Just Some Nice Things I Would Quite Like…
1) Tortoiseshell Foldable Wayfarers, £125, Ray-Ban, ASOS 2) Spotty Dress, £34.99, H&M (OK, the jig is up, I have already bought this. Falls really nicely just past knee, dips at the back with slightly shorter, flirty length on both sides. Crepe type material. ) 3) Mini City Bag, £39.99, Zara 4) Lips in Infrared, £8.00, Topshop (obv need this to go with bag), 5) Pale Blue Slides, £75, Whistles, (have tried these on and they are super comfy - must find cheaper ones)
I’m a bit of a reading stories, doing drawings, making cakes and having picnics kind of a mum. Basically, low exertion activities are my speciality. Every now and then though I decide to put down my spatula or get off that sofa and do something less boring instead… (old people will get this Why Don’t You reference, young people can feel smug) When I was invited down to the the new Chelsea ClipnClimb centre I thought, yes, I am up for this challenge.
WOW! Step inside the kaleidoscope!
Then I saw the towering walls and the bum strap harness… I needn’t have worried. It was brilliant. Not the bum poking through the harness bit - that looked stupid - but the kids absolutely loved the climbing (they keep asking me when we are going back) and even I got the hang of it after being coaxed down from three climbing walls by two very patient instructors. Initial fears of my kids and I plummeting to death were completely allayed when I found out that everyone is on a special automatic belay harness system (kind of like a seatbelt that gently lowers you to the ground) so that it is impossible to fall and every climber is well supervised.
Suitable for ages 4 upwards this is an activity for everyone and you can hire the climbing centre for kids parties (a friend of mine is doing a joint birthday party there) and even corporate events. There is another Clipn Climb in Exeter but this is such a brilliant concept that I am sure more are going to be springing up around the country soon.
The 8 year old preps for Mission Impossible 5 (that thing on the left is called the Vertical Drop slide. Children seem to like it)
The ‘Leap of Faith’ is an optional extra which entails climbing the rigging, walking the plank and then leaping for the red handle. Not for me.
Go on! You can do it! And then we all went to the clipnclimb cafe for a medicinal slice of cake.
Children ages 4-15 pay £14 peak time, £9 off peak
Ages 16+ pay £19 peak time, £14 off peak
When I was a kid I ate supersize Elastoplasts filled with Pedigree Chum and coated in an orange viscous sauce AKA tinned Ravioli. Other favourite meals included a bacon substitute called Breakfast Slice that would be nuked in the microwave until it turned into what looked like deep fried crispy shoe-horns. Dee-licious. My children however would probably call ‘I Can Cook’ Katy to stage an intervention if we tried to give them anything but Ravioli made by Tuscan artisans to an authentic 16th century recipe under the strictest bio-dynamic conditions. I blame foodie husband entirely for the following …
At her 2 year check up, nurse asks hitherto mute child what her favourite food is. Child clearly articulates the word Artichokes.
8 year old chid asks for scrambled eggs for breakfast. When handed her plate she says “Mummy, are you sure this is scrambled eggs? Where are the pink bits?” (pink bits = smoked salmon)
I overhear my children role-playing with their Sylvanians. “I’d like a nice big sourdough please Mr Bear.”
"Mummy, I can’t eat the baked beans at school they are so sweet and mushy." *whispers* "I don’t think they’re organic."
My four year old has named her favourite doll Calamari.
I said I’d put up a follow-on post about what I bought my girls in Next a good month ago now and then I completely forgot until a lovely reader sent me a little reminder (love a keen shopper). Some of the things have sold out but these bits have been worn again and again - the denim dress in particular, which can be layered over long sleeve tops and is a great Stella McCartney look-a-like.
1.Denim Dress, £10-11, 2. Pear and Apple PJ’s £22-26 for set of three, 3 Striped Pocket Dress, £7-13.50, 4. Super Star Sweatshirt (they really wanted this) £14-19, 5. Ditsy Print Culottes, £9-10
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Did you know that a woman called Ruth Wakefield invented Chocolate Chip cookies (major props), a woman called Patsy Sherman invented Scotchguard ™ (my sofa thanks you) and that surprise, surprise it was a woman called Mary Phelps Jacob who invented the bra? (major props in every sense).
I’m sitting on several madcap inventions (OK, two) that I mutter about on a daily basis so I am really excited to find out who is going to win this year’s Triumph Women in Making Campaign’s amazing £10,000 business bursary. The short list of entries has already been made and now it’s down to Triumph’s panel of inspiration makers, shoe guru Sophia Webster, designer Roksanda Ilincic, Nails Inc founder Thea Green, last year’s bursary winner LIzzie McQuade and Fenwick’s Lingerie buying Manager Georgina Coulter to decide on a winner.
Triumph’s team of Inspiration Makers. Give me those shoes.
The ‘Women in Making’ winner will be announced in June and not only will they receive the ten grand prize from Triumph, they get a year’s worth of mentoring from the makers panel & the chance to be showcased within Fenwick Bond St. Check out the shortlist here: triumph.com/womeninmaking
If like me you didn’t manage to submit your game changing business plan this time we will watch and learn and you can still head down to Maison Triumph, a ‘pop-up space’ in Seven Dials, London which is open to the public until June 2014. The space includes installations, events, inspirational talks and a series of maker workshops all of which feature the Triumph brand ambassadors. Mary Phelps Jacob would be proud.
I have had too, too much work to do recently and have neglected TMT dreadfully! Here’s a whizzy round-up of nice things I’ve seen, done and bought this week…
Ikea has got loads of new stuff in! Went on Sunday and got this play mat which folds up very compactly and doubles up as a yoga/sunbathing/sprawling about mat for £25. Got lots of other bits too but that’s for another post…
I’ve been lusting after this £95 polka dot Paul Smith hat and had been considering taking a paintbrush to a plain straw trilby but then I saw this lovely looky-likey in Jigsaw for a fraction of the price! Yay! No blue streaks down my face this summer. Polka Trilby, £35, jigsaw-online.com
Also loving this vintagey looking jacket from Jigsaw that would look great with denim and hot pink lipstick. On my birthday list. Parisienne Silk Jacket, £195, Jigsaw
A very nice PR told me about classic with a twist (my fave combo) children’s clothing brand Elfie London this week. How cute is this quilted jacket? Reversable Jacket, £56, elfielondon.com
I bought this swirly pink skirt from ASOS, £35. Can’t wait to wear it with a grey marl jumper and a statement necklace or five.
Feel like an instant bathroom make-over? BHS has these gorgeous (calling Kate Spade) bright towels from £2 for a flannel to £22 for a huge bath sheet.
I finally found out where this wallpaper from the S/S14 Boden campaign is from. It is a Designers Guild design. Now just have to convince husband…
Love this little fella. Imagine against a dark grey wall with a green glass vase full of marigolds. Rabbit Lamp, £69, SKK Lighting
I have just discovered LA based British fashion illustrator Cate Parr. I love her rich coloured, dreamy watercolours. The best news is that she sells prints on Etsy from around £20. Sold!
I had my hair styled at uber colourist Josh Wood’s Atelier (brilliant and just tucked behind Holland Park Tube) with a range of products that sound like my dad sneezing. It’s all organic, contains no nasties and the key ingredient is a nut oil that blows Moroccan Oil (apparently this is the devil’s lube - not the exact words of the lovely man from Rahua (bless you) you understand) out of the water. From £26 a bottle it isn’t cheap but you’ll be doing your hair and the planet a huge favour. Buy at Liberty and naturisimo.com
NO JUNK SNACK
On the other blog I write for The Motherhood, I made some lovely (if I do say so myself!) rhubarb and orange yoghurt ice-cream as part of the Organix No Junk Challenge. Basically Organix are encouraging families to cook healthily and want to get the government and food industry boffins to reduce chemicals sugar and salt in kids food. Definitely a good thing. I think we make pretty healthy meals as a family but i have to say snacks can be a bit dicey. After school the kids want biscuits, crisps, cakes and a hack at the Easter egg mountain that has hardly even been dented. Yesterday I decided to make a healthy snack platter for the girls and some friends to keep them going before dinner. They looked at me as though I had given then a platter of frogspawn to eat but when they realised nothing else was coming they ate it very happily - especially the celery with peanut butter. I will definitely be doing this more often.
If you want to sign the Organix No Junk Pledge click here: www.organix.com/nojunk
Last week the girls and I were invited to check out the Ugg kids summer collection. Hmmm, I thought, bit sweaty for Summer… But wait the summer collection isn’t just sheepskin boots. My 8 year old loved these tasselled booties that are really light weight and perfect with leggings and cotton dresses (hello festival gal!) and there were plenty of sandals that my 4 year old took a shine to. These flower punched blue ones are very classic and most importantly have been thoroughly tested for rubbing. And they don’t! Last year we went through 3 pairs of sandals and many tears before we settled on blister proof Birkenstoks so it is really nice to have something a little less chunky and foot friendly in our sandal repertoire this year.
Kyleigh Boot, £65, Ugg Australia
The Summer sandals that don’t rub. Sunny Sandal, £35, Ugg Australia
Um, who is this grown up person? Can someone please stop the clock!
PS Dad bought the leopard print leggings back from a work trip to America. My leopard print veto has been officially overruled…
My brother is getting married! To a lovely, lovely lady who my girls adore/are obsessed with. So happy for them, they make such a lovely couple yada-yada-yada… Finally, I AM THE MOTHER OF THE BRIDESMAIDS!!! Finally I can wallow in lace taffeta, velvet capes, ballet slippers, posies… Watch out for posts on bridesmaid dresses, wedding outfits and tiaras galore. Humour me. it’s been a long time coming.
I would like to say a special thank you to my eldest daughter who showed no subtlety in expressing her enthusiasm for the match and represented her family’s sentiments so succinctly while they outwardly blushed and inwardly cheered and fist-punched. Bravo. Addagirl. Youthegirl. Whoop.
Genuine comments exchanged between daughter, her uncle and his future wife
UNCLE: What more could an uncle give his niece for Christmas?
NIECE: An Auntie
NIECE: “I think Lindsey would be such a great mummy. Don’t you? I think she is the next best mummy to my mummy. Or she would be…
UNCLE: “I’m afraid we can’t come to your party because we’re going to a wedding and we won’t be back on time. “ NIECE: “Your wedding?! Are you getting married? Can we come? Yayyyyy!!!”
NIECE: ”I wish you were part of our family. I love you.”
Neice begins to refer to Uncle’s girlfriend as Auntie at all times in the six months leading up to their engagement.
Pictures from divine flower girl dress designer ilovegorgeous.co.uk
With my nerves frayed to the quick from hearing the question ‘What can we do now mummy?” around 20 times per day last week, the arrival of two golden tickets to a party to celebrate River Island’s new Mini collection for 0 - 3 years olds had me beaming like Charlie Bucket. The RI team had transformed their head office into a WIlly Wonka wonderland with wall to wall astro turf, jumbo candy canes and Mr Wonka himself who was on hand to entertain the little ones. Top marks to Willy who managed to keep firm control of the kids even through their wild eyed sugar crazed high.
Pug socks, t-shirt painting, fizzy pop, balloon modelling, Mr W - it couldn’t have been better!
We had a chance to browse the summer collection for ages 3-12 as well. Even I, who would like to dress my children like the Amish found several pieces that I really loved. Forget hand knitted car coats and smocking, these are the clothes that your kids really want to wear and LOOK at that cat ear hat!!!
1. Florida 76 t-shirt, £8 2. Jersey Sleeve Hooded Jacket, £25 3. Blue Brick Sunglasses, £6 4. Blue Chino Shorts, £12 www.riverisland.com/boys
1. Sleevless shirt, £12 2. Cat Ear Hat, £6 3. Candy Stripe Hair Bow, £4 4. Floral Dungarees, £18 www.riverisland.com/girls
And now, River Island for the babies!
The new Mini collection has some super cute pieces that really stand out from the crowd. Available from mid May.