When the world hit pause as the pandemic took hold, every mummy and daddy across the globe became ultimate warrior parents overnight. In an instant lockdown set in and the mama-and-papahood juggle multiplied tenfold. We saw keyworkers powering on through, childcare options disappearing, work-from-home desks popping up in any nook of the house not claimed by toys and laundry, home schooling rolled-out and everything in between.
Shot during lockdown, I’m here with a little update of what we’ve been getting up to. Plus, I’m sharing some of the latest kids buys I’ve recently snagged and that we continue to love right through high summer and beyond. This is just a snippet of my regular Alex and Alexa column which you can read in its entirety here.
Latest Kids Buys
1// Vintage Floral Smocked Dress, from £32 Boden
You can’t beat Boden’s throw on dresses for a hardwearing fix that looks like new after each wash.
2// Organic Spotty Kids Cotton Face Mask, £10 (also in adult size, £12) Baukjen
To avoid that overwhelming feeling of heat when you walk into a store wearing a mask, these organic cotton options feel great and are super breathable. Matching kids and adults styles available in an array of Baukjen original textiles.
3// The Great Alphabet Chase Personalised Book, £20.99 Papier
Every time we order Papier’s greetings cards and notelets, their unique designs and quality finishes shine through. This personalised book is no exception. Makes a cute gift too.
4// Red Für Elise Sweatshirt, £40 Mini Rodini at Alex and Alexa
A brand I reach for season in, season out. My two live in Mini Rodini sweatshirts and hoodies.
5// Suede Shearling Arizona Two-Strap Sandals, £85 Birkenstock
We wear these as indoor/outdoors slippers all year round – just add a toasty wool or cashmere sock for the colder months. Size up for little ones to get maximum wear from them.
6// Unicorn Print Fleece Lined Puddle Suit, £14 Tu at Sainsburys
On repeat during autumn/winter, I tend to have a couple of these for Hadley and Hector on rotation. When they’re wearing one, the other can be found drying out on the radiator.
7// Pink Dolphin Wing Dress, £50 Mini Rodini at Alex and Alexa – gifted item
I couldn’t resist this print – the dolphins, crabs and clams are all kinds of happy. Looking forward to layering it with a cardigan and woolly tights this autumn, she’s lived in it all summer long.
8// Plywood Pen Holder, £6.99 H&M
The struggle to keep things tidy cheered up with a smiley teddy face. I can’t wait until my two reach the point where I’m able to leave this out on their desk filled with crayola colours. Until then, the crayons will be stashed high on a shelf way out of reach.
9// Moss Lucky Baby Body, £29 Beau Loves at Alex and Alexa
I recently stumbled upon Beau Loves and so far there’s not been a print I haven’t liked.
10// Full Speed Ralphie T-shirt, £40 Molo at Alex and Alexa
One of Hector’s first outfits was a Molo two-piece covered in pond creatures – everything from newts to turtles – and if you’re in the market for a wow print for your tinies, head here.
11// Linda Faune Green Panda Bucket, around £14 Liewood
Meant for the beach but these live in my day bag and we use them as treasure buckets. The kids collect daisies and pinecones whenever we’re out walking.
12// Little Aurelia Sleep Time Top to Toe Wash, £22 Aurelia at Net-a-porter
Discovering Aurelia in a goodie bag recently has overhauled the kids bathroom cabinet. This top to toe wash with soothing Aloe, Oat and Coconut is delicious – smelling and looking! Net-a-porter has a great edit of the line.
13// Blush Parade Cardigan, now £23.70 One Day Parade at Alex and Alexa – gifted item
It’s all about that flash of popping yellow across the back of this neat little baseball-inspired cut. Hadley has a great collection of cardigans but this jersey, sporty style from this on-point Dutch brand makes for a nice alternative to knitwear. Also, if you aren’t following One Day Parade’s Yvonne on Instagram, I suggest you take a peek now.
14// A Is For Awesome! by Eva Chen, around £7.50 at Amazon
Speaking of Instagram. Its fashion queen Eva Chen writes some of the best kids books around. Get ready to be inspired. Eva’s Insta Stories brighten my day, go check this mama out immediately.
15// Flowy Floral Dress, £22.99 Mango
It’s nearly September so accidentally on purpose gravitating to rich autumnal palettes right now. This has the prettiest metallic thread running through it if you zoom in.
16// Pink Violas Dress, £70 Mini Rodini at Alex and Alexa
The sleeves, hues, overall sass of this tiny frock is everything.
17// Animal Magnet Set, £17.99 Zara
Meet frog, owl, mole and otter, magnetic creatures about to make pals with your tinies.
18// Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Spinning Treats Mixer, £12.99 Very
The toy I reach for on rainy days or just when my two have exhausted every activity going. It distracts them for ages as they build cupcakes and macarons aplenty while I sit and dream of eating a box of Laduree. Vanilla, choc or pistachio, always.
When it comes to (quite literally) shielding our little ones from an incoming threat, parents will do everything in their power to protect their brood. During the pandemic, that’s meant keeping our children’s joyful, imaginative, fairy dust-sprinkled, mud-splattered worlds as intact as we can. Routines, play dates, school life and pals have been absent, so we had to harness the moments of hope and love during as extremely unsettling time, turning all the change into one big adventure. We kept our tiny ones fed, bathed, cuddled, entertained and loved – taking one day at a time – because, let’s face it, that’s all any of us could do.
I will never forget the delight on their faces when I took Hector and Hadley for their first park picnic once the restrictions were eased. Before, we’d taken laying out the blanket and diving into the cool bag for granted and that initial post-lockdown fridge-raid feast in Bushy Park will stay with me forever. The freedom!
It’s the simple things and the simple life that really matters. If any good is to come from the pandemic, it’s the moment everything switched, we slowed down, finally started living in the moment and embraced a new normal.
So whether you’re a schedule-pro with a supercharged routine running like clockwork or are more than happy to take a laidback approach to your day-to-day, parenting post-pandemic is all about doing our best. With everything now centred around our homes, Hector and Hadley’s summer 2020 staycation wardrobes have been working extra hard, whether daytrippin’ to the garden or whipping up home bakes at a moment’s notice. My round up above is a slice of what we’ve been snapping up.
As we head into back-to-school month, I don’t know about you but I’m doing everything in my power to preserve slow summer living.