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!
Mr Eli recently turned 2… and it wouldn’t have been an occasion without Belle & Boo would it!
I love Belle and Boo; you can read my previous Belle & Boo posts below>
– Mr Eli’s 1st Birthday!
– BRAND IN FOCUS | Belle & Boo.
– Belle & Boo | Very Merry Christmas (book).
Belle & Boo recently launched their “Badge Cards” collection – a range of 8 number cards for lovely little girls and boys, complete with birth-age badge. You can shop the new collection here> Badge Cards.
Sadly, at the minute there are only 3 ages for boy’s, but I’m sure Belle & Boo will have a great response to the cards and will hopefully extend the range. The “Ellis & Easy” badge card we bought for Eli is so charming and playful. We’re big aeroplane fan’s in our house, so this card was perfect for Eli (who will also be going on a plane for the first time very soon too!). What’s more, the badge is a safety badge, so you can let your little one show off their big age without the worry of them being covered in pin-pricks!
We love this card so much that I will be framing it and adding it to the growing collection of prints he has in his bedroom – it will fit in just nicely!
As I’ve mentioned, our darling boy is doing well with his walking – despite being born with Bilateral Talipes.
We’ve always just wanted Mr Eli to wear his Converse – just like Daddy (and occasionally Mummy too!). But we noticed that the Con’s just weren’t offering him much support around his ankles; and frankly, his new red Hi-Top’s are
absolutely massive a wee bit big.
Eli’s Size 4 Black Converse trainers were too small, his toes are end the toe cap, so he had been wearing his new Red Hi Top Converse – which are a 5. We went to Clarks at the weekend where Eli was measured – his feet came up as a size 3F. The assistant did advise that Clarks sizing does vary against branded shoes, but it did make us think that Eli is really not wearing correct footwear right now. He requires a pair of shoes that will support his feet as he gains confidence in his walking, but also a pair that will encourage him to keep walking. The Converse he has right now seem to deter his walking as they’re ill-fitting, so he’s been mainly in stocking feet. Obviously, he can’t go outside the house like this, so we need to find him so First Walker shoes.
Here the issue begins…
It’s very common for children with Talipes to have odd-sized feet or feet that are on the smaller side. One foot could be a size 4, while the other foot could be a size 6. Meaning many children are bought two pairs of shoes to ensure they have correct fitting shoes for each foot. Clarks DO offer a discount for children affected however – you can read all about the Clark’s Odd Sized Feet Scheme on the STEPS charity website. Luckily, Eli’s feet do match up perfectly – but they are small. We didn’t realise until we started looking at the First Walker shoes in the shop… all of the shoes start at a size 4. The Pre-Walker/Cruiser shoes start at a size 3. But the sole is very thin on these styles and there isn’t the support on the shoe for a child who IS indeed walking.
We were looking online last night. Call me ridiculous if you will, but there are A LOT of boring or frankly unfashionable First Walker shoes out there. I know Eli is not par-taking in a fashion show, but we do take pride in our little man’s appearance, he has his own style. Also, these shoes are not cheap, so we want to make sure we’re all happy with them as he’ll have them on most of the day.
We don’t want velcro – we’re not a velcro family. We’d prefer Eli to be in Desert Boots, Brogue style shoes or at a push, some fashionable trainers. Take a look at the styles we’ve seen so far below…
First Walker Shoes, Desert Boots in Brown £36.00 – Click here to purchase at Clarks.com
First Walker Shoes, Desert Boots in Brown £36.00 – Click here to purchase at Clarks.com
First Walker Shoes, Crazy Crew in Khaki, £36.00 – Click here to purchase at Clarks.com
As you will notice, all of the lovely shoes above start at a size 4. So we’re in a wee pickle. If you have purchased from StartRite.com before, do their shoes match the size guide of Clarks? I’m so tempted to just get the size 4F shoes, especially considering the rate of growth; but can’t be sure that they will fit Eli correctly. So would ideally like to go into a shop to be able to have them expertly fitted.
Can you recommend any other stores where you can buy similar styles to the above? That perhaps start at ‘Clarks size 3F’ or the measured equivalent? (And styles that don’t cost an arm-and-a-leg, to boot).
This week I received the most wonderful book in the post – “Belle & boo, and the Very Merry Christmas.”
We’re mad on Christmas, always have been – always will be. I think most people are surprised our tree and decorations aren’t up yet to be honest… but we’re traditionalists since Mr Eli arrived, getting a real tree again this year, on 1st December.
Anyway, I digress. We had decided last year, that we would buy Mr Eli a Christmas book every year; that we would sit and read on Christmas Eve. Last year we went classic with The Night Before Christmas, by Clement. C. Moore. This Christmas Eve, we’ll be reading our amazingly beautiful “and the Very Merry Christmas” book by Belle & Boo creator, Mandy Sutcliffe.
I’d had this book on my ‘wish list’ since it was announced on pre-order. I was TOO excited. So imagine my absolute joy at opening the book and seeing the below specially signed copy from Mandy herself.
I’ve had a very quick flick through the first few pages, but do not want to look further – I don’t want to spoil our Christmas Eve read!
But from what I’ve seen, I can assure you, this is a very pretty book that will make just the perfect Christmas present for any little one! We really cannot wait to read this one.
Do you have any Christmas traditions you and your family create year-on-year?
As previously mentioned, at Halloween Mr Eli is ALWAYS going to be a Mr Skellington (complete with Converse!). Here he is in his second year of skellyton-ness! This year his outfit is actually pyjama’s from Gap KIDS: Glow in the dark skeleton sleep set. It’s sold out at the minute, but always comes back in stock.
Skellington Eli had his bath, Daddy asked if Eli could indeed go to bed in his skeleton outfit pyjamas. Who are we to decline a skeleton of his threads? So Mr Skellington did indeed go to bed suited and booted! He was a little confused at his outfit when he woke up I think…
Please do share what your little ones dressed as this Halloween!
We’re still yet to properly decorate and sort out Mr Eli’s stomping ground, otherwise known as his
quarters bedroom. But that doesn’t stop me trawling the internet for neat finds like this one!
I just LOVE this 50’s inspired print by Ingela P Arrhenius. Mr Eli is a Leo the Lion himself, so I thought this would be quite fitting for his bedroom. (Not that we’re a family of the zodiac I might add!).
I found this print on Archie’s Boutique and here is what they say about it:
This lovely chap has so much character and personality!
Ingela P Arrhenius’ Lion poster is full of vibrant colours that are guaranteed to brighten up any room, whether it be a child’s or adults.
Stockholm based artist Ingela Arrhenius designs the most wonderful cartoon-like illustrations that are inspired by work from the 50s and 60s.
50 x 70 cm
There are several other prints available online too – such as a Tiger print and Alphabet print. Just so cool.
We’re HUGE fan’s of the Oliver’s in our house. Most food I cook, on a daily basis, is a recipe derived from one of our many Jamie Oliver cookbooks.
When I heard about Jools, Jamie’s
better other half, designing the Little Bird collection for Mothercare I just KNEW it was going to be amazing. (I’ve been meaning to write this one for a while!) I’ve always loved the quirky, cool and relaxed way Jools dresses her beautiful 3 girls and little boy. The Little Bird collection is reminiscent of just that – the fun, but trendy, way Jools dresses her own children – plus some harping back to the 1970’s and her own childhood memories for good measure too.
I thought I’d share my favourite Boy’s pieces from the latest collection for A/W 13. Albeit, Jools has cleverly made some of the pieces unisex – so great if you do have more than one child, the clothing can be passed on and around.
Little Bird by Jools, Long Sleeved Graphic Print T-Shirt, £7.00 – £8.00
We do have a penchant for 70’s design and interiors. Have to say, we’ve not yet really dressed Mr Eli is anything 70’s related as yet. Aside from his Converse, Fred Perry, dinosaur print tee’s, oxford shirts and skinny jeans. Things like that just look like modern-day as fashion’s are always revived like that. But I LOVE this 1974 long sleeve tee. Lovely and bright and will go with everything.
Little Bird by Jools, Desert Boots, £16.00.
These mock suede boots are just amazing – such a classic style. Just like what Daddy wears! You can choose between the red or yellow laces – which is great for outfit matching. Wear these boots with chino’s or jeans for a comfortable, smart or casual look.
Little Bird by Jools, Dark Wash Jeans, £10.00 – £11.00.
A lovely pair of unisex jeans in a nice dark denim colourway. I’ve seen Buddy Oliver sporting these and he looks super cool. These dark wash jeans feature a classic design which can be worn in many seasons to come. They have a mock leather back pocket patch and contrasting stitching inside. Team with colourful tees and shirts for a cool and casual look.
Little Bird By Jools Brown Cord Trousers, £10.00
A MUST for the 70’s wardrobe – the humble brown corduroy trouser. These soft cord trousers have a straight leg, so perfect for Mr Eli keeping that skinny-fit silhouette going. These trousers will look incredible with Eli’s classic Converse Low-Tops and a bright print top – or with a smart shirt tucked in!
Little Bird by Jools Socks- 5 Pack, £6.00 – £6.50.
How cute are these socks? Love the way they’ve been displayed in the campaign imagery too. You can’t go wrong with a bright and playful pair to jazz up an outfit. They’re great value in a pack of 5, to be washed and worn during the week. Each pair has contrasting toe and heel colours and ‘Little Bird’ stitched onto the bottom.
Little Bird by Jools Cool Pyjamas, £12.00.
Saving the best till last… I love, love, LOVE these pyjama’s. They’re so, well, COOL! With Eli wearing his Boots & Bar on a nighttime, we have to cut holes into his baby grow’s so that we can fit the bar through. It makes it a little easier for us if we need to remove the bar – and I think it makes it a little bit more comfortable for him too. I’m thinking now might be the time to switch baby grow’s for PJ’s! No more messing about with cutting holes into lovely baby grow’s, that can’t be used again. But my oh my, how adorable does the little chap in the campaign shot look here? Love the styling!
Want To Know More?
The Little Bird clothing range from Jools Oliver has been developed to reflect the unique and modern approach to motherhood that Jools enjoys with her wonderful family. From gorgeous newborn baby clothes to stylish and fun boys and girls clothes, this exciting clothing range is easily mixed and matched, the Little Bird range really is great value for money.
Inspired by Jools’ own childhood memories of growing up in the Seventies, this boutique collection is not about short-lived trends, but an eclectic mix of iconic, timeless pieces, that every child between six months to five years will want to wear.
You pick, they mix!
Loved by Jools, designed to be mixed and matched by you and your brood.
Our very dear friends, Camilla and Tom, got married last month. It was an honour for OH and I to be their witnesses. So it was only right that Mr Eli got dressed up smart-as-a-carrot for the very special event! We went to a few shops for his outfit – but this one from Next was just perfect. In fact, it was ridiculously perfect! <Scroll down>
For half of the day Eli didn’t wear his waistcoat. It was a massive struggle to get any clothes on him – he’s such a wriggler (and SO strong now!). We did eventually get the waistcoat on him for the meal however. I did look for a smashing pair of brogues for Eli to go with his Heritage suit – again to match his Daddy. But alas, I could not find any in his size. He’s the first size in infant Converse now, so this was their first outing! He looked wicked!
The shirt that comes with this set is great – it has a stiffened button-down collar, like an adult size! I particularly liked the grown up grid print. The Heritage suit is a cotton blend with fine tweed effect print. The trousers are adjustable which is really handy. The suit is quite hardwearing; something you always need to think about with toddlers, especially as Eli spent a lot of his time crawling around! The waistcoat has a lovely pocket square detail – good job it was stitched in, Eli would have had it straight out!
Mr Eli and his Daddy’s had matching tie’s!
These two ties were purchased almost a year apart – AND in two (very) different shops! Eli’s mini-me tie comes as part of the Heritage set from Next, while OH’s tie was from AllSaints; which he purchased for a wedding last year at River Cottage.
Mr Eli was such a good boy during the ceremony and meal; and had a wonderful time playing with the other children in the creche.
This Heritage suit from Next is perfect for weddings, christenings, birthday’s – any special occasion you can think of really! Mr Eli received lots of compliments about how smart he looked. A definite must-buy!
The Heritage set from Next is available to purchase online, here. This suit is available as separates, 3 months – 6 years. Prices do vary depending on the size.