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.

OVO bugs for Halloween

With Halloween just around the corner, Cirque du Soleil’s OVO is getting in the spooky spirit with Halloween face painting tutorials for little ones.

Inspired by OVO’s colourful insects and creepy crawlies, these face paint creations truly brings out the colourful ecosystem teeming with life and sheer vibrancy of the production. The show is a celebration of co-existence and nature, featuring dazzling stunts and jaw-dropping physical feats, and little ones can feel part of their world by turning themselves into OVO bugs for Halloween!

 

Enjoy watching the video and why not try it with your little ones this Halloween for some spooktacular trick and treating around London town!

Half Term dining at Babylon

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

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

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

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

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

Coffee morning at Victoria and Albert Museum

Last week we had the pleasure to welcome mums and kids for a coffee morning at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The learning department team at Victoria and Albert Museum were also present to welcome everyone. They presented the new families resource for under 5s which they are developing. Mums and children enjoyed exploring the resources together along with other sensory objects and toys in the space.

Pictures from @kensingtonmums Instagram

The Gift of Lasting Memories

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Featured article

Meringue Bones

Halloween is around the corner, and we have this amazing recipe from Annabel Karmel just in time for Trick and treating.

Have a Spooktacular Halloween. Don’t forget to tag us with your pictures!

Prep: 30 minutes

Cook: 1 – 1 ½ hours

Makes: 12 meringue bones

 

Ingredients

2 egg whites

1/8 tsp cream of tartar

100g caster sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 110C / 225F. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.
  2. In a small bowl, with an electric whisk on medium speed, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar, until soft peaks form. Add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating at a high speed until stiff peaks form.
  3. Place the mixture in a piping bag with a plain nozzle, or heavy-duty re-sealable bag with a small hole cut in the corner. Pipe a 7.5cm (3 in) line of meringue, then pipe a 2.5cm (1 in) ball at either end. Repeat with the remaining meringue.
  4. Bake for 1 hour to 1 ½ hours or until firm, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.

 

 

 

Sticking it to period shame on International day of the girl

Today, 11th of October represents a day for International Day of the Girl. As mothers, we all went through the experience of having our periods. Recent survey shows that 48% of girls in the U.K. are growing up feeling ashamed of their periods – and missing out on school or activities as a result. In other countries the numbers are worse.

Almost half of girls aged 14-21 are embarrassed by their periods

The findings, based on a survey commissioned by girls’ rights charity Plan International UK, expose the impact stigmas, shame and silence around periods is having on the lives of teenage girls in the UK.

The survey, in which 1000 girls aged 14-21 were asked about their experiences of menstruation, finds that the taboos around periods can, and do, have serious consequences, with one in seven (14 per cent) girls admitting that they did not know what was happening when they started their period and more than a quarter (26 per cent) reporting that they did not know what to do when they started their period.

Of those surveyed:

·      Only one in five (22%) girls feel comfortable discussing their period with their teacher

·      Less than a quarter (24%) of girls feel comfortable discussing their period with their male friends

·      Under a third (29%) of girls feel comfortable discussing their period with their fathers

·      Four fifths (82 per cent) of girls admitted they have hidden or concealed their sanitary products

·      Almost three quarters (71%) of girls admitted that they have felt embarrassed buying sanitary products

More than half (59 per cent) of girls revealed that they had received negative remarks about their perceived behaviour and mood whilst on their period and one in ten had been asked not to talk about their periods front of their mother (12 per cent) or father (11 per cent).

Larissa is 19 and is at university in Coventry, she said: “There’s a huge societal taboo around talking about periods and a lot of girls – myself included – internalise the message that periods are gross and shouldn’t be talked about even when we know it’s an entirely natural thing.

“I used to always make up excuses to avoid telling people I was on my period. I’d make up this intricate story about having a weak bladder to explain why I was going to the toilet frequently. I knew it was ridiculous but I just found it so awkward to say the words “I’m on my period”.

Tanya Barron, Plan International’s Chief Executive said “Girls like Larissa are telling us that they are embarrassed, confused and ashamed about periods, a completely natural biological process which happens to half the global population.”

“As a society we obsessively euphemise, belittle and silence menstruation; we need to address the impact this is having on girls. 

“As a global girls’ rights charity we know that pervading cultural taboos and lack of education around periods can have a damaging impact on the lives of girls both here in the UK and across the world, exposing them to discrimination and preventing them from fulfilling their potential.”

The research also finds that girls are feeling the need to make up excuses for when their period has an impact on their day-to-day life, with the charity concerned that entrenched stigmas, including in schools, are behind this.

·      49 per cent of girls have missed an entire day of school because of their period, of which 59 per cent have made up a lie or an alternate excuse

·      64 per cent of girls have missed a PE or sport because of their period, of which 52 per cent of girls have made up a lie or excuse

·      68 per cent of girls admits they feel less able to pay attention at school/college and work and more than half (52 per cent) have made up a lie or excuse

Ms Barron added “For many women and girls in the UK, these statistics will not shock or surprise, and that in itself is concerning.

“Our research suggests that in schools in particular, the institutional support is not there. There’s a lack of open discussion and a problem with access to toilet facilities, which forces girls to withdraw from certain activities and feel compelled to lie about why.

“Girls are not only dealing with the pain and discomfort that comes with periods, but the institutionalised stigma too; a girl might miss school because she’s worried that if her period comes, she won’t be allowed access to the toilet.

Plan International UK is calling for the new Relationships and Sex Education  curriculum – currently under consultation and due to be rolled out in September 2019- to incorporate lessons which teach girls and boys, together, about the physical, personal and social aspects of menstruation.

“When girls are too embarrassed to ask to go to the toilet during a lesson because of their period, we have a problem that needs to be seen as structural, not individual,” added Ms Barron. “The new curriculum presents an opportunity, both through classes and in the wider school environment, to bust the taboos that are holding girls back.

“We need to encourage open discussion and better equip girls with tools and information to manage their periods effectively, without shame or embarrassment.”

This week, to mark International Day of the Girl, Plan International UK will launch the #weallbleed campaign to remind the nation that periods and menstruation are a normal part of everyday life.

For the campaign, the charity has created special ‘Plaster Pads’ – miniature sanitary pads that are worn like plasters for all the world to see – as a thought-provoking prompt to make people consider why there’s no shame in bleeding.

Plan International UK will be distributing boxes of Plaster Pads to celebrities and influencers, encouraging them to puts pads where plasters go and share on social media. The Plaster Pads will be printed with slogans that highlight the need to remove the stigma around blood; after all, blood is blood.

Every element of the campaign will be supported with the #weallbleed hashtag, designed to highlight this simple fact and to show that periods are nothing to be ashamed of. 

To find out more about Plan International UK’s #weallbleed campaign, visit www.plan-uk.org/periods 

 

National Egg Week

With National Egg Week starting this week 9th-15th October and with World Egg Day falling on the 14th, we have rounded-up the ooziest #YolkPorn offerings in and around London.

 

Lobster Benedict at Thomas’s Café at Burberry

Indulge in a breakfast fit for a fashionista at Thomas Café at Burberry. Priced at £28, the Thomas’s Café at Burberry Lobster Benedict is made using knuckles and claws from Bembridge lobsters. Fished off the Bembridge shelf (just off the Isle of Wight), the lobster meat is grilled in the Bertha. The knuckles are placed on a bed of sautéed spinach along with two poached Barradale eggs. The eggs are topped with hollandaise sauce and a grilled lobster claw is placed on the side. Sat atop an English muffin, it’s a dish worth indulging in.

 

Dirty Bones’ Ultimate Hangover Brunch

Offering a different take on your yolk porn classics, Dirty Bones’ serve up their Short Rib Hash. The dish includes 14-hour slow cooked short rib finished with caramelised shallots and mustard seeds, served with potatoes and two oozing sunny side-up eggs. What better way to enjoy the weekend than with some NYC-inspired yolk porn, a couple of cocktails and a side of old school hip-hop, funk and soul music?

 

 

Sunny side-up – Rosti Greek style at Meraki

New Fitzrovia Greek restaurant, Meraki, offers a Mediterranean take on the ultimate indulgent trio of butter, potato and egg with their Rosti Greek style. A bed of Crunchy potatoes, truffle & Cretan butterlies ready to soak up the oozing yolks of the two sunny side-up eggs resting atop. Yolk-porn doesn’t get much better than this.

 

Brunch by Theo Randall at the Intercontinental 

Theo Randall at the InterContinental has recently launched a four-course ‘La Dolce Vita’ weekend brunch with new vegan options for £57. Featuring a selection of brunch classics with an authentic Italian twist, such as Frittata with organic eggs, girolle mushrooms caprine fresco, marjoram and mixed Italian leaves, the menus celebrates Theo’s signature favourites. Guests will enjoy Prosecco and Bellinis all the way through, and end the leisurely brunch with a selection of desserts, served to share.

 

Tom’s Kitchen serves the Ultimate Truffled Eggs Benedict

 

Tom’s Kitchen serves the ‘Ultimate Truffled Eggs Benedict’ during breakfast and brunch. Priced at £19, the dish has a muffin topped with a poached egg, prosciutto and hollandaise with gratings of truffle for a truly decadent start to the weekend.  Founded by Tom Aikens, Tom’s Kitchen has five sites across London, with locations including Chelsea, Canary Wharf, St Katharine Dock and Somerset House, serving British comfort food classics with an emphasis on the very best seasonal ingredients.

 

 

Truffled Eggs Benedict

To celebrate National Egg Week this week (9th-15th October) with World Egg Day falling on the 14th of October, we share this yummy recipe by Tom’s Kitchen.

Ingredients (serves 4)

White wine vinegar 8 eggs
4 English muffins Unsalted butter
6 slices of parma ham

For the Truffled Hollandaise sauce
120ml white wine vinegar
2 round shallots, finely sliced
12 black peppercorns
1 sprig thyme and 1 sprig of tarragon
350g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
6 egg yolks
Juice of 1⁄2 lemon / 1 tea spoon of truffle paste – available in supermarkets
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp truffle paste

METHOD

  1. First make the hollandaise sauce. Put the vinegar, shallots, peppercorns and herbs in a pan, bring to the boil and continue to boil until reduced by about two-thirds. Leave to cool to room temperature, then strain into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, clarify the butter: put the cubes in a pan over a gentle heat until melted. Skim the white foam off the surface, leaving only clear liquid. Set aside to cool until tepid, then carefully tip into a clean bowl, leaving any solid residue in the bottom of the pan.
  3. Place a round metal bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and add the 6 egg yolks and the vinegar reduction. Whisk the mixture over the heat until it is a pale, fluffy mass – this will take 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk vigorously while adding the clarified butter to make a thick creamy sauce. If the sauce gets too thick, add a little warm water. If it separates, beat a fresh egg yolk with a spoonful of water in a clean bowl, then whisk the separated sauce into that – it should magically form a smooth sauce again.
  1. Adjust the flavour with a little lemon juice, truffle paste and salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until needed. The best way to do this is to put the sauce into a bowl and stand it in a pot of warm water, about 40-50°C. Cover the bowl with clingfilm so a skin doesn’t form on the sauce.
  2. Next, poach the eggs. Fill a large, shallow pan with water, add some white wine vinegar (about 2-4 tablespoons per litre of water) and bring to a simmer. The vinegar will help the eggs hold their shape.
  3. Break the 8 eggs into separate coffee cups or ramekins. When the water is simmering, take a spoon or spatula and stir the water so it swirls around in the pan like a vortex. Add the eggs, one by one, as quickly as you can so they cook at the same time. The swirling water keeps the eggs in a nice round shape, but you might have to move them around a little so they don’t stick to each other or to the bottom of the pan. Poach for 3-4 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are soft and the yolks are runny.
  4. Meanwhile, deep fry 2 slices of parma ham by deep frying it at 170c until crispy.
  5. Once the eggs are cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a small plate lined with kitchen paper. They need to dry off or they will make the toasted muffins soggy, which you do not want.
  6. To serve, slice each muffin in half, toast them under the grill and spread with butter. Arrange 1 slice of uncooked parma ham on top and put the muffins back under the grill briefly to warm. Season the eggs with salt and pepper, carefully place one on each muffin half and ladle over the truffle hollandaise. Garnish with a 1⁄2 slice of the crispy fried parma ham.

Motherhood by Jenny Raymond

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

My name is Jenny.  I am the founder of Mamazou – a global community dedicated to supporting #perfectlyimperfectparenting. The site also offers access to blog posts, forum discussions, discount codes, giveaways and much more.  Whilst running Mamazou, I also work in the accounting team for a small family-run business in the City.  I have one incredible, almost 4 year old, daughter.

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

It’s tough.  I think balance is key to juggling anything.  I try to plan and organise my time accordingly.  I’m a little bit of a control freak so as long as I’m on top of things I tend not to lose direction… and if i do, then I get totally overwhelmed and need to reset.

  1. What top tips would you give to any working mum?

Write a to do list and make sure you have time out.  It’s so important to give yourself the time you need to switch off.  As mother’s we often forget it and sometimes we need a reminder to try not to burn the candles at both ends.  I make sure I do a form of exercise every day (even if it’s just a short walk) and give myself some screen free time.  Additionally, I make sure my husband and I have occasional date nights.  As we both work two jobs, our time is limited and sacred.

  1. What do you love most about London?  Do you have a favourite spot with your daughter? 

It has a little bit of everything to offer.  You can’t get bored in London.  There are endless things to do and we always love to discover new places.  H and I don’t have a favourite spot, but you can find us mainly outdoors in any park, in the playground or devouring sushi.

  1. How do you define quality ‘me-time’? 

Doing something for myself that makes me feel good.

  1. What is your favourite & least favourite thing about parenthood? 

Everything.  It may sound cheesy, but I don’t think I could ever pin point it down to one thing.  It’s the best job in the world and I’m so lucky that I am one.  As for my least favourite thing – seeing H suffer if she’s not well or if someone has hurt her feelings.  I’d do anything to take her pain away.

  1. Tell us something people don’t know about you. 

I always wanted to move abroad.

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

Listen to your instincts.  Don’t doubt yourself.  You may be a first time mum and very new to the job but you’re intuition is normally best.  When H was born I was given so much different advice from people, telling me what to do/not do and how to raise her.  They meant well but I was often confused on what to do.  I became very neurotic (I still am sometimes) but one day, someone turned around and told me “Listen to your instinct.  A mother knows best.”  and since then I’ve been practicing it since.

  1. I’m a mum and…… I wouldn’t change it for the world!!

 

  1. Finally, what do you love most about Kensington Mums?

I love the ethos, the support the offer, the content they provide as well as the events that they often host.  It’s a great community for any mother based in Kensington!

Kensington Mums supporting chelsea children’s hospital charity

Kensington Mums was delighted to attend special brunch for Chelsea Children’s Hospital Charity, for a presentation by the charity together with Merci Maman jewellers who we had speaking at our past Mother’s day event.  It was a great event to help raise awareness of the charity. Pastries, fruit and coffee were followed by a presentation by charity manager Rebecca McLoughlin, who showed a short film about the charity. Then Charity Ambassador Harriet Kempton, mum of six-year old Alfie who was treated at the hospital for leukaemia, spoke movingly about her experiences. The event culminated in a tour of the children’s wards. Every goody bag included a teddy bear and a beautiful, hand-engraved necklace provided by our charity partner Merci Maman.

Today we would like to share with you how you can be involved and help support Chelsea Children’s Hospital charity.

About Chelsea Children’s Hospital Charity

We are Chelsea Children’s Hospital Charity and we support children and their families at Chelsea Children’s Hospital and West Middlesex Hospital, which are part of the same NHS trust. Together, the two hospitals care for 160,000 children every year, making it one of the biggest and most specialised centres for children’s medicine in London.

The charity has been operating since 1981 and it is currently chaired by one of the top paediatric surgeons in the UK, Munther Haddad. The board is staffed by medical experts and the charity managed by Rebecca McLoughlin, supported by Becky Hersey, who are both parents of past patients.

What they do

We fund urgently needed surgical and medical equipment and provide services which wouldn’t otherwise be available, from infrared ‘vein finders’ which make blood tests less painful, to a million-pound surgical robot named Pluto, the first children’s surgical robot in the UK.

At the cutting edge of technology, Pluto enables surgeons to operate on babies and children with more precision, leading to less scarring and quicker recovery. We are still raising money for Pluto’s instruments, which have to be replaced every 20 uses at a cost of £12,000 each time.

We also organise the children’s Christmas party at Chelsea and Westminster. Previous guests include pop band Union J and Olympic athletes.

 

Charity Partners

Thanks to our generous charity partners, we can help even more families. Our current partners are Merci Maman Gifts, Fulham Cricket Club and Thomas’s School in Fulham.

 

Local support

We are always keen to work with the local community especially as this is the local hospital for so many families, whether it’s via A&E, maternity, the neonatal unit or the children’s wards. We’re very grateful to the local shops, cafes, businesses, schools and nurseries which help us to raise money.

Ways to fundraise

  • Overnight beds for parents Space on the children’s wards is very cramped which makes it difficult for parents to sleep next to their child overnight. We would like to purchase 8 fold-down overnight beds.
  • Toiletry packs for parents When children are admitted to hospital in an emergency, a parent will often arrive with nothing to equip them for an overnight stay. These toiletry packs provide parents with basics like shampoo, deodorant and toothbrushes to get them through the first night.
  • Specialist machine to help in the diagnosis of epilepsy in children The ‘Video Ambulatory EEG System’ provides quicker and more accurate diagnosis. It is discreet and can monitor the child while at home and during normal activities.
  • Equipment to provide enhanced monitoring of diabetes in children ‘Diasend’ is a device that is able to download data from any glucose meter or insulin pump device and then analyse it in a very useful and intuitive way for clinicians and parents alike.

 

Current fundraisers

Our brilliant fundraisers include hospital staff, families of children who have been treated here, and even our young patients themselves.

  • Consultant Paediatric Surgeon Will Sherwood ran the London Marathon, raising more than £1,000 for every mile. His fundraising was given a boost by Guardian columnist Marina Hyde, who wrote before the race about how Mr Sherwood saved her newborn son. “Will was the first person to say no, he wasn’t going to die, because he was going to operate on him later that day.”
  • Sonali and Harry Boyle tragically lost their premature baby at 12 days old. In honour of baby Rahul, Sonali, Harry and their friends and family undertook an incredible series of challenges, from marathon running to mountain climbing. They raised the astounding sum of £100,000, with £50,000 going to our NICU, and £50,000 to a NICU in India.
  • Our youngest-ever fundraiser, 3 year-old patient Mason Hicks, swam widths of his local pool aided by his trusty armbands. “We are so grateful for the support we have received at Chelsea. From the cardio ward to the children’s wards, to the Neonatal Unit, Intensive Care Unit and the surgical team, we can’t thank them enough for all they have done,” says mum Megan. “Mason did his challenge in a 25 metre pool and managed an outstanding total of 14 widths! To say I am proud is an understatement.”

 

 

To find out more

Visit our website www.chelchilcharity.org

Email us becky.hersey@chelchilcharity.org

Phone us 020 3315 8956

Follow us on Twitter @chelchilcharity

Follow us on Facebook /chelchilcharity

 

 

Chilli, Lime, Sweet Potato and Rice Bowl

Today’s contributing recipe is from the one of our favourite yummy mummy Julie Montagu who is a Mum of 4 and who is known as a Yoga and a plant-based die guru. Check out her website at Flexi Foodie.   

This recipe  is great for cold winter nights and makes enough to serve two to three people – depending on how big you want your bowl to be.

Ingredients

  • 125g of cooked brown rice
  • 400g of cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • A handful of coriander
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 3 small sweet potatoes, chopped into small chunks
  • A handful of cashew nuts
  • 2 small handfuls of pumpkin seeds
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Tamari soy sauce
  • 1 lime, sliced in half
  • Maple agave (or your favourite natural sweetener)

Method

Start by preheating your oven to 200C or 400F. Next, place your sweet potato chunks on an oven tray and drizzle a generous amount of olive oil over them. Roast the potatoes in the oven for 20 minutes.

Place the cashew nuts and pumpkin seeds in a separate oven dish and roast with the potatoes for the final seven minutes of the 20 minutes.

While the sweet potato and the nuts and seeds are roasting you can turn your attention to making your salad dressing. For this you will need to place the ginger, the red chilli, and the garlic in a bowl. You can then take the lime halves and squeeze as much juice as you can into the bowl. Add four tablespoons of olive oil to the mix with two tablespoons of the tamari soy sauce and two tablespoons of the maple agave – or your favourite natural sweetener! Whisk the contents of the bowl together.

Next, take a large handful of the rice and place into each bowl, alongside a large handful of the sweet potato and the black beans and the nuts and seeds. You can then pour the salad dressing over the top of each bowl and sprinkle with coriander.

Win a free 1-1 personal training session with body transformation expert ‘Lorenzo’ at FitLabs Kensington

Are you a mum who wants to get back in shape ? Win a free 1-1 personal training session with body transformation expert ‘Lorenzo’ at FitLabs Kensington.

About Fit Labs Kensington:

Fit Labs Kensington is a boutique Personal Training studio based in the heart of Kensington at the exclusive Fraser Suites Queens Gate. A private setting allows for clients to momentarily escape from the outside world both mentally and physically; leaving you feeling refreshed and revitalised after every session. With full access to a Victorian style business lounge and terrace, along with a bar and free wifi, Fit Labs Kensington offer you more than just training, it offers you a place to make things happen ! Lorenzo is an experienced trainer with a celebrity background. Having over 15 years experience, he has developed the Plyohitt method, guaranteeing fast yet long lasting results. Lorenzo specialises in pre-natal and post natal fitness, with a friendly yet motivational character, he will help you to achieve YOUR best body.

The Prize 

One winner will receive 1:1 training sessions to be redeemed before 31st October 2017. 2 sessions in total. This is a great way to launch your fitness routine and get started with one of Fit Labs Kensington experts! Their system will allow you to develop the basics and keep you fit, especially good for busy mums who have a very busy lifestyle and struggle to find time to train!

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 2nd October to 15th October 2017. • This offer is available to be redeemed before 31st October • One winner will receive the free session worth £100 • 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 •

October Half Term & Halloween Scoop 2017

 Code TodayHave your children moved on to coding using Python? At CodeToday we specialise in teaching programming using the text-based language Python, the next stage following children-specific software used in schools. Our courses focus on guiding children to think in the logical and systematic way required for coding and treating it as a problem-solving exercise. In addition to our scheduled courses during holidays, half-term and during term time, we also run bespoke courses for groups of friends/classmates, usually held in one of the participants’ own homes. Contact us on info@codetoday.co.uk for more information.

 

 

Calling all mummies and daddies! Treat your lovely family to a photography session this half term with Diana Pavlova Photography! If you are always behind the camera, and never in front of it, then this scoop is for you. Let’s create the gorgeous family pictures you always promise yourself you will get. If you quote the code KM-Halfterm you will receive £30 off  your first booking with me when you email diana@dianapavlovaphotography.com or visit dianapavlovaphotography.com. These beautiful portraits make for fantastic Christmas gifts for grandma and grandpa, too!

 

 

 

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

 

Halloween is a fantastic time to learn about Chemistry, Physics and Biology and excite children about science! -Spooky, sucking  black holes and ‘spaghettification’ -Slimy polymer monsters, glowing ghosts and bioluminescent creatures -Invisible ink & mysterious transformations of liquids -Spookiest science experiments in history and the genius scientists behind them Science Isn’t Scary, it is FUN!  BOOOOO! To register for the half-term camp 24-26 October 2017 from 10.00-3.00 (4-11 years and drop-off). You can book online here or call us on 0800 092 1062.

 

My Great Orchestral Adventure: the interactive headline show of a jam-packed October Half Term at the Royal Albert Hall. Your little ones are invited to sail away with a full symphony orchestra, getting to sing, dance and join in as they help the conductor to navigate the stormy seas and survive a shipwreck. They’ll journey to a mysterious island, build shelters, ‘swim in the sea’ and meet amazing characters along the way, all without leaving the Royal Albert Hall’s legendary auditorium. A perfect way to introduce children to the wonderful world of classical music!

 

 

 

Learn to Swim with a 5 Day Crash Course this Half Term. Swimming Rocks are a well-respected swimming tuition provider offering a fantastic learn to swim programme to babies, children and adults. This October Half Term, they will be operating their super popular 5 day intensive crash courses for children at all their 7 venues including local including Chelsea (Blue Harbour Spa),  Knightsbridge (Aquilla Health Club) and Chelsea (Purple Dragon) locally. Recognised locally as the leading swimming tuition company delivering progressive lessons with a strong reputation based on effortless service, Swimming Rocks continues to be the go-to provider for many London families. Term Time lessons also available . More information or to book a crash course contact directly on:07557 051 904 / info@swimmngrocks.co.uk

 

 Natalie Kremen Ballet School offers exceptional ballet training based on Russian Vaganova Method with  highly qualified ballet teachers with international performing experience. For students aged 3-16. Group and Private tuition – Vocational Training –  Examinations ( ARBTA, RAD ) – Scholarships and Bursaries Programmes – Help with Auditions Ballet – Contemporary – Professional Performances – International Competitions – Workshops and Master Classes. For More information & enrolment please contact us on :02079931102 / info@nkballetschool.com

 Sparks are running a fun “Day of the Dead” Halloween Workshop, where young movie makers aged 7-11 and 11-14 make their own movie production inspired by new film Coco and the Day of the Dead festival.
Based at St James Junior School, the young movie makers take on every aspect of making the movie, from the directing to the camera operation to the crew roles around the film set. Along with movie making, there is also lots of production design to get stuck into, including lots of special effects. To find out more details and to register, visit .

Need some exciting outdoor activities for your little ones this autumn? Join The Royal Parks at The Look Out in the heart of Hyde Park, for a day of adventures and hair-raising Halloween fun! Leave your young explorer to enjoy a fun-filled day learning to be an outdoor photographer during our Nature Explorers Club. They will discover the magic of nature in our private wildlife garden and beautiful park.Or, why not dress up as a ghoulish ghost or wicked witch? Come and take part in our free and thrilling family Halloween themed Discovery Days!

 

 

 

Half term is around the corner and it is time to keep busy your children during this special time of the year. Kids en cuisine offers Halloween cooking parties at your place, for children from 3 years old. Balloons, Halloween decorations, healthy spooky monsters with fruits and vegetables will be us. £25/Child for a minimum of 4 children. info@kidsencuisine.com 02030152966

Join us for the best Halloween Parties in town at Gambado. Book now for spooktacular fun!
Enjoy our Halloween fun and games with music, unlimited play in our enormous play frame, rides on our dodgems and of course our carousel. Each child will get a chance to win great prizes, including a Gambado Annual Pass for the best outfit. Children will also enjoy a a kids meal – hot dog & chips or veggie nuggets & chips. The party doesn’t end at Gambado – each child will leave with a fantastic Party Bag to enjoy at home ! Early bird tickets available. 

Cupcake annual Halloween event will take place Friday 27th October from 3pm to 5pm at Cupcake Family Club. This Cupcake’s biggest and spookiest event of the year and this year it’s “The Return to Wonderland”. Cupcake Lounge will be transformed into a childhood dreamland where it’s always time for tea. Tickets will be available online in the second week of October. Exclusive rates and priority bookings with Cupcake Membership card. Visit What’s On page on our website to find a magical variety of events, classes and workshops for all families with children 0-7 yrs. Call 020 7186 6000 to speak to the team or to book a tour of the club.

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.

 

Join Sharky & George for another awesome Adventure Club this half-term from 23rd-27th October at Hyde Park. It’s going to be a seasonal special in the lead up to Halloween. The children will get the chance to dress up as mummies, go on skeleton scavenger hunts and play Dracula’s Footsteps. They will also make green slime with a mad scientist and get stuck into the traditional games as well such as tug of war, mini Olympics and rocket launching. Prices: £373.50 per child, for the week (Mon-Fri – 10% off a week ticket) or £83.00 per child, per day. The club is suitable for children aged between 5-10 years old. Click here to book now!

 

 

Garden of Beauty at 34 Mayfair with Liberty London.To get you going during Half term, enjoy some me time at The 34 Mayfair x Liberty London collaboration. Indulge in dessert and cocktail, created by their expert pastry chefs inspired by by mid 1960’s oriental flowering trail designs.

 

 

 

 

 

London’s Little Thinkers is an online resource which promotes an educational and engaging life for Little Thinkers at home and beyond. Are you in London with your Little Thinker this half term? Wondering what to do? Check out the latest LLT newsletter of what #LLTrecommends this October Half Term; a go to guide of what to do with your inquisitive Little Thinkers. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apple Day Celebration at Fulham Palace. This annual festival (Sunday 8th October) celebrates the apple orchard in the walled garden, with  live music, bee keeping and wood turning demonstrations, a hotly anticipated baking competition, children’s activities, storytelling, refreshments and more! FREE, no booking necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

The Big Draw Festival (1-31 October 2017)– the world’s biggest celebration of drawing is coming for a month-long celebration of arty activities taking place all over London

Motherhood by Mummy Clever Doc

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

Hello, I am Mummycleverdoc. I am a doctor specialising in Cardiology. I have 2 beautiful daughters, Alyvia 20months and Sophia 5 months.

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

With difficulty!

I try to be organised and plan my week ahead so I know when I will be free to spend time with the family. I am working on being stricter with myself at work so that I leave at a reasonable time every day to maximize how much time I have in the evening with the girls before they go to bed.

3. What top tips would you give to any working mum?

Be organized, don’t regret anything, ignore what other mothers are doing…we are all different, you’’ll feel better if you don’t compare yourself to them.

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

I love the chaos, the diversity and the opportunities in London, it reminds me of my fast-paced job in a hospital environment. My favourite place to visit with the children is Regent’s Park the inner circle, it’s beautiful.

5. How do you define quality ‘me-time’?

Getting lost in a great book

Having a long bath

6. What is your favourite & least favourite thing about parenthood?

My favourite thing about parenthood is watching my girls develop their own personalities as they grow. My least favourite thing is the pressures that we face to get our children to eat, sleep and play in a certain way.

7. Tell us something people don’t know about you.

I used to take Bollywood dance classes as a teenager and was chosen to be a backup dancer for a low budget Bollywood film…

I have put my dancing shoes aside for now.

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

Whenever you feel you have lost your way, think how far you have already come. Do things your way and be confident. Your children will learn from example.

9. I’m a mum and…… I prescribe happiness. If our children see us happy, they will also be happy.

10. Finally, what do you love most about Kensington Mums?

A great platform to share experiences, knowledge and advice while also learning from other mothers. Kensington Mums also gives you the opportunity to meet and discuss things with like-minded individuals…usually within a pretty setting!

Kensington Wade is making educational history

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

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

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

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

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

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

Featured Article

What Goes Around Comes Around…

We are proud to be supporting Recycle Week in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea to keep our streets clean for our friends, family and neighbours. Now in its 14th year Recycle Week is a celebration of recycling. This year’s Recycle Week theme is ‘Recycling – It’s Worth It’.

Recycle Week is organised by WRAP under the Recycle Now brand. The aim of the week is to encourage the public to recycle more, by demonstrating the benefits of recycling items from all around the home.

Ever wondered what happens to your recycling? Well, over 80% of you in the UK do believe recycling does make a difference, but a quarter of you don’t see the direct benefit of recycling.

Watch the videos below to see how recycling common household items can have a big impact.

 

Together we can make this year’s Recycle Week a huge success by helping us to spread the word.

Lactation Cookies

 

We want to thank our dear friend and now mother of two beautiful girls Nina! Nina has been struggling with sleepless nights trying to get her baby girl to settle after her feeds and has been struggling throughout the day trying to get her baby girl to feed properly. Here, she shares a moment in her day where she wants to get on with what she loves doing and bakes some cookies to help her milk supply. YOU GO MAMA!

Ingredients 

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup self raising wholemeal flour 1/2 cup brewers yeast
2 Tbsp milled flaxseeds
2 Tbsp of golden sugar
Pinch of salt
200g raw coconut oil
2 Tbsp of honey
2 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla paste
100g dark chocolate
100g milk chocolate

 

Method 

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Cut/break the chocolate into small (1/2cm) pieces. Add to dry mixture.
In a separate mixing bowl beat the eggs, add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well. Pour wet mixture into dry one, mix well.
Form little balls of mixture and set on a baking tray, flattening a bit.
Bake for approximately 10 minutes at 180c (depending on oven) or until golden.

 

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

UNVEILING THE LATEST SCENT FROM ONE OF OUR FAVOURITE BRANDS.   

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

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

Signature Scented Candle

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

Luxury Room Diffusers

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

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

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

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

Every child is a genius at Hyde Park School

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

registrar@hydeparkschool.co.uk

020 7225 3131

www.hydeparkschool.co.uk

 

Birthday Party Scoop 2017

My Kid Atelier is a unique, bespoke children’s party planning company in Central London. We specialise in inclusive, tailor-made events for children aged 0 to 8 years, and we have everything required to create the most memorable parties and special events. From parties in our Fulham & Notting Hill venues, to events in Hotels, Halls, Private residences and Gardens, across London, we have a package to suit every need. With more than forty themes, tons of props, age appropriate toys & activities, bespoke decorations and experienced party leaders, we can make your child’s dream party a reality!

 

Monannie Cakes and Confectionery is a luxury dessert brand, and the brainchild of Dr Fen Bolodeoku. Following a career break from Paediatrics, the company was formed in 2015. Working with her husband Segun, they provide a bespoke service creating unique desserts to accompany any special occasion. They start by gathering client’s ideas, putting together a sketch of the design, and working all the way to delivery and set up. They are lucky enough to be preferred suppliers to the Berkeley Hotel, Danesfield House, and Grovefield House. They are honoured to share their sweet treats with Kensington’s finest.

 

Amazing birthday parties they’ll never forget. Gambado is the UK’s best and most exciting indoor play provider. Through our expertise, we offer children the opportunity to play, run free and explore in a fun, safe and stimulating environment. We offer a wide range of children parties – there’s something for everyone including LASER TAG – MAKE A BEAR – FOAM DART / NERF – TIGER PARTIES –  SUPER SAVER PARTIES. Every party theme includes unlimited access to our dodgems, giant play frame & soft play as well as our wonderful carousel! For a limited time, we are offering a FREE MONTH OF PLAY for the birthday child and one adult with every party booked. Call party bookings on 0330 555 1415 or book online at Gambado.com

 

Host your Portrait Party this September with Diana Pavlova Photography! Invite up to eight of your girlfriends and their little ones (babies 3m+ to toddlers of 3 years) for a catch-up with a twist! The Portrait Party takes place in the comfort of your home and whilst you and your friends enjoy scrumptious flapjacks, I will create stunning photographs of your little ones. I adopt a fun and loving approach to baby and family photography, delivering gorgeous portraits that you and your family will treasure for life! For more information visit or email diana@dianapavlovaphotography.com

Grant your children’s party wishes with our fully flexible space. Whether it’s a banquette table for the all-important musical chairs, or space for a top-rate performance from their favourite super hero, princess or magician, Alexandrie can cater for all. The kitchen team have created a special children’s menu offering much-loved treats including pasta, chicken nuggets, pizza and chips; while the adults can indulge in everything from brunch to canapés to afternoon tea. Quoting: “Kensington Mums Offer” you will get a special discount for early afternoon parties (offer valid until the end of November

Do you think about something new for a birthday party? Kids en cuisine is here to offer the perfect cooking birthday party to your children. Healthy baking and cooking with various themes. You choose between a sushi party, an afternoon tea party, a pizza party, a biscuit party, a smoothie party, a pasta party or bespoke parties. We come at your place with everything that we need for cooking and we leave the place spotless. We deliver lunch boxes, cheese, fruits/vegetables platters everywhere in London.  info@kidsencuisine.com 02030152966

At Cupcake Family Club in Parsons Green we are birthday party experts for babies and toddlers up to the age of 7 years old. Whether you’re simply looking for a friendly open environment to let children play freely or want a fully catered event, we have a package that is just right for you! Our gorgeous party rooms are available for hire to both members and non-members. Contact us today to discuss your next celebration!

 

 

 

Looking for the perfect party gifts for guests or child’s birthday party? Jojo and Bear Children’s Gift Boutique specialises in quality, fun and educative gifts. We are passionate about children’s gifts so we ensure our gifts are age and gender specific filled with a few treats as well as educational, fun items that your guests will love. Prices start from as little as £5 and are beautifully presented. The options are endless from cellophane wraps with colourful curling ribbons to gift boxes with satin bows. We offer a complimentary bespoke service to ensure your gifts match your party theme and colours.

Sparks Movie Making Parties are unforgettable celebrations for children aged 4-13. In a fun 2 or 3 hour party, the birthday child and their friends make their own unique movie production inspired by their imaginations and ideas. After making their movie, there is a fun red carpet cinema-style premiere for everyone to enjoy. You can choose any theme and the Sparks team will make it personal to your son or daughter. They also edit the film into a finished movie souvenir for everyone taking part. Find out more via our website & book your event with us.

 

 

Bedazzled plans and creates bespoke children’s parties and events, delivering unforgettable experiences to make every occasion one to remember. Whether you’re looking for just an entertainer or help from start to finish, our dedicated team of event managers and designers work to your chosen budget offering outstanding entertainment and transforming any space into a perfect party venue. Whether it’s swashbuckling with pirates, learning to be a magician, being a princess for the afternoon or going on a jungle adventure, anything is possible with enough imagination and we are here to make your child’s dream celebration a reality!

 

 

Gymboree Play & Music Kensington & Chelsea is offering On the Go Parties, with a fully trained Gymboree Play & Music instructor who will come to your house or hired venue and provide 40 minutes of exciting party content. Tailored around your chosen theme, including music, games, toys, parachute time, Gymbo and of course our award winning bubbles! Watch your home or venue transform into a castle, coral reef, jungle or farm! You find the venue and we will do the rest! Parties are available on Saturdays and Sundays. contact details:  kensingotnandchelsea@gymboree-uk.com / 07943024908 /

 

Bounced on the castle? Done clowns? Need a great kids party? Then book with a tailor-made party for football mad youngsters with sport billy’s that packs in the fun. We come to your venue too! Score a great happy birthday with your kids, just like these. We have a variety of sporty themes to choose from, you can also pick from a variety of durations and mix and match themes, just remember to reserve your spot well in advance. What are you waiting for? Contact 020 7937 7965; birthdays@kiddikicks.co.uk; www.kiddikicks.co.uk

Motherhood by Amanda de Vaulx

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

Amanda de Vaulx, Co-Founder MyTwirl – 3 Children ages 8, 7, 3

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

Building a new business can take over your life, but it’s important to make time for family (and myself) whenever possible. When the stars are aligned and all are still sleeping, I manage to sneak downstairs for a peaceful cup of coffee before the day’s chaos begins. This sets me up for a good day. I am also very fortunate to live next door to my co-Fouder. Between us we are able juggle work, school runs and childcare. It’s a unique situation, and it works for us!

3. What top tips would you give to any working mum?

Be positive. In my former position, I was incredibly overcome by stress and my family was directly affected by it. I’ve since learned that I can’t strive for that perfect balance because it doesn’t exist. I would tell any working mum to just do your best and accept that not everything will be as you may like, but as long as you’re smiling and present when you’re with the kids, everything will be just fine!

4. What do you love most about London?

Do you have a favourite spot with your children? Having moved from NYC to London, I have to say that London is an incredibly child friendly city! The variety of activities, parks and theatres that are available to the littlest Londoners are just incredible. My children love being outside and are particularly fond of a stroll along Regent’s Canal, making sail boats out of sticks and leaves or racing their scooters down the Southbank from London Bridge to Waterloo, with a ride on the London Eye.

5. How do you define quality ‘me-time’?

See #2! I also need time with my girlfriends, preferably dancing!

6. What is your favourite & least favourite thing about parenthood?

I’m torn between 2 favourite things… When I see them exude confidence and accomplish something – whether a school play or a playground obstacle – I love the look of determination, the tenacity, courage and finally the smile! The other thing I love are the cuddles. There is nothing like a squeeze from their whole heart and little body to show love. My least favourite thing is the uncertainty and questioning my parenting. How do I know that I’m making the right choices for them? What if I yell too much? Am I saying the right things? But in the end, the love and support is there…and the cuddles!

7. Tell us something people don’t know about you. I was captain of the cheerleading squad at my high school! Any excuse to wear a cute skirt that twirls…

8. Given we are all about embracing Motherhood, what advice would you give a first time Mum? Don’t try to plan and schedule it all, from childbirth on… Not only is so much of it beyond our control, but there is actually so much that we can learn from our children by letting them just be themselves and have downtime. My first 2 children are only 16 months apart, and some days I find them tucked away in their room playing for hours creating a world of their own with playmobils, to the point where they don’t even come down for a meal. They’re happy, creative, and it’s quiet at home!

9. I’m a mum and…… 

10. Finally, what do you love most about Kensington Mums?

Kensington mums is what I consider a “one stop shop” with regards to advice, reviews, interests and events. But the most important part is that it is very real and accessible to mums in London. I feel more like I’m talking to a good girlfriend who knows what I’m going through or looking for.

Kensington Mums Loves Hewson & Nash Holistic

Hewson Nash Holistic  is a new online community for both women and men providing personal development, empowerment, confidence building, career coaching, fitness and wellbeing all in one space.

 

Membership is £10 per month and this gives you access to blogs from our experts alongside a What’s On Hub listing events in and around the UK, a closed Facebook page where there will be monthly live videos including live card readings and also an inspirational email will be dropped into your inbox daily.  Please also check out our fabulous Inspirational Day event featuring ex-BBC Strictly winner Camilla Sacre-Dallerup at the Royal Institution in London on Saturday 7 October.

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

Examples of physical signs of nutritional problems:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where can we find the vitamins and minerals from?

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

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

          most margarines

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

        fortified breakfast cereals – check the label

          dried skimmed milk

          fortified yoghurts

        eggs

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

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

          yeast extract

        soya milk, yoghurts and desserts

        breakfast cereals

        certain brands of rice drinks and oat drinks.

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

        fortified breakfast cereals

        dried fruit

        beans/lentils

        leafy green vegetables

        sesame seeds

          nuts

        wholemeal bread

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

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

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

        tofu

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

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

        brown/white bread

        sesame seeds/ tahini

        nuts

        dried fruit e.g. apricots and figs.

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

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

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

Why having a Mums only holiday is good for you

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Motherhood by Amanda Frolich

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

My name is Amanda Frolich. I teach preschool children how to be active and healthy using my fun, fitness and music concept.

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

I will be completely honest, it is HARD WORK to keep everyone happy. I have a business to run but at the end of the day, my family come first. When my daughter was growing up it was a lot easier as I had my mother to help me with childcare during the week. My husband looked after Bibi at weekends whilst I entertained at children’s birthday parties. Bibi is now 12 years old and wants to spend more time with me, therefore I am employing extra staff to be able to do that.

What top tips would you give to any working mum?

Limit use of your phone whilst spending time with your family. I always felt guilty when Bibi would say to me ‘mummy please put your phone down and listen to me’.

Make time to plan fun activities with your children.

Organise your food shop and prepare meals that are fresh yet easy and quick to make.

I’m a mum and…… 

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

London is fascinating! Sooooo many amazing attractions to visit and architecture to be seen. Bibi is very active, together we like to walk around Holland Park and Hyde Park. There is so much to see and do!

How do you define quality ‘me-time’?  Everyone would have a different opinion on what me time means to the individual.

My ‘me-time’ would be spending two hours in the gym, going for a Sauna and steam, then having a manicure and pedicure!

What is your favourite & least favourite thing about parenthood?

If you are blessed to have a child then everyday should be positive. Bibi has a great personality therefore my favourite thing about being a parent is how she makes me laugh. My daughter is a bit of a comedian. Helping her through adolescence has been quite tough.

Tell us something people don’t know about you.

I met my husband Jason at school, we have been together since we were both 19 years old. We are now 47!

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

Choose a really good pram and don’t buy every toy on the planet as you will only end up giving them all away.

Finally, what do you love most about Kensington Mums?

I was entertaining for Kensington mums when they first set up 6 years ago. I have watched them grow and develop to become a support group for many mothers. I am a big fan of theirs!

Choux Pastry by Maitre Choux

Maitre Choux, recently voted BEST eclairs in London by Time out, we HAD to get the recipe!

We are listing all the ingredients in order of use during the recipes to give you a clearer view of the process from the start. In order to make things easier for yourself and minimize potential mistakes, weigh and prepare each ingredient in its own bowl before you begin.

Choux Pastry

Before we start, please preheat your oven at 180 degrees, fan off, minimum humidity setting.

  • 200g whole milk
  • 300g water
  • 240g butter
  • 10g sugar
  • 8g salt
  • 375g Flour
  • 500g of eggs (approx. 10 eggs)

Bring to boil the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt and watch over the pan. AS SOON AS IT IS BOILING, add the flour and stir firmly with the spatula for one minute or so, until the mix doesn’t stick to the sides of the pan any more. When it does not stick to the sides of the pan any more it means it is ready.

Now take the pan off the heat and add the eggs little by little and one by one until the mix is smooth but not too runny. The hard part in making choux pastry for an untrained eye is in this step: if the mix is too thick it needs more eggs, however the eggs must be added slowly as if it becomes too runny then it will not raise in the oven.

Chef’s tip: Trace a deep line into the choux pastry with your spatula. If the line closes up slowly, then it’s ready!

Transfer the choux pastry into your pastry bag and pipe into an éclair shape. Do not pipe them too close together as they need space to rise Then keep inside the oven at 180c for 35 minutes until golden.

Lemon Meringue Éclair

(20 pieces)

Lemon Cream

  • 250g Lemon Juice (approx. 5 lemons)
  • 220g Sugar
  • Zest of 5 lemons
  • 270g Eggs
  • 300g Butter
  • 100g Greek Yogurt
  • 5g of soaked vegetable gelatin leaves

Before you start, soak the gelatin in cold water.

To make the lemon cream, bring to boil together the lemon juice the sugar and the lemon zests. Once it is boiling, add the eggs and cook for 3 minutes until boiling while mixing sharply with a whisk.

Once it is cooked and still hot, add the gelatin and the butter, then use your hand blender until the mixture is soft

Once it is cold, add the Greek yogurt to the mix and stir with the spatula. It is now ready to use.

Lemon Meringue

 

  • 100g Egg White
  • 180g Sugar (divided in 3 portions of 60 g)
  • 10g Lemon Juice
  • Zest of 2 Lemons

 

Whisk the egg whites then add the sugar. Carry on whisking until the texture is thick then add the lemon juice and the lemon zests.

Finishing

The devil is in the details, so this is the part of the recipe where you can be creative and pipe the meringue your own way.

Fill the base with the lemon cream and pipe the meringue with your favorite nozzle on top

Blowtorch the meringue if you are feeling adventurous!.

Sprinkle some zest on the top for effect: it is ready to serve.

 

PANDAS FOUNDATION UK

Let’s talk about this.

PANDAS, Pre-natal mental health awareness #PNDAW17 week kicks off today  (4th-10th September 2017). Their aim is ‘To be the UK’s most recognised and trusted support service for families suffering prenatal/antenatal and postnatal illnesses.” This is something we fully support  and want to keep raising awareness for. We love their hashtag #itsoknottobeok 

About PANDAS

PANDAS Foundation(Pre and Postnatal depression advice and support) was founded in august 2011 and was set up to support individuals and their families suffering from Pre and Postnatal mental illnesses.

Their primary belief is that no parent should feel alone while suffering- whether its during the antenatal period, or following birth. They empathise with the individual behind the illness, and give them the advice and support they need to aid their recovery.

PANDAS offers a variety of support and we will share the direct link below. They have an updated website, an online community and support groups as well as a PANDAS helpline.

 

Last year, PANDAS Foundation held the first ever Pre and Postnatal Depression Awareness Week. They wanted to highlight mental illnesses during and after pregnancy – and along with their supporters, volunteers, the media, and other organisations, they did.

This year, they are focused on prenatal mental health. Also known as antenatal depression, anxiety or OCD, mental illnesses during pregnancy are far more common than many people realise. They want to look at how mental well-being during pregnancy can be affected by illnesses such as depression, anxiety and OCD and what can be done to support families through this.

We are no experts in this field, so we highly recommend to get in touch with The PANDAS Helpline which is available from 9am – 8pm every day.  They have a dedicated volunteer team that are on hand to offer support, advice and can help to signpost to other organisations if necessary. Their number is 0843 28 98 401

Do not keep it to yourself, do not hide it as you are not alone in this. Join your local support group, speak to your GP or read about Post Natal information provided by PANDAS. Find our ways you can get involved here.

Back-to-School Tips by Stuck On You

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

GET INTO GEAR!

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

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

LABEL IT OR LOSE IT!

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

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

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

GET THE KIDS INVOLVED IN LABELLING

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

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

LABEL ON THE FLY

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

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

LABEL ON THE SLY

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

TO GOOD HEALTH!

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

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

SNACK STRATEGY

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

 

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

Kensington Mums’ favourite back to school picks

 

 

With back to school just few days away, we wanted to share our favourite picks to help you shop for what is needed and a few fun gadgets for your little ones to enjoy too.

Love to match? Trendy (unisex) matching denim feather print backpack & pencil case.  Denim feather square pencil case £7. Denim feather classic backpack £27.50. Available from Paperchase

 

 

Get your back to school essential ready with personalised labels from Stuck On You. Benefit from 10% site wide using code SOYKMUMS.

 

 

Add a bit of colour to your day with this vibrant Letts Woodland Floral Diary 2017-2018, available in white and blue from Ryman. Price £9.99

 

Kit your kids out in durable weather-proof outerwear from www.muddypuddles.com before the back to school rush. Designed in gender neutral colours with technical durability to be passed between brothers and sisters, from season to season.

 

 

Learning books from Marks & Spencer’s (Price range from £4 – £10)

Make sure your little ones start pre-school or school prepared but without missing out on the fun. These books are the perfect way to get your children ready to learn their numbers, grammar and school programs stress free.

“It’s never too early to encourage great grammar and good hand-writing with these fun, interactive workbooks”. 

 

Back to school Shoes from Clarks. You can buy online or book an instore fitting in your nearest Clarks store.

Girls Mariel Wish Junior £42

 

Boys Maris Fire Junior £44

 

 

 

“Too cool for school” with these cute lunch boxes and stationary from Flying Tiger 

Lunch box, £2

 

Erasers, £2

Pencil sharpeners, £1

 

Enjoy 10% Off Maxi Micro deluxe school safety sets from Micro Scooters. They have a wide variety to choose from.