Monday, 26 September 2016

Year-Round Sporting Activities For Kids in London

Inspired by the Olympics last month, I have been thinking about sporting activities that my children can take part in all year round. My daughter will happily find something to entertain herself when she's at home but my son is a completely different story and I find myself constantly having to arrange activities to keep to stop him causing mischief. Here are some of our favourite year round sporting activities for children in London.



Trampolining
We're big fans of the trampoline parks that seem to be springing up all over the place. They provide hours of fun and are guaranteed to burn off tons of energy, yours included! Bouncing on a trampoline is the simplest thing and yet it's just so much fun for all ages.


Cricket
Inspired by our trip to the Oval last this summer my two are both really interested in cricket at the moment. Although it's often seen as a summer sport, there are plenty of indoor courses throughout the winter, whilst the kids are watching cricket, Dads could check out free cricket betting tips, cricket betting tips and CBTF on their phones whilst waiting.

Rugby
The boys on our house are rugby fanatics and when not playing Rugby they could happily watch it on TV all day long. Mr Jones has recently signed Rufio up to toddler rugby classes which they both really enjoy and it allows for some father son bonding time.

Ice Skating
We love all the outdoor ice rinks that spring up in the winter but thanks to indoor ice rinks, we can skate in London all year round. Skating is great fun and helps with balance and coordination.


Swimming
If you follow me on Instagram you'll know that we spent all summer long at the beach in Greece and my two little water babies had the time of their lives. Keen to maintain confidence that they have built up in the water and we've been taking them swimming every weekend. Swimming is such an important and potentially life saving skill for a child so do check out your local leisure centre kids swimming lessons.


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Top Five Handbag Essentials No Girl Should Be Without

I always used to marvel at how well my mother prepared for everything. All those things that I seem to forget to take with me, she would always be able to produce from her handbag at any given moment. I remember her always having the right thing with her at the right time no matter what the occasion, from painkillers and an umbrella, to carrier bags and hair clips.
After growing up myself though, I’ve come up with my own list of handbag essentials for the modern-day woman…


  • Carrier bag… in a bag
This is an obvious one – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed a bag and not had one to hand. Whether you’re out shopping for the day and don’t want to be carrying multiple bags around with you, or you decide to pick up a few bits on the way home but have no way of carrying them back. These days, you can pick up canvas waterproof bags that are very hard-wearing, but equally convenient.
  • Medical supplies
I always keep specific medical items in my handbag, such as paracetamol and plasters. If you wear a new pair of shoes to work, you need to know that you have the tools for the job in case you start developing blisters. Similarly, if you get a bad strain of stomach cramps or headaches but you need to power through your next meeting, you have the peace of mind that you can top up your pain relief as and when you need it.
  • Mac in a Sac
These are a fantastic product, and do exactly what they say on the tin. Mac in a Sac make incredibly lightweight, unisex macs with a small bag attached, so that when you don’t need it any more you can scrunch it into its own little pouch and pop it in your handbag. Make sure you check out their full range of packaway jackets from macinasac.com, as they have some cute kid’s designs too if you have little ones – particularly handy if you get caught in the rain on the way home from the park.
  • Spare USBs
You’re on your way somewhere new, you have the directions in your phone or satnav, and then the unthinkable happens, you run out of battery! To avoid this kind of stress while you have screaming kids in the car, always keep a USB cable and USB port in your handbag for the cigarette lighter in your car. It will end up saving you from a lot of tight spots!
  • Make-up basics
 Aim to keep a spare foundation, powder and mascara in your handbag; my top tip here is to get sample bottles, or buy the pint-sized containers for airports, and refill them. This way, they won’t take up take up too much space, and whenever you’re running late for an important meeting, you’ll be able to give yourself that extra confidence boost when you get there.

What essentials do you keep in your handbag?
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Thursday, 22 September 2016

Introducing The Yummy's Club

Recently, I was introduced to Yummy's the brand new luxury members service which provides exclusive discounts to some of SW London's finest family friendly businesses. Yummies covers Fashion & Interiors, children's classes, bespoke party planners, nannies and tutors and of course my absolute favourite on treats for parents, i.e. spa discounts, woohoo! 



We're currently obsessed with kids fashion label Billieblush and I was really pleased to see that there's 20% off this brand from the Minimis website, when using your yummy's card. The other discounts that I would probably make the most use out of would be the the kids classes, I really like the look of Alice's Sushi Art, both my kids love sushi and cooking so this would be perfect for them. Also there's up to 50% discount on nannies, I'm thinking of going back to work soon so this would be super useful and money saved would easily cover the £50 membership fee to join Yummy's.

It's also great to see that Yummy's donates 5% of it's profits to Nakuru children's project, a charity that helps to feed and educate children in Kenya.


For 20% off very own exclusive Yummy's card, head on over to www.theyummysclub.com using the code mrsjones20

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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Garden Games

Here in London we're enjoying an incredible Indian summer, yesterday it was 33 degrees which my Father reliably informed me ( because he lives there) was hotter than Athens! We've had such a lovely warm summer this year and for once I don't feel at all short changed by the sunshine. What's more the children have had plenty of opportunities to make use of the fantastic outdoor games that Aldi very kindly sent us.


The overall favourite (deduced by the toy that causes the most arguments) has to be this remote control car. My three year old is obsessed with it! I didn't think that he would be able to steer it but he does, with ease! Definitely a winner!


The inline skates are a tiny bit so we haven't managed to try these yet. Given that my children are both super tall, I'm sure it won't be long until they fit. They are really great quality though and certain to provide hours and hours of fun.


Lastly we were sent this pitch pro baseball game which helps kids learn and practice batting, it's so much fun for the entire family.

For more info check out www.aldi.co.uk


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Making Your Dining Room Family Dinner Friendly

How often do you eat dinner as a family? Research shows that a quarter of children regularly eat their evening meal in their bedroom with 78% of youngsters eating dinner while watching TV. This is of course in part due to the fact that many families have a daily routine that simply doesn’t allow everyone to gather together every evening.
If kids finish school at 3.30pm and either parent doesn't get through the front door until after 6pm or even later, it’s tricky to pin down a suitable time when you can all sit round the table. Then there’s the question of table space. Simply put, fewer homes are being built with dedicated dining rooms and those that are lucky enough to have one are not always accommodating enough to fit in a lot of furniture. If this sounds like your home, this post is for you, because today we’re looking at fixes to help make small dining rooms more family friendly!  


Colour

Does your dining room look a little too cosy? Rich, dark colours can have lead even larger spaces to look more confined, so if you’d like to use some interior trickery to make your dining room at least appear larger than it is, it’s time to reach for the paint pots and brushes and give things a refreshing lift. Paler, unfussy shades combined with clean lines can help a room to feel larger, though you don’t need to avoid colour completely. Colourful accessories and cut fresh flowers can add a welcome splash of colour and allow your room to be easily updated to match the occasion and the season. Whether you’re entertaining guests at a dinner party or sitting down for dinner on a Friday evening, dressing the room for the occasion can make things feel a lot more special.

Furniture and furnishings

Sometimes there’s just no getting round the fact you don’t have the square footage for the dining table of your dreams but that doesn’t mean you have to ditch the idea of family feasts completely. There are lots of clever furniture and furnishing combinations that can help you make best use of the space you’re working with, providing comfort and convenience to boot.
Extendable dining tables are the space saver’s friend, folding away to provide more floor area when not in use. So, if you tend to find your dining room doubles up as a play area or you use your dining room as a thoroughfare to the garden when you’re not eating, it could be your saving grace. Another option is to use dual-purpose dining furniture. If your dining room also happens to be used as a study, could you select a desk that could double up as a small dining table? Don’t dismiss small coves and corners, which can be used to house built in furniture that looks stylish and saves space. Could you build a dining booth complete with benches into an awkward corner or perhaps use the wall space for storage using floating shelves? Think about your seating arrangements too – stackable chairs can be put out of the way when not in use while benches can slot under tables and may even allow for built in storage too.

Dining tips

You might not always make it home in time to eat together, but setting aside at least one evening where you all sit around the table to talk through the week can actually make family life move more smoothly at other times. It may be that setting up a dining space for such an event is much more practical if done on a weekly basis too. Those pushed for space could consider spreading into other areas with the help of bi-fold doors to allow for outdoor dining or ease of movement between living room and dining areas. For external and internal folding door options, try the Vufold range – these can be fitted without a bottom track so that you don’t find yourself tripping over, dinner plates in hand. While you may want to place a ban on iPhones and iPads at the table, you could employ some old school gadgetry to help you serve things up more efficiently. For example, could a food or drinks trolley help you solve small table issues? Bar carts and trolleys are very much back in vogue and there’s no rule that says they can’t be used to serve up the kids’ milkshakes and desserts as well as martinis!
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