For our Spring Summer 2018 we headed out into the countryside with a box full of saris, customised lampshades, a giant fake flower vine some brightly coloured smoke bombs with the intention of rustling up and Wild and Gorgeous summer wonderland.
We are lucky enough to have a gorgeous friend Judy who lives in the rambling Oxfordshire countryside and is also infinitely patient and welcoming as well as being a dab hand at stringing up lampshades and draping old curtains. At the bottom of the garden is a derelict summerhouse on its last rickety legs that also serves as the perfect vehicle for creating a set.
Her garden is full of flowers both planted and wild and old gnarled trees – perfect for climbing or posing in. As well as taking advantage of nature just as it is we were also able to add quirky touches here and there. We draped our floral vine through the trees to create our very own tropical forest.
At the end of the day it was coloured smoke bomb time. Like a home-grown Indian Holi Festival the coloured smoke fills the air with billowing clouds of yellow orange or blue. You have to be quick as once the smoke bomb has been released the wind quickly whisks it away to nothing. Our photographer Christina snaps away to shrieks of delight from our younger models while our graphic designer races around them disbursing the brightly coloured smoke.
It is an exhausting day for models photographer kids and mums but at the end of it we have some gorgeous imagery. All our little models have big characters and really add to the fun with their exuberance and friendship.
As well as lots of beautiful stills we also managed to make a mini film that you can view here.
Founded in 2007 Tots Too is a holiday company dedicated to creating fabulous, bespoke holidays for families. We were lucky enough to sit down with Tots Too co-founder Emma Barnett Spitzer to uncover how she balances work and home life plus her top tips for tots travel.
W&G: Other than having children, was there a defining moment that inspired you to launch Tots Too?
E.B – I took my eldest daughter to Mauritius when she was 4 months. My husband and I crammed our clothes into one half of a suitcase and she had a whole plus our other half of a suitcase just for all the equipment I thought I needed to take. The hotels had all the baby stuff I could possibly need but I was surprised they didn’t communicate all the things they could offer to families with babies and young children that so that was definitely the light bulb moment.
W&G: How hard was it to find resorts that catered to the needs of young families? And do those needs change as the children grow up?
E.B – It wasn’t too hard to find the best family friendly resorts but the hardest part is always making sure we match up the right client to the right resort. The needs change significantly when the children get older and out grow the kids clubs. For this reason we have added (and are continuing to add) more adventure itineraries to grow with our families that have been booking with us for years.
W&G: What are the biggest challenges for family travel?
E.B – I would say that ticking all the boxes for all family members is always the greatest challenge. Siblings of various ages want different things so its important to make sure everyone has something to keep them happy. Also families want space so finding options that keep them together but with some separation for a bit of peace and quiet!
W&G: Hot or cold. Snow, beach, culture…what are your favourite family adventures?
E.B – I am definitely a beach person with some culture thrown in for good measure. I was fortunate enough to travel to Sri Lanka last summer with my family and that was the perfect balance of both. We toured for 9 days and then had 7 days on the beach.
W&G What do you regard as essential kit and tips for family travel?
E.B – I’m ashamed to say we couldn’t survive without some sort of device like an IPAD. There are always times when you need to occupy the kids for whatever reason and we usually always turn to a technological distraction. Allowing the kids access to a camera so they can document their own holiday is always a great thing. The kids take very different pictures to ours and its lovely to see it through their eyes.
W&G: Family trips to space? What does the future hold?
E.B – Who knows what the future holds. Things never move on as fast as you think they will. We are not doing things wildly differently to 16 years ago. Families are definitely more adventurous now though and the more off the beaten track the better.
Here’s something to keep your little ones busy for a while… Get your pens, pencils, glitter, tissue paper and anything else you can think of at the ready for our Easter craft competition.
Click on the pictures to choose their favourite, print and let them get creative! Once finished, take a picture and head over to Facebook to enter.
You’ve got until midnight Monday (2ndApril 18) to get their entries in. We’ll choose one lucky winner after the closing date who we’ll send a
£50 gift voucher to spend at Wild & Gorgeous and some chocolatey Easter treats too!
All usual competition T&C’s apply. More information can be found here.
Join us in our shops this Saturday to make a beautiful Mother’s Day card and also enjoy 15% off our Spring Summer collection IN STORE on the day …
The event will take place between 11am and 5pm, in both Wild & Gorgeous shops, see here for more details
Can’t make it to the event?
Here is how you can create your own adorable Mother’s Day card at home …
Sign Language I LOVE YOU Card
First of all you can download all our pattern papers here
If you don’t have a printer, not to worry, ask your little ones to colour a piece of paper on both sides. They can create a beautiful polka dot pattern one side and a heart pattern on the other and colour them in using felt tip pens or crayons. And then follow the steps below…
GOOD TO KNOW: This “I love you” sign is a combination of the American Sign Language (ASL) letters I, L, and Y.
Happy Mother’s DAY!!!
Tired of wearing the same old hair bow day after day? Its time to get creative, take a leaf out of the wild & gorgeous book and start making your own hair accessories to ensure that you stand out from the crowd in all the right ways.
Good bye gros grain hair clip, HELLO hairband made out of clothes pegs and pipe cleaners….
Here are some ideas from the Wild & Gorgeous creative team.
CLOTHES PEG & PIPE CLEANER CROWN
You will need…
* Plain hair band
* Clothes pegs in assorted colours
* Pipe cleaners in assorted colours
* Glue gun
Take a plain hairband and clip on 9 plastic or wooden clothes pegs. In between each clothes peg glue on a matching sparkly pipe cleaner and bend around to create a crown like oval shape. Voilà, you are the clothes peg queen! You can also get creative and use multi coloured pegs and pipe cleaners to create beautiful rainbow crowns. We also used clothes pegs and maple leaves to make a lovely autumn crown in warm reds.
WRAPPING PAPER BOW
You will need….
*Christmas wrapping paper
*Plain hair band
*Fine wire or string
This is a great hair bow to make a statement. Not for the shrinking violet but perfect for standing out from the crowd especially when there is so much discarded wrapping paper lying around after Christmas! Take a sheet of wrapping paper and cut it into the shape of a large rectangle. Now scrunch it gently in the middle and using fine wire or string attach it to the hair band. One fixed in place gently use your fingers to fan the bow out to achieve full volume at the outer edges. And voilà!
DISCO BAUBLE HAIR BAND.
You will need….
*Small Christmas tree baubles
*Plain hair band
Why let the Christmas tree get all the glory? When dismantling the tree, we suggest you slip a few spare baubles into your pocket to make this fabulous disco bauble party crown. Take a handful of small baubles – we used silver mirrored ones and fix them to a plain hair band using a glue gun. Feel free to embellish with tinsel.
This is the easiest of all. Simply nab a piece of tinsel and wrap it round to create a circular crown that will add sparkle to any party outfit. Easy….!
And one for the boys…
FEATHERED TOP HAT
You will need….
*Dad’s best top hat
Cut a dash in our brilliant embellished top hat. Simply glue a few colourful feathers to one side of an old top hap and wear at a jaunty angle. If possible select a hat that isn’t so big it completely obscures you face.
When was Meli Melo launched and what was the inspiration behind the brand?
The brand was launched in 2005 . I wanted to create a brand that evoked understated luxury. I didn’t want a LOGO that shouted out for people who only buy bags to show that they are following trends, More for people who loved something beautifully made and wanted to be asked WHERE IS THAT FROM? More for a strong confident woman than a follower
You live in London but grew up in Italy. Has that affected your aesthetic at all?
Absolutely the brand is completely a result of that chic Italian aesthetic with the incredible quirkiness that only the british do so well!
Who wears Meli Melo and who would you most love to see with one?
I have been so lucky to see such great empowering girls wearing the brand from Sienna Miller to the Duchess of Cambridge to Olivia Palermo and chic mother Alice Naylor Leyland. I would love to see Michelle Obama wear a bag!
Which is your current favourite bag?
The Hetty bag. The perfect drawstring and cross body with a chain detail. Makes you look cool yet sophisticated and different from the crowd
What is the future for Meli Melo?
We are going to be branching out into other product categoeries.. shoes ..sunglasses!
How do you like to dress your children?
I love the fun factor of dressing .. tutus and a pretty soft cardigan and plimsolls so they look as children should look!
Do they have any favourite outfits from Wild & Gorgeous?