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Ealing Life

This week I would like to introduce you to Pam Wade who is an Ealing Photographer. I first met Pam last year, when I was looking for someone to take some photographs of my family and I was over the moon with her attention to detail and flair! The first time she took photos of us as a family was in Walpole Park, Ealing. When I looked at the photographs afterwards they had this beautiful rich quality and I could really see all of our personalities coming through on the images. Next Pam came to Amelia’s 6th Birthday Party at The Little Gym Chiswick where she took images for both our family album and for promotional purposes too. Pam is a Mother herself and she really knows how to put children at ease and I think the results speak for themselves! So if you are looking for someone local to Ealing to take some stunning photos of your family, then I can not recommend Pam enough. Also, if you are a local business and need some professional images for your website Pam may well be able to help there too, she has also covered a variety of community and sporting events.

I recently had another photo session with Pam, this time at Kew Gardens and I think you will agree that she has captured the beauty of Autumn perfectly! You will see a selection of Pam’s work from that session below, plus if you scroll down to the bottom of this post you will see more examples of Pam’s work. So now I am handing over to Pam! In this interview she will tell you all about her love of photography and how she balances Motherhood with a successful business.

Our Autumn photo session at Kew Gardens

Where do you live and tell us about your family?

I have lived in Brentford for nine years and have three children, a boy aged ten and identical twin girls aged seven. 

Which places do you recommend to go in Ealing/Brentford? 

As a family we love to eat in Pizza Express, ASK in Kew and La Rosetta in Brentford.  The children are always very well looked after in all of these restaurants and happy children = happy us! For day trips there is nothing our three enjoy more than going to Gunnersbury Park or Boston Manor Park where they love to build dens and climb trees.  We also often take them further afield to Saville Garden and Virginia Water which are both so beautiful, especially this time of year.  We are very lucky to have Watermans theatre on our doorstep and take full advantage of their Saturday morning movies. As a couple we are really enjoying to the Black Dog Beer House in Brentford which only opened a few weeks ago and Sami’s Spice in Brentford was an old favourite but sadly closed recently – we haven’t yet found a new favourite.

What did you do before you became a Photographer? 

Before I became a photographer I worked as a PA at GlaxoSmithKline.  I had worked for SmithKline Beecham / GSK for 16 years and left following the birth of our daughters in 2011. 

Amelia at the The Great Broad Walk Borders – Kew Gardens

Why did you become a Photographer? 

I have always had a love of photography.  Growing up I was rarely without my camera.  Once our children came along my passion for capturing every special moment on camera grew even more and I decided to turn my passion into a business. 

Amelia on the steps of Kew Palace

How did you train/learn photography? 

Over the years I have read lots of manuals and self-help guides.  When I decided to make a business out of photography, I completed the NCFE level 1 and 2 courses at EalingMedia College, followed by a Photoshop course and an Advanced Photography course at the Putney School of Art and Design.  

What camera do you use? 

I use a Canon 5d Mark 3. 

What do you enjoy to photograph the most? 

I love all photography, but I really love working with children the most and being able to capture the personality of each child in my images. 

What tips do you have for photographing children? 

I always get down on the child’s level, try to connect with them and make them relax.  I try to give them enough time to get used to having the camera aimed at them, even showing them the images if they want to see them – sometimes this makes them want you to take more photos. I tell them corny jokes and generally act the fool and play with them – children love an adult who larks around!

How do you balance Motherhood with running your own business? 

This is never an easy thing to do.  Family sessions tend to happen at weekends when most people are not at work, which obviously affects our weekends at home. I try to get most of my editing, marketing and paperwork done while the children are at school, but sometimes it is just not possible.  I am very lucky as I have a very supportive husband who takes control if I have to work at weekends or evenings.  I offer reduced rates for mid-week sessions during school hours to try to minimise my work when the children are at home.  

What is the history of your business? 

I started my business in 2015 and over the years I have worked with so many interesting clients.  The Princess Alice Hospice, photographing two of their fundraising events – Ride London and an abseil down the Orbit Tower – I was totally freaked about having to actually go up the Orbit Tower, but soon lost my fear once I started taking photographs.  Sara Ward at Hen Corner commissioned me to photograph her wonderful micro bakery and separately her Bee Keeping Course.  There was a promotional photoshoot for Katherine Whitby of Babysteps, which was really interesting. 

Recently I provided some product photography for Lucy Savage at Handmade in Ealing, capturing her wonderful Christmas Chocolates and earlier in the year her Easter chocolate range.  St Paul’s Church commissioned me to photograph the licensing of the new Priest in Charge, the Revd Sarah Guiness.  St Paul’s Church of England primary school commissioned me to photograph the dedication service/event for the school’s Alexandra House opening. I was the official photographer for the Brentford Dog show 2017 and more recently, the Brentford Festival 2018 at Blondin park.  I have also worked with Cultivate London, photographing their Farm Day last summer and a Cocktail Evening.  Most recently I have photographed a Yoga Instructor in a very creative session in Gunersbury Park which was lots of fun.  In between all this there have also been lots of lots of family photo sessions, newborn sessions and maternity sessions along the way.  Oh yes, I have also photographed the lovely Ealing Mummy her family on two occasions this year!   

What is the biggest challenge running your own business? 

For me the biggest challenge is time management.  I struggle with trying to wear so many different hats all in one day. On a normal day I am the marketing manager, the accountant, the creative editor, chef, teacher, homemaker, photographer and Mum so juggling all of these and getting the balance right can be quite a challenge. 

How do you suggest a parent should prepare for attending one of your photos sessions? 

Give yourselves plenty of time to prepare in the lead up to the shoot. To make it as stress free for yourselves as possible choose your outfits well before the day and make sure that you and the kids are comfortable in what you are wearing.  Bring a change of clothes for the child, and even a change of top for yourselves just in case you change your mind half way through.  Don’t have a haircut just before the session just in case something goes wrong.  Bribery is a wonderful thing.  If you have a child who is not very happy the day of the shoot make sure you have a treat hidden away!

What packages are you offering at the moment? 

Christmas is fast approaching, so for the month of November I am offering 15 minute mid-week Christmas themed studio sessions for toddlers for £45 and 30 minute family mini sessions in local parks for only £65.

 Do you also offer prints too? 

I offer Mounted Prints, Framed Prints and other wall art such as canvas, acrylic and prices vary depending on size and product. Basic prints are also available to order and prices start at £9.50 for a 5×7 print

 Where can potential clients find out more about you? 

You can find out more about me and see examples of my work on my website www.pamwadephotography.com and also on Instagram and Facebook @pamwadephotography

I am also available by phone for an informal chat 07923 403503

Some more examples of Pam’s work!

Birthday Party at The Little Gym Chiswick
Photo Session – Walpole Park, Ealing

Karen Clancy – KC Flow Yoga Ealing
Handmade In Ealing – Chocolate & Confectionery

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Christmas is coming (yes I know it is only the 4th November!) So now is the time to think about where your little ones will meet Santa this Christmas! Some grottos in London get booked up very early and if you are looking for certain dates it’s better to be organised and book now. There are so many places to visit Santa or Father Christmas depending on what you like to call the man in red. So how do you decide?

I have compiled a top ten of the places that you could go this festive season. They range in price from completely free to super expensive! Plus, I have given you a brief description of what to expect and I have also added some of my own photos from past years too. I hope you have an amazing Christmas 2018!

Santa’s Grotto Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre – 2017

The Magic Wardrobe – Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre

Where? Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre – Outside Tesco

When? 17thNovember until 23rdDecember, every weekend 11-6pm

Cost? Free!

What to expect? A great opportunity to meet Santa locally, no need to book just turn up! With the added bonus that it is free!

Wyevale Garden Centre – Osterley 2016

Breakfast or Tea with Santa – Wyevale Garden Centre – Osterley

Where? Windmill Lane, Osterley, TW7 5PR

When? from the 1stDecember morning and afternoon slots available.

Cost? £10.95 child & £8.50 Adult

What to expect? Meet Santa and receive a present, tuck into breakfast or enjoy an afternoon tea, decorate your own biscuit and take part in festive fun activities!

Santa’s Grotto – at London Wetland Centre

Where? WWT -Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, London, SW13 9WT

When? 8, 9, 15 & 16 December. 10am– 4pm.

Cost? £10 per child and accompanying adults go free, however normal admission charges apply. So for example a family ticket is £34.77

What to expect? Receive a gift from Father Christmas and have the opportunity for a photo with him! Also husky sleigh rides, donkey rides and an elves workshop at an additional cost.

Image courtesy of Westfield London

Santa’s Snowflake Grotto – Westfield White City

Where? Westfield White City – Shepherd’s Bush

When? 22ndNovember until 24thDecember

Cost? £7.50 per child and £7.50 per adult

What to expect? “Westfield London invites children and families to Santa’s Snowflake Grotto, a magical world of snow. You’ll be transported to the Snow Factory in the North Pole, where Santa’s elves make all the snow in the world. Children will create their own snowflake and explore the various activities within the factory. Meet Santa in his icy Snow Chamber, where every child will receive a gift and have their photo taken with him. To leave the North Pole and go back to London, experience the infinity room. The visit lasts approximately 20-25 minutes, and photos can be purchased in the Christmas Shop at the end.” (source from Westfield website)

Santa’s Grotto – Smiths Garden Centre Denham

Where? Smiths Garden Centre, 95 Oxford Road, New Denham, London, UB9 4DE

When? Various dates in December – book in person or by phone

Cost? £7.50

What to expect? “Meet Santa and also ride the train will also be in operation taking you on a spectacular journey throughout the Smith’s Winter Wonderland on Saturdays and Sundays throughout December, as well as the final week in the lead up to Christmas. The train ride is £2.50 and cannot be booked, just turn up for a magical adventure!” (source from Smith’s website)

Hyde Park – Winter Wonderland

Santa Land at Hyde Park – Winter Wonderland

Where? Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park. Nearby tube station and mainline stations include: Bond Street, Green Park (step free access so best if you have a buggy), Knightsbridge, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, Paddington and Victoria.

When? from the 23rdNovember

Cost? FREE!

What to expect? There is no booking, so first come first served basis. Choose your time carefully as it will be busy! Perhaps consider avoiding weekends.

“Catch a glimpse of Santa in his Christmas grotto and enjoy a magical family day out in the new and exclusively designed Santa Land! This year, we’ve created a convenient family entrance that will take you straight into Santa Land. See your little ones’ faces light up as they experience the full festive experience including the brand new 45m long Ice Slide as well as an Ice Trike Trail. There’s so much to do with plenty of eateries and sweet treats, specially chosen rides to suit the little ones and the chance to meet Santa in his grotto.” (source from Winter Wonderland website)

Hamleys, Regent Street

Meet Father Christmas – Hamleys

Where? 188-196 Regent Street, London, W1B 5BT

When? Selected dates from Saturday 24th November – Monday 24th December 2018.

Cost? £39.95 child, adults do not require a ticket. Recommended age range 3-7yrs.

What to expect? “Jingle all the way to the Finest Toy Shop in the World to join Father Christmas and his loveable elves for fun, magic and theatre at this very special time of year. Meeting Father Christmas at Hamleys is an extra special experience where children will take part in seasonal activities, spend time with Father Christmas and receive an extra special gift bag to take home. During this group session each little guest will hear magical stories of Christmas, write their own Christmas wish list and meet Father Christmas himself, all surrounded by the finest toys in the world.” (source from Hamleys website)

Lapland, Uk

Where? Whitmoor Forest, Swinley Road, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 8BD

When? 17th November – 24th December

Cost? The cost is variable depending on which day you book, but to give you an idea a family of four (including two adults and two children) would cost £300. this includes:

  • Personalised invitation to every child from Father Christmas by post
  • Entry to LaplandUK
  • Elf Passport for every child
  • All activities, and performances including ice skating
  • Beautiful gift from Father Christmas for every child
  • One free photo per booking
  • Booking fees
  • Parking at Whitmoor Forest
  • Christmas Morning Thank You card from Father Christmas for every child

What to expect? “LaplandUK is an original adaptation of the Father Christmas story and the secret world of the elves brought to life through a 4-hour immersive experience of unprecedented scale and quality.” (source LaplandUK Website)

Visit Father Christmas – Crockford Bridge Farm

Where? New Haw Road, Addlestone, Nr. Weybridge, Surrey KT15 2BU

When? Selected dates in December, check their website for more details.

Cost? child ticket £16, adult ticket £12 and babies in arms 0-8 months go free.

What to expect? “Our Father Christmas visit is a unique and much loved walking performance through The Wonder Wood (our 30 year old real Christmas Tree Forest.) After writing your Christmas wishes and being entertained by a cast of characters along the way, your group will meet Father Christmas in his Log Cabin. There is a gift for every child and a chance to share your Christmas wishes. Our walking performance lasts for approximately 30 minutes.” (source Crock Bridge Farm Website )

Ham House in Richmond, London

Meet Father Christmas  – Ham House

Where? Ham House, Ham Street, Ham, Richmond, TW10 7RS

When? 15thDecember until 23rdDecember

Cost?£5 to visit the grotto plus the usual admission price to enter Ham House, which for a family is £27.60.

What to expect? “Meet Father Christmas and recieve a special Christmas gift or take part in some of our other family activities in the house and gardens. Such as the Children’s trail (which is £3 extra) or make your own set of antlers. Wear them proudly as you explore Ham House. (source taken from Ham House website)

Amelia with Santa – Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre 2017

 

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I often get asked where I get my hair cut and coloured? So this week I thought I would share my Ealing hairdressing recommendation and introduce you to Amanda Palagina joint Franchisee of Toni & Guy Ealing. Amanda and her Husband Frol took over the salon earlier this year. I would highly recommend Amanda and her team as one of the best local hairdressing salons in the Ealing area. I have been going to the salon for over ten years and each time I am always so pleased with the result! My hair is cut with precision and after consultation coloured just how I want it.

Amanda is a busy working Mum and has two children aged six and two, so I wanted to find out how she balances her working life with motherhood? So I went to interview her in the salon to find out more about her life.

Having my hair cut at Toni & Guy Ealing
Amanda Palagina – Toni & Guy, Ealing

Amanda started her career in hairdressing eighteen years ago. She begun working for Toni & Guy in 2004 and trained at the globally renowned Toni & Guy Academy in London. In 2010 she joined the Ealing salon and eventually become the franchisee in April this year with her Husband.

It was Amanda’s dream to have her own salon and she was determine to make that dream a reality. To become a francisee was a process that meant she first became one of the Managers with her Husband Frol in December 2016. This meant she got a taste of what to expect, when she finally took over the salon this year.

Toni & Guy stock Label.M products

What is the biggest challenge running your own business?

Trying to keep everyone happy including my staff, however I try not to worry about it too much!

What are your top tips to have healthy hair?

A combination of eating a healthy well balanced diet, using good quality products on your hair such as  argon oil. Plus do try to avoid hair straighteners when you can!

Toni & Guy are involved in London Fashion Week, can you give us any insight into the top trends for Autumn?

We have seen lots of of shorter styles for women this season. Pastel colours are still very popular as is balayage.

What’s it like running a business with your Husband?

It’s amazing working with Frol. He totally understands what it’s like working in the hairdressing industry, so we can always share the challenges of the day. The hardest part is organising childcare!

How has Motherhood changed you? 

It has made me become more patient and I am even more determine to be successful, to be able to give my children the best start in life. It has also taught me what real love is!

What advice would you give to new parents?

Enjoy every second! Don’t feel like there are certain places you can’t take your baby, because you really can go anywhere!

What about Mum guilt?

When I go out to work I try to remember that I am doing this for my children, as well as me. Also I am a role model to my kids and they will see that I have a strong work ethic.

What to do you enjoy?

Yoga, is something that I aim to do as much as I can. I love to go to the local triyoga in Dickens Yard. I try to regulary meditate and believe in the power of crystals. I of course love shopping and enjoy a good coffee.

Do you have any mottos you try to live your life by?

“Treat others as you wish to be treated yourself”

“Do what makes you happy, as long as you don’t hurt others”

“Life is short enjoy it”

Amanda with Mark Byron – Head of the Reception Team

You can find Toni & Guy Ealing at 29 The Broadway, Ealing, London, W5 2NP. You can book appointments online or by calling the salon on: 020 8579 1199

Current offers:

25% off for new customers Monday – Thursday

50% off children’s haircuts Monday – Thursday

20% off Students Monday – Thursday

10% off for NHS and airline staff everyday

Thank you to Amanda and her staff for a very warm welcome!

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I was recently invited back to Limeyard Restaurant in Ealing to sample their new Autumn menu. Limeyard offers all day American style dinning in their restaurant based at 8 Ealing High Street, W5 5DB. You will find them within the restaurant quarter of Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre. It’s the perfect place to go for a lazy family brunch at the weekend in Ealing or a relaxed family meal in the evening. Their children’s menu is great value at £6.50 your little ones can enjoy a main course, desert and drink. Plus colouring and stickers are available to keep them busy! There is plenty of space for buggies, highchairs are available and a downstairs toilet with baby changing facilities.

Enjoying Limeyard Ealing

Since we last visited Limeyard there are lots of new items on the menu, we particularly like this starter that we could all share! It was the Meze Plate (£6.75) and included avocado hummus, olives, sun-dried tomato, pepper dip, radishes and chargrilled flat bread. They have also added small plates to the menu, great if you are not feeling so hungry or want a smaller portion.

Meze Plate to share!
Vegetables as part of the Meze Plate, great for kids!
Sesame Prawns

We also went with this Sesame Prawn starter (£6.75) which came with pak choi, coriander, spring onion and a sweet chilli dip, delicious!

We were impressed with our mains, we had the super tasty Coca-Cola glazed rack of ribs served with fries and spicy house slaw. As always I we found the staff very helpful and friendly. I even got them to do a cheeky photo for me!

So don’t forget Limetime where you can have 2 for 1 cocktails everyday between 5-7pm!

Enjoy a Cocktail!

For desert I went for the Pavlova (£4.50) and I wasn’t disappointed! It was a homemade meringue with fresh strawberries and cream! You could also try their warm chocolate brownie with macadamia nuts and frozen yoghurt (£5.50).

Pavlova

 

With Christmas now on the horizon, you might be planning your work get together? Limeyard have a lovely spacious area upstairs! Plenty of room for you to enjoy a really fun and relaxed night out.

Upstairs in Limeyard

Once again thank you to Limeyard for inviting us. This is a family friendly restaurant which welcomes children and it’s always somewhere we want to go back to! You willl find Limeyard at the restaurant quarter of Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre.

Opening hours are:

Monday to Friday 8am – 11pm

Saturday 9am-11:30pm

Sunday 9am -10:30pm

Limeyard Ealing Broadway

Disclosure: I was given a complimentary meal, in return for a review. The above is an honest review of my experience and reflects my own opinions.

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Last week, I was invited with my family to sample a new restaurant that opened this Summer in Ealing, within Pitzhanger Manor’s walled garden, Soane’s Kitchen. I was in for a treat, because not only was the food sensational, but the atmosphere really was something special! The inside of the restaurant has a real botanical feel, unlike anything I have seen before! So let me give tell you all about my evening and why Soane’s Kitchen is my new favourite place to take time out in relax in Ealing!

Let’s start with the Menu! It’s all day dinning, so you could come here for brunch, lunch or dinner. I found the restaurant to be family friendly. The staff did all they could to make my Daughter feel welcome. The waitress even provided colouring and encouraged my Daughter to draw a picture that they would put up in the staff office!  The children’s menu has some good healthy options and are the sort of things I think most children would eat.

I also noticed that highchairs were available and changing facilities were available in the toilets. An added bonus was the oppournity to pop out into the beautiful walled garden between course to explore!

I had a delicious starter – Cornish White Crab Taco with Avocado – £9.50

My main course was something a bit different Tempura Shrimp and Squid Ink Burger, don’t let the colour of the burger bun put you off, as it really was very tasty! – £12.50

And not to forget dessert! Which was a delicate Apple, Ealing Honey and Elderflower Cake – £6.50. The perfect end to a wonderful evening! Plus, I loved the fact that they try to use local ingredients.

So next time you are looking for a child friendly restaurant in Ealing or perhaps somewhere to go for date night give Soane’s Kitchen a try! I’m already thinking about my next visit!

Don’t forget to follow Soane’s Kitchen on social media too, Facebook and Instagram.

Disclaimer – I was offered a complimentary meal in return for a review. As always all my views and opinions are my own.

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It’s time to get organised, the Summer Holidays are coming to an end soon! So parents we need to be thinking uniforms, shoes and stationary! I’m not a fan of shopping at the last minute, as for me this adds even more stress to the already high pressure of finding the right sizes and fit. So save yourself the headache of the last minute rush and head on down to Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre where you will find all you need for Back to School 2018!

M&S School have some great quality uniforms and accessories to kit your kids out, for a competitive price. Many of their products feature extra benefits such as easy iron, stay new technology and stain resistant material. As we all know how hard it is to keep kids clothes looking stain and crease free!

Amelia wears:

Dress, benefits include: stain resistant, easy to iron, machine wash, tumble dry, PFC free – £10

Grey Cardigan Stay New, responsibly sourced cotton, machine wash, tumble dry, PFC free – £10

Hair Accessories – Navy pack (includes X2 hair ties, X2 clips and alice band) – £5

They also offer a great range of school shoes too! This cute pair which features little diamonté detail which put a smile on my Daughter’s face! Other features include FreshFeet, which keeps their feet fresher for longer, breathable lining, coated leather and scuff resistance too! – £26

M&S have lots of sports wear available too. Again at very resonable prices.

Cycle shorts, 2 pairs active sport collection, machine wash, tumble dry, PFC free – £10

Polo shirts 2 pack, stain resistant, responsibly sourced cotton, machine wash, tumble dry, PFC free – £9

Cotton rich socks, 5 pairs, Cool & FreshFeet reinforced heals and toes – £7

Smiggle has so many great school bags suitable for all ages, plus a huge variety of colourful stationary too!

Amelia loves this junior bunny backpack  – £26.50, which has the following features:

  • 3 zipped compartments main compartment with double zip
  • Inner compartment fits A4 notebook
  • Dual drink bottle sleeves
  • Padded adjustable shoulder straps
  • Carry handle
  • Internal name label
  • W 25cm x H 36.5cm x D13cm

Don’t forget your stationary and other school essentials. Check out Clas Ohlson range of stationary and pick up some other useful products from Superdrug too.

Sticky Notes Cube £1.99

Sticky notes set – £3.99

X6 Highlighter Pens – £2.99

Triangular Scale Ruler 15cm – £2.99

Casio Calculator- £14.99

A5 lined Planets notebook – £2.99

Plain notebook A5- £2.99

A4 Magazine rack – £5.99

Bic Pen – £4.99

Be ready for any sniffles or colds that they are bound to pick up when back at school, stock up at Superdrug

TLC Chewy vites Calcium & Vitamin D3 – £3.99

Blister Plasters – £3.79

Pocket Tissues 12 pack – £1.50

Paracetamol Caplets – £0.45

Nail Clippers & Scissors set – £2.49

Would you like to WIN this gorgeous backpack from Smiggle? Well, head over to my Instagram, all you have to do is follow me and Ealing Shopping, plus tag a friend and you could be sending your little one off to school with this super cute backpack! Terms and conditions apply, see my Instagram post for full details.

Image by Smiggle

This is post is a collaboration with Ealing Broadway Shopping.

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This week, I would like to introduce you to another fantastic Mum, who I have interviewed for my #MumsWhoWorkIt series. Victoria Dos Santos recently set up her personal training business, Mum Who Trains. She is based near Kew Bridge and works from home. She has converted her outdoor space in to her very own fully equipped gym, especially for her clients. She really has got an amazing vibe about her, as I found out recently when I went to train with her!

I’m one of those Mum’s who has never really lost the baby weight I gained six years ago! I’m not a fan of gyms (I can tell you I have joined many, but then not actually attended hundreds of pounds wasted I’m sure!) and have been looking around for a while for a solution to improve my fitness and basically just sort of those wobbly bits. So, when I came across Victoria I was over the moon!  She isn’t in anyway one of those scary fitness types. She is kind, positive and most of all a down to earth mother. She knows how hard it is to find the time to exercise when you have young children, because she is in that place too. So grab yourself a cuppa and find out more about this inspirational lady!

Welcome Victoria and thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for my blog! What’s your background and why did you decided to become a personal trainer?

I have always loved sport. My PE teacher believed in me and I knew I wanted to do something within the sports industry. I qualified as a Personal Trainer in my early 20’s. I really enjoyed it, but living in Devon at the time with my parents, there wasn’t a market for it. This being said I packed up my bags and went and did my degree. Became a PE teacher for 10 years and off and on did some personal training. Having my first daughter, made me realise the importance of being healthy and active for her. Only was it when I had Alice my second daughter 8 months ago did I think I could make a business out of personal training. I’m doing this for my daughters, so they know that if you put your mind to it, anything is possible and women are just as strong, actually scrap that stronger than men!

Describe a typical day for you?

I wake up with Alice around 6am. Play with her, do my morning yoga flow which is around 5 minutes thats all to help with my positive well-being. Do the school run, then I see my clients. In between clients, I look after Alice and prep my husbands meals (he’s on my eating plan, so I prepare his food for the day.) My clients fit around the school day, so once finished pick Emilia up, clubs for her or off to the pool if its sunny or back home to chill. But the girls to bed, eat supper and plan the next set of ladies sessions for the following day. Shower, bed and at the moment my guilty pleasure is ‘Love Island.’

What advice would you give to a busy Mum who wants to focus more on her fitness?

Do it, make time for you. We don’t understand how vital we are. If we aren’t happy the home is not happy, so make time for you it is essential.

Do you have any top tips for a healthy diet?

Make it a lifestyle change not diet. I will not use that word. I don’t believe in them. What I believe in is eating well for life. It colourful vibrant food, that makes you smile, keep away from the beige (pasta, bread, cake etc) life will be good to you. Eat a high plant based rich plate with plenty of protein and for me lemon water every morning…because it just makes me smile. ? 

How do you think Motherhood has changed you? 

I don’t think it has changed me. I’ve just become a much better version of me. My children bring out the best parts of me.

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given about Motherhood that you would like to share?

Your time will never be your own again, thank you Mum. I will take that to the grave!

Where are your favourite places to go with or without kids in Kew/Brentford/West London?

Anywhere along the river near home. A great walk for me blows the cobwebs away! With the kids- getting out on the bikes down to Richmond Park. We tend to spend sunny days at Chiswick Riverside Club at the pool, it feels like you’re on holiday there. A great food market, Dukes Meadows is my favourite every Sunday 10-2pm. Some seriously good cake there (treat day for me!)

What are your handbag essential?

Oh god don’t judge, I don’t carry a handbag! But if I did; lip balm, nuts, sparkling water and my diary!!

How do you see your business developing over the next couple of years?

I hope I can remain busy, meeting strong, inspiring Mums and spreading the word, that without some time to ourselves we are not the best version of ourselves. 

What advice would you give to other Mums who are considering setting up their own business?

Do it! I don’t have anytime to myself, I rarely sit down, I am constantly thinking of innovative ways to boost my business and help women more. But I could not be more happier!

What is the one thing you wish you had already known when setting up your business?

That there is never enough hours in the day. Juggling my business, kiddie time and husband time is a whole circus act, juggling it all i’ve gone way past that.

Where can potential clients find out more about you?

Instagram – @mumwhotrains

Website (under construction still)

Email Victoria – family2fitness@gmail.com

Are you are a local Mum who has your own business and would like to be featured on my blog? Please do get in touch via email hello@theealingmummy.com

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My spotlight series focuses on different areas of London and this week I would like to introduce you to Pitshanger Lane, Ealing. I find it amazing that lots of people I have met who have lived in Ealing for a while have never ventured to this part of Ealing! Pitshanger Lane has a village atmosphere that I don’t think you will find anywhere in Ealing. Previously crowned the winner of The Great British High Street in 2015. There is no shortage of local independent businesses all along the Lane and there really is a community spirit too! So let me take you on a little tour and I will point out a few of my favourite places. I hope this will encourage you to go and visit this lovely part of Ealing! If you would like to get there by bus then you catch either the E2 or E9 from Ealing Broadway.

Where to Shop

If you love to shop then you have come to the right place! Pitshanger Lane has an abundance of independent shops and boutiques to suit every taste. My particular favourites are:

Frank & Salvi

64 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1QX

Ladies clothing and accessories boutique. Selling a gorgeous range of smart and casual pieces that you are unlikely to see anyone else wearing! From mainly British and European designers. Owned and run by the lovely Francesca.

The Pitshanger Book Shop  

141 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1RH

I love a good book shop and the fact that The Pitshanger Book Shop is independent makes it even more attractive to me, as I love to support local businesses. There is an excellent choice of fiction and non-fiction. Plus a wonderful selection of children’s books, toys and art/craft materials and activities. So if you are ever stuck for a child’s birthday present this is definitely the place to go! They also stock greeting cards and gift wrap too.

The shop supports local schools and also holds events for authors to read their own work, so do check out their website for upcoming events.

Mooch

120 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1QP

Mooch has two shops in Ealing, the other one situated on Northfields Avenue. This independent gift shop sells a fabulous range of jewellery, local prints, clothing and some lovely little finds that you will be hard pushed to find anywhere else! A really great range of children and baby gifts, toys , accessories and clothes too! The shop is a real treasure trove and I absolutely love having a browse.

Where to Eat & Drink

There are numerous restaurants, cafes and takeaways on Pitshanger Lane. I am currently working my way through them all! Anyone who knows me, will be aware that one of my favourite pastimes is sipping a cappuccino in a well placed coffee shop!

Cinnamon On The Lane

90 Pitshanger Lane

W5 1AX

The cupcakes you see in the picture above are adorned with jelly sweets and are famous in these parts! Local children always ask for them. My Daughter included! This coffee shop is very child friendly and there is plenty of room for buggies. The owner herself even commented that many Mum’s come here because they know it is a relaxed place and won’t feel self-conscious breast feeding.

The other bonus is the secret garden out the back!

Harrison’s Delicatessen and Vintners

60 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1QY

If you are looking for a great selection of cheese, wine and other delicious deli treats then you must try Harrison’s. They have tables out the front if you would like to relax with a glass of wine and perhaps a charcuterie platter! The shop was opened in 2010 by Belinda Harrison and has become a firm favourite with locals and visitors to the area.

 Pitshanger Lane for Children

This is my favourite part of course, as I love to talk about anything to do with kids! There is plenty going on for children on The Lane, so here are my top picks!

Capelli Belli 

38 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1QY

Innovation Dance Studio and Boutique

96 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1QX

Innovation Dance Studio teaches RAD Ballet syllabus, ISTD Modern and Tap and UDO Street Dance. they also offer open classes for children, which include street dance classes for 4 years and upwards, jazz/musical theatre classes, and baby classes for 9+ months. They also offer adult classes too. Next to the studio there is a boutique shop selling dance wear and other children’s fashion.

Explore Learning 

113-115 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1RH

Explore Learning provides private Maths and English tuition to children. Their programmes are tailored to each child’s need with expert tutors. They offer preparation with SATs and the 11 Plus. I popped in to have a chat with the teachers and found them to be very friendly and approachable. They offer a free trial, so I have booked my Daughter in to find out more for myself.

Other things going on in and around Pitshanger Lane

On Saturday 10th June St Barnabas Church is hosting Jazz on The Lane. At 10:30am there will be a lively Jazz Mass to celebrate the festival of St Barnabas. Then in the afternoon from 1-6pm there will be Jazz in the Garden. The Headlining act will be Rum Buffalo and a line up of other local bands. It’s free admission and suitable for families.

Party in the Park return on Sunday 1st July in Pitshanger Park. It promises to be another wonderful family day out. Many local business have stalls and there is real community vibe. Last year there were fairground rides, a dance show and food stalls too!

I hope you enjoyed reading about this lovely part of Ealing. Maybe it has inspired you to go and have a look at all The Lane has to offer ? Do let me know which are your favourite businesses and shops on Pitshanger Lane?

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I created the #MumsWhoWorkIt hashtag because every since I started blogging and completed my Digital Mums training I have met so many amazing Mums who have set up their businesses. They have managed to juggle motherhood with turning their dreams of working for themselves into a a reality. Lisa Karter owner and founder of Clasp London is no different. She too realised that she had the potential to create a business that would fit in around her children and lifestyle. I am so pleased to be able to introduce another talented Ealing Mum to you!

What’s your background and why did you decided to set up Clasp?

I’ve been a West Londoner all my life, but I’ve lived in Ealing for fourteen years. My husband and I bought our house in Northfields when we decided to start a family, and we now have two sons, aged 8 & 5. Before I had kids I worked in the fashion industry for many years – I’ve got a degree in fashion design and was working as a Production Manager for couturier Stewart Parvin when our eldest arrived in 2010. As soon as I became a mum I knew I wouldn’t be able to go back to the crazy hours I was working before, so I chose not to return after my maternity leave finished.

Last year when our youngest was in nursery I started to think about a return to work. It was a nerve-wracking prospect after seven years of being at home full-time with the kids! I researched and even applied for some part time roles but just felt that I wanted something more challenging and rewarding than the types of jobs I got offered.

I decided to start my own business and spent some time mulling it over. I knew it had to be something I could feel passionate about, but I was also aware of the risks involved in developing a high cost product, like a clothing line. I’d had some experience with setting up an e-commerce jewellery range in my previous job, so that seemed like a viable option. Clasp was born last September, on the day I waved both sons off to school for the first time.

Describe a typical day for you?

My day starts at 6.30am when I get woken by the kids. I check my emails, then get the boys fed, dressed and off to school by 8.45. I’ll then either head into the co-working office my business is based in (The Workary, above Hanwell library), or into town for a meeting. On a good day I’ll squeeze in a quick run or a yoga class first. I work until 3pm, then it’s back to collect the kids from school. A flurry of after school activities, dinner, homework, a bit of housework, then bath and bedtime for the kids. Occasionally I’ll work in the evening for an hour before settling down in front of the TV with my hubby and a good box set. I do try to give myself some down time in the evenings to unwind from the day.

How do you think Motherhood has changed you?

Well, I’ve certainly got a few more grey hairs! On a more serious note, it’s helped me prioritise – work is important, but family comes before everything. It’s made me more appreciative of the relationships I have in other parts of my life – whether you’re a new mum or setting out in business, having a support network around you is absolutely vital. I’m very grateful for my family and friends.

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given about Motherhood that you would like to share?

Everything is a phase! There were nights when I sat up for hours with a wide awake baby and I thought they would never, ever learn to sleep. They did eventually! Children change so quickly and every tricky stage is replaced by another. You learn to roll with it!

Where are your favourite places to go with or without kids in Ealing/West London?

We have annual passes to Kew Gardens which is a great place for families – we’re always discovering new tucked away places we haven’t seen before. Northala Fields is a favorite too. For a night out without kids, I love Tapelia in Northfields – it’s a fab tapas bar with great decor, a lovely ambience and delicious food.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself?

My claim to fame is that I appeared on Blue Peter in 1990, doing a book review. All I can say is I’m glad it was pre-digital TV – I’ve lost the VHS!

What are your handbag essential?

Tissues, lipstick, hand cream, sunglasses, a pen. I’m a low maintenance kind of girl!

How do you see your business developing over the next couple of years?

I hope to expand the range of products offered – I’d love to launch a range of children’s jewellery, and personalised pieces. I’m currently approaching independent boutiques in the area about stocking the collection, so I hope to be selling across the country in a couple of years.

What is your favorite piece from your range?

Ah, this is tricky! I love the Petite Linked Hoop Stud earrings for every day, plus I alternate between the Feather Duo Pendant Necklace, and the Compass Pendant Necklace. I’m lucky I have one of everything in the range!

What advice would you give to other Mums who are considering setting up their own business?

Absolutely go for it! I honestly thought at one stage I might never have a career again, but I’m so glad I took the plunge. I’ve learnt so much in a really short space of time – it’s stressful sometimes but it’s really re-energised me, and I’m discovering skills I forgot I even had. My 8 year old is really proud of what I’m doing which drives me forward.

What is the one thing you wish you had already know when setting up your business?

That it won’t happen overnight – everything takes longer than you think it will, but that’s ok.

Where can potential customers purchase your jewellery?

You can order online through the website – www.clasp.london

I’m also appearing at various markets and events over the year – details on our Facebook page. The next one is the In Cahoots Night Market at The Green, W7, on Saturday 19th May. There will be lots of other local independent brands, food, drink and entertainment for the whole family, plus the pub is showing the Royal Wedding. I’m in discussion with local gift shops too, so watch this space!

Would you like to win this stunning piece from the Clasp London collection? Head over to my Instagram for a change to win this polished circle pendant necklace in stirling sliver worth £58.00.

Disclaimer – This is collaborative post, however all views and opinions are my own and an honest reflection of the products.

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It’s finally starting to feel like Spring! So now is the time to start thinking about updating your children’s wardrobe for the warmer weather which is on the horizon! Spring is my favourite time of year as I love to start dressing Amelia in pretty floral prints and bright colours. Children’s fashion is one of my passions, so  I have styled some gorgeous outfits, that are all available to purchase locally at The Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre.

I don’t know about you, but I find this time of the year the perfect opportunity to go through my Daughter’s wardrobe. I like to take out any clothes she has grown out of or put away any items that are more suited to colder weather.

For this kids fashion review I have enlisted the help of Ben, who is my friend’s little boy. I wanted to show you some super cute boy’s fashion too!

Ben wears cotton printed short pyjamas £8.00 by Marks & Spencer.

This fun shark dressing gown is £15.00 and great for the mornings that are still a bit chilly!

 

 

H&M have some great value kids clothes. Ben wears a polo shirt £7.99 and skinny fit jeans £14.99.

Amelia is loving this pretty look also by H&M, sleeveless lace dress £9.99, demin jacket £14.99 and I think the floral headband at £2.99 finishes the outfit off.

Have you been into Cath Kidston yet in Ealing Broadway? Their range of children’s clothes are gorgeous and I particulary love this look that Ben is modelling! The London print theme and knitwear is so bright and colourful.

Ben wears the knitted tank top £28.00, Billie’s travels long sleeve shirt £20.00.

The London Streets Annual Teddy is in my opinion, a lovely gift for a new baby in 2018 – £12.00.

The matching backpack is again in the Billie’s Travels print priced at £25.00.

I love to dress Amelia in floral prints and this beautiful dress by Cath Kidston is perfect for a Spring walk in the park!

Amelia wears:

Island Bunch Square Neck Dress – £28.00

Scattered Rose Hair Clips – £4.00

Socks – £4.00

Scattered Rose Mini Rucksack – £18.00 to carry all the things a little girl needs for a day out!

To top it off this traditional ballerina rag doll.

My go to shop every since Amelia was born has always been Marks & Spencer. Amelia wears this pretty floral pure cotton prom dress £24.00, with a co-ordinating cotton frill sleeve cardigan in yellow £12.00 and face cross bar leather shoes £22.00.

Happy shopping!

This is a collaborative post with Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre. As always all views and opinions are my own.

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