One of the things I really enjoy about Christmas is shopping for Sophia and Grace. It’s always the highlight of Christmas to see them so excited and happy when they’re opening their presents and I think party of that joy is trying to track down just the right gifts for them. As any parent will know, kids interests’ and loves will change often, so it can make gift giving a little tricky as they could be into Barbies or The Wiggles one minute and not so much the next. So here are some of the strategies I often use to buy gifts for the girls, but also the other little people in my life.
Choose quality over quantity
It can be easy to just buy up a storm during Christmas time but I find that a few great presents that they really, really love is better than buying lots of little things they’re only so-so about. So when it comes to your present budget, I’m always of the frame of mind that you’re better off narrowing it down to their absolute wants, that way they get to appreciate what they’ve been given and really enjoy it.
Go for gifts that have longevity
Continuing on from the above, I think it’s good to opt for gifts that can grow with them. This is from a quality perspective in that it’s better to choose gifts that are designed to last as opposed to anything that might be flimsily made and might not last beyond that Christmas. And also gifts that are able to be used at any age. Think an art easel with paints that they can use over a few years or a collection of books that you can read together as they get older.
Give them an experience
Toys are great but one of the best gifts I think you can give to kids is an experience. It’s so much more memorable as they get to do something fun. Depending on what your kids are into, you could do something like a day at the zoo, tickets to a show or concert or promise them a day out doing their favourite things whether it’s going to the beach or an excursion to the movies (complete with yummy snacks!).
Spring racing is upon us and that means it’s time to start thinking of what to wear trackside. Putting together a race day outfit can become expensive if you have to factor in every aspect of your look from a dress to shoes, jewellery and accessories. I’m all about finding ways to make it a more cost effective exercise, which is why I was thrilled to host Seed Heritage’s Spring Racing Luncheon. The whole event was about showcasing beautiful race day looks that were elegant and on trend and would definitely elevate your next ensemble at the races.
I wore a co-ord set from the collection, featuring a plissé finish which was both polished and sophisticated. The crisp white colour is also ideal for spring, giving the entire look a fresh feel that’s perfect for this time of year. I always like to err on the side of conservative with any race day looks and the midi length of the skirt and the long balloon sleeves are a way to to do this whilst still looking on trend.
I went for a few accessories which all added an element of interest to my look. A pair of mules with a transparent strap offered an edgy feature to my outfit. I then worked a pearl headband and pearl hoops into my ensemble to complement the classic feel of the set, whilst a white shoulder bag offered the perfect finishing touch.
Photography by Liz Sunshine / Street Smith Agency
Shop the Look:
Top, skirt, bag and shoes, Seed Heritage (new season, not out yet)
Whilst I’m all for investing in certain pieces in my wardrobe that I want to have longevity such as bags, shoes and coats, I tend to scrimp on trend items that I know may only last a season or two. It’s fun to update my look with a few key of-the-moment items but it doesn’t make sense to me to spend loads on them. Australia has a great selection of chain stores of local and overseas brands so I’ve learnt that you can easily snap up trendy pieces that won’t break the bank. Here are a few of my go-tos when I’m looking for an inexpensive fashion fix.
Who doesn’t love Zara? They’re great for runway inspired pieces so you can often find some really up-to-the-minute looks at a fraction of the price. I also like that their designs are often on trend, but interpreted in such a simple, unfussy way that they can easily be worked back with pieces you already own.
Whilst H&M is great for simple basics like tees and jeans, I also like the fact that they have some really contemporary designs that are fun. If I’m ever looking to dabble in a trend that I know won’t last beyond a season, I’ve found that snapping up something from H&M will often allow me to do so without breaking the bank.
Seed often stock a lot of really beautiful pieces that are classic and polished, which is exactly what draws me to this brand. They often feature most of the popular trends in their range, but you can also find dressy pieces for work and after dark at an accessible price point.
Witchery‘s great for classic pieces that are ultra wearable. They often have quite understated designs which makes most of their range quite versatile. Also they stock things such as blazers, slacks and jumpers which look upmarket and expensive but are at a far cheaper price point than taking the designer route.
I’ve got several pieces from Uniqlo in my closet that are still going strong. And I think it’s because they do simple really well. From t-shirts to knits, pants and dresses, everything is really understated which extends the wearability of anything from their range. I also like that they incorporate natural fabrics such as wool, cotton and even cashmere into their range but price it quite reasonably.
One of the best things about having two daughters is without a doubt the cute outfits. There are just so many options out there. From beautiful tutus to adorable prints and accessories, it’s so fun being able to play dress ups with them. I like to mix it up a bit as far as Sophia and Grace‘s outfits go. They can go from quite casual one minute to dressed up the next and I always like to play with textures and colour. For our little picnic the girls’ Seed outfits are the ideal mix of whimsical and sweet, with fun, playful touches such as sparkly sneakers for Sophia and a punchy pop of colour in the form of a marigold jumper for Grace. Also anything that involves wings and tulle is always a winner with my kids!
There’s something about being with Sophia and Grace (must be all that tulle!) that inspires me to go for more feminine looks, and in this instance I was definitely drawn to the colour pink. I found this pastel pink Seed top and pleated skirt was the ideal combination of classic and relaxed dressing—perfect for when I’m in mum mode. I often like outfits that stick to the same colour palette as I find it makes for quite a striking overall effect. This must be why I couldn’t think of any other shoes I wanted to pair with this ensemble other than metallic pink loafers. Not only are they quite the statement shoe, as an added bonus, they’re comfy too.
Now that I have two wardrobes to look after (mine and Sophia’s!) I’ve managed to find a few baby go-to fashion brands that I love. Much like I have my fave brands for particular styles, I have some brands that I consistently turn to when I’m pulling together outfits for Sophia. It’s often more fun to go shopping for her – the clothes are just so ridiculously cute! Here’s what’s at the top of my list:
What mum doesn’t love Bonds? As far as basics go, I can’t go past this Aussie brand. Since Sophia tends to outgrow things quite quickly it’s nice to be able to grab a few key basic items at a reasonable price.