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Monday, 29 February 2016

New season flats: what's old, and always good, and new and a bit cool

I'm starting the scrape the barrel on outfit inspiration and don't want to bore you with another pair of maternity jeans ;-) so today let's talk about shoes!! Which coincidentally is one of the only things of my body I can still show that are not altered by pregnancy. The weather is starting to get a bit better and consequently I've taken my Isabel Marant lace ups to the front of my wardrobe + bought a new pair of Whistles ones that will be my all-black version. 

Petro bought a pair of Gucci loafers that I'm slightly envious of and also made me think about a new generation of 'cool' and comfortable shoes that would totally update your jeans and would be the only thing I would have the confidence to buy right now, and wear in the next few months. Old or new, here are the shoes I'm loving at the moment. 

1) J.Crew £158 

2) Sam Eldeman £120  

3) Whistles £115 


Friday, 26 February 2016

WIT mama Friday: Baby Moon to Mauritius

Constance Le Prince Maurice - Mauritius
My husband and I came back from our Christmas holiday feeling a little knackered. Gone are the days where Christmas was all about lazing about in my cashmere trousers, eating Panettone by the fire and chatting away with my sisters, these days I'm essentially Greta's chaperon/full time nanny traveling across Italy for a few days here and there to make sure everyone in our extended family gets a piece of her, and then not getting any family time of my own. It was still lovely but definitely not relaxing or restful, especially as a six months pregnant woman. So when we got back to the UK I longed for some alone time with my husband and Greta, just the three of us, no trains, no planes, no family visits, hopefully no chicken pox to deal with or stomach bugs that would keep us awake every night, somewhere warm and tranquil away from it all... and all of this before we welcome our new baby in May and all mothers know what happens for a good few months after that (sleep deprivation, mastitis, exhaustion, baby blues you name it!). So one day in January I called my husband from the street and I said: "I've taken an executive decision: we are going on a baby moon!”

Why Mauritius

There are so many factors that we had to take in consideration when deciding our final destination: we were traveling with a 3.5 year old so jet lag was concern number one. We didn't want to get to our exotic location and then spend every night awake because of the time difference, so that quite quickly ruled out all of the Caribbean. Then there's the fact that I was 6 months pregnant, so we couldn’t' really go somewhere too remote or difficult to get to, but favour places with good medical structures. We contemplated South Africa (sea too cold), Seychelles (too remote) and then someone suggested Mauritius and we soon realised that it ticked all the boxes. A peaceful country, with good medical assistance, easy to get to with either direct flights or traveling via Dubai, with sandy beaches and tropical weather. And there the decision was made.

Quite plainly, because in my experience www.mrandmrssmith.com always has the best selection of hotels out of every other travel website I've encountered. I've tried to use other ones, but ultimately I always come back to them. I guess it's a trust thing as I've never been let down. I started using them years ago, I've booked holidays for myself, for my honeymoon, for my parents, for weekends away and I have stayed in countless of their recommended hotels and I have never, once, been disappointed - and that's something.  They have a great selection of accommodations handpicked by undercover taste makers, always a bit unique and despite being upmarket they are never 'flashy'. They make the booking system so easy; they are friendly and efficient and assist you all the way. Smith24 expert travel specialists are there for clients 24/7 - with an office in London and LA, their gurus are available to speak to any time. They have a wealth of knowledge about the hotels (almost photogrpahic minds of exactly how the properties look so that they can walk you through!) and great insight into local areas - what to do/see and where to eat etc. If you book via them you always get what they call 'Smith Extra' which could be anything from a complementary beauty treatment or a bottle of champagne on arrival (ours was a fruit basket, bottle of wine, a 30-minute back or foot massage each!). Also to be noted, they have best price guarantee - if you happen to find a better rate elsewhere, Smith will match it and give you a £50 voucher as compensation.

Mr and Mrs Smith sent me a few recommendations but I immediately liked the look and feel of Constance Le Prince Maurice and despite it being a luxury hotel it felt approachable and authentic. It had the Smith and Family seal of approval and I loved the fact that the property expanded over such a large property - if we were going to be in one place only for 8 nights, that was going to be the place.

The Grounds

There are 64 Junior Suites, 12 Family Suites and 12 Villas and the hotel is set up in what I can only describe as a vast park by the beach. There are two pools, a Spa, three restaurants, a private beach, Kid's club, tennis courts and a golf driving range, yet despite this the hotel feels incredibly intimate. There's a calm and discreet feeling in the air at all times... it really was like heaven on earth!

The Food 

There are three different restaurants on the hotel grounds - a main one that served a buffet breakfast with a huge selection of food, an informal lunch and more formal dinner, an Asian restaurant with everything from Sushi to Pat Thai and stir fries, and a rather unique 'floating' restaurant amongst the mangroves only a short walk through the hotels gardens (Greta absolutely loved feeding the fish from the platforms!). We had no intention to explore the island preferring to stay in one place for the whole week, so it was really nice to have the opportunity to eat at different places and having the choice of so many different cuisines and menus. I should also mention that they pretty much serve food everywhere in the hotel so we also enjoyed lovely breakfasts in our own private balcony as well as many lunches underneath our parasol on the beach! A must: the house Club Sandwich - HUGE but insanely good (even with gluten free bread!).


I have rarely been to a country, let alone a hotel, that is so child friendly. I thought I had it good with Itlay's predisposition to children but Mauritius is on another level! Everyone was super kind to Greta, they have a great outdoors kids club available to all kids supervised by parents up to 4 and then supervised by staff thereafter. It had all the toys you can think of, a trampoline, play ground and swimming pool and you can book trusted baby sitters if you want to take some time out. When you book a room with a child they welcome them with a gift and a bath toy, and in your room they think of everything from providing tiny slippers and robes, to stools in the bathrooms so they can reach the sink.

The Rooms

We booked a Family Suite with an adjacent room for Greta and a spacious balcony overlooking the gardens below. My husband and I kept on going on about this: the rooms are gorgeous, spacious and luxurious but what we loved about them the most was the stripped back feel and simplicity of the decor.  We had a large comfortable bed decked in soft linens and all bathrooms have a bath tub and separate shower - the bathroom was almost as big as our room and my favourite thing of all!


Guests have free use of the steam room, Jacuzzi and chilled bath, and there’s an extensive menu of treatments. I was limited in what I could get because of being pregnant, but the 'Mama to be' massage was a real treat!

The Beach

... Needless say more than the below...

The Staff

To me, the staff really made the holiday. I got really sick when I arrived and was pretty unwell for most of the holiday. Their kind assistance throughout meant that I enjoyed every moment of my holiday despite not being well. Everyone always had a smile on their face and it seemed as though they really enjoyed working for the hotel. We spoke with some of the staff that had been there for 16 years and still loved every moment there. Everyone remembered ours and Greta's name and despite being super friendly, I still thought everyone knew their place and when to withdraw and give guests their space.

To sum up...

For me this holiday meant a lot. I absolutely hate flying and I hadn't been away on a long haul flight in almost 4 years. There's a sentimental value in knowing that this is the last holiday as a team of three; it was really special and I felt very lucky to be able to have this time with my family. As a WIT mama I can only recommend it highly and hope that some of you can maybe experience this lovely warm country and exceptional hotel too.  

To see all my Instagram pics from the holiday see my @WITblog account - or look at the #WITbabymoon hashtag. To book and for more info see here

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

What I wore at London Fashion Week with NINE IN THE MIRROR

This Fashion Week I teamed up with NINE IN THE MIRROR and asked them if they would dress me for the shows because as much as I still try to keep up with my daily looks... my current wardrobe doesn't quite stretch to fashion week glamour! Off I went to trawl their site that promises an edit of regular designer clothes (nothing is strictly maternity wear) that can be worn during and after pregnancy. It's an expensive website, think of it as a Net a Porter for expecting mothers, so every piece has to be justifiable long term purchase, so I particularly loved being able to see how every piece looks as a flat shot, on a model with and without bump - visually it really helped to get an understanding of how the clothes I picked would look during and after a bump.

For day two, I chose a Valentino silk printed midi dress and wore it with a Joseph black cashmere maxi coat over the shoulders and my old Sergio Rossi black patent boots (reasonably heeled and very comfortable - can't really do proper heels at the moment).


I felt really comfortable in this look and both items you could easily wear after pregnancy too. I layered the dress over a polo neck jumper, but how gorgeous would it look in the summer with lace up flat sandals....

On day three I went for something quite unusual for me: a head to toe designer look in a very recognisable Missoni print. First up was a knitted turtle neck sweater dress that clung perfectly around my bump, and over it a zig zag print wool cape.


The prints weren't matching, but the colour palette really went together so I decided to pair the two. It was quite nice to wear something slightly out of my comfort zone and I really loved the colours of the cape that after bump would look great with a knit and jeans.

On the final day of London Fashion Week I wore a Valentino monochrome baby doll dress with a Valentino cashmere cape. It was quite a smart dress, one that I could see myself wearing with flat at work and fun heels in the evening. 
The cape was gorgeous and very similar to my Stella McCartney one, which I have been wearing non-stop all winter.


Both items on sale today... still pricey but once you try Valentino on and feel those fabrics and experience the cut... you understand the price attached. I loved this look, it made me feel really elegant and covered up but still a little sexy ;-)

Thank you www.nineinthemirror.com for making this mama look Fashion Week worthy with a bump this season! x

Monday, 22 February 2016

What I wore at London Fashion Week day 1

Stella McCartney cape, J.Crew T-shirt, Topshop jeans, Chanel bag and shoes, Jimmy Choo sunglasses
Day one at LFW and I decided to go a bit casual with jeans, a preppy stripe top, my trusted Stella cape and some fabulous accessories. I was lucky enough to be able to borrow the shoes and bags from Chanel and I have to say the shoes are probably the most comfortable heels I've ever walked in - and this is an almost 7 month pregnant woman talking!

They are Coco Chanel's original two-tone slingback designed to create the optical illusion of a longer and leaner silhouette. They are sold out everywhere so trying to get a pair is almost impossible, but well worth being on the waiting list for.

My bag was more or a 'Transformer' than a classic (Chanel does that brilliantly too) and a boy bag with lots of fun applique on it. If you liked my look and wanted to shop for similar items take a look at my shopping list below. 

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Things I fancy for Spring: cargo pants and crazy sandals

Not that I will be able to wear them anytime soon, but lately I've been fancying a new pair of cargo pants - something slouchy and cool, but still a little smart that I can roll up and pair with bright heels and a denim shirt or white T-shirt. So the search for my post-bump box begins and I thought I would share with you some of my finds.

I'm absolutely in love with the Adam Lippes pair below (also worn gorgeously by Deborah Brett in last week's issue of The ICONS Update), but I think they are a bit too pricey so currently deciding between the cheaper versions I have found and simultaneously discovering a whole world of crazy sandals on ASOS...

Adam Lippes £604
and Aquazzura Colorado embroidered suede sandals £555 

J.Crew £150
and Public Desire at ASOS £29

Topshop £40
and Steve Madden at ASOS £79

Weekend Max Mara £145
and Lost Ink at ASOS £55 
Elizabeth and James £99 
and Daisy Street at ASOS £55

Monday, 15 February 2016

From bikinis to maxi coats

I'm back in the U.K. and dressing season appropriate to the freezing temperatures in London.. At least it's sunny!  For the first time in what must have been years I'm wearing (maternity) tights, boots and so many layers to keep me warm and my new obsession is my Joseph black maxi coat from Nine in The Mirror. Just a quick one today as I head into town for meetings and events. 

Friday, 12 February 2016

WIT mama Friday: SAVE THE DATE for a WIT and Bonpoint mother and child afternoon tea

Dear WIT mama Friday readers, 

Before becoming a mummy to my little girl Greta Zita three years ago, I would have never imagined that children's clothes shopping could be as much fun as it turned out to be. One of my favourite things in the world is getting GZ ready in the morning and nothing gives me more pleasure than pairing a little Bonpoint Liberty print blouse to a matching bow in her hair or slipping one of their perfectly knitted cardigans over a pretty dress. Some of my most treasured memories are attached to Bonpoint clothing and to this day I have hold on to these pieces, as I get ready to give Greta a little sister in May.

 Greta 8 months old in Bonpoint matching Liberty print sunhat and bottoms
Photo by Julie Adams from The Grace Tales

Bonpoint was a discovery that made becoming a mummy for the first time that little bit more exciting, and for this reason I am so thrilled to ask you to save the date for a super special event taking place in London on Sunday the 13th of March between 3-5pm

I would like to personally invite you and your children to join me for afternoon tea, a spot of shopping, lots of fun activities and yummy treats for our little ones! There will be a gift with purchase, a fabulous raffle and lots more surprises for both mummies and children. It will be a chance for me to say goodbye before I go on maternity leave, meet your children and shop from the fabulous new collection at Bonpoint.

Greta and I can't wait to see you but please save your spot by RSVP to: witevent@bonpoint.com as places are extremely limited.

Laura and Greta Zita x 

Invitation to follow
Children up to 7 years old
Please indicate name and age of each child in your RSVP

Greta wearing a Bonpoint dress that I still use as a top today!
Photo by Julie Adams from The Grace Tales

Monday, 1 February 2016

WIT Baby moon

I've been packing for warmer climates as I prepared to take some time off before my baby comes and I can't fly anymore, so WIT won't be back until Friday the 12th of February. A full round up of my family trip when I'm back, but in the mean time come and see what I'm up to on my IG account and don't forget to check Wardrobe ICONS and our brand new issue of The ICONS Update tomorrow as I reveal wha I've packed in my suitcase.
See you on Friday the 12th of February with a very special post and asking you to save the date for something lovely... x
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