjoyed pulling and pushing his toys around – as well as giving everything a good shake too! I really liked the look and sound of the beautiful Rocking Horses, but they’re mostly 18m+. A little old for Eli right now, but would perhaps make a great Christmas present! The Softly Snail Activity Fun House was the perfect choice for us.
I particularly liked the packaging – it really shows this toy off!
Then we removed Mr Snailer (as we’ve fondly named him!) from his box and Eli instantly loved him! HE gave him a big squeeze and a shake for good measure – noticing that the antennae make a rattle sound. The pull-along string is just a nice length. It can also be removed should it be a distraction, using the velcro fastening. I LOVE the little ‘peepo’ door, where you can actually add a photo of your own choice. We’re yet to get one printed. We’re thinking a nice family photo would be lovely.
Eli likes Mr Caterpillar (the Mini Curious Caterpillar). He shake, shake shakes him and pop’s him into the little house. Mr Eli has also recently learned to “kiss”; by kiss we mean place his forehead onto yours. It is just the sweetest thing! Here he is giving Mr Snailer a big kiss and a cuddle.
I also wanted to mention that this toy really is lovely and cuddley. The wooden wheels can also be removed, for cleaning or to make it that little bit more snuggley too.
All in all, Mr Eli really enjoyed this toy and I would certainly recommend Little Bird Told Me to everyone. They’re a truly lovely company!
NB: We were sent the Softly Snail Activity Fun House from Little Bird Told Me for review. This retails at £25 but we were sent it, for free, for the purposes of review. All opinions in this review are my own and are 100% honest. No payment was received for this review.
We usually use Pampers Active Fit, but now that Eli has a tendency for sleeping on his front, we found he leaked most nights! We had been looking at what other nappies were out there – first choice being Pampers as we’ve used the brand since Eli was born; and also use Pampers Sensitive wipes. THEN, Mumsnet HQ got in touch regarding testing out Pampers Baby Dry – perfect timing!
I was quickly sent a box containing a pack of Pampers Baby Dry from Mumsnet HQ. I
Eli immediately opened the Pampers Baby Dry pack. I noticed first off that the nappies felt different (and had lovely illustrations, again different to the Active Fit ones). The nappies are still soft but the coating felt, well, more waterproof than the Active Fit. This seemed to bode well.
The fit was good. Perhaps slightly bigger than the Active Fit. But still flexible enough for my acrobat of a 9 month old! They certainly looked comfortable.
The quality of the product is very good – like with most Pampers products I’ve used; albeit, a Pampers product does generally cost more in price. But if you shop on the likes of Amazon, it usually works out the same price (delivered!) as the likes of Sainsbury’s or Tesco own-brand. So I’m happy to pay a little extra for the piece of mind that comes with buying from a reputable brand.
The first night Eli wore the Pampers Baby Dry he slept through. Coincidence or not, he SLEPT 12 hours! I expected to find a small puddle where he woke from sleep the next morning. But he hadn’t leaked! AT ALL! The nappy was the fullest I’d ever felt – very heavy. But he didn’t leak! YES. I would say however, he wasn’t completely dry despite this. The top of the nappy at the front was clammy, not wet, just tacky, so his skin was damp too. This is however progress!
Overall, I think the Pampers Baby Dry nappies are great. Good value for money. Perfect for overnight. I think for during the day I’d go back to Eli wearing Pampers Active Fit – simply because I think they do just fit that little bit better on him. But we’ll certainly be sticking to the Pampers Baby Dry for night times! We’re very happy! Thanks to Mumsnet HQ and Pampers UK!
Typical prices for Pampers Baby Dry – available at most UK stockists.
Carry Pack – £6.49
Economy Pack – £9.99
Jumbo Box – £12.99
Mega Box – £17.49
Giga Box – £22.99
I was picked by Mumsnet HQ to review this product, which I received for free. This review is in my own words and reflects my true opinion. Eli is 9 months old and wore size 4 Pampers Baby Dry nappies for this review.
Ooooh, look what I just spied! Save yourself up to 15% off purchases at www.Kiddicare.com! Perfect timing for other prospective parents-to-be… and it’s the Summer holidays for those already (lucky!) parents!
You just need to enter the below codes, respectively.
• Save an extra 10% off when you spend £75 at www.Kiddicare.com or in store: ‘summer10’
• Save an extra 15% off when you spend £150 at www.Kiddicare.com or in store: ‘summer15’
Enjoy! And tell me what you purchase!
Terms and conditions:
10% off is only available on purchases of £75 (excluding delivery) or more online at www.Kiddicare.com. 15% off is only available on purchases of £150 (excluding delivery) online at www.Kiddicare.com or in store (Peterborough, Hampton). The discount codes must be entered to receive the discount. Discounts cannot be applied retrospectively. The voucher is not transferable. Offer ends at 11am on Tuesday 31st July 2012. Kiddicare have the right to amend or withdraw the promotion at any time.
Don’t forget the Kiddicare Big summer Sale is still on and New Lines have been added.