Gosh – is it really that time already..? Be festive and beat the Autumn chill, we say – these ones are too fab to just be worn on 25th December.
From acid brights to graphics that bring a smile to your face. We think these are top of the pops.
This year’s awards will be voted down to a final ten winners via likes on Instagram and retweets on Twitter – so show some love for the ones you rate highest and there will be some incentives and competitions along the way to make the voting more exciting 😉
Editor writes: this year’s shortlist was actually something of a challenge as we had so many fabulous submissions and suggestions. Our criteria for the #MMHA has always been quite broad in terms of category, but infinitely comes down to one simple fact: this product is bl**dy brilliant! Big thanks as usual to all the input from our writers and celeb mums and congratulations to all included in the shortlist…
The #MMHA16 Shortlist is as follows – in no particular order:
Lilly and Sid Baby Blankets: in a world of blankies, these are the ones that kids would choose for themselves. Soft, washable, durable, ethical – you’ll find these well loved and still on the beds of pre-schoolers. To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHALILLYANDSID
Nuna Leaf Baby Seat: This clever baby rocker has a one-of-a-kind side to side floating motion and grows with your child to become a comfy toddler armchair. To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHANUNALEAF
Chillipeeps: we love these little teats and spouts, which can be popped in a handbag or changing bag and are the perfect size to fit into a ready mix formula carton or a bottle of water. Reusable and dishwasher-proof, they are possibly the best £7 you’ll spend… To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHACHILLIPEEPS
aden+anais Muslins and Dream Blankets: with a constantly evolving range of gorgeous but understated designs, these muslins and blankets really do get softer with each wash and are roomy, for snug as a bug swaddling and snuggling. We love the latest Disney collaboration prints as well as the chic classic designs. To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHAADENANDANAIS
Pacapod Jasper: loved by celebs ranging from Benedict Cumberbatch to Zara Phillips, the Pacapod’s unique pod system means that you can just ‘grab and go’. We adore the Jasper’s chic leather outer, spacious interior and general elegance – and the fact that it crams 35 litres of baby clobber into one hardworking handbag. To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHAPACAPOD
Tiffany Rose: celeb mum Becky Mantin told us “I love Tiffany Rose for pregnancy & nursing clothes” and we fully agree; stunning designs, flattering fit and the occasion wear really does make one feel ladylike and special (even in the third trimester). To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHATIFFANYROSE
Boden Mac: we had great deliberation about the perfect ‘school run coat’, but in the end (thanks to the unpredictability of the British Summer) the Boden Mac was the clear winner. Showerproof, with a hood to keep your hands free and pockets big enough to hold Fruit Shoots, car keys, wipes and bits of toast – this coat comes in a range of vibrant or classic colourways and means you’ll always look ‘together’ no matter how late you are running… To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHABODENMAC
Bambini & Me Rompers: we think Bambini & Me is definitely a ‘one to watch’ brand and we fell in love with the adorable range of rompers and bodysuits, made with skin-friendly bamboo. The range also includes swaddles and sleeping bags – all very unisex and deeply delightful. To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHABAMBINIANDME
Bee Good Plump and Firm Moisturiser: made with British wildflower honey and hyluronic acid, this day cream packs an absolute suckerpunch of tightening, glowgiving and nourishing – so much so that we swear you can go without makeup. To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHABEEGOOD
The Organic Balm Co Baby Mother and Baby Nourish Balm: a one stop solution for stretch marks, rough elbows, sensitive baby skin, dry feet, eczema… You name it, this delicious blend of vitamins, omega 3’s and hemp seed oil can zap it! The pump dispenser makes it changing-bag friendly too… To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHAORGANICBALM
Bobux Shoes: designed for little feet to have the freedom of being barefoot, this range of padders, first walkers and toddler shoes is not only created to allow healthy development but the comfortable fit also ensures ‘stay-ability’ if you have a child who insists on throwing their footwear off in the supermarket…Check out the latest collaboration with Solene Roure also. To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHABOBUX
Belly Bandit Tummy Tucker: your new best friend when it comes to blitzing the baby belly, this postpartum secret is made from medical grde, latex free elastic and is recommended by doctors – as well as being loved by celeb mums including Camilla Rutherford, who called it ‘Mother’s Little Helper…’ To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHABELLYBANDIT
Mon Breton: we’re big fans of the Breton top as a ‘throw on with jeans and you don’t notice the yoghurt stains’ mummy-dressing solution. Mon Breton have pushed the boundaries of a timeless classic by allowing you to personalise with initials or cute emojis. Go matchy-matchy with their men’s and kids’ range too… To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHAMONBRETON
Oh Arthur: This trio of ladies have put together a ridiculously cute collection of childrenswear and accessories – making them undoubtedly one of our favourite boutique startups. To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHAOHARTHUR
Baby Bjorn One Outdoors: real game-changer if you like to a) babywear b) yomp or c) want no limits on where you and baby can explore. Festivals, hill climbs, fun runs… this carrier can take on the elements and is ergonomicaly designed for comfortable carrying from birth to three years. Lovely colourways too! To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHAONEOUTDOORS
Laurence King Colouring Books: Jasmine Guinness told us “, you can never go wrong with a colouring book and pencils, it’s such a nice thing to do and luckily the kids agree. Creativity is so important.” And when it comes to fabulous, innovative colouring books we adore the range from Laurence King Publishing, such as ‘To the Moon, the World’ Tallest Colouring Book’. To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHALAURENCEKING
Doona: this carseat-come-stroller really has broken the mould when it comes to practical design and out-of-the-box thinking. Laura Hamilton told us “this is one of my all-time favourites. It is so convenient for travelling or even if you need to pop out quickly. So many people comment on it when they see it because it’s such a clever invention.” To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHADOONA
Nappy Grab bags: wipes, cream, nappy and mat all in one pocket-sized solution. Biodegradable, simply roll it all up and bin it afterwards. Keep one in the car, under the buggy, in your coat pocket – life suddenly got a whole lot simpler! To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHAGRABBAG
Splashabout Wetsuits: the brand that brought you Happy Nappies now has a range of wetsuits for children and babies (including one that integrates the famous nappy pants), meaning that kids will stay in the water for longer without getting cold – and easing the transition from warmer baby pools to regular/outdoor pools (or English seaside paddles!). Adorable designs and a range of lengths/sizes – Beyonce’s daughter loves the ‘Apple Daisy’ one. To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHASPLASHABOUT
Smalls: layer up with these merino wool tops and leggings that are so pretty they work as outerwear or PJs too. Brilliantly breathable, your kids will be warm and toasty (but not uncomfortable or sweaty). Merino stays cleaner for longer (less washing) and it doesn’t sag, bag or shrink. Fab underlayers for flights, camping trips and puddle jumping…To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHASMALLS
We hope you like our selection and will show your support by giving your favourites some social media love. The votes will be counted on August 4th and the final ten winners announced.
One last thing: we have two extra award categories this year, both of which will be voted for by our editorial panel and guest judges. They are Buggy Love (our stroller category) and Better World (our charity and ethical partnership award). Watch the site for more details on both of these.
In celebration of Daddy, we’ve a little selection of gifts that the little ones will love to give…
CoconutGrass have a great selection of really well made personalised products, including this ‘Daddy’ print, which can be customised to your own variation to celebrate the giver of cuddles, fixer of broken stuff, lift giver and terrible tune-smith in your family…
Or grab a couple of jars of these Activity Tokens (from NotontheHighSt – order now, you’ll just make it!) with ideas such as ‘pretend to be detectives’ or ‘build a blanket den’ on them… Reusable and rainy day boredom busting.
Dads will love this stylist monochrome ‘Papa Bear’ tee from Oh Arthur. Get the ‘Mama Bear’ and ‘Bear Cub’ ones too for a family set that is too cute for words…
Thank Daddy for doing those night feeds with a little bit of restorative pampering… Origins GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturiser is fortified with coffee and panax for a vibrant glow.
Or engrave a lovely message on a whiskey glass, for those times when you’ve driven him to the bottle (‘Sorry I crashed the car Dad’?) – there are some nice crystal ones at IJustLoveIt.com with lots of room to write all your apologies…
Oh Arthur are a talented trio (Stephanie North, Emma Murray and Cheryl Samantha Ellis) whose cheeky monochrome fashion statements are swiftly winning them a cult following. We caught up with Emma from the team who told us why everything is rosy in their black and white world.
SM: Which are your bestselling items?
Emma: Our personalised tee and handmade leggings are our best sellers. Our customers like the personal touch and as each item is made to order so they know they are getting something unique.
SM: And which do your own children like best?
Emma: Our little ones are currently only 10 months so they let Mummy know best for now but our ‘Happy until HANGRY’ tee was inspired by our Branding & Design Director – Steph’s son Teddy – for sure, he loves his food every 3 hours without fail…
SM: Where does your design inspiration come from?
Emma: We all discuss as a team and decide on a theme to fit the time of year and often collate inspirational images and quotes all year round. Steph then works her magic and we all pick together. We are very lucky as we all have the same tastes and normally agree on the same ones – we are very lucky to have such a great team.
SM: What considerations go into the garment creation?
Emma: We always pick soft, organic material that we know washes well, prevents fading and lasts. All our products are given the official
‘Mum test’ before releasing any products to market which includes numerous wear and tear by our little ones at nursery, crawling, washing, ironing – you name it. It’s important for parents to know that they are usable on a daily basis. Once approved our Production Director Cheryl gets to work and spends numerous hours hand-making everything from leggings, skirts, personalised dolls etc…
SM: What are the biggest challenges for you, running the business?
Emma: Juggling everyday life, being Mums, plus all our personal commitments is always the biggest challenge – isn’t it for everyone?! But we love it and wouldn’t have it any other way…
SM: And your proudest moment?
Emma: Being accepted by Not On The High Street and selling our items internationally due to demand is definitely one of our proudest moments for sure. We still pinch ourselves daily that we are doing this and people like our clothing – It’s such an amazing feeling and we are so humbled.
SM: Which celeb kids would you like to see wearing Oh Arthur?
Emma: Fearne Cotton’s little ones would be cool but hand on heart all the Mums and Dads who send pictures of their children to us daily wearing our clothing are little celebs in their own right. Children from all over the world are wearing Oh Arthur – there’s no better feeling than that – they make our brand without a doubt…
SM: And finally (we had to ask) in your world, is everything black and white…?
Emma: Haha not everything, we would if we could. Don’t get us wrong, we love a splash of colour, but there is something about Monochrome, plus is goes with everything. But no, our homes are not just black and white, but we are working on it…
Shop online at Oh Arthur.
Easter is always a baffler, isn’t it? Do you say to the kids ‘hurrah, let’s celebrate eggs!’ in a sort of modern Marie Antoinette style and let them trough themselves into a sugar coma, or proffer something non-chocolatey but then find oneself having to over-compensate on gifts for an event that isn’t Xmas or a birthday..?
Even for those who celebrate Easter for its full Christian meaning, we’d imagine it’s also quite a toughie (not the easiest concept to explain to a toddler, right?)
This year, we are siding with the Earth-mothers and celebrating Easter by embracing all things budding and blossoming, bursting into bloom (and bopping about with bushy tails).
Here’s our pick of Easter gifts that we think are just as delicious as a Cadbury’s creme egg (and might just save your bacon when it comes to this tricky-to-shop-for holiday).
Pret a Pousser Mushroom Growing Kit: if you thought fungi couldn’t be fun, or that mushrooms need to grow in the dark on rotting bales of straw – think again. Pret a Pousser send you a shoe box sized complete growing kit which will have the whole family enthralled. Simply cut a little hole in the plastic window, spray daily with an atomiser and gasp as a beautiful bouquet of mushrooms unfurl almost before your very gaze. The whole process takes less than ten days – and let’s not forget you can complete the process by eating your crop too, they are delicious on toast, in scrambled eggs or sprinkled on pizza … It’s a glorious and super original gift that gives at least two crops and will start up many conversations…
The Little Life Bunny Rabbit backpack: if you’ve got a tiny adventurer who likes to scamper off down the rabbit hole (well, the produce aisle in Waitrose anyway) and you’d really like a way to get some safety reins on them that doesn’t result in a tiny adventurer tantrum, check out adorable Ritchie the Rabbit. Ritchie is a backpack – just big enough for those toddler essentials – with detachable reins and perky ears that sort of ‘boiiing’ as your small one does. Fits well, is easy to carry – and if your child does go astray you can issue a tannoy announcement asking shoppers to look out for ‘the one with the big furry tail…’
‘Some Bunny’ tee from Oh Arthur: we’ve recently fallen in love with this cult monochrome fashion label with its statement slogans and cool characters. Most of the designs are unisex (we get the vibe that Oh Arthur devotees are so achingly hip anyway that they can pull off reverse-gender fashion) and can be ordered online.
The Eden Project’s ‘A Little Guide to Gardening’: a beautifully illustrated practical book about growing; be your garden a pot on the window sill or a huge dome in the middle of Cornwall… Lots of tips, facts and recipes for the young green-fingered, plus space for drawing and making lists.