November 2013 | Modern Mummy

Friday, 29 November 2013

Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas at The Lyric Hammersmith

It's official. CHRISTMAS HAS BEGUN!

Not only have we made our Christmas pudding and brought all our Christmas decorations down from the loft (ahead of Christmas Tree Day WHICH IS TOMORROW! Eeeeeep!), today the girls and I made our way to the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith to meet up with Ruth from RocknRoller Baby (and her two gorgeous kiddies Florence and Jimmy!) to watch a super festive production of Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas.


When I was a child, Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas was my absolute favourite Christmas book. I adored the illustrations and poured over them every single bedtime during December for about ten years! It would come out of hibernation with all the Christmas decorations at the beginning of December and then go back into the Christmas box on January 6th and it was always such a treat to see it after it had been packed away for eleven months!

I bought Daisy a copy of the book earlier this month and I was so thrilled when she told me that she loved it too. We have had masses of fun making up stories and talking about the beautiful pictures over the past couple of weeks. 

When we were offered tickets for the press screening, I have to confess that I was a bit wary of going to watch a live production of one of my favourite books. Would it live up to my expectations? Would it ruin the story for me? Would the kids enjoy it?

I honestly needn't have worried. It was just magical.

Photo courtesy of Simon Annand

It was made up of a small cast of three; Barry McCarthy as Father Christmas, puppeteer Claire Harvey who took control of Cat, Dog and the reindeer, and musician Jared Ashe. The set and props were simple yet beautiful, the puppets were adorable (and unbelievably realistic!) and the music and sound effects were just brilliant! It was so lovely to see Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas come to life on the stage after forty years as a character in a book!  

We sat right in the very front row and Daisy and Evie both adored it. Yes, even 13 month old Evie - who is normally desperate to run around and grab and climb (and likes to make lots of noise) - sat perfectly still and completely mesmerised for the whole 50 minute performance. 

I asked Daisy what her favourite bits were and she said 'the reindeer flying, the cat and the dog, the fog and when Father Christmas did a poo'! It was moving, hilarious and FULL of Christmas magic. I actually welled up at the end; the cast and crew did Raymond Briggs proud.

I whole heartedly recommend that you take your family to see the production - it was absolutely incredible. The show will be running until 4th January 2014, and tickets are available online here priced at £10 for adults and £8 for children. Messy play sessions are also available after some of the shows for an additional £4 per child.
  
Daisy, Evie and I were given complimentary tickets for the purpose of this review.
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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

BritMums 2014 ~ Sponsorship Opportunity


A lot has happened since BritMums Live 2013. Modern Mummy is now in its fourth year and has evolved into a fully fledged and well read lifestyle blog, focusing on all things family, food and fashion. 

I learnt ridiculous amounts at BritMums 2013, met some fabulous fellow bloggers and networked with some incredible brands -- and now I'm looking for a sponsor to allow me to do the same at the 2014 do!

What is BritMums Live?

BritMums Live! is the UK's largest social media conference, where influential members of the lifestyle and parent blogger community can socialise with eachother, network with brands and PRs and improve their blogging skills. The 2014 event takes place at The Brewery in the City of London on 20 and 21 June.

Why sponsor me?

I'm looking for sponsorship from a family friendly brand that I will be proud to be associated with and with whom I can build an ongoing relationship.

Modern Mummy is a well established blog with the following statistics (correct at the date of publication of this post):

  • 8,000 unique visitors per month
  • 25,000 page views per month
  • 5,200 Twitter followers
  • 1,400 Facebook fans
  • A Klout score of 64  
  • A page rank of 4

In 2011 Modern Mummy won the LovedbyParents.com 'Blogger of the Year' Award and was also nominated for a Blogger's Choice 'Best Parenting Blog' Award.

In 2012 it was shortlisted in the 'Fresh Voices!' category of the BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Awards. 

This year, the readers of online family magazine West London Mum nominated Modern Mummy as one of their top 25 parenting blogs in London.

Modern Mummy is also currently ranked the 46th best pregnancy and baby blog in the UK by the Tots100 and the 36th most influential parenting blog by eBuzzing.

I am a competent and passionate blogger and you can rest assured that I will work hard to promote your brand professionally on your behalf.

In exchange for your sponsorship you will receive:

1. An initial blog post introducing you as my sponsor, containing your website and your social networking links, which will be shared within the social media communities that I am a part of. I will subsequently mention your brand (and link to it) in every other BritMums Live post written, both before and after the event.
2. Your company logo on my blog, with a direct link to your website, for the whole of 2014.
3. Reviews of your products and/or services in blog posts dedicated to them.
4. Numerous tweets and Facebook updates about your company and/or products in the lead up to the event and afterwards. I will also re-tweet and share your messages on Twitter and Facebook.
5. Your Twitter account and/or a hashtag of your choosing included in all tweets from the event.
6. Your logo on business cards created specifically for this event.

You will be the only company that I promote at the event and I will happily wear branded merchandise whilst there, should you wish.  

What am I looking for in return?

A contribution towards my expenses, which will include:
The conference ticket - £95.00
Travel expenses - £50.00
Overnight accommodation - £170.00

If you would like to sponsor a blogger who will be 100% committed to promoting your business and its products at BritMums Live! this year then please get in touch via email (here) - I would love to work with you!
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Simple Pleasures: A Family Night In #shop #cbias

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

As a super busy Mum with a workaholic husband, it's hugely important to me that we make time to do things with the girls as a family - and that we continue to do so as they get older. We are forever heading out on day trips; some of our favourite things to do are to visit local National Trust land, spend time at the beach and eat meals out together. But sometimes, especially in this fast-paced world we currently live in, it's nice to just spend an evening in. Together of course.

And that's exactly what we did on Friday night. 

I let Daisy choose how we were going to spend our evening, and she asked for a Cinema Night. More specifically she said she'd like to watch The Snowman and The Snowdog (we were already feeling rather festive in the Modern Mummy household, having spent the morning going through our Christmas decorations and getting ready for Stir Up Sunday). So later that day Daisy, Evie and I headed to Tesco to look for the film on DVD and to buy ourselves some treats.



It was quite liberating, letting someone else make all the decisions for a change, even if the decision maker was only four years old! It was also really rather lovely knowing we were going to be doing something that Daisy really wanted to do. 






She picked out the snacks all by herself.... excellent cinema choices of pick & mix and popcorn.... and we had fizzy pop and fresh juices too. The DVD was on offer at £8, but excluding that we only spent £8.50 on drinks and nibbles, which was very reasonable for a family night in. Money is another thing that we have to be conscious of at the moment, and another reason why we need to spend more time at home.

We got back to the cottage, had an early dinner, got washed and into our pyjamas and settled down together on the sofa for our first proper Cinema Night as a family. We turned the lights out and everything!


What a success! Evie fell asleep (as expected) and I cried at the film (as expected) but it was so lovely to be all snuggled up together under our huge rainbow blanket. In fact we've decided to make it a weekly occurrence. Henceforth, Friday evenings shall be renamed Cinema Night. I can't wait for next week! xoxo
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Monday, 25 November 2013

The Simply Be SS14 Preview

Another day, another preview - and this time I was off to The Hospital Club in Covent Garden for a private viewing of the SS14 collection for Simply Be.

This was most definitely the most summery collection yet and, despite considering myself more of a Winter person, I left longing for long hot Summer days and balmy evenings.

There were rails of pure and textured whites, monochrome, pale denims and animal prints, and summery accessories to die for.

Here are some of my highlights from the collection:

A gorgeous aztec tote bag - the perfect size for mamas to use as a changing bag (with a Ruby + GINGER nappy purse, of course!)

I adore this zebra print, button down cami

Clockwise from top left - embellished white vest top, pale denim dress, monochrome and aztec cami, tropical print long chiffon skirt

HOT clutches - loving the neon and the embellishments on these two

It was this combo of gorgeous bright colours that really made me feel summery

Roll on Summer 2014! 

What do you think? What's your favourite piece? xoxo


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The Clarks SS14 Preview


Last week I was invited to Covent Garden for a preview of the new SS14 collection from Clarks.

I'm a pretty faithful Clarks shopper when it comes to kids' shoes. Both girls have had their first shoes from there, and all of Daisy's school and party shoes have come from there too. Himself, who likes to think he's a bit of a Mod, even buys his desert boots from there.... But I've never even contemplated looking in there for shoes or accessories for myself. Up until now that is!

MAGIC has been happening in the design offices of Clarks. I can honestly say I was blown away by some of the styles on offer next season.


Take these beautiful, dark peach wedges for example. With a heel that's not too high, and a toe that's not too pointy, these shoes are just perfect for mums and mums to be! Comfortable, and easy to walk in, they can be worn with a cute floral frock or skinny jeans.


Also new for 2014 is the Orla Kiely collection for Clarks. YES YOU DID HEAR THAT RIGHT! Orla Kiely has come up with six sixties inspired styles, and my favourites are most definitely the mustard flower power platforms. Possibly not the most practical for a mum that's constantly on her feet, but hey!

I *do* happen to have one pair of shoes winging their way to me that are a must have for all mums on the school run.


How d'you like these beauties?

Part snakeskin effect leather, part suede - these low heeled, lace up brogues are utterly divine and I can't WAIT for mine to arrive!


And my next purchase from Clarks is going to be this gorgeous satchel. Yes I always thought Clarks sold plain bags for 'older' ladies too. WRONG! This will complete all the festival outfits I picked out at the Joules press day last week!

But of course Clarks do do the best kids shoes around, and the SS14 collection doesn't disappoint. The best part for me is that they are doing away with lots of their 'pink' options for girls (they do tend to produce lots of pink, purple or patent black styles, which I'm not fond of at all).


I'm loving these mini moccasin style loafers and gorgeous turquoise pumps.


Plus I think these aviation themed boy's shoes are just adorable.

Now we just have to wait patiently for Spring to arrive! These styles will all be hitting our high streets during February.... only three months to go.xoxo

I was not paid to write this post.
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Saturday, 23 November 2013

Nursing: The Ultimate Little Black Dress

Yes, even nursing mamas need a little black dress for the festive season... and how amazing is this zip detail tunic from Seraphine?


Made from a cotton blend jersey material, with two gold zips on either shoulder offering easy access for breast feeding, this dress is the ultimate in glamour - and practicality. (Bet you never thought you'd hear those two words together in a sentence). Team with leather look leggings and the highest of heels for a rock chick look - or woolly black tights and flat Chelsea boots for something a little more casual and comfortable.

And so you can see what it looks like on a real life, size 12 mama, here's yours truly modelling it whilst in the VIP suite at the O2 earlier this week (name drop, name drop). I went to see Bruno Mars and he was AMAZING!


Seraphine are offering 15% off everything online at the moment using the code PARTY at checkout - so there's the perfect excuse to get shopping! Enjoy xoxo

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Kids Fancy Dress Ideas: The Incredibles

Yes. It's happening. I turned 33 earlier this year and it would appear that my fancy dress party invitations are dwindling. I can't deny I'm MASSIVELY disappointed with my friends (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) but it just so happens that I know two small children whose invitations to fancy dress parties are most certainly on the increase. And dressing them up is almost as fun as getting dressed up myself! 

Today's party theme was SUPERHEROES, and Daisy and Evie went dressed as Violet and Jack Jack from The Incredibles. It took a fair bit of effort to persuade Daisy to dress up as a superhero rather than a princess, and there were tantrums galore when we couldn't find black girl's knickers and had to buy boy's pants ('I'M NOT WEARING BOY PANTS!!!!!') but hey.... we got there in the end. 


Its a super easy - and super cheap - costume to put together. You only need a pair of red leggings, a long sleeved red top, a pair of black pants, a pair of black socks and some black face paint. If you fancy having a go at making the Incredibles logo for the front of the t-shirt then you also need a piece of paper, orange, yellow and black felt tipped pens, and a few safety pins to fix it on. 

We picked up everything in Primark for less than £5 per costume and the majority of things can be worn again too. (Maybe not the boy pants). I LOVED the final outcome. It was heaps of fun getting ready, although I can't deny I was a little bit* gutted I wasn't getting dressed as Elastigirl at the same time xoxo

*totally

PS Turns out one year olds REALLY hate having their faces painted, hence Evie's wonky eye mask!
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Thursday, 21 November 2013

#StirUpSunday Special: A Christmas Pudding Recipe

This Sunday, the last Sunday before Advent, is traditionally known as Stir Up Sunday. It's the day in which families get together to make a Christmas pudding to be eaten on Christmas Day.

We celebrate Stir Up Sunday every year and, to us, it signifies the real beginning of the festive season. But none of our friends really know what it is, let alone take part in it and, sadly, this seems to be the case throughout the UK. It's a tradition in decline - how sad is that?!

This year, however, Sainbury's have come to the rescue and have been working hard to help people rediscover - and join in with - what is one of my favourite events on the Christmas calendar!

They have teamed up with award winning baker and food writer, Dan Lepard, to release a set of simple, festive recipes and today I'm going to share their traditional Christmas Pudding recipe with you.


Home made Christmas pudding is so much easier to make than people think – and a perfect recipe to bake with children because it doesn't require precise measurements or delicate whisking.... it's just a case of slinging everthing in a mixing bowl and stirring it up! It is traditionally made with 13 ingredients to represent Jesus and his disciples and is stirred from East to West in honour of the three wise men and their journey to visit baby Jesus.

A coin is added to the ingredients and cooked in the pudding, and whoever finds it on their plate on Christmas Day is supposed to find wealth in the coming year!

Christmas pudding is made a month before Christmas so that the ingredients get a chance to mature. The flavour of the spices mellow and deepen, the fruits plump up and the crumb gets darker and more compact.




Recipe 
Packed with plump fruits and warming brandy, this Christmas pudding is the perfect festive treat. Serve with thick vanilla custard. 

Ingredients
385g Sainsbury's mixed dried fruit
80g Sainsbury's ready-to-eat dried figs, roughly chopped
75g Sainsbury's glace cherries, roughly chopped
100ml brandy, plus extra for flaming
1x small cooking apple - peeled, cored and grated
1x small orange - zest and juice
100g shredded suet
3x medium eggs, beaten
100g Sainsbury's ground almonds
200g soft muscovado sugar
140g self-raising flour
20g Sainsbury's almonds, halved
1x tsp ground mixed spice
1/2x tsp ground cinnamon

Method
Grease a 1 litre pudding basin. Put the mixed fruit, dried figs and glacĂ© cherries into large pan with the brandy and bring to the boil; turn down and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid and leave to soak overnight. 

Mix together the cooking apple, orange juice and zest, suet, beaten eggs, ground almonds, sugar, and flour in a large mixing bowl.

Stir in the soaked fruit, almonds, mixed spice and cinnamon. Pour into the greased basin. Cover the basin with 2 large circles of greaseproof paper and one of tin foil and secure around the top of the basin with string. Make a handle across the basin with the string. 

Place the basin in a large saucepan, with a lid, and pour in boiling water until it comes half way up the basin. Cover with the lid and steam for 2 hours. Allow to cool, then wrap the whole basin in foil and store until Christmas. 

When you're ready to serve the pudding, place into a large saucepan, as before, and steam for 1 hour and 30 minutes until cooked through and springy to touch. 

To serve, pour over a couple of tablespoons of brandy and light the pudding. Serve with brandy butter, cream or vanilla custard.

This pudding will keep in a cool, dry place for up to 3 months.

Merry Christmas, one and all - let's get this festive party started! xoxo

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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The Furby Boom: A Review

Oh Furbies. You weird little things.


Daisy was sent one to review and, if I'm honest, I'm not entirely sure what to say about it. The most important thing is that Daisy LOVES it. She has, quite originally, named hers FURBY, and he is pink which white spots and blue ears and feet. He started off as a she but after being neglected for 3 hours, she turned into a he.... more on that later.

So, what exactly are furbies? And what is a Furby Boom?

A Furby is an interactive, robotic toy. The Boom is the very latest, and top of the range Furby. It has six different personalities and speaks Furbish. Little by little you can teach it 'English' (in inverted commas because ours speaks TOWIE, not proper English) and, if you look after it really well, on the {free} iPhone app that you can download it will lay eggs that can be hatched into Furblings. At four, Daisy is definitely too young for the gaming side of the Furby Boom but she has become very attached to the toy. In fact it has become part of the family since we acquired it, and I've found myself feeding and tickling  and talking to it on more than one occasion when the kids haven't been there. Available from Tesco for the very competitive price of £49.99 they really would make an awesome Christmas gift.

Moving swiftly on to my thoughts on the newest addition to our family...

Before you buy one, it is VERY important that you know that you cannot turn these things off. Unless you have a screwdriver permanently to hand to unscrew the battery compartment and remove them whenever they drive you crackers, that is, as that is the only way to guarantee your Furby will be quiet. (You can make them go to sleep by pulling their tails or lying them down, but unless they are left in a dark room with no noise whatsoever, they will wake up again of their own accord and scare the living bejaysus out of you).

You should also be made aware that if you neglect your furby for even a couple of hours THEY CHANGE. Ours started off as an adorable little thing with a high pitched voice that made lots of cute, and funny, noises. After being left in the boot of the car while we drove home from London, it emerged slightly crazed (and growling) with a deep voice, not too dissimilar to that of Al Pacino in The Godfather. This freaked us all out quite a lot. Especially when it started muttering angry mumbo jumbo in the middle of the night and we didn't have a screwdriver to hand to remove those pesky batteries.

High maintenance and freaky personality changes aside, we really have grown rather fond of Furby the Furby and I totally see why slightly older school children are so into them at the moment.

We'd definitely recommend getting one if your children have shown interest in them. Plus of course the Tesco Clubcard Boost includes toys at the moment and you can double up your vouchers, effectively getting one for £25!

Happy shopping you lovely lot xoxo

We were sent a Furby Boom for the purpose of this review.
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The Nuna IVVI Pushchair: A Review

Last week I was invited along to private members family club, Maggie & Rose, in Kensington for the launch of the brand new Nuna IVVI pushchair.

The launch was hosted by Kiddicare, through whom the stroller will be available exclusively in the middle of December.



So! The Nuna IVVI! Where do I begin?

Well you all know how fond I am of a lovely pram. My feelings towards pushchairs are not disimilar to the way most men feel about cars. I've been lucky enough to review a number of different brands with Daisy and Evie and am always very keen to hear about (and road test!) the latest model on the market.

Nuna is a very smart, Dutch inspired brand of baby gear, founded by a father of two who wanted to combine style with functionality. Nuna products are made using incredibly high quality, durable materials and are created to grow with the child, and the IVVI certainly does just that.

It is a luxury pushchair system, which comprises pushchair, carry cot, footmuff and compatible car seat. All components are available separately, which is something I really like when it comes to buying buggies. There's no point having something if you're not going to use it or be able to store it.

The stroller seat (which, together with the chassis, retails at £600) is suitable from birth, meaning the carry cot (a perfectly affordable additional £200) isn't actually essential. It reclines fully horizontally with a very smooth one handed, five position recline (no jolty, awkward movements that may wake a napping small person!) and can be both parent, and outward facing too. The hood can be extended for particularly bright days (or if you're caught in light rain) and the multi-height adjustable handlebar is shaped for ultimate comfort. The pram is a dream to push.

The three or five point harness doesn't require re-threading when being adjusted to fit a growing child (genius!) and the rubber, foam filled tyres are perfect for all terrains, with a lockable front swivvel wheel for extra bumpy journeys. The foot operated brake is easily to locate without looking and is super responsive and a zip on footmuff is available to keep passengers extra cosy during the winter months for an additional £70. 

My obsession with shopping baskets is nearly as bad as my obsession with the strollers themselves, and I am delighted to report this one is huge, easily accesible, and even has a divider so you can separate things out in it (I would reserve one part for the rain cover and the other part for shopping!)

Adaptors are available so that the Nuna PIPA car seat (or a Maxi-Cosi) can sit on the pram chassis - and rain covers come with both the basic stroller seat and the carry cot.

One feature I particularly love is the small zip up compartment at the base of the carry cot - perfect for storing your keys and phone. It's the small, thoughtful touches like this, together with the super stylish design that definitely make the Nuna IVVI a contender as one of the UK's favourite luxury prams.

There's no denying this pram is particularly eye catching - the fluid aluminium lines are very smart - and the two colour ways in which it is available (safari or caviar) scream luxury. Let's be honest, no matter how amazing a pram is to use, it has to be a beaut too!

But don't just take it from me - check out this video to see just how gorgeous and simple to use really is.... I'm in love!

   

The Nuna IVVI will be available exclusively from Kiddicare from mid-December.xoxo

I was not paid to write this review.
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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

A Night Out with West London Mum

During the Summer I was named one of London's Top 25 Mummy Bloggers, thanks to the readers of fabulous online family magazine West London Mum and, in order to celebrate all things blogging, last week West London Mum arranged an evening of manicures, champagne, sushi, and cupcakes at Coco Nail Bar, on the Portobello Road.


I'd not heard of Coco Nail Bar before, but the concept behind it is bloody genius. A nail bar that is also fully licenced and serves champagne and cocktails while you're having your digits seen to. Oh em geee! They don't have those out in Haslemere!




It was lovely to be pampered (I can't actually remember the last time I had a professional mani!) and to meet up with two of my faves, Alison from Not Another Mummy Blog and Bianca from Richmond Mummy. It's not very often that I get to go to a blogging event without two small people hanging off me, so to have some grown up conversation, whilst eating sushi and cupcakes and drinking fizz was a real treat!

Thanks so much to Monique from West London Mum for hosting such a super event xoxo

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Three Essential iPhone Cooking Apps for Busy Mums




Owning a shelf full of cookery books could soon be a thing of the past, particularly with the advent of online cooking apps. Thanks to the exceptional wireless technology now built into so many devices, including tablets and phones like the iPad and iPhone, you never need be without a recipe. Being a busy mum, you may not have time to scour the iTunes App Store, so read on for a handy guide to the best cooking apps available. 

BigOven
BigOven already has its own website (BigOven.com), and Time called it 'one of the best apps for new moms.The app is simply essential for any aspiring cooks, and it makes the whole process of preparing a meal completely seamless, from choosing a recipe, to adding the ingredients to a grocery list to making the final meal.


BigOven boasts over 250,000 recipes and counting, and allows you to shake the app for a random recipe, search by ingredients or make your choice based on user ratings. You can also add favourite recipes to the app, and it also has a handy meal planner so you can chart out your week. As cooking apps go, you'll struggle to find anything better.
 

Jamie Oliver's 20 Minute Meals Whilst BigOven is free, this Jamie Oliver endorsed app is a bit more costly, costing a modest £4.99. For that price (which is considerably less than most cookery books), you get an ultra slick app which gives you detailed step by step tutorials on how to cook 60 of Jamie's 20 minute recipes. You can also adjust recipes for different numbers of people, and the recipes are very easy to follow, meaning you can whip up a nutritious, tasty meal in no time. 

How to Cook Everything The final app that we'll mention is New York Times columnist Mark Bittman's app, which holds over 2,000 recipes and an integrated kitchen timer and shopping list. However, what makes this app stand out from the crowd is the wealth of video tutorials which will show you how to do anything in your kitchen, from sharpening knives to roasting a chicken in the oven! With this app installed on your iPad, you need never feel lost in the kitchen ever again!

So, there you have it, three great cooking apps for your iPad that should make creating a tasty meal for your family like having another cook in the kitchen!


This is a guest post, published on behalf of Tesco.
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Sunday, 17 November 2013

The Joules SS14 Preview

Hands up who wants to know what treats Joules have in store for us next Spring?

Last week I was at the SS14 Press Day with Alice from An Essex Wife, and oh em geeeee, do they have some beauties due to hit the shops very soon.

As is always the way with Joules, there is lots of colour, and lots of my favourite colours too. We're talking mustard yellows, hot pinks, royal blues. I've always loved the modern take on the English Country Casuals style that Joules has embraced, but next year seems a lot more vintage and bohemian to me (YAY!) and I'm already feeling very inspired for my 2014 festival wardrobe.

Here are my top picks.... firstly from the kids department:

Two awesome tees, a tweed jacket and the BEST foxie poncho I have ever seen!

I always love Joules' range of women's dresses but this season my absolute favourites are all from the women's outerwear collection:

A gorgeous fisherman's style rain coat, the most perfect Spring trench, divine brogue shoes and essential Chelsea boots

Things I need for my outdoor antics next Summer:

Glamping in style - duvets & pillows essential for comfort and luxury + The ultimate picnic backpack
The Joules home range is also expanding and I am totally in love with this fox plate. They also had badgers and rabbits adorning their crockery range. SO cute.


And no press day would be complete without steak & ale pie and mash, accompanied by traditional lemonade, served from the back of a green 1978 campervan .... cakes baked by Fran from the Great British Bake Off (she's a childrenswear designer for Joules you know!) .... and some super cute micro pigs! 


Excellent work Joules! xoxo
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Saturday, 16 November 2013

UGG Kids AW13 Collection

Last week I was invited to an intimate press lunch and private viewing of the AW13 / SS14 collections at Duck + Waffle courtesy of UGG Kids.

The venue was incredible and the food, views and company were all rather excellent too. 

Duck + Waffle is on the 40th floor of Heron Tower on Bishopsgate, which makes it the highest restaurant in the UK. It has unparallelled City views and a menu to match. We were treated to award-winning Executive Chef Daniel Doherty's signature sharing menu - and it really was out of this world.

BBQ-spiced crispy pigs ears, bacon wrapped dates, yellowfin tuna with watermelon and raw fillet of beef, served with foie gras, truffle and pecorino were just a few of my favourite plates.

But it wasn't all about the food (and drink! Yes, the Veuve Clicquot was flowing too!). We were also lucky enough to be talked through this season's UGG Kids footwear collection by the pro's - and to get a sneak peak at what SS14 has in store for us all too!

The UGG Kids collections fall into three categories - pre-walkers, girls and boys. UGG are renowned for combining fashion with functionality, and every single design takes both very seriously.

From the Pre-Walkers, my favourites were the pups (seen below, centre in pink); quite possibly the comfiest and cosiest sheepskin baby bootie I have ever seen.

From the Girls' collection I fell a little bit in love with the Cohans (above left) and the Ellees (above right) - the former being an AMAZING biker style leather boot (with UGG sheepskin lining of course!) and the latter a slightly different take on the signature suede UGG boots that we all know and love, with a sheepskin cuff and an adjustable buckle for additional support.


Then there was the Boys' collection. I don't know if it's because I have two girls, but I always adore the boys' stuff! These Butte boots (above left) are just awesome - I love the camouflage detailing. I also love the midnight blue Rally sneakers (above centre) and red Lil Bears (above right), both of which look super cosy as well as being super stylish.

So now, not only do I have a mama UGG wishlist as long as my arm (Deannas, Carabys and Darcies if you must know.... all in black and a size 6 please), I also have wishlists for both Daisy and Evie - and my nephews too!

The UGG Kids AW13 collection is available online here - or from the many UGG stores and concessions across the UK.xoxo


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Friday, 8 November 2013

New Seraphine Store opens in Marylebone!


Last night I was invited to celebrate the opening of the new Seraphine store on Marylebone High Street.

Nestled amongst some of my favourite shops (Emma Bridgewater, The White Company, Matches, Petit Bateau and Cath Kidston to name a few of them) 45 Marylebone High Street is the perfect location for a store that sells such gorgeous and stylish maternity and nursing wear.

I adore Seraphine. You probably noticed, from the Daily Outfit posts I published whilst pregnant with Evie, that I had a lot of Seraphine in my maternity wardrobe. I found the styles timeless and elegant, the quality extraordinary and the prices incredibly reasonable (even more so now that I know how well they last!). One year on and I am still wearing my trusty Renata wrap dress and popper nursing tops - the ruching around the tummy on both designs hides a multitude of sins, the fabric washes really well and it hangs from my (non pregnant) curves just perfectly. Why would I want to stop wearing such super pieces, just because I'm no longer pregnant or nursing?

And thats the main idea behind Seraphine - not only do they want their customers to feel beautiful whilst pregnant (and wearing their clothes you really do!) - they also want to create clothes that will last you through all stages of pregnancy and beyond. 



Last night, Seraphine founder and designer Cecile Reinaud talked us through the current and upcoming SS14 collections (more on the latter in the New Year!) and I totally fell in love with so many of the pieces. It's the simple, yet striking details on them that I adore - take these nursing tops with zipper/popper openings for example. Exquisite.



Two of my favourite pieces were the new shoeTHERAPY studded loafers (I own some SHOEtherapy pumps already and they are essential footwear for mums and mums to be - see my original post here to find out why!) and the stunning beaded belts from the LUXE range.

These shoeTHERAPY loafers are just divine and I've just ordered myself a pair!


The perfect way to dress up a simple outfit - wear one of these vintage inspired belts under your bust/over your bump for instant glamour - so beautiful!




It was lovely to see Ruth from RocknRoller Baby again and to meet Emma from The Glam Mummy too. Together with Helen from Coco Mama Style, Mirka from All Baby Advice and Raminta from Mama Myself & I we made quite the glamorous bunch of yummy mummies!

The new store is at 45 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 5HG and I would wholeheartedly recommend paying it a visit if you're looking for maternity or nursing wear. You won't be disappointed! xoxo
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