Half Term dining at Babylon

Families looking to get together this Half Term can head 100ft above London’s busy streets and enjoy lunch in the award-winning Babylon restaurant in Kensington.

Set high up on the seventh floor, offering spectacular views of the London skyline and the famous Roof Gardens below, Babylon offers a menu of modern British dishes that the whole family can enjoy. Younger members of the family can look forward to tucking into the restaurant’s ‘Young Diners’ menu, exclusively for those under 12 years old. Tasty dishes including Seasonal Melon and Pineapple, Cottage Pie and Macaroni Cheese are served up at £6.00 for two courses or £8.00 for three. Children who are feeling a little more adventurous are also welcome to order half-portions of any dish on the main menu at half the price.

Every child dining in Babylon over Half Term will be treated to their own Kids Pack with quizzes, crayons and colouring to keep little hands busy. For a magical way to finish their meal, the whole family can enjoy a stroll through The Roof Gardens and even meet the four resident flamingos, Bill, Ben, Splosh and Pecks!

Grown-ups can also enjoy a well-deserved treat with seasonal dishes including Crispy Barbary duck leg with a turnip & Lincolnshire poacher cheese terrine, Pumpkin Tart with spinach, capers and whipped Swiss cheese and Condensed Milk panna cotta. The innovative cocktail menu will be offering up seasonal creations with ingredients straight from the Gardens such as the ‘Hi Honey, I’m Home’, which shakes up Belvedere Vodka with fresh honey cultivated from the on-site beehive.

Babylon’s set lunch menu is available Monday – Friday and is priced at £24.00 for two courses or £28.00 for three courses. For more details or to book, please contact Babylon on 020 7368 3993 or email Babylon@roofgardens.virgin.com

The Gift of Lasting Memories

“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is…”

 

Beautiful photographs hold a key to some of our most precious memories and can transport us back to a place, a person, a feeling.

Our children are the biggest gift we will ever receive. They bring so much love and happiness – more than we ever imagined that we can feel and experience! And from the moment they arrive, as a parent, there is nothing you wouldn’t possibly do to keep them happy and healthy and safe.

As a parent, you want to take in every moment, every little wink, and yawn, and cuddle, and smile. Memorise the best you can, how their little hairs curled up at the back of their fragile necks, how they sucked on their tiny fingers and the pout they made when they were starting to get peckish again.

A million little things that you want to treasure forever! In today’s rushed world, it is all too possible – even with the best of intentions – to let time slip, and before you know it, the chance to create memorable photographs of the special time in your life may have passed.

There is nothing more that I enjoy, than photographing families and giving them beautiful moments in time with their little darlings. I love bringing out the sweetest smiles in little people and creating wonderful portraits that families and their loved ones will treasure for years to come.

And as the little ones grow up, the photographs of them and their loving parents will be some of their most treasured possessions – cherished gifts of their lasting memories with you, their parents!

Can you even imagine what the grandparents would have to say about the gorgeous photographs of their beloved grandbabies! Just picture them spending hours marvelling at the meaningful photographs, proudly showing them off each time a peer comes over for tea and biscuits.

A newborn, baby or family photo shoot is something every family deserves to treat themselves to! It is a chance for mum and dad to step out from behind the (iPhone) camera. All too often parents are so enamoured with their little ones, capturing every sweet detail – that they miss out on being in the shot themselves. I am here to change that!

Like what you see? Then please do get in touch!

Diana is a newborn and baby photographer based in Chelsea, London. You can visit dianapavlovaphotography.com to explore more of her work, email her at diana@dianapavlovaphotography.com or call 07513344088.

*Featured article

Kensington Wade is making educational history

Europe’s first dual language English-Chinese School has opened its doors to its first nursery and reception pupils on Wednesday, 6th September.

Our first cohort of young pupils has been immersed in a dual language curriculum based on the very best of English and Chinese experiences, teaching half of its lessons in English and the other half in Chinese. The school, located in a brand-new building on the corner of Kensington High Street and Warwick Road in West London, boasts of a stunning roof terrace and a vast subterranean sports hall is the “brain child” of its Chairman, Professor Hugo De Burgh.

Professor De Burgh was determined to launch an Anglo-Chinese bilingual School in the UK and emulate the success of similar Chinese-English schools in the USA, with his vision of pupils flourishing in a Post-Brexit world where China has a significant influence on international affairs, business and politics. Here at Kensington Wade we are committed to preparing our pupils for leading British Independent Schools as well as provide a thorough grounding in the Chinese language and culture through our innovative curriculum model.

The Head of Kensington Wade, Mrs Jo Wallace, said: “It is extremely exciting to have the opportunity to be involved in making history, and to play such an important part in its evolution from the very beginning. I am also grateful to have such a wonderful team of staff behind me, to support the pupils and their families as we start on this remarkable journey. Our pupils are truly international; half of them have no Chinese background at all, with the other half either having one or two parents with a Chinese background. It will be fascinating to watch all of the pupils pick up the language through our fully immersive approach and I am very confident that they will quickly rise to the challenge. I will also be joining our pupils on this linguistic journey towards excellence in acquiring Mandarin. The one thing I have no doubt about is that they will quickly outsmart me, as such is the flexibility of young minds!”

Kensington Wade will be having a series of Open Days, with the first being an Open Morning on the 7th October between 10am-12pm if you would like to have a tour of the school, and find out more information. They also host a series of educational talks, where distinguished speakers talk about their thoughts and experiences on bilingualism and education.

The next event will be hosted by Nathalie Cachet-Gaujard from the China-Britain Council on the 18th October at 18:30. To register for both events, please visit www.kensingtonwade.com/event.

Featured Article

Lilou et Loïc announces the launch of the new Wild Neroli & Water Jasmine range

UNVEILING THE LATEST SCENT FROM ONE OF OUR FAVOURITE BRANDS.   

Award-winning British lifestyle brand Lilou et Loïc, already known for offering a range of luxury scented home fragrance and bath products, is extending its fragrance library by launching a sumptuous new scent, Wild Neroli & Water Jasmine.  Created by the brand founders, inspired by their summer sojourns in France, this is a contemporary take on the fragrant classic orange blossom.  This lively, vivacious blend opens on sparkling citrus notes of bergamot, mandarin and lemon, peppered with aromatic herbs.  A heart of neroli, water jasmine and rose is underscored with an abundance of velvet musks creating depth and sophistication.

With all products developed and manufactured in the UK, the entire Lilou et Loïc fragrance library has been developed to offer an extensive range of scents that appeal to both sexes and break down any gender barriers to fragrance.  The Wild Neroli & Water Jasmine range will be available from September 2017, initially in the Signature Scented Candle and Luxury Room Diffuser, to be extended across the wider range at a later date.

Signature Scented Candle

Presented in silver hand-blown glass, this single wick candle delivers sophisticated style, a unique fragrance and instant ambiance.  Available in six different fragrances, including Wild Neroli & Water Jasmine, priced at £50 for 220g.

Luxury Room Diffusers

These full-bodied fragrant room diffusers add a distinctive but comforting scent that lingers throughout your home.  Presented in stylish glass bottles, they make a chic and elegant decorative centerpiece. Available in six different fragrances, including Wild Neroli & Water Jasmine, priced at £45 for 200ml.

Created by Scandinavian born friends, Swedish former model and product designer, Malin Wright and Icelandic business lawyer, Aldis Firman, Lilou et Loïc is the product of their mutual love of evocative fragrances and contemporary classic interiors.  Having met and subsequently planted new roots while living and working in the UK, the founders define Lilou et Loïc as a British brand with a Scandinavian sensibility.

With everything beautifully packaged in its signature grey and white striped cylinder gift boxes, the range consists of luxury scented candles, room diffusers, bath foam, bath salts, body butter, hand wash, hand lotion, shower gel and body lotion.  They make perfect gifts! 

Lilou et Loïc is available from AMARA.com, House of Fraser, a wide range of independent retailers and interior design stores, along with www.lilouetloic.com 

Every child is a genius at Hyde Park School

Hyde Park School is a co-educational independent preparatory school, operating across two fantastic central London locations. The school is an inspiring, calm and creative learning environment, where children gain the tools to become confident, independent thinkers and compassionate citizens of the world.

The Pre-preparatory and nursery school for children from the age of two is situated behind Marble Arch within a beautiful walled garden where the children have plenty of room to explore, run around, and learn.

They spend as much time out of doors as they can, digging in the vegetable patch, making castles in a giant sandpit, running under the trees, playing on the large slide and playing games on the grass.

The Preparatory school for girls and boys aged 5 to 11 is in the heart of South Kensington, and the children love the rich and creative educational experience on offer to them.

The school spends time to find out what makes your child happy, how they learn well, what their talents and interests are, and what they find challenging. They will give your child the support and encouragement they need to learn to the best of their ability and achieve at the highest level, constantly monitoring their progress to make sure they continue to thrive.

Hyde Park school is a short walk away from Hyde Park itself, so the pupils head there for fresh air and exercise every day. Indoors the school has a stunning ballroom for dance, workshops and assemblies and a dedicated music room for individual lessons.

As an independent school, Hyde Park have the freedom to tailor their own curriculum which means they are able to offer a huge breadth of academic lessons that extend way beyond traditional ‘core subjects’ like maths and English. For instance, they offer Latin and Mandarin as a language option, as well as coding classes and hands on science lessons at Imperial College.

In addition, they offer an extensive extra-curricular timetable, which gives students the opportunity to take part in everything from skiing and judo, to ballet dancing and even horse riding.

All around the school are wonderful places of learning, knowledge and culture: the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, Imperial College, the Wigmore Hall, the V&A, the Royal Geographic Society and the Royal Albert Hall are all within a short distance from the school.

The school invites researchers, teachers, practitioners and performers from these famous institutions to come and spend time with them, and they visit them at every opportunity, heading out of the classroom on a regular basis.

However, what really sets Hyde Park School apart is the Headmistress’s overarching belief that every child is a genius in their own way. She believes it is up to her and her staff to help them discover that inner genius and nurture it so every child can grow and flourish.  

Come and see for yourself what makes Hyde Park School so unique at one of their upcoming Open Mornings on Wednesday 4th October and Wednesday 29th November. Please book in online or contact the Registrar.

registrar@hydeparkschool.co.uk

020 7225 3131

www.hydeparkschool.co.uk

 

Swimming Rocks opens their 7th Swim School Location in Chelsea Blue Harbour Spa

A stunning venue with a luxury swimming experience
Swimming Rocks is well known as one of London’s best swim schools and has established a reputation for exceptional service and a strong teaching ethos. It’s dedicated teaching and coaching team are well known for their outstanding knowledge.

Providing swimming lessons in luxury locations, courses are available for babies, children and adults either on a private (1-2-1) or shared (2-2-1) basis, or in a small group for babies and toddlers.

They don’t use arm bands, always teach from inside the water and Swimming Rocks’ creative teaching pathway with medals and badges will ensure that every child develops their individual swimming style with grace and relaxation.

This June saw Swimming Rocks open their 7th Swimming Rocks venue at the Chelsea Blue Harbour Spa. This exclusive venue is proving popular with a sully booked summer programme and many customers returning customers for the autumn term courses.

By booking a lesson at this venue you will get:
  • Only ONE lesson taking place at any time – enjoy the pool just to yourself!
  • Fluffy towels
  • Luxury toiletries
  • Warm 30degree swimming pool
  • Calm environment
  • A dedicated manager personally looking after you
  • Spa benefits and discounts
  • The 5 star experience!
Lessons are available Monday to Friday during term time as well as intensive crash courses in the school holidays.
 
Call their lovely team to discuss your lesson needs – you won’t be disappointed!
T: 07557 051 904
*featured post 

How can we help our kids have a healthy start to the school year?

Today’s contributing article is by a member of Kensington Mums Maya Aboukhater, who is a registered dietitian with special interest in mothers and children, diabetes and weight management. She explains the importance of good nutrition and active lifestyle in order to have a healthy start to the new school year. She currently works in two private hospitals and sees private patients as well. During the last ten years, Maya has worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, BUPA Cromwell Hospital and The Portland Hospital for Women and Children.

 

As a working Kensington Mum living in London and mother of two boys, she discusses:

  1. How can we keep our kids stay active while we are keen to help them have a successful year at school?
  2. The vitamins and minerals we or our kids tend to be deficient in especially during the winter months.
  3. How we can assess whether we or our kids are deficient?
  4. Where can we find the vitamins and minerals from?

 

How can we keep our kids active while we are keen to help them have a successful year at school?

With all the pressure of school and homework, it is very important for kids to keep active once back to school. Research suggests a strong link between movement, learning and attention. Toddlers and pre-schoolers should be doing at least 3 hours of physical activity through the day. This may include going to the park, running, jumping, climbing or visiting a soft area.  Kids by the age of five should have at least 60 (or more) minutes of physical activity each day and exercises for strengthening muscles 3 times per week. Keeping kids active can be achieved by walking to and from school and as much as possible. Strengthening exercises can include swimming, football or tennis. Screen time should be limited to spend 1-2 hours maximum.

 

The vitamins and minerals we/our kids tend to be deficient in especially during the winter months.

A vitamin is something that helps our body function – a ‘nutrient’ – that we cannot make in our body. In order to assess whether we are deficient in vitamins or minerals during the winter months, it is important to check whether you have an acute or chronic illness, injury or surgery as this can have considerable impact on your nutritional status. This can be directly the result of the injury or indirectly because of the effects of your food intake. It might be also worth checking whether the medication you maybe taking can affect your nutrient intake and absorption. There are other factors that also affect your nutritional status including age, gender, weight, height, waist circumference and ethnicity. In addition, environment, shopping habits and cooking facilities plays an important role. Examples of increased nutrient losses include vomiting, diarrhoea or bleeding. Difficulties in self feeding, chewing or maintaining food in the mouth also increase nutrient losses.

Examples of physical signs of nutritional problems:

If your hair is thin, sparse, or colour has changed, your body may be deficient in protein, energy, zinc and copper.

If your skin is dry, flaky or bruising, your body may be deficient in essential fatty acids, B vitamins, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

If your eyes are pale, your body may be deficient in iron and Vitamin A.

If your tongue colour changes, your body may be deficient in B Vitamins.

If the enamel of your teeth is molting, you may be having an excess of Fluoride.

If your gums are spongy or bleeds easily, your body may be deficient in Vitamin C.

If your thyroid is enlarged, your body may be deficient in Iodine.

If your nails have spoon shape, your body may be deficient in iron, zinc and copper.

If your muscles are wasted, your body may be deficient in protein, energy and zinc.

If you can see the beading of your ribs, your body may be deficient in Vitamin D.

How do you assess whether you are eating the right food for you?

Dietitians usually consider food and fluid intake during the last 24 hour. We discuss your usual meal pattern and food choice with your overall dietary balance. The duration and the severity of any change in appetite and oral intake are considered.  People mostly underestimate the impact of social conditions, isolation, lack of knowledge of the carer of the child, alcoholism, financial difficulties, bereavement especially if your partner used to organise meals.

Are you still not sure whether you are deficient in any vitamins or minerals?

Asking your doctor to have a blood test provides you with objective results. This can help determine the status of specific nutrients in your body. This can include Vitamin B12 if you are vegetarian or iron deficient or if you suffer from heavy bleeding especially for women. As with adults, assessing the nutritional status of infant, child or adolescent is vital  prior to developing an appropriate nutritional care plan. Children have changing needs as they grow and develop. Other factors to consider depending on the age of the children are: feeding behaviours, growth evaluation, family viewpoint regarding nutrition, feeding habits and mothers’ nutritional status when breastfeeding. It is very important to check whether your child is at risk of malnutrition as this not only affect their growth but also their immune function to fight diseases.

Where can we find the vitamins and minerals from?

One vitamin that we tend to be deficient in especially in winter is Vitamin D. According to the British Dietetic Association, ‘vitamin D’ is sometimes called the ‘sunshine vitamin’ and our bodies make vitamin D from sunlight during the spring and summer.

During October to March, most people get vitamin D deficient. At other times of the year, it is recommended to eat foods that contain vitamin D, such as:

          most margarines

        fortified brands of soya milks, yogurts and desserts – check the label

        fortified breakfast cereals – check the label

          dried skimmed milk

          fortified yoghurts

        eggs

Additional supplements are recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women, children under five-years-old, people aged over 65 years and people who are not exposed to much sun subject to doctor or a health professional advice.  The Department of Health recommends that all children aged six month to five years are given vitamin supplements containing A,C and D every day. If mothers are breastfeeding, babies should get daily Vitamin D from birth. If your child is drinking more than 500ml of infant formula, vitamin supplements should not be given because the formula is fortified.

Another vitamin that is important especially if you are vegan is Vitamin B12. Eggs and dairy foods contain Vitamin B12. Vegans should include fortified foods containing Vitamin B12 (check the label):

          yeast extract

        soya milk, yoghurts and desserts

        breakfast cereals

        certain brands of rice drinks and oat drinks.

A mineral that our body tends to be deficient in especially for women is iron. Red meat is the most easily absorbed source of iron, but various plant foods also contribute:

        fortified breakfast cereals

        dried fruit

        beans/lentils

        leafy green vegetables

        sesame seeds

          nuts

        wholemeal bread

In order to help your body absorb iron from plant foods, you can include a source of vitamin C with your meal (e.g. vegetables, fruit or a glass of fruit juice).

Calcium is another important mineral that is important to grow and stay healthy especially around menopause for women.

Dairy foods are rich in calcium. If you’re not eating these, include plenty of the following:

        tofu

        calcium-fortified foods e.g. soya milk, yoghurts and puddings; rice/oat drinks; and fruit juice

        green leafy vegetables, especially kale and pakchoi, but not spinach. Although spinach contains calcium it is bound to a compound called oxalate. This greatly reduces it absorption making it a poor source of unusable calcium.

        brown/white bread

        sesame seeds/ tahini

        nuts

        dried fruit e.g. apricots and figs.

if you eat a lot of wholegrains and beans, this can reduce your zinc absorption. Eat fermented soya such as tempeh and miso; beans (soak dried beans then rinse before cooking to increase zinc absorption); wholegrains; nuts; seeds and some fortified breakfast cereals. If you don’t eat meat or fish, you can include some nuts into your diet, especially Brazil nuts which include selenium.

Iodine is another important mineral that help your body make thyroid hormones. Good sources of iodine includes sea fish or shellfish. If you’re a vegan include small amounts of iodised salt or sea vegetables for your iodine. Extra care is needed during pregnancy, breastfeeding, weaning and in childhood to make sure that all nutritional needs are met.

Most people get all the nutrients they need by having a varied and balanced diet, although some few people may need to add extra supplements. Be wary of fad or detox diets as there is no magic solution to losing weight very quickly. Very restrictive diets can potentially lead to long term deficiencies. If you are not sure if you/your child are meeting your nutritional requirements, I suggest speaking to a dietitian.

Why having a Mums only holiday is good for you

Being Mum is one of the hardest yet most rewarding jobs in the world yet so little time is devoted to actually exploring what we need to achieve the potential for ourselves and our little ones.

For those who follow us on Instagram, would have seen our stories of a recent trip we did to beautiful Greece. This trip was different, it was a mums only holiday.  As mothers we are skilled at multi- tasking, but we are especially skilled at putting ourselves last. We prioritise our kids’ and familie’s needs ahead of our own, and we constantly look out for others, neglecting to replenish ourselves. We too often forget to fit our own oxygen masks. This holiday came on time, as I was also celebrating my birthday with my friends who are also mothers themselves. It seemed like the perfect birthday gift to me. None of this would have happened without the support of my husband, mother and sister. Having a support network around you helps, so you can take time for yourself.

Here are our top reasons why mums should take a mums only holiday

  1. You get to reconnect, reset and repair. Our lives are overcrowded and overscheduled and this means there is very little time for yourself.  Motherhood is 24/7, demanding and you are always on the go. This is your time, to take care of you.
  2. You learn to reflect and  reconnect with yourself, set priorities on important things in your life and reassess on things that are going wrong. In our modern, fast-paced world, our mind is a busy one with so many tabs open at the same time, with no switch off button. Being on holiday offers that quiet space for reflection and self-exploration, something that is hard to do in your daily mummy routine.
  3. You get to loosen up and be the real you and get to let some steam out by just having fun and doing the things you enjoy most.
  4. Being around other like minded Mums especially if they are close friend, helps you to have more fun and most importantly in being you! Enjoying yourself, laughing and talking about anything you like (this was sometimes the kids and sometimes deeper conversation) is a fantastic feeling.
  5. Do not feel any kind of guilt, even if the society and the community around you does. It is very important for a mothers to look after herself, her wellness and her wellbeing. It is not selfish, it is a necessity.
  6. You get to sleep! No need to elaborate on this point in peace and quiet.
  7. You take leave from your parenting role. This means while on the Mums only holiday I did not, clean, cook, bribe, or brake up fights, clean dirty noses or wipe any bottoms. The only thing I enjoyed doing was capturing every moment.
  8.  You get to rediscover a new or lost hobby or sport.
  9. You get to create happy memories for yourself, and thats a wonderful thing to invest in.
  10. And last but not least, and maybe I have mentioned this before, you get to be you. Not mummy you, or wifey you, but the person that is really you!

Getting away on a mums only holiday, does wonders for you, your sanity, your equilibrium and your family. Because of course you miss your offspring – and coming home to them is always something to look forward to. I was re-energised and ready for back to school routine and chaos. One thing to remember, there is no such thing as a perfect mother, we are all doing out best. You should live to your own expectations and no one else’s

 

Have you ever gone away on your own since becoming a mum? Do you make time for yourself?

Back-to-School Tips by Stuck On You

Stuck On You are the experts in personalised name labels and products. With the holidays drawing to an end, we’ve put together some tips to make the back-to-school process smoother.

GET INTO GEAR!

Returning to rigid early morning school routines can be tough after a long summer of relaxed bedtimes and long lie-ins. The solution? As the end of holidays approach, wake up 10-15 minutes earlier each day. To provide extra motivation, create fun reasons to wake up earlier, e.g. trips to the beach or park.

To maintain a smooth routine once school has started, Stuck On You has a terrific range of diaries and planners to ensure stress-free mornings and solid homework habits.

LABEL IT OR LOSE IT!

Labelling is your best guarantee that your investment in back-to-school items will not end up languishing in a smelly lost property bin, or finding a new home in another child’s bag.

Labelling is especially important at this time of year with its unpredictable weather and the constant need to put on or take off layers.

Check out our huge range of labels – including our adorable shoe dots!

GET THE KIDS INVOLVED IN LABELLING

Involve your kids in the labelling process so you can make back-to-school time fun for them and easier for you. Let them choose their own label designs, no matter how… quirky. That way, they’ll be more invested in their labelled goods – and less likely to lose them!

By the way, if you still can’t quite let go of the fact that your child didn’t choose that gorgeous art deco-like label design you were coveting, you can always order some for yourself. We’re not just about the kiddies – use us for home office files, kitchen jars, garage boxes.. anything you like, really!

LABEL ON THE FLY

Ever been about to run out the door, only to have a little voice announce that they need a costume for International Country Music Day? (17 September, FYI) As you hastily assemble some big hair and glitter pants – because your knowledge of country music doesn’t extend beyond the 80s – you realise that you actually want this getup to return home so you can repurpose it for Halloween/your office party/International Dress Like A Bee Gee Day (OK I made that one up – but it should exist).

Therefore, it’s handy to have a stash of extra labels for all your unexpected labelling needs, from new readers to the next dress-up day.

LABEL ON THE SLY

If you have safety concerns about your child’s name being visible, or have an older child who prefers discreet labels, it’s a good idea to add extra labels on the inside of items such as bags.

TO GOOD HEALTH!

As colder weather looms, so do those nasty viruses. Personalisation limits the spread of germs as kids are less likely to accidentally drink from the wrong bottle.

We also have Allergy Labels and Bag Tags, which help highlight your child’s allergy to others.

SNACK STRATEGY

Get the kids to help plan their lunches. Our bestselling Bento Boxes provide the perfect inspiration for fun and healthy lunchtimes. You can channel your inner food goddess and make adorable carrot and cheese flowers or smiley rice clouds. Or, if you’re feeling decidedly un-zen-like, throw in some strawberries and crackers. Either way is good!

 

Are you school-ready? Check out http://www.stuckonyou.uk for all your back-to-school labelling needs! 

My kid Atelier

My Kid Atelier opened its doors in December of 2014 as a small, colorful, art & activity studio in Fulham, London. Shortly after company Director, Slaviana, became aware of the shortage of exciting, inclusive, children’s party companies in central London and after hosting their first party in March 2015 (a Magical Fairy themed party) My Kid began the transformation from activity studio to bespoke children’s party & event planning.

Since that first party in 2015, a second venue was opened in the heart of Notting Hill (on Portobello road) and due to the demand for stylish & exciting kids parties, My Kid began hosting events in venues all over Greater London (and beyond!). They have planned over 350 events in the last 2 years, ranging from small parties to large fetes, and have created & produced over 40 stylish themes that are loved by boys, girls and parents alike!

“On Location” parties have now become one of the company’s most popular party options (with over half of the parties being held in venues around London) and having built a reputation with vendor’s for being highly professional & detail oriented, My Kid has been able to foster contacts within venues all over London – including boutique hotels, top restaurants, community centers & church halls. Any venue can be beautifully transformed to bring your child’s chosen theme to life.

In the “Party to You” package, My Kid Atelier include everything needed to make events a success, in any venue – from styling & decorating, to toys & entertainment, food & refreshments, and even chairs & tables that are the perfect kid size, nothing is over looked! The team is even able to create new bespoke themes especially for your event, if your little one can image it, My Kid can create it.

If you are looking for an amazing party company for your special occasion, or would like some more information, please don’t hesitate to contact My Kid Atelier.

For further information please Contact us on Tel: 020 3318 5555  or email us at info@mykidatelier.co.uk

Afternoon Tea Week at the Baglioni Hotel

Afternoon tea with an Italian twist at the Baglioni Hotel . Isn’t London just one of the most wonderful places in the world for Afternoon Tea? We love it and, since this week we celebrate the Great British institution of Aternoon Tea (14th – 18th August 2017) we take you back to our wonderful time at the Baglioni hotel, Kensington.

As you may have seen from previous reviews and events, we are big fans of the Baglioni Hotel. Thanks to the beautiful decor, atmosphere and impeccable service, we just can’t stay away for too long. Read our weekend staycation review here.

 

When we heard that the hotel had gone through refurbishment in their restaurant area and invited us to their new “Afternoon tea with an Italian Twist” we couldn’t resist. And given that we have a “made in italy” Kensington Mum in the team, who better could have appreciated a taste of home in the heart of Kensington?

The tea was served at the Brunello bar Restaurant. “Facing Kensington Gardens, Brunello Bar and Restaurant and its charming terrace, perfectly blends contemporary décor and Italian tradition. Inspired by the Milanese trattorias of the 1950s, the restaurant offers a beautiful setting with intricate tiles, striking lighting and warm furnishings”.

As we arrived, we were taken to a lovely and spacious round table close to the windows where we could see the beautiful park. Our waitress was friendly and attentive. As always, we travel with phones, chargers and make sure to be connected so our followers don’t miss out on our recommendations. She immediately made sure we were able to charge our phones and gave us access to wifi passwords too ( the life of working mums!).

Once we were all set, the waitress  took our order with a glass of delicious bubbly champagne.

For the food and tea, Dina ordered the classic with Earl Grey tea whilst Nathalie opted for the gluten free option and green tea.

With more and more people with Gluten free intolerance these days (her husband included) it is very important for us to let our readers know where to go to still be able to enjoy and traditional &  classic experience without putting their health at risk.

About Afternoon tea with an Italian Twist

“Bringing the heritage of the Baglioni brand to the capital, Baglioni Hotel London has incorporated culinary traditions and flavours from Italy in the quintessentially British tea menu. Guests can enjoy a selection of sandwiches. For those with a sweet tooth, the tea features many Italian treats including Sicilian cannoli filled with ricotta cheese and chocolate chips, tarte with lemon cream, blackberry and raspberry and Baci di Dama. Not to mention, of course, the Classic Tiramisu. But afternoon tea wouldn’t be the same without scones, and there are both plain and raisin varieties available, complemented by raspberry jam, clotted cream and Italian favourite, Nutella. All of this is rounded off nicely with a glass of Ferrari Sparkling Wine”.

The food, both sweet and savoury looked amazing. We didn’t want to ruin the beauty but then again, the smell that came from each of the small bites was too good to resist.

The bread on all the sandwiches was fresh and very soft and the filling just right. We had a selection of ‘Chicken and mayo’, ‘Egg, rocket and mayo’, ‘Smoked Salmon, fresh cream and chives’ and Dina’s favourite ‘Focaccia bread with bresaola meat, mozzarella cheese and pesto’, what a delight. The focaccia was perfectly made with a hint of olive oil that married perfectly with the filling. The fillings in the gluten free menu option were the same, just the bread was different.

The Scones were also fresh which always makes a difference. They arrived slightly warm which made any topping slightly melt over them. Even the gluten free scones were absolutely delicious and with Nutella, you just can’t go wrong.

Nathalie’s all time favourite dessert is Tiramisu, when she saw it on the menu, she couldn’t wait to dig in. The gluten free option was an adaptation of Tiramisu, the mascarpone cream was there but served over strawberries instead of the ‘Savoiardi’ biscuits. It was delicious and if that wasn’t enough, she helped herself to Dina’s classic tiramisu as well.

As we were enjoying our afternoon, we had the pleasure to meet the restaurant’s manager who very kindly made time to come introduce himself and give us a little more information about the refurbishment of the restaurant, tell us more about the new chef in the kitchen, Alberto Rossetti and the Baglioni Hotel’s latest news.

We quote the chef Alberto who said ““I love healthy food and I try to prepare dishes using ingredients that are rich in vitamins avoiding the use of fat.”

Even though there was a lot of sweetness in our afternoon tea, we do think that everything was balanced well. Even after eating most of what we had been served, we felt good, satisfied and happy. Everything on the menu had been executed to the high standards we were  expecting from the Baglioni Hotel.

We would highly recommend a visit at the Baglioni Brunello Bar Restaurant  for a special occasion treat, weather its afternoon tea, lunch, dinner or their Italian aperitivo. Don’t miss out.

More information and prices for the Italian Afternoon Tea at the Baglioni Hotel, can be found here.

Thanks for having us!  

World Breastfeeding Week: Kensington Mums Top Tips

We feel that, breastfeeding is one of those things that, no matter what one mother does, she doesn’t seem to be able to get it right. The amount of criticism mothers get around the topic of breastfeeding is to say the least unfair.

The way we see it is that, some mothers breastfeed, others don’t. Simple, right? We wish!

Kensington Mums are all about supporting and encouraging mothers to help each other and be understanding every step of the way during our motherhood journey. With breastfeeding, we know it is a tough one for many. We believe that it has to do with the dilemma of health benefit vs how tough it can be for some.

Since this week is World Breastfeeding Week, we wanted to share some facts, tips as well as things nobody tells you about breastfeeding:

About breastfeeding

1. It is true, breastfeeding is good for your baby because it has antibodies that can’t be engineered.

2. Mothers can benefit from breastfeeding too. Studies show that in the long term breastfeeding can ward off breast and ovarian cancer.

Top Tip:  Be aware of the benefits, but don’t let that pressure you. The most important thing is for a for you to be a happy & stress free mummy especially in the first weeks and months of your child’s life. Remember, babies sense everything.

3. NOT all mums CAN produce milk.

Top Tip: This is a very delicate subject, some mums don’t want to breastfeed as they encounter issues doing so but others just do not have a choice so it is important to know this and keep it in mind when bringing up the subject.

4. Breastfeeding helps weight loss. In fact, they say that by breastfeeding you may burn up to 300 or 500 calories per day.

Top Tip: Feel free to keep eating for two. Just kidding! Make sure you keep eating healthy and when your GP gives you the thumbs up, start light exercise to help shed the  baby weight. You may be burning calories but you are also producing milk and need to keep strength to look after your newborn. Oh and don’t forget to drink loads of water, it is important to stay hydrated.

5. “Breast milk is instantly available and delivered warm.” (parent.com).

We couldn’t have put it better. There is an aspect of convenience that comes with breastfeeding; The moment your baby  “tells” you he/she is hungry, you find a spot and feed.

Kensington Mums Tip: Invest in a hooter hider (available from Bebe au Lait). It will allow you to breastfeed “on the go”and not have to hide in places or feeling “inappropriate” in public. Being able to cover yourself while nursing your baby will give you the confidence to breastfeed anywhere and anytime.

6. When breastfeeding, your breasts may leak throughout the day and night.

Kensington Mums Tips: 

 

To avoid milk showing through your bra and clothes, always wear disposable breast pads, we highly recommend Lansinoh disposable breast pads .

 

 

 

For engorged breast there are several different ways to release discomfort.  Midwives, for many years, have suggested natural cures using cold cabbage leaves to place  into your breastfeeding bras. We tried it and can agree it works and helps. This will help mothers who get mastitis. 

 

 

 

It is also advised to empty your breast manually to avoid it getting engorged. Speak to your midwife for professional help and advice at all times.

7.  Not everyone has a smooth experience when breastfeeding. Many mums  suffer from cracked nipples which can turn the whole experience into “a nightmare”. Breastfeeding shouldn’t be painful but we understand it is not always easy. It’s about finding the right connection with your baby, for them to latch on properly and you being comfortable. The experience should be pleasant for both.

Kensington Mums Tips : 

There are many products that can help sooth the pain but before that, we highly recommend contacting a lactation consultant. Don’t be shy or embarrassed to ask for help. Breastfeeding might look easy but its not always that way. An expert will understand your difficulties and suggest the right position for you and your baby.

For cracked nipples, we recommend Lanolin Cream, all available from John Lewis, Boots and most chemists.

 

 

 

 

We would also like to suggest investing in Silver caps . They help to prevent, protect and heal cracked nipples and heal sore nipples whilst breast feeding.

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know?

1. Whilst many women, who exclusively breastfeed, do not menstruate whilst breastfeeding, this is not always the case. And for those who don’t, be aware that you can still get pregnant even without a period so be careful and make sure you use appropriate contraception if you do not want another baby soon after giving birth.

Kensington Mums Tip: Make sure you visit your GP and get advice on different types of contraceptive methods available for you. If you still wish to exclusively breastfeed you must make sure that whatever you decide to use will not interfere with your milk supply.

2. You may feel contraction type pains while breastfeeding your newborn (aka as ‘afterpains’). The pain is because nursing releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps your uterus contract and slows blood loss after delivery.

Our view : This was one of those things that you don’t understand why people don’t talk about, not just between mums but also with midwives and doctors. For me, after many hours of labour, strong contractions resulting in a forceps delivery, I almost dropped my baby from  when I felt “the afterpains” and considered  not trying to breastfed again.  The pain shocked me, and given the traumatic labour I had just endured, I wasn’t sure I could handle it further.

3. Hearing a baby cry could stimulate milk production and result in a woman’s breasts to leak.

Our view: This was possibly one of the oddest things that happened to me as a first time mums (again, nobody tells you before). The initial reaction is not the best but then, it can result useful as an understanding between you and your baby by only producing milk when your baby needs/wants it.  However, if you are not able to feed on demand or always be with your baby and this happens, we suggest pumping and storing milk. Some mums pump their milk to encourage production of it, others produce too much and need to pump to avoid angered breasts. In other cases, mums pumps to get help from dads to take care of night feeds so they can rest during the night and be more rested throughout the day. 

Manual vs Electric Breast Pump 

The choice of pump one uses is very individual.

For some, especially if already experiencing pains or suffering from tender breasts, it is easier to have manual control of the process.

(pictured: Avent manual breast pump)

 

 

 

 

Others, prefer being able to set up the pump and still have their hands free to get on with other things (i.e.read a magazine, enjoying a cup of coffee or even take the time to have some food).

(pictured: Mandela electric pump) *electric pumps also come with double applicators)

 

 

 

How to choose the perfect breastfeeding bra

The choice of breastfeeding bras are endless, here are two of our favourite types and brands.

For lingerie that can make you feel sexy and empowered, check out Hot Milk Lingerie.

Designed by mothers, for mothers, Hotmilk has revolutionised the nursing lingerie market with its provocative and fashion forward styling.

(Pictured: Eclipse Black Nursing Bra)

 

 

For everyday wear, we love the comfort and look of Mothercare’s nursing bras and if you are stuck to know which bras if best for you, read their buying guide here, full of useful tips.

(pictured: Belly Bandit Bandita Black Nursing Bra)

 

 

 

Finally, it is ok to stop feeding whenever YOU feel the time has come. Some babies will stop latching on, other times mums just cannot take it anymore. Don’t let anyone put pressure on you to keep breastfeeding if that is not what you want or if its becoming a stressful situation for you.

However, be aware that stopping to breastfeed is not always as easy as we think. As much as a mother may feel burned and think they cannot take it anymore, they realise how much they love the connection they feel with their baby whilst nursing them. For this, they start mixing breast milk with formula which is perfectly fine. In many cases it helps mums take a break, get some help from others and also babies start getting used to a different type of milk. Happy mummy, happy baby, happy family!

 

The World Breastfeeding Week’s 25th year in 2017 is about working together for the common good!

Happy Breastfeeding week to all those who breastfeed and those who support it.

 

Facts taken from the following sources

Parents.com

Women Health Magazine

Giant Snail becomes The Royal Park’s newest resident

 London’s Royal Parks are no stranger to millions of minibeasts, but our newest resident is expected to turn some heads. An eight-foot high snail will be sliding its way around the iconic sites over the coming summer holidays as part of The Royal Parks’ Mission: Invertebrate.

Thanks to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the project has been awarded £600,000 and aims to inspire people with the amazing story of nature’s unsung workforce.

Invertebrates include beasties like bees, butterflies, spiders and worms, all of which we’d struggle to survive without. They provide us with vital services, from pollinating plants to breaking down our waste and providing food for other animals. Mission: Invertebrate will also help Park Managers gain a better understanding of the invertebrates living in the 5,000 acres of London’s Royal Parks, which are precious habitat havens for more than 4,100 invertebrate species in the heart of our capital city.

Starting on July 22, our Giant Snail will tour the Royal Parks from Greenwich Park in the east to Bushy Park in the west, giving children and families the opportunity to get close to nature and learn more about the wonderful world of invertebrates.

The free family days will feature a range of creative activities focusing on some of the fascinating creatures that call the Royal Parks home. Look out for interactive story-telling, bug trails, creative crafting and invertebrate missions galore!

Dr Alice Laughton, Mission: Invertebrate Project Manager, said: “We’re really excited to be welcoming our newest resident during the summer as our Giant Snail goes on tour across our parks, and we hope children and their families come out of their shell to learn more about invertebrates.

The millions of creatures under our feet and in the air have fascinating stories to tell, and these will be colourfully brought to life throughout the school holidays at free events taking place across our parks. Most will take place this summer, so what better way to enjoy the great outdoors than to come and see our Giant Snail in action.”

Alister Hayes, Head of Ecology, said: “Mission: Invertebrate is a really important project which helps highlight the vital role invertebrates play in our everyday lives, from ensuring our environment flourishes to keeping our food chain moving. The project also provides park managers and their teams with invaluable insight into how they can manage grasslands and meadows to improve their biodiversity.  As urban green spaces come under increasing pressure, parklands are becoming more valuable to wildlife than ever before.”

Join us to discover the Royal Park’s magnificent minibeasts this summer. For more information about our Giant Snail Tour please visit the website via link above.

 

*Featured article 

Festive Skiing with Ski Famille

Skiing at any time of the season makes for a fantastic family holiday, but it’s over Christmas and New Year that a special ski holiday can become a magical one. Escape from the hustle and bustle that comes hand in hand with the festive season and head off to your very own winter wonderland.

We all dream of a white Christmas and a ski holiday can make that dream a reality. Imagine the excitement of waking up on Christmas morning in a luxurious alpine chalet surrounded by picturesque snow-capped mountains. Hit the slopes for an invigorating day of skiing (making time for that mountain lunch on a sunny terrace), before heading back to your luxury chalet to be wined and dined by your personal chalet chef and host.

Family ski specialists, Ski Famille provide a traditional Christmas experience including a visit from Father Christmas himself who will hand-deliver your children’s presents on Christmas day. Enjoy some family time beside a roaring log fire, before settling down to a delicious three course Christmas meal complete with crackers and a choice of wines – all without having to lift a finger. Finish the day by relaxing in the hot tub with a glass of bubbly whilst the washing up is being done by the friendly chalet team.

Ski resorts traditionally go to great lengths to ensure Christmas in the mountains feels really special. In the resort of Les Gets in the Portes du Soleil your children can pay a visit to Father Christmas in the Enchanted forest, discover his workshop and meet his little helpers. Ski Famille can book this excursion on your behalf.

If Christmas plans are already in the diary, New Year is an equally fantastic time for a family ski holiday. There really is no better way to see in 2018 than sipping champagne next to a roaring fire surrounded by your closest family and friends.

Ski Famille provide a spectacular three course evening meal, specially created for New Year’s guests. Spend the evening dining with family and friends before taking heading out to enjoy the celebrations taking place across your resort. Finish the night off with a spectacular firework display before taking on that red run first thing on New Year’s morning.

The festive period is about spending time together as a family, but it’s also nice to have some adults-only time. Booking your ski holiday with a specialist gives you access to childcare providing you with the flexibility and freedom to spend time both alone and en-famille. Ski Famille’s À La Carte childcare is provided in the chalet you stay in, meaning no snowy trudge to a centralised crèche. Private nannies will take your children to and from ski school as well as providing wrap-around care back at your chalet when they aren’t on the slopes.

Do something different this festive season. Head for the Alps and enjoy a Christmas or New Year holiday the whole family will remember for years to come.

Exclusive Christmas and New Year Offer

For a limited period Ski Famille are offering FREE child places over Christmas and New Year. Book a Ski Famille holiday commencing the 23rd or 30th December 2017 and receive child reductions based our Entrée category where children can go free.

 

*featured article 

A back to school quiz with Stuck on You

Are you sick and tired of any of the following?

  • Visiting Lost Property, only to come up empty handed?
  • Wasting money constantly replacing lost items?
  • Fielding arguments between your children as to who owns what?

Luckily we have just the solution for you. Stuck on You have fabulous range of name labels and other personalised products which are not only stylish and fun, but they are sturdy enough to survive being wet, dropped, scratched.. anything your child cares to throw at it. Well, almost anything…



Rah Rah Rad Recipe for Lost Things

 

  • Take wads of cash or credit card with generous limit.
  • Purchase loads of school uniforms, hats, gloves, swimmers, sports gear (adapt as necessary).
  • Garnish your child with the appropriate items, unlabelled, and release into the wild – aka school.
  • Add a generous helping of other children. For optimal effectiveness, ensure that these other children are wearing similar items to your child.
  • Stir in a bucket load of new knowledge for your child’s growing brain to process – long division, verbs vs adverbs, the 6 wives of Henry VIII (or is that the 8 wives of Henry VI)
  • Garnish with a sprinkling of high-energy lunchtime fun.
  • Watch in wonder as things disappear before your very eyes.
  • Repeat as necessary


Once you have completed this recipe, you have one of several options.

Option 1: Do nothing – aka more shopping! 
This option works best if you like useless shopping trips and spending money on preventable losses. Note that is likely to result in repeating Steps 1 to 8 in a seemingly endless (and expensive) cycle.

Option 2: Take a trip to the Lost Property bins
Enjoy a leisurely swim through mountains of frayed hats. Relax in a sea of ‘fragrant’ sports jumpers. The more observant traveller may also spot rarer sights such as old band aids, underpants (!!) and a lonely shoe.
If desired item is found, repeat from Step 3 (after washing off the lonely shoe smell, of course).

Option 3: Implement a labelling regime
This one is the easiest and cheapest option. Hop onto stuckonyou.uk, choose from a range of our original and gorgeous designs, type in your child’s name and place the order. Once we have delivered the goodies to your door, just stick or iron these onto uniforms, books, toys.. you name it (literally!)



You might feel like labelling adds yet another task to your already long to-do list, but we guarantee that it will spare you hassles in the longer run.

But wait, there’s more!

Stuck on You are the name label guru but did you know we also do other personalised products? High quality bags, drink bottles, baby gifts, wooden name puzzles, among other treasures. There’s nothing like personalised pizzazz to bestow bragging rights onto your kids and instil a pride of ownership. Your kids will not only be less likely to lose their stuff, they’ll also be less likely to want to. It’s a win for all!

*Featured Post

Summer Scoop 2017

Iverna Gardens Summer Camp 2017! Let’s go on a trip to the other side of the world (without leaving London)!  Curious children who love to discover, make and perform are invited to explore South America and Africa. The camp, deemed “a hidden gem in Kensington” by parents,  is packed with activities, including: a visit to London Zoo, costumes and body painting, toy making workshops, traditional dancing and choreography with a professional dancer, cooking, and much more! The camp is Montessori-inspired, which means it caters for different abilities and ages while encouraging independence and creativity. Teachers are nurturing, experienced and above all, fun! South America Week July 17th – July 21st Ages: 3 to 6 years. Africa Week July 24th – July 28th Ages: 4 to 10 years. Cost: £55 per day (minimum 3 days) Time: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Summer is here so head outdoors for our awesome Survival Party (6-14 y/o). This involves an action-packed expedition into the woods or a park, where children become sneaky snipers, learn about camouflage, make fire without matches, build shelters, eat bugs and play woodland games like capture the flag and 40:40. This is ideal for all those budding Bear Grylls out there! For aspiring athletes who are into silly races and competitions, the Mini-Olympics Party is the one for them (4-10 y/o). Both parties finish with an epic game of water bomb catapulting! For further information visit Sharky & George or email team@sharkyandgeorge.co.uk.

 

Tails & Beau is a high-end activity camp, located in Chelsea, run during the school holidays. It provides a safe and exciting environment for children to be socially, emotionally and physically stimulated. Tails & Beau co-founders Ruth and Tally met in 2013 whilst working in the field of education. They quickly became friends, as they shared the same ethos and principles in their ambition to provide the best experiences for the children in their care. Tails & Beau simply provides exceptional care and inspiration for children. We aim to build a child’s confidence and competence; the foundation of positive self-esteem.

Kiddikicks promises not just football fun and fresh air this Summer but Athletics too. Popular kid’s football club, Kiddikicks, has something special planned for the football off-season. From July 10th to September 3rd, children ages 18 months to 11 years will have the opportunity to participate in athletics and football to help keep restless young padawans match fit for the upcoming season in September.  Parents who book before June 30th, 2017 receive 2 FREE SESSIONS –  a super-duper deal of 7 classes for the price of 5 (weekends) or 8 classes for the price of 6 for weekdays.  Enrich your weekends with some outdoor fitness, fun and friends in Hyde Park, Queens Park, Paddington Recreation Ground & Regents Park. More information on our website & online booking available!

This summer, Little Voices will be running THREE performing arts week for boys and girls aged 4 – 13 Years. Children will be transported through a wondrous four-day week of singing, dancing & acting. Learn an entire script in 4 days, be part of a big show, meet lots of new people and make lots of new friends. 9.30am – 3.30pm each day.  £180.00 for the fours day week. £10 OFF booking made before: Friday 14th July, 20% OFF two or more bookings made together. ‘Beauty & The Beast’ 24th – 27th July, St Ethelred’s Church, FULHAM. ‘Wicked Meets the Wizard of Oz’ 31st July – 3rd August, Putney High School, PUTNEY ‘Charlie & The Chocolate Factory’ 21st – 24th August, St John’s Waltham Green Primary School, FULHAM. Email: SWL@littlevoices.org.uk or call: 07823384992

Dusty’s Wildlife Rangers. Saturday 22 July – Sunday 3 September. This summer bring your kids to WWT London Wetland Centre so they can enjoy the excitement of becoming a Wildlife Ranger!Grab a net and try pond dipping; join our warden to discover more about our wildlife; or learn how to use binoculars! When you arrive at our center you’ll receive your FREE Wildlife Ranger log book packed with everything you need for a day of exciting discoveries.

 

 

Yellowbird Education is offering Creative Writing Workshops in Fulham over the summer holidays. These interactive, lively workshops aim to unlock your child’s creativity; nurturing aspiring authors and inspiring reluctant writers. Our workshops encourage creative thinking, develop literacy skills and most importantly build your child’s confidence. Yellowbird will also be holding Magic Link Handwriting Workshops in the summer.  The Magic Link programme changes writing from messy and illegible to neat and flowing. This programme teaches joined-up, cursive writing in 30 simple steps. Writing becomes more enjoyable and self-confidence increases with the Magic Link method. Check their website or email them at Hello@yellowbirdeducation.com.

Join our Hands-on, project based Little House of Science Summer Camps this July and August at Imperial College, daily from Tues-Thurs 10.00-15.00, £168/child. Age 4-11 years, max 15 children. With exciting topics such as the Human Anatomy, Exploring the Universe, discover and experiment like one of the greatest Geniuses in world of Science, learn all about the Amazing Animal Kingdom and become a Chemist and Engineer for the week. Your children will work, experiment every day in age-adjusted groups with the help of our inspiring Science instructors. Check their website for more information or call 0800 092 1062.

Did you know that without invertebrates like bees, butterflies, spiders and worms we’d struggle to survive? These animals provide us with vital services such as pollinating plants. Thanks to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we’ve launched Mission: Invertebrate to get a better understanding of the invertebrates that live in the grasslands of London’s Royal Parks. This summer the Mission: Invertebrate team are hitting the road with our Giant Snail Tour! Look out for our snail caravan and join us for a free family day of fun including storytelling, bug trails, creative crafting and invertebrate missions! Events are taking place in a variety of locations throughout July – October between 11am – 3pm.

It’s all about stories at The British Library this July, as we explore Africa and South Asia through drama games, movement and sound. Discover the magic and mysteries of African stories with Magic of Stories on Saturday 1 July, in conjunction with Africa Writes, and be inspired by sheikhs and suffragettes in South Asian Stories on Friday 28 July, part of the Library’s South Asian Year of Culture.

Gymboree Play and Music Kensington and Chelsea . We are excited to launch our exclusive Summer Membership. A flexible membership to fit in around your summer plans 🙂 6 Classes & Unlimited Open Gym Session’s!  Valid for- 3 months. Price – one off payment of just £120! All Kensington Mums will get a 50% discount off the joining fee! At Gymboree Play & Music, you and your child will build creativity, confidence and lifelong friendships. Gymboree Play & Music classes are designed by experts in early childhood development to help young children learn as they play. Our classes also involve you as parent or carer teaching you fun and interesting ways to engage and excite your young child.

Sparks Summer Film Shoots – Make a Movie in a Week!  Join in with an action-packed summer camp full of movie making fun for children and teenagers, ages 7 – 14 in age-tiered crews. Young movie makers discover new creative skills, both in front of and behind the camera, as they produce and perform in their own movie masterpiece. Afterwards, there’s a celebratory red carpet West End cinema screening for friends and family. Courses are held at St James Junior School and start in July. Kensington Mums can save £25 on the course fee (usually £265) with the code “Scoop”.

Youngstars Summer Holiday Camp @ Cupcake Family Club (Monday 17th July – Friday 1st September for 3-7years), Parsons Green. Youngstars Holiday camps are guaranteed to be full of fun, games and excitement whilst introducing aspects of several sports all within a non-competitive & all inclusive environment. Every game, drill and exercise is designed to improve coordination, awareness, motor skills and above all team work. Cupcakea fantastic venue that boasts two indoor studios along with dedicated space for arts, crafts and even cooking! As you would imagine, the venue is very secure making it a perfect location to base one of our Holiday Camps. Sibling and multiple day discounts available. Contact John on 07749 343116 or info@young-stars.co.uk

This summer holiday plan a trip to KidZania London, the indoor city where the kids are in charge and participate in a host of activities. KidZania London offers 4-14 year olds more than 60 real life activities, spanning across 75,000 square feet. Blending learning with reality and entertainment, each career at KidZania is developed to  teach kids essential life skills including financial literacy, teamwork and independence. Designed to empower and entertain kids, KidZania gives children the  chance to challenge themselves and explore the world of opportunities.If your child has ever dreamt of becoming a pilot, a firefighter or the next award winning singer, watch the excitement on their faces as they try out real life activities! The concept effectively gives them their first taste of independence and gets kids thinking about what they might want to be in the future.

Get 15% OFF your first lesson at your own pool and be sure your child is water confident and ready for their summer holiday.  Book a time and date that is most convenient for you, avoid the stress of traveling and have the added benefit of being in your own home. We are a dedicated, friendly team determined to include all children irrespective of ability. At Making Waves Swim School we focus on the individual needs of each child. Our lessons are structured, stimulating, engaging but most of all fun, whilst teaching the all important life skill of swimming. Call 01829 782 494

Keren’s Nursery, Wednesdays open days 10-11am. “A home away from home” Nursery School in HOLLAND PARK W11 4RB is part of a group of three nurseries, two of which are rated OFTED OUTSTANDING! Providing care and education for children aged 6 months – 5 years with flexible times and availability of full days (08:00-18:00). Award winning homemade meals cooked on site. Highly experienced staff team who ensure a stimulating, high quality environment and rich curriculum. Children are observed daily by their key teachers who make sure they reach their full potential. Children are prepared for school and for life, gaining important skills to be confident, independent individuals with a passion for learning. Visit online or call, detail in link.

 
Kids Week (1 – 31 August 2017) is all about encouraging young people to get involved in theatre. A child aged 16 or under can go free to any participating show when accompanied by an adult paying full price. Adults can also purchase up to two extra children’s tickets at half price. Plus, there are no booking fees to pay!
 
The Hive at Kew Gardens is a unique, multi-sensory experience designed to highlight the extraordinary life of bees. A feat of British engineering, it stands 17 metres tall, set in a wildflower meadow.
 
Art of the Brick- DC Super Heroes. The world’s largest LEGO® exhibition inspired by DC Characters.
Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park is a music festival held over two weekends once a year in London’s Hyde Park. from 30 June to 9th July 2017.
  

Fashion’s Best Kept Secret: Vestiaire Collective

If you haven’t heard of Vestiaire Collective, then listen up because you’re about to discover the fashion industry’s best kept secret.

The leading online platform for buying and selling luxury pre-owned fashion, Vestiaire Collective is changing the way we look at our wardrobes. Founded in the perennially stylish fashion capital, Paris, it has become the go-to destination for fashion insiders to both source and sell, bringing about a new era of smart shopping.

Whether you’re looking for that sold-out piece from last season or a rare vintage gem, explore Vestiaire Collective’s treasure trove of over 500,000 products from the most in demand designer brands including Hermès, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Isabel Marant and more. With all sold items personally checked and authenticated by a team of in-house experts, you can guarantee that what you’re buying is the real deal. Plus, with the majority of items rated in ‘Very Good Condition’ you can find amazing pieces that have only been worn once or twice, as well as those all-too familiar impulse buys that still have their tags. Challenging the stigma of ‘second hand’, Vestiaire Collective has become a serious contender for those seeking luxury pieces that you won’t find anywhere else.

If on the other hand your motto is out with the old and in with the new, or if your wardrobe is overflowing and you don’t know where to start, then why not try Vestiaire Collective’s exclusive concierge selling service, a complete end-to-end selling option for those in the London area. Completely hassle free, the service is perfect for those who can’t find 5 minutes for themselves, let alone dedicate an entire afternoon to clearing out your wardrobe.

The concierge team can either book you a door-to-door collection where a courier simply picks up the items you wish to sell, or if you’re in need of a more extensive wardrobe detox, you can request an at-home appointment with Charlie Collins, the VIP Manager. She’ll turn up with a coffee in hand, ready to work through your wardrobe together systematically and create an edit of pieces to sell. The clothes will then be collected that same day to be processed and listed online by the VIP team. If you’re interested in finding out more, simply email conciergelondon@vestiairecollective.com 

* Featured Article

4 ways to get your kids eating more veggies with Farmdrop

Farmdrop are here to get you eating not just more veggies, but fresher, healthier and tastier ones too! They deliver their organic produce direct from local farms to your door 7 days a week. Farmdrop are the new way to do your weekly shop, with new BBQ & baby ranges adding to their impressive range, and they’ve offered us some tips on how to get those little ones eating more veg!

Every mum has a horror story about a vegetable-induced tantrum at some point or another. Whether it’s green beans or carrots or anything in-between, some kids can wreak havoc over the dinner table, making quick work of your plea bargains of ‘just eat half of them’ or ‘no dessert unless you finish your veggies’. Early introduction to veggies makes for better eating habits later in life, so here are some creative ways to wiggle that extra portion of veg into the day. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t be encouraging kids to find their own tastes and enjoy vegetables regardless of how they are prepared, but these recipes are aimed at introducing pickier eaters to a wider palate that will in time become a not-so-sneaky love for veg!

1: Breakfast Smoothies

The most important meal of the day – and not one people would usually think about veg for. Whipping up smoothies are super easy and are also great fun to do together with the little ones (under supervision of course!) so they can make their own at breakfast. Combining veg with fruit is a great way to help sneak those much needed nutrients in right at the beginning of the day. Here’s one that our founder Ben loves making with his kids!

If making juice, be careful as much of the fibre from your fruit or veg gets left behind in the pulp, whereas smoothies usually contain all the edible pulp. For adults, unsweetened 100% fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies can only ever count as a maximum of one portion of your 5 A Day. Your combined daily total from fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies should not be more than 150ml a day – which is a small glass – because they can contain a lot of fruit sugar. So try to keep it veg heavy at breakfast with the kids!

2: Ethically Sauced

Sauces are another easy way to cram more veggies into meals. Try pureeing carrots to add to your bolognese or shepherd’s pie. Blitz avocado and peas for a quick dip or try kale or spinach with broad beans and mint, ready for dunking carrot sticks, cucumber batons or even lightly cooked asparagus spears. Introducing finely chopped veggies into soups and casseroles is also a great way to introduce little ones to new tastes, and as they get used to them appearing into their meals you can start chopping them into bigger and bigger pieces. They won’t even notice that they’ve started enjoying them!

3: Chips ‘n Crisps!

Forget soggy oven McChips; there are loads of great veggies that you can turn into crisps and/or chips! Try baking up a batch of Kale crisps using a little oil & salt – much healthier than anything on the supermarket shelves – simply drizzle some oil & salt over washed kale and bake for 15 minutes. For chips, why not try courgettes, carrots or even avocado! Roll them in breadcrumbs and bung in the oven for 30min at 180, turning occasionally.

4: Start small, aim big

Farmdrop have recently introduced Ratatouiie baby foods onto their shop. Helene Piquion, founder of Ratatouïe, maker of healthy homemade fresh baby and toddler meals tells us;

“When I turned to supermarkets, the convenient baby food range was colourless, uniformly flavoured, and filled with all sorts of nasties. Most products had a shelf-life longer than the age of my daughter, which can only mean a preservation process that kills natural forms of nutrients, minerals or vitamins. So I started Ratatouïe and transformed my passion for food into my mission: to offer parents the best available shortcut to more quality family time.

I love my trusted veg supplier Langridge Organic. They know every single quirky fact about the producers they work with. For meat I go to my local butcher M.Moen & Sons and Moxons for fish. Our ingredients are super-fresh and cooked from scratch in a very traditional way at Ratatouïe.”

Farmdrop are offering Kensington Mums £25 off their first farmdrop shop over £50, simply enter “kensingtonmums25” at checkout at  farmdrop.com

Written in partnership with our friends www.farmdrop.com, who are passionate about delivering healthy, ethically produced food to your home

Could Couple Therapy Help?

If you feel your relationship is not quite what you expected, you need to ask yourself whether talking to an impartial, non-judgemental therapist, who is skilled in listening carefully and helping with relationships might be something you would benefit from. Or maybe you know someone to whom this applies and who could use a fresh perspective.

Coming to a third party to talk about your personal problems may seem like a difficult step to take but it’s important to point out two key things that should reassure you:

  • by using a specially trained, officially-accredited couples therapist, you are benefitting not only from many years of specialist training but a wealth of experience seeing and helping people
  • large scale and credible research has demonstrated that couple therapy actually works.

Why Might People Need Support With Their Relationships?

People benefit from couple therapy for many different reasons. It may be that the relationship has broken down or that there is anxiety that it might. Sustaining a fulfilling and stable relationship is never easy. Think about the pressures that everyday life presents to busy mothers, for example, who have multiple roles as mothers, partners, family members, workmates and so on:

  • work
  • money
  • children
  • family tensions
  • ill health.

All of these life challenges contribute to creating problems that can lead to depression and other difficulties for one or both partners. That works to the detriment of the ‘romantic’ relationship.

Sometimes couples can’t talk to each other, and meeting with a couples therapist can open the way to better communication, which is a key part of improving relationships. Couple therapy aims to help you to achieve:

  • recovery from depression
  • better communication and ability to work together
  • greater awareness of each of your needs
  • greater understanding of your partner and yourself, and of the differences between you
  • a better sense of closeness between the two of you
  • a more stable family life
  • greater confidence about the future
  • an improved sexual relationship if this is needed.

Evidence Proves the Value of Couple Counselling

The results of our ‘experience of service’ data from hundreds of individuals and couples who attended six weeks of counselling show a high satisfaction rate, and over 90% of users rate the sessions as helpful. The vast majority also said that the sessions helped them understand themselves, their partner and their relationship with their children.

One of our couples expressed this as follows within the comments they wrote after seeing us:

“It has changed the nature of our relationship and made family life so much better… ”

“I didn’t think talking about a problem could be so helpful.”

Couple Therapy, Mental Health and Wellbeing

We look at the whole picture. We measure wellbeing and mental health symptoms, as well as relationship satisfaction, throughout the therapy using reliable and validated measures.

Indeed our standard couple therapy service is among the best ever studied. The research team has recently published the outcomes of the largest ever naturalistic study in couple therapy.

The results show convincingly that our model, as delivered by therapists who were trained here –  generally over four years of study and practice – is indeed effective.

Why Our Couple Therapy?

Tavistock Relationships offers counselling and therapy services to couples, individuals and parents. It is probably one of the largest psychotherapy providers in London. Tavistock Relationships has a team of around 100 therapists, counsellors and psychologists who deliver together more than 17,000 sessions a year in our centres in London.

Our core therapeutic model has been developed over almost 70 years. It combines clinical expertise and in-depth theoretical knowledge with research and therapists’ training. A number of innovative psychotherapy approaches have stemmed from this core model. These approaches help with a range of relationship difficulties including issues involving psychosexual problems, parenting, separation and divorce, as well as other specialist concerns.

You can book an initial assessment (with no obligation) at one of our two London Centres, here.

 *Featured Article

Father’s Day with Veruschka Baudo Portrait

I’m an Italian contemporary portrait photographer and I specialize in photographing women and families, drawing inspiration from the fashion world.

I love making women look and feel beautiful and my mission is to make sure that every family I photograph will own beautiful portraits to treasure for generations!

I offer fine art and classic portraiture from my home studio in West London but I also love to capture more informal, natural pictures on location.

I have an editorial, ‘fashion magazine’ style, I love vibrant colours, strong emotions and to capture the true essence of the person I’m photographing.

When I take pictures of families or children, the most important aspect for me it to capture the joy and they love between them. When I take portraits of women, my main goal is to make them feel relaxed and beautiful as if they stepped out of a magazine!

I deeply value quality in my portraits and constantly stress the importance of printing the photos. This is the reason why I always offer a matted print of each family portrait together with the digital copy.

I’m very passionate about my work, I love interacting with people and having fun on the photo shoot. My work is often described as timeless, full of love and emotions.

 

FATHER’S DAY SPECIAL OFFER

Give dad the best father’s day gift.  Book a day for all the family to have fun, enjoy a special photoshoot and create memories that will last for generations.

Book by Sunday 11th June:

– The first 5 families that will book the ‘Family on location package’ at £475, will receive a £150 gift voucher to use towards prints, albums or wall art.

Family Location Package includes : Pre-session consultation, 1 hour session at home or location, private viewing, 10 fully retouched 7″x10” matted prints with digital copy.

The gift voucher is valid until August 2017.

For more information about Veruschka Baudo Portrait please find below her contact details, make sure to quote “Kensington Mums”.

URL: http://veruschkabaudo.com/

INSTA: https://www.instagram.com/veruschkabaudo_portraits

TEL: 07973 488684

Cast away to a mysterious island… in South Kensington

The smash-hit classical show for kids, My Great Orchestral Adventure, returns to the Royal Albert Hall in October for another magical musical journey.

Your little ones are invited to sail away with a full symphony orchestra, getting to sing, dance and join in as they help the conductor to navigate the stormy seas and survive a shipwreck.

They’ll journey to a mysterious island, build shelters, ‘swim in the sea’ and meet amazing characters along the way, all without leaving the Royal Albert Hall’s legendary auditorium, thanks to a specially-selected repertoire of orchestral movements, children’s songs and movie themes, along with some pieces you might not have heard before.

Lucy Noble, Artistic Director at the Royal Albert Hall, said: “My Great Orchestral Adventure is about introducing young people to the magic of classical music through an exciting, engaging story, a string of unforgettable instrumentations and plenty of fun audience interaction.

My two children came along to last year’s concert with me, and were wowed by the atmosphere, the costumes and the unforgettable music, as they helped the conductor to find a magic baton. We can’t wait to invite young audiences back to the Hall for this stunning follow-up show with its fun nautical theme – all aboard the HMS Albert!”

The event on Wednesday 25 October will be hosted by ‘Chief Adventurer’ Tom Redmond, with his brother, Timothy Redmond, acting as Master of Ceremonies, and conducting the Royal Albert Hall’s own celebrated Orchestra of Adventurers.

It has been designed by the Hall’s Education & Outreach department as an ideal introduction to orchestral concert music – at the home of classical music – for kids, toddlers and under- 3s, who have the chance to interact with the performers, and vote to determine where the story goes next!

Last year’s sell-out performances were celebrated on CBeebies and rapturously received by young audiences, whose reviews included:

“It was great, I really liked the Star Wars music and when Tom had to go into the troll cave and got snot all over his hand. That was really funny. 10/10”

“It was really brilliant. I liked going on a bear hunt. 10/10”

My Great Orchestral Adventure is the headline show of a jam-packed October half-term programme at the Hall, featuring concerts, storytelling sessions and activity workshops.

Book your tickets now to avoid disappointment, and look forward to a setlist including:

Wagner Flying Dutchman Overture
John Williams Jurassic Park
Britten Storm from Four Sea Interludes
Stravinksy Infernal Dance from Firebird Suite
Klaus Badelt Pirates of the Caribbean
Stephens We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

My Great Orchestral Adventure is at the Royal Albert Hall for just two performances only, on Wednesday 25 October (1pm and 4:30pm). Tickets priced £15-40 are available from www.royalalberthall.com / 020 7589 8212.

*Featured Article

 

How to explain terror attacks to children?

What happened a few days ago in Manchester shocked us to say the least and that night, many of us went home and hugged their children a bit tighter. These days, nowhere seems to be safe enough. Some of our children are old enough to see what is going on from the news but do they really understand what is going on? We hardly comprehend it ourselves so it’s even harden to answer the many questions our little ones ask us. So how do we explain to kids what terror attacks are about?

When the Westminster attack took place in March, we read this article by Sky News which we found very useful. So if you’re struggling to explain the Manchester attack to your children, here are a few things to do to help them understand a bit better.

1. Don’t try to turn off the news when there is bad news.

Sadly, in the technological world in which we live, adults are no longer in control of how children access information. News comes at us 24 hours a day from dedicated news channels, radio, the internet, and newspaper headlines.

Even if you manage to shield your children from all of that, things that happen in the news will be talked about in the school playground or lunch hall.

Better that your child is armed with the real facts than hearing exaggerated, second or third-hand versions. Information is better than misinformation.

2. Even if your child doesn’t mention bad news, don’t assume they are not troubled by it.

They may be worrying quietly inside.

Explain simply what has happened, taking care not to use sensationalised words that tend to be used by the national press.

3. First News covers good and bad news in the paper and on our daily online news channel, First News Live!

Use our content, made especially for children, as a platform to talk to children about the news.

It is always created to explain what has happened but to offer reassurance, too.

4. Remind them that there is much more good news than bad news happening.

And that there are many more good people than bad people.

5. Reassure them that they are safe.

Even though events like the one yesterday in London are scary, they are incredibly rare – which is why they are in the news.

Tell them that sadly three members of the public died in the incident but there were eight million people in London at the time.

The likelihood of being caught up in an event like this is so, so small, you can’t even do the sum to calculate the risk.

6. Remind children that the best way to stay safe is to take care in their own daily lives.

Children are more likely to have an accident in their own home than when they are out and about.

7. Hold them a little bit closer and for a little bit longer.

 

Featured Image Source: The Independant 

Vote for Kensington Mums as London’s Top Mummy Blogger 2017

We were overjoyed after being nominated as London’s Mummy Blogger 2017 by Motherhood London along side some amazing and very inspiring fellow mothers and bloggers. Thank you all for helping us get here!

Voting has now opened to choose your favourite Mama Blogger for 2017.

If you love what we do for our community of mothers, we would appreciate your time and your vote to make it as Top Mummy Blogger!!! It would mean a lot to us. Every vote, every minute of your time helps us keep motivated in doing what we do with a true passion, empowering and inspiring mothers not to feel & be alone through their motherhood days and journey.

Click on image below or here to vote for the Kensington Mums team. Voting ends 25th May 2017.

 

 

Thank you!

Kensington Mums favorite Parks

As it is International Day of Families on Monday, we wanted to share with you some of our favourite London Parks as those are the places we make many memories with our families in London.

Holland Park always had a special place in Dina’s heart since she was a little girl, Holland Park was where she played with her friends and family.  “The park’s playgrounds have slightly changed since those days but its beauty remains the same.  When I became a mother, I felt an enormous sense of joy taking my kids to the same park I went as a child bringing back joyful memories. The parks in London are where I adventured out with my babies for the first time, its where my children learned to explore and play, where I met up with other mums and where I went looking for some piece and quiet during harder times. I have the most beautiful memories of family picnics and fun summers.”

 

Here are Kensington Mums Favourite Parks around London

  • Holland Park. Adventure Playground and Kyoto Garden 
  • Kensington Gardens is an all time favourite for its fun playground named after Princess Diana as the Diana Memorial Playground. In this park there is so much to see and enjoy, from the Italian fountains to the Peter Pan statue as you walk through it. Just one road separates Kensington Garden to Hyde park which is another stunning park where so much happens, from horse riding to Christmas fun fairs in the winter and lots of amazing concerts throughout the Summer.
  • Bishops Park, just a  short walk from Parsons Green and Fulham and along side the river. This park  has so much to offer, 3 different playgrounds for children of different ages, a lovely pond to take the children look at the ducks and a fun sand pit and water area for kids to enjoy on a sunny day. From Bishops park you can enter Fulham Palace, The historic home of Bishops of London with the most beautiful garden for families to enjoy for picnics and children to play and explore.
  • Regents Park. The colours in spring are just great, make sure you pop into London Zoo when your are nearby.
  • Battersea Park is not just a park but has its own  Zoo which is definitely worth a visit with little ones.
  • Greenwich Park. You could spend a whole day in this park and not get enough of it. This is the best place to visit with your little ones as there are many playgrounds but also the most wonderful ‘date’ spot or Zen moment once you reach the top of the hill and can enjoy the breathtaking view of London. If you plan a visit, do pass by and visit Mudchut Park and Farm.
  • Brook Green. This small play area is great for little ones and its normally packed after school and on weekends.
  • Richmond Park, although a little further away from Kensington and Central London is still one of London’s greatest Gems.  Spotting the reindeers are our family’s favourite.

Karen’s Nursery in Holland Park

Keren’s Nursery in Holland Park is one of three Ofsted OUTSTANDING nurseries, owned and directed with passion by husband and wife team, Keren & Assaf Ben-Ezra. Starting their first nursery in their home fourteen years ago with just three children, their nurseries have evolved into unique childcare settings with a team of highly professional leaders supporting staff to nurture and teach the next generation.  They do this by creating a highly stimulating environment, which enables children to be independent and to initiate their own play and explore ideas.  “We believe in the personal touch”, explains Assaf, “We create communities!  As a result, the children feel at home”.

Keren believes that children learn through play and the activities throughout the nurseries’ daily routine are designed to encourage children’s natural curiosity. The nurseries emphasize developing children’s social, creative, communication and listening skills, as well as physical and emotional development. Maths and Literacy skills develop with the child’s interests and are included every day in the curriculum. Furthermore, sensory development is a strong focus in the Nursery’s new Baby room and they provide many opportunities for babies to explore, using all of their senses. The foundation skills gained at Keren’s. “We equip children from as young as 6 months to Reception school with important life skills” guarantees Keren proudly. “We are privileged to take part in developing children’s self-esteem, identity and independence”.  In addition to an exciting curriculum, Keren’s provide extracurricular activities such as Music lessons, Yoga, Stretch and Grow, Sports and Zumba classes.

Keren’s Nurseries pride themselves on establishing strong and happy relationships between staff and children and amongst the children themselves. They form close bonds between the nursery staff and parents, constantly working on smooth communication, through newsletters, photo links, texting and emailing; each parent choosing their preferred method of communication.  Keren’s nurseries uses the “Tapestry” observation system, highly recommended by OFSTED, which gives both teachers and parents the ability to keep track of children’s progress across all seven areas of development within the Early Years Foundation Stage, the national curriculum for under-fives in the UK.  Parents receive access codes to view their children’s development at any time. Spending a full week at the nursery, with their key teachers, allows children to settle quicker and develop their confidence faster. Teachers tailor the curriculum and build children’s knowledge according to each child’s stage of development and interests.   Keren’s values the views of all staff, children, parents and other external professionals, which they consider as part of their self-evaluation process. Keren’s set continuous targets, which are regularly reviewed to maintain high standards. Children with additional needs receive exceptional one-to-one support from staff, which enable them to make rapid progress from their starting points with sensitive and professional support.

Ofsted inspectors are impressed by the strong and confident teams at Keren’s nurseries. In their last inspection report the Ofsted inspector commented that “Management and all staff are extremely committed to providing challenging, unique and memorable learning experiences for all children on a daily basis. Inspirational leadership and high aspirations empower staff to reach their full potential.”

Keren explains that the nursery teachers have become experts in helping to settle in children to the nursery who have English as an additional language or who have moved to London from other countries. Being bi-lingual herself, Keren is aware of how difficult the first few days and weeks can be.  To help children to feel at home, we use visual aids and Makaton (sign language) aids to help children to understand their new environment and support them with making transitions.

This year Keren’s Nurseries pre-school classes have started utilising the Forest School approach, allowing their children to have valuable outdoor experiences in the local parks.

Keren’s established track record ensures that children are best prepared for a successful admission into top primary schools. Nursery founder, Keren Ben-Ezra says, “We make sure that all children make progress and reach their full potential, whilst nurturing their emotional well-being.”  Children who leave Keren’s nurseries are confident, independent little learners with a thirst for knowledge.

Last but not least, each nursery has its own chef who cooks nutritious, kosher, healthy food every day. Menus are balanced so that children receive the correct amount of protein, carbohydrate and vegetables throughout the day. Keren’s nursery has been awarded a “healthy eating” award from Camden Council.

For more information please visit www.kerensnursery.com and to arrange a viewing of this lovely nursery, including the baby room, please contact hollandpark@kerensnursery.com or phone Tina Bloch on 020 3457 8020.

*Featured Article

Inspiring Story of a depressed Mother

As its Mental Health Awareness Week (8-14 May), we wanted to share a personal story from our of our members and loyal followers Manraj, (Follow her on Instagram @northerbindi). Just in case you missed our previous post on Maternal Mental Health, you can read it here. We hope it will help you and inspire you in some way or another.

Manraj shares with us her motherhood journey in her depression.

Here are Maraj’s words.

My depression was harrowing.

I’m not really convinced that my depression was solely down to the trauma of giving birth to Arjun or whether I was always prone to it. I had suffered in my younger days and it had crept back into my life when I first got married. This time though it felt different. The internal pain was more physical. My heart hurt, it felt like someone was shredding it into small parts, slowly and deliberately to cause maximum pain. It felt like someone was actually my suffering.

As Arjun endured a new set of tests, and we were given further results which revealed more of the devastating effects of the brain damage, I withdrew more. I withdrew from Arjun and Dav. I showed him and Arjun no loving emotions, no tenderness and definitely no physical compassion, instead the anger at him for saving Arjun consumed me. Anger at Arjun for surviving. I know this sounds wicked, but it took me almost 10 years of therapy to admit to this, and then realise that in reality I was grieving.

Post natal depression or PND can hit you at anytime, it is not necessarily at birth or indeed after 5 day when the so called /baby blues hit. This is much more. In many cases you are left dealing with your emotions alone.

My most poignant memory is when I left Arjun with Dav and walked out of the house , knowing that I may not return. My mind was telling me to end it, drive my car straight into a wall or over a cliff edge. I cannot even begin to recall the deep dark emotions that clouded my numb mind. Yes, memories can play tricks on your mind sometimes, but I do recall parking up in the middle of nowhere (not really knowing where I was) and screaming in the car like a mad woman, almost beating myself as I did so. It was like the depression was consuming me from within and I was fighting with it physically as well as mentally, I recall the consuming anguish eating me and spitting me out.

I was truly alone.

It was only when I was exhausted that I felt the tug of the love for my son, for the child I had treasured in my womb for all those months that I managed blindly to return home. I have no idea how I got home, how I drove or how I survived, but I think the tug of love for my own blood running through Arjun, the love my parents and loss for Dav that brought me back, physically, not emotionally.

I am not saying that I am ok now. I am not. I continued to suffer with depression, triggered and exacerbated by two further difficult pregnancies and births.

I am what we call a ‘smiling depressive’. I smile on the outside but inside I’m a mess, but you know what, it’s ok.

Follow Manraj K Sanghera on her motherhood journey here. We share this story to empower and inspire you and to let you know you are not alone in your motherhood journey. All Mothers go through their own challenges, moments and problems. The real life of a mother is not as perfect as that depicted on social media. Never compare yourself to ideal and perfect images you see, most of the time thats not even real. It is what they choose for you to see.

Kensington Mums is a support network for Mums. In case you need advice, please seek professional help from experts. 

 

Maternal Mental Health Matters

Kensington Mums is joining  Maternal Mental Health Matters campaign to raise awareness for maternal mental health issues so that more women will get treatment and fewer will suffer.

World Maternal Mental Health Day was celebrated 3rd of May 2017

The above picture was taken a few years ago at a coffee morning of one of our lovely members Zehra with a group of lovely mummies and babies/toddlers. We get together to meet and mingle with other like minded Mums as motherhood can be hard on all of us at time. Sometimes we know we are doing all right and at other times we feel at our lowest. Maternal mental health should be a priority to us all because if mama is not OK the whole house will not be OK .

 

Here is a bit more infographics to show that maternal mental health should be a priority. We all loose our Shit sometimes, whats important is that we speak about it and seek help by experts. As mothers we are here supporting each other as we all go through our own motherhood journey.

Helping mothers, helping babies!
In many countries, as many as 1 in 5 new mothers experiences some type of perinatal mood and anxiety disorder (PMADs). These illnesses frequently go unnoticed and untreated, often with tragic and long-term consequences to both mother and child.

No one is immune!
Women of every culture, age, income level and race can develop perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Symptoms can appear any time during pregnancy and the first 12 months after childbirth. There are effective and well-researched treatment options available to help women recover.

 

llness is not a crime!
Women are sometimes considered to be criminals instead of patients needing treatment, in the case of infanticide. Through building awareness, it aims to prevent these tragedies and stands for just and scientifically based care.

No health without mental health!
Increasing awareness will drive social change with a goal toward improving the quality of care for women experiencing all types of PMADs, and reducing the stigma of maternal mental illness. We are encouraging mental health professionals, friends and relatives of new moms to ask her how she’s really feeling and encourage her to seek help.

#maternalMHmatters

Website source: World Maternal Mental Health Matters 

Maternal Health Alliance, UK.

Star Wars Weekend

On the 6th – 7th May, Hamleys London is dedicating an entire weekend to all things Star Wars. Located amongst the NEW Star Wars collection on the lower ground of its famous Regent Street store, you won’t want to miss out on these FREE activities;

  • Incredible LEGO models of some of your favourite characters
  • Take a selfie with a Stormtrooper
  • Become a Star Wars toy by having your picture taken in a life size toy box
  •        A chance to chase radio controlled BB-8 around the store
  •        Test out our brand new Bladebuilder Lightsabers
  •        Dress up as your favourite character to WIN amazing Star Wars prizes in store, with extra goodies for the grownups that join in too.

 

 

 

To top it off, there’s also offers that are out of this world on our fantastic range of Star Wars Toys which is currently the largest in the UK. The force is strong at Hamleys.

 

Keep up to date with information and timings for your local Hamleys Star Wars Weekend on Facebook.

 

For more information, see; www.hamleys.com/explore. Activity times and dates may vary.

Standard Hamleys T&C’s apply.

Open your Eyes to Boarding – the next step for your daughter

Modern boarding has evolved to suit modern lifestyles. A highly positive, often multi-national experience, boarding schools can be an excellent way to prepare your daughter for a culturally diverse, global world. A growing number of students board during the week or on a flexi basis, making it an excellent option for today’s families with busy lifestyles.

One of the great benefits of boarding is the tremendous opportunities it provides for your daughter to do well, whatever her interests. Many girls have multiple extra-curricular interests and boarding school life provides both the time and scope of activity for those who are multi-talented to blossom.

GSA boarding schools have a high ratio of teachers to pupils and across the sector as a whole, half of every A level exam taken is awarded a top A star or A grade and 96% of students from GSA schools progress to higher education. Well over half of students do well enough to access the top universities in the UK, including Oxford and Cambridge.

Today’s boarding environments are hugely various and, whether you’re looking for a large bustling city centre school or a small rural school with plenty of fresh air, there is likely one to suit your daughter’s personality and your family requirements. Some schools are very traditional, others less so. Each school has its own unique character and the facilities available to students can be outstanding, with state-of-the-art sports, drama and computing facilities.

Choosing a secondary school is a big decision, which is why it’s best to do as much research as possible before making your choice. Open Your Eyes to Boarding is an opportunity to discover what modern boarding has to offer your daughter. Together, you and your daughter can meet face to face with representatives of 25 top UK boarding schools for girls.

The event, organised by the Girls’ Schools Association, is being hosted by Broomwood Hall, SW12 on Thursday 27 April at 6.30pm till 8.30pm. Visitors will be able to meet current students as well as Heads and other school representatives. There will be Head Teacher discussion / Q&A panels on key topics of interest plus plenty of opportunity to talk one-to-one with Heads. You and your daughter will also be able to hop on the ‘boarding bus’ and see what a typical boarding school bedroom looks like.

“Boarding today offers tremendous choice and opportunity,” says Charlotte Avery, President of the Girls’ Schools Association. “This event will give you a flavour of the different sizes, ethos and locations of schools as well as how you can make boarding work for your individual family, with options such as flexi and weekly boarding as well as full boarding.”

Come to meet the schools and find out more on 27 April.

 

*Featured Post

 

 

Happy Easter to you and your little ones