Wednesday, 29 May 2013

tres gourmet toys for sophisticated tots

I was totally inspired by a recent post from the fabulous children's blog Bobby Rabbit on gg*'s toy crepe set.  It made me long for a trip to Paris and actually got me thinking about all the French foodie toys I have in my house.  Both of my kids spend a lot of time role playing in our toy kitchen cooking up a storm (and making a mess in the meantime!).  We are lucking living in London where we are able to get our hands on delicious French pastries and goodies quite easily.  We eat a ton of croissants, pain au chocolats and macarons in this house and both of them really love playing with their French food.  Hopefully it will help them be more adventurous in trying out new foods.  Now where do I get some pretend escargots and steak tartare???

Top Row:
Djeco Wooden Macaron Set from Tickety-Boo - I was gifted this set for my little girl's 1st birthday and the kids never stop fighting over them.  They come in the cutest little pink box.

Le Toy Van's Wooden Baker's Basket - Both of my kids love eating croissants and they both adore this bread basket.  Comes in a lovely little wooden crate that can be used with Le Toy Van's market stand set for even more role playing.

gg* Crepe Shop Play Set from Sister's Guild - I absolutely love everything about this crepe set and totally allows the children's imagination to run wild.  This is definitely on my list to get for a reward!  Be sure to check out the rest of the Sister's Guild online boutique as they have such an amazing selection of kids goodies that are truly unique.

Bottom Row:
Djeco French Patisserie Set from GLTC - Can you tell I have a sweet tooth?  Love the little details on all of the treats.

Moulin Roty Monday Market Play Set from Alex and Alexa - How cute is the packaging with all of the little water color illustrations?  You will only find camembert and sardines in a French play set.

Chocolate Box from Le Toy Van - And what French kitchen is complete with out a beautifully decorated box of chocolates?

Bon AppĂ©tit!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

hermes - festival des metiers at the saatchi gallery


I have been waiting all week to visit the Hermes exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery and so happy the sun was shining for some kid-free fun.  The Festival des Metiers - A Rendezvous with Hermes  Craftspeople gives us a glimpse into the secret world of Hermes and a real appreciation for how much work goes into creating each piece.  There are many stations set up at the exhibit with different craftspeople creating items including scarves, ties, jewelry, leather goods, clothing, and porcelain trays.  It is truly amazing seeing everyone in action and watching artists hard at work.

I met my fellow blogger and neighbor Little S of The Lilac Pages at the exhibition and had such a lovely afternoon chatting away about girlie/mommy things.  Of course we forgot the Chelsea Flower Show was happening nearby and also being a Saturday the exhibition was super crowded.  We were on our very tippy toes trying to catch a view.  I loved seeing all the tools close up as if they were surgeon's tools ready for some spectacular feat.  The rainbow spools of threads displayed throughout the exhibit were just so beautiful and I felt like a kid in a candy store.  How cool is the patterned carpet???

The Festival des Metiers is only on display for a few more days until 27 May 2013 so hope everyone gets a chance to check it out before it's over!

Click below for details:

friday fashion obsession * jiya bracelets

I have been searching for a stylish friendship bracelet for awhile and when I saw these neon Jiya Tahiti bracelets I just simply couldn't resist!  I love the vibrant colors mixed with the little sterling silver beads and they are so chic and simple.  I'm sure you know by now that I'm really into layering thin bracelets so these work great with my stack.  They are totally budget friendly (only £16 each!) and I will definitely be adding more to the my collection with some of the different styles.  

spent the afternoon with Little S of The Lilac Pages and funny enough we were wearing identical Jiya bracelets.   Great minds think alike!

Available at:

across the pond series - my guest blog post

Hop on over to check out my guest blog post on one of my favorite blogs Stroller in the City!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

inspiration for playing indoors

As I'm sitting at home writing this post while simultaneously watching Barefoot Contessa, a commercial is on tv stating that "You don't need sunshine to have a great picnic!"  Um yes you do and is this really what the British summer is all about?  In my 7 years here it has never been this bad and it might take a couple for years to fully adjust to the never ending gray.  It's nearly July, the heater is cranked up in the house and I'm wearing a cashmere cardigan.  I am so over not being able to take the kids outside to let them loose in the park.  The weather has been completely bi-polar the past couple of weeks, one minute it's blue skies and the next it's dark gray clouds and raining.  It makes dressing in the morning impossible as you need to have winter and summer clothes on at the same time. I guess complaining about the weather is a truly British pastime.  

Oh how I wish my house was big enough to have an amazing playroom for the kids instead of having our only living room taken over by trains, scooters, bikes and kids stuff.  I would absolutely love to have an amazing tent or teepee/wigwam in the house which could really entertain the kids.  I find it just as fun watching them role play and letting their imagination take over.  I have a pop-up tent of the London Underground that easily folds away but it's not nearly as pretty as these play rooms!  I should probably speak to my architect about making a space for an enormous tent in our new extension.  Sure he would love to solve this problem.

Above is some eye candy to drool over and I would happily take any one of these spaces in my house!

Top Row:
RH Baby & Child Recycled Canvas Play Tent - Perfect for boys and even has the RAF logo on the tent.  PS please please please ship to the UK Restoration Hardware!!!

Ferm Living Kids Tent - Super stylish with the black and white stripes and coral trim.  It even folds down flat

White Teepee - This room is just so beautiful.  Love the all white look mixed in with soft neutrals.  Absolutely no juice allowed in here!

Girlie Playhouse - This room is so sweet and love all the detail on the playhouse from the white lattice work and the neutral striped fabric roof.  What little girl wouldn't love this room?

Bottom Row:
Cardboard Rocket Ship - My little boy is obsessed with rocket ships and could have so many adventures in this cardboard rocket.  It's great because kids can decorate the outside with stickers, markers, paint, etc and really make it their own.  Gorgeous Gold Star Cloud Mobile from Etsy Shop Baby Jives Co really adds to the imagination.

Neon Birthday Party by Hello! Lucky - Hello! Lucky is my absolute favorite stationary brand.  Our wedding invitations, Christmas cards, and personalized stationary all come from here and I adore their letterpress items.  And you can see why I love Eunice and Sabrina (the founders) for their amazing creativity and sense of fun found in all of their designs.  How cool are these cardboard houses decorated with neon duct tape?

Elephant Teepee Tent by Moozle Home - I love the simply white canvas tent with the little elephant detail.  The patterns on the elephants are super cute and would work well in any decor.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

moccasins for little feet by freshly picked

How completely adorable are these hand made moccasins by Freshly Picked???  I own quite a few pairs of moccasins for myself and they look so much cuter on little feet.  I ordered the platinum pair for my little girl and I'm now totally obsessed with Freshly Picked!  The quality is amazing and the leather wears really well getting nice and soft the more you wear them.  The platinum color went with absolutely everything and even picked up the colors around like a little chameleon.  Both of my kids loved taking their shoes off and throwing them on the floor (I'm pretty sure all babies like doing this).  The best part of these moccasins is that they stay put on her feet and has a hard time pulling them off which I cannot say about most baby shoes.

I've already ordered the next size in silver for spring/summer if it ever arrives in London.  How I wish I could squeeze my feet into a pair!

Monday, 20 May 2013

traveling with kids made easy by smith and family

Traveling with children is seriously stressful and trying to find a place to stay at the destination takes a whole lot of research.  Basically you can throw out everything you wanted from a hotel pre-kids because that list just won't work anymore.  It's not just the planning and the getting there but also the amount of packing involved for these little people that involves so much time and effort.  Of course you want to make sure that there is plenty for the kids to do once you arrive so you're not just stuck with them in a room with nothing to do.  Plus it is still really important to make sure that the grown ups can enjoy the stay as well with lots of amenities since after all it is us spending the big bucks!

Luckily for us traveling with a circus the people at Mr. and Mrs. Smith have created Smith and Family, a luxury travel website for families.  True to Mr. and Mrs. Smith style only the very best is featured and Smith and Family includes hotels, guest-houses as well as resorts.  All of the featured properties are tested, reviewed and recommended by parents so you know that you are getting to stay at a super kid-friendly hotel.  In the overview you will see dining options, room tips, childcare options and other handy dandy tips all focused on family travel.  Grown-ups are not neglected in the reviews and plenty of recommendations there too.  So far the site is a beta version featuring properties in Europe only.

Be sure to check out their blog Smith and Kids for travel tips, destination guides and more reviews.  All parent approved!

Friday, 17 May 2013

treat week at elias and grace - 20% off promo

One of my favorite shops for kids' fashion is Elias and Grace located in Primrose Hill, North London.  They stock seriously the most stylist and coolest kids' clothing in town.  And who wouldn't want to shop where the uber style queen Kate Moss shops for her daughter Lila?  The selection at Elias and Grace is truly unique and not what you will find in your typical high street shops.  The designers they carry are on the cutting edge of fashion and I'm just jealous I can't wear the clothes.  You will find some of my favorite brands such as Emile et Ida, Bonton, Finger in the Nose, and so much more.  Elias and Grace's own label Miller is the perfect option for little fashionistas.

Lucky for us they are offering a 20% discount on EVERYTHING online and in stores!  Hurry and shop because the offer ends on 25 May 2013.  Enter TWN13 to receive your discount and not to worry if you don't live in the UK because they ship worldwide.

Be sure to check out their looks book online where you will see some fabulous outfits for inspiration.

Happy shopping!

158 Regents Park Road
Primrose Hill

friday fashion obsession * gigi by sam edelman

Clearly I cannot get enough of the neon trend and which brings us to this week's Friday Fashion Obsession.  I did a little late night clicking on the and simply could not resist these Gigi Sandals by Sam Edelman.  I love the glossy neon hot pink mixed together with the nude faux snake skin straps.  The best part of these sandals is that they are totally budget friendly at £68!  Now if only the sun will come back out for me to wear then!  They are also available in this combination in neon yellow and orange.  

The Gigi comes in a huge selection of colors so check out the Sam Edelman website to see all of the options.  Which one is your favorite?

Thursday, 16 May 2013

the new family photo by goose grease

Don't judge me for what I'm about to write.  I love watching the Kardashians and I'm totally addicted to the show.  I hate it when they do reruns on E! because I could literally sit on the couch and watch it all day even though I've already see each episode multiple times.  I think it's because I can totally relate to them as a family and see so much of my own family/sibling dynamics in the show.  So of course I follow along with Kourtney Kardashian on Instagram because we both have an older boy and baby girl.  I feel like I know her in a totally creepy way as we were both pregnant at the same time with both kids and both sets of our childrens' birthdays are only a couple days apart.

So I saw the most adorable wooden figures of her family on her Instagram the other day and I had to know where they came from.  The wood peg dolls are from a company called Goose Grease who started out making wedding cake toppers with wooden pegs. They do these incredible custom painted families where you can send in your photos and outfit choices to have painted on.  This is so much cooler and more fun than a traditional family portrait.  I'm definitely going to order a set but what are we all going to wear???

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

boys basics 101

Before I had my little boy I was hardly ever interested in men's fashion.  I did and still do all of the clothes shopping for my husband but it was never an obsession for me as it is now.  At first it was quite a challenge as the market and options for girls' fashion is a million times bigger than for boys.  I absolutely love the challenge of creating a style for my Little Monster that makes him stand out from the crowd.  It did take lots of experimenting to figure out my likes and dislikes.  I usually shy away from colors but with boys I think they look so much cuter with a pop of color.  I think I'm somewhere between Scott Disick with a little surfer in there.  Here are my staple pieces that I think are key in any boy's wardrobe.

Top Row:
Ralph Lauren V-Neck Pony Sweater in Deep Pink - I own this sweater in so many colours and stock up on the next size up (especially when they are on sale).  The cotton version is great for spring/summer and there is a merino wool option for the colder seasons.  It's so classic and you can't go wrong with it.

J. Crew Neon Lime French Terry Zip Hoodie - I also have this hoody in several colours.  It is really good quality cotton and J. Crew always does them in fun colors.  The slim fit of the hoody makes it much more stylish and great for park outings.

J. Crew Boys Western Chambray Shirt - A good chambray shirt works well under a sweater or over a tee.  This distressed version is very cool.

J. Crew Boys Heather Grey Cotton-Cashmere Cardigan - I love cardis and make the little men look very sophisticated.  The heather grey will work with anything you already have in your closet.

Bottom Row:
Ralph Lauren Classic Cable Vest in Tiller Green - This little vest over a button down looks super dapper on my Little Monster.  He always gets compliments when he is wearing his Ralph cable knit vest!

Ralph Lauren Classic Polo Shirt in Yellow - A main staple in any boys' closet from the time they are born to when they are grandfathers.  I especially love the bright and bold colors they introduce every season.

J. Crew Boys Glow-in-the-Dark Surfboards Tee - For casual days I love the J. Crew graphic tees.  The designs are always very fashion forward and love the fabric quality as well as the slim fit.

Petit Bateau Long Sleeved Milleraies Striped T-Shirt Blue Submarine - An absolute must have in the wardrobe every season is a striped tee and no one does this better than Petit Bateau.  The long sleeve tee is a great option because frankly it doesn't look like we will get much of a summer here in the UK and in the USA it's always freezing with the air conditioning blasting.

For my Little Monster bright colored skinny jeans and trousers are definitely a key part of his look.  My little man is on the slim side and the Zara bottoms fit him like a glove.  They all have the adjustable tabs inside the waistband so you get more wear out of them.  They always sell out quickly so I hit Zara at the beginning of the each season to stock up.  They also do great shorts in classic and bold colors in the summer.  Plus they are so affordable so you don't have to worry about what your boy does to them.

Bottoms all from Zara
Top Row:

Bottom Row:

Boys can accessorize just as much as the girls!  My Little Monster is very into his shoes, watches and sunglasses which I find adorable.  Boys' shoes are definitely an area where the selection is not too great and I make the effort to find him something a little different.  I think it's worth spending a little extra on the shoes because it's better for their feet and they will get a ton of wear.  Another splurge is a great coat/jacket especially with this English weather we literally wear our coats like 360 days a year!

Top Row:
Burberry Diamond Quilt Jacket in Navy - A very classic style and has a hood that folds away for rainy days.  I purchased this jacket in black for my son during the Christmas sales.  It's a great idea to buy for bigger sizes for the upcoming seasons during the sales.  A classic coat like this Burberry one will never go out of fashion.

Nathalie Verlinden Straw Hat Navy Blue from Smallable - Helps protect your boy from the sun and looks way smarter than a baseball cap.

Zoobug AV Aviator Sunglasses in Yellow - I love bold colored sunglasses since after all having fun is  what being a kid is all about.  My son's favorite sunnies are purple ones from Zoobug and I think he will like these ones just like daddy's.

Stella McCartney Stripes Sock Blue from Smallable - I love love love funky socks and here is actually an item of clothing where there are tons of options for boys.  It's so exciting for them to pick out a cool pair of socks.

Nano Color by Baby Watch in Green from Smallable - My son loves wearing watches to look like mommy and daddy.  We've got a Buzz Lightyear, Thomas the Tank Engine, wooden toy watches, and a Flik Flak pirate watch too.  I love this bold green one and will look so cute on.

Bottom Row:
Papouelli Digby Mocassin in Grey Suede - Nothing cuter than a little man in matching shoes with his daddy!  We got these for a wedding coming up over the summer.

J. Crew Boys' Set Sail Flip-Flops in Red - Fun and comfy flip flops are a must for the summer.

Bensimon Acid Wash Cotton Plimsoles from Alex and Alexa - I love the look of the Bensimon plimsoles and have a pair for myself.  The little stars on this pair are beyond cute.

Converse Chuck Taylor Street in White - Converse are an absolute must for me and we always have at least a pair for each of us in this house.  I love the classic crisp white for the summer and think they look even better worn in.

Monday, 13 May 2013

harper beckham a little style icon

How jealous are you of Harper Beckham?  Jetting all over the world in the most fabulous outfits can't be too bad for a toddler?  Plus David and Victoria look like totally hands on parents who put their family first.  Here are some of my favorite looks for the little style icon:

Top Row:

Bottom Row:

Be sure to check out the Harper Beckham Fashion Blog to see all of her amazing outfits.

Here are some pieces from this Spring/Summer collection that Harper can totally rock!  I think I may have to pick up the hot pink Bonton Dress and adorable Bonpoint sandals for my little girl.  They are just too cute to resist!

Top Row:
Caramel Baby and Child Halberton Dress - I would totally wear this!
Marie Chantal Biker Skinny Jeans - I love the patch detail on the knees.  Very cool.
Bonton Baiser Dress from Elias and Grace - So sweet for little girls and just says summer

Bottom Row:
Bonpoint Mali Sandals Fluo Orange - I love the bright coral and braided detail
Bonpoint Duchesse Dress Checked Ink - A gorgeous and classic dress for special occasions
Bonpoint Nussy Headband Polka Dot Lime - Fun headband to top of summer outfits

Saturday, 11 May 2013

friday fashion obsession

Apologies for the Friday feature being one day late but it's been a busy week!  I'm still playing around with what to feature on Fridays and I'm testing out my current weekly fashion obsession.  Hope you enjoy this!

When I was in New Jersey I discovered this amazing store in the mall (Garden State Plaza for all you Jersey girls!) called Aritizia.  Artizia is originally from Vancouver, Canada and is stocked full of super stylish well made clothing and a good supply of denim at a great price point.  I've been lusting after leather leggings for awhile now but they are serious investment.  Plus leather leggings probably aren't the most practical trousers for a mom to wear.  I found these gorgeous faux leather Rebelle leggings at Aritizia from Canadian brand Wilfred Free.  The look and feel amazing!  They are super soft and kind of actually feel like leather instead of plasticy.  The best part is they only set you back $135 and are machine washable.  I'm definitely going to stock up on a couple more pairs.  They did stretch out so I think I will go for a size down for the next pair.

It's the American in me but I hit Westfield London every couple of weeks to run errands when the kids are asleep.  Shops close much earlier in London than they do in the States but lucky for me I live close to the Westfield Mall that is open until 10pm!  It's great because I can get groceries, hit the pharmacy, browse the kids toys and clothing shops, shop for me (Zara, Topshop, Jimmy Choo, Joseph and so much more) and bring home some takeaway all in one trip.  So I went a little crazy the other day (this is rare I assure you) and purchased 3 sweaters.  I totally blame the Rebelle leggings because everything looked really good on with them!

Here is what I scored:
Maje Calane Gilet Poudre - Everything in Maje is just so cool and the type of chic only the French can do.  I love this cardi because the leather sleeve makes it so much edgier and I can throw this over almost anything in my closet.  Maje is available in the US and UK.

Zara Jacquard Star Sweater (not available online but similar here) - I love the sweatshirt feel and the big black star.  I'm so completely obsessed with Zara!

Zara Cropped Neon Yellow Sweater (not available online but similar here) - I love this bright color and so great to add layers under.

Aritizia Wilfred Free Rebelle Legging - My new wardrobe staple!

There is no way you can ever get the mall out of this Jersey Girl plus I'm Asian so it's coded in my DNA. 

PS I apologize in advance about my appearance in the photos and hope didn't scare off all my readers.  It was after a long day with the kids plus mall trip and no make up.  Scary stuff!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

ooh la la... hermes avalon blanket

Pinterest Images from:

Pinterest Images from:

So I've recently discovered Pinterest (I clearly live behind a giant rock) and I can spend all day everyday just pinning images.  It is sooooooo addicting and I love being able to find so many amazing images from like minded people all in one space.  I have been gathering images for our upcoming home renovations for inspiration and I'm seriously dying for a classic Hermes Avalon blanket for our living room.  Now where can I shave off some savings from the budget to have one of these babies??? 

These are some fabulous rooms I have pinned showcasing the gorgeous blanket.  There are plenty more photos on my Pinterest Hermes Board for you all to drool over.

And why not follow all of my pins on Pinterest while your at it?

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

my mommy travel tips

So I have finally managed to put away the suitcases and all the gear from our Easter trip!  Yes I know we are all procrastinators in this house but we've also had sick kids here to in my defense.  It's shocking how much crap you have to bring traveling with 2 kids and the days of watching a movie or reading magazines on board are long gone.  I will say that flights with my potty trained 3 year old have gotten so much easier and he is really excited about the airplane now.  It's the little 1 year old that is the bugger.  She's at the age where she can't quite walk, needs to get into everything, and hates being held down.  Plus she actually needs so much more than the toddler - bottles, nappies, muslins, and backups of everything.  Here are some tips I have picked up along the way:

1. Organization - I think being insanely organized is the best way to may traveling with kids easier.  Make sure you do seat assignments when you purchase the tickets and try to order a kids meal if it's available.  Also do check in online as soon as you can to get a good seat if you weren't able to do it beforehand.  Try to fly one airline if possible because it makes life so much easier to have status and be able to use the lounge.

2.  Get to the airport early!!! - I used to always be running onto the plane before the gate shut and there is no way you can do this with kids.  They need to eat, have potty trips, nappy changed, and who knows what else.  It's also good to get there early if you do have any issues with the seat assignment and you will have first dibs.  I actually have gone to the airport forgetting that my daughter's temporary passport had expired and still managed to get on the plane to America after the British Airways staff spoke to Homeland Security on my behalf in plenty of time.  Talk about baby brains!

3.  Compact Stroller - Because you are carrying so much stuff and probably at least a child it's much easier to have a stroller that is lightweight and can folded with one hand going through security.  I've had the Maclaren Zodiac Quest for years and it truly does the job.  It's so easy to fold down and lift onto the x-ray machine and still great to use on the trip.

4.  A Good Babycarrier - Double buggies are so bulky and I don't particularly like using them normally so definitely not when I'm traveling.  I love the BabyBjorn Active which has extra support for your back and is easy to get on and off.  I have the mesh fabric carrier because I find it more breathable for the baby and have used it for both kids.

5.  Food/Snacks - Make sure you check the airport security rules when brining on baby food and formula.  Heathrow is quite annoying because they make you open half of what you bring and taste it.  Most baby food and milk have to be used within a hour of opening if not refrigerated so whatever you open ends up being thrown away.  Luckily there is a Boots Pharmacy in Heathrow Terminal 5 (where we usually leave from) so I don't bother bringing that much baby stuff with me and get it all there.  I stock up on plenty of snacks especially special treats to get me through the flight.  I once ran into a mother and baby who were stuck at the airport for 8 hours during a transfer delay!

6.  Childsized Suitcase - My Little Monster is at the age where he likes to copy whatever we do and he loves having his own suitcase for his things.  I've traveled with the Trunki before and that thing is so heavy when it's filled.  I ended up carrying it for more than he rode it around!  What works for us really well is a rolling backpack.  He has a lot of fun pulling it through the airport feeling important and I can easily put it on my back without really noticing it there.  Make sure to pack some new toys, books, sticker books, and prizes to keep them entertained.  I really like the backpacks from Pottery Barn Kids.

7.  Laceless Shoes - I love these slip on Converse when I'm flying because you can get them on and off quickly barely using your hands.  I've got them in several colors and they are super comfy too.

8.  Practical Baby Bag - You definitely need a big handbag to store all the stuff and one with many compartments is great for keeping organized.  I have this Prada baby bag and absolutely love it!  Pockets on the side for bottles and a big zip pouch in the front.  The best part is the strap so you can wear the bag on your shoulders or crossbody keeping your hands free.

9.  Layers and Extras -  I tend to dress myself in layers because one second you're hot and the next you're freezing so it's good to be prepared.  It's also smart to wear multi-layers incase of accidents like juice getting poured on you or being projectile vomited on.  This happens more than you would think!  I always wear a great scarf when I travel to look somewhat chic and the scarf can hide a multitude of sins.  I love the Louis Vuitton Leopard Stole and pattern actually hides stains quite well.

Also make sure you pack extra outfits for the kids because you will almost for sure need them!  I normally just pack extra pajamas because they fold up smaller and are comfy to wear.

10. iPad - Need I say more?  The iPad can entertain the kids for hours and hours and hours.  Make sure you put some new apps and videos on there to make it even more entertaining.  I highly recommend the iPad Mini as it so much lighter to carry around.

11.  Aden and Anais Swaddles - Last but definitely not the least are the amazing swaddles by Aden and Anais that I don't think any mother should be without.  They have so many uses other than as a swaddle and are great as a lightweight blanket or covering up a sleeping baby in the stroller.  Babies sometime have a hard time falling asleep on the plane because they are completely overstimulated and distracted.  I use the swaddle to cover us when trying to get the baby to sleep to shield away all the light and noise around.  These gender neutral swaddles with grey stars are so cute.

Hope these tips help you out next time you head to the airport!

ps - Don't forget your child's lovelies at home or when leaving the airplane!  Both have happened to me before.

Monday, 6 May 2013

kid's zone at the national army museum chelsea

So what the heck do you do with a toddler with an insane amount of energy and a little one that wants to crawl free all day especially when it's rainy and cold outside?  There is a hidden gem in Chelsea just behind Kings Road that has the answer to this problem that I run into all the time.  The Kids' Zone at the National Army Museum in London has an amazing play area for children that has slides, climbing frames, tunnels, and loads more that is great for letting the kids run around wild.  There is also a soft play area for babies in the corner with bouncy chairs and Bumbo seats available for all to use.  For the calmer children there is a little table for colouring and a kitchen area for role playing too.

The best part is that it only costs £2.50 per child for a 1 hour session and babies under 6 months go for free.  You need to book online before you go and can do it up to 8 days in advance.  Sessions do book up quite quickly especially on the weekends so it's good to plan ahead.  It is actually nice that you have to prebook because the sessions won't get overcrowded and is not complete chaos.  The playarea is one of the cleanest I have ever been to and everyone needs to sanitize their hands before they enter and socks must be worn.  

There is a cafe in the Army Museum when you first enter that sells sandwiches, snacks and coffee which is quite handy.  I love the location of the museum because it means that I can let the kids run around for a good hour and then strap them in the buggy and hit some shops on Kings Road and Duke of York Square!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

barneys new york mother's day picks

I'm still getting used to the 2 different Mother's Day in the UK and USA.  I'm so used to celebrating the American Mother's Day in May that the UK version in March always sneaks up on me.  Now let's try to convince hubby I get to celebrate both of them!

I've been browsing the Barneys New York website for some gift ideas for my own mama.  Barneys is one of my favorite department stores and I find walking the floors so inspiring.  Every department is amazing and stocked with fabulous items that you can't keep your hands off of.  Here is a hybrid list of things that my mom and I would both love and I'm not telling what I've decided to get her:

Laduree:  Sucre the Recipes - All the ladies in my family are obsessed with Laduree and it is our favorite place for girlie lunches and afternoon tea.  This cookbook is definitely drool worthy!

Pierre Hardy x Nars Provocative Pairs Sharks - What a fun collaboration between Pierre Hardy and Nars.  These fresh nail polishes are perfect for summer.

Karen Walker Anytime Sunglasses - These sunnies will make any mama feel like a glamorous old fashion movie star.

Athena Procopiou Sunsets Romance on the Calico Scarf - Scarves are such a great accessory for us moms and super useful at the same time.  The pale colors on this scarf are gorgeous and I especially love the peonies which are my favorite flower.

Cowshed Cow Pat Manicure Set - Great for us busy mamas who don't always make it out to get a manicure whenever we need one.  Cowshed does amazing manicures and this set brings the experience home.

Jennifer Meyer Rose Gold Mommy Pendant Necklace and Diamond XO Pendant Necklace - How sweet are these necklaces and would be so special to wear everyday.

Etoile Isabel Marant Deacon Capri - Isabel Marant knows what us chic girlies want to wear and I love these pale pink jeans with little stars printed on them.

Missoni Home Apothia Monterosa Candle - I love lighting candles one the kids are in bed and try to reclaim the house as an adult space.  This Missoni candle is so beautiful and would look amazing in any room.

Balenciaga Arena Giant Double Card Holder - I've got so many travel cards, credit cards and loyalty cards and this card holder will help make my wallet lighter.  I love the bright purple with the gold hardware.  Will look fab in any fashionista's handbag.

Thomas Fuchs Skull Marble Cheese Board - This is seriously the coolest thing ever!  Your dinner guests will definitely be wowed when you appear with a cheese platter on the board.  

Hope all the mommies in America have a fabulous Mother's Day this Sunday and get to sleep in and get some extra pampering!


Friday, 3 May 2013

dream wardrobe friday * mini crossbody bags

I've got that I need a new handbag itch and I'm trying to be really good and not scratch it!  A staple in my wardrobe is a small crossbody bag where I can carry all of my important things (ie wallet, phone, and house keys) with me at all times.  Having 2 kids I need to have both hands free and be able to run after a really quick 3 year old while lugging a 1 year old.  Carrying a small light bag on me means that I don't have to worry about my valuables getting stolen.  I usually keep all the baby/kids stuff (nappies, wipes, drinks, snacks, etc.) underneath the buggy and I'm not really that bothered about keeping my eye on them at all times.

There's a huge trend this season with mini crossbody handbags and I'm finding them just so irresistible. Here are some drool worthy bags and somebody needs to hide my credit cards before I get click happy!

Chanel Classic Small Flap Bag in Metallic Patent Calfskin - Classic bag in a mini size and shiny leather.

Balenciaga Metallic Mini City Gold - I'm seriously addicted to Balenciaga bags and own a few.  I love the distressed leather and they are practical and chic at the same time.  This mini in their icon City is just too adorable.

Celine Nano Luggage - Ugh it is sooooo impossible to get my hands on this bay!  It literally sells out as soon as it hits the shop floor and I barely make it out to the shops.  I love love love the Celine Luggage Tote but it is just so impractical for my lifestyle right now.  But I can totally swing this if I can only find one!

Chloe Marcie Small Saddle Bag - My sister and good friend use the bigger version of the bag all the time.  It is super durable and goes with almost anything.  

Givenchy Micro Nightingale Satchel - An ultimate fashionista bag in a mini size.

Proenza Schouler PS1 Pouch - I know I've written about this PS1 Pouch before but I absolutely love mine and although it looks small you can actually get a lot in there.

Chanel Classic Flap Bag in Patent Calfskin - If only I could have a Chanel flap and every colour and size.  You can never have enough Chanel in your life!  I love the more square shape which makes it a little bit more fun.

Balenciaga Giant 12 Silve Mini Pompon - I've always loved the bucket shape of the Pompon and it looks so much cuter mini sized.  

Mulberry Lily Shoulder Bag - A very versatile bag that can be dressed up or down.  Worn as a shoulder bag with the straps short or casual across the body.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

DVF x baby gap

The amazing and super fabulous Diane von Furstenberg has once again teamed up with Baby Gap to bring us another vibrantly coloured and super chic collection for little girls.  I have been eyeing the pieces online and was thrilled that I got to the Gap in time to see all the pieces in person.  You immediately become giddy and happy seeing the playful prints in bright colours that just make you smile.  I love how the pieces work for the active lifestyle of toddlers without having to sacrifice style.  There is no way of leaving the store empty handed and I put little hearts next to the pieces I picked up.  This really is a match made in heaven and hope that there are more collections to come.

Top row:

Bottom row:
Printed Leggings in Egyptian Turquoise (my personal favourite print)