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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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I was over the moon when itsu arrived in Ealing Broadway! It has been a favourite of mine to go for a healthy lunch when out and about in London. Itsu currently have 60 shops in various locations throughout London and branches in Cambridge, Oxford, Reading, Richmond, Stanstead Airport and Heathrow Airport.

Eat Beautiful, is how itsu describes their menu and I tend to agree with this, because I have always found their food to be presented in a lovely way, plus the ingredients are both fresh and great quality too! So last week I decided to introduce my Daughter to the Itsu experience! I thought it would be the perfect after school meal and I must say she was really happy with the choices available that suited her taste buds!

I absolutely love the decor and the ambience of itsu. It’s the little touches that I like, for example each table had a tea light placed on it. The background music wasn’t loud and I have noticed all table tops are kept very clean and tidy.

As you can see from my photos highchairs are available for little ones and there was a clean toilet in the store with baby changing facilities too.

Another reason I am so keen on itsu is the choice of meals that are available. There is a fine selection of Sushi, but if you are not a fan of this traditional Japanese food, then there are plenty of tasty alternatives. I particularly like the asian salads, with either teriyaki chicken or salmon. There are some great vegetarian options too.

In this cold weather it’s always great to have a hot food opinion too. Itsu serve a variety of dumplings with dipping sauces. Plus there is a wide selection of noodle soups, hot chicken and rice dishes, such as katsu chicken curry or spicy korean pork and rice.

My Daughter decided up:

Starter – Edamame beans

Main – Pandamania – which consists of chargrilled chicken with chives, salmon baby rolls, avocado baby rolls, sushi rice, sesame seeds and Muki beans.

Desert – Coconut Little Choc Pot

Drink – Fresh juice made in store – Raw Fruitfix containing ginger, apple, pineapple, strawberries, banana, and apple juice blended with ice.

She absolutely loved her fresh juice as you can see by the look on her face!

I couldn’t resist a lovely box of sushi! The quality of the sushi was great! (I have tried sushi from many different restaurants and I have also travelled to Japan in the past, so I think I am well qualified to comment). I also decided to have a coffee and a chocolate desert to go with it.

There are plenty more desserts to choose from. You will be spoilt for choice!

Don’t forget istu have a half price sale every evening. So if you are around just before the store closes you can grab your favourite dish for half the price! This also shows Itsu’s commitment to start each day with 100% fresh food.

This is a collaborative post. However all opinions are my own and are an honest reflection of my visit to the store.

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The weather might be cold at the moment, but that is not putting off the people of Ealing indulging in mouth watering Italian desserts! Ealing has recently welcomed Amorino which gives us the perfect opportunity to enjoy authentic gelato, sorbets, macarons and hand crafted hot drinks too!

Amorino was created by two childhood friends Cristiano Sereni and Paolo Benassi in Paris back in 2002 and since then stores have opened all over the world. Their Philosophy is ” to make the highest quality gelato as naturally as possible with no artificial colours or flavourings”.

The first thing that you notice when you pay a visit to Amorino is the choice. There is a wide range of favours available in both the gelato and sorbets. It really is hard to decide! The Ealing boutique has plenty of comfortable seating and has a light inviting atmosphere. The friendly staff are on hand to help advise you on the various offerings!

One of the things we absolutely loved is that if you simply can’t choose then you can have a variety of favours either in a cone or tub!

The attention to detail in the presentation of the gelato is simply perfection and I think that is what makes the experience even more special. My Daughter absolutely loved the flower cone, I think it is the perfect treat!

We also tried the macarons which were out of this world! They really compliment the rich Italian coffee served here.

If you would like to experience Amorino in the comfort of your own home then you can! Any of the favours can be purchased as a take away.

We are already looking forward to our next visit to Amorino! With so many favours to try, I can see plenty of after school visits coming up!

Don’t forget to follow Amorino on social media, @AmorinoUK to stay up to date with all their news. Plus you will find their stores throughout central London. Go and check out their Christmas range as they have special festive cones in their boutiques now!

You will find Amorino at unit 8, The Green, Ealing, W5 5DA. Open Monday to Thursday 11:00 to 23:00 and Sundays 11:00 to 22:00.

This is a collaborative post with Amorino.

 

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The Christmas season is a time when families enjoy many different traditions and mine is no different. We love the big build up to Christmas and enjoy all the preparation involved. This year I have done a lot of my shopping locally in Ealing, as I have found that I have been able to fit it around my work schedule and the school run. I was delighted when I heard that Cath Kidston would be opening a new store in Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre, just in time for Christmas! The new store is next door to Wasabi and opposite to Marks and Spencer. I was there on the day the new store opened and couldn’t wait to start my Christmas shopping!

In our house we like to open a couple of presents on Christmas Eve. I think that way you can enjoy a few small gifts the night before. On Christmas Day it can be a bit over whelming for children (and adults!) as there is so much going on.

I often like to buy some new nightwear for Christmas Eve. I couldn’t resist getting us matching PJ’s (we did it last year too). The Christmas cushions are a great way to make your bedroom or lounge look more festive!

Ladies snowman brushed flannel long PJ set – £55.00

Kids snowman PJ set – £25.00

Polar bear sack – £12.00

Polar bear cushion – £12.00

Snowman cushion – £12.00

We always have a stockings for both children as well as adults! I enjoy choosing the stocking fillers and like to include smaller more personal items. This year Cath Kidston have a lovely range of smaller gifts which are perfect stocking fillers. These are the items I decided upon:

Pets party 6 pack pencils – £4.50

Ballerina kids diary – £6.00

Junior metallic clasp purse – £8.00

Lucky rose kids two pack hair bows – £5.50

I always like to have a relaxed breakfast on Christmas Day, usually smoked salmon and scrambled eggs is on the menu. Cath Kidston does some lovely china wear and there is nothing like making a pot of tea and relaxing on Christmas morning while watching the children unwrapping their presents!

Alphabet mugs – £7.50

Pets party teapot – £28.00

I always enjoy choosing a special outfit for my Daughter for Christmas day. I absolutely love this floral print dress. I think it makes an adorable Christmas day outfit if you wanted an alternative to a Christmas print or jumper.

Northcote flower dropped waist dress – £26.00

Junior medium double zip rucksack – £28.00

Hankie Rose fairy rag doll – £18.00

What traditions do you have in your family for Christmas? Let me know in the comments, I would love to know!

This is a collaborative post.

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Here in Ealing we are so lucky to have Watermans Arts Centre right on our doorstep. The Centre houses an independent cinema, theatre and art gallery. The Christmas programme is in full swing and top of the bill is The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.  It is the perfect performance to take your children to this Christmas. The show is based on the original book by ETA Hoffmann, which was published in Germany in 1816. Winter Walker the theatre production company have brought the story to life with their clever use of puppets, enchanting music, dance and a beautiful set.

The performance runs for 50 minutes and is just the right length of time for younger children . It is recommended for children 3+ years. My 5 year old absolutely loved it and sat completed enthralled for the whole time. The story was easy to follow and the cast really engaged with the audience.

 

After the show there was plenty going on in the foyer. The cast were available for photographs, plus there is currently a wall mural in the foyer by Scott Walker. Pens are provided so that children can colour in the art work, my little one absolutely loved it! Small gifts and toys were also available to purchase.

How to get to Watermans

It is a short distance from Ealing and well served by public transport, plus there is also on site parking (the first hours parking is free). Alternatively you can take the number 65 bus from Ealing Broadway or the centre is just a short walk from Kew Bridge or Brentford Train Stations.

Eating & Drinking

Watermans have the Guru Café open daily from 10am serving coffee and snacks, plus it is a licensed bar too. The Guru Tandoori Kitchen is a great place to relax afterwards for a meal.

The Nutcracker and The Mouse King is running from now until the 30th December 2017. Tickets can be purchased via the Watermans website.

Don’t forget to follow Watermans on social media to get regular updates on their programmes. The Spring 2018 programme is out now. Featuring the best in family theatre with some great shows coming up for February Half Term. Including John Hegley and Noggin the Nog. You can book for these shows now via the website.

I received complimentary tickets to the production in return for a review. All opinions are my own and are a honest reflection of the performance I saw.

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