Saturday, 30 April 2011


If you haven't noticed already I am totally addicted to bracelets!  I just love layering them on top of one another and mixing + matching different styles together.  I stopped by Liberty a couple weeks ago to do some browsing and have been obsessed with these tres cool Parisian bracelets by La Mome Bijou ever since.  The graphic super hero inspired bracelets on brightly colored silk cords add a youthful boyish touch to your wrists.  And how cool are the ones with the skulls?  I'm just loving the neon yellow skull mixed with the purple silk.  That will make any outfit just a little more funky.  The heart bracelets are just so sweet and with just a little sprinkle of pave diamonds gives it more va va voom.  Now I just need to convince the boys that I deserve to celebrate the American Mother's Day coming up since I am technically American!  Or better yet a girl's trip to Paris!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Loveliest Shop in SW6

Indian Summer is my absolute favorite shop on my side of the hood!  The exterior of the shop is painted in the yummiest shade of pink and they always has the sweetest window displays.  You just can't help but feel super girlie when you walk past and everything about the shop just lures you in.  The whole boutique has a very vintage and eclectic vibe to it with tables and cupboards filled with all sorts of intriguing goodies.  Indian Summer sells an amazing selection of clothing, jewelry, and accessories for women and children, the cutest toys and party supplies, and a darling selection of homewares.  How fabulous is a shop for both mommy and baby?

Some of my favorite items include their chic kaftans that come in both adult and child sizes (very reasonably priced about 25gbp for the adult version).  A very cool look for a beach holiday or just on a warm day.  They also carry an incredible selection of scarves and pashminas which are my secret to making any outfit just a little more pulled together.  Indian Summer is also such a great stop if you are looking for a fun children's birthday gift as the selection is truly fun and unique.

In a city where high street chains seem to be taking over it is always refreshing to find a shop with its own vision and offers us something special.

Indian Summer
624C Fulham Road

Sunday, 24 April 2011

The Coolest Lil Threadz

I'm so excited that one of my buddies from high school has started her own line of the coolest kids tees called Lil Threadz!  Even the name is uber cool!  All of the designs are 100% hand made using appliques created out of really fun fabric designs.  Lil Threadz uses only the finest eco friendly and non toxic materials so your little is getting an amazing quality item.  The best part is that all of the designs are completely unique so you don't have to worry about dressing like anyone else!  More designs are coming so be sure to check out the Lil Threadz website for more details.

I'm getting so close to the Top 25 Kids' Style List

I hope everyone is having a lovely Easter Sunday and not in a complete chocolate coma.  I'm getting so close to making it into the Top 25 and would be so grateful for everyone to vote for me once a day until May 9, 2011.  Please click on the link below to vote.

Merci beaucoup!

Saturday, 23 April 2011


A happy happy Easter to all of those celebrating!  Everywhere I go there is chocolate absolutely everywhere and it really should be the time of year where we celebrate all of these wonderful chocolate creations.  I will admit that other than the "occasional" Cadbury Finger, Maltesers, and Reece's Pieces I am totally a chocolate snob.  I usually only eat dark chocolate and love its bitter, rich, and dense flavor.  Sneaking even the littlest piece just makes my day that much better.

One of my absolute favorite chocolate boutiques is ...melt... located on the chic and fabulous Ledbury Road in Notting Hill.  Ledbury Road intersects with the shopping heaven of Westbourne Grove and is lined with the most amazing shops for mommy and baby including Caramel Baby and Child, Petit Bateau, Marie Chantal, and Matches.  There is even an incredible posh Fara Charity shop next to ...melt... that has one of the best selections for babies and children I've seen around.  It so great to support a charity while getting a great deal for yourself.

When you walk past ...melt... there is absolutely no way of restraining yourself from walking in. The delicious smell is just luring you in and the boutique itself is just the chicest!  One of the amazing chocolatiers let me try a piece of their new award winning Pear Tatin and it was just the perfect combination: dark chocolate that was not too sweet with a subtle hint of pear in the ganache center.  I think I could stand there eating this chocolate all day and never grow old of this incredible flavor.  What also is so appealing about ...melt... is the simple, modern, and beautiful packaging and presentation of all of their chocolate products.  The exotic flavored chocolate bars are packaged in lovely square parcels and look like a gorgeous chocolate rainbow.  My favorite item in the shop are the square lollipops that are actually hot chocolate blocks.  What a fun and creative way of presenting traditional hot chocolate!  I love giving them as gifts as they are just so unexpected and who doesn't love a cup of hot cocoa?

...melt... also has a series of chocolate classes for kids aged 6+.  The classes teach the children about the history of chocolate as well as showing them how to work with chocolate and make amazing treats.  This is such a great thing to do with kids letting them be creative and experiencing chocolate.  Please see the link below for more details.

Please stop by ...melt... if you are every in Notting Hill where you are in for a really special treat.  If Notting Hill is too far away you can always order their heavenly chocolates online.  

Handy Dandy Star

Dandy Star is a super fun London based brand that will definitely bring you an energetic pop.  Dandy Star creates clothing for women, children, and babies as well as items for your home with attention grabbing images and text in vibrant colors.  

The clothing is all made with super soft cotton and really lets you and your little ones express themselves.  I really love their "LOVE" printed items and will definitely brighten up the gloomiest of days.  There are also great prints that come either framed or unframed for your home along with cool mugs and sweet tea towels.  Nothing like waking up with big bang along side your morning cuppa.

Dandy Star is sold either online or in trendy boutiques all over the world.  Please check their website below for more details.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

The Capella Singapore

After doing a ton of research on Trip Advisor we decided to stay on the Island of Sentosa in Singapore.  We were told by several people that we would hate Sentosa and it was really crowded with tourists.  But with a very active toddler on our hands we were really looking for somewhere child friendly with lots of activities.  Sentosa is filled with attractions for children including beaches,  nature centers, a dolphin lagoon, and amusement parks.  What really attracted us to Sentosa is the Resort World Sentosa that was home to a newly opened Universal Studios.  Resort World is definitely a must if you are in Singapore with children.

We stayed at the top ranked Capella Hotel Singapore and it definitely lived up to all the great reviews.  The entrance of the hotel is a beautiful white colonial building that used to be an army barrack.  Inside the colonial building is the reception and on the first floor there is the Library and Tea Lounge.  The Library is stocked with DVDs that you can take to your room which is pretty handy to entertain the little monster.  The Tea Lounge has all sort of drinks and lovely biscuits and snacks that are complimentary for the hotel guests.  The staff are all super friendly and helpful so nothing to complain about there.

We upgraded our room to a suite as the final splurge of our trip and it was definitely worth it!  The main part of the hotel is a modern addition to the colonial building which has a totally Jurassic Park futuristic feel to it.  Once we entered our suite we were amazed at how incredible the room was.  The room has clean simple lines with a modern Asian influence.  The main attraction of the room was definitely the sweeping views of the South China Sea.  There were tons of gadgets, switches, and control panels in the room which I found pretty complicated but the little monster was in heaven pushing and possibly breaking  all the switches.  My absolute favorite part of the room was the luxurious spa bathroom.  I definitely did not want to leave this place.

The food at The Capella is absolutely incredible.  What I loved about everything at the hotel was the extra attention paid to every little detail and just made the whole experience so special.  The breakfast buffet is simply the best I have ever had!  Fresh pastries, cereal packaged in individual glass jars, sushi, jamon sliced fresh, amazing congee and of course more dished offered on the menu.  We had a dinner there as well and the menu had a large selection of Asian and Western foods.  Everything we ordered was delicious and the presentation was superb.  The little monster had gourmet fish and chips from the kids menu.  All of the staff at the restaurant were so sweet to the little monster and we had top notch service.

There are a series of really beautiful infinity pools cascading down the hillside with views of the sea.  At the bottom of the pool are the luxury villas but we didn't have a chance to tour.  Again we had amazing service at the pool with someone bringing us towels, magazines, water, snacks, and refreshing drinks without us even asking.

The hotel also provides shuttles to attractions on the island and some nearby shopping centers in downtown Singapore.  Otherwise taxis are such an easy way to get around.  It was really strange traveling without carseat but there is just no way you can lug a carseat around with you all day.

I'm definitely going to find a way to work Singapore into my future Asian travels and can't wait to stay at the Capella again.

Please vote for me!

I have been nominated for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Kids' Style List and it would be amazing if you could click on the link and vote for me!  You can vote once a day until May 9, 2011 and it would be such a huge honor to be on the Top 25 List!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Look What I Just Ordered on Etsy

It's almost 1am and I'm completely exhausted after 4 days alone with the little monster and 2 trips to the park today.  But I just had a flash of genius and remembered that months ago I had read about these gorgeous iPhone cases on the La Dolce Vita blog by Dani Notes Stationary!  I have been obsessing for the past hour trying to figure out which style and color combo to get and just clicked buy on Etsy!!!  I decided to go with the pink chevron pattern with the round script monogram in orange.  Can't wait to get my proof to see what the case will look like and then patiently waiting for my package!

Snack Time at the Ion Orchard Food Hall

I have been going to Asia since I was an infant and this was actually my first time visiting Singapore.  The taxi driver told us the saying in Singapore is "you shop until you drop."  I was thrilled to hear this but them remembered that the I had the little monster in tow.  It is amazing how little shopping I can manage these days.  The monster starts screaming as soon as we walk into a store that doesn't sell toys or gadgets as if he has been programmed by my husband to torture me.  Thankfully there is a lot to do in the shopping malls in Singapore other than shop.

Visiting Orchard Road is a must when you are in Singapore and the street is lined with enormous department stores and shopping malls one after the next.  Our hotel concierge sent us to the Ion Orchard and we were definitely overwhelmed once we got there.  The gigantic mall is filled with absolutely everything from an breathtaking Louis Vuitton to Harry Winston to Topshop to Dunkin Donuts.  But I think the real show stopper has got to be the Food Hall. The food courts at many Asian shopping malls are quite an amazing sight but the Ion Food Hall is above and beyond.  The Food Hall is the biggest I have ever seen in my life and filled with so many choices that it was absolutely impossible to make up my mind.  I was so excited that I forgot to take any photos!

Anything you can dream of is pretty much served in the Food Hall from katsu curry, pizza, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, cupcakes, frozen yogurt, pastries and so much more.  I literally ate until I couldn't eat anymore and then ate more.  I'm still regretting not eating enough the 3 days I was there and could happily live in that Food Hall.  

Happy Lemon serves my all time favorite bubble milk tea.  And to make the bubble tea even tastier they added pudding in it!  Heaven in a cup and I can live off of this beverage.  Too bad it is insanely fattening!  Mei Huen Yun makes delicious shaved snow ice and it is impossible to make up your mind because everything looks so good.  I ended up getting the almond snow ice and still regret not trying the peanut butter/black sesame combination.  Another thing I can't get enough of are the Japanese style bakeries serving up the fluffiest and softest bread.  The selection at Bread Society is enormous with cheesy toast, hotdog rolls, green tea cake and we packed up some goodies for the plane trip home.  Tea Loft is part of Bread Society but offers a seating area that serves hot dishes as well.  Next time I'm definitely going to stay in Singapore a little longer!

Gladly I have returned to London and not tempted with all of my Asian favorites to undo the months of Weight Watchers.  If you are ever in Singapore be sure to stop by the Ion and you will surely have a feast.

Friday, 15 April 2011

The Magnificent St Regis Bali

Our second stop on our Asian adventure was the beautiful and dreamy island of Bali.  We were attending the wedding of my cousin which took place at the St Regis.  Organizing the photos from our stay at The St Regis resort is making me totally depressed and I am already dying to go back.  

We arrived at the resort around midnight hot, tired, and delirious and as soon as we walked into the hotel lobby we just could not believe our eyes.  The St Regis Bali is absolutely stunning!  The hotel staff are just the friendliest and most helpful people I have ever met.  We stayed in a suite which is the basic room at this resort and the room is enormous.  There is an entry area in the suite where we stored the buggy and pool stuff which was really nice to have all that stuff out of the way.  The king size bed was super comfy and the gigantic bathroom was over the top luxurious.  The room rate we had included the breakfast buffet and we had a feast every morning.  We couldn't believe our eyes when we saw the enormous selection of seafood, dim sum, sushi, Chines and Indonesian cuisine, exotic fruits, fresh baked pastries and bread.  In addition to the buffet there was a menu to order off of that was included in the price of the buffet.  The menu included smoothies, steak and eggs, lobster omelet, pancakes, waffles and so much more.  Normally I am not that into buffets but the quality of food was truly amazing.  

The best part of the hotel has to be the two stunning pools and the incredible beach.  In the center of the hotel there is a gigantic lagoon swimming pool and if you stayed in one of the villas you can walk right into the lagoon from the back of your villa.  Next to the beach there are a series of beautiful pools surrounded by elegant canopied lounge areas.  The little monster loved every second of swimming in the pools and relaxing on the beach.  

The St Regis has a Remede Spa that offers a wide range of massages, treatments and has a Aqua Vitality Pool (basically a large jacuzzi with different zones and jets).  I had an incredible 2 hour slimming treatment that included a scrub, full body seaweed mask, and massage.  My only complaint is that it ended too soon.  My husband relaxed in the Vitality Pool and had a fabulous Balinese massage.

The St Regis is super kid friendly.  The staff are always smiling and all seem to adore children.  Every restaurant had high chairs, crayons, and kids menu (they were more than happy to make anything you wanted if it wasn't on the menu).  The Deli is open all day and is a great place for snacks and a quick casual bite.  The Deli serves drinks, pizza, pasta, sandwiches, such, desserts, ice cream, and all sorts of chips, cookies, and candies.  So perfect for the kids.

We had such an amazing experience at the St Regis and highly recommend this resort to anyone with or without children.  Bali is such a beautiful island and the Balinese are such welcoming people.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Super Super Superga

I can't believe it but the little monster's foot grew again!  I know that at this age shoes are supposed to last 2 to 3 months and the past 2 months just flew by.  Since the little monster has been walking for about 2 months now, I'm so excited because we can finally buy a pair of trainers/sneakers.  I have had my eyes on a pair of Supergas for awhile.  Polyanna, a children's boutique in Fulham, always has Supergas in their windows and I walk past there several times a day.  How can I not be tempted to pick up a pair?

I had my heart set on getting the single velcro shoe in red and of course things did not go according to plan.  I have always had really great service at Polyanna and everyone who works there is an expert shoe fitter.  I really wanted to get a pair of velcro shoes because it is always such a fight getting shoes on the little monster.  They didn't have any of the single velcro sneakers in his size and the double velcro sneakers don't come in the baby sizes.  Usually at Polyanna if they are out of stock in your size they can order it in for you but of course they could not do this for Superga.  Since the monster has pretty narrow feet shoelaces were the better way to go for us.  And of course they didn't have red ones in his size so we ended up getting a pair of navy laceups and they fit him perfectly.  They are super cute and we tested them out in the park already today.

811 Fulham Road

Monday, 11 April 2011

Phil & Teds Excellent Adventure

Before we left on our holiday to Asia I purchased the Lobster portable highchair by Phil & Teds.  I was not sure what the highchair situation was going to be since we were visiting so many different places and we would be staying at my parents house in Shanghai so I definitely needed to bring a high chair along.  I have never been known for my ability to travel light so the Lobster is perfect for me.  Plus it comes in its own little bag with handles that makes carrying it around super easy.  I have used the Phil & Teds Metoo before at several restaurants and have always been pretty happy with it.  What especially attracted me to the Lobster is that it comes with a plastic tray that fits in under the clips.  My little monster is a terribly messy eater and I like the idea that the tray would be easy to tidy up.

The Lobster definitely came in handy throughout the trip and I'm so glad that we purchased it.  Everytime we used it someone at a restaurant would come up to inspect it and ask me if it was stable.  No one ever believed me and the Lobster looks like some kind of space age gadget.  Another great thing about the Lobster is that you can attach it to a bar height table and we were actually able to dine at the bar!  The only problems I had with the Lobster are that you can't use it with a glass tabletop, some tabletops were too thick to attach, and if the table had a horizontal support beam it would block the clips from fully attaching.  So unfortunately the Lobster does not work with all tables.  Overall I am pretty happy with the Lobster and fully recommend it to anyone looking for something portable or an alternative to the tradition highchair.

Friday, 8 April 2011

The World's Most Famous Dumplings

It is impossible to visit Shanghai without eating at Din Tai Fung at least once.  Ding Tai Fung is home to the world's most famous Shanghainese dumpling the xiao long bao.  The xiao long bao is a dumpling enclosed in a very thin pasta-like wrapper and is filled with pork and soupy juicy goodness.  At each of the Din Tai Fung outlets you see the masters dressed in white chefs coats, hats, and mouth covers expertly creating these little masterpieces.  Every dumpling must even have the identical amount of folds.  The original Ding Tai Fung is located in Taipei but they have many restaurants all over the world.  

We ate lunch at the Din Tai Fung in the ever so trendy Xin Tian Di.  The restaurant is located in the back end of Xin Tian Di in a modern glass shopping mall/offices that is part of this redevelopment of traditional Shikumen houses.  Xin Tian Di is the first fashionable development that incorporates these old Shanghainese houses and modern buildings.  The walls of the restaurant are covered with caricatures of famous Asian celebrities but otherwise the decor is pretty plain.  The main star is obviously the food and I could care less what the restaurant looks like.  The food is consistently incredible at this branch and the restaurant is very clean and pleasant.  Dished are presented simply on small white plates or bamboo baskets but I am always too busy shoving food in my mouth to notice much else.  

The little monster absolutely hates Chinese food (apparently I was exactly the same as a child) and wouldn't even try a bite of the mini xiao long baos we ordered for him.  Whatever his loss!  Luckily I had snacks and apple sauce on me to keep him entertained.  The restaurant has high chairs and a baby change located in the mall so it is definitely baby friendly.  On our last day in Singapore we ate at Ding Tai Fung again and this time bought a Happy Meal from the McDonalds across the street to keep the monster busy.  The Shanghai branches are by far superior to the one I visited in Singapore.  Not only is the selection on the menu much bigger but the food was just not as good as the Shanghainese ones.  But if you are ever in a city with a Din Tai Fung you must try it!  Even the not as good xiao long baos are probably going to the best you will ever taste.  Your mouth and tummy will definitely be thanking you.

Unit 11 
2F House 6
South Block
Xin Tian Di
Lane 123 Xinye Road
+86 21 6385 8378

Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Fabulous French Concession

I'm pretty lucky that my parents know all the best places to eat/shop in Shanghai and always take me to the most amazing places.  Their little black book is filled with more relevant addresses than any guidebook has to offer.  I have not been to Shanghai in 3 years and it is incredible how much the city has changed.  Shanghai is such a beautiful city with European influences that date back to the pre Mao days.  Modern Shanghai still has such an European feel to it because so many companies and developers from France, Germany, and the Netherlands got in there early and are making a huge impact on what the city is becoming.  It is crazy the speed in which highrises and skyscrapers are being put up but what I really love is the redevelopment of the traditional residential areas.  I can't even imagine how difficult it is to acquire a large property in downtown Shanghai.  I really hope that more of these developments that keep the old Shanghai feel are created and that traditional houses and buildings don't get torn down to make way for more highrises.  Many many families live in one older building that is usually given to them by the government.  The government needs to provide all  of these families with new living arrangements (normally a brand new apartment) in order to take back the property and sell to investors.  So the amount of work and negotiations involved to acquire a piece of property with old buildings on it is incredible.  

One of these new developments of 1920's colonial mansions in the French Concession is the Sinan Mansions.  Many of these traditional mansions have been renovated and the development is mixed with very modern glass buildings and some new European inspired ones.  Sinan Mansions is filled with very trendy shops, cafes, bars and restaurants and I could easily spend the day hoping from one cafe to the next.  Of course there is also a California Pizza Kitchen, Costa Coffee, and a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in the complex!  Not the most exciting chains but at least they are guaranteed to be child friendly.

We had a mouth watering lunch at the gorgeous Aux Jardins Massenet.  Aux Jardins in located in one of the actual French colonial mansion and the decor is absolutely stunning.  It feels like you are dining at a very wealthy friends house instead of a restaurant.  The menu is filled with traditional French food which is presented in a very modern and artistic manner.  The chef kindly made the little monster a cheese crepe served with a scoop of ice cream.  At the end of the meal we were presented with a plate of treats including the most delicious marshmallows I've ever tasted and a super yummy chocolate souffle!  Delicious Aux Jardins is but baby friendly it is not (but the staff are really sweet).  There are 2 small flights of stairs into the restaurant, no high chairs (luckily I carried one around with me everywhere we went), and again no baby change.  But it was so worth the meal!

Aux Jardins Massenet
57 Sinan Road
+86 21 3401 9998

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The Park Hyatt Shanghai

We arrived in Shanghai on a Sunday morning after an exhausting 12 hour red eye flight where the little monster only slept for 2 hours.  I have never been so grateful for the British Airways business class seats and personal entertainment systems.  Our view on travel in this household is definitely quality and not quantity.  So saving up for business class is definitely worth it to us even if it means not taking as many trips.  Shortly upon our arrival we learned that we were having dinner at the Park Hyatt with some of my father's clients at 7pm!  7pm is pretty late for the little monster on a normal evening and seemed impossible with a monster who has only slept for 2 hours.  On top of it all I have never been anywhere remotely fancy for a fine dining experience with a toddler and the Park Hyatt is super fancy smancy.  

Luckily we were having dinner at the Dining Room in the private dining room!  The ultimate luxurious dining experience where I didn't have to worry about disturbing other people enjoying their very expensive meal.  The private dining room even came with its very own gourmet kitchen where a personal chef cooks your meals right in front of you.  Unfortunately our food came from the main kitchen so no show for us. The evening was kind of a blur due to exhaustion so I don't remember the exact details of what I ate.  The Dining Room is an Italian restaurant with the menu focusing on seafood.  I do remember everything being extremely tasty and they made the little monster a penne with bolognese sauce.  The little monster almost fell asleep in the highchair but lucky for me he got a last burst of energy when I put him in the buggy to get him to sleep.  So we had to leave early and I didn't get dessert.

The hotel reception is on something like the 80th floor of this amazing new skyscraper so the views from our dining room were surreal.  The Shanghai skyline is such an incredible sight and with each building trying to outdo the other.  I loved the overall feel and decor of the Park Hyatt with its rich and dark tones mixed with elegant Chinese influences.  The stunning wine cellar is located in the private dining room so you can imagine me trying not to have a heart attack with a toddler constantly trying to break in.  There are no baby change facilities in the bathroom so I had to be creative.  Pampers Pullups really saved my ass this trip!

We were spoiled rotten being able to have such a special dining experience in such a stunning hotel!  Definitely a once in a lifetime experience and the best way to dine with a toddler.  Now just need to find a way to fund this habit!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

We're Back...

Apologizes for the long hiatus!  After a 3 country tour and 4 extraordinary long plane rides we are back home in London.  Slowly getting over jetlag, had to redo some sleep training, unpack 4 large pieces of luggage, do about 600 loads of laundry, restock the fridge and woohoo it is my first evening where I have been able to stay awake past 8pm.  Now it's time to upload the hundreds of photos we took and can't wait to share with you all the fabulous places we visited these past couple of weeks!