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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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Parents are you looking for a hassle-free party venue that takes the stress out of organising you child’s birthday party, while at the same time provides an experience that your child and their friends will love? Well, look no further, I can highly recommend The Little Gym of Chiswick. A short drive from Ealing, The Little Gym of Chiswick has wonderful facilities and free onsite car parking too! Birthday parties can be a real stress, however this venue really does all the hard work for you!

One of the best things for me was that my Daughter’s party was held in a private area that was purely for the use of our guests. Over the years we have held parties in other venues and I have always found that I didn’t like the fact that any member of the public could potentially walk into our party. At The Little Gym Chiswick your party will take place on the second floor of the building.

The games and activities will take place in the air conditioned fully equipped gym. While a separate room opposite will be set up for the party food and cake. You will also have full use of tea and coffee making facilities, plus there is an area in-between the two rooms where parents can sit and relax, while they are able to view their children having fun at the same time! It’s the best of both worlds.

From the minute we arrived at the gym we were introduced to our two friendly teachers who would be organising and running the party for us. The room for our party food was set up for us with helium balloons, tables and chairs, plus party plates and cups. All we had to do was to bring the food and the birthday cake!

Once our little guests started to arrive they were directed to the gym and the fun commenced! The two teachers organised games and gym activities that were age appropriate for my Daughters friends. As I watched through the glass windows I was delighted to see how much fun they were all having!

The party session is made up of time in the gym, the birthday food and cake and then it was back to the gym to burn of some more energy, before our guests left. The feedback I got from the other parents was really positive. They said that their children had a brilliant time. They found the party to be very well organised and the staff to be friendly and welcoming. They were also impressed with the amount of space available and that the facilities were very clean too!

After the party we literally packed away my Daughter’s gifts and The Little Gym staff dealt with the tidying up. I left feeling so pleased that my Daughter had a wonderful party with her friends and I wasn’t stressed one bit. My Daughter is already asking if she can have her party at The Little Gym Chiswick next year!

All images were taken by Pam Wade Photography. Pam specialises in family and child photography. You can find out more about her on her website. 

Party slots are available to book for July, August and beyond so do give The Little Gym of Chiswick a call for more information and to secure your spot for a birthday party to remember!

Disclosure

This post is a collaboration between myself and The Little Gym of Chiswick. All views are my own and are an honest reflection of my experience.

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The Goat Chelsea is a great place to go for a child friendly Sunday Lunch. Not only do they offer a lovely contemporary Italian inspired menu, but they have entertainment for the kids at their Kids Club Sunday from 12-3pm. So, you might actually be able to enjoy your meal without the usual interruptions that you would normally expect with kids! There is no extra charge for the entertainment, but I suggest that you book a table to avoid disappointment, as it is very popular.
The entertainer is based in a private dinning room on the lower ground floor of the restaurant, which is great because that way you don’t feel as if your child is disturbing other diners who may not have children. On this particular Sunday my Daughter was entertained by Froggle Parties Professionals. The friendly man was dressed as Train Conductor and performed an array of magic tricks and jokes. Amelia enjoyed it so much we had to convince her to come back upstairs and have her lunch! She also left with some party bag gifts and a candy cane that the entertainer modeled from balloons especially for her!
They offer a great children’s menu which definitely suited my little one’s taste buds. She decided on the chicken goujons coated in panko breadcrumbs with broccoli and fries and to finish with chocolate brownies and geleto.
I was impressed with the overall menu and decided to go with the truffled macaroni and cheese to start with. I went for a Devon crab salad for my main. I finished with a delicious stick toffee pudding and vanilla gelato. I also sampled one of their cocktails which was inspired by the Chelsea Flower show, it was fantastic in both taste and presentation.
I would thoroughly recommend The Goat to families. I also noticed they have highchairs available and baby changing facilities too. It’s the perfect place to go if you want a leisurely lunch with the kids. The staff made us feel very welcome and could not do enough for us. We can’t wait to go back soon!
Disclosure 
This review was first published on City Kids West. I was given a complimentary meal in return for a review. All views are my own and are an honest reflection of the my experience on the day.
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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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The perfect rainy day activity this week, has been a wonderful children’s craft project decorating wooden Swedish Dala Horses. The weather so far for April has been pretty awful, so unfortunately we have had a few days this school holiday at home. So when Clas Ohlson asked us if we would like to get involved with their project as part of their 100th year birthday celebrations? I was literally chomping on the bit, excuse the pun!

So what you may ask is a Swedish Dala Horse? Well, according to Clas Ohlson…..

“It was in the small log cabins, deep in the forests of the Swedish Dalarna region, the the Dala horse was born. Using simple tools, nestled around a log fire, woodcarvers made these Dala horse toys for their children.

Clas Ohlson also begun life in the Dalarna region, so it’s no surprise that the Dala horse is special to us. When we open a Clas Ohlson store, each member of staff is given a commemorative Dala horse to mark the occasion.

The most famous Dala horse pattern, with its red, white, green, yellow and blue design, is believed to be 150 years old.”

So, as you can see from the look of concentration on Amelia’s face the art of Dala horse decorating was taken very seriously! We had a set of three different sized horses to paint and I joined in too! The first stage was to cover each horse in acrylic paint.

Once the first layer was dry we painted on patterns and then added a layer of glitter, or two or maybe three! We did get slightly carried away with the glitter and on this session I forgot to make Amelia wear her art overall, so we both got covered in glitter! I think perhaps our horses look slightly more like unicorns!

We had so much fun decorating the horses! I would highly recommend it as the perfect rainy day craft project!

All of the craft products we used can be purchased either in store or online at Clas Ohlson.

If you and your children would like to paint and decorate your very own Swedish Dala horse, then you are in luck! To celebrate their 100th Birthday Clas Ohlson will be running a FREE Dala horse decorating workshop this Thursday 12th April 2018 11am-2pm in The Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre! Plus those who take part will receive 20% off in the store on that day.

 

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

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Yoga is something that I have only tried maybe once before in my life, so I was slightly apprehensive when I arrived for my first class at triyoga in Ealing. However, I need not had been worried because as soon as walked in the friendly reception staff made me feel welcome and gave me a show around. I particularly liked the computer check in system, which made for a speedy and efficient entrance!

I think we all know the immense benefits of practicing yoga for the mind, body and spirit, but for me this was a rare self-care opportunity. I felt almost liberated to put my mobile away in the locker and have a bit of me time for a while. I stepped away from my busy world and it felt great!

The studio is based in Dickens Yard, so is very central and easily accessible. There is on street parking nearby and only a few minutes’ walk from Ealing Broadway Station. triyoga also has studios in: Camden, Chelsea, Covent Garden, Shoreditch and Soho.

As soon as I entered the studio (I’m not sure if it was removing my shoes or the smell of incense), I felt relaxed. What I found with triyoga is that it is not just a yoga studio, but in some ways more a little community of its own.

I loved the fact that there is an on-site boutique selling everything yoga related from mats, to clothing to books. They also offer a range of complimentary therapies and treatments such as: reflexology, reiki, acupuncture, osteopathy, life coaching and cupping to name just a few.

Pregnancy yoga classes are available at the Ealing studio and there is also a Mummy and Me class (Dad’s welcome too) for parents and movement for babies from forty days to crawling.

There is an onsite café CPress serving fresh healthy organic food, coffee and cold pressed juices. The area is a peaceful relaxed place to sit down after your yoga session to enjoy lunch or a snack. Or perhaps meet up with some friends!

I’m not sure if it is standard in many yoga studios, but I absolutely loved the fact that the floor was heated. I went into the ladies changing area and was happy to see there was enough space to get changed comfortably, plenty of lockers, toilets and a shower (this might be well needed if you op for a hot yoga session)! Plus it was very clean too!

Children are welcome at triyoga, my Daughter was over the moon to try one of the classes. Classes are broken down in to the following age groups. Ages 4-6 years, 7-9 years, 10-12 years and teenagers.

While she was in the class, I had a coffee in the café and afterwards she said she couldn’t wait for the next class! Relaxed and chilled out is how I would describe her mood afterwards. I can definitely see the benefits for this sort of class after a busy day at school!

 

 

My Top Tips are:

  • My main piece of advice for the adult classes would be to do your research on which class you should start off with. If you are not sure perhaps discuss the various options with the staff. I made the mistake of booking myself in for what I am told is one of the most challenging classes Astanga Yoga! I did manage to participate in some of this class, but I did find it differcuilt to keep up at times!
  • The other classes I did were: Yoga Level 1 and Yoga Gentle Open. I would recommend these for beginners. Simply before the teachers were understanding and happy for me to go at my own pace.
  • I would also say don’t be afraid to ask for help if you can’t get in the right position or find something uncomfortable. I was really pleased to find there are lots of adjustments that can be made for someone like me who has lower back problems. There is always the use of optional belts, blocks or extra blankets to help your positioning.
  • Do take a bottle of water, especially if you attending a hot yoga session. There are water fountains available if you need to top up.
  • Try not compare yourself to others. I saw people of all abilities, some of those were getting into positions that there is no way at this stage that I could achieve! Don’t forget some people have been practicing yoga for many years.
  • Don’t feel like you need to wear fancy yoga clothes. I saw plenty of people in leggings and t-shirts. Maybe invest in some key pieces later down the line.

Overall I found triyoga to be a lovely venue, purpose built for yoga and the staff could not do enough to help me.

I hope to go back soon and try out some other classes. They currently have an offer where you can have 30 days of unlimited yoga, mat pilates and barre for £54. This is for new customers only and terms and conditions apply. Check out the website for more details.

Image courtesy of triyoga
Image courtesy of triyoga

This is a collaborative post. triyoga gifted me a number of free classes in return for a review. However, all opinions are my own and are a honest reflection of how I found the studio.

Featured image is courtesy of triyoga.

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I recently attended The Baby Show, the headline sponsor was Made For Mums at ExCel London. I had an amazing time and wanted to share with you who I met and some of my top tips for surviving a busy day at a huge event like The Baby Show! Plus, I have an great Easter competition for you to enter. You can win a really gorgeous Easter Basket from Nibbling containing a dummy clip, Bibetta bib from the new Annabel Karmel range and a Jellycat bunny! If you would like to enter all the details are are the bottom of this post, good luck!Who is the Baby Show for?

I would say it is the ideal event to attend if you are pregnant, having a new baby, but also great for Mums with younger children too! It is the perfect opportunity to actually see and try out lots of different baby and parenting brands all under one roof. It’s also an event to attend if you would like to hear some well known leading experts speak about various parenting topics.

Getting There

ExCeL London has excellent transport links. The best way to get there is via the DLR and you can use either Custom House or Prince Regent stations. There is plenty of on site parking too if you want to drive.

My Top Tips for surviving your day!

  • ExCel London is a huge venue so be prepared to do a lot of walking (So I would recommend extra comfortable shoes!)
  • Inside there is a great range of café and restaurants, so you will be spoilt for choice when you need to take a break!
  • I would really advice dropping all your coats and bags that you don’t need at the cloak room, because you are going to need free hands for all the shopping you will be doing!
  • When attending an event like this is a really good idea to check out the exhibitors list before the day, that way you can make a plan of the stands you really want to visit. Otherwise you can end up missing some of the important ones.
  • I think it is worth making time to enter some of the competitions that are offer at events like this. I have read that the odds to win these types of competitions are very good.
  • Some events will have a shop & drop facility, which is super useful if you do make some purchases which are heavy. At this event Emma’s Diary offered a handy service to look after your bags for you and can even help you collect them from a pick up point in the car park!

Here’s my run down of some of the great brands I met on the day. Some of them are probably brands you will have come across before, but I also met people from up and coming companies and some smaller boutique brands too.

Lily and Fred is a lovely online boutique which stocks some really original gifts and children’s clothes. Perfect if you are looking for something a bit different!

Cuddledry has a full range of products perfect to keep your little ones warm and dry after their bath. I particularly love their topknot head towel, it solves the problem of wet PJ’s post bath.

Babease Their organic baby food pouches are a great convient way to feed your baby on the go. They pride themselves on producing products that are natural and free from extra additives. There are lots of different flavours which are ideal for first tastes, plus they offer a more textured range too, as your baby progresses.

I was excited to see a new brand called Good Bubble they make naturally-derived and organic toiletries for babies and children. I even got to met the founder Amy Wordsworth. We had a chat all about how she came to decide to launch the brand. Plus how she was featured on Dragons Den and gained investment from Deborah Meaden!

I absolutely loving the new range Good Bubble has collaborated with The Gruffalo, which uses extract of  super fruit prickly pear with avocado and coconut oil.

I have previously worked with Bibetta, as they were kind enough to support one of my local Ealing parent events. I was really lucky as I happened to be at their stand when Annabel Karmel dropped by to do a photo shoot with the new bibs that been designed in collaboration with Bibetta.

I even got to have a quick chat with Annabel Karmel herself!

What I really enjoyed were the talks from leading industry experts. My tip here is to really have a good look at the show topics and times. Otherwise potentially you will miss the talks that you are interested in. I managed to catch Binky from Made In Chelsea.  I was really pleased to have the opportunity to hear her talk, as I  enjoyed watching her recent television series Born in Chelsea, about her journey of becoming a Mum.

Binky has set up her own Mother’s Retreat called the Mummy Tribe, which I think is a really innovative idea!

Lastly I was really excited to hear Annabel Karmel gave her top tips on weaning. I thought what she had to say made a lot of sense. Plus, it was really interesting to hear her story on how she initially set up her own business. She explained that when she wrote her first book numerous publishers rejected her. However, she persisted with her version to help other Mums feed their children and in the end has become a best selling author! So for me her story was so inspirational!

The next Baby Show will be on the 18-20th May 2018 at the NEC Birmingham or if you are in the London area the next one will be 19th-21st October at Olympia.

Would you like to WIN this great Easter prize? How about this exclusive Easter basket by Nibbling. One lucky winner will receive: a Jellycat bunny, Nibbling dummy clip and the new Annabel Karmel designed ultra bib by Bibetta. So head over to my Instagram page to enter! The Competition closes on the 18th March 2018.

I purchased tickets for The Baby Show myself and this post is in no way sponsored by The Baby Show. All views and opinions are my own and are an honest reflection of my visit.

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What can you do with the kids on a cold Sunday afternoon? Go and take advantage of some of the great Children’s Theatre currently running at Watermans Arts Centre in Brentford. Last weekend we went to see Jay Foreman’s Disgusting Songs for Revolting Children. I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this performance, as I haven’t seen any children’s comedy before. However I was pleasantly surprised!

I didn’t expect to actually find it that funny, but I was laughing along with my Daughter and laughing even louder at some jokes that maybe she didn’t get. My Daughter is almost 6 years old so I would say it is suitable from 5 years and up depending on the child of course.

Jay Foreman has performed four sell out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and by all accounts he has a real talent for entertaining children and adults alike! Some critics have even compared him to the comic genius that was Spike Milligan and I would definitely agree with that. we both found his show absolutely hallarious!

What I particularly enjoyed about his show was the way he engaged with the audience. My Daughter found it particularly funny that Jay asked the audience to replace a round of applause with a loud raspberry!

He mixes rhymes and songs with strange noises, we really liked the following songs: My car runs on caterpillar sick which gives a nod to being more environmentally friendly. Grandma which talks about trying to get you to eat unbranded expired food! Then there is The Sooty Show which really took me back to my childhood!

Since we have been going to the theatre on a more regular basis. I can really see the benefits to all of us as a family. Not only does it give you the opportunity to do something together, but it also means that you and your child are introduced to new topics for discussion.

I actually hadn’t laughed as much as I did last weekend in ages! We both left the theatre in an upbeat mood proving laughter really is the best therapy, especially on a cold dark afternoon!

Watermans have lots more Children’s Theatre and activities coming up over the Easter holidays. So head over to their website and check out their Children’s Family Theatre Spring Brochure for all the listings. If you can book soon, as these performances tend to get booked up well in advance.

All views are my own and are an honest reflection of the show I saw. I was given complimentary ticket in return for a review.

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