Fatherhood by Rod McKenzie

Please introduce yourself: Name, what do you do & how many children you have.

My name is Rod McKenzie of Modern Dad Pages. I am a self-employed stay at home dad with 3 children Ryley my eldest (18), Logen (16) and Olivia (7). Now I know self-employed is very vague, but I do many things to bring in money and the largest part of that money would come from selling poles as in street light and traffic poles. Recently I have opened a little online shop called nineteen8one.com and I do some social media work for local companies. So yes I have a very varied work life.

How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a father?

I am fortunate enough to have been able to build a business working from home on my own terms which allows me to schedule my days in such a way that I can be there for my kids. This has made my balancing act so much easier.

What makes you, as a dad, happy?

My kid’s smiles and those moments when they are all getting along and having a ridiculous conversation. I can honestly say there are moments like that make me feel so much happiness I well up.

 

What is your favourite & least favourite thing about parenthood?

My favourite part of parenthood is when I have those glimpses when I know I am raising good people and my least favourite is the refereeing between them! They are siblings and can fight like cats and dogs at times lol!

If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?

Woody from toy story

I’m a dad and……?

Tell us something mummy doesn’t know, something that happened during a ‘dad on duty’ moment.

To be honest there is probably a lot! As I am the main caregiver a lot happens that’s forgotten about!

What does fatherhood represent to you? Please describe in few words what fatherhood means to you or has made out of you.

Being a dad has simply made me a better person.

What advice would you give a first-time dad?

Don’t stress yourself out so much about becoming a dad and enjoy being one! You will soon realize it’s not that hard if you just listen to yourself.

 Share a top tip with your fellow dads?

Don’t ignore your kids for anything. If they come to you because they have a funny story or whatever they have on their little minds take that moment to stop and listen because those are the moments you will always remember.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to School Party with Geox Kensington

We had our Back to School Party last Sunday with Geox Kensington. Thanks to Geox Kensington for having us and for all the lovely mummies and little ones that came along fur a fun morning and entertainment by Sharky and George.

 

All the kids got shoe fitted and a received complimentary school shoes. We all got entertained including little ones who got treated to lots of surprises and games including a surprise picnic, Geox gadget watch and goody bags.  Older ones enjoyed chatting with like-minded Mums and had plenty of drinks and canapés to nibble on all morning.

 

Mums enjoyed shopping with in-store discounts exclusive for Kensington Mums while little ones played, jumped and popped bubbles around the store. They even got very messy when painting with a pair of Geox shoes and colouring a huge Geox shoe Poster. It was a lot of fun!

Nobody left empty handed and all the Mums were treated to exclusive luxury goody bags with a bottle of prosecco from the Villa in Italy that the founder of GEOX owns.

 

Click through the gallery to see some pictures from the morning.

 

Here are a few testimonials from the Mums attending

We had a absolutely fabulous morning at the Geox VIP party.
Like all Kensington mums events I have attended it had been well organiser, relaxed and friendly.  It still amazes me how when a group of Kensington mums get together how quickly we’ll find something to laughter or talk about. The canapés & drinks were beautiful and the children tucking in to their little picnic hamper lunch was just the cutest thing. Thank you for making me and my girls a VlP for the morning I left with not just a goody bag and free Geox shoes for girls!! but with a spring in my step.

Thank you very much for having us. We had great fun, the entertainment was great fun, my little one enjoyed the ‘unpoppable’ bubbles loads and the shoes are lovely for little boys, sometimes it’s quite hard to find nice smart shoes for boys.

Fun morning @GeoxUK with @KensingtonMums & @sharkyngeorge worth the trip in the rain – thanks all

It was a great event for mums and kids. Met new mums and bought new shoes.
Shoes fantastic (for child and adult).

Me and my two girls had a wonderful time, well worth going out in the rain for. See you at the next Kensington Mums event.

Great morning at Geox thanks to Kensington Mums and Geox off course, and DS is loving his new school shoes (not to mention making me listen to everything on ‘repeat’ with his recordable bracelet).

As my 5 year old was entranced from the moment he walked in – something that often takes more than an hour.  The shoes look great.  It was also great to chat to some other mums without having to worry that the kids were happy/safe… Thank you Kensington Mums!

Thank you so much to Kensington Mums for hosting a fabulous “Back to School” party with Geox. My little boys had the best afternoon. From the delicious picnic basket lunches and treats to the creative fun with Sharky and George, my boys were delighted. The highlight was of course the very cool Geox school shoes. I don’t know if they can wait until September to wear them.
Thank out too for all of the “mom” treats. Super goodie bags, hors d’oeuvres, shopping discounts and adult conversation. Just what I needed!

 

Get in touch with us to organise bespoke events for your brand or business. Stay tuned for more exciting events, make sure we have your details. Register with us today. In case you are not following us, you can find us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

Sammy and Lali, new education app for review by Kensington Mums

Kensington Mums has collaborated with new education app, Sammy and Lali created by local Kensington parents.

This free app helps children aged 2-6 years old to learn through play and to develop new learning skills that will help them prepare for school.

We are looking for 10 Kensington Mums to review this new app. The app is also available in French, English and Spanish, so great for bilingual and trilingual families living in cosmopolitan London.

sammyandlaliKMTo take part, kindly email us at events@kensingtonmums.co.uk with subject heading ‘Sammy and Lali’. This app is  currently available only on iPhone and iPads. Your review will be used on www.kensingtonmums.co.uk and Sammy and Lali blog.

Organic Pharmacy Pamper time

We had our pamper morning on Saturday with a great group of Kensington Mums at The Organic Pharmacy, Kensington. Thanks to all the lovely mummies and little ones that came along.

We were treated to a rose Crystal Lymphatic Drainage facial, which was absolutely divine. We were also educated on homoeopathic remedies and their benefits for our general health and well being.  We all left feeling absolutely relaxed, energised and our skin sparkling with freshness. Summer time here we come!

 

We were spoilt by the lovely team at the Organic Pharmacy and were treated to lots of bubbly, fresh juice and healthy breakfast treats.

Click through the gallery to see some pictures from the evening.

 

 

Here are a few testimonials from the Mums attending

The Organic pharmacy event was delightful. The facil consultation was extremely helpful and the products heavenly. I bought the honey and jasmine face mask and recommended to my mother and sister!

I thought this event was excellent . The staff were very friendly, knowledgeable and very hospitable.I loved the mini facial and as we finished our treatments one by one that morning we all had a sunny Kensington glow !

I thought it was a really good way to introduce us to what was available at the pharmacy. I have walked past it so many times but never really noticed it or been aware of the products and guidance it can offer. I think this will be invaluable as Allegra grows up. It was really nice to have the skin analysis and be guided as to what products to use and perfect that it was on a Saturday so could be a relaxed event rather than either rushing to relieve a babysitter or not being able to get there as daddy/partner is not at home. I’m looking forward to the next event!

What a lovely way to spend a Saturday morning getting beauty and health tips. I really felt like I benefited from the treatment and advice. Thank you Kensington Mums for a relaxing experience. 

Stay tuned for more exciting events, make sure we have your details. Register with us today. In case you are not following us, you can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

Lingerie Lessons

Last Wednesday, we had a lovely group of Mums attending our Lingerie  Lessons with Chantelle Paris. The talk was very information and we all learned something new. Did you know that 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra? We also learned about the different bra styles and how important it is to wear the correct bra during and after pregnancy. Click through the gallery to see some pictures from the day. #sorrynopicturesofus

Make sure you follow us on Instagram for some Instapictures of our mumthly events and meet ups.

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Yoga in the Park

Last Saturday we had our first session of Yoga in Hyde Park. We were so happy with the beautiful weather as it was previously raining and wet. Thank you to all the lovely Kensington Mammas who came along.

Our spot for the yoga session had the most beautiful view in Hyde Park with the Serpentine Lake, Henry Moore Arch and Kensington Palace in the background. We were even lucky enough to spot a few rabbits hopping around us. Truly amazing experience. The pictures are finally here, so you can see for yourself.

 yoga in hyde park

 

A big thank you to our yoga instructor, Francesca who lead the class from Lumi Power Yoga. She was extremely helpful and patient especially as so many of the Mums including myself were beginners in Yoga. We did a lot of stretching, balance and deep breathing but most of all the Mums were asking for was abdominal exercises to get ready for the Summer holidays.  Enjoy browsing through the pictures of the Kensington Mums Fit Club, make sure you have liked our Facebook Page as that is where we post sneak peak pictures of our events and meet ups. We are working on having more of the yoga classes, so please make sure you are subscribed to our mailing list to get more information. Otherwise you can contact us here.

Family Day Out at Fulham Palace & Bishops Park

We love receiving personal reviews from our readers and followers. Today’s contributing article is by Laura who is a mum of two, living in West Kensington. Originally from Italy,  she moved to London with her partner in 2009 and hasn’t looked back. Co-founder of a digital advertising company, in her free time she enjoys hanging out in various parks around West London and exploring London and beyond with her family.  Find her on Instagram @WestLondonFamily

Bishops Park and Fulham Palace (SW6) are a great destination for a day out with family in West London. Both parents and kids will love it. 

Located along the river, Bishops Park boasts both a toddler & junior’s playground that together with a skate bowl, table tennis tables, basketball goal and water play (during the summer months) offer entertainment for both babies/toddlers and older kids. 

We love going there on Sunday morning when the Bishop’s Park Farmers and Fine Foods Market is held just next to the playgrounds and where, besides buying fresh and local produce, you can also enjoy nice food and drinks with a lovely variety of delicious goods including pizza, burgers, cakes.

Just across the road, there is Fulham Palace, a 8th century building which served as Bishop’s residence for 12 centuries and which has evidence of earlier occupation dating back Neolithic period (3000 BC). The long history of the Fulham Palace site is charted in the Museum and historic rooms of the Palace. 

The 18th century Walled Garden is one of the most amazing gardens in the area and includes many rare trees, beautiful flowers and vegetables. While there have a look at the charming barrow, where seasonal vegetables and fruit, all organically grown in the garden, together with plants and fresh cut flowers are sold.

According to the season there are always amazing events for both adults and children, including concerts, workshops, drop-ins, garden’s walks, movies, gardening sessions for kids. 

Palace Explorers, weekly parent and toddler sessions for children aged 2-4 are held every Monday and Tuesday at 9:30 in the Jessie Mylne Education Centre. The sessions are very hands on to ensure that the children (and their adults) have a wonderful time with activities varying from arts and crafts, gardening, and cooking, to dressing up, exploring the palace and grounds, games, singing and storytelling. 

We really love the Apple Celebration Day, Halloween Craft and Pumpkin Parade (October), Father Christmas, the Christmas Pantomime and the Wreath Making Workshop (in November and December), and Ghost Tours.

The Drawing Room Cafe is a beautiful and cosy haven overlooking the gardens serving a delicious and seasonal selection of food and drinks with children lunch boxes and ice cream available at week ends.

 

If you would like to share a family day out with us, drop us an email, we would love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Wild Salmon & Beetroot Salad

Today’s recipe is from Mum of two Dyala Madani, who has already shared with us a few of her recipes before. Click here to view them.  She blogs at Umamimami sharing yummy family recipes. This is a simple and nutritious,summer salad  for a delicious weekday lunch treat.

Ingredients:

1 Fillet/Portion Wild Salmon 

12 oz. Steamed Green Beans

5 Cooked Beetroots, chopped into crescents

2 Cups Leafy Greens 

1 Cup Walnuts 

Dressing:

4 Heaped Tbsps. Sour Cream

5 Tbsps. Olive Oil

Sea Salt, to taste

Season Salmon with 1/2 Tsp. Ground Turmeric & 1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt. Cook on medium heat in some Coconut Oil until cooked through. Remove Skin & break up the Fish with your fingers. 

Plate Leafy Greens as your base. Cover with Green Beans. Paint on Dressing. Top with Salmon, Beetroots and Walnuts as below. Enjoy. 

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!  

Win Family Tickets to see “What the Ladybird Heard” In the West End

Join the woolly sheep, the hairy hog, the fat red hen and the dainty dog in What the Ladybird Heard, the glittering West End adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks’ award-winning picture book live on stage at the Lyric Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue, from 5 July to 10 September, for a limited summer season.

With live music, original songs, puppetry, plenty of audience participation and lots of laughs, this colourful farmyard adventure is the perfect treat for all the family.

Two crafty robbers, one tiny ladybird, and a whole farmyard of fun! Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len have a cunning plan to steal the farmer’s fine prize cow. But they reckon without the tiniest, quietest creature of all: The Ladybird has a plan of her own!

For more information and to book your tickets (from £14.50) call 0330 333 4812 or visit whattheladybirdheardlive.co.uk

The Prize 

One winner will receive a family ticket (four tickets, minimum 1 adult) to see What the Ladybird Heard at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue

To be in with a chance to WIN this competition simply,

  • Fill in the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
  • Please read full terms & conditions below
  • All entries must be registered with www.kensingtonmums.co.uk via Rafflecopter widget

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions:

Competition opens 14th of August 2017 to 28th of August 2017 • One winner will receive a family ticket (four tickets, minimum 1 adult) to see What the Ladybird Heard at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue – The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative • Valid for Wednesday to Sunday performances until 10 September, subject to availability -Travel and accommodation not included -Kensington Mums will choose and contact the winners of the competition within 24 hours of the competition ending by email • All entries must be subscribed with www.kensingtonmums.co.uk or have downloaded our KM app on iTunes or Google Play • The prize is not to be used for resale • Entrants must be over 18 • Winner will be emailed • UK entries only •

Back to School Scoop 2017

Hope you all had a wonderful summer holiday, we are so sad to see it end so quickly! We are slowly getting  back into routine for back to School. We have shared our Summer adventure on our social media channels, in case you have not been following us, you can catch us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter .  Needless to say we  are always online sharing the best of our findings and summer family destinations. Winner of our back to school competition with Stuck on You will be announced today so stay tuned!

In our back to school scoop you will find information on kids activities including science workshops, cooking and dance classes to keep your little ones active. Make sure you are subscribed to stay in the loop, as we will be sharing some exciting events coming up including our 6th anniversary on 24th of November, so please save the date!

 

 

Join Kids en cuisine’s cooking academy for little chefs from 3 to 13 years old. The sessions take place at your home, once a week, after school, for a group of 4 children minimum. A different menu every week with everything provided by Kids en cuisine and your kitchen left spotless after the sessions. Your little Chefs will learn how to cook healthy dishes focused on seasonal vegetables, fruits, aromatic herbs and spices. It is the perfect activity to learn more about food and how to use save kitchen utensils.

Little House of Science. It is not long to go now. Do get ready and join us for 12 week of exciting Autumn term Science, Little Maths and Little Discovery classes  from 11 Sept – 9 Dec 2017. Book online: or call us on 0800 092 1062

 

 

The Kensington Ballet school caters for children aged 15 months to 8 years in a fun but structured environment at venues in Kensington, Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Fulham, Notting Hill, Holland Park and West Hampstead. Parents are encouraged to participate and join in the toddler groups. There is a strong emphasis on theatrical performance from Karen’s team of classically trained ballerinas who actively perform and demonstrate with the children.  The classes are conducted to a mixture of classical and children’s music to help stimulate imagination, rhythm and musicality. Exercises and storytelling help the pupils to learn the appropriate steps for their ages in an organised, creative atmosphere whilst building self-confidence.

 

 

Yellowbird Education is an experienced resource for preparing your child for 7+, 8+ and 11+ exams.  We focus on building skills, confidence, determination and reducing exam-day nerves.  Book our 7+, 8+, 11+ Mock Exams in English & Maths.  Papers are set on the basis of current Independent School trends. They are marked and feedback is provided in areas that may need attention.  Mock exams are held in Fulham & Clapham:  Oct 8, Nov 5, Dec 3, Jan 2.Yellowbird also has several Exam Prep Workshops over the October Half-Term.  The following courses are available: Creative Writing, Comprehension & Composition, 11+ Discursive Writing, 11+ English Booster, Interview Skills and Handwriting.

 

Mandarin Chinese for 3 to 5 in the heart of Kensington! Ni Hao, lovely mums! Sign up for Little Mandarin Classes for 3 to 5 year-olds in the heart of Kensington. First session is held on the 6th of September 2017 from 3.30-5.00pm and on every Wednesday for the whole term! Join The Kensington Square Nursery and Little Mandarin Classes for your little one’s first Chinese adventure with stories, role-play and sign language!

We’ve launched Mission: Invertebrate to better understand the minibeasts that make their home in the grasslands of London’s Royal Parks. We’re delivering exciting free school sessions mapped to the National Curriculum to enthuse students of all ages about the wonderful world of invertebrates. Our school sessions are led by a team of experienced Environmental Educators and can be delivered whatever the weather, so why not get your school involved today? Thanks to the Players of People’s Postcode Lottery and our learning partners, this year-long programme is taking place across the eight Royal Parks. For more information about available sessions, please click here.

Sparks  are inviting young movie makers to take part in their weekly Saturday Shoots from September. Attending fun classes each week, members develop lots of creative skills for movie making, as well as building confidence and communication skills. There are places available for children aged 7-11, based at St James Junior School. To learn more or to book a trial visit, visit

 

 

Join Tip Top Dance School this Summer for our Dance Summer School from 21st – 25th August 9.30 – 15.30 everyday (extended hours available). Students dance with professionals for a week whilst learning routines in different dance styles such as Ballet, Street Dance, Modern Jazz. Students build confidence through performing and making new friends! No previous experience needed just willingness to learn new skills! The summer school is suitable for ages 4 years upwards. Tip Top Dance School also runs weekly classes throughout the year in Ballet, Modern Jazz, Street Dance and Creative Movement. To register your interest please get in touch with Maria at info@tiptopdanceschool.com

 

Enjoy heading back to school with some awesome fun and games with Sharky and George. From parties to play dates, Sharky & George are your number one entertainers to keep a smile on your little one’s face. Start the school term off with a bang with an explosive science party. An incredible scientist will get the children making putty, film canister rockets and they will be able to make their own bouncy balls and do dry ice bubbling experiments. On top of this, the scientist will perform exciting demonstrations with fire! Sharky & George has a wide range of unique party types to choose from including Survival, Disco, Spy, Cooking, Movie-Making and Nerf Battles! Take a look at the Sharky & George website for further information.

Club Petit Pierrot, London’s Premier French club, has been awarded the CAA GOLD accreditation, who noted their work to be “outstanding”. They have been teaching French to thousands of children in London since 1993, and remain as ever-popular and dedicated today. Instrumental in championing both the immersion method and in developing Parent & toddler programmes for babies as young as 8 months old they offer muti-sensory parent and toddler groups from 8 months old, and for older children up to 8 years old a carefully planned syllabus with fun worksheets, language games & creative activities such as theatre, art & singing. Their lessons are innovative, creative, musical, active, stimulating, authentically French and above all great fun! The classes are led by a fantastic team of native French teachers, across London including two venues in Notting Hill and in Chelsea.

Kiddikicks, more than just football! At Kiddikicks we develop the whole body improving fine motor skills, invaluable for tying laces and handwriting as well as gross motor skills for optimum physical coordination and great sportsmanship. All sessions are football focused and end with goal scoring or match play (depending on age) to allow the children to use the skills they have been practicing throughout the session.  Kiddikicks have sessions in South Kensington / Hyde Park (Saturdays and Tuesdays), Queen’s Park (Fridays), Chiswick (Saturdays), Paddington Recreation Ground (Saturdays) and St John’s Wood (Sundays) from 18 months to 11 years.  Book online at ; info@kiddikicks.co.uk; 020 7937 7965

 

Visit KidZania London for a fun Back to School activity! This September plan a trip to KidZania London, the indoor city where the kids are in charge and participate in a host of activities. Children can join Capital FM’s team of radio DJs broadcasting news to the city, take on the role of fruitologist at the Innocent smoothie kitchen or even work as a stylist at H&M’s fashion studio; alongside a range of other unique, real-life role play experiences. 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.

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

Private guitar tutor with years of primary/secondary teaching experience now taking bookings for the new academic year! A friendly, patient and differentiated service for every individual. Your choice of learning the classical, acoustic, electric or bass guitar. Solo OR group. Your child can access free online resources and lessons can be moved to suit your weekly need. A range of discounts are available for duo/bulk lessons. Learning an instrument is proven to help children excel across all subjects in school and develop key social skills. This service is available for adults too. Curious? Questions? Get in touch! t.king.1992@hotmail.co.uk / 07955 056 484

 

 

Taekwondo fitness fun. Bring your kids along to our fun and exciting Taekwondo classes. A specially designed new fitness class for children packed with a punch. Your children will get fit and disciplined for their future. Under the instruction of international 6th dan black belt Master Faryad Goudarzi & a qualified personal trainer, they will learn self defence, built up their confidence, concentration, fitness and learn respect. All the skills they need under one sport. Adults are also welcome. One to one Taekwondo and personal training sessions for both adults and children available on request. Please call or email us to find out more. 07503021919 Faryad1@yahoo.com

 

 

Key Lessons provides one-on-one musical tuition in the comfort of your home so lessons are convenient and comfortable for you. We have competitive rates and extraordinary teachers to make your learning fun, flexible and catered to your learning needs. We teach a wide range of musical instruments (including voice) in London and Greater London. All our teachers have DBS(CRB) checks regularly and are all registered with examination boards to enter you into exams.  We currently have  specialised LEARNING AND PHYSICAL DISABILITY tutors available for lessons. Don’t hesitate to ask about the FREE TRIAL- it’s important to us to get you the right teacher, and it won’t cost you a penny to find them!

The Art of the Brick: DC Super Heroes

 This Summer, enjoy Nathan’s Samaya “The Art of the Brick: DC Superheroes” in London. The exhibition will be open until the 3rd of September so make sure you don’t miss out.
This amazing Lego Art exhibition is the World’s largest collection of Super Heroes-inspired by DC Characters which makes it truly captivating for both children and adults.
When we heard about this exhibition, my son really wanted to go. I had to follow and now, cannot thank his love for lego enough as I enjoyed it just as much as he did. From the moment I stepped into the venue, I was amazed by the art and work around me. Everything we saw was executed to perfection.

“Created by legendary LEGO® artist Nathan Sawaya, this contemporary art exhibition uses nearly 2,000,000 bricks to create large-scale sculptures of the most enduring Super Heroes and Super Villains: from Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, to The Joker and Harley Quinn.

Through a series of immersive galleries, The Art of the Brick: Super Heroes showcases Sawaya’s interpretations on characters, vehicles, environments and themes found throughout the DC Super Heroes mythology including transformation and reinvention, strength and weakness, as well as good vs. evil. Get ready to inspire your inner Super Hero.

Upon arrival, children are given an activity pack to follow as they tour the exhibition to captivate their imagination; with questions to answer throughout the tour and a word search at the end, you can be sure kids will be thoroughly entertained all the way.

The exhibition is divided in different rooms and “themes”. As you start your experience, a short video  by Nathan Samaya himself is shown. In this video he expresses his love and passion for lego and art. Immediately, you can see and appreciate the amount of time, passion and effort that went into creating each Lego ‘sculptures”, each made of thousands of small lego pieces. wether you you are a lego fan or not , what you see is truly mind-blowing.

I was impressed by all the works around me but my favourite was this one (image below). Not just the looks of it but the words that Nathan used to describe it captured my thoughts deeply.
Hero Within
“I consider this sculpture the soul of the exhibition. Why? Because what you are looking at is the child that lives in all of us. Remember who you were as a kid? Remember who you wanted to be? We all have dramatic dreams for ourselves when we’re young. But, as we age, the adult responsibilities start piling up on top of us, like gatherings of stone. And we lose the dramatic dreams. We forget what they look like, what they sounded like, what they felt like.
If there’s one thing I want everyone to walk away from this exhibitions with today, it’s this: it’s a rediscovery of those original dreams.
Take a moment- yes, now- and remember those dreams. Remember what you wanted in the earliest days of your life. Remember how those original dreams made you feel. Feel the painful longing you felt. 
Then spend the rest of the hours in the day feeling those feelings again.
No matter what you’ve become, no matter what you do with your days or who you are, hang on those original dreams. Don’t let them go. Because the purist essence of who you are, of who you were meant to be, is there.
The truest  you is there.
Work hard to remember that every day. Never lose sight of it again.”
Words by Nathan Sawaya.
Watch our short  video which can also be found on our YouTube Channel.
Make sure you are in the loop and subscribe to it today.
The exhibition is suitable for all ages with easy access for buggy users. It is located just behind London South Bank Centre (Corner of Upper Ground and Cornwall Rd London SE1 9PP) .
When you visit, make sure you have a look around the Toy shop before the exit. After visiting this exhibition, you cannot leave without Lego for you and the children to go home and start creating your own Lego Super Hero.

Check out the website for more information, ticket prices and opening hours.

And don’t forget to tag us with your pictures @KensingtonMums using #kensingtonmums.

Chanterelle Risotto

Risotto is one of Italy’s most popular dishes. Like pasta, it can be made in many different ways, depending on your taste and preference.

In Milan, where I am from, the traditional dish is “risotto all Milanese” with Saffron.

Another very popular one is Mushroom risotto. Porcini mushrooms are a classic but we found Chanterelles which are one of my favourite so, here is what we did:

*The way I normally do it is by memory and by eye but this time, given I was using mushrooms I am not used to cooking and I was cooking for more people, I got help following a recipe taken from Google. I didn’t find all the ingredients but adapted to my liking 

Ingredients (serves 4-6 ppl)

Arborio Rice (It is very important to use the right rice for this)

1/4 cup Olive oli

1/4 Unsalted butter

2 Shallots, minced

Fresh thyme (leaves only)

1 fresh bay leaf

6 cups chicken stock (you can make your own or use the already made one)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

2 cups of white wine

Method:

For the mushrooms: 

Warm a wide large heavy-bottomed pan over a medium low flame.

Add 2 table spoons olive oil and the same of  butter (I only used oil)

Add the shallots and cook until translucent.

Add the mushrooms, thyme and bay leaf into the pan.

Cook for approx 10 minutes, stirring occasionally – until mushrooms will have released their moisture.

Pour 1 cup of wine into the pan, and bring liquid to simmer (allowing the wine to evaporate).

Continue cooking until the mushrooms are dry (approx 5-7 minutes)

Season with sea salt and pepper, remove from the pan and discard the bay leaf.

For the Risotto:

On a low hear, add the remaining Olive oil and butter into the pan to melt.

Add the rice and coat with the oil until the kernels are shiny. Approx 3-5 minutes.

Pour the remaining white wine and let evaporate

Add the chicken broth, 1 ladle at the time, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid. *it is important not to add too the liquid too quickly or the kernels with “burst”.

Stir over a gentle heat until each ladle of liquid is absorbed.

repeat until most of the broth is incorporated and the risotto rice  is al dente. Approx 25 minutes.

Final step:

Fold the mushroom back int the rice and season with salt, pepper and parsley.

Stir in the Parmesan cheese

Serve immediately.

 

 

 

Fatherhood by Giles Alexander

Please introduce yourself

I’m Giles, AKA London dad blogger YOU THE DADDY (www.youthedaddy.co.uk) and first time papa to Teddy, aged 9 months.

After discovering we were pregnant, I was disappointed by how rubbish many of the online resources are for new dads, as almost everything is targeted directly at mums. So I set up my own dad blog, YOU THE DADDY, as a source of information, advice and real life pregnancy and parenting stories for other dads like me.

How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a father?

I can’t lie…it’s been a real struggle. Juggling a seriously busy job in the City while trying to be the all present, all singing, all dancing father I aspire to be (and also blogging on the side) is more than a full time job…it’s three! But I’m determined to still be a hands on dad at every opportunity, even if it means going into work a little later on some mornings so I can do the wake up, nappy changing and bottle routine before the daily commute. Ultimately though, our weekends are absolutely sacred, and my time to do some proper dadding.

What makes you, as a dad, happy?

Making my little boy smile…there’s nothing that gives me more pleasure than seeing that toothy grin.

What is your favourite & least favourite thing about parenthood?

My favourite thing about fatherhood is that feeling when you pick up your crying, unhappy or just unsettled baby, and with nothing more than a little squeeze, they instantly settle. Like they knows you’re their dad and that they’re safe in your arms. There’s nothing better.

My least favourite thing is leaving for work every morning, knowing that I’m missing out on all of Teddy’s firsts. My wife and I try to FaceTime a few times a day while I’m at the office, but it’s not the same as actually being there. He’s just changing so fast…

 If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?

I’d have to be Theodore from Alvin & the Chipmunks – we’re both a bit squidgy around the edges and always ready to break into song at a moment’s notice.

I’m a dad and……? 

Tell us something mummy doesn’t know, something that happened during a ‘dad on duty’ moment.

I have been known, on occasion, to finish off Teddy’s breakfast or dinner after he’s refused to eat any more, before telling my wife what a ‘good boy’ he was for eating it all up himself.

Share a top tip with your fellow dads?

One of the great challenges of fatherhood is figuring out how to go to the loo when you have an inconsiderate baby who insists on being in the same room as you 24/7. But I recently discovered that a baby will sit quite happily in its baby bath seat in the tub for about 10 minutes, leaving just enough time for a man to do his ‘business’ in relative peace. Serious dad hack there…

 What advice would you give a first-time dad?

During pregnancy and in the first few months of parenthood, if someone offers you help, say YES, and ask them to make you a few meals for your freezer. These will be a total lifesaver and give you two of the best gifts that all new parents need…food and time. And don’t buy everything new. So much of the expensive baby kit you’ll need can be found second-hand online (most of the time, in tip top condition and at a fraction of the price), as well as at specialist charity shops like FARA Kids, where you can find some amazing bargains.

 What does fatherhood represent to you? 

The best thing any man can do.

 

 

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

Win Bento Value Pack (Worth £49.99) with Stuck on You

We are excited to have teamed up with Stuck on You to give you the chance to win a Bento Value Pack worth £49.99.

Originating from Japan, Bento Boxes have revolutionised lunchtimes worldwide! Prepared at home and taken to school or work, the boxes’ compartments encourage nutrionally-ideal proportions that ensure a balanced diet. Bento preparation can also be a zen-like experience – designing aesthetically-pleasing food (e.g. flower-shaped fruit) requires a similar focus and dedication to shaping a bonsai!

Stuck on You’s bestselling personalised Bento Boxes are made entirely from food-safe materials and can be popped in the dishwasher at the end of the day. Easy – not to mention environmentally-friendly!

Competition Prize
Enter the draw to win our fantastic Bento Value Pack, consisting of a personalised Bento Box, personalised cooler bag (designed to fit the Bento Box) and a slim ice brick that fits into the cooler bag. Simply… www.stuckonyou.uk

How to enter

To be in with a chance to WIN this competition simply,

Fill in the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries

Please read full terms & conditions below

All entries must be registered with www.kensingtonmums.co.uk via Rafflecopter widget

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Terms and Conditions

Competition opens 31st of July 2017 to 14th of August 2017 • The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative • Kensington Mums will choose and contact the winner of the competition within 24 hours of the competition ending by email • All entries must be subscribed with www.kensingtonmums.co.uk or have downloaded our KM app on iTunes or Google Play • The prize is not to be used for resale • Entrants must be over 18 • Winner will be emailed •  Entry open to United Kingdom residents only  • Prize is valued at £49.99 •  Winner will select the colour they wish (as long as available in stock)  •  Winner to choose between the colours available: Hot pink or light pink
.

How to make homemade slime

This Summer, we had lots of fun making homemade slime. We use the recipe from Little Bins for Little Hands which worked well as we found  all the ingredients in Canada, where we were spending most of our Summer holiday.

Sarah from Little Bins for Little Hands has this free printable on her website which we found useful and used the second recipe on there.

 

 

Watch our little video to see all the fun, we had. I had four kids to entertain that day and the slime making activity worked a treat!

I hope you are all enjoying the Summer holidays.

 

Motherhood by Danielle Armstrong

Please introduce yourself

Danielle Armstrong, Founder of The Modesty Company, 2 children – Caia, 3.9 years, Freddie almost 2.

How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a mother?

It a challenge, but somehow we make it work.

What top tips would you give to any working mum?

Pace yourself. Worrying about your ‘to do’ list will only send you into panic. Try and finish what you start, rather than doing everything all at once.

What do you love most about London? Do you have a favourite spot with your children?

The buzz and opportunity. Kensington gardens/ park is always a favourite for my family.

How do you define quality ‘me-time’?

I love to exercise. It helps to clear my mind and be a better mother, wife.

What is your favourite & least favourite thing about parenthood?

Hearing my children laugh. Bedtime is always a challenge.

Tell us something people don’t know about you.

Adventure. My husband is a former Royal Marine and I would love to train with the Royal Marines for a day.

I’m a mum and……

Given we are all about embracing Motherhood, what advice would you give a first time Mum?

Its ok not to be ok and not have everything figured out right away. Work at your own pace. take bits of advice from friends, family, books but also allow yourself time to figure out the mother you would like to be. I’m learning every day as mother and imagine this will never change.

Finally, please let us know what you love most about Kensington Mums?

Being a mummy can feel lonely at times. Even if you are surrounded by people. Kensington Mums provides an engaging platform to help all mums. We are all in it together, helping each other and learning as we go. What could be better than that!

 

 

 

 

 

Mums & Bumps: Our favourite swimsuits & beach essentials

We love Summer, the feeling of sun kissed skin, salty hair and sand in between your toes, you get the drift. We wanted to share  with you some of our favourite swimsuit that are great for mums and bumps with a mumbathing must haves list. We recently published Honest’s Mums campaign on #proudinmybikni  and as mothers we are all self conscious of our body after baby. We hope you can join us so that all Mothers are proud in their bikini this Summer and always.

Here are are top picks for  Summer 2017

 

  1. Seaspray Fiji Classic Bandeau. This is one of Dina’s favourite which she recently wore on a family holiday in Corfu. Seaspray’s classic bandeau has a great texture feel with a twist around the stomach. It can be worn strapless and with halter strap and comes with a supportive foam cups to give you an even better support.
  2. Simply Yours High Waisted Brief. These high waisted heroes are helpful to conceal and cover stretch marks and C- sections scars. 
  3. Black is the colour we all feel comfortable wearing. Create some shape with some plunge swimsuit which will that those curves are still in the right places. This one is from Next Online and only £30.
  4. If you are feeling wobbly, go for a bit of tummy control swimsuit with this Floral Rose Print Tummy Control Multiway Swimsuit, only £24 from mandco.com 
  5. For a beach ready look with a bump, Seraphine has the perfect match for you and your bump. We love this coral cutout maternity swimsuit only £39. 
  6. Tankinis are also great for beach bumps, we love this one from Mothercare that can also be worn after baby too! Priced at £25 from their website.
  7. For mum bathing must have, we love this Take me Away French Hat, which is only £12.60 from Debenhams.
  8. Put all your beach essentials in your beach bag. We love these hand made jute bags with “Beach” on them just what we need right now.
  9. This Seychelles Smocked Kaftan from Heidi Klein is the perfect summer must have for Mums. It is time to relax with a drink and enjoy time with the children.

     

  10. Time to enjoy the sun and work on your tan. We love this Soleil Stardial Round Beach Towel from Asos, so bright and fun for the whole family to enjoy.

 

Enjoy your Summer holiday, make every moment count and don’t forget to use sun protection whenever in the sun. Happy holidays!

Best dates in London for Mummy and Daddy this Summer

We love London even more in Summer. Check out our date guide for the best dates in London.

  1. Rooftop Film Club at Roof Gardens in Kensington. Enjoy a unique, romantic outdoor cinema experience showing cult, classic and new movies all screened from  their rooftop garden just in time for sun set.

 

2. Dinner in the Sky? This is a unique event for anyone who wishes to transform an ordinary date into a magical moment. For an exclusive period from the 19 – 30 July, Events in the Sky will operate a 12 day pop-up event in London. Open to the public, this event will see some of London’s best restaurants transfer their menus and dining experiences to our unique sky table, suspended 100 feet in the air.

 

3.  Check Out Local Art Galleries at the Serpentine Gallery. The Serpentine Galleries has a new summer of Park Nights, its annual series of experimental and interdisciplinary encounters, sited in the 2017 Serpentine Pavilion designed by the award-winning architect Francis Kéré.

4. Fruit Picking at Garsons Farm. We always seem to take the kids to fruit picking farms, but why not enjoy a “tete a tete” picking fruits, shopping, eating and enjoying some outdoors time at the farm instead?

5. Make it a double date with another friendly couple or groups of friends too. Head to the Beach in London, check out our favourites here.

6. Dino Snores for grown ups at the Museum. Head to the Natural History Museum this summer where you’ll be among the first to camp under the spectacular blue whale skeleton in the newly redeveloped Hintze Hall.

7. Dates are not just about going out. If fact, sometimes all we really want is a night in with our other half. So, why not a cosy dinner at home? Put the kids to bed, dress up as if you are going out, let one of you be the Chef for the night or cook  together while enjoying a glass of wine or your favourite soft drink. Play some of your favourite tunes in the background and forget about your phones. Chat, dance, giggle and enjoy just make sure you don’t wake the kids up.

We posted this video on our Instagram account that LadBaby posted and went viral, check out what her other half did as a result of not finding a babysitter for a date night. We love it!

8. For a relaxed yet fun bite out, burger date is always a good idea. We really enjoyed Roadster Burger, read our latest review here.

9. We are  lucky to have so many wonderful parks in London so why not start a date with a romantic walk in the park? Read more about our favourite parks  here.

10. Skate, Dine and Bowl at Queens local London bowling. There is also an Ice rinks where you can try out Go karting on ice or dance on ice too.

Just for laughs we wanted to share this video with you, as we find it to be so real.

We hope you found our suggestions useful, please share your experiences with us if you visit any of the places above or if you have any other recommendations for other parents looking for the perfect date night place or ideas in London.

 

Revitalise and Relax with Vitelax

I didn’t really know what to expect from a Vitamin infusion but I was intrigued and looked forward to trying it. If you follow us on our Insta stories you would have seen a live demonstration of the session.

Apparently, “Intravenous Nutrient Therapy with incredible results. IV Therapy soon became the secret weapon of burnt-out stars such as Brad Pitt, Madonna, Simon Cowell and Rhianna, …to name but a few”.

I am no “burned out star” BUT, as a mother of two, I find myself always on the move, trying keep my children entertained and stimulated at all times and often forget I don’t have their energy. When 7:30 pm hits the clocks, I can hardly keep my eyes open or stand anymore. It’s happened once or twice that my husband comes looking for me when I tell him I’m putting the kids to sleep only to find me sleeping like a baby next to them.

It’s during these times I wish I had more energy to be able to give my children all the entertainment but also be able to dedicate sometime to myself and my things once they are in bed.

I’m not one who takes vitamins daily but I do care a big deal about maintaining a healthy lifestyle by watching what I eat and exercising regularly. Still, I too often feel drained.

Could Vitamin infusion be the answer?

About Intravenous Nutrition:

“More than 1 in 3 people take daily supplements and we know they are certainly beneficial. However, few people realize that when you ingest vitamins by mouth, only 15% of the active nutrients may eventually find their way into your bloodstream.  With intravenous Nutrition, the nutrients enter your bloodstream directly and immediately to your body’s cells through intravenous therapy, thus allowing your body to better absorb and utilize these nutrients”.

When Dr Kifayat arrived, he was carrying all the necessary equipment. It thinks it’s great that he offers a mobile service rather than having to go to a clinic. It’s ideal to get an energy boost and immediately get on with things that need to be done.

He had the infusion holder and his bag with all the necessary instruments for my session.

Before setting up, he handed me over a brochure with further information about the treatment, its origins, studies and case studies and everything I needed to know. But since the doctor had come all the way for this, I preferred having a chat and to learn more about him and ask more specifically about his company, Vitelax.

He was friendly and very professional and I enjoyed hearing his story.

I found out that he was a ENT surgeon based in London. So, from ENT to Vitalex, why?

Interestingly, DR Kifayat started studying and exploring Vitamin infusion during his wife’s first pregnancy where she felt lethargic and overworked despite taking the oral recommended supplements. (I’m sure many of us can relate)

After thorough research and positive results in the benefits of this treatment, in 2015 VITELAX was born as providing a bespoke mobile service to clients at work, home, gyms and anywhere.

I thought the name sounded great but even more so when he explained the reasoning behind it: VITAMIN & RELAX = VITELAX.

As intrigued as I was, my only concern with this was the needle and possibly the drip itself. I, like I’m sure many others, associate needles and drips to negative circumstances, linking them to illnesses or vaccines which I wouldn’t normally want to have done unless absolutely necessary. So, the idea of having a 20-minute drip session with a needle stuck in my arm to give me an energy boost just didn’t seem right.

After filling in a personal information & consent form, I was ready to start. I felt safe about the treatment because I was doing this with a doctor and knew that if anything was to go wrong, he knew how to professionally handle the situation. This is very important for Dr Kifayat that all those who administer the treatment at Vitelax are trained doctors.

The treatment I was going to have was the following:

V ATP-ENERGISER : a high-octane energy boosting drip is the ideal pick-me-up. With high doses of B Vitamins (essential for the body’s production and use of energy), magnesium (a critical component in the production of ATP, the main source of energy in cells) and energy-boosting amino acids, it’s perfect for boosting energy and wellbeing.

WHAT’S IN THE BAG? : Vit C, B5*, B6, B12, B1, B3, B2, B Complex*, Magnesium*,Arginine Glycine, Carnetine, Adenocylcobalamine, Taurine “

Importantly to say, like most treatments or cures, it is normally recommended to take a course and not just a one-off treatment. Dr Kifayat explained that he normally recommends 1 session per week for a minimum of 6 sessions. This is especially because everybody is very different and reacts to these infusions differently.

In some cases, people feel an immediate kick whilst for others it can take up to one or two days.

Just before we started, Dr Kifayat measured my blood pressure and explained he would do that again during the treatment and after to make sure my body was reacting safely to the treatment. 1,2 ,3 sharp scratch, the needle was in and the session had started.

I instantly felt freshness in my arm and during the 20 minutes I felt good. No faint feelings, pains or anything. The whole set up wasn’t invasive at all and I managed to get my laptop out and carry on looking at my emails and working. The treatment went by really quickly and I felt energized and good, my blood pressure was still optimal and Dr Kifayat was happy with how things were looking (which is always a good sign)

As soon as Dr Kifayat left, I followed him out and went to pick up the children from nursey. I was in a good and active mood. Did it really work this quickly and amazingly? I tried to stop thinking about it and give it sometime to give it a concrete feedback.

(On the basis that I had mine done on Thursday)

During the treatment: The feeling was great, refreshing and I actually felt a boost of energy flow through my body.

Within the hour after the treatment: I felt good and positive. My energy levels were high.

1 hour after the treatment: I started feeling tired and sleepy again. I felt just as I would normally feel at this time of day.

The following day: again, I had a very early wake up and was tired but throughout the day I had moments of energy boost which I hadn’t experienced before and really enjoyed.

The weekend: I wasn’t feeling 100%. I had a slight cold and start of sore throat but still eager to keep going. I went for a short run on Saturday which I didn’t particularly enjoy and I felt extremely tired and the rest of the day was a bit of a struggle. Sunday, I managed to run further and I felt good throughout and I felt good after also. The rest of the day was busy but ok.

The infusion I took was to feel more energized and give me a boost but it’s not the only reason people are using this method. If fact, there is a wide range of different “vitamin cocktails” to cure different necessities, like weight loss, sports recovery “hangover remedy” and many more.

IV WELLNESS PROTOCOL: The IV Cocktail that started it all. It contains just the right mix of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for an overall feeling of wellness and health promotion.

IV ATHLETE SPORT: For people with an active or sporty lifestyle this IV Drip is packed with high concentrations of the energy-boosting B vitamins, plus powerful amino acids to improve your recovery times and power you to peak performance.

IV MOOD SUPPORT: Designed to help relax the mind and body this drip combines the ultimate classic drip – for overall wellbeing – with a unique formula to support and enhance the mental faculties. High dose glutamine, carnitine and ornithine have a positive impact on peace of mind, balance in stressful situations, and improved concentration”.

IV AGE DEFIANCE “The nutrients in this drip are designed to tackle anti-ageing from the inside out. High dose IV Glutathione (the superhero antioxidant) together with the perfect blend of vitamins, minerals and amino acids combat the signs and symptoms of ageing for complete body and skin rejuvenation.

IV DETOX FAT BURNING: Our diet and detox drip combines a special blend of vitamins, minerals and amino acids to help you achieve your ideal body – by reducing toxic load and helping the body function effectively in order to remove stubborn body fat. This drip combines the best detoxifying nutrients with fat burning amino acids to help you look and feel great.

IV IMMUNO BOOSTER: Rediscover your “get up and go” with our nutritional drip that helps ght off free radical damage and oxidative stress. Feel better fast with high dose Vitamin C, Zinc and powerful anti-oxidants to maximise your immune response whilst re-energising with added B Vitamins.

IV HAIR TONIC: Healthy hair requires plenty of Keratin and Collagen. By boosting amino acids involved in the production of keratin and collagen it’s possible to reduce hair loss and maximise hair regrowth.

In my specific case, I had just come back from traveling with the children. We had a long-packed weekend with very little sleep so I started the week even more tired than usual which makes me wonder whether the treatment would have had a different effect on me if I wasn’t so tired. Anyway, following what Dr Kifayat had told me and the way I analyzed my results, I can see how there are benefits to this type of treatment but also believe that it’s something that you would need a course of treatments instead of just a one off.

For those interested in giving it a go, Dr Kifayat is offering a generous offer to all our Kensington Parents and reader. Mention ‘KMVitelax’ to claim the following:

  • 20% first treatment
  • Buy 2 treatments and get the 3rd treatment free.

Thank you Dr Kifayat for introducing us to this whole new way of keeping healthy and energised.

 

*featured post  

Brook Green Market and Kitchen

We like to keep you in the loop with the local scoop. Brook Green Market and Kitchen will have their summertime Craft Beer Month, starting 29 July until 19 August. The school playground turned market space will play host to four weeks of free weekly guided tastings through a series of Tap Takeovers. 

Enjoy a family day out, spend the day sampling the best of London’s craft beer, street food and organic produce whilst enjoying the bustling vibes of Brook Green Market and Kitchen.

In the past few years, Londoners have (quite rightly) become increasingly interested in all things Craft Beer so we want to fuel this further by offering an educative experience as well as a tasty one. Brook Green Market and Kitchen aims to broaden your drinks knowledge as much as it does your palate. 

The Craft Beer month will be featuring: Portobello Brewing Co (29 July), Signature Brew (5 August), Solvay Society (12 August) Hop Stuff (19 August). 

The tastings are completely free of charge and will be an excellent opportunity to learn all about craft beer from industry specialists through a series of talks about the art of brewing and the opportunity to meet the brewer. The visiting brewers will bring their expertise, their ingredients (malt, yeast, hops et al) for you to touch, taste and smell as well as an insight into their history and – most importantly – their fantastic beers for sampling.

Championing West London’s local food and drinks scene is something that Brook Green Market and Kitchen is known for: being a hub of food and drinks activity as well as a quality weekly food shopping one-stop-shop. These events, talks and tastings are all fun facets of the market which aims to bring excitement and innovation to West London. 

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 

Fatherhood by Simon Hooper

Please introduce yourself: Name, what do you do & how many children you have.

My name’s Simon Hooper, otherwise known online as Father of Daughters. I have 4 daughters; Anya (9), Marnie (6) and identical twin girls Ottilie & Delilah (16 months)

How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a father?

To be honest it’s hard. Both Clemmie and I work full time so finding that balance whilst also making time for each other can be hard to achieve. I’m lucky in that my job allows me to work from home a couple of days a week which does help. I try not to work in the evenings if it’s avoidable as I want to make as much time for my girls as I possibly can.

What makes you, as a dad, happy?

Quite simply, seeing my girls happy and enjoying life. If they are happy and laughing, that means that we’re providing them with a childhood that they can look back on and smile about. I like helping them get to try new things, whether it be through attending clubs, or just doing stuff at home – the brilliance of having children around is that I get to see them try new experiences for the first time.

If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?

Spiderman I have the ability to catch children who are falling off of things (namely climbing equipment, furniture, trees)  without even looking

I’m a dad and……?

Share a top tip with your fellow dads?

It’s not already a patient person, then learn to be. No one likes a snappy parent and giving your kids time to figure things out for themselves and to learn from their own mistakes is invaluable. Yes it might be frustrating, but bit your tongue and let them get on with it.

What is your favourite & least favourite thing about parenthood?

Favourite: this sounds so gooey but I’m surrounded by people that love me all the time and that’s good for anyone’s heart.

Least favourite: I’ve been tired for almost 10 years and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Sleep is a precious commodity when you’re a parent so get it when you can.

 

Tell us something mummy doesn’t know, something that happened during a ‘dad on duty’ moment.

Last week I was looking after the twins. They constantly open the drawers and cupboards in the kitchen at the moment and it’s so annoying. It’s a constant battle to Cellotape them shut before the pull them open again. Anyway, I turned my back for a minute while making some tea and eventually turned around to see what was going on as it was very quiet. Both Ottie and Delilah had found the food dye and have been sucking the bottles. They were covered in dye and I couldn’t get it off for love nor money. I knew Clemmie wasn’t coming back home until after they were in bed so I just put them to bed (after frantic scrubbing in the bath) and binned their, almost new, clothes.

What advice would you give a first-time dad?

Don’t go into parenthood with too many expectations of what it will be like or compare your experience with others around you. Every baby and family is different, they each have their own rhythm and you’re find yours eventually. Competitive parenting isn’t a good thing to get into, trust me, I’ve been there!

What does fatherhood represent to you? 

Fatherhood is everything to me. I have 4 people who look up to me on a daily basis to provide them with sustenance, knowledge and entertainment and the thought of letting them down doesn’t bare thinking about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The BeauBox Review

We had the pleasure of receiving a bespoke box from The BeauBox, luxury gift boxes for new mums. For those who follow us on Instagram @KensingtonMums   we hope you enjoyed watching a short preview on Insta stories while we unwrapped each item we received.

A little about The Beaubox

The BeauBox was founded by Frankie Harrison after becoming a mums herself.  

Becoming a mum felt like joining an elite club; I suddenly found myself part of a group that shared the secrets of mum life and how to survive it! Within this ‘club’ I discovered the ‘mum-bosses’; superwomen nailing motherhood whilst keeping their own identity AND achieving success as business women. The inspiration I felt from becoming a mum to my son Beau, combined with these incredible ladies, led to the beginning of The BeauBox”.

We believe this is a common feeling when becoming mums. We all go through discovering the  “mum bosses” and look to find our place in the world maintaining our professional roles but as a mother too. When you can combine the two its fantastic and we support those who try and those who make it. 

The box came beautifully presented with a hand written note from Frankie herself which we thought was a very sweet gesture .

One of the things we like the most about this concept is that The BeauBox brings beautiful brands together, creating the most chic gift box for mummies and mums to be. Everything is thought through in every little detail, from the signature packaging, to the products inside and each item is carefully picked to make a mummy feel pampered and pamper her baby in style too. 

We couldn’t wait to open and see the products inside.

The BeauBoxes

If you check the beauBox website, (which is very easy to browse through) you will discover a selection of gift boxes ideal for every mum. From the “bathtime one”, to the “vacation one” to “off duty one”… each box is created there is something to capture your attention.

We received the Vacation Box (£40)  which is ideal as the summer holidays are fast approaching. The collection included some gorgeous travel essentials.  This summer it is all about the palm print so it was nice to see a super soft thin muslin from Mama Rules.  We got stylish and practical products that are the travel  essentials for any trip (small or big!) Perfect for any mama not willing to compromise on style!

– Tropical Palm Print Muslin Blanket by Mama Rules

Made with 70% viscose from bamboo and 30% cotton; this silky soft and breathable muslin is great for both mum and baby to use. This muslin is extra-large so suitable for a variety of uses, including a light blanket for warmer weather, a breastfeeding cover, pram cover, swaddle and burp cloth. With it’s trend led palm print it’s also perfect for mama to use as a scarf or sarong. Machine Washable.

This muslin is the softest I’ve ever has the pleasure to use.  The size is perfect as well, not too small and big enough to wrap up your baby fully if needed or cover yourself.  We LOVE the print, perfect for the holidays and and total hit at the beach.

– Kokoso Premium Coconut Oil 84g

100% natural, this multi-purpose moisturiser is the perfect infant skincare product. It’s a multi-tasking wonder oil that can be used as a bottom balm, baby massage, dry skin and a gorgeous after sun for mama and all the family.

I absolutely  love the smell of coconut and the silkiness feel it leaves on the skin. Again, I like how the Beaubox products are thought for both mother and baby, being able to share products is great especially when travelling. One thing I would mention though is to make sure never to use coconut oil before heading out during the day as it has no protection and you will burn and can be very dangerous for a baby or infant. 

After a shower or babies bath, its just perfect. Going to bed smelling and feeling divine is an absolute treat.

– Bloom & Blossom Rejuvenating Facial Spritz – 40ml

A skin conditioner with collagen boosting ingredients, aloe vera and lime oil which help improve skin tone and reduce wrinkles and dark shadows. Perfect size to keep in your bag, ensuring you stay fresh and cool this summer.

I was recently introduced to skincare Sprays and I absolutely love them. Quick and easy to apply of courser and refreshing which again, the perfect product to take on holiday and always keep in your handbag. This one specifically feels really fresh and leaves and great feel on the skin.

– Balance Me Super Toning Body Polish 50ml

Get summer ready skin with this energising and skin firming body polish using 99% natural ingredients. Using a body polish is a great way to ensure a long lasting tan!

– Bloom and Blossom Gentle Baby Wash 50ml

Made using 99% natural ingredients, including cucumber extracts, this hair and body wash is perfect for your newborns sensitive skin. And it’s smaller travel size makes it the ideal holiday take-away.

– Wonder & Rah Kissing Bunnies postcard

Postcard size print from the amazing Wonder & Rah, use this postcard to write a special note to your giftee!

We also like the sound of the “The Cute One” which retails at £75. This is the  ideal box for a for a baby shower gift.

The box includes a selection of products for newborns;  a Beau Bunny hooded towel made from 100% supersoft cotton, Camera Teether by Fox’s felts,  100% soft cotton monochrome Sleep Thief bib and Bloom and Blossom Gentle Baby Wash 50ml.

Enough about the baby, the box spoils mummy with hight quality products for her too. This box has a SO Soy Caramel, Patchouli & Honey luxury scented candle, Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream 50ml, Wonder & Rah Kissing Bunnies postcard.

We think its a wonderful idea to combine mummy and newborns gifts in one box.  Lets admit it, when a new baby is born we can’t resist showering them with the cutest outfits, little stuffed bunnies and teddies but truth is, Mummy needs to be looked after, spoiled and pampered like never before too.

So, next time you are looking for the perfect gift box for an expecting mum or friend, make sure to check out the wide collection The BeauBox offers!

Keep following us on Instagram, we will be showing off all our goodies during our Summer break

 

*features post 

Win the perfect kit to spend a beautiful summer with your little one

About Mustela

Mustela has been the skincare expert for mothers and babies for over 65 years. It offers safe and innovative products that protects and preserve the health of the most fragile skin. Mustela offers a wide range of products for pregnancy, baby daily hygiene routine, atopic skin, suncare etc.

The Prize:

– Mustela Very High Protection Sun Lotion 100ml as well as Mustela After Sun Spray

Mustela sun protection range is formulated with an exclusive organo-mineral photo protective system that combines high protection SPF 50+ UVA/UVB filters with Avocado Perseose, a patented natural ingredient that reinforce skin’s barrier and protect its cellular richness from UV rays. Specially formulated to protect the skin of babies and children with sun-sensitive, intolerant and atopic prone skin. From birth onwards.

– Mustela Anti-UV T-shirt (unique size 1-3 yo)

– Beaba sunglasses (S)

  • 100% protection against UVA/UVB rays
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Bendable, unbreakable design
  • Wrap around design stays on baby’s head
  • Made from hypoallergenic silicone
  • Each pair of sunglasses comes with a carrying case and microfiber wipe
  • Size: Infant (9-18 months)
  • Made in France

How to enter

To be in with a chance to WIN this competition simply,

Fill in the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries

Please read full terms & conditions below

All entries must be registered with www.kensingtonmums.co.uk via Rafflecopter widget

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Terms and conditions

Competition opens 13th of July 2017 to 30th of July 2017 • The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative • Kensington Mums will choose and contact the winners of the competition within 24 hours of the competition ending by email • All entries must be subscribed with www.kensingtonmums.co.uk or have downloaded our KM app on iTunes or Google Play • The prize is not to be used for resale • Entrants must be over 18 • Winner will be emailed • UK entries only •

Kensington Mums & children at the new Kensington Harbour Club

Last week a small group of Kensington Mums and their little ones were invited to spend an afternoon at the new  Harbour Club in Kensington. The club is is located at Point West, 116 Cromwell Road, London, SW7 4XR. It was great to meet up with like minded Mums “offline” while getting fit and healthy and ready for summer.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by friendly staff and invited to try out healthy and refreshing fruit smoothies which we enjoyed while mingling before starting a packed afternoon of fun activities.

Before we could start our day at the club, each one of us had to complete a form in case of emergency for their little ones.

The first class was an arts and crafts sessions for the children supervised by staff from the club. Whilst kids got creative, Mums were taken around for a tour.

We learned that the Kensington club has a creche providing two hours a day as a complimentary service (subject to membership category) for all child members under the age of five.

First up was a Mum’s Yoga class, which was great for the body, mind and soul.  I personally found the class helped me reconnect with my body and completely switch off from my ordinary busy life schedule. The class was very challenging and engaging. The instructor was very professional and explained every exercise in great detail.

Then came the fun with our children  for a PRAMA class all together. The class was lots of fun including a lot of running and jumping. This is what the club has to say about their latest craze

“Harbour Club Kensington is London’s first destination to host PRAMA. If you’ve not heard of PRAMA before then picture this – a giant interactive space (floor and walls!), with flashing lights and music. In the space there are families all working out together in a fun, team-building way. That’s PRAMA! It’s a high-tech interactive area that uses lighting and sound to create a really unique workout for you and the family. Plus, there are adult only classes, too – so you can make the most of PRAMA in a way that suits you best. Come and be the first to try the most innovative new way to keep fit”.

Make sure you watch the video to see what we are talking about

After the PRAMA class was over, everyone enjoyed a nice swim in the Club’s luxury pool. Both mums and children enjoyed  a good splash  around, especially after the heat we were experiencing in London, this was such a treat!

The swimming pool was divided in two sections, one for laps and the other for families and children and there was a lifeguard on duty the whole time.

For those interested,  All Stars Swimming sessions are available for children to learn all the skills they need to be confident and safe swimmers.

The club also has two saunas and a steam room, they have specific times during the week and weekend for family swimming sessions. The changing rooms were clean and spacious and the club provide us with fresh towels as well as locks for lockers.

As any mum would, I  noticed a small area where they had a gated corner for crawlers, this is to help mums getting ready which I thought was a fantastic idea, especially for mums visiting the club with more than one child.  The changing rooms had  6 showers in the women’s changing rooms, but only 3 of them had hot water at the time. This is something we mentioned to the Club and we are sure it is being taken care of.

To end our experience, Harbour Club invited us for dinner at the club’s restaurant.   The children  ordered from the kids menu which we also picked from a little and really enjoyed.

For us mums thought, the dinner experience wasn’t as good as we were expecting.  The waiter who served us recommended some dishes which we ordered and not only the wait was long but once the food arrived, it wasn’t pleasant to eat.  We had a selection of dishes like Chicken Katsu Curry and Lentil soup which first and then, steak, chicken, Club sandwiches, and burgers which all of which were but not something we would be going back for.

Overall the classes were great and we thoroughly  enjoyed exercising with our children too. We all had a really good time together. We would like to thank the mums who came and helped make this a fun experience, a really fun and positive bunch even when things were not going as well as expected, everyone was still smiling which means a lot to us.

We know the Harbour Club Kensington is newly opened and therefore in the process of perfecting every aspect of the club and service. We would like to suggest looking into maintaining security for children at the club as we felt it was big for little ones as they can easily get lost between the floors.

The club offers family membership, and we think it would be great to offer a “Pay as you go” option for  families instead of the monthly fee membership only.

Watch the video of our day below, make sure you are subscribed to our You Tube Channel here.

 

It was a great day spend with some amazing Mums at the latest club in Kensington, thank you for having us Harbour Club

 

•featured article 

Baby, toddlers to teenagers; Kensington Mums & London Little Thinkers book suggestions for the Summer holidays

With technology advancing every day more, we think it is important for our little ones to be connected with the world and stay up to date with change BUT we cannot stress enough how important it is to encourage your little ones to keep reading books and for parents, to read with them daily  over the holidays. Stimulate your children’s imagination and let their minds wonder with beautifully written books by inspiring authors.

Kensington Mums would like to thank Rebecca Dooley, founder of  London’s Little Thinkers for helping us, help our mums and families choose the best books for your children to take on holiday.

 

About London Little Thinkers

“LLT is an online resource which promotes an educational and engaging London life for children. Set up by Rebecca Dooley, a primary school teacher working in a leading London day school means that all of the recommendations are well-considered to promote fun learning. LLT offers daily ideas and regular educational events. Sign up to their newsletter, full of what LLT recommends before each holiday!”

 

 

 

Find  our suggestions below:

Age 0-1

That’s not my  –  Osborne Series 


A multi-award winning series of brightly illustrated books with simple, repetitive storyline. That’s not my… books are perfect for little fingers – with touchy-feely textures to explore, or stickers and colouring to practise hand and pen control.

 

Age 2-3 :

 

Peck Peck Peck by Lucy Cousins

  A “hole” lot of fun!Today my daddy said to me, “It’s time you learnt to peck a tree.” Little Woodpecker has just learnt how to peck and – ooh! yippee! – what fun it is! Off he goes, on his first big pecking adventure, and he peck, peck, pecks his little heart out. He pecks the hat and then the mat, the tennis racket AND the jacket… just LOOK at all the holes he has made! Comical, contemporary and original! A stunning new picture book title from Lucy Cousins, with colour so exuberant it leaps right off the page.

 

 

Age 4-5:

 

We’re going on a bear hunt by Michael Rosen 

 

“Follow and join in the family’s excitement as they wade through the grass, splash through the river and squelch through the mud in search of a bear. What a surprise awaits them in the cave on the other side of the dark forest!”

 

 

 

 

Penguin by Polly Dunbar 

“Ben is given a penguin as a present. Try as he might, however, he cannot get a reaction from his inscrutable companion. He pokes him, sings for him and eventually fires him into outer space but to no avail – Penguin still ignores him. Ben loses his temper with Penguin, so a big blue lion gobbles him up. Ben’s saviour appears in an unlikely form causing him to realise that penguin loves him after all, in his own special way.

 

 

Age 6-7

Beegu by Alexis Deacon

“Beegu is from another world and somehow gets lost on Earth. Lonely and confused, she wanders off to a nearby city to find some friends. But the only friendly people she comes across are the children, while the big Earth creatures just don’t seem to understand.

Deacon’s simple text and soft illustrations cleverly convey a child’s feelings of uncertainty and confusion when faced with new surroundings. This is a heart-warming and satisfying tale that is certain to provide comfort to young children”.

 

 

 The Owl who was afraid of the dark  

by Jill Tomlinson

Plop, the Baby Barn Owl, is like every Barn Owl there ever was, except for one thing – he is afraid of the dark. “Dark is nasty” he says and so he won’t go hunting with his parents. Mrs Barn Owl sends him down from his nest-hole to ask about the dark and he meets a little boy waiting for the fireworks to begin, an old lady, a scout out camping, a girl who tells him about Father Christmas, a man with a telescope and a black cat who takes him exploring. He realizes that through these encounters that dark is super after all.

 

Age 7-8


The Sheep Pig
by Dick King-Smith

The Sheep-pig is one of Dick King-Smith’s most famous tales. It shot to further fame when the film adaptation, Babe, was released in 1995.  

‘Why can’t I learn to be a Sheep-Pig?’ When Babe, the little orphaned piglet, is won at a fair by Farmer Hogget, he is adopted by Fly, the kind-hearted sheep-dog. Babe is determined to learn everything he can from Fly. He knows he can’t be a sheep-dog. But maybe, just maybe, he might be a sheep-pig.

 

 

The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl

 

The giraffe, the pelican and the agile monkey set out to prove that they are the best window-cleaning company around.

 

 

 

 

Age 8-9:

 The Midnight Gang by David Walliams

Welcome to the Midnight Gang! Midnight is the time when all children are fast asleep, except of course for… the Midnight Gang. That is when their adventures are just beginning…

When Tom gets hit on the head by a cricket ball, he finds himself at Lord Funt Hospital, and is greeted by a terrifying-looking porter. Things go from bad to worse when he meets the wicked matron in charge of the children’s ward… But Tom is about to embark on the most thrilling journey of a lifetime

 

Age 9-10:

Harry Potter

“Discovering the joys of Harry Potter is a rite of passage for kids today. Since J.K. Rowling released the first book more than 15 years ago, kids have been devouring the books, watching the movies, and — at least for super fans — playing games and apps and visiting websites devoted to the young wizard.  One of the delights of discovering Harry Potter is that you see him grow up. But along with that, the subject matter of the books and movies gets scarier, the villains get viler, and beloved characters die.”

 

 

 

Age 10-11:

Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo

Washed up on an island in the Pacific, Michael struggles to survive on his own. With no food and no water, he curls up to die. When he wakes, there is a plate beside him of fish, of fruit, and a bowl of fresh water.  He is not alone…

Michael Morpurgo’s classic children’s book Kensuke’s Kingdom is a thrilling adventure story for ages 9+, and winner of The Children’s Book Award (2000). Now available in hardback and paperback.

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the holidays & please get in touch if you wish to share your suggestions or give feedback on any of the books above. 

 

Summer London Beaches

In case you are spending the Summer in London, here is a run down on summer beaches in London. Yes, those do exist and some are also family friendly or make the perfect date night with your other half or a fun girls night out.

Neverland beach in Fulham. This thames-side beach spot has a unique BYOB and feasting concept – come on down and experience street food and alfresco dining like never before. Booking is essential. They also offer outdoor beach yoga classes.

 

The Beach Bar in Bloomsbury’s The Montague transforms into a seaside getaway for the summer. Complete with real sand, a beach-hut style thatched roof, delicious cocktails, palm trees and more – you’ll feel like you’re basking in the Bahamas rather than in the heart of central London.

The Urban London Beach is a stretch of sandy beach that provides a great day out with family and friends. Enjoy lazing in a deckchair, building a sandcastle,  relaxing with the Sunday papers and eating ice cream on London’s Beach!

Summer’s coming to Hampstead’s urban beach, with golden sand, amazing food and cocktails to set the mood for long evenings of sun, fun and holiday vibes. Hampstead Beach comes back to JW3 for the third time; has free entry and will be open from Sunday to Friday. Special events taking place on the beach throughout the summer will be announced soon.

 

Brixton Beach will transport you to a lush and colourful paradise, serving up a winning combination of cocktails, street food and entertainment, creating the ultimate festival that lasts all summer long.  The rooftop urban beach will bring you a little Havana life with music nights.

Can’t get to the seaside but want to enjoy the beach? Come to Southbank Centre this summer and they can help you out. Bring your own bucket and spade, and we’ll supply 85 tonnes of golden, play sand for you to enjoy for free – and hopefully some sunshine to go with it.

Instant Frozen Berry Yoghurt

This week we would like to thank Miriam AKA @mimi’s bowl. Mum of one little girl living in London sharing friendly recipes and food ideas.

This instant frozen yoghurt is hardly a recipe as it takes seconds to throw it together. It works well if you are time short, as no pre-preparation and freezing of lollies is needed. It is a healthy treat option too, so a winner with kids and parents. Instant Summer – enjoy!”

Serves 1, increase quantities as needed

Ingredients

  • handful of frozen berries
  • small pot of yoghurt, 120g approx

To prep you will need:

  • blender

Directions

  1. Let the berries slightly de-frost, so that they aren’t too tough on your blender.

2. Then blend with yoghurt and voila instant frozen yoghurt.

  1. Top with some crumbled frozen berries, as they add extra crunch. for bigger kids 3 years +). Or simply top with fresh berries.

 

 

*From Mimi’s Bowl: Modern Baby, Toddler and Family Food by Miriam Cooper.

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 

Kensington Mums Loves The Jaunty Cocoon

Created by Catherine Johnston, The Jaunty Cocoon is a bespoke nursery wall design service for parents who want to create a special feature wall with a truly personal touch for their child.

 

A print designer who’s worked across the British high street for 15 years and also created a small batch of wallpaper, Catherine’s designs are all hand drawn and will add a sense of fun and warmth to your little ones room. Based in her London studio Catherine draws the design to scale then sends it away to a printer, who then delivers the wall covering in easily numbered rolls for hanging, so it’s a very smooth process. The design can reference anything from the family pet to favourite toys and can feature important little messages and names. It can even boost early learning so it’s a fantastically rewarding project for everyone involved. Little Alice was delighted with hers. For a rework of the above – name, toy, message and colours all of your own choosing – or for a completely bespoke wall email:  thejauntycocoon@gmail.com

 

 

 

*features post 

Honest Mum’s #ProudInMyBikini Campaign & Learning to Love Your Post-Birth Body

Today’s contributing article is by Vicki Psarias from honest.com. As mothers we are all self conscious of our body after baby and love how honest and open Vicki is in her #proudinmybikini campaign and we hope you can join us so that all Mothers are proud in their bikini this Summer and always. I always tell myself that each stretch mark on my body has a story, and it is a beautiful story indeed. Let us all embrace our motherhood journey in all its shapes and forms.

We have interviewed Vicki  part of our online motherhood exhibition, you can read more about it here.

Below is the image of Vicki that went viral 2 years ago.

Words by Vicki, mother of two.

Pregnancy and post-baby pressures on our bodies can feel overwhelming as we battle the pressure to ping back to our pre-pregnancy bodies as the endless celebrities the media show us seem to do with ease. Who knows the reality of that weight-loss though or the circumstances. It’s normal to want to regain normality, particularly at a time nothing feels normal. Sleep-deprivation and a new life with baby can be daunting as it is. That inevitable weight gain can make you feel worse at a time you are already delicate.

Vicki of Honest Mum and son

The truth is that babies can see us in a body and often, a mind we don’t recognise as our own and whilst social media can be a great support it can also exacerbate low feelings.

I want to normalise post-baby bodies, for myself and others. My tummy is forever changed after 2 c-sections and whilst I don’t like it, I accept it. I won’t hide it and refrain from wearing a bikini. Truth be told, day to day I never think of my stretch-marks and I refuse to let it stop me from having fun on holiday or in the garden when the sun comes out and nor should you.

This is the caption that accompanied the photo above:

‘So the tummy has stretch marks and it will be a mumtum forever thanks to my little Spider-Man over here, and his older brother Oliver, but to those little guys, I’m a superwoman and that’s good enough for me⚡️! A picture I shared 2 years ago in my bikini (this exact one in fact) went viral (which was a shock) and I still receive emails to this day from women saying they feel more confident about their shape because of it. That they went swimming with their kids when they wouldn’t before. That they feel proud of their post-baby bodies and less pressured. Yes to that 🙌🏼. I’m working on my own body image every single day, for myself and most importantly for my kids. It’s not always easy, we’re our own worst enemy at times and social media can ramp up the pressure to appear perfect (which doesn’t exist of course) but we owe it ourselves and the future to feel fierce whatever our size and shape. We’ve got this people. Please join me if you fancy it when you share shots of your badass selves in your swimwear with the hashtag #proudinmybikini’

This photo comes 2 years after I shared a picture of me wearing the same bikini, in Jamaica which went viral much to my surprise.

I still get messages from women to this day telling me the positive effect it had on them (a lady even came to a workshop to hear me speak because of that photo). The strength the photo gave others in their own journey to accept their bodies and feel more confident meant the world to me. It made me feel strong in return.

Here’s another one we took the other week, too.

Honest Mum in her bikini

It’s hard but vital we keep the conversation going about our bodies, however difficult that might seem because that honesty will enable us to feel less alone, and more badass about ourselves. All shapes and sizes are beautiful and remember that we did good ladies, we made babies, and are raising children every day.

Let’s be more confident for our kids, ourselves and others watching our images and listening to our words.

Read more at honestmum.com (http://www.honestmum.com)

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

Win a fantastic Holiday Box to keep children entertained during the holidays

About My Pocket Money Toy

My pocket money toy is a monthly subscription box for 3 to 10 year olds.  The boxes contain good quality, fun, durable toys, as well as a themed colouring sheet and a stamp sticker to collect each month in their My Pocket Money Toy stamp card (shown below).  As a busy working mum I found our routine was so packed at the weekend that shopping for good toys feel off the list of things to do!  In addition to the monthly subscription boxes, we also offer a gift box service (with bespoke Happy Birthday cards and stickers), party favour boxes and our holiday boxes designed as a result of feedback from mums asking for a bigger box to keep children occupied over a long journey – or just a treat for the start of the holidays.

 

 

 

The Prize

To celebrate the start of the summer holidays, My Pocket Money Toy are offering the chance to win a fabulous Holiday Box packed with a mix of outdoor toys, craft activities, games and books to keep children entertained in the holidays, or even in a long journey!  Summer boxes are tailored for 3 to 5, 6 to 7 and 8 to 10 years age groups.’

How to enter

To be in with a chance to WIN this competition simply,

Fill in the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries

Please read full terms & conditions below

All entries must be registered with www.kensingtonmums.co.uk via Rafflecopter widget

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions

Competition opens 3rd of July 2017 to 17th of July 2017 • The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative • Kensington Mums will choose and contact the winners of the competition within 24 hours of the competition ending by email • All entries must be subscribed with www.kensingtonmums.co.uk or have downloaded our KM app on iTunes or Google Play • The prize is not to be used for resale • Entrants must be over 18 • Winner will be emailed • UK entries only •

Dairy Free Sheer Qorma

When we saw this dish we had to ask for the recipe. Shumailla AKA @shummyz is a mother of 2 who enjoys to explore healthy recipes. “Yay to my little girl for making me experiment with every wheat, dairy, sugar alternative under the sun”

Thank you @shummyz for sharing one of your creations with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

100g vermicelli

1 Litre Soya milk

1/2 carton of soya cream

1 cup homemade coconut milk

2 tablespoons homemade ghee (clarified butter)

1/2 cup golden caster sugar (you can use coconut sugar as well)

3 cardamons, powdered

5 dates, putted and thinly sliced

Almonds and pistachios to decorate

Method:

Melt the ghee in a large pan

Add the cardamon and fry until fragrant (remove all this stage unless you’re using powder )

Slightly break up the vermicelli and add to the pan, saute’ until light brown

Add all the milk, dates and the sugar

Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 25minute (or longer depending on how think and creamy you want it.)

Switch off the heat and add about half a carton of soya cream.

Decorate with nuts and serve warm.

Enjoy